10 TV Shows That Mock You For Paying Attention

When paying attention isn't worth it.

Bones Homer Simpson

Though many TV shows are designed to be nothing more than cotton candy for the brain after a long day at the office, there are certainly those series which reward viewers for keeping their eyes glued to, well, everything.

Then there are shows which, rather than bless eagle-eyed audiences with subtle in-jokes, secret storytelling flourishes, and low-key character development, instead decide to make fun of the very people paying the most attention.

These 10 TV series all took tremendous glee in hiding a joke in plain sight which only the most observant of viewers would ever notice, and then had the hilarious audacity to make these jokes at the expense of the very people discovering them.

Now, these gags typically aren't hugely mean-spirited or nasty, but they are nevertheless playing a dangerous game by making light fun of the very people who care the most about them.

Telling your audience they care too much about the details is a risky strategy, though these shows thankfully didn't seem to suffer much as a result...

10. "Why Did You Bother Pausing This, You Freak?" - Black Mirror

Bones Homer Simpson

Trust a show as wilfully contemptuous of its audience as Black Mirror to crack a joke at those scanning the screen for Easter eggs.

The show's fourth season contains two devilishly cheeky call-outs to inquisitive viewers. Early on in the episode "Crocodile," protagonist Mia (Andrea Riseborough) is handed a piece of paper which appears on screen for just a few short seconds.

And those who bothered to pause the shot would find a secret message on the paper making fun of their obsessiveness.

One of the paragraphs reads, "'Of course the real question is why anyone would pause what they're watching just to read a sentence in a printed out newspaper article', says a voice in your head – before advising you to go and share this finding on Reddit."

Adorably, the secret was actually uncovered on Reddit itself.

Things get even sneakier later in the season, however, with the episode "Metalhead."

A car dashboard screen contains numerous references to previous Black Mirror episodes, and also includes the ridiculous provocation, "WHY did you bother PAUSING this, you freak?".

Never change, Charlie Brooker.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.