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Bait-and-Switch Comparison
"It might seem like a stretch to link My Little Pony to Hellblazer, given that one is a strange, often horrifying look at a world of constant betrayal, strange magic and a world constantly teetering on the brink of annihilation, while the other is about John Constantine, but I stand by it."

A Bait and Switch Comparison is often used to deliver a Take That. The basic setup of the joke is to make a comparison between two things and imply that certain properties are associated with one thing, then assign them to the other. It goes something like this: "What's the difference between X and Y? One's X-like... and the other's X." The insult can be aimed at either entity, depending on whether "X-like" is positive or negative with regards to Y.

Related to My Friends... and Zoidberg, in terms of messing with the mental categorization of items based on their description. When there's no question of which entity is being insulted but the insultee assumes it's someone else, that's Insult Misfire.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comics 
  • A picture going around, around the time of Civil War, featuring a fight between Iron Man and Dr. Doom, summed it thus: One is a fascist with a twisted code of honor in a suit of armor. The other is Dr. Doom.
  • In Irredeemable, Modeus has managed to obtain the comatose Scylla. While thinking about Charybdis (now called Survivor) and Scylla, he notes that "one is a brain-dead moron. The other stands before me."
  • Fantastic Four: Human Torch, Invisible Woman, and The Thing are fighting a horrifying monster. The following exchange occurs:
    Human Torch: It's horrible! Make it invisible! Make it invisible!
    Invisible Woman: Then how's Bennote  supposed to hit it?
    Human Torch: I was talking about Ben.
    Thing: Why you little...wait, that was a good one.
  • Used as a comeback by Alex "Spaceman" Glushko (a telepatic cop) against Larry "Frenzy" Fischmann (a shark in human form and lawyer) in Top 10
    Glushko: That's pretty rich coming from a predatory species that hasn't evolved in millions of years.
    Fischmann: Of course we've evolved! That is one of the many uninformed misconceptions people have about sharks.
    Glushko: I wasn't talking about sharks.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police uses this gag in the "On the Road" story arc.
    Sam: Don't you love stopping for breakfast when you're on the road? I do...and so does my hairy little friend. And Max does, too.
  • In a Go, Granny, Go strip, where Granny took her car out, a pair of elderly gentlemen passed approving comments.
    Man 1: Beautiful chassis.
    Man 2: Lovely body.
    Man 1: And the car isn't bad, either.

    Fan Fic 
  • In the The Lord of the Rings fanfic "Nine Men And A Little Lady", a Mary Sue has inserted herself into the Fellowship, and the journey is told entirely through journal entries by other characters remarking on her presence (and expressing considerable concern over things like her variable hair and eye color and constantly-changing backstory). Galadriel makes an entry when they leave Lothlórien:
    Today, the Fellowship moves on. A great evil passes from my domain, and a vast dank shadow lifts from the hearts of my people.
    Oh, and the One Ring is leaving, too.
  • From Kingdom Hearts The Short And Honest Version:
    They arrive at HALLOWEEN TOWN, which looks similar Camden, New Jersey. The only difference is that one is a terrifying land made up of nightmares and horrors beyond imagination, and the other is HALLOWEEN TOWN.
  • A Kingdom Hearts fanfic has Even saying "...they're perfect for each other. One's a facist, single minded zealot and the other's a blond" in regards to Ansem/Eraqus.
  • In Swinging Pendulum:
    [Ichigo] knew from experience that Rangiku was harder to deter than a bulldozer...Then again, that might not be a good comparison. After all, he could cut a bulldozer in half with one swing of his sword.

    Films - Animated 
  • In Frozen, upon meeting the main cast, Olaf asks who the "funky-looking donkey" is. Anna assumes he means Sven, the reindeer, only for Olaf to then ask who the reindeer is. Since Anna answered "Sven" to both questions, Olaf refers to both Sven and Kristoff as Sven for most of the movie.
  • Ice Age: Manny tells Sid "The sooner we find the humans, the sooner I get to say goodbye to mister stinky-droolface. And the baby, too."
  • Used in Igor when the king goes on a talk show.
    "Tonight we have a very special guest, someone we all love and respect. But first, King Malbert."
  • Tangled: "Rapunzel, look in that mirror. You know what I see? I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady. *beat* Oh, look, you're here, too."

    Films - Live Action 
  • The Joker in Batman, after kidnapping Vicki Vale: "As though we were made for each other... Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out."
  • In Casanova, Francesca Bruni sets a trap for Casanova by inserting a line in a Bernardo Guardi pamphlet about how a pig is the best pet for a man who actually respects women. When Casanova promptly shows up at Francesca's house with a pig, the maid meets him at the door, and says:
    "My mistress says the pig may not come in. The animal, however, she'll take." [takes the pig, and slams the door]
  • Scary Movie 4 had a scene where Brenda (in the middle of an alien invasion) shows Cindy a video of what Detroit looks like. It's on fire, there are sounds of screaming, random gunfire, explosions... And then she shows what Detroit looks like now, revealing the only thing different was that there were Alien Tripods in there.

    Literature 
  • From The Discworld Companion entry on The Fools' Guild:
    It is strange but instructive to contrast the Guild with the Assassins' Guild next door. One is a pleasant, airy building, whose corridors echo with the laughter of students and hum with quiet activity of people working hard in a job they love - the other is gaunt, forbidding and silent except for the occasional muffled sob. One leaves its gates open most of the time and its graduates are considered to brighten up any party - the other operates its wretched craft behind locked doors and its members are regarded with disdain by right-thinking people. One turns out people who, admittedly, must in the course of their duties, sometimes stab, poison or otherwise inhume their patients - but at least they never ask them to believe that pouring whitewash down someone's trousers is funny.
    • In Unseen Academicals Glenda uses a variant, saying that football is "like war, but without the kindness and consideration!"
  • Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller was victim of an Evil Lawyer Joke based on this trope.

    Live Action TV 
  • David Letterman has been saying variations of the following recently, regarding Sarah Palin going on The Oprah Winfrey Show to plug her memoir:
    "It'll be great, there'll be a woman who is qualified to be President... and Sarah Palin will be there too."
  • Firefly had Simon and Kaylee in a room observing an "alien" (actually a mutated cow fetus) in a jar as part of a sideshow. When Kaylee storms off, Wash enters and remarks "Oh my God, it's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar."
  • Jon Stewart on The Daily Show loves this trope:
    • During the ANCHOR WAR! between Stewart and Mad Money host Jim Cramer:
    Jon Stewart: A battle between a man who makes people laugh for a living, and whatever people think I do.
    • At one point, he tried to help Republicans come up with some better zingers:
    Jon Stewart: What's the difference between President Obama and the New York Times? One's black and white and full of lies, and the other's a publication I've never read.
    • Talking about the Tea Party Republican debate:
    Jon Stewart: A fringe, often derided, incompetent bunch of yahoos was finally granted legitimacy by pairing with the Tea Party.
    • Talking about a fundraiser with George Clooney and Barack Obama:
    Jon Stewart: The most powerful man in the free world, having Barack Obama over to his house for a fundraiser.
    Jon Stewart: The most influential person in America, and Barack Obama in THE SAME ROOM!
    • Imagining a confrontation between notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Speaker of the House John Boehner:
    Jon Stewart: "Well, pleased to meet you, I'm the head of one of the notorious, corrupt, and vile institutions in all of North America." ... "Oh, well, it's nice to meet you too, I'm El Chapo."
  • Craig Ferguson of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson loves this trope, and uses it at least once a week (usually more, actually) in his monologues. He Lampshaded this himself on the September 7th, 2009 show. He also does a variant in the beginning of most of his monologues as he's "welcoming" the viewers:
    Craig: Welcome, welcome. Sit back, let down your long, luscious blond locks... You too, ladies!
    • "James Cameron, who directed Avatar, is in a feud with Glenn Beck, because Cameron called him a madman. The two are very different. One makes millions creating fictional stories, and the other is James Cameron."
  • Conan O Brien also makes frequent use of this trope:
    Conan: Well, Paris Hilton is visiting Venice this week. The crumbling, polluted system of canals that has been used by everyone... is visiting Venice.
    • He also pulled a rare lighthearted variant when it was revealed that Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey would meet, cracking that the most influential and most powerful black person in the world was going to meet Barack Obama.
  • Bill Maher is another who enjoys making use of this trope.
    Bill: Not that I'm comparing Dick Cheney to the Geico lizard. One's a scaly, cold-blooded reptile, and the other is the Geico lizard.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has an exchange where Derek asks John why the two women (Cameron and Sarah) were sent into a dangerous situation instead of the men. John responds, "...and one of the girls is harder than nuclear nails." Derek adds, "...and the other is a cyborg."
  • In Knightmare, Cedric, a monk, is trading insults with Folly, a jester, and his final one is:
    Cedric: When the joker is no longer funny, when his jokes can't earn him any money, when wit deserts the stupid clod— I'll send HIM here, to do YOUR job!
  • In Spaced:
    Duane: You know what they say about love and war.
    Tim: Yes, one involves a lot of physical and psychological pain, and the other one's war.
  • Will and Grace, concerning Karen and Jack dog-sitting:
    Will: I feel good about this, leaving our puppy with Cruella De Vil... and Karen.
  • Wings: Helen, regarding Roy's Russian mail order bride.
    Helen: Could you imagine your only two choices in life being Roy and Siberia? One is cold, vast, and depressing, and the other is way the hell in Russia.
    • In another episode, several of the group have tried out for a local play, and Antonio is telling the others what their roles will be.
      Antonio: Roy, you are an overbearing, pompous windbag.
      Roy: Sounds like a great character! (he walks away)
      Antonio [to the others]: That isn't his character. I've just always wanted to say that to him.
  • On 50 to 01: Greatest Movie Quotes, Bert Newton introduces the line "At my signal, unleash Hell," by saying "Russell Crowe is a violent barbarian looking for a fight. Also, he's in Gladiator."
  • The American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? has a variation that's become a running gag. Example, taken from a Weird Newscasters game:
    Drew: Ryan Stiles, you're the weatherman, and you're desperately trying to convince everyone that you're not gay.
    Ryan: Yeah, but what am I in this sketch?
    • Or another example:
    Drew: Wayne, you're a Jamaican love god.
    Wayne: I know that. What's my actual role?
    • One more:
    Drew: Greg, you're the co-anchor. You're going to do "a goofy white guy desperately trying to act 'street'."
    Greg: But I need a character!
  • From Friends, Chandler is afraid he will end up like his parents:
    Chandler: ...I could grow up to be a middle-aged divorcee chasing around twenty-year old boys... or I could become my mom.
  • From the opening monologue of the 2010 Academy Awards:
    Steve Martin: Over here, we have the Inglourious Basterds section.
    Alec Baldwin: And over here, we have the people who made the movie.
  • During the goldfish-memory test on Mythbusters:
    Narrator: So the guys want to train goldfish to swim through a maze! If they do it, they'll prove they're smarter than we think. The goldfish will look clever, too!
  • A variation from the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", when Captain Jack Harkness first enters the TARDIS:
    Jack Harkness: Hmm, Bigger on the Inside.
    Doctor: Yeah, you'd better be.
    • And done the usual way in the 2010 Christmas special:
    Amy Pond, to the Doctor standing next to a snowman he made: You know, that could almost be mistaken for a real person... snowman isn't bad, either.
    • Part of the description for series 6, part 2:
    Venturing across centuries and galaxies, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory will encounter the greatest war criminal in all of history - and Hitler.
    • In the God Complex, the Minotaur's final words.
    The Doctor: (translating) An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocent. Drifting in space through an endless shifting maze. To such a creature, death would be a gift.
    The Doctor: Then accept it.
    The Doctor: (translating) I wasn't talking about myself.
    • Another serious example from "A Good Man Goes to War":
    The Doctor: (at the end of a rage-filled speech) Look, I'm angry. That's new. I'm really not sure what's going to happen now.
    The Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
    Amy: "He's the last of his kind. He looks young, but he's lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you you will never be alone. Because this man is your father. He has a name, but the people of our world know him better...as the Last Centurion."
  • During a "Things A Rugby Commentator Would Never Say" round of Mock the Week
    Hugh Dennis: And it's England vs. Samoa. A team of rank amateurs, against Samoa.
  • In That '70s Show when Jackie's father tells her that if she doesn't break up with Kelso, he will cut her allowance:
    Jackie: (to Kelso) How do I choose between something that makes my whole life complete... and you?
    • For the record, she chooses him.
  • Incredibly common on Have I Got News for You, though how funny it is can vary with how well the guest presenter actually reads it. It's such a mainstay that the audience will often see it coming before the presenter gets to the punchline.
  • The reaction of the bullies in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide to having to play dodgeball against Ned and Moze: "One of them's a girl!" "And one of them's Mosely!"
  • On The King of Queens, the trope is lampshaded often in the episode "Awed Couple";
    To Friends! Not the show, but that too!
    To Us! Not the magazine, but that too!
    • And in a deleted scene:
    To Pedophiles! Not the blog, but that too!
  • From Saturday Night Live:
    Sean Connery: What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck... I can't remember how it ends but your mother's a whore.
    • Also:
    Jimmy Fallon: Earlier this week, it was announced that Elton John would be performing a duet with Eminem at the Grammies. When asked about performing with the obviously gay musician, Elton John said he didn't have a problem with it.
  • Scrubs:
    Dr. Cox: Oh, look, it's the newlyweds [JD and Turk]. And, hey, Carla [Turk's wife].
  • A Mash episode opens with Hawkeye narrating a letter to his dad:
    Hawkeye: Korea's pretty much the same story. The fighting goes on. The hatred, the violence, the senseless brutality, men behaving like animals. Then, of course, there's the war.
  • Ricky Gervais on getting Robert De Niro to guest star in Extras: "It was amazing. One of the greatest actors of all time and Robert DeNiro in the same show".
  • In Dog With A Blog the family is discussing what to do about Ellen's new pet parrot:
    Dad: What do we do?
    Stan: Don't look at me, you're the one who brought that screeching beast in here. Then you let her get a bird.
  • An episode of Top Gear gives us this narration that quips, as always, on Hammond's height, during a challenge where they have to load large items into vans they have bought:
    Jeremy Clarkson: Richard did have a size problem, and his van was pretty small as well.
  • Subverted on Gadget Man;
    Richard Ayoade: Taking children to the playground is always a stressful affair, ending with crying, screaming and fights breaking out. And that's just the children! Or possibly the parents, I'm not really sure how that sort of joke is supposed to work.
  • Married... with Children: In the end of two-part episode "Requiem For a Chevyweight", Al told his Dodge he "never loved that flashy red hussy. Or the new car either".
  • A variant from Shaun Micallefs Mad As Hell: Shaun brings up a report stating that Tony Abbott has been speaking 100 words a minute slower than before the last election, and comparing his speech to that of a puppet.
    Shaun: Is our nation's leader really like a slow talking marionette? Let's have a comparison.
    (Cut to a clip of incoherent rambling from Mortimer Snerd, taken from what appears to be Fun and Fancy Free. Cut back to Shaun.)
    Shaun: Well, that footage was from before the election, and I do have to say that Mr. Abbott was a little difficult to understand, even back then.

    Magazines 
  • In the MAD parody of Constantine, Constantine tells his love interest, a cop, that a romance between them would never work out. It goes something like: "We come from different worlds! One is full of sin and corruption, and in the other, I'm busy fighting Satan!"

    Music 
  • "Greg! The Stop Sign!" by TISM contains the lines:
    The rich kid becomes a junkie,
    The poor kid an advertiser.
    What a tragic waste of potential...
    And being a junkie's not so good, either.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic, from the December 1998 edition of "Ask Al":
    Stacy of Louisville, Ky asks: Do you like Barenaked Ladies?
    Yes, very much. And I'm a big fan of the band, too.
  • Seen on YouTube:
    "I'm just tired of people comparing Tom Waits with the Devil. I mean, he is a bad ass but he is not Tom Waits."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the WWE, during a feud with Stephanie McMahon, Chris Jericho said to her and Rhyno that he was going take care of that "Filthy, disgusting animal," then saying "And I'm gonna get you too, Rhyno!"
  • The Rock did this when it was announced that he'd be facing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 15.
    "In one corner, you'll have the toughest S.O.B. ever to lace up a pair of boots and get into the squared circle. And in the other, you'll have...'Stone Cold' Steve Austin."
    • The Rock would do this again in the lead up to his rematch with Hulk Hogan at No Way Out 2003.
    "On one side of the ring you got the biggest superstar ever to step inside the ring....and in the other corner, Hulk Hogan."

    Radio 
  • In a 2011 episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, Jack Dee mentioned that both The Goodies and Radio 4's consumer show You And Yours celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2010. "One bringing mirth and hilarity to the nation, the other being about three blokes on a bike." (Both Graeme and Tim from The Goodies are Clue regulars).
    • And a few episodes later he introduced the letter-writing round with "David Cameron recently wrote a letter to the president of the Ivory Coast. He refuses to admit he didn't win the election, is clinging desperately to power, and is rapidly losing touch with reality. And now he's writing letters to African presidents."
    • A popular gag on the show; a much earlier one that isn't really a Take That at either entity, but is just amusingly surreal:
    Humphrey Lyttelton: In the 19th century the docks became central to Bristol's industrialisation, and two great momuments to this period remain today: Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the SS Great Britain. With its mighty stone-block towers and steel-rope construction, it's little wonder the ship sank on her maiden voyage. After she was hit by a huge paddlewheel which fell off the bridge.
    • Introducing Stephen Fry's first appearance, Humph said "On this week's show we have a complete novice, who knows nothing about the games we play ... Tim Brooke-Taylor."
    • Jack Dee again, describing Nottingham: "Nottingham's twin towns include Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. During a goodwill visit in July 1991 the twinning panel became trapped in a small hotel, pinned down by small arms fire. The terrified Slovenians said they wished they'd never come here."
  • When then President-elect Barack Obama visited the White House in January 2009, Peter Sagal opened that week's broadcast of Wait Wait Dont Tell Me by saying something like: "Right now, in the White House, there is a man who some people think is still not ready for the responsibilities of his position. [Beat] But he's leaving office in a couple days, so we're not worried."
  • A 1980s episode of The News Quiz describing Margaret Thatcher bringing democracy to Czechoslovakia: "She told the Czech president that all that was required was to dismantle the old, lumbering bureaucracy. He agreed that Czechoslovakia had the same problem."
    • More recently on The News Quiz: "Those who abuse others on social networking sites are called trolls, not to be confused with the mythical creature. One is short-tempered, idiotic, and ugly, and the other is fictional."
  • From The Unbelievable Truth:
    David Mitchell: After losing a bet to Tony Hawks, Arthur stood naked in Balham High Road and sang the national anthem of the People's Republic of Moldova. An impoverished region, the regular scene of civil unrest, Balham is in South London near Clapham.
  • The Now Show on Scotland's options if it gets independence and doesn't have a currency union with the rest of the UK:
    Steve Punt: Suggestions have included bitcoin and the Euro, both of which are risky. One is a made-up currency which no-one really understands and has no real value...
    Audience: Anticipatory laughter
    Steve Punt: ...and the other is a Dead Ringers punchline.

    Video Games 
  • In Mass Effect 3, Specialist Traynor comes up with a joke comparing Shepard to a Krogan. Shepard can finish the joke for her.
    Traynor: One is an unstoppable force of headbutting destruction...
    Shepard: (I get it. That's me.) ...and the other doesn't have a smartass communications officer to keep him/her in line.
    Traynor: Ooh, that's better than the number-of-testicles punchline.
    • In Mass Effect 2, after EDI takes over more functions in the Normandy after the Collector raid on the ship, Shepard can admonish Joker for slacking.
      Shepard: What am I looking at here, a 90/10 split? And that's being generous.
      Joker: Commander, don't be unfair. She does way more than that.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, during a cutscene where Packie McReary's sister is talking to Niko Bellic and Packie wards her off. She says he surely knows the difference between talking and casual sex.
    Packie: Yeah, one leaves you feeling empty and alone, and the other's casual sex.
  • On one of the 'K-Chat' radio interviews in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, football star BJ Smith explains to Amy (the DJ) the difference between baseball and football:
    BJ: Football and baseball aren't the same. In one of them, you get bored doing a 5-hour game, you touch yourself a lot, and start a massive brawl with players who are degenerates, ego-maniacs, and criminals. The other's football.
  • In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, a Support conversation between Wallace and Vaida (who rides a grey wyvern) incites a rivalry between them, where they show off to each other, prompting a disdainful comment from Wallace:
    Wallace: Well, all I saw was a big lump of grey flesh flitting about in the sky and belching on occasion! And your wyvern wasn't much better!
  • Banjo-Kazooie
    Banjo: Which prize should we take Kazooie?
    Kazooie: Err... How about that ugly grotty thing?
    Banjo: I think we should take Tooty...
    Kazooie: Thats's what I meant!
  • In the first episode of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, the narrator comments that "Max can teleport himself and his longtime companion...and also Sam."
    • Possibly done as a Mythology Gag to the comics, as mentioned above.
  • League of Legends: before the rework that buffed Sejuani, any thread lamenting her uselessness inevitably contained the suggestion that she was a pig... on a boar.

    Webcomics 
  • Dominic Deegan:
    What's the difference between a catfish and Callanian? One's a scum-sucking bottom feeder and the other's just a fish.
    • What makes this really interesting is that Donovan, the one making the joke, is himself a Callanian. He was trying to win over an extremely anti-Callanian Orc Chief holding him captive. It worked
  • Done in this Melonpool strip, when Ralph Zinobop tried to get his comic strip published - first by the newspaper syndicate, and later by the mafia syndicate.
    Guess what I learned today? The mafia syndicate is different than the newspaper syndicate. One extorts money from people, often using entertainers for their nefarious purposes! All the grunt work is done by lackeys with no real power and somebody has to die before new people can join! And the other one's the mafia.
  • The Wotch: "I get to look forward to two fantastic monthly events now. One of which turns me into a vicious monster, and the other into a were-cat." (link)
  • At the conclusion of "Tankard of Trouble" in The Gods Of Arr Kelaan, Ronson makes such a comparison.
  • In Fans!, Rikk Oberf once described the two women in his life, Ally and (world-class martial artist) Rumi, like this: "One of them is one of the most amazing fighters I've ever seen, and the other one is Rumiko Tanaka Oberf!" Note that he's not dissing Rumy, but acknowledging the strength of Ally, a seasoned chain-fighter who succeeded in beating back a life-threatening disease and her own darker side.
  • In Hijinks Ensue, Eli replaces his Tres Feo with spoiled hollandaise sauce and antifreeze to find out who was stealing it. "That tingling sensation you feel is the corrosive chemicals liquifying your organs! Also there's antifreeze which will probably be bad too!"
  • In PHD, Tajel heads off to join the Occupy protests.
    Cecilia: Let me get this straight: you're part of a movement that is vocal and frustrated but doesn't have clear goal, demands, or a plan of action... and you want to join another one?
  • In Homestuck, Dirk is talking about making an AI based on his personality. Jake's (GT's) response is
    GT: Does that mean I'll have to deal with two dirks?
    GT: One who is MORE MACHINE THAN MAN...
    GT: And another who is a computer program you made hahahahahahaha.

    Web Original 
  • The Agony Booth review of the movie Battlefield Earth begins with a cast review, including:
    Terl (John Travolta). Narcissistic and incompetent. Works for a vile, money-hungry organization, bent on world domination, which is responsible for all kinds of cruelty towards innocent human beings. In this movie, however, he plays an alien named Terl.
    • And again in the Superman IV: The Quest For Peace recap:
    Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow). The greatest villain Superman has ever faced, and a terrifying being with immense powers to make the entire world tremble. Which is how I would describe Darkseid. Meanwhile, here's Nuclear Man! The most retarded supervillain ever! And by that, I mean he is literally retarded.
  • In Homestar Runner, Strong Bad refers to Homestar and Pom Pom as "the big, fat, yellow blob and Pom Pom". Homestar has to think that one over several times to decide if he should be offended (or offended on Pom Pom's behalf).
  • Arthur B of ferretbrain sums up the two main sides of the Warhammer 40,000 Verse: "On one side of the conflict in the book are the murderous followers of a vast and powerful presence in the Warp which accepts mass human sacrifice on a daily basis in order to project its power across the galaxy. On the other side are the followers of Chaos."
  • "It might seem like a stretch to link My Little Pony to Hellblazer, given that one is a strange, often horrifying look at a world of constant betrayal, strange magic and a world constantly teetering on the brink of annihilation, while the other is about John Constantine, but I stand by it."
  • When Todd in the Shadows is reviewing the Hannah Montana movie, he comments on a scuffle in a shoestore between Hannah and Tyra Banks:
    "Okay, I find it really hard to believe that a seasoned, mature celebrity would lower herself to fighting publicly with a dumb, flash-in-the-pan starlet like Tyra Banks. BA-ZING!"
    • He's also prone to opening things in his Top 10s with a clip from some artist other than his preferred:
    Todd: Hey, Ed Sheeran. Remember how I said some mean things about you? [lists those things] I don't know if I said all that, exactly, but I certainly meant to! Heh...Mr Sheeran, I am so, so sorry.
    Passenger (the real #10 slot): But you only need the light when it's burning low...
  • The Roast of Mario
    Bowser: "Actually, Mario's first game was Donkey Kong. It was the story of a big, hairy ape and its battle against Donkey Kong."
  • RPPR Actual Play: Thad, hamming it up while managing to make everything hilariously dirty in the Cthulhu Invictus episode, has this to say on the subject of a chariot team:
    Mmm, yes, some fine beasts on that team — and the horses are good too!
  • Craig Ferguson once wrote on Twitter, "I reach the evening of each day exhausted, demoralized & covered in vomit & poop. Then I'm expected to deal with the baby."
  • this Cracked article, describing prison inmates working with endangered frogs includes the line
    Slimy, unloved, forgotten and under-appreciated. But let's talk about the frogs.
    Shockingly enough, when you trust a sleazy website filled with human misery that is packed butthole to eyebrows with legal problems (we mean TMZ, not PornHub), it sometimes backfires on you. Seriously, how dare they bring down the name of an American institution that has brought so many hours of joy to so many people? (Now we do mean PornHub.)
  • The Comics Curmudgeon, on a Family Circus strip where Billy throws a stick for Barfy, and Barfy returns it to a snowman:
    Barfy the dog is apparently unable to distinguish between a round-headed lump with an eternal dumb grin on its face and not a single thought in its head and a snowman.
  • When CR of Familiar Faces compares Lady Gaga with her "Moshi Monsters" counterpart, Lady Goo Goo.
    CR: One is a strange little two dimensional creature that dances around half naked spewing baby talk and is constantly surrounded by outlandish environments and creatures, and the other one's a web cartoon.
  • The slacktivist blog once posted this:
    "For Israel to put Jonah on a coin is like if New Jersey were to put Tony Soprano on its state flag. Not that HBO’s The Sopranos and the book of Jonah are exactly the same. The one is a viciously satirical fictional story centering on a selfish brute of an anti-hero. The other is an Emmy-winning show about gangsters."
  • In one episode of Andrew Klavan On The Culture, Klavan satirically compared Obama to Jesus and at one point dropped this line:
    Klavan: There are some differences between our dear saviour and Jesus.
  • Used three times in Lolcats. First, with a dragon and a cat, the second with an iron and a cat, and the third one with a dalek and a cat.
  • From Twitter:
  • George Takei posted this on Facebook, which was adapted from a fan post:
    The final Twilight movie and Lincoln both opened the same weekend. One is about a shameful, dark chapter in our history we hope never will be repeated. The other is about a president.
  • SF Debris posted this on Twitter about two of his upcoming reviews:
    Wonder Woman and The Thing (1982) are going to be hard. Inhuman indiscriminate killer no one can hope to stop, and the Thing is nasty too.
    • Also used in his review of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Counterpoint", which has an alien inspector from a race of ruthless xenophobes coming aboard Voyager and coming up against the deranged supervillain known as Parody Janeway.
      One is a jackbooted oppressor sowing fear and hopelessness everywhere, and the other is an inspector. Thank you, Joke Formula #97!
  • During his review for The Cat in the Hat, The Nostalgia Critic described Dakota Fanning as being "best known for playing a strange-looking, lifeless puppet. Oh, and Coraline."
  • In the Honest Trailers episode for Batman & Robin:
    Narrator: In a World full of crime, one man is determined to kill Batman once and for all. [montage of Mr. Freeze clips] His name... is director Joel Schumacher.
  • The Music Video Show does this in the first episode when Metallica goes to prison to perform a few songs for the prisoners.
    "Those poor poor guys...being forced to listen to new Metallica live."
    • In episode 5:
    "So, Kevin is dressed as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. So, one half of his face is deformed and hideous...and the other is blue and scaly.
    "I don't know which band is worse. Creed or Hinder. You have one band that writes nothing but overwrought, overemotional songs that numb the brain...there is no difference between Creed or Hinder."
  • A Bill Simmons column had one of these (from one of the reader emails) at the expense of a then-winless NFL team with a lame-duck coach:
    "Which do you think teams should be more worried about catching when playing in Tampa Bay — the flesh-eating, terrible-PR-creating disease wracking the Buccaneers, or MRSA?"
  • In Lucahjin's playthrough of Shadow of the Colossus, during a part where she continuously fails, she utters this gem:
    "If you look in the dictionary under 'stupid,' you will find a picture of — Judge Judy."
  • This tumblr post, contrasting MRA's (men's rights activists) and MRSA.
  • The programmer forum, Stack Overflow, discusses: What's the difference between Javascript and Java? One is essentially a toy, designed for writing small pieces of code, and traditionally used and abused by inexperienced programmers. The other is a scripting language for web browsers.
  • "Social news and entertainment company" Buzzfeed used this trope in their description blurb for a featured video called "Justin Bieber or Angelica Pickles: Can You Tell the Difference?"
    One's a Spoiled Brat, the other's from Rugrats.
  • Zero Punctuation's review of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, or 'CODAW' note . I'm sure there's a joke in there, relating to that one character from Game of Thrones, but naw. How could a huge retrograde lumbering idiot capable only of spouting the same phrase possibly relate to Game of Thrones?"

    Western Animation 
  • Pinky and the Brain, episode "Your Friend: Global Domination": "This is the earth. And this is Pinky. You can tell the difference quite easily. One is a lump of inert matter hurtling blindly through the void. The other... is the earth."
    • And again when Brain creates a sentient carrot and tells him and Pinky, "You two are the perfect team: a vegetable and a carrot."
  • Total Drama Action had a challenge where the contestants were each paired with an animal friend, and Courtney chose a shark as her "buddy":
    Beth: Actually, it makes perfect sense. Those two are made for each other. The only difference is that one would eat you alive in a heartbeat... and the other's a shark.
    • In another episode when Courtney is in the confessional talking about Duncan and his pet spider Scruffy, she mentions that she'll "get that immature hairy beast...and his pet spider".
  • From the Dan Vs. episode "The Wolf-Man":
    Dan: What wears shoes, but also has paws? The wolf-man!
    Chris: So you're saying that the wolf-man's a jogger.
    Dan: He's an evil beast with an unsavory blood lust. Of course he jogs!
  • Inverted in the episode of Futurama that introduced Bender's Identical Stranger Flexo:
    Hermes: He's no worse than Bender.
    Fry: He's much worse! He drinks and smokes, and he posts naked pictures of me on the Internet!
    Amy: That's Bender all right.
    Fry: I'm talking about Flexo!
    • Used again in the second Xmas episode, after Santa asks Bender to help him "save" Xmas:
    Fry: Don't do it! He's evil!
    Santa: I know he is, but I have no choice.
    • Also happened when Bender finds his girlfriend Angleyne having dinner with Flexo.
    Bender: You degenerate hussy! I'm disappointed in you too, Angleyne.
  • The Simpsons episode "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)", when Homer questions whether Marge is truly his soulmate because of their personality differences:
    Homer: We don't have anything in common. Look at these records: Jim Nabors, Glen Campbell, the Doodletown Pipers. Now look at her records! They stink!
    • Also in "Natural Born Kissers", when Homer is dangling from a hot air balloon and holding on for dear life:
    Sideshow Mel: Good Lord, look at that blimp! He's hanging from a balloon!
    • Another example, when Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel are dating and they knock on the Simpson's door:
      Homer: Well, if it isn't the town schoolmarm... and he brought his girlfriend.
    • When Homer and Marge are drinking in Wine country.
    Homer: Pleasant aroma, rich, full-body, well aged and the wine's not bad either.
  • In Family Guy when Peter talks about finding a replacement actor to play Anna in The King and I.
    Peter: We don't need Diane Simmons. We've had someone better all along. (Puts his arm around Loretta's shoulders) Someone radiant and sassy, with the soul and passion that can only come from hundreds of years of black oppression.
    Loretta: Thank you, Peter. I'll do it.
    Peter: Get over yourself. I was talking about me.
    • It should be noted that this was before Peter knew he had a black ancestor.

    Real Life 
  • Barack Obama giving a speech about his dog:
    "So I've cut the tension by bringing a new friend to the White House. He's warm, he's cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic. You just have to keep him on a tight leash. Every once in a while he goes charging off in the wrong direction and gets himself into trouble. But enough about Joe Biden."
  • Rachel Maddow listed a few things about a certain president who supported illegal immigrant amnesty, bailed out social security, raised corporate taxes, tripled the deficit, and called for a world without nuclear weapons: Ronald Reagan.
  • A Canadian example comes from former Reform Party leader Preston Manning, who once asked: What's the difference between a politician and a catfish? One is a low-life, scum-sucking bottom feeder...and the other is a fish.
  • When he started his career, Michael Keaton couldn't use his birth name Michael Douglas because there was already a Michael Douglas and a Mike Douglas in the Actor's Equity. He later stated in an interview: "One of them is doing quite well from what I understand, the other is making cheap porn movies like Basic Instinct."
  • One from John Rogers: "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
  • Rugby is such Serious Business in New Zealand that at the 2013 New Zealand sportsperson of the year ("Halberg") awards, the host introduced Prime Minister John Key and national rugby team coach Steve Hansen as "the man with the most important job in the country, and the Prime Minister."
  • A column filler in The Times:
    A longboat full of Vikings, promoting the new British Museum exhibition, was seen sailing past the Palace of Westminster yesterday. Famously uncivilised, destructive and rapacious, with an almost insatiable appetite for rough sex and heavy drinking, the MPs nonetheless looked up for a bit to admire the vessel.

    Jokes 
  • There's an amusing poster showing Alan Moore side by side with Rasputin. One is a terrifying mystic, etc. etc. etc. The other, of course, is Rasputin.
  • A common joke variant:
    • "What's the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? Well, one's a slimy, scum-sucking bottom feeder, and the other's a fish."
    • "You know the difference between a seagull and Your Mom? One of them communicates in annoying high-pitched shrieks, steals food from the trash and spreads disease. The other is a bird."
      • Hey. My mom is not a bird.
    • "What's the difference between a grocery bag and Michael Jackson? One of them is white, made of plastic and dangerous to children. The other carries your groceries."
    • "Homo homini lupus (The man is a wolf unto man) is thoroughly offensive. It shows poor taste to compare a ruthless and ignoble beast to an intelligent, compassionate and social creature with such beautiful golden eyes and silvery mane.
    • "What's the difference between an Essex girl and a walrus? One has whiskers and smells of fish, and the other's a walrus."
    • What's the difference between an orangutan and a male human? One is hairy, dirty, constantly scratches, stinks... the other is an orangutan.
    • What's the difference between The Hindenburg and Rush Limbaugh? One's a flaming Nazi gasbag, the other is a dirigible.
    • When Bill Clinton was in trouble for his escapades:
      • What's the difference between Clinton and Limbaugh? One is the beloved leader of the people and the mightiest man in the US. The other one is the president.
      • What's the difference between Clinton and a hamburger? Some women in Arkansas never had a hamburger.
    • MS stands for two things—multiple sclerosis, and Microsoft. One's a crippling affliction that leaves the victim unable to perform even the most basic tasks. The other's a medical condition.
    • "Stop comparing Clint Eastwood to God. I mean, he's a great guy, but he's no Clint Eastwood."
    • What's the difference between Taiwanese dramas and Twilight? One is the worst written worst acted worst directed view of human atrocities and the other's a vampire romance novel.
  • Two men get stuck in a snowstorm in the mountains and they're waiting to be rescued, when one of them sees a St. Bernard with a barrel hanging from its neck coming towards them. He nudges the other man and says: "Look, a man's best friend." "Yeah, and look what a big dog brought it."
  • One from several years ago (although you could substitute your politician of choice and make it current): "What's the difference between Lord Voldemort and George Bush? One's an entitled tyrannical dictator bent on taking over the world - and the other's a fictional character."
  • Attributed to Groucho Marx: "I like books. I like Little Women. In fact, I like them better than books."
  • "Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other person is a husband."
  • A woman is lying in bed when her husband enters the room carrying a sheep under his arm.
    Man: This is the pig I have sex with when you have a headache.
    Woman: That's a sheep, you idiot.
    Man: I wasn't talking to you.
  • In August 2012, preparations were being made for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, just as hurricane Isaac was developing. One joke that went viral was "A storm is headed for Tampa that threatens to leave families suffering, the poor searching for help, and lives destroyed. And then there's Isaac."
  • What's the difference between IBM and Jurassic Park? One of them is filled with massive, lumbering behemoths irrelevant to the modern age, and the other one is a movie.
    • That particular joke lost a lot of its sting after their machine Watson rather soundly crushed the two all-time biggest Jeopardy! winners in the show's history.


Appeal To RidiculeInsult TropesBathroom Stall of Overheard Insults
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!This Index Is A JokeBasement-Dweller
Bait and SwitchComedy TropesBait-and-Switch Comment
Bait-and-Switch CommentBait and SwitchBait-and-Switch Credits

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