->''"It's a running gag... well, it's limping a bit by now."''
-->--'''Paul Merton''', '''''HaveIGotNewsForYou'''''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

When the writers openly acknowledge that a RunningGag has run its due course, even as they are hauling it out again— [[RepetitiveAudioGlitch gain— gain— gain—]] '''[[PercussiveMaintenance *WHACK*]]'''

There we go. Anyhow, the use of a Running Gag is generally constrained over the course of one episode. But there are some jokes that the writers thought [[IfItWasFunnyTheFirstTime are just so funny that they should be used in another episode]], and another, and ''another'' and ''another''. Even if it isn't OnceAnEpisode, it's still squeezed into the series wherever they see fit— [[RunningGag fit— fit— fit— fit—]] '''*THUMP*'''

Okay. After a while, though, the writers will come to realize that the bit has started to peter out. Then one can be sure to start seeing plenty of LampshadeHanging and heavy [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] in the effort to keep the joke fresh, or tolerated. Once ''that'' wears thin, one can expect the bit to be dropped like a Christmas ham— [[RuleOfThree ham— ham— ham— ham—]] '''*SMACK*'''

Okay, that joke's ''really'' wearing thin. Before we continue, let's get that audio equipment fixed.

''One hour later....''

There, fixed. Anyhow, for this to be a trope, examples should ''not'' be subjective. They should be based on whether the writers have reacted to its overuse (lampshaded or used it less), rather than just a feeling that the gag has been used too much.

The inevitable fate of many a comedy CatchPhrase. Commonly confused with OverlyLongGag, which is when a single gag is stretched out for an irritatingly long time. That said, for any joke, good or bad, enough repetition can make people decide it's an Overused Running Gag.

The next step after this is RunningGagged, where the joke is terminated with extreme prejudice, once and for all. Or until they bring it back.

Compare DiscreditedMeme, which this often leads to— [[OhNoNotAgain to— to— to— to—]] '''*WHUMP*'''

Sigh. Okay, if it does that again, that audio equipment is gonna get a dose of [[StuffBlowingUp C-4]].

'''Note: This is for {{In-Universe}} examples only. Do not use this trope to [[Administrivia/ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontLike Complain About Running Gags You Don't Like]].'''
!!Examples of Acknowledged {{Overused Running Gag}}s


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In a meta example, ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' featured the main characters working on a light-hearted comedy manga, but only a bit more than 10 chapters in, they're already making entire chapters based on the running gag of the main character saying "I dunno about that." This serves as one of the signs that this isn't the right sort of series for them.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'', Okazaki attempts to make Kotomi more social by bringing her to new people and telling her to introduce herself, at which point she always turns around and introduces herself to Okazaki. The third time this occurs, Okazaki remarks that that particular gag is getting old.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' there was a running gag throughout the Mahorafest arc of Takane always getting stripped, four times in total, largely because she used magical clothing that stopped working if she was knocked unconscious. When she reappears in the Magic World arc she forces several girls to wear it as well because it increases defense, so [[spoiler:when attacking the Cosmo Entelechia stronghold]] you can see the only one who knows about that and has to wear it herself nearly in tears. Contrary to all expectations, not one of them gets stripped this time.
* Brock flirting with any older female he sees in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', before being hauled away by Misty/Max ([[EarAche by the ear]]), Bonsly (using Double-Edge) and Croagunk (getting Poison Jabbed [[AssShove in the ass]]). It's acknowledged in-universe by his companions (and even antagonists Team Rocket) occasionally getting annoyed at his antics. It was funny the first three times, then it just became old. For Croagunk's bit, it's a minor RunningGag in of itself for Dawn to get caught completely surprised whenever Brock makes an instant recovery.
** The series also occasionally made fun of Meowth's tendency for the bizarre {{Imagine Spot}}s, mostly from the other members of Team Rocket.
** The series also has the running gag of mispronouncing Bill and Stafan...er, Team Rocket's Butch and Best Wishes' Stephan's names. Both characters frequently mention that they're going to change their names after several characters get them wrong.
* In ''SayonaraZetsubouSensei'', during an episode [[DontExplainTheJoke explaining]] many of the series' jokes to newer audiences, the audience member asks about the background running gags. "It's like something we do OnceAnEpisode." "[[SelfDeprecatingHumor What's funny about that]]?"

* By the third AustinPowers movie, the running gag of several witnesses likening a flying object to a naughty body part was called out by OzzyOsbourne, watching it on TV with [[TheOsbournes his family]].
* In the first two ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'' movies, Puffin says, "[[CatchPhrase No Fear!]]", so many times, Jean-Bob finally grabs Puffin's beak shut and threatens to tear it off if he says it again.
* In the film TheCourtJester, "Giachomo"'s response to mention of the Italian court, "What better place to court Italians?", eventually becomes tedious.

* Creator/DaveBarry often has Overused Running Gags in books which aren't merely recycled columns:
** "No! Sorry! That's ''it'' for the [[GagWords Hawley-Smoot tariff]], you have our word." (''Literature/DaveBarrySleptHere'', which nevertheless references it in three subsequent chapters).
** "Do you think we've had enough Winston Churchill jokes? Explain." (also ''Dave Barry Slept Here'')
** "Do you think the author will eventually grow tired of the Buffalo Bob joke? Why not?" (''Dave Barry Turns 50'')
** "If you think we're getting tired of the zucchini joke, you had best think again." (''Dave Barry Hits Below The Beltway'')
* TheTrolls has Aunt Sally reminding us about how Great-Uncle Louis, who came for two weeks and stayed for six years, came for two weeks and stayed for six years almost everytime she says his name.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* ''TheManShow'' had a "Museum of Annoying Guys", and one of them was the RealLife version of this trope. "It's the beat a CatchPhrase to death guy."
* The Rita Moreno episode (#5 of season 1) of ''TheMuppetShow'' features an old-style phone backstage. When it rings, Fozzie answers it, and something comes out of the receiver related to who's calling. At the fifth call, Kermit gets fed up and asks, "Is there no end to this RunningGag?"; then Animal comes in and puts an end to it (as well as to incoming calls, unless someone thinks to call the number for the phone on the desk).
* In the 2000 ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' TV series, Darien Fawkes would greet each worsening situation with "OhCrap" in a resigned manner. Eventually, the ''characters'' find it annoying. By the second season, there are lampshades; for instance, it's ''the only thing he remembers about himself'' when he gets LaserGuidedAmnesia, forcing him to use it to tell who his friends are.
* Parodied in ''TheState''. Under pressure to create more catchphrase-driven characters like ''SaturdayNightLive'', the writers created "Louie, the guy who says his catchphrase over and over again." The character would repeatedly ask for volunteers to present him with a substance and then loudly announce, "I wanna dip my balls in it!" while holding up two golf balls. The OnlySaneMan in the sketch can't understand why the gag never gets old to any of the other characters. Ironically, the character proved popular and was brought back a few times.
* ''HannahMontana'''s tendency towards [[ZanyScheme zany schemes]] is noted, repeatedly, by Lilly, who eventually gets fed up at never being asked to just sit down and have breakfast but constantly being roped into Miley's schemes.
** [[WizardsOfWaverlyPlace Harper tends to think similarly about Alex Russo]]. Same for [[TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody Zack roping Cody into schemes]].
* ''ICarly'': T-Bo's food on stick gag (capsicums, chicken, doughnuts, etc) is put up with a couple of times, and now every time it's brought up he is forcefully rejected by the other characters.
** Everything [[WalkingTechbane Spencer]] touches catching on fire. When it happens in the GrandFinale, Spencer just looks at the item with a bemused "Of course you burst into flames." expression on his face.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' had Ross's running joke "We were on a break!" Despite being called out on it, this saw usage right up until the very last episode. Additionally, Joey's CatchPhrase "How ''you'' doin'?" saw a few lampshades.
* ''Series/TheITCrowd'' has Roy answer the phone almost every time with the [[CatchPhrase line]], "Hello IT, have you tried turning it off and on again?" However, early in the second season he interrupts his signature line with, "I'm sick of saying that. What do you want?" From that point on he never again utters that catchphrase [[spoiler: until he brings it back in the fourth]].
** One episode has Jen bet him he cannot go an entire day without saying it. He loses.
** And in another episode, his phone is hooked up to a tape machine that plays a recording of him saying the catchphrase when someone calls.
* In the film ''Film/{{Escape 2000}}'', there is a scene at the beginning where the phrase "leave the Bronx" is repeated constantly. [[MysteryScienceTheater3000 Mike and the Bots]] naturally turn this into a RunningGag, with Servo even singing the phrase repeatedly along to the music at the end credits. But when the movie is over and Mike tries to make the joke again, Crow tells him that it's not funny any more.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' had a habit of making WhosOnFirst jokes using the Goa'uld System Lord Yu. When Elizabeth Weir tried to get in on it, she was stopped by Daniel.
--> '''Daniel:''' Don't. Every joke, every pun, done to death.
* ''MyWifeAndKids'' introduced Michael's catchphrase "Eh... No." in the second season, which he used to troll the kids by giving them hope he would say yes to them before ultimately rejecting them. It was used so often in the second season alone that he began finding increasingly idiotic ways to drag out the "Eh..." part of the catchphrase, such as running up & down the hallway several times whilst saying it before jumping back into the room & saying no, that it made no sense that his kids continued to get their hopes up that he'd say yes years later.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'': The show had paintball episodes in the first & second seasons. The third season had the characters commenting on how played out paintball was at that point, and everyone agreed they shouldn't have another paintball game... Only for the fourth season to end on another paintball game. Abed even says that they "finally found a way to make paintball cool again."

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' took Garrus's memetic stock line about being busy calibrating and turned it into a running joke. At the end of the last [=DLC=] mission, "Citadel", he offers to stop saying it - "but only if Liara stops saying "By the goddess!""

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has used every possible permutation of the hammer and the demonic duck, and yet they just won't go away, even despite the author explicitly saying they will.
** They haven't been seen in a while, so maybe he kept his word. A whole arc was spent on some of the characters going to see why the hammers have ''stopped'' working, which resulted in a {{canon}} explanation for why they're gone (and were there in the first place), and one character gaining the ability to use them as her personal magic spell (which she has yet to use). This was also the last time the Demonic Duck was seen. This was in 2010.
* ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'' had the RunningGag where Ethan gets hit by an arrow from off panel (as a homage to ''TheKentuckyFriedMovie''). The author decided to end the gag after it became overused and played with its end by having the last arrow fired by Ethan and [[NoFourthWall into the author himself]] as punishment for all the times he was hit.
* A strip of ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has one person telling his teammates to stop [[CallingYourAttacks screaming]] "[[WithCatlikeTread SNEAK ATTACK]]"; after that, for the first time, someone ''reacts'' to them yelling and kills them before they can land the blow.
** For added strangeness, the one being criticized for [[CallingYourAttacks calling his attacks]] is a fighter that shouts "Power Attack", while the dozens of rogues in the fight are shouting "Sneak Attack" with no commentary.
* PvP had a panda that would randomly attack Brent. The reasons behind these attacks were eventually explained in a rather long arc, and the gag died down considerably after that.
* For a while, almost all the male characters in ''SluggyFreelance'' joked among themselves that "monkeys" was Gwynn's pet name for her breasts. Since Gwynn owns several ''real'' monkeys, this gag came up a lot when she made innocent remarks like "[[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=070109 My monkeys! They're gone!]]" or "[[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=060628 Be on the lookout for my monkeys and grab them if you see them. They could pop up anywhere.]]" Eventually, Riff got tired enough of the joke to [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=070219 reprimand himself for using it again]]. And then [[spoiler: The monkeys got killed off.]]
* At least one running gag in ''BobAndGeorge'' (specifically, [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000419 Wily getting overheard]] [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000516 by someone standing just behind him]]) got this treatment. As early as the [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000617 third iteration]], it was acknowledged as an Overused Running Gag, and supposedly retired. And then it was [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/010617 brought out of retirement]]. And [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=010804 averted]], [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=020106 inverted]], [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=020612 inverted again]], [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=020914 parodied]] ([[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=020916 to the breaking point]]), [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/031127c double subverted]], [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/040612 lampshaded]], and...[[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/060930 well]], [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/070712 you get the idea]].
* ''{{Nerf NOW}}'''s fans are starting to get fed up with photo notes claiming "Mine!" or "Spy here".
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'': InUniverse, this is what Tagon considers Shodan's continuing to bring up the accident during the Mall Cop Command arc where Tagon got [[EyeScream a fork stuck in his eye]].
* ''SweetBroAndHellaJeff'' does this on purpose to go with the StylisticSuck, outside the universe the fans reference SBAHJ endlessly and inside the {{Homestuck}} universe, where characters reference SBAHJ all too often.
* In ''Webcomic/SquareRootOfMinusGarfield'', this happened with the "Garfield (pun for Minus) Garfield" meme, also known as the "pudding pops" strips. Strip 268, "[[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=268 Garfield Linus Garfield]]", began this gag. Each strip in this gag editted ''{{ComicStrip/Garfield}}'' strip [[http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ga/2001/ga011128.gif 2001-11-28]], by replacing the second panel's Garfield with Linus, Sinus, or anything that rhymes with "minus", or sounds a bit like "minus". Most of the strips kept a line about "pudding pops". [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=478 Strip 478]] lampshaded the gag but failed to stop the meme. [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=513 Strip 518]] provoked a [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/draakslair/viewtopic.php?t=5319 forum thread]] that became strip 625, "[[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=625 Garfield Skynet Garfield: Judgement Day]]". This strip killed the Overused Running Gag; but the gag later returned to life, and now the admins limit new "pudding pops" strips to about one per month.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' has taken to mocking its own reliance on running gags.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic has [[StreetFighter M. Bison]]'s "Of course!" that pops up every time someone wants to TakeOverTheWorld. When the Nostalgia Critic got sick of it, it showed up on its own and crushed him.
** Saying the word "Elephant" summons the Burger King who silences the characters in the movie who won't shut up. It didn't work on {{Twister}}. After the Top 11 Nostalgic Mindfucks, he recalls that it didn't come when he talked about the Pink Elephants from Disney/{{Dumbo}}; after some experimentation, the Burger King logo brained him out of irritation.
--> '''Nostalgia Critic''': I had my fun.
** On his commentary for the ''AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' review Doug spent some time discussing the need to alter running gags frequently and drop them before the audience gets sick of them. He also mentioned that people have asked to drop every running gag except "OF COURSE!".
** In conventions, at least one person will bring up a "Bat Credit Card". Eventually he went on record saying he's ''really'' tired of that (mostly because the raging does a number on his voice) but he still does it because it makes the people laugh.
** Like Critic's Sonic episode, {{Phelous}}'s "Dawn of the Living Dead" episode has him declaring he'll never end his "I'VE GOT A SHOTGUN!" gag and that he's sick of it after using it again seconds later.
** In her "Top Eleven Animated Villainesses", WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick had to be stared at by sad puppies for a while until she was forced to break out of deadpan mode and do her running gag:
-->'''Chick''': Oh, fine... PUPPIES!"
-->'''Children''': Yaaay!
* The {{MS Paint Adventures}} series ''ProblemSleuth'' featured Demonhead Mobster Kingpin, a MarathonBoss who kept revealing new OneWingedAngel modes and regenerating lost health. The contributors [[ArcFatigue were getting sick of the guy]], [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=001743 and Andrew Hussie knew it]].
** The series is riddled with running gags, some of which are overused for comedic effect. Most notoriously, the "Retrieve arms from x" command has been done about ''12 times'' in ''ProblemSleuth'' and ''{{Homestuck}}''. ''So far''.
** Subverted in Act 5. When the first new character of this act is introduced, it seems that, as usual, all the typical running gags will play out before he's introduced for real... [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003893 but the narrator and the character are having none of it]].
* "And that was the X time I died" used by {{Unskippable}} when some catastrophe seemingly killed the main character was eventually acknowledged with the words: "No, wait, I take it back. Semenoske got nuked, this guy's going to be fine."
* Richard of ''LookingForGroup'' doesn't seem willing to acknowledge the "Fork of Truth" has had its day and needs to be retired. In the Fork's most recent appearance, the other cast members completely ignored his rant about it, except for Sooba.
* Newsgroup rec.humor was flooded with the two-strings-in-a-bar/frayed-knot jokes. This is to the point where some jokes began pointing out that [[http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/87/7617.html the joke was killed]].
* The ''Blog/CitationNeeded'' podcast begins with a rundown of improbably named podcasts that supposedly failed to last as long as ''Citation Needed''. By episode 8, these podcasts include "Running Gags To Start Your Podcast With That Are Becoming Increasingly Hard To Think Of".
* Website/{{WrestleCrap}}'s induction of a wrestler named Man Mountain Rock featured a picture of said wrestler shrugging with the caption "Yeah, I don't know either dude." After using this picture in 6 straight updates, writer RD Reynolds threatened to end its use. Fan demand brought him into an additional 6 updates and possibly counting.
* After passing 400 pages and four splits, the {{Steam}} for/against thread on the ''VideoGame/XRebirth'' forum is [[http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=3980075#3980075 mutating into one of these]], with posters starting to make jokes about how the thread became a BrokenRecord months ago. [[http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j371/klohunt3r/ilwttig4.png One poster's contribution.]]
* Strong Bad apparently got tired of people sending him WebAnimation/{{Strong Bad Email}}s signed "Crapfully yours", "With Crap" and the like as early as the e-mail "spring cleaning". Starting with "vacation", he would usually react with a weary sigh whenever he answered an e-mail signed in this fashion, and in "do over" he reads the signature "Crapfully yours" as "[[SarcasmMode Totally not gettin' old]]".
* {{Reddit}} tends to get tired of jokes within the course of a few days, causing responses of "every time" and the likes whenever a joke the HiveMind has gotten bored of is used. In a grander scale, the subreddits /r/f7u12 and /r/adviceanimals, for rage comics and image macros, respectively, were removed from the default subreddits around 2013 because they were getting old, and most of Reddit was sick of them.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s "Oh My God, TheyKilledKenny!" It gets old, gets lampshaded, subverted and eventually cut down severely in the later seasons.
* ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' is yet another example of the "regurgitate the same jokes over and over, then acknowledge how they've stopped being funny and continue using the jokes over and over again" tactic.
* Find a RunningGag ''not'' {{lampshade|Hanging}}d, {{inverted|Trope}}, or {{subverted|Trope}} on ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''
** The two vaudeville players Vern and Johnny, who appeared so often to fill the time before commercial breaks that Stewie ''killed them'' to assure the audience that they would never appear again. (They ''[[RefugeInAudacity still]]'' came back... as ghosts).
** Cleveland picked up a gag where Peter would destroy half his house while Cleveland was taking a bath, causing his tub to slide out of his (second-floor) bathroom and dump him in the yard. When Cleveland's first wife gets killed this way in ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'', Cleveland feels survivor's guilt because, in his own words, he'd fallen out of that same house "way more times than could possibly still be funny."
** Another episode pokes fun at itself for its constant use of a CutawayGag by having Cleveland complain about how he hates it when a show cuts away to some other bullcrap. Cue a CutawayGag showing Hitler riding a unicycle as he juggles objects. Later on, the same gag is used again, but Peter rushes in and punches out Hitler, saying "See? We had a plan for that all along!"
** In a cut away gag where Quagmire thought he was the one getting the [[WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow spinoff]] he mentions the two of the show's more infamous running gags.
--->'''Quagmire''': See you later, bitches! Have fun with your stupid *bleep* giant chicken jokes and your [[Music/ConwayTwitty Conway Twit-]] why is there a moving truck outside of Cleveland's house?
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the clip where Homer falls down the Springfield Gorge (from the episode "Bart the Daredevil") was referenced several times. In the episode "The Blunder Years", when Homer flashes back to it, Lisa interrupts him, saying "Everyone's sick of that memory."
** It also gets referenced in the episode "Behind the Laughter" when it's called a comedy classic, and then deconstructed when we see [[AnimatedActors Homer]] in rehab with several broken bones. Apparently, [[IronButtMonkey having to undergo each and every painful slapstick gag]] [[CerebusRetcon forced Homer to take painkillers, which he became addicted to]].

[[folder: TV Tropes]]
* On Wiki/TVTropes itself, there was a time where a ridiculous number of trope pages mentioned by way of example that they were one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook. (This trend was referenced [[http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/You_have_two_cows/25 by Uncyclopedia]].) This is because over 95% of recorded human history is older than the "book," which was apparently written in 1950 (when television gained popularity in the USA). It became common to see tropers avoid the repetition of that unwieldy trope name by putting it in a PotHole under some phrase like, "You know what that makes this..." Splitting TheOldestOnesInTheBook into sub-indexes such as OlderThanDirt, OlderThanSteam, and OlderThanRadio has done a lot to reduce the annoyance, both because of the variety and because anything that ''isn't'' OlderThanDirt is newer than much of the book.
** Now Older Than Dirt itself has become way overused and misused, being frequently applied to pages that are nowhere near old enough to count (currently the cutoff is 800 BCE; previously it was 500 BCE). Doesn't help that despite being an index, it's often treated as a trope.
* I Am Not Making This Up and So Yeah ended up being [[DiscreditedMeme discredited]] and finally dead. OrSoIHeard was completely reworked.
* The beautiful [[Usefulnotes/{{Brazil}} useful notes: Brazil]] page has a beautiful example of this with the beautiful word, "beautiful".
* The MarySueClassic page mentions the word "perfect" so many times that it apologizes for it no longer looking like a real word at the end.
The end— [[BrickJoke end— end— end— end—]] '''[[StuffBlowingUp *BOOM*]]'''