- (idiomatic) A situation that is badly planned, or illogical.
- Mayor Smith's new traffic rules were a bad joke.
1938, Robert William Seton-Watson, Britain and the Dictators: A Survey of Post-war British Policy, page 172:
- Disarmament must be total, or it was merely "a bad joke".
1940, Kenelm Foss, Here Lies Richard Brinsley Sheridan, page 267:
- But it is amusing to note that whenever the tables were turned on him he would mutter "Bad joke. Very bad joke".
1986, Claire Martin, The Legacy, page 25:
- "Maybe it was just a bad joke. " "A bad joke!" shrieked David, and in that cry I could detect all the ancient terrors of Israel.
- 2002, Mikael af Malmborg, Bo Stråth, The Meaning of Europe, page 272
- It is this bad joke which, almost one century later, was still to be found in the government's campaign of 'We are Europe' from 1994.
2002, Cesar Guerra, Hijacked to Havana!, page 28:
- This might be a bad joke for you and to the people able to fly back to Miami but this is not a joke at all to me.
- 2007, Keith Olbarmann, Countdown with Keith Olbermann