running joke


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

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Example Sentences

The running joke was that it was easy to find the SBU’s anticorruption unit—just look for the parking lot full of BMWs.

This pseudo-stat, which originated in a 2007 systematic review by Dutch researchers, is a kind of running joke among researchers in the field—an opening line that admits that we basically don’t know anything about who gets injured and why.

It became a kind of running joke in our family, but one obviously based on some heartache, where my mom knew not to make Korean food for us because it was just going to get thrown out.

From Time

Congress’s failure to pass such a bill has become a running joke in Washington.

From Fortune

A running joke inside the tribe is that the group is like that club with a hundred people waiting outside to get in.

“The One With the Giant Poking Device” Ugly Naked Guy was a brilliant running joke on Friends.

A running joke inside the intelligence community is that NSA stands for “no such agency.”

Accidentally sleeping with a relative has been a running joke in Icelandic culture for a while.

Comcast and Verizon...well, it just got to the point of being a running joke.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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