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"Why bother watching television when you can watch a snail crawl for hours on end?"—Sinclair, Futurama, "Obsoletely Fabulous"
This is when a character is easily amused by a game that would normally be considered boring and lame. Usually used to show that these characters are idiots or immature, or just because it's funny.
- Shinryaku! Ika Musume has Ika with ants. The hard work, the bullying from other ants, feeling sadness for the ant and yelling at kids that were destroying the ant's house so that the ant can return to its colony. Before she knew it, it was already sunset.
- Also with umbrellas and anything ordinary that amazes her.
- From Igor:
Brain: Our work here is done.
Scamper: Our work? You spent the entire time playing with a piece of ribbon.
- The TV show from RoboCop. The person watching the movie might find the show's humor asinine; the characters in the movie watching the show find it hilarious.
Dave: I'd buy that for a dollar!
- The movie Ass in Idiocracy won multiple awards. It is just a close-up of some guy's ass.
- Trolls in the Discworld books gamble by tossing something up and then betting on whether or not it will come down. To be fair, there's definitely some parts on the Disc where it's a legitimate toss-up.
Troll gambling is even easier than Australian gambling.
- On Stella, when the boys couldn't go to the amusement park, they decided to improvise fun rides with what they had at their home; naturally, their alternatives don't quite match up to the real thing, but they make do.
- The State had a sketch where two characters play strip poker. Since they're both male and straight, they don't find it all that interesting.
- The crew of Red Dwarf have been stranded in space long enough to have some very odd ideas of how to kill time.
- Rimmer was apparently always that boring, enjoying such hobbies as Hammond Organ music, morris dancing, studying 20th century telegraph poles, and recounting the events of his Risk game move-by-move.
- The others have engaged in such pastimes as watching laundry spin (it was Kochanski's, so this is the closest any of them has to a sex life).
- Kochanski herself had a rather sheltered upbringing, with perfect computer generated friends, so her idea of a fun game is humming the various arias of The Magic Flute, and guessing what song it is.
- Kryten is a cleaning mechanoid, so he sees laundry and vacuuming as enjoyable activities.
- But the king of this has to be Lister, who spent days crossing the huge ship to get some tomatoes, because he's allergic to them and eating them makes him sneeze, which allowed him to use his snot to iron laundry in order to gross out Rimmer. All that work just to get a ten second rise out of someone.
- JD and Turk of Scrubs have some odd hobbies, like playing "Finger or Toe" in which one of them closes their eyes, the other sticks a finger or toe under their nose, and the first must guess which it is. They also considered switching chairs at their apartment at set intervals to be a major event.
- Sesame Street has Bert, who loves all sorts of boring pastimes such as watching pigeons and collecting paperclips. He even likes to read books like Boring Stories.
- Occasionally used to show how boring a life Jon's family has in the countryside, since the most mundane things excite them (watching the washing machine instead of the TV ("Here comes the red sock again!"), counting every brick in the wall of the house, taking a trip to see the new water tower, going to the airport to watch the planes take off etc.). This extends to stupid and dangerous things; Jon and his brother Hog-Boy mention that one of their favorite games as a kid was called "Touch It, You Wimp!" and involved touching an electric fence.
- Garfield and Jon are not immune to this, since their lives are pretty boring too. In one strip, he is watching television when the announcer says, "And now we present, Watching Paint Dry!" Garfield responds with, "Rats! They cancelled Watching Grass Grow!"
- In a later strip:
TV announcer: Welcome to Watching Paint Dry Theater!
Jon: It's a rerun.
Garfield: Don't tell me how it turns out!
- In another strip:
Jon: Watching the paint dry, Garfield?
Garfield: I hope he doesn't think that my life is so totally devoid of excitement that I am reduced to that. I'm waiting for it to peel.
- Jon makes toast... for fun. *pop* "Yee Haaww!"
Jon: I've got an idea, Garfield! I stuff my face full of bananas... then you tickle me!
Garfield: We are the bored.
Video Games Edit
- Quasar in Mass Effect is an incredibly dull adding game with two buttons, yet it has entire casinos dedicated to it. It owes a lot to its parent Pazaak from Knights of the Old Republic. Which is exactly as much fun as Quasar.
- A troll in Ultima Underworld II plays "White Rock Black Rock," in which the object is to correctly pick the white rock. From a pair of rocks in plain sight of both players.
Web Comics Edit
- Hannelore in Questionable Content thinks that she'd probably find watching paint dry fascinating. Hanners is a certified mega-genius, so big surprise about that whole rant she runs through there.
- Scarlet in Sequential Art enthusiastically played noughts-and-crosses with herself and watched for hours how a washing machine works, before "setting sockies free", not that she wasn't established as a Cloudcuckoolander already.
- Xkcd: A character #324 finds that tapping different parts of a desk results in different pitches. "So what did you do all afternooon?" "Hung out."
Western Animation Edit
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- At the start of "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", Spongebob and Patrick play a game that consists of doing, well, whatever non-sequitur goes through their minds.
- In "Mid-Life Crustacean", Mr. Krabs hangs out with Spongebob and Patrick because he feels old. They end up going to the laundromat, reading at the library, sitting in a kiddie pool, et cetera. Of course this is subverted at the end when they suggest a panty raid. This is subverted when it turns out to be Mr. Krabs' mother's undergarments...
- In "The Idiot Box", Spongebob and Patrick buy a large TV so they can play inside the box. They use their imagination to enjoy it so much, Squidward wants in.
- Subverted on another occasion; Spongebob gets a "useless" piece of paper from Squidward and then uses it to play all sort of games, plus swimming/flying around.
- One reason Spongebob wants to come back to work at the Krusty Krab -- he misses the sound of two pickle slices rubbed together. By show's end he's rubbing two pickle slices together and looks ecstatic.
- The Simpsons:
- Homer Simpson does this a lot, like playing with the adjustable hospital bed in "Homer's Triple Bypass": "Bed goes up, bed goes down! Bed goes up, bed goes down!"
- Milhouse with the cup and ball. A joke Family Guy then did years later.
- In the South Park episode "Here Comes The Neighborhood", while the rich kids play polo, the "normal" kids amuse themselves by running around and kicking each other in the balls.
- Dexter's Laboratory: In "Old Mcdexter", Dexter visits an Amish community. When he tries to explain "fun," the closest thing they can think of is churning butter.
- Fanboy and Chum Chum: In the "Night Morning" episode, Fanboy invites his whole class to watch Chum Chum do his morning routine... AT NIGHT!
- Invader Zim: GIR enjoys a lot of activities others wouldn't. Like hiding inside a cooked turkey for hours.
- Phineas and Ferb's activities are usually the exact inverse of this trope, but in "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted" they get hit with Doofenshmirtz's "Dull-and-Boring-inator" and spend most of the rest of the day playing with lint rollers and watching grass grow.
- Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic considers things such as shelving library books or "a crazy weekend of studying" to be the height of entertainment.