A SisterTrope to RunningGag, this is about a gag that gets used in the vast majority of a work's installments. Distinct from a RunningGag in that the humor isn't dependent on the repetition -- it's a standalone joke which just happens to be re-used. Can overlap with a CatchPhrase or a {{Tagline}}. Depending on the author, the joke may even leap from one series to the next, or even one medium to the next. In rare cases, it'll seem as though the author was contractually obligated to lump the joke in.

Note that in order to qualify, it really has to be the same joke used in exactly the same way and funny (or not) for the same reason each time. If (for instance), a character speaks a certain line, then repeats that line later in a different context which makes it funny, that is not an example of this trope.

Like a conventional RunningGag, the success of this methodology depends on whether the joke was funny in the first place. Unlike the RunningGag, however, the joke must be able to stand on its own in each use ''in addition'' to after multiple other uses. [[TropesAreNotBad This isn't a bad thing]], if the author can keep the joke from going into OverusedRunningGag range or getting too tedious.

The SuperTrope to this is AuthorCatchphrase.


[[folder: Anime ]]

* Anime/{{Pokemon}}. 97% of the episodes feature Team Rocket introducing themselves by way of reciting their motto and being 'blasted off' at the end of the episode. The other 3% feature variations of the same jokes. It was discarded during the "Best Wishes" season, but made a comeback as of Kalos.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'': The "Akio insults Sanae's bread, Sanae accidentally hears him, runs away crying and Akio runs after her eating it and yelling "I LOVE YOU!" gag" is used in exactly the above described fashion every time it crops up. And it appears ''eight'' times, the last two ''in the same episode''. To a lesser extent, nearly every appearance of Kotomi in the second season has her either [[DreadfulMusician wanting to play her violin]], mentioning someone is a "bully", or both, and both are things she already did in the first season. Fortunately, most other gags are more original and funny, so this is forgivable.


[[folder: Film ]]

* All of the ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' sequels have characters restating lines and jokes from the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl first film]], for seemingly no reason other than the RuleOfFunny.
* ''Film/MysteryTeam'' In-universe example: Charlie compares a comatose old man to a corpse in explaining in why he couldn't be a murder suspect... then makes the same joke when discussing a seven-year old kid.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Terry Pratchett]] is fanatical about repeating jokes about characterization or environmental details.
** On Civic Foundation: "What Ankh-Morpork was built on was, mostly, Ankh-Morpork."
** On [[GrimReaper Death]]: '''There is no justice. There's just me.'''

** On {{Pun}}s: "That was a pune, or a play on words."
** On [[LovableCoward Rincewind]]: "He's got scars all over him. Mostly on his back."
** On [[GargleBlaster Scumble]]: "Apples. Well, mostly apples." Do not let it touch metal.
** On [[HopeSpot "the light at the end of the tunnel"]]: "It often turns out to be an [[AnalogyBackfire oncoming train]]." Or is on fire.
** On "getting on like a house on fire": "There are flames, and screaming, and people dying."
** On All Roads Leading To Ankh-Morpork: Actually, they all lead ''away''.
** "A leopard can't change his shorts," (and variants) has become very common.
** Multiple exclamation points are a sure sign of insanity.
* Discussed in ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress''. Mannie tries to explain humor to a sentient computer. He explains that some jokes are [[IfItWasFunnyTheFirstTime "funny one time,"]] some jokes are [[RunningGag "funny many times,"]] and some jokes are [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "funny always."]]


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Or the Marriage Counselor sketch.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': Skits '''live''' on this trope. Typically, a character is built around one single joke, becomes a recurring character and can run for ''years'' and even get a ''movie'' with nothing but variations on the original joke (see: ''Film/ItsPat'' and ''Film/MacGruber''.)
** "Bedelia", Nasim Pedrad's clingy, awkward teenage girl who was originally cooked up so they could use ''that week's musical friggin' guest'' ([[TeenIdol Justin Bieber]]) as the punch line is starting down that road...
** The "What's Up With That" sketch with Keenan Thompson as the host who will always end up dancing and singing the theme song instead of interviewing his guests and '''never''' gets around to interviewing recurring guest Lindsey Buckingham (Bill Hader) who never gets a chance to say anything. Funny and original the first time. The fifth time....
* ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'': The cast (usually Colin) will take a hilarious moment from early in the episode and use it in everything from then on out. Usually this works out in their favor, as repeating it over and over tends to genuinely be funny (see: MEOW!). Subverted in one episode: during the infamous "TAPIOOOOCA!" fiasco during a game of ''Greatest Hits'' that left Ryan in stitches, Colin later tried to repeat the magic to try to crack Ryan up again, but Ryan signals that he doesn't find it that funny anymore and they continue without missing a beat.
* ''Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse'': The appearances by the salesman are usually the same basic set-up (the doorbell rings, Pee-Wee answers, the Salesman starts his sales pitch, Pee-Wee screams and slams the door on him). Sometimes there might be a variation (like when Roger the monster answered the door instead and the salesman screamed along with him), and at times the gag was used as a punchline or set-up to another gag (like when Pee-Wee's wish for the day was for somebody to come over and it was the salesman, or when right after Pee-Wee slammed the door on him Captain Carl showed up and rang the doorbell, making Pee-Wee immediately think it was the salesman again), but usually it'll be the same basic scene.
* In ''Series/GetSmart'', Max would often use a joke that went like this:
-->'''Smart:''' (Insert an impressive sounding, but very absurd claim.)
-->'''Listener:''' I find that hard to believe.
-->'''Smart:''' Would you believe (insert a less impressive, but still absurd claim)?
-->'''Listener:''' No.
-->'''Smart:''' How about (insert a claim that sounds pathetic)?

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'': Garfield likes lasagna and hates Mondays.
** See the page image for RecycledScript.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'': Jeremy was trying to cook something. ''Every single strip'' for the week followed this format, with the only variation being the steps Jeremy's Mom is showing:
-->Jeremy's Mom shows him how to do something.\\
Jeremy's Mom starts to show him something else, and he says he's not a baby and can do it himself.\\
Jeremy yells for his mom to ask her what to do next.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'': An in-universe example, Calvin [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1992/12/16 has the philosophy]] that if a novelty Christmas song is funny the first time, it's funny ''every'' time. His mom disagrees.
* ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' occasionally has the following joke set up:
-->Rat introduces his [object] o' [insert category of idiot here].\\
The three people in the [object] introduce themselves, and explain why they're in the [object].\\
Another character lectures Rat on being tolerant of other people's shortcomings.\\
Rat puts this character in the [object], as the other three demonstrate their idiotic traits in reaction to this.
** Also extant in Sunday strips is the [[OverlyLongGag ridiculously long build-up]] to an IncrediblyLamePun, followed by [[TheStraightMan Rat]] (and once, [[OnlySaneMan Goat]]) [[NoFourthWall complaining to the author, usually in person]].
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' can do it occasionally:
-->Panel 1: Character A describes something.\\
Panel 2: Character A describes a negative side-effect or result of whatever they're talking about.\\
Panel 3: Character B asks why they don't stop[=/=]why they're watching it[=/=]whatever; Character A responds "I just told you" or something similar.\\
Panel 4: Character C remarks on Character B looking ticked off, as Character A continues with what they were describing.
** This was lampshaded once. "I always forget to skip the obvious line of reasoning."
* ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey'': This gag has been repeated about once a year since the sixties, at least:
-->1. The officers, and [[DrillSergeantNasty Sarge]], receives a written order from the general, with one obvious spelling error that changes the meaning completely.
-->2. Someone points out what the general probably meant to say (tanks, not tacks, tooth check, not toot check, guns, not buns, etc.)
-->3. Someone else asks: "But who dares to tell [[BadBoss the general]] that he did a mistake?" Rhetorically, of course, since nobody ever dares to tell the general this.
-->4. The officers carry out the order, exactly the way it's written, even though they know that it makes no sense. The general is still upset, but at least he's not upset because anybody told him he did a mistake, which is...better?


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'''s [[http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=259 Great Gatsby comic]] has two different strips about Tom and Daisy neglecting their child, and the second one is called "Just As Good the Second Time."


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* "Already this is a better Superman/superhero movie than ''Film/ManOfSteel''" has become this for a lot of internet critics. Maybe funny the first time if you hated the movie, otherwise...
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'' has a recurring joke where whenever the main villain wants to TakeOverTheWorld, the Critic plays a clip from ''Film/StreetFighter'' with M. Bison saying "OF COURSE!"


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'': Every time receives Gadget his next assignment on a self-destructive piece of paper, he reads it, then crumbles the paper and tosses it into whatever compartment his chief is hiding in this time, where it explodes right in the chief's face. There was one time when the chief was hiding in a trash can and InspectorGadget [[SubvertedTrope just tossed it on the ground]]. [[DoubleSubverted So someone else picked it up and threw it in the trash can]]. Cue explosion.
* ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'': The Biker Mice destroying Limburger's tower in the end of every episode.
* InUniverse: in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueCrisisOnTwoEarths'', ComicBook/TheFlash says "AreWeThereYet" and a surly ComicBook/GreenLantern tells him it wasn't funny the first fifty times.
* Kenny dying in every episode in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. The creators quickly got bored of the joke themselves and started playing around with it, then eventually dropped it as a once-and-episode RunningGag. In the "Coon" series of episodes, they actually deconstruct it.
* Another InUniverse example: the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Ripped Pants." [=SpongeBob=] rips his pants, and everyone laughs. At first, he's embarrassed and upset, but when he sees that Sandy thought it was funny, he starts doing it on purpose. It begins to annoy everyone in Bikini Bottom, especially when his stunt involves pretending to drown.
* There was a gag in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' first used in "Hooked on a Ceiling" that was so clever, it was used in several other shorts. It went like this: Somebody gets angry at the three Warner siblings, tells them to get out then picks them up and tries to ''throw'' them out. Then the scene shifts to the outside of the building, and somehow, it's not them, but the guy who was ''about to throw them'' who is thrown out. He sits up with an expression that seems to say "How did they do ''that''?" And then goes back inside.