Calvin: Mom, can I set fire to my bed mattress? Mom: No, Calvin. Calvin: Can I ride my tricycle on the roof? Mom: No, Calvin. Calvin: Then can I have a cookie?
In psychology this is called the "door in the face" method of bargaining.
In an even funnier one, Calvin declared that he wanted to be a radical terrorist and was going to inhale pesticide in order to soften up his mother (who doesn't believe him) before moving in for the kill with, "I'm going to watch TV all night!" Unfortunately, it doesn't work. ("That's what you think, buster!")
Calvin: You can never tell if they're listening or not.
Andy: Jason, I told you two weeks ago that I didn't want Mortal Karnage II coming into this house. You have no one to blame but yourself. Jason: But...but... Andy: You're too young for this sort of thing. I mean, look at what it teaches: that human disembowelment is entertainment...that "winners" decapitate their enemies...that carnage is spelled with a "K"... Jason:I know carnage isn't spelled with a "K". Andy: The sad part is, that's the least of my concerns.
In Zits, there was a variation. Jeremy's mother says there's something she wants to talk to him about. He then deadpans several wild guesses, including "You're having a sex change?" and "You and dad are cousins?" She gets increasingly frustrated and finally yells out, "No! We're changing salsa brands!" "...WHAT??"
In The Far Side, there was one that showed the Devil in hell leading people into 3 different doors. Door #1 had a sign on it that said "Homicidal Maniacs". Door #2 had a sign saying "Terrorists". Door #3 had a sign saying "People who drove too slow in the fast lane."
In oneCandorville strip, a psychologist is talking about his experiences with gangs: "I thought I knew the evils of gangs. Drive-bys, carjackings, garish bandanas..."
From the title character of Garfield: "Well, King Kong is on the roof batting down airplanes. The entire planet is being ravaged by brain-eating aliens... but more important, my dish is empty."
Another example, where both Jon and Garfield are watching television:
Jon: Garfield I have some bad news, I ran out of your favorite cat food.
Garfield: I'll survive.
Jon: Odie chewed up your scratching post
Garfield: Big deal.
Jon: And Frank left Marcia for Stephanie.
Garfield: How could he?!note Presumably, Frank, Marcia, and Stephanie are characters on the show they're watching.
This in relation to: "My hair's on fire!" "Your dinner will be a teense late." "Why does everything always happen to me?"
In Drabble, Norman has to explain to his father, Ralph (a mall cop), why he got arrested at the mall.
Norman: I went snorkeling in the fountain.
Ralph: That's not so bad.
Norman: And I jumped up and down on all the beds in the mattress store.
Ralph: A minor infraction.
Norman: And I rode the escalator without holding the handrail!
Ralph: Whoa! Now you're looking at hard time!
In Over the Hedge, RJ upset the balance of nature by making Verne popular. And then the Nature Police show up.
Nature Police: You're under arrest.
RJ: What for?
Nature Police: Tampering with a loser, humiliation without a license...and jaywalking.
RJ: Jaywalking!? I was Edgar Allan Poe for Halloween...He was my pet raven!