''Penn & Teller Get Killed'' (retitled ''Dead Serious'' in some regions) is a 1989 BlackComedy directed by Arthur Penn, featuring double act Creator/PennAndTeller (who also wrote the movie) playing themselves as their stage personas offstage. Confused yet?

At the beginning, they perform on a talk show where, as part of the act, Penn claims he [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wishes someone were trying to kill him, to make life more exciting]]. This is intended as setup for Teller pretending to slit his throat, but it turns out all sorts of people saw the talk show and [[NeverLiveItDown now recognize him as the idiot who asked people to kill him on national TV]]. This leads to several attempts being made on their life until, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Penn and Teller get killed]]. [[TwistEnding But not the way you think.]]

Meanwhile, the two magicians [[TheCastShowOff do some magic tricks]], [[EdutainmentShow demonstrate that psychic surgeons are]] [[Series/PennAndTellerBullshit bullshit]], and [[EscalatingWar play increasingly mean tricks on one another]].

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!!The movie features examples of:

* AllJustADream: Inverted and Invoked by Penn during his closing monologue.
* AuthorAppeal: Penn drinks cola even when aping a hard-boiled private eye. The pair also drinks Yoohoo. Penn is a teetotaler in real life.
* AuthorTract: The duo really do love to expose fakery like psychic surgery. [[HilariousInHindsight Which makes sense considering their television series]] ''Series/PennAndTellerBullshit''.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Everything starts with Penn wishing [[DeathSeeker someone were trying to kill him]]. [[spoiler: It turns out no ''real'' attempt was made on their lives, however, as they were all part of either Penn or Teller's trick.]]
* BlackComedy: Oh yes.
* BloodlessCarnage: At the end, surprisingly given it's rated R and does feature plenty of fake blood during Penn and Teller's magic routines. Especially noticeable when [[spoiler: Teller has shot himself in the chest]] and we go on to see many clear shots of the body with no blood on his shirt whatsoever.
* TheCastShowOff: Several scenes feature Penn and Teller just performing magic tricks. A couple don't seem to serve ''any'' other purpose than just showing off their magic, such as the one where some reporters ask Teller what he hates about magic and he silently does a bunch of standard magic tricks with a flourish before simply leaving.
* ChekhovsGun: The gun that Teller buys for self-defense is thrown away when it seems things have been cleared up, but returns spectacularly to significance by the end.
* TheDanza: Of the weirdest sort - it's ''pure coincidence'' that the film is directed by Arthur '''''Penn'''''.
* DeadlyPrank: [[spoiler: Both Penn and Teller end up dead as a result of Penn's prank. [[RefugeInAudacity So do at least ten other people, in fact. And possibly the entire rest of the world's population.]]]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Most of Penn's lines, which creates a hilarious contrast when things get deadly serious.
-->'''Juan:''' You the big one with the hair? And he's the little one who doesn't talk? Who's she?
-->'''Penn:''' Yes, I am the big one with the hair, my partner doesn't talk right now because he's got a mouth full of drain cleaner. This is our manager, Carlotta, she's pretending to be David Letterman. Okay, my turn, you're the one with the scorpion on his neck, he's the big, fat one. Who, may I ask, is this gentleman?
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The parodic sequence near the middle where Penn is narrating and writing the "memoirs of the hunted" is black-and-white. When the policewoman comes in and ends their noir fantasy, the color abruptly returns to the picture.
* DespairEventHorizon: At the end when Teller realizes [[spoiler: he just [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone killed Penn]]]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: It ends with everyone dying. And then Penn's voiceover at the end takes care to assure the viewer that the pull-out shot of the city is not an implication that they went to heaven; they're just dead. Every major Western religion disapproves of suicide, after all. Of course, Penn & Teller are ardent ''atheists''.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: More than you can count, though most of them are [[SuicideAsComedy very much]] PlayedForLaughs. [[spoiler: Penn, Teller, Carlotta and the phony killer fan all kill themselves for their part in the deadly prank, then people who simply stumble on the scene are suddenly driven to suicide upon seeing the carnage]].
* EscalatingWar: A lot of the movie revolves around Penn and Teller playing increasingly mean and elaborate tricks on one another. [[spoiler: In fact, it turns out the ''whole'' movie revolves around that.]]
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: One of the most over the top cases. [[spoiler: Everyone who discovers the carnage that resulted from Teller accidentally killing Penn is so horrified they automatically kill themselves, and the film all but implies that people aren't going to stop discovering the murder site with the continuous gun shots that can be heard during the ending. And since more deaths mean the scene of the murder can only expand, it's only long before ''everyone'' discovers the scene of death and commits suicide.]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfKDt2P8Kl4 ...yeah.]]
-->'''Penn:''' Oh, yeah. We're dead and there's no way out. I mean, it couldn't be a gag, it couldn't be a joke. [[AllJustADream We're not gonna have one of the characters wake up from a bad dream]]; [[LampshadeHanging you'd hate us for that!]] I mean the movie is called ''Penn & Teller Get Killed.'' We ''had'' to get killed at the end, there's no way out of that. We were married to that ending from the moment we thought of the title, and now we've actually killed off ourselves, and there's no taking that back. And this whole pullback, this is not us going to heaven. We're just dead. I mean, those were suicides, frowned upon by every major Western religion, and Atlantic City is in the Western world, so... Penn and Teller are dead. That's it. Thanks. Hope you enjoyed it. You can imagine the sequel thing is kind of a bitch.
-->'''Teller:''' Why didn't we just use different names?
-->'''Penn:''' ...Damn!
* ForegoneConclusion: Yup.
* GilliganCut: Right after Penn says that even "the bad boys of magic" don't reveal how their tricks are done... [[HypocriticalHumor the scene shows exactly how it's done.]]
* GoneHorriblyRight: Penn's final prank is about scaring the hell out of Teller. And it [[HoistByHisOwnPetard really does]].
* HappilyFailedSuicide: Set up with [[spoiler:the Fan's friend]], complete with dramatic slow motion as he pulls the trigger only for the gun to be out of bullets. Then it is thoroughly subverted as his actual reaction is to be annoyed, look around the room for more bullets (which takes a while) and then do it successfully.
* HeroicBSOD: Teller, after [[spoiler: he shoots Penn]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Penn's final prank goes a wee bit wrong for him.
* HypocriticalHumor: Plenty. For example, when a reporter asks Penn how the "drills on the table" trick is done, he refuses, claiming that while Penn and Teller are the "bad boys of magic", they never reveal how tricks are done. A second later, the ''film'' shows how the trick is done.
* ImYourBiggestFan: The Fan, of the [[{{Misery}} Annie Wilkes]] variety.
* IronicEcho:
** In the opening segment on the talk show, Penn shouts "Are we live?!" regularly and has the audience respond, to assure TV viewers that the performance is in fact happening live and no editing trickery is involved. After capturing Teller, the Fan starts reenacting the segment, and the insane, growling voice in which he says "ARE WE LIVE?!" is possibly the most unsettling part of it.
** "Are we live?!" is also irony given the title of the film. [[spoiler: And the ending.]]
** Additionally, after each trick the pair play on one another, the phrase "No hard feelings" is used. The last time it is used is [[OutOfGenreExperience a bit more serious]].
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Everyone involved dies at the end. [[RefugeInAudacity And then a bunch of people who weren't involved at all die too, for good measure.]]]]
* LaughingMad: [[spoiler:Teller, after he's accidentally killed Penn and before he commits suicide]]
* LoonyFan: The Fan who is trying to kill them. [[spoiler: Except it turns out he was an actor hired by Penn.]]
* MetalDetectorCheckpoint: The EscalatingWar starts with Teller ensuring repeatedly that the metal detector gate gets set off every time Penn walks through it.
* MoodWhiplash: At the end, there is one [[OutOfGenreExperience dead serious scene]], in stark contrast with most of the movie. It then evolves into [[SuicideAsComedy a sequence of increasingly ridiculous suicides]], in what may be the funniest part of the entire film.
* MotorMouth: Penn as he's trying to distract the psychic surgeon who is trying to kill them.
-->'''Penn:''' You see? It's not the ''[[{{Mondegreen}} leby]]'', it was the ''levy'' that was dry! The ''levy'' was dry!
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Teller and Carlotta both have a HeroicBSOD after [[spoiler: Teller shoots Penn and themself]].
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Teller keeps contriving to make the airport metal detector go off every time Penn walks through it. By the end, a frustrated Penn, now stripped down to his underwear, screams, "I'll walk through the detector '''''NAKED!!!'''''" offscreen.
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse - after their talk show appearance at the beginning, everyone thinks of Penn as the guy who said he wanted people to kill him on national television.
* NoirEpisode: The black-and-white sequence, where Penn suddenly [[SmokingIsCool smokes]] and attempts a (hilariously over-the-top) variation of a PrivateEyeMonologue.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: [[spoiler: Carlotta adopts a ridiculous Boston accent when disguised as an Irish cop. She drops it during TheReveal.]]
* OnceForYesTwiceForNo: While blindfolded on an operating table, Penn asks Teller to do this to confirm he's there several times, to no avail.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: At the end, [[TheVoiceless Teller]] actually speaks. First he says "Listen..." when he walks into the Fan's apartment, and the latter [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it ("Come on, Teller! The audience knows Teller doesn't speak!"). Then, later, [[spoiler: he drops the silent persona completely when he realizes he's just [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone shot Penn]] and demands some answers.]] The trope name is very literal here: this is a realistic reaction, completely out of tune with the logic the rest of the movie runs on, that establishes this as the one dead serious scene in it.
** In a meta-sense, Teller has spoken far more since the release of the film, such as the duo's appearance on ''TheSimpsons'', Jillette's podcast, and so on.
* OutOfGenreExperience: Most of the movie is very silly, despite its [[BlackComedy dark subject matter]] - but then at the end, there is a single scene which takes itself completely seriously, with not a shred of comedy to it, black or otherwise. [[spoiler: After Teller shoots Penn, he stares for a moment and then ''[[OOCIsSeriousBusiness speaks]]'', in a squeaky, frightened, disbelieving voice: "That's Penn! ''What is going on?''" When it dawns on him that Penn was playing a trick on him, he starts [[LaughingMad laughing hysterically]] as he latches on to the conviction that they switched his gun with a fake gun at some point... and then Carlotta denies it, [[OhCrap he shoots the gun and finds it is indeed real]], and it becomes clear that [[PleaseWakeUp Penn is not waking up]]. Teller chuckles a little bit more, says "[[IronicEcho No hard feelings]]," and [[DrivenToSuicide shoots himself]]. Carlotta, in shock, starts sobbing, roaming aimlessly around the room while burying her head in her hands, and finally [[DrivenToSuicide jumps out the window]].]] ...And then [[MoodWhiplash it turns into one of the funniest sequences in the entire film]].
* PhonyPsychic: Psychic surgeons. [[spoiler: Except it turns out there weren't any psychic surgeons - well, there probably are, but none of them actually appeared and the guy we thought was going to see a psychic surgeon actually wasn't sick.]]
* RealityEnsues: After the whole movie has been a pretty silly comedy about Penn and Teller's stage personas thinking assassins are after them, the characters react completely realistically to [[spoiler: Penn's death, including Teller [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness dropping his stage persona altogether]]]]. Of course, then comes [[SuicideAsComedy the end]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler: The policewoman]] delivers one against Teller at the end, ranting about how he's always there making funny faces in the background while Penn talks but really he thinks the morbid routines up with him and is "too sick to even express [himself] in words".
** [[spoiler: This should have clued Teller in to the fact that the policewoman is a part of a prank, because that's something no one would know except the duo and their handlers.]]
** RealitySubtext: Teller really does think up most of Penn & Teller's act, being an accomplished stage director, for starters.
* {{Retirony}}: The older police officer who comes in at the end mentions being about to retire, minutes before [[DrivenToSuicide committing suicide]].
* TheReveal: Several times. First, near the middle, we find out [[spoiler: the whole thing with the psychic surgeons was a trick Teller was playing on Penn]]. Then the policewoman reveals that [[spoiler: she was actually working with the Fan and behind everything]]. And then we discover actually [[spoiler: the policewoman was Carlotta all along, working with Penn ''and'' the Fan to trick Teller as a means of getting back at him for the kidnapping thing]].
* TheSilentBob / TheVoiceless: Teller for most of the movie, true to his normal stage persona.
* SmokingIsCool: Penn smokes in the FilmNoir-parody DeliberatelyMonochrome sequence.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: The Fan made a montage video out of Penn and Teller's appearance on the talk show at the beginning.
* SuicideAsComedy: The end has this, to extreme levels: it is implied that it sets off a wave of increasingly ridiculous suicides around the entire world.
* SuspiciouslyAproposMusic: The film ends with the [[Music/TheBeeGees Bee Gees]] song "I Started a Joke".
-->I started a joke, which started the whole world crying\\
But I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no.
* TakeMeInstead: Parodied; when they're being kidnapped, Penn shouts "Do what you want to the girl, but leave me alone!" Penn also gets the psychic surgeon to go for him rather than Teller while they're strapped down on medical trolleys, since Teller is well on his way towards sawing through his restraints with a pocket knife, but that's just because at that point Penn's only hope is for Teller to break free and fight back against their captors; he isn't trying to be self-sacrificing.
* TwistEnding: [[spoiler: The ''entire film'' has just been Penn and Teller playing tricks on one another; there never was a real assassin after them at all. Which [[ForegoneConclusion doesn't stop them from getting killed anyway]], of course.]]
* VindicatedByCable: The theatrical release did almost ''no'' business. In fact, the film is only getting notice over 20 years since its release.
* WalkingDisasterArea: Penn & Teller, {{Lampshaded}} by The Fan's friend.
-->'''Fan's Friend:''' ''I hate Penn & Teller!'' Not content just to destroy ''themselves''...!
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