Dude, Not Funny!
"Even I'm offended by this. And I'm a fat Southern sheriff."Some tropes reference things that really should not be played for laughs, but for some reason often are. One of the consequences of comedies using schadenfreude is that they can tread on subjects that are quite serious to some people.
— Chief Wiggum lookalike, The Simpsons
- The old sitcom version of Domestic Abuse
- Modern sitcoms' use of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male variety has been gradually starting to get this reaction, although so far it hasn't been nearly vocal enough to convince the networks to stop using it.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood
- Abusive Parents, particularly as it was used in professional wrestling where – to mock a babyface opponent – the heel claims that a beaten child wants to go live with said babyface "because he don't beat nobody!"
- Maximum Fun Chamber: Cold-Blooded Torture, played for humor. Because who can't see the lighter side of agonizing pain?
- No Sympathy
- Some of the more severe cases of Kafka Komedy (too much Kafka, not enough comedy)
- Suicide: About 60% of suicide attempts are played for laughs (65% if you add the Flanderized Moe Szyslak)
- (95% if you remember WWE's Tim White skits after being storyline fired resulting in a good three months straight of increasingly ridiculous suicide attempts on Raw every week)
- Too Soon
- Insanity and Mental Illness, particularly as a result of intentionally inflicted mental distress.
- Also alcoholism.
- Mocking or criticizing an Unacceptable Target or Acceptable Target if they are nice people who don't deserve it.
- Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Expect this to happen at least once in a Harem anime.
- April Fools' Day jokes if they seem to come across as way too cruel or unfunny.
- Jokes about animal cruelty
- Cruel Twist Endings
- Anything that involves antagonizing Santa Claus, especially if he gets killed.
- Social problems
- Anything having to do with the Nazis — even if it portrays them in a bad light
- Unfortunate Implications
- Drunk Driver. It used to be source of humor, but the usual reaction now is "My God, he's going to kill somebody!"
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- In the long running Geico commercial campaign, very bad news is invariably followed by the same good news. The deliverer of the bad and good news always says: "I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.". Don't Try This at Home.
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, when Arlong's name is brought up, Brook makes an Incredibly Lame Pun based off his name in front of Nami with Usopp kicking him suddenly for it. Usopp explains briefly to the crew members who didn't know about Nami's past about how her hometown was under the control of Arlong and how her adoptive mother was killed by him.
- There are a couple of moments in Excel Saga where Hyatt will include the phrase "sleeping like the dead". Given that Hyatt has a habit of dying very suddenly (though she comes back to life later), no surprise that Excel comments that it's not funny when she says it.
- Kai in Mobile Suit Gundam tends to hear "Kai, enough!" quite a bit when his sarcasm gets too black.
- In Fairy Tail, Gildarts returns from a several-years-long journey and teases Natsu about his crush on Lisanna like he used to do. Natsu gets upset and informs him that Lisanna had died while he was away. Gildarts is shocked and apologizes.
- In one scene in Spirited Away, Chihiro is trying to refill a bathing vat for the stink-spirit and having a very hard time doing so (which is hardly a surprise). Yubaba, who is watching from a balcony, can't help but laugh a little, but the toad-like bathhouse worker next to her who's also watching comments that he does not think it's very funny.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, a group claiming to be Sanosuke's former military unit goes on a crime spree. When Yahiko hears that they have been leaving portraits of Sanosuke's beloved mentor/former captain (who Sanosuke last saw as a severed head after he was executed) at the crime scenes, he jokes that maybe Sanosuke was involved after all and starts laughing. Kaoru hits him and tells him "There are good jokes, and there are bad ones!"
- At the conclusion of the Duelist Kingdom arc in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the gang is searching for Kaiba after his soul was restored following the defeat of Pegasus. Jounouchi, who's made it perfectly clear that he hates Kaiba due to his actions during the Death-T arc, jokingly suggests that maybe his soul died and went to the afterlife instead, leading Anzu to mutter "Not funny!" right behind him.
- At one point in Queen's Blade shapeshifter Melona impersonates Menace's former lover Anarista for a laugh, but since Anarista betrayed Menace and left her to be raped and killed Menace is not amused and threatens to kill Melona if she ever does that again.
- Steins;Gate: Okabe repeatedly calls Ruka - who is undoubtedly the most effeminate character in the series - a dude several times (sometimes to remind even himself, other times to tell unwitting newcomers like Kurisu). However, it eventually stops being funny when Ruka uses D-Mail to make it so he was born female, and it drives Ruka to tears every time he says it afterwards. Justified in the sense that Okabe's Reading Steiner, along with the fact that Ruka looks exactly the same as a girl meant he had no idea that Ruka's D-Mail actually worked, while to the others it just looks like he's making fun of her for no reason all of a sudden.
- Variable Geo: Sexual harassment is never a laughing matter, especially when the girl they're doing it to has the innate ability to summon flames. So when Yuuki decided to 'get friendly' with Satomi, Satomi responded with her ultimate attack, which incinerated the ring and Yuuki along with it (at 21:09-23:03).
- Death Of The Family: The Joker is engaging in Black Comedy once again, and it produces this reaction. Then again, you could count the number of times his form of comedy did not produce this reaction with the fingers on one hand!
Joker: (actually looking sad) Why aren't you laughing?
- One of the most famous examples is in The Killing Joke, where Joker gives a Motive Rant about how the world is so absurd and cruel, the only thing he can do is laugh at it.
- In an Andy Capp strip released in 2013, Andy meets a professor in the tavern who says he's studying phobias, who quickly points out that "ergophobia" is the fear of work, and laughs in Andy's face. Given Andy's reaction, he really didn't think it was funny. (In the last panel, the bartender muses, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...")
- When Obelix gets Taken for Granite in Astérix and Obelix All At Sea, Vitalstatistix, Unhygenix, Cacofonix and Fulliautomatix all stand around making morbid rock-themed puns in the manner of the standard Asterix joke template of this kind. Instead, Asterix yells at them all that his best friend is dead and now is not the time, and Getafix agrees with the others not to make any more jokes in poor taste.
- In one of The Beano annuals, Rodger the Dodger reacts this way when a pair of newsreaders reveal that a meteor they claimed would hit Earth is actually going to miss the planet entirely.
- In Empowered, Oyuki impersonates Mind███. Ninjette tells her that's not funny. Given that Mind████ had died with Empowered unable to save her, if she had seen Oyuki, she probably would have had a Freak Out.
- Transformers Dark Cybertron: Prowl smirks at the death of Chromedome's significant other, Rewind, as Chromedome's actions, under Prowl's direction, got Rewind killed. Chromedome throws him off a cliff for that.
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: In Chapter 8, Soapy Slick and all of his cronies have a good laugh at the defeated Scrooge, with Soapy humiliating him over his defeat. Soapy reads all of Scrooge's letters from home, causing everyone to mock him for being a mommas boy, and laughing over their misfortune. When Soapy reveals to Scrooge that his mother has died, and laughs in his face for it, everyone else quiets down and looks sorry for it all, right before the ensuing Mass "Oh, Crap!" over Scrooge's Unstoppable Rage.
- Ino and Sakura both have no problem mocking Naruto in Shards but when Sakura makes fun of Naruto for being an orphan, Ino stares at Sakura and asks what the hell is wrong with her. It's also a case of Insult Friendly Fire; as Ino explains while chewing Sakura out, Ino almost became an orphan herself, since her mother died in Kyuubi's attack and her father almost died of his wounds, and if her father had died too, Ino could have acted just like Naruto.
- In one Harry Potter story, Harry and Sirius accidentally land in an Alternate Universe where they (and Voldemort) died but Lily and James Potter lived. When Sirius makes a joke that since Gabrielle drowned during the second task, Harry won't be able to hit on Fleur, Harry furiously tells him that Gabrielle was a wonderful child whose life he personally saved and her death means far more than not being able to date her sister.
- Wocky and Apollo are horrified in Dirty Sympathy when a radio announcer jokes about Klavier's near strangulation by saying that he should suck on ice cubes because he has another concert to perform.
- In The Stalking Zuko Series, Katara did not like Zuko joking that he'd rather get hit by lightning than do something else, once he was on the mend after his duel with Azula.
- Luna decides to sneak up and surprise Joker in Lightning Among the Stars. Harry rather sternly tells her it wasn't remotely funny as Joker (who has brittle bone disease) broke his knee hitting it against a console when he jumped in fright.
- According to Scott in A Third Path to the Future, when Evan first joined the X-Men he tried making a joke about Kurt looking like the Devil. Scott came down on him hard for that as not only is such a comparison rather insensitive to begin with, but Kurt's a devout Catholic.
- Defied in Blue Belle when Cordelia makes a joke that Kendra's death "left [them] with the defective Slayer". Buffy insists she crossed the line but Cordelia fires right back that everyone in the room has joked about somebody's death; what difference does it make that this time it was someone they "kind of knew". The other Sirens admit that Cordelia does have a point.
- Naruto's sense of humor has a tendency to cause problems in the Reaching for a Dream series. Besides making a lot of people deeply uncomfortable, Tayuya reacted so badly that she ignored all his attempts at diplomacy, forcing him to kill her.
- In the sequel Trolling the League, Naruto still has problems realizing that most people do not appreciate him joking about raping someone. Catwoman only truly calmed down after he made her a diamond shaped like a kitten. Fortunately, afterwards Naruto stops making rape jokes (except when trying to goad Superman into fighting all out), apparently realizing they cause more problems for him than laughs.
- In The Mouse of Konoha, Inoichi tries to tell Tsume this after she jokes that the Nara exist to be a legal alternative to necrophilia. It falls flat however as everyone else is laughing their asses off.
- The movie Heathers had an example when Veronica's boyfriend J.D. cracks a joke at the funeral of two of their victims that they made look like a double-suicide and the little sister of one of the boys killed turns to look at them while crying. It's at that point that Veronica begins to realize how messed up she's becoming under J.D.'s influence.
- In American Psycho, Patrick pretends to be offended by a racist joke one of his associates tells, though he's actually a virulent racist himself.
- In Wag The Dog, the movie producer shows his pet musician (played by Willie Nelson) a political cartoon poking fun at the President's sex scandal. The musician immediately composes an impromptu song mocking the whole thing, but stops when he realizes that everyone else in the room (most of whom work directly for the President) is staring at him in horror.
- At the beginning of Star Trek: Generations, the officers are having a promotion party for Worf on the holodeck, where they're on an 18th-century naval ship. They make Worf walk to the end of the plank and jump for his new rank insignia, then Riker shouts "remove the plank" - which is interpreted by the computer as a command to remove it from the simulation. As a result, the plank disappears, dropping Worf into the sea. Picard chides Riker, saying that he should have said "retract the plank". After Crusher attempts to explain the humor to Data, he pushes her overboard.
LaForge: Data!Data: (smirking) That was...LaForge: ...not funny!
- This serves as the catalyst for Data to have Geordi install his emotion chip, as if he cannot grasp a concept like humor, he will never be human. This is ironic, considering many in the audience found Crusher's dunking hilarious.
- In Tropic Thunder Alpa makes a crack about a "dingo eating your baby" to the Australian Kirk Lazarus, which he is so offended by he almost breaks character.
- During the astronaut tryouts in The Right Stuff, Alan Shepard frequently mimics 50s comedian Bill Dana's Mexican astronaut character "Jose Jimenez", but it eventually gets on the nerves of Gonzalez, the Mexican orderly, who tells him "me and my friends think your Jose Jimenez imitation is A-OK. But what you're doing with it is B-A-D.".
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Kíli joked about orcs to a nervous Bilbo. Thorin immediately sternly lectures him on taking the matter so lightly. It's understandable why Thorin doesn't think it's something to be joked about, because orcs had overrun the dwarf kingdom Moria and killed many dwarves (including Thorin's grandfather) which Thorin had witnessed firsthand.
- In The House of Yes, Jackie once went to a costume party as Jackie Onassis in the pink dress she wore when JFK was assassinated, complete with fake blood. Also, little bits of pasta. Don't forget the bits of pasta she glued on the dress. Because a Jackie Kennedy The Day Of The Assassination costume would not be complete without little bits of brain. This trope was the reaction she got from the rest of the guests at the party.
- In Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Bruce Lee and his girlfriend/future wife Linda go to see Breakfast at Tiffany's. Linda is shown laughing at the antics of Mr. Yunioshi until she sees Bruce is visibly unamused. This scene emphasizes how typically Asian characters were stereotyped at the time, and how Bruce would help change their image for better.
- The Hangover: Stu has this reaction to Alan wiggling a baby's arm to pretend "he's jacking his little weenus!"
- In Epic MK doesn't like how Nod and Ronin are making fun of stompers, particularly her dad who is sitting beside them and saddened by his daughter's departure. Then she blatantly points out that she is also a stomper.
- Three examples in Neighbors.
- The airbag prank is seen as this to Mac especially, since it could easily have led to Stella being injured or killed.
- The Second-Act Breakup is seen as this by Pete, who is a child of divorce. Teddy says that as a child of two loving parents, he finds it hilarious.
- And when Mac asks: "What gets a frat kicked out of college fastest?", Jimmy replies, all too enthusiastically, with "RAPE!" Mac and Kelly can only stare at him, appalled. Even Jimmy realizes this, and immediately apologizes.
- In The Descendants, Sid laughs uncontrollably at Elizabeth's mother's dementia. Elizabeth's father eventually punches him in the face.
- In Home Alone, when Kevin's parents realize they left him behind, Uncle Frank attempts to cheer them up by telling them he forgot his reading glasses. His wife and Kevin's parents then give him this reaction.
- Then in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin goes on the wrong plane and his parents find out while checking their baggage. They report to security where his father jokes that at least they don't lose their luggage. His mother laughs but the head of security answers with a disapproving stare.
- In one scene from Stephen King's novel Christine, a bunch of high school hoods are cruising and drinking beers after a school basketball game, and complaining that their team lost. At one point, one of the hoods compliments the athleticism of the school's basketball star (in one of those "The rest of the team sucks, but this one guy is a good player" sort of way), who just happens to be black. The leader of the gang sneers, retorting, "I hate that fucking spade." This prompts one of the newer gang members to make a racial joke, to which the rest of the gang reacts with this. Specifically, the gang leader says, "I said I hated that spade. I got no problem with the rest of them..." and threatens to toss the "fucking bigot" out of his car at high speed. The new guy shuts up quickly.
- In Cold Days, Harry jokes about having sex with Molly. Molly- having unrequited feelings for him- is not amused.
- Skippys List has examples.
93. Nerve gas is not funny.
- Nicko Heap in Septimus Heap often gets criticized for this, having an habit of not understanding the seriousness of a situation.
- In the Beverly Cleary novel Otis Spofford, there's a scene where Otis cuts off one of the pigtails of his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Ellen Tebbits, and gets this reaction from the class.
- In 1984, the cinema plays horrid newsreel footage of refugees being murdered, including a woman and a small child. The audience laughs, except for a single prole woman who loudly objects to it, only to be carted outside by the police to whatever horrid Fate Worse Than Death awaited her.
Live Action TV
- In an episode of Workaholics, Ders gets this when he offers to fire people for Jillian (acting boss while Alice is sick).
Ders It's not that hard, give me the list, and I'll Schindler those fools right now.Blake: I don't think you want to say that.Adam: So inappropriate.Ders: I never saw the movie.Adam: It's a tearjerker. Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson. They have a whole list that they need to Schindler before they die.Blake: Well, that's Bucket List.
- In the Friends episode "The One with the Girl who Hits Joey", Chandler has a fight with Monica, and proposes to her out of guilt. Monica says no, and the rest of the gang teases Chandler:
Joey: Hey Ross, will you pass me that knife?Ross: No, I will not!Joey: Oh, it's okay. You don't have to be so mean about it.Ross: You're right, I'm sorry. Will you marry me?Phoebe: Aw, and I was gonna ask you to marry me because I forgot to say hello to you last week.Rachel: Oh no wait Pheebs, I think for something like that you just ask them to move in with you. But I'm not sure, Chandler?Chandler: Okay, how long is this going to go on?Monica: Well, I think the length of teasing is directly related to how insane you were so, a long time.Ross: This is fun. Hey Rach, remember that whole "We were on a break thing?" Well, I'm sorry, will you marry me? (nobody laughs)Chandler: That's not funny.Joey: That's not funny at all!(they all get up and leave Ross)
- Downplayed but still implied during Chandler's job interview. He aces it until he makes a "poo" joke, befuddling the interviewer and ultimately costing him the job.
- "The One With The Birth", when Rachel jokes about a taxi charging for each contraction during labor, everyone looks at her like she made a tasteless joke. Rachel points out that Chandler does stuff like that and it is considered funny. Shortly after Chandler picks a better joke and moment where everyone laughs, reminding Rachel to pick her spots more carefully.
- In the alternate universe episode, Phoebe in this timeline is a successful stock broker, but the stress of her job causes her to have a heart attack. When Ross tells her that having a heart attack is a sign that Phoebe should slow things down, Chandler jokes that having a heart attack is a sign that she should have died instead, causing everyone in the hospital room to shoot him dirty looks.
- In one episode of The Muppet Show, Fozzie makes the joke 'What do you get when you cross the Atlantic with the Titanic? Half way!" Waldorf thinks it's funny, but not Statler - he was on the Titanic when it sank! (And, according to Waldorf, still has the dress he wore to get on a lifeboat.)
Fozzie: (backstage to Kermit) Just my luck, a Titanic survivor in the audience!
- In an episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy is going through a lengthy and argumentative questionnaire with her love interest/frenemy Dr. Castelllano (who is recently divorced because his wife had an affair). When he checks that she isn't planning to have kids because she's not married or in a serious relationship, Mindy says this.
Mindy: Yeah, but when I do get married, I'm gonna stay married, unlike you."
- Danny's response is to list a terrible hypothetical life Mindy is going to have, step by step. He never says he's upset by what she's said-because he doesn't have to.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander, shortly after having an eye gouged out by Caleb quotes Giles:
"No more fun and games, Xander."
- In one episode of Home Improvement, Jill wants Tim to get a vasectomy, because they both feel they're done having children, and he's nervous about it. At Harry's store, Benny and Marty start to make a lot of jokes about it at Tim's expense, while Al tries to defend him and Harry himself bluntly tells the two of them to shut up, clearly not finding them funny at all. It's later revealed that Harry is so quick to defend Tim because he has had a vasectomy, and doesn't want Tim to be discouraged by dumb jokes about the procedure.
- The three kids cracked on their father all the time, but one such wisecrack was met not with canned laughter, but instead Tim pushing Randy's head back so that he could meet his father's stony, unamused glare:
Randy: (squeaking) ...Over the line?Tim: Way over.
- Discussed in one episode where Jill's dad dies, and as the family prepares for the funeral Randy keeps cracking bad jokes. Tim talks with him and says he understands that the joking is a coping mechanism, and advises Randy to save the jokes for him because he won't be offended by them.
- The three kids cracked on their father all the time, but one such wisecrack was met not with canned laughter, but instead Tim pushing Randy's head back so that he could meet his father's stony, unamused glare:
- The fourth season of Canada's Worst Driver featured a street-racing incident on the way to the Rehabilitation Center. Since, being illegal, it could have gotten the entire franchise shut down on the spot, host Andrew Younghusband was not impressed.
- Nor was he impressed with Dale from Season 6 chasing him with a car. You read that right. He would later say it was the scariest moment of his time on the show.
- On an episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye pantsed Winchester while they were in the OR. No one laughed and Hawkeye was vilified by the camp for it.
- On Community, Abed pantses Troy, who pantses Abed back in retaliation - only to see Abed had anticipated it by wearing Goofy Print Underwear. Everybody laughs, then Shirley comes in, smiling "What's so funny?" Pierce says "This!" and pantses her. Everyone's horrified but Pierce, who laughs, "Get it?"
- In Monty Python's Flying Circus, one sketch, where an undertaker suggests cannibalism as an alternative to interment or cremation, ends with the studio audience storming the stage in disgust (which, of course, is part of the show).
- Apparently, it was written in due to Executive Meddling on the part of the BBC - they wouldn't allow the sketch if the audience was to approve of it, so the Pythons suggested that instead of laughing, the audience react violently to appease the censors. This works just as well.
- MythBusters: This was Adam Savage's reaction to taking the full force of an electric fence device across his body. He'd basically been tricked into it by the Build Team, at the urging of the producer. After this incident, the producer was dismissed from the show. This was also likely one of the motivations for Scottie Chapman leaving the show.
- In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Geoffrey unveiled his hidden shame of leaving England, because years ago, he was caught taking a taxi in order to win a marathon (he thought the information might ruin Philip's political campaign, and yes, that marathon thing has happened in real life, albeit accidentally). After showing them the video, everyone sat in silence for a good ten seconds before bursting into laughter. Geoffrey was not amused.
- In an episode of Married... with Children where Al gets a circumcision by mistake, he warns everyone when he comes home NOT to ask him "What's up?", saying that the nurses and doctor at the hospital asked him that several times, and he did not find it funny. (Bud and Jefferson do not hear this warning, unfortunately, and they learn not to say it the hard way.)
- In an episode of The Bernie Mac Show, when Bernie Mac convinced Jordan to fake an asthma attack to go to a Clippers game, guest actor Billy Crystal criticized Bernie's actions, emphasizing how he suffered from asthma as a kid and how it should never be used for nefarious purposes. Then Billy Crystal started faking an asthma attack to mess with Bernie's head.
- In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called Zebras, Munch calls upon a member of a conspiracy chat room he knows in real life to find a missing suspect. The woman, named Gwen, shares Munch's conspiracy theorist tendencies, as did the suspect, although Gwen appears to be slightly mentally ill and has mentioned that she is thinking of going back on her medication. After Munch is able to find out what he needs to know about the missing suspect, Fin makes a crack about Munch "hooking up with loony lady" before Munch tells him Gwen is his ex-wife.
- In the season 3 premiere of Happy Endings, the gang is laughing at a video of Penny falling down the stairs, when Penny (who is in a half-body cast due to the accident), finally gets fed up with the mockery, and tells them it's not cool - she actually died for two minutes on the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They immediately stop after hearing this.
- In Supernatural, conversations between Sam and Dean tend to use this trope a lot, with Sam protesting Dean's use of Gallows Humor.
Dean: Hey. You better take care of that car. Or I swear I'll haunt your ass.Sam: I don't think that's funny.Dean: Aw c'mon, it's a little funny.
- In Faith [1.12], when Dean believes he is about to die, the dialogue directly echoes this trope:
Sam: You know what, man? I'm sick and tired of your old stupid kamikaze trick.Dean: Whoa. Whoa. Kamikaze? I'm more like a ninja.Sam: That's not funny.Dean: It's a little funny.Sam: No, it's not.Dean: What do you want me to do, Sam, huh? Sit around all day writing sad poems about how I’m going to die? You know what, I've got one. Let’s see. What rhymes with 'Shut up, Sam'?
- In Fresh Blood [3.7]:
- In Scrubs JD hears from his mother that his favorite former schoolteacher Mr. Peters has died. When Turk asks if JD is okay, JD responds that he's doing a lot better than Mr. Peters. In the same episode, after JD arrives home and announces he's going to bed. Turk asks Elliot, JD's ex, if she's going with him. JD and Elliot both give him an annoyed look, which makes Turk realize that it's way Too Soon.
- One episode of The Adam And Joe Show featured a parody of Jam, in particular the infamous dead baby sketch. In the skit, Joe plays a TV repairman who finds a "dead baby" (a cheap-looking doll) behind the set and says he will have to rape the corpse in order to fix the TV. Adam is horrified, refuses to film any more and storms off the set while Joe complains that it's supposed to be uncompromising and "you don't understand my genius."
- In Power Rangers in Space, Zhane had a habit of making jokes at inappropriate times, but one time really took the cake. In the episode where Psycho Red, Psycho Black, and Psycho Yellow were finally defeated and it appeared they had finally seen the last of the Psycho Rangers which was sadly, wishful thinking, as it turned out someone who appeared to be Psycho Red ambushed Andros. It was actually Zhane, who was wearing a copy of the villain's costume to try to scare him. Andros did not think it was funny.
- On the American edition of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin Mochrie frequently gets mocked for being bald and/or Canadian. In one sketch, when he made a joke about Ryan Stiles' nose, the audience booed him even though moments earlier, they applauded Ryan for a joke about Colin's head. After the sketch, Colin said "Notice all the melon jokes, the bald jokes? I make one nose joke, it's OOOOOOOHH!".
- The Thick of It has Steve Fleming take over during Malcolm's 10-Minute Retirement, and he delivers what may be the worst New Era Speech in history, describing all the beleaguered politicians, aides and civil servants as "emerging from the cellar, pleased that the beatings have stopped, scared of what the future may hold." Every single one of the characters listening to him was visibly appalled, despite enduring abuse from Malcolm and each other on a daily basis.
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000, it's not uncommon for Joel, Mike and/or the Bots to do something a little over the top and get chided for it. A well known one was in Riding With Death where Mike and Tom get tired of Crow's Double Entendre quips and even apologizing for a very racist scene in The Wild World of Batwoman.
- Subverted in the Castle episode "The Lives of Others"; Castle, stuck at home with a broken leg, becomes increasingly obsessed with what he thinks is a murder in an apartment across the street. When he sees the alleged killer pulling a knife on Beckett, he, Espinosa and Ryan race to the apartment, where it turns out that Beckett staged the whole thing as an elaborate birthday surprise for Castle. When he finds out that there was no murder, he initially stands there in utter shock, muttering, "You made me think I was crazy?", and you can see the apprehension in Beckett's face as she worries that they may have carried this a bit too far. Finally Castle declares, "This is...without a doubt...the GREATEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MY LIFE!"
- In Glee, Sue and Roz Washington scold several of the girls for making jokes about domestic violence in response to Coach Bieste's black eye. The injury was later revealed to actually be the result of domestic violence.
- Video compilation programs such as America's Funniest Home Videos occasionally fall prey to this. A bicyclist flipping over a suddenly opened car door is only funny when it does not result in serious injury; a toddler at the beach being entirely engulfed by a wave is only funny if the child is not drowned or swept away.
- In Mass Effect 3:
Shepard: Careful, there goes the next Shadow Broker.Garrus: Could've sworn he was muttering "T'Soni!" the whole time.Liara: Not funny!
- During the mission on Sur'Kesh, the party crosses paths with a rampaging yahg. Shepard and Garrus can't resist the opportunity to crack jokes about the last yahg they encountered, which teammate Liara T'Soni replaced as Shadow Broker after she and Shepard killed him. Liara is not amused:
- Done seriously later when Joker cracks a joke about the asari after their homeworld, Thessia, falls. Shepard usually lets those kinds of jokes slide but, in this case, s/he's at his/her lowest point and blames him/herself for the fall of Thessia, so s/he proceeds to snap at Joker. Joker, on the other hand, points out that he knows exactly how serious the situation is: His family was probably killed already when Reapers hit the colony they live on. On a more general scale, most of Joker's jokes appear not to be funny to anyone but himself.
- Suprisingly we get one from Trevor of all people when Wade accidentally calls Ashley Butler a bitch, which Trevor finds very disrespectful.
- Also from BioWare, Dragon Age II has lots of snarky dialogue options (usually the one in the middle) which tend to involve cracking jokes at very serious situations. Sometimes your party members or NPCs will tell you that they're Dude, Not Funny!, but there's a few examples of Hawke realizing that himself/herself mid-joke:
Carver: Sure, make light. We all know what happens when someone leaves big brother/sister's protection.Hawke: Fair is fair, but you are taking this little pissing match too far!
- An attempt to reassure Anders about having accidentally given himself a Superpowered Evil Side by saying "What's the worst that could happen? You turn into an abomination and start... Never mind. Bad joke."
- "You were going to kill a lot of people anyway? That's...not funny at all, really."
- Hawke gives this out to Carver at one point. After s/he's been snarking at him during an argument, he tries to snark back, implying that s/he's indirectly responsible for the death of their sister, Bethany. Hawke immediately drops their fun demeanor and gets noticeably angry.
- In Tales of the Abyss, Guy is surprisingly afraid of women for the first half or so of the game, since every time a woman comes into close contact with him, he recoils in fear or starts screaming. Everyone, even in-game laughed at this and thought it funny, but also wanted to help him get over his gynophobia. Then the truth comes out to why he's so afraid of women. His sister and the maids from his childhood home threw themselves onto Guy to protect him as they were all killed by invading soldiers, and when Guy came to, he was smothered in a pile of dead female bodies. Nobody was laughing after that.
Luke: "I didn't have time for any of that! I had other things to learn. Like my parents' faces."
- Despite being a Jerkass, Luke gets one during the beginning of the game. When he is being mocked for his lack of any knowledge of the world and its workings he delivers a great line that shuts people up fast.
- Final Fantasy X has a moment near the end:
Jecht: You've really grown.Tidus: Yeah. But you're still bigger.Jecht: Well, I am Sin, you know.Tidus: That's not funny.
- In Borderlands 2 Mad Moxxi reveals that her double entendres and suggestive comments are a defense mechanism, when she makes a joke about one of her ex-girlfriends being eaten alive, then promptly apologizes and throws up a little in her mouth.
- In Doom And Destiny, one of the bonus dungeons in the game has the heroes fighting against enemies named after astrological signs. In one of the floors, there will be nothing but a tombstone that reads "Here lies Cancer, died of...cancer." The guys were disgusted by it.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, two mercs are discussing the punishments Revas metes out to the crew to keep them in line. When one of them makes a black humored joke about the apparent Torture Technician known only as "the Dentist", his older colleague reminds him that there's nothing funny about it with a Precision F-Strike.
- In the Duke Nukem Forever DLC The Doctor Who Cloned Me, Dylan makes a sexual reference to the now deceased Holsom Twins, then apologizes when he sees that Duke is still mourning for them.
- It doubles as an Author's Saving Throw after fans and critics reacted negatively to Duke making a similar joke in the original game.
- When raocow played through Waru Borei in Something Else, a huge portion of people were livid with the out-of-place sex scene in the game.
- One quest in World of Warcraft has this conversation between two characters at its conclusion, in which one character tries to joke about the serious situation, and the other is less than amused:
Malynea: Did you hear that, Clubnik? Those that died defending Lake Mennar are heroes. Their selfless actions may have even saved this entire world! A memorial should be erected.Clubnik: Sure, I hear ya. Howsabout a... Memorial Fuel Depot? It'll be very tasteful!Malynea: Clubnik? I hope you die. In a fire.
- Questionable Content had an arc where a dude Angus started making jokes about suicide to Faye, whose father killed himself in front of her when she was a kid. When she tells him off, he initially doesn't believe her, and Faye realizes that her constant sarcasm has "set an unfortunate precedent". Angus also calls out Faye for making jokes at his friend Marigold's expense.
- The web-comic Fans! featured a murder investigation involving a crossword puzzle convention. When crossword fan Hilda makes a comment about the case while putting on her glasses, Marc shouts "YEEAAAAAHH!", a la the Roger Daltrey shriek from "Won't Get Fooled Again" in CSI: Miami. He gets roundly chewed out for it.
- Defied in the child kidnapping episode in Monster of the Week. The whole premise Monster Of The Week is taking The X-Files episodes and abridging them in funny way, but this episode was surprisingly serious. Author notes in The Rant that child kidnapping is not funny and it's very hard to joke on it without invoking Dude, Not Funny!.
- There were two such instances in Eerie Cuties:
- During the Tiresias Orb incident, Blair changed all the girls of Charybdis Heights to reflect his vision of the ideal woman. Which culminated in him having Brooke and Nina (both 14) engage in a kissing contest against their wills. The readership was so appalled by it, that it caused the writers to change it, so that Brooke simply became a blonde cheerleader instead. A footnote concerning the change and a link to the original strip can be found underneath the revised version.
- While not as offensive as the first, the incident where Nina stole her sister's body was also met with criticism from the readers. She hijacked Layla's body, offered to let Blair feel her up, then used it to go on a date with her sister's boyfriend, Kade - simply because Layla poked fun at her. Making it an egregious case of Disproportionate Retribution.
- In Platypus Comix's Family Guy parody, Herman calls his mistaking the fire station's lunch bell for a fire alarm "funnier than beating a homeless man to death." After the Cutaway Gag that features Herman finding enjoyment in physically abusing a homeless man, Herman's companion tells him in-universe that he didn't find the scene funny.
- In Act 6 Intermission 3 of Homestuck, John was already in a shitty mood when he realized (on his birthday, no less) that his most beloved movie Con Air is actually pretty terrible, and then that Davesprite and Jade have broken up, all of which only adds to a slowly growing case of Cabin Fever, but the breaking point comes when Davesprite leaves a note in the style of John's dad (who died on this day two years ago, no less) mockingly telling him how proud he is for finally realizing that Con Air sucks. He is not pleased.
- During the Alterniabound flash game, Karkat mocks the higher-class Equius with a snarky comment about butlers, when Equius mentions that his butler/father-figure is dead. Karkat, realizing he's just stepped over this line, apologizes immediately, but denies his offer of a bro-hug.
- Karkat tells Dave that Rose's issues, her drinking, make her funnier and charming. In contrast Kanaya's particularly distressed, as she feels Rose is throwing her talents away, and has developed a severe problem.
- Goblins features a scene where Dellyn Goblinslayer mentions that he rapes his Yuan-Ti slavegirl Kin every night, clearly expecting Minmax to laugh along. Minmax however is not amused and promptly throws Dellyn through a window.
- At one point in L's Empire, they find themselves in a pocket dimension inside Daisy's womb (don't ask), and Geminiman decides that the best way to get out is to blast the fetus. Mr L whips out his lightsaber and scolds Geminiman for even thinking of threatening his child. The author even says that they've gone beyond the realm of good taste.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Fighter calls this on Black Mage shortly after Black Belt's death.
Fighter: I mean, really. Ignoring the gross display of insensitivity these remarks represent and looking at them from a strictly structuralist perspective, they just aren't funny.
- The Inappropriate Timing Spongebob meme mocks this trope.
- In The Nostalgia Critic's review of The Room, Mark tells Johnny about a girl he knew who was dating several guys at the same time. One of them finds out and beats her up so badly that she ends up in hospital. Johnny's response is to laugh and say "What a story, Mark"! The Critic comments on this, saying "That's not funny, you sick fuck."
- In the Bridge to Terabithia review, he is absolutely furious when a bully makes fun of Leslie's death and descends into pure Angrish.
- Meta example: The Protectors of the Plot Continuum writer who had claimed Sweet Apple Massacre gave up because there was just no way to make the mission funny. For those not in the know, that fic is a Not Safe for Work My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic wherein a character replacement of Big Macintosh does unspeakable things to the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Newgrounds.com has an entire collection for flash submissions called "BASTARDS" that is devoted to this trope.
- This is The Nostalgia Chick's reaction to a slavery joke in her review of Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.
- In the latest April Fool's Day Episode of The Annoying Orange, this is Orange's friends' reaction to Orange's April Fool's Day pranks. Turns out Orange was actually Liam the Leprechaun in disguise.
- Binder of Shame: Ab3 walked away from a Dungeons & Dragons game when he realized the DM had transported the group to WW2 Germany and expected them to help Hitler.
- In Midnight Screenings, Jake saw That's My Boy and got so enraged at the jokes involving a teacher having sex with an adolescent boy that he wasn't even doing Comical Overreacting. He was actually furious.
- From The Onion: "Circus Train Wreck Not Funny, Investigators Emphasize"
- The Rifftrax for the movie Glitter has Mike make a joke about Eric Benet's sex addiction. Mary Jo doesn't think there's anything funny about sex addiction and keeps trying to explain this to Mike as he keeps making more jokes about it.
- Eventually she gives up, which is for the best since there aren't many other places to go when making jokes about Eric Benet.
- On TV Trash, Rowdy goes ballistic when Allen Gregory makes a racist joke and decides to end the review right there
- The Goosebumps book Chicken Chicken is the only one absolutely despised by Troy Steele, writer of Blogger Beware. He cites the Body Horror the kids go through, in addition to the fact that everyone around them laughs at their worries, as his rationale for this - and when the ending implies the kids have to go through it again he literally throws the book across the room.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, when Vegeta makes a Christopher Reeve joke, Goku states that it was in bad taste but Vegeta doesn't care because he's evil
- When Retsupurae made fun of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, they handled the attempted rape scene by having Diabetus pretend not to know about it, then get angry and threaten to leave when he "learned" that slowbeef had just tried to trick him into making fun of rape.
- While reviewing ''The Lion King 1 1/2'', Duckyworth gets offended constantly by the film mocking the tone of the original, including, but not limited to Pumbaa being revealed as the one who made the animals 'bow' by his flatulence, inserting him and Timon into the infamous stampede scene, Timon's mother beating Rafiki up, and, to let Duckyworth sum how they handle the luau scene up:
- *Timon pauses the film and says ‘Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?*Hahaha.. no, no… don’t ruin the joke… You’re ruining it, film.. You’re ruining it!*the two run away from the hyenas, and then an explosion comes from the hole they ran into, and the hyenas come back out with stink lines. Timon then says ‘I love the smell of Pumbaa in the morning…’ *Hahahaha...AAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH! YOU DID IT. You actually DID IT! You ruined the luau joke for me! You’re so desperate for these terrible jokes you can’t even respect your own Timon and Pumbaa joke... DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!
- The Simpsons:
- After McBain snaps a Commie-Nazi pilot's neck in a TV movie despite the latter surrendering, Marge jokes that that's "breakneck speed." Bart responds by coldly telling her that a man just died.
- Bart doesn't find McBain's very politically incorrect talk show funny either, saying "The Fox Network has sunk to a new low."
- In a flashback to where Krusty was performing for Gulf War soldiers at a USO show, he mocks Saddam Hussein by calling him "So Damn Insane". A soldier then calls him out saying he's fanning the flames of hatred - a bit hypocritical, since at least one of the soldiers is there precisely to kill Saddam.
- In "My Mother The Carjacker", as Homer is chasing after the car taking his mother to jail, the driver stops the car to tempt Homer and speed off when he gets close. The other man in the car complains that the guy is losing his mother, but when the driver asks if he can do it one more time, the other guy admits it's Actually Pretty Funny and allows it.
- In another episode, "Bleeding Gums" Murphy tells Lisa (via flashback) how his own mentor Blind Willy Witherspoon tried to give him his saxophone, only for Murphy to tell him it was an umbrella - meaning that Willie had been playing an umbrella for thirty years. When Willie asks why no one told him, Murphy chuckles and says, "We all thought it was kinda funny!" Willie's reply is, simply, "That's not funny."
- Family Guy:
Peter: And the plane is voiced by David Spade.
- "The Kiss Seen Around the World," an attempted invoking comes when teenager Neil Goldman (Jewish pharmacist Mort Goldman's socially awkward, annoying son) is humiliated and plans to jump off the roof of city hall. Quahog 5 News anchor/reporter Tom Tucker is assigned to cover the breaking news. As police are trying to talk Neil down, Tucker takes his cameraman aside and discusses what to do if a fatal jump is recorded on tape: add cartoon-type "object falling" sound effects, along with humorous commentary in an attempt to amuse the audience. Before it is invoked, Meg (who had a crush on Tom throughout the episode) overhears Tucker and his cameraman talking and tells him that what he plans on doing is wrong.
- Peter invokes it in the episode "Back to the Woods." After James Woods steals his identity, Peter takes revenge by stealing Woods's identity and ruining his career by stating on David Letterman's show that he's working on a comedy based on 9/11 called September 11, 2000-FUN!. The film, he claims, focuses on a window washer who sees the plane coming toward him while he wipes the window of the Twin Towers and exclaims, "Aw, c'mon!"
Mayor West: Oh, by the way, I should tell you that I've got AIDS.Carol: What!?Mayor West: Yeah, they're right over there waiting for me.Aides: Ready to go when you are sir.Mayor West: Poor guys, they both have AIDS.(Cutaway to Live Action)Robert Loggia: NOT OKAY!
- Invoked again by Mayor West in "Brothers & Sisters"
Joe: It's an intervention.Peter: Now's a perfect time to tell my jokes.Lois: Peter!Peter: They can wait 'til later.
- And this moment from "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q.".
Peter: Okay, here's another riddle. A woman has two children. A homicidal murderer tells her she can only keep one. Which one does she let him kill?Brian: That's... that's not a riddle. That's... that's just terrible.Peter: Wrong! The ugly one.
- The opening to "E. Peterbus Unum."
- In Simpsons Guy, Bart is troublemaker, but he is very disturbed by Stewie's sense of humor.
- In the Grand Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, having been told that he must kill Fire Lord Ozai, says he can't go around wiping out people he doesn't like. Sokka responds that he can because he's the Avatar and Aang angrily tells him that this isn't a joke.
- Justice League episode "Kid's Stuff" has Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern magically transformed into kids. Batman remains the closest to his adult counterpart, composed and grim, while the others are hyper, childish and sometimes a danger to themselves or others. When changed back to normal, Wonder Woman light-heartedly comments that it was nice being a kid again. Batman responds that "I haven't been a kid since I was eight years oldnote ."
- Some of Rainbow Dash's pranks are seen as this by the other ponies. For example, In the episode "Luna Eclipsed", she shocks Pinkie Pie with a lightning cloud. Not only did it scare her, Spike was startled and dropped his candy (in a pose that implied he was choking). Twilight Sparkle scolded at RD for her prank.
- Spongebob Squarepants: In "Fools in April", SpongeBob pulls several harmless pranks to various people at work during April Fools' Day. Squidward gets fed up with his pranks and decides to pull one on SpongeBob. The prank involved SpongeBob stepping in a snare trap, flung/smacked all around the Krusty Krab, sliding through Bubble Bass' rear end, and landing into a trash can after a fall from the ceiling. This results in SpongeBob running out of the Krusty Krab crying, the patrons feeling sympathy for him and exiting the restaurant in disgust at Squidward.
"April Fools... jerk!"
Sandy: That wasn't funny, SpongeBob! You had us all worried sick!Spongebob: Let's see,Lifting weights = Big laughFrisbee in the face = KillsSurfing = Knocks em deadPretending to drown = Noooooo...
- And then the whole thing turns out to have been an April Fools joke on SpongeBob's end, with the patrons being in on it the whole time.
- In "Ripped Pants", SpongeBob tricking everyone into thinking he drowned so he can do a ripped pants joke was treated with contempt and made him an outcast.
- A sketch in Robot Chicken had a young kid dressed up as Iron Man follow the real Iron Man to a big fight in the city. The Avengers mistake the kid for the real Iron Man and throw him into battle, causing him to get fatally injured and accidentally taking down a giant robot by jamming its motors. The kid is given an iron statue to honor his sacrifice, when Iron Man makes this joke:
Iron Man: Look on the bright side, now he's a real Iron Man. Get it? Iron? Man? Because he's made of iron?(The other Avengers sigh)Iron Man: What? What?
- In the Rocket Power episode "Radical New Equipment," Twister makes a comment about a group of handicapped snowboarders that leaves the rest of the crew in shock.
Twister: Squid, don't worry. You're not the lamest snowboarder on this mountain anymore.Reggie: Twister, harsh!Otto: That's not cool, man!Sam: I can't believe you said that, dude!
- In Drawn Together, Spanky Ham once laments the existence of a cell filled with stereotyped "Red Indian" animated characters, noting that poking fun at them isn't funny and they "got a raw deal" as people. To put this in perspective, he's fine with laughing at the racist stereotypes of black people, Asians and Mexicans in other cells.
- In the My Gym Partner's A Monkey episode "The Hyena and the Mighty", Adam is trying to give a report on an oil spill and how it harmed wildlife, but the titular hyena's laughing and Jake's mockery of the situation do not make him happy. For frame of reference, Adam's report mentions that millions of animals died in the spill; but Jake is joining the hyena's laughter by mocking the animals for being dirty. Adam's expression is a good representation of this trope.