Created By: zero24 on June 4, 2011 Last Edited By: zero24 on June 8, 2011

Knock-Knock Stroke

No one assumes the comic relief is really dying.

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The plucky comic relief is having a bit of trouble with an incurable cough of death, a hidden wound, or some other third thing. Unfortunately, this will be a serious matter and probably mean the end for the character.

But wait, this IS the comic relief, right? Isn't this the guy who's always messing around? He can't really be serious, can he?

The other characters won't seem to think so. They assume that he's up to another one of his hilarious antics, because it's something they would expect him to do. The character's attempt to try and tell the others that he really is dying will be shrugged off as just part of the show. Unfortunately, this nullifies any chance that they would have of being given help.The other characters usually realize that he was in fact being serious, but not until after the guy dies.

May overlap with Fatal Method Acting.

A death trope, so there will most likely be spoilers.

This one is Up for Grabs if anyone wants it. Alternate titles appreciated. Examples

Live-Action TV

Plays

Real Life

  • Andy Kaufman, and by extension the film Man on the Moon. When he announces to his friends that he is dying, they first believe that it's part of a new comedy act.
  • Redd Foxx, on the set of a new comedy show he was starring in, grabbed his chest and collapsed. Unfortunately, this was a trademark action of his from his comedy show Sanford and Son, and everybody thought he was only acting. He actually did die of a heart attack.
  • British comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a fatal heart attack during a live performance and the audience initially laughed, believing it was part of the act.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 5, 2011
    GuesssWho
    I think everyone knew that Mercutio was dying, he was just having some very dark fun with it.
  • June 5, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Real Life: Andy Kaufman, and by extension the film Man On The Moon. When he announces to his friends that he is dying, they first believe that it's part of a new comedy act.
  • June 5, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    @Guess Who, different productions play it different ways. It's an equally valid interpretation due to the not knowing the original stage directions.
  • June 5, 2011
    Generality
    Yes, the Romeo And Juliet case is a matter of interpretation. I've seen it done either as him joking on the way out, serious but not taken seriously, or as a full-blown dramatic death.
  • June 7, 2011
    Arivne
    Edit: My examples moved/merged with All Part Of The Show and deleted from description.
  • June 7, 2011
    Duncan
  • June 7, 2011
    TonyG
    ^This would only apply if the death occurs during a performance. As written, this seems to be about the character dying in the story, not the actor dying for real, which would be Fatal Method Acting.
  • June 7, 2011
    TwinBird
    No spoiler font in Death Tropes, and for the love of God none for a work from the sixteenth century.
  • June 8, 2011
    moonhawk64
    Another one from Real Life: Redd Foxx, on the set of a new comedy show he was starring in, grabbed his chest and collapsed. Unfortunately, this was a trademark action of his from his comedy show Sanford And Son, and everybody thought he was only acting. He actually did die of a heart attack.
  • June 8, 2011
    foxley
    Real Life again. British comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a fatal heart attack during a live performance and the audience initially laughed, believing it was part of the act.
  • June 8, 2011
    zero24
    Note: The trope here is about a person dying and others around them not believing them because they kid around so much. If they were professional comedians in the middle of a performance, Fatal Method Acting and All Part Of The Show would take place.

    Or that's what I assume, anyway.

    ^^^...Right. On it.

    ^ A similar entry was moved out by troper Arivne.

  • June 8, 2011
    Rolf
    • Played with in one of CSI shows, one of actresses were murdered in scene, so people didn't think anything about supposedly dead woman in bed as it was her scene, being dead with knife in bed. They found out at end of filming day.
  • June 8, 2011
    Rolf
    I think csi had another one in horror movie, with hanged body.
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