Bucket Of Ears
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Basic Information

This Dialogue Trope is most prevalent in TV sit coms. Some character, often a nerdy or awkward one, will say something innocent that, out of context, sounds a little weird, insulting or crazy. Then they'll make several attempts to clarify, but only dig a deeper hole for themselves.


TV Tropes Wiki

The odd name of this Trope comes from an episode of the brit com Coupling, where a nerdy guy tries incompetently to break the ice with a beautiful woman, and worries that he comes off sounding like some sort of morbid ear-collecting serial killer.

Game and Story Use

  • Not easy to improvise, but if you can pull it off (or prep ahead for it), a very enjoyable way to defuse a tight scene / get the whole table laughing / make a memorable characterization.
  • A good way to illustrate that a character has a low Charisma or no Social Skills, but is still a good person. Rather than being a thug, or rude and tactless, they just lack confidence and have a self-deprecating sense of humor. Good for Absent Minded Professor types. It will have it's best impact if not over used. Distinguish a single character this way, by making him screw up every so often, don't make it something your entire cast of NPCs is capable of.
  • Inverted, it could be used as a cover mechanism for a psychologically disturbed character. Perhaps he's really a serial killer, and gets a sick kick out of letting little hints slip, then covering up with "nutty professor" routine.
  • Not to be confused with a necklace of ears.
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