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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 [[UsefulNotes/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 BritishHumour 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 [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant very little to do with]] people such as Creator/JackBlack, Creator/LewisBlack, 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 the [[BadPeopleAbuseAnimals abuse and mistreatment of animals]] is played for laughs.
* BlackComedyBurst: When an otherwise lighthearted comedy suddenly starts using darker jokes.
* BlackComedyCannibalism: Jokes about [[ImAHumanitarian cannibals eating other people]].
* BlackComedyRape: Jokes about [[SexualHarassmentAndRapeTropes rapists and people suffering sexual assault]].
* BloodyHilarious: When the humor is based on [[{{Gorn}} explicit blood, gore, and violence]].
* ComedicSociopathy: When a character's {{lack of empathy}} and callous treatment of others is played for laughs.
** HeroicComedicSociopath: One of the ([[NominalHero so-called]]) "[[SociopathicHero good guys]]" is inclined toward hilariously offensive behavior.
** LaughablyEvil: A bad guy is depicted in a humorous manner, despite (or perhaps ''because of'') his villainous actions against others.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: When a joke is so blatantly offensive that it becomes funny instead.
** DudeNotFunny: Or instead, an attempt at black comedy falls short on the "comedy" part and comes across as just offensive.
* DeathAsComedy: Someone's death is treated as a joke.
** AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: [[AssholeVictim Someone dies]], and the characters around them react with happiness.
** BondOneLiner: A hero or villain makes a joke about someone they just killed in a gruesome manner.
*** PreMortemOneLiner: A similar kind of joke made just ''before'' killing someone.
** TheFunInFuneral: {{Funeral|Tropes}}s are supposed to be somber, serious ceremonies; but not in this one.
** GallowsHumor: Coping with imminent death or other dire situations by joking about them.
** SuicideAsComedy: Jokes revolving around [[ChoosingDeath people killing themselves]].
** TheyKilledKennyAgain: When a character gets [[DeathIsCheap repeatedly killed and inexplicably resurrected multiple times]].
* 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.

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