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Comical Overreacting
"Name's Cruise Control, nice to meet you ma'am! [...] Ugh... NO! You just called her ma'am! That's like saying she's old! Didn't mom tell you 'NEVER ask a lady her age'!? That's just rude you bloody idiot!"
Cruise Control overreacting to himself, Turnabout Storm

Comically reacting to things in an over-the-top manner. Whether it's anger, sadness, fear, joy, or other emotions, those will be played Up to Eleven for Rule of Funny.

The basis is that since a lot of comedy is exaggeration, it includes exaggerating how people feel and react to things.

But this isn't always easy to do. If done wrong, it can seem like yelling and mugging just for the sake of it. If done right, it can make a memorable performance.

One of the distinctions of Anime, Manga, and Animesque works is showing varying silly visual ways in which characters react, from giant heads to Fireball Eyeballs. Similarly, some stand up comics work themselves into an angry state as part of the act. A Caustic Critic can also act like the Suckiness Is Painful of a work has made them apoplectic.

This frequently overlaps with Gasp, Felony Misdemeanor, Faux Horrific, Big "NO!", Drama Queen, Suckiness Is Painful, Berserk Button.

A Sub-Trope of Chewing the Scenery.

A Super Trope to Screaming At Squick and Lost Food Grievance.

A Sister Trope to The Comically Serious (playing under reactions for laughs), Melodrama (overreacting for drama).

Compare Minor Injury Overreaction, Large Ham, Serious Business.

Contrast Dull Surprise, Narm (when reactions are funny unintentionally).

In-Universe Examples Only

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     Advertisements 
  • This advert for www.thetrainline.com has an apocalyptic reaction to...finding out you could have got your ticket cheaper.

     Anime and Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • Turnabout Storm has several cases of this, from Cruise Control's loud self-chastises for commiting petty mistakes (like not saying sorry with enough remorse), to Rarity's massive rant about the post office and its lack of pens, to the point making it look like any other Berserk Button.
  • The 'Help Me, Dr. Hazama!' Fanfic 'Disaster-Piece Theatre' has this little gem after Kokenoe is forced to delete all her scores in her favorite game.
    Kokenoe:"GLAMOUR GIRL!!! WHY-HY-HY-HY-HHYYYYYYY!!! WHY! WHY!!! I'M SO SORRY GLAMOUR GIRL!!!!!" (flails around uncontrollably)
  • A fan-comic shows Child!Feferi going out of the ocean for the first time. Despite being perfectly capable of breathing air, she clings desperately to Eridan and screams about how she's going to die.

     Let's Play 
  • Al Chest Breach is known to do this, his emotions ranging from Heroic BSOD to finding random things, like traffic cones,supremely interesting.
    • In reference to seeing a random traffic cone: GASP!
  • ProtonJon of The Runaway Guys lapsed into this a few times during their LP of Mario Party. The highlight of these was a long chain of screaming "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!" whenever something didn't go his way. See it here.
  • Let's Player azuritereaction enjoys going on huge, exaggerated rages in his videos when he's losing a video game.

     Literature 
  • In the Harry Potter series, the Dursleys are very prone to this. If anything related to magic is mentioned within fifty feet of them (such as Harry saying the phrase "the magic word", meaning "please"), Uncle Vernon will go into a yelling tirade, Aunt Petunia will scream or gasp, and Dudley will try to hide. Also, Aunt Petunia bursts into tears whenever she's proud of Dudley and let's just say he doesn't exactly have to work hard to make her proud.

     Live Action TV 
  • Much of the cast of Will and Grace is prone to overreacting, but Jack is the most prone.
  • Quite a lot of character... heck nearly all of them... in League Of Gentlemen. If you wish to get out of Royston Vasey alive don't say the 'F' word (frog) in the Denton household, or ask if toads give you warts, call Pauline egregious or steal her pens, mention that you aren't local in the local shop and just... don't talk to Geoff (especially about your happy family life)
  • This is a standard means of easy comical bits for a few incarnations of the Doctor in Doctor Who, especially the Second Doctor, the Fourth Doctor during the Romana era and the first couple of seasons of the Tenth Doctor. The Second Doctor has never had an expression he couldn't somehow do moreso, and the Fourth and Tenth are all protruding teeth and googly eyes (one short Expanded Universe story suggested that the Fourth Doctor overreacts deliberately in order to amuse Romana). The Sixth was also prone to overreacting, but in his case it wasn't funny (though it is used for humour in the Big Finish universe).

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Lewis Black acts like he's constantly in a state of rage over everything. He says he isn't really acting nor does he prepare for any of his shows. Just give him a political topic and he'll be going for the next hour.

     Webcomics 
  • Early in Homestuck, John believed his father to work as a clown for a living and that his whole life revolved around cl- harlequins. When he found out that he was just an ordinary businessman who only filled the house with harlequin images because he believed John was interested in them, John began to have a mental breakdown...only to stop because THIS IS STUPID.

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • One of Phineas and Ferb's devices accidentally split Candace into two selves representing her two biggest obsessions: being in love with Jeremy, and needing to bust her brothers. Busting Candace was so shocked by the sight of Lovey-Dovey Candace leaving the mall with their mom Linda that she screamed and pointed in a Shout-Out to the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants does this a lot.
    SpongeBob: Squidward! WE'RE OUT OF NAPKINS! OH, OUT OF NAPKINS!
    • And this is his reaction to getting a customer the wrong sized drink.
      Soiled it!
  • The whole shtick of the "Katie Kaboom" shorts on Animaniacs is that Katie hulks out and becomes a rampaging monster over something trivial. "I am not overreacting! I'M A TEENAGER!"
  • The Simpsons: In "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," the following exchange occurs in open court:
    Defense Attorney: …and, therefore, you would never lose your temper over something as trivial as the pronunciation of "chowder"?
    Freddie Quimby: That's chowDUH! ChowDUH! I'll kill you! I'll kill all of you! Especially those of you in the jury!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Comical overreacting to little things is Rarity's stock in trade. Generally, just the little things, though.


Collective GroanCharacter Reaction IndexCross-Popping Veins
CampChewing the SceneryDrama Queen
Comically Missing the PointAdministrivia/In-Universe Examples OnlyCompensating for Something
Comically Small DemandComedy TropesComic Role Play
Comedic SociopathyRule of FunnyContainer Cling

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