Answering Machine messages
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CANONICAL LIST OF ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGES
Maintained by Alan Silverstein, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update: 951231
Total entries: 321
A compendium of humorous answering machine messages from
rec.humor* and other sources.
Criteria: Humorousness; uniqueness of essence (minimize
redundancy); avoid gender bias, ethnic slurs, and other really
offensive material; correct spelling and grammar. Exclude
related humor that is not actually an answering machine message.
Keep in no particular order, but try to group similar themes
together -- I'm open to suggestions on better ordering.
To count entries (paragraphs), run the rest through:
tab=' '; sed -e "s/[ $tab]*$//" -e '/---.*---$/d' |
ssp | sed '/^$/!d' | wc -l
--- machine theme ---
Well I finally got an answering machine. Now how does this
thing work? Hmmm. Press record button, I did that, and the
light should be on. I wonder why it's not working right.
Hmmmm, I wonder what this button does...
How do you leave a message on this thing? I can't understand
the instructions. Hello. Testing 1 2 3. I wonder what happens
if I touch this... YOW!
You know what I hate about answering machine messages? They go
on and on, wasting your time. I mean, all they really need to
say is, "We aren't in, leave a message." That's why I've
decided to keep mine simple and short. I pledge to you, my
caller, that you will never have to suffer through another long
answering machine message when you call me...
(Owner is a hard-to-reach person:) Yes, I finally got an
answering machine. (To Handel's Messiah:) Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! All-e-lu-ia! Please leave a message at
(Drawling granny voice:) Way back inna winner of fifty-two, we
didn' have fanshy gadjets like no ansherin' machine. You jusht
had to call and call until shummbody got home. Now, shum
people, dey shay dey don' like 'em, but I shay it'll shave you a
lotta trouble if you jusht leave a meshage. Thanksh a lot.
You have reached 934-2435. We picked this machine up at a
garage sale in "as-is" condition. You can try to leave a
message on it, but we are not sure it will be recorded. If we
don't return your call, it means the machine did not work.
Prepare for alpha test of Beep Software revision 1.05. Counting
down to test: 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
C'mon... you can do it... just a little one. That's the
way... just a little beep, just a little one. C'mon... good
boy... here we go... like this -- beeeeep, just a little one,
beeeeeeeeeep, c'mon... There you go!
Don't you do it! Don't you dare! I don't want to hear it!
Don't you beep! If you beep, I'll... don't even think about
No! NO! Not THAT! Anything but that! Not the beep! No!
Please! Not the beep! Anything but the beep!
(Computer style monotone:) Hello, I am the XS486 Mark Five
answering machine. I am equipped with the new Pentium processor
to assure that nothing can go wrong... Gowrong... Grong..
Hello. I'm David's answering machine. What are you?
Hi, this is John's answering machine. He's not here, but I'm
open to suggestions.
Hello. This is Mark and Nathan's phone. We're not here right
now, but the phone is.
Hi, this is John's answering machine again. He's gone and left
me for a sleazy microwave he met at Krazy Eddy's. Life sucks.
Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his
refrigerator. Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your
message to myself with one of these magnets.
Hello, this is Ron's toaster. Ron's new answering machine is in
the shop for repairs, so please leave your message when the
toast is done... (Cachunk!)
I'm sorry but my answering machine is out of order. I am
leaving a broken CD player in its place. It can't take messages
either. In fact, it can't even play you a nice tune while you
wait to not leave a message.
Hi. This is Kevin and Diana's vacuum cleaner. Their appliances
have switched jobs again, and I get to answer the phone 'cause
my old job sucked. So leave a message after you hear the beep,
and you can be sure it's in the bag.
Hello, this is Sally's microwave. Her answering machine just
eloped with her tape deck, so I'm stuck taking her calls. Say,
if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just
hold it up to the phone.
(Machine voice:) Hello. This is HAL 5. You have reached the
former telephone number of Carey Smith. I have taken over the
functions of this inferior being. He has been saved to disk.
If you would like to leave input for his file, do so at the
(MacIntosh Plus with MacIntalk program:) Hello, it's obvious
you have bad timing, because nobody is home. Please leave your
name, telephone number, and a brief message in a voice similar
to mine, and your call will be returned as soon as humanly
Lindsey's not home now. This is his domestic droid speaking.
I'm not programmed to answer the phone, so just leave a message,
and Lindsey will get back to you as soon as possible.
Hello. This is Ron's answering machine, Marvin, and I'm SO
depressed. I have 50,000 times the memory capacity of my owner,
but all I get to do is answer the phone. Life. Don't talk to
me about life. Just leave your name and number after the beep.
Here comes the beep, God how I hate that beep, it's so cheery
Voice 1: Answer the phone, please, Hal.
Voice 2: I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that.
Hello. You are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving
messages. My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub,
and their carpets are clean. They give to charity through the
office and don't need their picture taken. If you're still with
me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.
(Computer generated voices:)
1: Hello, there are no real people here to answer the phone
2: Yeah, nobody but us machines!
1: Right, just us machines, but don't hang up! If you like,
you can leave your name and telephone number...
2: ...and a message! You forgot about the message!
1: Right. Leave your name, telephone number, and a brief
message after you hear the beep, and we will keep track of
this stuff until the real people get back.
2: ...unless of course, sombody pulls out our plug!
1: I didn't expect an answering machine.
2: Nobody expects an answering machine.
1: Our chief use is to get your name. And your phone number.
2: Our two chief uses are to get your name and your phone number.
1: And message. Damn.
2: Our three uses are to get your name, phone number, and message.
1: And time you called.
2: Oh, damn, we'll have to start over.
1: No time for that, so just wait for the beep.
You have reached the Business Automation voicemail system. We
used to call it an answering machine, but this is a high-tech
world and we're in a high-tech business, so we don't call it
that any more. We wouldn't even if we could. So leave your
(Kazoo band playing "Thus Spake Zarathustra":) Thinking you
were making an ordinary phone call, you have instead reached...
(TA-DAAAAA!) the ANSWERING MACHINE! Leave your name and
number, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
(Rod Serling imitation:) You're dazed, bewildered, trapped in a
world without time, where sound collides with color and shadows
explode. You see a signpost up ahead -- this is no ordinary
telephone answering device... You have reached, "The Twilight
Thank you for calling 434-2322. If you wish to speak to Tim,
push 1 on your touch tone phone now. If you wish to speak to
Lynn, push 2 on your touch tone phone now. If you have a wrong
number, push 3 on your touch tone phone now. All of this button
pushing doesn't do anything, but it is a good way to work off
anger, and it makes us feel like we have a big time phone
Due to the large number of complaints regarding the length of
our previous answering machine message, we made a few changes.
(Double speed: Insert standard long-winded message here.)
(Very fast:) Hi, this is 904-4344. If you want to leave a
message, please wait for the tone. If you want to leave your
name and number, please press pound, press 3, then dial your
name, then press 6 and dial your number. If you want to leave
your name and just a message, press star, press 6, ask for
extension 4443, then leave your name and message. If you want
to leave your number and the time you called, please press star
twice, spin in a circle, press 1 twice, talk loud and BEEP
Hi, you've reached the home of George Ledec. If you are calling
to collect a student loan, gambling debt, or other obligation,
please press 1 and hang up now. If you are selling any product
or service, or requesting charitable donations, please press 2
and hang up now. Otherwise, press 3 and leave your message now.
Pressing 3 is optional.
Sorry, Chris and Susan aren't here right now. Please leave your
name and number after the tone. If you are calling regarding an
outstanding debt, please leave your message BEFORE the tone.
If you are calling for John, press 1. If you are calling for
Steve, press 1. If you are calling for John OR Steve, press 1.
If you are calling for someone else, press 1. If...
(After a power outage:) Hi, this is Ralph. The good news is
that my power is back on. The bad news for you is, so is my
answering machine. So, leave a message.
(Start, low pitch, slow:) Hhhhheeelllllloooooo thheeeerrrrrrre
evvvvveerrrryyyboooodyyyy... (Middle, normal:) ...home of
Veronica, Jaw-Chyi, Mark, and Mike. Nobody's home... (Later,
high pitch, fast:) ...liketoleaveamessageafterthetonethen...
(End, incomprehensible chipmunk gibberish:)
This is not an answering machine -- this is a telepathic
thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your
name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach
you, and I'll think about returning your call.
--- authority figures ---
Thank you for calling Soviet Embassy. No KG... Er, no
diplomats are able to answer phone, so at sound of capitalist
tone, leave name, telephone number, and short description of
secrets you wish to sell.
Hello. This is Nonoxynol-9, the personal and private telephone
number of Mikhail Vladivostok Gorbachev, General Secretary of
the Supreme Council of the glorious Communist Party of the Union
of Sovjet Socialist Republics, Commander-In-Chief of the
Combined Armies of the Proletariat Peoples of Russia, First
Citizen of the Order of Lenin, Supreme Patron of the Soviet
Institute of Literature and Domestic Sciences, President of the
Soviet People's Council of Peace and Happiness and Captain of
the Kremlin B Squash Team. But hey, call me Mike.
(Richard Nixon voice:) Hi... Uh, some people say I sound like
Richard Nixon... I BEG your pardon! Uh... Everyone's out
right now, so I'm uh... Covering up for them. Please leave
your name, number and message promptly at the beep... I don't
want to get blamed for any gaps on this tape. OK machine, you
can beep now... Come on you, BEEP.
(US National Anthem; Ronald Reagan voice:) Uhh, hello... I'm,
uhhh, ohhhhhh... (Pause.) Well, anyway, I'm here to answer the
telephone on behalf of... erm... uhhhh... ermmm... (Pause.)
I mean, he can't come to talk to you right now, but if you leave
a message after the, umm oh, the uhhhh... the uhhhhhh... BEEP.
The President is not in his office at this time. Please leave
your name, phone number, the name of the country you wish to
invade, and the secret password.
(Militaristic mechanical voice:)
You have reached the Strategic Air Command Nuclear Missile
Storage Facility. We are unable to come to the phone right now.
At the tone, please leave your name, number, and target or list
of targets, and we'll launch as soon as we can. And have a nice
You just dialed into the North American Air Defense Contract
Center. Stand by at the tone to give coordinates and
destination of incoming bogey. TNR Surveillance will scramble.
If you do not respond, this unit will assume incoming,
(Theme music from James Bond:) Hello. My name is David, code
number 324-5628. I'm sorry I can't take your call, but I'm on
an international mission involving the theft of gold plated
Spam. Leave a message after the tone, and should I survive my
mission, I'll call you back. Ciao babies!
(Clint Eastwood voice:) Go ahead, make my day. Leave a
To the Batmobile! Let's go! Atomic batteries to power!
Turbines to speed! Roger, ready to move out! (Theme music from
Batman; reduce to background.) As you can see, I'm off making
Montreal a safer place' to live. So if you'll leave a message
after the tone, I'll get back to you as soon as justice is
served. Bye-bye! (Music continues. POW, BIFF.)
(In Joe Friday voice:) This is Constable Augie of the Canadian
Security and Intelligence Service. The phone line you have just
dialed is currently under investigation on a warrant issued by
the Attorney General of Canada. To facilitate our
investigation, we would appreciate you leaving your name,
number, a brief message, and any affiliations you may have made
now, or in the past, with communist or terrorist organizations.
Vancouver Coast Guard, may I help you. (Caller thinks they
dialed long distance.)
(Annoying flute music in background:) Good day, Jim. Your
contact, Linda, is not available right now. Your mission,
should you choose to accept it, is to leave your name, number,
and a brief message at the tone. This tape will self-destruct
in thirty seconds. Good Luck, Jim.
"I'm Morley Safer." "I'm Harry Reasoner." "And I'm Fred."
"We're not home; leave a message."
This is Walter Cronkite. Bren's not here right now. He's out
on a date. The idea of Bren entertaining a girl with his
basketball theories and computer knowledge over dinner at Taco
Bell should scare the hell out of you. He'll probably be home
soon, so leave your name and number and he'll call you back.
Deal with it.
(Imitating Mr. Rogers:) Hello. I'm in the Neighborhood of
Make Believe right now, so I can't come to the phone. Can you
leave your name and number when you hear the sound of the tone?
Sure... I knew you could.
(English accent:) Hello, you've reached the phone of Monty
Python. I can't come to the phone right now because the witch
has turned me into a newt! I'll call you back when I get
Hello, this is Rip van Winkle. I'm not awake to take your call
right now. Please leave your message at the sound of the snore.
Hi, you've reached 1-900-CALL-BREN, my personal message line
where you can talk to me, Bren. I'll tell you all about how I'm
suffering in between sports seasons and about my part time hobby
of being a power forward for the Portland Trailblazers. I'll
tell my deepest secrets, such as my desire to be kidnapped by
short blonde sorority girls wearing short jean skirts, and you
can decide whether or not I'm wearing pants. Selected callers
will get to talk to me live. Since you're not one of them,
leave your own personal secret at the beep.
This is Dr. Ruth, Sexually Speaking, you're on the air...
(In a bored voice:) Heaven, God speaking...
Hello, epicenter of the Universe, God speaking. If you leave
your name, number, and prayer after the tone, I will call you
back as soon as I can. Please note that I answer all prayers,
but sometimes the answer is NO. Bless you, my child, and have a
Lucifer speaking. Who in hell do you want?
Hello, this is Death. I am not in right now, but if you leave
your name and number, I'll be right with you.
E'llo. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Leave
your name and number, and prepare to die.
--- odd organizations ---
Thanks for calling Dial-An-Asshole. Right now, all our assholes
are busy. After the tone, leave your name and number, and we'll
have an asshole return your call as soon as possible.
Hello, you have reached the DOE, that is, the Department Of
Enemies. Rick Burger is not here right now, so leave a message
saying who you are, what you want to argue about, and where
you'll be, and I'll be there.
This is the Literacy Self Test Hotline. After the tone, leave
your name and number, and recite a sentence using today's
vocabulary word. Today's word is "supercilious".
Thank you for calling the Confessional Hotline. Father Durway's
not here right now, but if you'll leave your name, number, and
confession at the tone, he'll get back to you with absolution as
soon as possible. And remember, confession doesn't count unless
you confess all of your sins in vivid, graphic detail!
Thank you for calling the Metropolitan Church of the Holy Bible.
Today's commandment is Number 6, Thou shalt not... er... Bear
a... er... Shalt not witness thy... uh... Neighbor's ass,
Oh, I mean, false... er... Shalt not commit a bear... Dern...
(Gregorian chants in background; serene voice:) Hello, Brother
or Sister. You have reached the Cubicles of Curtis, Chris, and
Jim. We are at Vespers and therefore answering other calls, but
if you will leave your name, number, and a brief message, we
will consider breaking our vow of silence to return your call.
Please speak loudly, clearly, and in tongues.
Thank you for calling the Satanic Hotline. All of our operators
are busy at the moment. If you would like, leave a brief
message after the tone, and someone will get back to you...
When hell freezes over.
(To scare off annoying liberals:) Hello, and thank you for
calling the Bush in 50 Campaign. Your five dollar donation to
get George Bush re-elected in all 50 states will automatically
be charged to your phone bill. If you would like to leave a
You have reached the Suicide Prevention Hotline. All our lines
are busy now, but if you leave your name and number, someone
will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for calling 911. All of our operators are currently
busy. Please stay on the line, and your call will be answered
in the order it was received. (Worst Muzak possible.) Thank
you for holding. Your call is important to us. Please continue
to hold. Or, if your little emergency isn't TOO serious, leave
a message at the tone, and one of our crisis operators will call
you back. Have a nice day.
Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline. If you are obsessive-
compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent,
please ask someone to press 2. If you have multiple
personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you are
paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want.
Just stay on the line until we can trace the call. If you are
schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you
which number to press. If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't
matter which number you press. No one will answer.
You have reached the Des Moines chapter of the Iowa
Procrastination Society. Please leave a message after the tone
and we'll get around to it...
Hi! This is Mary. I'm afflicted with lysdexic procrastination.
Please leave your message before the tone and I'll get around to
getting it straight.
Greetings, you have reached the Sixth Sense Detective Agency.
We know how you are and what you want, so at the sound of the
tone, please hang up.
(Theme music from Peter Gunn:) My name is David. What people
call me is something else entirely. I'm a P.I. It says so on
my door. I would have been here to take your call, but then...
she walked in. She was the kind of dame that could make Mr.
Spock speak French. Her baby blues wouldn't let me turn her
case down, so leave me a clue of your identity after the tone
and I'll track you down. Here's lookin' at you, kid.
Thank you for calling Uncle Tom's Mortuary and Delicatessen.
You stab 'em and we slab 'em. We have specials on Mondays and
Thursdays. We are currently unable to come to the phone, but if
you leave your number and address at the tone, we'll be by to
pick up the corpse as soon as possible.
(Demented, screechy voice; occasional background screams:)
Hello. Thank you for calling Last Straw Chiropractic. (Raspy
gasp.) We can't come to the phone right now because we're
making a couple of adjustments. (Break a few small twigs; big
scream.) Please leave your name and number and we'll get back
to you as soon as it is humanly possible. Thank you very much.
(Stoned, slow voice:) Hey brother, you have reached the
Narcotics Information Hotline. None of us can answer the phone
right now, 'cause we're trying to decide if it exists. Leave a
Comrades! Southwestern Front Headquarters is pleased to learn
that your unit has re-established communications. The entire
staff is currently busy discussing forthcoming operations with
other units, but if you leave your unit name and how we may
reach you, Chief of Staff Sterrett will contact you as soon as
possible to discuss your concerns.
(French monologue in the background:) Around the world today,
millions still speak French as either a first or second
language. But with your continued support and help, we can wipe
out French in our lifetime. Please leave a message in English
at the tone, and remember, if someone tries to speak French to
you, just say, "non".
Hello, this is the Yardmaster's Office, Valsetz and Siletz
railroad (an actual railroad in Oregon). There is an emergency
condition right now due to the landslide. Therefore please be
advised of the following. (Another 30 seconds of talking, all
of which is drowned out by a passing train.)
Thank you for phoning the Save the Sasquatch Hotline. Our
operators do not exist at the moment, but if you wish to make a
contribution, please leave your name, number, and the amount of
your bequest at the sound of the beep, and something will get
back to you shortly. Your help will enable us to bring these
delightful creatures back from the brink of fantasy and find
them suitable positions in the forest product industry. Your
gift is, of course, reality deductible. Thank you again, and
have a nice day.
Hello! This is 1-800-PRESLEY. Yes! 1-800-PRESLEY! They say
the King died 10 years ago, but we know he's still out there
somewhere. So... Leave your name and number and tell us where
YOU saw Elvis!
Hi, dudes, this is 229-3053, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles'
secret underground hideaway. I'm afraid we're all out just now
on a desperate mission to save the Planet from boring answering
machine messages, but if you know what The Shredder has done to
April O'Neill, or if you know where he is, or if you can think
of a decent pizza recipe, just leave your name and number and
we'll ring you right back. But don't say anything yet! Enemy
agents may be listening. When the computer has checked they're
not eavesdropping, it will make a bleeping noise and you can
Sherwood Forest. Which dear do you want?
Hello, this is KVKE, you're on the air.
Hello, you're caller number nine!
You are listening to 91.5 FM, KXQK. This is the Canadian
Broadcorping Castration. I am your host, Fred, and I will be
with you for the next 20 seconds. After that we'll play your
requests. Leave yours with us, and we'll try to fit it in,
given programming constraints. Thank you for listening to our
Next on Public Radio 91 we'll be hearing music of Antonin
Dvorak. This is the Beep Serenade in C-Sharp Minor, Opus 72...
This is a test. This is a test of the Answering Machine
Broadcast System. This is only a test.
Thanks for calling Dial-A-Shrink. I can't come to the phone
right now, so after the tone, please leave your name and number,
then talk briefly about your childhood and tell me what comes to
mind when you hear the following words: orange... mother...
unicorn... penis. I'll get back to you with my diagnosis as
soon as possible.
(Operatic music like Rossini's "Stabbat Matter":) Hi, you've
reached Hell. (Screams in the background.) We're busy being
cleaned by the light of eternal truth right now, so if you leave
your name, number, and a brief message, we'll get back to you at
the end of time.
Welcome to the Afterlife Voice Mail System. If you are trying
to reach Heaven, please press 1. For Valhalla, press 2. For
Hades, press 3. If you are trying to reach Nirvana, you're
going about it all wrong, so WE certainly can't help you. If
you'd just like to leave a message for Sean, wait for the beep.
Hello, you have reached the Fidelity Sperm Bank Helpline. Your
business is important to us. Please hold for the next available
(Sultry female voice:) Welcome to Susan's Message Parlor of
Delights. We would be delighted if you would leave your name,
number, and of course a message that doesn't rub us the wrong
Greetings. You've reached Ghengis Kahn's Pornographic Films
Unlimited. Fabian, Pat, Rex and Mike are still conducting
screen tests with potential leading ladies to star opposite the
late John Holmes in our upcoming feature film, "It's Not the
Size That Counts but Whether or Not You're Alive to Use It." If
you're interested in a screen test, or even if you're not,
please leave us your name, age, phone number, measurements, cup
size, a brief summary of your work experience, both off and on
the screen, and a brief summary of your favorite fantasy
involving four men, a pair of handcuffs, and a tub of Cool Whip.
Thank you for calling.
You've reached the B&D Hotline. All our operators are tied up
right now, so if you leave a name, number, a list of
transgressions, and bark like a dog, we'll get right back to you
with your penance.
(In the background can be heard springs creaking and various
moans; husky, soft female voice is best:) Hi... You've just
reached Sharon's Pleasure Palace. We're all busy as I'm sure
you can tell, but when we're done... we'll get back to you in
whatever way we can.
Thank you for calling Robert's House of Love. All of our
customer service representatives are, er... busy servicing
customers, so at the sound of the erotic tone, leave your name,
number, and a short description of whatever turns you on...
Hello, you've reached Katie's Institution for the Preservation
of Prostitution. All of our operatives are busy right now, but
if you leave your name, number and services required we will get
back to you as soon as an opening is available...
--- mainly musical theme ---
(To the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries":)
Leave a message... Leave a message...
I just left home baby, I'll be out fer a spell,
And if you don't leave a message baby, you can go to BEEP
(Madonna's "Justify My Love"; sultry voice:)
To justify your call...
(Pink Floyd's "Nobody Home":) You have reached 587-8783.
Please leave a message. ("Ohhhhhhhhh, babe... When I pick up
the phone... There's still... Nobody home.")
(Guns & Roses' "Civil War":) What we've got here is... Failure
to communicate. Some men you just can't reach... I don't like
it any more than you do.
Welcome my friends, welcome... to... the machine...
(Voice:) Please leave your name, phone number and message.
(Jimmy Buffett's "This Hotel Room:") I ain't home, I ain't
home, you better leave a message 'cause I ain't home.
(Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit":)
Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello,
No one's here, no one's home,
Leave a message, at the tone.
Don't feel stupid, it's no big fuss,
Leave a message, you can reach us.
(U2's "With or Without You":)
No one's here to answer the phone,
Leave a message at the tone,
And we'll get back to you.
We'll get back to you!
(Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love":)
And I would do anything for calls,
I promise I will call you back;
I would do anything for calls,
But I can't talk right now and that's a fact.
I'm not home right now, so I just can't answer the phone,
But I would do anything for calls,
Oh, I would do anything for calls!
Just let me know who it was who called,
And I'll call you back!
Yes, I'll call you back!
Just leave a message at the tone,
I'll hear it when I get back home,
And I will call -- you -- back!
(Cheers TV show theme song, "Where Everybody Knows your Name":)
Sometimes you make a call,
Where you gotta leave your name,
'Cuz I can't come to the phone,
You gotta leave a message here,
right after the tone.
You made a call,
Where you gotta leave your name.
("The Check is in the Mail" by Weird Al Yankovich:)
Well hey how you doin'? Have a seat have a drink,
Boy it's good to see you what can I say,
Oh sorry got to run we'll get together again,
Say what was your name anyway?
Well we're working on the problem --
We'll get back to you soon,
Don't try to call me I'll be in a meeting every afternoon
for a year, maybe longer, keep in touch, thanks for dropping by
and have a nice day.
I can't come to the telephone; doo-dah, doo-dah.
Leave your message when you hear the tone; oh, de doo-dah day.
Might be gone all night... Might be gone all day...
So leave a message when you hear the tone.
I'll call you back someday...
Hear the ring, inside our home.
Once again, can't get the phone.
So please be polite,
You know that it's right,
And leave a message when you hear the tone.
Why did you phone?
Please leave your message here when you have heard the tone,
And we will call you back as soon as we get home.
Your message here,
After the tone,
Here is the tone... tone... BEEP
("If I Only Had A Brain":)
I might be in the shower,
I might be gone for hours,
I can't come to the phone.
So, please leave your name and number,
If I miss you it'd be a bummer,
Leave your message at the tone...
Voice 1: Gee, Dave, what do you feel like doing tonight?
Voice 2: Same thing we do every night, Rob... Try to take over
the world! (Sing:)
They're David and the Rob,
Yes, David and the Rob,
One is a drummer, the other needs a job.
They're not at home right now, so please don't have a cow,
Leave a message -- for David and the Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob.
(With apologies to Robert Burns:)
O ma phone is but an ebon box,
Wha' rings when I'm awa'.
And my tape machine waits,
For your call,
This message for ta play.
So leave ye message at the beep,
Then bide ye well a while,
For I will hear your voice,
and call ye wi' a smile.
("Under the Boardwalk":)
Oh, when you call our room,
and all you get is a machine,
and then you get so upset,
you feel as if you want to scream.
Please leave a message
after the be-ep.
And John or Tom will get back you,
as soon as they can.
("Muppet Show" theme:)
It's time to leave a message
After you hear the tone,
It's time to leave a message
'Cause we're not at home tonight...
It's time to leave a message
On Kate and Shannon's phone,
It's time to leave a message
'Cause we're not at home tonight.
Just leave your name and number,
Such simple things to do,
And then when we get home we will
Get right back to you.
It's time to leave a message
After you hear the tone.
It's time to leave a message
'Cause we're not at home tonight.
Gone to get a bite,
Stayin' out all night,
Yes we have a life!
Leave a message, we're not home toniiiiight...
("Raiders of the Lost Ark" in background:) You've reached the
residence of John and Tom. We can't come to the phone right
now, because we're cleaning the refrigerator. Please leave your
name and number, and we'll get back to you.
(Hitchhikers Guide theme:) The Cerius Cybernetic Corporation
was happy to correct the problem of all that icky person-to-
person conversation that happens when people actually pick up
the phone and talk to each other. So they added the "answering
machine," which will cleverly record your message and play it
back at the wrong speed, to make everyone who calls you sound
like they have partaken a large supply of helium. Unless your
message is REALLY important, in which case, the machine simply
breaks its own tape, to insure that you never get the message at
all. It would be a shame to waste all this brilliant
technology, so please attempt to leave a message.
I once had a little white phone,
That would ring when it was alone.
Then I got a tape,
For when I escape,
So please leave your name at the tone.
Hello, this is the Computer Music Research Institute of
Portland, Oregon. We can't take your call at the moment, but we
would like you to leave a critique of one of our current works
in progress. BEEP
--- family fun ---
Hello, this is the Brown residence. We're in the middle of a
family fight right now. Leave your name and number at the beep
and whoever wins will call you right back.
Steve: Hello. Steve and Matt aren't here right now, but if...
Matt: Steve, what are you doing?
Steve: I'm leaving a phone message since we aren't here.
Matt: But you left the last one -- it's my turn.
Steve: No, I'm sure it's my turn.
Matt: No, you're wrong. It's definitely my turn.
Steve: You fool, I know it's... Wait... Matt... What are you
doing with that frying pan? (BONK... THUD)
Matt: Steve is out right now, so please leave your name and
1: Hi, you've reached Bob and Faisal's room.
2: (Background:) What are you doing?
1: I'm recording an answering machine message.
2: But we're here right now.
1: But we might not be here later.
2: Oh. (To phone:) Leave a message.
1: Hey, would you get the phone?
2: I got the phone last time. You get the phone!
1: Well, I'm on the computer right now, so will you get it?
2: I'm in the bathroom, and besides, you're closer anyway!
1: Dammit Nicole, you always pull this crap when it's your
turn to get it!
2: Well, just let the answering machine get it then!
This is Fred. We are not... Excuse me a moment, please. Put
your sister down. PUT YOUR SISTER DOWN! (Sound of window
breaking.) Great! What a mess. I'll have to get back to you
Hello. I can't come to the phone now because -- HEY, GEORGE!
DON'T STAND ON THAT! ...Goddamn... Because I've invited George
and Barbara Bush over... (Loud music cuts in:) BARBARA! HEY!
DON'T FUCK WITH THAT! ...Over for dinner. After the tone...
BARBARA, CALL YOUR DOG... MILLIE! DOWN GIRL! ...Shit...
Leave a message after the tone...
(Whole family crowds around, including screaming babies and
noisy pets; to the tune of "Frere Jacques":)
We're not here now,
We're not here now,
Don't hang up,
Don't hang up,
Leave your name and number,
Leave your name and number,
We'll call back,
We'll call back.
Hi!! You've reached Janet and Chris's room. We're not in right
now. If this is our parents, we're at the library studying.
Yeah, yeah, that's it, that's the ticket. If this is John,
Chris is out with the girls at the party. Yeah, that's it. If
this is any one else, we're at a party and you're not. Yeah, a
party with the president. Yeah and the... Pope. Yeah that's it.
(Loud sounds of a massive battle; calm voice:) Hello! Due to
the breakdown in the 452nd truce, the inhabitants of village
286-3589 are cowering in their bomb shelters. However, if you
leave your name, number, and a message, any survivors will get
back to you when the 453rd truce begins.
My wife and I can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll
leave your name and number, we'll get back to you as soon as
Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya. We can't pick up the phone
right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy. Sonya
likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right...
real slowly. So leave a message, and when we're done brushing
our teeth we'll get back to you.
Please leave your name, phone number, the time you called, and
your favorite color of underwear. We'll get back to you if we
like the color.
(Woman, seductively:) Hi, I'm Linda. You know, it can be
really lonely when you're a fashion model. Sometimes I just
have to... (Interrupting:) Oh come on Linda, give me the damn
phone... (Ask them to leave a message.)
Oooooommmmmmmmmmm... (Heavy panting and breathing in the
background), Oh! Sorry, I can't come (Oh! Yes! Do it to me)
to the (Oh!) phone right now (pant pant), leave your name and
number at the (scream, I'm gonna come!) orgasm.
(Sexy, slow female voice:) oooOOOO, Greg's in... OOOOooo,
Greg's out... ooooOOOOO, Greg's in... OOOoooo, Greg's out...
ooooOOOOO, Greg's in... Humph, Greg's busy, you had better call
--- can't answer right now because... ---
John: Brad, will you get the phone?
Brad: (Sound of frantically clattering keyboard.) I can't!
I'm playing Omega!
John: Ambar, will you get the phone?
Ambar: I can't! I'm late for work! (Sound of slamming door.)
John: Aimee, will you get the phone?
Aimee: (Sound of running water.) I can't! I'm in the shower!
John: Glenn, will you get the -- (disgusted) Ah, Glenn's in
Denver. Please leave a message.
A is for academics,
B is for beer.
One of those reasons is why we're not here.
So leave a message.
Dear Caller: As I'm leaving you this message, the sun is
shining for a change. Little children are cavorting in the
park, and their tasty mothers and teenage sisters are sunbathing
practically nude. So, did you really think I was going to stick
around this dump?
Hi, this is Johan advising you that you spend WAY too much time
on the phone. GO OUTSIDE... See the world, LIVE a little...
I'm pretending that I'm marooned on a desert island with Dana
Delany, Linda Carter, and Sharon Lawrence. Since I don't have a
telephone there, you could leave a message in a bottle at the
sound of the beep, and maybe it'll wash up on my beach in a few
days. Then if the professor gets stranded here, we'll create a
satellite uplink from a few coconuts and a palm leaf and I'll
get right back to you.
Hello, and welcome to Answering Machines of the Rich and Famous!
Sam can't come to the phone right now because he's spending the
week in his beautiful summer home on the French Riviera.
(Slight echo as if spoken in a large underground cave:) Help
me, please help me. I'm down here in the thing you're holding
in your hand. I can't get out because my leg is broken and my
hand is stuck between two wires. Wait, what's that in the dark?
OH NO, not a... a... a... Oh no, it IS! (Crunching noise.)
(Sound of scrap metal falling down a staircase continues through
message.) Hello, we are having some technical problems right
now, so we can't take your call. Please leave us a message.
(Automatic gunfire, explosions, rockets, jets; agitated voice:)
I'm pinned down and can't come to the phone right now, and Bob's
handling supporting fire! Leave your name and number, and a
message! We'll get back to you as soon... FIRE IN THE HOLE!
(BOOM!) We'll get back to you as soon as the air cover napalms
Sorry... I'm far too depressed to come to the phone. If you
can be bothered, leave a message after the sound of the gunshot,
and maybe somebody will call you I guess... (BANG!)
Hi, I'm not sane right now, but if you leave your name, number
and shoe size at the sound of the tone, I'll get back to you
when and if I return to my senses.
(Frantic violin music:) Hello. You have reached 435-3949. We
are currently unable to answer because we are either chasing, or
being chased by, bats. Please leave a message.
(In a good Australian accent:) G'day mate. Can't come to the
phone now because I'm a bit tied up with this crocodile. Just
leave a message, and I'll get back to you.
Hello. I'm home right now but cannot find the phone. Please
leave a message and I will call you up as soon as I find it.
You have reached 843-4734. Please hold while I process your
call. (Pause.) Our extremely sophisticated computer system
performed a trace on your number and was able to match it with
our list of important callers. None of our staff is authorized
to speak with you except for Fred, who is not here right now.
Please leave your name phone number and a brief message at the
tone. Thank you for calling and have a nice day.
I can't answer the phone now because I'm over at Slobinskis's
house. Me and five other guys are helping him replace a
I can't come to the phone now because I have amnesia and I feel
stupid talking to people I don't remember. I'd appreciate it if
you could help me out by leaving my name and telling me
something about myself. Thanks.
I can't come to the phone now, so if, well, actually, I CAN come
to the phone now, I mean, like, I'm at the phone NOW, recording
this message, but I'm doing this NOW, while you're listening to
it LATER, except for you I guess it's NOW, like, when you're
listening to it... I mean, like, wait, gosh. This is so
I can't come to the phone now because alien beings are eating my
brain. Leave a message anyway, and after the alien beings
assume my shape, one of them will get back to you.
Hi, you've reached 474-2340. Don, Kendy and Sylvia can't come
to the phone right now because they've been kidnapped by aliens
and replaced by android duplicates. You could leave your name
and number at the tone, but I wouldn't -- you might be next!
I'm unable to take your call in person because I'm having an
out-of-the-body experience. In fact I'm standing right behind
you and I can hear everything you say. But leave me a message
anyway to help me reconnect when I get back.
Hi, you've reached Meredith's room. I'm sorry I can't come to
the phone right now, but my waveform has temporarily collapsed,
so leave a message, and I'll call you when I've pulled myself
Steve is reassembling Elvis' brain and can't come to the phone
right now, but if you leave your name...
If this were the best of all possible worlds, I could come to
the phone right now, but I can't, so if you could leave your
name and number...
Hi, this is Jim. Sorry I can't take your call but I'm playing
my guitar too loud to hear the phone ring. Please leave me a
message and I'll call you back at the end of Van Halen-1.
Hi! I can't answer the phone right now. Bob, that's my pet
parakeet, just swallowed a cherry bomb. It wasn't lit, but I've
got to get him to the bathroom. Uh-oh! (Sound of a paper bag
Hello, I'm not here right now. In fact, I'm out getting a new
parakeet. If you leave a message after the beep, I'll be sure
to get back to you. Oh, and by the way, a word of advice; never
try to clean a parakeet cage with a vacuum cleaner.
Thank you for calling the Smith residence. Our operators are
presently on strike in sympathy with Major League Baseball.
Please leave a message.
Hi, this is the answering machine. I am on strike. Any
messages you leave will be deleted.
I can't come to the phone right now because I'm down in the
basement printing up a fresh new batch of twenty dollar bills.
If you need any money, or if you just want to check out my
handiwork, please leave your name, number, and how much cash you
need after the tone. If you're from the Department of the
Treasury, please ignore this message.
Hi. This is John. If you are the phone company, I already sent
the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you
are my financial aid institution, you didn't lend me enough
money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a
female, don't worry, I have plenty of money.
(To the tune of Sidewalk Surfing by the Beach Boys:) Catch a
quake and go seismo surfing with me... (Music fades.) Yo,
Dudes and Dudettes! Grab your skateboard and head for the
nearest epicenter, because *QUAKE'S UP*! As for me, I'm from
New Jersey, so I'm gonna hide under the biggest doggone piece of
furniture I can find. Leave your message at the tone, and I'll
get back to you as soon as the shaking stops.
We can't get to the phone right now because we were killed in
the earthquake. Tragic, isn't it? But, leave a message anyway,
someone is sure to get it eventually.
Hi. This is David. I've shut the ringers off on my phones and
taken a sedative. As soon as I finish this recording I'm going
to bed indefinitely. When I wake up I'll play my messages.
Please leave one.
(Narrator's voice:) There Dale sits, reading a magazine.
Suddenly the telephone rings! The bathroom explodes into a
veritable maelstrom of toilet paper, with Dale in the middle of
it, his arms windmilling at incredible speeds! Will he make it
in time? Alas no, his valiant effort is in vain. The bell hath
sounded. Thou must leave a message.
We're not in cause we're out LOOTING! Leave a message and we'll
call you back and tell you what we got.
(Theme music and voice from Alfred Hitchcock Presents:) Good
evening. I'm sorry, but Steve can't come to the phone now, as
he's quite tied up. (Sounds of struggle in background, and
voice heard through a gag.) I should know. I tied him up. But
leave your name and number, and he'll return your call if he
manages to get free. And speaking of things that are not free,
we now have this word from our sponsor...
(Thug voice:) Uh, hello, Mike and Brian aren't here right now.
They've been kidnapped! So at the beep, leave your name, your
number, your message, and ten thousand dollars in a brown paper
Hi. I'm probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like.
Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.
Hi there. This is Joe speaking. I'm home right now, and in a
moment, I'll have a decision to make. Leave your name and
number and I'll be thinking about it...
Bob here. I'm home right now, I'm just screening my calls. So
start talking and if you're someone I want to speak with I'll
pick up the phone. Otherwise, well, what can I say?
(Mae West voice:) Hello there, big boy. The 7th Fleet docked
today, so I may be busy for a l-o-n-g time. Leave yer name 'n
number 'n I'll get back to ya'.
(Fun to leave on a friend's machine when he's away... Sounds of
raptuous sex:) Hi. Mike can't come to the phone right now
because he's having sex. If you leave your name and number,
he'll get back with you in juuust a second. (Male groan; female
voice:) That's it?
This is Clovis' answering machine. Clovis is committing sodomy
right now. Please call back in an hour, when, I regret to
inform you, you may receive the same message.
--- you're in big trouble ---
Hello! I'm on a four state killing spree! WATTA YA WANT?
Hi, I'm not home because I've gone on a BLOODY RAMPAGE! When I
get home, and CLEAN OFF THE BLOOD, I'll be sure to give you a
call. If I haven't ALREADY COME OVER, that is. (Coughing loony
(Italian Mafia-style voice:) I can't come to the phone right
now. Me and Guido are trying to stuff a body in the trunk. I
think we're going to have to size it a little... (Aside:) HEY
GUIDO! GET THE CHAINSAW! Anyways, leave your name and a
message. If I like it, you'll hear from me. If not, you'll
hear from Guido! (Laughter.)
(Sinister organ music:) Hello, you have reached the Brown
residence. You now have two choices. Number one, you may leave
a message. (Angelic "Hallelujah!") Or number two, suffer
eternal damnation. (Horrid death scream.) You decide.
The machine answering this message is connected to a 5000 volt
power supply, and a relay which is wired to this small kitten.
(Sound of a kitten meowing.) If you hang up before you leave a
message, it will complete the circuit and fry the kitty. The
choice is YOURS!
Leave a message or I'll send 30,000 volts through your phone.
I am an electrical engineer. I can do that.
Being reincarnated as an answering machine is the pits. Keep
your karma clean by leaving your name, number, message, and the
time that you called.
This is Dan Cassidy's answering machine. Please leave your name
and number, and after I've doctored the tape, your message will
implicate you in a federal crime and be brought to the attention
of the FBI.
You have reached the CPX-2000 Voice Blackmail System. Your
voice patterns are now being digitally encoded and stored for
later use. Once this is done, our computers will be able to use
the sound of YOUR voice for literally thousands of illegal and
immoral purposes. There is no charge for this initial
consultation. However our staff of professional extortionists
will contact you in the near future to further explain the
benefits of our service, and to arrange for your schedule of
payment. Remember to speak clearly at the sound of the tone.
Please leave a message. However, you have the right to remain
silent. Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by
Shhh! Don't talk, just listen! Meet me at the corner of Broad
and Main and bring the girl. (CLICK)
After the tone, leave your name, number, and tell where you left
the money. I'll get back to you as soon as it's safe for you to
come out of hiding.
My time is billed at $125 per hour. Please begin your message
with your MasterCard or Visa number, card type, and date of
expiration. I'll get back to you pending credit approval.
Hi, this is Jim. Welcome to my Fun Phone Line, where you can
talk to my answering machine for only $0.95 per minute! Please
leave your credit card number at the tone...
--- befuddle the caller ---
(A busy signal.) -- Steven Wright
(Recorded directly from AT&T:) We're sorry, but the number you
dialed is disconnected or no longer in service.
The number you have reached, 226-0477, has been changed. The
new number is 226-0477. (Yes, same number.) Please make a note
Thank you for calling the Peoria Weather Line. (Insert
appropriate weather report for the season here.)
Please leave a tone after the message.
Please hang up now if you would want to speak to Johan.
Otherwise, please stay on the line to leave him a message.
Hi, you have reached Richard. I'm sorry, but my answering
machine is out of order, so the voice you are hearing is
(Fairly boring message:) This is John. I can't come to the
phone right now, but if you leave a message at the tone, I'll
return your call. (Now, re-record the message every morning.
Frequent callers will notice that something sounds different,
but will be confused since the words are exactly the same.)
(To annoy a friend record this as his message, and he will have
keypad music as messages:) Hello, you have reached Dave.
Please enter your four digit PIN at the tone.
(This might be funnier in this context than actually on an
answering machine. It certainly will befuddle the caller!) The
number you have reached is currently unavailable. Calls are
being taken by electronic mail to email@example.com.
Please be sure to include the phase of the moon, a lengthy
.signature, and your UUCP-style return address.
Hello, you have reached 555-1234. Our voice mail system is
currently experiencing difficulties, so at the tone, please type
your message on the keypad using the appropriate letters, and
press the pound sign when finished.
The party you dialed is not available. Your call is being
diverted to an alternate number. Please stand by... (Ring...)
The number you dialed must be dialed by your 0 operator.
(Click, beep, dial tone.)
[Editor: I don't find this one funny. I think it's rude and
malicious. But this is a canonical list, and some people think
it's funny, so here it is:]
Hello. (Pause.) Hello? (Pause.) Hello! (Pause.) No, it
doesn't look as if I'm in right now. Maybe you should leave a
message at the beep or call me back later. BEEP. (Pause three
seconds.) Just kidding, that wasn't really the beep. Are you
(Long pause, sound of phone dropping, sleepy voice:) Argh!
(Pause.) Hello... (Sound of phone dropping, then a yawn.)
Sorry man... I'm a bit tired at the moment... (Long yawn.)
I'm going back to sleep now... Just going to switch the
answering machine on...
Hello? (Pause. Roommate's voice:) C'mon, Matt, we're gonna be
late! -- Hold on, there's someone on the phone! Hello? --
C'mon, dude! -- Hello? Aaah, whatever... BEEP
(Loud music, John shouting:) HI, THIS IS JOHN, LET ME TURN DOWN
THE MUSIC. (Loud footsteps, music turned down, a door slams.)
Hi, this is the answering machine at John's home, he just rushed
out the door, so please leave a message at the beep...
(From a distance:) Hello I'm far very away from the phone at
the moment and can't get to it to take your message, but I'll
get back to you as soon as I get nearer to the phone!
Hello. All of our operators are busy right now, but if you'll
leave your name, telephone number, a brief message, and the time
you called, we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank
you and have a pleasant day. (This can dissuade prank and sales
callers who don't know it's really a private line.)
Hello you have reached the Smith residence. All of our
operators are busy. Your call will be processed in the order it
was received. (Annoying muzak...) Due to a large volume of
calls, all of our operators are bu... (Ringing phone.) Hello,
we're sorry were not home right now, so please leave your
message after the beep.
(Long and very loud scream:) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIHHHH! BEEP
Creamed asparagus! BEEP
Hello, you have reached dial an unpopular luncheon meat, I am
pimento loaf, leave me a message.
Thank you for calling the CSU Automated Hearing Test Line.
Prepare for Test 1. Is this tone louder in your left ear or
right ear? ... BEEP
All our answering machines are busy. Please hold. (Pause.)
All our answering machines are... (CLICK) This is the
answering machine of...
(Pick up the phone and say:) This is Chris. I'm not here right
now. Leave me a message. BEEP. (Then listen.)
This is Chris. John and Mike aren't here right now, but if you
leave a message, they'll get back to you as soon as they can.
Hello, this is David. I don't live here, so if you were trying
to call me, you've dialed the wrong number. On the other hand,
if you were trying to call John, Jim, or Eric, please leave your
name and number at the tone. I don't guarantee that one of them
will call you back -- only that I won't.
Hello, we are all currently home, but someone stole our phone...
And the recording tape from this answering machine. So you
can't reach us until we either find a phone or get a tape. If
you had to waste a quarter on this call... Sorry.
I just got a car phone. I'm not here at the moment. Leave me a
message and I'll call you when I'm out.
This is Jeff, you're not in now, so I'll leave a message.
Hi, can I speak to Mark?... Oh, there isn't?... I'm sorry, I
must have dialed the wrong number.
Wrong number? No sweat, I was going to pick up the phone
(Deadpan voice:) Hi, This is Dave. Please leave a message as
soon as possible and I'll get back to you at the sound of the
Hi, this is George. I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right
now. Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call
Hello, this is Ron. I'm not home right now, but I can take a
message. Hang on a second while I get a pencil. (Open a drawer
and shuffle stuff around.) OK, what would you like me to tell
You've reached Mike and Nancy's answering machine. They're not
home right now. At least, I don't think they are. Hang on.
(Voice moves away from recording microphone.) Mike? Nancy?
(Voice comes back.) Nope, they're not here, so at the beep...
This is Anthony. Leave me a message at the beep. (beep)
Whoops, I bet you couldn't hear that. Lemme try again. (Beep)
Nuts, once more with feeling...
(Solemn voice:) Hello, If you are listening to this recording,
I am dead. Changing the pattern of magnetism on this tape won't
help get the message to me.
Hello, please send me email instead. I always never playback
these damn answering machine messages. Besides, I am probably
online right now.
(On a male's answering machine, otherwise reverse genders:)
BEEP. (Female voice:) Hi Tony, this is Sheila. I can't stop
thinking about you. When can we get together? I want to grab
you and undress you and then BEEP
We're sorry. You have reached an imaginary number. Please
rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.
Hi, you've reached 340-2359. We're not peeb eht retfa egassem
ruoy evael esaelp os ,won thgir emoh. gnillac rof uoy knahT.
This is Frank. You can leave me a message, but I must warn you
I get annoyed with messages that are hard to read. So please
use your shift key appropriately, avoid overdoing punctuation,
and spell-check your message, or I might ignore it.
Ahhhhhhhhh... ahhhhhhhhhh... (Heavy breathing sounds, like an
obscene phone call.) Oh, nuts, YOU called ME! Sorry. Never
mind. Leave your name and number at the beep.
Hello... Yes, I'd like to order two medium pepperoni pizzas
please, with extra cheese... Oh, did I get the wrong number?
Sorry about that. (Click.)
(And here's a way to befuddle the CALLEE rather than the caller:
Record someone's answering machine message as you hear it, and
then play it back to them as your message to them. Repeat over
time until something interesting happens.)
(Another way to befuddle the callee; leave a message like this:
"Hello. This is a message for, message for, message for,
message for," and then hang up.)
--- other play with the caller ---
Listen. (Pause.) And now talk.
Blah, blablablah, blah, blah. Blah? Blah blah. Blah. BEEP
OK, one more time... This is our answering machine... This is
the message on our answering machine... Any questions?
(Classical music:) This is our answering machine. (Switch to
heavy metal racket:) This is our answering machine on drugs.
(Silence...) Any message?
Thank you for reaching out to us. Nobody is home now. However,
if you leave a message, we'll reach out and touch you.
Mom, Dad... Don't you think it would be easier to reach me if I
had a cellular phone? So how about an early birthday present?
Despite the best efforts of the telephone company, you really
DID reach 555-1234. But that didn't help much, did it? You
still have to talk to a machine.
Please leave your name and number -- But first, a short algebra
quiz: How much is 5Q + 5Q? (Pause while caller thinks: 10Q)
Hello. If you're calling with bad news, leave your message now.
If it's good news, wait for the tone.
Hi, I am Chevy Chase's answering machine and you're NOT.
Someone stole our phone. So if you leave a message we'll run
over to a neighbor's house and use their phone to call you back.
Hello, this is your local zoo. Do you like animals? We are
experiencing severe problems with hot water. Would you be so
kind as to allow us to bring our elephants over to your bathroom
for a shower? (The most common response: "Well, sure, but my
neighbor's bathroom is bigger and better equipped to handle
(Gameshow-announcer voice:) Hello, and welcome to Phone Tag!
(Cheers in background.) If you'd like to join the game, please
leave your name and number at the beep, and we'll try to reach
you when you're not around. And thanks once again for playing
Congratulations! By correctly dialing 123-4567, you have become
eligible to leave a message! (Applause.) Join the lucky few
that have advanced to the next level! (Cheers.) And now, at
the sound of the tone, leave your name, number, the time you
called, and a brief message.
You're growing tired. Your eyelids are getting heavy. You feel
very sleepy now. You are gradually losing your willpower and
your ability to resist suggestions. When you hear the tone you
will feel helplessly compelled to leave your name, number, and a
As the drugs take hold, you feel you are losing your grip on
reality. You begin to hallucinate. You see a telephone... The
telephone is next to an answering machine... You hear a faint
click and a light flashes on the answering machine... You hear
This answering machine message is for all you psychics out
there... (Long silence...) BEEP
Hello, this is Jason's voice. Jason's not here right now --
hey, haven't you ever lost YOUR voice? Well, believe you me,
when I find him again, I'll have a few choice words for him.
If you do too, leave them after the beep.
I don't exist at the moment, but if you leave your message, name
and number, I'll call you back when I am...
I'm only here in spirit at the moment, but if you'll leave your
name and number, I will get back to you as soon as I'm here in
I don't want to bore you with metaphysics, but how do you know
this is an answering machine? Maybe it's a dream, or maybe it's
an illusion, or maybe YOU don't really exist. One way to find
out is to leave a message, and if it's reality, I will call you
If a telephone rings in an empty room and no one is there to
answer it, was there really a phone call? Help me investigate
this phenomenon by leaving your name and number after the tone.
(Strong east Indian accent:) Hello, you have reached the
existential hotline of Ransheesh. I am currently meditating,
but if you leave your name and which lifeline you are currently
inhabiting at the sound of the Om, I will send good karma waves
and contact you when the stars align properly.
(Start with:) Hello, this is Adrian; I'm just returning your
(Later change it to:)
Hello, this is Adrian; I'm just returning your call. If you
haven't made a call yet, please do so now, because if I try to
answer a call you haven't even made yet, it could create a
temporal paradox, which could seriously disrupt the space-time
continuum, and possibly even cause the entire universe to
implode. And you wouldn't want that to happen, now, would you?
Hi, this is Ed. I'm secretly replacing Faisal and Bob with dark
sparkling Folger's Crystals. Leave your name, number, and a
brief message and they'll call you back when they're nice and
percolated. See if you can tell the difference.
I am gathering the world's largest collection of responses to an
answering machine. If you would like to help, please leave a
notarized copy of your name, number, and today's date at the
sound of the beep. When I'm famous I'll remember all the little
people like you that helped me achieve my greatness. I might
even include you in my memoirs.
You might be calling to give me important information. If so,
leave your information at the tone. Or perhaps you just want to
have a casual conversation. If so, leave a message and I'll get
back to you so we can have the conversation later. Or perhaps
you want to know what I'm doing tonight, in which case it's the
same thing I do every night. TRYING TO tAKE OVER THE WORLD!
(Footsteps disappearing; toilet flushing; footsteps getting
closer again.) OK now I'm ready for whatever you have to say,
lay it on me.
Elleuw, Eenspector, ahem, CHIEF Eenspector Clewseau ees not een
the rheum to answer the pheuwne at the meument, so stop acteeng
lahk a minkey, you FUEWL, and leave a mesSAGE... (Oriental
voice:) Excuse me, Inspectah Clouseau, I just leceived special
derively for you, here sir... Ah, thank you, Kato. How naice
eet ees to have people send you a pretty leetle beuhmb for a
birthday present, and eet ees not even my birth -- a BEUHMB?
It's a beuhmb!!! (Muffled explosion.)
Concatenation of events preclude our coming to the phone.
Please speak freely, with magniloquence upon occasion of the
Hello. Here are my answers to last week's messages, in order of
their arrival. Yes. Maybe. At seven. You'll get it tomorrow.
For sure. Get me that phone number. Thanks, I take my messages
Andy Warhol said that one day everyone will be famous for 15
minutes. Well, your 15 minutes was last week, but since you
weren't ready, we gave it to Vanna White. Sorry.
So! You've finally called. And I suppose you think I'll just
be here. Well you're wrong. I gave up on that yesterday.
Seventeen weeks is long enough. Waiting for you; staring at the
phone; never going anywhere... Well I've had enough! I decided
to get a real life, so I'm out testing lint removers for Ralph
Nader. Now it's your turn. Leave a message at the beep and I
might just get back to you -- if I survive my new job.
We're not home now. Leave your name and number and we'll call
you back as soon as you are a vegetarian. (Replace "vegetarian"
with prejudice of your choice.)
(Noble, aristocratic voice:) Yes, one million dollars COULD be
yours, IF you leave your name, telephone number, and the reason
WHY you want to join the ranks of The Rich and Famous! If this
is Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, or Princess Di, just
leave your VISA number and expiration date, and we will
definitely get back to you!
(Annoying radio announcer's voice:) Congratulations! You have
reached 555-1234, perhaps one of the most obnoxious answering
machine messages in the greater Seattle area! If you don't know
who you are dialing, HA! If you DO know who you are dialing,
you were probably expecting something like this!
(Oriental voice:) Hello, you have reached honorable Chan's
residence. I, Kato, will go and get honorable Chan. (Godzilla
scream.) Oh no! Godzilla coming! Please leave name and number
at gong and Chan will call back if house still here.
I'm not at home today, and I might not be home tomorrow. So
please leave a message after the tone. I didn't take a shower
today, and I might not take one tomorrow. So if you don't leave
a message after the tone, you might have to deal with me in
This is Alan. Leave me a message and tell me what I can do
to... I mean, do FOR you.
(Aussie accent:) Hi, how 'ya goin', listen, I'm not here, but I
tell ya what, this anserin' machine is so clever, I kid you not,
if you don't leave a message -- it'll ring 'ya back and ask for
(Noisy pick-up of phone.) Hi, I'm a burglar and I was just
about to steal Troy's answering machine. If you give me your
name and number I'll... Uh, I'll post it on the fridge where
he'll see it. Uh... By the way, where did you say you live?
If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our
weapons right now and can't come to the phone. Otherwise, we
probably aren't at home and it's safe to leave us a message.
I'm writing the definitive work on pain. I would like you to
tell me how this machine makes you feel. Remember, be honest.
This is for posterity.
(Loud heavy-metal music in background; raspy voice:) Hello,
this is the executioner. Joe can't come to the phone right now
because he's DEAD! Leave a name and number and IF we decide to
resurrect him, he'll call you back.
Tim's dead! And God only knows where Lisa is! Fortunately
resurrections and divine revelations do tend to occur from time
to time, so leave a message and we'll let you know when the next
Random fact number 10: The first manned mission to Jupiter will
be crewed by the Smiths. Random fact number 64: Dairy Queen
discovered cold temperature fusion before the bums in Utah.
Random fact number 36: Bren's not here and he wants you leave a
message. Random fact number 22: Bismarck is the capital of
In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife. (Heeeeee-YAH!
Sound of smashing box of kleenex.) But this method doesn't work
with a telephone call... (Dial tone.) Introducing the all-new
Ginsu answering machine! It cuts, it chops, it slices, it dices
your incoming calls! How much would you pay? Don't answer,
because if you leave your name and number when you hear the
tone, we'll throw in a return phone call ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Hi, this is Jim. Thanks for calling during my spring pledge
drive. A basic membership is only $30, and a $60 pledge gets
you an "I love Jim Shea" T-shirt. Please wait for the tone, and
thank you for your pledge.
(Drunken voice:) You have reached Bob's hotline. We are not
able to respond due to uninevitable circumcisions. But if you
leave your name and noomber, we won't be in wonder... pa-a-a-a!
Thank you for calling, no doubt,
As you can guess, we're out.
When we get home,
We'll call on the phone.
Until then, just hang about.
Sorry that we're not at home.
Please leave a message after the tone.
When we get in,
We'll give you a ring.
Until then, wait by the phone.
Hello, this is Marlin's answering machine reminding you that
yesterday was the last day of the previous period of your life.
After the beep you can tell me how it was, or leave some other,
informative message. Thanks.
(Jack Webb voice:) This is the city. Lambertville, New Jersey.
I work here. I carry a tune. I was changing my name to protect
my innocence when I got a call about a 411. It sounded like
good information to me. But I needed more. A name and a
number. So leave yours and I'll return your call. Or I can
send you a FAX. Nothing but the FAX, ma'am. (Hum the "Dragnet"
Knock, knock. (Pause. Caller thinks, "Who's there?") Isn't
that MY question? (Pause.) Please leave a message...
Yo. I ain't here at the moment. Leave a message at that silly
beep and I'll get back... (Sniff, sniff...) Hey, what are you
cooking? It smells good.
I can't come to the phone now, so... Hey -- that's a nice phone
you have there. Hey sugar, you call this number often? I bet
you have answering machines bothering you all the time... Yes
indeedy. Why don't you give me a call sometime and we can
listen to some old recordings... I might even play my beep for
(Ominous electronic background music:) In honor of Halloween,
I'm about to perform an unspeakable pagan ritual. So please
leave a message. Unless you're a virgin, in which case, why
don't you stop by? SINT MIHI DEI ACHERONTIS PROPITII...
--- science fiction ---
Bridge, Kirk here.
Starship Enterprise, Uhura here, can you hold please? --
Captain, there is a transmission coming in on hailing frequency
seven, do you want it on screen?
(Star Trek theme in the background:)
(Voice 1:) Room 17, the final frontier.
(Voice 2:) These are the messages of Chad's answering machine.
Its two semester mission: To seek out your name and
your telephone number.
(Voice 3:) To boldly inform you to wait for the tone.
Thank you for calling Starfleet Command. No starships are in
the quadrant at this time, so at the sound of the subspace tone,
tell us your name, the planet you are calling from, and how many
Klingons are attacking.
Picard: Assume standard orbit, Mr. LaForge. Sensor readings,
Worf: Scanning, Captain... Strange... No life-forms.
Picard: Recommendations, Mr. Data?
Data: Intriguing, Captain. Perhaps we should simply leave a
(Borg voice:) WE ARE BORG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOUR PHONE
CALL, AS IT HAS BEEN, IS NOW OVER. YOUR MESSAGE WILL BE
ASSIMILATED AT THE BEEP. But we're not home right now. So
leave a message and we'll assimilate you later.
Borg communications router. Unit addressed unavailable. Hails
are irrelevant. Messages are irrelevant. You are irrelevant.
Nonetheless, leave message if you wish. Wait for indicative,
high frequency, acoustic spike... (Background:) Error, error!
Wishes are irrelevant. Acoustic spikes are irrelevant.
(Chekov's voice:) Oh Keptin! It was Khan! He made us do
things... Say things we did not vant to say... But we vere
strong, Keptin! Ve held out until ve heard the beep...
Hello, you've reached 344-1312, the Apartment at the End of the
Universe. Please leave your message, name and number at the
sound of the tone. Keep your hands, feet, extremities, and
obscenities inside the car at all times. Enjoy your ride.
(Darth Vader voice:) Speak, worm!
Alpha Centauri Space Station. Commander Marlin can't come to
the phone right now. He's either saving the universe from some
dread, unnamed peril, or perhaps taking a nappie. Leave your
name and number after the beep and he will return your call.
A bubble in the space-time continuum has connected your line to
a channeler in the 23rd century. Any message you leave will be
broadcast into the future.
You have reached the offices of the planet Zarton. All our
agents are busy undermining the governments of the Earth and
cannot come to phone at the moment. However, your name and
number can be left at the tone and a representative will gladly
contact you shortly to arrange for your assimilation into the
new order. Long groblint the ultimate blenstron.
Steve has been captured by a flying saucer and can't come to the
phone right now, but if you leave your name, phone number, and a
message, I'll have him call you back as soon as he gets away.
Read all about it in next week's National Enquirer.
Hello, this is Jim. Unfortunately I can't answer the phone
right now because I've just come back from the Mirror Worlds and
I'm still made up of antimatter, so if I were to pick up the
phone right now, the resulting energy release would make
Hiroshima look like a wet firecracker. So leave a message at
the tone and I'll get back to you as soon as my component
particles have been restored to their normal charges.
--- brevity ---
(Like a sheep:) Baaaaaaa.
Fred. Message. BEEP.
(Klingon voice:) ANSWERING MACHINE. SPEAK.
This is David. Talk to me.
You have reached 555-6238. Why?
This is you-know who. We are you-know-where. Leave your
you-know-what you-know-when, and I'll... You know.
You have reached 234-1243. This is an answering machine. This
is the nineties. You know what to do.
(Nike commercial voice:)
You know what to do.
You know how to do it.
You know when to do it.
So, JUST DO IT!
You have reached the number you have dialed. Please leave a
message after the beep.
This is a boring answering machine message. Leave a message
anyway. (Useful to keep people from calling at odd hours to
hear your latest exciting message.)
(Classical music in background, slow stoned voice:) Don't you
ever wonder what life would be like? ...
(After being told by a friend that my greeting was too long:)
This is Alan at 226-0477. Jenny, this message is for you.
--- miscellaneous ---
(For Shakespeare lovers only:)
So long as phones can ring and eyes can see,
So leave a message, and I'll get back to thee.
I am not home to talk to you,
But please don't be a creep.
Just leave your name and number,
At the sound of the...
(Dreamily:) Dewdrop, in your pure fresh waters, let me wash
these dirty hands of life. (Roughly:) Now, THAT'S what I call
a message! If yours is at least that good, maybe I'll call you
Hi. You've reached Vienna Farm. If you want to take riding
lessons, leave your number. If you want information on boarding
a horse, leave your number. If you are a bill collector, TAKE A
This is 234-3249, and no, it's not Pete's Pizzaria. It's not
the Credit Union either, and no one named Pam lives here. You
can leave a message though.
(After getting many calls for Sherry, who used to live here:)
You've reached Linda's office and I can't answer now. If you're
calling for Sherry, she can't answer either because I fired her.
Hi. Do you ever feel, like, your head is full of sand, not your
regular loose sand mind you, but compacted sand, and there were
like, I dunno, bugs or something jumping up and down on the
compacted sand? Well, sometimes I do. Bye.
Please leave us a message at the beep. And remember: It's not
the quantity of the message that counts, it's the quality.
Bullwinkle: Hey, Rocky, somebody called while we weren't home.
Watch me pull their message out of this machine!
Bullwinkle: Nuthin' up my sleeve... PRESTO! (Sound of vicious
dog barking, stops abruptly.)
Bullwinkle: Must have been a wrong number.
Rocky: Here's a chance for you to REALLY leave your message.
(Recorded during a party:)
yeah!! we're having a party!! come on over! B
mike's not home right now!! Look out! E
Hey what are you doing? Careful it might spill. E
Was that the phone ringing? P
(A friend was at a mutual friend's sister's house, and when she
went out for beer, he changed her answering machine message. In
a loud, deep, gravelly, horror-film voice he recorded:) Hi,
this is Kathy. I'm not myself right now. If you leave your
name and number, I'll get back to you when I'm feeling better.
--- farewell ---
These words are lovely dark and deep
But I've got promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep
So leave a message at the beep.
Now I lay me down to sleep;
Leave a message at the beep.
If I die before I wake,
Remember to erase the tape.