Author Topic: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)  (Read 3917 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Adelaide

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 869
"Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« on: June 28, 2013, 11:40:43 PM »
If someone tells you a joke, like one of those "What do you get/what happens when..." jokes, is it considered rude if you actually answer the question? I was sitting with a group of friends and we were swapping jokes. When someone already knows a joke I tell and responds, I think it's funny and we usually have a mutual laugh-at the end of the day the joke's being told in its entirety, even if it's split. But another girl said that I "ruined" hers when I actually answered with the punch line.  I've seen this go both ways so I was wondering what e-hell thought about it.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 11:50:02 PM »
To be honest, I think it can go both ways.

Some people have better comic timing and tone, and a more concise way of jumping in with a punchline and some people can just ruin a joke with a flat vocal tone. While not intentional, I can see how it sort of is rude if the person jumping in is the latter type, because its pretty much taking away the joke teller's opportunity make people laugh.

Also some jokes have variations of punchlines, ultimately they are the same joke but if the person telling the joke prefers their variation, it can be a bit of a buzzkill to have someone jump in with an alternate punchline. In this case its not rude at all, but still not fun for the joke teller.

Allyson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1725
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 12:18:50 AM »
I think it really depends. It's rude to jump in and finish someone's joke in a group setting when it's done as a kind of 'haha, I know the answer, your joke is old' way, which I've seen done a lot. It's a bit of a buzzkill. And often other listeners won't have heard the joke, so they might still want to hear the joke teller's full version. I can also a situation with a bunch of friends sitting around telling 'quick' jokes where someone else jumping in with the punchline would be fine--so long as it's still a proper joke for those who haven't heard it before.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6190
    • Blog
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 01:51:19 AM »
I would personally err on the side of politeness and let the "asker" reveal the punchline.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6319
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2013, 10:20:12 AM »
I have a story about this sort of thing. 

Our milkman was a great fan of Soupy Sales.  He also delivered milk to the home of Mitch Miller and was in the habit of throwing out a Soupy 'Show me an X and I'll show you a Y' joke when he entered the kitchen with the daily order.

One day, there was a visitor sitting at the table when our milkman started his joke.  The visitor turned around and finished it.  The visitor was Soupy Sales!

Few people will mind if Soupy Sales steps on a joke but, in other situations, discretion is the better part of wit, as it were.  Unless you and the joke-teller have a very close relationship and enjoy this sort of thing, I'd let the joker finish. 


TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28687
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2013, 10:35:00 AM »
I would personally err on the side of politeness and let the "asker" reveal the punchline.

This is where I'd be. Because in every example I can think of, either real-life or hypothetical, answering the "how many ducks does it take to change a lightbulb?" sort of joke/question falls pretty flat.

And for someone who's not a good joke teller, they *will* feel as though you ruined their joke. Stole their thunder.

I've sometimes done it w/ one of my kids (partly to show them that they don't either know more than me, young whippersnapper!), but I always take great care to show that it's still a joke, and that they're funny for bringing it up. And try to turn it into a "we're both laughing at that joke over there" thing.
   When they were younger, I always said, "I don't know, how many ducks DOES it take to change a lightbulb?" Even if I knew the answer.

RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6133
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2013, 11:01:06 AM »
Well, don't leave me hanging-

how many ducks DOES it take to change a lightbulb??
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28687
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 11:12:24 AM »
Well, don't leave me hanging-

how many ducks DOES it take to change a lightbulb??


Quack!


(I don't know--I made it up)

RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6133
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 11:25:24 AM »
Now I have a mental image of Toots' making the sounds "quack" and "toot" as she goes about her day...

come on, I will pay for the answer...you can put it on my...BILL!

:)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28687
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 11:27:21 AM »
come on, I will pay for the answer...you can put it on my...BILL!

:)

LOL!  :P

Rosewater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1468
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 11:51:09 AM »
I would just leave it alone.  Why jump in and do something that could possibly make some people feel awkward?  I just don't see the upside of doing that.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

citadelle

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 486
  • fully functional & aesthetically pleasing
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 11:52:17 AM »
I would not finish the joke. If I was the teller and someone finished mine, I would feel slightly embarrassed, and then mad at myself for feeling that way.

To avoid those feelings, why not let the teller finish?

RingTailedLemur

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2806
  • Rudeness is a small person's imitation of power.
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 12:34:39 PM »
I think it's rude.

Daydream

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 12:40:47 PM »
This is tricky for me because I think it matters whether the "answerer" knows the answer because they've heard the joke before, or they're hearing it for the first time and want to participate by trying to figure it out. Of course, the joke-teller might have no way of knowing which of those is true.

To me, riddles are supposed to be interactive.  In most situations, I  think the joke-teller should expect their "audience" to try and figure it out because that's part of the fun.  I think it would be odd to get upset over it.

I would definitely take certain factors into consideration like the person's age.  If a small child asks me, "What's black and white and read all over?" I would not let on that I know the answer because I understand that it's probably new to them and I don't want to ruin their punchline.  If they ask afterwards if I'd heard it before, I might say that I have, but enjoyed hearing it again and they told it very well.

But if there was a room full of adults who were all born in the US, and are all native English speakers, and someone told that joke, I'd think they were expecting everyone to just groan and laugh, or answer in unison,  because they'd know most adults know the answer since it's such a popular childhood joke here.

violetminnow

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: "Ruining" a joke (When you know the punch line)
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 12:41:17 PM »
I agree with RingTailedLemur, it's rude. No one want's to tell only the set up for a joke, they want to tell the punchline.