There is a tendency for devotees of law and righteousness
to be shown as strict and no-nonsense to the point where anyone would think there was a rule against having fun. They will often boss others around, especially those of a more chaotic leaning
, seeing themselves as being the only one who can keep their teammates in check. (Whether or not they succeed is another matter.) Their sense of humour is practically nonexistent
, and their response to a joke will be at best a raised eyebrow or a shake of the head. This character's obsession with order may extend to them being a Neat Freak
or Creature of Habit
. In tabletop roleplaying games, many a paladin is played this way.
If taken far enough, this attitude may lapse into lawful stupidity
The Knight In Sour Armour
usually acts like this, as their cynicism leaves little room for any sort of levity. See also Good Is Not Nice
and Smug Straight Edge
. Contrast Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor
. If their stuffiness is Played for Laughs
(usually at their expense
), they are often The Comically Serious
Anime and Manga
- Hermione in Harry Potter. Also, to a lesser extent, Professor McGonagall.
- Captain Carrot in Discworld, the only man in the Night Watch who actually knows the Laws of Ankh-Morpork, sometimes comes across like this, especially in early books, although he doesn't like being "good at being obeyed". His No Sense Of Humour comes from being raised by dwarfs, who are all Literal-Minded.
- Benton Fraser in Due South. He does have a sense of humour but it's a very understated one.
- On the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series, both Mac Taylor and Gil Grissom fit into this, though both are known to be the Deadpan Snarker at times. Mac's case is justified for a while, he's still struggling with losing his wife on 9/11. He sort of closed himself off and buried himself in work, not really wanting to have a lot of fun or anything. However, he still slipped a bit of deadpan in every now and then-and was shown to be loosening up a bit later in the series. Grissom sort of varies between this and some deadpan-type humor, depending on things like his mood and if he's fighting a migraine or not.
- The Middleman, titular character was so upstanding that the universe bent to enforce it around him. When Wendy Watson swore, a black box would appear in front of her mouth -- in universe.
- Miko Miyazaki in The Order of the Stick is a Deconstruction of the trope, starting as a straight example, then parodied when it turned out other Paladins found her as annoying as everyone else, and finally lapsing not just into Lawful Stupid but into a Knight Templar, due to the refusal of the universe to work according to the script in her head.
- Lancelot in Arthur, King of Time and Space, described on the cast page as "Best knight in the world. Holier than thou. I'm not kidding." In one strip Merlin congratulates him for "playing the martinet" so Arthur can keep being the relaxed nice-guy leader, before realising he's not "playing" anything.