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Comically Missing the Point

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"I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: 'Good evening, Mr. Dowd.' I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name."
Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey

A character completely misses a really obvious point for comic effect. The point is the sort of thing that any reasonable or informed person will spot and understand given a few seconds or enough information. However, the center of this trope is a person who, despite having all the time in the world and all the information, comes to a conclusion so wrong it's hard to be even further from correct. Occasionally, a character will even do it deliberately to be a smartass. Commonly elicits a response along the lines of "that's not what's wrong here". Visual gags are often involved.

A Sister Trope to Dramatically Missing the Point.

Compare Alternative Joke Interpretation, Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?, Bad News in a Good Way, Bait-and-Switch Comment, Cloudcuckoolander, The Ditz, Failed a Spot Check, Insane Troll Logic (logic that consists of comically missing the point), I Take Offense to That Last One, Mistaken for Profound, Need a Hand, or a Handjob?, Not Actually the Ultimate Question, Proportional Article Importance, Right for the Wrong Reasons, Sidetracked by the Analogy, and Skewed Priorities.

In-Universe Examples Only. We'll have to spend a lot of money just to make another subpage for real life. Note


We've got example subpages...:

Hahaha. Other examples! That's a funny one... wait, are there really examples?:

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  • In a 2010 T-Mobile commercial, the NBA's Dwyane Wade, then of the Miami Heat, finds himself locked in his hotel bathroom. He then issues a video call for help: "Get me outta here!" When the video goes viral on the internet, the public misinterprets it as a plea for a trade. Wade is eventually helped out by a maid who tells him he's on the news. He responds with a "huh?" look.
  • A commercial for Heineken Light Beer has Neil Patrick Harris try to drink the bottle of beer during the commercial. They explain to him that he is not allowed to drink the beer during the commercial. He keeps up trying to come up with ways to get around the restrictions, all of which are comically missing the point that no one is allowed to drink any sort of alcoholic beverages during American commercials.
  • An Israeli commercial for a sale offered to the holders of a local credit card in a hotel chain featured a family preparing to move in permanently to a hotel room. In the commercial Stinger, the father is shown nailing a sign to the door. A hotel employee stops and looks in astonishment at what he’s doing, and the father asks, ‘Is it crooked?’
  • A 1985 spot for GMAC financing shows a couple at a car dealer requesting financing for a Pontiac Fiero. This sparks a swarm of miscues as the head of financing (and the Christmas Club, which he covers with a financing sign as the couple enters) thinks they are asking about an Italian car. The would-be customers then clarify it was a Pontiac, then reference the other brands General Motors produced at the time — only for a second guy to mention that those were "not Italian cars". After all this (and the announcer spiel), the first guy now thinks the couple is buying a large number of cars and adds that they need to know what they were intending to do with all those cars.
  • In the Mercedes commercial "Beauty Is Nothing Without Brains", a woman asks for a burger, fries and a shake. When she is informed that she is in a library, all she does is ask the same question quieter. Then again, she's blonde.
  • The Chase credit card company runs a series of commercials in which couples relay outrageous travel tales to their friends, e.g., "We became fast friends with Chevy Chase", "our son discovered a dinosaur", etc. The friends are stunned...because the couple was able to use their frequent flier miles on a whim, over a holiday and to a desirable destination.
  • A series of GEICO ads has somebody remarking "That's amazing!" after seeing something unusual and amazing happening on screen to which someone else inquires about that same strange occurrence only to be told that the person was talking about how it's amazing how much money they saved switching to GEICO.
  • In this commercial for Faygo Sugar-Free Redpop, football legend Alex Karras is seen eating a platter of pizza. An off-screen voice comments that he thought Alex was on a diet. Alex then tells him that he was on a diet, proceeding to shill the Sugar-Free Redpop. It leads to this bit of dialogue afterwards.
    Off-screen voice: Yeah, but Alex...what about the pizza?
    Alex: (looks at pizza, then smiles at the camera) Faygo doesn't make pizza.
  • Yellow is prone to moments like this in the M&M's advertisements. In one instance, he, Red, and several people are held up at a convenience store and their captor threatens to eat one of his hostages. Yellow automatically assumes he's intending to eat one of the humans. There's also the following exchange, which also doubles as an Actor Allusion considering that Yellow is voiced by Law & Order semi-regular J. K. Simmons.
    Red: Coming up next, the new Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon of everyone's favorite celebrities!
    Yellow: Oh boy! A Law & Order balloon?!
    Red: (beat, annoyed) I was talking about us.
    Yellow: (beat) We're gonna be on Law & Order?
  • The Aldi low-budget supermarket chain has a series of advertisements where a character will buy another character a delicious meal in preparation for telling them some devastating news (e.g. a man telling his wife he is cheating on her), only for the other person to be more interested in the fact that they were able to buy the entire meal at Aldi.

  • BoBoiBoy: In "The Haunted House", to explain what a ghost is to Adu Du, Computer shows him a "find the differences between two pictures" test before jump scaring him with a picture of a ghost. A terrified Adu Du instead thinks that "ghost" refers to the technology used for the jump scare.
  • Happy Heroes:
    • In episode 3, the microwave monster defeats Happy S. while he's in his mecha. Happy S. and Sweet S. then mention how dangerous the monster really is, to which Smart S. replies "I don't believe it! ...look at this, he totally messed up my hair!"
    • In episode 13, Big M. is watching where the heroes are through a little robot fly camera. He notices the magic beans they've found and says that he thinks the heroes may have found something good. Little M.'s response is "Yeah, I've never seen so much ice cream before!", referring to a bowl of ice cream located right next to the beans.

  • Rowan Atkinson pulled this off in Fatal Beatings, when he called in a student's father to his office to discuss his son's currently poor 'attitude' to school life. See it here.
  • The basis of one of Dave Chappelle's jokes, from Killing Them Softly, about a racist waiter.
    Dave: I said, "I would like to have..." and before I could even finish my sentence, he says, "...the chicken!" I said, "What the fuck?" I could not believe it! Could not believe that shit. [beat] This man was absolutely right! How did he know that I was gonna get some chicken?!
  • George Carlin had the following as part of a newsreading bit from his HBO special, Carlin At Carnegie:
    "A man shot six people on the downtown bus today, then asked for a transfer and shot six people on the crosstown bus. To prevent this from happening in the future, authorities are discontinuing the transfer system".
  • Jimmy Carr, after his delayed reaction to the audience after this joke:
    "People like to smoke a cigarette after sex, but you can't buy cigarettes until you're sixteen, so I have to buy them for both of us. [To audience] You think it's wrong I'm buying a 15 year old cigarettes? [Realizing] You think it's wrong I'm fucking her?"
  • On the soundtrack album to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, John Cleese plays a logician commenting on the 'witch burning' segment, citing the same logical lapses that his wife commits:
    Given the premise "All fish live underwater", and "All mackerel are fish", she will conclude not that all mackerel live underwater, but that if she buys kippers it will not rain, or that trout live in trees, or even that I do not love her anymore.
  • In his Live at The Comedy Store special, Louis C.K. tells a story about a friend of his who was deeply offended to hear his brother complaining about his job where "A nigger fell asleep at the forklift!" Everyone Louis relates the story to is far more shocked to hear that someone fell asleep on a forklift than they are to hear the guy described with a nasty racial epithet— including several of Louis' black co-writers.
  • Jeff Foxworthy describes how, growing up, the mailbox outside his family's house had the letters "male" painted on the side of it. It wasn't until he was in the eleventh grade that Jeff realized, "That ain't right. [Beat] That M's s'posed to be capitalized, innit?"
  • On his first album, Shame Based Man, Bruce McCulloch had a recurring bit with a radio call-in show. The last of these is some happy idiot calling to say all the lonely people should "pair up". The host then gives her a list of reasons this is a dumb idea, all of which are lost on her.
  • John Mulaney recounts a movie date he went on to see Ray, where afterwards his date complained at how unnecessarily dark it was, saying "I didn't need the whole 'little brother dying' thing."
    Mulaney: "...Neither did Ray Charles. But it happened just the same. He could've totally done without that!"
  • On his show, Conan O'Brien said, "After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam celebrated by kissing his boyfriend. This is historic because it's the first time anyone has celebrated being drafted by the St. Louis Rams."
  • Comedian Mike Williams bases a comedy routine around McDonalds drive-throughs having a sign saying that they have Braille menus (for people who can't see) and picture menus (for people who can't read). To repeat, this is in the DRIVE-THRU. He claims to go up to the window in dark shades to ask for a Braille menu, to be told, "Sorry, we're out of Braille menus; would you like a picture menu?"
  • German comedian Otto Waalkes once made this joke: "In the 16th century, Nostradamus predicted: 'And in the year of 1985, a red-haired young man from Leimen named Boris will win the final in Wimbledon' - which is complete nonsense: First, my name is Erwinnote , not Boris; second, I'm blond, not red-haired; third, I'm not from Leimen, but from Emden; and fourth, if I had won the 1985 Wimbledon, I'd definitely remember that."
  • A skit goes with a person walking into a restaurant and ordering a drink and a sweet roll. The waiter informs them that they are out of sweet rolls. The person thinks that apparently ordering different combinations of "sweetroll + drink" will eventually get them one, and they continue to order a sweet roll despite the waiter's increasingly angry responses that they don't have any. Eventually, the waiter gives up and walks off. The person then says "I wonder how long it'll take my sweet roll to get here."

    Comic Books 
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (J. Michael Straczynski): Peter Parker briefly visits Nevada to investigate the origins of a new enemy, a Gamma-powered zombie named Digger. While in Nevada, he calls Mary Jane (this is after Peter and MJ have reconciled), briefly mentioning the anti-nuke protests outside the Gamma-energy site and the flight attendant who tried to make a pass at him, before explaining in detail what he's found out about Digger. After the mandatory Beat panel, MJ asks, "Wait a minute, the flight attendant made a pass at you?"
  • America Jr.:
    • Their town is no longer part of the United States. When asked if they know what it means, various characters reply that the town now has an international airport, that their Ford Escort is an "exotic import", and that their mother-in-law needs a passport to visit.
    • At one point, Ed is told that a 6' fence topped with barbed wire won't help against US military. His solution is that it should be electrified.
  • Astonishing X-Men: Kitty Pryde intentionally misses the point in order to play Deadpan Snarker to Emma Frost:
    Emma: Three students were missing from my ethics class. Seventeen overall. Logan had to break up two fistfights and a mystical swordfight. And that dreadful Guatemalan crab-boy is at Benetech telling reporters this is every mutant's only chance to avoid burning in everlasting hellfire. This is eating us from the inside out.
    Kitty: Oh my God... you teach ethics?
  • Empire State: Sara tries to illustrate to Jimmy the danger of looking for dates on Craigslist by describing a blind date she met who ended up being grossly overweight. Jimmy identifies with the overweight guy, and concludes that he, too, can meet attractive girls if he words his personal ads on Craigslist just right.
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: Fat Freddy is leaving a theater playing Easy Rider, surrounded by freaks with horrified, sorrowful faces — he's got an eager little smile, thinking "I gotta get me a motorcycle!"
  • Gaston Lagaffe:
    • Gaston once invented an improved form of seat belt. These seat belts were designed to stretch, so someone wearing them can leave their car for a short distance without taking them off to, for example, drop off a letter.
    • In the same vein, he also designed a highly efficient solar-powered flashlight that had just one minor flaw: it only worked in full daylight.
    • He also built an electric wheeled suitcase that could roll along without you having to carry or drag it. The dozens and dozens of batteries required to power it took up almost all the space save for a toothbrush-sized slot. His friend, who was forced to carry Gaston's other luggage in his own bags, was less than impressed. And by that I mean he punched Gaston in the face and made them switch luggage.
  • Laff-A-Lympics: On being criticized over his habit of slathering mayo and jelly on his hot dogs alongside mustard, Dinky Dalton decides to hold off on the mustard next time.
    Dastardly Dalton: Dinky, you shouldn't just sit there eating hot dogs with mustard, mayonnaise and raspberry jelly!
    Dinky Dalton: You're right! Next batch, leave off the mustard!
  • Les Légendaires: Jadina becomes the target of a rivalry between her teammate Danael and her former fiancé Prince Halan. When she questions her other teammates about the dangers the two of them have gone through lately, Gryf explains to her that they are doing it "for a girl's beautiful eyes"... and she deduces that Danael and Halan have a crush on her elven comrade Shimy, to everyone's dismay.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón:
    • In "La gallina de los huevos de oro" Mortadelo hits Filemón on the head, believing that it is the hen they are looking for and comments that he will wake her up with an injection. Cue angry Filemón starting to run after him, ready to inject him a dose of sulfuric acid. Mortadelo's answer?
      "Don't be mad, boss! You aren't a registered nurse and could get fined!"
    • One of the many secret entrances to the TIA offices has the duo dragging through a very narrow passage. Mortadelo finds the exit blocked by some sort of fabric and rips it off with a knife. Turns out that, on the other side, there was a very expensive picture that the Súper had on his wall. "The Tiziano! The Tiziano!", the Súper screams. "No, it's me, the Mortadelo", answers Mortadelo with a cheerful smile, "Don't you know me?"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • The CMC have been fillynapped! What's the first thing they think about? Whether or not they get "fillynapped" cutie marks. Queen Chrysalis even considers revising her opinion that trolls are the stupidest creatures alive after putting up with their constant chatter for a while.
    • In #2, Twilight is more impressed by how large a cave troll is instead of any possible threat the troll represents.
    • When Rarity faces the Phantom Pony of the Opera in the changeling castle, she is more disturbed by the prospect of dating a basement-dwelling musician than anything.
    • Sweetie Belle is more upset about Chrysalis being boring than her being a threat to their lives.
  • Richard Dragon: When Richard is being cuffed with a bit of unnecessary roughness and being told that he's being charged with two murders that Lady Shiva committed in Detroit, his response is an amused "Tengu's name was Sidney?" upon learning one of the victim's given names, instead of responding to the charges being leveled against him.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni):
    • When Morty asks Doofus Jerry where his mother is, he replies that she's in the bedroom, but that Morty shouldn't go in there, lest he sees something he really doesn't want to. Morty thinks he's talking about The Golden Girls' buttholes.
    • Deconstructed when Morty doesn't realize that he's talking to a walrus version of Rick. This level of stupidity just disgusts the original Rick.
      Rick: I mean, it's literally — No. I'm not gonna walk you through this. You shouldn't need me to. If it's not perfectly obvious to you, I need to reassess who I'm taking with me on adventures.
  • Rod Runtledge in Radioactive Man seems to accrue these.
    • In his first appearance, Gloria asks Claude to look out for him, as she's afraid of him becoming a delinquent; Claude makes a pathetic excuse and leaves. Later, as Radioactive Man, he find Rod with a bunch of other teenage hoodlums robbing a store. RM stops Rod and berates him... for jaywalking, which is both illegal and dangerous. Also, the TV he's carrying is far too big for a lad of his size; best let RM carry it for him.
    • Later on, when Rod fights Magmo the Lava Man as Fallout Boy, a pair of bullies think it's a pity Rod never gets to see Fallout Boy in action, as it might show him what it means to be a real man. They also ponder how strange it is that Rod always disappears right before Fallout Boy shows up. Then they find a pile of Rod's clothes, all neatly folded up. This can only mean one thing - Rod is running around naked!
  • Runaways: When Alex pulls a Sleeping Dummy trick to conspire with his friends about taking down the Ancient Conspiracy their parents are part of, his mother's first reaction is to wonder what her son is doing with a male mannequin head in his room.
  • Scott Pilgrim: The Vegan Police rush in to remove Todd Ingram's vegan superpowers for eating gelato. Someone notes that Todd also ate chicken parmesan, but the police aren't sure whether parmesan is an animal or not, so they don't punish him for that one.
  • Steven Universe: Harmony: Peridot claims she can keep a mission within the Crystal Gems' "acceptable collateral damage limit". When Pearl points out they have no such thing, Peridot thinks she means they don't even try to limit how much damage they do.
  • Starfire (2015): A big source of the comic's humor is Starfire comically missing the point of what people are trying to tell her, due to her being a Literal-Minded Amusing Alien.
  • Star Trek (IDW): When Kirk points out that a Gorn incursion may be the prelude to another attempted invasion, he tells Spock to get ready for "Round 2". When Spock doesn't understand, Kirk explains that it's a boxing metaphor. Spock then goes into a long-winded explanation of physical exertion, leaving Kirk exasperated.
  • In Strangers in Paradise, Casey, the sweetest girl there is, had no idea that Katchoo was talking about joining the new iteration of the Big Six when she mentioned "going back to work". It was this display of naiveté that helped keep Katchoo out of the game and got her painting again, which was what Casey thought she meant in the first place.
  • In a Supergirl (2005) annual issue, Kara calls Brainiac 5 out on drawing into their dimension the Eldritch Abomination that has conquered the whole world. Brainy's answer? He doesn't believe she's had conquered the whole world yet.
    Supergirl: Okay, let's review. You, Brainiac 5, while experimenting on a supposedly "magical" statue, bombarded it with timestream energy, thereby summoning an alien death goddess.
    Brainiac 5: Mm.
    Supergirl: Then, when she shows up and starts possessing our friends, your first inclination is not to stay and fight, but run away into the timestream. Which pretty much ensures that she enslaves the entire Earth.
    Brainiac 5: Oh, I doubt the entire Earth's been enslaved by this point, Supergirl. I mean, she's only had a few days.
  • Superlópez: In a short story, the witch Morgana decides she dislikes buildings and uses her magic to replace them with forests. When this happens, López has just got home, and the doorkeeper of his building is sweeping the floor with her broom. He is quick to try to point out the disappearance of the building:
    López: Did you notice that? It's incredible!
    Doorkeeper: You mean...? [checks her broom] Oh my God! You're right! This cannot be! This broom didn't even last two days! It's a scandal!
  • Suzie: A number of cover gags was the titular heroine doing this, such as being told she should have come to work on time, and her thinking that was because something exciting happened that morning.
  • The Treasury of Croesus: When Scrooge talks about the ancient land of Lydia, Donald says that he saw something on TV about Lydia the other night... and starts singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady".
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate FF: The home universe of Miles Morhames, the Ultimate Spider-Ham, was destroyed. The end started with the coming of Galactypus. Simian Richards ended her relationship with Ben Grizzly and fell in love with Duck-Tor Doom instead. They kissed, and their universe died. Oh, that's horrible! A duck and a gorilla making out? Gross!
    • The Ultimates: Punisher takes a message from Ghost Rider, the Devil's own servant, to "keep up the good work" as approval from Up There. In case it isn't clear, Frank is not remotely sane.
  • In the Danish comic book Zainab the title character does not really get why her friend, Princess Abassah, is so upset:
    Abassah: You see, I ... I have gone astray.
    Zainab: What, you got lost?
    Abassah: No, I...I am a fallen woman.
    Zainab: Did you trip over something?
    Abassah: There's a bun in the oven.
    Zainab: You're baking?

    Comic Strips 
  • Zero in Beetle Bailey lives this trope. Usually.
  • A running gag with Uncle Ted in Big Nate is that every attempt at his parents' hinting at moving out goes right over Ted's head.
  • A Calvin and Hobbes strip involves Calvin looking for a movie to watch. He finds one that contains "adult situations", to which he asks Hobbes what that means. Hobbes replies "You know, paying the bills, going to work, that sort of thing." Calvin wonders how they make money.
    • One of the characters in the soap opera that Calvin watches while home sick:
      Mmm... darling, don't you wish we were married?
      But we are! ...or did you mean to each other?
    • Also the Crossword Puzzle:
      Calvin: Bird... I've got it! Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.
      Hobbes: But there are only five boxes.
      Calvin: I know. These idiots make you write real small.
    • Another good one:
    Calvin: Hey, Dad, will you buy me a flame thrower ?
    Dad: Of course not. Don't be silly.
    Calvin: Even if I didn't use it in the house?
    • In one comic, Calvin's mom lets him smoke a cigarette, intending that the nasty taste will turn him off smoking (rather than simply forbidding it, which was bound to backfire). Calvin nearly coughs up a lung after a single smoke, at which point Mom asks whether he's learned a lesson:
      Calvin: Trusting parents can be hazardous to your health.
    • Occasionally, Calvin will understand the point but deliberately reject it anyway. "Live and don't learn, that's us!"
    • In one strip, Calvin is about to backflip off a high stepladder into a kiddie pool when Hobbes tells him, "Better hurry- I think your mom's yelling something," apparently telling him to stop doing that.
    • Calvin tells Susie that he finally came up with a foolproof way to cheat on a test: he memorizes the material beforehand, then he knows what the answers are. Susie is left speechless.
  • Candorville:
    • In this strip, Lemont can't think of a topic to write an article about, then mentions that Dr. Kevorkian just got released from prison. Susan assumes he's going to try to kill himself, and says he takes Writer's Block too hard.
    • In particular, Lemont thinks about his reputation solely in terms of how he's thought of on He's less angry about being called the reincarnation of Hitler than about someone's saying that his favorite captain was Janeway.
  • Kenny from Dogs of C-Kennel. Oftentimes, he misunderstands dating advice from either Wheeler or Tucker, and he frequently misinterprets what his friends tell him.
  • Doonesbury's Zipper gave a college tour that focused on Walden's slacker-friendliness. This didn't impress Leo, a wounded Iraq vet from a working-class family who actually wanted an education.
  • Wondering about what pets did when they didn't know their owners were watching, Jon snuck around and saw Garfield and Odie playing cards.
    Jon: I don't believe it.
    Garfield: Neither do I. Odie just drew to an inside straight.
    • Also:
    Jon: This morning I had a bowl of cereal with strawberries. When I turned my back, a mouse ate them. What do you say to that, Garfield?!
    Garfield: We have strawberries?
  • U.S. Acres: Orson told Booker and Shendon the story of the boy who cried wolf and Booker learned the boy... needed a big club to hit the wolf with.
  • FoxTrot:
    • In one arc, included in the collection Orlando Bloom Has Ruined Everything, Jason and Paige go to see The Return of the King. After the movie, they both go on about how great the film was, until Jason snaps at Paige that he was not talking about the close-ups on Bloom. Paige replies, "Don't tell me you liked that filler stuff about a ring."
    • One strip saw Jason and Marcus host a wet t-shirt contest. Being ten, they completely miss the Sexy Soaked Shirt aspect and just have a water gun fight, the loser being the one whose shirt is more soaked.
  • Frequent with Limpid Lizard from Tumbleweeds. In one strip, he is wearing a new jacket with long sleeves. Little Pigeon, his unrequited love interest, compliments him tactfully.
    Little Pigeon: You look nice, Limpid Lizard. That new jacket really does something for you.
    Limpid Lizard: [proudly examines sleeves] How troo. No more wipin' m'mouth on m'bare wrists.
  • On the January page of the 1990 Dykes to Watch Out For Calendar, Mo's then-girlfriend Harriet takes a look at Mo's New Year's resolutions (reading out numbers 22 to 25 of a very long list), and when asked about her own resolution says she hasn't made any. Mo immediately springs into action:
    Mo: Aw, don't worry, sweetie! I'll help you make your list! Your first resolution could be to ask for a raise at work. You know they don't pay you what you are worth! And number two could be to become more politically active!
    Harriet: Okay! And make number three to find a new girlfriend who isn't controlling, anal-retentive or driven by liberal guilt.
    Mo: There you go! See, it's easy once you get started! Does "anal-retentive" have a hyphen?
    Harriet: [rolls eyes]
  • In one Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown is holding his baseball glove. He says to Sally, who's watching TV, "Well, I think I'll put some neatsfoot oil on the ol' glove and put it away for the winter." Then Linus comes over. "Is Charlie Brown here?" he asks Sally. "I think he went outside," she says. "He said something about how neat it was walking around with gloves on your feet during the winter."
  • Pearls Before Swine has this strip:
    Woman: (talking about her boyfriend) "We're 'Friends with Benefits'."
    Pig: "It's good to have affordable medical insurance."
    Woman: "Wrong benefits."
    Pig: "Ohh... do you get dental?"

    Films — Animation 
  • In The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie, when Felix warns Wally and Beemo that their houses won’t protect them from the wolf, Wally pops his head through the wall of his straw house to look at him and ask why.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Belle does this, seemingly on purpose as a means of messing with Gaston.
    Gaston: Here, picture this: A rustic hunting lodge, my latest kill roasting on the fire, and my little wife massaging my feet, while the little ones play on the floor with the dogs. We'll have six or seven.
    Belle: Dogs?
    Gaston: No, Belle! Strapping boys, like me!
  • In The Book of Life, As Joaquin and Manolo prepare to fight mono e mono, one of Joaquin's men throws him his sword, while the mariachi guys throw Manolo... His guitar.
    "What?? You wanted a banjo?
  • In The Boxtrolls, but used in a non funny matter. It has Eggs saying that HE was the Trubshore Baby but Lord Portley Rind doesn't care that a baby took by the Boxtrolls are alive and gets mad at him for making the cheese wheel fall into the sea.
  • A Bug's Life: Subverted. The reason why P.T. Flea decides to track down the circus bugs that he fired is due to the Flaming Death stunt being a huge hit with the flies after a string of failed performances. And he seems to realize that the reason it was a success was because of how horribly wrong it went, as he states his new plan for the show is for the gang to burn him twice a night.
  • Chicken Run: Mr. Tweedy is being attacked by chickens.
    Mr. Tweedy: Mrs. Tweedy! THE CHICKENS ARE REVOLTING!
    Mrs. Tweedy: (not looking up) Finally, something we agree on.
    • Babs has several moments of this herself.
  • Doraemon Film Series have a few examples, owing to Nobita being The Ditz. Though sometimes this comes from other characters:
    Nobita: [excitedly pointing at sand-dolphins] Look, a fish!
    Suneo: That's not a fish, dummy. Dolphins are mammals.
    Nobita: But... that's not what I meant!
    • Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur has a comical moment in an otherwise mostly-serious movie. When Sensei reprimands Nobita for getting 3% in an exam, Nobita's response is to happily exclaim he got more than 0% for once.
  • The scene from Felidae with Bluebeard's response to Francis telling him that the cult could lead to something big. "Something like a fresh piece of fish?"
  • From Hey Arnold! The Movie, as the boarders try to figure out a way to keep the house from being demolished:
    Oskar: Maybe we could paint the house with vanishing cream! Then it will be invisible!
    Ernie: That is the stupidest idea I ever heard! What if it rains? Ding-dong! Ever think about that, Kokoschka? It'll wash the vanishing cream off and then everyone will see us!
    Oskar: Ah, pooh, you're right!
  • For much of Home (2015), Oh cannot get it through his head that his brethren hold him in contempt.
  • In Hoodwinked!, right after the Big Bad's Villain Song, the Wolf and Granny are secretly watching behind rocks:
    Granny Puckett: Sweet tea and cookies! We got to do something.
    Wolf W. Wolf: I know. The song was catchy, but the choreography was terrible.
  • In The Incredibles, Bob's reaction to finding out that Dash put a tack on his teacher's chair is to be impressed that he was fast enough to get away with it despite being caught on camera. The moment is Played for Laughs but it's also an early sign that Bob doesn't quite have his priorities straight.
  • In the Inside Out short Riley's First Date?, Mr. Anderson, primed by over-protectiveness, misinterprets almost everything Jordan says as insubordination when in fact it's mainly just Jordan being a bit of an absent-minded ditz.
  • In The Jungle Book (1967), Baloo does this several times when Bagheera is addressing him. One time is when Bagheera watches Baloo train Mowgli on fighting like a bear, and he speaks in a cutting tone...
    Bagheera: Fine teacher you are, old iron claws.
    Baloo: Oh, thanks, Bagheera.
    • Another time is when Bagheera urges Baloo to take Mowgli to the man-village and explains why:
      Bagheera: You wouldn't marry a panther, would you?
      Baloo: I don't know. Come to think of it, no panther ever asked me.
  • In The King's Beard, when Wizzy points out Jasper's transformation into a demonic creature in an effort to plead with him to surrender the stolen wand, Jasper pretends to believe that Wizzy is instead talking about the fact that he used the wand to grow a goatee.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2 villain Lord Shen is about to release his ultimate weapon with a Badass Boast, but his lieutenant doesn't get the analogy.
    Shen: The Year of the Peacock begins now!
    Wolf: Right now? Cause it's the middle of the year... so you'd only get like a half of the Year of the Peacock.
    Shen: (Shows him a knife)
    Wolf: And this is, of course, the Year of the Peacock, aha...Happy New Year, sir.
  • The Lion King (1994) gives us the hyenas in the "Be Prepared" song.
    Banzai: Yeah! Be prepared. We'll be prepared! For what?
    Scar: For the death of the king!
    Banzai: Why? Is he sick?
    Scar: No, fool, we're going to kill him. And Simba too.
    Shenzi: Great idea! Who needs a king?
    Hyenas: No king, no king! La la la la la!
    Scar: Idiots! There will be a king!
    Banzai: Eh, but you said...
    Scar: I will be king!
  • In Monsters University, the first round of the Scare Games involves running through a tunnel of toxic sea urchin-like critters. As the hosts repeatedly tell the contestants not to touch them, Art is excitedly yelling how he wants to touch one. He does and is promptly poisoned.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington tries to explain Christmas by way of talking about gifts and stockings. The other citizens of Halloween don't quite get it. In fact, Nightmare's entire plot hinges on the fact that the Halloween Town's citizens don't quite get the point of Christmas.
    Jack: We pick up an over-sized sock, and hang it like this on the wall.
    Various Hydes: Oh, yes! Does it still have a foot? Let me see! Let me look! Is it rotted and covered with gook?!
    • Jack's own enthusiasm for putting on Christmas has him oblivious to Sally's warning, as he assigns her making his Santa outfit.
      Sally: Jack, please listen to me. It's going to be a disaster!
      Jack: How could it be? Just follow the pattern! [holds up design of outfit] This part's red, the trim is white...
      Sally: It's a mistake, Jack!
      Jack: Now don't be modest. Who else is clever enough to make my Sandy Claws outfit?
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Super Adventure, when Wolnie asks Mr. Slowy where Wolffy is, her son Wilie copies her when she says "Mr. Slowy, where have you taken my husband to?", and Wolnie tells him that he should refer to him as his dad instead of his husband. Wilie then says "Dad, where have you taken my husband to?"
  • Skipper in Penguins of Madagascar, a lot. Within one action scene, he scolds Private for playing with "backpacks" (actually parachutes), says passengers on a plane they punched holes in are going to freak because of a lack of snacks, and responds to Kowalski saying a plane is at 12 o'clock (referring to its position in relation to the penguins) with "Good, it's only eleven thirty".
  • Rango;
    • One of the volunteers for the posse, Sgt. Turley, has an arrow going through his eye and out the back of his head, and Rango sheepishly points out, "You've, uh, got a little something in your eye there." Turley seems to think Rango is talking about his conjunctivitis.
    • The mole rats are completely taken in when Rango and his posse pose as a troupe of actors; when they pull out guns, one of the rats quips "Must be that immersive theater."
  • In The Road to El Dorado, when Miguel and Tulio are caught accidentally stowing away on Cortez's ship:
    Miguel: All right! Cuba!
  • SCOOB! has two examples:
    • Young Shaggy mistakes young Velma's Ruth Bader Ginsburg costume for Harry Potter. When she clarifies who she's dressed up as, he still thinks Ginsburg is a Harry Potter character.
    • Later, Dick Dastardly calls Fred "the poor man's Hemsworth." Naturally, Fred is confused as to whether Dastardly is referring to Chris or Liamnote .
  • Sing: During Gunter and Rosita's turn at the audition, Rosita falls mid-performance:
    Buster: Are you okay?
    Gunter: (thinking Buster is talking to him)Oh yes, I'm fine, thank you. How are you?
  • In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, after the Canadian army blows up the Baldwin brothers, the U.S. declares war on Canada. Everyone is shocked, but Mr. Garrison shouts "All the Baldwins are dead!?"
  • Toy Story: During the scene where Sid is decapitating his sister's doll, he is playing "doctor." During the "operation" Buzz says, "I don't believe that man's ever been to medical school."
  • Toy Story 2: Tour Guide Barbie volunteers to show Al's office to the toys, but gives them a tour of the whole store instead - and behaves like a tour guide throughout.
  • In The Rescuers Down Under, during the beginning of the film, Bernard is trying to work up the courage to ask Ms. Bianca to marry him. However as he's away, Bianca receives word of their newest mission to Australia. She sends their waiter off to find Bernard, but when Bernard doesn't listen to him, it leads him to the misunderstanding that they have a mission at all.
    Ms. Bianca: Bernard, did you talk to Francois?
    Bernard: Ah, yes, but uh.. there's... there's something I want-
    Ms. Bianca: I know exactly what you're going to say. Francois told me all about it.
    Bernard: He did? How, how... how did he-
    Ms. Bianca: Oh, it doesn't matter, I think it's a marvelous idea.
    Bernard: You do? I mean, you... you really want to?
    Ms. Bianca: I don't think it's a matter of wanting. It's a matter of duty.
    Bernard: D-duty? I... I never thought of it, well, umm... all right.... all right. How does... how does next ah-April sound to you?
    Ms. Bianca: Heavens, no! We must act immediately, tonight!
    Bernard: Tonight? But, but, ah... wait! [cuts to them walking down into the headquarters of the Rescue Aid Society] Uh, Bianca, this is so sudden! I mean, don't you at least need a gown or something?
    Ms. Bianca: No, just a pair of khaki shorts and some hiking boots.
    Bernard: Hiking boots?
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, SpongeBob and Patrick are at a roulette table:
    Patrick: Just put it on "L".
    SpongeBob: Patrick, that's not an "L," that's a seven.
    Patrick: Seven starts with an "L"? That's weird.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, when the Eye of Sauron tells the Joker that the Batcave is located under Wayne Manor, Joker thinks it means Bruce Wayne and Batman are roommates.
  • In Coco, Miguel is quite surprised to discover that the Land of the Dead is real.
    Miguel: I thought it might've been one of those made up things that adults tell kids, like... vitamins.
    Tia Victoria: Miguel, vitamins are a real thing.
    Miguel: Well, now I'm thinking maybe they could be...
  • The Emperor's New Groove:
    • Yzma's Evil Plan:
      "Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives... [Laughs] ...I'll SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! [knocks over bottle of poison on flower, which instantly shrivels up and dies] ...Or, to save on postage, I'll just poison him with this!"
    • Zig-zagged with Kronk's sudden realization: "THE PEASANT! AT THE DINER! ... he didn't pay his check." Then as he goes back to sleep, he suddenly recognizes him as the guy who carried off Kuzco.
  • Lampshaded in WALL•E, when the Captain points out that AUTO's orders not to return to Earth because it can't sustain life no longer apply, as the plant proves that life is sustainable on Earth:
    AUTO: Irrelevant.
    Captain: What?! It is completely relevant!

It's worth pointing out that many jokes are based on someone comically missing the point.
  • A blonde woman is riding on a two-seater aircraft when the pilot has a fatal heart attack. She radios the tower which assures her that they are experienced and will be able to help her get to the ground. They ask for her height and position and she responds, "I'm 5′4″ and in the front seat!"
  • A call goes out to 911, and the dispatcher asks what's wrong. "Help, we were hunting and my gun went off accidentally. I think my buddy's dead!" The dispatch says, "I need to know whether you need an ambulance; there's been another terrible accident. Can you be sure your friend is dead?" The hunter replies, "Well, all right." BANG! "Now what?"
  • An airplane is suddenly rocked by an explosion. The air-hostess goes to the passengers and announces that one of the engines just exploded, but since there are three more, the flight will simply take half an hour more. This situation repeats itself twice more with the same result and then another time. One of the passengers exclaims: "Goddamit, now it's gonna take the whole damned day to get there!"
  • A guy shows up late for work. The boss yells, "You should have been here at 8:30!" The employee replies, "Why? What happened at 8:30?"
  • A guy tells his psychiatrist: "It was terrible. I was away on business, and I emailed my wife that I’d be back a day early. I rushed home from the airport and found her in bed with my best friend. I don’t get it. How could she do this to me?" "Well," says the psychiatrist. "Maybe she didn’t see the email."
  • A guy walks into a doctor's office and says loudly to the receptionist, "There's something wrong with my dick." The receptionist looks up rather irritated and says, "Sir, you shouldn't come walking into this office and talking like that. It's embarrassing to everyone. If it's something that sensitive, you should say there's something wrong with your ear and then discuss things more privately with the doctor in his office." "Okay, okay, sorry," the man grumbles. "Miss, I'm here to see the doctor about my ear." "Very well, what seems to be the trouble with your ear, sir?" The man replies, "It hurts when I take a piss."
  • A man at a restaurant to the waiter: "What's this fly doing in my soup?" After a close look the waiter replies: "The backstroke."
  • An older couple are at home one evening having a nice quiet dinner together when the husband suddenly collapses on the floor, clutching his chest in pain. The wife rushes to the phone and dials 911. When the emergency operator answers, the wife says, "Quick, I need to get an ambulance over here right away. I think my husband is having a heart attack!" The voice on the other end says, "We're dispatching an ambulance now, ma'am. What's the address?" The wife replies, "1852 Eucalyptus." "Can you spell that?" asks the operator. "No, I can't. If you want, I can drag him over to Oak Street...."
  • A successful lawyer parked his brand new Porsche Carrera GT in front of the office, ready to show it off to his colleagues. As he goes to get out of the vehicle, a truck speeds by, hitting the car and completely tearing off the driver’s door. Fortunately, a cop in a police car is close enough to see the accident and pulls up behind the Porsche. Before the cop has a chance to ask any questions, the lawyer starts screaming hysterically about how his Porsche, which he had just picked up the day before, is now completely ruined. “The vehicle will never be the same, no matter how hard the repairers work to restore the damage.” After the lawyer finishes his rant, the cop shakes his head in disgust and disbelief. “I can’t believe how materialistic you lawyers are,” he said. “You are so focused on your possessions that you neglect the most important things in life.” “How can you say such a thing?” asked the lawyer. The cop replies, “Don’t you even realize that your left arm is missing? It got ripped off when the truck hit you!!!” “Oh, my God!” screams the lawyer. “My Rolex!!”
    • Russian Humor tells the same joke, but with a New Russian rather than a lawyer (and usually a Mercedes instead of a Porsche).
  • The supervisor of a construction site leaves the site every day at 11am and returns at 1pm. Because of this, the workers start taking advantage of this with a longer lunch break. One day one of the workers decides to go home for a little nookie with his wife, but when he opens the bedroom door, he finds the supervisor having sex with his wife! The guy backs out slowly and returns to work. The next day the supervisor leaves at the normal time and when the workers all leave, the guy stays on the job. When asked why he isn't coming, the guy says, "No way — I almost got caught yesterday!"
  • The world's funniest joke, according to researchers at the University of Hertfordshire's Laughlab, goes as follows:
    Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are going camping. They pitch their tent under the stars and go to sleep. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes Watson up.
    Holmes: "Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce."
    Watson: "I see millions of stars, and even if a few of those have planets, it's quite likely there are some planets like Earth, and if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life."
    Holmes: "No Watson, you idiot, somebody's stolen our tent!"
  • At wit's end with her two misbehaving sons, a mother asks her local reverend for help in giving them some counsel. The reverend agrees to have a talk with each one separately in his office while the other boy waits out in the hall. Hoping to lead into a larger point, the reverend starts by asking "Son... Where is God?" The boy becomes visibly nervous but does not answer. "It's a simple question, my boy. Can you tell me where you can find God?" Again, the kid stares wide-eyed but doesn't respond. After asking a third time and getting no answer, the reverend sighs and tells the boy to go out in the hall and fetch his brother. Outside, the kid leans in and whispers to his brother "Hey, Bobby, I think we're in real trouble this time... The preacher man lost God, and he thinks we got Him!"
  • A blonde woman was told to always follow a snowplow when a snowstorm got too rough, so on her way home one night she did just that. After a half hour of following, the plow stopped and the driver came over to ask her what she was doing. The woman explained she had been told to follow a snowplow in bad weather, and that's what she was doing. He replied, "Well, I'm finished with the Walmart parking lot, do you want to follow me over to Target?"
  • A Minnesotan joke, as reported on A Prairie Home Companion c. 2004:
    Ole was the only Lutheran in his little town of all Catholics. That was okay, but the neighbors had a problem with his barbecuing venison every Friday. Since they couldn't eat meat on Friday, the tempting aroma was getting the best of them. So the neighbors got together and went over and persuaded Ole to join their church. The big day came and the priest had Ole kneel. He put his hand on Ole's head and said, "Ole, you were born a Lutheran, you were raised a Lutheran, and now," he said as he sprinkled some holy water over Ole's head, "now *splash splash* you are a Catholic!" Ole rose, and asked the priest if he could have a bit of holy water for home use, and the priest obliged.
    Ole was happy and the neighbors were happy. But the following Friday evening at suppertime, there was again that aroma coming from Ole's yard. The neighbors went to talk to him and as they approached the fence, they heard Ole saying: "You were born a whitetail deer, you were raised a whitetail, and now," he said with a sprinkle of holy water, "now, *splash splash* you are a walleye!"
    • An alternative was used with a rabbi cooking chicken during Lent.
      • In Russia, it is told about a border guard soldier of Korean origin who was hypnotized so that he'll stop eating the guard dogs.
  • A pair of hunters go on a trip with a new hunting dog. The dog's owner says, "You want to see something strange? Watch this." He shoots a duck, which falls into the water. "Fetch, boy!" he calls, and the dog runs across the top of the water to get the duck. This repeats twice more with no response. Finally the dog's owner asks, "Don't you see anything weird about my dog?" The other answers, "I noticed one thing. He can't swim."
  • A refrigirator carrying penguins to a zoo breakes down on a road. Since it's hot outside, and the animals cannot wait until the truck gets fixed or a new one arrives, the arrived policeman stops a random car and asks the driver to take the penguins to the zoo. The guy says he will. The next day, the officer sees the same guy passing by, with the penguins in the backseat. The officer stops him and says, "Hey! I told you to take those penguins to the zoo!" The guy says, "I did that yesterday. Today we're going to the beach!"
    • This is a common joke in Italy, where the two characters are members of the Carabinieri corps (local military police). This particular case is also mentioned in a chapter of Gunslinger Girl.
  • A man calls 911 and says, "Help! My wife is in labor and we don't know what to do!" The dispatcher says, "Okay, just stay calm. Is this her first child?" The man says, "No, this is her husband!"
  • A highway patrol officer spots a woman who is trying to drive and knit at the same time. This is clearly unsafe, so he takes out the bullhorn and yells, "Pull over!" The woman yells back, "No, it's a cardigan!" (This joke is also used in Dumb and Dumber.)
  • A boss is told he needs to lay off one of his employees. The only employees that he can fire are the two most recently hired, Jack and Mandy. They were hired at the same time, do the same job and are both equally skilled, so he doesn't know which one to lay off. He decides to lay off the last one to show up that morning, but they come in together. He then decides whichever one gets back later from lunch will be the one to go, but they both come back early. He finally pulls Mandy into his office to explain that "I'm in a tough situation here. I don't know whether to lay you or Jack off." Her reply: "I'm afraid you're gonna have to jack off, because I have somewhere to be in an hour."
  • A punk teenager returns home from school one day and happily tells his father, "Dad, I have great news for you! From tomorrow onwards, you will never have to pay for my school fees anymore, Isn't that wonderful?" The dad, aware of his son being a notorious troublemaker in school, but curious about the good news, then said, "Well, that's great, my boy. Why, have you gotten a scholarship?" The punk teen replies, "No dad, I've been expelled!"
  • In the middle of a theft, the robbers hear the police sirens coming.
    Robber 1: What do we do now!?
    Robber 2: We jump through the window!
    Robber 1: No way! We're on the 13th floor.
    Robber 2: You idiot, this is no time for superstition!!
  • An older woman:
    Such an amazing progress of medicine! When I was young, all the doctors told me to get undressed; now it's enough for me to show my tongue.
  • Radio Yerevan jokes - a stable of old-time Russian Humour - works mostly on this, or massive amount of Dissimile
    Dear Radio Yerevan, is is true that in Russia every worker can afford Volga? note 
    Of course, but why did he need so much water?
  • Another one:
    Dear Radio Yerevan, is it really true that in Siberia wheat grows like telephone poles?
    Of course! Sometimes even thicker!
  • Q: What did the blonde do when she heard most accidents happen within 20 miles of the home?
    A: She moved.
  • A wealthy woman complains to her maid one afternoon.
    Rich woman: Nora, I could write my name in the dust on this table.
    Maid: Sure, and isn't it grand to have an education.
  • Teacher: Define the first person.
    Student: Adam.
  • There was a man who didn't know what logic was. In order to understand it, he went to a philosopher he knew, and they had a conversation:
    Man: What is logic?
    Philosopher: Let me explain using a simple example. Do you have a riding lawnmower?
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: Then logic tells us you have a large garden.
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: And logic tells us you also have a large house.
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: And logic tells us that you couldn't afford to get it yourself.
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: Then logic tells us that there is another earner in the household.
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: Logically it's your wife.
    Man: Yes.
    Philosopher: And so you're logically heterosexual. This is logic!

The next day, the man told his friend:

Man: Now I know what logic is!
Friend: Cool. Can you explain?
Man: Yes. Do you have a riding mower?
Friend: No.
Man: I wasn't expecting that, but logically you're gay!

  • An Older Than Feudalism example: around 300-400 A.D in Ancient Greece, a joke book called "Philogelos" ("Laughter Lover") has several of these:
    • Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said: I've had a great loss! Just when he had learned not to eat, he died."
    • A simpleton sees an older man walking with a younger woman and asks "Is she your daughter?" The man says he's a eunuch, so she's not his daughter. The simpleton replies, "Is she your granddaughter then?"
  • One joke is about a girl who has been tricked into climbing a ladder by some boys so they can look up her skirt and see her panties. An older relative of the girl points this out, but the girl still lets the boys trick her into climbing a ladder. The girl is asked why she's still doing this and the girl replies that she removed her panties so the boys wouldn't be able to look at them.
  • This mentality turns an African proverb about the importance of leadership into one of these:
    An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
    If a sheep manages to become the leader of an army of lions, my money's on the sheep.
  • A joke that works with any entertainment device with a screen that is also bulky enough to need to rest on a piece of furniture:
    Person A: Have you ever considered doing something besides sitting in front of the [device] all day?
    Person B: I tried sitting behind it, but then I couldn't see what's on the screen anymore.
  • A teacher asks "Billy, can you tell me how you spell "crocodile"? he responds with "K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L". The teacher says "no, sorry, it's "C-R-O-C-O-D-I-L-E". Billy replies with "No, that may be how most people spell it, but you asked how I spell it!"
  • A blind person walks into an unfamiliar bar and sits at the counter. As a means to break the ice with the other customers, they offer to tell a Dumb Blonde joke. The bartender informs the newcomer that they are blond themself and goes on to describe four of the employees and/or regulars present in the bar, who are all blonde, very muscular and have No Sense of Humor. After giving the warning, the bartender asks the blind person if they still want to use a Dumb Blonde joke as an icebreaker.
    Blind Person: You have a point. I don't want to have to explain it to five different people.
  • Old joke from the 1980s: An American visiting the USSR tells a Russian that the United States is a truly free country and the Soviet Union isn't because he can stand in front of the White House and say, "To hell with Ronald Reagan!" The Russian replies that this is nonsense, and demonstrates that he can do the same thing; he stands in front of the Kremlin and says, "To hell with Ronald Reagan!"
  • A medieval lord leaves his ancestral castle in Hampshire for the Crusade. The morning of his departure, he locks up his wife's nethers with a chastity belt. A Week later, his troops are on the ship, the supplies have been loaded, the gangplank is about to be removed... and a horse comes galloping up, and his wife's page tumbles off, exhausted from a week of riding.
    Page: My lord! Thank God I caught you before you set sail. I have an urgent message from your wife!
    Lord: My wife?! What is it?
    Page: She says you forgot to leave her the key!
  • Bob is telling his doctor about his constant bouts of sleeping problems, caused by barking of stray dogs late at night. The doctor prescribes a set of sleeping pills for Bob, tells him to take one every night, and come back a week later.
    A week later, Bob shows up... covered in scratches, bites, his clothing ripped in various places, to the doctor's shock. Where he then updates the doctor...
    "It's no use, doc. Took me several hours to restrain a stray dog, but try as I might I just can't get the dog to eat your pills!"
  • An airliner cruises through the sky. The captain addresses the passengers with the usual in-flight announcements, and then tells the second pilot, while forgetting to turn off the speakers: "Now let's have a cup of coffee, and then let's screw the stewardess!" Having heard that, the stewardess rushes to the cockpit in fury. An elderly passanger stops her:
    "There's no need to rush, sweetheart, they haven't finished their coffee yet!

  • Old Master Q does this fairly often as a Running Gag, sometimes involving the titular character, and sometimes from others. For instance, there's one strip where Master Q and Big Potato, both jobless and sitting under a tree, ponders on their future. Master Q remarks they "can't just sit here doing nothing and waiting for time to pass"... so Potato instead recommends, "Lets sit over there instead!"

  • The radio-play censors appear to have succumbed to this in airplay versions of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got A Gun": In a song about Parental Incest, the one line they feel obliged to alter is "put a bullet in his brain". Right, that's the one thing about the song that makes its subject matter mature...
  • The Beatles did this deliberately in many of their interviews.
    Press: Does it bother you that you can't hear what you sing during concerts?
    John Lennon: No, we don't mind. We've got the records at home.
  • In "Uneasy Rider" by The Charlie Daniels Band, the singer accuses a hostile redneck threatening to beat him up of everything from being an undercover FBI agent to having a Commie flag tacked up on the wall of his garage, so as to turn the redneck's equally conservative friends against him and slip away in the resulting chaos. The redneck's rebuts most of Daniels' charges in kind, but his rebuttal to the last charge is to just note that he doesn't have a garage, not that he doesn't own any kind of Communist material.
  • Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir: As John Rhys-Davies as the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Charles Dickens over the city to let him see things as they truly are, he looks and sees houses, hundreds of houses, filled with people...buying books!
    Ghost of Christmas Present: No, it's not about books!
  • Daniel Amos:
    • The album ¡Alarma! has a short story in the liner notes. In one scene, a woman sees a starving child and goes to help. She hands the kid a piece of paper that says "I love you", then walks away.
    • "Autographs for the Sick" (from Doppelgänger) is about a huge, televangelist-hosted revival that winds up giving everyone exactly what they don't need:
      Phonographs for the deaf, they can't hear you
      Gloves for the amputees, they can't cheer you
      Down at the stadium they're waiting for the end of the age
      You're praying for the healthy while the lame never get to the stage
  • Flight of the Conchords has several songs about Comically Missing the Point, most notably "Think About It", a goldmine of Missed Points — one verse laments the use of slave labor to produce sneakers... because it hasn't lowered the cost of sneakers enough. Later in the same song, there's this:
    A man is lying on the street
    Some punk's chopped off his head
    And I'm the only one who stops to see if he's dead
    Turns out he's dead
  • Jaron and the Long Road to Love gives us this gem in "Pray for You":
    Haven't been to church since I don't remember when
    Things were goin' great, 'til they fell apart again
    I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
    He said you can't go hating others who have done wrong to you
    Sometimes we get angry but we must not condemn
    Let the good Lord do his job and you just pray for them
    I pray your brakes go out running down a hill...
  • Comes up at the end of The Lonely Island's "Threw It On the Ground". The singer is an over-the-top Jerkass who keeps throwing things people give him on the ground because of his Hair-Trigger Temper leading him to proclaim that he's "not part of your system!" When his behavior pisses off a pair of actors who proceed to tase him for it, he concludes, "the moral of this story is... you can't trust the system, man!" One of the verses also gives us this little gem:
    At the Farmer's Market with my so-called girlfriend
    She hands me her cellphone, says it's my dad
    Man, this ain't my dad, this is a cellphone
  • In Lukas Graham's song "Strip No More", the narrator reveals that he has fallen in love with a stripper called Destiny, who was friendly with him and sexually initiated him. When he returns to the club, her co-workers greet him cordially and explain that Destiny just graduated from university. He can't understand why that means she's quit her job. It never occurs to the young idiot that she was stripping to fund her education, that her real name wasn't Destiny, and that she's an entirely different person from the "girl I knew". It was all glamour and he doesn't even realize it.
  • Jim Steinman's monologue "Love and Death and an American Guitar", released on the Meat Loaf album Back Into Hell as "Wasted Youth", catalogues the adventures of a boy who murders people with his guitar. Finally, he attacks his parents:
    "... and just as I was about to bring the guitar crashing down upon the centre of the bed, my father woke up screaming, 'Stop! Wait a minute! Stop it, boy! That's no way to treat an expensive musical instrument!'"
  • The Velvet Underground's song "Sister Ray". The narrator's entire reaction to somebody getting shot is, "You shouldn't do that/Don't you know you'll stain the carpet?"
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • In "You Don't Love Me Anymore", this is the calm conclusion the narrator reaches after the object of his affection has tried to murder him several times.
    • The song "Why Does this Always Happen to Me?" focuses on this trope, as it's about a guy who focuses on trivial inconveniences in the face of much larger events. While watching The Simpsons, the show is interrupted by a news report of a devastating earthquake which kills thousands, and he's more concerned about the fact that he's missing his program while taping it, and will now need to wait for a rerun of the episode. When his friend is killed in a massive traffic accident, he's angry that his friend still owed him $5 before he died, and the resulting traffic jam will cause him to be late for work. And finally, after straight-up stabbing his boss in the face at work, he's more concerned about the fact that his knife got stuck, and he fears that he's dulled his knife to the point where it won't be as sharp as it once was beforehand.

  • In episode five of Mystery Show, Starlee asks a friend to approach Jake Gyllenhaal in a restaurant, but another woman approaches before she can. Starlee's concern is that that woman is going after the same information and is going to get it first.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • To show he could do "characters", Scott Hall did an imitation of Scarface (1983). Vince McMahon thought it was an original concept that just needed some tweaking.
  • During his Impact Championship Wrestling debut, Yoshihiro Tajiri yelled "Shut The Fuck Up!" at the referee admonishing him for putting then rookie Low Ki in an illegal hold, shocking everyone from the ref, to the commentators to the fans in attendance. Nobody knew Tajiri could speak English!
  • Curry Man (not that one) thinking he had gotten a title shot when he pulled a pink slip out of his "feast or fired" briefcase.
  • Santino Marella's complaints of "sexual discrimination" for not being allowed to compete in the "Miss Wrestlemania" battle royal.
  • When Natalya proclaimed Laycool's combined IQ was lower than their non existent waist sizes, they took it as a compliment.
  • Away from Wrestlicious, Bandita's got a restaurant and it doesn't have any roaches thanks to the rats eating them all.
  • CM Punk's reason for not joining the walkout on Triple H on Monday Night Raw was that Punk left the company before because his contract was up, and was tired of trying to change the company, arguing that the 'hippie barbeque' was a pussy move if the participants actually wanted change.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Big Garage had an episode where Scrap wanted to learn how to make friends, and asked Rusty to pretend to be a stranger so that he can have someone to practice with. Rusty then says "Hello, nice place you've got here!" to which Scrap replies with "Go away, I'm busy!" After Rusty tells Scrap that the key to making friends is to sound nice and friendly, he tries again, and Scrap responds with "Go away, I'm busy!" in a nicer tone.
  • Dinosaurs: In "The Greatest Story Ever Sold", the council of elders need easy answers to quell the existential panic sweeping the dinosaurs, so to make sure the ones they come up with are simple enough for everyone to understand, they summon "The biggest boob in all the land"- Earl Sinclair. Earl seems rather pleased as punch to hear he's number one at something.
    Earl: (To Baby) Hear that, son? The biggest.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: Several of the show's jokes use this. For instance, after Mr. Potato Head showed his "masterpiece script" to Queenie, she screamed at the top of her lungs and fell over. As she was on the floor moaning, "the horror...the horror..." Mr. Potato Head asked her, " don't like it?"
  • In The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, when Robin asks Kermit what his favourite Muppet sketches are, Kermit says "Well, you know, the Muppets aren't always funny." Robin replies "Well, yeah, but I always thought that was the writers' fault."
  • In Dyan Cannon's episode of The Muppet Show, Miss Piggy interrupts the Swedish Chef's sketch to ask him if he's seen her dog Foo-Foo. Upon hearing the word "dog", Chef's mind immediately goes to the hot dogs he's making and tells her the dog is in the pot. Miss Piggy is understandably enraged, and attempts to give him a karate chop, only for Chef to block the shot with the pot lid and then cheerfully offer her (a pig) a hot dog (hot dogs often contain pork).
  • Sesame Street often uses this trope 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 and asks for a book about cookies, but then causes the librarian to faint dead away when he asks for a glass of milk to go with it.
  • This is a stock-in-trade trope of Wilbur, a children's series about a group of anthropomorphic barnyard friends who learn lessons from books. The character in question will sometimes miss the point of the story in question, often in a comical manner that at times could almost qualify as a Spoof Aesop. This will force another reading of the story. In the event that the character doesn't miss the point, there'll be some other reason for the story being re-read, such as another character needing to learn the lesson.

  • In one episode of At Home With The Hardys, Jeremy reminisces to his school days and reveals that he actually stole his beloved cricket trophy.
    Caroline: Jeremy, that's horrible! You mean you didn't win it?
    Jeremy: Winning isn't everything, Caroline.
  • In the satirical show Bremner's One Question Quiz:
    "Statue of Liberty": I heard a voice in my head — well, a tourist — that in a recent "Most Trustworthy Professions" survey, politicians rated just below convicted con-men.
    Andy Zaltzman: Well, quite a few of them are convicted con-men.
    "Tony Blair": That is completely unfair. Some of them are women.
  • In Cabin Pressure, Arthur Shappey lives to Comically Miss the Point. For example, in the episode "Ipwich", he misses the point of Mr. Sargent telling him about interesting airplane facts just prior to the exam.
  • Giles Wemmbley-Hogg quite often doesn't make that small mental leap. For example, when finding himself in the middle of a hemp plantation in Thailand:
    I didn't think there was much of a rope and sacking industry.
  • In The Gobetweenies, Joe gives a speech about how he was a drug-addicted artist in New York, who was selling "destroyed art", because he'd set fire to his paintings while high.
    Joe: And not long after that, I went to see a movie. All about a dad who was also a fish, with the sea between himself and his lost boy. And then I had my epiphany thought; my own manifesto. Which was that nothing would come good if I didn't wake up in the city where my children sleep. So then I came home.
    Lucy: Wow, I didn't know that about him.
    Tom: Me neither. I thought his favourite film was Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it turns out it was Finding Nemo.
  • Frequently by Hamish in The Doings Of Hamish and Dougal:
    • For instance when Mrs Naughtie goes missing.
      Dougal: There's only one place she could be. Hamish, tonight we camp out on the moors!
      Hamish: Seems a bit callous when we could be searching for Mrs Naughtie, but whatever you say, old friend.
    • Another one, where evidence is piling up that the Laird is a vampire:
      Dougal: Hamish, does that coffin-shaped wardrobe remind you of anything?
      Hamish: Of course! A coffin-shaped sideboard!
      Dougal: Precisely!
    • And another, when the lads are trying to trace a letter.
      Mrs. Mc Allister: There's no postage stamp on the envelopes!
      Hamish: No postage stamp? That means the letters were delivered by... ...magic!
      Dougal: ...Yes. ...Or by hand.
  • Mark in the John Finnemore's Double Acts episode "The Goliath Window" seems to have real trouble following a train of thought to its conclusion, for instance when Luke tells him of how he was given a choice between following his dream of being an artist, or becoming the village parson as his father wished. Mark asks what he decided.
    Luke: You're standing here in my parsonage, asking me what I decided?
    Mark: Yes, damn it, why won't you tell me?
  • In The Men from the Ministry, after Mr. Lamb scolds Mildred over the typos on a recent memo, this exchange occurs:
    Mildred: It's Mr. Lennox-Brown's dictation, I can't hear him properly through a mouthful of biscuits.
    Lamb: Well you shouldn't eat biscuits when he's dictating.
  • One of Frank Muir's monologues on My Word! has three in a row: Firstly, when Frank is asked to contribute to an art exhibition about Florence Nightingale, he mishears this as "Florence: Night in Gale", and decides to paint the dome of the Cathedral of St Mary of the Flower. Secondly, when he calls the ironmongers to get some painting supplies and tells them he wants to paint a cathedral at night in a gale, they send him massive drums of exterior paint, six-inch brushes, a ladder, oilskins and a torch. And thirdly, he fails to realise there's been a miscommunication here, and attempts to use these anyway.
    Frank: It was surprising how short a time it took to paint an oil painting using a six-inch brush.
  • In an episode of The Now Show, guest stand-up Alisdair Beckett-King talks about how targeted ads are extremely bad at targetting him, and gives the example of one asking if he's considered freezing his eggs. Clearly, they don't even know he's a vegan.
  • In Old Harry's Game, this is Thomas's usual reaction to Scumspawn's attempts to make him a better person. For instance, when it turns out Thomas once sold a baby to a rag-and-bone man.
    Scumspawm: But you wouldn't do that now, would you?
    Thomas: Of course not! You don't get rag-and-bone men any more.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: Guise, following an (as expected from Guise) goofy sequence of events, learns that the True Meaning of Christmas is about generosity and the rewards of he turns to several other characters and generously extends them the opportunity to experience said rewards by giving him stuff.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has a Chaos God of, among other things, Atheism. He has followers. When dealing with Chaos Cultists, do not expect an overabundance of anything resembling sanity or logic. A god of Atheism is made weaker through worship.
    • There is a reason he tries to keep any and all material regarding him hidden from mortal eyes as much as possible.

  • This is Older Than Steam. In Sheridan's The Critic, Tilburina, anticipating her lover's peril in the clash of the English and Spanish ships, launches into an "I see..." vision of the coming battle. Whereupon her father objects "The Spanish fleet thou canst not see, because... it is not yet in sight!"
  • In Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy when Bruce makes a reference to horses in the play "Equus" and his blind date (through the personals) Prudence says he should be a vet, Bruce rebukes her for missing the metaphor and says he could never respect anyone who missed a metaphor.
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged): When the king's ghost warns "Let not the royal bed of Denmark become a couch for incest":
    Hamlet (horrified): Incest!
    Horatio (equally horrified): A couch!
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: In-Universe: Cyrano (a Broken Ace with an enormous nose) invokes two famous historical romances (Cesar and Cleopatra, Tito and Berenice) and compares himself to the Cesar and Tito to justify why he cannot win the beautiful Roxane’s love. The point is that Cesar and Tito were loved not because they were fair, but they were highly charismatic leaders (like Cyrano himself, as his best friend Le Bret lampshades). Given that Cyrano is a Broken Ace and certainly this point would be obvious to him, this shows us how talking about love he will always deceive himself.
    CYRANO (shaking his head): Look I a Caesar to woo Cleopatra?
    A Tito to aspire to Berenice?
    Le Bret: Your courage and your wit!
  • The Farndale Avenue plays, which are supposedly incompetent amateur productions, have a Once an Episode running gag where, somewhere around the beginning of the second act, the leader of the amateur dramatic society will remark to another character that she noticed a significant number of people leaving during the intermission. She always comes up with an innocent interpretation and never realises that they're being driven away by the awfulness of the production.
  • Harvey: "I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: 'Good evening, Mr. Dowd.' I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name."
  • In the musical and Showtime movie of Reefer Madness the main characters sing about how much they are like Romeo and Juliet. They even state that they haven't read the ending, but they're 'sure it turns out real swell.'
  • Anne Boleyn thinks that what people will take away from Six: The Musical is that "Jane can't dance". Whether this is a manifestation of her It's All About Me personality or Obfuscating Stupidity is up to the audience.
  • This is purposely invoked in the old Vaudeville comedy routine "I'm not Rappaport," which was used as the name for a stage play and film which feature the gag. The joke is a Straight Man and Wise Guy routine in which the wise guy says to the straight man stuff like "Rappaport, you used to be a young guy with a beard. Now you're old with a mustache," to which the straight man replies repeatedly "I'm not Rappaport." The punchline is "And you changed your name too."

    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • The Judge from the Ace Attorney games falls into this trope many, many times. From case 5 of the first game, this is his response to being told that a witness was using another character as his "puppet"...
    Judge: Wait, you mean the witness, a man of his stature... plays with puppets?
    • Though he sometimes manages to correct himself:
      Oh you mean someone who uses someone else, nevermind.
  • Masayuki occasionally in A Profile, though it's not always played for laughs. But one that is goes like this:
    Masayuki: So, you have multiple personalities, huh? Awesome, I can have a threesome this summer!
  • C14 Dating: The extent to which it's done on purpose is ambiguous, but Deandre at some point quips about Kyler having a stalactite up his ass. When asked to watch his language, he corrects his statement so it mentions a stalagmite, the latter being the version of the formation that emerges from the ground and hence the one that would be the most likely to enter the orifice involved in his quip.
  • In CLANNAD, Fūko's sister suggests that she stop referring to herself in third-person, to sound more grown-up. Fūko decides to start using atai, a first-person pronoun only used by immature little girls.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Kazuichi somehow manages to comically miss one of his own points during Trial #4.
    Kazuichi: It appears it's just as Miss Sonia said...I'm just a, I'm not just a pest...I'm a total fucking pig...
    Sonia: No, I believe you gave your all.
    Fuyuhiko: This guy...HE GETS OFF ON THIS!
  • Miu Iruma from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony tends to do this, usually in the form of misinterpreting innocuous remarks as something sexual. To name one example from the Ultimate Talent Development Plan bonus mode, Miu plans to remodel Teruteru into a literal cooking machine. Hiyoko, who approves of it so that Teruteru would not get to say anything, suggests that Miu sew her mouth shut too, but Miu has this to say:
    Miu: I...I've never tried that kinda kink play before... Maybe just a little...
    • For a non-sexual example, Shuichi can suggest that he and Miu burn the gym to the ground in the Love Across the Universe bonus mode. Miu then assumes that he wants to use her "Instaburn" invention, which is, as she describes it, "for burning up social media accounts owned by ugly bitches who take too many selfies". That invention, however, will not cause burning anywhere else.
  • In Ever17, You throws a technical magazine at the Kid after he lands in an Accidental Pervert situation, hitting him in the nose and opening on a page with a screw and screwdriver. Kid gets a nosebleed which You takes as a Horny Nosebleed.
    Kid: It's because you threw this magazine at me!
    You: Don't tell me... you looked at this and... Yuck! You are gross!
  • Shirou in Fate/stay night has this problem when any of the Deus Sex Machina problems come up, as well as at the end of the Unlimited Blade Works good ending. The reason for this is quite complicated and only elaborated upon in other material. To summarize: magic is performed with od, a type of prana that has high concentrations in a mage's body fluids. This includes both blood (as seen in Tsukihime) and fluids from sexual organs, and the effects keep; as Shirou has never actually associated with any mages other than Kiritsugu, his first question is why the immediate solution is sex.
  • In The Great Ace Attorney 2, in Case 2, when Shamspeare regains consciousness, he recites some lines from Shakespeare. When he doesn't remember one line, Gregson calmly reminds him. It's not like the man somehow managed to survive poisoning and everyone thought he died.
  • Little Busters!: Common from Masato, when it's not just a case of Insult Backfire.
    Kengo: Why not use that excuse again? A space alien came and burned your homework with a beam of light.
    Masato: That won't work a second time... It's definitely unnatural to meet aliens that often.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: In episode 7 of season 2, Fizzarolli is supposed to do a performance at Mammon's contest, but when he does, it's a musical number directed at saying how being exploited by Mammon sucks and he's quitting. Until the very end, Mammon just claps and enjoys the show.


Video Example(s):


Krusty the Clown as King Lear

When Krusty the Clown played the title role in "King Lear" at the Springfield Dinner Theatre, he proceeded to mess around like he always does since he thought that the play was a comedy until a co-star informed him that is was a tragedy instead of a comedy. Later on, a surprised Krusty discards the rest of the script and decides to improvise some Shakespeare-themed jokes, which each of them bombing spectacularly with the audience. Moments later, he called the audience out for being a tough crowd, since he thought that they were booing Shakespeare, and if that wasn't enough, a newspaper article dubbed Krusty's role at the dinner theatre the "Worst King Lear in 400 years."

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / ComicallyMissingThePoint

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