"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"."
I don't see anyone here suggesting a split. The point is that explaining the setup is not to be done at all.
But that's the way the trope is used, fairly often. The explanation is about some part of the set-up that affects the punchline.
Alice: "Why won't sharks eat lawyers?"
Bob: "I don't know. Why?"
Alice: "Professional courtesy."
Bob: (doesn't laugh)
Alice: (explains the concept of "professional courtesy")
Did she explain the punchline or the set-up? I say it could legitimately be considered either — or both.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
First of all, it was tropers potholing the context that is mainly the problem.
Second, that's not explaining the punchline. That would be "because lawyers are seen as no better than sharks". It would be explaining why it was professional courtesy, not what that concept is.
And asking for context info on a joke wouldn't be a trope itself. It would more be a kind of The Watson.
Explaining a joke means to tell how the joke works. About the only time explaining the context would be also explaining the joke would be something like an association or stereotype (like why a Light Bulb Joke about a certain nationality applies).
I really think you're making mountains out of molehills here, Z. Cleaning up and/or renaming a few thousand wicks is a lot of work for a harmless joke.
Splitting off "The joke wasn't funny until someone pointed out why its supposed to be funny" has some merit. I'm adding it to the crowner, though I'm not voting it up yet.
"I really think you're making mountains out of molehills here, Z. Cleaning up and/or renaming a few thousand wicks is a lot of work for a harmless joke."
How is rampant misuse a harmless joke? Misuse is people getting the trope wrong. That's not a joke. It's showing a trope name is bad.
Okay, it looks like we might be able to do both top options (splitting and redefining), but troper potholes should still be cut regardless.
And even with a redefinition, explaining a term to help set up the joke is not explaining it. Some successful jokes often involve giving a little background.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
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.