Hyperbole Examples: 11 Examples From Pop Culture
- an extravagant exaggeration
- language that describes something as better or worse than it really is
Hyperbole is by far the most interesting and beloved of all the literary devices. This figure of speech serves as a way to create drama and interest in creative writing by using obviously exaggerated statements to emphasize the reality of a situation in a way that isn’t meant to be taken literally. This extreme exaggeration is used to catch the reader’s attention through an overstatement in the English language. In case you didn’t catch it, the first sentence of this paragraph is an example of hyperbole – because, c’mon... we like hyperbole, but it isn’t that great.
The key to identifying hyperbole is to look for words and phrases that are absolute: impossible, always, never, worst, best, etc. Or when the -est ending is used: funniest, smartest, spookiest. Things generally aren’t absolute, so if these words are used, it could be a sign that a hyperbolic statement is being used. Hyperbole is often used in everyday conversation, like idioms and personification are.
Here are 3 examples of this:
- I love you to the moon and back!
- He’s the funniest person in the whole world!
- The little dog was so cute – he was the size of a pea.
Here’s a few examples of how the reality of a situation is exaggerated when you use hyperbole:
- Being cold → being freezing
- Waiting a long time → waiting forever
- Running fast → running like the wind
Hyperbole in Everyday Life
And here are 5 very common hyperbolic sentences that you might have heard:
- I’m so busy this week – I have a million things to do!
- The girl was as light as a feather and he picked her up with ease.
- I could ride this rollercoaster a thousand times.
- Cry me a river!
- I died of embarrassment in class this morning when I said the wrong answer.
In all of these sentences, the italicized part represents the use of hyperbole – none of those things are actually true, but are a way to exaggerate what is actually occurring to emphasize how someone is feeling or what something seems like.
Hyperbole in Pop Culture
This type of figurative language is used in movies, literature, songs, poems, slogans, and everyday speech. Two authors who commonly used hyperbole, among other literary terms, were William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Harper Lee. This rhetorical device is also used very often in Disney movies and in other songs, movies, and TV.
We’ve included 2 well-known examples below:
Hyperbole in Disney Movies:
- Despicable Me: "He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!"
- 101 Dalmations: "I'm so hungry I could eat a whole elephant."
- Elf: "World's best cup of coffee"
- Beauty and the Beast: "I ate 4 dozen eggs every morning...and now that I'm grown, I eat 5 dozen eggs."
Hyperbole in Songs, Movies, and TV:
- "Best Song Ever" by One Direction: "The biggest band on the planet!" & "It's gonna be the greatest movie of all time."
- "Break My Heart" by Duo Lipa: "Had to love and lose a hundred million times..."
- "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap: "Soundin' like a zillion bucks on the track."
- Lil Wayne: "I'm havin' the most fun I've ever had in my career."
- Shrek: "I mean white, sparkling teeth...that is one dazzling smile you have there."
- "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia: "I am titanium."
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