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Old talkEdit

Why is this not at In joke?Mark Richards 22:00, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I always thought "in joke" was just an abbreviation of "inside joke". --Furrykef 10:16, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

We've got a redirect on In-joke to In joke, yet the article starts with in-joke. Decision, please! My vote's for "in-joke". -- Rissa 03:12, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I still vote for "inside joke". --Furrykef 07:39, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You're probably right. Where's that page on naming conventions? -- Rissa 19:04, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions --Furrykef 03:58, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

typo fairy seems not to be an injoke, see Talk:Typo_fairy - Melaen 22:33, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone know the origins of the Story ideas coming from a mail-order business in Schenectady, New York: Science fiction authors joke? --Nynexman4464 22:23, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I also vote at inside joke, but it's pretty late... Is it too late to start a survey? --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 22:12, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

self referential humorEdit

people who read the same encyclopedia


--ZekeMacNeil 02:44, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I wonder if this is a meta-in-joke... --Sum0 20:16, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Shame it's been removed. Pianostar9 (talk) 13:52, 31 July 2019 (UTC)


It occurs to me that a lot of the "In-Jokes" in the category are really just "references" or "running gags". I support removal of "No-one expects the spanish inquisition!", "These aren't the droids you're looking for" and "The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything". --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 22:14, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

And no attept at all is made to show users WHY certain mentions are in-jokes. Okay, the typo fairy is listed... WHY is that an in-joke? It's sort of a complicated thing to express, but at the moment, the "Examples" is really just a pretty non-sensical list. For example (using one that needs to be cut), "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"- The tag line for characters in a recurring Monty Python skit. Something like that, anyway. Someone thought it was an inside joke because they figured only Monty Python fans would know it, and you can get a sense for that with this description. And yes, things like "These aren't the droids..." isn't an inside joke. Like "One ring to rule them all"- it's currently so pop culture, that the general population does know about it, thus running counter to the definition. Gspawn 19:09, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Really, if it doesn't have to be explained, then it's not really an in-joke, then, is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mark Foskey (talkcontribs) 03:39, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Lawyer jokes seem to be almost the opposite of in-jokes; they are jokes told widely outside the legal profession and are generally understood without any special insider knowledge. I've removed this category from the example list.Glendoremus 15:41, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

"private joke"?Edit

is it like a "private joke"?

According to the page, it seems that it could be... 07:49, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Proposing major revision of this pageEdit

Dictionary vs. EncyclopediaEdit

It seems to me that the most useful part of this page is the definition of "in-joke". To that extent, I think it belongs entirely in a dictionary, rather than an encyclopedia. The material that fills it out doesn't deepen the reader's understanding of what an in-joke is or how it functions. It is, rather, two sets of examples, neither of which could ever be complete, and neither of which is rich with archetypal examples. I propose that the entire page be turned into a link to the Wiktionary page for inside joke.

Lists of groups of peopleEdit

The list of examples of the kinds of groups who might share an in-joke is unnecessary. We could never list all the possible groups of people who might share an inside joke. It is not a well-defined nor finite set of elements (unlike, say, the disputed but still apprehendable list of planets or a list of notable people from Limerick, Ireland. As the Wiktionary definition says, the people who share an in-joke are "certain people who are in the know". Any group of people could be "in the know" about a given in-joke. I propose removing the list entirely.

Places where in-jokes are foundEdit

Yes, they are often found in movies. They are often found in offices, schools, bars, playgrounds, sports teams, family gatherings, Ice Capades reunions and just about any other gathering of people. To what end do we need to focus on movies or TV?


To be useful, shouldn't a list of examples of inside jokes highlight the most significant or archetypal inside jokes? Right now, this is a hodge-podge lists of inside jokes from particular professions, TV shows, a rock band, and various other places. Perhaps it needs to be sub-categorized and expanded ad infinitum, until it includes every conceivable in-joke known to mankind.

I would love to hear some thoughts about other approaches to make this page more encyclopedic and focused. Right now it seems best to turn it into a dictionary entry.--Glp 00:13, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Some of the greatest in-jokes are in games. Old-style text adventures are famous for them- "xyzzy" and "a maze of twisty little passages" are two of the most famous ones. (see Colossal Cave or Zork) If there's a list of significant in-jokes, those should definately be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I could think of some Inside Jokes that me and my friends came up with. Like when me and my friend Dalton went to see the movie The Unborn (2009 film), Which by the way was horrible, we came apon a really funny line. The line was "Jumbi wants to be born now.", which is said by the little boy. It became a inside joke between us because of two things; One, the movie was really horrible and we totally regret wasting our money on it, and I like to tease him and my self for wasting our money, and two, the way in which the quote was said. The boy said it with a really monotone voice, which is totally imitatible. That is a pretty good example of a inside joke. (talk) 23:54, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


This should definitely be a dictionary entry. Unless there is a body of knowledge about in-jokes that the reader can be introduced to, then the only information is what the term means and whether to have a hyphen, basically dictionary things. Mark Foskey (talk) 03:28, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. In its current state, when deleted unreferenced albeit naive/trivial classification and a bunch of examples, the article is completely non-encyclopedic. `'Míkka>t 03:42, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed as well. It would make me very happy to see these leave the encyclopedia, for all the reasons you suggest. --Glp (talk) 13:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

the game is a pretend blood and so is 50 cent is a pretend gangster he thinks that his father made him famouse but on get rich or die tryin he had no father

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:06, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

re dictionarial nature of articleEdit

an in-joke is, of course, a concept with which the layperson is concerned - as a result, of course, our wikipedian article's nature seems definitional rather than encyclopedic

& this is happening all over the place, specifically with what we can call a "layconcept" - let simply "concept" serve as the other side of the temporary dichotomy, where the concept is observed then analyzed then named & the layconcept is named then analyzed then observed

right now our in-joke is a layconcept in development - it has been named (through folk etymology obviously) but it has not been analyzed and finally observed

apparently i'm suggesting that our article here should be as short as possible, as should any-and-all layconcept articles - a brief definition of the phenomenon should be given & it should include as many inter-wiki links to relevant/related concepts (note that a concept's article is of the format we currently use across the board/wiki) - the remainder of the layconcept article should include at-least hypothesized concepts from which the layconcept has sprung, & at-best ones with citations.

so for some layconcept like in-joke we should include links to concepts like in-group or rapport or alienation etcetera.

i've stumbled upon suggestion of a rather major policy change, haven't i. where does one submit such a thing so that it could be considered & possibly employed across the wiki?

Harlequence (talk) 10:11, 16 March 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't this page link to internet memes? (talk) 23:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

You made me lose the game!Edit

Why the heck is there a reference to the game? -- (talk) 21:08, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Computer Industry sectionEdit

I've edited this section a bit, but I don't see how easter eggs are relevant to in-jokes unless by conicidence they are both.

Simply hiding a signature is not of itself an in-joke. The vast majority of software is the property of whoever paid for its development, and it is highly unusual - as in most industries outside of entertainment - to credit employees for a company's product.

I think this section basically says "Some software contains hidden functions". Which is entirely irrelevant to them being in-jokes. (talk) 12:28, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

Return to "In-joke" page.