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Didn't We Use This Joke Already?

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Sorry just isn't good enough, Protoman.

Ozzy: These filmmakers are just [bleep] boobs!
Kelly: What do you mean, Dad?
Ozzy: Well, they're usin' the same [bleep] jokes they did in the last Austin Powers movie.

Basically a situation or joke played earlier in the story reoccurs and a character breaks the fourth wall, to say "Didn't we use this joke already?"

Sister-trope to Oh, No... Not Again!, in which a character comments in-universe on an action or event that is repeated in the story.

A Self-Referential Humor trope. Compare No Reprise, Please, Oh, No... Not Again!, No Fourth Wall, Lampshade Hanging, Genre Savvy, Running Gag, Fleeting Demographic Rule.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In FLCL, during the second round of scenes done in manga style, one of the characters wonders why they are doing more manga scenes again.
  • There's a couple of instances of this on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. For example, Nozomu brings up the topic of ignoring distressing things around you. Chiri says something to the effect of the show already doing this joke. Nozomu quips, "Ignoring that."

  • In the 1973 album The Watergate Comedy Hour, Fannie Flagg is a White House telephone operator who tells a friend she's talking to about Attorney General John Mitchell that if what he's about to do to his wife the President is about to do to the Democratic Party she'd be a lot happier. In a later sketch, "The Break-In" the Watergate burglars enter a dark room where they take a number count and come up one too many. They run into the busboy, Josè who tells them that it's where he and his girl Carmalita meet every night, saying "What I'm about to do to Carmalita I think you're going to do to the Democratic Party." The head of the Watergate burglars cracks "We've already done that joke!"

    Fan Works 
  • An odd example in Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path. In Chapter 13, Hubert makes a joke about the Knights of Seiros being useless that Dorothea comments he's used already. This is simultaneously a reference to a line he said in the game and a call-back to an earlier scene where Byleth imagined him saying the exact same line (which, of course, was also a reference to the line he said in the game).

  • Austin Powers in Goldmember features a rehash of a joke from The Spy Who Shagged Me consisting of a hurricane of Curses Cut Short. On the third cut, it swaps to The Osbournes as Ozzy Osbourne complains about the filmmakers reusing the joke.
  • From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, where Grandpa Potts joins everyone at the breakfast table:
    Potts: How was India?
    Grandpa: India? I'll tell you something. I got up this morning, and I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
    Everyone [in unison]: How he ever got in my pajamas, I shall never know!
    Grandpa: You've heard it before.

  • In The Fourth Bear, Inspector Jack Spratt is given a piece of evidence, a manila envelope with "Important" written on the front, and quips, "This could be important." When he shows it to Officer Mary Mary, she makes the same quip, but Jack informs her that he already made that joke, and she apologizes.
  • Animorphs: "If a seagull eats fried chicken, is that like cannibalism or something?" "Haven't we had this conversation before?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • In episode 2, an announcer says, "And now for something completely the same: a man with three buttocks," and gets a phone call pointing out that they did that already.
    • Prior to that, the "Man With Three Buttocks" skit begins over again and stopped suddenly:
      Interviewer: Didn't we just do this already?
      Arthur Frampton: Yes.
      Interviewer: Why didn't you say so?
      Frampton: I thought it was the continental version.
    • Taking the concept up to eleven; one episode has two sketches ending with a cop attempting to arrest someone for impersonating an Italian film director. The last sketch of the episode ("The Argument Clinic") ends with a cop attempting to arrest a character for violating the "Strange Sketch" act. Then another cop arrives to arrest the whole show for, among other charges, "simply ending every bleedin' sketch by just having a policeman come in and... wait a minute..."
      • And there's a line of policemen behind him...
  • Red Dwarf: The ship encounters a "white hole" spewing time and matter back into the universe. As a result, time randomly slows down, accelerates or repeats - leading to one conversation going around in circles. They eventually catch on.
    Cat: So, what is it?
    Lister: Oh, someone punch him out!
  • A Wayne's World sketch on Saturday Night Live:
    Winter's Bone! This joke has been done three times.
  • The It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" has this as the meta-joke. The gang starts rehashing jokes and situations from previous episodes, causing Dee to repeatedly say, "Didn't we do this already?" They eventually latch on to re-inventing an old idea by literally recycling people's garbage.
  • Scrubs: Dr. Cox makes fun of JD by calling him random girls' names. In one episode, we get to hear his Inner Monologue as he tries to come up with a new one. JD tells Cox he did in fact use that one before, but Cox says he doesn't care.
  • From The Stinger of one The Muppet Show episode;
    Waldorf: Have we said this show is for the birds?
    Statler: Yes, and we're going to keep saying it until it gets a laugh!
  • From the Beast of Hallow Mountain episode of of Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Jonah: Has anyone said "Watch out for snakes" yet?
    Crow: Yeah, I think we did that.
    Jonah: Oh, we should have saved that for now.

  • The Indonesian Parody song music group Padhayangan Project had multiple albums in the past, in the third one, they had the song "Mencontek" (Cheating) and "Kudiskah Kamu?" (Do you have scabies?). The first song had a speaking section joke where the singer asks which student would you choose... while both of them were known to be cheating. Then in the second song's speaking section, the same singer asks again which one would you choose between scabies or ringworm... having either of them will make you ashamed of your looks anyway. Then a fellow singer complains that the "Which do you choose" joke has already been used in Mencontek (within the same album no less), while the main singer pretends that he has forgotten. Further insistence eventually caused the music instruments to abruptly stop, presumably because the other singer insisted that 'It's done already.', and the music instruments presumed that the song has done its run and they should move on to the next song.

  • The short-lived sketch show Star Terk (sic) would have, Once an Episode, a gag where Captain Kirk would be asked an innocent-seeming question and answer "Uhura's bottom". In the last episode, Uhura deliberately provokes this at the start of the show. Later on, when Kirk is asked the usual question, he replies that they've already done that joke.
  • In the Cabin Pressure episode "Valduz", Carolyn gets a call from the crew while arguing with Herc about windsurfing and says she has to go to Lichtenstein (because MJN has just been hired to transport the King). He says that's a bit of an over-reaction. Later, he tells her that if she can't make a commitment to the relationship he'll have to go to Switzerland (because Swiss Air has bought the airline he works for) and she says the same thing. When he protests, she says it's funnier now, because the stakes are higher.

    Video Games 
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Joker tells Batman, "There were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... Oh hell, you've heard that one before, haven't you?" (He is, of course, referring to the joke he told at the end of The Killing Joke, and that isn't the only reference to the story in the game.)
  • In Undertale, the fallen human is repeatedly besieged with puzzles by Papyrus, one of which being the "dastardly coloured tile maze". This puzzle is completely "randomly" generated, and after a very lengthy explanation of its rules is laughably easy to solve. Much later in the game, Mettaton re-uses the same puzzle albeit far more difficult, remarking that they had seen this kind of puzzle "about a hundred rooms ago" and as such refuses to explain the rules again.

  • Bob and George does this a lot with several of its jokes. The comic repeatedly lampshades it and even manages to go meta. The author admits in his notes he loves using this trope.
    Dave Anez: So, in the end, it was a joke about reusing jokes about reusing jokes. Very postmodern.
  • 2/0 combines this with Confusing Multiple Negatives in strip 250.
    The Author: "The horror of multiple negatives comes in PACKAGES?!"
    Orange Author: "We didn't not already use that joke."
    • (A very similar joke was in fact used in strip 5.)
  • In the The Order of the Stick strip "All Clear", when Roy says he's dropped his sword off the airship, and Belkar is complaining this always happens, Blackwing comments that this is why he relies on his own talons. In the next strip, Belkar says he's going to feed Mr Scruffy, and adds "At least he can't drop his claws over the side."
    Blackwing: Dude, I just made that comment.
    Belkar: What do you want, royalties?

    Web Original 
  • In episode 33 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, the "L'Oreal, because I'm worth it!" joke is reused, and Bakura says "I think we did that joke already."
  • In Super Mario Bros. Z, an 'Over 9000' joke was made twice, and the perpetrating character was called out on it.
    • The perpetrating character then tries to justify it by citing the 18-month gap between the two uses of the joke.
  • The Nostalgia Critic created many memes that he uses at certain situations, nowadays when one of these situations come up, he lampshades how everyone knows what's coming, and how predictable it is. He has even flipped through several of his Running Gags in rapid succession, searching for the one that applies to the current moment.
  • Ultra Fast Pony's episode 5, "Everybody Hates Gilda", uses the song "Oh Yeah Yeah" by Marzipan for a montage. Episode 12, "Out With the Old Characters", starts to use the same song for a similar montage, but it gets abruptly cut off:
    Rainbow Dash: Wait, hang on. I just remembered we already did that.
    Subtitle: Editor's note. See episode 5.
  • In Red vs. Blue, Sarge first builds a robot (Lopez), then turns Simmons into a cyborg, then uses Simmons' leftover parts to save Grif after he's hit by the tank, then builds two robot bodies for Church and Tex (who are "ghosts") to inhabit. Unfortunately, by the time Tucker is half-blown up by a rocket, Sarge can't build Tucker a new body because, as Donut explains, they're out of parts because they overused that joke.
  • Kuno Tatewaki, in episode 2 of Ranma 1/2 Abridged, quips that the re-used bentō subplot joke introduced by the abridged creators wasn't even funny back in episode 1.
  • When the Best Friends did a second playthough of Detroit: Become Human, they caught themselves repeating so much of what they said the first time round that it led to them joking that they're all robots.
    Woolie: Input, output, motherfucker.
  • Some of the collaborative logs for the SCP Foundation have this being called out, such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" being used twice for SCP-423 and a few of SCP-914's entries.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Family Guy:
    Stewie: I'm not going to no Jewish school! Sitting around all day with a bunch of short, hairy guys. I'll feel like I'm on the forest moon of Endor.
    Chris: Didn't you make that joke the other day?
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Fool Monty", Mr. Burns plans to seal all of Springfield in a dome, until Lenny mentions that it's been done (specifically in the movie).
    • From the episode "Saddlesore Galactica":
      Marge: Hmmm. Should the Simpsons get a horse?
      Comic Book Guy: Excuse me, I believe this family already had a horse, and the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with hilarious consequences.
      Homer: (pause) Anybody care what this guy thinks?
      Crowd: No!
      • Later in the same episode, Marge starts filling out a racing form. Lisa suggests that Marge might be developing a gambling problem, a nod to Marge getting hooked on slot machines in "$pringfield; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling". Cue Comic Book Guy, wearing a "Worst Episode Ever" T-shirt: "Hey! I'm watching you."
    • Similarly, during Apu's wedding in "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons", Bart wistfully watches the trained elephant and wishes that he had one as a pet. Lisa reminds him that this already happened in "Bart Gets An Elephant", when he had an elephant named Stampy.
  • In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, they build a rollercoaster. Except this time, it's A MUSICAL!note  The trope title is practically quoted verbatim.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In their parody of "Kon Tiki", this trope was utilized when the raft started to sink for a second time.
      Plucky Duck: It can't be! We did that gag already!
      Sweetie Pie: What?! You're going to bring up redundancy now?!
    • In the Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation movie, a Running Gag has various amusing things happening to Plucky's tongue. By the last one, he acknowledges it as "Tongue joke number twelve".
  • South Park has used this at least twice:
    • The episode "Canceled" begins identically to the first episode, "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe", until the boys start commenting that the experience is eerily familiar.
    • "200" begins with some unenthusiastic namecalling between Cartman and Kyle, only for it to be pointed out that this routine has been done to death. Even better, the exact same dialogue about it being done to death happened in an earlier episode.
  • The Danger Mouse episode "Duckula Meets Frankenstoat" cracks a spoonerism, "a block of flats" for "a flock of bats," which gets repeated twice and duly noted by the cast.
    DM: What's that noise?
    Penfold: It sounds like a block of flats.
    DM: "Block of flats"?
    Penfold: Er, a flock of bats.
    DM: Your imagination's running away again, Penfold.
    Penfold: So's that joke. It's the second time around.
    [later, after confronting Duckula]
    Duckula: You will be surrounded by a swarming b-b-block of flats! He He He!
    DM: We've done that one.
    Penfold: Twice.
    Duckula: [disappointed] Curses, foiled again.
  • In an old MGM cartoon featuring the slow-witted wolf voiced by Daws Butler, the wolf is bitten in the rear by a dog. He goes behind a screen to change clothes, draping his ruined pants, with the dog still attached, over the side. A subsequent mishap has the wolf changing clothes again, and the first pair of pants, with dog still attached, are still draped over the screen. As the wolf walks away, he nonchalantly pats the dog on the rump, drawling, "OK, son, break it up...joke's over, hear?"
  • A few times in Rocky and Bullwinkle, they would recycle jokes. Usually Rocky would observe, "They liked it once, they'll love it twice!"
  • The Looney Tunes short "The Wise Quacking Duck" has one of these gags where Daffy was running only to come face to face with a gun.
    Daffy Duck: Oh no! Not twice in the same picture!
  • In one episode of Taz-Mania, Wendell T. Wolf protests that Taz is only supposed to do one "What for you..." gag per episode.
  • Invoked in the Steven Universe episode Bismuth, where the titular character uses her name as a pun twice. Amethyst complains about the trope, and Steven comments that maybe it will be funny again the third time. It really isn't.