->'''Franchise/{{Superman}}''': Is everything okay?\\
'''Franchise/WonderWoman''': Well, I'm sort of missing Flash's [[TropeNamer obligatory joke]] about [[EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys Grodd having made a monkey out of us]].\\
'''Superman''': [[YouJustHadToSayIt Just couldn't let it go unsaid.]]\\
'''Wonder Woman''': Obligatory!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'', "Dead Reckoning"

In certain situations, characters ([[AuthorCatchphrase and writers]], it seems) just ''have'' to make certain puns. And they're usually the same ones. But TropesAreNotBad, as in many cases the audience may feel disappointed or even slightly confused if the obligatory joke fails to come up.

Often relies on IfItWasFunnyTheFirstTime.

Nonetheless, many writers try to inject some freshness into the obligatory, by lampshading or overt and deliberate subversion.

* Anything involving a primate is going to involve lines like "Monkeying Around" or Making a Monkey('s uncle) out of someone," and "Monkey Business".
** We're just going to make it easy and say that whenever a situation with an animal comes up, somebody will have to quote a saying or phrase having to do with it.
* Anything involving honey, molasses, maple syrup, etc. will be described as a "sticky situation."
* A person BoundAndGagged, or even just bound, will be described as "a little tied up right now."
* If an animal of some kind is biting someone, an onlooker will be prompted to ask, "What's eating you?"
* Any hand-related pun when dealing with hand monsters or [[LiteralMinded armless]] people.
* Cat-related jokes are sometimes ''cat''astrophic or ''cat''holic. They may leave you ''cat''atonic.
* Puns are elemental to all three of FireIceLightning:
** Any time electricity is involved, you know someone will quip about a "shocking" situation.
** Expect AnIcePerson to be surrounded by an abundance of "Ice to meet you," "Take a chill pill," IceQueen, etc. jokes.
** Expect anyone with fire-based powers to say "things are heating up", "now we're cooking", they're hot, etc.
* Anything involving a living creature being inflated (usually due to CartoonPhysics) will result in someone saying he's "all full of hot air".
* Someone who's just seen a ghost will immediately be told YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost.
* Whenever a {{mummy}} (as in a preserved corpse, like from AncientEgypt) appears, someone's gotta make a joke about the alternate use of "mummy" to mean "mother." ("I want my mummy!")
* Anything involving Pyramids, or simply Egypt, will be dubbed a "pyramid scheme" at some point.
* Clones will prompt jokes about being besides oneself, MesACrowd, using "I" instead of "he" or "she" when talking about one of their clones, and possibly jokes revolving around ScrewYourself (either overtly or [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar past the radar]]).
* Murder in a mansion? Get ready for [[TheButlerDidIt butler]] and [[{{Cluedo}} Clue/Cluedo]] jokes.
* A lot of situations will nearly guarantee a ''MontyPython'' reference. The most common one may be "[[MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail only a flesh wound]]" after someone loses a limb.
* If you have a SpecialGuest you had better make a remark on what they are most famous for. What's the point of having Creator/MarkHamill show up if there isn't going to be a ''Franchise/StarWars'' reference?

These days, Obligitory Jokes tend to be subverted in the vein of AntiHumor or SoUnfunnyItsFunny. One character could say "Aren't you going to say ?" and get a confused look or a deadpan "No.". Critics and reviewers tend to use them fairly regularly, LampshadeHanging optional.

See also IncrediblyLamePun, BondOneLiner, QuipToBlack, and others, which have considerable overlap. YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost is one subtrope. A PunnyName or UnfortunateName resulting in this may make someone a PhraseCatcher.

Common responses include LamePunReaction, CollectiveGroan, "YouJustHadToSayIt," "NeverHeardThatOneBefore," or if you're really lucky "That's... ActuallyPrettyFunny."
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''{{Wolverine}}: The Jungle Adventure'' a one-shot comic by Walt Simonson and Mike Mignola, at one point Wolverine falls through a trapdoor and is held prisoner by Apocalypse.
--> '''Apocalypse''': Greetings, Wolverine! I hope you don't mind, I'm required by law to say this, but how nice of you to drop in so unexpectedly!
* At the end of "[[Creator/DonRosa Return To Plain Awful]]," as the gang are leaving the square-shape-obsessed land:
-->'''Donald:''' They made their billion by being [[{{Catchphrase}} tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties]]. And you know what else...
-->'''Scrooge:''' Oh, no, nephew, don't say it! Please!
-->'''Donald:''' They made it ''SQUARE!''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'':
-->'''Bond''': [[BondOneLiner Tell her Slate was a dead end.]]\\
'''M''': Dammit, he killed him!
* Comes up, naturally, in ''Film/IronMan3'' when Tony's fighting the Extremis enhancile Ellen Brandt and her [[MyBloodRunsHot heat powers]].
-->'''Tony:''' You walked right into this one -- I've dated hotter chicks than you!
* ''Film/AustinPowers'', the first movie, had Austin and Vanessa escape Dr Evil's death trap, leaving the guard get his head bitten off by [[ItMakesSenseInContext the ill-tempered sea bass]]. Austin then launches into a HurricaneOfPuns about losing one's head, while Vanessa waits patiently for him to finish, both seemingly well aware of this trope.
* [[ConversationalTroping Discussed]] in ''Film/HotFuzz''.
-->'''Nicholas:''' I left him in the deep freezer.
-->'''Danny:''' Did you say "Cool off"?
-->'''Nicholas:''' No.
-->'''Danny:''' Shame.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': To hear Harry Dresden tell it, he's the original this. He claims that he's now so well known that if he isn't flip and punny to every supernatural being of a distinctly higher weight class than him, they'll be insulted, because they expect him to be. Note that this was a retrospective excuse to Sigrun for pissing off [[spoiler: ''Odin's'']] secretaries.
* Only a few people actually make jokes about Moist von Lipwig's name in Discworld/GoingPostal, but he seems to think people will, saying things like "I've heard all the jokes" and "Please don't laugh."
** Likewise with Adora Belle Dearheart. "As you can imagine, I have no sense of humor whatsoever:"

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* On ''Series/{{QI}}'', giving the obvious-but-incorrect answer causes an alarm to ring and the panelist to forfeit points. Obvious riffs such as these sometimes trigger the klaxon as well.
** If a RunningGag becomes an OverusedRunningGag, the klaxon will go off. Alan Davies and "blue whale" got this a few times.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'' uses the "tied up right now" variant when the eponymous character had bound himself to a chair [[ItMakesSenseInContext to see whether he could free himself]]. [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] in another episode [[TheCoroner Lanie]] finds out that the recent victim, who had been burnt in a pizza oven, has the last name "Burns". She tells Castle, who had started to look excited, to make the Obligatory Joke...but it turns out that Castle had actually recognized the name.
** Castle is fond of these. In Castle's first novel, [[WriteWhoYouKnow his]] {{expy}} says "It's raining men" when a crime scene contained an outdoor table umbrella with a victim's blood and guts on it.
* ''GetSmart''. Maxwell Smart is trying to break into a villain's hideout when a trapdoor drops him into a chair in front of the villain who starts to say, "Mr Smart, how nice of you to..." with both Smart and the villain finishing in an ironic tone "...drop in, yes."
* Done in an episode of ''{{Grimm}}'' that featured music students:
--> '''Wu:''' "Guess they're going to have to face the music."
--> '''Hank:''' "[[LamePunReaction Really?]] You went there?"
--> '''Wu:''' "Somebody had to."
* Paige does this in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' when talking to Cole:
-->''"You were a demon'' and ''a lawyer? [[EvilLawyerJoke Insert joke here]]."''
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Upon finding the body of a black guy with all the pigmentation sucked out of him, Mulder comments, "There's a Music/MichaelJackson joke in here somewhere, but I can't figure out where."
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. In "Life Serial" Buffy goes out for a night of drinking with vampire Spike, who invites himself to a demon poker game, only he hasn't got any cash.
-->'''Spike:''' Come on, someone's gotta stake me.
-->'''Buffy:''' (grinning) I'll do it! (Off Spike's look) What, you thought I was just gonna let that lie there?

[[/folder]]

[[folder: News ]]

* When [=CNN=] was reporting on 2011 Egyptian Revolution, one of the cycled headers printed at the bottom of the screen was "Pyramid Scheme". It's a stretch to call it a "scheme" and it's a stretch to say pyramids had much to do with it, but, hey, obligatory.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Michael Caesar of ''TheBoondocks'' often makes obligatory bad jokes about current events or whatever the topic of the day is about. His best friend Huey's response is usually to [[BeatPanel stop and glare at him]], [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere and then walk offscreen without saying a word]]. Caesar usually quips that [[ToughRoom he needs a better audience]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* It's lampshaded in ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople'' episode 5. Homestar is in a dungeon suspended by his "arms". Strong Bad asks him what's up:
-->'''Homestar''': ''"Oh, you know, not much..."''
-->'''Strong Bad''': ''(sighs) "You can say it, Homestar..."''
-->'''Homestar''': ''"Just hangin' around."''
* In ''{{RuneScape}}'', when the player talks to their creeping hand pet (an animated, severed hand), they would invariably make a hand-related pun.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* On [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1119 this page]] of ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', T-Rex complains about the overuse of the phrase "a whale of a good time" in conjunction with literal whales.
-->'''T-Rex''': It should mean "a good time that is large or immense: METAPHORICALLY like a whale", but the metaphor's broken because it's always used on literal friggin' whales. "Dog-gone great" is getting there too.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee's]] review of ''NoMoreHeroes'' opened with the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B4bsqYxwo0 "No More Heroes"]] by The Stranglers, which he cut short stating it was too obvious.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic:
** In his [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/21604-the-care-bears-movie review]] of the ''CareBears'' movie, when the leader of the Care Bear Cousins said his name, Braveheart, Critic showed a clip from ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'', asking how could he ''not'' do that joke.
** He opened a review of the film ''Alaska'' with "SarahPalin is stupid. That's my obligatory SarahPalin reference out of the way. Now, ''Alaska''..."
** The Critic also gets pissed off at ''RoverDangerfield'''s use of the "corn dog" pun when Rover gets trapped in a pile of corn, especially because the whole movie is a [[HurricaneOfPuns Hurricane of Obvious Puns]] throughout. The Critic even has a mock gameshow where he has the "audience" submit guesses as to what pun Rover is about to use, only to show the pun immediately after the chime on the assumption that everyone has come up with the exact same answer.
* When BennettTheSage [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/bt/the-sage/specials/35941-top-ten-worst-songs-by-otherwise-good-artists mentions that]] [[BillyJoel "We Didn't Start the Fire"]] is a lazy song, it cuts to [[BrunoMars "The Lazy Song"]], then to Bennett saying while writing on a paper "obligatory joke quota... done!".
* During ''WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob's'' review of ''Film/SleepawayCamp'', when one of the campers is killed by a beehive dropped in his bathroom stall, the Snob dubs in the infamous "NOT THE BEES!" bit from ''TheWickerMan''.
-->'''Snob''': Easiest fucking reference I ever made. I almost feel lazy for adding it.
* On Slashdot, there have been a lot of repetitive memes which users will continue to post to any half-relevant story along with "ob" lampshading that it was obligatory. Two examples: "I, for one, welcome our new [what the article is about] overlords (ob)", and, responding to a reasoned, compassionate, and well-rounded argument with "you must be new here (ob)".
* {{Unskippables}} dealing with the intro to Biotic Commando. They go through every single arm/hand joke they can come up with. All the ones they can't fit in are shoehorned in on a text field at the end.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' had Green Goblin do the "tied up" joke, chuckling to himself that you gotta love the classics.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "Doctor's Disorders", Penelope Spectra tries to get a sample of Danny's DNA to make a perfect body for herself. When she's not looking, Danny swaps it out with something from his dad's used handkerchief. The result is Spectra turning into a Jack Fenton-shaped snot monster. Danny comments, "There's a 'You blew it' pun here somewhere, but I'd rather not." When the fight begins, Spectra growls, "Let's boogie!" to which Danny replies, "That's ''exactly'' the kind of pun I was trying to avoid with the 'You blew it' comment!"
* In a particularly silly episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries The New Batman Adventures]]'', Robin and Batgirl are fighting genetically altered giant cows. Batgirl lampshades the fact that Robin couldn't resist yelling [[MythologyGag "Holy Cow!"]]
* The page quote was used in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' after the heroes foiled Gorilla Grodd's plot to turn all of humanity into gorillas.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Kim discovers that the villain keeps electric eels, to which she replies, "The puns just write themselves. Shocking, isn't it?" Of course, the villain says the very same line later when he reveals his electric eels.
* Subverting obligatory jokes makes up about 90% of TheSimpsons--it's actually kind of shocking when they do play them straight.
* [[CaptainCrash Launchpad]] gets 3 uses of "crash course" in ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' (including [[WesternAnimation/DuckTalesTheMovieTreasureOfTheLostLamp the movie]]).
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' where Garfield and Jon check into an in, and the nutty old innkeeper tells them to "Walk this way!" while showing them their rooms, hunched over and walking with a gait. Garfield [[BreakingTheFourthWall turns to the viewers]] and says, "Don't worry, we aren't doing ''that'' old joke". (Probably a double subversion, actually, because simply saying ''that'' was a variant of the joke.)
* One example of this joke was unique to ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs''. In "The Astrosmurf", on a long trip to a volcano, one of the smurfs asked "Is it much father, Papa Smurf?" He replied, "Not far now." Another smurf repeated the question and he repeated the same answer again, through about three consecutive scenes; the joke ended with one of them asking it, and him replying angrily, "Yes it IS!" From that episode on, the joke was used every time they had to make a long trip; in fact, it was lampshaded in one late-season episode, where after one of them asked it a second time, Papa Smurf snapped, "Oh, don't start ''that'' again!"
* Both ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' and ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' have made this unavoidable joke:
-->'''Ghost:''' You'll never take me alive, coppers!
-->'''Pursuer:''' You're a ghost.
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