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Gag Echo

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A subtrope of Meaningful Echo, the Gag Echo is a pretty common trope in fiction and although it's found in works outside the comedy genre, it's always Played for Laughs. The line of dialogue will often appear in the form of a Brick Joke, but it can pop up pretty soon after the first line. Usually the line will be repeated by another character and part of the fun comes from them not knowing someone else has already said the same thing. It can overlap with the Ironic Echo but differs from that since the Ironic Echo isn't usually played for comedy and the Gag Echo doesn't need the irony. May also overlap with Strange Minds Think Alike.

Compare Ironic Echo Cut when something like this happens straight away as a cut to another scene.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Myne, the protagonist, is a modern-day bookworm who reincarnated as a poor girl in a world that is in its pre-printing press era and has a large price tag even on materials used to make books. As a result, books are luxury items that only the wealthiest can afford. Some time after having introduced cheaper to produce plant-based paper to her new world, Myne finds out someone she knows is to going to have a baby and decides to make a picture book for the child. The reactions of Myne's best friend who helped make her first batch of paper, the merchant selling said paper and Myne's mentor in a job she took for easy access to the town's only library to the notion of a picture book are all similarly bemused in the source material. In the anime's Compressed Adaptation, those reactions are all shown in a small montage that is followed by Myne internally reponding to her mentor's words with the feeling she's hearing an echo.
  • Combined with Hypocritical Humor in Chapter 22/Episode 7 of Komori-san Can't Decline!. When Ootani stares at Komori in the pool while jogging, she calls him a pervert (which the rest of the boys teasingly repeat). Their positions are reversed at the end of the chapter/episode.

  • In Visitor Harry is exploring the HQ of a non-hostile Voldemort when he runs into Bellatrix Lestrange, who starts crowing about delivering him to Voldemort. In a bid to confuse her he asks "Do you think your Lord...incompetent?" When fast talking fails and he runs into Voldemort while trying to escape the latter asks "Bella, do you think me incompetent?"
  • In The Dogfather, Harry Potter gets adopted by a muggle family after the Dursleys refuse to take him in. One day, a large black dog (actually Harry's godfather Sirius) follows him home and gets kept as the family pet. When Harry finds out his dog turns into a man at night, one of his first questions is, "Are you a werewolf?" Later he introduces Sirius to his muggle parents, and their first question is also, "Are you a werewolf?"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sin City gives us a couple since several characters drop the word "yeesh" whenever something happens to Jackie Boy. Dwight says it when he lands on one of Miho's shurikens, Gail says it when he and his men get sliced up and one of the Irish mercenaries says it when they find him in the car.
  • From Mean Girls when the Plastics find Damian's picture in the yearbook.
    Cady: He's almost too gay to function.
    Regina: That's funny, put that in there.
    Cady: (thinking) Oh, maybe that was only okay when Janis said it?
    And when Damian finds it...
    Damian: Too gay to function!?
    Janis: That's only okay when I say it!
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when Elizabeth ends up rowing herself to the island without any help, she mutters "Bloody pirates". Later we have this exchange:
    Pintel: Hey, they're stealing our ship.
    Ragetti: Bloody pirates!
  • In Spaceballs, Dark Helmet extorts the passcode to Druidia's shield out of King Roland.
    Roland: The combination is... One. Dark Helmet: One! Colonel Sanders: One!
    Roland: Two. Dark Helmet: Two! Colonel Sanders: Two!
    Roland: Three. Dark Helmet: Three! Colonel Sanders: Three!
    Roland: Four. Dark Helmet: Four! Colonel Sanders: Four!
    Roland: Five. Dark Helmet: Five! Colonel Sanders: Five!
    Dark Helmet: So the combination is, One Two Three Four Five. <Filps Helmet>. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
    President Skroob rushes in.
    President Skroob: Well, did it work? Where's the key?
    Dark Helmet: It worked sir, we have the combination.
    President Skroob: Great! What's the combination?
    Colonel Sanders: One two three four five!
    President Skroob: One two three four five?
    Colonel Sanders: Yes!
    President Skroob: That's amazing, I've got the same combination on my luggage!
    <Dark Helmet and Colonel Sanders exchange a look>

    Live-Action TV 
  • From the hurricane episode of Miami 7
    Jo: The only way we'll get wind here is if Bradley has Cuban food.
    Howard: The only wind we'll have to worry about is if Marvin has Cuban food.
    Bradley: You too?
  • A season 5 Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode has Sabrina cast a spell to make herself zip through her day at top speed. When she zooms down the college hallway, past her Aunt Zelda she says "that blur looks strangely familiar". When she zooms in and out of the coffee house, past her aunt Hilda, she says the same thing.
  • 8 Simple Rules:
    • The episode "Secrets" makes a Running Gag out of the family lying about who's on the phone, saying it's someone selling long distance. Then someone selling long distance actually calls. Also Rory gets punched in the face by a girl and lies, saying he walked into a locker. Principal Gibb gets punched by Jim and says he walked into a locker too.
    • Another episode has Bridget suggesting that teachers and senior students get valet parking with the Driver's Ed students doing the parking. Later in the episode has Cate listing reasons to start working at the school and finishes off with "I heard a rumor they're going to get valet parking".
  • In an episode of What I Like About You Lauren embarrasses Val at a meeting by saying that the woman on her magazine cover looks cross eyed. Later when Val finds Lauren's mug shot and shows it to her she says "does the woman in this photo look like she's cross eyed?".
  • The episode of Saved by the Bell where they find the school's old radio station gives us two. When the newspaper reviews the radio show Lisa worries "what if they don't like my outfits?" (despite being on the radio) and when she reads the review it says "Lisa is an entertaining reporter and a classy dresser". Slater is awful on the radio and the gang are wondering how they tell him and Screech suggests "wave a skunk in front of his nose". Guess what the review says about Slater.
  • The Saved by the Bell: The New Class episode "Private Peterson" has this line: "I was born on a cold October day." Mr. Belding says this sentence earlier in the episode when Nicky expresses interest in becoming a school principal, leading to Mr. Belding taking Nicky into his office, which results in a Nap-Inducing Speak for Nicky. Near the end of the episode, Liz asks Mr. Belding how he became a principal, and Mr. Belding utters the sentence again while escorting Liz into his office, heavily implying that he would give her the same speech that he delivered to Nicky earlier.
  • A staple of Joss Whedon shows:
    • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Once More With Feeling" during the "I'll Never Tell" number Xander sings "[Anya's] toes are kind of hairy" and Anya sings "his eyes are beady". In the next scene when ranting about the situation both of them shout at the same time "my eyes are not beady"/"my toes aren't hairy".
    • The Angel episode "Lonely Hearts" makes a Running Gag out of people not knowing what the logo on the Angel Investigations business card is (it's meant to be an angel). When Angel hands Kate a card at the end of the episode she says "What is this? A duck?
    • The Firefly episode "Jaynestown" opens with Kaylee and Simon bantering about whether or not Simon uses profanity. Unlike most of the crew he's not given to spouting off Mandarin curses frequently, but he insists that he does swear "when its appropriate". Guess what Simon does upon seeing a statue of Jayne standing in the town square on Higgins' Moon.
  • During the second-season episode "Me And Mr. Joad" in Boy Meets World, when Mr. Turner learning that Feeny lives next door to the Matthews:
    Turner: Face it guys: Feeny's not going to go away. He's going to be all over your case. You turn around, he's going to be there. (looks out Matthews' back door window; sees Feeny tending his garden) Now that's scary. You guys live next door to a principal?
    Amy: It's not something we brag about.
    Turner: (heading outside) George? You live next door to Matthews?
    Feeny: It's not something I brag about.

  • Our Miss Brooks: A notable example occurs in the episode "Miss Brooks Writes About a Hobo." The titular hobo calls himself "The Earl of Peoria." Miss Brooks responds by asking "How is the Princess Margaret-Rose?" The hobo introduces himself to Mrs. Davis. Mrs. Davis inquires "How is the Princess Margaret Rose?" Walter Denton appears, again asking "Then how's the Princess Margaret Rose?" Finally, Mr. Conklin is introduced to the hobo. He asks "Then how's the Duke of Edinburgh?" Mr. Conklin laughs at his own joke.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: The fight animation of "Deku vs. Asta" starts with contrasting Deku who analyzes how to beat his opponent and Asta who just tells himself that he "just gotta hit [Deku] really hard". As the fight reaches its climax, Deku ends up coming to the same conclusion on his own.
    Deku: No use not going all-out anymore. I just gotta hit him... really... hard!


    Web Original 
  • Season 2 of Noob has Omega Zell discover that elite player Fantöm is helping his guildmate Gaea level up. He correctly guesses that Gaea is blackmailing Fantöm into it, but gets asked what kind of blackmail she could be using. Among several ideas, he suggests that Gaea could be keeping Fantöm's cat hostage. In the Noob: La QuĂȘte LĂ©gendaire movie, which is Season 7 of the webseries narrative-wise, Gaea is once again suspected to be blackmailing another elite player by keeping his cat hostage, by a random unnamed player.

    Western Animation 
  • Rugrats:
    • The episode "Legend of Satchmo" has the babies scared of Sasquatch but mangling the name as Satchmo. When Stu finds them:
      Angelica: We were running from the Satchmo.
      Stu: Satchmo? The trumpet player?
      Angelica: No, the monster.
      Later, when Grandpa finds them:
      Stu: They were afraid of the Satchmo
      Grandpa: Satchmo? The trumpet player?
      Stu: No, the monster.
    • Also from "Angelica The Magnificent" when the babies think Lil was turned into a butterfly and ask her about it she says "You guys have been watching too many cartoons". When Angelica tries to tell her dad about what happened, Drew replies "Angelica, you've been watching too many cartoons".
  • The Weekenders has Lor deciding to set Tino up with a girl called Dot Cardigan "because she looks just like him, but a girl". When Tino sees a picture of her...
    Tino: "Hey, Dot Cardigan. She looks just like me, but a girl."
  • Kim Possible gives us one across multiple episodes, with Ron's parents dropping life altering revelations on him (moving to Norway, adopting a second child) at the last second with the line:
    "This is our way of telling you."
    • So, when it's time to reveal that his new baby sister is a "Super Ninja World Saver," he does it by letting them see her acrobat-ing around their living room and with the same line.
  • In Recess Gretchen plays a sped-up message over the intercom that comes out all squeaky. Vince says "it sounds like gerbils on helium". When we hear it played over the intercom...
    Principal: Uh-oh, the kindergartners must have given helium to the gerbils again.