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running joke

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noun

a joke or humorous allusion used recurrently in a play, film, television skit, etc., for a cumulative comic effect.
a subject, reference, remark, etc., that is a continual source of humor.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Also called running gag .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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