Brick Joke: Live-Action TV

  • Season 5, Episode 5 of Breaking Bad, "Dead Freight" features a brick joke. The punchline is a ten-year-old boy getting shot in the head.
  • Brødrene Dal comes with an excelent one in the first season. They start off going the wrong way due to Brumund holding the map the wrong way but he claims that it was printed the wrong way, then the journey finally starts when they go the opposite way than they've planned. Everything that happens is opposite, like the bride carrying the groom etc. When they go back in the end and are going "the right way" will it being the groom carrying her, albeit not in Bridal Carry like she did.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Passions" has a throwaway line about the Orb of Thesulah being sold to dumb New Agers as paperweights. In the Season Finale, Giles mentions he has been using one as a paperweight.
    • Buffy remarks that she could use a snack after killing The Master. In her debut episode, Faith, another Slayer, says that slaying always makes her "hungry and horny."
    • The origin of Chanterelle's name.
    • Xander looks forward to leaving school so he can finally tell Snyder what he thinks of him ("What's My Line, Pt. 1"). This never happens, but in "Restless" Xander does have a cathartic exchange in his Dream Sequence. ("You know, I never got the chance to tell you how glad I was you were eaten by a snake.")
    • In "Lover's Walk", Spike wails that Dru left him for a Chaos Demon. ("All slime and antlers!") The spat between Spike, Dru and Antler Guy is shown in "Fool for Love".
    • In "Choices", Xander is reading Jack Kerouac, inspiring to him to go on a road trip after graduation. However, as Buffy learns in Season Four, he only makes it as far as Oxnard when his car breaks down.
    • In Season 5, Spike tries to hide his Stalker with a Crush obsession with Buffy with a Lame Comeback; "I never liked you anyway, and you have stupid hair." In Season 6, after finally making out with Buffy, Spike gushes over how good her long hair looks (Buffy responds by getting a bobcut).
    • The story behind Once More, With Feeling's "The Mustard" from Season 6, is given a little exposition in Season 7, with "Mustard on my Shirt" ("Selfless").
    • In Season 7 Episode 9, "Never Leave Me" we see Warren (actually The First Evil) coaching Andrew on sacrificing a pig for its blood in the basement of Sunnydale High, at which Andrew fails miserably ("That'll do pig!"). Later in Episode 16, "Storyteller" we find Buffy and Principal Wood in that basement trying to figure out why strange phenomena are happening... when a a squealing pig runs by.
    Wood: God, I hope that's not a student…
    • Also from Season 7: in one episode, Dawn is eating pizza and accidentally stains one of Buffy's shirts. She then shrugs it off by saying her sister will probably think it's blood or something. A couple of episodes later, we see Anya and Buffy trying to clean the stained shirt (and Buffy presumes it's blood, of course).
    • In "Band Candy", the titular candy makes the adults start acting like teenagers. Joyce and Giles spend some time together like this and later have sex. Later in the season ("Earshot"), Buffy gains the power to read minds. When she's alone with Joyce, she exclaims "You had sex with Giles?!"
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey releases the hamster in a ball full of food so he has a chance at survival and won't be taken care of by the class bully. Throughout the rest of the season, you can spot the Hamster Ball rolling in the background. By the end of the season, you can even see it roll by as Francis and Piama leave Alaska.
  • Seinfeld was full of these.
    • "The Marine Biologist" has George date a girl who thinks he's a marine biologist while Kramer goes to the beach to hit golf balls into the ocean. Later, Kramer comes home angrily because he hit several balls and only one of them got any distance. Meanwhile, George continues to date his girl and pretend to be a marine biologist. As they're walking along the beach, they come upon a crowd gathered around a beached whale. George decides to look into it to maintain the facade. In an unusual turn of events, he actually manages to save the whale's life. He does so by removing something blocking the whale's blowhole. It's a golf ball.
  • The Big Bang Theory: One episode has Sheldon tell the rest of the guys how wealthy Raj is and they complain about how cheap he is, like having Howard buy him a churro. When they go out to eat at the end of the episode, they run out and leave Raj stuck with the check.
  • Father Ted, has a literal brick joke in the episode "Speed 3". Father Jack gains a pet brick, which later becomes critical in Ted's plan to rescue Dougal from an explosive milk float. Post-credits, Ted is taking out the trash when he spots something in the sky... and is struck head-on by the same charred and smoking brick.
  • A throwaway joke in Agents Of Shield where Ward comments that Skye keeps confusing the safety with the magazine release in firearms training comes back in a combat situation later in the episode where Skye attempts to shoot the target and ejects the magazine.
  • Friends:
    • "The One With Frank Jr" has Ross consider adding Isabella Rosselini to his list of celebrities he can sleep with but eventually bumps her because she's "too international". At the end of the episode, guess who walks into the coffee house?
    • In one episode, the girls are on the balcony drinking and telling stories of older times, when Rachel accidentally drops a cushion to the street. At the end of the chapter, someone calls to the door, and Chandler opens. A man returns the cushion.
    • Where they're at Jack and Judy's anniversary party, Phoebe is urged to eat an oyster by her annoying boyfriend, so she throws it away while he's not looking. Ten minutes later Joey reports his annoyance that he was about to get food, but 'slipped on a giant booger'.
    • One brick joke several episodes in the making; at the ending of an early episode, Monica stumbles upon a disturbing video of her parents having sex. Jump several episodes later, Monica hides in a bathroom which her parents stumble into...and with her hiding behind the shower curtain, they proceed to have sex. When Ross finds her later, she tells him, "Remember that tape I found of Mom and Dad? I just caught a live show."
  • A short one in the pilot episode of Castle, where Castle quips that his safe word is "apples" when Beckett arrests him for stealing her files, and then yells "apples" when Beckett grabs his nose after their meeting with Tisdale.
  • Blackadder "Potato" has a literal example where Percy (weakly) throws a boomerang away, only for it to return and strike him on the back of the head after an unrealistically long delay.
    • In the episode "Born To Be King", Edmund dismisses Baldrick's seemingly lame plan to deal with McAngus by getting him to stick his head in a cannon. At the end of the episode, after all other plans have failed, Edmund tries the cannon, and succeeds!
  • M*A*S*H: Near the start of the episode "It Happened One Night", Hawkeye puts a can of beans on a stove in post-op, to heat it up. At the end of the episode, after a busy night dealing with patients, and shelling, and other things, just as things are settling down, the can of beans explodes.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • One episode has Dennis "hypothetically" stating for all anyone knows, he might be a maniac with a trunk full of duct tape and zip ties. Five episodes later during the Season Finale, Dennis reveals that he does indeed have multiple rolls of duct tape in his trunk, which he plans to use to kidnap some former classmates who were rude to him.
    • Another episode has Dennis mention to his Girl of the Week that he and the gang had tried to shoot an unauthorized sequel to Lethal Weapon 4. It's treated as a throwaway line, but a later episode revolves entirely around the film in question.
    • In "Pop-Pop: The Final Solution", Dennis and Dee liberate an animal shelter and release a bunch of stray dogs into the streets, reasoning that it's more humane to let them die naturally. At the very end of the episode, a doctor mentions that the E.R. is swamped because the city has become stricken with a rash of violent dog attacks.
  • Community:
    • A brick joke three years in the making: over the course of three episodes across three seasons, a certain word is said three times. Only on the third time does the brick pay off.
    • In "Remedial Chaos Theory," Annie tells Troy and Abed they really shouldn't be using a brick to hold their door open. Fifteen episodes later, a policeman coming to their apartment tells them the same thing—because it's an antique brick and could sell for up to $60. May be an intentional reference to the term "brick joke" as Dan Harmon is an admitted Troper.
    • Abed helps Shirley deliver her baby stating that he's done this before. When rewatching Season 2, you can indeed see him helping someone do so in the background.
    • In Remedial Chaos Theory, Pierce calls Annie's (somewhat feminine) revolver a "woman's pea-shooter". In Digital Estate Planning, a full 16 episodes later, it's revealed that Pierce is always carrying a semi-automatic pistol (except in the shower, of course) No wonder he was unimpressed...
    • There's a massive one concerning Britta. In the first season, there was a joking "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue which stated that Britta (who never has any money and thus uses generic or outdated products) would finally own an iPod Nano in 2014. The writers remembered this, and in fourth episode of Season 5, Pierce left Britta his iPod Nano in his will.
    • In the second season, it's revealed that Abed (Danny Pudi) is a huge fan of Cougar Town. In "Critical Film Studies", he reveals that he founded a fan club for the show and was asked to make a cameo appearance. He says it didn't go well with him getting nervous and pooping his pants. On the season finale of Cougar Town, we see Danny Pudi in the background of one scene. Then he starts to act increasingly nervous and eventually jumps out of his chair and runs offscreen. That's right. The producers of Community and Cougar Town got together to set up a Brick Joke on one show and have it pay off on the other.
  • My Name Is Earl: While Randy is fishing junk out of the river that a storm drain flows into, he says, "Another doll's head, Earl! That makes four." Eight episodes later, in the next season, an orphan girl tells Earl, "I used to live in a storm drain; rain washed my doll heads away."
  • In one episode of That '70s Show, Jackie has Kelso reading Cosmo magazine, hoping that it would give him insight into women (specifically, Jackie, and what she wants at any given moment). A bit later, Eric is griping about Donna to Kelso, and Kelso spouts off some helpful wisdom, and, when Eric is incredulous, Kelso explains that he's been reading Cosmo, and offhandedly mentions that there are some diagrams to women's internal organs that look like a map to Six Flags. This isn't mentioned for the rest of the episode, until the very end...
    Fez: Oh look! Six flags!
  • Near the beginning of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Q-less, Q sends Dr. Bashir off to sleep. Potentially several days, power outages, and graviton disturbances later, Bashir shows up at the end of the episode, to Dax's amusement, yawning and announcing "I feel like I've been asleep for days." *beat* "Did I miss something?"
  • In Star Trek, there's one which could be the longest example ever; in TOS, Kirk distracts a group of gangsters by teaching them Fizzbin, a complicated card game which he improvises on the spot. Years later, Deep Space Nine makes a reference to the game.
  • An even better TOS-to-DS 9 Brick Joke begins in "The Trouble with Tribbles," during the famous scene where Kirk opens the grain cabinet and ends up chest-deep in dead Tribbles (that's not as funny when written down out). After the Tribbles cover Kirk, the scene continues, with the occasional latent Tribble falling on him throughout. This is funny on its own, but somewhat distracting to the audience because it doesn't look like they are naturally falling from the compartment, but instead being thrown by a member of the film crew from behind-the-scenes... Nearly 30 years later, the DS 9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" sends the DS 9 crew back in time to the events of the original episode, and it turns out that Sisko and Dax, in a frantic attempt to scan each Tribble for a hidden bomb from inside the compartment, were actually the ones inadvertently tossing them out of the door at Kirk.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Riddles" does this with an actual joke. At the beginning of the episode, Neelix asks Tuvok a riddle about how an ensign could survive being stranded for a year on an L-class planet with only a calendar—he ate the dates from said calendar, which Tuvok hardly finds amusing. At the end of the episode (which Tuvok spent as a Fun Personified pastry chef after being brain-zapped until he was restored), he refers back to the riddle and says that the ensign could've also eaten the Sundays/sundaes.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Crusade", a serial all the way back in season 2 of the classic series, Ian is knighted by Richard the Lionheart, with the First Doctor remarking that he'd like to be knighted himself, one day. 41 years later, the Tenth Doctor is knighted by Queen Victoria.
    • In series two, the Tenth doctor develops a fondness for the French phrase "allons-y" (let's go), and wishes he had someone named Alonso to say it to. Over a year later, in "Voyage of the Damned", he finally meets an Alonso. He is overjoyed.
    • In series one "The Empty Child", Captain Jack Harkness says that Pompeii's a great place to visit, except you have to set your clock for volcano day. In series four "The Fires of Pompeii", The Doctor says "We're in Pompeii, and it's volcano day."
    • This one has three parts: In the first series of New Who, there's a brief, off-hand mention of the Face of Boe being pregnant. In the first episode of Torchwood, aired about a year later, Jack vows that he's never going to get pregnant again. In the finale of the third series of New Who (another year later), it is strongly hinted that one day Jack might be the Face of Boe.
    • At the very beginning of the episode "Smith and Jones", Martha Jones first meets The Doctor when he jumps out in front of her in a crowd of people and says "Like so." Then he takes his tie off and waves it in her face. When she arrives at the hospital, she sees the Doctor being examined. Technically, this is when the Doctor first meets her. The rest of the episode consists of the hospital being sent to the moon, avoiding an army of rhino-men and fighting a vampire. When that's finally over, the Doctor explains to Martha who, and what, he is, and that the police box is a time machine. When she doesn't believe him, he says he'll prove it to her, and gets inside the TARDIS and it disappears... only to re-appear seconds later, and he steps out, holding his tie in his hand and waving it at her.
    • In "Time of the Doctor", Clara notices the TARDIS phone is off the hook. At the end of "Deep Breath", several months later, she gets a time-travelling phone call from the Eleventh Doctor reassuring her that the new Doctor is still him, implied to be a phone call made just before Clara entered the room and noticed the phone was off the hook.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show did this in the third season premiere episode, "That's My Boy??" Mel's sister-in-law has just had a baby, which prompts Mel to make a Switched at Birth joke. Laura prods Rob into a Whole Episode Flashback retelling of how, a few days after Ritchie's birth, he became convinced that they took the wrong baby home from the hospital. They contact the other parents — who have the similar last name of Peters — and invite them over to discuss the possibility. The doorbell rings, Rob opens the door and is stunned at the sight of them. Then he invites the Peters in. Their entry is the brick joke. They're African-American.
    • Kenan & Kel did an episode based on that Dick Van Dyke episode, but changed it a bit. The plot involves Kenan being suspicious of his parents (most of his baby pictures and things were washed away in a flood) and finding out there's a closely named person around his age named Kevin. The brick: since Kenan and Kel are African-American, Kevin and his parents are Asian.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Marshall's slap bet with Barney turned into a Brick Joke spanning the entirety of the series. Marshall has been granted three additional slaps (one of which he used immediately). One was used in the final season.
    • In S2E02, Ted enthusiastically tells Robin that he found a 1945 penny in the subway. Many episodes later, we see a flashback of Ted and Robin buying hotdogs with the money they just got from selling a 1945 penny Ted found on the subway.
    • In "The Pineapple Incident", Marshall is curious about why is there a pineapple in Ted's bedroom. In "The Third Wheel", we see a flashback fom that night where Ted and Trudy are making out while Ted holds the pineapple.
    • In "The Pineapple Incident", Ted claims he's "vomit free since '93". In "Game Night", Ted confesses that he threw up on Robin's carpet:
      Marshall: I thought you were vomit-free since '93. So that was a lie?
    • At one point Ted simply shows up in a green dress and tells Barney "Now we're even!" with no explanation whatsoever. A season later it's finally explained.
    • Several times, the series has "flashed forward" in its retelling, showing minor events that nobody would be expected to remember, then showing the events transpire exactly (or close to exactly) as they were depicted. In the season 4 episode "Three Days Of Snow", Ted makes a reference to "Other ill-advised 5 word sentences" a man might say. One of them is shown at the end of that season (20 episodes later). Another is shown nearly three years later, in season 7.
  • The cold opening for one All That episode has Kenan blowing up a scarecrow, causing the Big Ear Of Corn to be kidnapped by Elvis and professional wrestlers. Later on, Lori Beth Denberg (as Miss Fingerly) kisses a stuffed monkey despite the superstition about what happens... then Elvis and the professional wrestlers come out and beat her up.
  • The IT Crowd has quite a few of these:
    • In one episode, Roy gets caught in the handicapped bathroom at a theater and pretends to be disabled so he won't get in trouble. He tells the theater staff and police that his wheelchair was stolen by a bearded, red-haired man with glasses. Later, the police see a man matching that description leaving the theater and quietly take him away.
    • In the same episode, Moss is caught using the employee bathroom and is mistaken for a new employee. Later, Jen goes to a party at the theater to find Roy in a wheelchair and Moss tending bar.
    • At the start of the same episode, Jen is asked out by a man she thought was gay. Moss replies "don't take this the wrong way, but could it be because he thought you looked a bit like a man?". Right at the end of the episode, after Jen is convinced he isn't gay, she asks him an Armour Piercing Question that causes him to breakdown and admit he is gay, saying he thought it could work because she looked a "a bit like a man."
    • Another episode has Moss have a Eureka Moment, in which he decides it would be better to leave his phone in his shirt pocket rather than his back pocket, for easier access. Later in the episode, he leans down to flush the toilet and his phone falls out. Even later in the episode, Moss gets stuck in a toy crane machine while trying to get an iPhone, and it isn't until the end of the episode that Jen realizes she forgot to get him out.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • On the last episode of 36th season, Seth Meyers leaves for summer vacation with Bill Hader's Stefon character. About three episodes into season 37 (the episode hosted by Ben Stiller with musical guest Foster the People), Stefon returns and Seth mentions that the vacation they took last summer was bizarre (and when Stefon asked Meyers if his back was okay, Meyers quickly changed the subject).
    • When Kevin Hart hosted in 2013, he appeared in a sketch with Tim Robinson which is a commercial for something called Z-Shirts. Tim asks what he has. Kevin asks "Is it an A-Shirt?" then "Is it a B-Shirt?" and so on. The sketch ends around "I-Shirt". A few sketches later, we see Tim officiating at his grandmother's funeral and invites the attendees to pay their respects. Kevin comes up and asks "Is it a W-Shirt?" and finally gets to "Z".
    • An episode from the leadup to the 1996 election (hosted by Dana Carvey) opened with a sketch showing a few third-party candidates, the last of whom was the nominee of the Female Circumcision Party. Later, a sketch shows Bob Dole using a time machine to stop Bill Clinton from starting his political career. After his attempts fail, Clinton himself goes back to stop him and his presence makes his younger self change his mind about politics. Dole returns to the present, seemingly triumphant. Only then does he discover that his new opponent is even more popular than Clinton. Who is it? The nominee for the Female Circumcision Party.
  • One episode of Corner Gas had Davis and Oscar trying to catch a mouse in the gas station. Oscar was going for the traditional mouse trap, while Davis was advocating being humane and letting the mouse go. He mentioned that, once, he'd nursed an owl back to health and released it. At the end, they catch the mouse, they let it go, they watch it scamper off into the world...and the same owl Davis rescued swooped down and carried off the mouse.
  • Eureka:
    • Over three seasons, characters occasionally refer to something called an "Einstein-Grant Bridge" until in the season four opener, when they accidentally pull Dr. Grant into the future from his original timeline in 1947. Thereafter, they use the term we normally use for that object, the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, thereby proving that the timeline they had been in was different from our own.
    • In the series finale, Eureka gives us what may be the ultimate brick joke: We see Jack and Zoe drive out of the town and see themselves drive into it - this explains the same thing happening in the series pilot when they drive into Eureka for the first time.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Fifth Race", Jack spars with Teal'c in a boxing ring. Teal'c knocks Jack over with one punch. Fast forward to "Upgrades", where with the benefit of a bodily-capabilities-improving Atoniek armband, Jack KO's Teal'c.
  • In Season 5 of The Office (US), in the episode "Prince Family Paper": Under instructions from the CFO David Wallace, Michael & Dwight travel to the small privately-owned Prince Family Paper to gather intelligence on the company. They initially revel in their "shark-like" mission but by the end of the episode, when he realises what the consequences of his actions will be, it's only reluctantly that Michael faxes Prince Family Paper's client-list and company structure to corporate. 7 episodes later in "Two Weeks", Michael, having given his two weeks' notice is looking for another job and brags to the camera that he's built up a number of contacts in his years in the business. The first number he calls is Prince Family Paper where he's greeted by a tearful recorded message regretfully informing their customers that after 40 years serving their community, they've been forced to close. Cut to Michael crossing off "Prince Paper" on his pad, leaving "Other Companies".
    • Also, Jim's letter to Pam from the Christmas episode in Season 2. He takes it off her desk before she sees it and puts it in his back pocket. In the second last episode of Season 9, he gives it to her. The audience isn't told what it says, so it's a sort of MacGuffin of their romantic relationship.
      • From the same Christmas episode, Jim shows a golf pencil that was a part of the romantic trinkets he had included in Pam's Secret Santa gift. In a talking head, he says it would "take too long to explain." He brings the pencil back in the penultimate episode in the series, where Pam explains that she had thrown it at him during a minigolf outing and he had kept it for years.
    • Throughout the show, it's hinted that Creed has been involved in various illegal activities over the years, including an implication that he had murdered the REAL Creed Bratton and stolen his identity. This finally comes to a head in Season 9, where Creed is forced to go on the lam after the cops show up with a warrant for his arrest. He returns for Grand Finale, where he is arrested and sent to prison.
    • In the second season, the crew discovers Michael's unfinished screenplay Threat Level Midnight, and have a joking table reading to mock it. In season 7, it is revealed that they had actually shot the movie offseason during the events of season 3, and the majority of the episode is devoted to airing the film itself.
  • The first episode of It's Your Move opened with Matthew organizing an operation selling term papers. After looking at the sign advertising the service, he chews out his friend for misspelling "special" as "specal". Later, after Norman starts a relationship with his mother, Matthew tries to get rid of him by sending him a letter claiming that Newsweek is offering him a position. However, Norman turns it down and when he's alone with Matthew, he reveals that he knows Matthew wrote the letter. What tipped him off? Newsweek would never spell special "specal". (And he borrowed Matthew's mother's typewriter, so he recognized the typeface.)
  • Parks and Recreation had an episode where Leslie and Tom find marijuana growing in a community garden and try to find out who planted it. (They don't.) Later that season, Leslie meets with the former heads of the titular department for a picnic and one admits to planting marijuana in community gardens.
  • In a December 2012 intro to the BBC quiz show Only Connect, host Victoria Coren names four things she's not allowed within 100 yards of. The first sequence of round 2? Those four things, in order. (It was correctly guessed for 2 points.)
  • In a fall 1987 episode of Wheel of Fortune, at the top of the show Pat Sajak mentions that because he was talking to one of the show staffers right before going on air, he forgot to put a belt on. While signing off at the end of the episode, his pants fall down.
  • The West Wing has this memorable Brick Joke:
    Donna: Oh my God, you're putting my mother's cats on the Supreme Court!
  • In a literal example, a first season episode of The Middle explores Brick's habit of forgetting about schoolwork until the last minute and leaving Frankie to do it for him. In the episode he runs for Class Historian, a role requiring him to document the lives of he and his schoolfriends for the next four years. The role isn't mentioned again until a season four episode where Brick, realizing his Class Historian presentation is due and he forgot to take even a single photo, goes to Frankie for help. After four years, she finally refuses and tells him to sort out his own problems.
  • During the The Quest Of Ki live challenge episode of Retro Game Master, Arino takes a break from the game to play Spelunker, until a fan orders him by fax to "DO KI". Arino then beat the game and replied "I did Ki. I DID IT!". This trope came in effect later on the Takeshi's Challenge live challenge, in which another fan orders Arino to DO KI. Arino loudly refuses, but praises the joke.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • About once a month, Jeopardy! will have one category in the Jeopardy! round and a similar titled category in the Double Jeopardy round (i. e. "A Seedy Category" & "A CD Category", "Nothin' But A's" & "Anything But A's", "Story Problems" about book plots, & "Story Problems" about story problems, and so on).
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Halloween 2008 episode: the Jeopardy! round had ordinary categories like "Famous Counts", "Morse Code", and "Just Say No". In the Double Jeopardy! round, they used the exact same board... but with "Re-" added to each category making them completely different ("Famous Recounts", "Remorse Code", "Just Say Reno", etc.). The Final Jeopardy! category continued with this theme ("Movie Makers and Remakers").
  • Married... with Children is known for Brick Jokes no one saw coming or even noticed.
    • In an early episode, Steve shows Al a newspaper clipping for a hair-loss clinic causing Steve to think he's going bald. Al reads the other side of the clipping, which says that tuna fish is on sale. At the end, when Steve tells Marcy, she meant side of the clipping on the tuna fish.
    • In the beginning of "How Bleen Was My Kelly", Bud has to correct Kelly when she pronounces the "c" in "science". At the end, the Fox TV announcer calls a made-for-TV movie "Madam Curie: Renowned Scientist or Syph-Ridden Whoremonger?" Guess how he pronounces "scientist".
    • In "Kelly Breaks Out", the subplot starts with Al buying episodes of The Avengers just because of Emma Peel. Guess who ended up winning Kelly's audition at the end of the episode?
  • Reba:
    • One episode had an already funny scene of Brock complaining about Barbara Jean's stuffed animals, particularly that two of her stuffed animals can't sit together because "they have history" and lamenting that, in spite of himself, he wants to know what that history is. Other shenanigans happen and the stuffed animals are forgotten until the last scene in the episode, in which a teary-eyed Brock sticks his head in the living room to tell Reba, "Barbara Jean told me the story with Blinky and Lou-Lou and it is so sad!"
    • When Brock is skeptical about the treatments the family therapist is proposing, the therapist claims "You'll be the first to cry". When Brock says the above line, the therapist responds "Told you"
  • An epic Brick Joke on Whose Line Is It Anyway?: During a Scenes From A Hat in the Drew Carey era, the topic was "Tattoos You Don't Want To See On Your Date". Ryan says "Come out of there, you crazy rabbit." Years later, in the Aisha Tyler era, during a playing of Scenes From A Hat, and with a similar topic, Ryan, playing a tailor, reads the exact same tattoo.
    • During a game of "Two Line Vocabulary"note  one of Ryan's lines is "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening." Later, during a game of "Foreign Film Dub"note  Drew says something in mock Swedish and Ryan translates it as the above line. Drew and Wayne are both on the verge of breaking down.
  • In a first season episode of Modern Family, "My Funky Valentine," Mitchell (a lawyer) plans out a closing argument in one of his cases where he would dramatically point to the court seal and shout "Shame!" Unfortunately, he never is able to actually use the line in court. Fast forward three seasons later to another episode, "Goodnight Gracie", where Gloria convinces Mitchell to represent her in a court case in Florida, and Mitchell ends up representing everyone else on the court docket in their own cases. In a quick montage of the various cases, at one point Mitchell is seen pointing to the court seal and shouting "Shame!"
  • In an episode of Yes, Minister, when discussing a memo, Bernard explains that "Consignment of Geriatric Shoe Manufacturers" is Civil Service speak for "a load of old cobblers" (meaning nonsense, for those across the pond). Minister Harker then announces that he shall use his own code, and scrawls "round objects"note  on the memo. Later in the episode, the brick lands when the memo comes back with a question from Sir Humphrey: "Who is Mr. Round, and to what does he object?"
  • In Teen Wolf, Scott attempts to literally sniff out the other werewolf on his lacrosse team. He crashes into his teammates, causing them to fall so that they are in one place long enough to smell them. When he falls on top of Danny, Danny says, "It's Armani," referring to his aftershave. Scott flirtatiously says, "It's nice." Viewers are left to simply see this scene as Ho Yay/Fanservice until four episodes later, when Scott is chasing down the villain using his sense of smell, and realizes he smells... Armani. It leads him to realize that the villain is seeking out Danny.
  • A staple of the running-gag-filled Arrested Development.
    • For example, a scene early in "Meet The Veals" has Buster mention that Uncle Oscar loves his hook. We then see a flashback of Oscar using the hook to smoke a joint. At the end of the episode, Buster gets attacked by a drug-sniffing dog.
    • In "The Immaculate Election", Gob is looking for the video camera and jokes that he knows George Michael has had it. We then flash back to the time they discovered George Michael had taped over George and Lucille's wedding anniversary with his reenactment of a lightsaber duel from Star Wars. Later, Gob and George Michael use the camera to shoot a video promoting George Michael's candidacy for class president. After the campaign video plays, so does George Michael's lightsaber reenactment.
    • In "Exit Strategy", George Michael tries to organize a birthday party for Maeby. He looks over her address book which contains her contacts in the film industry. Just below the entry for S. Holt (for moron jock Steve Holt) is an entry for R. Howard (for producer and narrator Ron Howard). Later, he shows up at the party to find Maeby upset because she lost her producer job when they found out her real age. She also says that no one came to the party because of that. The narrator says "Well, that and most of us didn't want to drive down to Orange County for just a few hours."
    • In season one, there's a throwaway gag where Michael and George Michael make cornballs together with a dangerous cooking device called a "Cornballer". After Michael burns himself, the narrator reveals that the Cornballer was not able to be legally sold anywhere, but George Sr. tried to market it in Mexico anyway. In season two's "Amigos!", George Sr. tries to hide out in Mexico only to be apprehended by the local police. He thinks they've mistaken him for Oscar, so he explains he's actually George. The chief replies "Si! The Cornballer!" and he and his men reveal the burn scars on their arms.
    • The second season finale has Buster using the Cornballer and rest his hand on the device. Oscar, momentarily forgetting Buster's hand is prosthetic, grabs the Cornballer with his bare hands and burns them. In the process, he burns off his fingerprints which makes it harder to prove his identity when George Sr. switches places with him and gets him arrested.
  • In a Season 2 episode of Noels House Party, the Gotcha Oscars involved footballer Garth Crooks, who believed he was doing a piece about football for a CBBC show starring Mr Blobby (this was the first appearance of Blobby, a parody kids' TV character whose central gag was that he was ridiculously impractical and cheap-looking ... before he became the star of the show). The most memorable bit of the skit was him completely failing to explain the offside rule to Mr Blobby. A few weeks later, there was a storyline in which the manager of Crinkly Bottom football team was explaining his woes to Noel. Noel pointed out he'd given the team a new coach, and the manager replied "And they love Mr Blobby. But he don't understand the offside rule." To cap it, Crooks then poked his head round the door, yelling "I've worked it out!"
  • In "Bad Blood" of The X-Files, Mulder and Scully are arguing about their differing memories of Sheriff Hartwell. Scully remembers him as flawlessly gorgeous Southern Gentleman while Mulder recalls an imbecilic buck-toothed hick. When Scully calls Mulder on this, Mulder sheepishly claims that he "had a slight overbite". Later, when the audience finally meets Hartwell for real, he does in fact have a slight overbite, but does not have buckteeth. When they first see him after returning to Texas, Scully gives Mulder an immensely snide look and taps her own front teeth. Mulder pulls a grimace and mimics buckteeth.
  • On an installment of the '90s HBO show Dennis Miller Live, while Dennis is doing his "Big Screen" segment, he shows a picture of then-Attorney General Janet Reno, saying she claims "there is no truth to the rumor that she is getting a complete head-to-toe makeover." After audience silence, he says, "All right. Sometimes I miss one. Wasn't funny. Let it go." Two pictures later comes a photo of a gorgeous supermodel. Dennis says, "And, Attorney General Janet Reno stunned the crowd when she...." When the roaring and applause die down a bit, Dennis says, "You think I'd miss it that badly? I'll always take care of you."
  • Paul Merton: The Series: in one of his comedic monologues, he explains that he lives across the street from a prison, and one of the inmates has made a tunnel to the back of his fridge, and he's kept up at night by the sound of prisoners escaping out of his fridge. In another comedic monologue several scenes later, he says that he is frequently visited by beings from outer space and tells the story of how a blob showed up on his doorstep and started telling him that it could show him things beyond his wildest imaginings before exclaiming "Blimey! You've got prisoners jumping out of your fridge!"
  • In the first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, every time Harvey and Sabrina study biology they start to say, "Mitosis is...", but the sentence isn't completed until the last episode of the season, at the last line: "Mitosis is the process of cell division."
  • Mock the Week has many examples, but this Milton Jones routine about history stands out:
    • "1896 - H. G. Wells publishes the book The Time Machine. 1897 - H.G. Wells writes the book 'The Time Machine'." Then, later, "3642AD - H.G. Wells is born!" Then, even later, "We are ten million years in the future! H.G. Wells has just got married."
  • Once Fred and Carrie from Portlandia finish their Battlestar Galactica binge, they decide to push Ronald Moore into writing another episode of the show. When they look him up in the phone book, they are vocally surprised that he (actually just another man with the name Ronald Moore) just happens to live fairly close by. It sounds like they're just Lampshade Hanging until the end of the episode where they hold a cold reading for the script of their new BSG episode, and one of the performers is "a local actor" who is actually being played by the REAL Ronald Moore.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Stoke Me A Kipper" opens with Ace Rimmer (What a guy!) bailing out of a plane with his Nazi opponent and the bad guy's pet crocodile Snappy, with only one parachute between them. Ace finally ends up with the 'chute, floats down, lands in a base with more Nazis, engages in a gun battle, rescues the local Damsel in Distress and finally zooms away on a flying motorbike. Two surviving Nazis watch him go:
    "He got away! I can't believe he got away!"
    "That was Ace Rimmer! We're lucky to be alive!"
    [Snappy falls out the sky and crushes both of them.]
  • A literal one in Lost. At the start of Season 2, Locke meets Desmond in the hatch, who asks the code phrase "What did one snowman say to the other snowman?" Locke doesn't know the answer to this, leading to this payoff at the end of the season when Desmond returns.
    Locke: So what did one snowman say to the other snowman?
    Desmond: [chuckles] "Smells like carrots."
  • In one episode of Primeval: New World, the cold open shows a coed taking part in a game of capture the flag as part of a Vancouver university's rag week. She encounters the monster of the week during this. About half an hour later in the episode, the ARC team is searching for the monster on campus, and you see a trio of coeds running by and crying out in triumph in the background, holding a giant flag.
  • One episode of The Kids in the Hall features a recurring bit set at Hotel La Rut, in which a forlorn French-Canadian woman repeatedly gives a rambling speech in which she is “thinking about Tony...” The episode ends with perky Nina from Joymakers, a party-planner helping some stiff businessmen throw a surprise birthday party for their co-workers. When the plan goes horribly awry, she looks forlorn and one of the businessmen asks her what’s wrong. She then begins the “thinking about Tony” speech.
  • Saved by the Bell had a memorable one in the second episode of season 3. The teens are working at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, and trying to plan Zack's birthday party. Every time Jessie calls to order the cake and tries to tell them what to write on it, Zack shows up, and she needs to cover the conversation. The first time she says "wrong number" and hangs up on them. The second, Zack walks in while she's spelling his name for the decorator, so she covers up by saying "C, yes our resort is by the sea!" The cake arrives at the end of the episode with "Happy Wrong Number By the Sea" written on it.
  • Kevin on Mr. Belvedere once was on the phone agreeing to go to an ethnic festival with his girlfriend. He tells her "I'll be there with bells on. (Beat) Everyone will?" At the end of the episode, Mr. Belvedere is writing in his diary when he hears clattering. He goes out to the hallway to find Kevin returning from his date.
  • On C Hi Ps, Ponch and Jon pull over a speeder (played by Rosie Grier) who then proceeds to rip apart his car. Later, it's discovered that Ponch's driver's license has expired and he has to go to traffic school to get it renewed. The first class goes well. At episode's end, guess who's been forced to take the same class. Yup, the speeder.
  • Psych has a double example in "Shawn And Gus Of the Dead". As the episode (or at least the present day part) starts, Shawn is at a motel photographing a man with a woman, apparently on a case. He gets called away to investigate a crime at the museum. While there, he visits a display he and Gus had contributed to and is shocked to see that Gus' real name (Burton Guster) has been misspelled as "Bruton Gaster". After he wraps up the case, he visits Chief Vick in her office to be told she's being dismissed as interim Chief of Police and someone else is taking over permanently. She then gets a call that the other person was involved in a scandal and had to step down so she's taking the job permanently. We then see the scandal in the newspaper. The other person turns out to be the one Shawn was photographing and the picture is credited to "Bruton Gaster".