"There was a very famous Jewish girl who kept a diary. It... ended badly. But enough about Fran Drescher! You thought I was making a Holocaust joke! Shame on you!"
A type of joke where a character leads the audience or other characters into thinking he or she is going to say or do something, but says or does something unexpected. If the punch line of the joke causes the first part to take on a new meaning (i.e., "I just flew in from Chicago, and boy are my arms tired"), it is technically called a "paraprosdokian."
, Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
is one example. The first two words raise the expectation of another crime, equally severe, but then switch it out with jaywalking.
The origin of the name comes from a now-illegal advertising practice in which a store would bait
a customer into their store with an advertisement featuring a product selling for a reduced price, but when the customer got there he would find out that they were "all out" of the advertised product... but the store would be happy to sell a similar product for just a few dollars more, thus performing the switch
A form of Subverted Trope
, or a Double Subverted Trope
. Sometimes turns into a Brick Joke
if there's a later payoff. Related to Anti-Humor
This can also happen in film trailers and commercials
open/close all folders
- "Connecting Flights" starts out as a trailer for a Christmas-themed Romantic Comedy and then turns into a commercial for Sears appliances.
- Global Agenda's rather hilarious ad starts out about an elf, then has a laser point on his face, followed by a bullet all shot by a Recon agent who is the actual playable character shown here.
- Several of the original Energizer Bunny commercials used a similar trick, with the bunny interrupting a commercial for another (fictional) product.
- World of Tanks ads do this just about every single time, with the (Seeming) protagonist of the ad blown up in various ways by a tank.
- Here, with a Bog Standard fantasy MMO with an Orc who kills a legion of Elves only to be run over by a tank.
- Here, with a Shoot 'em Up space combat sim without Casual Interstellar Travel, resulting in the player travelling for 6 IRL months only to loose all the work when a lucky shot from a tank dirtside blows him to flinders.
- Here, where an Illegal Drag Race is cut short by one of the cars pulping itself on a tank.
- A series of commercials from 1999 and 2000 are ads for The Disney Channel but are set up at first to make the viewer think they're about something else like a teen running home to go to the bathroom, or a group of teens running in horror like they're trying to escape something. They always ended with someone Breaking the Fourth Wall and saying, "What'd you expect?"
- There's a commercial that shows a man happily eating dinner with his girlfriend who's very obviously another man in a wig and dress. Halfway through the dinner, the "girlfriend" admits that there's something the man should know in advance about their relationship... that the pizza he's currently eating isn't delivery but DiGiorno.
- One PSA starts with a bunch of teens playing pool. One of them starts talking about something crazy he did and how his parents would probably cry when they find out. The rest of the group, obviously expecting something awful, asks what it is. Cut to him cleaning up his whole house for his parents and his parents' reaction when they return home.
- A very infamous example is a commercial showing a montage of animals in Africa with their young while Rod Stewart's "Forever Young" plays in the background. At the very end of the commercial, a watermark appears in the bottom of the screen showing that this was an advertisement for Pampers diapers.
- This is, unfortunately, Truth in Television, and isn't usually funny, even if the one doing the bating-and-switching may (or may not) think so. Some parents have actually done this to their sons / daughters. One example appears in a radio ad, although it (the ad) was intended to be funny:
Hurry, or we'll be late for the Aerosmith
(everyone gets in
Did I say "Aerosmith concert"? I meant "dentist appointment!"
- An andvertisement for the European Portuguese Cartoon Network appears to be at first for The Amazing World of Gumball—the narrator mentions a blue cat, and Gumball just happens to be a blue cat—but Darwin then mentions that they are probably not talking about Gumball, and the ad is revealed to be for Doraemon.
- In this Sunday story, a dog was approaching Garfield, giving the impression he'd maul the cat but then the dog instead invites Garfield for lunch. Garfield commented that "Things aren't always as they seem".
- Early in Blizzard Storm, it seems as though Lazuli would either be an important character, if not one of the main antagonist. However, now with the author saying that the fic is almost finished, she has had more or less no significance to the story.
- In You Got HaruhiRolled!, Haruhi crosses a busy street. She narrowly escapes being run over by countless vehicles, and makes it to the other side of the road safely. Immediately after, she is crushed by a blimp which crashes from out of nowhere.
- Sophistication And Betrayal has the protagonist run home for a brief tryst with his girlfriend, only to cut to the next scene of him... bouncing a ball of a wall. The way this is described, you'd think it was initially describing something completely different.
- It Sucks to Be Weegie!: In one comic, the pudgy hero of the Mushroom Kingdom whose name starts with M is finally showing up in the comic! You're expecting it to be Mario, aren't you? Nope, sorry, it's actually Mallow.
- Shadows Awakening has a meta example. When the Phantom sends Wong to retrieve the first Oni mask, it looks like the story will turn into another alternate take on Season 4... until the Phantom forbids Wong to go after the other masks (as that would only aid their enemy Tarakudo), sending him on a different quest. Word of God is that this is in fact the only similarity to canon that will happen, as the story will focus on a different set of MacGuffins.
- In the Medaka Box fanfic World As Myth, the Chapter 8 cliffhanger implies a battle between Zenkichi Hitoyoshi and Koi Munakata. Come Chapter 9, we have a fight between Nekomi Nabeshima and Tokemichi Choujabaru.
- The Total Drama fanfic, Courtney and the Violin of Despair is a meta example. The story is billed as a "kinder, gentler 'Courtney bashing' story", but it doesn't take long for perceptive readers to discover that the "bashing" target is actually being treated like The Woobie.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
- Act III has a rather dark example, both in and out of universe. In chapter 11, when the rest of the group are outside of Tsukune's room reacting in shock, Moka initially assumes that they're referring to Tsukune's cracked Holy Lock and responds in kind... until she walks into the room and sees they were actually shocked at the sight of Kokoa pinning Tsukune down and raping him.
- In Act VI chapter 36, Kurumu and Yukari fondle Apoch and Astreal's breasts to see who's are bigger, only discovering afterwards that there was a tape measurer off to the side the whole time and they just did so for nothing. As Apoch and Astreal are about to take revenge on the two, Razico yells "Hold it!", and we briefly think he's trying to break up the fight. Instead, he reminds Apoch and Astreal that they've already caused enough damage to Fang Fang's home, and orders them to take it outside.
- Zigzagged in Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
Now watch, Kakarrot, as your life becomes inconsequential, as I reveal my GIANT MONKEY—
(camera zooms in on Vegeta's crotch
(camera goes back to Vegeta's face
[sighs of relief] Random Guy in Crowd: Thank god, I thought he meant penis!
- Ultra Fast Pony: The episode "Pirate Shipping" uses this, and then immediate switches right back.
Would you like to know why they call me "Big Mac"? It's because I love to mack on yarr. And also because I've got a giant co--
(14 HOURS LATER
- Alpha And Omega Book 2's ENTIRE PLOT is this. It hits you at about Chapter 12
Films — Animation
- In Penguins of Madagascar, the Penguins' break-in into Fort Knox. At first, you would think they were after the gold in the facility, but in reality, they were really after a bag of rare cheesy snacks for Private's birthday. Skipper even says a line that heavily implies that they were after the former.
- Kung Fu Panda:
- It has a double example: after suffering through one mishap after another that prevents him from getting into the tournament theater to see his favorite kung fu fighters in action, Po throws all caution to the winds, ties himself to a chair with hundreds of fireworks bound onto it, and prepares to light the fuse. His (adoptive) father shows up, incredulously demanding what he's doing. Admitting that he does not dream of making noodles, he lights the fuse and lets out a proud, reveling crow that he loves kung fu... only to have the fireworks do nothing, apparently duds. His dreams crushed, he sadly takes his apron to go back to work—only to have the fireworks go off after all. Comedy gold.
- Later, when Po is talking to his goose father about how he doesn't want to work in the family noodle shop and comments about how sometimes he doesn't even think they're related. His father says there's something he needs to know, and everyone watching expects him to explain about how he's really adopted. He tells him how to make his secret ingredient soup. Cue laughter.
- In Aladdin, Aladdin has Abu reach down and snag a watermelon, but the merchant catches this. We then find out that this was actually meant to be a diversion to the merchant as Aladdin snatched another melon from the cart.
- In Monsters, Inc., there's a scene where Sully tries to hide from Randal. Randal makes this face of shock as if he thought he heard something, but really, he made that face because he felt a sneeze coming on.
- The LEGO Movie: Emmet gets tricked with this by Bad Cop during their Perp Sweating scene:
Hello Buddy! I'm your friendly neighborhood police officer! Would you like a glass of water? Emmet:
Yeah. Yeah, actually.
(Good Cop switches to his Bad Cop Personality
) Bad Cop:
Too Bad. (punts the cup off the table but misses Emmet completely
- In The Three Caballeros, there is a part where Donald Duck misses a chance at kissing Ya-Ya because she was distracted by a guy selling oranges. Donald gets jealous and is about to go beat him up, but Jose pulls him away telling him to take it easy, and then... he gives Donald a mallet! (Which Donald could use to smash the oranges the guy is carrying overhead.)
- In My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, there's a scene where it seems like Flash is going to punch Snips. Turns out all he is doing is grabbing his cup to get more punch.
Films — Live-Action
- In one of Louis Sachar's Wayside School book series, a hypnotist brainwashes a character so that, upon hearing the word "pencil", he will see another kid's ear as candy. The rest of the chapter deals entirely with the subject of a lost pencil, yet not one character says the word "pencil." That having been said, the chapter is titled "A Story With a Disappointing Ending." Several chapters later, when you're not looking for it, the Brick Joke hits.
- Maskerade, one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, is an homage to The Phantom of the Opera. There's a giant, poorly attached chandelier hanging from the ceiling of the theater, which several characters proclaim is an accident waiting to happen. Unlike in the Broadway musical version of Phantom of the Opera, however, this chandelier never does fall down, despite the villain's best efforts.
- Common in Ephraim Kishon's stories. For example, if he describes the Sabras (an Israeli cactus fruit, or an Israeli born in the country). "On the outer side, very prickly, but on the inside, completely inedible."
- In Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, a letter with the seal and signature of the Duchess R is accompanied by an unlabeled photograph of said Duchess with Mr. Snicket's sister. Along with another unlabeled picture, which they told everyone was of them, but really wasn't.
- Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. Early on, there are flashes of a dream sequence that show an elven ship, two figures taller than six more that are holding hands, and two dragons flying into the sky. Early speculation figured it'd be Eragon and Arya sailing away, as Eragon was foretold to leave Alagaesia by Angela. However, at the end of Inheritance, Eragon leaves, but Arya doesn't. The romance everyone thought was going to happen ends up not happening and more than a few readers were completely flabbergasted by this twist.
- In The Lost Symbol, Robert Langdon is describing the horrors of the cult he belongs in: "I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh. And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion."
- On an episode of Selfie, Henry is standing at his desk talking to someone off-camera, praising them. The camera cuts to his assistant (and a small, elephant shaped lozenge) Charlie who says "Thanks, I feel like I'm still on a journey of discovery and-" Henry cuts him off and says he was talking to the lozenge. It fits with Henry's Workaholic nature and his tendency to get excited about his work,
- One of the more brilliant examples is from the sketch comedy The Kids in the Hall, in which two characters start the "Who's on First?" skit, but before long one of them realises what's going on and explains at length what the names of the players are and what bases they're playing.
- There's a great example in the Father Ted Christmas Special: A Christmassy Ted. Father Ted states he wants a nice normal Christmas with no excitement or unexpected interruptions whatsoever. There's an awkward lengthy pause, and then the doorbell rings. An abandoned baby has been left on the doorstep, causing Ted to start. Then a woman appears out of the darkness, picks up the baby and asks, "Is this Mrs. O'Reilly's house?" and Ted directs her next door. On returning indoors he says to Dougal, "Can you imagine how funny it would have been if it had been an abandoned baby? We'd have had real laughs getting into all sorts of scrapes." Dougal replies: "Well, no Ted, it wouldn't have been that funny."
- In the Firefly episode "Objects in Space" a fight in the corridor wakes Jayne up and he whips a bed sheet off his wall revealing an arsenal of weapons (complete with heroic leitmotif). Then he wraps himself up in the bed sheet and goes back to sleep.
- Angel: "Double Or Nothing" has Angel give Cordelia a stake saying "you know what to do." It's implied that he is telling her to stake him if he loses the game and loses his soul, as well as Gunn's. (It Makes Sense In Context .) When he does lose, Cordelia stakes the demon he was playing with through the hand. This gives Angel the opportunity to cut off the demon's head.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Jonathan takes out a large gun and it's implied that he intends to shoot up the school. He doesn't.
- One of the many Catch Phrases on Get Smart was the "Would you believe [improbable statement]?" routine, which almost invariably ended with Max being beaten down to something far more plausible than his opening line.
- In The Big Bang Theory, as Amy and Leonard bring Sheldon back from his cross-country trip:
Amy: Sheldon, I'm your girlfriend, but when you needed help you called Leonard and not me. You hurt my feelings.
Sheldon: Amy, could you give us some privacy?
Amy: We're in a car.
Sheldon: Cover your ears. (she grudgingly does so) Leonard, as soon as we get home, I want to have intercourse with Amy. (Leonard stares at him in shock, Sheldon glances at Amy) Okay, she can't hear us, we can talk.
- In NUMB3RS, the following dialogue occurs between Charlie and a rival mathematician:
Charlie: You're wrong. Its structure lacks originality or integrity.
Archrival: It's a classic organization based on tested and proven elements.
Charlie: It's a chain! It's a chain with irregularities that come with maintaining complex matrices.
Archrival: Oh, so you propose that a single point mechanism provides superior output?
(Fleinhardt walks in)
Fleinhardt: Enough! Surely, two eminent mathematicians can find ways to calmly discuss theory.
Charlie: ... We're not discussing theory.
Archrival: No. We're talking hamburgers.
Charlie: Pie n' Burger's the best, man. There's no question about it.
Archrival: In and Out is far superior.
- In one of the episodes of the second series of Black Adder, Edmund is shown doing what appears to be yelling at the Queen and Lord Melchett. After he is finished the Queen replies "And what did you say to him?"
- Most of the deaths in Dead Like Me.
Doomed fry cook picks up a very large knife and brings it down — on a potato. The stove won't light so he pulls out a match — and lights it without a hitch. He then proceeds to choke on a sandwich.
- A notable one at the start of the second season of Noah's Arc. Noah is talking about this guy who he may be in love with, and based on the first season its implied to be Wade (the One True Pairing). When we actually see the guy its Malik, who Noah cheated on Wade with earlier as part of a random hookup.
- Sons Of Guns: Steph uses a shotgun to win an accuracy contest while the guys use Handguns.
Kris: I've been bamboozled!
- In How I Met Your Mother the gang find a tape of Robin which initially plays out as though it were porn. It's far worse — she was a teen pop star. Though the line gets blurred a bit when they locate her later work, which has the visuals of a kids' educational show but a script that doesn't quite match.
- On Have I Got News for You, the chairman's scripted jokes often include things along the lines of:
"This is the news that Anne Robinson has had her face injected with Botox. Deadly poisonous and liable to induce vomiting, Anne Robinson presents The Weakest Link
- Angus Deayton carried this style of joke over to Would I Lie to You?; on both shows, it stayed after he went. Often, part of the joke is for the setup to be long enough for the Genre Savvy audience to figure out what's coming.
- One recurring sketch on TV To Go features an ex-con ranting about how much the world changed while he was in prison. One sketch had him going on a lengthy rant about the huge increase in surveillance and CCTV in the UK, which he follows by him relating how he and an accomplice had recently scouted a jewelry store, made sure it was clear then broke in by throwing a brick wrapped in newspaper at the window. The next day, the accomplice was arrested. Why? Because the newspaper was delivered to his house and still had his address written in the front page.
- Two students look at a problem on a chalkboard and say that it's unsolvable. After they leave, Troy looks at the problem and picks up a piece of chalk... then puts the chalk in his pocket and walks away.
- Also, this quote:
Troy: Uh, guys, what does a pregnancy test look like?
Jeff: (distracted) Eh, it looks like a thin piece of plastic with a thing on the end of it?
Troy: Okay, so this is definitely A GUN!
- The the first three episodes of the first season of The Almighty Johnsons grabbed the viewers' attention with nudity and sex. But went on to keep them with storyline and writing.
- Doctor Who:
- In "A Good Man Goes to War", Amy, held hostage by Madame Kovarian, consoles her newborn daughter Melody by promising her, "There's a man who's never going to let us down. And not even an army can get in the way." Her speech sounds like she's talking about the Doctor, until she tells Melody, "That man is your father. He has a name, but the people of our world know him better... as the Last Centurion." At which point the audience realizes that she was talking about Rory.
- Since Moffat took over the show, people who seem to talk about the Doctor while meaning someone else have become commonplace. Most notably the opening narration of A Town Called Mercy is ultimately revealed to refer to the Monster of the Week, who is more of an Anti-Villain on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and quite noble once his hunt is over.
- Episode titles sometimes do this. "The Next Doctor", "The Doctor's Daughter" and "The Doctor's Wife", for instance.
- A staple of Chandler's jokes on Friends , especially when he talks about his parents and seems to be talking about his mother, but is actually talking about his (transvestite) father.
- Frasier: In the episode after Roz first announces her pregnancy, Daphne and Martin repeatedly question her on whether or not she's told the father, and on each occasion either Frasier or Niles suddenly walks in on their conversation, strongly implying that one of them is the father (more likely Frasier, since she still didn't get along too well with Niles at this point). As it actually turns out, the father is a previously-unmentioned barista at the local coffee shop.
- QI: "There are LOADS of female comedians, you just don't see them because they are rounded up and kept in a pen outside Harridge. You can adopt one online.
- The Smallville episode "Nocturne" has a really good one. For the first half, it's about Clark and Lana trying to rescue a boy named Byron from his abusive parents, who keep him locked in the basement and claim he drowned years ago. However, when they do get him out of the house (they'd only met him at night before this), it turns out his parents weren't abusive. Ever since he was part of a LexCorp experiment to handle antisocial behavior, entering sunlight causes him to get some freaky big abs with a side order of Unstoppable Rage and super-strength that rivals Clark's.
- In an episode of New Girl, Cece is extremely horny and wants to have sex with Schmidt, who for once insists that he has too much work to do. Eventually, she says that she's willing to have sex "anywhere". He asks her if that includes "Fantasy Location Number Three". She hesitates, rolls her eyes and says "All right." It turns out that he meant the trunk of his car.
- On ER, Carter and Maggie Doyle's relationship appears to be classic Belligerent Sexual Tension. . .until she takes him to a shooting range and suddenly freaks out because she's just spotted her insanely jealous ex-girlfriend. Meaning that they were just basically two people who just couldn't get along.
- The Assumption Song is based around this.
- The Dire Straits song "Industrial disease" contains a fairly subtle one: After listing two maladies caused by the protagonist's vices (smoker's cough from smoking, brewer's droop from drinking beer) the doctor in the song notes, "I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis ...knees".
- Throughout most of the song, Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" seems to be a typical story about a boy missing a girl. However, at the very end of the song, the singer reveals that he is missing his daughter; This causes the listener to reconsider everything they just heard.
- The cover for the Gentle Giant album Acquiring the Taste appears on the front to be a tongue licking between two round, flesh-coloured cheeks. Turning to the other side of the album cover reveals that the flesh-coloured object is, in fact, a peach.
- John Frusciante has often been compared to Jesus Christ because of his long-flowing hair and serene disposition during live shows. It's even gotten to the point where there's an old joke on the Internet that goes, "Why do people keep comparing John Frusciante and Jesus? I mean, he's great and all... but he's not as good as John Frusciante."
- In 2003, the International Wrestling Association hyped up their acquisition of the son of a former world champion and legend that is universally recognized, David Flair! Like Carly would ever work for another wrestling promotion! (Incidentally, Carly has since worked for several other promotions)
- Distractions from EVOLVE's attempted union with Dragon Gate USA have allowed the nefarious "A Lister" Larry Dallas to sneak his way into EVOLVE's Tribute To The Arena beneath the shadow of the monstrous Ahtu. Ahtu has an open contract, free to both companies and Dallas boasts that he's better than any man on either company's roster...suddenly the crowd falls silent at the sound of a familiar beat and then jump to their feet. Low Ki had made his EVOLVE Debut! He swiftly deals with Ahtu, who will not be seen in the promotion for the rest of the year, before declaring his intentions to destroy every boy, actor and wannabe wrestler who disgracing his profession!
- Giles Wemmbley-Hogg starts his trip to India episode at a market, lots of Indian voices calling out, Indian music playing, only to reveal he's in Birmingham, before he leaves England.
- From The Goon Show (one of many examples):
: I thought I saw a Greek urn buried in the sand. Moriarty
: What's a Greek urn? Grytpype-Thynne
: It's a vase made by Greeks for carrying liquids. Moriarty
: I didn't expect that answer. Grytpype-Thynne
: Neither did quite a few smart-alec listeners.
- Im Sorry I Havent A Clue had a recurring segment in which the panellists announced arrivals with Punny Names at a themed Charity Ball. (e.g. at the Christmas Ball: "Mr. and Mrs. Amanger, and their son Wayne.") One episode had a Cheesemakers' Ball, and one of the announcements was "Mr. and Mrs. Zola and their son... Emile." Or at the Menswear Ball, "From Scotland, Mr. and Mrs. Strap and their son...Dougal."
- You'll Have Had Your Tea: The Doings of Hamish And Dougal does this a lot, sometimes combining it with the Overly Long Gag. They take longer not to do the "Watson, someone has stolen our tent" gag than it takes to tell it.
- The News Quiz likes to use a similar form to the Have I Got News for You example (see above under "Live-action TV"), e.g.:
"King Juan Carlos of Spain has caused outrage among animal rights campaigners and recession-hit Spaniards by paying £27,000 to hunt elephants in Botswana. Facing rapid extinction and plagued by inbreeding, the Spanish royal family have ruled for centuries."
- In The Frantics' "Last Will and Temperament" sketch, the late Arthur Muldoon's will states that his overly-emotional sister Jenny shall be bequeathed a boot to the head (and one for her wimpy husband Chester). Subverted with his alcoholic brother Hedge, to whom he bequeathed three crates of whiskey and a boot to the head (and one for Jenny and the wimp). To Mrs. Mulroy, who took care of him, he bequeathed a boot to the head (and another for Jenny and the wimp).
- During an opening segment on the Keith Olbermann sports show, Keith described a Japanese pitcher who is hyped up as being a must sign; known for dominating in Japan, and is seen by experts as a future superstar in the sport of professional baseball. Given that Masahiro Tanaka was just signed to a huge money contract for the New York Yankees, people assumed Keith was talking about him. But he was actually taking about Hideki Irabu, who was hyped up just like Tanaka in the past. Was signed to a huge money contract for the New York Yankees, then crashed and burned as a huge sports bust.
- While doing a bit about football Robin Williams described quarterbacks as "men with big hands and big feet, and you ladies know what that means. Yes... big gloves and big shoes."
- Emo Phillips 's comedy is based heavily around this trope/paraprosdokians.
- Groucho Marx was fond of these in his acts.
- As was Mitch Hedberg. "I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."
- One Paranoia mission starts out with a NPC being dragged off for termination, strongly suggesting to the players that it's going to be important somehow. It isn't - it's just there to mess with their heads when they fail to find anything else out about it.
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) has an example similar to the very first one on this page. Austin's book is called "I Love My Willie" which he decides he wants to whip out. As the audience laughs, he takes his book out from his pants.
- In The Odd Couple, at the end of the first act, Oscar tells Felix that he's saving all the chips on the floor for his game tomorrow. Felix gets a vacuum and picks them up anyway. Oscar comes back in and yells, "Hey!" Then he follows up with..."I didn't know I had one of those!"
- In BioShock, Sander Cohen hires you to finish his "masterpiece" (which consists of four photographs of corpses held, of course, by suspiciously bloodstained plaster statues). After you add the third photo, Cohen, like everyone you've met so far, sends a group of Splicers to kill you. He then apologizes and asks you for the last photo. When you add it, he comes down the stairs, thanks you, and gives you a powerup before letting you leave. It's really unexpected.
- One puzzle in the first episode of Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse requires the player to set up what appears in the Flash Forwards to be a Banana Peel gag on one of Skun Ka'pe's henchmen. Instead, you lure him over to the banana so that Max can knock him out with a pair of trash can lids.
- In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: 8-Bit is Enough, Strong Bad finds out that the Trogsword is located in "a magical world where platforms mysteriously hang in the air, and extra men are extremely hard to come by". He replies "Platforms, eh? (in his Dangeresque voice) Looks like I'm gonna have to... (speaks quickly) ...find a way into the Stinkoman game and get the Trogsword before he does!"
- Batman: Arkham City opens with one. Mooks are talking about how Batman won't be in the titular city, just as a pointy eared shadow appears behind them. One would would expect a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment, but it's only Catwoman. Although considering that they're standing between her and the safe she plans to rob, it's just as well.
- A room in The 7th Guest has a cutscene in which one of the guests draws attention to a maze design on the rug. Zooming in allows you to look at the maze design, but when you actually start the puzzle, the rug is suddenly swept aside and a chess puzzle ensues on the checkerboard floor. For bonus points, the maze design is a map to the maze in the cellar!
- In Final Fantasy XII, there's a series of optional bosses that lead up to the Esper, Chaos. The first one? Really damn big. When you get to the second one, an even bigger monster is at the door... which promptly falls over, dead. And a little bunny-looking thing hops on top of the dead monster. Turns out, you really would rather have fought the big monster.
- On December 18 2013, Nintendo announced on Nintendo Direct that they had new information on a title you were probably familiar with. The trailer starts with Kirby flying in space and landing on Mario Kart's Rainbow Road track while characters drive their karts, making it seem like Kirby would be playable in the then-upcoming Mario Kart 8. Shortly after, Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy appears, and it turns out the trailer was announcing her as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and Nintendo 3 Ds (An actual Mario Kart trailer was shown afterwards).
- In Donkey Kong Country, during the final battle against King K. Rule, at one point, he falls down, and Donkey and Diddy do their victory cheer. Then suddenly...the camera moves away and darkens, and the credits start rolling. But wait...something doesn't looks right about these credits. At the bottom, it says, "The End?" Then, we cut back to the Kongs, and King K. Rule gets back up. The battle is still going on! After this phase of the battle, we get a real ending.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 has a good example. After you rescue and change back the seventh king, he says he is giving you a letter from the princess, but it turns out to be a letter from Bowser saying that he's kidnapped the princess while you were out and about saving the kings.
- Five Nights at Freddy's changes the behaviour of every animatronic on the last nights, to exploit the player's previous tactics. In particular: Foxy, who normally requires the player to keep an eye on him with the cameras (but not too much), now must be left alone or he'll immediately attack.
- Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has one for its ending. The last ending scene shows a random janitor cleaning up near a portal when it activates. The man panics and runs away, showing silhouettes of Spider-Man and The Avengers... only to end up being Black Canary, Nightwing, Aquaman (holding a pizza), Swamp Thing, Shazam (holding a coffee mug), Green Arrow and Booster Gold.
- In Guilty Gear Xrd, one of Elphelt's taunts seems to have her going One-Winged Angel. And then it zooms out to reveal:
- Lakeview Cabin starts innocently enough, despite the ominous "Player discretion is advised" warning during the game's opening, with an ordinary guy hanging out on a quiet and peaceful cabin on a tiny island in the middle of a lake. Then things get weird, culminating in a dead woman implied to be his late wife/lover crawling out of the lake and trying to kill him.
- Throughout Ys Memories Of Celceta there's a women in an alley who mentions she'd like you to pay her for her "services", at the end of the game you get the option to pay her... she's a tour guide.
- ASDF Movie:
- A guy is asked to hold a live bomb. The guy who gave him the bomb comes back a few seconds later and takes it back. No explosion, next skit. Look closely and you'll notice the fuse gets longer at the end.
- "This is a robbery." *dramatic sting and close-up* *hangs up and walks away*. Next skit.
- "WARNING POINTLESS BUTTON" is pointless.
- "Damnit Jenkins, a giraffe will never be president!" "Yeah, you're... probably right."
- "Die, potato!" "I like trains."
- In one episode of Red vs. Blue, Tex has been continually hitting Grif in the nuts throughout the episode. Then Simmons finally manages to shoot a heat-seeking rocket launcher at the tormentor. After a really cool set of acrobatics with a set of portals, Tex (with the rocket still in hot pursuit) punches her way through Sarge, Tucker, and Simmons, and slides under Grif. Grif cringes, seeing the rocket coming right for him... and it flies harmlessly under his legs. Which instead blows up the pile of rockets right behind him.
- Homestar Runner: In Strong Bad's email where he creates his own candy bar, he keeps making the viewer think he's going to cover it in chocolate, but keeps changing it to something else like: "cover it with smooth, rich, creamy...pepperoni!" Eventually, he does top it off with chocolate and calls it "the ol' BBC" (Boring, Brown Chocolate).
- GEOWeasel often includes bait-and-switch jokes.
- After a character is sent to prison, an establishing shot of "The Big House" appears… with the jail of New Jersey next to it.
- After Sapphire launches the flying headquarters in an attempt to save Nar, Weas explains "Miss Caring over here" pushed the launch button… with a pan over to a different woman wearing a "care" shirt, and that Sapphire confirmed the launch with her push.
- The dreaded trap videos on YouTube, which set up a misleading thumbnail, title, and description to lure in audiences looking for those key words, then troll them by showing Something Completely Different. The Rick Roll was the most common variant in its heyday, although there are plenty of videos that go beyond this in terms of obnoxiousness.
- Back to the Whoture promises an epic crossover of Back to the Future and The Who. Then as they travel through time they happen to crash into the police box of a certain other Who...
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- In his review of Catwoman, four Catwoman actresses confront him. They ask how attractive women dressed like cats can ever get as much attention as Halle Berry. The Critic (who previously encouraged them to flaunt their breasts) says that on the Internet, there's an easy way, as dramatic music starts. They star in cat videos.
- In his review of Bloodrayne, guest starring Spoony and Linkara, before they can get to the credits, Linkara says they have to address the elephant in the room involving all sorts of Internet drama centered around Spoony a few years ago. This seems to be leading up to something about Noah's acrimonious departure from Channel Awesome, but in fact Linkara is referring to the fact that he wore a Castleton jumper in their last crossover despite never attending Castleton!
- In Todd in the Shadows review of Chris Brown's Deuces, he does this while admitting that he does enjoy ragging on Brown.
Todd: Now, all critics have their favorite whipping boys, and from the beginning, one of mine was Chris Brown. I love beating on Chris Brown just as much as Chris Brown likes beating... (Picture of Brown's head photo-edited onto a waitress at a breakfast restaurant) eggs for his famous homestyle breakfasts.
- Invoked in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog when Moist mentions that he went on a double date with twins Bait and Switch.
Dr. Horrible: Oh yeah, how did that go?
Moist: Well, I was supposed to end up with Bait, but... you know...
- In this video, Michael the Terrible Boyfriend ponders how to get into his girlfriend's house without her parents noticing, and sees a pizza delivery truck come. He looks at it and asks "Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I think you are!". Cut to him riding a pterodactyl into her home, which then eats her.
- Tlf Travel Alerts claims is hot enough in the London Underground to literally fry eggs on the escalators. How ever you shouldn't try to do it ... they are on a diet.
- In Cybershell's Let's Play of the Genesis Sonic games, he measures how annoying an enemy is by using a "Cunt-O-Meter". When he gets to the infamous Red Barrel in Carnival Night Zone, the gameplay stops and slowly zooms in on the barrel as Also Sprach Zarathustra plays in the background. After all that buildup, the Red Barrel gets a score of one on the Meter as Cybershell starts ranting that it wasn't that difficult to get past.
- Many cuts in Funday Night Gaming videos tend to show the results being completely opposite (or tangential) to the comment that was just made. This shows especially well in TJ's playthrough of Surgeon Simulator 2013.
- Regular Car Reviews dropped hints that he was reviewing a 6-cylinder turbocharged rear-wheel drive rear-engine car, AKA a Porsche. The actual "car" in question is a 40 foot long Freightliner RV, with a 7.7 liter V6 turbodiesel mounted behind the rear wheels.
- The Mark Remark: Talking about when Seth Rollins "revealed some very revealing images... of his enormous, hard, throbbing car".
- Many trolls or people who are bored on a forum will usually post a topic title that grabs everyone's attention, but the actual opening post has nothing to do with the topic title. This is usually done by people who just want the attention and this is also how Rick Rolling got started.
- Another method involves starting a topic with a double meaning, with one interpretation (usually the more obvious one) being highly shocking or offensive, but the actual post being about the more mundane interpretation. For example, starting a topic with the title "I HATE FAGGOTS", only for the post to actually be about the poster's distaste for the food item.
- It's at least Older Than Print. A tenth-century joke found in Britain goes What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before? A key.