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Dont Explain The Joke / Western Animation

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  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In Omashu, the Gaang is trying to guess the name of an Earthbender. Sokka comes up with:
      Sokka: Wait! I got it! He's an earthbender, right? Rocky! (Beat) You know? Because of all the rocks?
    • Sokka also gives us this gem:
      Aang: Hey guys, I think this river is polluted.
      Sokka: Well that explains why I can't catch a fish around here. Because normally my fishing skills are off the hook... Get it? Like a fishing hook.
      Toph: Too bad your skills aren't on the hook.
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    • Azula also falls into this.
      Azula: That's a sharp outfit, Chan. Careful, you could puncture the hull of an Empire-class Fire Nation battleship, leaving thousands to drown at sea... (beat) Because it's so sharp.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. "But I got a buzz-y signal! Get it? Buzz. It's the sound bees make."
  • The Simpsons:
    • "We're on the Road to D'owhere", with customary Lampshade Hanging:
      Chief Wiggum: Save it, Ma Peddle.
      Lou: Ma Peddle?
      Chief Wiggum: It's a reference to Ma Kettle, a movie character from the 1940s.
      Lou: Chief, if you have to explain it, it's not very good.
    • Inverted in "The Last Temptation of Krust" during the family's visit to a comedy club.
      Comedian: I finally got around to reading the dictionary. Turns out the zebra did it.
      (crowd laughs)
      Homer: I don't get it.
      Lisa: Dad, the zebra didn't do it, it's just a word at the end of the dictionary.
      Homer: I still don't get it.
      Lisa: It's just a joke.
      Homer: Oh, I get it! I get jokes! (laughing)
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    • In "Grade School Confidential", Principal Seymour Skinner writes a note to Edna Krabapple: "I want to Seymour (see more) of you."
    • And there's the time Skinner and Chalmers try to do Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine, with Skinner (in Costello's part even) explaining exactly what the gag is at the first opportunity.
      Chalmers: Well, Seymour, it seems we've put together a baseball team, and I was wondering; who's on first?
      Skinner: Yes, not the pronoun, but rather a player with the unlikely name of 'Who', is on first!
      Chalmers: Well, that's just great, Seymour. We've been out here six seconds and you've already managed to blow the routine!
    Get it? Because Lou Costello is supposed to be the one who DOESN'T understand what's going on while Bud Abbot is the one trying to tell him who's on first. Instead. The idiot explained the joke!
    • In one episode Principal Skinner leads into the reveal of a school mural with a doesn't go terribly well.
      Skinner: You know, when Superintendent Chalmers suggested a school mural, I almost thought he said a, "school Muriel!" Heh heh!
      (crowd is silent)
      Skinner: Muriel's his sister.
      (crowd remains silent)
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    • This excerpt from "McBain: Let's Get Silly" attained memetic status:
      McBain: You ever notice how men always leave the toilet seat up? (pauses, but nobody laughs) That's the joke.
      Heckler: You suck, McBain!
      (McBain machine-guns the crowd)
    • From "Girls Just Want to Have Sums":
      Bart: I can finally walk around with Bart Jr. out. (pulls out frog and kisses it)
      (Bart Jr. croaks; subtitles read "I thought he meant his penis.")
    • In "Bart of Darkness", Nelson pulls the "your epidermis is showing!" joke on Bart, and not only feels the need to explain it to Kearny, he explains it wrong. (He claims "epidermis" means "hair"; it actually means "skin".)
    • From "I'm Going to Praiseland":
      Wiggum: This place is more like "Crazeland". (confused murmurs from crowd) Instead of "Praiseland". (crowd gets it)
      Moe: It's a play on words.
    • In "Homer the Moe", Homer is in charge of Moe's Tavern briefly, and ends up taking one of Bart's prank calls.
      Bart: Uh, yeah, I'd like to speak to a Mr. Tabooger, first name Ollie.
      Homer: Ooh, Bart, my first prank call! What do I do?
      Bart: Just ask if anyone knows Ollie Tabooger.
      Homer: I don't get it.
      Bart: Yell out "I'll eat a booger".
      Homer: What's the gag?
      Bart: Oh, forget it...
  • Robot Chicken:
    • They likewise allude to this Abbott and Costello routine with a shot of The Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who standing on first base eventually waving exasperatedly "Do you get it?!" ...Which is more like alluding that there's a joke present without saying what it is.
    • In the Yo Momma fight between Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine, the latter tries retorting, "Yo momma is so stupid, she thinks a lightsaber has fewer calories!" No one cheers. Palpatine tries to explain that it's a pun off of "lite saber", but still doesn't get a point.
    • A Running Gag in the Baloo Identity skit is someone making a pun and then explaining the pun before someone else interrupts with "We get the wordplay".
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Shades of Gray", Danny needlessly explains the joke "Who let the dogs in?". Embarrassed, he goes ghost, and Sam shouts at him to bring back better jokes.
  • Fozzie on Muppet Babies killed his already tepid jokes by explaining them.
  • Occasionally done by O'Farrell on Fillmore! This one followed a Chase Scene in which the perp was caught with a roll of bubble wrap.
    O'Farrell: I'd say you two wrapped this case up rather nicely. Bubble wrap, that is! Get it? It's basically a play on the word "wrap"...
  • Arthur:
    • The eponymous character is called upon to decide where the family should take their trip. Arthur decided upon Washington, D.C.:
      Arthur's father: That's a capital idea! (chuckles) Washington's the nation's capital.
      Arthur: We got it the first time, Dad.
    • Another scene had Arthur's father tell a joke to Muffy's parents. The viewers come in when he delivers the punchline: "The snail said, 'Look At that S-car go!" He proceeded to explain that "S-car go" sounds like "escargot," the French word for, "snails." Muffy's father replies that he already knew that, but still didn't find the joke funny.
  • One of the most frequent criticisms of Family Guy is that it explains the jokes. This has actually gone further in more recent seasons where, essentially, the joke is explained before it's told. This led to the Meme "Peter Explains the Joke".
    • For example, during the FCC song. This might be a subversion though, since the explanation is probably funnier than the joke itself.
      And if you find yourself with some young sexy thing,
      You'll have to do her with your ding-a-ling!
      ...'Cause you can't say "penis."
    • In one episode, Brian catches a rerun of One Day at a Time. Mocking Schneider's comic schtick:
      Schneider: I'm here to fix your sink Ms. Romano, and by "fix your sink" I mean I'll have sex with you, and by "I have sex with you" I mean I'll fix your sink. And by "sink" I mean your reproductive organ. And by, "reproductive organ" I mean the thing between your knees, and by "the thing between your knees"? I... I guess that one's kind of self-explanatory.
      Brian: Woo! Damn, Schneider; what won't you say?!
    • Funny Foreigner Fouad does this all the time.
      Guy: Hey, Fouad, can I buy you a cup of coffee?
      Fouad: Ho, ho, ho, yes, it's funny cause it's free... anyone can have.
      Guy: That's right...
      Fouad: Ohhh ho ho ho!
      Guy: That's the joke.
      Peter: I think Fouad is an illegal immigrant. I cannot stand by while he steals wages and opportunities from citizens. I mean this is an American company, you don't see Nike or Microsoft or General Motors or Ford or Boeing or Coca Cola or Kellogs profiting from non-American labor.
      Fouad: Ohhh ho ho ho... it's funny because they all do!
    • In the episode where Stewie goes to the performing arts school, his antagonist Olivia puts down a performance of his by giving an appraisal: "You are the weakest link. Goodbye." Stewie then expounds very sarcastically about how totally not grossly misapplied, inappropriate, and uncreative it was (in an attempt to shame her and castrate the comment).
    • "I don't know who to feel worse for, Meg or the pig!" "I feel worse for the pig!"
    • Lampshaded in the episode "Screwed the Pooch" when Peter is playing poker with Carter and his celebrity friends.
      Michael Eisner: Are aces high or low?
      Peter: They go both ways.
      Bill Gates: He said they go both ways!
      (eveybody starts laughing)
      Ted Turner: Like a bisexual!
      Michael Eisner: Thank you Ted, that was the joke.
  • Numbuh Two does this a lot on Codename: Kids Next Door, which is one of the biggest reasons most of his jokes are downright lame.
  • A diner worker in Garfield and Friends: "No more burgers until I see some lettuce, cat. It is money to which I refer."
  • John Kennedy from Clone High, who often used the joke type: "I'd like to X her Y... and by Y, I mean SEX!"
    • "... because the X is my PENIS."
  • American Dad!:
    • This:
    Klaus: I'd buy you ten muffin kiosks if I still had my human body. I'd do lots of things if I still had my human body. Because, you know, I'd have a penis.
    • Also:
      Stan: (showing Steve his favorite example of wood-burning) "You Want It When?" (laughs) "You Want It When?"! Get it? It expresses disbelief at an unreasonable deadline.
    • Also happens in "Can't Stan You", when Stan convinces the government to force his neighbors out of their houses.
    • Played for laughs with Steve a few times through "Live and Let Fry:"
      Stan: That's what transfat is? The stuff that makes everything taste wonderful? Why doesn't the city council just declare war on flavor?! Like the English did years ago.
      Steve: (aside to Francine) Their food is atrocious.
      Francine: I miss Lady Di.
      Steve: (aside to Stan) She was the people's princess—
  • From Superjail!:
    Prisoner: Hey Gary, I got a worm for your right here... I'm talking about my penis...
    (Bird then tears off the guy's penis so he and Gary can eat it)
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: The Overly Long Gag explaining Caitlyn's charity kissing booth which costs nothing, isn't for charity, has no booth, is more than just kissing, and doesn't require customers to be male ends with "Dude, she's cheating on you."
  • South Park:
    • First (note that the reason Kenny doesn't respond is because he was turned into a zombie:
      Cartman: Eh, too bad drinking scotch isn't a paying job, or else Kenny's dad would be a millionaire. (silence) I said your dad would be a millionaire, get it?! Kenny?! Your family is poor, Kenny!! Your family's poor!!!
    • Several of the Intervention-style captions in "Crippled Summer": "Mimsy has put the black mamba snake in the wrong canoe"; "Nathan's frustration with Mimsy has caused a momentary lapse in judgment. He has played the B flat himself, thus causing his plan to literally backfire on him."
    • Subverted. In "Fishsticks", the fishsticks joke becomes funnier when, upon Cartman repeating the joke to Clyde and delivering the punchline, Butters runs up and explains the joke.
  • Futurama
    • Zapp Brannigan does this a lot. But there are several others, like:
    Bender: You may have to metaphorically make a Deal with the Devil. And by "devil", I mean "Robot Devil", and by "metaphorically", I mean "get your coat".
    • And from "Reincarnation":
    Bender: "Byte my 8-bit metal ass!" (Aside) "That's 'byte' with a Y. Heh, heh, heh."
  • In Teen Titans, Starfire subverts this trope.
    Beast Boy: Hey guys, why are ducks so funny? (beat) Cuz' they're always quacking jokes!
    (others groan)
    Starfire: Oh I see. It is humorous because ducks lack the large brain capacity required for telling jokes. (giggles)
    Robin: Actually, Starfire, it just wasn't humorous.
    Raven: Because Beast Boy lacks the large brain necessary for telling jokes.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Chez Platypus", the boys go to an elegant restaurant to have dinner with their parents.
      Phineas: Dad, can I borrow your glasses? I can't see my entree. (beat) You know, because it's so small.
      Lawrence: Yes, I think we got that.
    • In "The Beak":
      The Beak: All right, let's wrap this up. (ties up Khaka Peü Peü) Hey, my first superhero pun!
      Khaka Peü Peü: Well, don't quit your day job, Mr. Comedian.
      Spectator 1: Actually, I thought it was pretty clever.
      Spectator 2: Yeah, because, see, it wrapped around the legs.
      The Beak: If you didn't like that one, maybe this'll be a hit. (hits Khaka Peü Peü)
      Spectator 2: Yeah, see, because — Because he hit him.
      Spectator 1: I'm not an idiot, Charles.
    • How about the time when the creators explain jokes. Which for some reason, makes them funnier.
    • Doofenshmirtz does this all the time.
      Doofenshmirtz: Wire you doing this to me? Get it? Wire? Cause I'm in wire?

      (when he captures Perry with duct tape)
      Doofenshmirtz: I have captured the rare duct-billed platypus! Ya know, like, duck-billed?
    • This show has at least one original song Once an Episode, and sometimes the lyrics will do this. Take the song that plays over the construction montage in "Ask a Foolish Question":
    We're building a supercomputer / And singing just what we're doing/ Which is building a supercomputer / And over-explaining just what you're viewing /
    • Major Monogram slips into this, too.
      Major Monogram: I guess for you it'll be a walk in the park. <beat> Heh heh, cause you're going to the park.
    • Not even Isabella is immune.
      Kid in leaves: Hi, I'm Russel.
      Isabella: Oh, Russel! Like the leaves!
    • In "Night of the Living Pharmacists", on two separate occasions, Isabella and Phineas say, "Gotta bounce", and head off. They then briefly come back to point out that thanks to the rubberization ray, they mean that figuratively and literally.
    • And in the Made-for-TV Movie, when Doof-2 undermines his Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    Doof-2: (rising dramatically in a Humongous Mecha that looks like his upper body, cockpit in the right arm) One last trick up my sleeve. It's me! See, I'm the trick up my...own sleeves. Cause look, I-I'm in the sleeve, get it?
    • It would be remiss not to include the meta-example of this: According to co-creator Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, while screening the Time Travel episode "Quantum Boogaloo" for Disney Channel's Head of Children's Programming, the latter was confused by a throwaway gag of Adult!Candace talking on the phone with Adult!Stacy, who somehow grew up to be President of Uruguay. Marsh's co-creator Dan Povenmire then cooked up an explanation in which Stacy started dating the ambassador's son and llamas were granted the right to vote.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    Lucius: We will fight over the Abyss of Nothingness! To the winner goes victory! The loser gets... nothing! Get it? Abyss of Nothingness! Nothing!
    • Oh, so they're fighting over nothing!
  • Archer:
    • In "Tragical History", Archer pulls one and immediately regrets it:
      Cyril: I've got one bullet left.
      Spelvin: Does he?
      Archer: I don't know. Who am I, Count Bullets...ula? Like Dracula — that was bad.
    • In "Pocket Listing":
      Archer: I think Ray deserves a hand.
      Everyone but Ray: (laughing)
      Ray: God DAMMIT! (exposes the stump where his hand used to be)
      Pam: Oh, come on. Everyone was thinking it. (beat) 'Cuz you got no hand, stupid!
  • In season 2, episode 1 of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Dr. Katz tries to explain a joke to Julie, noting that "it works on so many levels." Stan tells him "You gotta stop explaining the joke. If you do that, life's not worth living."
  • The Fantastic Four (1967) ends the episode "The Way It All Began" with the Thing remarking that they probably won't see Doctor Doom again until "Doomsday". Thing then points out that word has Doom's last name in it, but Johnny says the rest of them already knew that, and no-one except Thing laughs at the pun.
  • In The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Closed Circuit TV," the animals are staging a show in the bears' cave which Peevly and Botch are watching on their monitor in the office. Hair Bear cracks a joke:
    Hair: Did you hear the one about the zookeeper who was so weird looking the people fed him peanuts?
    Botch: (laughing) Hey, that was a good one!
    Peevly: (slow-burning the whole time) Yeah? Well, I didn't think it was so funny.
    Botch: Did you get it, chief? The zookeeper was so weird—
    Peevly: (angrily) I got it! I got it!
  • Tex Avery's 1941 Looney Tunes cartoon Porky's Preview has a skunk trying to get into the movie house where Porky is screening his homemade cartoon:
    Skunk: (to cashier) Hey, lady. How much to get in here?
    Cashier: The charge is five cents.
    Skunk: Gee, that's tough. All I got is one scent. (to us) Get it?
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Legend of the Gobblewonker", Grunkle Stan makes the mistake of trying to make a joke in front of a man proposing to his girlfriend.
    Stan: My ex-wife still misses me...but her aim is gettin' better! (beat) Her aim is gettin' better! (beat) You see it's funny, because marriage is terrible.
    Couple: (angrily rows away)
    Stan: What?!
  • In Justice League, The Joker, surprisingly, subverts it during "Wild Card, Part 1".
    Joker: The good news is that the Bat is getting warm. (beat) Getting warm, I said. (beat) He's next to a volcano! note  (the camera crew finally responds with obviously fake and insincere laughter) That's enough, nobody likes a brown-nose.
  • At the end of The Powerpuff Girls episode "Boogie Frights", the snarky Interactive Narrator does this, as the Girls, instead of their usual pose, are sleeping peacefully in bed:
    Narrator: So Once Again, the Day Is Saved! (snicker) Get it? The day was saved? Because it was going to be eternal night! They saved the dayliterally!
    (Blossom wakes up and shushes him while Buttercup opens one eye and glares daggers at the camera; but somehow Bubbles stays fast asleep through it all.)
    Narrator: (his voice sinks to a whisper) Oh, sorry. Thanks to the Powerpuff Girls. Goodnight, everybody.
  • This is why BoJack Horseman is a bad stand-up comedian. He thinks he needs to explain his jokes to the audience or ask if they get it. Even after he gets better as a comedian and lands a starring role in a sitcom BoJack still has this problem, thinking that a script needs to be rewritten to explain a Gilligan Cut.
    • A flashback reveals that he was also like this as a child, having written a letter to Secretariat.
      Interviewer: "When I grow up, I want to be just like you, and I think I'm on the right track. Get it? Track, because horses run on tracks, and you are a horse, and I am a horse. Do you get it? Do you get my joke about the track?" Okay, there's a whole page of this.
      Secretariat: Should I write him back, and tell him I get it?
  • Done in the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness episode "Chained Reaction".
    Tigress: My friends are the twins...Discipline..and Sacrifice.
    Po: Heh..I don't think they'll like me.
    Tigress: *dryly* That's okay, you'll never meet them.
    Po: OH-HOH! You made a funny!
    Tigress: *proud* That was funny, wasn't it? It has meaning on two levels: You can't meet them because they're an abstract idea and you WON'T because you're laz-
    Po: *unamused* Yeah... okay, now you're just wrecking it.
    Tigress: Right...
  • In Wander over Yonder:
    Wander: See ya always wanted to flee, but all ya really needed to do was flea.
    (Wander and Sylvia are traveling away)
    Wander: F-L-E-A "flea", y'know bzzz like the bug, cuz they're livin' on the dog.
    Sylvia: (looking annoyed) Look, if you're gonna explain the joke-
    • Sylvia herself does this in "The Boy Wander"
    Sylvia: I guess this is no laughing matter. Heh, get it? Because of the- Oh great, now he's got me doing it.
  • In Milo Murphy's Law, this seems to be a Running Gag between Dakota and Cavendish—Dakota makes a joke at Cavendish's expense, and then feels the need to explain it when Cavendish tries to ignore him.
    Dakota: (on Cavendish's ascot) The last time I wore something that big they brought me a lobster. (Beat) What I'm saying is it looks like a lobster bib. (Beat) When you're in a restaurant and you order a lobster—
    Cavendish: I get it!
  • The Loud House has these whenever Luan gets the joke or not.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Mathmagic", Star burst out laughing when Janna tells her the Chicken Joke. When Miss Skullnick demands to know "What's so funny?", Star tries to explain what makes "Why did the chicken cross the road?" an example of "classic Anti-Humor".
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In "The Mother of All Battles", a mob boss has Tohru and Jackie chained up and dangles them over a Shark Pool. He tells Tohru, "Soon, you and your chum, are going to be chum!" and laughs. One of his mooks gets confused. Annoyed, another mook explains that "chum" is another word for shark bait.
  • This exchange in King of the Hill during the Rosie "Man Without a Country Club":
    Ted Wassanasong: There's some people from the PGA I'd like you to meet.
    Hank Hill: You know, Ted, I'm a member of the PGA myself! [chuckles] The Propane Gas Association. [chuckles] Because I sell propane and propane accessories.
    Ted Wassanasong: [pause] Hahahahaha! Hank, you are out of control!
  • In Central Park, "Dog Spray Afternoon", the tagger that Bitsy hires to vandalize the park with graffiti tags is called "The One-Man Tag Team", which makes Bitsy chuckle. Helen doesn't get it, and Bitsy has to explain that tag can also mean graffiti tag.
    Bitsy: You don't know slang.


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