(I'm sure we can find a good picture to go with this, like this one◊) When someone is having a discussion, and the debater despite their best efforts to explain where they are coming from has the point completely lost, because the observer focuses detail elsewhere. A type of Comically Missing the Point, only it ties in specifically to discussions, and usually it is when a person is using a metaphor or analogy, and the listener actually takes it literally, missing the philosophical or spiritual points for the mundane. This however can also be used on purpose in The War on Straw, by simply reducing the argument from what it is actually intended to represent metaphorically, to very crude or nonsensical statements. Another version is to focus all attention on the person giving the message rather than the message itself. The trope namer is from an ancient Zen parable (more here ). This can possibly be among Predefined Messages, as this may be used if in forums or YKTTW the discussion goes off track because of a misunderstanding about what the topic is even about.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.