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Nothing Is Funnier

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There's a lot to laugh about when a funny joke is told. It could be the wordplay, the delivery, the sheer amount of silly puns being thrown rapid-fire, or all manner of things. Jokes are funny, and are a great way to make people laugh.

Sometimes, however, the best comedy is something only the viewer can imagine. For instance, let's say there exists a location called "Big Tit Creek". Sure, you could go into detail, about how the creek was actually named after a large bird of the tit family, but wouldn't it be funnier to just let the viewer wonder "How DID the creek get that name?"


As Nothing Is Scarier refers to the concept of leaving the object of fear to the viewer to think about, this is leaving things to the imagination of the viewer when it comes to comedy because nothing you could come up with could be funnier than whatever outlandish scenario they thought up.

In short, the writer leaves out details, because of Rule of Funny.

Compare and contrast with Worse with Context. Related to Don't Explain the Joke. See also, Take Our Word for It.


Subtropes include:

  • Ambiguous Criminal History: A character is known to have committed a serious crime, but it's never explained.
  • Ambiguously Trained: The most probable reason why an Inexplicably Awesome character is like that is because he saw military service, but the story refuses to reveal it outright.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Some fights are funnier when left to the imagination.
  • Censored for Comedy: It's so disgusting you can only see vaguely what it looks like behind censor pixels.
  • Clingy Aquatic Life: A character gets out of the water, revealing that sea creatures got stuck to them or inside them somehow.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: You don't need to know what exotic words someone is using to imagine how bad (and funny) it is.
  • Inanimate Competitor: An inanimate object is involved in a competition somehow. Bonus points if they've apparently done something offscreen.
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  • Noodle Implements: A bunch of seemingly-outlandish requirements for a task are given, leaving the viewer to imagine their use.
  • Noodle Incident: A mysterious incident constantly referred to but never seen or explained.
  • Offscreen Crash: No writer could come up with a more chaotic scene than your imagination can.
  • Orphaned Punchline: When the end of a joke is told, and the beginning is left for the viewer to try and imagine.
  • Orphaned Setup: The beginning of a joke is told, but the punchline is left out.
  • Relax-o-Vision: Discretion Shot for the purpose of a gag.
  • Subverted Punchline: When a potential bit of wordplay is waved in the audiences' faces and then ignored.
  • That Poor Car: Some big accident happens offscreen, setting off a car alarm, or several car alarms.
  • That Poor Cat: Some big accident happens offscreen, and based on the yowl, a cat was involved somehow.
  • Undisclosed Funds: Take our word for it, this is a lot of money.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Something is apparently so unmentionable, the characters have to tell other characters (and the audience) that really, they don't want to know the specifics.


Comic Strips

  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Noodle Incident (as in, the Noodle Incident) never gets explained, though whenever someone mentions it, Calvin becomes furious. Watterson stated that he originally intended to explain it, but realized he couldn't make up anything quite as funny as what the readers would invent trying to figure it out.


  • The classic example from Three Men in a Boat is the scene where the hapless characters, who have embarked on an ill-advised and poorly planned boating holiday down the Thames, attempt to open a stubborn sealed can with a tree; the only details the author provides the reader with are the fact that a straw hat saved the life of one, while another escaped with only minor injuries. The humour comes from the way the author avoids describing exactly what happened and leaves it up to the reader to guess.

Western Animation


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