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Series / The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

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"Go onnnnnn..."

"One thing about being in the TV news business is that you are usually better off if Jon Stewart at The Daily Show is not mentioning your name. Usually if you turn up on that show it is Not Good for you."
Rachel Maddow

The bulk of the long-running satirical news program The Daily Show on Comedy Central, hosted by Jon Stewart from 1999—2015.

Stewart himself took over from Craig Kilborn in 1999 and turned the show into a household name,note  but it's also launched a few careers among its correspondents. Steve Carell and Ed Helms are successful alums, and Stephen Colbert got his own spinoff program called The Colbert Report (a parody of confrontational talk programs such as The O'Reilly Factor,) which became a runaway success leading him to be picked to take over for David Letterman. Two more Daily Show alums have since been given their own Comedy Central shows, Lewis Black's Root of All Evil and the critically acclaimed Important Things with Demetri Martin.note  The show's writing staff has also published two books in connection to the show, both parodies of high-school textbooks; they are America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction from 2004 and Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide To The Human Race from 2010.

It can be watched online for free (if you're lucky). In Canada, it is available at the Comedy Network's site. Just beware of Archive Panic.

In March 2013, Stewart announced that he would be taking a three-month hiatus from hosting the show in order to direct his first-ever feature film, Rosewater. Regular correspondent John Oliver filled in as host for 8 of the 12 absent weeks (06/10/2013 - 08/15/2013). Stewart returned to hosting on September 3, 2013. Oliver subsequently left the show to start his own program on HBO called Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered in April 2014.

In May 2014, Comedy Central announced that Daily Show contributor Larry Wilmore would have his own spinoff titled The Nightly Show, which premiered in January 2015, taking The Colbert Report's former spot.

In February 2015, Jon Stewart announced that he would retire, although the Daily Show will go on. In March 2015, Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah would succeed him as host. Jon's last episode as host aired August 6, 2015, and Trevor's first show as host aired September 28, 2015. Tropes for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah can be found on that page.

In September 2021, Jon returned to late night TV with another talk show, The Problem with Jon Stewart, which airs on Apple TV+ and also examines current events.

It was announced that he is set to return to host the Monday showings of the Daily Show on February 12th, 2024, during the election season to fall.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A - B 

    C - D 
  • Call-Back:
  • The Cameo: With overlapping One of Us part, in one episode when Jon Stewart was criticizing the national spying programs and mentioning the spy satellite mission NROL-39, there was one particular cute highschool girl who is being tentacle-raped by the logo's octopus. You'll have to see it for yourself.
  • Courteous Canadian: Samantha Bee, whose Canadian-ness has often been fodder for jokes. Her equally-Canadian husband, Jason Jones, doesn't get anywhere near this kind of treatment. Sam's entries in America (The Book) are parodies of excessive Canadian politeness, usually prefaced by the header "Would You Mind If I Told You How We Do It In Canada?" and full of apologies.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: During a week where Jon Stewart was out sick, Stephen Colbert and Steven Carell took over hosting duty and showed the audience a video of the two at a bar where Carell is so drunk he starts making comments on how sexy Antonio Banderas is.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Political commentator Bernie Goldberg of Fox News was called out on this after stating that the show was not just a comedy show; it was also providing social commentary. Jon responded that comedians have been providing social commentary for literally thousands of years.
    • Regarding the STOCK Act: "Yes, Congress should obey the same laws as everyone else. I believe that was in the 'No Shit, Sherlock' Act of 2000 and always."
  • Catchphrase:
    • "BOOM!" when Jon makes a Take That! joke.
    • "CNN slaaam!"
    • "My point is this!"
    • (Beat) "...Okay two things."
    • (dreamily) "Go On..." whenever someone's digging themselves deeper.
    • (high-pitched sing-song) "Awkward..."
    • (whenever the audience laughs at a segment title card) "You like that?"
    • "Meet me at Camera Three."
  • Censorship by Spelling: Subverted in a segment, when Samantha Bee has her young son standing right next to her (Take Your Child to Work Day) while talking about torture methods:
    Sam: When a bound and naked prisoner has electrodes attached to...
    Jon: [interrupting] Okay, Sam, Sam, Sam...
    Sam: Oh, I'm sorry. To his T-E-S-T-I-C-L-E-S... testicles.
  • Chew Bubblegum: Parodied when John Oliver discussed filibusters.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
  • Chirping Crickets: Lampshaded and spoofed in a segment comparing Apple's release of the iPhone to a White House announcement of an increased troop deployment in Iraq.
  • Christmas Creep: One episode that aired in October several years ago featured a clip of Bill O'Reilly complaining about a department store chain posting company rules forbidding employees to greet customers with "Merry Christmas"
    Jon: It seems like every year the War On Christmas starts earlier and earlier...
  • Chroma Key:
    • Combined with Stock Footage to put correspondents "live at the scene". The background once notably changed in the middle of one of these sketches.
    • "...It was as though the street was melting away from him."
    • Subverted when Rob Riggle was in Sweden. Jon assumed he was just chroma-keyed in, and Rob felt insulted and pushed a pedestrian walking by to prove they were real.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Parodied here. Poor John Oliver...
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe:
    • In the 3/17/2010 episode, John Oliver frantically implores Jon and the studio audience to do this to save the life of a rose named Reagan, the final breath of American freedom.
    • And at the Rally to Restory Sanity and/or Fear, John Oliver did it again, asking the audience to help revive Jon Stewart after Colbert nearly beat him in their Fear vs. Reason debate. Bonus points for doing this while being dressed as Peter Pan.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Done quite humorously while discussing Obama's first State of the Union address.
    • Not to mention his tirade towards Fox News: "Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself! Go fuck yourself!..." Etc. With a gospel choir backing him. Repeated for the terrorists that threatened the creators of South Park.
    • The segment Clusterf#@k to the [insert adjective] House.
    • Done several times by John Oliver when discussing the 2010 World Cup.
  • Commie Nazis: Jon's discussion of the 2012 Greek elections, which somehow elevated both extreme right and left parties to significant power, making them the world's first literal Commie Nazis.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Jon lampshaded this in regards to Noah, with Fox News complaining about it using the word "Creator" instead of "God". Jon points out that in the movie, Noah's son says that the Creator is God. It is then taken a step further with some of their complaints showing that they must not have read the source material either.
  • Content Warnings: On the Global Edition only, as it airs on serious news channels in some countries.
    The show you are about to see is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its reporters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
  • Continuity Nod: You know how Jon made Kristen Schaal depressed by revealing that the Chinese "one baby" rule had some bad consequences to female babies? Well, apparently he learned his lesson when she expressed how nice it was that Hugh Hefner "lives with his three grand-daughters."
    Kristen: Why, what do you mean?
    Jon: ...nothing.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: When John McCain accused Jon of lying on the show, Jon proposed a wrong-off. If Jon loses he has to watch 24 hours straight of Stephen Colbert. If McCain loses he has to watch 24 hours straight of Sarah Palin.
  • Cosmic Plaything: John Oliver somehow turned into this when he filled in for Stewart in 2013. He expected to have a quiet Summer filled mostly with jokes about his Britishness. First day of guest hosting: the NSA spying scandal broke out. Then after weeks of other major political news stories occurring during his tenure,note  the studio loses power ("Sorry Jon, I've broken the show.") Ultimately, Oliver got the last laugh, as his time hosting the show was so well-received that he was able to land his own show on HBO.
  • Couch Gag:
  • Crossover: Applied liberally during the 2007-08 writer's strike in the "Who Made Huckabee?" mock rivalry, culminating in a brawl between Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O'Brien.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • A good portion of the show could be construed as cutting, but pretty average, criticism of subject X. But, interviewees beware: if you try to weasel out of, outright deny or fire back at the allegations raised, you will get schooled. With elements of Badass Bookworm, Awesomeness by Analysis and Beware the Silly Ones. Yes. He has read your damn book. He knows what you've said. He also knows what you said three weeks ago. And what you said to the NRA in 2003. And where you worked when you said it. So answer the damn question. Stephen Colbert noted in a Rolling Stone interview that he doesn't understand where Jon finds the time to do it, but yes, he reads EVERY book that people are there to promote on his show... every word. Colbert notes that obviously this gives Jon a formidable advantage in an interview, as most people do not expect the host to have gotten past the summary or "cliff notes" that a staffer gave them.
    • One of the rare exceptions was when Jon was interviewing Jeremy Scahill for his book Blackwater (about the PMC), Jon clearly hadn't read the book and the interview came off confrontational, while failing to discuss the novel's main themes.note  Fast-forward a week, where Jon clearly had read it in the interim, owned up to his mistake and dedicated a segment showing just how badly he'd dropped the ball. It also happened that all the terrible things surrounding Blackwater began to appear in the news which completely validated Scahill's argument.
      Jon: Sometimes I can be unexpectedly confrontational, and other times... it’s almost as though I don’t know what the f**k I’m talking about at all.
    • There is a very, very good reason that Lawrence O'Donnell once said:
      O'Donnell: The bottom line: don't pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it. You cannot win.
  • Cute Kitten:
    • This video has Jon show a kitten's adorably despondent reaction to the bank bailout - just 'cause.
    • Used again on April 7, 2010, when more sex abuse scandals come to light around the Catholic church:
      Jon: Very cute. The kittens lack the capacity to understand the horror of this story.
    • In fact, kittens playing isn't enough to take the whole of the scandal so a baby Playful Otter is thrown in too:
      Jon: Aw, now the baby otter is playing with a kitten.
  • Dance Party Ending: Jon Stewart's final episode as host ended with Jon getting his own moment of zen, a performance by Bruce Springsteen. It isn't long before everyone starts dancing along.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Jason Jones claims Geraldo Rivera is this. To be fair, he does have the mustache for it.
    Jason Jones: Plus, what is with that ridiculous disguise? I mean, come on. I'm surprised he didn't put on a cape and tie [Anna Nicole Smith] to a railroad track!
  • Deadpan Snarker:
  • Deconstruction: On Thursday, March 18th, 2010, Jon, playing the role of Glenn Beck, tore apart Beck's tactics and hysterical persona, again.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Jon Stewart (a Jew) gives all his correspondents passes to make as many Jew jokes as they please.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Stewart to John Hodgman in a "You're Welcome" segment - "Why, that's so crazy - it might just be fucking crazy." (This in response to Hodgman's plan to shirk off America's debt by faking a 300 million passenger car crash.)
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Congressional Republicans voted down a bill that would give healthcare to those to who helped out recovery efforts during 9/11. Aside from being legitimately pissed off about it, the whole spiel was detailed in a segment called, "I GIVE UP." The bill was finally passed near the end of December 2010. A week earlier, Jon had four 9/11 responders as guests on the show (and the first segment was another lambasting of Congress for still failing to get it passed, while the primary guest was Republican Mike Huckabee, who also agreed the bill should be passed, going against the majority of his party), who all gave their stories. Many major sources credited Jon and that episode for being influential in spurring congress to finally get it done.
  • Detonation Moon: In his 2014 midterm election coverage, Jon decides to one-up CNN changing the colors of the Empire State Building by promising that, in the extremely unlikely event Democrats actually manage to retain control of the Senate, The Daily Show will blow up the moon. In the much more likely scenario of a Republican victory, they will merely swap out the Statue of Liberty's torch and tablet with an AK-47 and a Bible.
  • Détournement: Since the election of Barack Obama, a common gag has been showing the blatant hypocrisy of Fox News by airing their defenses of George Bush immediately before/after the exact same circumstances with a Democratic president (ie. denouncing protests as "temper tantrums" in 2004 yet calling them "inspiring" in 2008). He also does so to the other news networks, but they don't have a "Fair and Balanced" slogan to pin against them, so it happens less often.
  • Dirty Communists: Frequently pokes fun at Fox News and other right-wing pundits for accusing anyone to the left of them of being this. Later they even tried to do this to Stewart himself but he wasn't having any of it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: On the December 3rd, 2012 show, Jon got distracted by a shirtless Ryan Gosling.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Here's a fairly good example of it.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: On "Back in Black" discussing the power vacuum in Al Qaeda following bin Laden's death.
    CNN Anchor: [Al-Zawahiri] is more of a no. 2 than a no. 1.
    Black: I dunno, Al Qaeda's former no. 1 seemed like more of a no. 2 to me. (Beat) I'm talking about poop, Jon.
    Stewart: Yes, I know.
  • Double Entendre:
    • The "Jon Stewart [insert double entendre such as "Touches Kids" here]" segments.
    • Perhaps the best yet, lifted directly from a senator's rant to Anderson Cooper: "Jon Stewart and Anderson Cooper Have Their Fun Looking At Gaping Holes".
    • During a segment inviting former president George W. Bush to, er, be a guest on the program: "Come On Jon Stewart!"
    • He later asks them to change the above point when he's asking the same of Glenn Beck to come on. First they make an offer to take some thing off his chest into "Drop a Load on Jon Stewart", then an offer to get to know each other becoming (despite Jon's hopes) "Two Established Television Personalities Penetrate Each Other On The Daily Show While People Watch".
    • When NYC enacted both a soda ban and a relaxation of the laws regarding marijuana within the same week (June 7, 2012):
      "Jon Stewart Tries to Figure Out What He's Allowed to Put in His Mouth"
    • The official Daily Show website has a special tag for such occasions: "Questionable Graphics."
    • The July 31st 2014 show featured a two for one. Describing how American corporations have been using certain clauses in legislation to avoid paying taxes and his annoyance thereof, he had two segment graphics show up. "Jon Stewart Fingers Tax Evaders," and "Jon Stewart Probes Your Holes."
    • February 4, 2014 has a threefer. "Jon Stewart Checks Out Congress's Sausage," "Jon Stewart Pokes Around Congress's Back Door," and "Jon Stewart Rectally Penetrates Congress's A$$hole." He decides to go with the first one.
    • Taken to an extreme here, where one title drops the Double Entendre entirely with "Jon Stewart Pulls Down Your Pants and Touches Your Penis".
  • Double Subversion: For instance, when during the episode with the Glenn Beck impression he made reference to masturbating to a Calvin Klein billboard he could see from his apartment window. An ad with a shirtless male model came up, to which he said, "No!"; then it was replaced by an ad with a scantily-clad female model, to which he said, "Ewww, no!"; it turned out to be an ad with a more muscled and and well-oiled male model.
  • Dramatic Drop: When he interviewed Republican senator Marco Rubio Jon got so frustrated with the senator's ability to talk in circles he dropped his pen in exasperation.
  • Dramatic Pause: A frequent gag. Here's an example.

    E - F 
  • Eagleland: Obviously. But whenever he makes a few jabs at the more...extreme conservatives we see in news clips, he or one of the correspondents makes it quite clear that said people fit in with "flavor 2" as they tend to "hate 50% of the country".
  • Earpiece Conversation: Parodied by Jon:
    (holding one hand to an ear) I'm being told... I'm being told I'm not wearing an earpiece.
  • Election Day Episode: Heavily spoofed whenever elections roll around.
  • Erotic Eating: Back when Stephen Colbert was a correspondent, his field segments tended to involve him, some sort of vaguely phallic-shaped food product, and a lot of laughter from both the audience and Jon. One notable instance involved Prince Charles, a banana, and the single greatest example of uncontrollable laughter ever seen on The Daily Show.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: In a segment satirically examining the "over-commercialization" of Hanukkah, Stephen Colbert refers to the occasion as the "holiest of holy days" and is corrected by his (Jewish) guest. Colbert asks him to name one holier, and responds to Rosh Hashanah with, "Okay, now you're just making words up."
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the December 16 2014 episode, the accidental innuendo-laden "don't jerk and drive" PSA shows us a simulated extreme (to say the least) worst-case scenario, in which jerking the steering wheel causes the car to fly into oncoming traffic, bounce back into their own side, and then for a second car, oblivious to the now stationary vehicle, to drive straight into it at full speed (at least the second car didn't jerk the wheel), causing an explosion eclipsing both cars. Hilarious because they could have fully made their point, and better, without that second car.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Apparently Romney's business practices are too shady for Italy. Romney has to say to Italy "Hey, I'm a legitimate businessman."
  • Everyone Is Bi: Everybody on the show has either shown bisexual tendencies on screen, or simply hinted at having had sex with both genders.
  • Expy: Often a source of them, as Jon and the other correspondents will take other acting roles in quite a similar vein as their characters in the show. Jon himself played an Only Sane Man news anchor in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Ed Helms showed up as the quite similar Andy Bernard on The Office (US) (which, of course, stars former "reporter" Steve Carell.)
  • Extended Disarming: When Vance DeGeneres made his farewells, Jon had to nudge him to hand over his standard-issue badge and handgun. Isn't there something else he's forgetting? Brass knuckles. And fine, combat knife. And bomb.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The show's treatment of Senator John McCain following his 2008 presidential campaign makes frequent allusions to his 'fall from grace' from his (now-abandoned) maverick position. Appropriately, 2008 was also the last year Senator McCain made a personal appearance on the show.
  • Face Palm: A favorite reaction of Jon when confronted with the most egregious Logical Fallacies.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: A gag using the Chroma Key. In one memorable example, two correspondents are supposedly broadcasting from Iraq. The one who is actually in Iraq demonstrates that his (real) footage is being used as the fake background for the other's shoot by waving his arms.
  • Film at 11: The show does this from time to time, notably when the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal broke over a weekend. Jon refused to properly cover the story until Tuesday, because they had worked all weekend on a flashy graphic for the Wyoming Democratic Caucus and didn't want to waste it by covering Spitzer instead.
  • Fingore: Stewart once accidentally smashed a margarita glass in his hand on camera bad enough to require stitches.
  • Flame War: The Even Stephvens debates which at one point attempted to prove which religion was the right one by holding a "Smite-off" (praying to either God or Mohammad to smite the other Ste(v/ph)en.)
  • Flat "What": In an interview with Barbara Walters, former GOP candidate Herman Cain said that, if offered a cabinet position, he would want to be Secretary of of Defense. Walters was so flabbergasted that she could only stammer out a "What?" This prompted Jon to show examples of people and comments that didn't faze her, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad saying that no government has ever killed non-deserving people.
  • Food Porn: Darn near literally in one sketch.
  • Fox News Liberal:
    • Notable aversion. Though a decidedly liberal-leaning program, the Daily Show often hosts conservative guests. When it does, Jon Stewart treats them with respect and actually attempts to understand their point of view, and thus help the audience to do the same.
    • In addition, despite the assumed viewpoint that he would go "easy" on the Obama administration, he is perhaps one of its most vocal critics. Yes, they are pulling for them to have success and find ideological similarities, but that merely colors his criticism, which is expressed more as disappointment when the administration fails to follow through on something they claimed. In other words, it bases its views not on party, but progress. Or in layman's terms:
      Jon: C'mon, guys, we should be doing better than this!
  • Foreshadowing: An unintentional one happened during the Anthony Weiner scandal, wherein Jon Stewart fake-resigns and John Oliver takes over the show (temporarily, before Jon Stewart reminds him that it was just a bit). A few years later, the Weiner scandal reemerged with a vengeance while Jon was on hiatus and John Oliver was hosting.
  • Friendly Enemy: Stewart and Bill O'Reilly of Fox. Bill has been interviewed by Stewart several times over the years, and while they obviously disagree with each other strongly on numerous issues, there is an odd sort of Worthy Opponent-type respect between them.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
  • Funny Background Event: During the November 13, 2014 episode that promotes Rosewater, John Oliver takes over the show. After Jon gets in the way too much, he is dismissed. Immediately after while John is interviewing Jason Jones and one of the producers, you can see Jon pacing in the background.
  • Funny Foreigner:
    • Both played straight and subverted with John Oliver. There are plenty of times where his British-ness is used for laughs, but it's also heavily implied that he wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, but is forced to play the Funny Foreigner role for Jon Stewart's personal amusement. He's also used in lieu of a calculator whenever a measurement is given in metric, as part of the segment "Is that a lot?"
    • On the other hand, it's usually not brought up with Canadians Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, unless the subject turns to Canada.
    • The correspondent segment on Silvio Berlusconi's trial for statutory rape was a grand mockery of the trope, what with Jon's attempt at playing the whole thing seriously.

    G - H 
  • Gag Dub: Whenever you hear a voiceover, it's fake. By the same standard, if Jon has to strenuously emphasize that the voice-over is real, it is quite real, no matter how unbelievable it might be.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: When exasperatedly noting how Barack Obama's mishaps during the 2012 campaign are overshadowed by the far more numerous gaffes of challenger Mitt Romney, and the audience begins to cheer, Jon compares a victory over Romney to a victory over someone suffering one of these.
    Jon: Really? That's how you want to win this? Other guy tears his ACL?
  • Game of Nerds: Jon has openly admitted to being a Mets fan.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Elizabeth Warren (yes, the future Senator) gives an eloquent and accurate speech on the urgent necessity of Wall Street reform. Jon wants to make out with her.
  • General Ripper: Puppet Senator John McCain against illegal immigrants.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Jon will sometimes do this to his segment titles as a Running Gag, going through several increasingly horrific versions before settling on the final one.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Parodied in this clip as Jon handles a series of bad news about the Wall Street bailout by breaking a champagne glass, then the accompanying bottle, and finally his "comically convenient fish tank." (He's done similar gags with Spit Takes, as mentioned below, and one time with a Jenga game.)
    • A Call-Back was made to that clip in this clip on TARP, where Jon reacts to the financial loopholes involving the bailout by first snapping a pencil, crushing a piece of coal so hard it becomes diamond, before doing the same to a cute (live) kitten. Not really.
    • In this clip, after a dispute between whether the reconstructed New York City's World Trade Center or Chicago's Sears Tower is the tallest building in America, Stewart tries to mend the bridge between the two cities with champagne. Buuuuut then Chicago makes a claim that Deep Dish Pizza is better than New York Pizza...
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She's p-p-p-p-poisonous.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band:
    • Cribbing a quote from a CNN Anchor about a sex scandal, Jon proclaims
      Stewart: If there's not a hip indie band named Lesbian Bondage Fiasco by next week...
    • In a bit about abortion laws, he mentions "Transvaginal Ultrasound" as being a 15-member jazz fusion band.
  • Godwin's Law: The Back in Black segment ripping Glenn Beck's "Nazi Tourettes."
    Lewis Black: It's "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", except there's just one degree, and Kevin Bacon is Hitler!
    • Also defied in a "Rally to Restore Sanity" poster - "I may disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler."
    • Later subverted in a segment about Planet Fitness, a gym that excludes hardcore weightlifters.
      PF Rep: All the animals [the bodybuilders] can go in their cages and the rest of the people can come here.
      Jason Jones: You know who else said that?
      PF Rep: ...Hitler?
      Jason Jones: What?? No! I was going to say Thomas Jefferson!
    • Jon does not like when anyone, of any stripe, compares anyone else to the Nazis. He's been complaining about it since as early as 2004 on Oprah, when it was the Democrats comparing Bush to Hitler and Republicans in the House comparing Democrats to Hitler and Democrats in the House comparing Republicans in the House to Hitler.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Stewart refers to his 'weekend squash partner' Bill O'Reilly.
  • The Golden Rule: Subject of a Crosses The Line Twice joke in The Daily Show, where apropos of a meeting between Catholic Cardinals to discuss the sexual molestation scandals, Jon claims that the aformentioned Bible verse will be altered to include the footnote "except when explicitly prohibited by law".
  • Gone Horribly Right: Discussed. In an interview with Richard Dawkins, Jon speculates that humanity's last words will be, "It worked!"
  • Gospel Revival Number: "I guess what I'm sayin' is this..." "GO..." "If 'Fair and Balanced' is how you want to sell yourself..." "FUCK..." "Guess what I'm sayin' is this..." "YOURSELVES!"
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted when Ed Helms did a piece on getting a mole on the side of his nose removed. Right as the doctor is shown holding a scalpel to his nose, a "Please Stand By" card appears on the screen as peaceful music coupled with the sound of someone screaming play in the background, only to cut right back as the mole is getting sliced off.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: In a sketch introducing the newest correspondent, Olivia Munn, Aasif Mandvi appears from behind a piece of greenscreen down to his waist.
    Jon Stewart: Uh, Aasif, how did you do that?
    Aasif: I'm Asian, Jon. I'm a ninja!
  • Guest Host: The correspondents, when necessary.
    • "Welcome to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ironically enough, I'm Stephen Colbert."
    • Jon Stewart is perhaps one of the most dedicated news anchors on TV. In one instance, despite losing his voice for three days, he refused to not appear on the show, even though he had to speak up (and therefore lengthened his recovery by abusing his already abused vocal cords), and got extra jokes out of it, too. "It's as if Harvey Fierstein had hosted the Daily Show!"
    • John Oliver guest-hosted the show during the Summer of 2013, while Stewart was filming his adaptation of Maziar Bahari's book And Then They Came For Me, entitled Rosewater, in Jordan.
    • On October 7, 2014, after Jon fell sick, Jason Jones guest-hosted, with wife and fellow correspondent Samantha Bee joining in later on.
  • Grand Finale: While the show will keep going, Jon's depature from the show after nearly twenty years on the program (they alternated between calling it 16 and a half and 17 years in the run-up to his final show) was treated as this. With almost every correspondant (and even the show's original host) coming back along with a multitude of guests and even some of his on-screen and real-life on-air competition chiming in to give Jon a send-off unlike anything seen since Carson left the Tonight Show back in the late 80s. The whole show was capped off by the surviving members of Bruce Springsteen And the E Street Band playing Jon off in what was called his moment of zen. The entire crowd was pretty much invited to come onto the set to share in the farewell during this. If the show had legitimately ended with this broadcast, it would have probably been picture perfect in terms of how to end a Long Runner like The Daily Show.
  • Has Two Thumbs and...:
    • Variation on the June 16, 2010 episode: "Who has four fingers and resigned in disgrace? This Guy.".
    • From Obama's first State of the Union Address (see Cluster F-Bomb above):
      Jon: [as Obama] Now, who am I forgetting? I've given a speech, I've ragged on Bush, the Democrats, the Supreme Court, the Republicans... Oh, I know! Who has two thumbs and should go fuck himself?
      Obama: I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people...
      Jon: It's this guy!
    • Again on August 6, 2015, Jon's farewell episode:
      Mayor Rahm Emanuel: What has nine-and-a-half fingers and won't miss you at all? This guy!
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: When Robert Pattinson appeared on the show after Kristen Stewart was caught cheating on him (his appearance had been scheduled long before the incident), Jon pulls out two pints of Ben & Jerry's. Unfortunately, it melted.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Jon was reduced to fit of giggles after Will Ferrell gave us the line "Well, when you come on a Will Ferrell joint..."
  • Here We Go Again!: Jon Stewart cut his hand by breaking a glass object AGAIN!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, both in their on-air personas and in real life, culminating in The Reveal that The Colbert Report was really just one long correspondent's segment for The Daily Show. Colbert even called himself the Sam Gamgee to Stewart's Frodo Baggins! To cap it all off, Colbert (the real one) went off-script in Stewart's final episode to sincerely thank him for all he had done for all his correspondents over the years, culminating in the longtime friends hugging fiercely as the show went to commercial. And just to make it sweeter, one of the executive producers of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is none other than Jon Stewart. Nothing is ever going to tear this duo apart.
  • High-Class Glass: Toppington Von Monocle, the show's "biggest fan," who appeared in a segment in response to Bernie Goldberg accusing Jon of playing to an "incredibly unsophisticated audience" (see Sophisticated as Hell below).
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Frequently left in. For instance, Jon Stewart stumbling all over the camera placement while talking with Gitmo.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Don Yelton, the racist North Carolina GOP official who had to resign after his interview with Aasif Mandvi aired. Mandvi later said that one of the most racist parts of the conversation (beginning with "Well, I have been called a bigot") was completely unplanned, and that Mandvi quickly realized the best thing he could do was shut up and let Yelton hang himself.
  • Homage: Jon riffed on Winston Churchill while talking about his Crossfire appearance: "Tomorrow, I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow."
  • Hostile Show Takeover:
    • On Election Night 2008, Stewart and Colbert co-hosted a live show reporting on the results (in between humorous bits and interviews, of course). After Ohio went to Obama, it became obvious he was going to win the election. The Daily Show's two black correspondents, Larry Wilmore and Wyatt Cenac, took this as a sign that they could do "whatever they want", and tried to host The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, respectively. It was over by the commercial break.
    • Kristen Schaal and Samantha Bee also once tried to take over the show when Jon went to the toilet, because they felt it was time for a female host.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Often.
    • "Yes, it's cathartic - it can be so therapeutic to publicly ridicule those whose views you find repugnant when they are in no way able to respond."
    • The end of his Special Comment about Keith Olbermann, accusing him of name-calling: "And as we both know, Sir, that's my thing!"
    • The episode on SOPA absolutely runs on this trope, with Jon faux-seriously lecturing on the evils of using copyrighted material and the background consisting entirely of clips taken from other shows.
    • Making fun of CNN doing a splitscreen satellite interview with two reporters in the same parking lot, Jon said: "The audacity of something even resembling a news organization to pretend that a correspondent is in an entirely different location when in fact that correspondent is standing no more than a few feet away, maybe in the very same studio for all we know - pretty shameful."
    • When John Oliver first starts hosting the show during Jon Stewart's absence, Samantha Bee, a Canadian, expresses outrage at a "godforsaken foreigner" being selected for the position over her.
    • Al Madrigal does an interview with an animal-rights whistleblower defending the editing of their videos for time, pointing out that The Daily Show does the same with its interviews. Al Madrigal objects... in two different clips of him wearing two different outfits.
    • Jon dismissed the pissing contest between New York City and Chicago over which city had the tallest skyscraper in the country and urged everyone not to take the issue so seriously. Then he watched a clip of a pundit declaring Chicago's deep dish pizza to be better than New York's pizza.
    • In their controversial segment on the Washington Redskins on September 26, 2014, upon having his stuttering mocked by Native American activists (which included members of comedy group The 1491s), Jason Jones says, "Just because I am uncomfortable doesn’t mean you have to make fun of my uncomfortableness. You don’t see me doing that to people."
    • One segment interviews Democrats and Republicans at a convention to talk about how overly negative and personal the 2012 Presidential Election was getting. Both sides agree that people should stop focusing so much on personal attacks and focus instead on real issues...while also lauding personal attacks at the opposing party and blaming them for all the problems with the elections. Most obvious is one Democrat imploring Republicans to "stop the finger pointing" while literally pointing his finger at the Republicans.

    I - J 
  • If I Had a Nickel...: "You know, if I had a nickel for every time Bush has mentioned 9/11, I could raise enough reward money to go after bin Laden."
  • I Know Kung-Faux: Jon talking about then-potential Republican candidate Newt Gingrich.
    Jon: You can't be a dick to Gingrich. He's a master of dick fu. He will use his opponents' dickishness against ... Newt studied it in the mountains of Tibet with the Dicky Lama.
  • Implausible Deniability: They get sitting heads of state, major government officials, Hollywood stars, scientists at the top of their field, and actual news anchors as guests. They've earned Emmys and Peabody Awards(!), and can get celebrities to drop by unannounced for a cameo and good joke. Their news is at least as insightful as the regular stuff put out by the networks and the 24-hour news channels. But as he said when it was still true (and people were even treating the show as serious news), "The show leading into mine is puppets making crank phone calls."
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Kristen Schaal pulled one of these in a Black Comedy never-have-baby-comedy moment. After talking about Sarah Palin's new group, "Mama Grizzlies", she mentioned that she'd "never be a Mama Grizzly."
      Jon Stewart: I'm sorry Kristen, I... why, why, why is that?
      Kristen: Well Jon, you might just say... I'm "bear-en".
    • After watching Shep Smith do actual journalism (with real facts!), Jon cracks that "He's the Black Shep of Fox News". Cue the earpiece gag:
      Jon: ...what's that? want the Emmy back? Now? [meekly] ...sorry.
    • Jon criticized the news media's habit of using lame puns in a segment called You're Not Punny.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Jon begins his interview with Mike Huckabee about abortion by pouring them both shots.
  • Informed Judaism: Part of Jon Stewart's material since his stand-up career, with a combination of pride in his Jewishness and Self-Deprecation at being not very good at it. So, basically, he's Reform. But for the most part Jon subverts that trope. He clearly knows his Judaic lore and customs, but chooses to make part of his act about his choice to live as an ultra-assimilated, intermarried New York Jew.
  • Inherently Funny Words: The names of Mississippi Secretaries of State Dick Molpus and Delbert Hosemann.
  • In-Joke: Jon comes out to chat with the studio audience for a bit before the show starts, and then during the show he will often make a Call-Back to something that one of the audience members said, leaving the home audience scratching their heads at the seeming Non Sequitur.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Subverted. An open-shirted Jason Jones was on Chat Roulette looking very relaxed while his arms were making jerking motions. He turns out to be playing Wii Craps while masturbating.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Played brilliantly straight in the manner of Glenn Beck. Watch it on video here. Comes complete with spoofing Hitler Ate Sugar.
    • Topped on the March 18, 2010 episode by taking it even further in a fifteen minute segment that concludes that Bert from Sesame Street is actually Hitler. Perhaps he is in cahoots with his colleague, Gitmo.
    • On June 27, 2011, the Moment of Zen showed a clip from Fox News:
      "I'm going to say it right now, Jon Stewart is a racist. I don't believe that to be true, but I'm saying it."
  • Insult to Rocks: On the show's final episode, Darth Vader shows up to object to being compared to Dick Cheney.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Jon's internet history is mostly Sideboobs (and some ESPN).
  • Interspecies Romance: John Oliver/Orangutan OTP!
  • Irishman and a Jew:
  • Ironic Echo Cut: A staple of the show is Jon recapping the basics of a story and assuming a result, then cutting to a clip of a reporter or speaker saying the exact opposite.
  • It's Been Done: After Jon's recap of the Bipartisan Health Care Summit of 2010, Stewart and John Oliver proceeded to explain in great detail a hypothetical system where legislators could come together, sit down, and talk about relevant issues. OH WAIT, THAT'S CONGRESS.
    "What if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?"
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Jon Stewart and Denis Leary are best friends going way back. Leary is one of Stewart's most frequent guests, and whenever he turns up, any semblance of an actual interview gets tossed out the window as the two kvetch and rag mercilessly on each other.
  • Jerks Use Body Spray: Subverted in one segment where John Oliver is replaced by Patrick Stewart in a bad toupee and five tons of stage ham to parody an NFL labor dispute. Jon starts fanboying over Patrick, even thinking he can smell Patrick's cologne.
    Jon Stewart: Is it a hint of lavender with a trace note of cedar and a soupcon of Balinese ocean sand, is that what it smells like?
    Patrick Stewart: It's Axe body spray.
  • Jewish Complaining: Some of the jokes.
    John Oliver: [to a visibly bleeding Jon] Oh, don't be so Jewish about it, you're fine!
  • Jews Love to Argue: Often joked about, and once they captured empirical evidence on camera. It's also the basis for Jon's sarcastic retort to the notion of a Jewish banking conspiracy: Jews can't even agree on where to go for dinner, let alone how to control the world's money.
  • Joisey: Jon Stewart is from New Jersey (he even got to introduce Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors!) and will often use a parody Joisey accent.

    K - L 
  • Kill the Poor: During the banter segment with Jon Stewart at the end of The Daily Show's 10th Anniversary episode, Stephen Colbert remarked about how Stewart's show is all about supporting "the underdog" and Colbert can't believe how he ever backed that "losing horse." That's why Colbert on his own show now supports "the overdog" (specifically, big business). When concluding his point, Colbert quotes the Trope Namer!
    Colbert: Like mis hermanos The Dead Kennedys say, "Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill the poor!"
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: 155-170 lbs! Extreme Ministries ftw!
  • Leno Device:
    • The Daily Show popped up in the middle of Evan Almighty. Bonus points on that one, since the star of that movie, Steve Carell, started out as a Daily Show correspondent.
    • Jon Stewart has Matt Damon's congressional candidate character on as a guest in The Adjustment Bureau.
    • Fittingly, Jason Jones' trip to Iran for the Daily Show is re-created for scenes in Jon Stewart's film, Rosewater.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Invades CNN's 2012 Super Tuesday coverage.
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: If news reports trot out questionable statistics, the show will call them out on this, like the time(s) Fox's statistics totaled over 100%.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jon was once placed on a best dressed list, citing the suits he wears on the show and the street clothes he wears during the weekend. He proceeds to rip into the writers and himself by pointing out that he's worn the same ratty old t-shirt and leather jacket combo for decades
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Apparently, President Obama.
  • Logical Fallacies:
    • Thoughtfully provided by the "Large Hadron Collider will destroy the world" pundit/high school science teacher.
      Teacher: I'd say there is a 50/50 chance. It will either destroy us or it won't.
      John Oliver: I'm not sure statistics work that way.
      John: After the apocalypse, we should try breeding. [the teacher is male]
      Teacher: I don't think that will work.
      John: It either could happen or it won't.
    • They had a field day with people claiming that snowstorms proved global warming wasn't real. Apparently global warming=negation of seasonal weather trends.
    • A homophobe who didn't want open gays in American military claimed that Nazis were gay and persecuted gays to hide their own sexuality...wait.
    • John used the fallacy-ridden manner of thinking Glenn Beck uses to prove things to prove him wrong and evil.
  • Logic Bomb: Jon drops one on the Reagan US 9/11 by pointing out that Obama was conceived in Hawaii. Thus either Obama was created and became a person in the US which should count for more than where he emerged from his mother's womb... or fetuses aren't people. Unable to cope with having to abandon either its Birther or Pro-life stance, the machine promptly crashes.
  • Long List: In October 7, 2008, while analyzing the "stupid" vote, John Oliver broke it down into twelve sections: paste eaters, numbskulls, nitwits, fucktards, people whose hands get stuck in pickle jars when they eat pickles, people who lose arguments to babies, douchenozzles, tiger petters, people who jump up and down on frozen lakes, shaved gorillas who've somehow managed to acquire a driver's license, the voluntarily lobotomized, and Cubs fans.

    M - N 
  • Magical Negro:
  • Malicious Misnaming: The two (so far) montages from Jon Stewart's 17 years as host use a wrong name in the title, EG "Jeff Stubin".
  • Manly Tears:
    • The first episode after 9/11. Scientifically proven to be impossible to watch without joining in.
    • John Oliver's sendoff. As a Brit, Oliver was a definite example of Stiff Upper Lip, but after the montage of his best moments on the show shown in his last episode, he was visibly teary-eyed.
  • Metaphorgotten: With regards to Dick Cheney:
    Jon: Here's what's upsetting about this guy; fucking guy acts like we were 20 seconds away from total victory in Iraq, when suddenly Obama just gives it away at midfield, and then Osama bin Laden crosses it, and ISIS heads it home; God, how did we blow that game!?
  • Mic Drop: Jessica Williams ended an epic rant about racism with a mic drop ... which she first had to pull out from behind her desk because she wasn't using it during said rant.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Due to the unfortunate titles for the segment for kids.
  • Montage: In honor of Jon's 17 years as host. So far the themes have been "I didn't actually read/watch/listen to whatever you're promoting" and "Jon being ill (or thinking he is)".
  • Mood Whiplash: The first episode directly after 9/11. This one isn't funny in the least. Instead, Jon puts all the jokes aside and confronts both the audience and his heartbroken home of New York very seriously... and in tears.
  • Moral Myopia: Jon's take on Ahmadinejad.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Jason Jones, while in Russia, did a segment on how Russians aren't sissies, which included talking with a math teacher who walks across rooftops in her spare time.
  • Motor Mouth: "WelcometotheDailyShowmynameisJonStewart!"
  • Mr. Fanservice: In a 2011 episode, in a parody of the rebuttals to the State of the Union adress, John Oliver, Olivia Munn, and Larry Wilmore made a correspondent rebuttal to Jon's jokes about the State of the Union adress, during which Larry reminds modern viewers what Jon looked like back in 1999 by showing a clip of Jon just a few days after his debut as a host in January 1999. There was a quite noticeable swoon heard in the audience.
  • Ms. Fanservice: While there's little doubt that Olivia Munn would be this whether or not that was the plan, a veritable tempest in a teapot arose when a feminist (possibly or possibly not of the silly variety) accused the TDS staff of sexism, saying they only hired her to try out for her sexiness. While most agreed that Munn's first two segments left something to be desired, her third segment (a field assignment in Arizona) was enough of an improvement that Slate, at least, said she warranted a little bit of patience. It's worth noting that this is the exact same complaint that gave her something of a Broken Base among Attack of the Show! fans, which still lingers after several years of her hosting. In the end, her tenure was short-lived, as she became the lead financial reporter for another fictional news show.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • "The Best F*cking News Team Ever." "We have a rocket. CNN doesn't have a rocket."
    • Which is topped by the Election Day intro Stephen cooked up: THE FINAL ENDGAME ALPHA ACTION GO TIME LIFT-OFF DECIDE-CIDAL HUNGRY MAN'S EXTREME RAW POWER ULTIMATE VOTESLAM SMACKDOWN '08 NO MERCY: JUDGEMENT DAY '08 And then Jon Stewart lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire, and blew him up.
      Stephen Colbert: ...did you set fire to Dick Gephardt?
      Jon Stewart: That's right, Stephen, we lit former Majority Leader of the House Dick Gephardt on fire...and then we blew him up.
      Stephen Colbert: ...kudos.
    • MEDICARE!!! *electric guitar riff*
  • Muppet:
    • A Running Gag that when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney or former GOP Chairman Michael Steele are mentioned, a clip of a similar-looking Muppet (Guy Smiley and the hapless restaurant patron, respectively) will be shown. And when the real Michael Steele appeared as a guest, so did Muppet!Steele].
      Real!Michael Steele: Take a hike, Dick van Dyke.
      Puppet!Steele: ...I can take that he's better looking than me, but rhyming's my thing, Gordon Sumner - also known as Sting!
    • Or when he was trying to pronounce the name of the island "Mah Na Mah Na"...
    • Don't forget Gitmo! Never thought that Elmo's cousin (or whatever) was a member of Al-Qaeda, but it's a small world, I suppose.
    • Also, don't forget that Elmo himself is a neo-Nazi...
    • When then-Prime Minister Tony Blair was "Harumphed" (heckled) by Parliament, Stewart noted that "The act of harumphing dates back to the Earl of Statler and the Duke of Waldorf."
    • And don't forget when he interviewed Kermit the Frog:
      Jon: Isn't that the whole thing, if you lick a frog you get crazy thoughts?
      Kermit: If you lick a frog, you're crazy before you started!
      Jon: I can't believe it, the frog's running circles around me!
    • And Miss Piggy
    • And now that John McCain is refusing to do the show, Muppet John McCain has been filling in for him from time to time.
    • In the last show of 2012, Wyatt Cenac was turned into a Muppet after mocking a Puerto Rican news show because one of the hosts used a puppet suit. He turned out to just be operating the puppet, which led to an awkward moment at the end of the show.
  • Narm: A lot of the humor on the show deals with pointing out narmy moments in news coverage. invoked
  • N-Word Privileges:
    • Invoked here when John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac try to debate which racial insults are worse; John can't bring himself to use the N word.
    • Also see this clip. John Oliver and Larry Wilmore interview a local politician trying to ban the N word. John will ask a question and pause for Larry to fill in the actual word.
    • Frequently invoked with the topic of Rick Perry's family's former name for their ranch. Every time after Jon tries to say it, a clip would play of Herman Cain helping a reporter by saying it instead.
    • Jon cannot say the N-word, but Jessica can. note 
  • Nerdgasm: Jon was particularly flummoxed that among the revelations about Anthony Weiner's sexual escapades was an exchange between him and one woman suggesting that they watch back-to-back The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to "get them in the mood."
  • Never Trust a Title: As Jon pointed out, The Daily Show is on four days a week, and only for a part of the year.
  • New Media Are Evil:
  • Nice Guy: Among other things, Jon Stewart has been an active proponent for granting medical aid to the dying rescue workers and volunteers from the 9/11 terrorism massmurder; and improved education for autistic children.
  • "El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño": This is a bit of a Running Gag regarding Arabic phrases with the article "Al". For example, in one episode featuring an interview with an Al Jazeera reporter, Jon helpfully informs us that "Al Jazeera" means "The Jazeera" and that hopefully their guest will explain what a "Jazeera" is (he doesn't).note 
  • Not Helping Your Case: In the midst of an uphill battle to retain his Senate seat in 2010, John McCain had his 2008 running mate Sarah Palin speak for him to garner some much-needed publicity for his campaign. This proved to be a very bad idea.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • "— and this is true —" Jon has to do this with disturbing frequency.
    • During his tongue-in-cheek review of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Al Madrigal at one point stops to provide a source for his claim that the Decision Theater will actually play of video of Bush telling the user why they're wrong if their decision contradicts his (namely, when deciding against the Iraq war).
    • In his "India Jones and the Election of Doom" series, Jason Jones learns that Indian newspapers can be paid to print pretty much anything, which he demonstrates by having a completely fictional story about himself printed for a few thousand dollars. He then stresses that he really did this and provides a link to the article in question.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: One of several points made in this segment produced in the days following Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" speech. Romney asserted that nearly half the country takes a share without giving anything meaningful back, leading Jon to mention that the "welfare queens" at companies like Exxon-Mobil and AT&T receive plenty of government money, too.
    Jon: But at least Exxon-Mobil and AT&T give us back cheap gas and reliable cell phone service.
  • Not Worth Killing: Or mocking. Stewart grabs a pair of glasses similar to those worn by Glenn Beck. It comes off as a setup of another thorough, annihilating parody of Beck's rhetoric...until he throws the glasses down and says he's just not worth it anymore.
  • No True Scotsman: Points out the tendency fairly often In-Universe.

    O - P 
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • A charge leveled at Gretchen Carlson of the Fox News program Fox and Friends for her having to look up the words "czar" and "ignoramus", despite being a Stanford honors graduate in Sociology, having studied at Oxford and being a talented violinist, and so probably being familiar with those words.
    • And done again, lampshade included and vocally invoked by Wyatt Cenac when discussing how Fox and Friends had connected the "Ground-Zero Mosque" with the leader of The Kingdom Foundation, Prince Al-waleed bin Talal... who happens to be a 7% shareholder with NewsCorp, parent company of Fox News. (This makes him the largest shareholder outside of the Murdoch family.)
      Wyatt Cenac: Bum-bum-bum! That's some evil shit! It's a level of knowing obfuscation that can only come with having a heart filled with pure evil!
  • Oh, Cisco!: The Moment of Zen.
  • Oh God, with the Verbing!: On pronouncing Rod Blagojevich:
    Jon: It's not that hard to pronounce. Repeat after me: Rod— BLAGOJEVICH WITH THE SCHNITZENDREUBLE, WITH THE GOVERNING AND THE CORRUPTION...
  • One-Man Army: Former correspondent and all-around badass Lt. Col. Rob Riggle, USMCR.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. In addition to Jon Stewart the show has John Oliver, and occasional You're Welcome host John Hodgman. And of course, there were also Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert before they left the show (complete with the segment "Even Stephven" where they "debated" a topic by hurling insults at each other).
  • Only in Florida:
    • During a segment about Florida demanding that welfare recipients take drug urinalysis tests, Aasif Maandvi manages to crash an actual press conference with Gov. Rick Scott and requests that he take a test himself. The other reporters even help to pass him the cup.
    • The January 13, 2015 episode's comedy portion was entirely devoted to Only in Florida weird stories, due in part to their guest that evening, Senator Marco Rubio, leading to this chestnut:
      Jon: Florida, you don't get to judge others when your state motto is, "If Darwin was right, we wouldn't be here."
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Jon Stewart, with the insanity provided either by correspondents, or clips of real life politics.
    • Jon himself seems to see Anderson Cooper as one; he goes to great lengths to trash CNN at every opportunity, but never seems to take so much as one pot-shot at Cooper, and when Cooper comes on the show Jon makes no secret of his respect for the man.
      Jon: [while criticizing Wolf Blitzer] I don't know, why don't you ask your best colleague? [screen displays photo of Cooper]
    • Jon also seems to see Shepard Smith this way for Fox News.
      Jon: Still, Shep Smith [is] one of those people at Fox I like very much, I think he's very good — maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Anything prepared by Mario Batalli.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Jon will occasionally do something random (like vigorously scratch the back of his head) while waiting for the audience to stop applauding or laughing, then when they quiet down, he'll continue to do it until they laugh again.
    • The saga of Tony Bologna:
      • When MSNBC named a New York police officer "Anthony Bologna" (pronounced like the Italian city), Jon insisted on calling him "Tony Bologna" (pronounced like the sausage) and proceeded with a rap:
        Guy's name is Tony Bologna
        Favorite pasta, rigatoni
        Favorite island, Coney
        Favorite Italian prime minister, Berlusconi
        Favorite southern buffet restaurant, Shoney's
        Favorite dessert, fresh mixed berries
        You thought I'd say spumoni or tortoni
        No, he's lactose intoleroni
      • After the rap, Jon showed a clip of a fake TV show, The Vigilogna, starring Chris Meloni (spelled "Melogna" in the clip) as the rogue Tony Bologna.
      • Later, on the November 28, 2011 show, he mentioned Tony Bologna and continued:
        The theme music to that done by Tony! Toni! Toné!
        Sponsored by Rice-A-Roni
        The lead-in program: My Little Pony
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The titles given to the correspondents often follow this mold, such as "Jessica Williams, our senior Christmas historical accuracy correspondent"
  • Pædo Hunt: Running Gag.
  • Painting the Medium: When discussing ways to grab the attention of younger viewers, Demetri Martin created pictures, sparkle and rainbow effects, and a ticker with hand gestures while the person he was interviewing stared at him, confused.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: At first, this video seems to be the first episode of a new segment focusing on small towns, however, as the video goes on, it becomes increasingly obvious that the whole thing is just John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac desperately trying to find a way to sneak into the Chelsea Clinton wedding.
  • Pirate: "Yo ho ho, the piracy epidemic requires a long-term solution..."
  • Pet the Dog: In the height of his bad reputation, Jon Stewart, a Jew, gave one to Mel Gibson.
  • Pixellation: Whenever someone makes a rude gesture, and everything Dick Cheney touches.
  • The Plan:
  • Porn Stash: John Oliver, with his life supposedly in danger, not only lists the location of the porn in every room he has, but also:
    John Oliver: In the bedroom you'll find a box marked porn... It's not porn, Jon, it's erotica! It's my legacy! That has to go to a library!
  • Prayer of Malice: Back when Stephen and Steven were still on The Daily Show, an "Even Stevens" segment had them debating whether Islam or Christianity was the one true religion. Needless to say, prayers of "Smite mine enemy" were evoked on both sides.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Done with beauty while commenting on CNBC's having had a guest - Sir Allen Stanford - on the show who was being investigated on allegations of running a Ponzi scheme (arrested one month later) and they get to the final question... Cut to 7:50.
    • Another example, in the unsubtly-subtle vein, occurred on 11-18-09 segment about Sarah Palin's surge in popularity (accompanied by book-signing). Bernie Goldberg stated that "[Sarah has a son who] has Down's Syndrome. Liberals certainly don't - don't allow that to happen!" Cue a pause from Jon, who shuffles around some papers on the desk prior to holding them in front of his mouth and coughing "Go fuck yourself!" Done in the same vein on 02-07-2008 with perverse deliberation.
    • Used against Fox News on April 15th, 2010 (making it worse, the timing was right after one of them making a remark that having five kids and one of them having Down Syndrome was something that liberals "certainly don't allow to happen"). Fox's response was then analyzed, line-by-line, on the 20th, culminating in a cluster-GoFuckYourself-bomb set to music.
      Jon Stewart: I've said this before, and I'll say it again... Go fuck yourself!
    • Done several times by John Oliver when discussing the 2010 World Cup.
  • Preppy Name: Stewart likes to make up names for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee that sound even more preppy than Willard "Mitt" Romney.
  • Pun-Based Title: Many of the headline segments involve these, such as Mess O Potamia, Guantanamo Baywatch, and Exper-teasers.

    Q - S 
  • Quintessential British Gentleman:
    • John Oliver finds one in Britain while covering the royal wedding.
      John Oliver: You are the most English thing I have ever seen.
    • Oliver himself is often portrayed as this, when he's not being portrayed as any number of other British stereotypes.
  • The Reason You Suck: Jon gave one of his repeated targets, Sean Hannity, one of these when the latter was apparently perplexed by the former’s ‘obsession’ towards him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The entire show these days is the Blue Oni to The Colbert Report's Red Oni, the Report being driven entirely by Stephen Colbert's egomaniacal Large Ham strawman, while Daily Show focuses more on Stewart being the Only Sane Man Surrounded by Idiots.
  • Red Scare: Teaching Mandarin in middleschool will taint the next generation with COMMUNISM!
  • Replacement Scrappy: invoked John Oliver to Stephen.
    Stephen: I hate you, Oliver! You're not my real Jon!
  • The Resenter: Every member of the supporting cast toward John Oliver when John got to be Jon Stewart's replacement.
  • Resistance Is Futile: After Jon Stewart laid the smackdown on Fox News with a Cluster go f*ck yourself (backed by a Gospel Choir) MSNBC pundit Lawrence O'Donnell came to the conclusion:
    O'Donnell: Do not pick a fight with Jon Stewart. Do not do it, you can not win.
  • Retroactive Wish: Jon after Crossfire got canceled: "According to Jim is hurting America." It took a while, but his wish was finally granted in May of 2009.
  • Revolving Door Casting: Correspondents and contributors tended to come and go at the rate of + /-1 a year.
    • Notably averted during Obama's first term. Following the departure of Rob Riggle in December 2008, the five main correspondents jobs were held by Aasif Mandi, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver, the longest stretch of consistent correspondents in the show's history. Cenac left the series in December 2012, with Oliver following in December 2013 and Bee and Jones leaving shortly before Stewart's departure in 2015. Mandi lasted the longest, leaving the series two months after Stewart in 2015.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Puppet Michael Steele, orange peel!
  • Ridiculously Loud Commercial: The full episodes online have faint audio relative to most youtube and other online videos, requiring viewers to turn up their speaker volume. The ads, however, are so loud you have to turn your volume down almost all the way to keep them from blaring. The episodes posted on Hulu avert this, either because Hulu turns up the volume of the videos before posting them or because they just have quieter commercials. The ones posted on the show's official site are still too quiet with too-loud commercials, though.
  • Rousing Speech: John Oliver's rousing defense of moats during the 2009 British MP expenses scandal (during which one MP was found to have used public funds to preserve the moat on his property) comes complete with Lampshade Hanging:
    Jon Stewart: You're going Richard II on us?
    John Oliver: F--k yeah, strap in!
  • Rule of Funny: In a spot mocking the NFL Referees' dispute, Jon and John Oliver (and Patrick Stewart) characterize it as a strike. It was actually a lockout, but the joke wouldn't work that way.
  • Rule 34:
  • Running Gag:
    • The unfortunate subtitles given to certain segments.
      • At one point it was "Jon Stewart Touches Kids", and on the June 21, 2009 broadcast, a segment was entitled "Jon Stewart Jizz-ams in Front of Children". Both of these gags fit well with the NAMBLA running gag.
      • Another version of the unfortunate titles — it goes from "Jon Stewart looks at children's things", over "Uncle Jon wants to show you something" to "Jon Stewart's Windowless News Van For Kids".
      • "Jon Stewart Looks at Kids' Junk".
      • "Jon Stewart's Story Hole!"
      • "Jon Stewart's Complicated Gay Issues"
      • Taken to an extreme here, where one title drops the Double Entendre entirely with "Jon Stewart Pulls Down Your Pants and Touches Your Penis".
      • Even leaving the show hasn't stopped the innuendo, as he leaves Larry a pamphlet on how to handle Dick*.
    • In health segments: Jimmy Dean Blueberry Pancake and Sausage on a Stick.
    • Also, Jon Stewart unsuccessfully attempting to fist-bump Larry Wilmore at the end of Wilmore's segments, which they apparently resolved with a high-five.
    • Jon plays a clip of some pop culture figure insulting someone, and then goes "Oh, snap!" and launches into a sequence of not especially funny "your mama" jokes.
    • Alternately, the thuggish-Italian-New-Yorker-picking-a-fight voice (always adding "No disrespect" and "How you doin'?").
    • Rod BLAGOJEVICH (pronounced doing his best Jerry Lewis impression)
    • Whenever the audience boos someone Jon is talking about, he tries to claim that they weren't booing, they were saying [something that wouldn't even remotely sound like "BOO!"]
    • "Keep fucking that chicken!"
    • It used to be a running gag that Jon still had to night-manage a Bennigan's to supplement his income from the show.
    • Lampshading the use of Chroma Key in the correspondents' "live reports."
    • Jon really loves Goodfellas.
    • Roll 212!
    • "(insert name here) is right!", after a clip of a pundit or politician making some sort of hyperbolic statement. This usually prompts a sarcastic agreement from Jon.
      • A variation of this is when the name is switched with some outragously long description like: "That twit who's nearly run out of 24 hour networks to appear on is right!" when talking about Tucker Carlson or "That old man who's been in Washington for nearly forever is right!" when talking about John McCain.
    • Whenever Jon does an impression of either a famous person or a famous movie character, he claims that he's doing it to promote his "new one-man show" of that exact same impression.
    • The 2010 World Cup coverage with John Oliver. Usually ending with Stewart making a humiliating observation - such as USA tying England in the group round due to an own-goal - and driving Oliver to respond "FUCK YOU JON! FUCK YOU SO VERY MUCH!"
    • The *Insert T-Shirt logo here* shirt exchanges between Aasif Mandvi and Wyatt Cenac for the first time, then John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac for the final pair, which has (so far) only been done for 3 shows in a row. First it was "Team Mohammed" versus "Team Jesus" to settle the "coming religious war". Then "Team Stupid" versus "Team Evil" when discussing "Fox and Friends" blatantly avoiding naming, or even picturing, the founder of The Kingdom Foundation, despite tying him to the "Ground-Zero Mosque" due to his 7% share in Fox's parent company NewsCorp. Finally "Team N-Word" versus "Team Retard" regarding which epithet was worse... apparently the word "retard" is trading for 11 N-words, and "kike" was up 3 1/4... not to mention a "nicer" way to say Jew.
      • They brought it back for the revolutions in the Middle East and who gets the credit for Egypt and Tunisia opting for a democracy: Team Bush (John Oliver), Team Obama (Olivia Munn), and Team Local Conditions (Aasif Mandvi).
      • It popped back up in the 2013 shutdown, when Samantha Bee and Jason Jones represented "Team Incompetence" or "Team Nihilism" (read: Democrats vs Republicans), respectively.
    • Mispronouncing the US president's name Bearick Obemuh.
    • Another popular Running Gag is Jon throwing his coat and tie into the audience. *puts finger up to ear* I'm sorry, I'm being told that Jon putting his finger up to his head as if receiving a correction message on a headset is the actual gag.
    • On the November 10, 2011 episode, whenever Jon got stuck on a list of something, he finished with a government agency, usually the EPA. (The main highlight of the episode was Rick Perry's gaffe at the CNBC GOP Debate, where Perry stumbled on the 3rd government agency he would do away with as president.)
    • He has started doing variants of spit-takes, saying he will watch the clip while doing various things, including, at one point, holding a kitten. Coal turns to diamonds, the kitten to glass, food is destroyed, pencils are broken...
    • John making up names for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, ranging from 'Willard Mittnerd Romnerd" to "Willington Mittfor Romnefeller the Third."
    • ...Two things.
    • After New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on large soft drinks, Jon mocked his logic on nearly every episode for weeks.
    • As of 2013, blaming anything on the uber-prankster and Manti Te'o nemesis Ronaiah Tuiasasopo, even if it's probably not true-iasasopo. Lampshaded when Jon admits that he wanted to do the joke four days in a row, just to carry it through-iasasopo.
    • Telling the audience to send complaints to/call Brian Williams.
    • Chuck Hagel, whose last name Jon chokes on then pronounces as "Heyyy-gul" (usually only the first time it comes up during an episode).
    • John Oliver, taking over during Jon's three-month hiatus, opens every episode with a different excuse for Jon's absence.
    • Starting in 2013, there have been a lot of potshots leveled at Arby's for no particular reason in the middle of unrelated segments, with lines like "Arby's: Start a Fight With Your Digestive System." Lampshaded by Jon at one point when he admitted he has no idea why they keep making fun of Arby's, adding that they're perfectly nice people who make perfectly good food.
      • On his final episode, a complilation clip was aired that featured a montage of Arby's Take Thats. At the very end, it was revealed to be put together by the Arby's restaurant, saying that they would miss him and thanking him for the free advertisements.
    • Jon loves making comparisons of politician Mitch McConnel to a turtle.
  • Sarcasm Failure:
    • Stewart's reaction to the Senate Republican filibuster blocking a bill to provide treatment to firefighters who suffered respiratory problems from working in the WTC ruins rescuing survivors (because it was funded by closing a tax loophole used to keep corporations from paying income taxes) is a particular example. Appropriately, it was even named "I give up".
    • On March 26, 2012, Stewart opened the show with two news items: Dick Cheney's heart transplant, and the Treyvon Martin shooting. Every time he'd try to lighten the mood with a heart transplant joke, he would fall flat over the seriousness of the shooting, until he finally gave up.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Happens quite frequently, but particularly in the entirety of this where Jon and John throw out completely hypothetical ideas of two government bodies discussing and voting on ideas inside buildings. ...Then again, what if both of those bodies are fucking idiots?
  • Sassy Black Woman: Jessica Williams.
  • Satire: Of course. The type of satire depends on the subject: they tend towards the Juvenalian when discussing Fox News and most GOP politicians, and runs Horatian when covering Obama and certain other politicians. Note that the dividing line is not necessarily political; George W. Bush was typically covered in a Horatian fashion after the 2006 midterms, portraying him as a harmless bumbler of a president, while some Democrats have been treated quite harshly (for instance, unloading on Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in August 2012).
  • Schmuck Bait: Jon's Take That! segments. Don't try to answer back unless you're really sure you can win (you can't). This fact is so well known by now that Keith Olbermann played with it a bit, teasing a typical Large Ham response for a whole episode before meekly agreeing with Jon's main point and apologizing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In one skit, Stewart was mocking a (defeated) bill that would've said, "Life begins at conception." He then monologues to himself about a screenplay idea involving the killer being a woman's unborn baby. The camera then pulls away like they're going to commercial, leaving Stewart confused and laughing, and quoting the trope by name (mostly):
    Stewart: You known it's bad when the camera guy goes, "Fuck this! I'm outta here!"
  • Self-Demonstrating Article: When Jon plays a clip of George Carlin's famous "The Seven Words That You Can't Say On TV," the entire clip is bleeped out. You can't say those words on TV, you see.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Jon, at both himself and the show. He even gave kudos to a man with a very unfortunate name for putting up with "this juvenile bullshit."
    • Sometimes, when they point out someone being a hypocrite, they'll say it's like a program that airs four nights a week calling itself The Daily Show.
    • On the 2/25/2013 episode, Jon apologized for using former Mississippi Secretary of State Dick Molpus, a longtime advocate for civil rights, as a scapegoat for bigoted behavior, basically ripping himself apart.
      Jon: We went with (randomly slamming a dude because he had a funny name) mainly because I am a twelve-year-old boy trapped in a 75-year-old man's body.
  • Serious Business: Pizza in New York, as Jon demonstrates while chewing Donald Trump out for taking Sarah Palin to a pizza chain and eating his pizza with a fork. Then New York's own mayor Di Blasio was seen doing the same, and Jon humourously had to try to hold in his contempt.
  • Shoehorned First Letter: On one toss to The Colbert Report, Jon Stewart made fun of Stephen Colbert for playing the letter "Z" on Sesame Street: All-Star Alphabet, leading to this exchange:
    Stephen: Yeah, you know what "z" stands for, Jon: zrevenge!
    Jon: See you in a minute, Stephen!
    Stephen: I will have my zvengeance!
  • The Show Must Go On: Jon cuts his hand against glass, causing notable bleeding and ultimately requiring stitches? No reason to stop the sketch!
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Jon's interviews. Especially the authors - Jon reads every book plugged on his show cover-to-cover, and it shows.
    • A particularly hilarious example when Herman Cain closed his campaign for the GOP Presidency by quoting the second Pokémon movie. His response is to make fun of this with his own flurry of particularly accurate Pokémon references.
      Jon: Look it up, bitches. Look it up.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "Here it is, your moment of zen."
  • Skyward Scream:
  • Slow Clap: Used via film clips when John McCain openly and vehemently railed against the use of torture by the CIA.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: North Carolina GOP Precinct captain Don Yelton, who was being interviewed by Aasif Mandvi about the states voter ID laws, used this defense to say he wasn't racist (Specifically saying some of his friends are black), despite also talking about, in his words, "lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything." Unsurprisingly, he resigned the next day (There's a video of the interview in the link).
  • Sophisticated as Hell: John Oliver. A nod must be given to Toppington Von Monocle, who quoted Catullus 16 to disprove the notion that the Daily Show audience is uncouth.
    • This is also the effect of those times when they forgo the elaborate joke and just insult someone, such as the long campaign of describing Robert Novak as a "douchebag" (culminating in an attempt to "bury the hatchet" wherein Jon earnestly explained, "I only ever said those things to you because I sincerely believe... that you are a terrible person") or "In Dick Morris's defense, he is a lying sack of shit." And of course the "go fuck yourself" choir.
  • Spit Take:
    • Both used straight and spoofed regularly. Here's an example.
    • Subverted here (about 3:05 in) when Jon obviously sets himself up for a spit-take... and then nonchalantly keeps on drinking from his mug.
    • Also subverted here to mock South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
    • Once it seemed like he was going to do one, but instead he bit into the cup.
    • It occurs on May 1, 2014 when talking about Rob Ford. He starts drinking from his mug, and when he learns that Ford's back in the news for smoking crack... he just finishes his drink, and right afterwards points out as much. He then learns that Ford is going into rehab, and does a spit take proper. When he learns that Ford is still planning on running for mayor despite those events, he picks up the cup and does another spit take.
  • Spoofed with Their Own Words: It does this all the time. Interviewing Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow even claimed to see little difference between his method of parodying events and her own of humorously reporting on them.
  • Springtime for Hitler: An interesting interpretation by John Oliver of the 2012 elections: "The president f***ed up."
  • Squee:
    • After showing President Obama having a candid talk at a GOP conference, and President Obama completely blowing away every one of their talking points, Jon Squeed.
      Jon: [in high pitched voice] ...Holy s**t! They're gonna air this!? This is gonna be awesome!
    • You can literally hear the female section of the studio audience squeeing in the 4/26/10 show when Jason Jones swaggers on set holding an assault rifle.
    • And of course, the time they had Robert Pattinson on, and the entire audience was made up of teenage girls.
  • Squick: Invoked with Ed Helms getting a mole on his nose removed. You can hear the audience groaning as it happens.
  • Stacy's Mom: Made fun of in their sketch about "cougars".
  • Stepford Smiler: No matter what he's reporting on, Jon always tries to find the humor in the moment and keep a smile on his face. Particularly tough or hard-hitting segments, however, can have him very obviously force the smile on to his face. If an incredibly tough segment causes the smile to slip, however, it's usually an indication of his impending rage.
  • The Stoic: Of all the possible people, Colbert had a moment of this during the 2008 elections. When Obama locked up California and, thus, the elections, the entire crew started freaking out and wondering what the post-Bush world must be like. So, they head outside and start gushing over the fact that the sun is shining, children are at play, etc. Meanwhile, Colbert just stands there, and firmly reminds them that Bush is still president for two more months, killing the mood of the others.
  • Straight Man: Stewart to the correspondents. Upon John Oliver' ascension to temporary host, he has taken on playing the Straight Man to the other correspondents.
  • Straw Character: The show isn't above picking the craziest people they can find in the editorial segments (who will agree to be on camera) to argue for the "wrong" side while often using more qualified and sensible people to argue the "right" side, but given how hilariously bad some of their arguments are, and how much this is done in more (allegedly) serious news shows, the comedy is usually better for it.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Invoked intentionally during one of Stewart's Glenn Beck impersonations.
    John: Strawman slippery slope dumb guy may have a point.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: John Oliver, reporting live from inside Malia Obama's locker.
  • Stylistic Suck: On March 6, 2013, in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson having pointed out that the globe in the opening spins the wrong way, an alternate opening was recorded. With a single camera, a man is recorded spinning an off-the-shelf globe, the camera pans to the street (for the "New York" part), and then zooms into a Daily Show coffee mug for the logo.
  • Subverted Punchline:
    • A segment with then-correspondent Ed Helms involved him coming up for an idea for a "gay radar", which he decides would be called the "homometer."
    • A segment with Buck Henry was titled "The Henry Stops Here."
    • Jon Stewart on Mike Huckabee: "Let Huckabee hucka...exist."
  • Suicide by Sea: Parodied on one episode when John Oliver visits Australia to find out how they passed tighter gun-control laws and concluding that American politicians would never have the guts, "so I'm going to walk into the ocean." The bit ends with him on a populous beach doing just that.
  • The Swear Jar: An "Obama Osama Flub Jar".

    T - V 
  • The Tag: "And here it is, your Moment of Zen."
  • Take That!:
    • Several times over, typically directed at various news networks for failing in the investigative portion of "investigative reporting." Among them are Fox News (typical fodder for the show), followed by CNBC (over bad financial advice), and CNN, for "leaving it there".
      • Jon's deconstruction of Glenn Beck was absolutely hilarious.
      • And then he did it again.
      • And once more, in the November 18th, 2010 episode. He does NOT like Glenn Beck.
      • He geared up for it in December 2010... then said "Ah fuck it. It's not worth it anymore."
      • In what may be the farewell for such segments, on April 7, 2011, he did one more, a tour de force that took it over the top and then below the bottom and then over the top again just for good measure, in honor of Glenn Beck's contract not being renewed.
    • An older Take That! at CNN for letting someone go by without calling them on a completely BS claim.
    • The deconstruction of Keith Olbermann was choice as well.
      Jon: And no, this teleprompter is not stuck!
    • A more playful Take That! was when former-correspondent Steve Carell was a guest. Their opening clip was not of Steve Carell in his new movie, but of other-former-correspondent Ed Helms in The Hangover.
    • Jon's Take That! against Bernie Goldberg was genius. It is quite possibly the best and most hilarious use of a Baptist choir in recent memory.
    • After the Haiti earthquake, he finds out that Rush Limbaugh believes Obama will use the humanitarian efforts as a publicity stunt to gain minority votes. Stewart's response: "Hey, I think I know the cause of your heart trouble—you don't have one."
    • This is a huge Take That! against Donald Trump and Ann Coulter proclaiming racism on the left.
    • The first part of the July 15, 2013 episode consists largely of an infuriated Take That! against Florida's legal system and the state itself over the results of the George Zimmerman murder trial.
    • The first two segments of September 17, 2013 were vicious attacks first on the rush to getting something out on the Naval Yard shooting, then a direct and armor-smashing attack on CNN for reporting every possible detail, theories on false or faulty assumptions, and all around shitty journalism. And then tops it off if there is one thing they should know how to do by now, is how to comport themselves during tragedies, since there have been so many the past few years but they don't seem to remember their previous failures.
    • He dedicated an entire segment in the penultimate episode titled "The Daily Show: Destroyer of Worlds", to all of the "eviscerations" he has given out to many different outlets over the years.
  • Taxidermy Terror: Playing a video of a Congressman giving a speech about all the teachings he heard of "evolution, embryology, Big Bang Theory," being "lies... from the pit of Hell", Jon Stewart hesitates and prefaces his reaction about how that guy is running unpposed by asking why the man is delivering a speech from "Deer Hell".
  • Tempting Fate:
    • A favorite of the show during the first segment. Usually used to show the hypocrisy of news programs (most often Fox News), where Jon will show a video, then say something along the lines of "next thing you know, they'll say..." and sure enough, another video rolls showing them saying that.
    • A Memorable "Take That" was aimed towards the inventors and the people behind the SOPA/PIPA (ACTA) bill. The day when all the rebellion and internet shutdowns happened he went wild, taking down the supporters of the bill, the people who don't support the bill and "every other person who's for this ever"...and even Wikipedia for taking its stand against it.
    • Lampshaded on the June 16th episode, when he shows a clip of a Fox News anchor blasting Obama for asking people to pray to God in a speech even though he doesn't regularly go to church. Jon comments along the lines of "wouldn't it be hilarious if they had previously begged him to show his religious side and tell people to pray?". Immediately afterwards he says, completely deadpan "cue Fox News clip from the day before the speech" showing just what he wanted.
    • A trend noticed by fans of the show is that every time the show goes on hiatus, even CRAZIER stuff than habitual happens, so when Jon and the crew come back from vacation, they've got twelve different scandals or disasters to cover. It's as though, "hey let's take a break here while nobody's doing anything! So here we are in sunny Hawaii and... what's that on CNN?... holy shit, the Vice President shot someone in the face!" Some might even think that those in the scandals do it on purpose, knowing that Jon and his crew would be more damaging to them than the "actual" journalists. Some examples:
      • In late 2007, they went off the air on a Thursday. The following Monday embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales suddenly resigned, and the day after that the Larry Craig scandal broke.
      • And again, during the Egyptian uprising of February 2011 the show was on hiatus again. By the time Jon and crew made it back, the protesters had gotten the military to throw out Mubarak. And left Aasif Mandvi complaining about missing out on all the love reporters were getting from the protesters after the overthrow.
      • During a weeklong hiatus in March 2011 Japan got hit by the earthquake and the tsunami, Middle Eastern leaders opened fire on their own people, Knut the polar bear died and the US militarily enforced the no fly zone in Libya.
        Jon: When we left the world's two biggest trouble spots were Wisconsin and the set of Two and a Half Men. And then suddenly ALL HOLY HELL BREAKS LOOSE! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO LOOK AT!
      • Jon went on hiatus in June 2013, with John Oliver serving as replacement host. Not one day passed before the NSA whistleblowing story came to light. John addressed it in his opening segment.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Jon says this in the Sept 26 2013 episode after saying "let's forget about the Holocaust" (as in "let's move on to another subject").
  • The Glasses Come Off: In this segment he takes off and puts on various pairs of glasses while making his dramatic speech.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Think again, bitch!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: "Ohh, this one's gonna get you upset..."
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Done, amazingly, without actual time travel, when Stephen hijacked one of the "And on tonight's The Colbert Report" segments.
  • Token Minority: Lampshaded. Larry Wilmore's title of "Senior Black Correspondent" was a reference to how he was the only black cast member until Wyatt Cenac became a correspondent.
  • Tontine: In one segment, John Hodgman suggests fixing the national debt by making Social Security into a tontine. And making murder legal.
  • Totally Radical: Spoofed in a segment about the rush by politicians and the media to embrace Twitter, Samantha Bee gave a report which included the following exchange:
    Samantha Bee: Man, this stuff is wizard!
    Jon Stewart: Is that a new word for "good"?
    Samantha Bee: Probably.
  • Training Montage: John Oliver performs one of these Rocky-style to "get in shape" for being a drunken, violent lout during the 2010 World Cup.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Jon's evisceration of Crossfire.
    • Also, much of his talk on the Zadroga Bill, which would give health relief to 9/11 first responders, constantly being blocked for petty reasons.
  • Troll: Aasif Mandvi takes this to an art form with his interviews, slowly unrolling all the rope his subject needs to hang themselves.
  • Tsundere: Jon pretended to be this for Sean Hannity when he gave him a ‘The Reason You Suck’ speech (see above).
  • Unfazed Everyman: During an interview with a Russian protestor, the mikes cut out, and the man nonchalantly says that the bugs in his office were probably responsible.
  • Unfortunate Names: Every soldier in the Britain's Fallen Soldiers skit.
  • Verbal Tic: Cock. Caaaaaaaaahhhhhhhk...
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Bill O'Reilly.

    W - X 
  • Walking Wasteland:
    • The running joke about Dick Cheney. Did you know that anything he touches becomes pixelated? Except plants, which die three days later?
    • When Cheney had a heart transplant, Stewart did an intro in which he thanked the gods of comedy for the setup... except that it coincided with the Treyvon Martin shooting and he couldn't keep up the gag.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Referred to literally. First, chase a chicken. Then, use chicken to wax a (read: Colbert's) car. Then, turn chicken into Chick-Fil-A sandwich.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Socialist Network.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Micheal Che was only a correspondent for three months before he left the show for Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. His last segment hung a huge lampshade on this, with Jason Jones going so far as to confuse him for Wyatt Cenac and cutting to a screen reading "Michael, we hardly used ye," before the commercial break.
  • Wham Line: "I know in my heart it is time for someone else to have that opportunity."
  • When I Was Your Age...: Happens briefly in this segment. Stephen Colbert tries to outdo an interviewee's impoverished upbringing with "Did you have floors?"
  • White Dude, Black Dude: "Yo, white dude runs for President like this..."
  • Who Writes This Crap?!:
    • Right here.
      Jon Stewart: In a segment we like to call "Jon Stewart's Story Hole". Remember, it's our little secr-who wrote this?
    • Jon's also a good enough sport to admit this about himself.
      Jon: [chuckles] I'm a bad writer.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: When Jon showed clips of bipartisan support for a bill that would strengthen the ban on the ivory trade, because it kills elephants and funds terrorists, then showed the bill being blocked because the NRA opposed it because it might have a negative effect on antique arms tradingnote , he said "this is why we can't have nice things."
  • Worst News Judgement Ever:
    • Done again, along with a subtle What the Hell, news!? here, where John can be seen literally pleading that the interviewer realizes just how idiotic the piece is, and cut it short. No points for guessing what happens. To elaborate a bit - the local news program tries to find their own "man with the golden voice", a homeless man that sounded like he could be a DJ with his baritone. They then went into the streets of Indianapolis to see what talents their local homeless might have. It starts off with the interviewer asking a homeless woman if she's "heard about the homeless man who had the golden voice?" on YouTubenote ... and gets worse from there.
    • After the Christmas break of 2012/2013, a lot of things happened in the weeks missed by the show. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and how to deal with it, the US fiscal cliff problems, the shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school, major cabinet reassignments with "inverted political stances" (such as GOP members complaining about a Democrat being anti-gay), leaving Jon to wonder what to start the show with. He then decides on Gerard Depardieu moving from France to Russia.
    • Jon rips into the CNN morning show "Early Start" here because they cold-called Kerry Kennedy (Robert F.'s daughter) at 5 AM and then proceeded to ask her about her father's assassination.

    Y - Z 
  • Yiddish as a Second Language:
    • Jon's been known to pepper his lines with Yiddish, and (as part of Jon's grant of N-Word Privileges), so do some of the correspondents.
    • Also, note this exchange between him and Brian Williams:
      Stewart: What's with the Yiddish tonight? What's with the — "shmaltzy", and the "just gave me a little schpilkis, but" — "I took my punim over there", bing bang boom —
      Williams: Joey Bishop, ladies and gentlemen.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Jon's response to Dana Perino, a commentator on Fox News, when she criticized Anthony Weiner's tirade over the 9/11 healthcare bill.
    Dana Perino: I don't know all the particulars of the bill, [stammers] the point of it... I have no idea what Anthony Weiner's even talking about! He's just screaming and it is such a turn-off.
    Jon Stewart: Is it? Is it a turn-off? Is that from your Playboy profile? "My turn-offs include Weiner screaming, and in any way justifying my being treated as an expert"?!
  • You Keep Using That Word: Jason Jones asks if the (bigoted) local leader of an Americans Against Hate chapter knew what "against" meant. Said leader had passed out pamphlets to not officially allow a Muslim-American into the party.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: Aasif Mandvi excels at dropping this on his interview subjects. In addition to the "You know I'm Muslim, right?" he directed at a Tennessee community leader, Mandvi also once lured a Canadian businessman into joking around about how it was fine to export asbestos to India because Indian workers "are used to the pollution. It’s like antibiotics. They have natural antibodies." Mandvi promptly stopped going along with the conversation and went off.
    Mandvi: Actually, that's really fucked up. Selling them things that are going to kill them. I mean, that's my family over there!
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In 2029, of the Those Wacky Nazis variety. It's at about 7:30 here.

"Here it is, your Moment of Zen."