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Iron Comedy Buttmonkey


(permanent link) added: 2009-11-30 00:38:14 sponsor: Game Chainsaw (last reply: 2009-11-30 00:38:14)

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So, you've got a funny character in a Slapstick, just lining up a wave of truly incredibly bad and unlucky physical traumas for the character to wade through for your audiences twisted amusement. Just one problem. The things your character is about to go through would kill any normal being. The solution? Enter the Iron Comedy Buttmonkey. (May need a better title.)

The Iron Comedy Buttmonkey is, simply put, practically immune to harm. Drop an anvil on him? He simply gets a nasty looking lump. Throw him off a cliff and watch him bounce down in a brutal manner? He'll be carted off to hospital, maybe. Incinerate him? He'll reform from the ashes, or even simply be back next episode. One wonders how many lives this guy could save the military.

Obviously a form of Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Primarily an animation trope, Western Animation is particularly fond of this one.

Related to Slapstick. See also They Killed Kenny, when the comedy buttmonkey is not immortal but merely gets revived ready to get killed again like something from Valhalla.

Examples

Anime and Manga

  • Keitaro of Love Hina is reputed to be immortal based on this trope. Or So I Heard.
  • Dallas of Baccano! when his deaths are being Played for Laughs. Its justified in that he is actually immortal. Not to mention that some of his deaths are most certainly not Played for Laughs. A certain incident involving [[spoilers: being left to drown in a concrete barrel at the bottom of a river for several years]].
  • Largo in Megatokyo - if we ignore the broken arm that occurred in the first dozen strips. Piro has even commented that for a long time it was Largo's job to get physically hurt and Piro's to get emotionally hurt, until their roles started blurring slightly.
  • Sgt. Sosuke Sagara

Film
  • The Blues Brothers are a rare film example. Considering the fall down a set of stairs while trapped in classroom chairs too small for them, or have an entire block of apartments fall on top of them, and are then able to dust themselves off and get on their way.

Webcomics
  • Fighter and Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater: the former is repeatedly stabbed in the head with no ill effects (it made him smarter once), while Black Mage more or less always survives what's thrown at him (the Goblin Kick and Australia come to mind) and when he's killed, he gets brought back in fairly short order so as to continue suffering.

Video Games
  • This is about half of the gimmick with Wario's transformations in the second and third Wario Land games, as well as I heard with at least one (non Nintendo published) Gamecube era game. Simply put, the characters are nigh invulnerable, so the only way to proceed is to do things like set them on fire and have them smashed to a pulp to bypass obstacles.
  • This is how the Mummy's powers work in Sphinx And The Cursed Mummy. He's dead, so being set on fire/electrocuted/smashed flat/cut into three different copies doesn't affect him at all. Granted, he's still not a fan of it...

Western Animation
  • Homer Simpson is the king of this trope. He goes through everything from falling off a cliff (twice), to slamming into a tree in his car, suffering from skiing incidents, waterfall plunges, animal maulings, amateur brain-surgery and getting hammered by a champion boxer!!! Not to mention getting shot by a cannon daily for a living as one of his many, many jobs. One has to wonder if he is truly immortal...
  • Family Guy. The entire family. Peter falls down stairs (repeatedly), Brian (being a dog) gets hit by cars, Lois has been known to smash through furniture... and yet its Meg who's the series Buttmonkey. Ironic, huh?
  • Wile. E. Coyote. He's been crushed, fallen hundreds of feet, been knocked all the way through earth and back like something out of Dragon Ball Z, and thats just the tip of a long list of abuses. He not only survives, but is right back at the same thing again.
    • On the subject of Looney Tunes, Daffy Duck's been shot enough times, his face should no longer be recognized. Sylvester's gone through many of the abuses that Tom has suffered over the years, being beaten, smashed, electrified, and so much else. Villains like Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and Marvin the Martian have also survived incredible injuries.
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry. Like Wile. E. Coyote, he seems to be genuinely impervious to damage, with the exception of a few episodes where he does actually die. (and it never sticks.)
  • Pinky and the Brain
  • EdEddNEddy
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