The trope keeps getting confused for giving context about the setup, which is actually okay for a joke, so people can understand some parts.
I'll look for misuse in a little bit. I just needed to get this thread up before an opening closed.
Don't Explain the Joke found in: 1602 articles.
Anyone want to guess how many of those have to do with the use of the trope in the work and how many are sinkholes for people that need to point out their own jokes?
I'd think it would at least cut down the misuse in that it would only deal with explaining the punchline rather than the set-up. Other problems, like it not being used in-universe, would obviously still apply.
I would like to point out that the use of potholes for things other than in-universe examples really shouldn't be viewed as a strike against a trope name. When someone who, for instance, uses the word fanservice four times in a work's description decides to pothole to Department of Redundancy Department on the second one, Rule of Three on the third, and Overly Long Gag on the fourth, it does not mean that any of those tropes need a rename to discourage improper usage. It may mean that editing guidelines need to discourage overuse of allegedly witty potholes, but that's a rather separate issue.
As such, it seems to me that the practice of potholing to Don't Explain the Joke in order to point out an unnecessary explanation isn't really relevant to a discussion about the name's clarity.
Ontopic now, I think that misunderstanding the distinction between explaining a joke's setup and explaining why it's funny doesn't really become more clear upon renaming. Changing to Bob Explains The Punchline might discourage its use for meta-examples, but that's kind of separate from the issue described in the OP.
"I would like to point out that the use of potholes for things other than in-universe examples really shouldn't be viewed as a strike against a trope name."
If something isn't In-Universe, then it's Not an Example, which is a bad thing.
"As such, it seems to me that the practice of potholing to Don't Explain the Joke in order to point out an unnecessary explanation isn't really relevant to a discussion about the name's clarity."
If the explanation is unnecessary, then it's misuse, which is relevant to a name's clarity. And again, a lot of these potholes are for things that aren't the punchline, so it's double misuse.
From the description: 2. Explaining the joke with no prompting. This may be done as an attempt at Post Modernism, but it's usually done with jokes that wouldn't need any explaining.
This trope is about "unnecessary explanations", and their common use as a gag. pointing that out is only misuse if it's presented as something it's not. If a troper-created gag is presented as originating in a work, it's misuse. If it's presented as a troper-created gag, it's not.
Not an Example is only a bad thing when it's presented as an example. The potholed Running Gag that opens every Final Fantasy article is Not an Example of a running gag because it's not from any work, but it's not a bad thing because of that because it's not an instance of Square Peg Round Trope, which As You Know is the real target of that redirect.
I object to the rename. "Don't explain the joke" means not to ruin a joke by telling its good parts, it doesn't mean explaining that one word that nobody heard of. We aim for the common meaning of a term, not for the technically-correct-but-nobody-uses-it-that-way meaning.
If nobody uses it that way, then your argument is invalid, since you cannot stop misuse that way. This wiki is about telling people about tropes, and information they misunderstand is against that mission.
Again, the misuse is people thinking any part of the trope being explained. So a new name actually does need "punchline" in the name, not "joke". The latter goes against clarity, as it makes a trope seem broader than it is.
Plus the reason I like Bob Explains The Punchline is that is makes it unambiguous that it's a character doing this, thus helping curb further misuse by those that don't realize this is In-Universe.
And on that note, should I change my sig or not, as this trope is potholed within? I know this is a forum, and not a trope page. So would that count as a troper pothole or as a legitimate use?
I don't see why we need to have two different tropes for "killing the joke by explaining the punchline" and "killing the joke by explaining some part of the setup". And frankly, I think that will lead to more misuse, not less, since it will still be used as a troper in-joke, plus it will mean that any example has to be properly sorted to the correct side of a fairly fuzzy line.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Page Action: Dont Explain The Joke
6th Jan '12 10:01:20 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
What to do with Dont Explain The Joke, as it's both a pothole magnet, and suffers misuse from those that think any information given about a joke is explaining it, when the trope is actually explaining what the punchline means.
7 (yeas:12 nays:5) 2.40 : 1
Only clean up the examples and wicks.
5 (yeas:10 nays:5) 2.00 : 1
Clean up, and redefine so that it's not only about the punchline.
5 (yeas:8 nays:3) 2.67 : 1
Split off the stock joke where the funny part is explaining a normally unfunny joke.
-4 (yeas:2 nays:6)
Rename, clean up examples/wicks, and split off explaining the punchline of a bad joke is the joke itself.
-4 (yeas:0 nays:4)
I would suggest the trope name "Yes, that's the joke, Ted." from the Family Guy episode with Ted Turner insisting on explaining a joke's punchline to Peter, Mr Puterschmit, Bill Gates and Michael Esner. My friends and I have started to use that phrase at each other whenever one of us starts over explaining a joke.