House expressions that have lasted the test of time

Over the years, a couple of expressions have been born out of the games my group have played.

One is a “Fredrico.” This is an obvious dead end or red herring. We were playing Cthulhu and a player was stubbornly flowing the a non-clue. It was obvious to the rest of us by refs body language and tone, but the player completely missed it. The ref closed the adventure and crossed his arms and keep feeding him BS (obviously) made on the spot. Oh, Fredrico was the NPC’s name the player was trying to hunt down but strangely couldn’t find.

Another, is “Going to the Airport.” This is synonymous with being left out of the adventure by doing something dumb. We often say things like, “you know your going to the airport… right?” This expression way born out of a Champions game I ran where the villain lured a player out to the airport and in effect stranded him there for the entire night. There were plenty of clues, but this player shook them off and wouldn’t listen to the other players and stubbornly plowed on (I detect a theme here) anyway. Not my proudest moment as a ref, stranding a PC for the night, but to be fare it was a long time ago and we still use that expression.

Does anyone else have some good ones?


“I follow at a sneaky distance”

“how far is that? Do you have like a ‘sneaky distance’ measuring stick that you hold in front of you as you walk to be sure you don’t get too close?”

“Yes. Yes I do.”

That joke has turned into this: “I pull out the Sneaky Distance Ruler and follow them.”

While I’m sure there are many, the one that leaps to mind is our group’s doppleganger test.

You’re familiar with the play on pronunciation “po-tay-toe / po-tah-toe”? Well, our call-and-respond turned into " Potato/ go-fuck-yourself".

We’re a classy lot. It’s also a reflex with our group, so when someone a while back was asking about potato chips in another room…

“You wake up naked on a hillside…”
This started back when I began a campaign that way. (I started in media-res with the group in a 20th level melee, falling but succeeding at defeating a great evil…only to awaken naked on a hillside in an unknown time and place with no other memories.)

Forever after, if someone ever lost consciousness for any reason, the obligatory response was, “You wake up naked on a hillside…”

“Take the Hobbit and put it in a bag…”
Became a running joke on how to check for traps down a corridor or in a room. The unspoken next part was “…and roll it down the corridor/into the room/ etc.”. The Halfling wasn’t all that enthused with this particular running gag…

1 Like

Both of these were from my high school gaming group.

“Behind the bar, there is a shotgun.” Our go-to quote whenever a GM would read non-read aloud text out loud. Comes from our first Mechwarrior game (and the GM’s first time running) where he just started reading out loud and forgot to stop. Needless to say, we all lunged for the bar to get the shotgun without rhyme or cause.

“You hear footprints approaching.” I could never stop saying it this way and now I actively say it to see if anyone catches the error. It was our version of “Listen! Do you smell something?” from Ghostbusters.


In my larger group, “Welcome to the Thursday night group!” means you’ve just done enough damage to leave a target with 1 hit point. The Thursday night group calls itself The One Hit Point Wonders because we have a knack for doing this unintentionally. It’s uncanny how often it happens to us.

Whenever someone tries to communicate with something out of the ordinary like plants, someone inevitably says, “Do they scream when we eat them?” Chunt, a minotaur barbarian, would often ask this while traveling with our bard/warlock who spoke with flora and fauna on a regular basis. It kinda stuck and now folks still say it in any related circumstance when someone is talking to something strange. Kinda dark, I know, but it made us laugh.