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What's a Henway?

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Daffy: Nut Season? What's that supposed to be?
Bugs: Unfortunately, it's that time of year where I finally get ligma.
Daffy: What the hell is ligma?
Bugs: Ligma nuts!

About 2-3 pounds! Duh!

A "henway" is a type of joke where the first person in a conversation uses a term in a way that leads the other person to respond with "what's <term>?" The first person then replies with the punchline (often a pun, although it doesn't have to be).

Some of the most common henway terms are "<noun>way," note  "<noun>fore," note  "<noun>do," note  "Greek urn" note  and "yoors" or "yaws." note 

Also known as a "Pun Trap". The best way to subvert the standard form if someone tries it on you in Real Life is to ask "What's that?" note 

A favourite of the Pungeon Master, and of anyone else who has had a bit too much snoo or updog lately.

A common subversion is for the victim to ask about the part of the question that's expected to be common knowledge ("So sad that Steve Jobs died of ligma." "Who's Steve Jobs?") though it's a toss-up whether the jokester will even notice the deviation or just deliver the punchline anyway.

Just about any "Knock Knock" Joke is a Henway.

Compare Mathematician's Answer, Not Actually the Ultimate Question, Rhetorical Question Blunder, Who's on First?. If you do this all by yourself, it's a Feghoot. A Real Joke Name can be an inversion if the person's name sounds like it's a setup for this trope.


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  • In this ad, Fozzie Bear recycles bottles, cans, paper and snoo. Then he lampshades the trope at the end.

    Anime & Manga 
  • From the dub of Wandaba Style:
    Ichirin: Dr. Tsukumo!
    Susumu: What is it, Ichirin?
    Ichirin: [camera reveals he has a TV with him] It's a television. Now look at it!

    Comic Strips 
  • An installment of Art Sansom's The Born Loser has Brutus Thornapple trying teach his son Wilburforce some basic math.
    Brutus: Here are six pieces of fruit. Four apples and two avocados. If I take the avocados away, what's the difference?
    Wilburforce: That's what I say. I hate avocados.
  • In one Pearls Before Swine strip, Pig asks his neighbor Bob what is his net worth. Bob then holds it up and says "Maybe ten bucks".
    Goat: (To Stephan Pastis) You shouldn't get paid for this.

    Comic Books 
  • Lampshaded in one Josie and the Pussycats story; Alex Cabot III is kidnapped and held for ransom while the band is at a gig in Greece. As part of the ransom, the payment has to be delivered in an urn. The girls go to a shop, and once they are given one by the shopkeeper...
    Clerk: And if you say, "What's a Grecian urn" there will be war between our countries!!
    Melody: [confused] But, I wasn't...
  • One strip of Thrud the Barbarian had the central character (recast against type as a Renaissance fop) taking a barstool in ye medieval tavern and saying to the next guy along:
    Thrud: I say, my fellow — have you done your chores?
    Next Guy: Eh? What chores?
    Thrud: Mine's a pint — cheers!
  • Batman uses the Henway joke in order to defeat a telepathic cyclops in Batman Odyssey.
  • In The Cartoon History of the Universe, during the chapter on the origins of Judaism, mention is made of King Solomon's meeting with Hiram, king of the "sophisticated seaport" of Tyre:
    Solomon: You Hiram?
    Hiram: And I fire 'em! Haw haw haw!
    Solomon: Did someone say "sophisticated"?

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • The Lion King (1994):
    Pumbaa: Hakuna Matata is our motto.
    Simba: What's a motto?
    Timon: Nothing! What's-a motto with you?
  • Another example comes in one of the short series, Around the World with Timon and Pumbaa.
    Timon: (holding up an empty coat-hanger) Here, hold this sarong.
    Pumbaa: What sarong?
    Timon: Nothing, what's-a wrong with you?
  • In Rango, the townsfolk explore a cave that one character explains is a dried-up aquifer, which leads to the exchange:
    "What's an aquifer?"
    "Well... it's fer aqua!"
  • In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the Mole, a mercenary working for La Résistance, checks off what the boys needed to get for him:
    Mole: Did you get ze mirror?
    Stan: Got it.
    Mole: And ze rope?
    Stan: Check.
    Mole: And ze buttfor?
    Kyle: What's a buttfor?
    Mole: For pooping, silly. (lights and drags on a smoke, presumably celebrating a well-laid trap)
  • Chicken Run:
    Mr. Tweedy: (being attacked) Mrs. Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!
    Mrs. Tweedy: (not looking) Finally, something we agree on.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2:
    Brent: Dr. Manny, this is delicious!
    Manny: I call it Manny's gorilla stew.
    Brent: So how do you make a gorilla stew?
    Manny: You keep it waiting for two hours.
  • From Yellow Submarine, as Old Fred and Ringo walk past a room full of displays:
    Old Fred: Say, what would your friends be doing here?
    Ringo: Displayin'.
    Old Fred: Displayin' what?
    Ringo: Displayin' around.
  • Hercules has a reference to one of the more well-known ones: "He could tell you what's a Grecian earn!"
  • Moana: At one point Moana asks Maui what the tattoo on his back means. Maui, who's not in a good mood (especially since the tattoo in question represents his parents abandoning him to the sea as a baby), replies it represents man's discovery of "nunya".
    Moana: What's "nunya"?
    Maui: Nunya business!
  • Free Birds: When the guards at the top secret facility see Reggie and Jake's break-in.
    Guard: Control, we have a contaminant.
    Control: Copy that, what type, Agent?
    Guard: Turkey, sir.
    Control: That is very weird, Agent.
    Guard: How do we address it?
    Control: Uh, with cranberry sauce.
    Both: ...hehehehehehehe.
    Guard: —but seriously.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd movie Spies Like Us includes the following exchange when the two hear a strange loud noise:
    Aykroyd: It's a dikfer!
    Chase: What's a dikfer?
    Aykroyd: To pee with.
  • A fully-loaded example from Airplane II: The Sequel:
    Witness: Striker was the squadron leader. He brought us in real low. But he couldn't handle it.
    Prosecutor: Buddy couldn't handle it. Was Buddy one of your crew?
    Witness: Right. Buddy was the bombardier. But it was Striker who couldn't handle it, and he went to pieces.
    Prosecutor: Andy went to pieces?
    Witness: No. Andy was the navigator. He was all right. Buddy went to pieces. It was awful how he came unglued.
    Prosecutor: Howie came unglued?
    Witness: Oh, no. Howie was a rock, the best tailgunner in the outfit. Buddy came unglued.
    Prosecutor: And he bailed out?
    Witness: No. Andy hung tough. Buddy bailed out. How he survived, it was a miracle.
    Prosecutor: Then Howie survived?
    Witness: No, 'fraid not. We lost Howie the next day.
    Prosecutor: Over Macho Grande?
    Witness: No. I don't think I'll ever get over Macho Grande. Those wounds run... pretty deep.
  • Big Fish, is full of tall tales and shaggy dog stories, but there's one simple gag that really stands out.
    Ed Bloom: It's a metaphor.
    Will Bloom: What's a metaphor?!
    Ed Bloom: Mostly sheep and cows to graze in.
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is a Hurricane of Puns, but one of the most memorable is after the titular character has hit her head on a movie marquee:
    "How's your head?"
    "Well, I've never had any complaints..."
  • Man on Fire:
    Pita: "What's your girlfriend's name?"
    Creasy: "Nunya."
    Pita: "Nunya?"
    Creasy: "Nun-ya-business"
  • In some deleted footage for Lucky Number Slevin, one of The Fairy's bodyguards makes these repeatedly.
  • A Hard Day's Night:
    Norm: "Ringo, what are you up to?"
    Ringo: (peering from magazine) "Page five."
    Reporter: How did you find America?
    John: Turned left at Greenland.
  • From Spy Hard:
    Agent Bishop: Sir, we have intercepted a disturbing video on the rock of Gibraltar.
    The Director: Well, what is it?
    Agent Bishop: It's this really big rock sticking out of the water on the south coast of Spain.
  • From the aftermath of a particularly surprising moment in The World's End:
    Gary: What the fuck does WTF stand for?
    Steve: (emerges from hiding) What the fuck?
    Gary: Oh yeah.
  • From the Marx Brothers' 1930 comedy film Animal Crackers, when Admiral Spaulding (Groucho) is proposing to two women at once;
    Mrs. Rittenhouse: Why, that's bigamy.
    Admiral Spaulding: Yes, and it's big of me too. It's big of all of us, let's be big for a change.
    • Lampshaded in A Night at the Opera, Driftwood (Groucho) and Fiorello (Chico) have the following exchange:
    Driftwood: It's all right. That's, that's in every contract. That's, that's what they call a sanity clause.
    Fiorello: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!
    • In Duck Soup, Chicolini refuses to go into battle unless he's in one of those big iron things that go up and down.
    Firefly: Tanks?
    Chicolini: You're welcome!
  • The Carry On films use this type of joke a lot.
    • This from Don't Lose Your Head:
      Bidet: [under his breath in Camembert's ear] Pssst! ...Psst!
      Camembert: Lies! I've only had a couple!
      • The same sort of joke happens in Carry On Dick, during an equipment check:
        Sergeant Strapp: Pistol!
        Captain Fancey: What? I haven't 'ad a drop!
    • From Carry On at Your Convenience:
      Mr. Boggs: Fakes, that's all they are, sitting there lookin' in their crystal whatsnames.
      Sid: "Balls". note 
      Mr. Boggs: I quite agree! Absolutely ridiculous!
    • From Carry On Up the Khyber':
      Sir Sid Ruff-Diamond: [gestures to a champagne bottle] Want some, Mr Belcher?
      Brother Belcher: [realises he can't hear the sounds of bombs anymore and cheers with delight] IT'S FINISHED!!
      Sir Sid Ruff-Diamond: No, there's still half a bottle here.
  • An exchange in Young Frankenstein, after hearing a wolf howling.
    Inga: Werewolf?
    Igor: pointing There wolf! There castle!
    Frederick: Why are you talking like that?

  • In the novel Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn, an astrophysicist goes to torturous lengths to include the abbreviation SNU (meaning "Solar Neutrino Unit", and pronounced "snew") into a conversation, just so the person he is talking to can ask "What's SNU?" The inevitable response is "Nothing much. What's new with you?"
    • The same "joke" was in Pogo, with much less setup, starting off, "That's got a lotta snoo to it, boy," and continuing as above.
    • Hawkeye set up the same joke in an episode of M*A*S*H, when while doing minor surgery he asked the nurse for "snoo".
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
    "Has beans?" cried Violet Beauregarde.
    "You're one yourself!" said Mr. Wonka. "There's no time for arguing! Press on, press on!"
  • In the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon story "Two Heads are Better Than One", Jake regales the bar's patrons with a tall tale of his illustrious ancestor Grandfather Stonebender, who "built the pyramids, freed the slaves, cured yaws!" When Mike Callahan gamely asked, "What's yaws?", Jake answered, "Why thanks, Mike, I'll have a beer."
  • In The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, the mad girl Auri lives in the space beneath the Arcanum, which she calls "the Underthing." When Kvothe asks her to show him around, intending to sneak into the library, she feigns shock at his audacity in asking to see her Underthing.
  • Happened once in Encyclopedia Brown. Someone asked Encyclopedia, "What do you know about Browning?" and Encyclopedia responded, "Not much, I've never browned."
  • One book of sci-fi riddles has a scene with a man attempting the old "neither rain nor snew" joke. It doesn't work because the man in question was born on Mars, so he asks "What's rain" instead.
  • A variant in Asbaran Solutions when Sergeant Mason is paired with a New Meat private who gets bitten by a Flatar.
    Mason: You'll want to get that looked at. They've got some funky alien bacteria in their mouth you don't want in your system. It'll mutate and mess you up pretty bad. I've got antibiotics for it back at the hangar.
    Thunder: Do we have time? How long... how long have I got before I start turning into a... a whatever it is I'm going to turn into?
    Mason: Oh, don't be such a baby. It'll hurt so much you'll wish you were dead, but you're not going to turn into a werewolf or anything like that. You have to get bit by a dumfuk for that.
    Thunder: Wha... what's a dumfuk?
    Mason: You're a dumb fuck, now shut the hell up and guard the top of the ramp while I go find our target.
  • In the prologue to the Doctor Who New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire, the Doctor remembers meeting Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling (a Call-Back to a Fourth Doctor Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel) and asks Ace if she likes Kipling. She, of course, replies that she's never kippled.

    Live Action TV 
  • In an outtake for Australian children's show Agro's Cartoon Connection:
    Agro (puppet): Oh, where did I put my piecost?
    Ann-Maree Biggar (human co-host): What's a piecost?
    Agro: About $1.10!
    Ann-Maree: Has anyone seen my henway?
    Agro: What's a henway??
    Ann-Maree: Oh, about five kilos [kilograms]!
    Agro: Has anyone seen my dickfor?
    Ann-Maree: What's a dickfor?
    Agro gives an all-knowing glance at the camera; Ann-Maree gasps and shoves him aside.
  • Beakman's World: Don and Herb use the titular joke, but also use another version:
    Don: So I'm skating down the ice, knitting a sweater, and a penguin cop tries to stop me.
    Herb: What'd he say?
    Don: He said, "Pull over"! And I said, "No! Cardigan!"
  • Used by Benny Hill in a skit where a brother and sister team claim to have climbed the highest mountain ridge in the world.
    Interviewer: Himalaya?
    Sister: No, he tells the truth!
  • Some of the puns on A Bit of Fry and Laurie took this form.
    John: You have a daughter, I believe?
    Peter: Yeah. Yeah, Henrietta.
    John: Did he, did he, I'm sorry to hear that.
  • In one episode of Blackadder, Baldrick is running for office and tells his boss he thinks his first name is "Sodoff", because all the other kids used to say "Sod off, Baldrick!" Blackadder notes him down as "S. Baldrick". Later Edmund is interviewed by real life political pundit Vincent Hanna (playing "his own ancestor"):
    Hanna: What does the S stand for?
    Blackadder: Sodoff.
    Hanna: ... yes, well, none of my business, really.
  • In the Season 3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Gingerbread", Buffy laments that she doesn't think anything she does makes a lasting difference, but at least she finally understands something that's baffled her for years.
    Buffy: I'm like the boy in that story, the one who stuck his finger in the duck.
    Angel: Dike.
    Buffy: (confused look)
    Angel: (chuckles) It's another word for dam.
    Buffy: Oh. Okay, that story makes a lot more sense now.
    • If only Willow was there to hear about sticking fingers in dykes - uh, dikes.
  • Corner Gas: In "Crab Apple Cooler":
    Lacey: We could play euchre.
    Oscar: Euchre? I hardly know 'er!
    Lacey: Or Twister.
    Oscar: Twister? I just met 'er!
    Lacey: Or maybe we could just play charades.
    Oscar: Charades? Ha ha... I hate charades!
    Emma: Charades it is.
    Lacey: Good thing I didn't say "poker."
  • Crime Story - at a block party cookout, Polish cop Krychek is quizzing black cop Clemmons on Polish food. When he gets to garachki Clemmons is stumped - turns out it's what you use to open a garage door.
  • One segment of The Daily Show showed a senator made an addition to a bill, then another added a "but-for" clause that said the other one couldn't add his. Jon Stewart then said he responded by asking for a ban on all "dickfores".
  • One in Spanish: The Mexican comedian Chespirito had a character, the old and crotchety Doctor Chapatín. The doctor always carried a paper bag which would never play any part whatsoever in the plot, except to punch whoever dared to say that he was old (this happened Once per Episode). But once, his nurse and one patient asked him directly about the paper bag and he finally answered: "Tengo queles" "¿Queles?" "Qué les importa" (that could be roughly translated as "It's nunya." "Nunya?" "Nunya business").
  • Alluded to in Doctor Who, "Parting of the Ways" as a bit of a Stealth Pun:
    "Rose Tyler. I was gonna take you to so many places. Barcelona. Not the city Barcelona, the planet Barcelona. You'll love it, fantastic place, they've got dogs with no noses! [laughs] Imagine how many times a day you end up telling that joke, and it's still funny!"
  • An example from The Drew Carey Show:
    "You know, microbreweries are the second fastest-growing industry in America, right behind butfores."
    "What's a butfore?"
    "If you don't know, you'd better stop eating!"
  • UK Comedy The Fast Show had character Arthur Atkinson do a whole sequence of these in the mock Hee Haw sketches parodying old music-hall comedies. The gags always involved corny sound effects like a slidewhistle, pie-in-face gags, or corny wordplay, such as:
    Announcer: "This first story involves Arthur Atkinson, and he's not feeling himself."
    Arthur: "And I'm not feeling anyone else neither, before you ask."
    [cut to shot of audience cracking up]
  • Murray from Flight of the Conchords is a constant source of these when it comes to artists and albums:
    Murray: I've told you, when you're in a band, you don't get with your bandmate's girlfriend - past or present. ... You get a love triangle, you know? Fleetwood Mac situation. Well there- there was four of them, so more of a love square— but you know; no one gets on. ... Mind you, they did make some of their best music back then.
    Bret: (nodding his head) "Rumours."
    Murray: No. It's all true.
    • Also
    Bret: Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall".
    Murray: I'll say he is...he's off the planet. Wants to freeze himself, doesn't he?
    • Plus, after Bret has written a song dissing other rappers:
    Murray: Who were these people you were dissing? The only one I could make out was Snoopy— what's your problem with him?
    Bret: No, Snoop Dogg.
    Murray:I know he's a dog, Bret. I'm not totally in the dark ages. I do go out every once in a while. He's lovable! Leave him alone.
  • The Flying Karamazov Brothers pull this during a televised special:
    Dmitri: Jesus Christ...
    Smerdyakov: Hey! Watch your language!
    Dmitri: Uh, English. What's yours?
  • From an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Will corrects Carlton's usage of the word "dis":
    Will: That's dis.
    Carlton: I don't care if it's dis, dat or the other thing!
  • Friends:
    • Joey's being dumb rather than deliberately funny:
      Rachel: See? Unisex.
      Joey: Maybe you need sex. I had sex a few days ago.
      Rachel: No, Joey, U-N-I sex.
      Joey: Well, I wouldn't say no to that...
    • And then Joey misunderstands a real word to set this up:
      Monica: Hey Joey, what would you do if you were omnipotent?
      Joey: I'd probably kill myself!
      Monica: Excuse me?
      Joey: Hey, if little Joey's dead, then I got no reason to live.
      Ross: Joey, uh, OMNIpotent.
      Joey: You are?! Ross, I had no idea. I thought it was like a theoretical question, y'know?
    • There's also the new age doctor who tells Ross he has a "cundis".
      Ross: What's a 'cundis'?
      Doctor: Nuthin', what's a cundis with you?
    • When Rachel is looking at an apothecary table in a catalogue:
      Rachel: Oh! Look at this little drawers! Oh look-look it says that it holds 300 CDs.
      Chandler: Ahh, just like the apothecary tables of yore.
      Rachel: Your what?
  • This exchange occurs between Oliver and Lisa in "The Vulgar Ring" episode of Green Acres:
    Lisa: Did you find it?
    Oliver: No, I haven't got the trap off.
    Lisa: What's a "trapoff"?
    Oliver: Not a "trapoff", it's just a trap that's part of the drain. Hand me the wrench.
    Oliver: You use a screwdriver to screw screws, you need a wrench to take the bolts off.
    Lisa: What's a "boltsoff"?... [later] Why are you yelling at me? All I did was ask you what's a "boltsoff".
    Oliver: Lisa, will you find something to do, and let me get this drain off?
    Lisa: What's a "drainoff"?
    Oliver: It's part of the sink that's attached to the "trapoff"!
    Oliver: Shut the water off!
    Lisa: Which one's the "wateroff"?
  • The Haunting Hour featured a pair of teenage girls that delighted in nothing more than tormenting an ailing old woman with prank calls. During one of said calls, they ask if she knows "Amanda Hugandkiss" She responds " I don't know Amanda Hugandkiss" at which point they say something to the effect of "Duh! what kind of man would want to hug and kiss you!?"
  • One of these turns up in an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. It concerns a wild animal called a Pycost. 89 cents.
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "Where There's a Will, There's a War", Hawkeye fondly recalls (via flashback) a time when the usually-humorless Margaret Houlihan started rattling off a whole bunch of these with him while taking inventory in the supply hut:
    Hawkeye: Sulfa...where's the sulfa?
    Margaret: The sulfa's in the living room.
    Hawkeye: What?
    Margaret: The sulfa's in the living room. Between the end tables.
    Hawkeye: (astonished) Margaret, you told a joke!
    Margaret: I'm tired.
    Hawkeye: "The sulfa's in the living room." (starts laughing) I can't believe you said that!
    Margaret: (laughing now, too) I told you I was tired!
    Hawkeye: No, I love it! Somebody's finally been messing with your funny bone! Okay, sulfa...we got plenty.
    Margaret: Sulfa so good. (starts laughing again) Morphine.
    Hawkeye: No, thanks, I got plenty. (They both crack up, then start to compose themselves.) Digitalis?
    Margaret: No, I'm keeping it a secret. (They both lose it for good.)
    • In "Are You Now, Margaret?," a visiting congressional aide is investigating Margaret for being a communist sympathizer. He visits her in her tent and attempts to seduce her when Klinger emerges from Margaret's locker and takes a snapshot of the act. Hawkeye, B.J. and Charles arrive to push the dagger in deeper:
      Williamson: (pointing to Klinger) Wha-what's he doing with that camera?
      Charles: He appears to be rewinding.
  • A scene in Mirrorball has two characters watching a singer auditioning. One remarks that the song is Weill; the other protests that it's really not that bad.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • In the sketch "The Funniest Joke in the World", Nazi Germany tries to combat the effectiveness of the titular joke against their forces by writing jokes of their own. One of these consists of the following Gag Sub of Triumph of the Will:
      Adolf Hitler: My dog's got no nose!
      Baldur von Schirach: How does he smell?
      Hitler: Awful!
    • In the "Black Magic Police" sketch, when a reporter dramatically asks, "Just what are the police up to?", an especially stupid-looking cop looks up from a book he's reading and answers, "Oh, I'm up to page 39, where Peter Pan first manifests himself."
    • Also, the two pepperpots turn to alternative entertainment after Radio 4 explodes:
      Pepperpot #1: Oh, dear. The radio's exploded.
      Pepperpot #2: Well, what's on the television, then?
      Pepperpot #1: Looks like a penguin.
      Pepperpot #2: No, I didn't mean what was on the TV set. I meant what programme.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has a numbers of these:
    • Running gag in the episode First Spaceship on Venus, featuring the character Dr. Herringway, commander of the eponymous expedition.
      Crow: Hey, Joel, what's a Herringway?
      Joel: About a pound...
    • From the "Cave Dwellers" episode, when the film's star appears in the credits:
      Joel: How much Keefe is in this movie anyway?
      Servo: Miles O' Keefe!
    • An in-film example from Women of the Prehistoric Planet; a "Shaggy Dog" Story told by the Odious Comic Relief about his adventures in the service, which eventually meanders to this: "...So I threw a handful of yurze in the thing's eye and killed it..." "What's 'yurzenote '?" "Well, I'd like a three-day pass, sir..."
    • "Can't we just get beyond Thunderdome?"
    • Then in Werewolf:
      (Title "WEREWOLF" appears on the screen)
      Servo: I dunno, you had him last!

      Paul: I’m a writer.
      Natalie: Really? What’s the subject matter?
      Tom Servo: You’re right, subject doesn’t matter at all.
    • Earlier, in I Was A Teenage Werewolf:
      Police Coroner: ...Fangs.
      Police Detective: Fangs?!?
      Servo: You're welcome! (Laughs hysterically)
      (later in the same scene:)
      Coroner: [...]But I still say, fangs!
      Mike: And I still say, "you're welcome!" (chuckles sensibly)
    • On more than one occasion, if someone on the screen asks someone else "Are you alright?" or "How are you doing?" one of the bots will answer, "I make a nice living, you?"
  • The Nanny:
    • In "My Fair Nanny", as Fran is trying to pass herself off as cultured at the party:
      Maureen Wentworth: (observing a sculpture) What a lovely artifact. Is it Mayan?
      Fran: No, it's his-en.
    • In another episode Fran gets a famous lawyer to represent her in court, who she says does a lot of pro-bono work. Fran's Ditz friend doesn't like this because she's always been pro-Cher.
  • On NCIS, between Palmer and Ducky, bordering on a combo with Who's on First?
    Palmer: It wasn't sand sand, like good sand. It was bad sand. Very bad sand. It made me break out in red welts.
    Ducky: It wasn't the sand, Mr. Palmer, but the sand mite.
    Palmer: The sand might what?
    Ducky: The sand mite bit you.
    Palmer: Sand bites?
    Ducky: Well, sand mites might bite.
    Palmer: I'm grammatically lost.
  • The Office (US)
    • Jim introduces Michael to this concept with the following joke.
      Jim: This place smells like updog.
      Mike: What's updog?
      Jim: Not much, what's up with you?
    • Michael then tries this on somebody else, they fail to respond properly. Eventually Dwight answers right, but Mike botches the joke anyway:
      Michael: This place smells like updog.
      Dwight: What's updog?
      Michael: Ha! Ha haha! Um... how are you?
      Dwight: I'm fine, how are you?
      Michael: Fine...
  • Subverted in Red Dwarf. When Lister is told of an item called a wormdo, instead of asking "What's a wormdo?" ("Wriggles along the ground, of course!"), he derails the joke by asking, "What's that then?" And it just goes straight downhill from there.
    Rimmer: Would you like a wormdo?
    Lister: What's that, then?
    Rimmer: What's what?
    Lister: A wormdo?
    Rimmer: What about it?
    Lister: Look, is this still the opening line?
  • Not surprisingly, Police Squad! was built on this trope. The most famous example:
    Det. Frank Drebin: Wait a minute, let me get this straight: Twice came in and shot the teller and Jim Fell.
    Sally Decker: No, he only shot the teller, Jim Johnson. Fell is ill.
    Drebin: Okay, then after he shot the teller, you shot Twice.
    Sally: No, I only shot once.
    Capt. Ed Hocken: Twice is the hold up man.
    Sally: Then I guess I did shoot Twice.
    Drebin: Oh, so now you're changing your story.
    Sally: No, I shot Twice after Jim fell.
    Drebin: You shot twice and Jim Fell?
    Sally: No, Jim fell first and then I shot Twice once.
    Drebin: Well, who fired twice?
    Sally: Once!
    Capt. Hocken: He's the owner of the tire company, Frank.
    Drebin: [pauses] Okay. Once is the owner of the tire company and he fired Twice. Then Twice shot the teller once.
    Sally: Twice.
    Drebin: ...and Jim fell and then you fired Twice.
    Sally: Once!
    Drebin: Okay. All right, that will be all for now, Ms. Decker.
    Capt. Hocken: We'll need you to make a formal statement down at the station.
    Sally: Oh, of course!
    Drebin: You've been very helpful. We think we know how he did it.
    Sally: Oh, Howie couldn't have done it. He hasn't been in for weeks.
    Drebin: Well. [pauses] Thank you again, Ms. Decker.
    Drebin: [to Capt. Hocken] Weeks?
    Capt. Hocken: Saul Weeks. He's the comptroller, Frank.
    • Later, as they're arresting Sally, Capt. Hocken addresses two cops standing nearby.
      Capt. Hocken: Sergeants, take her away and book her.
      Drebin: [addressing each officer as if introduced] "Sergeant Takeraway, Sergeant Booker."
  • You can pretty much make a drinking game out of this trope watching Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and Hee Haw (same thing, different demographic; that's actually the only enjoyable way to watch these shows, as even the actors would admit.)
  • On RuPaul's Drag Race Ru will sometimes ask a contestant "How's your head?" expecting the response "Haven't had any complaints". One contestant, Pearl simply did not get it and would respond with a report on how her head actually felt. When she finally gave the "no complaints" answer on the main stage there was a round of applause.
  • From the Salute Your Shorts episode "Ghost Story":
    Dina: ...It's something 4 out of 5 doctors recommend.
    Telly: Which doctors?
    Dina: Exactly, witch doctors...
  • Scrubs:
    • Subverted nicely with this exchange:
      JD: Now I don't want you to worry, because your procedure is being performed by Dr. Dahman.
      Patient: Who's Dr. Dahman?
      JD: No, no...say that again, but without the doctor.
      Patient: Who's Mr. Dahman?
      JD: No no, just say the last name.
      Patient: Who's Dahman?
      JD: I'M DAH MAN! That was was fun, uh, doing that with you.
    • In another episode, a variant occurs.
      Doug: Stringent what?
      JD: Stringent "updoc". (quickly turns to Turk) It's happening.
      Doug: What's updoc?
    • And in another episode where the janitor accuses J.D. of stealing toilet paper:
      JD: I don't use toilet paper. I have one of those French things that shoot water up your butt.
      Janitor: A bidet?
      JD: Bidet to you, sir.
  • Skins did one of these in the S3 opener.
    Effy: It's inexplicable, Pandora.
    Pandora: Yeah, inexplicable. *beat* What does inexplicable mean, Eff?
    Effy: Can't explain.
    Pandora: [dismayed] Alright, suit yourself then.
  • Taxi:
    • Jim Ignatowski was taking his driving test, leading to this classic gag:
      Jim: What does a yellow light mean?
      Bobby: Slow down.
      Jim: Okay. What...does...a...yellow...light...mean?
      Bobby: Slow down.
      Jim: Okay. OK. Wwwwhhhaaaat dooeesss aaaa yyyeeeellllowwww lllliiiight mmmmeeeannn?
    • In another episode, Latka Gravas leads Louie dePalma — possibly unintentionally — right into one of these:
      Louie: What's this?
      Latka: It's a kebble.
      Louie: What's a kebble?
      Latka: 110 kebble make a lithnitch.
      Louie: What's a lithnich?
      Latka: 270 lithnich make a matta.
      Louie: What's a matta?
      Latka: I don't know, what's a matta with you?
  • On That's My Bush!, Larry, George W. Bush's wacky neighbor, would use one of these almost Once per Episode.
    • In one episode, someone else gives the punchline instead (responding to "Stardoo" with "It twinkles!"), making him very, very angry.
    • Larry also did the "Hindu" punchline, though unenthusiastically, when George in fact asked him what a Hindu was.
    • Subverted in one episode where spies tunneled to the White House:
    Larry: Say, George, there's a hole dug in your front porch.
    George: I get it, Larry. I'm supposed to say, "What's a hole dug?" Ha ha.
    • On one occasion, Larry actually started to do the Trope Namer joke but was cut off by George, who was in the middle of some hijinks and didn't have the time for it.
    • In the series finale as George is leaving the White House, Larry mentions a "queardu," and when George asks "what's a queer do?" Larry cries "This!" and tearfully hugs him.
  • In a 2002 episode of Panel Show They Think It's All Over, Gary Lineker's team were shown footage of an Exeter City goal being celebrated by players running up to the crowd holding out an upturned cap (a reference to unpaid wages caused by financial trouble at the club). Gary's teammate, Rory McGrath, observed that Exeter were nicknamed the Grecians, leading to the inevitable joke, complete with Lame Pun Reaction from host Nick Hancock:
    Rory McGrath: Their nickname, actually, their nickname is the Grecians.
    Gary Lineker: Grecians.
    Nick Hancock: (hammily) What's a Grecian urn? (rolls eyes)
    Rory: Not very much, by the looks of things.
    Nick: Thank you very much. (Facepalms) That was always gonna come out, wasn't it.
    Rory: It had to.
  • In the Two and a Half Men episode "Old Flame With a New Wick", Charlie receives an email from an ex-girlfriend who wants to meet up, turns out since he last saw her she had a sex change. Charlie brings him home and Alan doesn't know the full situation at first.
    Alan: Nice guy. Poker buddy?
    Charlie: Used to. And don't call me buddy.

  • MAD:
    • In the Star Wars Musical parody, the Jawa selling Artoo tells Luke that it had a minor accident around a nearby star.
      Luke: Sirius?
      Jawa: Naaah, just a few dents.
    • An earlier parody of Mark Trail had Mark pointing to a very familiar-looking cartoon rabbit, claiming that it "very frequently eats updok." The rabbit, in between bites of carrot, says, "What's updok?"
    • A The Phil Silvers Show parody included a throwaway joke about Bilko meeting a girl from Maine ("Bangor? I hardly knew her!").

  • Barenaked Ladies did this in "Pinch Me":
    I could hide out under there
    I just made you say underwear!
    • They also did it in "Raisins":
      When I make mistakes, I use a lot of salt
      Cuz salt makes my steaks taste great
  • The Monkees song Gonna Buy Me a Dog:
    Davy: I was too late on that one. I just got back from Africa, you know. I was playing cards with the natives.
    Micky: Oh? Zulus?
    Davy: No, I usually won. Ha! Ha!
  • Kip Adotta's "Wet Dream" was basically a story with a non-stop stream of underwater puns. This occurs early in the story:
    I was driving in downtown Atlantis. My Barracuda was in the shop so I was in a rented Stingray, and it was overheating. So I pulled into a Shell station; they said I'd blown a seal. I said, "Fix the damn thing and leave my private life out of it, okay pal?"

    Newspaper Comics 
  • FoxTrot occasionally dabbled in this early in the strip's run.
    • In an arc where Paige tries to weasel her way out of a Macbeth book report:
      Paige: What's Macbeth about?
      Andrea: It's about 100 pages. Now get going.
    • Another, from a 1990 Sunday strip:
      Jason: Man — this is one cold house.
      Paige: Tell me about it.
      Jason: Well, let's see... It's got two stories, it's white with green trim, it's got four bedrooms...
    • Another from the same era:
      Peter: Hey Paige — if the kitchen's in the house and Diana's in the kitchen, what's in Diana?
      Paige: I dunno. What?
      Peter: A state.
    • And another:
      Paige: What's on the TV?
      Jason: The VCR... a couple of magazines... dad's bowling trophy... probably a thin layer of dust, too.
      • This is of course followed by Paige asking Peter "Just what is with that nerd?" and Peter responding "His iguana, I believe."
  • Pearls Before Swine also loves this trope, including a character who says he's "Justin from Chicago," which causes Pig to become confused when Justin says he's been in town for six months.
  • Pogo also used this regularly, including "Good King Sauerkraut"
    Good King Sauerkraut, look out!
    On his feets uneven
    Whilst the snoo lay round a bout
    "What's snoo?"
  • In the strip Adam, Adam's kids set up a lemonade stand. When someone asked, "Do you serve Arnold Palmer?", they answered, "We serve anyone. What'll ya have?" note 
  • In a B.C. strip, one of the ants blows up another ant's home. When the other ant asks, "What's the big idea?" the first ant answers, "E = MC Squared."
  • Gnorm Gnat:
    Gnorm: I have resolved to never again set you up for anymore of your rotten puns.
    Lyman: I made a resolution too. I have resolved to paint my car green and snu.
    Gnorm: What's snu?... I think I just gone an' done it again.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • On one episode of WWE Raw a detective demanded to know Road Dogg's name. He said, "First name 'Deez'. D-E-E-Z. Last name...'Nuts'"

    Puppet Show 
  • Subverted in The Muppets (2015) "Going, Going Gonzo" episode after Scooter rejects Rizzo and Pepe's poker invitation:
    Rizzo: Oh, we need another schnook to fleece.
    Pepe: What's a "schnooktafleece"?
    Rizzo: A patsy to swindle.
    Pepe: "Patsytoswindle"?
    Rizzo: Guy to rob.
    Pepe: "Guytorob"— Does anyone speak English around here?
  • A Muppet Family Christmas:
    Fozzie: Hey, that's pretty good harmony for a snowman.
    Snowman: Actually, I'm a snooman.
    Fozzie: What's a snooman?
    Snowman: Nothing's a snoo, man. What's a snoo with you?
    Fozzie: Ah, Christmas. Time for Santa Claus and his eight prancing reinbear.
    Snowman: That's reindeer.
    Fozzie: No. That's snow, darling!
  • From The Muppet Movie, where Gonzo suddenly takes to the air at the Bogen County Fair via a bunch of helium balloons.
    Kermit: Gonzo! What are you doing?
    Gonzo: About seven knots!
  • From The Muppet Show:
    • When Fozzie coerces Kermit to feed him the line, "Good grief, the comedian's a bear!" Fozzie answers, "No he's-a not, he's-a wearin' a neck-a-tie!"
    • "Do you like Kipling?" "I don't know; I've never kippled."
    • "Can you play hatless?" "I don't know, who wrote it?"
    • "Do you enjoy bathing beauties?" "I don't know, I never bathed one."
    • "Do you know there's someone trying to sleep up here?" "No, but hum a few bars and we'll fake it!"
    • In one "Veteranarian's Hospital" sketch, Dr. Bob declared his intention to take out a patient's snew. Earlier in the episode someone asked how to get to Carnegie Hall.
      • Most (perhaps all) of these are hardly original to the Muppet show...which was probably part of the point.
  • On Sesame Street, Bert once dressed up quite fancy, and asked Ernie:
    Bert: How do I look, Ernie!?
    Ernie: With your eyes, Bert!
    • Pungeon Master Harvey Kneeslapper was fond of making these zany puns:
    Harvey: Do you know where I wanna be?
    Blue Muppet: Uh, no.
    Harvey: I wanna "B" here! [Harvey places a "B" on the other muppet's sweater]
    Harvey: Knock, knock!
    Blue: Who's there?
    Harvey: Dion.
    Blue: Dion who?
    Harvey: "D" on you!
    Harvey: Three sticks!
    Blue: Three sticks where?
    Harvey: Three sticks right here! [Harvey sticks a 3 on Blue's head
    Harvey: Did you know stickys are very useful?
    Orange muppet: What's a sticky for?
    Harvey: This: it's sticky, and it's a 4! [Harvey laughs zanily as he sticks a number 4 on the other's sweater]

  • The Goon Show makes a similar joke about "hendus".
    Weatherman: "Gale force hendus are sweeping in from the East. That is the end of the hendu warning."
    Seagoon: "Pardon me, but what's a hendu?"
    Greenslade: "It LAYS EGGS!"
    Seagoon: "And you say they're blowing from the East?"
    Greenslade: "Yes."
    Seagoon: "Stand by for Easter Eggs!"
    • They also subverted the greek urn version.
    Moriarty: What's a greek urn?
    Grytpype: Its a vase made by greeks for carrying liquids.
    Moriarty: I wasn't expecting that answer.
    Grytpype: Neither were quite a few smart allec listeners!
  • Hello Cheeky took great delight in giving subversions or variations on the old "Jamaica?" gag.
    Tim: You know, the other day I was walking through the town, and I overheard two women speaking. One of them said "My husband's gone to the West Indies," and the second one said "Jamaicim?"...and the first one hit her.
    • Or this exchange, taking place in the West Indies:
    John: My wife has gone to England.
    Tim: London?
    John: No, she went of her own accord. ...It's not working...
  • Abbott and Costello did this all the time. For example, from the episode "Costello's Farm":
    Abbott: What kind of cow have you? A heifer cow?
    Costello: What?
    Abbott: A heifer cow?
    Costello: Nah, I gotta whole cow! I gotta whole flock o' cows!
    Abbott: No, no, no, stupid! It's not flock, it's herd!
    Costello: Herd o' what?
    Abbott: Herd of cows.
    Costello: Sure I've heard o' cows!
    Abbott: No, no, no, I mean a cow herd.
    Costello: What do I care if a cow heard? I ain't said nothin' to be ashamed of!
    Abbott: Oh, just forget it, Costello. I'm not in the mood.
    Costello: Not in what mood?
    Abbott: A cow mood.
    Costello: Who cares if a cow mooed?!
  • From The Firesign Theatre: "What's that fox doing in my car?" "The fox trot."
  • A caller actually fell for the moldy standard gag on an episode of Negativland's weekly radio show Over the Edge. A computerized voice ("Wang Tool", played by Don Joyce), supposedly stationed on the moon, intoned "Do... you... prefer... a... turtleneck... or... a... henway?" and the caller said "What's an henway?" Wang replied "About... 3.4... pounds. Haa haa haa haaaa......"
    • This seems to have been Wang's favorite joke. He repeated it, with variations, in several other episodes.

  • Henny Youngman is the Trope Codifier, period. End of story. Just four words: "Take my wife - please!"

  • From the play Shiek, Rattle and Roll:
    "Who's Muhammad?"
    "He was a Muslim, I think. Or a Hindu."
    "What's a Hindu?"
    "Scratches around in the dirt and lays eggs. Get it?"
  • From a long exchange in The Pirates of Penzance:
    Major General: "Now, as I see, you are only repeating the word "orphan" to show that you understand it."
    Pirate King: "I didn't repeat the word often!"
    Major General: "Pardon me, you did indeed."
    Pirate King: "I only repeated it once."
    Major General: "Ah, but you repeated it!"
    Pirate King: "But not often."
    Major General: "STOP! I think I see where we are getting confused! When you say "orphan", do you mean "orphan", a person who's lost his parents, or "often", frequently?"
    Pirate King: "Oh! I see what you mean. Frequently!"
    Major General: "Ah! You said "often", frequently!"
    Pirate King: [getting irked] "No, only once."
    Major General: "Exactly! You said "often", frequently, only once!" (bursts into song)
  • The Foreigner: Betty Meeks offers to make breakfast as Ellard explains what 'a zillion' is to Charlie:
    Meeks: Hominy grits?
    Charlie: A zillion!
  • From The Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged):
    "What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?"
    "I don't know and I don't care!"
  • From William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act II, Scene II:
    Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
    Hamlet: Words, words, words.
    Polonius: What is the matter, my lord?
    Hamlet: Between who?
    Polonius: I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
    Hamlet: Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging amber and plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams. All which, sir, though I find it hard to believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir, should be old as I am if, like a crab, you could go backward.
    Polonius: [aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in't. [to Hamlet] Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
    Hamlet: Into my grave?
    Polonius: Indeed, that is out o' the air. [aside] How pregnant sometimes his replies are! a happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. [to Hamlet] My honorable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you.
    Hamlet: You cannot sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal — except my life, except my life, except my life.
  • From Starkid's Twisted
    Ja'Far: I've got to become more than a man! I've got to become-
    The Djinn: A symbol.
    Ja'Far: No, no.
    The Djinn: A jedi.
    Ja'Far: No, no!
    The Djinn: A dickfor.
    Ja'Far: ...What's a dick for?
    (The Djinn laughs hysterically and everyone else joins in.)

    Video Games 
  • In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, an unnamed SAS member performs a henway in the mission "Mile High Club".
    Romeo One-One: We're going deep, and we're going hard.
    Charlie One-One: Surely you can't be serious.
    Romeo One-One: I'm serious - and don't call me Shirley.
  • The final puzzle of Castle of Dr. Brain, after decoding, instructs you to "Pluck chicken (or was that a henway?)."
  • In the first two Discworld games there's a dialogue routine where a character makes a statement that prompts Rincewind to say 'What's yours?' with the expected response.
  • In The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules this in final part of the "Time Warped" level, which took place in Ancient Greece.
    Wanda: There's some great pottery around here. Look, a Greek urn!
    Cosmo: What's a Greek urn?
    Wanda: More than we do. [laughs uproariously]
  • Get in the Car, Loser!: During a conversation in Act IV, Valentin tries to get Angela with an updog joke. She pretends to be offended and demands they recite a Latin prayer to repent, only to set them up for a deez nuts joke.
    Angela: "If thou art truly my friend, thou shalt show thy penance with a prayer of ILLA DIES ET IRAE DIES immediately!"
    Valentin: "Sorry, sorry! Uh, irae dee-us..."
    Angela: "It is more as though thou shouldst irae Deez Nuts"
  • In Psychonauts 2, when Raz gets into the bowling alley, he sees Coach Oleander sitting on his own, when he was supposedly mentoring Sam Boole. When questioned, Coach responded that he sent her to retrieve some nunya.
    Raz: What's "nunya"?
    Coach: None ya business!
  • Episode 303 of Sam & Max: Freelance Police has a Pollosaurus Henway. Sam falls for it.
  • In West of Loathing the plaques in the Shaggy Dog Cave mention "buttfor" many times. Though, nobody asks "what's a buttfor". So, the joke's on players, see Web Original below.

  • Used in Cyanide and Happiness where someone said that he didn't like "up dogs" and someone else says "What's up dog?" Subverted though since they were talking about "the dogs from the movie Up".

    Web Original 
  • Achievement Hunter had a Running Gag early in their Minecraft series, when one of the gang would announce they'd found some iron/gold ore, someone would frequently respond with, "Or what?"
    • This eventually got old, and Michael finally put a stop to Geoff's attempt to revive it by just repeating "Gold ore," and then added, "I got all day. How long have you got?"
    • They returned to this in another episode with one of the classics. After Ryan got distracted trying to decipher the meaning of the acronym FUPA Fat Upper Pussy Area, Jack decided to further confuse him by asking him "Do you have a buttfor?" Except Ryan doesn't fall for the trap... partly because he was savvy enough to spot a trap, and partly out of genuine confusion.
      Jack: Ryan, do you have a buttfor?
      Ryan: ...Wh-what?
      Jack: A buttfor.
      Ryan: Butt for what?
      Jack: No, do you have a buttfor?
      Ryan: I don't know! Do I?
    • Which got a Call-Back of sorts in one of their PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds videos, when Gavin didn't understand why Jack's username was "Henway".
    • Which got another Call-Back when Alfredo fell for the "buttfor" trap, didn't know what a FUPA was, and didn't understand why Jessica Biel refused to name her child "Batmo". note 
  • Citation Needed: the prize announced at the end of one episode was "updog." Matt gave the inevitable response, and then headdesked against his microphone halfway through as he realised what he was saying.
    • A variation also occurs in a bonus for the series, where the group jokes about names made up of euphemisms for male genitalia. Gary brings up the name "Willy" and without missing a beat Tom asks "Will he?" Gary admits he doesn't know if he will.
  • In one of Disguised Toast's Among Us videos (featuring Sykkuno, among others), he infamously makes one such joke:
    (Toast makes up the joke, corpses, and calls an Emergency Meeting)
    Toast: Alright, okay, uh... I'm pretty sure I saw someone fake [the task] Dragon.
    Everyone: What's Dragon?
    Toast: (corpsing) DRAGON DEEZ NUTS ON YO FACE!
    (Everyone votes Toast out, including himself)
  • English by Stéaviñ: In "How to Pronounce Maths", Stéaviñ tricks his neighbor Jimmy into saying "I won a maths debate."note 
  • Game Grumps:
    • One episode has Arin asking Danny about updog. The result is priceless.
    • Another episode has Arin trying the Trope Namer. Danny's smarter this time.
    • Years later, when Arin and Danny reminisce about the "updog" incident, Arin manages to create a hilarious successor for it by getting Danny to fall for "grabon".
    • And two months after that, Danny finally gets his revenge in spectacular fashion. He waits until Arin is having yet another meltdown over Sonic Heroes to ask if Arin has tried "feel dee".
  • In The Key of Awesome's Dark Horse parody, JuicyJ tries to teach Katy Perry how metaphors work but he fails and she gets angry and zaps and tells the others "The rest of you can get the F out, I don't care what a Meta is for."note 
  • Mario And Luigi Do A Little Trolling has the Mario brothers pranking each other with these sorts of jokes.
  • The RiffTrax take on The Matrix had a subtle one.
    Morpheus: Tank.
    Mike: You're welcome.
  • Referenced in SiIvaGunner's King for Another Day Tournament, where newcomer Piccolo became a doctor to research a cure for Goku's contraction of Ligma. It turns out Goku was actually setting up this joke in-universe, and Piccolo took it way too literally.
  • In one of Point Crow's modified speedruns of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, minutes into the game a text-to-speech chat comment says "It spells like updog in here". As Crow's forced to answer them, he instinctively falls for it. Thankfully, spawning dogs around Link was the least dangerous trigger word.

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dad! Snot asks Steve Smith to help out on his uncle's farm.
    Snot: Plus, it's a Mitzvah.
    Steve: What's a Mitzvah?
    Snot: (holding Fozzie Bear puppet) A Mitzvah catching a baseball! Yucka yucka yucka!
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Buster gets caught by three southern belle gators and all of them insist on marrying him. The father obliges, leading to:
      Buster: I can't marry all three of them, that's bigamy!
      Big Daddy: No, that's big-a me!
    • The episode "Henny Youngman Day" had an old vaudeville line.
      Henny Youngman: I own a business in Flushing, New York. The Tie-D-Bowl Man was just elected mayor. What do you think of Flushing, New York?
      Plucky: I think it's a good idea.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: At one point in "Drool, the Dog-faced Goblin", our heroes are suddenly caught in a hailstorm. The hail then changes, leading to a set-up line that inspires Ray to do his best impression of Chico Marx:
    Egon: This isn't hail. This is hominy grits!
    Ray: Okay, boss, I'll-a bite. How-many-grits a' you think-a we see?
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase'', they welcomed special guest Tim Conway! Part of the joke here is that Conway's estimate is way off.
      Homer: What's a Tim Conway?
      Tim Conway: About 120 pounds.
    • An example from a Show Within a Show parody of Hee Haw:
      "I caught my wife in bed with my best friend."
      "You bitter?"
      "Yep. Bit him, too!"
    • When Marge attempts to purchase a protective cup for Bart, the guy behind the counter feigns ignorance until she frustratedly spells it out: "C-U-P. I wanna C-U-Oh my god!".
    • In "Four Great Women and a Manicure":
      Homer: Armada? What's armada?
      Moe: Nothing. What's a matter with you?
    • Bart's prank phone calls to Moe's Tavern in the early seasons were all about this. He'd ask Moe to page such improbably-named patrons as Al Coholic, Amanda Hugandkiss, I.P. Freely, Bea O'Problem, Oliver Clothesoff, Hugh Jass, etc. That last one (Hugh Jass) turns out to be a real person who was in the bar at the time.
      Bart: Uh, look, I'll level with you, mister. This is a crank call that sorta back-fired, and I'd like to bail out right now.
      Hugh Jass: All right. Better luck next time. *Hangs up* What a nice young man.
      • Not so subtle the time he asked for "ima stupidmoronwithanuglyfaceandabigbuttandmybuttsmellsandIliketokissmyownbutt." It still worked, due to happening during a Halloween special wherein Bart had reality-warping powers.
    • In "The Color Yellow", Bart has just finished helping Willie by blasting the tree stump out of the ground:
      Bart: Wait, here comes the "mykeeyah".
      Groundskeeper Willie: What's a "mykeeyah"?
      (tree stump crash lands on Skinner's car)note 
      Principal Skinner: My Kia!
    • In the movie:
      Bart: If you kill my dad, you'll never know where the treasure is buried.
      Russ Cargill: What treasure?
      Bart: The treasure of Imaweiner.
      Russ Cargill: "I'm a weiner"?
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Enter The Cat", while Jackie is fighting Finn and Ratso, Ratso throws an urn at him, to which Jackie freaks, catches it and safely puts it down, stating it's a Babylonian urn.
    Ratso: What's a Babylonian urn?
    Finn: Probably more than we do!
  • In the Droopy, Master Detective show, Droopy's recurring baddie McWolf used this trick twice on two separate sets of guards.
    McWolf: "Eh, you guys got cooking on your uniforms."
    (guards let go of McWolf and proceed to pat themselves down)
    Guards: Cooking!? What's cooking!?
    McWolf: (already away from the guards) "Nuthin'! What's COOKING WITH YOU!?"
  • Arthur does the traditional version in one episode, with a race to the ice-cream place: "Last one there is a henway!" And then after arriving:
    "You're last, Arthur. You're a henway!"
    "What's a henway?"
    "About 5 pounds."
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is looking for an Earthbending teacher, and hears about an event called Earth Rumble 6. Asking a couple of local losers about it, he gets told it's on the island of "Nunya". What makes them lose is that, aside from Katara beating the answer out of them afterward, one of them jumps the line and answers the question before it's asked: "Nunya business!"
  • Sushi Pack:
    • Comes up twice in one conversation in the episode "Where No Truth Lies." First, when the Sushi Pack ask Officer Flume "What do you have?" (meaning the crime) and she replies, "Oh, it's nothing, just a little cold." She then tells them about The Prevaricator, who made off with the mayor's prized collection:
      Officer Flume: Anyway, go up to the ski lodge and talk to him.
      Kani: The Prevaricator?
      Officer Flume: No, the mayor.
    • Comes up again, when the Pack talks to the proprietress of a small cafe. She tells them that The Prevaricator lives just up the road, but "it's a slippery slope," which the Pack take literally, so she replies that she was talking about The Prevaricator himself.
  • When Danger Mouse is introduced to Egregious M. Murphy, he naturally asks "What's the 'M' for?" Murphy explains that "the M4 is a motorway that goes from London to South Wales."
  • In a sing-along host segment of The Beatles cartoon, Ringo is taking diction lessons:
    Ringo: I was practicing the exercise in this book. It teaches you how to pronunciate good like an Englishman should.
    Paul: (agitated) The word is "enunciate!" "E!" "E!" "E!!" Don't you know the King's English?
    Ringo: I know the Queen is!
    • In another, George says the next song is loaded with mood and tells Ringo to bring out something appropriate. Ringo brings out a cow.
      Ringo: You said to bring out something that's got lots of mood. Well, that's exactly what she did...she mooed!
  • In The Fugitive Parody Episode of Johnny Bravo, this exchange occurs:
    Officer #1: I want you to look in every corner! Search every highway, freeway, henway...
    Officer #2: What's a henway?
    Officer #3: Oh, about three pounds.
    Officer #1: *Stares annoyed*
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School: When the cadets are searching, one of them tells another to be sure he looks in 'the updog', leading to this exchange:
      "What's updog?"
      "Not much. What's up with you?"
    • A similar exchange occurred in Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, when Freako is looking for the skull ghost;
      Shrieko: Did ya look in the updock?
      Freako: Updock? What's 'updock?'
      Shrieko: Nuttin'! What's up with you?!
  • The Futurama episode "2D Blacktop" had this exchange:
    Professor: Ah, perfect timing. I just turbo-charged the ship's matter compressor.
    Fry: What's the matter compressor?
    Professor: Nothing's the matter, Fry, now that I've turbo-charged the matter compressor.
  • In an episode of Cartoon Planet, Brak tricks Zorak into asking "What's a matta?". Zorak retaliates with "I'll tell you what's a-matta; somebody stole my henway!" and Brak falls for it.
  • Young Justice had a version of this, though it wasn't actually a trap:
    Nightwing: There's no English word for it. The nearest translation is...'metagene.'
    Robin: What's a metagene?
    Gar: (elbows him playfully) Never met-a-gene I didn't like!
  • Subverted on Rocky and Bullwinkle:
    Bullwinkle: (pointing to a pair of tanks) Uh-oh. What are those things, Rock?
    Rocky: Tanks, Bullwinkle. (Beat). I said tanks, Bullwinkle.
    Bullwinkle: Oh, do I have to say it?
    • And then double subverted when he eventually does say, "You're welcome".
  • On South Park Jimmy explains that he had Ecstasy once.
    Jimmy: Me and my girlfriend took it and we stayed up all night having... sex.
    Kyle: ...Where did you have sex with her?
    Jimmy: In her... va-vagina. Thank you, thank you. What a terrific audience.
  • In some episodes of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Gar's Bodega has a sign advertising that there's plenty of Updog in stock.
  • Seven Little Monsters uses the classic joke verbatim in "The Whole Tooth".
    Four: What's a henway?
    Three: About six pounds.
    Four: Sorry I asked.

  • Popular Internet joke, usually involving Christian Bale's Batman and Heath Ledger's Joker:
    Joker: "It smells like updog in here."
    Batman: "What's updog?"
    Joker: "Nothing much, you?"
  • You've probably heard of Murphy's Law, but have you heard of Cole's Law? It's thinly sliced cabbage, with mayonnaise and carrots.
  • Harry Potter joke:
    Lupin: Harry, I have to tell you something. I'm a werewolf.
    Harry: Are you fucking serious?
    Lupin: That too. But don't change the subject.
    • Also:
    Ron: Harry, quick! Dumbledore's been in a horrible accident!
    Harry: Oh my god! Was it serious!?
    Ron: No, it was Snape.
    Harry: Surely you can't be serious!
    Sirius: I am Sirius, and don't call me Shirley!

    Real Life 
  • A common U.S. Army prank involves calling a novice recruit and tell him to find a first class sergeant and ask him if he has a "pricky-7"... the first class sergeant's rank code is "E-7", and "pricky-7" sounds like "prick E-7". Hilarity Ensues. The setup often works because it exploits the existing naming convention for Army implements. Portable combat radios have designator names starting with "PRC"-such as the PRC-25 and PRC-77 'Nam era backpack rigs, up to the modern PRC-152. Thus, so easy to tell the rookie that you need a portable radio, type 7, modification E. Got that? PRC-E7. Go to the sarge and say you're looking for the PRC-E7.
  • Urbate the boat. Urbating is the old practice of massaging the larger woodwork/ironwork of the boat (preferably with some water or special salves), to release built-up stress. Therefore, it is important urbate the various parts. In particular the mast should be urbated regularly.
  • Another classic example is the hammerfore, which has also been spotted in a Keebler cookie commercial.
    Person A: What's a hammerfore?
    Person B: Pounding nails in.
  • An ancient joke:
    "What's a Grecian urn?"
    "About six drachmas an hour."
    • Subverted by The Goon Show, in the episode "The Mighty Wurlitzer":
      Grytpype: I thought I saw a Greek urn buried in the sand.
      Moriarty: What's a Greek earn?
      Grytpype: It's a vase made by Greeks for carrying liquids.
      Moriarty: I didn't expect that answer.
      Grytpype: Neither did quite a few smart-alec listeners.
    • Another (sub?)version of it appeared in Private Eye when financial crisis hit Greece:
    "What's a Grecian urn?"
    "A lot less since he joined the Euro."
  • Another old joke, from a professor:
    "You know, I went to Moscow once, did some nice sightseeing. There was this river—what was it called...?"
    "Volga?" note 
    "Oh, it was disgusting!"
  • Yet another old joke:
    "My wife's gone to the West Indies."
    "No, she wanted to go."
    • This one's ascended a bit since the Led Zeppelin song, "D'yer Mak'er." North Americans still tend not to get it, because they don't have the right accent, so they usually pronounce it "dire maker".
    • Done in a Blues round (in calypso form) by I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue:
      I woke up dis morning, my wife had gone
      To de West Indies for de sun.
      Now you is questioning me: Jamaica?
      No, Trinidad, with Freddie Laker.
    • "Weird Al" Yankovic used a variant of this as the repeated "fade out" line at the end of "Wanna B Ur Lovr":
      Girl, you must be Jamaican, because ja makin' me crazy...
    • Or the alternate version:
    • The folks at subverted this one along with some other jokes ("My dog has no nose." "How does he smell?" "He doesn't, he has no nose.") in one of their audio reviews:
      My wife's gone to Jamaica.
      Of her own accord?
  • And still another old joke:
    "I was playing card games with some African natives."
    "No, I won!"
  • And still another:
    I went on vacation to that big city in Switzerland.
    No, I nearly froze to death!
  • This one works if you have an American and a Brit talking.
    "Back home, I used to play a lot of football."
    "Oh, you mean soccer?"
    "No, I would never hit a girl."
    • Variation used in a recent slapstick comedy
    "Up for a game of football?"
    The original asker then hits the closest woman
  • From Bash:
    "Did you hear about that actress who got stabbed? Reese... Reese something."
    "No, with a knife."
  • A popular nerdy one:
    "In High School, my mom dated that physicist guy..."
    "No, he was a jerk."
  • The old one about Alaska made it onto Have I Got News for You, much to Paul Merton's shame.
    Alexander Armstrong: What state is Sarah Palin from?
    Paul Merton: Alaska.
    Alexander Armstrong: Yeah, would you?
    Paul Merton: [facepalm] ...I'm now permanently associated with that joke.
  • John Humphrys got in a good one in the episode he hosted, when Sean Lock asked him about having become a father at a lateish age.
    Humphrys: I'm not in the first flush of youth, that's absolutely true... and I do have a three-year-old, that's true.
    Lock: What's that like?
    Humphrys: [holding his hands a few feet apart] Well, it's about that big...
  • One that can be modified with any word ending in "ing":
    "Do you like Kipling?
    "I don't know. I never Kippled."
  • Liquor? I 'ardly know 'er!... etc.
    • Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!
    • Person A: Let's play a game!
      Person B: How about poker?
      Person A: Poker? I hardly know her!
      Person B: Facepalm
    • Or, if you're from Maine: Bangah? ("Bangor" pronounced with the Downeast accent.) I hahdly know ah!
    • Gladiator? You bet he was!
  • A political one:
    "Nixon was out of the White House one day, making a speech in front of the United Nations. He didn't return until about one in the morning, and wandered into the Oval Office to make a note of something. But as soon as he walks in, he sees his wife sprawled across the desk, completely nude, and right next to her is... what's his name, the Secretary of State."
    "No, they were having sex."
  • In Texas Hold'em, the hand Jack-4 is known as a "flat tyre". The joke is reversed in this case, because the punchline is the question ("What's a jack for?") and will only be revealed when someone asks why the hand is given this name.
  • Another one runs roughly like this:
    Bob: Alice, I need you to run to the store and get me a mattababe.
    Alice: What's a mattababe?
    Bob: Nothing. What's the matter with you?
  • One more:
    Bob: My sister fell down a flight of stairs.
    Alice: Cellar?
    Bob: No, she still has some salvageable parts.
  • Can you tell me what nationality Napoleon's parents were?
  • There was this white guy wearing a keffiyeh standing in front of the pissoir in the Dubai airport... I sez to him "You may look like an Arab, but I know you're-ah-peein'!", ha ha ha ha....ew.
  • "Could you pass me that [object]?" "Pass it? I couldn't even swallow it ..."
  • A curious non-Scot meeting a man in a kilt:
    "Is anything worn under there?"
    "It's all in perfect working order, thank you."
  • Australians sometimes pick on New Zealanders with the "What's a Hindu" joke above.
  • "Are you Russian?" "No, I was just walking fast"
  • One used with kids:
    Person A: What are you eating under there?
    Person B: Under where? (underwear)
  • The Segway PT weighs about eighty pounds. When it was first introduced, many people didn't know what it was, and had to ask.
  • Another joke, getting a bit old now:
    "D'you know that racing driver, Niki something?"
    • On a similar note:
    Redneck: So, what school did y'all go to?
    Yuppie: Yale.
  • "Ugh, I'm got some updoc all over my hair." "What's updoc?"
    • Another variation: *sniff* *sniff* It smells like updog in here.
    • A third variant: Upsexy.
      Guy: What's upsexy?
      Girl: Nothing much.
  • "You have a dickfore on your forehead." "What's a dickfore?"
    • I once knew a fellow who had snew in his blood...
  • And there's this one:
    Person A: What do you catch a salmon with?
    Person B: Salmon bait.
    Person A: That's right! What do you catch a cod with?
    Person B: Cod bait.
    Person A: Right? Now, what do you catch an eyemaster with?
    Person B: ...eyemaster bait?
    • And this one:
    "What do you call cold tea?"
    "Iced tea."
    "What do you call cold coffee?"
    "Iced coffee."
    "What do you call cold ink?"
    "Iced ink?"
    "Then go have a shower."
  • In the Michael Lewis nonfiction book The Big Short (adapted into a movie), he describes a hedge fund manager named Mike Burry who wrote a proposal for a new fund, "Milton's Opus", dedicated to making a specific kind of trade Burry had developed an interest in. The book continues with a parenthetical:
    ("The first question was always, 'What's Milton's Opus?'" He'd say, "Paradise Lost," but that usually just raised another question.)
  • The Round Tuit is a key part in many engineering projects.
    • However in Scotland, a Giton Weight can be substituted (Git on wi' it - Get on with it)
  • An inversion comes in this physics joke: when someone asks you 'what's new?', respond 'C over lambda'.note 
  • And one more classic:
    "Waiter, what's this fly doing in my soup?"
    "The backstroke."
  • In Houston Texas, there is a Restaurant called Kenny and Ziggy's, on their menu in the à la carte side order section is the item Duckway, and for its price it says Ask Your Server! Here is a PDF Copy of the Menu, see Page 4.
  • A quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, and while whether he did say it is dubious, he had a reputation for being a Deadpan Snarker:
    Interviewer: So tell me, Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?
    Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.
  • A completely apocryphal tale about famed downhill skier Picabo Street has her retiring from skiing to get a job in the Intensive Care Unit at some hospital or other. She isn't allowed to answer the phone in her new job, because hospital administration requires a standard greeting of "<first name>, <department>", so every time she answered the phone, she would have had to say "Picabo, I.C.U."
  • At Emerald City Comicon 2015, Jewel Staite told a story about Nathan Fillion putting a different name tag on her dog's collar each time he watched him. One time he made the name "Watdog" so when people in the dog park asked him what his dog's name was, he could say, "What dog?"
  • A very old biblical joke that really works best for Brits.
    Don't you feel sorry for all those people that got vaoporised in Gomorrah, and, erm, that other place...
    Yeah, well, I guess you're right. They did deserve it.
  • Groin-based henway traps are very popular on Twitter as a way out of an Internet debate that's getting dull. Just find a way to work the setup into the conversation and wait for the other party to ask what you're talking about. The obvious counter (or One-Two Punchline, depending on who's quicker on the uptake) is, of course, another one of them.
    • Bofa? Bofa deez nuts.
    • Two CDs? Two CDs nuts.
    • "Ligma." "What's ligma?" "Ligma balls!" This one became famous when an online hoax was started claiming that the streamer Ninja (still very much alive as of August 2023) had died from the fictitious disease. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as more and more variants came to be identified and named, hoaxsters also spread word about the existence of a "ligma variant" with predictable results.
    • "Who's Joe?" "Joe Mama!"
    • Mention something that's Sugondese. "... Sugondese?" "Sugondese nuts."
  • A holiday version:
    Person A: We should get some of that German Christmas bread with the marzipan.
    Person B: Stollen?
    Person A: No, we should pay for it.
  • A version involving a different type of fowl...
    Person A: So, are you coming to the duck do tonight?
    Person B: What's a duck do?
    Person A: It goes quack.
  • John McKay was the first coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they began play in 1976 until 1984. The Buccaneers were consistently terrible, needing a record 27 games to get their first-ever win. Following one bad loss, a reporter asked him about his team's execution — he replied, "I'm in favor of it."

Not much, you?


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pun Trap, Henway


Candice and Joe

To get away from the oncoming Ohioans, Mario repurposes Tari into a weapon... that only says "Candice". This allows Mario to pull a henway joke to dispatch their attackers. But right after, a car gets him back by asking after "Joe".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhatsAHenway

Media sources: