Something very silly happens and is treated like something extraordinarily sad. Maybe someone drops their favorite food, or maybe someone feels so bad about using someone else's toilet paper they cross the Despair Event Horizon. Whatever the case, it is pretty minor stuff. May overlap with Felony Misdemeanor, especially if the character has a My God, What Have I Done? moment. Compare Serious Business, where a normally frivolous activity is treated as a matter of life and death. Contrast Black Comedy, in which a serious situation is portrayed humorously, and Dude, Not Funny!, where something is Played for Laughs and fails to get them.
ExamplesFilms - Animated
- In Foodfight!, Mr. Clipboard takes a bag of chips off a shelf in the supermarket and brutally crushes it on the floor with his foot. The owner of the supermarket is genuinely heartbroken about this.
Owner: That was a perfectly good bag of chips! Never opened... never enjoyed...
- In Phineas and Ferb: Beyond the Second Dimension, the alternate dimension's Hanz Doofenshmirtz's tragic Back Story that made him evil is... that he lost his favorite train toy.
- In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney rips a suit jacket, rushes it to a tailor, cries when he's told it can't be saved, and has it cremated. Another episode features him mourning a tie that got a little ketchup on it.
- In one episode of Royal Pains, Russell mourns over an antique rug that's been badly damaged by its Nouveau Riche owners.
- On Adventure Time, Marceline angsts over the time her daddy ate her fries.
- In one episode of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, Ed has to use the titular duo's bathroom and he started crying his heart out because he used their toilet paper.
- In the Futurama episode "The 30% Iron Chef", Zoidberg frames Fry for breaking Prof. Farnsworth's model ship, leading to Fry (who couldn't even be bothered to defend himself) having to... pay $10 towards the cost of materials (and later being unable to buy a turkey baster with it.) Zoidberg is stricken with guilt, culminating with an attempt at committing seppuku on live television to atone.
- John Kricfalusi stated in his blog he created The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Son Of Stimpy" as a parody of shock value pathos, making a melodramatic plot that revolved largely around the fact Stimpy couldn't fart a second time.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh weeps for a spilled cup of tea.
Iroh: I know I shouldn't cry over spilled tea, but... *bawls*
- The Simpsons. In the sixth season episode "Lisa's Rival", Homer comes across an overturned truck spilling sugar. Like expected, his first thought is to shovel a huge pile of the sugar into his car, stealing it to himself. Homer quickly becomes obsessed by the amount of sugar he has, and when rain eventually melts the pile he's gathered, we get the following reaction:
Homer: NOOOO! It's melting! My sugar is melting!Marge: Homer, I'm sorry.Homer: No, it's fine Marge. I learned my lesson. A mountain of sugar is too much for one man. That's why God dispenses it in tiny packets. Also, that's why he lives on a plantation in Hawaii.
- In an episode of South Park, the boys are caught attempting to illegally download a single song and as punishment, are shown the consequences of illegal downloading, walking past the sight of several celebrities looking horribly depressed as they're forced to downgrade to a slightly less impressive private jet or wait a few extra weeks to buy their own private island.
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