Created By: SonicLover on August 16, 2011 Last Edited By: SonicLover on August 26, 2011

Graph Joke

A certain phenomenon is lampshaded by illustrating it with a graph.

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Trope
Oddly enough, this is the only time Cyanide and Happiness has resorted to this trope.
Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Description. Rolling Updates.

Bar graphs. Line graphs. Pie charts. Pictographs. They're typically found on the statistics page of your newspaper, and probably unnoteworthy... so one might not expect them to be used for humor.

There's an odd appeal, though, in graphing things that generally aren't expected to be graphed. Hence, the Graph Joke. Most common in webcomics because of their target audience.

This can apply to tropes, too. For example, a line graph can show a positive correlation between power and glowiness of weapons, and a pie graph illustrating the occupations of murderers can have a rather large "Butler" slice.

Examples

Live Action TV
  • David Letterman's "Charts and Graphs" desk bit is all this. Example.
  • How I Met Your Mother has the Hot/Crazy Scale, which shows how women rate according to how hot versus how crazy they were. Another episode had Marshall going overboard with making charts, including a pie chart on bars and a bar chart on pies.

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Dmitri Martin's stand-up comedy routine often features several graph jokes, presented hand-drawn.

Web Comics

Web Original
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • August 16, 2011
    randomsurfer
    David Letterman's "Charts and Graphs" desk bit is all this. Example.
  • August 16, 2011
    jaytee
    Dmitri Martin's stand-up comedy routine often features several graph jokes, presented hand-drawn.
  • August 16, 2011
    Mith4
    http://graphjam.memebase.com/ is a website specifically made for this trope, where people can make their own graphs. (Here's one of my favourites: http://graphjam.memebase.com/2008/04/25/song-chart-memes-this-day/ even though it probably won't be mentioned on the trope page.) EDIT: Oh sorry, I see you already have that there. Was a bit inconspicious at the bottom of the page.
  • August 16, 2011
    TonyG
    How I Met Your Mother has the Hot/Crazy Scale, which shows how women rate according to how hot versus how crazy they were. Another episode had Marshall going overboard with making charts, including a pie chart on bars and a bar chart on pies.
  • August 16, 2011
    Stratadrake
    This should be pretty easy to find images for. Let's see...

  • August 17, 2011
    peccantis
    Please don't bump so often.
  • August 17, 2011
    jaytee
    ^The irony is thick with this one.
  • August 17, 2011
    kjnoren
    Illustrate with a graph showing the frequency of the word "bump" in YKTTW per day, or in relation to the length of the proposed trope name?
  • August 17, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ it's not a bump, it's a comment smarty pants. You do know zero-edits bump the thread, do you not?
  • August 17, 2011
    jaytee
    ^I'm well aware of that fact. Regardless, the comment asking for bumps to cease still bumped this to the top again, as has each subsequent reply. Hence, irony.

    Perhaps a PM next time. Smarty pants.
  • August 17, 2011
    randomsurfer
    On Rational Wiki User:Larron posts monthly graphs to show what a joke Conservapedia is.
  • August 18, 2011
    SonicLover
    ...I don't think this YKTTW is the place to argue about the merits of what qualifies as a bump.
  • August 18, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^^ as soon as the PM system is redefined so the Send PM button can actually be found somehow. Because I tried.
  • August 18, 2011
    Viddaric
    RERAILING THIS YKTTW

    El Goonish Shive uses this one a few times, lampshading it once by Eliot wondering where his parents suddenly got the graph in question to display
  • August 19, 2011
    kuyanJ
    Indexed (http://thisisindexed.com/) consists entirely of these.
  • August 21, 2011
    SonicLover
    ^ Er... check your parentheses.
  • August 21, 2011
    TheChainMan
    The page picture for Schizophrenic Difficulty counts?
  • August 21, 2011
    peccantis
    It's more of a Visual Gag to me but yes, I suppose it's this too.
  • August 21, 2011
    SilentReverence
    I think this should be Graph Gag...
  • August 21, 2011
    SonicLover
    ^ The name Graph Joke is used verbatim in a few places, and it describes the matter perfectly. I say we stick with it.
  • August 22, 2011
    Stratadrake
    "Gag" and "joke" are often interchangeable. IMHO, Graph Joke makes me think of a joke that involves an graph, not the graph itself being a joke. Graph Gag is one letter shorter in the typing department plus AAA.

    Whatever the title, the alternate can have redirect status.
  • August 22, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    What about joke graphs? Do they belong here?

    Example: In The Jetsons Movie, Mr. Spacely demonstrates his company's plummeting stock value with a holographic graph that draws the line. Near the end of the graph, the line goes on a steep decline so hard that it crashes through the floor.)
  • August 23, 2011
    SonicLover
    ^ No, that doesn't fall into this trope.
  • August 23, 2011
    peccantis
    I'd reword the caption to omit "ironically".
  • August 23, 2011
    pcw2727
    Is this about self conscious graph jokes (graph joke about graph jokes) or just graph jokes in general?
  • August 23, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    The picture has a copyright, we can't use it.
  • August 23, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ nearly all picture we use are covered by copyright. Copyright notices on images do nothing to their copyright status.
  • August 23, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    At least ask the owner's permission, if only because that's the morally right thing to do.
  • August 23, 2011
    jaytee
    ^As someone who cares, that falls squarely under your responsibility. You have quite a backlog of images to ask permission for...
  • August 23, 2011
    Discovery
    The image looks a bit squished. Is there anything we can do about that, or is it just an unfortunate side effect of having to shrink it so much?
  • August 23, 2011
    JoeG
    • Avenue Q: When Sally the Slut is in the hospital her electrocardiogram forms the shape of two large breasts.
  • August 23, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    We have The Graph Shows The Trend, but that article needs work.
  • August 24, 2011
    SonicLover
    ...I can't tell whether this trope overlaps with The Graph Shows The Trend or not.
  • August 24, 2011
    larynxist
    Looks like The Graph Shows The Trend is a serious variant.
  • August 24, 2011
    DaibhidC
  • August 25, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    The image as it stands right now looks rather pixelated anyway. Something tells me it was resized wrong.
  • August 26, 2011
    SonicLover
    ^ I resized it as best I could. The link to the comic's right there if you think you can do better.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=19giwyoo78xc0ejwmspjs2wk