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-> '''Elliot:''' It doesn't really bother me that much.\\
'''Tedd:''' Then ''why'' did you try to weasel out of the party?\\
'''Elliot:''' Because it sounds like one big awkward moment.
-->--'''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''', [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2005-01-28 here]]

A big trend in modern TV comedy: shows where the humour mostly comes from placing characters in the most embarrassing situations possible, or having them say the most awkward or offensive thing possible at all times. Often uses documentary feel to heighten the naturalism and increase the cringe, or has actors in character interacting with an unsuspecting public. Comedy you have to watch through the gaps between your fingers.

Often this is mollified by the characters being [[ComicallyMissingThePoint oblivious to the embarrassment]] they should be feeling. Sometimes though, all the characters are acutely aware of their humiliation, which can make it so much worse. Or worse yet, there's a single {{audience surrogate}} character who realizes how humiliated everyone should be feeling, while everyone else remains oblivious.

Some shows specialize in this sort of humor. Others include a scene of it here or there, largely avoiding it. Still others make this sort of thing a sort of RunningGag, as with taking a character who can't act and requiring them to play a part for the good of the team -- repeatedly.

German, the [[GermanLanguage language]] that brought you [[ComedicSociopathy "Schadenfreude"]], has developed the term "Fremdschämen" ("vicarious shame/embarrassment") to cover this phenomenon.

See also CrossesTheLineTwice, where the same basic material is used, but more to make people laugh than to make them uncomfortable.


[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]
* ''SchoolRumble''. Especially after [[SpotlightStealingSquad Harima became the main character]].
* Episodes 7 and 8 of ''[[Anime/{{Persona 4}} Persona 4: The Animation]]''
* ''LightNovel/ChuunibyouDemoKoiGaShitai'' can be this if you can relate to Yuuta [[spoiler:and Shinka]]'s OldShame.
* ''Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular'' often uses this trope with many fans talking about how the comedy [[ThisLoserIsYou hits a little too close to home at times.]]
* ''Manga/ToLoveRu loves this, especially since Rito's an [[AccidentalPervert Accidental Pervert]].
* ''LightNovel/OreNoNounaiSentakushiGaGakuenLoveComeOZenryokuDeJamaShiteiru'' (''My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy'') has the protagonist cursed with the "Absolute Choice" and he must abide by this and no, he cannot TakeAThirdOption. Most of these choices are going to end up embarrassing him so much that he became part of the "Rejected Five" because of his bizarre actions.

[[folder: Comedians ]]
* Creator/BenStiller; look at every role he's played dating back to his own show, both as host and in every one of his skits.
* In the late '60s and the '70s, German comedian Creator/{{Loriot}} basically created his entire career completely on sketches about uptight middle class people who get into awkward situations and make everything worse by being completely oblivious about it. It becomes much more bearable by the fact, that usually nobody seems to be aware that the situations should be awkward and everyone continues as if everything would be fine. As a parody of how people of those decades refused to allow any loss of face to the point where it got painful, his show got massively popular. As an example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRhf98aKsto&NR=1 "German for Foreigners"]], or known to most people as [[MemeticMutation "This is my briefcase"]], or "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtibYjww8Eg&feature=related People on a plane]]".
* LouisCK; Don't even try to watch any of his shows if you are even slightly sensitive to this kind of thing.

[[folder: Fanfiction]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic "[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/13565/1/Naked-Singularity/Naked-Singularity Naked Singularity]]". It's about Twilight writing a pornographic story involving expys of her and a few of her friends. A lot of the humor comes from the science allusions and technobabble that makes the story indecipherable. Then she [[spoiler:reads it to a coffee shop with Celestia, Twilight's parents, a class of schoolchildren...]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''{{Bridesmaids}}'': when the main character is getting the attention of a cop who doesn't want to acknowledge her, among numerous other examples.
* ''MeetTheParents''; the entire movie and most of the sequels.
* ''DeathAtAFuneral''. Alan Tudyk at a funeral + acid - clothing = cringe comedy gold.
* ''Film/FrancesHa'' is fairly low-key CringeComedy, but much of the film's humour nevertheless consists of this. The main character enacts her eccentricities in inappropriate situations, e.g. by trying to inaugurate someone as a new BFF by one-sidedly play-fighting with her. In general, Frances' failure to fit in with the adult world is a source of much of the film's comedy.

%%[[folder: Literature ]]
%%* The ''BridgetJones'' newspaper columns and subsequent book compilations.

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
%%* ''CurbYourEnthusiasm''
%%* ''Series/ImAlanPartridge''
* ''PeepShow'' is this when it's not being a BlackComedy.
%%* ''Series/TheOfficeUK / Series/TheOfficeUS''
%%** ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' (a similar show by the creators of the U.S. version)
%%* ''{{Extras}}''
%%* ''{{Da Ali G Show}}''
%%* The celebrity interviews on ''Series/BrassEye''.
* Charlie Runkle's role on ''Series/{{Californication}}''. Examples include his masturbation at work habit becoming known through a viral video and was taken to a new low (or high perhaps) with his season 6 plot about pretending to be gay to sign a client.
%%* ''Colin's Sandwich'' is an earlier example, where the embarrassment came partly from Colin's horrible bad luck and partly from his reactions to it which invariably made things worse.
%%* ''FawltyTowers''
%%* ''MrBean'', both the series and the movies. Creator/RowanAtkinson often uses this trope.
* ''FreaksAndGeeks'' has a goodly amount of this. Some of the situations the characters find themselves in include: [[ImpossiblyTackyClothes showing up to school in a leisure suit]], [[NakedPeopleAreFunny streaking through the school]], getting egged on Halloween [[EtTuBrute by your own sister]], [[InfantImmortality running over the shy Jesus freak's dog]], getting "drunk" and emotionally wrecked on [[DrunkOnMilk non-alcoholic beer]] and [[BadNewsInAGoodWay getting dumped by proxy by your girlfriend's mom]]. And [[SlapstickKnowsNoGender nobody is spared.]]
%%* ''Series/{{Coupling}}'', especially storylines involving either Jeff or Jane.
%%* ''Series/TheInbetweeners'' is this for a new generation, with the added bonus that, since it's set in the Sixth Form, a LOT of the viewers have been there and can relate.
%%* ''TheWorstWeekOfMyLife''
* ''Series/TheITCrowd'':One episode has Roy go underneath a woman's desk to plug in her computer. She comes back to sit at her desk and he ends up trapped since he couldn't possibly get out without looking like a pervert.
%%* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' correspondant interviews, as well as many ''Series/TheColbertReport'' interviews.
%%* ''{{Seinfeld}}'', especially George Costanza (even more for what he does than what happens to him).
%%* About half the humor in ''{{Monk}}'' comes from this.
%%* Short-lived SethMacFarlane series ''The Winner''.
%%* ''TheThickOfIt''
%%* On ''Series/MisterEd'', Wilbur Post
* ''MalcolmInTheMiddle''. One famous example is Malcolm flipping out in front of a bunch of his friends and the girl he likes at his mother who was the 'chaperone' for them at a bowling alley, because he sucks at the game. He walks down the lane to the pins, throws it and still misses.
* A episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' had Chase making a YourMom joke to Foreman as a [[{{EpicFail}} witty comeback]]. Some fans couldn't even watch the ensuing train wreck.
%%* ''Series/TheIncreasinglyPoorDecisionsOfToddMargaret''
* The ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' episode "Duet" has Rodney [=McKay=] on a dinner date. Doesn't sound so bad, except: a) Rodney is naturally awkward in social situations, especially when there is a woman involved; and b) Rodney has a female consciousness in his head at this point, giving him dating advice in a voice only he can hear.
%%* ''The Comeback'', Lisa Kudrow's short-lived {{HBO}} SitCom.
* The Ted and Ralph sketches from ''TheFastShow''. [[TheWoobie Ralph]] is the socially awkward upper-class proprietor of an English estate, while [[WorkingClassHero Ted]] is an elderly Irish man who tends to the estate's gardens. [[HoYay Ralph is in love with Ted]]. HilarityEnsues.
** "I'll get me coat."
%%* While not necessarily a comedy, ''TwinPeaks'' sometimes dives into this during the show's more awkward moments.
%%* An episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'' when JackBlack tries to join the study group. His usual antics lend this to his scenes.
%%* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' had this in nearly every episode.
%%* ''Series/NewGirl'' uses this trope a few times in the PilotEpisode.
%%* ''{{Trollied}}'' has a bit of this, most notably Julie's job interview.
%%* An iron stomach is required to get through an episode of ''Series/TimAndEricAwesomeShowGreatJob'' without looking away in embarrassment.
* ''Series/TheTomGreenShow''; Blending BlackComedy and SurrealHumor, Tom would go out of his way to create the most embarrassing, and often disturbing, situations possible for his sidekick Glenn Humplik, random people on the street, audience members, and even his own parents. Examples including airbrushing two very NotSafeForWork lesbians on the hood of his dad's car, and hiding an elaborate contraption under his lab coat while claiming that he was converting grape juice to pee...on a public bench.
%%* A fair share of the humour in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' is this.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'', whenever Sam jumps into the middle of an inopportune situation. Cue "[[{{Catchphrase}} oooooh boy]]".
%%* ''Series/ModernFamily'' definitely has its cringe-inducing moments, although it's not built around that type of humor exclusively.
%%* ''EverybodyLovesRaymond'' is filled with this.
* A lot of the humor in ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' comes from seeing the gang's plans fall flat, notably in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops"
* ''SaturdayNightLive'', especially from the 1990s to now (the '70s and '80s episodes often drift in and out of cringe comedy). Some examples include: the "Canteen Boy Gets Molested" sketch, a lot of the sketches based on real world awkward situations, and, of course, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t3OAHuVasI this]].
* ''Series/ImpracticalJokers'' has a lot of this. Half of the show is the guys laughing at what they've come up with, and their victim's reaction to what he has to do, which are mostly funny. When they are actually going through with it, however, awkwardness galore.
* For a [[SilverAge supposedly]] serious show, ''{{Smallville}}'' indulges in this. For whatever reason, about half of them are Clark's painfully awkward interactions with women, and half of those are with [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend Chloe]].
%%* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' has always done a lot of this, but season four ramps it UpToEleven.
* Most iterations of ''TheOffice'' feature this type of humor. Examples from the most famous versions of the series include:
** ''Series/TheOfficeUK'': David Brent's so-called [[http://www.downvids.net/david-brent-motivational-speech-159089.html motivational speech]] is so utterly uncomfortable that it must be seen to believed.
** ''Series/TheOfficeUS'': Ten years prior to the series, Michael Scott promised a group of inner-city youths that he would pay for their college educations if they would make the necessary grades. Ten years later, Michael must go to these inner-city youths and tell them he's not able to pay for their educations. But before he can do that, they [[http://video.vulture.com/video/The-Office-Scotts-Tots;TV-Clips#c=ZZG2DD1B0XBVT2N1&t=The%20Office:%20Scott%27s%20Tots sing a song about how he will make their dreams come true.]]
* ''Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm'' uses this as the primary source of humor. One of the milder examples is when main character [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist Larry David]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MFebZlUJ7E attempts to get out of jury duty]].
* TheMichaelJFoxShow, though possibly unintentionally. One notable example is Mike's neighbor saying that he "doesn't know what it's like to struggle" as Mike is in the background, struggling to open a jar that his 10 year old opens with ease.
* ''{{Series/Girls}}'' has never been a series to shy away from cringe humor, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mSrfztaNM0 Marnie's cover of Kanye West's "Stronger"]] is one of the most uncomfortable points of comedy in the series. All the more so due to the fact that she's completely unaware of what a complete ass she's made of herself.
* Most episodes of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' run on this trope, often due to the SnowballLie or MistakenForIndex exploding out of proportion, and the characters continuously digging themselves deeper.
* Series/TheInbetweeners makes you cringe very often. Even in the first episode, where Will doesn't have ID in a pub surrounded by nearly his whole school year. [[spoiler: He goes on a rant about how everyone in the pub is under-aged, and gets them all kicked out]].
* Series/ParksAndRecreation is usually upbeat, but the moment where Leslie (along with several members of her team) walks out onto an ice skating rink, only to find her red carpet isn't long enough is this. It also involves a three legged dog that starts to pee on Ron, everyone slipping and falling, and then when she gets to the stage, it has no stairs. As this happens, the song "Get on your feet" by Gloria Estefan starts and repeats several times.
* {{Series/Extras}} is particularly brutal with this. When one woman on the set brings her sister (who has Cerebal Palsy) to the set, Andy makes a joke that she looks drunk and "mental", right in front of her sister. He manages to save this one, though. There are other scenes that are much, much worse.
* ''{{Series/Friends}}'' dabbled in this from time to time, usually at Ross's expense.

%%* FlightOfTheConchords. The song "Jenny" is probably the most awkward conversation ever set to music.

[[folder: Radio ]]
* ''[[OpieAndAnthony The Opie & Anthony Show]]'': Everything from stomping on a homeless man's cake to playing laugh tracks behind a caller mentioning the death of a relative. They even embraced the term "Cringe Radio" for their type of show.

[[folder:Web Original]]
%%* ''{{Mega 64}}'' has this in most of the public video game imitations.
%%* ''TheGuild''
* While ''Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses'' doesn't usually have this, WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's first "Thanks For The Feedback" -- where she goes on a date with the Critic -- is horrifying in awkwardness.
* Daxflame's videos tend to evoke cringing in viewers through his recounts of awkward social interactions and his total obliviousness to his own social insensitivities.
%%* ''AwkwardBlackGirl''
* Cringe Channel, to be found [[http://www.cringechannel.com here,]] aggregates unintentional cringe comedy from all corners of the internet. Even though this is a definite case of laughing at the given subject in almost all instances, certain postings and many commentators take a more aggressive and transparently mean-spirited approach towards their subjects.
* The [[http://www.reddit.com/r/cringe /r/cringe]] [[Website/{{Reddit}} subreddit]] is almost identical, right down to the accusations of bullying.
* ''Website/KnowYourMeme'' has a meme and [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/cringeworthy/photos image gallery]] called "Cringeworthy" that collected various instances of embarrassing and stupid things, but the addition of new images was locked after people started using it for ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontLike (by adding images that were only the logo of things they disliked) and spamming the gallery with several parodies of other images (of note are the many, many parodies of a poor drawing of WebOriginal/TheRake saying "Time to killed people!" and of some Franchise/{{Sonic}} OriginalCharacters called Jake and Maribelle. While the original images ''were'' cringeworthy, the parodies were not)
* GameGrumps can tend delve into this when talking about Dan's past, especially [[NoSocialSkills dating]].

* ''{{Asperchu}}'' becomes this once you realize that [[{{Sonichu}} CWC]] becomes a rampaging self-parody when he's turned into a fictional drawing, with literally no exaggeration whatsoever.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', despite providing the page quote, averts this in the end. The party discussed turns out to be one big HeartwarmingMoment in the end.
* Much of the humor in ''{{Webcomic/Whomp}}'' is centered around the main character Ronnie and his debilitating social awkwardness, as indicated [[http://www.whompcomic.com/2012/10/15/peck-your-battles/ here]].
* ''[[http://www.patheticgeekstories.com/ Pathetic Geek Stories]]'' runs on it, as it's based on real life embarrassing stories sent in by readers.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
%%* ''TheLifeAndTimesOfTim''
* Older ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episodes, and some newer ones rely on this heavily. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in "Funnybot", where the title character even uses "Awkward!" as his catchphrase. The boys have to stop him from telling the "Last Joke Ever," in which he destroys the entire human race becaues it's the most awkward thing possible. Appropriately enough, Funnybot was designed by the gallows-humor-obsessed Germans.
%%* ''TheClevelandShow''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' utilizes this several times a season, mostly with the main character Rusty Venture though other characters are also occasionally guilty of this trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfTim'' somehow succeeds in making every second fit this trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', though whether or not it's funny or just plain offensive is based entirely around one's point of view. A good example is the CutawayGag "[[Literature/HortonHearsAWho Horton Hears Domestic Violence In The Next Apartment And Doesn't Call 911]]."
%%* ''SpongebobSquarepants'' in its later seasons.
* Most of Creator/DonHertzfeldt's works are [[BlackComedy dark comedies]], or [[SurrealHumor surreal]] [[{{Dramedy}} dramedies]]. One film, however, is "Lily and Jim", telling the story of a blind date from the perspective of both people. It is complete CringeComedy.
%%* ''TheRenAndStimpyShow'' often goes into this territory.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' often goes here- most notably in Too Young, with Finn and Princess Bubblegum's more painful (literally causing physical pain) ways of pranking Lemongrab. Two of the pranks weren't pranks so much as they were humorous physical assaults. One involved punching LG in the belly and pushing him onto the floor. The other involved lacing his food with burning-hot chemicals and causing him to fall out of a window. It's hilarious.
--> '''Peppermint Butler''': He's eating the dirt! ''Spice it now!''
* The outrageously funny scene where Principal Skinner treats Superintendent Chalmers to dinner in ''TheSimpsons'' episode "22 Short Films About Springfield".
* TheFlintstones did a lot of this as GettingCrapPastTheRadar. One incident involves Wilma being pregnant with Pebbles and Fred has to be certain he can get her to the hospital in time, so he enlists Barney to help him. She has contractions so they rush her to the hospital, more-or-less in a panic. They arrive at the hospital, Barney rushes Wilma through the revolving door so fast it spins Fred out of the building, and across the street through the revolving door of another building, which Fred does not realize isn't the hospital, but a hotel. HilarityEnsues when Fred, wanting to know where in the hospital Wilma is, innocently says to the desk clerk, "I'm looking for my wife. She just came in here with my best friend."
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' occasionally delves into this.
** The most clear cut example is probably the episode "Maud Pie", where Pinkie's sister visits town and the cast has a horrendously difficult time attempting to get to know her better due to her extreme [[TheStoic stoicism]].
** ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E24EquestriaGames Equestria Games]]'' has the scene where Spike interrupts a medal ceremony to insist on singing the gold medal-winner's anthem. Only after Shining Armor announces this to the crowd does Spike realize that Cloudsdale (not Ponyville) won the gold for that particular event. Spike doesn't know any of the words to Cloudsdale's anthem. As he ad-libs, the camera cuts multiple times to the audience, who are just as embarrassed as Spike is. One unicorn even yanks his top hat down to cover his entire head.
** ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E18AFriendInDeed A Friend In Deed]]'' is this to people who have had to deal with an annoying hanger-on, or realized too late that they were that hanger-on — or both. Same with ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E25PartyOfOne Party Of One]]'', with an added dose of social anxiety. Most Pinkie Pie episodes have at least a little of this.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'': In "The Gi", Gumball and Darwin wear their karate uniforms to school and get soundly mocked by their peers (the duo's nickname is the "Karate Weiners") when they start doing low-grade karate in front of everyone, much to their obliviousness. Nicole is the "cringe-ee" here, as she keeps trying to discourage them without outright saying they're making fools of themselves. At the end Gumball gets a hard dose of reality when he realizes what's really going on, which is a little sad (although the episode ends on a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming right afterwards).

* The main point of all those "Tell Your Most Embarrassing Moment" sections in ''every'' teenage girl's magazine ever.
* [[InvokedTrope Referenced]] in relation to UsefulNotes/SarahPalin 's Katie Couric interview in the book ''Going Rogue''.