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Comically Missing The Point / Live-Action TV

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  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: Really, it's the premise for that show...
    • An episode has Dick catch one of his students drawing a doodle of him with antlers and a tail. Dick thought it was brilliant and praised the student for effectively picking up "the essence of my rugged good looks".
    • "If they think that women are just going to line up to exploit themselves —" "Yeah, I hate waiting in line..."
  • Countless examples in The Addams Family, where all the cast used this for humor. The Addams' odd view is always contrasted with the conventional viewpoint of everyone else.
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  • In the All in the Family episode "The Games Bunkers Play", Mike asks Gloria who she would save if he and her mother were drowning and she could only save one. Then the following exchange occurs:
    Gloria: That is not a fair question!
    Mike: Why not?
    Gloria: Because I can't swim!
  • A.N.T. Farm:
    • In the episode, "The ANTagonist", Chyna and Olive are watching Fletcher's cartoon, Antics, where he parodies the students of A.N.T. Farm. Olive doesn't like it because Pimento (who represents her) is the Butt-Monkey. Chyna agrees it is bad, but because Asia's voice isn't like hers at all.
    • In another episode “fiaANTial crisis, when Chyna reveals that Hashimoto sent a mole into the A.N.T. school to sabotage the latest Z phones and bankrupt the company so he could take over, Fletcher responds with an astonished—and stupid—remark.
    Fletcher: He trained a small, burrowing varmint to sabotage phones?! He’s a diabolical genius!
  • Arrested Development:
    • In episode 2x10, Michael Bluth finally tells his brother in-law that he probably should tape-record himself to notice his 'uncommon speech pattern' aka the gay innuendos he unwittingly utters all day. When Tobias listens to the tape he realises "Oh Tobias, you blowhard!".
    • Another example is Gob correcting himself after saying to Michael that he performs illusions rather than tricks, and that a trick is "something a whore does for money." After seeing children that heard him say it, he corrects himself by saying "Or cocaine!" note 
  • In the short-lived American version of As If, Nikki asks Jamie to get her white fur coat from the coat rack. Jamie, who has a crush on her, quickly complies. When she says what kind of fur it is, he thinks it's a term of endearment, and replies by calling her "Honey Bunny".
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  • Ashes of Love: Jin Mi's inability to understand romance and lack of exposure to the outside world often leads to this, such as her belief that "Mutual Cultivation" is simply a way to gain more spiritual powers.
  • Some good examples from Becker:
    • When Bob is trying to figure out which woman in his apartment building is a hooker:
      Bob: Wait a minute. The answer's been sitting right in front of me the whole time. Anita. You're around the building a lot. Do you know who the hooker is?
      Anita: Bob, think about it. I sleep all day, I'm out all night and it's not unusual for me to have two or three dates an evening.
      Bob: Okay, okay, I get it. You're too busy to help me, I'll do it alone.
    • When Becker tries to get Reggie and Linda to realise they're both dating the same man. After they've gone through several details their boyfriends have in common — appearance, Wall Street Job, drives a BMW — Becker innocently asks Reggie what her boyfriend's name. She answers, "Craig." Neither of them get it, and Linda even suggests that "we should all have dinner together." At this point Becker snaps and breaks it to them.
  • In Better Call Saul, Jimmy and two skateboarders have been kidnapped by Tuco and taken out into the desert. Jimmy tries to talk Tuco down from killing the skateboarders and quotes Hammurabi's law, "An eye for an eye". Tuco, being Tuco, interprets this as Jimmy saying he should cut out their eyes.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • In an episode, where Penny dates Leonard's colleague, David Underhill, and he is jealous:
      Leonard: You said that you didn't want to go out with me because I was too smart for you! Well, news flash, lady, David Underhill is ten times smarter than me!
      Penny: Dave is not smarter than you. He's an idiot.
      Leonard: Really? Why would you say that?
      Penny: Because a smart guy takes the nude photos of his wife off his cell phone before he tries to take nude photos of his girlfriend.
      Leonard: You let him take nude photos of you?
      Penny: That's what you took from that?! The guy is married!
    • One of Sheldon's ongoing gags is that despite his genius I.Q., he is completely clueless about being social, leading to many missed points.
      Leonard: You convinced me. Maybe tonight we should sneak in and shampoo her carpet.
      Sheldon: You don't think that crosses the line?
      Leonard: Yes... For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
      Sheldon: You have a sarcasm sign?
    • Later in the episode Leonard makes one and holds it up.
    • On his first date with Emily, a deaf acquaintance of Penny's, Raj is trying to think of things to say, and Howard is translating for him.
      Raj: I love music. Do you love music?
      Howard: You really wanna ask her that?
      Raj: Oh, you're right. Everyone loves music.
    • Sheldon with most social interaction, but a notable example that doesn't quite fit into that category:
      Sheldon's Date: So, Flatland is not only a mathematical essay, but also a treatise on the social mores of Victorian England.
      Sheldon: You know, I never considered that! That is going to completely change my visits there.
    • A hurricane of them in "The Plimpton Situation", when Leonard tries to hint to Howard and Raj that he was up all night with the titular scientist.
    • Sheldon considers A Beautiful Mind to be a "wonderful romp" of a movie. One can infer that because John Forbes Nash won the Nobel Prize and revolutionised game theory, Sheldon has utterly overlooked the fact that the film is actually about Nash's struggle with a severe mental illness.
    • From "The Large Hadron Collision", in response to Leonard choosing to take Penny to Switzerland on Valentine's Day to see the CERN supercollider instead of Sheldon.
      Sheldon: What? That's absurd. Penny has no interest in subatomic particle research.
      Leonard: Yes, but it'll be Valentine’s Day. We can go sightseeing and skiing and make love in front of a roaring fire in the shadow of the snowcapped Alps.
      Sheldon: But Penny has no interest in subatomic particle research.
    • In "The Table Polarization", after Leonard and Penny buy a dining table, Sheldon informs Leonard of the "Furniture Committee", of which Sheldon is the sole member and meets every two years. Leonard replies "A committee that important should meet more often."
  • Blossom did this once:
    Joey: Dad, have you ever gotten a girl pregnant?
    Nick: Joey, I'm your father.
    Joey: Oh. So you can't tell me.
  • In an episode of Blue Heelers, Kelly is suspicious of a teenager's report of an armed robbery, noting the incredibly detailed description of the robber's outfit.
    Kelly: Most armed hold-up victims are so freaked out that all they see is the gun. But George has got these guys down to their "blue on white high-cut joggers."
    Joss: Who wears high-cut joggers these days?
    Mark: Funnily enough, Joss, that wasn't the point Kelly was making.
    • Tess suspects newcomer Evan Jones had filed off the serial number on the car a suspect was drag racing in, and asks if he happened to have a file.
      No...but I do have an angle grinder.
  • Common on Bones, due to the socially challenged nature of the protagonist.
    Angela: (about a flayed corpse) I just can't understand how someone can do this to another human being.
    Brennan: Oh, you'd have to have a strong knowledge of anatomy, a well-balanced cutting implement that really holds its edge... a floor drain would be helpful.
    Angela: That cleared it up, thank you...
    • Another episode
    Guest:Didn't I see you on television this morning?
    Brennan: How would I know what you watched on television this morning?
  • Brass Eye lives off this trope. "CAKE is a made-up drug. It's not made from plants, it's made from chemicals... by sick bastards..." It's made from some of each, with animal secretions thrown in to boot. Wheat flour, sugar and cocoa are all plant products; add animal-derived milk and eggs, plus chemical baking powd-oh, wait...
    "This is a scientific fact. There's no evidence for it, but it's still a fact."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Anya does this alot being a vengeance demon, with No Social Skills.
    • This wonderful exchange from "Storyteller":
      Buffy: Chasing a bus naked — that's a dream. An army of vicious vampires — that's a vision.
      Principal Wood: A bus to where?
    • In "The Wish", when Cordelia first sees Xander and Willow in the Wishverse after being told they were dead, and is given quite a few hints that the two of them are now vampires, gives us:
      Cordelia: I wish us into bizarro world and you guys are still together? I cannot win!
    • All too often, someone will make a remark and Cordelia will agree in some shallow, appearance-related fashion.
      Xander: You're talking about messing with powerful magic, and you're weak.
      Willow: I'm okay.
      Xander: You don't look okay. (to Cordelia) Does she?
      Cordelia: You should listen to him. The hair, it's so flat.
    • Played for slightly more dramatic effect when Buffy was having trouble adjusting to being Back from the Dead and had a bit of an emotional breakdown.
      Buffy: Look at me. Look at stupid Buffy, too dumb for college, and freak Buffy too strong for construction work, and the job at the Magic Box, I was bored to death even before the hour that wouldn't stop. And the worst part is that the only person I can talk to about any of it is a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.
      Spike: You saw the cheating?
  • Campion: A visitor is astonished to learn that Albert Campion never locks his door. (As well as using Obfuscating Stupidity, Campion lives next door to a police station.)
    Visitor: Is that wise?
    Campion: If I lock my door, people can't get in.
  • In episode 14 of the Brazilian series Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum, Celeste goes with her cousin Sylvia to see the movie There Was a Crooked Man... which is called Snake's Nest in Brazil. Celeste is a snake, and is not aware that the movie isn't really about snakes. When they leave the theater, Celeste has this to remark: "It was good, but the snakes didn't appear until the end."
  • In Castle, a psychiatrist has been found dead with lots of ranted gibberish scrawled over her.
    Lanie: Looks like a patient lost their patience.
    Castle: Also his command of grammar. "Your" should be "you-apostrophe-r-e" as in "you are", and that's not even a tough one; not like when to use "who" or "whom".
    Beckett: Do you really think that's the take-away here, Castle?
    Castle: I'm just saying, whoever killed her also murdered the English language.
He's still banging on about it later in the episode. He also points out to the victim's patient the correct use of irony.
  • Cheers:
    • Woody Harrelson's namesake character is the personification of this trope. This sets up a classic subversion:
      Woody: I don't get The Far Side.
      Cliff: Well, you see, Woody, that's showing how cows act when humans are not around.
      Woody: I mean my hometown newspaper doesn't carry The Far Side! But thanks for making me feel like a one-year-old!
    • Kelly was equally so, setting up another:
      Kelly: Don't make excuses, Woody. Now I see what's going on. You're busy every night and you won't tell me why, I walk in here and find the two of you kissing in the backroom of a bar. It all adds up! You're in a play and you didn't even tell me!
    • Diane (and sometimes Frasier) win the Grand Prize since they're self-proclaimed intellectuals, but still can't see the forest for the trees.
      Diane: Doctor, there's still one thing you haven't considered...
      Dr. Simon Finch-Royce: Ok; Sam, Diane, you two are perfect together. I'm sorry I made a mistake before but you are the most perfectly matched couple ever. But, why am I telling this to you? Let's share it with the rest of the world. (opens window) Hear this, world. The rest of you can stop getting married. It's been done to perfection. Envy them, sofa, envy them, chair, for you shall never be as cozy as they for their union shall be an epoch-shattering success and I STAKE MY LIFE ON IT. Wait a moment, let me get this on record — (speaks into his tape recorder) "I, Dr. Simon Finch-Royce, being of sound mind and body declare that Sam and Diane shall be happy together throughout all eternity and if I am wrong I promise I will take my own life in the most disgusting manner possible." (shoves tape recorder at Diane) Here, take the tape, NO, take the whole machine. It's my wedding gift to you. THE MOST PERFECT COUPLE SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!!
      Diane: (long pause, then turns to Sam and grins) See?
  • In the Chuck episode "Chuck vs. the Mask", Morgan and Ellie are talking about Chuck's secretive behavior:
    Morgan: I had an epiphany last night.
    Ellie: What’s that?
    Morgan: A sudden intuitive realization...
    Ellie: I know what an epiphany is, Morgan! I'm asking what epiphany you had.
  • The Class (2006): Yonk Allen. A lot. For example, on their first anniversary, Nicole gets him a newspaper from the day of the '75 Sugar Bowl, at which point he exclaims, as though to inform Nicole, "Why, I played in that!"
  • The Colbert Report:
    • There was a report about how a bear made its way into a Sears store, causing customers to panic and run out.
      Colbert: That is unbelievable. People still shop at Sears.
    • And of course, when he took extreme offense to KTVU-TV falling for an obvious Troll who told them the names of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash victims were "Captain Sum Ting Wong", "Wi Tu Lo", "Ho Lee Fuk", and "Bang Ding Ow", which they proceeded to read out loud on live television. Stephen Colbert found it horribly racist and offensive:
      I don't care who confirmed those names! It is wrong! I mean, "Wi Tu Lo?!" "Bang Ding Ow?!" This is a Korean airline! Those are Chinese names! That's racist!
  • Community:
    • In an episode, the entire group (except Jeff and Abed) have various adventures that teach them about themselves, and at the end of the episode proclaim what they don't like about themselves and start crying and group hugging, and then Pierce cries out "Let's never let Jeff divide us again!". whoosh
    • This trope frequently happens throughout the show. Especially with Pierce, who often misinterprets or is oblivious to quotes or references made by other characters, due to the age differences between him and the rest of the crew.
    • At the end of the Halloween episode, after everybody has had their minds erased of the incident, Troy listens to a voicemail that not only reveals that Shirley and Senor Chang had sex, but that the school was infested with zombies. His reaction? "Why did they call me?"
  • In The Daily Show, a clip from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit asks "Do you think that there was a reason that the killer sodomized your husband with a banana?" to which John responded: "Because the store was out of papayas?"
  • In the Deadwood episode "Reconnoitering the Rim", Brom Garrett goes to Wild Bill Hickok and Charlie Utter for help negotiating with Al Swearengen, who he believes has swindled him. Bill and Charlie refuse to get involved. When Brom persists, Charlie tries to point out that Al is not above murdering those who make trouble for him.
    Charlie Utter: [of his immediate predecessor in his hotel room] Fresh stain on the floor when I moved in. He may have checked out short a useful amount of blood.
    Brom Garret: Wouldn't surprise me in the least.
    Charlie Utter: That would make these accomplices you're talkin' about... dangerous people to deal with.
    Brom Garret: Yes, I quite take your point. No honor among thieves. (pause) Well. Thanks for your time: I'll pursue my remedies in some other fashion. (leaves)
    Wild Bill Hickok: I don't think he took your point... quite.
    Charlie Utter: I think he quite missed it.
  • From The Dick Van Dyke Show:
    Rob: Laura, I hate to see you cry like this.
    Laura: [sobbing] It's the only way I know how to cry!
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Girl in the Fireplace": At the climax Reinette, Defiant to the End, tells the clockwork droids that she will not set one foot inside their spaceship.
    • "The Idiot's Lantern": When the Wire, an Energy Being which is inhabiting TVs and stealing people's faces, speaks to the Doctor, Tommy and DI Bishop when they confront it, Bishop focuses more on the fact that the Wire uses its power to turn the image on the screen to full colour (it's 1953) than that the "woman" on the screen is addressing the people in the room directly.
      The Wire: I'm the Wire. And I will gobble you up, pretty boy. Every last morsel. And when I have feasted, I shall regain the corporeal body which my fellow kind denied me. [image briefly turns to full colour as it speaks]
      Bishop: Good lord! Colour television!
    • "Smith and Jones": The Doctor has just absorbed a lethal-to-humans dose of radiation and is trying to expel it via his foot into his shoe.
      The Doctor: Ow, ow, itchy, itchy, itchy... [shakes foot wildly, hopping around on one foot, before pulling his shoe off and binning it triumphantly]
      Martha Jones: You're completely mad.
      The Doctor: You're right. I look daft with one shoe. [pulls other shoe off and bins it] Barefoot on the Moon!
    • "The Shakespeare Code": The Doctor cheerfully tells Martha that when she gets home, she can tell her friends she's seen Shakespeare. Martha sarcastically retorts that she could then get sectioned, which is a British term for "institutionalized".
    • "Blink": Sally realizes the Doctor's DVD Easter Egg message is intended for her.
      Sally Sparrow: The 17 DVDs, they're all the DVDs I own. The Easter egg was intended for me.
      Larry Nightingale: ...You've only got 17 DVDs?
    • "Partners in Crime": After Miss Foster explains that she was hired by the Adiposian First Family to foster a new generation after their breeding planet was lost, the Doctor asks how they could have lost a planet in a tone of voice that implies he thinks the planet literally disappeared, prompting Foster to respond that the politics are none of her concern. It turns out that this is a subversion, as revealed in "The Stolen Earth". The Doctor's assumption was correct, and Miss Foster in fact missed the point in assuming that the planet's loss was merely political, as a country might lose territory in a war.
    • "The Sontaran Stratagem": Luke Rattigan, upon escorting the Doctor and UNIT private Ross into his office, remarks that the Doctor is "smarter than the average UNIT grunts". The Doctor gets offended and insists that he not call Ross a grunt. (The Doctor did work for UNIT once, but by this story he just works with them on occasion, and "grunt" is not an accurate way to describe him anyway. Luke doesn't know any of that.)
    • "Victory of the Daleks":
      • At the end, the Doctor and Amy go to see Professor Bracewell, who has learned he's actually an android the Daleks built to infiltrate human society. Bracewell is preparing to Face Death with Dignity because he thinks the Doctor's there to deactivate him for being Dalek technology and anachronistic. The Doctor is rather surprised since he was just popping by to say goodbye, but agrees... and he and Amy then claim that they first need to go do something vague for an increasing amount of time. It takes Bracewell rather longer than he should to realize that the Doctor isn't actually going to come back.
      • Lampshaded by Amy towards the end:
        Amy: (aside, to the Doctor) Dalek technology but a bit slow on the uptake.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The Doctor tries to console Amy's fiancé Rory.
      The Doctor: She was frightened, I was frightened... But we survived, and the relief of it and... so, she kissed me.
      Rory: And you kissed her back?
      The Doctor: No. I kissed her mouth.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": Rory, who had been erased from time, but came back as a Nestene copy with all Rory's memories, notices that the Doctor Failed a Spot Check.
      The Doctor: I'm missing something obvious, Rory. Something right in front of me, I can feel it.
      Rory: Yeah, I get the feeling.
      The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll figure it out in a minute. [walks out of the room before he does, with a Dramatic Drop]
    • "Arachnids in the UK": When Jack Robertson (an in-universe famous businessman) brags about his fame, the Doctor, only vaguely aware of who's famous at this point in time, asks if he's Ed Sheeran. When Graham clarifies that the American Robertson is running for President in 2020, the Doctor assumes he still means Ed Sheeran.
    • "Spyfall": During a Black-Tie Infiltration of Daniel Barton's casino-themed birthday party, the Doctor joins a game of blackjack, but assumes they're playing Snap.
  • Occurs in Drake & Josh when they suspect their dad of having an affair.
    Josh: Well, I caught him sneaking in. He was wearing a suit and when I asked him where he'd been, he says, "I was out buying milk, but I drank it all on the way home".
    Drake: Oh, that's bad.
    Josh: I know.
    Drake: We really needed some milk.
  • The Electric Company (1971):
    • "Gordon, you drive me up the wall" — an animated skit where a henpecked wife complains about to her husband about his nagging, lazy ways. Gordon has enough, pulls his wife onto his recliner and literally drives her up the wall!
    • "We are out of sweet rolls!" — a takeoff of an old vaudeville routine where a customer simply does not get the hint that the restaurant is out of sweet rolls.
  • An ER moment when Doctor Greene reminisced about his first job to his teen-aged daughter. He was probably doing it on purpose.
    Greene: I got $1.25 per hour.
    Rachel: That's slave wages.
    Greene: It was enough to keep me in new records and good weed.
    Rachel: (shocked look)
    Greene: What? You know, records. LPs? Vinyls? Those funny big black things that your hip-hop heroes likes to rip off for their songs.
  • At the end of the Firefly episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", Mal seems to be on the verge of figuring out that Inara kissed him when she found him unconscious, thus causing her to fall prey to Saffron's drugged lipstick, which had knocked out Mal. Inara starts getting very defensive about him realizing that she showed feelings for him until Mal calls her out...on letting Saffron kiss her.
  • A series of gifts meant for Niles get sent to Frasier instead. Niles and Martin discover that the gifts are actually to Niles from Maris, and when they break it to Frasier:
    Martin: They're from Maris.
    Frasier: Maris... is my secret admirer?
  • Friends:
    • Erika. When Monica tells her she and Chandler decided to name one of the twins Erika, she assumes it's just a coincidence, as well as Joey reacting the same way later, turning what could have been a heartwarming moment into a funny one.
    • The nurse, after being told that Rachel has hurt her ankle trying to take down the Christmas light. "You still have your Christmas lights up?!"
    • While listing the craziest place they'd had sex, Joey says his was in the second floor reading room of the New York City library. Monica reacts with "Oh my god! What were you doing in a library?"
    • In "The One with Ross's Wedding", when Rachel realizes that she still loves Ross, and the rest of the group knew that, she asks Phoebe, why didn't they tell her:
      Phoebe: Well, because we thought you knew!! It's so obvious! God, that would be like telling Monica, "Hey, you like things clean", or telling Joey, "Hey, you're gay."
      Rachel: What?!
      Phoebe: Oh, please! She's always got a broom in her hand!
    • Phoebe's actually fairly common for this trope. In "The One with the Tea Leaves", she has to change all her shopping habits to avoid a stalker, leading to this conversation:
      Phoebe: I also have to find a new video store, a new bank, new adult book store, a new grocery store.
      Monica: What?!
      Phoebe: (slowly) A new g-r-o-c-e-r-y store.
    • Another Phoebe example is in "The One with all the Candy", when she tells that she never had a bike as a child, while the girl across the street had a great one:
      Monica: Did the girl ever let you ride it?
      Phoebe: No! But she gave me the box that it came in. It had a picture of the bike on the front. So I would sit on it and my step-dad would drag me around the backyard.
      Ross: That is so unfair!
      Phoebe: Not really, I got to drag him around too!
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This exchange between Jon and Sam in "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things":
      Jon: But I couldn't do it, because all I could think was 'What if I got her pregnant and she had a child, another bastard named Snow?' It's not a good life for a child.
      Sam: ...So you didn't know where to put it?
    • Sansa has a way with unintentional irony in Season 1, with lines like "I don't want someone brave and gentle and strong; I want him!" and "I'll be a queen just like you!"
    • When Jon explains that they are facing 100:1 odds in "Breaker of Chains", Pyp says, "I don't think I can kill a hundred wildlings."
  • Glee:
    • In episode 10, when Mr. Schuester performs a mashup of "Young Girl" and "Don't Stand So Close To Me" to get the point across to Rachel that it's not appropriate for her to have a crush on him and for her to back off. All Rachel has to say at the end when he asks her if she got the message is "Yes. It means I'm very young and it's hard for you to stand close to me." Emma was also there and knew the point, but still missed it because she was so smitten with Will.
    • Kurt complained that Blaine was hogging the spotlight with him getting all the warblers solos. Blaine conceded to this and offered rependance by changing one of his solos to a duet between Kurt... and him!
  • The Goldbergs had an episode where Adam tricks Pops into taking him to see Poltergeist by saying it's actually The Great Mouse Detective. After they watch it, you'd probably expect Pops to lecture him on his deception. Instead...
    Pops: Where the (bleep) was the mouse?
  • Rose Nylund of The Golden Girls lives here, in addition to being Sarcasm-Blind.
    Dorothy: [on her gambling addiction] I had a problem 15 years ago. That's a long time. I've learned a little something since then. A lot has happened. And I've lived with the temptations. [exits]
    Blanche: Well, isn't that something? You think you know somebody, then you find out something like this. Hard to believe.
    Rose: I'll say. To think Dorothy's lived with The Temptations. I've never even been to one of their concerts.
  • Goodbye My Princess: Mi Luo tells Xiao Feng that Ming Yu Brothel is the most famous brothel in Shangjing. Xiao Feng misunderstands and asks if they serve good food there. Mi Luo says no, so Xiao Feng asks why the brothel is so famous.
  • The Good Place: When Eleanor first explains that her job was to sell fake medicine to seniors.
    Chidi: So your job was to defraud the elderly. Sorry, the sick and elderly.
    Eleanor: But I was very good at it. I was the top salesperson five years running.
    Chidi: Okay, but that's worse. I mean, you... you do get how that's worse, right?
  • In one episode of Happy Days, Chachi starts earning money from giving dancing lessons, but is too embarrassed to tell anyone and instead claims that he has written and sold a song. When asked to sing the song, he claims that for copyright reasons, he can't sing the whole song, but can only sing bits of it out of order. He then begins to sing random drivel. After he leaves:
    Fonz: He's lying badly.
    Marion: You mean, he didn't write that?
  • Happy Endings: This happens a lot
    • Like this example from Season 3, episode 1-Sabado Freegante.
      Max: Hey Brad, I uh I think I threw you into Max World ™® a little too quickly and I wanted to say I'm sorry that you were embarrassed in front of Paul.
      Brad: Yeah. You know what? He's going into the office on a Saturday. Guy has kids and never even sees em.
      Max: Yeah. Paul is living the dream.
      Brad: Um...
      Max: Oh you-you mean that not seeing your kids is-is a bad thing.
    • Or Brad and Jane have an annual fight which seems to herald the end of Chicago winters and usher in spring, and Dave and Penny have deliberately instigated a fight between the two:
      Penny: We barely had to say anything, just had to give them a little nudge.
      Alex: Oh, you think it's only a little nudge, but watch out cause it could be just like The Butterfly Effect. That one little movie lead to Ashton Kutcher doing a lot of bad movies.
  • In a season 5 episode of Hawaii Five-0, Jerry thinks he's going to go to prison for a string of home invasions he didn't commit.
    Jerry Ortega: I'll be the next Hurricane Carter, which will be kind of cool if Bob Dylan writes a song about me.
    Chin Ho Kelly: Bob Dylan's not going to write a song about you, Jerry.
    Jerry Ortega: You're right....his recent work is less political, more introspective.
  • In Heidi, bienvenida a casa, Boris tells Maxine that they can't be together because her mother is working for evil. Maxine is just shocked at the idea of her mother working.
  • In The Honeymooners, this is one of Cloudcuckoolander Ed Norton's many traits. Example: when his wife Trixie complains to Ed that when she went to the butcher and asked the butcher's son, who works there, how much chopped meat is, he had replied...
    Trixie: "Fifty-eight cents a pound... sweetie pie."
    Ed: Boy, I don't blame you for being mad. You're never going in that butcher shop again. What a nerve, 58 cents a pound for chopped meat.
    Trixie: Ed, I was referring to him calling me "sweetie pie"!
    Ed: Well, what do you want him to call you, "lover lips"? He hardly knows you!
  • Hotel Hell: In "The Town's Inn, Part 1", Ramsay discovers that the innkeeper, Karan, is trying to sell off various baskets that she's either made or found, except that he finds that several of them are filled with bugs.
    Ramsay: $12?! And that's with the bugs?
    Karan: (either perfectly serious, or just not paying attention) We don't charge extra.
  • House pretends to miss the point as a running gag, often to avoid actually having the conversation the other person wanted to have.
    Dr. Cuddy: I can't even imagine the backwards logic you used to rationalize shooting a corpse!
    Dr. House: Well, if I shot a live one there'd be a lot more paperwork.
  • Barney from How I Met Your Mother makes hot, sweaty monkey love to this trope.
    • In the Pilot episode:
      Ted: So these guys think I chickened out. What do you think?
      Barney: I... can't believe you're still not wearing a suit!
    • Episode 2x03 "Brunch": When Barney shows a picture he took of Ted's dad having an affair with Wendy the Waitress, Ted is naturally mortified. Barney assumes this Angst is because Ted's dad violated his duties, not as a husband, but as Barney's wingman. He called dibs on Wendy first, dammit!
    • Episode 3x11 "The Platinum Rule": Barney becomes convinced that an ex-girlfriend is trying to kill him.
      Barney: I dump her, and she says, "no hard feelings." She's a psycho, what other explanation is there?!
    • Episode 4x06 "Happily Ever After": Robin recounts her childhood in Canada, in which her father ignored her gender and tried to instill masculinity in his "son". (Her full name is Robin Charles Scherbatsky Jr.) This culminates with Scherbatsky Sr. witnessing Robin kiss a hockey teammate at age 14; he has an utterly pompous Heroic BSoD ("Oh my god ... I have no son.") This kind of thing really screwed up Robin's life. After the story is finished ...
      Barney: You poor thing. You had to grow up in Canada. With America RIGHT THERE.
    • Episode 4x13 "Three Days of Snow": Barney explains how he plays a game called "Party School Bingo" where he takes a list of the Top 25 party schools in the country, arranges them on a bingo card, and fills in a space every time he sleeps with a girl from that school.
      Ted: So how many people are in on this Party School Bingo thing?
      Barney: Oh, it's just me.
      Ted: Then what's the point, then?
      Barney: The point is to get five in a row.
      Ted: And what do you get when you get five in a row?
      Barney: I get Bingo.
    • Episode 4x15 "The Stinsons": When Barney watches movies, well ...
      Barney: Hey, The Karate Kid's a great movie. It's the story of a hopeful, young karate enthusiast whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All Valley Karate Championship. Of course, sadly, he loses in the final round to that nerd kid. But he learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat.
      Lily: Wait, when you watch The Karate Kid you actually root for that mean blonde boy?
      Barney: No, I root for the scrawny loser from New Jersey who barely even knows karate. When I watch The Karate Kid, I root for the karate kid, Johnny Lawrence from the Cobra Kai dojo. Get your head out of your ass, Lily.
    • The same episode has him revealing that he roots for Hans Gruber in Die Hard (believing him to be the title character), Principal Vernon in The Breakfast Club (the only one who wears a suit) and The Terminator (and proceeds to start crying over his death scene, saying "And she doesn't even help him!"). That explains the life-size Imperial Stormtrooper armor in his living room. Or, he's just Rooting for the Empire.
    • In "Mystery vs. History", Barney and Robin do some research on a woman Ted is dating. They find out that she's wanted in Florida on crystal meth charges, breeds pitbulls for dog fighting, is married to a death row inmate and... doesn't like Annie Hall. Guess which one upsets Ted the most.
  • In the Hustle episode "The New Recruits", the team pose as a PR firm to con two crooked businessmen. When the marks learn they've been conned (and all their fraudulent business practices exposed) one of them issues the direst threat he can think of: He's going to destroy the reputation of the PR firm.
  • Incredible Crew has the "Cola Thief" sketch, where a teacher keeps her entire class in detention because someone stole and drank all the sodas in her cabinet. One student points out that a boy named Wyatt, who's clearly going out of his mind with a sugar rush, might have done it. The teacher just says they don't accuse anyone without proof. After Wyatt confesses to stealing the sodas, the teacher says that somebody else stole over 300 pieces of gum and wants to know who did that. All of the students in the classroom look at a girl who's obviously chewing a huge wad of gum.
    Teacher: I can wait ALL DAY.
  • In an episode of iCarly, Spencer is showing Carly a new app on his phone. The app interrupts him at random times a day for 30 seconds of vigorous workout, which happens 180 times a day. When Carly asks Spencer why he won't just go to a gym he says "Carly, I can't go to a gym 180 times a day!"
  • An episode of iPartment has a (drunk) Meijia attempting to lean on a statue, which continually jerks away from her. When said statue opens his mouth to explain that he's a real person being paid to pose there, Meijia jumps to the conclusion he must be a talking statue. Invoked again in the same conversation, where she begins to get sick, and the posing man directs her toward the washroom. She asserts that she has the money to cover whatever it costs to clean up were she to throw up on the spot, forcing the posing man to explain that it's not about the money, it's about dignity.
  • In the second season of The Joe Schmo Show, Bryce's frog Everett is killed off-screen (at least in the storyline created for the show anyway) by the falcon Montecore. Bryce, however, at first blames the ditz Cammy, who was acting as the frog's caretaker, for killing him by feeding him donuts.
    Bryce: You killed him by giving him a donut?
    Cammy: It was a maple bar. I love maple bars.
  • In Kim's Convenience, a homeless guy tries to steal a bicycle that's been chained and the owner spots him and yells from afar. The homeless guy shoves the cutters in Jung's hands and runs off with the other bike that Jung accidentally stole from him and was trying to give back. Jung initially considers keeping the cutters, saying he was looking for a pair like these, while Kimchee tells him to run before they get caught.
  • On The King of Queens, Spencer and his new girlfriend Denise have dinner with his mom. To break the ice, she tells a story about how Spencer slipped on ice and how red his butt was afterwards. His mom completely missed the point and asks him why she's seen him naked, telling him he was supposed to "save himself". Denise then says the she didn't actually see it, but Spencer told her on the phone while she was in church. His mom then exclaims, "You were on the phone in church?!"
  • In Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's story on lethal injection, John likens listing the cons to writing a list of "Reasons Not to Fuck Your Mom"; there are several reasons that are good enough on their own, but if you even need one besides "it's wrong", you're missing the point.
  • A very dark example from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: As the wife/accomplice of the Serial Killer they've arrested is hauled off, she asks, "If I go to prison, will they let Henry Jr. come and visit me?" Olivia snaps that the child is being sent to reunite with his father, "the grieving husband of the woman you butchered." Undaunted, the clueless woman whines, "But I'm the only mother he knows!" While it wasn't likely meant to be amusing, one almost can't help but laugh at how utterly oblivious she is.
  • Leverage:
    • This is Parker's specialty, as she is generally messed up with No Social Skills. In the pilot when their original employer tries to kill them:
      Eliot: He tried to kill us!
      Parker: More importantly, he didn't pay us.
      Eliot: How is that more important!
      Parker: I take that personally.
      Eliot: There is something wrong with you.
    • She also does this frequently with regard to Hardison.
    • In the season 5 premiere of Leverage, the team has to move to a new location: the back of a microbrewery/gastropub; Hardison says he purchased the whole building, as a front. Elliot says it's the dumbest idea he's ever heard... as a chef: pairing food with beer is hard. Sophie lampshades it: "That's what you're upset about?"
  • The Librarians 2014 has this conversation between Jenkins and the others, while discussing the possible magical culprit:
    Jenkins: It might be a troll.
    Ezekiel: ...A troll?
    Jenkins: Ah, yes, I understand your scepticism, Mr. Jones. Trolls are not indigenous to the pacific northwest...
  • DC Christopher Skelton from Life on Mars and its spinoff Ashes to Ashes. He borders on The Ditz sometimes. Case in point as he and Jim Keats (from Discipline & Complaints) are looking at old police files:
    Jim Keats: Oh, strewth! Take a look at that signature.
    Chris: Surprise, surprise. It's CillaBlack.
    Jim Keats: Unbelievable.
    Chris: Yeah. I mean, why would she get involved in a blag? She's wadded. Mind you, she is a Scouser.
  • The season five opener of Little Mosque on the Prairie has a local woman chide Reverend Thorne for angrily calling Mercy, Saskatchewan a one-horse town filled with morons and imbeciles; she'd pointed out that there were seven horses and one of them was due to foal soon.
  • While stranded together on Lamentis-1, Loki almost immediately forgets that Sylvie, despite being a variant of himself, despises being called Loki.
    Loki: You’re not the only tech-savvy Loki.
    Sylvie: Don’t ever call me that.
    Loki: Tech-savvy?
  • On Lost, Hurley's parents throw a surprise tropical island-themed birthday party for him... after he's spent 100 days stranded on a tropical island.
    Sayid: Interesting choice of theme.
    Hurley: Yeah, Mom really doesn't get it, dude.
  • In an episode of McGee and Me, Nick is constantly bossing his sister to get him things for his cereal:
    Nick: You forgot my spoon.
    Sarah: I'm not your maid!
    Nick: Does that mean you're not getting my spoon?
  • The Mentalist has Lisbon missing the point of her own comment when Van Pelt tells her that Jane, Rigsby, and Cho signed out for not feeling well, having a hot date, and having tickets Kings tickets, respectively. Lisbon realizes the guys lied to Van Pelt and this exchange occurs:
    Lisbon: Jane doesn't get sick, Rigsby's not on a date because he's in love with you, and the Kings aren't playing tonight.
    Van Pelt: You know about that?
    Lisbon: Yeah, they're on the East Coast road trip. They're playing the Knicks tomorrow night.
  • The BBC series Merlin does this quite often, particularly with Merlin himself.
    Arthur: You can't leave him here [on the floor]! We have to get him onto the bed.
    Merlin: Why? He's asleep. He's not going to know.
    Arthur: Merlin!
    Merlin: Alright, I'll get him a pillow.
    Arthur: He's the king!
    Merlin: You're right... two pillows!
  • Misfits:
    • Alisha gives us this gem:
      Alisha: Maybe he's on crystal meth — that stuff makes you crazy! My friend Chloe did it one time and she nearly shagged her brother! And he's really ugly.
    • And later on, when Kelly is upset about accidentally having sex with a monkey, Nathan genuinely seems to believe he's being helpful by reminding her that technically, it was a gorilla.
  • Mock the Week: In brief stand-up skit on "Unfit society" (S02E01), guest Jo Brand, being an overweight person herself, tells of having sought medical counsel on how to live past 50. To the advice to do, exercise-wise, something that makes her slightly out of breath few times a week, her response was to start smoking again.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the End, Part I", Monk has been poisoned:
    Dr. Shuler: You're gonna feel normal for a while. And then there's gonna be some vomiting, followed by death.
    Monk: ...Vomiting?
Made even better when Monk asks if death can come before the vomiting.
  • In the first episode of My Family, Ben's assistant Brigitte criticises him for not making the time to treat his own wife and children, comparing him to the story of "The cobbler's children who had no food." Ben corrects her, and she replies that "That makes no sense, their dad was a cobbler."
  • In the Christmas Episode of My Name Is Earl, Earl remembers how he never bought any good Christmas gifts for his ex-wife. He flashes back to the Christmases they had when they were married, and one in particular involved Convenience Store Gift Shopping. He had bought her some condoms, to which she angrily responded, "How are these for me?! " His response?
  • On an episode of My So-Called Life, Rayanne and Sharon are in the bathroom discussing whether or not Angela is afraid to have sex. Two other girls in the bathroom start talking about how they'd like it even though they've obviously never done it, and Rayanne, deciding to have fun with them, brags about someone running an ice cube down her body, and that Mickey Rourke did it (in 9 1/2 Weeks, though she doesn't mention that part). As Rayanne and Sharon leave the bathroom, continuing to talk about Angela, one of the two girls asks if Mickey Rourke goes to the school.
  • In the Mysterious Ways episode "Listen":
    Declan: (on a student who failed a pop quiz) One of the questions was, "Name the 20th century Canadian communications theorist who stated that media will create the global village." His answer? "Yoda."
    Miranda: Yoda's Canadian?
Probably on purpose, given Miranda's slight smirk after her deadpan delivery.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • When Mike and the Bots watch TV's Frank try to force a heavily-bandaged Dr. Forrester to do "the knee test"
      Mike: Eugh! Man! Hardly stand to watch!
      Crow: Yeah, his posture is really terrible! The worst!
      Servo: Yeah, poor Frank has his work cut out for him.
    • When Torgo the White comes to take TV's Frank to Second-Banana Heaven, Crow is amazed.
      Crow: WOOOOOW! So Torgo was actually working with two completely reconstructed knees! That is dedication! Amazing!
    • After Tom is cured of his "Short Man's Syndrome", Crow picks on Tom about his face:
      Crow: Hey, does your face hurt? Because it's killing me!
      Servo: Oh, I'm sorry! I'll get that looked at right away!
    • In one host segment, Mike walks in on the 'bots having a Wet T-Shirt Contest.
      Crow: I won, with my waffle-net crewneck, which absorbed a full 1.35 liters of water.
      Servo: And while Crow won the day, my Haines beefy-T absorbed faster, with less dripping.
      Crow: But we're not quite sure still what the whole big deal is over wet T-shirt contests.
      Mike: I've got to go talk to my robots, and we'll be right back.
    • When Mike and the bots are watching Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.
      Mike: (when two mooks wearing hats show up) I see these guys were rejected from Men Without Hats.
      Servo: Oh. Really bad musicians?
      Mike: No... they're wearing hats.
      Servo: So the brims get in the way of the sheet music?
      Mike: Just... nevermind.
      (several minutes later)
      Servo: Oh! I get it! Because they're wearing hats!
    • Jonah and the Bots watch Star Wars knock off Star Crash. At one point in the film's second half one of the protagonists pulls out a blatant lightsaber rip off weapon.
      Jonah: Oh now they're just openly ripping off Spaceballs
  • The Nanny: Maxwell wonders why Fran dating another guy bothers him so much as he bites into an apple. Niles suddenly says that he wants the apple. "It was right in front of me the whole time, but I never knew I wanted it until someone bit their teeth into it and now I'm left with this aching hunger." Maxwell tells him to try a pear instead before leaving. Then Fran comes in, Niles tries the same metaphor, to which she replies "You snooze, you lose." Niles should know better. When it comes to that subject, those two are morons. He's lived there for years and he makes this same mistake over and over. He's not as smart as he seems, obviously.
  • NCIS: Bishop leaves her husband after he admits that he's been having an affair, returning to her family's home in Oklahoma. Despite her specifically asking him not to call her because she needs time and space, he repeatedly does so anyway. When she finally does speak to him, it's to scream at him to leave her alone. He promptly asks her who he's going to spend Thanksgiving with if she's not with him, somehow completely forgetting that the very reason they're estranged is because of his adultery. His idiotic question is the last straw for her and she hangs up on him.
  • Done on New Tricks to emphasize the fundamental weirdness of newcomer Dan: a cold case is reinvestigated after 16 years because an offshore Account with £40,000 in the victim's name has been found. Dan is outraged — because the fund earned only 0.4% in interest, as he immediately computed in his head...
  • Night Court relies on this trope as a staple, especially with Bull.
    Harry: Mack, why are you wearing a dead fish around your neck?
    Bull: Aw, come on, Harry. (Beat.) A live fish would flop around too much.
  • Odd Squad:
    • Otto, being The Ditz out of the core group in Season 1, has quite a few of these moments. Take this exchange in "Ms. O Uh-Oh", for example:
    Olive: But how did dropping your Day-inator gadget make another Ms. O?
    Oscar: It's not really another Ms. O. She's the real Ms. O, just from a different day in the past.
    Otto: She's a caveman?
    • Another notable Otto-related example occurs in "The Trouble with Centigurps". After Oscar realizes that Oprah's lunch is spaghetti and meatballs, Otto remarks that it sounds delicious. Oscar's response is to angrily grab him by the collar and shove him into a table as he yells that meatballs are spheres, and since Centigurps love spheres, they would go after the meatballs.
    • Yet another notable Otto-related example in "The One That Got Away" has him insulting Mr. Hoogenstorf, a 60-year-old man, when Oprah explains how his birthday was ruined.
    Oprah: Mr. H is very upset.
    Otto: Sure, he's 60!
    • Even Oprah isn't immune to these moments, as seen in "Fistful of Fruit Juice" when she construes Yucks' news of "our fruit warehouse was robbed" to be a terrible joke that she's telling.
    • At the end of "Oscar Strikes Back", after President Obbs is fired for misconduct, Oprah tells Oscar that someone needs to step up in his place as President of the Scientists. Oscar agrees, but believes that she's referring to herself and tells her that she can't leave Odd Squad. She then clarifies that she's referring to him.
    • In "And Then They Were Puppies", resident ditz Ohlm is tasked with stopping the Puppy Master and turning all of his co-workers back into humans. When he gets wind from Oprah that every agent of Precinct 13579 is a puppy, his response is to tell her that they won't be puppies forever and they'll be full-grown dogs eventually. Oprah wastes no time in telling him not to argue with her.
    • New Dr. O/Olly, who debuts in "Dr. O No", is the living embodiment of this trope. Not even screaming and yelling at her will get her to see reason, as Oona soon learns the hard way.
    • In "Slow Your Roll", The Shadow demonstrates her abilities as The Cracker by opening the Mobile Unit van's microwave door. Orla is unimpressed, saying that she could just close the door of the microwave, and goes to do so before The Shadow angrily shouts that she's missing the point.
  • The Office:
    • In "Beach Games", Dwight attempts to tell "The Aristocrats" in order to succeed Michael as the office's regional manager. The problem is that he completely misunderstands what it is that makes the joke funny.
    • After finding out his employee Oscar is gay, Michael wonders aloud if the man Oscar is living with knows.
    • Earlier when Dwight finds it out while going to ask Oscar for his sickness and finds him and his boyfriend coming from a recent trip, Dwight has this little gem.
      Dwight: Guess what I find out about Oscar tonight? (Beat) He was lying about being sick.
  • Only Fools and Horses:
    • In "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle", Uncle Albert laments that his place of birth (a marina where ships from all over the world used to dock) which, when he was young, was filled with rough but good people has since been utterly cleared away so as to build luxury flats, Del states that is in fact terrific as the flats happen to be worth a lot of money.
    • Del also never quite seems to catch on to the fact that "Yuppie" is an insult.
  • In The Orville,
    • A Krill is shown about twenty Earth movies. The only one she likes is Raiders of the Lost Ark, except she assumes the Nazis are the heroes. On the other hand, the Krill believe themselves to be the apex of creation, commanded by their god to dominate everything in the universe. All other races are seen as little more than animals. So it makes a twisted kind of sense that someone like that would sympathize more with Those Wacky Nazis.
    • In another episode, when it's suggested to a somewhat sleep-deprived Mercer that a nebula might "cause" a diplomatically-convenient communications delay, his first reaction is an indignant statement that the ship just had its communications system upgraded.
  • This happens often on Our Miss Brooks:
    • Almost anytime Miss Brooks suggests anything romance-related to oblivious-to-love Mr. Boynton:
      Miss Brooks: In these boyhood fights, Mr. Boynton, was there any girls involved?
      Mr. Boynton: Gosh, no, Miss Brooks. I wouldn't hit a girl.
    • Anytime Miss Brooks tries to correct Stretch or Bones Snodgrass' grammar:
      Stretch Snodgrass: Miss Brooks, you done it again.
      Miss Brooks: Please Stretch, I did it again.
      Stretch Snodgrass: I don't blame you for bragging.
    • Many other occasions as well. For example, this exchange with Walter Denton:
      Miss Brooks: Walter, George Eliot was not a gentleman.
      Walter Denton: He may have not been a gentleman, but he was a darned good writer.
  • Parks and Recreation loves this trope.
    • "The Camel", in which the Parks Department is trying to create a mural design. Initially, every worker (plus Ann) makes their own design, but after everyone votes for their own design, leading to a tie, Leslie suggests merging all of the ideas. The end result is predictably awful.
      Leslie: It's like if you got Michelangelo and Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock and Jim Davis from Garfield to do one painting. Imagine how good that painting would be!
    • Hunting Trip has another from Leslie. When Ron gets shot in the back of the head, we get this exchange.
      Tom: Maybe Ron shot himself.
      Leslie: He has seemed really depressed lately.
      Mark: He was shot in the back of the head.
      Leslie: You're right. Ron loves the back of his head, he'd never shoot himself there.
    • In the episode "Sweetums", April tells Tom she'd rather watch a sex tape of her grandparents than help him move. Andy says that he thinks it's really sweet that her grandparents still make love.
    • The season 6 episode "Galentine's Day" has this exchange after Andy agrees to go with Ron to get his tooth fixed, which has been causing him pain if he so much as drinks soda.
      Ron: If you don't take care of the problem now, it's only going to get worse. Come on, I'll drive you back.
      Andy: Fine, let me just wolf down this peanut brittle real quick.
      (Ron smacks the box out of Andy's hands in frustration)
      Andy: Why would you do that? (Beat) Oh right, 'cause calories.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In a scene from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 2, Bulk finds a note in his locker, the sender asking to meet as "I [the sender] have what you're looking for." Bulk gives the note to Skull, asking (rhetorically) "Do you know what this means?" Skull responds, "Yeah: Someone knows the combination to your locker." Bulk is not impressed. To be fair to Skull, though, he does have a point in assuming a mundane explanation for how the note got there, and he's actually closer to the truth than Bulk is: Bulk assumes it's connected to his search for the Power Rangers' secret identities, but instead it's just from two Abhorrent Admirers who want to go to a dance with them: what they think they're looking for is "true love". Of course, he's still wrong about what Bulk's point was.
    • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, we have this gem after Black Ranger Will does a Face–Heel Turn and joins with Miratrix, who had previously seduced Blue Ranger Dax in an attempt to steal a shard of the MacGuffin:
      Dax: I can't believe he's with her! You don't just hook up with a friend's ex!
    • In Power Rangers: Beast Morphers, Ravi, Nate and Steel head down a tunnel in search of Roxy and Drillerbot. Seeing the cobwebs around, Nate starts to panic and hopes that he doesn't see any eight-legged creatures. Steel reassures him by telling him there are no octopuses down there.
  • On an episode of The Price Is Right, not long after Drew Carey took over hosting duties from Bob Barker, Drew pointed out that the pricing game "Barker's Bargain Bar" was named after "Ezekiel Barker". The fandom took this joke and ran with it usually by jokingly referring to Bob as "Ezekiel" themselves.
  • Played around with frequently in Raising Hope.
    • For example, Jimmy is talking about his dreams:
      Jimmy: Some dreams are better off as dreams. Did you see that movie Inception? It was someone's dream to make that piece of crap.
    • In an earlier episode:
      Jimmy: Oh, this is just like that movie Inception. I have no idea what's going on!
    • After Maw-Maw makes jerky under the rug, stinking out the house and ruining the rug:
      Virginia: Oh, come on, Burt! A new rug? I always hear people bragging about how their carpets match their drapes.
      Burt: You're right. I want to be one of those people.
    • On fights:
      Barney: You know, if you don't clear the air every once in a while, stuff builds up until it explodes. Next thing you know, you're crying in a bubble-bath listening to Linda Ronstadt, trying to forget the image of your cousin tongue-kissing your now-ex-wife.
      Burt: That sounds awful! I don't want to listen to Linda Ronstadt!
  • Red Dwarf:
    • This gem of a conversation between Cat and Lister:
      Lister: This is crazy. Why are we talking about going to bed with Wilma Flintstone?
      Cat: You're right, we're nuts. This is an insane conversation.
      Lister: She'll never leave Fred and we know it.
    • And in "Tikka to Ride", when the crew accidentally knocks Lee Harvey Oswald out the window of the book depository.
      Lister: All those people are gathered around that giant pizza.
      Kryten: That's... not a giant pizza, sir.
      Lister: Not a giant pizza? It's got to be eight foot across.
    • In "Queeg", Lister tells a long tale about a pair of artificially intelligent shoes under the pretense of explaining his philosophy on A.I., but really to just get to a punchline that Rimmer completely misses:
      Lister: You see, it turns out shoes have soles.
      Rimmer: Ah, what a sad story. Wait a minute.
      Rimmer: How did they open the car door?
    • In Kryten's first appearance in the episode of the same name, his reaction to the Dwarfers telling him the crew of the Nova 5 (a group of skeletons he's been looking after for three million years) are dead is "But I only left the room for five minutes!"
    • In one episode, Rimmer reacts whith outrage when he learns that Lister lost his virginity at the age of 12... since it took place on a golf course, and Lister couldn't have been old enough to have proper membership of the club.
    • In "Krytie TV" Rimmer tells Lister he's got a letter from his friend Peterson but that it contains some bad news. Lister's first assumption is that Peterson died. Rimmer points out that, if he had died, he'd hardly have written a letter. Lister realises he's right. After all, he'd be too busy with his funeral.
  • Robin of Sherwood: after a group of Templars attack and soundly thrash the outlaws (abducting Much), Tuck refers to them as "Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon". Will replies, "Poor? I'd hate to see the good ones!"
  • From Sabrina the Teenage Witch after she accidentally costs the Quizmaster his job at a party:
    Zelda: Hi honey, how was your tea?
    Sabrina: Oh, pretty average, you know. There was music, little sandwiches, tea, of course, oh and I got my Quizmaster fired!
    Salem: What kind of sandwiches?
  • This was the whole schtick of Gilda Radner's classic Saturday Night Live character Emily Litella... Oh, you mean it wasn't? It was based on Mondegreens instead? um... never mind.
  • Schitt's Creek uses this trope often:
    • Johnny tries to subtly correct Alexis's grammar, specifically her confusing than and then, and Alexis totally misses his obvious hints.
    • Alexis thinks Johnny has asked her to handle the guest list for his Christmas party, as in work the door, rather than what he actually wants which is for her to invite people to the party.
    • Johnny says he "has a favor" and Alexis assumes it is one for her, not one he needs from her.
  • Scrubs:
    • Carla, who is from the Dominican Republic, has a dream that involves her friends conspiring to kill her. What disturbs her? That the dream isn't in Spanish.
    • Another example in Season 5 when Carla loses a patient and has the Janitor help her look. He mentions that he didn't find his head, then goes on about how he once found a head and, since it was a weekend, left it in his locker and decided to take care of it later. On the next work day, he's forgotten about it and discovers a dismembered head in his locker now filled with rats. He punts the head off the roof, but sees that it'll land directly on Dr. Kelso. He then claims that a hawk swooped by and snatched the head in midair and carried it off. When he tries to explain why he thinks a hawk is near a hospital, Carla goes "...I can't believe you get a locker and I don't." This could be because the Janitor is known to be a pathological liar and the fact he has a locker maybe is the only sensible part in the whole story.
    • The Janitor plays with this trope in his own absurd tale. After telling this absolutely preposterous story, he says, "I know what you're thinking. We're in the middle of a city, what's a hawk doing there?" Assuredly, no-one was thinking this.
    • When J.D. is at a low point in season five, Elliot tells him a story intended to illustrate that everyone struggles sometimes:
      Elliot: In high school I had this amazing teacher, Mr. Higgins, and he was funny and inspiring; I mean, he was like a second father to me. And then one day I found out that he was sleeping with his students, and I was crushed. I mean — why not me? (growing teary) You know, and it wasn't my lazy eye because that was fixed by prom!
    • When Elliot is denying help from her friends, Carla has an exchange with J.D. and Turk about whether Turk would save J.D. if he were drowning, but asked Turk not to help him. Turk suggests that maybe J.D. wants a woman at the pool to save him, and since there are always women at the pool, Carla changes the story so that J.D. is drowning in a pond, only for J.D. to point out that ponds are infamous for serpents. Turk says that swimming is men-only at the Y on Tuesdays, and J.D. writes that off as disgusting. Frustrated, Carla changes it so that Turk is drowning, to which Turk indignantly replies:
      Turk: Oh, so now a Brother can't swim!
      J.D.: Why do you have to go there?
  • In one episode of Seinfeld ("The Secretary"), while in a women's clothing store, Kramer agrees to sell Bania his suit (which he is currently wearing). Kramer starts to go into one of the dressing rooms to take it off, and Bania protests:
    Bania: Hey that's the women's dressing room.
    Kramer: There's nothing in there that I haven't seen before.
    • In another episode Kramer tells Elaine a story about going to return some pants, only to slip in some mud and ruin them, revealing that he was wearing the pants he was planning on returning. When Elaine asks what he was planning to do after getting to his friend's place and returning them he cannot understand her point and repeats that he never got there because he slipped.
  • Selfie
    • In "Never Block Cookies", Henry does exactly that-a cute barista at the coffee shop in the office building offers him a cookie for free, and he turns it down, not wanting the cookie, saying she's going to screw up her inventory, and totally missing that she's interested in him. It takes a few days later for Eliza to point it out to him for him to get it.
    • In "Even Hell Has Two Bars", Henry celebrates in front of Terrence and Charlie about being invited to Saperstein's house because as he puts it "he only invites upper level executives who are in line for a promotion to hob nob there."
      Charlie: Woah! Hob-nob.
      Henry: No, promotion. That's the exciting word, Charlie.
  • Sesame Street: Like The Electric Company, this trope was used for comedic effect to teach simple concepts and moral lessons. One well-remembered example was "Cookie Monster at the Library," where Cookie repeatedly asks the librarian for a box of cookies (after giving the title or subject of a book). Cookie eventually gets it, but then causes the librarian to faint dead away when he asks for a glass of orange juice with that book about cookies.
  • Sex and the City: Samantha Jones, a character who had exclusively been with men up until that point, announces that she's dating an artist named Maria. Carrie's shocked response: "You're in a relationship?!"
  • Stargate:
  • This exchange in Star Trek: The Original Series from "I, Mudd":
    Kirk: Well, opinions?
    Chekov: I think we're in a lot of trouble.
    Kirk: That's a great help, Mr. Chekov. Bones?
    McCoy: I think Mr. Chekov's right. We are in a lot of trouble.
    Kirk: Spock. And if you say we're in a lot of trouble-
    Spock: ... We are.
  • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, this trope is a cornerstone of Commander Data's character. Being an android, he often has trouble grasping human idioms.
    O'Brien: ...We'll all be burning the midnight oil on this one.
    (Data overhears this as he walks through the frame, but doesn't break stride)
    Data: That would be inadvisable.
    O'Brien: Excuse me?
    Data: (walks back into frame) If you attempt to ignite a petroleum product on this ship at zero-hundred hours, you will activate the fire suppression system, which would seal off this entire compartment.
    • Which is a little strange, given that he's a walking database, which means he could download a whole dictionary of idioms and look them up instantly. An Expanded Universe novel reveals that he does this deliberately in order to keep people from fearing him. Which was already introduced in ST:TNG when Lore showed up. Lore was TOO similar to a human and feared for that, and its creator thus "dumbed down" on Data a bit.
  • O'Brien himself skirted this in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with "I TORE MY PANTS!" ...after washing up on an uninhabitable desert planet. As soon as he sees Sisko's reaction, he pretty clearly realizes the absurdity of the situation, sending the entire crew into hysterical laughter.
    O'Brien: I guess I'm really in trouble now!
    • Picard does this on purpose in "Captain's Holiday," when Riker asks him if he's decided where he's going, referring to the crew's plan to try to get to go on vacation.
    Picard: Yes, I have, Number One. [addressing the computer] Bridge.
  • In an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, London and her book club review Pride and Prejudice, and identify with Caroline Bingley and lambaste Mr. Bingley for "marrying beneath him."
    • And in The Suite Life On Deck, London embarrasses Bailey on her webshow with Woody as her cameraman. After Bailey breaks the camera in anger, London tells Woody that the camera is coming out of his salary. His response "I'm getting a salary?!"
  • That '70s Show:
    • In an episode, Hyde shows Fez a shirt with "Funland University" on one side and "F.U." on the other. The joke is lost on Fez (who thinks it has to do with it saying Fu).
    • In another episode, shortly after Jackie starts dating with Hyde, she sees her previous boyfriend Kelso kissing with his new girlfriend, and — in the presence of Hyde — screams: "GET OFF MY BOYFRIEND!" Fez, who had his hand on Hyde's shoulder, says: "I don't know why she's so upset. I was barely touching you." A multiple-edged example here, as it could be argued either that Jackie, Fez, or anyone trying to make a case either way lost the plot on this one.
  • An episode of That Mitchell and Webb Look features David Mitchell complaining about the tearjerker ending of Blackadder Goes Forth, saying that he didn't get the joke of just a few people running over a field and getting shot; judging from the audience reaction, it obviously fell flat in the studio.
  • A recurring theme in the Cinco product infomercials in Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is inventing a product for a task and then hideously overcomplicating that task and/or making it far more dangerous. Examples include a frisbee that sprouts legs and walks back to the user very, very slowly (being sold on how much you can get done in-between frisbee throws,) a MIDI organizer that organizes your MIDI files, assigning them each a several-dozen digit-long ID number you need to type in to listen to each individual song, and a cell phone with only one button (each number needs to be dialed in as if you were spelling a letter on a normal cell phone) that can't receive calls and causes second-degree burns (which they acknowledge by providing a single tube of cooling gel with each phone).
  • Top Gear:
    • James May, about rally-driver Kenny Block: "The man is completely useless, he can't drive in a straight line."
    • Earlier, Jeremy Clarkson was being teased by the other presenters about his... rather enthusiastic interview with Will Young, culminating in Hammond singing "Jeremy's in looooove" and all he got out of it was "Are you suggesting Will Young is gay?"
    • From a Series 9 episode:
      Jeremy: I have passion for the Ferrari, and I respect [the Porsche 911]'s like David Attenborough. I respect David Attenborough, just infinite respect, in the same way as I respect that car, but I have no passion for it, I don't want to make love to it.
      Richard: Yeah, but I have respect and passion for the 911.
      Jeremy: There you are. You've just admitted on television you want to make love to David Attenborough.
      Richard: Your logic, sometimes, mate, is the most warped thing...
  • In True Blood, Jason confesses to Hoyt that he had sex with Jessica, who was Hoyt's girlfriend at the time. Hoyt asks Jason how, meaning how he could do this to his best friend, and Jason starts listing off the positions they tried, resulting in Hoyt punching him.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Dealer's Choice", the extremely innocent and not very bright Marty describes A Streetcar Named Desire (which he incorrectly calls Streetcar Called Desire) as a great movie all about poker.
    • In "The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon", the title character tells Dr. Jeremy Sinclair that he hears voices. When Dr. Sinclair says "Oh, you also hear voices?", Edgar assumes that Sinclair means that he hears them too.
  • Dimwitted Kandi on Two and a Half Men is a living, breathing example of this trope.
    • In episode 3.16, she pays Alan a surprise visit while he's eating dinner with his family:
      Alan: K-Kandi? What are you doing here?
      Kandi: (in loud voice) I thought I'd surprise you with a BOOTY CALL!
      Alan: Shhh! Lower your voice!
      Kandi: (deeper voice) BOOOTY CAAAALLL!
    • After overhearing the exchange, Alan's son Jake wants to know what a "booty call" means. Alan responds by concocting an elaborate, G-rated etiological story. The ruse appears to have worked, until....
      Kandi: Wow. Alan, you really make history fun.
      Alan: Well, thank you.
      Kandi: So when did it start meaning "casual sex"?
    • On another occasion, Kandi greets Alan's ex-wife at the door dressed in a string bikini. Alan's ex asks her to put on more clothes, explaining that her outfit "isn't appropriate for Jake". Kandi replies, "I agree — he would look ridiculous in this!"
  • Wentworth: when Doreen is pregnant and used someone else's urine sample, she confronts Warner about how the staff figured it out. Turns out it was Maxine's urine—Maxine is transsexual and taking hormone replacement.
    Boomer: Maxine's pregnant?
  • The West Wing: The Leadership Breakfast. Following a series of snafus, the President is being asked to speak to a reporter. He wants to know why, and focuses on the most politically esoteric of the bunch.
    Bartlet: Donna wants me to call Karen Cahill and make it clear she wasn't hitting on her when she gave her her underwear.
    Leo: Yeah, that's because I made fun of her shoes and Sam said there were nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan and Donna went to clear up the mix-up and accidentally left her underwear.
    Bartlet: There can't possibly be nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan.
    Leo: Mr. President, please don't wade hip-deep into this story.
  • Many games on Whose Line Is It Anyway? which involve someone trying to guess someone else's identity. A lot of times the guess will be nowhere close.
    • Subverted in one game, where the panelist guesses that the other person's just a complete and utter git, which the host readily agrees is correct. The other person is, naturally, pretending to be the first panelist.
    • A Running Gag in the game "Greatest Hits". Ryan would sometimes try to drop a hint about the next style of music. Often, Colin would take the hint and run with it... in the wrong direction.
      Ryan: What comes to mind when I say "Ricky Ricardo" and "great cigars"?
      Colin: Oh, tapioca.
      Ryan: Really. Why is that?
      Colin: Wasn't that his big hit? "TAPIOOOOOOCA! TAPIOOOCA!"
      Ryan: (trying not to laugh) Oh, no no. I'm talking about Cu— (bursts out laughing) I'm talking about Cuba, Col— [loses it again]
  • In one episode of Will & Grace Karen tries to calm Grace, who is worried that an important job will be given to a more high-profile interior designer, by taking her to a taco place where the famous, chic designer is stuffing her face with fast food. Karen uses this to teach Grace not to be intimidated because the designer, while famous, is just a person like she is. Grace, instead, tries to use the fact that the chic designer eats fast food to prove she is undeserving of the job she wants. It doesn't work.
  • In The Wire, after Stringer's henchmen bungle another attempt to assassinate Omar, he gives them a long speech comparing them to "40-degree days", which are not hot enough to be pleasant but not cold enough to be uncomfortable; in other words, their efforts were completely unremarkable. Then he gives them a new assignment, to which one underling replies "We on that shit like a 40-degree day!"
  • In episode 3 of British children's show The Witches and the Grinnygog, the reverend is interviewing a new housekeeper. She asks if her being raised in an "alien faith" would be a problem. He assures her that it won't, then asks which faith.
    Miss Bendybones: Primitive. (meaning pagan)
    Reverend: Primitive? Methodist isn't an alien faith.
  • Workaholics: In one episode, a realtor asks the gang not to be out drinking on their roof while she's giving an open house. Blake agrees promptly, saying "Weed only!"
  • Yellowjackets: After Jeff reveals to his wife Shauna that he was the one responsible for blackmailing her teammates she reveals in turn that she was cheating on him with Adam, mocking him for believing in her repeated excuses about attending book club. His response:
    Jeff: What? There's no book club?!
  • In Young Blades, when King Louis XIV is told that his Italian advisor Cardinal Mazarin may be a traitor:
    Jacqueline: You do realize what this means, don’t you?
    Louis: I’m afraid I do. (Beat) No more Thursday ravioli nights!
  • In the episode "Boring" of The Young Ones we get this exchange when Vyvyan decides to enter a cereal box contest where you write down ten words to describe your feelings about cornflakes:
    Vyvyan: My entry is: Cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes, cornflakes.
    Rick: You'll nevuh win the contest with that Vyvyan!
    Rick: That's only nine wowds!
    Vyvyan: Thanks Rick! (writing down) Cornflakes!
  • On the Israeli sitcom Zanzuri, the eponymous character’s son tells his father, "Dad, your daughter's a harlot!"note  Zanzuri seems very disturbed, asking, "What's that? What's that?" in a menacing voice... then asks, "What's a harlot?" He is, however, very upset when his son tells him.