A Funeral Attended By Assholes
Funerals are a place to pay dues to the dead, yet the attendees do anything but.


(permanent link) added: 2012-10-11 19:01:05 sponsor: Bakazuki (last reply: 2012-10-20 15:58:38)

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A funeral is a service that allows a deceased's family and friends to congregate in one place to celebrate the deceased's life and pay their respects. To do so is considered common courtesy and practice. So what do some people do once the family is assembled?

How about doing the exact opposite of that by behaving in extremely tactless and inappropriate ways that would have the deceased rolling in their coffins if they knew?

Sometimes this disrespect comes in the form of discussions that are brought up around or even at the time the proceedings begin. Perhaps the deceased is an adult involved in on of the ends of an inheritance dispute. Maybe the deceased was survived by an illegitimate child or, even worse, a child that none of the relatives are completely willing to take to take custody.

In any event, the attendees of the funeral will be all too eager to talk about those matters than to mourn, not realizing that talking about them is putting their selfishness and spite out in the open.

Other times, disrespect or lack of concern toward the matter at hand show in their actions. After all, attending the funeral in improper dress or fooling around with whatever device is in possession instead of paying attention to the pastor or the procession are a few of the best ways to show love and care to the dead.

And that's not touching on those who are much more direct about their scorn toward the deceased. If the deceased was a Jerk Ass or guilty of other negative qualities in life, then expect people to gossip about their faults or spit on his coffin.

There are sometimes people who don't even have to misbehave. If you're attending a funeral for a free meal and other things for your own self-interest, then the dead would have every right to be pissed off at you.

This should not be confused with its Sister Trope, The Fun in Funeral (though overlap is possible). The latter involves wacky situations in a funeral played for humor that occur out of the characters' control or because of their idiocy, while this trope specifically involves rude, uncaring, spiteful, or simply Jerkass behavior and statements about the deceased and/or his family made during what is supposed to be a solemn event. This can be done for either drama or comedy.

This may also overlap with And There Was Much Rejoicing, depending on the context.

Contrast with Never Speak Ill of the Dead.

As a Death Trope, this trope is Spoilered Rotten by nature, and many examples here will spoil a work unless the funeral is part of someone's backstory. Unmarked spoilers below.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Sangatsu No Lion: Rather than attend his parents and sister's funeral just to mourn for them and comfort him, Rei's aunts and uncles are arguing over who takes over his grandfather's hospital in his father's place, with one aunt in particular expressing half-hearted sympathy and "promising" Rei that she will send him to a "nice" institution. Meanwhile, the rest of the family is gossiping about them. All this is punctuated when Kouda, a friend of his father's, glances toward his family and implicitly notes how none of them are paying attention and giving real comfort to Rei, before taking the initiative to take Rei in as his ward and student.
  • In Bunny Drop, many of the family members attending Grandpa Sou's funeral are shocked to learn that he recently had an illegitimate child, Rin, shortly before his death. Her presence at the funeral isn't particularly welcomed and they mostly ignore her. When the time comes for the family to talk about what to do with her, shortly after the actual funeral proceedings, the discussion quickly devolves into an outlet for expressing their anger toward the situation and talking about how odd they find Rin and her dubious origins.
  • During Yusuke's funeral at the start of YuYu Hakusho, while Kuwabara goes on a screaming fit about Yusuke dying, his outburst is an act of genuine mourning. In contrast, their school principal calls out some teachers who are at the funeral making snide comments about both Yusuke and Kuwabara's behavior.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • When Katsuya Honda passes away, his relatives' conversations during the funeral ceremony quickly devolve from the circumstances surrounding his death to expressing their disapproval of Kyoko by berating or gossiping about her, saying that Katsuya was better off single. In a separate recollection of the same funeral, Tohru's grandfather brings up how the relatives would say disparaging remarks toward Tohru right in her face, thinking she would not understand.
    • Kyo's biological father chooses his mother's funeral ceremony to start scene/argument with Kyo, using the latter's inability to approach his mother's grave in front of the family as an excuse.

Comics

Film - Live-Action
  • In the Audrey Hepburn movie Charade, virtually the only people to attend the late Charles Lampert's funeral besides his widow are his three former partners in crime, who are mainly attending to see if he's Faking the Dead and are more disgusted than sorry for his death.
  • In Gran Torino, the funeral of Walt Kowalski's wife had some disrespect shown from some attendees. One of the granddaughters was dresses fairly inappropriately is fiddling around on her cell phone during the service. Walt's kids start asking Walt if he wants to go to a "nice retirement place" so they could sell the house, and the same disrespectful grandchild starts asking whether she could have some of the furniture and other items in the couch.
  • In Amazon Women on the Moon, a man's funeral turns into a comedy roast.
  • Film adaptations of A Christmas Carol usually go with And There Was Much Rejoicing, but The Muppet Christmas Carol, while not actually showing the funeral, had three pigs saying they'll only go to Scrooge's "if lunch is provided".

Film - Animated
  • In Bebe's Kids, Robin meets Jamika at a funeral, where "everyone was there, cause everyone was glad he was gone." People are seen drinking, laughing and playing dominoes, while the only one grieving was the widow.

Literature
  • A Charles Exbrayat story has an important member of a French town's funeral attended by all the town's society, along with many lower class people. The two cops on his murder case overhear the conversations, and one quotes a Chinese proverb: "There is nothing lacking from a rich man's funeral, except someone to mourn him".
  • In Making Money, Topsy Lavish's funeral is attended by her relatives, a family of rich, selfish, squabbling assholes who do nothing but glare at each other throughout the ceremony, waiting for each other to start something. Nontheless, Cosmo considered it a "decently dignified occasion" spoiled only by Hubert, who was the only one actually mourning.
  • In the supplementary novels for The Evillious Chronicles by mothy, one of the main characters, Elluka Clockworker attend to the funeral of and "old friend" Leonheart Avadonia, apparently just to call him an idiot, and leaves.

Live-Action TV
  • In Two and a Half Men, Charlie has a dream in which he attends his own funeral (as a ghost). At the funeral, women spit on his coffin, the eulogy is filled with derogatory jokes, and Alan ends the service by inviting the congregation back to his beach house for a wake/luau.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Phillip Banks' political opponent dies, everyone save for Will attends his funeral primarily to check if he's really dead. When Will proclaims that he was the one that killed him (albiet through telling him to drop dead) as he attempts to call them out on it, the attendees give him a standing ovation.

Machinima
  • Red vs. Blue has three "funeral" scenes (the deceased in question were still living), and all are about people being completely disrespectful at funerals, sometimes for their own agendas, sometimes just because they're jerks.
    • In Episode 51, Church (the "dead" guy) is the one who wants a funeral; Tucker calls it lame and wanders off.
    • In Episode 83, Griff turns Sarge's funeral into a comedy roast of Sarge, and Simmons uses the opportunity to campaign for Sarge's job.
    • In the Season 9 Episode 14, it turns out no one remembers anything about Simmons except he liked gum and talked a lot.

Real Life
  • The Jolley Gang was a group of unpleasant funeral-crashers, who blagged their way into funerals on the pretext that they knew the deceased, so as to get at the free food / booze. Victoria Coren wrote a couple of scathing articles about them, after they targeted her father's funeral.
  • Fred Phelps Sr. is an American pastor infamous for his anti-gay slogans and beliefs. One of the activities his congregation is known for going around veterans' funerals and claiming that God condemned them to die because our nation tolerate "fags."

Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy
  • During the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Bill Engvall offered the following "You might be a redneck" joke:
    "If you've ever opened a beer during a eulogy, you might be a redneck."
    • And after Bill finished explaining this one (it was his uncle Jack), Larry, Ron, and Jeff improv'ed the following:
      Jeff: Mama looks good, don't she? *mimes drinking*
      Ron: That ain't Mama. *drinks*
      Larry: Naw, that's her, they just shaved her beard off!

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Mr. Burns is thought to be dead, various dignitaries come to his funeral just to spit in his grave. So many in fact, that the grave has to be drained afterwards.
  • In The Boondocks episode Wingmen, Robert Freeman's longtime "friend" Moe passes away, and he is then asked to read a pre-written eulogy. At first, everyone at the funeral acts as if Moe iss the best at everything. He is being given credit for things Robert did in World War II, all the women swoon for him, etc. Robert finally breaks all the lies by announcing how much of a jerk Moe really was. Everyone else then starts agreeing and pointing out how he owed many of them money and other negative aspects about him.
  • Daria gives us an example in the episode Murder, She Snored. Although the funeral occurs in Daria's dream, nobody really has anything nice to say. Ms. Barch uses it as an excuse for another feminist rant, Mack's eulogy basically insults Kevin, and to top it off, Daria and Jane wear Hawaiian shirts for the occasion.


Indices: Funeral Tropes, Death Trope, Spoilered Rotten

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