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A Brick Joke is a particular type of Chekhov's Gun (or its variants) for which the payoff, but not necessarily the set-up, is a joke. Named after an old joke, which seems at first brush to be a pair of unrelated jokes. At the end of the first joke, a brick is tossed away, leaving the confused listener without a punchline. At the end of the second joke, the brick returns and the listener falls on the floor laughing. For bonus points, the teller can tell an actual unrelated joke in between. Sometimes, the Brick Joke structure--introducing a seemingly irrelevant feature only to return to it much later, after the audience has largely forgotten about it--can be used for drama as well as comedy.
Compare and Contrast with the Overly Long Gag, where the humor is in how long it takes to get to the punchline. See also Late to The Punchline, which is where a character who doesn't get a joke finally gets it, making it a kind of Brick Joke for that character. The Flying Brick, however, refers to something else entirely.
- There were two different "The World is Just Awesome" ads run by the Discovery Channel. The Myth Busters make an appearance in both of them. In the first, Adam lights Jamie's arm on fire (at about :50). In the second, at about :32 in, Adam's tied up in a cauldron, which Jamie has just lit a fire underneath.
- One ESPN commercial about Shaquille O'Neal and Scrabble premiered when he was playing for the Phoenix Suns, in 2008. In October 2009, after he had signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, this commercial aired. The videos are filled with other gags if you notice them, such as different analysts in the commercials suggest that he plays Scrabble the same way every game.
- In a Swedish women's magazine, there was an ad for "Mini-baguettes", baguettes you baked in the oven. It said: "If you put six mini-baguettes in the oven now..." About ten pages later, there was another ad for them, saying "...they'll be done by now."
- Recently in the US, AT&T wireless aired a commercial boasting about how extensive their service is. The announcer starts flipping through postcards of places they cover onto an 8-foot-wide map of the US on the floor. The commercial ends. You think that's the end, but three or four commercials later it cuts back to the man. He's still flipping the postcards, and the map is nearly covered.
- The 2011 Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial displays a kid dressed up as Darth Vader. The 2012 Volkswagen commercial displays a fat dog that gets fit... and Darth Vader choking a viewer for saying it was cuter than him.
Anime and Manga Edit
- The original Digimon Adventure has one between Joe and Gomamon. It starts in episode 7 with Gomamon offering to lend a hand when things get too hard, to which Joe replies he kind of...doesn't. Cut to the season finale, where Joe offers to shake Gomamon's hand, and jokes when he actually pulls it off.
- A bit of Lull Destruction actually put this one in Digimon Adventure 02. Early in the episode of "His master's voice", the principal says, "Would the person who put the jelly donuts in the swimming pool please report to the office?" Later in the episode, someone runs by Kari and says "...And then I put the Jelly Donuts in the swimming pool."
- Happens in the Touhou manga Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth. Kaguya needs to lose weight, so Tewi fixes her a Banana Yogurt Natto Drink. She doesn't drink it. Ten strips later, after she's tried several other means of losing weight, she comes back from a run with Mokou, thirsty, and Tewi hands her a drink...
- Episode 6 of Durarara has Togusa try to track Kazatano with a sock for his scent. It seemed like the dog just ran off... but it turns out he did track them down at the end of the episode, just a bit too late.
- The manga of Elfen Lied had a point where Nozomi was introduced by a random wind blowing up her skirt revealing a diaper to Kouta. She's embarrassed, but she ends up forgiving him later on, and says that she has had wetting problems, forcing her to wear those diapers. Well near the ending of the manga, when the research facility is torn to shreds literally, Professor Arakawa is able to board a Diclonius-powered ship filled with military crewsmen. The leader of the ship ends up noticing Arakawa's diaper, due to her being almost completely naked. Arakawa wears diapers due to her own wetting problems, but this was due to Kakuzawa raping her, something that happened many chapters before this. This is actually two brick jokes in one.
- In a chapter of Katteni Kaizo, Yoko Tanaka hid behind a brick wall, unnoticed. The series was then cancelled due to a lack of readership. In a completely unrelated chapter of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei seven years later, she finally smashes through the wall and yells her name. Turns out that they share a common fanbase.
Comic Books Edit
- In Thunderbolts fifteenth issue Techno clones Baron Zemo so Techno can put his mind inside the clone. Presumably disturbed by Techno's lack of boundaries Zemo decides to kill the clone. Techno jokes maybe he should clone Kevin Costner instead. A couple years later Zemo is killed in his central american hideout and a few weeks later Techno finds a gelatinous footprint but he hides it from the other Thunderbolts. The last issue of the first volume of Thunderbolts resolves the mystery of the footprint. A resurrected and seemingly reformed Zemo (now in a new body) shows Hawkeye that he has given his castle to the natives who lived nearby. Hawkeye notices that one of the natives looks just like Kevin Costner.
- In Invincible objects Mark tosses across the world with his super-strength will occasionally crash down several issues later, with humorous results. For example, when Mark's powers first manifest in issue 1, he is throwing a bag of garbage into a dumpster; it lands in issue 6, in another country, with no explanation. And then we return in issue 20, and...
- In Transmetropolitan #1, a toll booth operator calls Spider a hillbilly. Spider responds, "I'll be back for you, shiteyes."
Five years, 60 issues, a renewed career, two assistants, an impeached president and some brain damage later, he comes back and has the guy beaten with bricks.
- About once an issue of Groo the Wanderer, someone will call Groo "slow of mind", and near the end of the comic Groo will suddenly remark "Wait, what did they mean by 'slow of mind'?"
- Heir to the Empire by Ozzallos has a beautifully-executed example which might slip right past an inattentive reader. Early in the story, after Ranma is transformed (slightly) by his possession of the Ginzuisho, Kasumi admires his girl form's new silver hair and asks if he can give her silver hair, too. Ranma's response is distracted, bemused words to the effect of "sure, if I can figure out how I got it." In the last chapter, a hundred thousand words or so later, a teenaged Chibi-Usa visits from the future, stares at Kasumi, and asks "Say, when did Kas-chan dye her hair brown?"
Films -- Animated Edit
- The stop-motion animation film A Town Called Panic plays it straight when Cowboy and Indian try to order 50 bricks to build a barbecue for their friend, Horse. They accidentally order 50 million bricks, and the day wears into evening as truck after truck deliver loads of bricks, until there is a pile as large as the house. Horse returns home to a brick-free yard, except for the newly constructed barbecue. His birthday party runs well into the night, and it is not until the lights are out at bedtime that we find out where the 49,999,950 other bricks have gone. They are neatly stacked on the roof, forming a cube larger than the house.
- In the DreamWorks movie Megamind, snarky Damsel in Distress Roxanne complains early on that the titular villain's gimmicks are getting old, and he needs to make things more exciting. The thing is, Megamind has a habit of mispronouncing and misinterpreting words. So later in the movie, she opens a door in Megamind's lair marked "EXIT" to reveal a deep pit full of alligators, some random toys on the ground, and a disco ball hanging overhead. Not an "exiting" room, but an "exciting" room, as Megamind later explains.
- In the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King, during Scar's little self-righteous speech at the beginning of the movie, Zazu casually comments about the villain lion that "He'd make a very handsome throw rug." 3 years later in the 1997 Disney movie Hercules, a short clip of a stresses Herc shows him tossing a familiar lion's pelt onto the floor in frustration. One of the many shout outs to previous movies.
- In The Emperor's New Groove, in the beginning of the movie, Yzma announces Kronk to "Pull the lever", and it sends her down a trap door into a moat with an alligator as she shouts, "WRONG LEVER!!". Then she angrily storms back in saying, "Why do we even HAVE that lever?" and smacking an alligator who was clinging to her. About 3/4ths of the way through the movie when Pacha and Kuzko walk back into the palace to enter Yzma's "Secret Lab". The first thing shown is a drenched Kuzko walking back in grumbling, "Why does she even HAVE that lever?"
Films -- Live-Action Edit
- In A Guy Thing, Paul gets beat up by Becky's ex-boyfriend. His fiance insists on calling the cops but Paul doesn't want to tell the truth so he gives them a completely ridiculous description. In the last scene of the movie Paul and Becky get into a cab and the driver matches Paul's description exactly.
- Actually, this guy appeared in the police lineup earlier in the movie, soon after Paul gave the ridiculous description, but Paul said "It's not him."
- In Airplane!, Stryker leaves a passenger behind in a cab to catch his plane in time. At the very very end, after all the plot has happened, the guy gets the girl, everybody is rejoicing and the credits have rolled, we cut back to his passenger, still in the cab: "Well, I'll give him another twenty minutes. But that's it." And the meter's running, too.
- While the joke is lost on audiences today, the guy in the cab was Howard Jarvis, who pushed for California Proposition 13 in 1978, an initiative which made massive money saving cuts to public services.
- In Monty Python and The Holy Grail, the opening credits are botched, and the audience is told that the people responsible were sacked. At the end of the film, there are no closing credits, just a blank screen with music.
- Another well-known example: Shortly after assembling, Arthur and his knights are spurned by a castle populated by Frenchmen. Their lord is uninterested in the search for the grail because "he's already got one". It turns out that this is where the grail was all along.
- In another Rowan Atkinson project, Johnny English, gets two in one. Johnny invents an assailant to explain how the crown jewels got stolen. He uses things in the room as inspiration for his description, leading to an incredibly implausible appearance. At the end of the film he accidentally ejects Lorna from his car. Roll credits. Halfway through, Lorna lands in a hotel pool in the ejector seat. Sitting on the side of the pool is a man who matches the imaginary assailant's description perfectly.
- In Spice World when a movie producer is pitching ideas about a movie involving the girls (intersperced with clips of the girls actually acting out what he says) he says "and that's when they find the bomb". The manager rejects that idea. During the end credits Mel C suddenly says "what happened to the bomb on the bus?" and it goes off.
- In a Russo-Finnish film Jack Frost (later made into an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000), the superhumanly strong hero Ivan, when facing a band of thieves, throws a bunch of clubs into the air. Months later, when he wins the heart of Nastinka, he and his love are attacked by the same thieves. At which time the clubs fall down on the thieves' heads.
- The King's Speech is filled with these, from the shilling that Bertie owes Lionel for much of the film to "When waiting for a king to apologize, one may wait a rather long time."
- In She's All That the main plot is a bet between Zack and Dean to make Lanney the prom queen. When she finds out about this, the bet is forgotten. The second to last scene has Lanney asking what the bet's outcome was. We cut to graduation where Zack accepts his diploma stark naked.
- Around the start of Cabin Fever, a store owner causes an awkward reaction when asked about a gun, saying only that it's "for niggers". At the end, three nig...black people (two men and a woman) are walking along, seemingly unaware that they're in the middle of Hicksville, Nowhere. The store owner frantically reaches for the gun...the visitors enter..then the store owner places the gun on the counter, greets the visitors and says "I got it all fixed up just like you wanted!"
- The western spoof Support Your Local Sheriff starts with some pioneers burying a man named Millard Frymore. The funeral is permanently disrupted when gold is discovered in the grave. Later in the film, it's mentioned in passing that the resulting mine was named after Millard.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: Roger keeps blowing his lines, seeing tweeting birds instead of stars at the beginning of the film. Later, in Toon Town, Eddie Valiant gets brained and sees tweeting birds. And finally, during Roger's subverted Big Damn Heroes moment, he gets a pile of bricks dropped on him, causing him to see...
"Look, Raoul! Stars! Ready whenever you are!"
- The Avengers: The second stinger has the group go to the shawarma place Tony recommended earlier in the movie. The shawarma place was nearly destroyed by the battle. No one speaks.
- The Hulk getting a little payback on Thor after he uppercut the green giant with his hammer. As they take down a Leviathan at the Grand Street Station, Hulk lays a right hand straight across the God of Thunder's jaw and sends him flying off-screen. Hilarity Ensues.
- And earlier in the film. Captain America tells Nick Fury that by that point, nothing could possibly surprise him, and Nick bets $10 that Cap's wrong. Several scenes later, after watching a carrier lift off out of the water, Cap hands Nick ten bucks without either saying a word.
- Anger Management has the main character almost taking a seat between two fat passengers before Buddy offers him one. The air marshal that assaulted the main character with a tazer had taken that seat, shown at the end of the film.
- There's a picture in The Last Straw, the 3rd Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, that reveals that Greg once turned in a book report 4 pages long (cover included), and only a few sentences long because he took up more than half of the last page writing "THE END" in big letters, using the excuse that he was running out of paper. That spoiler-tagged part comes up at the end when Greg admits that he was ending his story on sort of a generic happy ending note, but he admits that he's running out of paper...
- At one point in the first A Song of Ice and Fire book, Shagga threatens to "cut off [a man's] manhood and feed it to goats." In the next book, Tyrion tells him to do this to a prisoner, despite not having any goats nearby. Shagg obliges, and takes his axe to the prisoner's beard.
- Wayside School loved this trope:
- When Louis gets all the cows out of the school, someone comments they can still hear a moo. 19 chapters, later, it's revealed there's a cow in Miss Zarves's class.
- When they test the theory of gravity showing that objects fall at the same speed despite different masses, they throw a coffee pot out the window. Much later, Mr. Kidswatter asks where the teachers lounge coffee pot went.
- When Benjamin reveals he's really Benhamin Nushmut, Mrs. Jewls gives him the lunch that was on her desk from the first day of class.
- In a story with a disappointing ending, Paul is hypnotized not only into not pulling Leslie's Pigtails, but into eating her ears whenever she says "Pencil". About ten chapters or so after this, Leslie mentions they need a new pencil sharpener.
- Dark Future: Early in Krokodil Tears a news report mention the death of Wally The Whale, last living cetacean in the Atlantic and major tourist attraction for the Isle of Skye. The Mayor of Skye plans to have the whale preserved and open up a restaurant in his stomach named Jonah's Snackbar. Two hundred pages later, during the climactic fight between Jessamyn and the Jibbenainosay, Wally the Whale comes back to life. In the middle of the Bolivian ambassador's birthday party.
Live Action TV Edit
- In Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey releases the hamster in a ball full of food so he has a chance at survival and won't be taken care of by the class bully. Throughout the rest of the season, you can spot the Hamster Ball rolling in the background. By the end of the season, you can even see it roll by as Francis and Piama leave Alaska.
- Seinfeld was full of these.
- As does Curb Your Enthusiasm.
- Father Ted, "Speed 3", has a literal brick joke - twice. Father Jack has become to be affectionate to a brick, which later Father Ted trips on because Jack left it in the middle of the room. This, however, gives Ted the inspiration to use the brick to hold down the accelerator of a milk trolley (rigged to explode if the trolley falls below 4 miles per hour) to keep it going. The trolley explodes. Post-credits, Father Ted is taking out the trash when he spots something in the sky -- and is struck head-on by a charred and smoking brick.
- Friends "The One With Frank Jr" has Ross consider adding Isabella Rosselini to his list of celebrities he can sleep with but eventually bumps her because she's "too international". At the end of the episode, guess who walks into the coffee house?
- Also, in one chapter the girls are in the balcony, drinking and telling stories of older times, when Rachel accidentally drops a cushion to the street. At the end of the chapter, someone calls to the door, and Chandler opens. A man returns the cushion.
- Mash: Near the start of the episode "It Happened One Night", Hawkeye puts a can of beans on a stove in post-op, to heat it up. At the end of the episode, after a busy night dealing with patients, and shelling, and other things, just as things are settling down, the can of beans explodes.
- Community: A brick joke three years in the making: over the course of three episodes across three seasons, a certain word is said three times. Only on the third time does the brick pay off.
- My Name Is Earl: While Randy is fishing junk out of the river that a storm drain flows into, he says, "Another dolls head, Earl! That makes four." Eight episodes later, in the next season, an orphan girl tells Earl, "I used to live in a storm drain, rain washed my doll heads away."
- In one episode of That 70's Show, Jackie has Kelso reading Cosmo magazine, hoping that it would give him insight into women (specifically, Jackie, and what she wants at any given moment). A bit later, Eric is griping about Donna to Kelso, and Kelso spouts off some helpful wisdom, and, when Eric is incredulous, Kelso explains that he's been reading Cosmo, and offhandedly mentions that there are some diagrams to women's internal organs that look like a map to Six Flags. This isn't mentioned for the rest of the episode, until the very end...
Fez: Oh look! Six flags!
- Doctor Who had a particularly long lasting one. At the end of the serial The Hand of Fear, The Doctor is forced to drop Sarah Jane Smith on Earth. When last we see of her, she realizes she isn't in her home city of Croydon. Cut to 30 years later, we find out that she'd been left in Aberdeen, Scotland instead.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show did this in the third season premiere episode, "That's My Boy??" Mel's sister-in-law has just had a baby, which prompts Mel to make a Switched At Birth joke. Laura prods Rob into a Whole-Episode Flashback retelling of how, a few days after Ritchie's birth, he became convinced that they took the wrong baby home from the hospital. They contact the other parents -- who have the similar last name of Peters -- and invite them over to discuss the possibility. The doorbell rings, Rob opens the door and is stunned at the sight of them. Then he invites the Peters in. Their entry is the brick joke. They're African-American.
- Kenan and Kel did an episode based on that Dick Van Dyke episode, but because the show is made up of African-Americans, the brick changed. The parents are Asian.
- On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall's slap bet with Barney turned into a Brick Joke spanning the entirety of the series to date. As of season 7, Marshall has been granted three additional slaps (one of which he used immediately), leaving him with three slaps remaining.
- There's a lot of them in How I Met Your Mother. In S2E02, Ted enthusiastically tells Robin that he found a 1945 penny in the subway. Many episodes later, we see a flashback of Ted and Robin buying ice-cream with the money they just got from selling a 1945 penny Ted found on the subway.
- In "The Pineapple Incident", Marshall is curious about why is there a pineapple in Ted's bedroom. In "The Third Wheel", we see a flashback fom that night where Ted and Trudy are licking the pineapple while having sex.
- Also from "The Pineapple Incident", Ted claims he's "vomit free since '93". In "Game Night", Ted confesses that he threw up on Robin's carpet:
Marshall: I knew you weren't vomit free since '93!
- The cold opening for one All That episode has Kenan blowing up a scarecrow, causing the Big Ear Of Corn to be kidnapped by Elvis and professional wrestlers. Later on, Lori Beth Denberg (as Miss Fingerly) kisses a stuffed monkey despite the superstition about what happens... then Elvis and the professional wrestlers come out and beat her up.
- The IT Crowd: Roy gets caught in the handicapped bathroom at a theater and pretends to be disabled so he won't get in trouble. He tells the theater staff and police that his wheelchair was stolen by a bearded, red-haired man with glasses. Later, the police see a man matching that description leaving the theater and quietly take him away. In the same episode, Moss is caught using the employee bathroom and is mistaken for a new employee. Later, Jen goes to a party at the theater to find Roy in a wheelchair and Moss tending bar.
- On the last episode of Saturday Night Live's 36th season, Seth Meyers leaves for summer vacation with Bill Hader's Stefon character. About three episodes into season 37 (the episode hosted by Ben Stiller with musical guest Foster the People), Stefon returns and Seth mentions that the vacation they took last summer was bizarre (and when Stefon asked Meyers if his back was okay, Meyers quickly changed the subject).
- One episode of Corner Gas had Davis and Oscar trying to catch a mouse in the gas station. Oscar was going for the traditional mouse trap, while Davis was advocating being humane and letting the mouse go. He mentioned that, once, he'd nursed an owl back to health and released it. At the end, they catch the mouse, they let it go, they watch it scamper off into the world...and the same owl Davis rescued swooped down and carried off the mouse.
- Over three seasons, characters on Eureka occasionally refer to something called an "Einstein-Grant Bridge" until in the season four opener, when they accidentally pull Dr. Grant into the future from his original timeline in 1947. Thereafter, they use the term we normally use for that object, the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, thereby proving that the timeline they had been in was different from our own.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Fifth Race", Jack spars with Teal'c in a boxing ring. Teal'c knocks Jack over with one punch. Fast forward to "Upgrades", where with the benefit of a bodily-capabilities-improving Atoniek armband, Jack KO's Teal'c.
- New Age composer Vangelis invokes a Brick Joke structure in his Albedo 0.39 album. The first track Pulstar ends with the British Post time recording. A voice is heard intoning "At the third stroke, it will be ten-three and forty seconds" followed by three beeps. Likewise for "ten-three and fifty seconds". At "ten-four precisely", the second track kicks in right where the three beeps should be. Just before the ending of track eight, Nucleogenesis (Part II), the music pauses and the listener hears a rotary telephone dial. The dialing is followed by three beeps and the climax of the track.
Newspaper Comics Edit
- Once in Garfield, Garfield kicked Odie into next week for eating his food. Odie was absent in the strip for the remaining two days of the week (and in the Saturday strip, Garfield comments that "Lunch isn't the same without Odie"). Sure enough, on the Monday of the next week, Odie came crashing down into the strip. Onto Garfield.
- In Pearls Before Swine's Ten-Minute Retirement, Stephen Pastis was sent to court and sentenced for life, because Rat advocated the overthrowing of the government. He convinced the judge to run one more Croc Story Arc. Said arc was about Zebra building a wall to keep the Crocs out, and eventually they strap tons of dynamite to a Croc named "Melvin", but he goes in the bathroom to read the newspaper and do the crossword. So, to keep their house from blowing up, two Crocs drag him out of the house, and launch him a great distance with Junior's see-saw. Where did he land? The courthouse Pastis was in. The dynamite then exploded, blowing it to smithereens and freeing Pastis.
- There was a short arc at the very end of 2003 where Pig teaches his army men toys to be Oprah-loving hippies, much to Rat's annoyance. It heavily influenced the Viking characters that would appear a few years later. 3 years later, there was a strip where Rat gets a bunch of girl magazines in the mail, and says they had better not be for The Vikings. He then enters the house to see that Pig is reading a magazine about guns with them. Rat says "Uhhh...Nevermind." and leaves. After a Beat Panel, we see that the same army men are next to him, with one saying "If that Cosmo's not here today, I will just SCREAM."
- In an old Baby Blues strip, Wanda thinks she should wean Hammie off of the pacifier because she read a magazine article that says babies could become too attached to it. In a recent strip, Zoe learns that Hammie still sucks his pacifier in secret, at six years old.
- In For Better or For Worse, Mike bought a doll named Naked Ned at a yard sale, thinking it an interesting curio. During college, he kept the doll suction-cupped to his dorm window; when he graduated, Mike and his roommate, Weed, argue over who gets to keep the doll. After Mike has retrieved the doll from Weed's girlfriend, it is flushed down the toilet. Years later, it's removed from the pipes.
- The January 15, 2012 Brevity featured a pair of kids stepping out of a box. The boy points at something, and says "It worked!". Many readers were perplexed, others thought it to be a reference to the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special. Come January 22... The same pair stand in front of the closed box, which reads 'Time Machine'...on the 15th, he'd been pointing at the strip's date.
- Bloom County once had a string of 4 strips where Opus repeatedly called 911 for non-emergency purposes like "There's a 465-pound woman across the street pruning her azaleas wearing pea-soup-green hot pants!!" Five days later, Steve Dallas was abducted by aliens, and the punchline to the scene was Opus calling 911 and their immediately hanging up.
Print Media Edit
- In Issue #41 of Mad Magazine (from 1958), the cover picture of Alfred E. Neuman is half-finished because the artist got a call from Time magazine. Cut to the article "The Next Day's Headlines" which shows disastrous headlines based on the advice columns shown on the previous page... and one about Time firing their new artist because all their people looked like Alfred E. Neuman.
- The Onion did it with pictures. The front cover of the February 21, 2011 issue shows a picture of Blake Griffin jumping over a car with the headline "Car Blake Griffin Dunked Over Vows Revenge". Cut to the March 21, 2011 issue which has the cover showing a picture of Blake Griffin run over by a car with the headline "Car Blake Griffin Dunked Over Exacts Bloody Revenge".
Professional Wrestling Edit
- In one episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, The Hurricane was trying to teach his sidekick, Rosey (an over-300-pound Samoan), how to be a superhero. His lesson for the day was how to change into his costume in a phone booth. Roughly an hour later in the show, we see Steve Austin walking backstage... and he happens across the phone booth, in which Rosey is trapped by his own girth.
Rosey: (pleading) Can you let me out? Please? I'll pay you!
- Near the beginning of an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, Booker T starts his Catch Phrase ("Can you dig that... SUCKA!") to Chris Jericho, who cuts him off and leaves. About an hour and a half later, as Jericho's heading to the ring for his match, Booker pops up to finish: "--SUCKAAAAA!"
- In 2009, Edge mocked Sheamus, comparing him to Beaker. Two years later, when the Muppets appear on Monday Night Raw, Sheamus tells Beaker that he "can't make it to the family reunion this year."
- During the three-way John Cena, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio feud for the WWE Title, Cena and Punk would frequently mention mullets and skateboards to new General Manager John Laurinaitis for seemingly no reason. After the jokes became less frequent, CM Punk played a montage of Laurinitis clips from the early 90s, during his time wrestling in the Dynamic Dudes with Shane Douglas, complete with skateboard and mullet.
- A brick with relatively short air-time -- in one episode of Hello Cheeky, Tim announces that they'll be broadcasting Rigoletto in two parts. This is immediately followed by a cry of "Rigo--", and fifteen minutes later, we hear a yell of "--letto!"
Theater/Stage Shows Edit
- British mentalist/illusionist Derren Brown did it in two different stage shows.
- In his third show, An Evening of Wonders, during the show broadcast on TV, he played a game of 20 Questions with several members of the audience. One, he sent back, saying he was too unsure of her object (brick number 1). Later, he performed the "Oracle Act" (it's billet reading). Seems one teenaged boy, on a dare from his friends, had written only the word "cock" on his billet, much to everyone's amusement (except Derren's, obviously) (and, by the way, brick number 2, although unintentional). Both bricks pay off at the end of the show, when he unrolls a big scroll that had been in a box since the beginning. On the scroll, he had written the word "bracelet" three times, and the lady that he had sent back revealed that she had thought of a bracelet during the 20 Questions segment. Upon finding this out, Derren said, "That kid's right, I am a cock!"
- And then in his fourth show, Enigma, at the beginning of the show, he asked people in the audience to write down a list of their three favorite things, and he would have a member of the audience draw one, and then by the audience member saying random words, Derren would guess the items. The first item that was written down on the chosen slip, he guessed was a favorite band, but couldn't identify the band. Upon finding out that the band was McFly, he simply said, "Never heard of them." Guess who performed a song revealing one of his predictions at the end of the show?
- The comedy pair Rahmens uses Brick Jokes in their routines.
- The best example is probably this one:
(about namehage) "Who drove the demons out of Akita?"
"This mystery will be unraveled in... (looks at watch) 14 minutes."
- It is indeed revealed about 14 minutes later. A pun reveals it was Momotaro.
- The comedy "Harvey" works in a couple of brick jokes with very delayed payoffs. In Act I, psychiatrist Dr. Chumley storms in during an intimate moment for two of his staff, absolutely furious ... because the gardener needs to trim more carefully around his prize dahlias. That gets a decent laugh by itself -- but when nice guy Elwood P. Dowd arrives in Act II with flowers for the nurse, guess whose prize dahlias he just picked?
- In the same show, Elwood goes through the same routine with almost everyone he meets for the first time, politely greeting them, handing them his calling card, and explains to call him at this phone number, since the other one has changed. It becomes amusing with repetition, but pays off big in the third act, when Dr. Chumley is trying to figure out how Elwood met a magical creature like Harvey:
CHUMLEY: Mr. Dowd -- what kind of a man are you? Where do you come from?
ELWOOD: (Reaches in his pocket) Didn't I give you one of my cards?
Video Games Edit
- At the beginning of The Reconstruction, Qualstio complains about the fanfare that plays when characters join the guild. Much later on, another character comments on it after joining, to the confusion of everyone else.
- In the first level of Earthworm Jim, you launch a cow into the air. At the very end of the game, the cow lands on Princess What's-Her-Name. The joke continues into the animated series, in which every episode ended with a cow dropping out of the sky and landing on a random person for no reason.
- The second game features the joke as an Idle Animation; Jim throws a brick into the air, and it hits him in the head whenever he next begins to idle.
- A sad one happens in Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2. Early in the game, Roxas gets a stick from an ice cream bar that has "Winner". He's waiting until he can get another one to give to both his friends Axel and Xion. When Roxas defects from the Organization, he leaves the stick for Axel.
- In the first act of The Curse of Monkey Island, Elaine is about to punch Guybrush when she finds out the engagement ring he gave her is cursed, when the curse kicks in and she turns into a gold statue. Near the end of the game, Elaine is freed of the curse and finishes punching Guybrush.
- In "Homestar Ruiner", the first episode of Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People, the episode begins with Strong Bad getting an email asking why he hasn't "beat the snot" out of Homestar yet. Strong Bad thinks it's a good idea, but he gets sidetracked by his plan to beat Homestar in the big Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race. In the endgame, after Homestar is knocked out of a window along with a number of other uninvited guests in Strong Bad's house, he yells "Ow, my snot!"
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, early in the game the bridge across the river is blocked by a group of women chatting about how they dislike housework. One of them comments on how she's bad at cleaning her house and wishes there was someone to do it for her. A while later - after you find your Loftwing, race in the Wing Ceremony, fly with Zelda, wake up after she falls into the tornado, find Fi and get the Goddess Sword, you're finally able to go across the bridge, and if you go in her house you'll find that it's completely covered in dust and spiderwebs. Much later in the game, you finally get an item that is able to blow the dust out, so you do actually clean the house for her.
- After she pays you for cleaning the house, if you come back later at night, you'll hear her son yelling at her for wasting the money he earned at his knight job for her to buy food. He comes outside and talks to you, wondering aloud what kind of jerk would help his mother with her money-wasting endeavors. Not sarcastically; he really doesn't know it was you. Link, apparently, does not tell him.
- Near the beginning of the storyline of Adventure Quest Worlds, a skeletal minion by the name of Chuckles is one of the very first victims of the Big Bad, Drakath. The player base, who rather liked the little guy, launched a "Save Chuckles" campaign that ultimately succeeded in bringing back his skull. Two years and eight Chaos Lords later, Chuckles returns in a manner most awesome during the Doomwood saga. At the end of the Shadowfall War, just when things are looking grim for Empress Gravelyn and the heroes, Chuckles, who is revealed to have been Gravelyn's very first creation, knocks Noxus right off the Shadowscythe throne and frees Gravelyn, who promptly takes back control of her undead army from him so that the heroes can kick Noxus' ass. And in the aftermath of Noxus' defeat, Gravelyn gives Chuckles a promotion -- by switching his skull with that of Noxus!
- Sonic Generations has Silver throwing cars at you for him being a moron because of him thinking you're an impostor. At the end, the cars he threw at you land on him when he's defeated.
- At the beginning of the Team Fortress 2 short "Meet the Medic", Medic finds his pigeon Archimedies digging around inside Heavy while he is operating on him. At the end of the short, after Medic operates on Scout and gives him his new heart, we find out the pigeon got stuck inside him.
Scout: Oh man, you would not believe how much this hurts!
[a pigeon sound emits from the Scout's chest]
- Mass Effect: In the Upper Wards Market in the first game, there's a human talking to a turian shopkeeper about a refund. The turian repeatedly refuses to grant the refund on grounds that the customer doesn't have a proof of purchase. Later on in the second game he's outside a warehouse, still asking for his refund and still not getting it. After 3 games and about 3 years Shepard finally has the choice to finish the guy's quest once and for all. It turns out it was for a toaster that cost 15 credits...
- Maniac Mansion in the kitchen, there's a chainsaw, but the programmers never got around to programming in the gasoline can it needs. The gasoline can shows up on the planet Mars in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, a Spiritual Successor game which was also created by Lucas Arts.
- In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, one of the City Guards' random lines is "No lollygagging." During the quest "No One Escapes From Cidhna Mine", you meet an imprisoned orc named Borkul the Beast. He's in jail for "Murder, Banditry, Assault, Theft, and Lollygagging."
- Combined with Inverted Chekhov's News in Tachyon the Fringe. The combat portion of the Justified Tutorial consists of you fighting off a group of target drones that went haywire while you were evaluating a novice flight instructor. A news item later in the game reveals that the instructor went on to save the lives of her students when the same thing happened again.
Web Comics Edit
- Near the beginning of Shadowgirls, a trio of Jerk Jocks attempt to rape Becka, and are stopped only by the timely awakening of her Shadowchild powers. Fast-forward to the epilogue, and it appears that Becka's mom wasn't quite finished with them...
- Sluggy Freelance: June 2 and August 17, 2001 (the ship in the second strip is the crotch of the megarobot GOFOTRON)
- Eight Bit Theater deserves a trophy for this kind of thing, containing several throwaway gags that get brought back years after they were first told.
- In the 7th strip, Black Mage is reading a Nintendo Power magazine. 9 years and over 1,200 strips later, the joke is referenced in the biggest Anti-Climax of the series (CAREFUL, MASSIVE SPOILERS ON THIS).
- The Armor of Invincibility, something mentioned in the very first strip, is brought back up again in the very last strip, a grand total of 1,225 strips later.
- Homestuck has a few examples.
- Dave created his first UNREAL AIR in Act 4, after which it promptly floated away. Six months pass and it's mentioned in a conversation between Dave and Davesprite as probably winding up on Skaia eventually. Six months after that, it finally does.
- Andrew Hussie compares himself to the kid from The Neverending Story. Then he lives the dream.
- The "What Pumpkin" running gag, has been around since Jail Break. After over 6000 updates, it turns out Jake was behind it...although Roxy might have had something to do with it too.
- Right after Dave was introduced, he considers bleating like a goat for ironic purposes. No less than 3960 pages (and 2½ years) later, Brobot bleats like a goat for strategic and ironic purposes.
- John is mentioned to have a peanut allergy. This never comes up until about 4000 pages later, where it turns out Jake, John's Alternate Universe relative, shares the same allergy.
- 01/09/12 gives us the longest Brick Joke in the comic. On page 32 John talks about a book of his that is so heavy, it could kill a cat if dropped. Cut to 01/09/12, almost three years later, and Roxy attempts to prove to Jane that she has an appearifier by appearifying the very same book. Right on top of her pet cat.
- Xkcd. In addition to the two strips that provide the page image, there's also the Super Soaker.
- These two strips of the Chess based web comic series maniccomics.
- In this Dinosaur Comics strip, T-Rex forgets his wallet on the moon. 323 strips later, we get the Alt Text ("hey, my wallet's here") to this strip.
- In this episode of The Order of the Stick, Elan saves the day with a magic item abandoned as 'useless' 224 strips earlier.
- In this Super Effective strip, the old man who teaches you how to catch Pokemon falls asleep. 5 strips later, he wakes up and finishes what he was saying.
- In Dr. McNinja, a few pages in "There Is A Raptor In My Office," Doc makes a few mentions about how diabetics are always whining. Five years later, during "Futures Trading," Doc's clinic gets shut down because everyone thinks he's dead, and there's a whiny diabetic outside the clinic as it shuts down.
- In the installment of Penny Arcade that introduced The Merch, the keen insight he gives is "I fucked your dad!". Guess what he says to Santa Claus at the end of the Christmas arc featuring him.
- Nedroid: The Alt Text in the last page of the Robotginald story arc references Reginald's supposedly full name.
- In chapter 7 of Drowtales, Chrys'tel was seen wearing a set of black and red clothing, and after she's captured Ariel takes them in chapter 8 in order to impersonate Chrys'tel, though she never wound up using them. Then in Chapter 30, 22 chapters later, they're worn by Diva'ratrika, her grandmother, which later results in a hilarious payoff.
- In El Goonish Shive, Dan Shive will often include links to prior strips whose subject matter was referenced underneath the new chapters. As can be expected, several of these point out Brick Jokes, while some of them are Bricks of the Invoked variety.
- In this Brawl in the Family comic, Daisy catches Wiggler and Lakitu trying to get special privileges from their brethren in Mario Kart 7. Three comics later...
- Cyanide and Happiness plays this very straight with their comics about Waldo. For those who don't want to experience the comic front to back, they introduce him here, he returns about a week later and then again two and a half years later.
- In Darths and Droids, Chancellor Valorum mentions wanting to turn people into cyborgs under his command. In Episode III, General Grievous reveals himself to be Valorum with a similar line.
- "When Spartans play Gay Chicken, they play for keeps." So sayeth Commander Badass.
Web Original Edit
- This Cyanide and Happiness video is one long four-minute brick joke.
- The neurotic 'LP of Half-Life known as Freemans Mind does this over two episodes. In Episode 2, 'Gordon' notices the helmet of his HEV suit has gone missing... He probably won't need it, right?
- Homestar Runner has a few.
- Nearby the beginning of "Strong Bad is in Jail Cartoon", Strong Sad says in a letter that he and Marzipan have a bakavla in the oven. At the end of the cartoon, Marzipan serves it to the other characters.
- At the beginning of "Drive-Thru", Strong Bad is using an air compresser to launch a toy rocket to Europa, in the hopes that it'll return to Earth and bring him back some lobsters. At the end, sure enough, it falls back to Earth and cracks open, revealing a space lobster. The Drive-Thru Whale asks it to sever its leg, which it does, and the whale eats it and flies into outer space. ...Yeah.
- In sbemail #38, titled helium, we discover that Strong Mad's voice doesn't change at all when he sucks helium, to his annoyance. Exactly 114 emails later in sbemail #152, isp, we find out that Strong Bad's internet connection is so slow because Strong Mad is siphoning his bandwidth through a garden hose. Apparently bandwidth acts like "super helium" and Strong Mad finally gets his helium voice.
- The short "The Luau" begins with Homestar peeing behind Marzipan's gazebo. Later on in the short, when Homestar visits Strong Bad's party, and finds out that he can't get the wood to start on fire, Homestar then asks if Strong Bad got the wood from behind the gazebo, in which Strong Bad answers "Yes, why?". Homestar then explains "Well it all started when I drank 32 glasses of melonade..."
- In email #55, "cheat talk", Strong Bad waits patiently for Strong Mad (and The Cheat) to say the word "Douglas" (and jams his keyboard into Strong Sad's stomach to get him to say the word). In an Easter Egg for email #76, as Strong Bad tries to get other characters to say "Fhqwhgads", Strong Mad instead says, "DOUGLAS!", to which a surprised Strong Bad says, "Whoa! We've just a breakthrough! You get a gold star."
- In short "Play Date", Homestar calls Bubs, who tells him that he's in federal prison. However he shows up in two scenes throughout the cartoon. In the Easter Egg Homestar asks why he's not in prison and he says he got time out for "snitchy behavior".
- In Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series there are many of these. One particularly late starts in episode 14 Atem warns the man attacking Tea that he looks damn good in a tutu. A few years later we get episode 53. Kaiba is forced to admit it: he does look damn good in a tutu (we even get a card/photo to prove it).
- In Stupid Mario Brothers "The Interactive Adventure," Luigi ended up inheriting a mansion. In the first episode of Season 4 he sold it for a life supply of USB flash drives, So he could never run out of memory. In Episode 53, Mario returns after he gains his memory back prompting Luigi to suggest a flash drive.
- Skippys List has examples:
113. There is absolutely no need to emulate the people from Full Monty every time I hear the song "Hot Stuff".
131. No dancing in the turret. This especially applies in conjunction with rule #113.
- 4Chan had a few people do these - one example where someone mentioned something about Code Geass, then someone posted a Slowpoke picture saying he'll respond in two years. Two years later, he responded.
- A similar time travel post was done once.
Western Animation Edit
- Phineas and Ferb has a literal one. At the end of "Toy to the World", the creatively bankrupt toy executives are frantically trying to think of an idea for a new toy to follow up Phineas and Ferb's "Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure". They settle on marketing a brick to children. In another episode, Doofensmirtz wants to destroy the billboard that blocks his view of the city skyline. The billboard advertizes the Brick.
- Futurama: At the beginning of an episode, Fry entered the game show "Who Dares to be a Millionaire?" and the first question was about which instrument is used to hammer a nail. Option A: a hammer; Option B: a nail. Before Morbo had a chance to say what Option C was, Fry answered "nail". Near the episode's end, Fry tried to destroy an invention by hammering a nail on it... with another nail.
- In How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back, we see an old man waiting in line at the Central Bureaucracy for his birth certificate. Cut to Lethal Inspection, aired 10 years later, the old man finally gets to Central Bureaucracy, only to have a heart attack right there.
- Megas XLR loves this trope. It occurs almost Once an Episode. In the pilot, for example, Coop misfires a missile, which strikes a PoPTV satellite. When the bad guys combine their Mechs into a ridiculously huge final robot and is about to crush the cast said satellite crushes into it.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In what is possibly a parody on the Trope Namer, "The Two Faces of Squidward" has a fish gain the ability to fly out of seeing handsome Squidward, and then proceed to lose his untied shoe. Later in the episode, the shoe falls through the roof of the Krusty Krab, causing SpongeBob to push Squidward into a pole to save him from being hit on the head with it.
- The Great Snail Race has one. SpongeBob, who's training Gary, calls him a lady to "humiliate and demean him". Cut to Sandy, who says "I don't know why, but I think I'll kick SpongeBob's butt tomorrow.". The next day, at the end of the episode, Sandy comes out of nowhere, kicks SpongeBob off screen and yells "That's for yesterday SquarePants!".
- In the beginning of The Smoking Peanut, Mr. Krabs is seen abusing the concept of Free Day, taking everything he can. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that the oyster got upset because her pearl was stolen. Guess who stole it?
- In the Garfield and Friends episode "Attack of the Mutant Guppies", Garfield & Nermal contend with mutant guppies, who they defeat by tricking them into stomping each other down a sewer hole. Said guppies then appear in a subsequent US Acres Quickie out of a well; after scaring that show's cast off, one guppy turns to his fellows and says "Come on, lets see if we can get a spot on the Muppet Babies" (which aired opposite the show on CBS at the time).
- Ruby Gloom loves these. An early episode starts off with a game of hide and seek that is quickly forgotten as it becomes a murder-mystery. When the victim is finally found at the episode's end, it gets tagged by the seeker.
- The first episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot has a scene where Jenny is playing hacky sack and accidentally kicks her sack into space. Later, she gets an alert about an asteroid about to crash into Earth. Normally it's the sort of asteroid that just burns up in the atmosphere, but this one can make it through because its mass has been slightly increased...by a hacky sack.
- Also in one episode, whilst auditioning for the cheerleader squad, Jenny accidentally throws a cheerleader up so high, she doesn't come down. At the end, after the Iris Out, said cheerleader falls onto the black screen and asks "What did I miss?".
- In the The Simpsons episode "Replaceable You", while Homer is talking to Roz, a beach ball falls out of nowhere into screen and Homer hits it off screen. A scene or two later, when they are in another room and Roz is meeting Mr. Burns, it falls back on screen in the room they're in, and Burns hits it off screen.
- During "24 Minutes", Bart makes a phone call that accidentally gets crossed with that of Jack Bauer, so he leaves him a prank call. At the end of the episode, Bauer arrives to arrest Bart for the call.
- We get a triple-whammy in "Hello, Gutter, Hello Fadder." In the opening, Moleman is seen being hassled by a pushy New Yorker, and is seen as defenseless. When he reappears later in the episode, he is revealed to be the king of the Mole People, and about to use an earthquake machine. His CMOA and Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner, "No One Escapes From The Fortress Of The Mole People", is immediately dashed, as the bungee cord both Homer and Otto were on rebounds and sends them back to the surface, to which Moleman dejectedly says "Well, except for that."
- An extreme example in the episode "Ned N Edna's Special Blend" where a billboard in the opening sequence says "Sleazy Sam's, Remember That Name". At the very end of the episode, a store owned by Sleazy Sam is opened.
- Often common in various Pinky and The Brain shorts, typically as the means of Brain's plan failing out of control. In the first short, "Win Big", Pinky confounds Brain with his Ralph Kramden antics, which Brain ignores. Eventually getting onto the game show to win money to fund his plan to take over the world, he gets to the final round, upon which the question involves -- Ralph Kramden. Brain loses. (The episode is a Shout-Out not only to The Honeymooners episode where this happens, but a Cheers episode that was inspired by The Honeymooners one, all with the same approach to the brick joke.)
- A season 2 episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender involved Sokka losing his boomerang after getting ambushed. He spends the first portion of the episode depressed over it and then seemingly forgets about it until during the climax he's randomly united with it, excitedly yelling "Boomerang, you do come back!"
- In the same show, the episode "The Cave of Two Lovers" features the nomads singing the eponymous song:
Nomad: …'a mountain divides them apart!'…and, uh, I forget the next part, but then it goes…'SECRET TUNNEL!…'
The same nomad, half an episode later: Hey, I just remembered the rest of that song! 'AND DIED…'
- Made even funnier in that he remembers the part about death just as they're talking about possibly becoming lost in the cave forever.
- In the season 1 episode "The Spirit World (Winter Solstice, Part I)", Sokka is kidnapped by a spirit and taken into to the spirit world. When Aang saves him at the end of the episode, Sokka remarks that he really needs to use the bathroom. In the season 3 episode "The Avatar and the Firelord", Aang's behavior during his spirit vision of Roku prompts Katara to ask if the spirit world has bathrooms...to which Sokka responds that he knows for a fact that it does not.
- In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode Swarm of the Century, one of the many instruments Pinkie Pie gathers is a trombone. It was NOT part of the parade Pinkie drove the Parasprites out of Ponyville with, but at the very end, when the ponies return to Ponyville and discover it's now in ruins, Pinkie plays the stock Losing Horns on it.
- In Ponyville Confidential, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are under the mistaken impression that the way they will use the school newspaper to get their cutie marks is by making arts and crafts out of the paper, and Scootaloo patches up a bird's nest with it. Later, when the CMCs become writers for the school newspaper, Scootaloo, desperate for a story, decides to go to the same birds nest to get a story, but falls out of the tree and ends up covered in mud.
- Rocko the wallaby decides to spend a day at a carnival. Little does he know: it's full of rigged games. One game finds him trying to flip a frog onto a lilypad; pissed off by the frog's big mouth, he accidentally knocks it into the sky, forcing him to quit the game. Later, Rocko rides a roller coaster that goes so high that it leaves Earth's atmosphere. Guess who he finds up there, still calling him a loser?
- After the diastrous roller coaster ride ends, a frustrated and spent Rocko decides to head home after being fleeced at every turn. Suddenly, there's a loud WHOOSH!, and the frog sails back down to Earth, landing perfectly on one of the lilypads. Shocked that someone finally beat one of his rigged games, the carnival's owner reluctantly gives Rocko a prize.
- Early on in the Dilbert episode "Y2K", Wally is buying credit cards off the phone, saying that when he gets his money,the year 2000 problem will wipe out the history of the bank's computers, so they can never bill him. At the very end of the episode, Wally goes to the bank to do just that...and the cashier pranks him and gives him some exploding dye dollar packs.
- In an episode of Justice League, Deadman possesses Superman while he's telling Wonder Woman about a restaurant ("They have milkshakes so thick...*possess* I need your help!" "That IS thick.") At the end of the episode, when Deadman finally leaves, Supes picks up right where he left off ("...You need a spoon to eat them. (Beat) Why are we in Africa?")
- In the teaser to one episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Steve makes fun of Dr. Weird by posing as him and shouting "Fill me with BBQ sauce because I'm dumb as hell!" A few episodes later...
Dr. Weird: GENTLEMEN! THERE'S A CHANCE THIS WILL WORK!
Steve: Actually, you said there's no chance this will work.
Dr. Weird: [looks back to a contraption pumping him full of BBQ sauce] FOOL! THAT WILL NEVER WORK!
- In "Lois Kills Stewie", when the family is tied up in rope, they decide to pass the time by starting a celebrity rumor. Peter suggests that Rob Schneider takes illigal immigrants from Home Depot and pays them to choke him in the shower. Later, it's shown to be apparently true.
Immigrant: Senor Rob Schnieder, you must come and see this!
Rob Schneider: I don't pay you to watch TV, now get in the damn shower!
- On July 8, 1958, New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel gave testimony before the Senate Anti-Trust and Monopoly Subcommittee. During the mid-20th century, Stengel and Yogi Berra were both thought to be Baseball's premiere Cloudcuckoolanders. However, with his Stream of Consciousness Jabberwocky-like testimony, Stengel revealed that he was really the Bunny Ears Lawyer of baseball. And the brick joke? That would be Mickey Mantle's One-Liner at the very end.