History Main / ComedicSociopathy

6th Apr '16 5:41:38 PM N8han11
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Averted with [[{{Jerkass}} Master Shake]]; he tries to invoke this trope but most of the time he gets [[WhatTheHellHero called out by the other cast members]] and/or is frequently [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoisted by his own petard]]. Master Shake only gets away with it due to evil karma [[KarmaHoudini constantly smiling upon him]]. [[ButtMonkey Except when it doesn't]].

to:

** Averted with [[{{Jerkass}} Master Shake]]; Shake]] in ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''; he tries to invoke this trope but most of the time he gets [[WhatTheHellHero called out by the other cast members]] and/or is frequently [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoisted by his own petard]]. Master Shake only gets away with it due to evil karma [[KarmaHoudini constantly smiling upon him]]. [[ButtMonkey Except when it doesn't]].
13th Mar '16 2:55:41 PM Dezdet
Is there an issue? Send a Message


What's amazing about the way this plays out is not that there will be characters who are mean, snarky, sarcastic, and uncaring, but the behavior of the characters who are ''not''. In order for the appropriate level of hilarious misery to occur, other characters--even kind, loving characters--must temporarily lose their ability to sense, understand, or care about the emotional discomfort, pain, and suffering that the current Butt Monkey is experiencing. They may regain it when the plot calls for it, but for that critical moment of "gag," the character is essentially a sociopath. In the worst cases, when there's a WriterOnBoard, Comedic Sociopathy can cause characterization to break down completely, allowing close friends to deliver cutting remarks like casually thrown knives.

to:

What's amazing about the way this plays out is not that there will be characters who are mean, snarky, sarcastic, and uncaring, but the behavior of the characters who are ''not''. In order for the appropriate level of hilarious misery to occur, other characters--even characters—even kind, loving characters--must characters—must temporarily lose their ability to sense, understand, or care about the emotional discomfort, pain, and suffering that the current Butt Monkey is experiencing. They may regain it when the plot calls for it, but for that critical moment of "gag," the character is essentially a sociopath. In the worst cases, when there's a WriterOnBoard, Comedic Sociopathy can cause characterization to break down completely, allowing close friends to deliver cutting remarks like casually thrown knives.



* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' has Belldandy herself, who is a goddess, AllLovingHero, FriendToAllLivingThings (and nonliving things!), and TheEmpath. Belldandy is not omniscient, but she is powerfully sensitive to emotions, and always knows just the right thing to say or do to give everyone else the epiphanies they need to triumph. She is beautiful and compassionate and perfect in every way...except to Keiichi, the man she loves. With Keiichi, she literally cannot distinguish love from the flu. She says exactly the wrong things to cause Keiichi to panic about others finding out her secret, and never notices his fear or flusteration. She embarrasses him, throws unintentional jealous fits that cause earthquakes and paranormal activity, and generally causes as much stress and mayhem for Keiichi as the villains, or at least the other good guys. Belldandy is a perpetrator, however unintentionally, of Comedic Sociopathy of the highest order, and poor Keiichi is her unwitting victim.

to:

* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' has Belldandy herself, who is a goddess, AllLovingHero, FriendToAllLivingThings (and nonliving things!), and TheEmpath. Belldandy is not omniscient, but she is powerfully sensitive to emotions, and always knows just the right thing to say or do to give everyone else the epiphanies they need to triumph. She is beautiful and compassionate and perfect in every way... except to Keiichi, the man she loves. With Keiichi, she literally cannot distinguish love from the flu. She says exactly the wrong things to cause Keiichi to panic about others finding out her secret, and never notices his fear or flusteration. She embarrasses him, throws unintentional jealous fits that cause earthquakes and paranormal activity, and generally causes as much stress and mayhem for Keiichi as the villains, or at least the other good guys. Belldandy is a perpetrator, however unintentionally, of Comedic Sociopathy of the highest order, and poor Keiichi is her unwitting victim.



** While the series itself treats these actions as comedic, characters ''within'' the series (especially Kyon) see it as incredibly selfish and annoying...so part of the comedy comes from their reactions to Haruhi's antics.

to:

** While the series itself treats these actions as comedic, characters ''within'' the series (especially Kyon) see it as incredibly selfish and annoying... so part of the comedy comes from their reactions to Haruhi's antics.



* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'': Although, [[WildMassGuessing it could be argued]] that this whole angle was a BatmanGambit on Haruko's part to force Naota into the proper state of emotional turbulence needed to [[spoiler:free Atomsk]]...wait, that doesn't make it better at all, does it?

to:

* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'': Although, [[WildMassGuessing it could be argued]] that this whole angle was a BatmanGambit on Haruko's part to force Naota into the proper state of emotional turbulence needed to [[spoiler:free Atomsk]]... wait, that doesn't make it better at all, does it?



* Somehow, ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' manages to pull of the feat of playing Comedic Sociopathy for laughs...and, yes, this statement takes into consideration the fact that Comedic Sociopathy is already playing sociopathy for laughs.

to:

* Somehow, ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' manages to pull of the feat of playing Comedic Sociopathy for laughs... and, yes, this statement takes into consideration the fact that Comedic Sociopathy is already playing sociopathy for laughs.



* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'': Lina Inverse falls somewhere between this and a [[NotInThisForYourRevolution more mercenary attitude]]. While she has a moral code that she abides by, her selfishness frequently causes her to be completely apathetic to issues of those around her (including charging a village to take care of a dragon...that she accidentally released). Her [[HairTriggerTemper multiple berserk buttons]] don't help either, though they are [[PlayedForLaughs done comedically]]

to:

* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'': Lina Inverse falls somewhere between this and a [[NotInThisForYourRevolution more mercenary attitude]]. While she has a moral code that she abides by, her selfishness frequently causes her to be completely apathetic to issues of those around her (including charging a village to take care of a dragon... that she accidentally released). Her [[HairTriggerTemper multiple berserk buttons]] don't help either, though they are [[PlayedForLaughs done comedically]]



* ''Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular'': Kuroki Tomoko is the embodiment of this more often than not. She's a creepy, anti-social loner with very few friends. The reader might feel sorry for her if she didn't ensure this would remain the case by constantly insulting people in her mind, and occasionally verbally as well. Her bad thoughts usually land her in trouble in one way or another, so most of her pain and suffering is actually her fault...and the reason she's not popular.

to:

* ''Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular'': Kuroki Tomoko is the embodiment of this more often than not. She's a creepy, anti-social loner with very few friends. The reader might feel sorry for her if she didn't ensure this would remain the case by constantly insulting people in her mind, and occasionally verbally as well. Her bad thoughts usually land her in trouble in one way or another, so most of her pain and suffering is actually her fault... and the reason she's not popular.



-->'''Calhoun:''' Oh-hoo...this place just got interesting.
* Although not entirely sociopathic, one of the reasons why ''Disney/ChickenLittle'' flopped was because of this trope. In the first few minutes, the main character believes the sky is falling, his father becomes ashamed of him, and the whole town mocks him for it ''for a whole year''. Afterwards, when C.L. wants to be a baseball star like his dad, everyone except for Abby, Runt, and Fish discourage him. Until he gives his all and wins it for his home team...but then aliens invade, and...

to:

-->'''Calhoun:''' Oh-hoo... this place just got interesting.
* Although not entirely sociopathic, one of the reasons why ''Disney/ChickenLittle'' flopped was because of this trope. In the first few minutes, the main character believes the sky is falling, his father becomes ashamed of him, and the whole town mocks him for it ''for a whole year''. Afterwards, when C.L. wants to be a baseball star like his dad, everyone except for Abby, Runt, and Fish discourage him. Until he gives his all and wins it for his home team... but then aliens invade, and...



* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', a show around the farcical exploits of a wealthy family grappling with the loss of their fortune after the patriarch is arrested for many dubious dealings, leaving the OnlySaneMan Michael Bluth at the helm of a sinking ship...of fools.
* Showcased brilliantly in just about every episode of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''...until the end of the fourth season, when the Comedic Sociopathy of General Melchett and Field Marshall Haig [[DramaBombFinale ceases to be comedic]] and leads to an amazingly poignant finale.

to:

* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', a show around the farcical exploits of a wealthy family grappling with the loss of their fortune after the patriarch is arrested for many dubious dealings, leaving the OnlySaneMan Michael Bluth at the helm of a sinking ship... of fools.
* Showcased brilliantly in just about every episode of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''... until the end of the fourth season, when the Comedic Sociopathy of General Melchett and Field Marshall Haig [[DramaBombFinale ceases to be comedic]] and leads to an amazingly poignant finale.



* Series/{{Merlin}} is one of the most lovable characters ever, but it's still funny as hell when Arthur throws stuff at him--until Merlin escapes Arthur's presence, and we see him with a character sympathetic to his plight. Suddenly, it isn't funny anymore...until the next time, and then it's hilarious again. The BelligerentSexualTension doesn't hurt with the funniness, though.

to:

* Series/{{Merlin}} is one of the most lovable characters ever, but it's still funny as hell when Arthur throws stuff at him--until Merlin escapes Arthur's presence, and we see him with a character sympathetic to his plight. Suddenly, it isn't funny anymore... until the next time, and then it's hilarious again. The BelligerentSexualTension doesn't hurt with the funniness, though.



* ''Series/DirkGently'': Dirk treats his partner like a dogsbody, refuses to pay his receptionist because that way she'll stop showing up to "work" in order to get her pay, lies to the police with a remarkable degree of enthusiasm, swindles his clients, pickpockets corpses, and gives the wrong address to a pizza business so that it will be late and he won't have to pay...all in one episode.

to:

* ''Series/DirkGently'': Dirk treats his partner like a dogsbody, refuses to pay his receptionist because that way she'll stop showing up to "work" in order to get her pay, lies to the police with a remarkable degree of enthusiasm, swindles his clients, pickpockets corpses, and gives the wrong address to a pizza business so that it will be late and he won't have to pay... all in one episode.



* With ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', we have the Komato, to whom "right to bear arms" is a religious tenet[[note]]as long as you pay for them[[/note]] and "public safety"...is not.

to:

* With ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', we have the Komato, to whom "right to bear arms" is a religious tenet[[note]]as long as you pay for them[[/note]] and "public safety"... is not.



*** The Soldier (who never actually was in the army because no branch of the US military wanted the madman) is a jingoistic, nationalistic, homophobic, xenophobic, paranoid schizophreniac who in his youth went on a Nazi killing spree in Poland, starting in 1945 and ending in 1949... oh, and he collect severed heads of enemies and talks to them.

to:

*** The Soldier (who never actually was in the army because no branch of the US military wanted the madman) is a jingoistic, nationalistic, homophobic, xenophobic, paranoid schizophreniac who in his youth went on a Nazi killing spree in Poland, starting in 1945 and ending in 1949... oh, and he collect severed heads of enemies and talks to them.



*** This is doubly disturbing [[FridgeHorror when you consider]] several of the lines the turrets utter upon "death" such as "Whyyyyyyyy?!" and "I don't hate you." To say nothing when you start making them get rejected in ''Portal 2'' ("Whee...OH NO!", "I did everything you ASKED...!").

to:

*** This is doubly disturbing [[FridgeHorror when you consider]] several of the lines the turrets utter upon "death" such as "Whyyyyyyyy?!" and "I don't hate you." To say nothing when you start making them get rejected in ''Portal 2'' ("Whee... OH NO!", "I did everything you ASKED...!").



-->'''Captain Hero:''' YES! Captain Hero ONE! Billions of innocent Zebulonians...um...dead...oh. Uh...I...''[slinks off]''

to:

-->'''Captain Hero:''' YES! Captain Hero ONE! Billions of innocent Zebulonians...um...dead... um... dead... oh. Uh... I...''[slinks off]''



* Although many characters in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' fit this trope, the most obvious example would have to be Cartman, who freely manipulates and uses everybody around him according to whichever whim has him at the moment. As an example: In the episode "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_Kids Ginger Kids]]", Cartman freely advocates denying all [[RedHeadedStepchild ginger kids]] basic human rights. After Stan and Kyle conspire to turn Cartman into a ginger with makeup, convinced that it is [[TheOnlyWayTheyWillLearn the only way he'll learn]] fairness, Cartman proceeds to instantly convert to the ginger cause and quickly advocates the total ''genocide'' of all ''non''-gingers...especially the gingers who are "faking it" with makeup.

to:

* Although many characters in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' fit this trope, the most obvious example would have to be Cartman, who freely manipulates and uses everybody around him according to whichever whim has him at the moment. As an example: In the episode "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_Kids Ginger Kids]]", Cartman freely advocates denying all [[RedHeadedStepchild ginger kids]] basic human rights. After Stan and Kyle conspire to turn Cartman into a ginger with makeup, convinced that it is [[TheOnlyWayTheyWillLearn the only way he'll learn]] fairness, Cartman proceeds to instantly convert to the ginger cause and quickly advocates the total ''genocide'' of all ''non''-gingers... especially the gingers who are "faking it" with makeup.



*** He was upset with that after learning that was ''his'' father...[[spoiler:making him half-ginger]].

to:

*** He was upset with that after learning that was ''his'' father... [[spoiler:making him half-ginger]].
9th Mar '16 9:31:38 AM Hossmeister
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ''AmericanDad'': Every one of the main characters exhibits this at multiple points.

to:

** ''AmericanDad'': ''WesternAnimation/Ameri'': Every one of the main characters exhibits this at multiple points.
5th Mar '16 6:27:51 AM Monolaf317
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** That's pretty much the dynamic between Bert and Ernie as well, with Ernie completely oblivious to how irritating he can be toward Bert. It's worth noting that Ernie himself is often irritated by a [[ObsessedWithFood gluttonous]], [[HypocriticalHumor equally oblivious]] Cookie Monster.

to:

** That's pretty much the dynamic between Bert and Ernie as well, with Ernie completely oblivious to how irritating he can be toward Bert. It's worth noting that Ernie himself is often irritated by a the [[ObsessedWithFood gluttonous]], [[HypocriticalHumor equally oblivious]] Cookie Monster.
25th Feb '16 5:56:10 PM SolsticePrince
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* It's rampant in ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends''; the basis of the series is cute little critters [[MoodWhiplash dying hideous deaths]]. The average character's reaction upon another's death is either disinterest or running or shifting away to try not to get involved with it. Considering [[CrapsaccharineWorld the universe, that's probably wise...]]

to:

* It's rampant in ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends''; the basis of the series is cute little critters [[MoodWhiplash [[GrotesqueCute dying hideous deaths]]. The average character's reaction upon another's death is either disinterest or running or shifting away to try not to get involved with it. Considering [[CrapsaccharineWorld the universe, that's probably wise...]]
30th Jan '16 9:29:53 AM Monolaf317
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** That's pretty much the dynamic between Bert and Ernie as well, with Ernie completely oblivious to how irritating he can be toward Bert.

to:

** That's pretty much the dynamic between Bert and Ernie as well, with Ernie completely oblivious to how irritating he can be toward Bert. It's worth noting that Ernie himself is often irritated by a [[ObsessedWithFood gluttonous]], [[HypocriticalHumor equally oblivious]] Cookie Monster.
29th Jan '16 4:35:18 PM Monolaf317
Is there an issue? Send a Message


A subtrope of the OutOfCharacterMoment. See also HeroicComedicSociopath, a character who does this all the time and loves it. This trope is what the SadistShow and BlackComedy live off of. This may result in NoSympathy in situations where the character is clearly deserving of it. TooFunnyToBeEvil coupled with RuleOfFunny is the basic principle that allows this trope to work. Compare to LaughWithMe or CringeComedy. See also DisproportionateRetribution, because in comedy this is usually okay.

to:

A subtrope of the OutOfCharacterMoment. See also HeroicComedicSociopath, a character who does this all the time and loves it. This trope is what the SadistShow and BlackComedy live off of. This may result in NoSympathy in situations where the character is clearly deserving of it. TooFunnyToBeEvil coupled with RuleOfFunny is the basic principle that allows this trope to work. Compare to LaughWithMe or CringeComedy. When this trope gets taken to extreme, over-the-top levels, it's CrossesTheLineTwice. See also DisproportionateRetribution, because in comedy this is usually okay.
28th Jan '16 6:35:10 AM case
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Half the shows on Creator/AdultSwim. At least.

to:

* Half the shows on Creator/AdultSwim. At least.Creator/AdultSwim:


Added DiffLines:

** ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': Most characters have their moments, though Rick supplies the most by far. Sociopathy from anyone is almost always played for laughs; most of the show's drama comes from when characters ''don't'' act like sociopaths.
---> '''Morty:''' You sold a gun to a murderer so we can play video games?
---> '''Rick:''' Yeah sure, if you spend all day shuffling words around you can make anything sound bad, Morty.
3rd Jan '16 1:04:22 PM DastardlyDemolition
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** DependingontheWriter, Squidward can have a playful sociopathic side himself. As a result, it's hard not to enjoy it with him.

to:

** DependingontheWriter, DependingOnTheWriter, Squidward can have a playful sociopathic side himself. As a result, it's hard not to enjoy it with him.
22nd Dec '15 12:34:59 AM shadowmanwkp
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The version of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' has more than a few moments of this, being a [[InsistentTerminology self-proclaimed high functioning sociopath.]] This troper's favorite example is probably when two little girls want Sherlock to help them find their grandma, because they were told that grandma went to a special place and they couldn't see her.

to:

* The version of Sherlock Holmes from the BBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' has more than a few moments of this, being a [[InsistentTerminology self-proclaimed high functioning sociopath.]] This troper's favorite A good example is probably when two little girls want Sherlock to help them find their grandma, because they were told that grandma went to a special place and they couldn't see her.
This list shows the last 10 events of 176. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ComedicSociopathy