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"Shaggy Frog" Story

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"It's just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns. And also he got a racecar. Is any of this getting through to you?"
Fry, Futurama, "My Three Suns"

When a character tries to recount an anecdote or tell a story, usually related to the situation their friends are experiencing, they will get carried away with unnecessary exposition and go off in absurd and comedic tangents. By the time they have reached the ending, the intended moral or theme of the story is lost.

The Cloudcuckoolander is often prone to this, as are talkative old men. May overlap with No Sense of Humor.

Compare Metaphorgotten, Ice-Cream Koan, Disorganized Outline Speech. Also compare Fractured Fairy Tale, in which it's due to the author's deliberation, and Sidetracked by the Analogy, when it's the listener who takes the meaning of the story off its course.

Contrast "Shaggy Dog" Story, where the story does go somewhere— it's just not impressive once it does.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In PandoraHearts Retrace LXXVII, Echo tries to tell one of these to an emotionally fragile Oz in order to cheer him up while he's locked up in Pandora's dungeon, awaiting execution at the hands of the Baskervilles. It works because Echo forgets the ending of the story, as it reminds Oz of something Gil would have done. From what we get of the story, it was definitely already this trope with or without an ending:
    Once upon a time, there was a peasant who had a friend who had just been married. The married couple lived happily in a vacant house in the village. One day while he was going to work, the peasant saw the couple coming towards him, walking on their hands and holding vegetables in their mouths. Surprised, the peasant asked them what they were doing. The couple replied, "Of course..."
  • Fairy Tail: Natsu tries explaining to Gajeel why he shouldn't be surprised that Lucy can put up a fight:
    Natsu: You've never heard the story of "The Tortoise and the Cheerleader"?
    Gajeel: It was a hare, you moron! And the dumb bunny lost, remember?
    Natsu: Duh, the first time! Then it won the next hundred races, hands down!
    Gajeel: Oh... uh... really. I guess that speedy varmint learned his lesson.
  • Osomatsu-san's take on the Honest Axe trope follows as such: Jyushimatsu drops his fishing pole into the river. Choromatsu, posing as a water spirit, asks him which of two statues of Asura he dropped. When he answers neither, he gets none of the items, and Choromatsu instead rewards him with a small man to be used as a family heirloom.

     Comic Books 
  • Played for drama in Gravity Falls: Lost Legends: In "Face It", it's revealed Pacifica's abusive mother drilled into her head from a young age that looks were everything, including telling her a version of The Ugly Duckling where the duckling grew up alone and miserable instead of learning he was a swan.

    Fan Works 
  • Invoked by Cross in This Bites! when Ms. Valentines Day demands to know the source of his world-shaking knowledge, and he ends his explanation with the American Civil War.
    Cross: ...And so, while the Civil War didn't start out over slavery, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made it about slavery. Make Sense?
    Valentine: Hm... yeah, when you put it that way, I understand perfectly. Just one question, however... WHAT DID ANY OF THAT HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR UNHOLY KNOWLEDGE!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The climax of Billy Madison has the eponymous character trying to compare the changes in literature brought on by the Industrial Revolution with a children's story called "The Puppy Who Lost His Way". We never get to hear most of it but what is heard appears to be pretty impressively mangled.
    "Mr. Madison, what you've just said... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
  • Leslie Nielsen's characters are prone to doing this in films such as The Naked Gun and Spy Hard. At one point in the former he has a narration that wanders along for a bit as he walks along the street, and by the end of it, he's walked completely out of town and doesn't know where he is.
  • A lampshaded example in Grumpier Old Men, Grandpa Gustafson (Burgess Meredith, in his final role) tells his son John (Jack Lemmon) about his daily dietary habits, which involve waking up with a cigarette and then eating copious amounts of bacon for every meal. Despite his habits, he's managed to outlive multiple doctors who've told him that it's a medical miracle that he didn't died thirty years ago, with his only justification being that "God forgot about me" before he shrugs it off and says "Well, it just goes to show you." John points out that ending a story with this implies that there's a moral, but Grandpa says there wasn't a point, he just liked telling that story.
  • In Major Payne, the eponymous character is a Veteran Instructor at a Military School. In an attempt to inspire a student, he tells the story of "The Little Engine that Could"... but before he gets far, his Vietnam flashbacks kick in and the tale rapidly devolves into a vivid war story full of gore, explosions and ripped-off limbs. Stopped before he gets to the end, he later uses the threat of telling the tale again to discipline the students.
    Major Payne: Once upon a time, deep deep in the jungle...There was a little engine that could. He was chugging his way across the enemy line, "chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga, toot toot!" This little engines' mission was to take some AK-47's and a nuclear payload over the mountain to the 2063 Battalion! Needless to say, there was plenty of opposition! You think that stopped the little engine that could? No siree bob! He just kept chugging along, "chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga, toot toot!" Not even when they climbed aboard the train, and popped out the eyes of the conductor, and blood and snot was drippin' out of his eye sockets! Think that stopped the engine that could? Damn skippy, he just kept chuggin along..."chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga, toot toot!" Wasn't until...Charlie rigged the bridge with plastic explosives as the little engine was making his way across the trestle...BOOM! An explosion happened, and blood, and guts, and spit, and ass was everywhere! Bubba come crawling out the back door...both legs missing! Lula May's baby boy, and he looked up and me and he said, 'Payne...I can't feel my legs!' And I said, 'Bubba, they ain't there!' And I looked down and them little bloody nubs was kickin real fast like this here!'. And I said, 'Bubba, its 30 miles to the nearest town, and unless you can flip upside down and walk on your hands you ain't gonna make it!' All of the sudden, Charlie was all over the place! Just me and my sidearm, and I had no other alternative, but to blast my way out! 'AHHHHHHHHHHH!!' Die, pigs, die! YOU'LL NEVER TAKE MAJOR BENSON WINNIFORD PAYNE ALIVE!!
  • In the Italian movie "Così è la vita" (That's Life) from the comedic trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, Aldo plays a convict on the run and manages to get a date with a misterious girl (Marina Massironi) while he's still at large. To impress her, his two hostages-turned-friends Giovanni and Giacomo suggests him to tell the lion and gazelle story ("It doesn't matter if you're a lion or gazelle, you'd better be running"). Which may be A LITTLE TOO MUCH to remember for Aldo's stressed character. Here's the hilariously deranged result as he tries to get it right:
    "Every morning, in Africa, when sun rises, a gazelle dies. [pause] Wakes up, already dead. Maybe she wasn't feeling well the day before, so... [Giovanni and Giacomo gives him dumbfounded looks from another table] Anyway, also in Africa, every morning, when the sun rises, a lion wakes up and starts running to avoid ending like the gazelle that died the day before. Then, while running, he crosses path with the dead gazelle and says to himself 'why am i running? Might as well stop there and take a bite.' [Giovanni and Giacomo are even more appalled] Anyway, what's my point? [visibly confused] It doesn't matter... if you're an armadillo... or a peacock... What's important is... if you die let me know in advance.

  • Discworld:
    • Granny Weatherwax tries to tell the joke about the man who orders an alligator sandwich and says "and make it snappy!" but she can't remember the punchline, so she keeps coming up with things like "And I want it quickly!" It's explained at some point that, while she's not entirely missing a sense of humour, she tends not to understand why a certain joke is funny. In this case, she's simply repeating one she's heard, and doesn't understand why no-one laughs when she tells it.
    • Pyramids has the Greatest Storyteller in the World, who is unfortunately hampered by a bad memory and short attention span, so all his stories turn into this.
  • Woody Allen uses this a couple of times in his humorous "The Early Essays".
    • On Seeing a Tree in Summer: "Once a lumberjack was about to chop down a tree, when he noticed a heart carved in it, with two names inside. Putting away his axe, he sawed down the tree instead. The point of that story escapes me, although six months later the lumberjack was fined for teaching a dwarf Roman numerals."
    • On Frugality: "Take the case of the ant and the grasshopper: The grasshopper played all summer, while the ant worked and saved. When winter came, the grasshopper had nothing, but the ant complained of chest pains. Life is hard for insects. And don't think mice are having any fun, either. The point is, we all need a nest egg to fall back on, but not while wearing a good suit."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stargate SG-1: There's this example from Col. O'Neill: "Haven't you guys heard the story about the dog and the dancing monkeys? It's about getting along and... dancing." This a throwback to an earlier exchange between O'Neill and an old man who likes using proverbs and fables. The exchange is peppered with this.
    Old Man: No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust them.
    Jack: Don't judge a book by its cover.
    Old Man: Enemies' promises were made to be broken.
    Jack: And yet, honesty is the best policy.
    Old Man: He who has too many friends has none.
    Jack: Ahh, but, birds of a feather.
    Old Man: I'm unfamiliar with that story, what lesson does it teach?
    Jack: It has to do with flocking, and togetherness, and to be honest I'm not so familiar with the particulars myself.
  • The Upright Citizens Brigade' episode "The Story of the Toad", about the titular toad who left bread crumbs in the forest so he could find his way back … and then runs into one of his friends, Harry the Hornless Unicorn.
  • From almost every episode of Home Improvement: Tim has a problem. Tim receives wise advice from Wilson. Tim tries to share Wilson's wise advice with others, mangling it into incomprehensibility in the process.
    Wilson: You know Tim, there's an old folk saying. Obsessions are like fire and water. Good servants, but bad masters.
    Tim: It's like Bat Masterson said. You can't get obsessed the way old people drive through water, if their servants are on fire.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson will tell a story allegedly to illustrate a point that ends up merely highlighting his sexual prowess.
  • As with the above example, Will's boss Ben Doucette on Will & Grace tells him a story about a passionate sexual encounter on the beach. When Will asks him what his point is, he answers, "No point, I just like telling that story. Now get back to work and stop listening to pointless stories."
  • The Golden Girls: All of Rose's St. Olaf stories, or when Sophia talked about her life in Sicily.
  • In an episode of Just Shoot Me!, Finch goes into great detail when explaining how he pranked Maya. This is relevant to the episode, but then Finch throws in the part about how he played Twister with supermodels while the others were out.
    Elliot: Why are you telling us that part?
    Finch: Dude, I'm telling everybody that part.
  • Mr. James from NewsRadio is fond of these. For example: "There's a saying, 'I cried because I had no desk, until I met a man who had no feet, and the no feet guy explained there was no such thing as a budget and WNYX was way, way over it, uh, the end.' Did you ever hear that story?"
  • El Chapulín Colorado: Trying to discourage a boy from his habit of telling lies, Chapulin says the kid might end up like the boy from "Peter and the Wolf". After the boy says he doesn't know the story, Chapulin, who doesn't know it either, makes up one on the spot about a wolf that liked to tell lies to the point that, when he met the three little pigs, he claimed to be Little Red Riding Hood. In the end, he forgets to include Peter in his version and, when called out for this, he says Peter wrote the tale.
  • This was the shtick of Saturday Night Live character Roseanne Roseannadanna. She would answer a letter about a current topic, which would inevitably lead to an anecdote about meeting a celebrity doing something gross. When asked what does that have to do with the topic at hand, Roseannnadanna would respond with the Catchphrase "It just goes to show, it's always something."

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Albuquerque" and "Everything you Know is Wrong". "Albuquerque" is definitely an example, but "Everything You Know Is Wrong" probably wasn't going anywhere in the first place.
  • The children's song "Little Bunny Foo-Foo" is about a rabbit who picks on a group of field mice. A fairy gives him three chances to mend his ways, but he never does. He ends up being turned into a goon, and "the moral of the story is: hare today, goon tomorrow!"

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show once did a reading on the Aesop of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Only in this version, when winter fell, the grasshopper drove his sports car to Florida and the ant got stepped on. The reader, Sam the Eagle, responds accordingly once he realizes what he's read.

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: One Storyteller's sketch has him asked for a story involving the phrase "that robot weasel might just be Prince Albert". He tells a story about Queen Victoria's brain, and robot hedgehogs, only at the end to realise he misheard the question.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In the episode "Friday The Thirteenth", Mrs. Davis tries to assure Miss Brooks her troubles with Mr. Conklin are merely psychological. Mrs. Davis relates how her brother Victor was afraid to enter a yard because of a dog that was always barking. Victor went to a psychiatrist who told him that the only reason the dog was barking was because the dog was afraid Victor would kick him....
    Mrs. Davis: After a couple months with the psychiatrist, my brother went right into that dog's yard and they stayed there together for over an hour.
    Miss Brooks: Really, what did they do?
    Mrs. Davis: They just stood around, biting and kicking each other. Luckily, a policeman came by and stopped it.
    Miss Brooks: Yes, that was fortunate. Your brother couldn't have taken much more of that kicking.

  • From Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore:
    Mad Margaret: You pity me? Then be my mother! The squirrel had a mother, but she drank and the squirrel fled! Hush! They sing a brave song in these parts — it runs somewhat thus: [sings]
    The cat and the dog and the little puppee
    Sat down in a — down in a — in a —

    I forget what they sat down in, but so the song goes!

    Video Games 
  • Deadly Rooms of Death There a man in The City Beneath who you find just after he finishes nailing every chair in the Rooted Empire to the floor. When asked to explain, he starts to go off on a long rambling story about a cheesemonger who was distracted by something a gossiper had said. Allegedly, it would all make sense if he actually got to finish, but Beethro gets bored and cuts him off, leaving it as a Noodle Incident.
  • In Double Homework, Henry attempts to recount what he was told about planning the protagonist’s “appreciation party.” He tries to start from his birth date... and then, from when he got his first email account. The protagonist defies this, however, and gets the real and relevant story out of his friend.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Soldier has a memorable one in "Meet the Soldier"
    "'If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight!' Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it! And then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor! Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on Earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the CRAP out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! [...] Unless it's a farm!"
  • In Betrayal at Krondor, the book Thiful's Bird Migrations starts with a discussion on birds, but since the author simply cannot keep on topic, it becomes the only book to provide bonuses to every skill in the game.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, most of what Grandpa Sea Monkee has to say is some variation of this.
    • The wizard Fernswarthy's letter to his future grave-robber starts out with threats of a terrible curse for desecrating his grave, segues into a discussion about the merits of a career in chartered accountancy, segues again into a letter to an unnamed friend in the Distant Lands, and ends up as a shopping list. The curse also fails to work properly. Fernswarthy wasn't all there in his old age.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Otacon takes over as Snake's Voice with an Internet Connection, and takes all the roles of Snake's former team. However, he does not that great of a job imitating Mei-Ling's quoting of Chinese proverbs. Call him enough and Mei-Ling hijacks his feed to tell him to shut up.
    Otacon: Remember the Deep family's fish, Snake!
  • Poker Night at the Inventory sees Tycho asking Max where he learned to play cards. Max starts recounting an adventure in Atlantic City, but by the time he finishes the anecdote he's forgotten there was a question he was supposed to answer.
  • A Dummied Out line from Cave Johnson in Portal 2 has Cave bring up the story of "The Frog and the Scorpion" - but he's gotten it mixed up with the saying "I say jump, you say how high", and he's inverted it to "When I say ‘jump’ I don’t want to hear ‘how high?’ That means you’re not jumping!"
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc's Yasuhiro Hagakure starts a story intending to show how his fortune-telling is different from 'occult' matters, and ends up explaining how aliens proved his 'all-beef' hamburger was 70% pork. Nobody else could follow it, either.
  • Deponia. The entire game. Both the opening and closing songs establish that the whole thing's being told by the singing narrator to explain why he shouldn't have to do chores... but in the closing song, he admits he doesn't really understand how it establishes this and claims the moral is that "The chorus guys rule."

    Web Comics 
  • This production diary chronicles the making of the Ernest et Célestine movie, Didier Brunner is commonly depicted as starting off long winded stories that meander to some very strange places, bonus points for the man being drawn as an actual frog!
    Person meeting Didier for the first time: Is he always like this?
    Person who knows Didier: Yes.
  • xkcd
    • What happens if a math professor starts dozing off while reading fairy tales:
      "But while the ant gathered food... zzz... the grasshopper contracted to a point on a manifold that was not a 3-sphere."
    • "Short Selling": An analogy used to explain shorting stocks starts with "It's like when you promise your firstborn to a witch for five magic beans." You can probably guess this isn't going to be a very clear or helpful analogy.
  • Paranatural:
    • Johnny gives Max this sage advice:
      Johnny: Listen, we're not so different, you n' me. Like, our faces are very similar.... Point is Max, we live in a world of similar things. Lots of stuff is the same as other stuff.... I forgot where I was going with this but the takeaway is your parents don't love each other.
    • More recently:
      Isabel: Max, one of these days you're going to cry wolf, and there won't be a wolf, and then you'll be sorry.
      Max: Yes Isabel, that's exactly how that fable goes.
  • Crystal from The Order of the Stick gives one of these to Haley in "Don't Split the Party":
    Crystal: It's like the old joke goes: I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun the early bird that catches the tiger by the tail.

    Web Original 
  • Given his style of speech, Let's Player raocow has many of his stories turn into these, as whatever he started out talking about will slowly morph into something completely unrelated and somewhat incoherent.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In episode "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie", Homer tries explaining to Bart why his punishment is for his own good.
      Homer: You know, when I was a boy, I really wanted a catcher's mitt, but my dad wouldn't get it for me. So I held my breath until I passed out and banged my head on the coffee table. [cheerily] The doctor thought I might have brain damage.
      Bart: Dad, what's the point of this story?
      Homer: I like stories.
    • In a similar vein, in the episode "Marge Be Not Proud", Homer is attempting to explain to Bart why he can't have the video game he covets.
      Homer: When I was your age, I wanted an electric football game more than anything in the world. And my parents bought it for me, and it was the happiest day of my life. Well, good night!
    • Homer had a few actually, including this one from "Homer the Heretic":
      Homer: Kids, let me tell you about another so-called wicked guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas. He didn't always do what other people thought was right. And that man's name was... I forget. But the point is... I forget that, too. Marge, you know what I'm talking about. He used to drive that blue car?
    • Pretty much everything Grandpa Simpson says, including one time he deliberately invoked this:
      Grandpa Simpson: We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
    • And then there's Reverend Lovejoy's sermon following Homer's supposed alien encounter:
      Reverend Lovejoy: I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens. He came in peace, and then died, only to come back to life. And his name was... E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. [sniffs] I love that little guy...
    • When convincing Bart to donate blood to Mr. Burns in hope of a reward, Homer ends up telling a rambling, confused story that seems to be a mix of Hercules' defeat of the Nemean Lion, Androcles' Lion and King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, which ultimately doesn't clarify a darn thing:
      Homer: Don't you know the story of Hercules and the lion?
      Bart: Is it a Bible story?
      Homer: Yeah, probably. Anyway, once upon a time, there was a big mean lion, who got a thorn in his paw. All the village people tried to pull it out, but nobody was strong enough! So, they got Hercules, and Hercules used his mighty strength, and bingo! Anyway, the moral is the lion was so happy, he gave Hercules this big... thing... of riches.
      Bart: How did a lion get rich?
      Homer: It was the olden days!
    • In "Homer to the Max", Abe explains to Homer that he shouldn't have changed his name with a Lineage Ladder:
      Abe: Wait a minute! The family name is my legacy to you! I got it from my father, and he got it from his father. And he traded a mule for it. And that mule went on to save spring break.
  • Done hilariously in Freakazoid!.
    "I saw this once on an after-school special. Mary and Sally, best friends! They did absolutely everything together. Then one day, Mary fell in with the wrong crowd. And Mary didn't have time for Sally anymore. Sally would say, 'Wanna go play a game or pretend we're kitties?' and Mary would say 'Uh-uh, I'm in with the wrong crowd.' Sally was so sad she ran home, climbed up a tree and started eating cookies. A ton of cookies. She got huge, HUGE, HUGE, HUGE!... got any cookies, Mike?"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • This absolute gem in "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Movie". When SpongeBob despairs about his lack of movie-making skills, Mermaid Man tries to cheer him up thusly:
      Mermaid Man: Listen kid, this reminds me of Episode 902. We were surrounded. The Kelp Thing was to our right, and there was broccoli on the side. But if there's one thing I remember, it's how to forget! The rain in Spain stays mainly on the... SPACE! The final countdown. Skip to the... skip to the... loo, my darling! Loo! [dramatically collapses in SpongeBob's arms] Now get out there, and let's finish this movie, kid.
    • "Something Smells": In this episode, Spongebob becomes convinced he's extremely ugly due to everyone avoiding him, not being aware that the reason for their aversion is the fact he actually had really bad breath that day. Patrick (who, not having a nose, is completely unaware of Spongebob's bad breath), attempts to make Spongebob feel better:
      Patrick: Maybe a story will cheer you up. It's called "The Ugly Barnacle". Once there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died. The end.
      SpongeBob: That didn't help at all!
  • Happened more than once on Futurama, mostly through the... wisdom of Fry, as the page quote brilliantly demonstrates.
  • American Dad!:
    • From "White Rice":
      Francine: Are you sure about all this?
      Roger: Remember when Rudy from The Cosby Show got old and stopped being cute? I brought them Raven-Symone! Saw her on a Philadephia playground and knew she was a star, snatched her right up! Six months later, her parents saw her on TV and realized she was still alive... did some time for that. So, you ask, am I sure about this? I dunno.
    • When Stan makes an offhanded reference to Ghostbusters, Roger angrily responds with a story:
      Roger: How dare you quote Ghostbusters to me! I wrote a movie called "Rump Busters" and threw it at a guy on the bus who looked like Harold Ramis. Two weeks later, Ghostbusters came out. Coincidence? Absolutely!
    • Roger attempts to reassure Stan that he's the perfect person to manage Stan's new restaurant:
      Roger: Trust me, I know the restaurant business. I managed a Hardees down in Myrtle Beach for three years. Everybody called it "Party Hardees" because of the butt-load of drugs I was moving through there. I was "sick" the day of the raid—got tipped off by this detective whose daughter I saved from drowning. But I can't go back there, he won't look the other way again.
  • Mater's Tall Tales is, as it suggests, Mater telling stories about how he supposedly met aliens, was a firetruck and a matador, amongst other things. Hilariously, around half-way through each retelling;
    Lightning McQueen: I'm pretty sure that didn't happen!
    Mater: Sure it did! You was there too!
    [scene instantly depicts Lightning in the story, regardless of how bizarre the appearance; Lightning is usually screaming and requires Mater to save him]
  • On Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Meatwad attempts to explain why they need a new TV.
    Meatwad: How else am I gonna face the day? I ain't got no job, my wife left me, bills pilin' up, I got child support payments, and I don't know if any of what I just said is true, but I believe it.
    Master Shake: He is right.
  • Kaeloo: In one episode, Kaeloo tries to give a speech on equality in the style of "I Had A Dream":
    Kaeloo: I had a dream last night. And I dreamt that... that... that's funny, I can't remember my dream.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Transformation," Gumball tries to settle the Fitzgerald family's differences by telling a long sequence of Nested Shaggy Frog stories. Strangely, it works, as the Fitzgeralds see the pointless stories as a symbol for their mindless squabbles.
    Gumball: Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a castle far, far away lived a king, who was irrationally scared of the world outside. So he decided to close the doors of their castle. Forever. But closing the doors was not enough. The king made everyone wear a suit of armor. It was impractical, but they got used to it. Apart from one person: the Princess, who one day, came out of her armor, and she was beautiful. The king was upset she ditched her armor, but the Princess wanted everyone else to ditch theirs, too, and be themselves. So she invited an impossibly handsome prince to solve the problem. The Prince gave his answer... in the form of a story. Once upon a time, there was a family of cocoons living happily on a tree branch...
  • The Looney Tunes Show: When Bugs asks Lola how she broke her leg, she goes into a long story about trying to save a baby, while going through several dangerous events, where she could've broken her leg, but didn't. In fact, that wasn't even how she broke her leg. She just fractured it, trying to get up on the doctor's table.
  • One of the more classic Looney Tunes episodes, "Foney Fables", plays on an alteration of the The Grasshopper and the Ants; initially, it seems to play the fable straight, showing the Ant diligently stocking up for winter while the Grasshopper lounges nearby, but when the Ant chides him for not preparing, the Grasshopper reveals that he did prepare—by buying War Bonds!
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: When out hunting the Retroville Lake Monster, Captain Betty is asked how he got his name. He tells them a chilling tale about a shipment of sea monkeys got attacked by the monster and ate up all of the sea monkeys. He ends it with a happy "And that's why they call me Betty!"
    Carl: Okay, I think I missed something.
    Sheen: What's your problem? He couldn't have been more clearer.


Video Example(s):


How Lola Broke Her Leg

Bugs asks Lola how she broke her leg, and she goes into a long story about trying to save a baby, while going through several dangerous events, where she could've broken her leg, but didn't. In fact, that wasn't even how she broke her leg. She just fractured it, trying to get up on the doctor's table.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShaggyFrogStory

Media sources: