Brick Joke: Video Games

  • In Half-Life 2, Dr. Kleiner and Barney will offhandedly mention a cat while discussing a previous teleporter experiment.Then, during the late second half of the game, during the uprising against the Combine, Barney will quip "Did you hear that?... That cat haunts me."
  • Very early in Portal 2 the Announcer discusses what to do in the event of an animal king ruling over humanity, and an accompanying video screen shows it acted out with a massive leopard-print turret wearing a crown. Then in the finale with the turret opera, you can see the animal-king turret singing in the background, every bit as massive, and even wearing the crown.
    • You can also briefly spot an unusually wide turret in an elevator early on, then see it a short while later in a hidden room next to a pair of singing turrets. Turns out it's the lead singer for the aforementioned turret opera
    • You hear a recording of Cave Johnson talking to his test subjects about the moon, the moon rocks he bought, crushed into dust and used in his experiments, how the moon rock dust he breathed in gave him cancer, and the special portal-able properties of the moon rock dust slurry he used to paint the walls of his test chambers. Much later, at the very end of the game, during the climactic boss fight against Wheatley, the facility is shaking itself to pieces. A hole opens up in the roof. Through the hole, somehow, despite being hundreds of feet underground, Chell can see...the Moon. Which is, of course, covered in the one and only substance the Portal Gun can attach portals to. There is one remaining spot of portal-able floor, directly underneath Wheatley. Hilarity ensues.
    • Every bit of dialogue in the Perpetual Testing Initiative references something from the game proper. It even has a black comedy version of it's own, where early on you are asked by a sickly boy to continue testing to help him find a cure, then (much) later Cave Prime chimes in to tell you that they had kept tabs on that universe just to find out what happened to the kid. The fact that the kid died didn't even faze Cave.
  • Tales of Graces : Asbel never gets to cleaning his desk. Ever.
    • If you use Malik's Eternal Serenade to finish off the final boss of the main arc, he will claim that that will be the last time he will use that attack. Use it again in the future arc, and Sophie will call him out on it.
  • At the beginning of The Reconstruction, Qualstio complains about the fanfare that plays when characters join the guild. Much later on, another character comments on it after joining, to the confusion of everyone else.
  • In the first level of Earthworm Jim, you launch a cow into the air. At a couple of points during play, you see that cow fly by in the background. At the very end of the game, the cow lands on Princess What's-Her-Name. The joke continues into the animated series, in which every episode ended with a cow dropping out of the sky and landing on a random person for no reason.
    • The second game features the joke as an Idle Animation; Jim throws a brick into the air, and it hits him in the head whenever he next begins to idle.
  • In the first act of The Curse of Monkey Island, Elaine is about to punch Guybrush when she finds out the engagement ring he gave her is cursed, when the curse kicks in and she turns into a gold statue. Near the end of the game, Elaine is freed of the curse and finishes punching Guybrush.
    • The Monkey Island series is full of these. Throwaway lines like "I can hold my breath for 10 minutes" can come back into play much later. We say "can" because sometimes a punchline is delivered after the player has been allowed to roam around freely.
    • Also in Curse, Guybrush sneaks aboard the Sea Monkey, but gets caught immediately. First mate Mr. Fossey says he can either walk the plank or be tarred and feathered. However, they only have enough tar to repair the ship if it gets wrecked, so Guybrush has to walk the plank. Guybrush cuts off the plank, forcing them to tar and feather him. After Guybrush wins the ship from them, he and his crew sail to Blood Island where they crash. Haggis laments that the ship's stores of tar are depleted, making it impossible to repair the ship.
  • In "Homestar Ruiner", the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, the episode begins with Strong Bad getting an email asking why he hasn't "beat the snot" out of Homestar yet. Strong Bad thinks it's a good idea, but he gets sidetracked by his plan to beat Homestar in the big Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race. In the endgame, after Homestar is knocked out of a window along with a number of other uninvited guests in Strong Bad's house, he yells "Ow, my snot!"
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, early in the game the bridge across the river is blocked by a group of women chatting about how they dislike housework. One of them comments on how she's bad at cleaning her house and wishes there was someone to do it for her. A while later - after you find your Loftwing, race in the Wing Ceremony, fly with Zelda, wake up after she falls into the tornado, find Fi and get the Goddess Sword, you're finally able to go across the bridge, and if you go in her house you'll find that it's completely covered in dust and spiderwebs. Much later in the game, you finally get an item that is able to blow the dust out, so you do actually clean the house for her.
  • EarthBound has too many to count. For instance, early on in the game, you meet Orange Kid who asks you to invest $50.00 in his inventions. All you get if you do it is a worthless music box that breaks after you use it. But after you defeat Giygas, Orange Kid calls and says that someone invested millions in him, and makes fun of you if you didn't.
  • Near the beginning of the storyline of AdventureQuest Worlds, a skeletal minion by the name of Chuckles is one of the very first victims of the Big Bad, Drakath. The player base, who rather liked the little guy, launched a "Save Chuckles" campaign that ultimately succeeded in bringing back his skull. Two years and eight Chaos Lords later, Chuckles returns in a manner most awesome during the Doomwood saga. At the end of the Shadowfall War, just when things are looking grim for Empress Gravelyn and the heroes, Chuckles, who is revealed to have been Gravelyn's very first creation, knocks Noxus right off the Shadowscythe throne and frees Gravelyn, who promptly takes back control of her undead army from him so that the heroes can kick Noxus' ass. And in the aftermath of Noxus' defeat, Gravelyn gives Chuckles a promotion — by switching his skull with that of Noxus!
  • Sonic Generations has Silver throwing cars at you for him being a moron because of him thinking you're an impostor. At the end, the cars he threw at you land on him when he's defeated.
  • At the beginning of the Team Fortress 2 short "Meet the Medic", Medic finds his dove Archimedes digging around inside Heavy while he is operating on him. At the end of the short, after Medic operates on Scout and gives him his new heart, we find out the dove got stuck inside him.
    Scout: Oh man, you would not believe... how much this hurts!
    [a bird's cooing sound emits from the Scout's chest]
    Medic: ...Archimedes?
    • This itself was the punchline of another brick joke, where the week when the Medic update started, Scouts would randomly have doves fly out of them if they get gibbed with no explanation.
    • In what can be considered a ludicrously long-planned brick joke, there were raid boss strings added during the first halloween update, followed not long after by strings that gave items RPG-like stat bonuses, and references to Robots during the Mannconomy Update. Initially, these were added in the updates because people could figure out what a future update would be by simply reading the strings, which were named in reference to what they were (like weapon names or stats). Most people forgot about these until, years later, these were implemented in the Mann Vs Machine Update (which featured robots, upgradable weapons, and full-on Raid Bosses).
  • Mass Effect:
    • In the Upper Wards Market in the first game, there's a human talking to a turian shopkeeper about a refund. The turian repeatedly refuses to grant the refund on grounds that the customer doesn't have a proof of purchase. Later on in the second game he's outside a warehouse, still asking for his refund and still not getting it. After 5 years and 3 games Shepard finally has the choice to finish the guy's quest once and for all. It turns out it was for a toaster that cost 15 credits...
    • In the second game, Mordin has a throwaway line about how the cyanide pills hidden in teeth apparently issued to Cerberus agents are inefficient, with "ocular nerve flashbangs" being more effective at preventing a captured agent from being interrogated. Cut to the Alliance attempting to interrogate a captured Cerberus agent in the third game...
    • Traynor's toothbrush in the third game. It's introduced as an astonishing waste of money that costs 6000 credits and uses tiny, extremely precise mass effect fields to break up plaque. During Priority: Citadel II, as you're fighting through the C-Sec building, you can find a datapad indicating that they're being used to smuggle mass effect fields used in manufacturing illicit Talon pistols. Then, in the Citadel DLC, you find that Traynor was thrown off the ship with barely enough time to grab her toothbrush, and in order to get onto the Normandy before it's stolen, you need to open an access hatch that's designed to be opened from the other side, requiring an extremely precise mass effect field... cue Traynor holding up her toothbrush and activating it, lightsaber-style, with a "this is it, my life cannot get any weirder" expression on her face.
    Shepard: If you told me this morning a toothbrush was going to save the Normandy, I would have been very skeptical.
    • Citadel involves a chain of brick jokes. While talking to the squad between missions, James Vega will complain about the lack of food in the apartment. As Shepard is marching off to prepare to storm the Citadel Archives, s/he bumps into a volus holding a pizza box. Upon Shepard's inquiry, James informs him/her that he got the munchies. During the mission proper, Glyph will inform James that the volus is calling to demand payment, prompting James to complain about the pepperoni being burnt.
  • Maniac Mansion in the kitchen, there's a chainsaw, but the programmers never got around to programming in the gasoline can it needs. The gasoline can shows up on the planet Mars in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, a Spiritual Successor game which was also created by LucasArts.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the City Guards' random lines is "No lollygagging." During the quest "No One Escapes From Cidhna Mine", you meet an imprisoned orc named Borkul the Beast. He's in jail for "Murder, Banditry, Assault, Theft, and Lollygagging."
  • Combined with inverted Chekhov's News in Tachyon: The Fringe. The combat portion of the Justified Tutorial consists of you fighting off a group of target drones that went haywire while you were evaluating a novice flight instructor. A news item later in the game reveals that the instructor went on to save the lives of her students when the same thing happened again.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Sylvia tempts Travis into rejoining the ranked fights with the promise of sex, telling him she's an expert in yoga positions. Travis's first thought was ", downward dog?" Late in the game, the two finally resolve their UST, and after the earth shaking, sign-destroying sex, Travis charges out of his apartment and screams for all to hear, DOWNWARD FUCKING DOG!!!
  • Spider-Man 2 has over a hundred Hint Markers (some not even Hints, but random trivia or possible adlibbing from Bruce Campbell), one of them says that, after every last one is collected, every marker will say "something different". Once you do... They all literally say "Something Different".
  • Golden Sun has one heck of a Brick Joke. Near the beginning of the first game, after Isaac and Garet retrieve the Mars Star just before Mount Aleph erupts, the Wise One asks Isaac to hold it out so that he can cast some sort of psynergy on it. What he had actually done was infuse Isaac and Garet with a little bit of the power of the Mars Star; thus, at the end of the second game, when they ignite the beacon atop the Mars Lighthouse, not all of its power goes into the creation of the Golden Sun. It's quite a rude awakening for Alex...
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has a few.
    • The game begins with Karis telling Tyrell that Mars Adepts can't fly. Roughly two-thirds of the way through the game, you get a party member whose signature ability is Mars-based Not Quite Flight. Karis's reaction isn't shown.
    • Amiti, upon joining the party, is told to Please Put Some Clothes On. He wonders aloud if his current attire is distracting, but is told that they're going to the mountains and it will be cold there, which sounds like a flimsy excuse at the time. Then you end up in snowy mountain village Te Rya, and sure enough, Amiti complains about the cold.
      • And even later on, when you rescue Eoleo, he takes one look at Amiti and remarks that it's the first time he's seen an Ayuthayan "wearing real clothes".
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the second tutorial boss is the Junior Shrooboid, who is green. Later in the game, the Elder Shrooboid, who is red, shows up as the last boss before the final boss rush. Unless you realize the series's running gag with green being younger than red, you're not going to realize that the Elder Shrooboid will exist, and you'll slowly start forgetting about this throughout the game, as most of the game is in between these two bosses.
  • In Half-Life, the player can make a quick stop on the way to their HEV suit to go into a kitchen, play with a microwave and blow up whatever was inside. Three games later in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, almost ten years later real-life time, Arne Magnusson tells the player that he might forgive them for the Black Mesa incident..."involving a certain microwave casserole."
    • Early in Half-Life 2, mention is made of a cat that was used in a teleport test; all we're told is that Barney still has nightmares about it. One in-game week later, Barney will stop in the middle of the rebellion to ask you "did you hear a cat just now? That damn thing haunts me!"
      • Also in Half-Life 1 a common phrase by the guards is "Catch me later I'll buy you a beer". Later in Half-Life 2 you meet a former guard named Barney and the first thing he says to you is "About that beer I owed you."
  • In Persona 4, when the crew first enters the TV world, Yosuke nearly wets his pants in the Ominous Bedroom. During the normal ending, when Teddie is trying to find Adachi, he comments that he "smells something funny" coming from that room.
    • In the same game, Nanako believes that the weather forecasters control the weather. In the Updated Re-release, Marie becomes a weather forecaster who actually controls the weather.
    • In one instance, Yukiko jokingly says that Teddie wearing a cape will look very silly. Then comes the sequel, with Teddie actually Shadow Labrys makes his entrance with outfit that is better described as M. Bison inspired, Yukiko bursts out laughing.
  • Case 2 of Ben Jordan has a prospector lend Ben his car, which proceeds to get destroyed. When the case ends, the prospector asks "Has anyone seen my car?". Cue Oh Crap!.
  • In Freedom Wars, Carlos gets two: when you first meet him, he rags on you for having apparently pilfered his glasses. Later, when rumor spreads through the Panopticon of a mole for a rival PT, he makes an offhanded remark about being a spy. Both times, he was brushed off by other Sinners for being a Jerk Ass as usual, only for Carlos to finally get his glasses back when he reveals that he's actually a spy from On High.
  • In the Borderlands 2 side-quest "Getting to Know Jack", you track down a series of audio logs detailing Handsome Jack's rise to power as CEO of Hyperion Corporation. In one of these, he strangles an underling for bringing up Jack's late wife, and makes a note to his lackey Mr. Blake on the difference between choking and strangling. In the last audio log, the then-president of Hyperion claims to be unafraid of Jack's blackmail attempts, to which Handsome Jack responds "Maybe you could clear something up for me... do you know the difference between choking and strangulation?"
  • The ZX Spectrum game Ricochet has a ridiculously long scroller which is notorious for a joke about a yellow brick. Click the link to read it in an online emulator (requires a Java-enabled browser).
  • In Deadly Premonition, the event that foreshadows the identity of the Big Bad is styled like one.
  • In Shin Super Robot Wars, Boss is about the only one whose machine wasn't somehow handed down by the family, but Kouji observes that the Boss Borot is mainly just in the way. Boss takes umbrage at this, but with his lackeys in tow he plans to one day build the Boss Borot into one hell of a machine. Later on, Mucha shows up piloting the Borot, claiming that he's taken it without telling Boss, entitled by all the hard work he put in. He's not too worried about reprisals from Boz, who is unlikely to be able to follow all the way to space, and has even installed a Map Weapon! It also turns out that the Boss Borot's map weapon, though powerful, is totally impossible to aim.
  • In one scene of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a commercial in the bar will say about a possible new report that zerglings are fatally allergic to lemon juice. Come Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, the swarm's genetic database Abathur can make an off-handed comment about "Solving Zergling lemon juice allergy".
  • In Escape from Butcher Bay, Riddick goes into Pigsville (the guards' living quarters) through an entry point in the shower room. Later in the game you can overhear two guards complaining that the showers are closed because of this.
  • In Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, on Level 13, you shoot a sheep into outer space with a cannon. After Level 14, Marvin the Martian arrives to complain that a flying sheep broke his water tank.
  • In Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma, Kagura's match intro has him flirting with a random girl, then when he notices the opposing character, he tosses the girl into the air and begins the fight. A bit funny, yes? Gets better. If he wins the match, he outstretches his arms and the girl lands in them. If he loses, the girl clumsily lands on him. Now, that is funny.
    • Oh yeah, GOLDEN TAGER X. Both seen in Tager's gag reels and as Kokonoe's Over-Distort
  • In Broken Sword, most players leave the faucet on in the basement in Ireland. When George recounts his experiences to Nico, he mentions having to help bail out the basement because "Some idiot left the faucet on."
  • World of Warcraft has several:
    • After you give the quest to Johnny Awesome, you find his Celestial Steed dead.
    • Kingslayer Orkus. You give him the quest, and an NPC wonders if he'll drown. Sure enough you will find him drowning in shallow water.
    • In Thousand Needles, you rescue pridelings from someone who had captured them. they follow you around for a little while because you rescued them, but then they leave. At the end of the story arc, you confront the Jerk Ass who captured the pridelings. Once he's lowered to enoguh health, the pridelings reappear, swarm him, carry him over a cliff, and then drop him.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, soon after passing through the Dark Portal, you encounter Kargath Bladefist, who traps you and your party in an arena and tasks you with killing one hundred of his minions. But you only kill 99 of them before Khadgar leads your party out into the next area. (Khadgar's response: "Then I guess we owe you one.") Ten levels later, in Highmaul, you enter another arena, and Kargath Bladefist is back (and he is angry that you cheated him out of a fight). Then when you defeat him, his last words are "One... hundred."
  • The House of the Dead: OVERKILL: Washington calls G "Agent Gwendolyn" at the beginning of the "Carny" chapter; G doesn't protest until two chapters later after being kicked awake.
  • Virtue's Last Reward has many, most of them subtle in-jokes.
    • The most obvious one being Phi's "man" speech at the start of the game. Not only does she repeat it right at the end of the game in the "another time" branch to "Kyle", but she also uses the punchline, "I am no man", at another time in the middle of the game in response to Dio's words.
    • There's also when Phi jokes to Sigma in one of the timelines about him seeing her in a swimsuit, just before they're all killed by a bomb. In another timeline, Sigma recalls information from this timeline, and brings up Phi's "promise" of swimsuit "action". This is also a brick joke to one of the hidden files, which is labled "swimsuit" and mentions how "Sigma, or the author, seems to be unusually obsessed with swimsuits".
    • A lot of the jokes and throw-away lines come back to gain significance later on. One of the jokes right at the start of the game involves the word "grandpa", which goes on to gain significance with the game's final, and most major plot twist: the fact that Sigma is actually 67 years old.
  • At the start of the first chapter of Mother 3, the doorknob on the front door of Flint's house comes off when Thomas tries to open it. He pockets it, only to later remark that he lost it if you talk to him. From then on, random NPCs throughout the story will mention having seen it if you talk to them, though doesn't it actually show up until the very last dungeon of the game, where it ends up falling off a cliff when you try to pick it up. You finally manage to reclaim it in the game's ending, when it inexplicably turns up in the darkness you're left wandering prior to the credits roll.
  • In Lego City Undercover, after you finish the Special Assignment "Smash 'N' Grab", one of Forrest Blackwell's sentinels is assigned to get after Chase on a tricycle. At the end of the cutscene after the final Assignment, he's just about to reach Chase... but the iris out beats him to it.
  • In A Witchs Tale, Babayaga hits Liddell on the head early on. At the end of the first playthrough it turns out that this caused her to dream the whole adventure.
  • Though not employing a literal brick, this example explores the consequences of what one might expect a brick to do when thrown into the air. The first Quest for Glory foreshadows the Antwerp as a fearsome monster, but when encountered by the player this creature appears to be a harmless, perpetually bouncing blob with a head. If the character tries to attack the creature, it will bounce away into the sky... only to appear later, after the player has moved to another screen, to instantly crush the character to death.
  • In Commander Keen V: The Armageddon Machine, there is a secret level late in the game called the Korath III Base. It can be completed via an elaborate series of platform puzzles, however near the start of the level there is also a hidden fuse. If the player breaks this fuse, the level immediately ends, and Keen says "I wonder what that fuse was for...". Later, at the end of the game, after defeating the final boss, some text appears describing the aftermath of the game. If the player broke the fuse, then instead of describing how the Shikadi escaped back to their own galaxy, the text reads: "Due to a freak fuse malfunction, they cannot take off and are arrested by the Korath III police for double-parking."
  • Grand Theft Auto III has an example on Chatterbox. A man calls in to talk about eating wildlife. At one point, he specifies eating pigeons saying "Sometimes, they come with little notes attached." Later, a woman calls into the station to promote her group which has been organized to ban phones from Liberty City. When Lazlow points out the irony of her using a phone to promote her anti-phone group, she mentions that they tried using carrier pigeons but they keep disappearing.
  • The second episode of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, season two, has the duo trying to prevent Easter Island from being destroyed by a volcano. They do this by getting the Bermuda Triangle (I know) to stop in front of the volcano and let lava flow into it. After the closing credits of the fifth episode, the Soda Poppers stand on an island in the middle of a lava flow swearing revenge, saying they will return. Immediately, the Bermuda Triangle reappears and dowses them with lava.