Didn't We Use This Joke Already?
Sorry just isn't good enough, Protoman.
Ozzy: These filmmakers are just [bleep] boobs!
Kelly: What do you mean, Dad?
: Well, they're usin' the same [bleep]
jokes they did in the last Austin Powers movie.
Basically a situation or joke played earlier in the story reoccurs and a character breaks the fourth wall,
to say "Didn't we use this joke already?"
Sister-trope to Oh, No... Not Again!
, in which a character comments in-universe
on an action or event that is repeated in the story.
A Self-Referential Humor
trope. Compare No Reprise Please
, Oh, No... Not Again!
, No Fourth Wall
, Lampshade Hanging
, Genre Savvy
, Running Gag
, Fleeting Demographic Rule
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Anime and Manga
- In FLCL, during the second round of scenes done in manga style, one of the characters wonders why they are doing more manga scenes again.
- There's a couple of instances of this on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. For example, Nozomu brings up the topic of ignoring distressing things around you. Chiri says something to the effect of the show already doing this joke. Nozomu quips, "Ignoring that."
- In the 1973 album The Watergate Comedy Hour, Fannie Flagg is a White House telephone operator who tells a friend she's talking to about Attorney General John Mitchell that if what he's about to do to his wife the President is about to do to the Democratic Party she'd be a lot happier. In a later sketch, "The Break-In" the Watergate burglars enter a dark room where they take a number count and come up one too many. They run into the busboy, JosŤ who tells them that it's where he and his girl Carmalita meet every night, saying "What I'm about to do to Carmalita I think you're going to do to the Democratic Party." The head of the Watergate burglars cracks "We've already done that joke!"
- Austin Powers in Goldmember features a rehash of a joke in the second movie consisting of multiple Ironic Echo Cuts. On the third cut, it swaps to Ozzy Osbourne complaining about the filmmakers reusing the joke.
- In The Fourth Bear, Inspector Jack Spratt is given a piece of evidence, a manila envelope with "Important" written on the front, and quips, "This could be important." When he shows it to Officer Mary Mary, she makes the same quip, but Jack informs her that he already made that joke, and she apologizes.
- Animorphs: "If a seagull eats fried chicken, is that like cannibalism or something?" "Haven't we had this conversation before?"
Live Action TV
- In episode 2 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, an announcer says, "And now for something completely the same: a man with three buttocks," and gets a phone call pointing out that they did that already.
- Prior to that, the "Man With Three Buttocks" skit begins over again and stopped suddenly:
Interviewer: Didn't we just do this already?
Arthur Frampton: Yes.
Interviewer: Why didn't you say so?
Frampton: I thought it was the continental version.
- Taking the concept Up to Eleven; one episode has two sketches ending with a cop attempting to arrest someone for impersonating an Italian film director. The last sketch of the episode ("The Argument Clinic") ends with a cop attempting to arrest a character for violating the "Strange Sketch" act. Then another cop arrives to arrest the whole show for, among other charges, "simply ending every bleedin' sketch by just having a policeman come in and... wait a minute..."
- Red Dwarf:
Cat: So, what is it?
Lister: Oh, someone punch him out!
- A Wayne's World sketch on Saturday Night Live:
- The It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" has this as the meta-joke. The gang starts rehashing jokes and situations from previous episodes, causing Dee to repeatedly say, "Didn't we do this already?" They eventually latch on to re-inventing an old idea by literally recycling people's garbage.
- Scrubs: Dr. Cox makes fun of JD by calling him random girls' names. In one episode, JD tells Cox he already one before, but Cox says he doesn't care.
- The short-lived sketch show Star Terk (sic) would have, Once an Episode, a gag where Captain Kirk would be asked an innocent-seeming question and answer "Uhura's bottom". In the last episode, Uhura deliberately provokes this at the start of the show. Later on, when Kirk is asked the usual question, he replies that they've already done that joke.
- In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Joker tells Batman, "There were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... Oh hell, you've heard that one before, haven't you?" (He is, of course, referring to the joke he told at the end of The Killing Joke, and that isn't the only reference to the story in the game.)
- Bob and George does this a lot with several of its jokes. The comic repeatedly lampshades it and even manages to go meta. The author admits in his notes he loves using this trope.
So, in the end, it was a joke about reusing jokes about reusing jokes. Very postmodern
- In episode 33 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, the "L'Oreal, because I'm worth it!" joke is reused, and Bakura says "I think we did that joke already."
- In Super Mario Bros. Z, an 'Over 9000' joke was made twice, and the perpetrating character was called out on it.
- The perpetrating character then tries to justify it by citing the 18-month gap between the two uses of the joke.
- The Nostalgia Critic created many memes that he uses at certain situations, nowadays when one of these situations come up, he lampshades how everyone knows what's coming, and how predictable it is. He has even flipped through several of his Running Gags in rapid succession, searching for the one that applies to the current moment.
- Ultra Fast Pony's episode 5, "Everybody Hates Gilda", uses the song "Oh Yeah Yeah" by Marzipan for a montage. Episode 12, "Out With the Old Characters", starts to use the same song for a similar montage, but it gets abruptly cut off:
- In Red vs. Blue, Sarge first builds a robot (Lopez), then turns Simmons into a cyborg, then uses Simmons' leftover parts to save Grif after he's hit by the tank, then builds two robot bodies for Church and Tex (who are "ghosts") to inhabit. Unfortunately, by the time Tucker is half-blown up by a rocket, Sarge can't build Tucker a new body because, as Donut explains, they're out of parts because they overused that joke.
- In an episode of Family Guy:
Stewie: I'm not going to no Jewish school! Sitting around all day with a bunch of short, hairy guys. I'll feel like I'm on the forest moon of Endor.
Chris: Didn't you make that joke the other day?
- On The Simpsons, Mr. Burns plans to seal all of Springfield in a dome, until Lenny mentions that it's been done (specifically in The Movie).
Marge: Hmmm. Should the Simpsons get a horse?
Comic Book Guy:
Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse, and the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with hilarious consequences
Homer: [pause] Anybody care what this guy thinks?
- Later in the same episode, Marge starts filling out a racing form. Lisa suggests that Marge might be developing a gambling problem, a nod to Marge getting hooked on slot machines in "$pringfield; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling". Cue Comic Book Guy: "Hey! I'm watching you."
- Similarly, during Apu's wedding Bart wistfully watches the trained elephant and wishes that he had one as a pet. Lisa reminds him that this already happened.
- In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, they build a rollercoaster. Except this time, it's A MUSICAL! The trope title is practically quoted verbatim.
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures parody of "Kon Tiki", this trope was utilized when the raft started to sink for a a second time.
Plucky Duck: It can't be! We did that gag already!
Sweetie Pie: What?! You're going to bring up redundancy now?!
- In the How I spent My Vacation movie, a Running Gag has various amusing things happening to Plucky's tongue. By the last one, he acknowledges it as "Tongue joke number twelve".
- South Park has used this at least twice:
- The episode "Canceled" begins identically to the first episode, "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe", until the boys start commenting that the experience is eerily familiar.
- "200" begins with some unenthusiastic namecalling between Cartman and Kyle, only for it to be pointed out that this routine has been done to death. Even better, the exact same dialogue about it being done to death happened in an earlier episode.
- The Danger Mouse episode "Duckula Meets Frankenstoat" cracks a spoonerism, "a block of flats" for "a flock of bats," which gets repeated twice and duly noted by the cast.
DM: What's that noise?
Penfold: It sounds like a block of flats.
DM: "Block of flats"?
Penfold: Er, a flock of bats.
DM: Your imagination's running away again, Penfold.
Penfold: So's that joke. It's the second time around.
(Later, after confronting Duckula)
Duckula: You will be surrounded by a swarming b-b-block of flats! He He He!
DM: We've done that one.
Duckula: (disappointed) Curses, foiled again.
- In an old MGM cartoon featuring the slow-witted wolf voiced by Daws Butler, the wolf is bitten in the ass by a dog. He goes behind a screen to change clothes, draping his ruined pants, with the dog still attached, over the side. A subsequent mishap has the wolf changing clothes again, and the first pair of pants, with dog still attached, are still draped over the screen. As the wolf walks away, he nonchalantly pats the dog on the rump, drawling, "OK, son, break it up...joke's over, hear?"
- A few times in Rocky and Bullwinkle, they would recycle jokes. Usually Rocky would observe, "They liked it once, they'll love it twice!"
- The Looney Tunes short "The Wise Quacking Duck" has one of these gags.
Daffy: Oh no! Not twice in the same picture!