->'''Skull Boy:''' A horseshoe.\\
'''Poe:''' Well that shouldn't be hard to spot.\\
'''Skull Boy:''' A seahorse horseshoe.\\
'''Others:''' Ohhhhhh.\\
'''Skull Boy:''' For a baby seahorse.\\
'''Others:''' Ohhhh...\\
'''Skull Boy:''' A baby miniature seahorse.\\
'''Others:''' Oh.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'', "Lucky Me"

Traditionally, a joke consists of [[{{Punchline}} a succinct remark made in response to a setup]], after which either the conversation goes on in its original direction, or the scene ends. An Escalating Punchline, on the other hand, keeps extending the remark by tagging on further and further additions, often with each being more extreme than the last. These are always short and delivered in an uninterrupted sequence, separated by very brief but distinct pauses. With sufficient increments, it can turn into an OverlyLongGag.

Jokes like this usually rely on CrossesTheLineTwice, where it gets progressively funnier as the punchline is exaggerated. Compare to ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and BreadEggsMilkSquick, where all the escalation occurs in one section of the punchline, usually with the last part; also see OneTwoPunchline. Compare SerialEscalation.



* ''TheAristocrats'' will usually require this format.
* There's a joke that exists in various forms about a man with "Shorty" tattooed on his penis. Eventually a woman goes to bed with him and emerges pleased and exhausted. Her friends ask what was so great about sex with "Shorty," and she reports that the tattoo actually says "Shorty's Pizza Parlor." ({{beat}}) "[[BiggerIsBetterInBed Established 1990]]." (beat) "[[GagPenis Eat In, Take Out, or Delivery]]." (beat) "[[SerialEscalation Albequerque, New Mexico 47101...]]"
* Some people just need a high-five.\\
In the face.\\
With a chair.\\
Made of steel.\\
A day.\\
Every day.
* The joke with the car who runs into a police control, and the inhabitants blathering away happily. Usually goes from the "Don't listen to him, he's drunk" to the corpse in the trunk.

* Common in the works of Creator/WarrenEllis, but especially in ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'' and ''ComicBook/{{Nextwave}}''.
-->'''Aaron Stack:''' Ah, yes. Many was the night I'd sneak in here to steal his beer. Until I found out he made the beer himself. And what he made it out of. I thought "Lizard Squeezings" was a brewery name.

* ''Literature/{{The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy|1}}'' has this:
-->'''Prosser:''' But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.\\
'''Arthur:''' Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.\\
'''Prosser:''' But the plans were on display...\\
'''Arthur:''' On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.\\
'''Prosser:''' That's the display department.\\
'''Arthur:''' With a flashlight.\\
'''Prosser:''' Ah, well the lights had probably gone.\\
'''Arthur:''' So had the stairs.\\
'''Prosser:''' But look, you found the notice didn't you?\\
'''Arthur:''' Yes, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.

* Blanche in ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'':
-->I can't sell my car to you; you're a friend. My great granddad always said there's two things you never sell to a friend: a car, and a slave. Because if either one stops working you'll never hear the end of it. 'Course, they hanged my great-granddad. He said a lot of things he shouldn't have.
* Bette Midler in ''Series/{{Bette}}'' when she takes a job as a waitress:
--> I got some very nice feedback. Even a love letter! It was very sweet. Kind of dirty, though. ''[holds up letter in sandwich bag]'' I'm sending it to the police, actually.
* Phoebe in ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
-->'''Parker:''' I'm sorry, but that's who I am! I'm a positive person! \\
'''Phoebe:''' No, ''I'm'' a positive person. ''You'' are like Santa on Prozac! At Disneyland! Getting laid!
** Another Phoebe line:
--->"Sluts-R-Us"? Is that a real place?... Are they hiring?
* ''Series/{{Outnumbered}}'', "The Dinner Party":
-->'''Pete:''' I remember at school, that the bullying stopped when I showed them that I just wasn't frightened of them. And when that new boy started. Boy with a stutter. Peter the Repeater, they called him. Well, Paracetamol Pete after the suicide attempt.
* Andy Parsons on ''Series/MockTheWeek'':
-->She said she is Radio 2 to UsefulNotes/GordonBrown's Radio 4. And you're thinking, well, she's not Radio 2. Radio 2 is the most popular radio station in this country. If she's anything, she's Isle of Wight FM. On a Sunday morning. At 3 o'clock. In January. When the transmission mast is broken.
** Greg Davies about his grandmother, who (allegedly) applied night cream each night for decades to keep complexion young:
--->You've spent all that time and all that money, Gran, and your face is no better than Granddad's. And he's dead. He died in the war. He got shot in the face. With a cannon.
* Very common in ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', particular examples include the "Tuesday Documentary" sketch and the "American Defense" sketch.
* ''Series/TooManyCooks'' starts out as an OverlyLongGag parody of {{Dom Com}}s with ridiculous premises, but quickly grows from there into a psycho stalker, a parody of crime shows and sci-fi, and gains multiple levels of metaness in the process.
* ''Series/WillAndGrace'', "Leo Unwrapped":
-->'''Grace:''' No! You know I have to be surprised. Remember two years ago how upset I got when you left your present out for me to find?\\
'''Will:''' "Left it out?!" It was hidden in a storage locker in Queens. That I rented under an assumed name. You bit through a combination lock!
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] as a RunningGag in ''Series/GetSmart'', as Max would start out making outrageous claims and then scale them back in response to the other party's disbelief.
--> '''Max:''' At the moment, seven Coast Guard cutters are converging on us. Would you believe it?\\
'''Mr. Big:''' I find that hard to believe.\\
'''Max:''' Hmmm . . . Would you believe six?\\
'''Mr. Big:''' I don't think so.\\
'''Max:''' How about two cops in a rowboat?
* The ''Clarke and Dawe'' skit "The Front Fell Off", in reference to the ''Kirki'' oil spill off the coast of Western Australia in 1991, culminates in John Clarke's character Senator Bob Collins claiming that the tanker has been towed outside of the environment (and not into another environment, somehow).
-->'''Bryan Dawe:''' Well what's out there?\\
'''Clarke:''' Nothing's out there!\\
'''Dawe:''' There must be something...\\
'''Clarke:''' There is nothing out there. All there is sea, and birds, and fish.\\
'''Dawe:''' And?\\
'''Clarke:''' And twenty-thousand tons of crude oil.\\
'''Dawe:''' And what else?\\
'''Clarke:''' And a fire.\\
'''Dawe:''' And anything else?\\
'''Clarke:''' And the part of the ship that the front fell off. But there's nothing else out there. It's a complete void, the environment's perfectly safe.

* The bawdy English folk song "[[http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=81841 A Long Strong Black Pudding]]'' has elements of this.
* Rapper Canibus used to love this. Example "Mic-Nificent": "My rhymes confuse niggas like somebody trying to gangbang / Wearing a blue shirt, and red pants / Throwing up signs with the left hand / Standing out in the corner of wetlands / With a confederate flag for a headband"
* My Dear Boss is a long series of greater and greater misfortune, explaining why the singer cannot come to work

[[folder:{{Stand Up Comedy}}]]
* Creator/{{Christopher Titus}}, telling a story about his dad waking him up one morning.
--> "How about you tell me why the car is parked at such an odd angle. On the porch. Across the street."
* Creator/JeffDunham has this with his puppet Walter when describing the ease of obtaining condoms.
-->'''Walter:''' [[WhenIWasYourAge When I was young]] I had to walk five ''miles'' to get a condom. Uphill! In the snow! With a ''boner!''
* Creator/GeorgeCarlin says that he doesn't worry about germs; if he drops food on the floor, he'll pick it up and eat it!
-->"Even if it's at a sidewalk cafe! In Calcutta! The ''poor'' section! On New Year's Morning during a soccer riot!"

* When [=GLaDOS=] tells Chell an engineer has officially noted in her file that her orange jumpsuit looks stupid on her in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}''.
-->[=GLaDOS=]: Still, what does [an engineer] know? Oh wait, it says she has a medical degree. In fashion. From France!

* [[http://www.shortpacked.com/2009/comic/book-9/11-nerdfight/twelveyears/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'' comic has three punchlines, each increasingly funny. ''Shortpacked!'' does this a lot, actually.
* ''Webcomic/{{Nedroid}}'' sets it up, and the AltText knocks it down, like [[http://nedroid.com/2012/03/the-thirteenth-labor/ so]].
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' loves this trope.

* A lot of {{Website/Cracked}}'s original videos end up as this, for example ''[[http://www.cracked.com/video_18332_when-giving-away-a-lifetime-supply-turns-deadly.html When Giving Away a Lifetime Supply Turns Deadly]].''
* WebVideo/MovieBob about a scene in ''Film/MammaMia'':
--> It's all really sad. How sad? Picture a [[LittlestCancerPatient six-year-old cancer patient]] singing "Puff the Magic Dragon". At a funeral. For his ''dog''. ''[[RefugeInAudacity That was killed on 9/11.]]''
** Also, about how much the concept of ''Film/{{Monsters|2010}}'' seems to be almost tailor-made to his taste:
---> It's like a Reese's Cup. Inside a blueberry pie. With Cool Whip. Served to me by Creator/AnneHathaway. On a speedboat. In the [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mushroom Kingdom]]. On Christmas.
* The ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'' review of ''VideoGame/TheDarkness'':
-->'''Yahtzee:''' At this point, I'd only consider buying the full version of The Darkness if it came down to budget price. And they threw in [[VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil another, better game]]. And some cake. And Belgium.
** Also, the ''VideoGame/TooHuman'' review:
--->You're left with a gaming experience that could be recreated by walking down a wide road in the middle of nowhere stopping every five seconds to crack yourself in the eye with a hammer (beat) and the road is a million miles long (beat) and the hammer is made of wank.
** And his ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' one.
--->It's like watching someone beat his fists against a wall before running off to hospital only to come back and do it some more. And they used my medical insurance. ''And it's my wall.''
** And in his ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad'' one, describing the difference between casual and hardcore gaming (not unlike [[http://cdn-usa.gagbay.com/2012/07/casual_gaming_vs_hardcore_gaming-115664.jpg this image]]):
---> Oh, look at this wee man, who thinks he can roll with us! Maybe if you eat this entire live crab. While I'm hitting you. ''With the crab.''
** In his "Best and Worst of 2015" video, his explanation for why he named ''VideoGame/{{Halo 5}}'' [[SoOkayItsAverage #1 Blandest Game of 2015]] is capped off with:
---> There's only so much you can do with the material, I suppose. It's like trying to paint a masterpiece with used bath-water on a canvas of dryer lint... in a house made of bog-roll... in ''[[PlaceWorseThanDeath Swindon]]''.
* Done a few times on ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** In the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "the show", Strong Bad decides to compare Homestar's antics to "me... kicking the Cheat... into Strong Sad... with the chicken pox."
** In "montage", Strong Bad's reaction to an emailer asking him to "creat" a montage is to say (in a mocking, high-pitched voice) "Oooohhh! Why don't you 'creat' an alternate reality where you don't have to spell correctly? (''beat'') And I talk like this. (''beat'') And your name is Watered Down!"
** In "strong badathlon", one of the events in [[{{Pseudolympics}} the eponymous -Athlon]] is "the Clean and Jerk... Strong Mad's Underwears... Over His Head. Fortunately, you don't really have to clean them."
** In "slumber party", Strong Bad claims that at childhood slumber parties, Strong Sad was the much-ridiculed "kid who got picked up early 'cause he misses his mom", even when they were holding slumber parties in their own basement.
-->'''Strong Sad:''' That only happened once!\\
'''Strong Bad:''' Uh-huh...\\
'''Strong Sad:''' A week...\\
'''Strong Bad:''' Keep goin'...\\
'''Strong Sad:''' For ''ten years''.\\
'''Strong Bad:''' There you go!
** In "Fan Costumes '09", Strong Bad makes fun of a bunch of Homestar costumes and unexpectedly sees a bad costume of himself.
-->'''Strong Bad:''' I know what you're thinkin', and it's what you thought. But that is actually a costume of Strong Bad after he's been... run over twelve times! By a cliff. Off a skyscraper. Into a discount... felt... surplus... store.
* Used in episode 39 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', combined with {{Metaphorgotten}}:
-->'''Caboose:''' I know where you can find O'Malley. He lived inside my helmet for a while, maybe he left an address to send his mail. We were like roommates! \\
'''Sarge:''' Sounds like he took some of the furniture when he left. And the carpet. And the drapes. And I wouldn't expect to get that deposit back, if you know what I mean.
** Commentary on the DVD reveals a lot of Sarge's ad-libs went on like this.
* In the second WebVideo/AMVHell, there is a recurring image of an [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion EVA]]. The first two appearances both use the same somber orchestral music, but the third has only cricket noises. The fourth appearance has a song with the lyrics [[Film/TheWeddingSinger "WON'T SOMEBODY KILL ME PLEASE? KILL ME! I WANT TO DIE!"]] If you wait after the cut to black, the EVA is shown for a final time, finally crushing and dropping its victim.
** Only to see that it's the ''EVA's'' head that's falling...
* ''Series/{{Noob}}'' has a scene during which the main guild is looking for a new healer and recruiting in an area that has many low-level players. Near the end of the episode, someone passes by and the group jerkass makes fun of him, assuming he's a low-level player. The guild master's answer can be paraphrased as "That 'kid' you just made fun of is part of [the game's top guild you're hoping to join someday]. Actually, he's in the same team as [top player of said guild of whom you're a {{Fanboy}}]. He's also the game's best healer."

* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Stanny Tendergrass" when the mistreated employees of Roger's country club turn on him and he's talking to an angry old woman with a crossbow, who is the daughter of a woman whom Roger married and then killed and wants her mother's fortune:
-->'''Roger:''' Oh, Pamela. Good. I was just looking for you. You have the same scowl your mother had. [[IBangedYourMom When I banged her.]] [[ILoveTheDead After I pulled the plug.]] ''(Pamela fires a bolt at him)'' God, I was kidding! Looks like someone pulled the plug on your sense of humor.
* From ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries'':
-->'''Dante:''' Caitlyn has a kissing booth? Like, for charity?\\
'''Jay:''' Yeah, [[{{Dissimile}} only it don't cost nothin' and it's not for charity.]]\\
''(leaves and comes back)''\\
'''Jay:''' And there's no booth.\\
''(leaves and comes back)''\\
'''Jay:''' And it's more than just kissing.\\
''(leaves and comes back)''\\
'''Jay:''' And you don't have to be a guy.\\
''(comes back)''\\
'''Jay:''' [[DontExplainTheJoke Dude, she's cheating on you.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' has the narrator telling us of how DM climbed Mt. Everest. On his head. Blindfolded.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}'' episode "Forbidden Fruit", when Duckman stays over at Fluffy and Uranus' house:
-->'''Fluffy:''' Mr. Duckman, you've only been here eight hours and already, you've turned our whole world topsy-turvy.\\
'''Uranus:''' We spent the morning burning your sheets, and your mattress, and the bed, and the carpet around the bed leading into the bathroom, ''(pans to the destroyed bathroom)'' and the bathroom!
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "To Love and Die in Dixie", Chris bears witness to a crime. [[TemptingFate After Chris is assured anonymity]], Peter walks into the PoliceLineup and gives his son's identity away in an increasingly absurd fashion.
-->'''Peter:''' Hi. Excuse me, you guys. I'm here to pick up my son, Chris Griffin. He's here to finger the guy who held up that convenience store. Maybe you've seen him. His name is Chris Griffin. I think I got a picture of him, somewhere. ''(Peter pulls out a picture)'' Here you go. Yeah, you can go ahead and hang on to that. I got a ton of them at home. In fact, I was gonna throw that one out anyway, 'cause Chris messed it up by writing his school schedule and a list of his fears all over the back of it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' episode "My So-called Wife", Mr. Herriman greets the eccentric benefactor who's looking to donate to the home, and the benefactor says "Please, call me [[PunnyName Benjamin! ...Edward... Factor...]] the Third... Esquire... DDS!"
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** In "Space Pilot 3000", Leela informs Fry that those who refuse the jobs assigned by their job chips will be fired. [[TheNotSoHarmlessPunishment Out of a cannon,]] [[HurlItIntoTheSun into the sun]].
** In "War Is the H-Word", Zapp commends "Lee Lemon" (Leela in disguise) for performance on an obstacle course.
-->'''Zapp:''' Yes. He edged out my old mark by two seconds ... and 16 minutes ... and 12 hours. I do plan to finish someday, Kif.
* A "Mr. Know-It-All" segment on ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'' has Bullwinkle showing us "How to be a lion tamer and pick up a little scratch. On the side. Of your face." (''shows a scratch mark on his face'')
* The ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'' episode "Lucky Me" has the gang helping Skull Boy looking for his lucky charm. When asked what it is:
-->'''Skull Boy:''' A horseshoe.\\
'''Poe:''' Well that shouldn't be hard to spot.\\
'''Skull Boy:''' A seahorse horseshoe.\\
'''Others:''' Ohhhhhh.\\
'''Skull Boy:''' For a baby seahorse.\\
'''Others:''' Ohhhh...\\
'''Skull Boy:''' A baby miniature seahorse.\\
'''Others:''' Oh.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
** In "Patty Hype" when Mr. Krabs is watching [=SpongeBob=] be interviewed about his invention of Pretty Patties:
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' At first we didn't know what do with the money; we tried burying it...\\
''(Mr. Krabs' eyes inflate)''\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ...shredding it...\\
''(Mr. Krabs' eyes inflate further)''\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ...and burning it!\\
''(Mr. Krabs yells, his eyes fly out of his head letting air out)''
** In "[=BlackJack=]":
-->'''Uncle Cap'n Blue:''' You're not cut out for this kind of work, boy. An innocent kid like you doesn't stand a chance against a criminal mind. Do you have any idea what people like that do to people like you?\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' You mean they won't give me a push on the swing set?\\
'''Uncle Cap'n Blue:''' Well, let's just say, I hope you've practiced walking without legs. Or arms. Or a body.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Coach Steven", Steven's dad Greg (who is not in the best shape himself) builds Steven, Sadie, and Lars a makeshift gym, and offers to join them in their workout.
-->'''Greg:''' I been slackin' on my workout routine for a few weeks. ''(frowns)'' Months... Years... (''{{beat}}, [[CoughSnarkCough coughs sheepishly]]'') Decades...
* From the ''WesternAnimation/{{Turbo}} FAST'' episode "Taco Tank", when the titular tank is careening out of control and headed for [[BusFullOfInnocents the Brentwood Home for Unwanted Puppies and Lonely Grandmas]]:
-->'''Burn:''' Oh, no! An adorable puppy has wandered in front of the tank!\\
'''Smoove Move:''' Oh, no! Now a grandma has wandered out to pet the puppy!\\
'''Whiplash:''' Oh, no! Now a second grandma with a hat ''made'' [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs of puppies]] has come out to give a birthday cake to the first grandma! And she brought a dozen grandma friends to celebrate! And they're leading an adorable puppy parade! With a kitten marching band! And they're all in our path!\\
'''Everyone:''' (with big text appearing) Oh, no!