Created By: Gosicrystal on June 23, 2017 Last Edited By: Gosicrystal on August 14, 2017
Troped

Joke And Receive

Someone makes a joke that is literally true (or becomes true later on) without them knowing beforehand.

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Your Deadpan Snarker, Plucky Comic Relief or just anyone in the mood makes a joke about something: a hypothetical, ridiculous situation at first glance. This is when, unbeknownst to them, what they just said is literally true or will happen later on in the story because the universe wants so.

Reactions vary: the joking character may laugh their ass off because it's suddenly even funnier, they may feel guilty for saying something that's suddenly tragic, they can go all deadpan and say "...Really?", etcetera.

It can be used as Foreshadowing for a future plot development if it sounds outlandish enough so the audience doesn't find the hint too obvious. If the audience already knows the joke is not a joke when the character makes it, it's a form of Dramatic Irony. If a really long time elapses between the joke and the moment it becomes real, it's also a case of Brick Joke.

Compare I Was Just Joking, where a character makes a joke and another takes it literally as a serious suggestion; My God, You Are Serious, where a character thinks another is joking but isn't, as they soon find out; and Accidental Truth, where instead of a joke it's a deliberate lie. It may easily lead to Hilarious in Hindsight and "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. It may overlap with I Knew It! if a fan of a work makes a joking guess about the plot and nails it. See also Tempting Fate, The Cuckoolander Was Right, Chekhov's Gag and Pre-emptive Declaration.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Episode 4 of Yuri!!! on Ice, Takeshi and Yuko joke that many skating fans might be hating Yuri now since they believe that he "stole Victor from [ice skating]". Episodes 6 and 8 show that they're actually correct.

    Comic Books 
  • In Tomboy, Jessica asks Addison (who has been killing people involved with the corrupt Trent company) why she's been avoiding her. Owen proposes that "Maybe Addison is secretly the vigilante and she can't have you cramping her murder scenes." The girls yell at him, "Don't even joke about that!"

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Fate Revelation Online, Cuvie facetiously calls one of Agil's spells Heat Hawk. Agil is shocked that Cuvie knew the name.
  • In This Bites!, when De Lis calls HQ for confirmation, she gets Garp saying that the Accinos never did make any requests.
    Garp: Why, did they trick you into letting them into Alabasta or something?
    De Lis: (Eye Twitch) Um... well...
    (Beat)
    Garp: ...You did, didn't you.
  • Through A Temple: Eddington sarcastically apologizes that the Maquis' secret base doesn't live up to Shepard's standards, only for Shepard and Zaeed (who have seen many underground secret bases and the Collector Base, a hollowed-out hive and construction yard for eldritch machine gods), to say that no, compared to that, it's not that impressive.
  • In Twelve Red Lines, after learning Luffy is Garp's grandson, Sabo's brother and Dragon's son, Usopp freaks out and asks if Luffy is hiding something else, such as his other brother being the Pirate King's secret son.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • ˇThree Amigos!: During the attempt to infiltrate El Guapo's hideout, Ned Nederlander (one of the Amigos) swings on a rope and ends up getting caught on a pinata high above the compound. Later on, after El Guapo captures the other two Amigos, he says "What is happening around here today? Are gringos falling from the skies?" Ned lets go and falls onto a nearby table. Jefe (El Guapo's The Dragon) says "Yes, El Guapo".

    Literature 
  • Used as a Brick Joke in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: When Harry and Ron discover a trophy awarded to a Tom Riddle for undisclosed services to the school, Ron jokes that maybe Tom killed Moaning Myrtle (who is currently a ghost) because she's so annoying. Much later in the book it turns out that Tom Riddle actually did murder Myrtle, although that's not why he received the trophy.

    Live-action TV 
  • Big Fat Quiz of the Year:
    • In the third episode of the BFQ of Everything, Dara and Chelsea wrote down "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as a joke answer to a question about a deodorant-inspired song. They were right.
    • In the 2017 Everything episode, Jimmy asks what lyric comes after "I don't want to see a ghost/It's the sight that I fear most" in Des'ree's song "Life". Jonathan Ross and David Walliams wrote "I would like some toast" because it was a random thing that rhymed, and turned out to be mostly right. note 
  • In one episode of The Golden Girls, Rose brings a chicken into the house, saying she's a professional entertainer. Blanche scoffs at this and talks about how ridiculous it is with Dorothy while Rose is out of the room. At the end of their conversation, Blanche asks "What does she do? Play the piano?" Right then, Rose comes back in and says "She plays the piano." (It's a small piano, but she does play it.)
  • In Lucifer (2016), Chloe jokes about Lucifer having Daddy Issues. She's not wrong...
  • Mock the Week:
    • Between Dara and Josh in one episode:
      Dara: What did the Queen invent with a dachshund and a corgi?
      Josh Widdicombe: The dorgi!
      Dara: That's absolutely right.
      Josh: Really?! I was joking!
    • In the 2016 Christmas episode:
      Dara: What might you expect to eat at Christmas in Japan?... A bucket of...
      Nish: Fried chicken?
      Dara: Fried chicken!
      Nish: Is it fried chicken?
      Dara: It's fried chicken.
  • Lamarr from Never Mind the Buzzcocks jokingly accuses Simon Amstell of trying to steal his "act", which he does a year or so later.
  • In RuPaul's Drag Race, when Valentina offers to share a disorder she's been struggling with, Eureka immediately makes a bad joke that it's an eating disorder. In the next episode when Eureka apologizes, Valentina reveals she really is struggling with anorexia.
  • Wheel of Fortune: On October 27, 2011 (an episode with a Fictional Family puzzle), Pat joked that the category had only been used eight times. At the end of the show, he was told that it actually had been used only eight times...except that was wrong as well - it was the category's tenth appearance.

    Video Games 
  • League of Legends: When Camille attacks Caitlyn, she jokingly says " Did Daddy buy you that gun?". In her lore, he actually did.
  • In Bass's ending in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, he claims he is so powerful, it must have been a fluke for an idiot like Dr. Wily to build a robot such as him. He's a lot closer to the truth than he realizes.

    Web Original 
  • Not Always Right:
    • This customer forgets what he's looking for. An employee jokingly asks if he's looking for memory aids, which turns out to be correct.
    • A customer pays for a $70 purchase with 70 single-dollar bills; the cashier jokingly asks if the customer is a stripper, and is surprised by the "yes" answer.
  • We Hate Movies: In the episode on The Core, Andrew notes a Narm scene where Aaron Eckhart's character freaks out over losing a friend and derisively wonders what it would be like if the MTV Movie Awards had a prize for "Best Temper Tantrum". What he probably didn't realize is that the Teen Choice Awards actually do have a category for "Best Hissy Fit".
  • Whateley Universe: A joke was made about Mars Wants Chocolate, but aliens really were stealing chocolate from Earth.

    Web Video 
  • Game Grumps:
    • During their Sonic '06 playthrough, Arin made fun of Silver and Blaze's interaction by calling Silver, as Blaze, "so naive". Turns out, in Blaze's next line of dialogue in the game, she calls Silver "so naive."
    • In an early Castlevania: Dracula X episode, Danny jokes about the terrible posture of some skeleton enemies, comparing them to apes. In fact, their English name is "skeleton ape", and a couple boards later one of them throws a barrel at Richter.
    • In the Sonic Boom video, the Grumps get an objective that they think is to find a cliff, and Dan jokes about how they should run into a guy named Cliff. Turns out, they really are looking for a character named Cliff.
    • In episode 47 of Sonic Adventure (during the Big the Cat levels), Arin jokingly suggests that Froggy is the 7th Chaos Emerald, with Danny following that up by saying it would be amazing "if he had swallowed it or something". Danny was more right than Arin.note 
  • Jbizzo 49: During Metroid: Other M, Prometheus made several jokes that ended up describing plot points.
    Prometheus: Goddammit, I'm trying to make a fucking joke here, Other M! Let me have these!
  • While playing Assassin's Creed: Revelations, The King of Hate gets the notification that one of his Assassin Dens is under attack. He sarcastically quips that it will now lead into a tower defense minigame. 30 seconds later, it turns into a tower defense minigame.
  • In the review for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Brian from Midnight Screenings mentions his confusion over Barbossa having a peg-leg, to which Brad suggests he go to the Pirates wiki, jokingly saying it probably has its own page.
  • Max from R.L. Yoshi jokes near the beginning of Digital: A Love Story that the people he talks to can't be human, because they're too polite to be a human being on the Internet. As it turns out, most of the people he was referring to are actually AIs and not real people.
  • While reviewing a Collector's Edition version of Gears Of War 3, Stuart Ashen comes across a Cog Medal awarded to "Doctor" Adam Fenix (father of series protagonist Marcus Fenix.) Given that Ashen knows how half the cast of the Gears series are all steroided up bodybuilders, he jokes that "Doctor" Adam is probably just another musclebound Rob Liefeld style giant of a man just like his son but in a white coat...only to find a photo of Adam in the same box and learn that that is exactly what Adam looks like. Just without the lab coat.
  • In his Dangan Ronpa LP, Super Jeenius manages to correctly guess that Hifumi would be murdered by Celeste, while he was making a joke.
  • In episode 1 of Versus Super Mario 64 Versus, Tyler makes a joke about Josh saying 'snap' being a coded message that his next LP will be Pokémon Snap, which suprises Josh, who was planning on let's playing Pokémon Snap next... but then reveals he was just kidding. But it later turns out he wasn't. Extra points for uploading the first part on April Fool's Day to make it even more ambiguous whether it was real or not.
  • Throughout their Dragon Ball Z: Sagas playthrough, the guys from Team Four Star joked about Piccolo's fusion with Kami being portrayed as a transformation like it is in the Budokai games. It turns out they were right, much to their amusement. However, Piccolo doesn't "vomit" Kami up after the transformation wears off.
  • In Part 15 of TFS Plays Batman: The Telltale Series:
    Grant: Great things always begin like this, don't worry. This is how the best political moves always start, is necessary evil.
    Dent: Do it.
    Grant: (Makes an explosion sound; a major explosion goes off in the distance behind Batman) Wow I was kidding.
  • A few episodes of the Yakuza 0 playthrough have Matt from Two Best Friends Play jokingly referring to Makoto, Majima's mark, as Motoko Kusanagi. Despite Majima assuming Makoto is a man, his mark ends up being a woman, like Motoko is.
  • UBOGaming's Let's Play of Vampire Saga: Welcome to Hell Lock has him repeatedly calling the protagonist "David" because he bears a strong resemblance to David Beckham. When the protagonist's name is finally revealed, UBOGaming is very amused to discover it actually is David.
  • Vinesauce:
    • While streaming He-Man: Defender of Greyskull, Joel makes fun of the Star Wars Expanded Universe by talking about "the He-Man books where He-Man and Skeletor have sons", and Skeletor's son is named "Skeleson". In the Masters of the Universe Classics continuity, He-Man and Skeletor do have sons, Skeletor's being named "Skeleteen".
    • During Joel's Undertale playthrough he wonders if there are any other skeletons in the game, and jokingly names off 'Helvetica' and 'Wingdings'. Helvetica, a webcomic about skeletons named after fonts, was actually the inspiration for Papyrus and Sans. As for Wingdings, well...
  • Weird Video Games: In "Rock 'n' Rage", after expressing disbelief at the random weirdness of the first Ancient Egypt level (such as Cleopatra giving you a forcefield powerup) he sarcastically suggests that the next level, Mediaeval Great Britain, will include Dracula as an enemy. It actually turns out to have Nosferatu as an enemy...

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara marches up to Aang and requests the usage of Appa. Aang, noticing Zuko standing behind her, is quick to jokingly ask if it's her turn to "take a little field trip" with him, just as Aang and Sokka did in the preceding episodesnote . Katara's answer is a Blunt "Yes", which leaves Aang momentarily startled.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), when Tiger Claw senses Alopex and freezes up, Bebop jokes that he's been using catnip. Given that Tiger Claw hid a plant behind his back when Bebop and Rocksteady came into his room, it's... not implausible.
  • In Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, when Saiko-tek somehow totally vanishes right in front of Robin after kicking open the sprinkler systems, Beast Boy jokingly suggests that he "just wasn't waterproof". As it turns out, he was made out of paint, so he really wasn't!

    Other 
  • Whether Gavin Free is going down very quickly or panicking and shooting his teammates in the back, it's been joked that Gavin is more dangerous to the other players than to anyone else. This was actually proven true in the Dying Light session where he played as the zombie, and effortlessly wiped the floor with all his coworkers before they realized what was happening.
  • MAD once did a parody of Cathy called Amy!, which depicted Amy Winehouse hiding drugs in her beehive hairdo. Then someone filmed her pulling a vial of cocaine from her hair, and suddenly it's like, "They knew!".
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • June 23, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Pitching this because people constantly mistake this for Accidentally Accurate, which has nothing to do with it. It came up in this Trope Repair Shop thread.

    I'm open for other name suggestions. My backups are The Joke Is Real and Your Joke Is Not A Joke. There's also Guessed The Punchline, by Memers.
  • June 23, 2017
    Getta
    Definitely related to Accidental Truth
  • June 23, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Perhaps a subtrope?
  • June 23, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • In one episode of The Golden Girls, Rose brings a chicken into the house, saying she's a professional entertainer. Blanche scoffs at this and talks about how ridiculous it is with Dorothy while Rose is out of the room. At the end of their conversation, Blanche asks "What does she do? Play the piano?" Right then, Rose comes back in and says "She plays the piano." (It's a small piano, but she does play it.)
  • June 23, 2017
    Malady
    Web Original

    Literature.Whateley Universe: A joke was made about Mars Wants Chocolate, but aliens really were stealing chocolate from Earth.
  • June 23, 2017
    Arivne

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • June 24, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Included the suggested examples.
  • June 24, 2017
    Generality
    Used as a Brick Joke in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets: When Harry and Ron discover a trophy awarded to a Tom Riddle for undisclosed services to the school, Ron jokes that maybe Tom killed Moaning Myrtle (who is currently a ghost) because she's so annoying. Much later in the book it turns out that Tom Riddle actually did murder Myrtle, although that's not why he received the trophy.
  • June 24, 2017
    BKelly95
    Web Video
    • UBOGaming's Lets Play of Vampire Saga: Welcome to Hell Lock has him repeatedly calling the protagonist "David" because he bears a strong resemblance to David Beckham. When the protagonist's name is finally revealed, UBOGaming is very amused to discover it actually is David.
  • June 26, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Added examples.
  • June 26, 2017
    Getta
    Subtrope of Irony and/or Dramatic Irony
  • June 27, 2017
    eroock
    ^ Not Dramatic Irony, because at this point the audience doesn't know if the statement is true.or not.
  • June 27, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Well, it can overlap with Dramatic Irony if the audience already knows that what the character said is true. But more often than not, the audience doesn't.

    Or perhaps we shouldn't allow the "we already know that" scenario?
  • June 27, 2017
    Getta
    ^ no, we should.
  • June 28, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • Seemingly happens on Mystery Science Theater 3000 when they watch Time Of The Apes:
      Johnny: Do you live with your parents?
      Joel:(As Godo) No! They're dead! Dead! DEAD!
      Godo: No. They died a long time ago.
      Tom: Oh, you're right.
  • June 30, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    It would be appreciated if someone familiar with Mega Man checked out the entry in the video games folder and confirmed it's a valid example. I'm not 100% sure.
  • Related to If Only You Knew.
    • In Tomboy Jessica asks Addison (who has been killing people involved with the corrupt Trent company) why she's been avoiding her. Owen proposes that "Maybe Addison is secretly the vigilante and she can't have you cramping her murder scenes." The girls yell at him, "Don't even joke about that!"
  • June 30, 2017
    Renkin3
    An example taken directly from the TeenTitansTroubleInTokyo: page under The Cuckoolander Was Right: When Saiko-tek somehow totally vanishes right in front of Robin after kicking open the sprinkler systems, Beast Boy jokingly suggest that he "just wasn't waterproof". As it turns out, he was made out of paint, so he really wasn't!
  • June 30, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    ^ That's more like this trope; I've added it.
  • June 30, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Added the Tomboy example too.

    Maybe this trope is a subtrope of If Only You Knew?
  • June 30, 2017
    Getta
    @ Mega Man example: Wily apparently "accidentally" found/discovered/invented an element/alloy (forgot which exactly) called "Bassnium" which he then uses to create Bass. So Bass' creation was indeed partly a fluke.
  • June 30, 2017
    lakingsif
  • June 30, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    ^ I really don't want to reference that "trope". We had to rename it because of misuse all over the place. A high percentage of people use Accidentally Accurate for this trope instead of for examples of a writer who makes stuff up or just doesn't do the research for his work but then his blunder matches real life facts (such as science).
  • June 30, 2017
    lakingsif
    you could take the redirect off that and use it for this instead (and mine it for examples whilst you're at it)?
  • June 30, 2017
    Getta
    Sometimes invoked - the one who jokes actually knows it's a truth but he/she passes it off as a joke for reasons (usually because he/she finds it funny).
  • July 7, 2017
    KTera
  • July 8, 2017
    sheika
  • July 8, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Hmm, I forgot about Chekhovs Gag. That's close, and in fact can overlap, but I don't think it's quite this trope.

    This one requires the joke's wording to be exactly the truth, while Chekhovs Gag doesn't. In fact, Chekhovs Gag can be about funny objects or events that don't need to be said by a character (they can be displayed in text, like the example in Thimbleweed Park). And this trope doesn't need to become dramatic or serious later on (in fact, it can be even funnier). Also, sometimes the audience knows that the joke is literally true as a form of Dramatic Irony, a situation that is not possible in Chekhovs Gag.

    The best way to see the differences between these tropes is to read the examples.
  • July 10, 2017
    Arivne
    Got another "falling from the skies" example.

    Film - Live Action
    • Three Amigos. During the attempt to infiltrate El Guapo's hideout, Ned Nederlander (one of the Amigos) swings on a rope and ends up getting caught on a pinata high above the compound. Later on, after El Guapo captures the other two Amigos, he says "What is happening around here today? Are gringos falling from the skies?" Ned lets go and falls onto a nearby table. Jefe (El Guapo's The Dragon) says "Yes, El Guapo".
  • July 13, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    ^ Added it.
  • July 20, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Bump.
  • July 22, 2017
    eroock
  • August 1, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Bump.
  • August 2, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Need a little help, Tropers. I know the particulars and the series, but can't pinpoint the episode. Spackle my brain holes, will ya?

    Live Action TV
    • One Star Trek The Original Series episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" has the Enterprise mistakenly beam aboard a fellow from the 20th century. The man, Captain John Christopher, is understandably mystified, and he can't be teleported back right away without jeopardizing the mission. The transporter technician asks Captain Christopher if he'd like anything, and the sarcastic response is "chicken soup." The tech inserts one particular card into a nearby replicator, and within seconds, the panel lifts to expose a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Catching the aroma, Captain Christopher peers at it, dips one finger in it, and tastes his finger. Stupefied, he identifies it as, indeed, chicken soup.
  • August 2, 2017
    Arivne
    ^ You're remembering "Tomorrow Is Yesterday".

    The person requesting the chicken soup is Captain John Christopher.
  • August 2, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    ^ Thank you muchly, Arivne. I'm an old grunk with lots of cobwebs and rust in my head. Good of you to patch those gaps. :D
  • August 2, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    ^^^ Isn't that an example of I Was Just Joking? After all, the tech is taking the man's suggestion seriously.
  • August 4, 2017
    Arivne
    ^^^ ^^^^ Whoops! Error detected!

    The person in the chicken soup situation is actually an unnamed Air Police sergeant.
  • August 4, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    ^ Doesn't matter. That "example" is a non sequitur. I tried to put a metric fox in an American dog pound.
  • August 11, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    I'm going to launch this in a few days.

    Again, what do we do with the last proposed example? I'd rather add it to I Was Just Joking.
  • August 14, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    I added the Star Trek example to I Was Just Joking. Launching this trope.
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