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Whos On First / Live-Action TV

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Who's on First? in live-action TV.

  • Brazilian group Casseta & Planeta had a sketch, CCS (Sentral Cecret Cervice), about a spy organization with many Agents with Punny Names (since it sounds like "a gente", us). One example of such jokes were the protagonists saying "A gente resolve" ("we'll solve it") and Agent Resolve appears with helpful information.
  • Inverted in a Comedy Central special. The comedians Slovin and Allen did the original bit almost word for word... except they used the names of the actual New York Yankees team at the time. It was hilarious.
  • There is a well-known Czech sketch featuring a confused old man, a cinema cashier and two films named Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. To say the least, it ends with the man buying "two tickets for today, two for tomorrow, none for yesterday, two for Saturday and two for Sunday".
  • 30 Rock: Liz says something catty (if true) about her ex-roommate and Jack responds with "Me-ow!" Liz then apologizes and Jack clarifies that he was introducing "Mi Au, the owner of the largest alternative energy corporation in Asia."
  • The Adventures of Lano and Woodley : Col is asking Frank to cut some wood and is holding a pile in his arms.
    Colin: I don't think you're pulling your weight frankly!
    Frank: My name's not Frankly!
    Colin: What?
    Frank: You dropped the Wood!
    Colin: Where?
    Frank: You called me Frankly — my name's Frank Woodley. Frankly, it makes me uncomfortable.
    Colin: What makes you uncomfortable?
    Frank: Frankly!
    Colin: Yes, I'm glad you're being honest with me, what's upsetting you?
    Frank: I don't like it when you drop the Wood!
    Colin: I didn't drop the wood! Frankly, I don't what you're talking about!
    Frank: Don't call me Frankly!
    Colin: Just cut the wood!
    Frank: I'm not cutting the Wood, it's part of my name!
    Colin: Grab an axe and cut up pieces of timber for me!
    Frank: ...Oh okay, why didn't you say so?
  • Are You Being Served?: While it doesn't involve people's names, "Dear Sexy Knickers" has a variation of this trope: Mr. Lucas is called to Mr. Rumbold's office after tearing a pair of pants while attempting to stretch them over his knee.
    Lucas: It was like this, you see, sir...Mr. Humphries kneed the jacket...
    Rumbold: You mean Mr. Humphries needed the jacket. Let's get our tenses right.
    Humphries: No, you don't understand sir. You see, I kneed the jacket.
    Rumbold: You need it now?
    Humphries: No, I kneed it then.
  • Arrested Development: GOB (pronounced "JOHB") makes reference to the biblical Job (which he mispronounces "JAWB"). A bartender tries to correct him, but GOB just thinks he's saying his name.
  • The Benny Hill Show: An old skit revolved around an interview with two kids, one of whom said he'd climbed the highest mountain range in the world.
    Interviewer: Himalaya? note 
    Sister: No, he's telling the truth!
  • The Big Bang Theory: In "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis", Amy tries to sum up her unexplained reaction to a boy :
    Amy: Penny's friend's ex stop by and said hello and I said "Hoo"
    Sheldon: "Who"?
    Amy: Zack
    Sheldon: Then why did you ask?
    Amy: Ask what?
    Sheldon: "Who?"
    Amy: Zack
    Sheldon: All right, let's start all over: What did you say when Zack walked in?
    Amy: "Hoo"
    Sheldon: Zack
    Amy: Why do you keep saying "Zack"?
    Sheldon: Because you keep saying "who?"
    Amy: I'm not saying "Hoo" now, I said "Hoo" last night
    Sheldon: And the answer was "Zack", correct?
    Amy: There was no question, I simply said "Hoo."
    Sheldon: [beat] All right, I think I have enough to go on...
  • Big Chuck & Lil John Show: This whole segment takes "Who's on first" and then rolls away into a huge argument over the name of every player on the team, specifically the player at first base is named "Who", second base is "What", and third base is "I Don't Know" plus a pitcher named "Tomorrow" and a catcher named "Today".
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: One episode featured this exchange:
    Bill: That's a lot of watts!
    Narrator: What?
    Bill: Exactly!
  • Blackadder Goes Forth has a scene where General Melchett is rehearsing what he's going to say to his current crush (who's actually George in a dress) in front of Captain Darling. He repeatedly refers to "Georgina" as "darling"; Hilarity Ensues. Much comic mileage throughout the series is got out of Melchett (unheedingly) and Blackadder (provocatively) addressing Captain Darling by his surname.
  • Blindspot: In the Season 3 finale, a major clue in the case of the week is three extra words added into a passage from The Count of Monte Cristo. However, since those three words are "what", "three" and "words", it takes a few minutes to properly explain the process of solving the puzzle.
    Weller: Which three words?
    Rich: No, "what three words".
  • Boardwalk Empire: The pilot pulls one of these with Prohie Agents Sebso, who doesn't know any of the gangsters they're doing surveillance on, and Van Alden, who is The Unfunny.
    Van Alden: January 16th, 9 pm. Johnny Torrio meeting with Nucky Thompson.
    Sebso: Which one's Torrio?
    Van Alden: Grey tweed. And I've got a bead on Rothstein, he just came in with Luciano. The other fellow's Big Jim Colosimo.
    Sebso: Come again?
    Van Alden: [referring to Colosimo's hat] The Hamburg.
    Sebso: [pronouncing it wrong] Hamburg?
    Van Alden: Yes, the Hamburg. No, never mind. He just took it off.
    Sebso: Who's this fellow?
    Van Alden: Which?
    Sebso: The one in the brown.
    Van Alden: That's the concierge.
    Sebso: [writing] Serge?
    Van Alden: The manager. He works here.
    Sebso: So the man in the red tie, that's Big Jim?
    Van Alden: Does that man look "big" to you?
    Sebso: How's that?
    Van Alden: That's Arnold Rothstein.
    Sebso: Soooo... not Colosimo?
    Van Alden: Red tie. Arnold Rothstein.
    Sebso: And behind him's Nucky Luciano?
    Van Alden: Lucky!
    Sebso: Come again?
    Van Alden: Lucky Luciano. Nucky Thompson.
    Sebso: Then who's Colosimo?
    Van Alden: [hangs up phone]
  • El Chavo del ocho had one of this between Chavo and Doña Florinda:
    Florinda: Have you seen Quico?
    Chavo: No, I don't knew where he is.
    Florinda: It's not "I don't knew".
    Chavo: "I don't now"?
    Florinda: No.
    Chavo: "I don't kneel"?
    Florinda: No!
    Chavo: Then how do you say it?
    Florinda: "I don't know".
    Chavo: If you don't know why are you correcting me?
    • There is a even longer (and funnier) one with "bycicle is with b or v."
  • The Brittas Empire has this discussion between Brittas and Tim.
    Mr. Brittas: You see Tim, in a 360-degree appraisal, we're all linking arms. We're holding hands. We're coming together to build a harmonious whole.
    Tim: You don't build a hole do you? I mean, you dig a hole.
    Mr. Brittas: No, not a hole - a whole, a wah-hole.
    Tim: (Beat) Sorry?
    Mr. Brittas: A whole, not a hole in the ground, but a whole with a "W", see?
    Tim: A whole with a WC?note 
  • The Chris Rock Show did a spoof commercial for a cereal called "Nigga Please".
    Husband: Hey, honey, what's for breakfast this morning?
    Wife: "Nigga Please".
    Husband: [annoyed] Hey, can't you just tell me what's for breakfast?
    Wife: [holding up box] "Nigga Please"!
  • Cold Case: A short version happens in "The Long Blue Line" when Bell asks Miller out to see a band called 'The Ungrateful Bastards':
    Miller: Who?
    Bell: I wish it was The Who, but the venue's a little small.
  • In Colin From Accounts the titular dog is taken to a vet named Yvette, which causes some minor confusion due in part to one of the protagonists not enunciating the first sylable in her name properly.
  • Community: In "Pillows and Blankets", the narrator explains that the final conflict took place in the North Cafeteria, named for Admiral William North. The North Cafeteria is located in the western portion of East Hall, which is the gateway to North Hall (which is to the east of East Hall). North Hall is not named for Admiral North, but because it's north of the South Wall. At least it makes more sense than the English Memorial Spanish Center, which is named after a Portuguese sailor named English Memorial.
  • The Corner Gas episode "Get the F Off My Lawn" was rife with this trope. When the "F" and "E" are missing from the CAFE sign on the roof of The Ruby, Hank brings it to Lacey's attention, but the way he said it (where's your "F" n' "E"?) made it sound like he was cursing. After slightly correcting himself and showing Lacey the missing letters, she does it as well, and a mother mistakes it as swearing.
  • The Daily Show: In an episode where Aasif Mandvi visited the pre-existing Mosque/Muslim community in Tennessee, he repeatedly interpreted her saying she was "a mom" and her claiming to be an Imam, which was intercut with clips from The Three Stooges.
  • Daredevil: In "Rabbit in a Snowstorm", upon being told by Wesley that Fisk is indisposed with "art", Owlsley asks, "Art who?" forcing Wesley to clarify he's referring to "paintings".
  • Deadwood of all places had an example, with Al Swearengen questioning Mr. Wu on who robbed Wu's opium shipment. However, since Wu is Chinese and the only English phrase he really grasps is "cocksucker", things get a little goofy:
    Swearengen: Who the fuck did it?
    Wu: Wu!
    Swearengen: Who, you ignorant fucking chink!
    Wu: Wu?!
    Swearengen: Who, who! Who stole the fucking dope?!
    Swearengen: Oh Jesus...
  • Deal or No Deal: Subverted on the U.S. version: The second million-dollar winner was a black woman named Tomorrow, but despite being a comedian, host Howie Mandel is not known to have joked about her name during the show.
  • Doctor Who:
  • The Electric Company (1971): One sketch had reporter Norman Neat (Skip Hinnant) asking a woman (Rita Moreno) about her favorite word.
    Norman: Miss, could I ask you a question here? Which is your favorite word?
    Woman: "What".
    Norman: I said, of all the millions of words in the world, which is your favorite?
    Woman: "What".
    Norman: I don't seem to be getting through to you. There are millions of words, right?
    Woman: Right.
    Norman: Which is your favorite?
    Woman: "What".
    Norman: Which is your favorite word?
    Woman: NO! "What" is my favorite word!
    Norman: All right, I'll bite. What is your favorite word?
    Woman: That's right!
    Norman: [laughs nervously] What is right?
    Woman: Correct!
    Norman: [laughs nervously again] I'll try this one more time! Which is your favorite word?
    Woman: NO!
    Norman: [startled] I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Foolish of me, wasn't it? What is your favorite word?
    Woman: You're right again. Now it's very nice talking to you, goodbye. [walks away]
    Norman: Bye. You know, of all my years on the job, she's the first one who's refused to give me her favorite word!
  • Fawlty Towers
    • This exchange between Manuel and a particularly troublesome guest:
      Mrs Richards: Now, I've reserved a very quiet room, with a bath and a sea view. I specifically asked for a sea view in my written confirmation, so please be sure I have it.
      Manuel: Qué?
      Mrs. Richards: K?
      Manuel: Si.
      Mrs. Richards: C?
      Manuel: No. Qué, "what."
      Mrs. Richards: K. Watt?
      Manuel: Si: qué, "what."
      Mrs. Richards: C. K. Watt? Is he the manager?
      Manuel: Ah! Manajer! Mr. Fawlty.
      Mrs. Richards: This man is telling me the manager is a C. K. Watt, aged forty.
      Manuel: No, Fawlty.
      Mrs. Richards: Faulty? Why? What's wrong with him?
    • Later in the same episode, Basil tries to remind Manuel not to tell anyone that Basil made money betting on a horse race in secret:
      Manuel: Your horse, it win! It win!
      Basil: Shh. Manuel, you know nothing.
      Manuel: You always say, Mister Fawlty, but I learn!
      Basil: What?
      Manuel: I learn, I learn! I get better!
      Basil: Ssh! No no no, you don't understand!
      Manuel: I do understand!
      Basil: No you don't!
      Manuel: I understand that!
      Basil: Manuel... you know nothing about the horse.
      Manuel: "I know nothing about the horse?"
      Basil: Yes!
      Manuel: ...Which horse?
      Basil: ...What???
      Manuel: Which horse I know nothing?
      Basil: My horse, nitwit!
      Manuel: Your horse, "Nitwit?"
      Basil: No, Dragonfly!
      Manuel: It won!
      Basil: I know!
      Manuel: I know, too!
      Basil: What?
      Manuel: You give me money, I go to betting-shop, I bet on horse...
      Basil: I know, I know!
      Manuel: ...So why you say I know nothing?
      Basil: ...Manuel... you know the horse?
      Manuel: Nitwit or Dragonfly?
      Basil: Dragonfly! There isn't a horse called Nitwit, you're the nitwit!
      Manuel: ...What is Witnit?
      Basil: ...Oh, it doesn't matter - I'm going to spend the rest of my life having this conversation - look, try to understand before one of us dies.
      Manuel: I try.
      Basil: You're going to forget everything you know about Nitwit...
      Manuel: Dragonfly.
      Basil: Yes, Dragonfly.
      Manuel: Si, si.
      Basil: [turns to leave]
      Manuel: ...Eventually.
      Basil: ...What?
      Manuel: Eventually! Er, at the end?
      Basil: No, forget it now!
      Manuel: Now???
      Basil: Pretend you forget!
      Manuel: Pretend?
      Basil: Just don't say anything to anyone about the horse!
      Manuel: I know that! You tell me that this morning! [rolls eyes, slaps forehead]
  • The Flash (2014) pulled a quick gag with Ralph. As the Logical Latecomer, he was Locked Out of the Loop involving the Time Travel and dimension-hopping misadventures Team Flash had before he joined. He never got the obvious hint that he met several other-worlders before, like Harry Wells. Why? When people keep saying that Harry was from Earth-2, Ralph mistook it for [actual quote] "...that he is from Earth also".
  • Get Smart
    • Detective Hu. "Who?" "Ah, so you've met."
    • The episode parodying I Spy also had Max needing to go to Club Tonight to rescue Tomorrow's partner, Today. In addition, there was also a woman named Tamara, which Max kept mishearing as "tomorrow", to add to the confusion.
    • And don't forget his nemesis, The Craw.
      The Claw: No, not the craw. The Craw!
      Smart: Ah, yes, The Craw.
    • In "Mr. Big", Max mentions the year 1957, but the Chief thinks he's talking about Agent 57, who is in Hong Kong.
  • Good Eats does a version of this trope in an episode where Alton is trying to help his neighbor Chuck make pot roast.
    Alton: What we need is chuck.
    Chuck: Aw, that's nice of you to say.
    Alton: Meat, I mean.
    Chuck: Which is...?
    Alton: Chuck!
    Chuck: Yeah?
    Alton: I'm trying to tell you the name of the meat.
    Chuck: So what's stopping you?
    Alton: Chuck!
    Chuck: No, I'm the one that needs to know!
    Alton: The best thing for pot roast is chuck!
    Chuck: But I don't even know how to cook it!
    Alton: [shows Chuck a package of meat] See, "chuck"!
    Chuck: But what is it?
    Alton: [walks off, frustrated]
  • In the Green Acres episode "A Star Named Arnold is Born (Part 1)", Arnold ends up starring in a play titled "Who?" and Hilarity Ensues when Oliver pays for the tickets Lisa ordered:
    Mr. Drucker: Here are your two tickets for the theater, they're 75¢ apiece.
    Lisa: Oliver, pay him the 75¢ apiece.
    Oliver: For what?
    Mr. Drucker: No, they're for "Who?".
    Oliver: What?
    Lisa: No, who.
    Mr. Drucker: The name of the play is "Who?".
    Oliver: Just "Who"?
    Mr. Drucker: The full name of the play is "Who Killed Jock Robin?", but we have such a small marquee on the playhouse, that all we have room for is "Who". Last year, we did "What Price Glory?", and all we had room for was "What?" It's a mystery, and it was written by one of our local authors, Huntley Huldane. And guess who's the star of it? Columbo.
    Oliver: Columbo?
    Mr. Drucker: Newt Kiley's police dog.
    Oliver: A dog star?
    Mr. Drucker: Oh, he's a great actor.
    Lisa: You'll see for yourself. We'll be there, Mr. Drucker.
  • Have I Got News for You:
    • In Series 30, Episode 05, Paul Merton didn't know "Hu" the Chinese President (Hu Jintao) was, and "Wen", the Chinese Prime Minister was visiting.
      Ian McMillan: The thing with the Chinese bloke [Hu Jintao] is his name something like "Who's In Town", isn't it? So it's like: "Who's In Town." "Yes, I know." That Abbott and Costello routine. "Who's In Town?" "Yes, he is."
      Paul Merton: "Hu's the President." "Yes, that's right."
      Ian Hislop: The one they don't do: HUman rights. Doesn't come up.
      Alexander Armstrong: Well, now we know who Hu is. Who's Wen? And when's Wen here and why?
      Ian McMillan: What?
      Paul Merton: Is Wen his wife? Wendy? Wendy Hu? Wen and Hu? And they've gone to visit Where.
      Alexander Armstrong: Wen is the Chinese Prime Minister and he's visiting us in December.
      Ian McMillan: Who?
      Alexander Armstrong: Wen.
      Paul Merton: So, who's the bloke we just had here then?
      Alexander: Hu.
      Paul: Yes.
      Alexander: Hu's the bloke. [audience laughs and pause] Anyway, so who's been barraging Hu as he drove... [gives up]
      Paul: Was it Christopher Eccleston... as Doctor Who... has come along and is barraging President Hu? What am I talking about!
      Alexander: Who was barraging Hu?
      Paul: Yes. That's what I just said. When? She was getting her hair done. Where? That's to-morrow. Was it Peter Townshed and Roger Daltery from the rock band The Who? Yes! They were there with Christopher Eccleston...
    • In another episode, they discussed Sarah Palin. The host, Alexander Armstrong, asks Merton which US State she governs, he responds "Alaska" and the host asks when is he planning on seeing her.
  • Home Improvement: One episode of "Tool Time" involved Tim dealing with three generations of Al Unser with Al Borland thrown into the mix.
  • Horrible Histories:
    "What's the name of our leader?"
    • Another skit had a teacher in the Victorian era named Mrs. Farting-Clack confused by her student's names.
      Toilet: Toilet.
      Mrs. Farting Clack: Here's the key.
      Toilet: No, that's my name. I have a sister named Baboon.
      Mrs. Farting Clack: Toilet and Babooon? Your parents must be evil.
      Toilet: No, that's Evil over there.
    • When Saladin is explaining his plan to some really dim warriors. "Without the water, they'll..." "Have nothing to wash their salad in! Get it, it's his name!"
    • In Restoration Wife Swap, the Cavalier husband asks the Puritan wife what the baby's name is, and she says "Silence." The Cavalier husband says "All right, I'll shut up then" only to be told that "Silence" is the baby's name.
  • How I Met Your Mother: "Hopeless" used this trope brilliantly with a sequence where the group, while hanging out with Barney's dad Jerry, try to decide which nightclub to go to:
    Barney: Let's see, what club should we hit first? There's Club Was, there's Wrong...
    Marshall: Um, those places shut down a long time ago.
    Barney: Oh no!
    Marshall: Oh No shut down too.
    Ted: There's Where.
    Jerry: Where's Where?
    Lily: Where's where Was was, isn't it?
    Barney: No, Was wasn't where Where was, Was was where Wrong was, right?
    Jerry: OK...
    Ted: Not Okay! That place is lame!
    Robin: Okay is Lame? I thought Lame was a gay bar. Or is that Wrong?
    Marshall: That's wrong, that's not Wrong.
    Barney: Guys, focus!
    Robin: Oh, I like Focus. Let's go there!
    Ted: Where?
    Robin: Not Where, Focus!
    Lily: I thought Focus was closed.
    Barney: No, Was was closed. Once Was shut down, it reopened as Closed.
    Marshall: So Closed is open.
    Robin: No, Closed is closed.
    Jerry: I don't know! Third base! Right?
    Robin: Ew, Third Base is all frat guys.
    Lily: I'll go anyplace, OK?
    Ted: Not Okay! Okay is lame!
    Robin: Okay is not Lame! Lame is a gay bar!
    Lily: Guys, shut up!
    Barney: No, Shut Up shut down. I can't believe I don't know the clubs anymore.
    Marshall: Guys, just pick a club, OK?
    Ted: Not Okay!
    Everyone: Okay is Lame! Gay bar!
    Marshall: For the record, I was in there once, by accident, I'm pretty sure it's pronounced "La-may".
    Barney: It's Hopeless, isn't it?
    [cut to Establishing Shot of the exterior of a nightclub named "Hopeless"]
  • iCarly:
    • This:
      Carly: I'm trying to learn Mandarin, but all I can say is "Wabujitao".
      Sam: What's it mean?
      Carly: "I don't know".
      Sam: How can you not know?
      Carly: I do know. It means "I don't know".
    • Carly gets her laptop to get fixed by a cute tech person, who says he's into Doctor Who. She answers:
      Carly: Oh. Well I wouldn't mind watching a little Doctor Foo.
      Tech person: [correcting her] "Who."
      Carly: Me.
      Tech person: No. "Doctor Who."
      Carly: I don't know. You brought it up.
      Tech person: I'm confused.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell has this when Jonathan Strange introduces himself at the military encampment. They were expecting Mr. Norrell, not him.
    General: Well, who are you then?
    Jonathan: I am Strange.
    General: Indeed.
  • K-9 and Company:
    Brendon: Who is the Doctor?
    K9: Affirmative.
  • The Kids in the Hall started this sketch, but subverted it by having the overly literal Straight Man quickly realise the cause of the confusion and clearing up the misunderstanding, much to his partner's chagrin.
  • Kopycats: in this 1970's celebrity impersonator show, two actors depicted Abbott and Costello discussing a concert featuring the bands "The Who" and "Yes".
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: One episode expanded this sketch by having Who and What get into the act along with the two guys discussing them.
  • M*A*S*H had Klinger be on the receiving end of one of these during one of his many attempts to leave the Army:
    Klinger: Sir, I have to confess... I'm a Communist. An atheistic, Marxist, card-carrying...
    Henry: Bolshevik.
    Klinger: No, honest!note 
  • Mimpi Metropolitan:
    • In Alan and Pipin's first meeting, Alan tells Pipin she can call him "Si Alan", which confuses Pipin as why would someone wants to be called "sialan".
    • In episode 4, Bambang mistakes Mami Bibir referring Alan as "Si Alan" with her swearing "sialan".
    • In episode 47, the usual routine involving Alan's name is inverted. This time, an angry Juna utters "sialan" in response to Bambang mocking Juna's rejected love confession. Cue Alan asking who was calling him.
    • In episode 50, Mami Bibir asks Prima whether he called Dio Doran, the guy who tries to steal Akbar's phone, to be an extra. Prima is confused why is Mami Bibir talking about deodorant.
  • Modern Family: The original is referenced in "Me? Jealous?", when Phil objects to Claire laughing at another man's joke:
    Phil: Stop it! You're laughing like it's "Who's on First".
    Claire: What?
    Phil: He's on second. Don't try to cheer me up.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has some fun with this.
    • It's a running gag in the Agatha Christie sketch.
    • There's also "Me Doctor":
      Doctor: Mr. Burtenshaw?
      Burtenshaw: Me, doctor?
      Doctor: No, me doctor, you Mr. Burtenshaw.
      Burtenshaw: My wife, Doctor?
      Doctor: No, your wife patient, me doctor.
      Sister: Come this way, please.
      Burtenshaw: Me, sister?
      Doctor: No, she sister, me doctor, you Mr. Burtenshaw.
      Nurse: Dr. Walters?
      Doctor: Me nurse. You Mr. Burtenshaw. She sister. You doctor.
      Nurse: No, doctor.
      Doctor: No doctor. Call ambulance, keep warm.
      Nurse: Drink, doctor?
      Doctor: Drink doctor. Eat sister. Cook Mr. Burtenshaw. Nurse me.
      Nurse: You, doctor?
      Doctor: Me doctor, you Mr. Burtenshaw, she nurse.
      Burtenshaw: But my wife, doctor.
      Doctor: Your wife not nurse. She nurse, your wife patient. Be patient. Your wife, me doctor. Yew tree. U-trecht, U-trillo, U Thant, doctor. [knight hits him on the head with chicken] Albatross!
    • In "Silly Job Interview":
      Interviewer: Name?
      Candidate: David.
      Interviewer: Sure?
      Candidate: Yes.
      Interviewer: David Sure...
      Candidate: No, Thomas.
      Interviewer: Thomas Sure...
      Candidate: No, David Thomas.
      Interviewer: [gives withering look]
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • The Noh theater sketch from "Invasion of the Neptune Men", in which Mike Nelson drives the robots crazy by stating that he likes Noh theater while also liking all kinds of Japanese theater. Another example: "Will you tell me the name of your favorite form of Japanese theater?" "Yes! Noh!" (Mike reveals at the end of the sketch that he was doing it all on purpose; Gypsy is the only one who got the joke.)
    • "Space Mutiny" has an odd variation when Pearl attempts to get Brain Guy, who isn't working at 100% due to not having his brain, to teleport Mike down to their jail cell to free the two and Bobo. In order: Brain Guy gives Mike a pillow full of down feathers ("send Mike down"), insults Mike ("bring Mike down"), and brings a CPO named Mike Down to their era ("bring Mike down here").
    • In "Werewolf", Tom Servo's reaction to the title of the movie appearing onscreen is to quip "I dunno, you had him last!" Crow is unamused, but Mike thinks that it's Actually Pretty Funny.
  • My Wife and Kids did this with Junior selling his car to a couple named Eddie and Annie Who and Michael buying it back. To add to the confusion, Franklin, whose Catchphrase is "anywho", was with Michael.
  • NCIS:
    • Abby and McGee do this with mucus samples. "It's snot." "It's not what?"
    • The episode "Moonlighting" did it between Palmer and Ducky. Palmer explains that he has disliked sand since he was a child, after playing in it one day and itching excessively afterwards. Then we get:
      Ducky: Well it wasn't the sand, Mr. Palmer, but the sand mite.
      Palmer: Sand might what?
      Ducky: The sand mite bit you.
      Palmer: Sand bites?
      Ducky: Well, sand mites might bite.
      Palmer: I'm grammatically lost.
  • NewsRadio: Played straight (well, kinda) in "Balloon":
    Jimmy:'s there!
    Dave: What's there?
    Jimmy: What's where?
    Bill: Who's on first?
    Jimmy: I don't know.
    Bill: Third base!
  • NUMB3RS: In one episode, one of these is set up, but Nikki stops it before it gets started
    David: Who was Watts [the victim] busting if there wasn't anybody out here to bust?
    [cut to]
    Colby: Otter killers.
    Don: Ought to what?
    Nikki: Don't. We did the Marx Brothers thing already.
  • Pair of Kings: In "Junga Ball", Boomer accuses Brady of being a chicken, leading to this exchange:
    Brady: Mason, will you please get this riffraff out of the plaza?
    [a guard walks off with his head lowered]
    Brady: No, not you, Riff Raff. [gestures to Boomer] This riffraff.
  • Pixelface: Done when Alexia is solving a crossword:
    Alexia: I'm stuck on this last clue. Four letters, starts W A. 'A unit of power'.
    Claireparker: Watt.
    [hilarity ensues]
  • This was a favorite gag of Police Squad!. A notable case happened in the first episode, when Frank Drebin questions a bank teller about the murder of her co-worker. Warning, Overly Long Gag via Chain of Corrections ensues.
    Sally: I was right here at my desk, working.
    Frank: And when was the first time you noticed something was wrong?
    Sally: Well, when I first heard the shot, and as I turned, Jim fell.
    Ed: He is the teller, Frank.
    Frank: Jim Fell is the teller?
    Sally: No, Jim Johnson.
    Frank: Who's Jim Fell?
    Ed: He is the owner, Frank.
    Sally: He had the flu so Jim filled in.
    Frank: Phil who?
    Ed: Phil Inn, he's the night watchman.
    Sally: If only Phil had been here.
    Frank: Now wait a minute, let me get this straight. Twice came in and shot the teller and Jim fell.
    Sally: No he only shot the teller, Jim Johnson. Fell is ill.
    Frank: Okay, then after he shot the teller you shot Twice.
    Sally: No, I only shot once.
    Ed: Twice is the hold-up man.
    Sally: Then I guess I did shoot Twice.
    Frank: Well, so now you are changing your story.
    Sally: No, I shot Twice after Jim fell.
    Frank: You shot Twice and Jim Fell.
    Sally: No, Jim fell first and then I shot Twice once.
    Frank: Who fired twice?
    Sally: Once!
    Ed: He is the owner of the tire company, Frank.
    Frank: Okay, now, Once is the owner of the tire company and he fired Twice. Then Twice shot the teller once.
    Sally: Twice.
    Frank: And Jim fell and then you fired twice.
    Sally: Once.
    Frank: Okay, all right, that will be all for now, Ms. Decker.
    Ed: We will need you to make a formal statement down at the station.
    Sally: Oh, of course.
    Frank: You have been very helpful. We think we know how he did it.
    Sally: Oh, Howie couldn't have done it, he hasn't been in for weeks.
    Frank: Well. Thank you again, Ms. Decker.
    Frank: Weeks?
    Ed: Saul Weeks. He is the controller, Frank.
  • On Primetime Glick, Jiminy interviewed George Wendt and said, "Your name is like an Abbott and Costello routine: 'George Wendt.' 'Where?'"
  • Quantum Leap did this during the episode "Glitter Rock", when Sam wasn't sure how to act like a rock star:
    Al: Do Hendrix... or do Townshend.
    Sam: Who?
    Al: That's right.
    Sam: What is?
    Al: Who.
    Sam: I don't know.
    Al: Townshend.
    Sam: Who?
    Al: Yeah, that's right, Pete Townshend of The Who.
    Sam: Of the what?
    Al: Never mind...If worse comes to worst, do Milli Vanilli.
    Sam: Who?
    Al: That's what I suggested in the first place! Now get out there.
  • Remember WENN loved this trope. One example is a court case with a witness named "Iocek" (which sounds like "I object").
  • Rockgol, a Brazilian sports show, thought having an Argentinian striker, an Argentinian coach and a player named Jô (which sounds like the Spanish word for "me", "yo") in the same team, like Corinthians had in 2005, would be problematic:
    Coach: Tévez! Pass it to Jô! [ball is kicked at him]
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures uses this trope in "The Empty Planet": When the robots demand "the son and heir", Clyde and Rani think they're asking for "the sun and air" (when they figure out the truth, Clyde thinks they mean the British "son and heir", leading him to remark that they can have Camilla, too.
  • Saturday Night Live: On the January 13, 2001 episode, host Charlie Sheen and SNL cast-member Rachel Dratch performed a modified version of "Who's on first?" in a vaudeville reminiscent sketch wherein the names "Who", "What" and "I Don't Know" were used in reference to prostitutes that perform only one specific service but no others, culminating in a joke where Sheen says "You know what, I don't give a damn," to which Dratch replies, "Oh, you mean my crack dealer.
  • Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell:
    • A conversation between Shaun and Chinese affiliate Clavis Sinica regarding the then-current state of Chinese politics apparently took over five hours due to variou"s confusions.
      Shaun: Okay, so when is he leaving?
      Clavis: Yes, absolutely.
      Shaun: When?
      Clavis: Yes, Wen.
      Shaun: Yes, you understand my question, don't you?
      Clavis: Yes, "Wen, is he leaving?"
      Shaun: Yes.
      Clavis: Yes, he definitely is.
      Shaun: When? [beat] Okay, forget about him. Okay, tell us about the change of president.
      Clavis: Yes, sure. Communist Party chief Xi Jinping will become president, replacing Hu Jintao.
      Shaun: Okay— Sorry, who is replacing the president?
      Clavis: No, Hu is the president.
      Shaun: No, no, who is the new one?
      Clavis: No, he is being replaced.
      [1 hour, 47 minutes later]
      Shaun: Oh, that's his name! I'm sorry. Alright, so, so he'll become president?
      Clavis: Yes.
      Shaun: When?
      Clavis: No, he is the premier! We're not talking about him!
    • Another sketch has Ugly Jim Spoons discusses the World Health Organisation's response to COVID-19, and each time Shaun says the pronoun "who" Jim responds like he said the acronym.
    Jim: They give these viruses such funny names nowadays, don't they?
    Shaun: Who does?
    Jim: That's right. COVID-19, they're calling it.
    Shaun: Who's calling it?
    Jim: Exactly. And why shouldn't they, it's their job.
    Shaun: Who's job?
    Jim: Certainly.
  • Shooting Stars did this a lot, usually as "What is the unit of power?" Vic never got it.
  • Stargate SG-1 A running gag involving the System Lord Yu-huang Shang Ti (more commonly known as simply Yu). By the eighth season of the show, Daniel even preemptively shut the routine down:
    Daniel: I was just going over some research material on the delegates they're sending. Camulus was the one who sent the original message. Then there's Amaterasu, Japanese sun goddess, and the last one is Lord Yu.
    Weir: Yu?
    Daniel: Don't. Every joke, every pun. Done to death, seriously.
  • The State: Subverted while positing a world in which comedy did not exist. The following quotation is not exact, but gets the gist across:
    Costello: Who is on first?
    Abbott: Johnson.
    Costello: Johnson. A good player. Who is on second?
    Abbott: Smith.
    Costello: Smith? Interesting choice.
    [and so on in this vein]
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service";
    N: I am agent N!
    Luigi: I see.
    N: Not C! N!
    Luigi: Oh.
    N: Not O! Agent O's on holiday!
    [Marios exchange looks]
  • Supernatural: Parodied and lampshaded on one episode for a quick gag:
    Dean: There's too many angels, Cas. I don't know who's on first, what's on second?
    Castiel: What is second?
    Dean: Don't start that.
  • Taxi...
    Jim: What does a yellow light mean?
    Bobby: Slow down.
    Jim: Whaaaaaaaat dooooes aaaaaa yeeellloooow liiiiiight meeeeeeaaaaan?
  • Ted Lasso:
    Ted: We play Sheffield Wednesday?
    Beard: Saturday.
    Ted: Oh, we're playing Sheffield Saturday?
    Beard: Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday.
    Ted: We gotta play 'em twice in the same week!?
    Beard: [deep sigh] The club is called Sheffield Wednesday. We play them on Saturday. They are called Sheffield Wednesday because they used to only play on Wednesdays. But nowadays they play on whatever day of the week they feel like, including, but not limited to, Saturdays, which again, is the day of the week we will be playing them.
    Ted: This Saturday? I can't, I got plans.
    Beard: I'm leaving.
  • That '70s Show:
    Red: It says here Eric got an INC in gym class.
    Kitty: INC...I bet that stands for "Incredible"!
    Red: Kitty, it's "incomplete".
    Kitty: I know, you have to add the "redible".
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes: Done with Shirley and Bill discussing Telus and Bell.
  • An early '80s sketch from Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show had Carson as Ronald Reagan, talking with Chief of Staff James Baker for a briefing. Reagan is repeatedly confused by the names of then-Secretary of the Interior James Watt, PLO Chairman Yasser (i.e., "Yes, sir") Arafat, and fictional Chinese Premier Chung Dung Hu, as well as by an appointment to swim with Watt at the Y.
  • The Two Ronnies:
    • The two Yokels are called Arthur Watt and Leonard Right.
    • In the "Four Candles" sketch:
      • First, Ronnie Corbett's shopkeeper thinks Ronnie Barker's customer has asked for four candles, instead of fork handles.
      • Next, Barker asks for "plugs", then clarifying, "rubber, bathroom". When Corbett asks him what size (for a bath plug) he answers "13 Amp" - an insulated electric plug.
      • Next, Corbett hears him ask "Sore tips" and offers him ointment. Barker clarifies "Saw tips", which the shop doesn't have.
      • O's - this is first mistaken for a garden hoe, a roll of hosepipe, and pantyhose. He means letter O's for a gate sign.
      • P's - only after Corbett retrieves the box of letters from a high shelf does Barker explain that he wants tinned peas.
      • Barker asks for pumps, specifically "foot pumps". When offered a foot-operated inflation device, he clarifies, "Pumps for your feet. Brown pumps, size 9."
      • Barker then asks for washers. Corbett irritably suggests a variety of cleaning devices before Barker answers half-inch tap washers.
      • Eventually an exasperated Corbett grabs the shopping list, reads it and finally has enough, storming off and calling out to the back for another employee to take over. Mr. Jones leads Barker over to a drawer of billhooksnote . In a later stage version, Mr. Jones is replaced by a woman who asks him, "What sort of knockers are you looking for?"note 
  • Wheel of Fortune had this happen on the Celebrity Edition, with Rachael Leigh Cook, Sherri Shepherd, and Kevin Nealon trying to solve the puzzle VANNA & WALTER WHITE, from which only the V and A's were missing:
    Sherri: What's that first one right there? Huh, Pat? What's the first one?
    Kevin: Vanna, what's the first one?
    Sherri: What's the first— Vanna, what's the first one right there?
    • Then, after Sherri and Kevin both lose their turns due to calling wrong letters...
    Rachel: I would like to say... (turns to Sherri and Kevin) ...and you guys, the clue is standing right in front of us! I think it's VANNA & WALTER WHITE!
  • You Bet Your Life: On Bill Cosby's version, one of the guests was a woman from the town of North, South Carolina, which is southeast of Due West. Don't worry, Bill couldn't keep it straight either.