It's a classic trope in comedy. The Simpsons has used it at least twice.

Once where Dr Hibbard describes the stages of grief to Homer after he ate badly prepared fugu.
(One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish: 1991)

Another when Bart reacts to the inexperienced school nurse reading out symptoms of a disease from a medical textbook.
(Bart Gets an "F": 1990)

Another one is Airplane! (1980) when Leslie Nielsen's Doctor describes the prognosis of eating the fish meal as Peter Graves's Captain Oveur acts them all out.

(slightly NSFW due to a risque joke at the end)

I recall it happening in many other media, too. What's the earliest example of this happening that we know of?

  • 1
    +1 just because the examples are hilarious
    – Luciano
    Feb 10 at 9:55
  • Read the title, came here to cite Airplane! Feb 10 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Let's try The Sword In The Stone (1963) to begin with. Anything earlier?

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