Involution Not Equivalent to Self-Referentiality

I have a fondness for jokes that depend on going meta that is inquiring about the frame of reference to make their point. For instance, Brian Basset in this 1996 three panel cartoon (Adam) brings a smile by having one of the characters adeptly query parental logic.

Frame 1
Father: Clayton, you know the rule. No television until you've finished your homework.
Clayton: But aren't rules made to be broken?

Frame 2
No. Records are made to be broken.

Frame 3
Okay, what's the record for the most rules ever broken?
What is endearing in the illustration is that from frame to frame the focus zeros in on the wide-eyed face of the child — gone is the television; it's all cerebral by the end.

And so for day 1111