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Who's on First?

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Chalmers: Well, Seymour, it seems we've put together a baseball team, and I was wondering, who's on first, eh?
Skinner: Yes! Not the pronoun, but rather a player with the unlikely name of "Who" is on first!
Chalmers: Well, that's just great, Seymour! We've been out here six seconds and you've already managed to blow the routine!

A comedy scene where the proper names of persons, places, or things sound like lexical parts of speech, pronouns or exclamations, such as Hu, Watt, Mee, Yu, etc. Basically, a huge Hurricane of Puns. Usually, one character will describe a situation using these terms solely as names, while another character uses them constantly as pronouns and gets increasingly bewildered. Example:

Bob: Who's in charge here?
Alice: That's correct.
Bob: Huh?
Alice: Hu is in charge here.
Bob: How should I know?
Alice: You just said Hu is in charge here.
Bob: Yes, what's his name?
Alice: No, Wat led the Peasant's Revolt.

The Trope Namer is a vaudeville routine regarding baseball which, while popular at the time, is best known through its adaptation as an Abbott and Costello sketch. Abbott and Costello also used variants of the routine in much of their comedy, such as their commercial for "Hertz U-Drive":note 

"If it hurts, you drive!"
"Every company has a head, this company's head's Hertz"
"Well, why don't he take an aspirin?"

or shipbuilding:

"What's that over there?"
"That's a hull of a ship."
or other baseball players:
"The bat was made for Slaughter."
"Ain'tcha got any bats made for baseball?"

This could expand into a Hurricane of Puns: "to make money loafing, you have to really knead the dough."

If used in the actual plot, this is usually the result of an idiot Comically Missing the Point. However, this is not necessary if the Straight Man is being intentionally ambiguous. It needs be emphasized that it is very important for the routine (as the Simpsons quote shows) that no matter how smart either side is or how exasperated it gets (or how eager is one of them to please the other), none of them will ask a question or provide an answer that will be utterly unambiguous.

Occasionally, characters have this as a running joke about their name. Slightly more serious versions may use this as a form of loophole or Prophecy Twist: knowing that No Man of Woman Born may slay you is little comfort when Mr. Noman from the village of Womanborn shows up at your door looking for blood.

See Chain of Corrections, Pronoun Trouble, and Sustained Misunderstanding for related tropes. Sometimes overlaps with What's a Henway?. Often includes a Real Joke Name or two. If it involves an owl and the question "Who?", see Owls Ask "Who?", or for another bird, try Duck!. Frequently, if not usually, overlaps with Overly Long Gag.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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  • A Visa commercial had NBA star Yao Ming attempting to make a purchase at the "Big Apple Souvenir Shop":
    Yao: Can I write a check?
    Cashier: [gestures at an "absolutely no checks" sign behind her] Yo!
    Yao: Yao.
    Cashier: [points at sign again] Yo!
    Yao: [points at "Yao" insignia on his shirt] Yao!
    Cashier: [waves store manager over] Yo!
    Manager: Yo.
    Yao: Can I write a check?
    Manager: [points at sign] Yo!
    Yao: Yao!
    Manager: Yo!
    Other customer: [recognizing Ming] You!
    Yao: Yao!
    Customer: You!
    Yao: Yao!
    Store owner: [to Ming] Yo!
    Yao: Can I write a check?
    Owner: [points at sign] Yo!
    [Yao finally gives up and walks out as the voiceover guy gives the usual spiel about how Visa check cards are accepted almost everywhere; as he leaves, we see a new customer (who happens to be baseball great Yogi Berra) enter the store]
    Berra: Can I write a check?
    Cashier: Yo!
    Berra: Gi. Yo-gi!
  • There was an ad for a minivan in which the happy owners were asked what they liked best about it. "Its all-wheel drive," was the reply. "Yes, we know it's all you'll drive, but what's your favorite feature?"
  • This '80s commercial for Kellogg's Nut & Honey cereal.
  • There was a radio advertisement for Heluva Good dips which involves a conversation between two men trying the dip. One is confused by the other when the name of the dip is said, since he sounds like he's saying "Hell of a good dip."
  • An early '90s commercial for a brand new cereal called Bran News used a pair of Abbott and Costello lookalikes to do this style of comedy.
  • This 2013 Toyota Camry ad, featuring mascot character "Coach T." and Craig T. Nelson from Coach.
  • This advertisement for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert involving Stephen, David Tennant and Doctor Who.
  • This 1986 Miller's Outpost commercial has one guy talking about the chain having a "short sale" as in a sale on pairs of shorts while the other guy thinks he means a sale for a short length of time.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Fusion: Damemon's first meeting with Yuu Amano started out this way, as a result of Damemon's love of interspersed Gratuitous English (in this case, the word "you" being homophonous to "Yuu").
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited has the main characters Yuu and Ai. Their names mean "love" and "courage" in Japanese. This was lampshaded by the dub voice actresses for the two in the commentary on one of the DVDs.
  • In Goblin Slayer, Priestess introduces herself as "Noman" when confronting a group of Sasquatches. As a result, when the survivor makes it back to the Big Bad, all he can say is that Noman killed his brothers.
  • The main character of Guilty Crown is named Shu. It's a Meaningful Name for him as it's the Japanese word for "together", but many English-speaking viewers loved to make fun of the guy named "Shoe."
  • In Marmalade Boy, when an American exchange student named Michael first arrives at the protagonists' household, he gets confused by the names "Yuu" and "Miki", mistaking them for "you" and "me". Subverted shortly afterward; he was faking it.
    • He's also somewhat amused at the fact that Miki is a feminine name in Japan, while Mickey is a masculine name in English-speaking countries.
  • Noein: not present in the show itself, but it does have two main characters named "Yuu" and "Ai". Certain lines in the English dub therefore sound unintentionally hilarious ("That's the same cellphone strap Ai has!").
  • School Rumble has a series of misunderstandings based on Harima's cousin Itoko. "Itoko" also means "cousin", and whenever someone asks "What's your relationship with her?" he answers that "She's my cousin." but people read it as "She's my Itoko" and figure they're in a relationship...
  • Slayers fans can use "Sore wa himitsu desu" in conversation. If someone in the conversation doesn't understand Japanese, Hilarity Ensues.
    • For those readers who may not be familiar, it means "It's a secret" and is the Catchphrase of Xellos.
  • Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl: One of Yawara's teammates on her judo squad is named Nanda. This is a legit Japanese surname, but it also means roughly "what?" or "what the?" (nan da?, short form of nan desu ka?), which is used for quick laughs a couple of times.
  • Yakitate!! Japan seems to love these.
    • Similar to the above, one dialogue involves some confusion regarding the type of Indian bread known as "naan".
    • After every episode, they used to do a small "Facts about Bread" corner. In one of them, Kawachi and Tsukino asked Azuma about his favourite animal, and Azuma answered "Jaa, panda" ("Yes, the Panda!"). Of course, that sounds like "Ja-pan da" ("It's the Ja-pan") so his friends, thinking/realizing he was obsessed with bread, sighed and dropped the subject.
    • During the Pantasia Employee Examination, the candidates are asked to bake croissants ("kurowassan"). Azuma, being Azuma, doesn't understand and instead wonders about this mysterious Mr. Kurowa ("Kurowa-san").
  • In order to avoid this trope, Yoh's name was changed to Yuu in the Spanish version of Shaman King, since "yo" means "I" in Spanish. The Mexican dub left the name, but pronounced it "I-oh" ("ee-oh")...and since there are people who mispronounce "yo" as "ió"...
  • Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou: In Japanese, "nai" is a verb suffix denoting negativity. It can be used alone to mean "nothing", or as a general denial. On her travels, Alpha meets an android named Nai. She also meets a girl named "Kokone", which can be said as "Koko, ne?" which loosely translates to "Here?" She uses this pun the first time she meets her, too.
  • Yuugo from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. His name sounds very similar to Yuugou, the Japanese word for "Fusion." This is a problem for several reasons: 1) the Fusion Dimension were the main villains of the show when he was introduced and thus a lot of people want to know whether one is associated with them or not; 2) Yuugo is so hot-headed that his general reaction to his name being gotten wrong is to flatten people: and 3) Yuugo had no idea that Fusion users were attacking people so thus he doesn't understand the context. The results of this either have enormously bad consequences or Hilarity Ensues. In the English dub, when he tries to introduce himself, he sometimes gets the response, "You go? You go where?"

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy Galaxy: A Malay variant. When the heroes find the alien jester infiltrating the TAPOPS station, Koko Ci exclaims "Joe Ker Tu?", leading Gopal to assume the clown's name is Joe. "Ke Tu?" is a Malay expression of inquiry; as in Gopal thought Koko Ci was saying "Is that Joe?" Koko Ci clarifies the clown's name really is Jokertu.
  • Happy Heroes: A joke like this happens in Season 8 episode 1, when Big M. and Little M. meet Huo Haha for the first time.
    Big M.: [clears throat] Are you sent by the commander?
    Huo Haha: Yes. [does a pose with his toilet plunger] Hi. I am the magician who attacked the president, Huo Haha!
    [Big M. hits Huo Haha, resulting in a Hit Flash followed by Huo developing a Cranial Eruption]
    Big M.: Enough! Do you think I was joking? Be serious!
    Huo Haha: But I didn't laugh. My name is Huo Haha.
  • In the English redub of the Simple Samosa episode "Carnival Chaos", Vada meets a stranger in one of the carnival tents. When Vada asks for his name, the stranger replies "Popcorn", and Vada doesn't realize that's his name and says "no, thanks", thinking he's asking if he wants popcorn. In the first English dub, Vada simply gets confused at the stranger, who is named "Corny" instead.

  • Stardrek repeatedly does this with Mr. Snott on the comm.
    Captain Jerk: Bridge to Engineering!
    Mr. Snott: Snott here, Captain!
    Captain Jerk: What's not there, Snotty?
  • French humorist Raymond Devos was well-known for his wordplay sketches, including one set in a train station and using the cities of Caen (pronounced like "quand", French for "when"), Troyes (pronounced like "trois", French for "three") and Sète (pronounced like "sept", French for "seven").
  • The original sketch was sent up in 2006 with the performance of a Shakespearean version that must be seen to be believed.
  • A fictional Abbott and Costello routine was written with "Costello" trying to learn Hebrew, only to discover that mi is "who" and hu is "he" and hiy is "she". Hilarity Ensues. ...and we are all together! There was actually a kid's song made about this by a band called "Country Yossi".
  • The Chinese version.
  • This takes the joke to the 21st century by exploiting the potentially confusing names of popular computer programs.
  • One Russian comedy routine was pretty similar to the Abbott and Costello one (though direct influence is unlikely) and featured two characters, with the first one trying to find out the surname of the second, which was incidentally "Авас" (Andyours).
  • Rowan Atkinson had a piece where he is an English schoolteacher taking role, and of course all the students' names have unsavory connotations. "Myprick?" pause. "Has anybody seen Myprick?" pause. "Come on, somebody must have seen Myprick!"
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch features such characters as Whu (a representative from China, mistaken for who) and Yassir Arafat (mistaken for yes sir).
  • Puke N' Snot:
    • This Former Renaissance Fair comedy duo featured a similar skit when Puke is portraying the legendary Robin Hood, and is talking about the location of their secret hideout.
      Snot: This forest of yours wouldn't be named Gump would it?
      Puke: The location of our hideout is a closely guarded secret. Would you like to hear it?
      Snot: Sure would.
      Puke: Oh, so you know already.
      Snot: [Beat] Know what?
      Puke: The name of the forest.
      Snot: No, would you tell me?
      Puke: Sherwood.
      Snot: [beat] Okay! When?
    • They took it even further in their skit I'd Like to Buy an Eye when they impersonate pirates about to attack another ship.
      Snot: Aim your cannons at the foremast!
      Puke: Whip out your cannons, aim them at the four masts- The four masts? I thought there were only three masts!
      Snot: Well there are, but the first mast is fore.
      Puke: If the first mast is four, where's the third mast?
      Snot: That's mizzen.
      Puke: Where the hell did it go?
      Snot: Behind the main!
      Puke: The water main? Spanish main? Charlemagne? What main?
      Snot: The mainmast!
      Puke: What's the main mast?!
      Snot: Number two!
      Puke: I thought poop was number two!
      Snot: The poop is on the rear!
      Puke: Now that's the first thing you've said that makes sense!
      Snot: What's confusing you?
      Puke: I wanna know where's the fourth mast?
      Snot: There's only three masts!
      Puke: Then the fourth is missing!
      Snot: The third's mizzen!
      Puke: I know it's missing, where the hell did it go?!
      Snot: I told you, it's sticking out of the poop!
      Puke: Grrr!
  • Jeff Dunham:
    • He revealed a version with Peanut revolving around unusual wi-fi passwords. The password for backstage was "Icanttellyou", the tour bus password was "Idontremember", the home password was "Youhavetoguessit", the computer password was "Whosasking", and finally, the password for Jeff's cell phone was "Askyourmother".
    • Jeff and Achmed the Dead Terrorist go through a whole discussion on the Kardashians and Kanye West.
      Achmed: Oh I love the Kardashians!
      Jeff: Really, who's your favorite?
      Achmed: The black one.
      Jeff: That's Kanye, he's West.
      Achmed: Aaahhhh, I'm pretty sure he's South.
      Jeff: Not the direction.
      Achmed: No direction?
      Jeff: Not that direction.
      Achmed: Which direction?
      Jeff: None.
      Achmed: None?
      Jeff: Well, one direction.
      Achmed: He's in a boy band?
      Jeff: No, I said he's West.
      Achmed: Well he's certainly not North.
      Both: No.
      Jeff: No, that's his daughter.
      Achmed: His daughter is up North?
      Jeff: No, his daughter is North.
      Achmed: That's what I said!
      Jeff: No, his daughter is Northwest.
      Achmed: She's quick.
  • Patton Oswalt parodied this trope in his routine demolishing NewSong's "Christmas Shoes", noting that giving your band that name is "just asking to be living in an Abbott and Costello routine for the rest of your life."
    Patton: "Yeah, we got a new song." "By who?" "Exactly." "WHAT!? It's- oh, fuck this..."
  • A form of wordplay favoured by Tim Vine. For example, "So I went into Blockbuster and asked 'Hi, can I take out Batman Forever?' They said 'No, you have to bring it back next week.'"
  • 1970s comedy troupe The Credibility Gap did a version where a promoter tries to put an ad in the Los Angeles Times for a concert featuring the groups The Who, The Guess Who, and Yes.

    Comic Books 
  • A brief example in a Batman crossover, where a guy tells Batman about this super-hero who had accosted him: "His name's Strange." "What's strange about it?" "No, that's his name. Adam Strange."
  • Occasionally used in Archie Comics.
    • This one took a little while:
      Veronica: What are you ordering?
      Reggie: I want oysters.
      Veronica: And you, Archie?
      Archie: I want oyster stew.
      Betty: [to the cook] They both want oysters.
      Archie: I don't!
      Veronica: You just said you did! He said he wanted oysters, and you said you wanted oysters, too!
      Archie: That's right. I want oyster stew.
      Veronica: That's what I said.
      Archie: ...but I don't want oysters!
      [everyone groans]
    • And in another strip:
      Betty: Hey Archie!
      Archie: Did you call me, Betty?
      Betty: Why would I call you Betty? You don't look like a Betty.
    Other people then proceed to do the same thing to Archie... and so on.
    • And this:
      Jughead: Look at the bunch of cows!
      Farmer: No, herd.
      Jughead: Heard of what?
      Farmer: Herd of cows.
      Jughead: Sure, I've heard of cows!
      Farmer: No, a cow herd.
      Jughead: What do I care what a cow heard? I've never kept any secrets from a cow!
  • Referenced in The Cartoon History of the Universe when Gonick points out that ancient Hindus composed a poem to the great god "Who".
  • Deadpool once found Loki's Flowery Elizabethan English a little confusing:
    Loki: I know what to do, and you shall do it for me.
    Deadpool: Me?
    Loki: Aye.
    Deadpool: You?
    Loki: No, you.
    Deadpool: Me?
    Loki: Aye.
    Deadpool: You... keep saying "I".
    Loki: Yes.
    Deadpool: So I should do it?
    Loki: Aye.
    Deadpool: Wait, so you'll do it?
    Loki: No, you.
    Deadpool: I?
    Loki: Good, we agree.
    Beat Panel as Loki leaves.
    Deadpool (facing the reader): WHAT?!?
  • Don Rosa likes this joke, though usually not taken to its Overly Long Gag lengths. Many of his stories have Donald Duck misunderstanding some name or other word. Used as a Running Gag in the Uncle Scrooge story "Fortune on the Rocks". For example, when Scrooge and his nephews are preparing to climb a craggy mountain:
    Donald: So where do I hammer this spike?
    Louie: Right there, Unca Donald! That's your fault.
    Donald: Oh, sure! Blame everything on me!
  • When The Thing is in France during the Civil War he gets into an exchange like this involving the words "We" and "Oui". He mentions the trope namer.
  • Górsky & Butch includes a gag about a village of Asian monks, all of whom have names that sound exactly like various Polish pronouns and prepositions.
  • Judge Dredd had Kenny Who? (yes, even the question mark is part of his name), a struggling artist trying to establish himself in Mega City One. Kenny was a running gag based on artist Cam Kennedy's experiences trying to break into the industry in America.
  • The Labor Day issue of Li'l Gotham has a scene where the villain Hush attempts to make a phone call, which gets as far as "Who is this?" "Hush." before getting bogged down in misunderstanding.
  • In one Lucky Luke story, an Indian scout notices smoke at the horizon, signifying that settlers have entered his tribe's territory. So naturally he sends a smoke signal back to his village, saying "There is smoke at the horizon". This trope ensues when the Chieftain asks what the smoke signal means...
  • One early issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) series has Robotnik try and find the leader of the Freedom Fighter's intelligence division. After uncovering the (literal!) mole, the interrogation goes thusly...
    Robotnik: Who is the head of the secret intelligence?
    Mole: That's right!
    Robotnik: What?!
    Mole: No, not "what"- "Who!"
And Harvey Who, the owl, smiles to himself. Just as Planned.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) has this bit from Issue #8, when Sonic and Silver first meet Whisper the Wolf and names are exchanged.
    Whisper: Whisper.
    Sonic: Cool.
    Silver: [whispering] Okay. But... why?
    Sonic: No, genius. Whisper is her name.
  • Spider-Man: In The Spectacular Spider-Man #106:
    Spider-Man: What's that guy got anyway?
    Wasp: A certain je ne sais quoi.
    Spider-Man: And that means...
    Wasp: "I don't know what."
    Spider-Man: If you don't know what it means, how can you say it?
    Wasp: You're kidding, right?
    Spider-Man: You'll never know.
  • The Tiny Titans version of Owlman led to one of these. Saying Hoo to Batman.
  • In Transformers: Shattered Glass, this trope is how Goryu got his name. When Cliffjumper captured Slugfest, and the initially-unnamed Dinobot came to his rescue, the heroic Autobot tried to ask him for a name, only to get in response "Me gore you!". Later, when he and Sideswipe called for reinforcements to take the captured Dinobots away, they referred to him as "Goryu", and the name stuck.
  • Y: The Last Man:
    • Subverted and Lamp Shaded:
      You: My name is You!
      Yorick: You? Like Why-Oh-Ewe?
      You: Hai!
      Yorick: Well, that is some Who's on First-shit right there!
    • On another occasion, Agent 355 poses as a member of the WHO. When someone replies, "Who?" she spoils it by explaining that it's the World Health Organization, much to Yorick's disappointment. "You were just a couple of lines away from an Abbott and Costello routine."

    Comic Strips 
  • The Family Circus features a ghostly prankster named Not Me. It's not hard to see how his antics get the children (who know of Not Me's existence) into even worse trouble when they try to explain their way out of it. And when there's too much mischief for one, Not Me is joined by his Distaff Counterpart, Ida Know.
  • In FoxTrot, Jason and Marcus do one relating to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, complete with a reference to the Trope Namer:
    Marcus: Who are they?
    Jason: Yes.
    Marcus: I mean the people.
    Jason: Who.
    Marcus: The ones standing in a circle singing that "Fahoo" song!
    Jason: They're Who.
    Marcus: What are you asking me for?!
    Jason: Abbott and Costello meet the Grinch.
    Paige: Who?
  • Also shows up in Get Fuzzy, when Rob has to tell Satchel to call a doctor for him.
    Rob: No, that's Dr. Weir. I need to see Dr. Wen.
    Satchel: Weir! Wen! Hu!
  • An old Peanuts Sunday strip has Sally working on her penmanship when Linus comes in:
    Sally: I'm practicing my Y's.
    Linus: Why?
    Sally: No, Y's! I did a whole row of them.
    Linus: Oh.
    Sally: Not O's, Y's!
    Linus: I see.
    Sally: I C? Who said anything about I's and C's? These are Y's! Don't you ever listen?
    Linus: Gee!
    Sally: Not G! Y's!! Now pay attention... these are U's...
    Linus: They don't look like me at all...
    [Sally throws her papers and pen at Linus in the last panel]
  • Pearls Before Swine:
    • A storyline from 2009 involved Pig and his "bitter x" (a refrigerator magnet in the shape of a literal letter x), culminating in this strip from November 29.
    • Another Pearls Before Swine storyline from October 19, 2014 follows the spirit/letter of this trope much more closely with Rat being slowly driven insane while trying to ask Goat whose band's drummer was Keith Moon (you can read their whole conversation in its full glory on the Quotes page for this article). It culminates with Rat screaming "I don't know!" and Goat saying, "Third base!"
    • In the strip of February 28, 2021, Pig tells Rat that a friend of his and his wife were arrested for him taking a vintage record and her stealing Rap and Heat CDs. Since his wife had a criminal record and couldn't take the heat, he took the entire rap. The whole thing drives Rat nuts.
    Rat: GUESS WHO DOESN'T @#*@#@* CARE?!
    Pig: 'Guess Who' was the record he stole.
  • In one Pickles strip, Opal found her husband Earl watching TV and asked what he was watching. He replied, "My Name Is Earl." She said that she already knew his name and repeated her question.
  • In The Wacky Adventures of Pedro, confusion (further detailed on the Quotes page) ensues after Pedro asks an alien for the name of the planet that will play host to the Miss Galactic Nebula Beauty Contest, and he mishears the answer, "Owrplannit", as, "Our planet".

    Fan Works 
  • Played with in Breaking Character, a Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun fic where Kashima's eccentric father is responsible for naming his two daughters Yuu and Mii. Hori fails to notice it until it's pointed out to him, with the other person joking about the possibility of additional sisters Ai and Wii.
  • Done in this Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction, and this Tenchi Muyo! fanfiction.
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged's version of "Cooler's Revenge", Goku confronts Cooler for the first time and mistakes him for Freeza. Sauza corrects him by stating that he's Cooler. Goku, being Goku, immediately thinks that if he's "Cooler than Freeza", then he's "ice cold". Cooler gets in on it by saying that that's his fathernote .
  • In For the Glory of Irk, the Control Brains are identified by Roman numerals, which they pronounce by stating each numeral by its letter name. Therefore, whenever Control Brain I is mentioned, people are confused as to whether the speaker is referring to said Control Brain, or is saying "I" in reference to themselves.
  • From Hardcore Entertainment presents: 'Seven Does Voyager'
    Bootlix: Er...actually Captain...
    Cptn Analway: What?
    Bootlix: They said they're obeying your orders.
    Cptn Analway: WHAT?
    Bootlix: You just said that.
    Cptn Analway: Said what?
    Bootlix: What.
    Cptn Analway: What did I just say?
    Bootlix: You said "what".
    Cptn Analway: What?
    Bootlix: Yes, what.
    [Analway feels a throbbing in her head that she has not experienced since she let her hair down from its tight bun]
    Cptn Analway: No, I meant what...ARGH! What order?
  • In Harry Potter fanfiction, this has been done numerous times with Sirius Black. "Sirius"/"serious" jokes are generally understood to be quite lame by this point.
    • There's a LiveJournal icon floating around among the Sirius/Remus shippers with the following exchange between Harry and Remus:
      Harry: You're a werewolf?!
      Remus: Yes.
      Harry: Are you fucking serious?!
      Remus: That too.
    • And then, the Memetic Mutation: "Why so Sirius?" Made all the better by the fact the actor who played him was also in The Dark Knight Trilogy.
    • Mugglecast has a cowbell they ring when lame jokes including that one start getting abused.
    • The author of the HP fic Who's a Hero? both uses and lampshades the trope.
    • Lampshaded in the Dangerverse, where the Pack parents state Sirius can only make that joke once a year.
    • In one episode of The Lazer Collection, Ron mentions that Dumbledore has had an accident. When Harry asks if it was serious, Ron replies, "No, it was Snape." Cue Fail Horn and I'mma Firin' My Lazer!
    • This would only really work in an American accent; British people pronounce the words differently enough that the joke wouldn't work — "Sirius" / "seee-rious". See also the various Harry/hairy puns the fandom makes.
  • Legendarily Popular: In fairness, having an electric-type Gym Leader named Wattson, with an assistant named Watt, was just begging for something like this to happen. Combine that with the number of Flat Whats produced by Ash's ridiculous team, and it was inevitable.
  • In Hogwarts' Dawn Hogwarts creates a brand-new House for Harry and his friends after he becomes estranged from most of the other Gryffindors during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Since as a building it possesses limited sentience, it christens the new House "Your House," which creates some confusion at dinner when Dumbledore tells Harry that he's now a member of "Your House."
  • The Big Bad of Hogwarts Exposed, known in-universe only as the "Great One", is actually the Minister for Magic, whose surname is Wrong. This led one reviewer to suggest that this trope was the reason she'd never been caught despite being a complete idiot, because:
    Auror Chief: So, have you found out who the Great One is?
    Auror: She's Wrong.
    Auror Chief: I know she's wrong, but who is she?
  • Hans Von Hozel: "One day, House was walk into his House."
  • Used in this fan-performed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time variant of the joke, between Sheik and Link.
  • Make a Wish:
    Doctor: I'm the Doctor.
    Harry: Who?
    Doctor: No relation.
  • A Man of Iron: In the second book, A Crack of Thunder, Fury Info Dumps the Iron Pointe group about the Others, including how they "possess others", leading to brief confusion that they possess each other. It takes a minute before Fury can clarify that they possess people.
  • In Master Potter of Kamar-Taj Harry objects to the potions riddle which is part of the challenges protecting the Philosopher's Stone.
    Harry: Yeah, but a riddle? Really? 1, if it's a teacher, they're probably smart enough to figure it out, and 2, WHY A RIDDLE?
    Ron: Well it could be You-Know-Who.
    Harry: Who?
    Ron: You-Know-Who.
    Harry: Who's Who? Doctor Who?
    Ron: No! You-Know-Who!
    Harry: I clearly don't.
    Ron: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?
    Harry: Well how do I know who he is if he's not named?
    Ron: No! You-Know-Who! The Dark Lord!
    Harry: Darth Vader?
    Ron: Who?
    Harry: That's what I want to know!
  • May the Best Friends Win (the sequel to Rainbooms and Royalty) has this exchange between Pinkie and Twilight when the former sees the latter's messed up mane.
    Pinkie: You sort of look like that doctor... what's his name?
    Twilight: Who?
    Pinkie: That's what I'm trying to remember!
  • Used in this fan video for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, featuring Derpy Hooves getting confused because her driving instructor keeps telling her to back up the car and the fact he keeps telling her to "go ahead". She decides in the end to just make the car go sideways instead... Somehow...
  • In The Non-Bronyverse, TD runs across a pair of diamond dogs named Huo and Watt. He can barely manage to keep a straight face as he runs through the gag.
  • Oversaturation: Lampshaded as a known gag in a Your Other Left situation:
    Driving allowed Sunset a chance to relax. Sort of. [...] there was Pinkie Pie to contend with. It was very hard to focus on potential apocalypses when that girl was trying to give directions.
    "Now go left."
    "Ri— Got it." Sunset smirked as she hit the turn signal. She wasn't going to fall for that gag.
    "No, my left."
    "We have the same left!"
  • In The Phantom of the Genre, while trying to catch a ghost in an old theater, Rarity proposes having a seance, to which Pinkie keeps responding "Ahntz" to Rarity's chagrin.
  • From SOSchip:
    North Cat fan: Sorry, I would have come to the game, but these tickets are far too much money, and it'll cost me An Arm and a Leg.
    oghond: [stares in shock at the other person's arm] Your arm?!
    North Cat fan: Yes, ik ben arm. note 
    oghond: No, no, no, your arm.
    North Cat fan: That's what I said: ik ben arm.
    oghond: You're not an arm; you're a human person!
    North Cat fan: Ik geen arm, maar ik ben arm.
    oghond: What- huh- what?
    North Cat fan: I'M POOR.
    oghond: Then why didn't you just say that in the first place?
    North Cat fan: I did! I said it'd cost me an arm and a leg to buy these tickets!
    South Cat fan: Your arm?
    North Cat fan: Oh god...
  • Similar to the above is this example from chapter 5 of Stargate Equestria: Connection:
    O'Neill: Hey, pal! Name's Jack O'Neill! What's yours?
    Who: Uh. Who?
    O'Neill: What?
    Who: What?
    O'Neill: Who. Are you?
    Who: Oh. Um, yeah...
  • In Ellen Brand's Supernatural series (a set of seven Case Closed fics, with connections to some others of hers), the sixth story crosses over with The Real Ghostbusters and starts this as a callback to one of the latter series' episodes.
    Peter Venkman: If you want, I'll tell you about Watt sometime.
    Shinichi Kudo: About what?
    Peter Venkman: Don't start that joke, we ran it into the ground when it happened.
  • This Bites!: In the Enies Lobby arc, Cross and Soundbite weaponize the dialogue to get the drop on a government agent who got the drop on them, which Cross and Soundbite even lampshade afterward ("...We just managed to weaponize Abbott and Costello," "WE'RE AWESOME!"). Followed by Soundbite broadcasting the original sketch to the entire world (at Cross's request). Busted guts abound.
  • In the Transformers fanfic "Who Runs Communications?'', Prowl decides the super-strict leadership style of Ultra Magnus is having an unacceptably deleterious effect on morale. So he gets Ultra Magnus used to the default level of insanity among the Ark crew by turning the duty roster into a Who's On First routine. And giving many of the other Autobots cryptic hints in preparation to see the gag through to completion.
    Ultra Magnus: What is the designation of the Autobot in charge of Engineering?
    Prowl: What is the designation of the Autobot in Security.
    Ultra Magnus: I didn't ask who's running Security!
    Prowl: Who's running Communications.
    Ultra Magnus: I don't know!
    Bumblebee, Jazz, Mirage: Engineering!
  • In The Undesirables a combination of Lightning Dust's drunkenness and Luna's use of the Royal "We" leads to the following exchange.
    Princess Luna: As We were saying, I—
    Lightning Dust: Who's We?
    Princess Luna: Me.
    Lightning Dust: You?
    Princess Luna: Aye!
    Lightning Dust: I?
    Princess Luna: Yes!
    Lightning Dust: Me?
    Princess Luna: SILENCE!
  • Ultra Fast Pony, "The Longest Episode". Due to Pinkie Pie's accent, her pronunciation of "talking" sounds a lot like "Tolkien". Confusion ensues when she tries to ask who wrote the Lord of the Rings books. Also, The Stinger for the episode featured this scene re-dubbed with a snippet from Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" sketch.
  • Webwork has a brief gag when it's revealed that Jade's birth name is Yu, causing Tohru to wonder if his grasp of English isn't as good as he thinks it is. Part of what kicks off the plot hinges on the similarity between "Yu" and "You"
  • In The Loud House fanfic The Who's on First, Luna asks Luan to write down the names of songs, but Luan and Lola mistake them for ordinary phrases (e.g. "God Only Knows" and "What's Going On?").
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "Sparkle's Law" demonstrates the problem of ponies being named after food when the Apple siblings look over a list of what the members of their family were bringing for the Summer Sun Celebration.
    Apple Bloom: Golden Delicious is bringing Red Delicious.
    Applejack: Then what’s Red Delicious bringing?”
    Apple Bloom: Red delicious, obviously.
    Applejack: But you just said Golden Delicious was bringing red delicious.
    Apple Bloom: He is.
    Applejack: Well we can’t have two ponies bringing red delicious!
    Apple Bloom: We don’t. Golden Delicious is bringing golden delicious.
    Applejack: But you just said-
    Apple Bloom: -They’re also bringing Apple Tart, who’s bringing the apple tarts.
    Applejack: So Apple Tart is coming with Golden Delicious?
    Apple Bloom: No, she’s coming with apple tarts. Are you even listening?
    Applejack: Then who’s coming with Golden Delicious?
    Apple Bloom: Golden Delicious.
    Applejack: (Groaning) Maybe you should put the list down for now.
  • Squeakin' the Squeakquel: the Squeakining: During a Disney costume party, Lila attempts to vent her frustration with not getting Adrien to be her date by attempting to ensnare a boy who is friendly with Marinette and Kitty Section, disguised as Aladdin, who presents himself as Prince Ali. She believes he's just into character and leaves after she becomes frustrated because the others keep calling him Ali - never learning that he's actually Prince Ali of Achu, someone she had claimed to have worked with extensively in the past.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, in chapter 5, Xvital has just entered the kitchen of their hotel penthouse suite and sees a mare working on a cake. From the smell, she deduces what kind it is, and asks "Mango cake?" The chef, who is still frosting the cake and knows exactly what she means, jokingly but truthfully responds with "That's my cousin's name, actually."
  • PreCure in a Nutshell: Cure White gets the parody name of Cure What. When she introduces herself for the first time...
    Cure What: i am the hero cure what
    Cure Blunk: what
    Cure What: i said i am the hero cure what
    Cure Blunk: cure what
    Cure What: exactly
  • How? has one which is possible only because of wizards swearing by Merlin.
    Sirius: Well, our ancestor was a half-demon. He was of the blackest magic...
    Harry: Merlin!
    Remus: You know who? Gah, not that one, I meant to say, you know whom he means?
    Harry: Merlin.
    Remus: What? [Snape chuckles] Come on, tell me!
    Snape: The Blacks descent from Merlin.
    Remus: Merlin!
    Snape: Exactly.
  • Where We Don't Belong: Lanz and Egil have a moment of confusion when Egil talks about his "Face" (which Lanz identifies as a Levnis) and Lanz wonders why he's suddenly talking about his face.

    Films — Animation 
  • In All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Carface (notably a reasonably savvy and competent villain previously) falls for the "sole"-"soul" homonym, having sided with the Devil on the assumption he would sell shoes. He promptly gets Dragged Off to Hell at the end of the movie.
  • Done in Atlantis: The Lost Empire with a mix-up over the names of the crew.
    Princess Kida: Cookies are sweet, but yours is not. Sweet is kindly, but that is not his name. Audrey is sweet, but she is not your doctor. And the little digging animal called Mole, he is your pet?
    Milo: Close enough.
  • Care Bears: Big Wish Movie: When Me Bear pays a visit to Wish, we get this exchange:
    Wish Bear: Who is it?
    Me Bear: It's Me Bear!
    Wish Bear: Who Bear?
    Me Bear: Me Bear!
    Wish Bear: You Bear?
    Me Bear: Yes!
    Wish Bear: Who?
    Me Bear: Me!
    Wish Bear: Me?
    Me Bear: Yes!!
    (Twinkers whispers to Wish)
    Wish Bear: (realizing) Oh! (giggles)
  • The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: When Victor demands that Wallace get his hairpiece out of the Bun-Vac 6000.
    Victor: I want... Toupee, please.
    Wallace: Oh, grand. Uh, we take check or cash.
    Victor: Toupee, you idiot! My hair is in your machine!
    Wallace: Oh, no, it's only rabbits in there. The hare, I think you'll find, is a much larger mammal.
  • In Inside Out, the two guards who guard Riley's subconscious get in an argument when one thinks the other took his hat. The problem is, rather than writing their name inside their own hat, both of them wrote "my hat" instead.
  • In The Lion King (1994), Nala attempts to explain matters to Timon and Pumbaa:
    Timon: Hey, what's going on here? Who's the monkey?
    Nala: Simba's gone back to challenge Scar.
    Timon: Who?
    Nala: Scar.
    Pumbaa: Who's got a scar?
    Nala: No, no, no. It's his uncle.
    Timon: The monkey's his uncle?
    Nala: No! Simba's gone back to challenge his uncle, to take his place as king...?
    Timon and Pumbaa: Ohhhh...
  • In Mulan, when Li Shang is asking for the name of a disguised Mulan:
    Shang: What's your name?
    Mulan: Uh... I, I, uh...
    Chi Fu: Your commanding officer just asked you a question!
    Mulan: Uh, I've got a name, ha! And it's a boy's name, too.
    Mushu: [whispering while hiding in Mulan's collar] Ling. How about Ling?
    Mulan: [looking at Ling] His name is Ling.
    Shang: I didn't ask for his name. I asked for yours!
    Mushu: Try, uh, uh... ah... Chu.
    Mulan: Ah Chu.
    Shang: Ah Chu?
    Mushu: Gesundheit. [chuckles] I kill myself.
    Mulan: Mushu...
    Shang: Mushu?
    Mulan: No!
    Shang: [losing patience] Then what is it?
    Mushu: Ping! Ping was my best friend growing up.
    Mulan: It's Ping.
    Shang: [skeptically] Ping???
    Mushu: [to himself] Of course, Ping did steal my gir— [Mulan clamps a hand over his mouth, shutting him up]
    Mulan: Yes, my name is Ping.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman:
    • While visiting Marie Antoinette:
      Sherman: Mrs. Antoinette, can we have some cake?
      Marie Antoinette: Mais oui.
      Sherman: Oh, I'm sorry. May we have some cake?
      Mr. Peabody: Oh, Sherman, what she means is...
    • Later, during an encounter with King Tut, Peabody introduces a high priest named Ai, prompting Sherman to predictably ask, "He's you?"
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: When Knowsmore explains to Ralph and Vanellope how they can destroy the Ralph clones conjured by the Insecurity Virus, and Vanellope decides to get their friend Yesss to help them.
    Ralph: Official query: "What do I do if clones of me are trying to capture my friend?" Search!
    Knowsmore: [searches] I find two results for your query. Either you put all the clones in therapy, not very realistic. Or, the anti-virus district is surrounded by a gate made from security software. If Vanellope could somehow lead all of the clones through the gate, they would be deleted all at once. Sort of a co-dependent pied piper situation.
    Vanellope: Wait, we know a pied piper!
    Ralph: We do?
    Vanellope: Yesss!
    Ralph: Who?
    Vanellope: Yesss!
    Ralph: Yeah, but who is it?
    Vanellope: [disapproving look]
    Ralph: Oh, you mean Yesss!
  • In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099 tells the Spider-Force to "stop Spider-Man", meaning Miles Morales. However, since 99% of the heroes are named "Spider-Man", every Spider-Man pulls back and points at each other, asking "Me?" or "You?" in confusion as Miguel doesn't specify.
    Miguel: Ay coño, Miles! Miles Morales!
  • Happens in Winnie the Pooh (2011)
    Rabbit: Can you tie a knot?
    Piglet: I cannot.
    Rabbit: Ah, so you can knot?
    Piglet: No, I cannot knot.
    Rabbit: Not knot?
    Pooh: Who's there?
    Rabbit: Pooh!
    Pooh: Pooh who?
    Rabbit: No, Pooh...Piglet, you'll need more than two knots?
    Piglet: Not possible.
    Owl: Ah, so it is possible to knot those pieces.
    Piglet: Not these pieces.
    Pooh: Yes, knot those pieces.
    Piglet: Why not?
    Eeyore: 'Cause it's all for naught.

  • First one:
    Q: Who invented the steam engine?
    A: Watt.
    Q: I said "Who invented the steam engine?"
  • And:
    Q: Hao Hai is a Chinese mountain.
    A: I don't know, how high is it?
  • Also:
    Q: Who was the 1975 F1 World Champion?
    A: Lauda.
  • Also with a Bilingual Bonus:
    Q: How do you say "horses" in Dutch?
    A: Paarden
  • Also:
    Q: What's the capital of Alaska?
    A: Juneau.
    Q: If I knew, I wouldn't be asking.
  • Also:
    "My wife went on a cruise."
    "No, she wanted to go."
  • And:
    Q: Where's your sister taking her holiday?
    A: Alaska.note 
    Q: No don't worry, I'll do it myself.
  • Also:
    "Last week I took a break in Austria."
    "No, just skiing."
  • A classic Jewish joke involves asking what "ani lo yodeah" means. "What does 'ani lo yodeah' mean?" "I don't know." (Yeah, that's literally what it means)
    • This actually plays a pivotal role in a (possibly apocryphal) story involving a Jewish sage and an antisemitic Christian priest. The latter arranges a religious debate between the two, with the fate of the Jewish community hanging in the balance; the priest intends it to be fixed. However, the first question the sage asks the priest is what the words "Ani lo yodeah" mean, and the priest makes a fool of himself in front of the king, who sees him declaring he doesn't know the answer.
    • A variation have their lives on the line and the priest knowing Hebrew and being able to correctly answer the question. Since the axeman didn't speak a word of Hebrew, he mistook the priest's answer for an admission of ignorance, and he wound up getting the axe. Either way, the Jews win, everybody goes home, the end.
      • Another variant on this uses the French term "Je ne sais quoi", which means "I don't know what".
  • "There are four brothers, Anybody, Nobody, Everybody, and Somebody. Everybody had a job to do, and Anybody could have done it, but Nobody ended up doing it. This made Somebody mad, because when Everybody has a job to do and Anybody can do it, Nobody should be doing nothing!"
  • Another joke:
    Mexican kid: [in Spanish] Sir, I would like to buy some socks.
    American store clerk: What?
    Kid: [in Spanish] Socks! I need socks!
    Clerk: Look, is this what you're looking for? [holds up pants]
    Kid: No.
    Clerk: Is this it? [holds up shoes]
    Kid: No.
    Clerk: Uh, this? [holds up socks]
    Kid: ¡Eso sí que es! [in Spanish, "that is it!"]
    Clerk: Well, if you could spell it, why'd ya waste my time?
  • Three men are living in an apartment house: Mr. Crazy on first floor, Mr. Nobody on second, Mr. No-one on third. One day, they're all looking out of their windows. Then, Mr. Nobody throws a flowerpot on Mr. Crazy's head. Mr. No-one has seen it. So Mr. Crazy calls 911:
    Mr. Crazy: Nobody has thrown a flowerpot on my head! And No-one is my witness!
    Policeman: Sir, are you crazy?
    Mr. Crazy: Yes, exactly!
  • How about:
    Q: Can you tell me Napoléon Bonaparte's nationality?
    A: Corsican.
    Q: OK, so what was it?
  • And there's:
    Q: Hao Long is a Chinese name.
    A: ...eleven letters?
    Q: No, Hao Long is a Chinese name.
  • A joke that's usually told like an urban legend: An airplane employee named John Gay is taking a flight using one of the free tickets he gets from his job. Not liking his assigned seat, he switches with someone else. Unfortunately, the plane is overbooked, so the flight attendant has to go and ask people to give up their seats, starting with holders of free tickets. She asks the man who took Mr. Gay's seat "Are you Gay?" He says "Well, yes, miss, I am." She says, "You'll have to give up your seat." Realizing what happened, the actual John Gay stands up and says "no, no, I'm Gay." A third man stands up and says "Hell, I'm gay too. They can't throw all of us off the plane."
  • A joke with many variations: A man named "Damn You" (or something more vulgar) has a brother named "Trouble", and one day Trouble goes missing. When Damn You goes to a policeman for help, the following exchange takes place.
    Police: What's your name again?
    Damn You: Damn You.
    Police: I asked for your NAME.
    Damn You: And I said, Damn You!
    Police: Listen, are you looking for trouble?
    Damn You: Yes, that's why I came to you!
    • Another variation has the man have two brothers, Manners and Trash (a more kid-friendly version calls them Shutup, Manners, and Poop). Trash falls down on the side of the road, and while Manners is helping him up Damn You goes for help. After going through the routine and getting asked "Where are your manners?", he replies "Out on the road, picking up Trash!"
  • A Scottish man tells his friend he is getting married, and will wear a kilt at the ceremony. The friend asks "What colour is the Tartan?" and the Scotsman replies "She's in white, same as usual."
  • And of course, the old grade-school standby. Only went as long as a kid's patience.
    Q: Pete and Re-Pete are in a boat. Pete falls off, so who's left?
    A: Re-Pete.
    Q: Pete and Re-Pete are in a boat. Pete falls off, so who's left?
  • A similar one, more along the lines of Schmuck Bait:
    Q: Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me-Now were in a boat. Adam and Eve fell out. Who was left?
    A: Pinch-Me-Now. [gets pinched] OWWW!
  • And of course:
    Look under there.
    Under where?
    Heh-heh, you said underwear!
  • Two chemists walk into a bar. One of them orders a cup of H₂O. When asked for his order, the other says: "H₂O too note , please". They received their orders; the second chemist died shortly after.
  • From online game conversation:
    "What does sth mean?"
    "Yeah, but what?"
  • The same can happen if someone asks what IDK means. It stands for "I don't know", but if someone's particularly dense they might think you're saying you don't actually know what it means.
  • One created during the 2014 World Cup:
    "The thing about the Netherlands is they don't have a playmaker like Messi."
    "The thing about the Netherlands — and their so-called 'total football' — is they don't have a playmaker like Messi."
  • While the term "dad joke" can mean any joke that's So Unfunny, It's Funny (because such jokes are the bread and butter of a Bumbling Dad's awkward attempts at humour), it can also refer more specifically to a brand of groaners that invert this trope:
    Kid: Dad, I'm hungry.
    Dad: Hi Hungry, I'm Dad.
  • Two farmers are talking.
    Farmer 1: I just got a flock of cows.
    Farmer 2: Herd.
    Farmer 1: Heard what?
    Farmer 2: Cow herd.
    Farmer 1: Why are you calling me a coward?
    Farmer 2: I didn't say "coward", I said "cow herd".
    Farmer 1: What if a cow heard? They can't understand English.
    Farmer 2: No, I meant "herd", like in herd of cows.
    Farmer 1: Of course I've heard of cows. I've got a whole flock of 'em!
  • A story of questionable truth tells of a nurse named Pika Bu who very briefly worked in an Intenstive Care Unit (a similar joke uses now-retired American alpine skiing Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street). She didn't last long because she frequently had to answer the phone when it rang:
    Nurse: Pika Bu, ICU.note 
  • An Englishwoman, a Frenchwoman, a Spanish woman, and a German woman are out and about when they come across a street performer surrounded by a big crowd that blocks their view. The performer stands up on a box and asks if he's more visible that way: "Yes." "Oui." "Si." "Ja." (Yes, we see ya.)
  • This joke:
    Father: "I hear you got detention for saying the F-word."
    Son: "That's right."
    Father: "It wasn't fun, was it?"
    Son: "No; it was 'fuck'."
  • A "Knock Knock" Joke about Doctor Who (even though "Who" isn't actually the Doctor's name)
    Alice: "Knock, knock!"
    Bob: "Who's there?"
    Alice: "Doctor."
    Bob: "Doctor who?"
    Alice: "How did you know my name?"
  • A man names his dog Sex. This causes him lots of trouble, for instance when he gets a divorce and wants custody of the dog, he says, "I've had Sex since I was nine years old", when he tries to enter him in a dog show, he says, "I want to have Sex on TV", he gets put in jail when told he was "looking for Sex" at the dog pound, and has trouble ordering a special room for the dog at a hotel.
  • A Chinese-American man rushed into a phone booth in San Francisco's Chinatown and calls for the operator. Coincidentally enough, the operator is also a Chinese-American.
    Caller: Hello? I'd like to speak to Annie Wan, now!
    Operator: Well, you can speak to me.
    Caller: Why would I like to speak to you? Get me Annie Wan, hurry!
    Operator: But you said you'd like to speak to anyone?
    Caller: I don't have time for this. I need to speak to my sister, Annie Wan. I am Sum Wan, and I'd like to inform Annie Wan that our brother, Noh Wan, was involved in a car accident. Right now, our dad, Avery Wan, is on his way to visit..
    Operator: Is this some kind of joke?
    Caller: ...No, I'm serious! Just get me Annie Wan, now, Noh Wan is seriously injured, this is an emergency!
    Operator: If no one's seriously injured, then there really shouldn't be anything wrong.
    Caller: What the f... alright that's it, I'm reporting you, what's your name?
    Operator: I'm Soh Lee.
    Caller: Well screw your apology! I don't care, give me your name, right now!
    Operator: I already told you, I'm Soh Lee... [... and the whole joke just drags, on and on and on…]
  • Somebody's parents have four children, three of them being named North, East and West. What's the fourth child's name? Their name is Somebody.
  • A young woman who favors short skirts and underwear that doesn't cover much is hired as a clerk in a store with very high shelves that require climbing a ladder to reach. One of the items stored on those higher shelves is raisin bread and a male customer buying it discovers the situation's Panty Shot potential. Several of the customers still standing in line decide they want raisin bread in addition to what they actually came to buy. The clerk quickly goes from noticing that raisin bread is quite popular to getting frustrated that she keeps needing to grab the same item she just recently climbed up the ladder for. She reaches a point where she takes the frustration out on her next customer in the line as soon as he asks for bread:
    Clerk: Let me guess, yours is raisin also.
    Customer: Not yet, but it's definitely getting started.

  • A 1990s issue of MAD parodied the original "Who's On First?" routine with a bit where Abbott and Costello organize the MTV music library. Naturally, when they tell each other where to put the music, the names of these new bands and songs lead to misunderstandings.
    Costello: I have a video here by En Vogue. Can you tell me its title?
    Abbott: "Never Gonna Get It."
    Costello: Why am I never gonna get it? Give me one reason.
    Abbott: That's Tracy Chapman, we're not talking about her!
    Costello: I'm not talking about Tracey Chapman either. You oughta know.
    Abbot & Costello: Alanis Morissette!
    Costello: Since we're naming so many female singers, can you tell me the title of this Sheryl Crow video?
    Abbott: "If It Makes You Happy."
    Costello: I would be ECSTATIC! Here's the last one. Which Spice Girls song is this?
    Abbott: "Stop."
    Costello: I'm not sure we ever started!

  • Did you see The Band?note 
    "No, The Band."
    "The Who?"
    "No, The Band."
    "What, U2?"
    "No, They Might Be Giants."
    "Well, are they?"
  • Hank Williams III has a song called "I Don't Know", which can be confusing when you're listening to the song at a friend's house.
  • The Jadakiss song "Why".
  • Japanese music and Visual Kei are somewhat prone to this joke especially in the crossover to English, as a result of a lot of musicians being sharing the same names, names like Yo or Yuu or Yue or that are abbreviated to/pronounced the same, and some people's stage names. An unintentionally offensive variant can happen with the ones that are named "Die" or "Dai" - when someone told the bandman's name assumes they are being told to die.
  • A track on John Zorn, Derek Bailey and George Lewis's album "Yankees" (1983) carries this title.
  • The Kinks and The Cranberries both made an album called Something Elsenote 
  • The Monkees' "Gonna Buy Me a Dog":
    Davy Jones: I just got back from Africa, y'know. I was playing cards with the natives.
    Micky Dolenz: Oh, Zulus?
    Davy: No, I usually won.
  • In his infamous teardown of Christian Rock band New Song's "Christmas Shoes", Patton Oswalt quips that the band's name is just an Abbott and Costello routine waiting to happen.
    "Hey, I was just listening to New Song!"
    "A new song? Who's it by?"
  • Done in the "Good Day, Good Sir" by OutKast on their Speakerboxxx album with Fantastically Well, Spectacular, and Ms. Fine. "Exactly" is also referred to.
  • Then there was that time in the mid-sixties when Pete Best came out with an album and some genius thought of calling it Best of The Beatles. Many an aging Beatles fan still bears a grudge.
  • Similarly to the Hank Williams III example, Peter Gabriel has a song called "I Don't Remember".
  • Very early in their career, Radiohead were called On A Friday - part of the reason they changed their name was potential confusion about when their gigs were scheduled: a flyer for a show might end up reading "Tuesday night - On A Friday".
  • There are many jokes about two people listening to Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" in a car; when the driver asks what the song is called, and the other person answers, the driver invariably takes it the wrong way.
  • The lead singer of alt-rock band A Silent Film has admitted in least one interview that the band name is "a little awkward". note 
  • Songdrops has "I Got a Pea", in which a boy sings about a pea he got from his grandma, but his classmates laugh at him, because they think he's saying he needs to pee.
  • Not a pronoun issue, but a similar ambiguity: a song from the 1950s, popularized by the Kingston Trio, titled "To Morrow", about a guy trying to book a train to the town of Morrow, Ohio. Here's the Muppets' version — even with subtitles, it's brain-breaking.
    You should have gone to Morrow yesterday and back today
    For the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way
    If you had gone to Morrow yesterday, now don't you see?
    You could have gone to Morrow and returned today at three
    For the train today to Morrow if the schedule is right
    Today it gets to Morrow and returns tomorrow night
    • Bandleader Buddy Morrow released an album called Dancing Tonight to Morrow in 1959. There's a possibility one inspired the other.
    • Played with, however, in that while the song is dizzying to follow, the two people within the song, never actually make a mis-step.
  • Trout Fishing in America has a song about a boy who named his imaginary friend "nobody":
    I've got a friend that lives with me,
    My friend's name is Nobody.
    Nobody plays with me, Nobody loves me.
    I've got a friend that you can't see,
    My friend's name is Nobody.
    Nobody listens, Nobody cares.
  • As if The Who weren't bad enough, they decided to write a song called "Who Are You", call the album it was on Who Are You, and call their fifth album Who's Next. It's like they were trying. (We're lucky their proposed compilation album Who's for Tennis was never released.)
    • Their tribute bands either avert the possibility of this trope (The Wholigans) or create entirely new problems ("Have you heard the new Who tribute band?" "The What?")
  • In Lead Belly's "Mo' Yet" he makes a little wooden seat and everytime someone asks how many people can fit on it, he says "Mo' Yet". Turns out "Mo' Yet" is the name of a friend of his.

  • In '80s All Over's October 1983 episode Drew can't understand why Scott won't tell him the title of the next film, only that it's Romantic Comedy. Scott bursts into tears ("I'm at the mercy of this horrible film!") as he explains that is the title of the movie: Romantic Comedy.
  • One episode of Hello, from the Magic Tavern had as its guests the explorer team of Lewis A. Shark and Lois, a shark (who clarified that sharks pronounce the word a as AY rather than AH). Arnie mentioned the sketch by name, but nobody else saw anything confusing.
  • In one episode of Point vs. Point (which is meant to be a news show in-universe), Evan reads a story about a conflict between Iran and Israel, which Gareth mistakes for the phrases "is real" and "I ran", leading to a long string of misunderstandings. Evan even references "Who's On First?" by name in the middle of the bit, but Gareth of course doesn't get the reference.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Haku/Meng's real first name is Tonga. He's from the Kingdom of Tonga.
  • For a short time, the WWF had a masked wrestler named Who (played by Jim Neidhart), who existed solely so that the commentators could do this bit during his matches. It sucked.
    • WrestleCrap made fun of it on their message boards; a Running Gag was following up an instance of the word "who" with (not Neidhart).

    Puppet Shows 
  • Crosses with Lost in Translation in Big Bird in Japan. Big Bird thinks everyone is from Ohio, when they're really just saying good morning in Japanese to him (ohayō, which sounds like "Ohio").
  • In "Who Is Me?" from The Book of Pooh, Pooh receives a note that reads "Dear, Pooh. I miss you. Please come to lunch. Signed, Me." Since Pooh can't read, he ends up having Owl read the note. Owl reads it out loud verbatim, causing Pooh to think at first that it's Owl that invited him to lunch. After Owl finally gets through to Pooh that he didn't write the note, he spends the remainder of the story chasing the note through the pages of the Book of Pooh, trying to find out who did write it and confusing them, particularly Rabbit. In the end, it turns out that Kessie the bluebird wrote the note and she's forced to admit that, yeah, it would have saved Pooh a lot of trouble if she had actually signed her name.
  • LazyTown: When Ziggy asks Stingy what his favorite song is, Stingy says “It’s mine.” But Ziggy wonders if the song was his. But the latter tells him that his favorite song is The Mine Song.
  • The Muppet Show:
    • The classic "Good grief, the comedian's a bear" routine, where Fozzie tells Kermit to say the line when he says "Hear".
    • In the Dudley Moore episode, a Bug Band singing "She Loves You" performs the opening number. Afterwards backstage, Kermit the Frog recommends that the bug band find a name for their group. One of them mentions "The Grateful Dead" as a possibility. Kermit asks, "The who?" Alexander Beetle says, "It's been done already".
    • In one of the Muppet Viral Videos, Sam sings "American Woman" by The Guess Who and guesses John Phillips Sousa.
    • Also happens with Floyd and Animal.
      [Animal puts a nickel in a jukebox]
      Floyd: Hey, now we'll really hear some music.
      Animal: Yeah. What music?
      Floyd: "Put Another Nickel In".
      Animal: [puts more money in] I put nickel in. What music?
      Floyd: "Put Another Nickel In".
      Animal: [and again] I PUT NICKEL IN! WHAT MUSIC?!
    • A Muppets Disney Xtreme Digital video advertising the Muppet Whatnot Workshop, had Kermit try to explain what a Whatnot was.note 
      Fozzie: Explain what?
      Kermit: No, no, no. Explain Whatnot.
      Fozzie: How could I explain what it's not when I don't even know what it is?
      Kermit: Well, I do know what it is.
      Fozzie: You know what what is?
      Kermit: Whatnot!
      Fozzie: What?
      Kermit: ...not! Say "Whatnot!"
      Fozzie: Why?
      Kermit: Why not?
      Fozzie: Why not? What happened to the Whatnots?
      Kermit: Well, I don't know.
      Fozzie: Third base!
    • In the The Jim Henson Hour special Dog City, there are a lot of puns on gangster Bugsy Them and the hero, Ace Yu ("I'm Yu." "You're me?"). At the climax, Ace proposes to Colleen Barker, who's always dreamed of the day...When I'm Colleen Yu....
  • Sesame Street:
    • Ernie is singing "Happy Birthday to You!" not to Bert, but to the letter U.
    • Happens again in a Forgetful Jones skit.
      Forgetful Jones: Clementine, please tell me, what's the name of that song?
      Clementine: What's the Name of That Song!
      Forgetful Jones: That's what I've been asking you!
    • In one cartoon, a letter U knocks on the door of a letter P:
      U: It's U.
      P: You're me?
      U: I'm U.
      P: Well, this makes no sense. I'm me. You're you.
      U: Exactly. I'm U.
    • In one segment, a baby monster asks various monsters what the word "is" is, not understanding when they say the word is "is".
    • One live action segment about the letter W with Larry King has King asking what their favorite W word is. He thinks they are asking questions when W points out that he stands for those words.
    • One skit with Jamie Foxx has a bit of confusion over who's being referred to, because Jamie Foxx is present, but so is a fox, and a duck named Fox.
    • In an Alice in Wonderland parody, Abby asks for "a little tea", but gets a "t" instead.
    • Once, Telly asks what "por favor" means, and Rosita replies, "Please". Telly thinks she's asking him to put an extra "please" into the request.
    • In a "Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures" skit, the two are in the Stone Age, and Ernie calls, "Taxi!". Bert is confused because there were no taxis in the Stone Age, but it turns out that Ernie was calling for a caveman named Taxi.
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss had Fox in Socks and Mr Knox do a routine discussing Cindy-Lou Who.
  • Between the Lions: An animated skit had a beaver scoutmaster recruiting campers named "Who" (a frog), "What" (a rabbit), "Where" (a duck), and "Why" (a pig). Just as he learns all of their names, a tardy camper named "When" (a mouse) shows up which leads to this reaction:
    Counselor: Now, when—
    When: Here!
    Counselor: What?!
    What: No, I'm What!

  • As mentioned above, Abbott and Costello were masters of this style. Their Trope Namer routine manages to go on for fifteen minutes doing constant variations, without really repeating itself.
    • The right fielder is usually not named, but in one radio broadcast of The Abbott and Costello Show (May 11, 1942), the sketch was the climax of a storyline in which New York Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio asked Costello to substitute for him on the Yankees during recovery from a foot operation. Cue a Hurricane of Puns about baseball players, including Enos Slaughter (see above), Bob Feller ("wait, there's nine guys on Cleveland but only one Feller?"), and others, culminating in the routine, in which Costello himself was the right fielder, and his teammates were Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know on third...
    • A minor variation was when Costello was being taught how to milk a cow by Abbott, who told him in a thick Brooklyn accent - "You gotta go to the source!" "The sauce?" "Yes, the source!" "If I wanted sauce, I'd go pick apples! I want milk!"
  • The Reduced Shakespeare Radio Show did the Seventies bands version, with Yes, The Band, The Who and Guess Who. Not to mention seeing Boston in Chicago. Eventually they concluded that "the greatest band of the Seventies was Abbott and Costello".
    • True to their nature, this eventually got (more than usually) ridiculous.
    "...And The Band backed Dylan."
    "The Band backed a Welsh poet from the early twentieth century?"
  • And there once was a "sequel" to the famous skit, wherein first baseman Who had retired and opened a bar: Who's Bar, of course.
    • Defictionalized when the bar "Who's On First" opened in New York City — on First Avenue, of course.
  • The Goon Show has many of these:
    "What are you doing in that piano?"
    "I'm hidin'."
    "Don't be stupid. Haydn's been dead for years."
  • In the New Year's Eve 2008 special of CBC Radio's The Irrelevant Show, some group did a comedy sketch about a fictional comedy duo who invented this trope and are bitter for not being credited as such, although their version went like this.
    Funnyman: Yes?
    Straight Man: No.
    Funnyman: No?
    Straight Man: Yes!
    Funnyman: ...yes?
    Straight Man: NO!!
    Straight Man: YES!!
  • Audio-comedy troupe The Credibility Gap recorded a variation in which Harry Shearer played a concert promoter and David Lander played an editor trying to write an ad for the Los Angeles Times for a rock festival featuring The Who, The Guess Who, and Yes.
    • The promoter, Dallinger, just wants the ad to list the three bands' names. However, he runs into problems immediately when he tries to communicate this to the editor, Higgenlooper.
      Higgenlooper: Okay, who's on first?
      Dallinger: ... Mr. Higgenlooper, if my secretary's already given you the information, you know, there's no sense for me to be here. I could be out booking Sly in Spokane, so if you've got it...
      Higgenlooper: No no, wait a minute, wait a minute, all I said was "who's on first?"
      Dallinger: That's right.
      Higgenlooper: Ah, That's Right. Oh, I like that name. That's Right. It's so affirmative, it's so - so sure of itself...
      Dallinger: Don't write "That's Right." That's wrong.
      Higgenlooper: That's Wrong? Huh, it's been more negative, I suppose with what with these times and all, That's Wrong. [mumbles]
      Dallinger: Mr Higgenlooper, it's not "That's Right". It's not "That's Wrong".
      Higgenlooper: Well, then... who's on first?
      Dallinger: Who's on first.
      Higgenlooper: Who is on first?
      Dallinger: Who. Is. On. First.
      Higgenlooper: Who?
      Dallinger: Who.
      Higgenlooper: Who.
      Dallinger: Who!
      Higgenlooper: Who?!
      Dallinger: Who!
      Higgenlooper: Who's on first?!
      Dallinger: That's right!
      Higgenlooper: That's Right! I got it down here!
      Dallinger: Look, Mr. Higgenlooper! You get on the Pomona freeway, you drive your car out onto Ontario Motor Speedway, you get out, you give the man a ticket, you sit down in your seat, the guy on stage comes out and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to present, Who!"
      Higgenlooper: Who?
      Dallinger: That's right!
      Higgenlooper: That's Right! Alright, it's a fine group as far as I'm concerned.
      Dallinger: [sighs]
      Higgenlooper: Wait, you're upset.
      [overlaying arguments]
      Higgenlooper: We're having communication problems. There's nothing— there's nothing—
      [more overlaying arguements]
    • So they try moving on to the second act. Higgenlooper tries to choose his words more carefully, but to no avail:
      Higgenlooper: Let's just move over... we'll start with the second act.
      Dallinger: Fine. Fine.
      Higgenlooper: Okay, who's on second?
      Dallinger: [enraged] Who's on first! We wouldn't have them on second!!
      Higgenlooper: [overlapping] Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, no no no, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, um... Ah. What's the name of the second act?
      Dallinger: Guess Who.
      Higgenlooper: [long-suffering] Jeez, I'm not familiar with your genre, here...
      Dallinger: I don't have any genre, it's just three rock and roll acts. Guess Who!
      Higgenlooper: Uh... um... give me a ch- um... uh... the Dingaling Sisters!
      Dallinger: They're not even sisters, Mr. Higgenlooper! Guess Who!
      Higgenlooper: Um, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods!
      Dallinger: Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods?! I am not running no Goddamn Busch Gardens, pal, let's get that straight. This is Conquest Concerts...nothing but class! Guess Who!
      Higgenlooper: Well, I... well, I... I can't guess who!
      Dallinger: [frustrated] You don't have to guess who!
      Higgenlooper: So I won't guess who!
      Dallinger: So don't guess who!
      Higgenlooper: All right!
      Dallinger: All right!
      Higgenlooper: All right!
      Dallinger: I will tell you something frankly sir....I didn't have this much trouble with the free press.
      Higgenlooper: Oh, you didn't, huh? Well, I'll tell you something frankly, sir. I didn't have this much trouble with the Music Center and they put on Rigoletto one year.
      Dallinger: That's four acts.
      Higgenlooper: Not the year they did it.
    • They try moving on to the third act, to similar (lack of) results:
      Higgenlooper: All right, now let's move onto the third act. Who... er, wha... no, nnnn—-Ah! [carefully] Will you please tell me the name of the third act?
      Dallinger: Yes.
      Higgenlooper: Fine.
      Dallinger: Thank you.
      Higgenlooper: You're welcome.
      Dallinger: [leaving] Okay. Let me see a proof of the ad on Wednesday and...
      Higgenlooper: [outraged] Wait a minute! Where are you going? Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I asked you to tell me the name of the third act!
      Dallinger: [gibbers with fury] I told you the name of the third act! You want me to tell you again?!
      Higgenlooper: Yes!
      Dallinger: That's right!
      Higgenlooper: That's Right's on first!
      Dallinger: Who's on first, Guess Who's on second, and the third act—
      Higgenlooper: Yes????
      Both: THAT'S RIGHT!!! [Higgenlooper deteriorates into grumbling mumbo jumbo]
      Dallinger: What's your problem?
      Higgenlooper: I've been writin' for eleven minutes, I got nothing on the paper, that's my problem! Why don't you take the paper, you take the pen, and you write it down!
      Dallinger: Are you crazy!? If I could write, I wouldn't have had to steal this bit!
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue:
    • In one episode the panel played The Quiz of Quizzes, a parody of all sorts of quizzes and gameshows. A who's-on-first joke was used as a one-off gag.
      Humph: Jeremy, who was Formula 1 Champion in 1975?
      Jeremy: Uhh...Lauda!
      Humph: [yelling] Jeremy, who was Formula 1 Champion in 1975?!
    • A Running Gag in "Word for Word" for a while was that when it was Graeme's turn to start he would say something like "Me?" or "Now?" and, when told to continue, explain "That was my word."
  • The Men from the Ministry episode "The Great Trouser Troubles" has a lot of fun with this with the China's ambassador Hu Flang.


  • Cyclops is based on Odysseus and the Cyclops, and therefore the joke of Odysseus calling himself "Nobody" plays out.
  • En la calle Conesa, an Argentine one-act play. The realtor offers a house with two storeys to a customer. ("plantas") The customer states that the house feels dead because it only had two plants, one tall and one short. (also "plantas") Fast forward to another house advertised as "not noisy" (nada de ruido) but the client complains that it was demolished (derruido) In another house offered by the realtor:
    Realtor: I have something interesting.
    Client: Which street is it on?
    Realtor: Callao.
    Client: What did you say?
    Realtor: Callao.
    Client: What?
    Realtor: Callao, sir, Callao!
    Client: In no way will I shut up! (¡En ninguna manera, no me callo nada!) ...
  • The Foreigner: at one point Betty Meeks offers to make breakfast, just as Ellard is explaining the concept of 'a zillion' to Charlie Baker.
    Meeks: Hominy grits?
    Charlie Baker: A zillion!
  • The Pirates of Penzance has this exchange (which only works delivered in the right accent):
    Major General: I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
    Pirate King: Often!
    Major General: Yes, orphan. Have you ever known what it is to be one?
    Pirate King: I say, often.
    Pirates: Often, often, often.
    Major General: I don't think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say "orphan". As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word "orphan" to show that you understand me.
    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: True, but you repeated it.
    Pirate King: But not often.
    Major General: Stop! I think I see where we are getting confused. When you said "orphan", did you mean "orphan", a person who has lost his parents, or "often", frequently?
    Pirate King: Ah! I beg pardon, I see what you mean. Frequently.
    Major General: Ah! You said "often", frequently.
    Pirate King: No, only once.
    Major General: Exactly! You said "often", frequently, only once.
    [cue musical number, as the Major General explains which one he meant]

    Video Games 
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge has this conversation:
    Bozzeye: You must be Banjo. A letter about you appeared in a flash, like you just did. Came from some Mimba Jimba fella.
    Banjo: Mumbo Jumbo!
    Bozzeye: No, it's true, I tell you!
  • In The Darkside Detective, McQueen finds an abandoned Magic 8-Ball. Dooley asks what it says. "'Ask again later.'" "Aww, but I wanna know now!"
  • In a CD-Rom game based on The Escape of Marvin the Ape, two cops make this joke at a baseball game.
    Cop 1: Who's on first.
    Cop 2: What?
    Cop 1: No, he's on second.
    Cop 2: I give up. Let's call it a day.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening features a character named "Nah". Naturally, this happens when she's introduced:
    Nowi: Whoa, you have the same ring as me! What a crazy coincidence!
    Nah: It's not a coincidence. This is your ring. It's a memento of my mother. From...the future. It keeps me safe, now that... Now that you're gone.
    Nowi: Nah...
    Nah: No, I'm serious. It does.
    Nowi: Huh? Oh, hee hee! You did it to yourself that time!
  • In Foo Foo, which is based on the children's song "Little Rabbit Foo Foo", the main character is literally named Good Fairy. This results in confusion about remarks such as "Good, you're here".
  • There's a game developer named FromSoftware, pronounced with a long O. Many, many game reviews are forced to feature the phrase "from From Software". (It's probably unintentional, as the company is Japanese and originally named "Kabushikigaisha Furomu Sofutowea".)
  • Halo 3. The "What's the Password" Easter Egg on Legendary, featuring the Red vs. Blue cast:
    Marine: Hey! Open up!
    Voice: What's the password?
    Marine: Password? Oh, man, I forgot.
    Voice: Forgot...what?
    Marine: I forgot the password.
    Voice: See, that was almost right. Uh, see, the password begins with "I forgot", but ends differently. Um, try again.
    Marine: No. I mean, I forgot the password.
    Voice: No, okay, see, you— you got it wrong again. See, you said the same thing as last time.
    Marine: I'm being serious: I don't know the password!
    Voice: No, no, no, see, you changed the first part. See, that— that part was the right part. See, now, you've got the whole thing wrong!
    Marine: No! I forgot what the password is and I just need you to open the door!
    Voice: All right, c'mon, man, now, you're just guessing!
  • The slightly obscure adventure game Inherit the Earth has your fox hero evade a checkpoint by having his companions introduce themselves as Hooryu and Yassir Iam. They keep the routine going for as long as you need to explore the next area.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: The Secret Pet Plot involving Cal starts with both he and Sol being in the barn in which he's keeping the pet when it hatches. Cal always names the pet "Socks." If it's at least Sol's second time living through the event, they can respond to finding Cal looking at an unseen item he's keeping inside a crate by asking if it's Socks. Since Socks isn't hatched quite yet at that point and it's always the first time from Cal's point of view, a bemused Cal asks why he would be keeping his socks in a barn.
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes invokes this with its "Who's on First" module. The defuser has to read the word on a display to the expert, then read the word on one of the buttons, and then the expert will read a list of words back so the defuser knows which button to press. Every single one of the words the game chooses from can be mistaken for something else. Just look at it — pages 9 and 10. Yes, the display can both be blank and say "BLANK", so you'd better be very clear as to which one you're talking about.
    • One popular mod "Crazy Talk" goes further, into outright trolling. The following are all valid things that can appear on the Crazy Talk's module screen: a left arrow, "Left Arrow", "An Actual Left Arrow", "An Actual Left Arrow Literal Phrase", "After I Say Beep Find This Phrase Word For Word Beep An Actual Left Arrow", "Left", "The Word Left", "The Phrase The Word Left", "Left Arrow Symbol", a phrase which is "Left Arrow Symbol" spelt out in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, and a phrase which is "Left Arrow Symbol" spelt out in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet except that "Whiskey" is replaced with "Risky". Also valid are "The Punctuation Fullstop", "Three Words The Punctuation Fullstop", "Five Words Three Words The Punctuation Fullstop", and "Seven Words Five Words Three Words The Punctuation Fullstop".
  • In Legend of Mana, you meet a band of pirate penguins who ask you "What be the password?". And the password is? "What", of course! If you use that as your guess, the penguins are ready to accept you as one of their own until the captain points out that you're rather obviously not a penguin.
  • In Mass Effect 2, there is confusion over how to refer to the geth that Shepard brings onto the Normandy, before EDI offers a solution.
    Shepard: Then what should we call you?
    Geth: Geth.
    Shepard: I mean you, specifically.
    Geth: We are all geth.
    Shepard: What is the individual in front of me called?
    Geth: There is no individual. We are geth. There are currently 1,183 programs active within this platform.
    EDI: "My name is Legion, for we are many."
    Geth: Christian Bible, the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5, verse 9. We acknowledge this as an appropriate metaphor. We are "Legion", a terminal of the geth. We will integrate into Normandy.
  • In the second Pajama Sam game, he's told that he can't access the office side of the World Wide Weather company without making an appointment. Once you find the number, this conversation happens:
    Receptionist: World Wide Weather, how may I help you?
    Sam: I'd like to make an appointment to see someone.
    Receptionist: Certainly! Let me check his calendar... yes, Mr. Someone is available immediately.
And when you meet him, he reveals that, indeed, his name is "George Someone".
  • Pokémon has Wobbuffet, whose original Japanese name is "Sonans", which sounds like sou nansu (A casual way to say "That's how it is!"). Its pre-evolution ramps it up, since not only does the Japanese name "Sonano" fit (sou na no?, "is that it?"), but its English name Wynaut is also punny ("why not?"). More explored in the anime, but still.
    • Pokémon Black and White brings us Audino ("I Dunno"). Its Japanese name is Tabunne (tabun ne, "maybe"), its German name "Ohrdoch" sounds like "Oh, doch!" ("Oh, yes!"), and its French name "Nanméouïe" sounds like "Non mais oui" ("No but yes").
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield introduces Indeedee (as in "Yes, indeedy!"), whose design is a throwback to Audino's. Its French name is Wimessir (as in "Oui, monsieur!", or "Yes, mister!"), its German name is Servol (as in "Sehr wohl", or "Yes, quite!"), and its Korean name is Yesseoreu, the closest match in the language for "Yes, sir." It's the Japanese name that's an aversion, as it's simply Yessan, a Portmanteau of "Yes, sir" and the -san honorific.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: One of the three Heroes of Kitakami in the Teal Mask DLC is Okidogi, a hulking dog Pokémon whose name sounds like the phrase "Okey dokey".
  • There's a scene in The Quarry where summer camp counselors Ryan and Dylan head to their campground's radio shack to call for help after some of their friends run into what seem to be vicious unidentified creatures in the woods and the phone in the main office dies. Once Dylan gets on the radio, he puts out a clumsy, rambling message about a "swarm of bears" attacking the group. Once he finishes, he finds the aloof and serious Ryan staring flatly at him, leading to the following exchange.
    Ryan: "Swarm of bears"?
    Dylan: Yeah?
    Ryan: "Herd" of bears.
    Dylan: Yeah, I've heard of bears...
    Ryan: [Muttered.] Oh, god.
  • The comic included with the first Turok ended with Joshua Fireseed stumping Big Bad The Campaigner with the classic baseball version. This didn't exactly set him up as a threatening villain.
  • In 3 in Three, "Dove Owls" combines this trope with Inadvertent Entrance Cue:
    A: And, as you know, only the A can form a one letter word!
    [enter I]
    I: Hey, what about I?
    A: What about you?
    [enter U]
    U: Someone call me?
    A: Oh be quiet!
    [enter O]
    O: I didn't say anything.
    A: Why did you answer then?
    [enter Y]
    Y: I didn't answer then.
    A: Fine. Now who's still missing?
    3: That's easy!
    [enter E and Z together]
  • World of Warcraft played this trope hilariously straight with this machinima.
    "So Who's the Tank?"
    "I don't know!"
    "He's the Priest, we're not talking about him."
    • For the game itself, it's the WTF file format.
    GM: You should delete your WTF folder.
    Player: WTF?
    GM: Yes, this one.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney: "Mr. Wrong, was it?" "Wright." The original Japanese version often played with that version of the character's name (Naruhodo, which sounds very similar to a word meaning "I understand now") in a similar way.
  • Ever17 gives us Yuubiseiharukana Tanaka. She rather understandably goes by You. (Perhaps a better romanization would have been "Yuu", but that wouldn't have been as funny). Naturally she introduces herself with "I am You", which gains further significance when said to her clone.
  • A brief gag in Katawa Shoujo has Hisao say "It's me" to Kenji, who is legally blind. Mentioning that he doesn't know anybody named "me", Kenji immediately jumps to the conclusion that he's being confronted by a psychic spy. Uh...
  • One of the cafeteria events in Monster Prom involves Scott sitting with Vera and asking her what the drink she brought in to have with lunch is. She informs him that it's scotch... which he mishears first as his name and then as "Scott's", prompting him to try to ply it off her and asking her if it's "an energy drink for Scotts".

    Web Animation 
  • The point of "WHO KILLED NOOB69?", an Among Us parody animation by Mashed.
  • Exaggerated in DEATH BATTLE!. During the breakdown for Sol Badguy, Boomstick gets completely confused when Wiz talks about Sol's enemy, That Man. Even Wiz saying things like, "When this person was born into the world, his parents looked at this child, and decided they would name him, 'That Man.'" doesn't help.
    Wiz: His name is T-H-A-T, SPACE, M-A-N.
    Boomstick: Well, F-U-C-K, SPACE, Y-O-U!
  • When people ask about Molly’s power in Epithet Erased, she usually replies that it’s “Dumb.” Note the capital. Most people mistake this for self-deprecation — which considering her personality, wouldn't be out of character — until she actually demonstrates the ability (be it temporarily making someone stupid or nullifying the effects of an attack).
  • In Episode 18 of The Most Popular Girls in School, when Overland Park's Trisha and Atchison's Trisha first met:
    Trisha: Hmm... Hey, what's your name?
    Trisha 2: Trisha.
    Trisha: What?
    Trisha 2: Trisha.
    Trisha: Yes?
    Trisha 2: What's your name?
    Trisha: Uh, Trisha?
    Trisha 2: What?
    Trisha: Um, it's Trisha, with a T?
    Trisha 2: Yeah.
    Trisha: Uh—
    Trisha 2: That's how you spell it.
    Trisha: Yeah, Trisha?
    Trisha 2: Trisha.
    Trisha: Yeah, what's your name?
    Trisha 2: Nice to meet you, what's your name?
    Trisha: Um, Trisha.
    Trisha 2: Yes, what do you want out of me?
    Trisha: Yeah, Trisha.
    Trisha 2: Have you never heard this name before?
    Trisha: Um, I'm sorry, I pronounce it Trisha, what about you?
    Trisha 2: I pronounce it Trisha, that's what my mom says.
    Trisha: Okay.
    Mackenzie, Brittnay, Taylor, and Tanya: Trisha!
    Trisha and Trisha 2: What? ...Oooooh.
    Trisha: Wait, do you spell it with a T?
    Trisha 2: Which part?
    Trisha: The beginning.
    Trisha 2: Every time.
    Trisha: Me too. [Trisha and Trisha 2 laugh]
  • In NigaHiga's parody of The Powerpuff Girls, an extended pronoun gag is invoked with Him. He even manages to reference the original Abbott and Costello routine.
  • This Sanity Not Included Sketch, playing with how "horror" and "whore" sound about the same.
  • Smashtasm:
    Super64: How's it hanging?
    1337Fox: How's what hanging?
    Super64: It's an expression.
    1337Fox: What does it express?
    Super64: What's up?
    1337Fox: Up is a direction.
  • Space Tree has a character called Meelord Marone or Mee for short. This leads to me/Mee confusion, in this episode in particular.
    "If anyone respects the sanctity of marriage it's me!"
    "No, me."
  • Ross O'Donnovan (From among other things, Steam Train), envisions the art tool "Animate" that replaced Shockwave Flash to have this issue.
  • Happens on "Super-Showdown-Bowl!" between two doctors...
    Doctor Strange: Who are you?
    The Doctor: I'm Who. Who are you?
    Doctor Strange: I'm Strange. Who's asking?
    The Doctor: Yes I am. And what's your name?
  • Red vs. Blue: In episode 16 of Recreation (Season 7), Church accidently turns off his short term memory while attempting to turn on his long term memory, leading to this exchange with Caboose:
    Caboose: Oh. Is that bad?
    Church: Huh? Is what bad?
    Caboose: Your memory thing getting shut off.
    Church: Who shut off my memory?
    Caboose: You did.
    Church: I did what?
    Caboose: Shut off your memory.
    Church: Why do you want me to shut off my memory?
    Caboose: No, it’s already shut off.
    Church: What is?
    Caboose: Your memory.
    Church: Yeah, what about it?

  • Set up in this Arthur, King of Time and Space.
  • Bar'd does this with the word "Dude!"
  • Cat and Girl features a discussion on where to visit: Sutton Hoo or Angkor Wat.
  • In the Crossover Wars there was confusion because of someone falsely using the name of one of the Evil Overlords.
  • Cyanide and Happiness: "Whoa! Who's over there getting to first base with your girlfriend?" You can guess where it goes from there...
  • Darths & Droids has a full homage to the Trope Namer in the second strip of the Return of the Jedi arc. (The strip has a habit of writing low-level Imperial mooks in a deliberately silly way.)
    Captain Yorr: This is shuttle pilot Yorr requesting clearance to land.
    Peace Moon Technician: Uh, we're bigger than you. You're landing on us.
    Captain Yorr: That's what I said.
    Colonel Jendon: Requesting pitch and yaw settings.
    Captain Yorr: Huh?
    Peace Moon Technician: Our settings? You're the one who should be making settings.
    Captain Yorr: I know, what yaw settings?
    Peace Moon Technician: No, your settings! For your arrival.
    Captain Yorr: I'm whose rival?
    Colonel Jendon: Yorr's truly confused.
    Peace Moon Technician: You're confused? That makes three of us.
    Colonel Jendon: This happened at the last two bases I visited with Yorr.
  • Dork Tower: Stell, confused by internet acronyms, asks Gilly what IYKYK means, and gets the reply "If You Know, You Know". But she doesn't. It continues, with a final Shout-Out to the Trope Namer.
  • Dubious Company's Walter invokes this often.
    • He reminded Tiren that her "booty be mine ta use as I please".
    • His ship is named Arr and the island is named Nowhere.
  • Modernized by The Dugout.
  • 8-Bit Theater has two Elder Gods named Ur and Hu. The resulting confusion is a subtle Shout-Out to the original Abbott & Costello routine.
  • Speaking of The Doctor, Evil, Inc. has such confusion regarding Drs. Hu and Hau.
  • Goblins has a team in a dungeon with a summoned guide. He's summoned any time his name is spoken outside his presence, and he will answer one yes/no question truthfully each of the first three times he's summoned. On the fourth time, he will kill everyone. His name? "Noe". He's accidentally summoned twice, once from the word "no" and once from "know", before K'Seliss comes up with a plan to kill him, deliberately using up the third summon to set up for it.
  • Done in this Irregular Webcomic! strip, with direct line from Who's on First skit in the end.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: Strip #947: "Who Did It?" Flying Fox Man and his sidekick Dodo are investigating a super-crime, but FFM says the M.O. points to a supervillain they know is locked up.
    Dodo: It looks like we're dealing with a copycat then.
    Flying Fox Man: No, no. Copycat has a completely different M.O. from the Questionnair.
    Dodo: That is not what I meant...
    Flying Fox Man: Be more specific then.
    Dodo: No, B. Moore Specific is also behind bars.
    Flying Fox Man: I hate supervillain names.
  • Matchu has this bit about a broken printer.
  • In Level 30 Psychiatry Trainee Nurse Audino accidentally leads Head Nurse Chansey to smack her head against the wall with this routine. Lampshaded by Gardevoir.
    Gardevoir: What is this, Vaudeville?
  • Rich Burlew, creator of The Order of the Stick, seems to like this joke.
    • The first iteration hinges on the two definitions of level (the floor of a building vs. the experience of a D&D character). It's worth noting that this exact example is invoked in no less a book than the 1st Edition D&D Player's Handbook. Then they bring in the levels of spells, and the meaning of "spell" as a noun or verb.
    • "Who's on the Throne?" has the strangely-named countries of Somewhere, Nowhere and Anywhere (and the democracy of Someplace Else). The confusion over the King of Somewhere with a hotel employee leads to Roy being mistaken for a king.
    • In "Negative Feelings", Xykon and Recloak have a little trouble discussing a paladin leader named Soon.
      Xykon: So, any ideas on how we should fight 'Stache boy, whoever he is?
      Redcloak: Soon.
      Xykon: I'd prefer to know now, thanks.
      Redcloak: No. I mean, that's his name.
    • A particularly epic example comes when Thog speaks of how Nale "nailed" (got put in jail) in his own place his identical twin Elan, whom Thog calls "not-Nale". It fits the trope definition but does things a little differently than usually; while the names sound like other parts of speech, the poor guy listening to this isn't so much confused thinking a name means something else as just clueless as to what any of it means, and for that reason it doesn't go on beyond the first line. It's too bad, since Thog is actually giving really valuable information, cluelessly confessing to everything and revealing Nale's plot.
      Thog: Not Nale, not-Nale. Thog help Nale nail not-Nale, not Nale. And Thog knot not-Nale while Nale nail not-Nale. Nale, not not-Nale, now nail not-Nale by leaving not-Nale, not Nale, in jail.note 
      Officer: Pleading insanity, then?
    • Start of Darkness has an exchange between Redcloak and Right-Eye, with Redcloak talking about the werebears his goblins are fighting and Right-Eye wanting to know where the bears are.
    • A flashback in "Right Up to the Ledge" reveals that Hinjo once tried to teach Elan to play Go... and wound up trying to explain the name (and that he wasn't telling Elan to leave) for an hour and a half. Elan seems to have actually understood that the game was called "Go" after a while, but by then, Hinjo thought that Elan was still saying it was named "That", and they got confused again.
      Elan: Then he told me I had to go, and that took another twenty-five minutes...
  • Paranatural adapted this trope to a middle school setting, with typical flair:
    Ed: It's an EVIL BRAIN, MAN! Controlling people's bodies! It was in Jeff and then attacked all of us in gym!
    Isaac: An evil brain man in Jim!? Who's Jim!?
    Ed: Our gym! The only gym there is!
    Isaac: Dude, there are at least six Jims in this school.
    Isaac: That's a weird prejudice but OK.
  • Crops up whenever Kaitlyn Hu (or her family) is mentioned in Precocious. Played straight and Lampshaded in the strip "Hu's on first".
  • PvP:
  • Questionable Content does this with Islands.
  • Selkie: A sarnothi CIA agent is named "Then". When Agent Brown tries to mention him in conversation, an already panicking Andi fails to recognize his name as a name and gets confused.
    Agent Brown: Then knew one day you would need approval to be told details about Sarnoth.
    Andi: Then who knew?
    Agent Brown: Then, my partner.
    '''Andi: Oh god, then your partner WHAT?!
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • This strip, with the characters "Dan-Met" ("damn it") and "Killum" ("kill him"). Dan-Met's full name is later revealed to be Gahad Dan-Met.
    • A brief one in "Stick Figures in Space", where the spaceship's captain has found out that one crew member is actually an android. The real android manages to get through an interrogation of the crew while implicating another crew member even though all the android ever says is "zero" and "one" because he sounds like he's saying the same thing as everyone else. When he says "one", that's when everyone else (except Juan) says that the most likely person to be an android is Juan.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
  • Sexy Losers had a guest strip by Patrick Shaugnessy about the tragic love life of the letters F, A and P. To quote: Y?
  • Used in Tales from the Pit #214 with the Working Titles of upcoming Magic: The Gathering expansions.
  • The routine is used (and quickly derailed) in this VG Cats strip.
  • Shows up in this Weregeek comic, for weird/wyrd. Lampshaded by Abbie.
  • xkcd:

    Web Original 
  • Used in Look to the West in a Homage to a Rudyard Kipling poem, listing the six men who masterminded the rise of the Feng Dynasty in China:
    I kept six honest serving-men,
    They taught me all I knew;
    Their names are Watt and Ouais and Waar
    and Hao and Wen and Hu.
  • The Names Given to Computers page at the Portland Pattern Repository includes a story about a system administrator who named four Windows machines "shit", "fuck", "damn" and "hell". He had to change it after he realized this made the users' complaints really confusing.
  • A few of these on Not Always Right and sister site Not Always Working:
    • In "Try Whoson First", the narrator/customer needed a mechanic who does body work on cars. His/her usual mechanic doesn't do such work, but suggested a shop called Wrech-a-Mended, which the caller kept mishearing as "recommended".
    • In "Saved by the Bell", a guest needs to talk to "Anita Bellman" but the clerk thinks he's saying "I need a bellman."
    • "You're welcome, Custer Mer": The submitter works in a doctor's office, and assures a patient that, if they have questions, they can always call the office and "ask for clarification" - the patient thinks she's saying that her name is Clara Fication and he can ask for her personally.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-SAFE-J. It's a series of three safes (a Safe safe, a Euclid safe, and a Keter safe). The Safe safe is always safe, the Euclid safe is safe except when near the Keter safe, and the Keter safe is never safe (though it is a safe). And don't get started on the researchers observing them...
  • At the first opportunity to present itself, SF Debris seized on the Stargate SG-1 example with "you" and "Lord Yu" and used it several times in a single review. He even did it in a subtitle once:
    Chuck: Is it divine intervention, or just good luck? You get to decide.
    Subtitle: You, not Yu.
  • This (alleged) exchange between hololive V-tubers Gawr Gura and Takanashi Kiara, referring to Gura's memetic first tweet consisting solely of the letter "a":
    Gura: you can't spell shark without a
    Kiara: without a what
    Gura: without a
    Kiara: without a what
    • Don't worry, Kiara gets her back for it (or more accurately Gura gets herself)
      Kiara: Fun fact, in Australianote , we have the grades 1 to 5, and in Germany, they have the grades 1 to 6!
      Gura: [Beat, confused] What is the rest of 'em? Where's 3 and 4?
      Kiara: [visible confusion]
      Gura: 1, 2, 5? 1, 2, 6?
      Kiara: [sudden realization and laughter]
  • Rinkworks Computer Stupidities gives us this exchange:
    Tech Support: Okay, Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter "P" to bring up the Program Manager.
    Bob: I don't have a 'P'.
    Tech Support: On your keyboard, Bob.
    Bob: What do you mean?
    Tech Support: "P" on your keyboard, Bob.
    Bob: I'm not going to do that!
  • This Tumblr post about the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    Peter: So really, what's your name?
    Stephen: It's Strange.
    Peter: ...Mr. Stark, he won't tell me his name.
    Tony: It's Strange.
    Peter: Yes, I KNOW it's strange! But he won't tell me!
    Tony: No, Peter, his name is Strange.
    Peter: So? It's not like I'll mock him or anything!
    Tony: Why did I bring you here.
    Stephen: (looks into camera like he is on The Office)

    Web Videos 
  • This video has Condoleeza Rice try to give George W. Bush a report about China's new paramount leader, Hu Jintao... but he misunderstands the name as "who". As the conversation goes on, Dubya mixes up "yes sir" and "Yasser" (Arafat), and then "coffee" and "Kofi" (Annan).
  • Achievement Hunter Let's Plays occasionally feature this joke, since they use the Xbox as their primary video game platform and the buttons on an Xbox controller are ABXY. One member of the group will ask how to perform a function, another answering, "Y," to which the first explains, "'Cause I wanna know!"
  • James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd) and Mike Matei do What's the Movie?, a variation with movie titles. "What's the name of the movie with Christopher Lee."
  • CollegeHumor has "DROPOUT Is A Netflix", describing their streaming site as a Netflix, saying the term should be considered ubiquitous enough to be a catch-all like Kleenex, and the confusion stemming from the various names.
    Brennan: So tell me! Disney's a Netflix, plus?!
    Sam: Disney Plus...
    Brennan: Plus what?!
    Sam: Plus nothing!
    Brennan: So we're done!
    Sam: We're not anywhere near done!
    Brennan: Go ahead and tell me! Disney is a Netflix, PLUS?!
    Sam: Disney+ is a Netflix, Disney is an Amazon. A soulless company hell-bent on-
    Sam & Brennan: creating a monolopy by undermining small businesses.
  • Empires SMP Season 2: At the start of the series, when Pirate Joe is first introduced to Gem, he mistakes her presence for her having treasures and jewels due to her name.
  • In Jehtt's video "Who's That Pokémon", Mewtwo is absolutely unable to get the other characters to understand he's not (a) Mew, because they think he keeps saying "I'm Mew too." He also thinks they're mistaking him for other Pokémons when they say jinx ("Jynx") and ditto.
  • In Joel Haver's "If 'Friends' had a Behind the Scenes Reality Show", a crew member of Friends says he's not here to make friends. The other crew members misunderstand him as meaning he's not here to work on the show.
  • LoadingReadyRun:
    • These Web-based video comedians created "It's Very Simple," taking "Who's on First" to its illogical and very confusing conclusion.
    • This was referenced again at the end of "Cursing Cursing" (note, very sweary, possibly NSFW):
      Graham: Alright, you see that guy?
      Matt: Which guy?
      Graham: The Guy on First Base.
      Matt: Who?
      Graham: [annoyed] You fuck off!
  • None Piece depicts Monkey D. Luffy's middle initial standing for "Dee", when in canon, his middle initial is left ambiguous. This results in this banter between him and Zoro.
    Zoro: What does the "D" stand for?
    Luffy: Dee.
    Zoro: Yeah. What's it stand for?
    Luffy: Dee.
    Zoro: Yeah. What does it stand for?
    Luffy: Dee.
    Zoro: Yeah. What does it stand for?
    Luffy: Dee!
    Zoro: (angrily) Yeah! What does it stand for?!
    Luffy: (angrily) Dee!
    Luffy: DEE! It stands for "Dee"! D-E-E!!
  • The Nostalgia Critic employed one of these during his review of The Super Mario Bros Film
    NC: Whoa, whoa, we're gonna hear Mario's last name? Dude, we've never heard Mario's last name before! This ought to be interesting! Cool, alright, so what's Mario's last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: Yeah, now what's your last name?
    Mario: Mario.
    NC: No, what's your last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: No, OK... What's your first name?
    Mario: Mario.
    NC: Alright, now what's your last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: Fuck you. [turns to Luigi] What's your first name?
    Luigi: Luigi!
    NC: And what's your last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: Shut up! What's your last name?
    Luigi: Luigi Mario!
    NC: Those are both first names! What's your last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: SHUT IT! What's your full name?
    Luigi: Luigi Mario!
    NC: Those are both first– OK, what's your first name?
    Luigi: Luigi!
    NC: And what's your last name?
    Mario: Mario!
    NC: SHUT THE FUCK–! What's your full name?
    Luigi: Luigi Mario!
    NC: What is this, an Abbott and Costello routine?
  • Rats SMP: Despite the name, Krow is a rat, and this has lead to some brief miscommunication whenever crows, as in the actual birds, are brought up in its presence; this ranges from it being offended when the rats find a quest instruction book titled "Stupid Crows" (in which the rats have to make a scarecrow for the Gardener), to several instances of confusion when Phil and Kara, two actual crows, make a guest appearance in the series on Day 59.
    Krow: Pay attention to the Krow. You guys [Phil and Kara] may be crows, but I am always the Krow.
  • Ryan George's "How Insects Got Their Names" involves a guy suggesting the name 'bee' and the boss asking, "Be what?"
  • Screen Rant Pitch Meetings:
    • In the video for It (2017) involves the producer asking the screenwriter what the name of the book that inspired the movie is, and getting confused when he's told that "It" is the title of the book.
    • The Screen Rant Pitch Meeting for Screen Rant Pitch Meetings has this:
      Screenwriter: Yeah, and the Screenwriter guy could have a little catchphrase.
      Producer: Oh, is it gonna be hard to come up with a catchphrase?
      Screenwriter: No. It's gonna be "Super easy, barely an inconvenience!"
      Producer: Oh, what's it gonna be?
      Screenwriter: I just told you.
  • "Stoogeposting" by Solid jj:
    • In "A STOOGE AMONG US," the three get into a debate over who's "me," "you," and "him." After Moe bonks Curly and Larry's heads together, Curly figures it out:
      "Ooh, now I get it! I'm me, you's you, and he's a big jerk!"
    • In "The Three Stooges break the 4th wall," Moe says "It is what it is," prompting a round of confusing questions from Curly on what exactly "what" and "it" are.
    • Zig-Zagged in "Doctor Strange Multiverse of Stooges." A joke about Dr. Strange's name being strange is largely averted, but then there's a whole tangent about Wong's name (thinking that it's "Wrong") and which (Scarlet) Witch is which.
    • In "Another Three Stooges Thanksgiving," Larry keeps hearing Moe's order to "get stuffing" (put the stuffing in the turkey) and keeps replying that he already got the stuffing and is holding it now.
  • In Episode 1 of Weird school rules in Hong Kong, one of the rules deemed "weird" is that students of a school must bring their wallets to class or they'll have their names recorded down for further punishment. Cue this skit satirizing the rule, which is funnier and makes much more sense in Cantonese (but is translated into English for ease of reading):
    Teacher: (stopping a random student in his tracks) Ay, this student [here], I need to check if you've brought your wallet [to school] or not.
    Student: (fumbles around his pockets) [I] forgot [it].
    Teacher: You forgot?! Then [I] need to record down your name, what's your name?
    Student: "M̀h gei dāk".Translation 
    Teacher: [You] can't even remember your name?! Would you believe me if [I said] I'll give you a major demerit [for this]?
    Student: Sir, my name really is 'Ngh Gei-dāk — the 'Ng' in "Daniel Wu"Explanation , the 'kei' in "memory" (憶), the 'tak' in "moral character" (品).
    • For context, the student's name, Ng Kei-tak (吳記德), is pronounced virtually the same as "唔記得", lit. "can't remember" or "forgot" in Cantonese. For an English speaker's equivalent, the student would be named something along the lines of "Ivor Gott", with 'Ivor' being pronounced "EYE-vor".

"I said, I don't give a darn!"
"Oh, that's our shortstop."


That Man

Wiz and Boomstick get into an argument due to confusion over the name of a character, That Man.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhosOnFirst

Media sources: