Created By: MrInitialMan on April 15, 2012 Last Edited By: MrInitialMan on April 16, 2012

But Seriously, Folks

Played For Laughs, but with a serious point

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This is when a show is mostly humourous, but has a very serious point to make. Can result in sudden Downer Endings from time to time, and often plays Cerebus Ping Pong with itself. This isn't just a lesson tacked on the end, but rather a point made throughout the show.


Live Action TV
  • Canada's Worst Driver often seems like a Point-and-Laugh Show... or a Point And Be Horrified Show... and sometimes you feel awful for the people involved. It's also a warning just how dangerous and difficult driving can be. Laugh all you want, Aaron (who was physically disabled from a car crash in 2005) served as a stark reminder of the damage bad driving can cause.
  • Some Disney Channel show are supposed to make a point about being frank and responsible, and deliver a lot of Fridge Horror. The Wizards in particular.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • April 15, 2012
    Some Disney Channel show are supposed to make a point about being frank and responsible, and deliver a lot of Fridge Horror. The Wizards in particular.
  • April 16, 2012
    On a Very Special Episode, sometimes an actor will Break The Fourth Wall to talk to the audience after the show. Often the speech will begin with the phrase "We've had a lot of fun tonight...", though that is something of a Dead Horse Trope. May overlap with And Knowing Is Half The Battle.
    • Parodied on The Simpsons:
      N'Sync: Y'know, we've had a lot of fun tonight at the expense of the U.S. Navy! / But they're out there every day protecting us from Godzilla...
    • And again:
      Joe Namath: Heh heh. Poor Bart. You know, we had a lot of fun tonight. But, there's nothing funny about... vapor lock. It's the third most common cause of stalling. So please, take care of your car and get it checked. I'm Joe Namath. Good night!
    • Parodied on Saturday Night Live
      Lorne Michaels: We've had a lot of fun tonight, but, as you know, "Saturday Night Live" isn't just about glitzy guests and fabulous outfits and glamorous parties. It's also about merchandising.
    • How I Met Your Mother:
      Barney: Hi, there. We've had a lot of fun tonight, but on a more serious note, this is the time of year when we remember the importance of giving. And there's no greater gift than the gift of booty. So, this holiday season, why not bang someone in need? I'm Barney Stinson, and that's... One to grow on.
    • American Dad, in-universe, as part of a telethon:
      Ladies and gentlemen, we've had a lot of fun tonight, but when that clock runs down, this building will explode. Yeah, you should be concerned because that's the only man who knows the code to disarm the bomb, and he's not talking. And he's not talking because we can't torture him.
    • Family Guy:
      "Hi, I'm Peter Grifin. You know we've had a lot of laughs tonight, but I'll tell you what's not funny; killing strippers. Strippers are people too, naked people who may be willing to pleasure you for a price you negotiate later behind a curtain in the VIP room. Besides, there's no need to kill them 'cause most of them are already dead inside."

  • April 16, 2012
  • April 16, 2012
    In online nerd circles this is traditionally referred to as Ha Ha Only Serious.
  • April 16, 2012
    Thing is, though--this isn't a show with a moral at the end, it's a show that is played for laughs--but its serious message is shown throughout and can take center stage at any time.
  • April 16, 2012

    Christ's parables often function like this. Paraphrased from one:
    A man tries to invite guests to a party but they all invent silly excuses. One has just bought a field and must go see it, one has just bought new oxen and is going to test how strong they are, another just got married. Annoyed at all the refusals, the master of the party orders his servant to invite all the crippling, blind, deaf, and sickly, since they'll have nothing else to do. Then he order him to keep going out and not stop inviting people until the party is full. This is how the kingdom of heaven works.