What is the definition of a "one-note joke"?
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A "one-note joke" is a character with so few dimensions it's difficult to see him (or her -- or, occasionally, them) from most angles. The one-note joke may have served a valid purpose when the author introduces the character(s), but if the ONJ shows up twice, you get a feeling of déjà vu, and by the third time you find yourself asking "is that all they do?"
Entire movies, novels, and even series of works have been written around a one-note joke. Call it "high concept" if you wish, but there is nothing to it but a single premise and a lot of giving the audience exactly what they expect over and over again. One note, played again and again.
One-note is an expression that describes something repetitive, in the same manner as the same note played over and over again.
A one-note joke is a joke that is repeated with little or no variation. It's also an expression for a character or story built around a single cliché or stereotype, often used to describe it's two-dimensional appearance.
A repeated joke can be used to great effect, and the repetition then becomes a joke in itself. However, it can also easily fail and become annoying instead.
I don't find any authoritative reference (i.e. dictionary) on that, but the way I understand it is “a short joke”, also known as “a one-line joke”, aka “a one-liner”. Uses reported by a Google search seem to agree.
It may also be used figuratively. For example, when used to refer to a film or video game, it means that the production has few funny elements, but otherwise isn't very funny.