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[[quoteright:320:[[Series/ArrestedDevelopment http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bdaybhumor_8246.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320: "That is ''wicked''..."]]

->''"Always look on the bright side of death,\\
Just before you draw your terminal breath.\\
Life's a piece of shit,\\
When you look at it.\\
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.\\
You'll see it's all a show--\\
Keep 'em laughing as you go,\\
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!"''
-->-- ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'', "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"

Black comedy, also known as black humor or dark comedy, is a sub-genre of comedy and satire where topics and events that are usually treated seriously are treated in a satirical manner while still being portrayed as the negative events that they are. Typical targets are death, (mass) murder, suicide, {{blackmail}}, (domestic) violence, disease, insanity, handicaps, environmental disasters, famine, fear, child pornography/abuse, drug abuse, rape, castration, cannibalism, war, terrorism, racism, sexism, homophobia, bestiality and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking line-cutting]].

It is not quite ToiletHumour, which is just gross, neither is it quite VulgarHumor, since it can be delivered quite easily without swearing. It often times takes the form of RefugeInAudacity, while incorporating elements of the above mentioned forms of humor. What makes it different though, is that the theme of the comedy would tend to gravitate towards topics that are considered to be "dark" and/or taboo (such as depression, death, atrocities, racism, poverty, etc.) This form of humor will usually go beyond the mere act of telling jokes, some works focusing instead on situational comedy, ''Film/DrStrangelove'' being one example. Movies that alternate between comedy and tragedy, like ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', are not black comedy, since by definition Black Comedy draws humor from the tragic parts. To sum it up, black humor is a type of comedy that deals with negative aspects of life, deriving humour due to it being shocking and unexpected, ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' having dead babies singing for example, being shockingly cruel (and thus unexpected,) and in part because it many time reflects a truth that might be too grim to state seriously, something quite common for example in [[SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Russia]], and quite abundant in political humor.

A joke might revolve around, for example, a homeless man committing a string of murders so that he will get sentenced to death, a state that, properly tied up in appeals, is ''better than'' his former life expectancy and quality. Delivered correctly, it can be very funny, yet at the same time more than a little disturbing. If done wrong, however, [[DudeNotFunny the audience may be extremely offended]].

Black Comedy doesn't necessarily have to involve death -- anything tragic can be fodder for Black Comedy. A KafkaKomedy is a subtrope of Black Comedy in which the object of humor is abject failure.

CrossesTheLineTwice may apply. Often set in a CrapsackWorld. Subtropes include GallowsHumor (which affects the joke maker personally) and KafkaKomedy (in which anything the protagonist does is guaranteed to fail). As the perfect storm of fatalism and dry humor, it often overlaps with [[BritCom British Humour]] and RussianHumour. This can be RefugeInAudacity. Can be prone to creating a SurpriseCreepy vibe. Especially if whatever is invoking the trope starts out cheery (or if someone fragile witnesses it.)

If Black Comedy shows up in a series that doesn't ordinarily deal with grim subject matter so cavalierly, it's a BlackComedyBurst. BlackComedyRape is a trope in and of itself.

Black Comedy might even be [[OlderThanYouThink as old as comedy itself]].

Not to be confused with UncleTomfoolery. Compare SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror.

Has [[IThoughtItMeant very little to do with]] people such as Creator/JackBlack, Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/RichardPryor, or Creator/ChrisRock, although they may occasionally engage in it.

!!!'''Since this is an occasional DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''

* BlackComedyAnimalCruelty: When animal cruelty is played for laughs.
* BlackComedyBurst: When an otherwise lighthearted comedy suddenly starts using darker jokes.
* BlackComedyCannibalism: Jokes about [[ImAHumanitarian cannibals and cannibalism]].
* BlackComedyRape: Jokes about [[RapeTropes rapists and people getting raped]].
* BloodyHilarious: When the humor is based on [[{{Gorn}} explicit gore and violence]].
* ComedicSociopathy: When a character's {{lack of empathy}} and callous treatment of others is played for laughs.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: When a joke is so blatantly offensive that it becomes funny instead.
* DeathAsComedy: Someone's death is treated as a joke.
* DudeNotFunny: An attempt at black comedy falls short on the "comedy" part and comes across as just offensive.
* GallowsHumor: Coping with imminent death or other dire situations by joking about them.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: One of the good guys is inclined toward hilariously offensive behavior.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Jokes about children suffering from {{parental abuse}} or other traumatic experiences.
* KafkaKomedy: A form of dark comedy where the humor is based on misery and misfortune rather than death.
* MeatgrinderSurgery: A surgeon uses surgical tools or does surgical procedures on his patient that no sane surgeon would use or attempt, and has a questionable regard for the patient's well-being.
* SuicideAsComedy: Jokes revolving around or involving {{suicide| index}}.

* BlackComedy/AnimeAndManga
* BlackComedy/{{Comedy}}
* BlackComedy/ComicBooks
* BlackComedy/ComicStrips
* BlackComedy/FanWorks
* BlackComedy/{{Film}}
* BlackComedy/{{Jokes}}
* BlackComedy/{{Literature}}
* BlackComedy/LiveActionTV
* BlackComedy/{{Music}}
* BlackComedy/{{Theatre}}
* BlackComedy/VideoGames
* BlackComedy/WebComics
* BlackComedy/WebOriginal
* BlackComedy/WesternAnimation
* BlackComedy/RealLife


* The (thankfully never used) slogan for Panasonic: "From the wonderful folks who brought you Pearl Harbor." It was later re-purposed as advertiser Creator/JerryDellaFamina's book title. [[note]]Although, with Nakajima not a name in the US market, the phrase would be more appropriately applied to Mitsubishi.[[/note]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUnu8mm551I This]] [[CandidCameraPrank hidden camera mailbox prank]] seems like an innocent enough prank, (until the guns get pulled out.)
* [[http://www.adrants.com/images/la_senorita_mexican_restaurant_billboard.jpg This billboard,]] [[DrinkingTheKoolAid which is a reference to]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown the Jonestown Massacre.]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjVW6roRs-w "No Pressure"]] featured, among other things, kids being [[DisproportionateRetribution blown up]] for not signing on to 10:10's [[GlobalWarming carbon emissions reduction program]] as a CrossesTheLineTwice joke. If you don't feel like watching, it's not some kind of cute, funny explosion effect; it's [[{{Gorn}} very bloody]] and identifiable bits of human tissue can be seen coating the bystanders in this ad. The reaction to this ad was negative and it was pulled very quickly when it became apparent that people were turning against the 10:10 campaign as a result of it.
* The Creator/DiscoveryChannel 2013 Shark Week promo is a staged live newscast of [[MeaningfulName "Snuffy the Seal"]] [[YetAnotherBabyPanda being returned to the ocean]], which [[MoodWhiplash suddenly turns tragic]] when [[ThreateningShark a great white shark leaps out of the water]] and [[{{Pun}} snuffs out Snuffy]]. (A SceneryCensor is used to avoid {{gorn}}.) Watch [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMnMgX7GiOA here.]] Their 2014 Shark Week Promo [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4s7g1sBUwo shows that Snuffy is safe.]]
* In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a charity PSA ran on television featuring a George W. Bush impersonator addressing the nation from the Oval Office... while disguised as a dolphin.
* The whole point of ''WebAnimation/DumbWaysToDie'' is to get the audience to laugh at, but be aware of, all the stupid ways you can die around trains.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfHHywSumfc This]] banned Home Away ad that featured a "test baby" going splat against a window. Dead Baby Comedy indeed.
* Around 1990 Advertising/MAndM commercials started to take this turn; the first was probably the one where Red and Yellow falsely accused B. B. King of eating the two blue ones, but it got worse. Several actual humans ''did'' want to eat them, and many [[HumansAreBastards play with them a little before doing so]]. Not that they're any better, as some commercials have them kidnapping humans and each other, and in one case, laughing at candy bar who melts in the sun. They're also not averse to eating non-sentient M&Ms themselves, [[CarnivoreConfusion which at least one guy in one commercial]] called them out on.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbheC3kRDiA This]] commercial starts off innocent with cutesy art and a cutesy theme song, very much a homage to [[WesternAnimation/DragonTales another kids cartoon about dragons]]. Then CG dragons come in and burn EVERYTHING as the cartoon dragons and kids scream and flee in terror. For bonus points, [[SoundtrackDissonance the cutesy theme song keeps playing in the background.]] Ladies and Gentlemen, ''WesternAnimation/WarDragons''.
* The notorious [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm_oLF-LgNk "Life is Short"]] commercial for X-Box, which was banned for being a little ''too'' black. (Of course, given how long the original X-Box lasted, many fans today find the analogy [[HilariousInHindsight kind of funny]].)

* True to its source, the ''Pinball/JudgeDredd'' pinball is full of this, whether it's perps exploding into LudicrousGibs or civilians locked up for excessive flatulence.
* The SkillShot of ''Pinball/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'' has a T-Rex squishing people. Not bad on its own, but the less common "Super Skill Shot" includes ''old ladies'' among the targets. Ouch.
* All of the humor in Creator/DataEastPinball's ''Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt'' is this, as per the license.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Not long after Wrestling/ChrisBenoit had strangled his wife and son to death, then hanged himself, a picture of him crying (taken from the Wrestling/EddieGuerrero tribute episode of RAW) made its way around the Internet, with the questionable caption "They were supposed to tap out!" You can see it [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WCrIotSdkFA/Sbq3y3obmVI/AAAAAAAABXw/McbmIWOxUVs/s400/benoit+supposed+to+tap+out.jpg here]].

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''Series/FurTV'' is the king of this category, yes, along with shows like ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' or ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', but a puppet version. Sometimes reaching disturbing levels.
* On the 11/14/10 episode of ''WebVideo/TheFundayPawpetShow'' everyone was watching a reporter show footage of an angry man in a Rascal scooter ram an elevator door three times, the third time disappearing down the shaft to his real-life death. As the reporter showed the footage again, out of nowhere cast member Blitz said "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" completely catching everyone off guard.
* ''Series/TheFerals'': Even overlooking the levels of violence and cruelty, which is not easy, the rabbit character is named Mixy...after [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myxomatosis myxomatosis.]]
* ''Series/SesameStreet'', of all things, engages in a bit of black comedy with the ''Series/GameOfThrones'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhWUFXvaZjo parody.]]

* AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho has its moments, particularly in the episode [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoNEDAS2E2MaxWarp "Max Warp"]]. The entire episode is a gleeful TakeThat to ''Series/TopGear''. The Richard Hammond character appears to die violently in a space ship crash. In RealLife, Hammond was in a serious car crash two years before the episode aired.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* When it was released at the height of the Cold War, the ''TabletopGame/NuclearWar'' card game was seen as an example of this.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', particularly the Straight and Classic play styles (the Zap style is too busy committing more cartoonish violence).
* The orcs and goblins in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Fantasy''. These are creatures that live for killing things - goblins even commit suicide just to kill enemies. These are the most humorous in the setting. And [[XtremeKoolLetterz da Orkz]] in its sci-fi counterpart ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. These are creatures who can get anything to work by simply [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believing it will work]], and with the Grots, the local flavour of the goblins, being the ultimate kind of ButtMonkey to the Orks in the setting - and not caring. Where any other army is based on a major civilization or a well-known historical army, the Orks are based on British [[FootBallHooligans soccer hooligans]], clearly cementing them as comic relief. The ''40K'' setting is so dark, grim, and cynical that it is almost taken to levels of self-parody, something many fanfiction writers embrace to a strong degree, and even some official book series, such as ''ComicBook/DeffSkwadron'' and the ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' ('''[[FakeUltimateHero HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!]]''') series.
* ''TabletopGame/InNomine'' has Kobal, Demon Prince of Dark Humor, and his servitors, who work to turn existence into black comedy.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'', full stop. The dark humor in the setting is a huge deconstruction of the typical ''D&D'' heroic fantasy.
* Rule of thumb in ''TabletopGame/CardsAgainstHumanity'': If you aren't putting together horrible jokes with your cards, you're doing it wrong. Possible question/answer combinations include "I got 99 problems, but ''being on fire'' ain't one" or "Why do I hurt all over? ''Scalping''".
* This is mostly the point of ''TabletopGame/{{Fiasco}}'', inspired as it is by Creator/TheCoenBrothers. Everything up to the characters' inevitable deaths, arrests, and/or visits to a living hell is expected to be played for pitch-dark comedy.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* ''Ride/TheHauntedMansion'' has quite a bit of this mixed in with all the horrific imagery.
* ''Theatre/UniversalsHorrorMakeUpShow'' uses comedy as a means of demonstrating how some of the most gruesome effects in movies are done.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'' has this trope in spades. Despite it being a story about a DeadlyGame where high-schoolers kill each other, much of the tragedy ends up being played for laughs.
* There are many ways for Elonie to die in ''VisualNovel/LongLiveTheQueen'' and all of them are depicted with a cutesy, super-deformed depiction of her demise.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' typically manages to get quite a bit of a comedy from it's murder cases.
** Played with in ''Dual Destinies'', with Simon Blackquill, who often times makes morbid jokes about the murder on trial. Such as when he says that the spirit of a spear stabbing victim "might find that the hole in his stomach makes eating a challenge". It's lampshaded at one point:
--->'''Blackquill:''' I shall tie your lips together, lest you further embarrass yourself.\\
'''Athena:''' Now isn't the time for black comedy....
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'':
** The game can fall into this, if you go into it with the right sort of mindset. There's something about the image of Rin trying to paint with no arms that's hilarious.
** One unintentional example was one of the RelaxOVision screens that can pop up if you disable the sex scenes. During Hanako's route (the girl who has suffered third degree burns on half her body), an image of ''fried shrimp'' can randomly appear as the filler image for her sex scene.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'', Nayuki's mom Akiko, in one occasion, got hit by a car and was nearly killed, while her daughter blamed herself for that. She only managed to survive thanks to a mircale worked by Ayu.\\
But where's the Black Comedy in that? This event is referenced in the doujin FightingGame ''VideoGame/EternalFighterZero'': Akiko has a super move that starts with a car (At level 3 it's a lorry) speeding towards her; at first you might think "Oh, no, not again", but suddenly, Akiko notices just in time to catch it ''with one hand'', and [[CarFu throws it into her opponent for good damage.]] The name of this move? "Planning For The Worst". Yeah, she has a strange sense of humor.
* ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' has a doozy. One of the Q endings has Mira killing her boyfriend Eric [[spoiler: and then cutting his heart out, identifying her as the Heart Ripper, an on-the-loose serial killer... who is now [[AloneWithThePsycho trapped with Q, a small boy]].]] Not only is this scene NightmareFuel but it's also one of the most horrifying and goriest scenes in the ''franchise''. Until you get the achievement which is called, [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhrBDcQq2DM What is Love?]] Baby Don't Hurt Me,]] and start giggling like a maniac.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheNekciMenijShow'', which asks you to laugh at women angling to kill each other over album sales and awards.
* ''Creator/FilmCow'' is an animation studio (of ''WebAnimation/CharlieTheUnicorn'' fame) that focuses mostly on... interesting characters, who either end up dead or do the killing themselves. As you can imagine, it is [[IncrediblyLamePun bloody hilarious]].
* ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' is a web video series about two characters fighting to the death. Would have had a hard time avoiding this one. Co-host Boomstick is a notable fountain of this, no matter how the fight ends, he always has a bad pun for the fallen. Or one for the victor or how the fight ended.
* Japanese flash animator Rareko is known for this in his works. One example includes ''Push Puku Chan'', which is about an android who was trying to make friends using her trumpet, but often ends up killing people, whom fear her.
* ''WebAnimation/TomorrowsNobodies'' regularly plays violence, death, and child abuse for laughs.
* Many of the ''WebAnimation/DorklyOriginals'' videos often play violence and death for laughs.
* The ''WebAnimation/PokemonRusty'' spin-off also features this. Rusty tries to teach a Zubat Surf and rides on top of it, shoves multiple Bidoofs into one Pokeball, and washes a Grimer down the drain. And that's not even ''half'' of all the horrid things Rusty has done at the hands of his complete and utter stupidity.
* ''WebAnimation/ProstituteMickey'', a flash-animated series of short films where Mickey Mouse has been forced to become a prostitute to make ends meet and is subjected to many horrifically embarrassing events.
* ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'', as well as ''WebAnimation/DrHavocsDiary''. The former regularly pokes fun at abortion, sexual harassment, and drug usage (for starters); the latter is a satiric take on some of the more sensitive topics in modern society such as [[spoiler: white cops shooting a black man for no reason!]]