I can't find a concrete definition for the vocabulary in this sentence. "フリの割にボケが面白くない" フリ seems to have four different meanings in every japanese dictionary I can find, and 割に seem to have different definitions that I can't wrap my head around the logic of, and ボケ is just a complete mystery to me. The context of this sentence is that someone attempted to make a joke, and the speaker is annoyed at it. I think it translates into something like "for a joke setup, Bokes aren't interesting". But I'm not sure and would like a bit of an explanation/clarification to the definition of these words please. And maybe also an explanation as to what the の and に particles are conveying in these instances.

EDIT: Here's the image for extra context:

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  • フリ is definitely lead in (into joke) and ボケ should be funny man of a comedy duo
    – Star Peep
    Commented Mar 17 at 2:55
  • 2
    Judging from the image, looks like フリ and ボケ were said by the same person. So "Your punchline isn't funny for such a (long?) lead-up".
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 17 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


First, basically ボケ is a joke (itself) or a person who tells jokes (or plays the role of telling jokes). I kinda feel gag may be better, but may be off. It is mostly about understanding a comedy format in Japanese language.

Next, わりに implies a sort of disproportionality. It can be negative or positive. (cf. わりに - #2)


  • このレストランは高いわりにおいしくない - expensiveness and quality of food are disproportional (negative example)

  • この本は短いわりに中身が濃い - the book is short but rich in contents (positive)

Lastly, the most relevant sense of ふり is:

8 本題に入るためのきっかけ。前置きとしてする話。「前—」

So understanding it as setup is fine. As per the definition, it is a part of the joke that precedes the punchline. Also, it can be used as a signal or cue for doing something (including telling a joke).

Understanding the sentence requires more context, but one possibility is that the preceding part is lengthy and the final joke is not proportionally funny.

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