I remember learning such a word in my studies of drama and poetry.
I am referring to the following example, I want to deconstruct the IBM commercial directed by Jim Henson. http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2014/03/tech-time-warp-henson-ibm/
The phrase "do the paperwork" is used again and again.
I leapt to "mantra" but that suggests a repetition for the purpose of summarising a belief and training one to believe it.
I also thought of "slogan" but that usually has an overt sometimes political message.
This is a word that would describe the fact that this phrase has been repeated frequently without suggesting much at all about the purpose of the phrase or its repetition.
Perhaps a technical or domain word from textual analysis or literary criticism. Something highly specific I believe is what may describe the word I am trying to find. Thank you.