%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1333492337087630500
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:298:[[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CalvinJoke_9575.gif]]]]

->''"Know the joke. Know it cold. Know it. Know it. Anyone who gets halfway through a joke and says, 'And then, ah...let's see...I think he says something like...' should be stabbed with a dinner knife."''
-->-- '''[[http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/04/parrot_says_what_did_the_froze.html Roger Ebert]]'''

Despite the title, this is, in fact, a comedy trope. Because [[SoUnfunnyItsFunny there is something funny about watching someone attempting to be funny and failing]]. To be funny, that is. It's just funny. Got it?

This is essentially a character who screws up any attempt to tell a joke. Perhaps they forget the punchline, perhaps they have no sense of timing, perhaps they try to [[DontExplainTheJoke explain it]] until it stops being funny, or perhaps the joke never had a chance to be funny to begin with. Whatever the case, any attempt to make a joke will leave their intended audience staring at them dumbfounded. (Or possibly laughing, but not for the intended reason, if the intended audience enjoys AntiHumor, which this often bears unintentional resemblance to.)

In some cases, this trope comes to play, but it can come across as {{Adorkable}}.

For bonus {{irony}}, may be followed by a {{Rimshot}}.

Compare and contrast with NoSenseOfHumor.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Setsuna in ''Anime/{{Negima}}''.
* The English dub of ''Manga/SgtFrog'' has Koyuki act like this in episode 18. She tells a condensed, G-rated version of TheAristocrats, apparently [[ComicallyMissingThePoint not knowing the point of the joke]] is to make it [[ShaggyDogStory as drawn-out]] [[RefugeInAudacity and vulgar]] as possible.
* Tenshinhan in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' encounters trouble with this trope when Kaio requires all potential students to tell him a joke. He ''did'' manage a joke. Once. It wasn't funny, though. Kaio was scared by Tenshinhan's seriousness and determination, so he thought that laughing was the best solution.
* Madam Red in ''Manga/BlackButler''. The audience never gets to hear the joke but the cast's reactions range from blank stares to confusion.
** It runs in the family. When her nephew (the main character, Ciel) has to make the Undertaker laugh to get information from him, we see Sebastian wait outside as day becomes night and then day again. And after all that, the best he gets is "Pfah."
* Masaomi Kida from ''{{LightNovel/Durarara}}''. Not that it stops him from trying at every chance.
* In ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'', the principal tells old jokes that no one gets, while Yuuko's are just terrible.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': In the many SliceOfLife sketches Creator/TiteKubo does about his characters, there's one of [[TheStoic Byakuya]] doing a stand-up routine in front of a huge audience. He holds his [[HairDecorations kenseikan]] to his ear and pretends it's a telephone. The audience doesn't laugh. He gets an "I told you so" from Renji afterwards. On another occasion, Renji asks Byakuya which hairdresser he uses and Byakuya tells him he gets his [[EmpathicWeapon zanpakutou]] to [[DeathOfAThousandCuts cut]] his hair for him. Renji is so shocked, Byakuya has to tell him he was joking. Of course, Renji's then more panicked by the idea of Byakuya telling jokes. It's a RunningGag that Byakuya's very funny when he's not trying to be but an absolute disaster when he is.
* Shar-tan in ''Anime/{{Etotama}}'' often tells jokes, but is so serious in nature that everyone takes her seriously then start getting frustrated as she keeps doing it.
* Shouko Komi of ''Manga/KomiSanWaKomyushouDesu'' tries her hand at jokes in one chapter. Aside from the significant problem that Komi is a ShrinkingViolet who uses a notebook to communicate because she can't handle spoken conversations, she also favors "Dad Jokes" that nobody else finds funny to begin with.

* Creator/RichardPryor had a routine about a childhood friend who would constantly attempt to tell jokes and botch them up, but he was such a large, intimidating kid [[LaughWithMe that everyone would laugh anyway.]]
* The "Hedge Sketch" by [[Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie]] seems to be a very basic scene at a store, but consists of them continuously getting their lines in the wrong order, or speaking the lines of the wrong character, which leads to them starting all over from the start several times. In the end, they both [[ShaggyDogStory can't remember the final punchline]].
** There is a similar one in which Laurie keeps interrupting the whole time to turn to the camera and tell the audience that this is his favorite gag, and the next line is the payoff -- no, wait, not quite yet ...
** And another, in which Fry is trying over and over to tell a joke to his date and Laurie is a waiter who enters to interrupt every time he approaches the punchline; he eventually reveals that a concealed microphone enables him to do this.
* Creator/TimVine has featured a section in his act where he asks the audience for subjects and then attempts to improvise a joke around them. These inevitably become desperate, rambling monologues, the punchline being when he gives up entirely and asks for some different subjects.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Colossus by his own admission in ''[[Comicbook/XMen Astonishing X-Men]]'' #19, after being told of a prophecy that he is destined to destroy the Breakworld:
-->"I have been planning on destroying the Breakworld ever since I was a child." (after the X-Men look at him in shock) "This is why I don't make so many jokes. I never know when is good."
* A short ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' story has Cadbury in the next room telling some very old and clichéd jokes, and in his usual stuffy British style of speaking. Gloria is puzzled when she hears laughter, but then Richie takes her into the room and shows her that the laughter is emanating from a "laugh box" that he got for Cadbury so that at least ''someone'' would find his jokes funny.
* In the original ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' comic, the Smurfette completely botches the joke she's telling. That does not prevent all the Smurfs to find it hilarious, since she's a blonde bombshell by that point.
* ''ComicBook/WynonnaEarp'': Waverly's attempts at witty banter inevitably just come out sounding weird. Such as this exchange from ''Season Zero'':
-->'''Haught:''' Let's turn our dream into their nightmare.\\
'''Waverly:''' This ain't no circus, and we don't need no clowns.\\
'''Haught:''' Sweetie, not being judgmental, but... What the hell is that supposed to mean?\\
'''Waverly:''' It sounded so Wynonna in my head, but when it came out, it just sounded like me... I've got to get better with the kill bad people quips.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Archangel from ''Literature/TheCrackedConspiracy''.
* ''Fanfic/PastSins'' has an example played for drama. The audience doesn't laugh because the pony telling the joke is [[spoiler:Nightmare Moon!]]
* Fluttershy in ''Fanfic/DividedRainbow''.
* [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix]] in ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm''. [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Pinkie Pie]] says she'll help him if he tells her a funny joke, and Phoenix tries to. Simply put, the lameness [[OutOfCharacterMoment manages to leave her speechless]].
* Turing Test, the robot pony in ''Fanfic/TheIronHorseEverythingsBetterWithRobots'', attempts to learn humor from [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Pinkie Pie]] but usually just ends up explaining a joke to death. Then she discovers that she's really good at AntiHumor.
* [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Suki]] in ''FanFic/TheStalkingZukoSeries'', but her boyfriend Sokka thinks she's funny so it works out.

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* Marlin in ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' struggles his way through a joke in the beginning when he's put on the spot by the other parents. He makes a better fist (fin?) of it at the end of the movie.
** Reportedly, Albert Brooks fell in love with the Deconstructionist aspect of Marlin - a clownfish who isn't funny - and ran with it. WordOfGod is that "we have about an hour of audio from Albert telling this joke really, really badly."
* Dug from ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}''. Of course, it's possible his joke is hilarious to another dog...
-->Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, "I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead." Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* K.C. Downing in the movie ''Film/MyFavoriteYear''. She tries to tell the protagonist Benjy that she's just not funny but he refuses to believe her. He gives her a joke and gets her to tell it back to him. He is then convinced.
* Charlie tells a funny, fitting joke in ''Film/MysteryTeam''... and then proceeds to tell the EXACT SAME JOKE not one minute later, in an entirely inappropriate situation.
* Karl in ''Film/SlingBlade'' fails terribly at telling a joke about two men on a bridge:
-->There's these two fellas. They're standing on a bridge and going to the bathroom. One fella says that the water's cold. Other fella said the water's deep. I believe one fella come from Arkansas.
* Biff Tannen in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' is constantly, err, biffing his attempts at wordplay with lines like "Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here," and "That's as funny as a screen door on a battleship." Presumably everyone is too afraid of him to correct him. He is [[{{Lampshading}} berated]] for this by his older self in the [[Film/BackToTheFuturePartII second movie]].
* In ''Film/TheImitationGame'', the hero is shown to be socially inept and can't manage to tell a joke on his own or recognise them in others.
* In ''Film/{{Bill}}'', Christopher Marlowe doesn't really get comedy and spends much of the movie attempting to tell a YourMom joke after Shakespeare introduces him to the concept. And failing.

* After spending the morning being processed, he is taken to the huge mess hall for lunch. He finds a seat at a table full of inmates who look like they have been behind bars for years. Suddenly, an inmate stands in the middle of the room and yells, "41!" As he sits down, the room erupts in laughter. Then another prisoner stands and yells, "123!" Again, there is laughter throughout the room. Puzzled, Fred asks the inmate sitting next to him what's going on. "Well," the older inmate says, "Most of us have been here so long that we have heard all the jokes. So we just number them and use the number." Fred says, "I love to tell jokes! Give me one." "Okay," says the older inmate. "Everybody loves old 72. It always gets a big laugh" Fred stands up, waits for the laughter to die down from the last joke, and yells, "72!" There is nothing but silence as hundreds of inmates just turn and stare at him. Fred sits down and looks at the inmate who gave him the number. "What happened?" he asks. The older man shrugs and says, "Some people just can't tell a joke."
* [[RussianHumor Lieutenant Rzhevsky]] attends a ball. At a certain point he notices his servant and says, Ah, Stefan! I am pleased to find you here. Pray tell, have you any new rhymes for me? Ah, yes, ''[[GratuitousFrench monsieur]]'', here's one I heard this morning: Adam and Eve, on the very last eve in the wonderful Garden of Eden... Wonderful, wonderful! Ladies and gentlemen, ''écoutez-vous''! I just heard a wonderful new rhyme from my personal waiter... It went like... Y'know, Adam and Eve, like, in the Garden of Eden, and they f... I mean, it was their last night, so they fu... Oh, but it sounded so much better in verse!
* One particular joke uses this in a very meta sense. It starts off as a classic "Three people walk into a bar" joke, then the joke teller pretends to have forgotten or misremembered some details, with the joke getting weirder and weirder as it's told. At some point - "So, it's a nun, a dragon, and twenty four penguins, half of which are dead, in a roller disco..." - the teller gives up.
* A joke told among comedians [[PlayingWithATrope plays with this]]. The teller says "Do you know what the most important part of a joke is?" and then ''as the listener says'' "No, what?" the teller says "Timing." [[DontExplainTheJoke The joke is that the timing is wrong]].
** Alternatively, there's "What's the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing" or "Why can't [[DumbAndDrummer drummers]] tell jokes timing".

* Granny Weatherwax of Literature/{{Discworld}} doesn't quite 'get' humour. In ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', Granny keeps trying to tell a joke that goes "A man walks into a sandwich shop and sees a sign that says, 'We make all kinds of sandwiches'. So he says 'I'll have an alligator sandwich -- and make it snappy!'" Only she keeps giving the punchline as "and make it quick!", or "and I want it right away!", or "and don't be a long time about it!"
** Pratchett said this about it: "It is (I hope) obvious that Granny Weatherwax has absolutely no sense of humour but she has, as it were, heard about it. She has no grasp of how or why jokes work -- she's one of those people who say "And then what happened?" after you've told them the punchline. She can vaguely remember the one-liner "Give me an alligator sandwich -- and make it snappy!" but since she's got no idea of why it's even mildly amusing she gets confused... all that she can remember is that apparently the man wants it quickly."
*** In the same book, though, Granny does use puns that could be construed as humorous. (Unless calling an incident where someone was killed by a duck "a foul [fowl] deed" was an accident. It could have been.)
** In a few other books, Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully is described as not being very good at telling jokes, and not letting that stop him. It's mentioned that the Bursar has NoSenseOfHumor, but at least knows how jokes are meant to go, and Ridcully's never add up properly.
* Dan Greenberg's book ''How to Be a JewishMother'' contains instructions about telling jokes. One of them is always start with the punchline.
* Jake from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' can snark with the best of them, but when it comes to telling outright jokes, he inevitably summons the crickets. Even Ax, at one point, gets a big laugh just by repeating a joke that Jake had told him earlier. Nobody laughed the first time.
* Creator/MarkTwain wrote an essay about humor that explained how to do this.
* Evie jokes about being this in ''Literature/{{Paranormalcy}}''.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] by Baron Arald in the ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' series. He keeps telling jokes, and pretty good ones at that, but everyone [[NoSenseOfHumor takes him too seriously]] all the time to enjoy them.
* Talmanes from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' makes some spectacularly bad attempts at humor. Mostly they fail because he's so straight-faced that his attempts at {{deadpan snarker}}y fall flat. He does manage to be amusing in a [[TheComicallySerious meta way]], though.
** Though some of his quips are fairly funny, albeit [[GallowsHumor rather darkly]].
* SweeneyTodd in ''Literature/{{Dodger}}'':
-->At some time, somebody must have told Mister Todd that a barber, in addition to tonsorial prowess, should have memorized practically a library of jokes, anecdotes and miscellaneous rib-ticklers, occasionally including - should the gentleman in the chair be of the right age or nature - ones that might include some daring remarks about young ladies. However, that had given him this advice had simply not calculated on Sweeney's terrible lack of anything that could be called bonhomie, cheerfulness, ribaldry or even a simple sense of humour.
* The titular character of the ''Literature/SebastianDarke'' series has this problem, which is unfortunate, because he works as a [[TheJester jester.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Harriet Hayes (''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'') is depicted as incapable of either remembering the text, structure or delivery of a joke. She's a professional comedian...
* Dana, the producer on ''Series/SportsNight'', is said to be bad at jokes.
* Nancy Weeks, the delightfully awful "Head of Continuing Drama" in ''Series/MovingWallpaper'' is alleged to be thus. in S 2 E 5, the writers are discussing whether or not to put a joke in her speech. Pope, the producer, recommends against this, saying "the woman's got the comic timing of (something)".
* ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'': Michael Scott epitomizes this trope. Examples:
** When Michael falls for Jim's "It smells like Updog in here" joke (punchline: "[[{{Henway}} What's Updog?]]" "I don't know, what's up with you?"), he's so enamored with the joke that he attempts to retell it to everyone, but fails repeatedly. When he finally does properly trick someone into saying "What's Updog?" he botches the follow-up. "I'm fine, how are you?"
** After Michael is the face-slapping butt of Dwight's [[http://www.noob.us/humor/the-office-kgb-knock-knock-joke/ KGB knock-knock joke]], he argues with Dwight about answering Jim's "door". Of course, more [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking face-slapping]] ensues.
*** That's because the KGB waits for no one.
** "Are you serious?" "[[Film/{{Airplane}} Yes. And don't call me Shirley.]]"
** His original counterpart in the British version, David Brent, was also like this, due to a similar over-reliance on second hand humor from old comedy shows and a general lack of wit.
* Both ''Film/{{Borat}}'' and Ali G from ''Series/DaAliGShow'' have this trait. On the TV show, Borat once went on some sort of dating service and when told women like a man with a sense of humor he proceeded to tell the "joke" "There is a chair... and it has shoes... and it is walking!" In another episode, Ali G told Buzz Aldrin some sort of corny moon-based joke. He told it correctly, and when Aldrin politely laughed, Ali G was like "I don't get it".
* JD from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is like this. When attempting to tell a joke about why a man who thinks he's a moth went to the dentist's (the light was on) he ends up improvising a whole pointless conversation between the man and the dentist to stall for time while he tries to remember the punch line.
** And later in the episode, he gives the person he was telling the joke to a written copy of it... which covers three pages on both sides.
** Carla also falls into this. Dr. Cox calls her out on it when he points out why everybody else in the hospital is funny, including calling Ted the "hospital sad sack". Dr. Cox notes that she ''can'' be funny when she's being sarcastic or arrogant, but her jokes are never funny.
* If she hadn't been [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute substituted]] after one season, this would probably have been a bigger part of Kate in ''Series/NotGoingOut''. She only attempted to actually tell a joke once, and it did indeed go horribly, but Lee asked her at one point if she ever gets jokes. They just seems to be something she struggles with in general.
* Zag in Zig and Zag's ''Nothing to do With Toast Video'' frequently tries to tell an elephant joke, which is invariably ruined by his inability to pronounce the word elephant.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' had an episode where Teal'c attempts to tell a joke, and fails miserably.
** It's a translated Jaffa joke; presumably, it's hilarious to Jaffa (maybe there's some pun in Goa'uld that makes it work). It goes: "Three Jaffa meet on a strange planet: a Horus guard [worshipper of the hawk-headed Egyptian god Horus], a Serpent guard [worshipper of Apophis] and a Setesh guard [worshipper of a doglike god, long-lost and considered sort of like mythical bumpkins by the others]. It is a tense moment. The Horus guard's beak glistens. The Serpent guard's eyes glow. The Setesh guard's... nose drips!" And Teal'c bursts out laughing.
*** How is that not funny? It's the absurdity of it all. It's a tense situation. The Horus guard does something impressive, the Serpent guard does something else impressive, and the Setesh guard [[RuleOfThree does something]]...less impressive. Setup, further setup, and Subversion.
** Another ''SG-1'' example occurs in "Citizen Joe" in which Joe Spencer seems incapable of telling a simple joke.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' tries a few times, as a part of trying to become more social.
* Hank from ''Series/CornerGas''. For example:
--> "Knock, knock."\\
"Who's there?"\\
"Bananarama. ...Wait."
* Gypsy from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', to judge from the few times she was allowed to comment on a movie.
** Joel and the bots do a group impression of Rip Taylor with a string of increasingly lame, desperate prop jokes. IT'S FUNNYYY!
* A RunningGag in ''Series/ShootingStars'', where Vic's OnceAnEpisode attempt to tell a Dove From Above-related joke results in silence, whistling wind, and tumbleweeds. Unless another character reads the same joke for him, in which case it of course becomes enormously amusing.
* Anya in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
-->"Quiet, you'll miss the humorous conclusion!"
** Perhaps you should introduce her to her insect reflection.
*** It still isn't funny.
** It's worth noting that this was in a dream Giles was having while the First Slayer stalked his dreamscape, based on the fact that the real Anya is funny without meaning to be, with her oddities of behavior.
* Simon from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is seemingly bad at telling funny stories about working at Hospitals.
** Then again, when he's going up against the possibility of Inara telling some funny whoring stories the poor guy hasn't got much of a chance.
** His story about making surgeon in "Objects In Space" is much better.
* Dick Loudon demonstrates this on at least one ''Series/{{Newhart}}'' episode.
* Nicola Murray in ''Series/TheThickOfIt'' has the unfortunate combination of a desperate urge to not seem glum or smug and the comedic timing of a deathwatch beetle. In the first series, Olly is the one who takes on this role, as he constantly attempts to prolong jokes and, as is usually the case in real life, ends up killing them stone dead. By the time the specials role around he's even lampshading it:
--> Throw a blanket over me, I'm on fire!
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', one of Data's many attempts to become more human involves him trying to understand the nature of humor. He enlists the help of a holodeck comedian program, and memorizes all the jokes...then proceeds to completely botch the delivery of every one. [[SoUnfunnyItsFunny It's hilarious to watch.]]
** In one of the last episodes ("Journey's End"), he actually pulled a joke off ''perfectly'', then explained that it wasn't a serious statement, killing the joke.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' - as the funniest joke in the world proves an effective crippling weapon for the British in WWII, the Nazis try it themselves: An English couple listening to the radio hear a thick Germanic voice saying "Dere vere zwei peanuts valking down ze strasse, und vun vas assaulted. ...peanut." 'Deutschland Uber Alles' then plays triumphantly as the couple exchange puzzled looks.
* [[LovableNerd Spencer Reid]] of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' tells hilarious jokes ... if you're a genius speed-reading polymath with an eidetic memory. Otherwise, not so much.
* The entire premise of Luann Lockhart on ''Series/MadTV'', the amateur stand-up comedian who has no idea how to tell a joke.
--> '''Luann:''' So...do any of you like the holidays?
--> ''(People applaud)''
--> '''Luann:''' Uh, yeah, me neither. [[DontExplainTheJoke I'M ONLY FOOLING!]]
* Cliff Clavin of ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' attempts stand-up at one of those amateur hour comedy clubs, and his entire schtick is endless variations of "...what's up with that?" Yeah, he bombs.
* Reed from ''Series/AdamTwelve''. He spends a good portion of the finale of season one trying to tell Malloy a joke about ... a dog... and paint... or something, suffering constant interruptions from calls (not his fault) and his own disjointed retelling (totally his fault), and then he's crushed when Malloy doesn't laugh.
* Jeffrey from ''Series/HiDeHi'' is completely hopeless in front of a microphone. This is, in itself, [[SoUnfunnyItsFunny utterly hilarious]].
* Andy Kaufmann in his Little Foreign Man character would do a stand-up routine with deliberately incomprehensible, unfunny 'jokes'.
* On at least one occasion, KITT of ''Series/KnightRider'' tried to entertain Michael with pre-programmed jokes. He ended up completely messing them up, which wasn't too surprising ... but as it ended up, [[spoiler:it was his badly-told jokes that saved Michael's life.]]
* The Italian [[strike: ComedicSociopathy]] SadistShow series ''Series/CameraCafe'' has a sketch named "La barzelletta di Silvano" ("Silvano's joke") that [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is based on this trope]]. It basically involves Silvano, a nerdy ButtMonkey, while he tries to replace an old (and supposedly overused before the sketch) joke involving a bald man to another one related to the math he usually has to deal with. The problem is, other than the new joke being a ReplacementScrappy of the previous ActuallyPrettyFunny joke, that, for one reason or another, he ''never'' gets to tell it. When a coworker of his ''finally'' manages to get him to return to the previous joke, Andrea the (''bald'') bodyguard comes in. And, as always, given how violent, sadistic and bossy Andrea is, the sketch ends exactly with [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown what happens every time Andrea appears in any sketch.]]
* The King from ''Franchise/TheMuppets'' special ''Film/TalesFromMuppetlandTheFrogPrince''.
--> Why's a king's wand called a scepter? 'Cuz everyone in the kingdom works and he doesn't!
* In the ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "Better than Life", the newly-titled "Admiral" Rimmer is attempting to tell an anecdote, but can't remember exactly what happened. It was so bad that even ''the fictional officers from his ideal dream'' went through a couple of seconds of embarrassed, uncertain silence before bursting into sycophantic laughter.
* Ferguson from the Nickelodeon sitcom ''Series/ClarissaExplainsItAll'' was generally a straight-laced, snobby know it all. Later in the series, he spent an entire episode practicing the delivery of a cliche joke (A homeless man walks up to me on the street and says he hasn't had a bite in...) for some event that he was participating in. The humor came not from the joke itself, but from the ludicrous attempts at telling it, which eventually started including ridiculous stresses on random words of the punchline, a la "I bit '''him'''. '''I''' bit him. I '''bit''' him."
* An episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has an example with Castiel referencing a text as a joke "you breed with the mouth of a goat". This spawned the in-fandom meme "It's funnier in Enochian."
** Uriel is apparently the funniest angel in the garrison. [[TheComicallySerious Ask anyone.]]
* Brennan from ''Series/{{Bones}}'' as part of her general social incompetence.
* Mike from ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E12ComparativeReligion Comparative Religion]]:
-->'''Mike:''' "Oh, you're funny. You're a funny man. Wanna hear somethin' funny, funny man? Knock-knock -- My fist up your balls!"\\
'''Jeff:''' "... Who's there?"
* Tulio from ''Series/TreintaYUnMinutos''.
* ''Series/DrewCareysImprovAGanza'': "What is the difference between a rabbi and an Irishman window? One is a pane of glass, and the other's a Jew. ...Think about it."
* Paul from ''Series/MTVLive''.
* Armando from ''Series/TheArmandoIannucciShows'' is this; when he is asked to do a speech to a group of corporate executives on the grounds that, as the writer of ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'', he must be funny. Armando's speech consists of PowerPoint explanations of various jokes, including "My Dog's Got No Nose".
* ''Joker's Wild'' was a panel game from Creator/{{ITV}}, in which six comedians were each given a subject by the chairman (Barry Cryer). They had to tell a joke on this subject, and a member of the opposing team could interrupt if they thought they knew it. When Eric Sykes was on one of the teams, he played this trope for all it was worth (including, at one point, having team captain Alfred Marks go over to him and talk him through a joke).
-->'''Eric:''' Animals. Yes. There was this fella, and he was very strong...no, his wife was dying, that was it...she was Scottish, so Scott--no, she wasn't dying, she was pretty fit, you know... but she thought one day she ''might'' die, so she said to her husband, she said, um...
-->'''Barry:''' Interruption by his own captain.
-->'''Alfred:''' Can I retire? What with him, and now Eric...
-->'''Barry:''' No, no, Eric's still talking. Happy retirement.
-->'''Eric:''' Right--so he looked up, and he said "Don't jump"! ...No, no, you've put me right off now...no, listen, seriously, this is a real joke, I've been working on this for a week, and...
-->''(audience laughter as Ray Martino takes his belt off and pretends to hang himself)''
-->'''Eric:''' And she...no, he...
-->'''Barry:''' I'll give you five points now, Eric, we can return to this in the second half.
* In the first episode of ''Series/LifesTooShort'', Liam Neeson's attempts at improv comedy always end being about contracting [=AIDs=] from an African prostitute.
* Henry from ''Series/UnnaturalHistory''.
* One episode of ''Series/KnowingMeKnowingYouWithAlanPartridge'' featured the truly awful ventriloquist act of Joe Beazley and Cheeky Monkey. Even Alan realised how terrible they were.
* OnceAnEpisode on ''Series/TheTwoRonnies'', Ronnie Corbett would sit in a chair and explain that he was now going to tell a simple joke. He would often deviate from the subject this early by something like explaining that the editor wasn't happy with how it had gone last week and had... etcetera. This inability to stick to the point that tended to result in a three-line joke taking five minutes was the actual joke.
* In ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', Max is the reigning ''king'' of hilariously-inappropriate comedy timing.
* In ''[[Series/TheMuppetShow The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence]]'', UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington on Mount Rushmore is depicted like this
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': In "The Hesitation Ramification", Sheldon attempts to develop a unified theory of comedy to make anyone laugh at any time. Pretty much every attempt he makes to tell a joke falls into this category.
* The attempts of ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'''s Dee Reynolds to get her standup career off the ground inevitably fall into this. Most of the time, she starts retching out of stage fright halfway through her first joke. When she can get one in, it's inevitably rambling observational humor or references to her vagina, delivered either in a halfhearted drawl or while stammering profusely. Yet somehow, it's still better than her non-standup [[{{Blackface}} "character work."]]
* In ''Series/LittleLunch'', Atticus thinks he is an excellent joke-teller, and continually attempts to tell his father's golfing jokes, which he doesn't understand. In "The Joke Competition", Melanie's attempts to tell a joke fall apart because of her shyness.

* Music/{{Prince}} portrays Bruce Wayne as this on the ''Batman'' soundtrack.
--> The phone rings, it's Vicki callin'/She's askin' me to come to the crib
--> See, conversation is better than bein' lonely/So I do my best to ad-lib
--> I tell a joke, about a woman/Who asked her lover, "Why's your organ so small?"
--> He replied: "I didn't know I was playin' a cathedral!"
--> And Vicki didn't laugh at all...

[[folder:New Media]]
* The Man's Daddy from ''Series/{{Digitiser}}''.
* ''Podcast/RandomAssault'': Mitch.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'':
-->'''Calvin''': OK, this guy goes into a bar. No wait, he doesn't do that yet. Or maybe it's a grocery store. OK, it doesn't matter. Let's say it's a bar. He's somewhere in the vicinity of a bar, right? So anyway, there's this dog, and he says something odd, I don't remember, but this other guy says, um, well, I forget, but it was funny.
** Then there was the time he tried to tell Hobbes this hilarious story he heard at school. When Hobbes tried to get him to, you know, ''actually tell the story'', Calvin concluded that the story wasn't all that funny in-and-of itself, but the kid telling it thought it was, and it was pretty hilarious when milk squirted out his nose when he laughed.
* Porkypine from ''ComicStrip/{{Pogo}}'' fundamentally doesn't get humor.
-->'''Porkypine''': This is a humorous anecdote. A goat lost his nose -- the first man says, "What will he smell with now?" The other replies, "As bad as ever." Haw haw haw?

* Harris Wittels from ''Podcast/ComedyDeathRayRadio''.
* 'Wayne from St. Albans' on ''Radio/TheDGeneration'' breakfast show.
** And the accountant on their album ''The Satanic Sketches''
-->"...the first two provided sensible answers, while the Irishman responded in a foolish manner."
* Ed from ''Radio/GetThis'' could tell jokes, but many of his own sketches were ruined by his own lack of organisation and planning, and turned out being funnier in 'ruined' form than if they had gone according to plan.
* Denis King suffered from this on ''Radio/HelloCheeky''. It wasn't so much that he forgot the jokes as it was that his smarmy delivery impacted the humor, and the fact that he'd usually make some sort of happily self-satisfied comment afterwards didn't help.
-->'''Denis:''' [[LampshadeHanging ...Ah well, you can't win them all.]] Just one, that's all I want! One!
* In the Creator/HenryJames episode of the Radio 4 literature quiz ''Radio/TheWriteStuff'', the Author of the Week pastiches at the end were to tell a famous joke in the style of one of James's novels. Inevitably, they were all like this.
-->That he was a married gentleman was clear, that his wife was nowhere to be seen was no less undeniable, so I ventured to enquire of him where she might at that very moment be found. He vouchsafed the information that she had gone travelling to the West Indies.\\
"Indeed," I replied, "To the isle of Jamaica, perchance?"\\
The gentleman sighed, and murmured a response so softly that I could barely hear it. But I seemed to get the impression that, wherever she had gone in the West Indies, she had done so voluntarily.\\
"That may be so," I said, "But do you know if Jamaica was on her itinerary?"\\
He gave me to understand that he was ignorant on this point, and shortly afterwards our conversation came to an end.\\

* Roger de Bris from ''Film/TheProducers''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* DeadpanSnarker Varric struggles to teach Cole how to tell jokes in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. By the last bit of party banter between them, Cole's gotten a little better about it, but not much. The resigned disappointment in Varric's voice indicates he's all but given up on the idea.
* In ''Videogame/MassEffect2'', Joker is forced to give EDI full control over the Normandy. While he is doing so, he complains about the possibility that he might be starting a trend that will lead to a ''Matrix''-like world, with organic life existing as batteries for the AIs. EDI comments that she enjoys the sight of humans on their knees, followed by a short pause and her saying "That was a joke." Joker's expression right after, of course, is absolutely priceless. However, it's less her being unable to tell a joke and more lousy timing: to anyone not trapped on a ship with homicidal aliens and a questionably sane AI (ie the player) it's hilarious, even without the followup.
** She continues to make similar jokes in the third game, until Shepard eventually asks her to stop. She muses that her timing sub-routine needs to be adjusted. [[spoiler: Being built from Reaper technology,]] it makes sense that none of her construction involved any sort of understanding of humor.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda:''
** SAM, being an emotionless AI, cannot tell jokes. Usually, at least. Sometimes SAM does try to tell jokes, and they're ''awful''.
** Jaal has this opinion of his teammate Liam Costa's attempt at humour. He chuckles, and then adds "we [meaning the angara] have people who aren't funny, too."

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoKajitsu'' established in a flashback that Kazuki, Yuuji's dead sister, could not tell a funny joke to save her life. Building on that in ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoRakuen'', we see more flashbacks with her and another attempt to tell a joke [[spoiler:during the afterstory when she's not only been discovered to be alive but also not just a computer (long story) and she still can't tell a joke. The entire time the main story was going on, she pretended to have an artificial arm that everyone was too polite to ask about and the she just pops it off like a glove in front of a side character because she'd figured it would be hilarious.]] Okay, the audience might find that hilarious, but there's nobody in the story who would actually laugh at that barring maybe Yuuji.
* Apollo Justice from the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series often falls victim of this, albeit not for the reasons stated in the introduction blurb. The reason, at least according to Trucy and Ema, is because it's impossible to tell if Apollo is being serious or not. As such, people either take his jokes as [[BrutalHonesty blunt, tactless commentaries]] or takes his commentaries as [[DudeNotFunny rude, ill-timed jokes]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One of the WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's minor running gags is starting off a bad joke, failing, [[DiggingYourselfDeeper desperately trying to keep it afloat]] before suddenly switching to an expressionless face and pulling an offscreen lever, at which point the words "'''[[LampshadeHanging JOKE ABORTED]]'''" appear on the screen.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Spades Slick attempts a [[BondOneLiner hard boiled one-liner]]::'
--->'''SS''': [[MythologyGag Hate to]] chop off all of your heads with this sword. Real sorry about that. My bad.
** We don't see it onscreen, but Orphaner Dualscar actually died because of his lack of a sense of humour; he had to tell a funny joke to the [[MonsterClown Grand Highblood]] to have his life spared, and failed.
* Mortimer and, to a lesser extent, Steve from ''WebVideo/MortimersVlog''.
* Ryrare from ''WebVideo/WeTheYou''.
* Near in ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv'' as demonstrated when prank calling Light:
-->'''Light:''' (''*sighs*'') Do yourself a favor. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Hang up. Now.]]
-->'''Near:''' Okay. (''*hangs up*'') Hey guys, wasn't that hilarious?
* [[Website/{{Cracked}} Cracked]].com's "[[http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-no-one-can-teach-you-about-being-funny/ Things Nobody Can Teach You About Being Funny]]", the first entry is "How to be funny (if you aren't)". Essentially saying that some people just ''aren't funny'' and there's not much anyone can do about it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/TwoStupidDogs'' episode "Fun!". Little Dog gets through a joke ("Why did the orange stop? Because it ran out of juice.") twice in a row. On the third time, he forgets the joke, then immediately ad-libs a new one: "What's black and white and orange all over? A skunk eating pumpkin pie!"
* Quite a few characters in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Prince Zuko, as evidenced by his attempt to tell Uncle Iroh's tea joke.
---> "I can't remember how it starts, but the punchline is, "''Leaf'' me alone! I'm ''bushed!''"
** Also Katara, with "It's ''so'' hot, Momo is shedding like Appa!" and "If you miss Sokka so much, why don't you ''marry him''?"
** Suki too...
--->'''Suki:''' (after [[spoiler:Ozai]]'s defeat) How about King of the Guys who don't win? ([[Funny/AvatarTheLastAirbender Said person blanched at that]])
--->'''Toph:''' [[DeadpanSnarker Leave the jokes to us, honey.]]
* Seen in ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead'' sometimes, usually from Butthead bunging up a joke. There's some joke that goes "What's the definition of a perfect woman? Three feet tall, with a flat head to hold the beer". Of course when Butthead attempts to tell this, his punchline is "Uh... I dunno, but she'd be pretty hot!". Another time he did successfully tell the "Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can!" joke, to which Beavis replies "Um... what's so special about that? Anyone can lick a dog's balls!"
* Happens to T-Bone in ''WesternAnimation/CliffordTheBigRedDog''.
* Would-be comedian Iggy Catalpa in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Stewie Griffin seems to have this issue.
--->'''Stweie:''' Oh, I've got a good one. Two guys are at the pearly gates and... uhm, well, I don't remember how it goes, but the punchline is that they turn out to be Seigfried and Roy.
* Zapp Brannigan from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' - He breaks out a sexist joke to Kiff when Kiff's being followed by Amy's pet buggalo.
--->'''Zapp:''' Kiff, who's your girlfriend?
--->'''Kiff:''' She won't leave me alone.
--->'''Zapp:''' Did I say girlfriend? I meant wife!
--->Tumbleweed rolls by.
* Dragon from ''WesternAnimation/JaneAndTheDragon''. It may just be that he doesn't 'get' human humour but his jokes generally leave humans scratching their heads.
--->'''Jester (telling a joke Dragon has written for him):''' "...That isn't a cow. That's just my cave chicken."
--->'''Jane:''' "How is that even a joke?"
* Lolly Poopdeck from ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack''. In "Day Without Laughter", he attempts to become a comedian, but the punchlines to all his jokes consist of really strained puns based on his own name.
* Kowalski from ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar''.
--->'''Private''': There's two of you! That's a great trick!
--->'''Kowalski''': Private, can you recall a time when I have ever played a trick or even ''told a joke''?
* A variation in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''; Homer fails at humorous limericks. He tries to disprove this by saying "There once was a man from, I think it was Nantucket. And anyway, he had this interesting characteristic..." At this point he can't remember the rest, and Lenny and Carl just snicker at him. (There is a RunningGag throughout the series of Homer never being able to finish the "man from Nantucket" limerick, which is ''extremely'' vulgar.)
** Also Prinicpal Skinner. It takes him less than 30 seconds to screw up the WhosOnFirst routine he is doing with Superindentent Chalmers by explaining that he doesn't mean the pronoun 'who' but rather that there is a player with the unlikely surname of 'Who' playing first base.
** After being appointed interim principal of Springfield Elementary, Ned Flanders stated his policy to put the 'pal' back in 'principal', which everyone finds hilarious. Straight away, Chalmers adds that he'll put the 'super' back in 'superintendent', to which the room responds with silence.
--->'''Ned''': (continuing, on his lunch policy) Let me just say I want to put the "stew" back in "students". (everyone laughs)
--->'''Chalmers''': It's just a damn popularity contest with you kids! (walks offstage in a huff)
* Squidward in nearly every episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' where he tries to entertain.
** Spongebob in one episode tries to tell jokes, but is so unfunny that he only hears a cricket chirping. It eventually gets so bad that the ''cricket quits''.
* Betty Staines in ''WesternAnimation/StainesDownDrains''. Stand-up was probably a poor career choice for her...
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' gives us Fluttershy. The season 3 finale shows how her stand-up skills just aren't there.
* Chase from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots'' tries and fails so much at any kind of joke or prank.
* One time, okay see, one time there was a character in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' who was a small boy who told stories that had happened to his friend Randy Beaman and the stories were always told in a near-monotone and in one long run-on sentence and at the end he'd recite the punchline in the same way and you wouldn't be sure if he'd reached it or not. Okay, bye.
* Numbuh 2 of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' always is making puns and telling jokes which draw nothing but groans from his fellow agents. In "Operation: P.O.O.L.", the agents meet their negative universe counterparts which exhibit the opposite treats of the normal agents; Negative Numbuh 2 is a good comedian who always makes people laugh, leaving positive Numbuh 2 unable to figure out what he said.
-->'''Negative Numbuh 2:''' ''(of Negative Numbuh 4)'' Check it out, a ''cow''ard with a ''goat''ee! Either there's a farm around here or you stink!\\
''(everyone laughs)''\\
'''Numbuh 2:''' ''(perplexed)'' That's not funny. That's not funny at all.
* Humorbot on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': "And I said 'Supercollider? I hardly know her.' Then they built the Supercollider. Thank you."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'': Donnie, the who becomes the Joker's sidekick Prank in "The Apprentice", suffers from this, and manages to empty an entire comedy club with his lame material. The Joker seems to like his stuff, however.
-->So the mathematician says "X equals P.U.!"
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'': Beast Boy is often telling jokes that make everyone else groan, especially Raven.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'': Here in the followup series, Robin takes the unfunny ball in the episode "Uncle Jokes".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Stumpy. Not only are his jokes incredibly lame, he also laughs very hard while telling them and half the time he's laughing too hard to finish talking.

[[folder:Truth In Television]]
* There have been a number of examples of guests like this over the long history of ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'', but special mention has to go to trade-unionist Derek Hatton, whose joke about a ministerial lovechild ''bombed'', and most of all Piers Morgan, who attempts to copy a joke from a previous week, tells it badly, and then '''attempts to bully the audience into laughing at it'''. It fails miserably, and best of all, Ian Hislop manages to tell the joke later, to much laughter. (Of course, when Hislop told it the audience were laughing purely to make Morgan's failure more personal).
** Hatton also told the Ikea cabinet joke ("The Cabinet is like an Ikea cabinet; a couple of loose screws and it falls to pieces") to utter disdain. When Cherie Blair told the same joke in a speech, ''HIGNFY'' replayed the clip, and to everyone's surprise, it got a rather more positive reaction. (Paul's reaction was something like "It's a matter of timing. Fifteen years later, it's funny.") It's also possible they were laughing at how cheap the set looked, and Ian Hislop with hair, rather than the joke.
* Often children who have just read joke books decide to make their own jokes. Results vary.
** [[http://badkidsjokes.tumblr.com/ Bad Kid's Jokes]] collects examples submitted by kids to a joke website. Most of them are either purely nonsensical, or else the kids missed the concept of telling jokes altogether. Definitely a case of [[SoUnfunnyItsFunny So Unfunny It's Hilarious]]. Typical examples include missing the punch lines of real jokes:
---> what do you call a deer with no eyes
---> EYE dunno
*** And nonsense bordering on the surreal:
---> How do you make a potato?
---> you make it inside your brain
*** And of course, attempts at ToiletHumor:
---> What is the secret ingrediant of a toilet?
---> Poo
* People with [[UsefulNotes/HighFunctioningAutism autism]] are likely to find it hard to tell jokes in such a way that they are funny (or supposed to be) due to limited, if not absent, social skills.