If something is played for laughs, it means it is being used with the intention to be comedic. It is often a [[TheParody parody]] of the instances where said device or {{trope}} is used seriously. Sometimes involves LampshadeHanging on a particular {{trope}}.

Contrast PlayedForDrama; sometimes, the [[CanonicalListOfSubtleTropeDistinctions only difference]] between one {{trope}} and another is that one is Played For Laughs, while the other is PlayedForDrama.

Can sometimes result in HarsherInHindsight or a FunnyAneurysmMoment down the line. And of course, can result more immediately in DudeNotFunny Also compare BlackComedy.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Most of the middle of Ep. 4 in ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' is Beatrice having fun making the story play out as much as a cheesy kids' action anime as possible. EleventhHourSuperPower, OutOfCharacterMoment, InterfaceScrew, you name it. [[spoiler:After everyone stops acting it becomes obvious in hindsight.]]
* We have [[AllMenArePerverts uncontrolled lechery]], [[WouldHitAGirl fathers beating their daughters]], bipolar childhood friends with murderous grudges, [[KillItWithFire a pyromaniac baby]], a mother who wishes her son was never born, wanton property destruction, and alien invasions. This is ''UruseiYatsura''. All of the above is ''frikken hilarious''.
* Try [[Manga/RanmaOneHalf an Aquatransexual]] with [[spoiler: a mother who thinks he should be manly or [[{{Seppuku}} face the sword]],]] ''way'' too many Fiancées, [[IKnowKungFaux rivals who practice]] all kinds of [[MartialArtsAndCrafts ridiculous martial arts]], a DirtyOldMan FairWeatherMentor who will stop at nothing [[FelonyMisdemeanor to get him into a bra]], [[WeirdnessMagnet and all sorts of other random stuff happening in his neighborhood.]]
* Despite occasional MoodWhiplash, ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' is this for world history.
* In ''Anime/MazingerZ'', Kouji's sexism and [[BelligerentSexualTension the fights between him and Sayaka]] nearly always are PlayedForLaughs.
* In general, [[HaremGenre Harem]] shows such as ''Manga/LoveHina'', ''LightNovel/InfiniteStratos'', and ''LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu'' utilize this trope anytime a female character is [[DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale shown beating on a male character.]]
* ''Anime/AngelBeats'' plays DeathIsCheap entirely for laughs. All sorts of hideous types of death elected at best a response of "See ya later." and so do many AmusingInjuries. [[SlapstickKnowsNoGender It's also surprisingly non-sexist about it.]]
** Though it does keep most of the female "deaths" relatively non-violent or off-screen, compared to the males.

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[[folder: Fan Fic]]
* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], the entire concept of the fic is played for laughs, as a parody of the professionalism expected from a historical essay.
** Most of the LemonyNarrator's logic and pride are played for laughs. However, as the story continues, it seems as though even certain elements of Equestrian history are naturally funny as well, and as such, invoke this trope too.
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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/CasinoRoyale1967'' plays its [[spoiler: KillEmAll ending]] for laughs, by immediately following it with a [[spoiler: FluffyCloudHeaven Ending.]]
* The most famous example is probably ''[[DrStrangelove Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb]]'' and how it plays TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt as a farcical BlackComedy.
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' features a teenage boy meeting his young mother through TimeTravel and her rather forwardly [[IncestIsRelative coming on to him]], which it plays mostly for laughs. Thankfully, she sees him more like a brother before things go too far.
* ''FourLions'', a farcical black comedy about five Muslim suicide bombers and their ultimately successful quest to blow themselves and other people up in the most pointless ways possible.
* ''TeenTitansTroubleInTokyo'': What Raven and Beast Boy are doing reflects a type of comedy that Japan has called Manzai, where there is a serious straight and an irreverent idiot (BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine), only it's in an American parody and mockery of the original Japanese Manzai.
* ''Film/PainAndGain'' is a film about one of the grisliest crime sprees in the history of the city of Miami. You wouldn't expect such a film to be a comedy until you realize that the main characters' incompetence at crime is what drives the film's plot.
* ''Film/ToBeOrNotToBe'' features Jack Benny and Carole Lombard in her last film. It's a comedy about Hitler's invasion of Poland.
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[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' plays a CrapsackWorld for laughs but mostly glosses over it.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels are often heavy on these in general and sometimes entirely based on this {{trope}}. Or umm, these {{trope}}s.

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[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'', particularly ''[[WorldWarI Blackadder Goes Forth]]'', likewise (except in [[TearJerker the finale]]).
* On a similar vein, much of ''{{Victorious}}''[='=] humor comes from jokes that imply [[BlackComedy mental instability, death, parental abandonment]], etc. In real life, this would be horrifying, and [[DudeNotFunny it's not too funny when they make jokes about it anyway]].
* Forgetful Jones from ''Series/SesameStreet'' is played purely for comedic value (and has [[ForgetfulJones a trope named for him]]), but all his supposedly funny mistakes show all the signs of advanced dementia. What person thought that would be a great concept for a ButtMonkey character on a kids show?
** This is probably why he hasn't been seen in new episodes that much since the 90s, and lots of research about Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (and some of those kids being taken care of by grandparents with those afflictions) coming in. His puppeteer's death in 1992 probably also factored into his disappearance.
* A Season 1 episode of ''HowIMetYourMother'' which detailed Barney's Start of Darkness. All played for laughs, ending with an IgnoredEpiphany for the cherry on top.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' Black Whirlwind would be utterly AxCrazy if he weren't so funny about it.
* HK-47 in ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' is the same, especially as he's open about it.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Isabela's attachment issues and nymphomania are played for laughs unless Hawke pursues a romance with her.
* The relationship tester in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', done by [[DirtyOldMan Old Hubba]] and available in the extras menu, comes with a warning that it is completely played for laughs and should not be taken seriously, most likely to avoid massive InternetBackdraft from the fanboys and fangirls when Old Hubba gives a bad fortune and sinks their favorite ship.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiple ]]

* Many of the characters that fit under TheAce would be {{God Mode Sue}}s if their absurd competence was not funny.

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[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'' does this with [[ImAHumanitarian man-eating]] PlantAliens and sadistic dentists.
* ''TheMikado'' does this with all manner of bloodthirstiness, despite being a light romantic comedy, including, for example, a song ("The Criminal Cried as He Dropped Him Down") in which the chorus goes:
-->As the sabre true
-->Cut cleanly through
-->His cervical vertebrae
-->His vertebrae!

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]


* Webcomics/CthulhuSlippers does this with the end of the world, horrible deaths, BlackMagic and pretty much the entire CthulhuMythos.
* Webcomics/PennyArcade plays both Tycho and Gabe's psychotic moments for laughs, even if death and destruction follows.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Zaboo from ''TheGuild'''s StalkerWithACrush behavior would be horrifically creepy in RealLife, but on the show it's over the top funny (to everyone except Codex, the target of his affections, but even she stops being creeped out and is instead mostly just annoyed by it).
* The blog ''Cut!'' is SlenderMan PlayedForLaughs. At one point, [[TookALevelInDumbass Slendy himself actually bumps into a clear glass door before slinking off in embarrassment.]]
* The infamous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23Te7QAsH6w "Yelling At Cats"]] [[WebVideo video]] is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It's intended to be humorous, but most people do not think [[spoiler:screaming verbal abuse at animals]] is at all funny.
* The [=MurderMen=] of the ''Podcast/ThrillingAdventureHour'' are basically a combination of zombies and serial killers. Their attempts to [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment MurderMan and ManMurder people]] are usually hysterical instead of horrifying.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' does this to the old chestnut of an alien coming to infiltrate society, in all but one episode- the pure NightmareFuel that is "Dark Harvest".
* The infamous Lucy-pulling-the-football-away-from-Charlie-Brown gag in the ''{{Peanuts}}'' series.
* ''KaBlam'': Billy from "The Off-Beats", The RunningGag in the series usually involved Billy saying something that would get Tina mad, and then the Populars would throw him out of the group, causing Billy to crash into something.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' in the episode "Fear Itself". Beast Boy, [[GenreSavvy being an aficionado of horror movies]], spends most of the episode (until he's caught) [[LampshadeHanging telling everyone]] not to [[LetsSplitUpGang split up]] as the monster ''always'' gets his targets easier that way, and that he, the funny guy, will inevitably be taken first. He ends up being right.

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