...the initially enjoyable Happy Days became blighted by saccharine lessons in family values, as Henry Winkler's originally subversive Fonzie was mercilessly appropriated by the middle-class American family, castrated by Marion Ross's Mrs Cunningham and forced to sit on it...
but never have I noticed in a British comedy a punchline to an entire episode.
1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.
a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
b. (esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
3. Socratic irony.
4. dramatic irony.
5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
6. the incongruity of this.
7. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
8. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.
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