Follow TV Tropes


Overly-Long Gag

Go To

"The idea was to make the scene funny, then drag the joke out so it was no longer funny, then drag the joke out even longer to make it funny again."
— Writer Al Jean, on this scene from The Simpsons

A gag that goes excessively far and beyond a tolerable length. The concept is that something happens repeatedly, to the point of boredom. Then it keeps going, to the point where it, in theory, actually becomes funny again. Essentially, the sheer length of the gag becomes the gag. This is very difficult to pull off well ó there has to be the sense that the characters are themselves helpless to end the gag, and as exasperated as the audience.

Most uses of Broken Record might end up becoming this.

It's sort of like Crosses the Line Twice, but boring instead of offensive.

Compare Overly Long Name. Not to be confused with Overused Running Gag. May invoke the Repeat Cut. May be invoked by Rhyming List.

Contrast with Rapid-Fire Comedy, which is built on multiple jokes and gags with very short span and little or no setup.

Not to be confused with Overly long gag.

The serious version is Leave the Camera Running (or Ending Fatigue, if the prolongated section is the closure). An overly long gag with a lot of tension built up as an actual story is a "Shaggy Dog" Story. When Incredibly Long Note is played for laughs, it might reach this.

If the gag itself isn't overly long, but the distance between the setup and the payoff is, it's an Overly Preprepared Gag or Brick Joke.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 


  • This ad for Democratic Alaska Senator Mike Gravel's 2008 presidential campaign consists of him staring into the camera for seventy seconds, dropping a rock into a pond, and then walking away for the last eighty seconds. Another ad has him lighting a campfire, followed by seven consecutive minutes of footage of the fire.
  • This CareerBuilder ad from the 2009 Super Bowl. (The koala was the turning point between tedious and funny.)
  • This Viva Pinata ad (although one could argue it never reaches the "becomes funny because of being overly long" stage from being simply boring).
  • The commercial to the 3D King Kong attraction at Universal Studios where the kid screams nearly the entire time after a quick glimpse of Kong.
  • The FedEx commercial with AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Auto Repair, who really wanted the first listing in the phone book. The coworker suggests that they use FedEx to make their business more prominent. The boss says, "Great idea. You know, you've got a bright future here at AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-"
  • This commercial for Red Stripe beer.
  • MBS! MBS! M.B.S!
  • From the 2017 Super Bowl: BUSCHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
  • In the Atlanta area, there's a home improvement company whose ad campaign centers on a girl mispronouncing the company's name. It was cute when the girl was young enough to believably talk like that, but it dragged on for years, going from "cute" to "annoying" to "just stop it already!" Later ads tried to circle back around to "funny" with copious amounts of Lampshade Hanging, but with little success.

    Fan Works 
  • Crow, Servo and Joel's description of Swift's Cold-Blooded Torture in the MST treatment of Tom Swift and His War Tank. Justified in that it lasts as long as it takes for Mr Damon and Ned to realize that Tom Swift, inventor extraordinaire and tank engineer, may have possibly been kidnapped by the German spies they know full well are prowling around Shopton.
  • Calvin describing the maze he's set up in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series. Lampshaded:
    "... You may want to be taking notes."
  • The PONIES The Anthology II skit "Fallin' in Love" features the same clip done six times with different music before Monty Python tells them to "get on with it."
  • In The Unexpected Love Life of Dusk Shine, Dusk and Fluttershy go on a picnic together. This leads to 21 pages of awkward silence, represented by "..." repeated over 700 times, which continues for two hours after the two had finished eating.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic England's Amazing Cookbook, it's a RUNNING gag.
    "Being stuck in a hospital is soooo boring. I mean, very boring. Very, very, very, very...(cheese)...very, very, very, very (3+ screens of scrolling later)...very, very, very, boring."
  • When "Harry" gets hold of a Time-Turner in Thinking In Little Green Boxes, he spun and spun and spun and spun and spun and spun and the reader has to scroll past several pages of "and spun" to get on with the story.
  • In Powers of Invisibility, after Adrien tells Nino that he's Chat Noir, he starts dropping what should be fairly obvious hints at Ladybug's secret identity. Thanks to the glamour that protects Miraculous holders identities, (probably), Nino keeps missing the point until Adrien tell him straight out:
    Nino: Why didnít you just tell her (Alya) at the same time? Would have been so much more convenient.
    Adrien: (exchanging a glance with Juleka) Oh, Marinette wanted to be the one to tell her.
    Nino: Marinette knows too? Aw, come on, man. Why am I the last one?
    Adrien: Well, I had to ask Ladybug before I told anyone else.
    Nino: Yeah, I get that. But Iím better bros with you than Marinette.
    Adrien: (blinks, then looks at Juleka, who shrugs, before looking back at Nino) I had to ask Ladybug.
    Nino: Yeah, dude, you said. And then you told Marinette before telling me.
    Adrien: No, I told Ladybug.
    Nino: Dude, I heard you the first time. Ladybug, then Marinette, then me.
    Adrien: No, Nino- (facepalms, then turns to Juleka) I apologize for every conversation youíve ever had with me.
    Juleka: Apology accepted.
    Nino: What am I missing here?
    Adrien: I didnít tell Marinette my identity after telling Ladybug my identity.
    Nino: Wait, you told her first? Thatís messed up.
    Adrien: Oh my- I didnít tell her after, because Marinette found out when Ladybug did.
    Nino: (blinks, then narrows his eyes) Like… a joint reveal?
    Adrien: Nino, Marinette is Ladybug.
  • The Fix-It Script Fic series Once Upon a Time in Kingdom Hearts, a OUaT/KH crossover fic where Henry is the analogue to Sora, features an "arc" where Emma and Henry Time Travel to find a Dismantled MacGuffin they need in the present. Once there, Emma, sticking with her "Princess Leia" alias, opts to call Henry "Sora" (the In-Universe explanation being that his father was a Digimon fan); from then on, every single person they meet makes some comment on him having a girl's name.note  EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.
  • The Mandela Magazine: Partway through their phone conversation, Cesar's Alternate starts making "eeee" sounds at random, much to Mark's confusion. The two arguing about the source of the "eeee"s, along with Mark asking if Cesar is mocking him and the Alternate denying he's responsible while continuing to make the noise, carries on for a full minute.

    Films ó Animation 
  • The Three Caballeros: When singing the title song, Panchito hits an incredibly long note at the end, with Donald and José Carioca trying everything they can think of to shut him up.
  • Boogie has the Hot Pursuit scene where a fifteen-second stream of police vehicles chases after the titular character in a stolen cab.
  • Near the beginning of Megamind, a bit of witty banter between Metroman and Megamind eventually degenerates into them throwing tortured metaphors at each other.
  • Flushed Away gave us over one minute of Roddy landing crotch-first on various objects. And just when you think the gag is over...he gets hit with one more object.
  • The LEGO Movie has the scene where Emmet first meets Wyldstyle, and ends up Distracted by the Sexy: "I'm going to have to report yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy..." Also, there's an off-screen variation of the trope when Emmet falls through an abyss during the five minutes his friends are out saving the world.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: Emmet lets out a nearly thirty-second long gasp when he realizes that Wyldstyle was the lead singer of the pop band that recorded "Everything is Awesome".
  • In Big Hero 6, Baymax becomes curious when he sees tape, and inflates his arm to the point of popping three holes in it, to which he very slowly plugs the holes one by one.
  • Home (2015):
    • In the opening, the Boov in charge of the stadium messing with the stage height, much to Captain Smek's annoyance.
    • The back and forth between Oh and Smek, with Oh pleading that he won't screw up again and Smek arguing there's a chance that he might.
  • Zootopia has the entire scene at the Department of Mammal Vehicles. All the employees there are sloths who do everything very slowly, from stapling papers to typing to laughing at one of Nick's jokes.
  • In Over the Hedge, RJ the raccoon's description of the traps surrounding the suburban house. This sequence goes on for at least 30 seconds, which in cartoon time is forever.
    RJ: There are traps here, here, here, here...and here. And some here, here, here...and all over this area here.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story: Stubbs the clown's resignation. The Nostalgia Critic went through bursts of "SHUT UP!" halfway through (and for once, he wasn't extending the gag really was that long).
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma pretends to be a relative of Pacha. Just like the Dragon Ball example above, Pacha's son Tipo follows Yzma around the house, saying that Yzma couldn't possibly be his great-aunt, but she could be his "great-great-great-great-great...(and he goes on)"
    Yzma: All right! Are you through?
    Tipo: ...great-great-aunt.
  • Up:
    • Carl descending the staircase on his Stair Lift.
    • Russell getting dragged against the outside of Muntz's airship windshield.

  • There's a story by the brothers Grimm which goes like this: Hans goes to his girlfriend Gretel. Gretel gives Hans something. Hans goes home, transporting X in a way you shouldn't. His mother tells him how he should've done it better. Hans promises to do better next time. Next day, he visits Gretel again, this time he gets an Y and does with it as he should've done with X. Rinse and repeat.
  • John Hodgman's lists:
  • Cryptonomicon:
    • A page is dedicated to Randy Waterhouse thinking about his love of breakfast cereal and the creation of a spoon that would repeatably create the perfect bite, where the cereal is introduced to the milk at the very last moment. It humorously establishes how he sees the world.
    • Von Hacklheber's organisational chart of the German High Command.
  • Discworld:
  • In a parody book called The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo, Kaal interrupts Vagner's story to correct him on the pluralisation of the word "sheep". This leads to three and a half pages of argument on the subject.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there's a character whose entire existence is this, given that each of his incarnations is killed by the same man, unknowingly.
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer: When Johannes confronts the warlock Rufus Maleficarus, Rufus begins to cast a death curse whose incantation is so long that Johannes can deliver a four-paragraph "The Reason You Suck" Speech, retrieve his Hand Cannon from his suitcase, and shoot Rufus dead.
  • Lampshaded in the second book of The Malloreon where Silk continues to make complaints about having porridge for breakfast and enjoying any breakfast that isn't porridge...until Polgara suggests his incessant repetitiveness could be a sign of limited intelligence.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events book The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket warns the reader that you should "never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever..." [repeat until it fills up the entire page and creates a Wall of Text] "...fiddle around with electric devices. Never. Unless you happen to be Violet Baudelaire."
  • Snow Crash: The novel features a multi-page office memo of what remains of the United States government that admits the government doesn't have the budget to stock toilet paper in the bathrooms, warns employees against wiping their asses with low-denomination bills, and recommends the creation of a toilet paper fund.

  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, Magic Brian takes so goddamn long to actually die after being thrown into the pit that it quickly circles back around into being hilarious. He continues to monologue about how he's dying for almost two straight minutes before Taako finally casts Magic Missile at him again to finish him off (and shut him up).
  • In the second episode of Jemjammer the party gets ambushed by bandits. Cacophony has to rouse everyone from their sleep to fight back, and Jylliana spends a good five minutes waking up and gathering up her stuff. It almost lasts into the fight itself!

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 

  • The Goon Show used this trope repeatedly. No, the camera is not required. Several episodes used this, presented as a minute or more of dead silence "For the safety of the performers", footsteps, or Minie Banister's ramblings...
  • The very first episode of Hancock's Half Hour began with a character hitting the keys on a typewriter very slowly, until after a while Hancock interrupts and suggests that it would be quicker if he took off the boxing gloves.
  • Australian radio presenter Graeme Gilbert once suffered a ridiculously long series of prank callers, all giving the same nonsense answer ("India!") to his phone-in quiz questions.
  • Radio show and podcast Comedy Bang Bang features an overly long Renaissance-style musical introduction to the game "Would You Rather," with host Scott Aukerman admonishing any guests who try to speak over it to "shut the fuck up."
  • In one episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, during a dispute over the rules of Mornington Crescent, chairman Jack Dee decides to go and look them up. So we hear him leaving the studio, going down a corridor, opening a creaky door, thumping a book on a table, leafing through it, putting it back on the shelf, going back through the creaky door, up the corridor again, back to the studio (cue audience applause, suggesting he did actually leave for the sake of this) and announcing "It doesn't say."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun :
    • A published adventure for 3rd edition has a character who greets the party and advises them that "while on the premises it would be unwise to use any...", then lists everything offensive the party possess. Given how characters in this game tend to be the speech frequently fulfills this trope.
    • Another adventure had the reading of the president's last will and testament. Given that the president was a millennia-old dragon, even though it's hilarious, it's almost impossible to read all in one sitting just from raw length.
  • This article by Mark Rosewater, lead designer of Magic: The Gathering. In fact, he spells it out.

    Theme Parks 
  • The beginning of Universal Studios' Horror Make-Up Show has one of the hosts coming on stage "dying" from being impaled in the heart. Their "death" goes on for a while, with them dying a slow death as they constantly scream to the point of sounding bored and spend a large portion of time specifically asking one person in the audience for help.
  • The Disneyland California stage show of Aladdin featured Genie doing this in the last performance. Normally, when Jafar gets the lamp, Genie just makes one or two jokes before moving on to granting his wishes. For the last performance he goes on and on, making jokes about past masters and comparing Jafar to other Disney villains (and even Darth Vader!) Part of the gag is Jafar's increasingly frustrated expression and Big "NO!" when Genie asks him "are we done here?"

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Damon Gant bursts out into manic laughter when you out him as trying to frame Ema Skye for murder. And prove he killed a prosecutor. And a detective. Even better is his stare, which he does quite often. It lasts for so long, one would think their game had frozen if it wasn't for his occasional blinking.
    • Trials and Tribulations has Furio Tigre's scream of rage when you first meet him at the park: [GWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA] [AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA] (for about seven boxes of text) [AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA] [AR!]

  • The Department of Redundancy Department.
  • Every trope with an entry on Major Alex Louis Armstrong has THIS TROPE HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG LINE FOR GENERATIONS in it. Every. Single. One.
  • The Grappling-Hook Pistol page contains an entry about Batman in every entry.
  • Egregious use of the word "egregious". See Author Vocabulary Calendar for a really egregious example (that's three sips in a single line, BTW).
  • The page for Loads and Loads of Loading.
  • The article on Strike Witches used to mention the fact that they weren't wearing any pants more or less every entry, until the Genre Shift of the show itself prompted deletion.
  • The Filler example on the page for American Idol used to be duplicated on the page, including such trope entries as "More Filler" and "Engaging Chevrons, just to break up the monotony of the Filler", to mock Idol's constant usage of it.
  • On the page for Seattle, "Filmed in Vancouver."
  • The entry for Monty Python on this very page used to be so much, much longer, having been reduced to a shameless parroting of favorite lines from various sketches or the movies.
  • The page for Rozen Maiden has every trope example ending in desu to demonstrate Suiseiseki...and /b/'s constant Memetic Mutation of it.
  • Several profanity tropes overuse their respective curses; This Is for Emphasis, Bitch! uses the word "Bitch" after every sentence and header (Bitch), Cluster F-Bomb is covered in profanity (though not as much as it should), and Symbol Swearing has, well, symbol swearing in every sentence and header.
  • The article about Candle Jack, where sentences don't complete. Remember what was said about 'losing' its entertainment value? Seriously, it gets really old really fa
  • Remember kids: On the How Not to Write an Example page, always be sure to add an entry saying how one should always duplicate examples in case someone missed it.
  • The pages describing the Final Fantasy games use increasingly ludicrous adjectives to describe the popularity of the series with each numerically subsequent game.
  • The Better Than It Sounds entries of The Legend of Zelda consist of two parts: The actual description of the game and a convoluted explanation of where the game falls in the Continuity Snarl that is its timeline.
  • Canada, Eh? has every sentence ending in "eh", eh?
  • No real life examples, please.
  • Many, many examples of Memetic Mutation.
  • The beautiful useful notes: Brazil page has a beautiful example of this with the beautiful word, "beautiful".
  • The entry for the Flash Gordon movie (which had a soundtrack by Queen) would like to remind you that the movie had a soundtrack done by Queen.
  • The entry for the Doctor Who serial (of Rassilon) The Five Doctors (of Rassilon) made sure (until clarity [of Rassilon] became compromised) that every trope (of Rassilon) was a Trope of Rassilon. Now the tradition (of Rassilon) and gag (of Rassilon) has been moved to the article (of Rassilon).
  • The jokes about zombies in the comments section of this Mushroom Go page. The jokes start about halfway down the page and keep going.
  • In the (now deleted) Headscratchers page describing "School", someone asked "Why do kids hate school? Can anyone give me some legit responses." After someone gave a bunch of responses... someone else responded to every single point, often repeating "Learn to box". This prompted somebody else to respond to every "Learn to box" comment with "You get expelled for that."
  • The intros for Characters pages for Negima! Magister Negi Magi, when read in sequence, walk the reader through a no-frills meal, starting with a not-too-unusual "get a sandwich, this may take a while" gag, and continuing through three more courses (another sandwich, an enchilada, and desert), beverage, intermission snack, and toothpick.
  • Zendaya has gone from the name of a singer to a tired joke that has shown up in every Marvel affiliated WMG page, as well as random pages unconnected to Marvel at all. This is most often done by suggesting that a character will be played by her (Especially if the character is a man).

Alternative Title(s): Keeps Going And Going


The Signal

Atop of the Sarlacc Pit, Luke instigates the signal for the escape plan, which is passed around by everyone numerous times until they begin.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / OverlyLongGag

Media sources: