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Comically Missing the Point

"I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: 'Good evening, Mr. Dowd.' I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name."
Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey

A character completely misses a really obvious point for comic effect. The point is the sort of thing that any reasonable or informed person will spot and understand given a few seconds or enough information. However, the center of this trope is a person who, despite having all the time in the world and all the information, comes to a conclusion so wrong it's hard to be even further from correct. Commonly elicits a response along the lines of "that's not what's wrong here". Visual gags are often involved.

A Sister Trope to Dramatically Missing the Point.

For the fandom equivalent, see Misaimed Fandom.

Compare Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?, Bait-and-Switch Comment, Cloudcuckoolander, Failed a Spot Check, Not Actually The Ultimate Question, I Take Offense to That Last One, The Ditz, Mistaken for Profound, Need a Hand, or a Handjob?, and Insane Troll Logic.

No real life examples, please. We'll have to spend a lot of money just to make another subpage for real life.


In-Universe Examples Only:

Example subpages


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • An Israeli commercial for a sale offered to the holders of a local credit card in a hotel chain featured a family preparing to move in permanently to a hotel room. In the commercial Stinger, the father is shown nailing a sign to the door; a hotel employee stops and looks in astonishment at what he’s doing, and the father asks, ‘Is it crooked?’
  • A 1985 spot for GMAC financing shows a couple at a car dealer requesting financing for a Pontiac Fiero. This sparks a swarm of miscues as the head of financing (and the Christmas Club; which he covers with a financing sign as the couple enters) thinks they are asking about an Italian car. The would-be customers then clarify it was a Pontiac; then reference the other brands General Motors produced at the time — only for a second guy to mention that those were "not Italian cars". After all this (and the announcer spiel); the first guy now thinks the couple is buying a large number of cars and adds that they need to know what they were intending to do with all those cars.
  • In the Mercedes commercial Beauty is nothing without brains a woman asks for a burger, fries and a shake. When she is informed that she is a library, all she does is ask the same question quieter. Then again she's blonde anyway.
  • The Chase credit card company runs a series of commercials in which couples relay outrageous travel tales to their friends; we became fast friends with Chevy Chase, our son discovered a dinosaur, etc. The friends are stunned...because the couple was able to use its frequent flier miles on a whim, over a holiday and to a desirable destination.
  • In this commercial for Faygo Sugar-Free Redpop, football legend Alex Karras is seen eating a platter of pizza. An off-screen voice comments that he thought Alex was on a diet. Alex then tells him that he was on a diet, proceeding to shill the Sugar-Free Redpop. It leads to this bit of dialogue afterwards.
    Off-screen voice: Yeah, but Alex... what about the pizza?
    Alex: (looks at pizza, then smiles at the camera) Faygo doesn't make pizza.
  • Yellow is prone to moments like this in the M&M's advertisements. In one instance, he, Red, and several people are held up at a convenience store and their captor threatens to eat one of his hostages. Yellow automatically assumes he's intending to eat one of the humans. There's also the following exchange, which also doubles as an Actor Allusion considering that Yellow is voiced by Law & Order semi-regular J.K. Simmons.
    Red: Coming up next, the new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon of everyone's favorite celebrities!
Yellow: Oh boy! A Law & Order balloon?!
Red: (beat, annoyed) I was talking about us.
Yellow: (beat) We're gonna be on Law & Order?
  • The Aldi low-budget supermarket chain in the UK has a series of advertisements where a character will buy another character a delicious meal in preparation for telling them some devastating news (e.g. a man telling his wife he is cheating on her), only for the other person to be more interested in the fact that they were able to buy the entire meal at Aldi.

    Puppet Shows 
  • This is a stock-in-trade trope of Wilbur, a children's series about a group of anthropomorphic barnyard friends who learn lessons from books. The character in question will sometimes miss the point of the story in question, often in a comical manner that at times could almost qualify as a Spoof Aesop. This will force another reading of the story. In the event that the character doesn't miss the point, there'll be some other reason for the story being re-read, such as another character needing to learn the lesson.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy has a Chaos God of, among other things, Atheism. He has followers. When dealing with Chaos Cultists, do not expect an overabundance of anything resembling sanity or logic. A god of Atheism is made weaker through worship.
    • There is a reason he tries to keep any and all material regarding him hidden from mortal eyes as much as possible.

    Theater 
  • In Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy when Bruce makes a reference to horses in the play "Equus" and his blind date (through the personals) Prudence says he should be a vet, Bruce rebukes her for missing the metaphor and says he could never respect anyone who missed a metaphor.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: In-Universe: Cyrano (a Broken Ace with an enormous nose) invokes two famous historical romances (Cesar and Cleopatra, Tito and Berenice) and compares himself to the Cesar and Tito to justify why he cannot win the beautiful Roxane’s love. The point is that Cesar and Tito were loved not because they were fair, but they were highly charismatic leaders (like Cyrano himself, as his best friend Le Bret lampshades). Given that Cyrano is a Broken Ace and certainly this point would be obvious to him, this shows us how talking about love he will always deceive himself.
    CYRANO (shaking his head): Look I a Caesar to woo Cleopatra?
    A Tito to aspire to Berenice?
    Le Bret: Your courage and your wit!
  • Harvey: "I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: 'Good evening, Mr. Dowd.' I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name."
  • In the musical and Showtime movie of Reefer Madness the main characters sing about how much they are like Romeo and Juliet. They even state that they haven't read the ending, but they're 'sure it turns out real swell.'


CloudcuckoolanderJustForFun/Tropes of LegendCrapsack World
Comforting the WidowOlder Than FeudalismCool and Unusual Punishment
Celebrity ResemblanceAdministrivia/In-Universe Examples OnlyComical Overreacting
Closet ShuffleThis Index Is A JokeCompensating for Something
Cold-Blooded TortureAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Commie Nazis
Duck!ImageSource/Web ComicsObvious Judas
Comically Invincible HeroComedy TropesThe Comically Serious
Genki GirlOverdosed TropesPrecision F-Strike

alternative title(s): Completely Missing The Point
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