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Flat Joy
"Jafar, Jafar, he's our man..."note 

"You know what? I'm happy."
Droopy

When a character expresses a moment of joy in the most deadpan manner possible. Often by saying the word "yay" or "woo hoo" in a flat monotone or other tone of voice that does not exhibit joy.

Can frequently be used sarcastically, when the "joy" is invoked by something very much not joyful. In this circumstance, it is inevitably said by the Deadpan Snarker. Just as often, however, the character in question may actually be truly joyful, and merely that he or she simply isn't an emotional or expressive person, or is incapable of being loud. Deadpan or Flat is the character's normal tone of voice, even when expressing happiness.

Compare with And There Was Much Rejoicing. See also Flat "What." and Sarcasm Mode. Not to be confused with Petite Pride. Also see Dull Surprise.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Advertising 
  • Ben Stein's schtick, as a spokesman for Clear Eyes eyedrops, was always him giving a flat, disinterested "Wow." after demonstrating the power of Clear Eyes.
  • In the radio version of a 7Up ad, Brad Garret is used to show how 7Up can turn someone who is a curmudgeon on the outside (expressing Sarcastic Joy) to happy on the inside (where he's singing his own version of "Everyone Knows It's Windy").
  • In commercial for Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, a couple argues over who gets to bring out the cake at a party that they are hosting to receive praise for doing so. After the woman sneaks out past the man into the next room announcing that she brought the cake, she is welcomed by cheers from all the partygoers. The man tries to salvage the situation by grabbing the forks and following her into the next room, announcing that he brought forks, only to be welcomed by a single stifled cheer from a male partygoer.

     Anime & Manga 
  • In the anime version of Azumanga Daioh, Yukari-sensei sets up a dodgeball game with her, Tomo, and Yomi on one team, and Osaka, Chiyo and Kaorin on the other. Yukari enthusiastically introduces her team as "Team Yukari", prompting an insincere "Yay" from Tomo and Yomi. Osaka, meanwhile, introduces her team with equal enthusiasm as "Team Sea Slug", over the protests of her team-mates, who also end up pulling off this trope.
    Osaka: Go Team Sea Slug!
    Chiyo & Kaorin (unenthusiastic) Yay...
  • It's a common staple of characters with a Sugar and Ice Personality express their feelings of joy with words and actions rather than emotions and expressions. It's a common joke with this character.

     Comics 
  • A defining trait of the Corsicans in Astérix in Corsica, in line with the French stereotype.
    Vermicellix: (with a completely unmoving surly expression) Boneywasawarriorwayayix, I am beside myself with joy.
    Boneywasawarriorwayayix: (also with a completely unmoving surly expression) Vermicellix, the sight of you fills me with pleasure.

     Fan Fic 

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney's Aladdin, when "Prince Ali" arrives in the palace.
    Sultan: I'm delighted to meet you. This is my royal vizier, Jafar. He's delighted too.
    Jafar: [Deadpan] Ecstatic.
    • Also from Aladdin, when Al is fighting Jafar as a giant snake, Genie is cheering him on enthusiastically. When Jafar tells him to stay out of it, Genie then cheers flatly, at first.
      Genie: Jafar, Jafar, he's our man. If he can't do it — GREAT!

    Films — Live Action 

     Literature 
  • Albert's reaction to traveling on the Hogfather's sleigh in Hogfather: "Oh, what fun."
  • During the hunt for Abaddon in Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, Bill bemoans the disturbance the police investigation brings to his clientele:
    "Can you imagine the impression it will make?" he asked. "How would you react if a policeman knocked on your door and asked to speak with the family psychopath?"
    "I'd introduce myself," I said brightly, but my husband was in no mood for jokes.
    "Ha," he said bleakly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jamie from Mythbusters is famous for this. In the Latex Perfection episode, their acting coach tells Adam to comment about being exited and joyful in a completely flat monotone.
  • From the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "The Prom":
    Buffy: I'm gonna give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every person on the face of the Earth to do it.
    Xander: Yay?
  • Dollhouse: Laurence Dominic's reaction when he and Echo finally get what the guy in the Attic meant when he said that they have to "enjoy themselves."
    Mr. Dominic: Good Times.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Used as a Running Gag during the short "Junior Rodeo Daredevils".
    Joel: And the crowd goes wild.
    Joel, Tom Servo, and Crow in unison: [monotone] Yaaaaaaaaaaay.
  • A common occurrence in Stargate Universe. Whenever Dr. Rush, and sometimes, Eli Wallace, come up with a "solution" to a problem that ends up highlighting difficulties ahead, Dr. Volker will respond to the news with a very deadpan "Yaaaaaaay." Since Dr. Brody is no fan of Dr. Rush, he'll often join in with a bit more sarcasm.
    • In one of the last episodes, when they were forced by aggressive automated drones to refuel using a class-O supergiant star instead of the usual red dwarf, and were facing a future of being dogged by said drones, Dr. Rush pointed out that at least they had a full tank of gas. Volker, Brody, AND Colonel Young all responded with a rather joyless "Yay."
  • George's surrogate in Arrested Development ignores affect: "Oh boy. Goodie."
  • In one episode of Scrubs, Ted reacts very deadpan to some good news. When asked about it, he says that he frowns so much it now hurts to smile. Later, when he gets even better news, he smiles, and his mouth erupts in pain.
  • Michael Nesmith did this at least once on The Monkees.
    Michael: Wahoo.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Deja Q", after Q reappears on the Enterprise with his powers restored:
    Q: I'm forgiven. My brothers and sisters of the Continuum have taken me back. I'm immortal again. Omnipotent again.
    Riker: Swell.

     Music 
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit: "A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido. Yeeeaah! ... Yay."
  • This little gem from Another Side of Bob Dylan:
    Now they asked me to read a poem
    At the sorority sisters' ho-em.
    I got knocked down and my head was swimmin'
    I woke up with the Dean of Women!
    Yippee.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • In one Peanuts comic, Charlie Brown rewards Snoopy with "The greatest reward a dog can receive from a human: A pat on the head." In the next panel, Snoopy rolls his eyes and thinks, "Thrillsville."
  • An early Garfield comic had Jon Arbuckle making a really big deal out of what Garfield was going to get for dinner. When he finally revealed that it was "Liver!", Garfield put on a disgusted expression and thought, "Oh hooray, hop about, clap paws, squeal with glee."

     Radio 
  • Long-running DJ Rick Dees had, for many years, a sound bite he would use when appropriate of a group of people saying "Hey, that's... great," in a flat, uninterested tone.

     Theatre 
  • The first lines of "Pulled" from The Addams Family, sung by Wednesday Addams: "I don't have a sunny disposition / I'm not known for being too amused / My demeanor's locked in one position / See my face — I'm enthused."
  • The song "Ascot Gavotte" from My Fair Lady, in which the upper-class men and women sing about how excited they are to be at the racetrack... in a tone as stuffy and stilted as it can possibly get.

     Video Games 
  • Wizardry 8 takes this to its logical extreme with one of its male "Loner" voice sets. Every single line is read as though the character is perpetually bored or depressed (although balanced with some vicious Deadpan Snarking). Just imagine flat lines like: "Woo-hoo," on killing a high-level monster; "How exciting," on a level up; "I'm... very excited," on entering the Very Definitely Final Dungeon; and "I'm... filled with glee," on winning the game.
  • Mass Effect 2 has a character named Niftu Cal, who is high as a kite and has delusions of grandeur and is convinced he can take on the Boss Fight alone. The player can either encourage him to take a nap, or give the least enthusiastic 'Charge!' humanly possible.
  • Portal: "Wheeeee..."
  • Rochelle, from Left 4 Dead 2, especially concerning Ellis' and Coach's enthusiasm over Jimmy Gibbs Jr.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    Pandora: You made it. Yay.
  • The intro to Might and Magic IV has random peasants saying "yaaaay" in the manner of this trope, in a very obvious shout-out to the Trope Namer for And There Was Much Rejoicing (the line prompting the Flat Joy was "and there was much rejoicing").

     Web Animation 
  • Played with in a Strong Bad Email when Strong Bad is trying to prove that adding the word "club" to the end of something makes it more exciting.
    Strong Bad: Turkey? Mrenh.
    Audience: (flatly groans)
    Strong Bad: Turkey club? mmmMMRENHhhhh!
    Audience: (slightly less flat) Yaaay.
  • Ultra Fast Pony has a running gag where crowds are all voiced by a single, completely emotionless voice, rendering all their lines either flat joy or Dull Surprise. In "The Cheesen One", it gets lampshaded, as Rainbow Dash complains that her fans' cheers of adoration sound like garbage.
    Rainbow Dash: Okay, I saved it. Everyone cheer!
    Crowd: Yay.
    Rainbow Dash: What, seriously, is that it?
    Crowd: Yaaaaay.
    Rainbow Dash: Wow. We've gotten really lazy at doing the crowd noises.
    Crowd: [A Stock Scream. Loud, panicked screaming, at that.]
    Rainbow Dash: Now you're just using one that we've used before!

     Web Comics 

     Western Animation 
  • Mai was this in Avatar: The Last Airbender . She later gets a Freudian Excuse for it in the Beach Episode
  • Droopy could be considered the Trope Codifier, he did so often. It never seemed like he was being sarcastic; rather, this was as expressive as he was physically able to get.
    • Occasionally, he might break character for the sake of humor, erupting in joy and doing over-the-top Wild Takes and back flips, only to very suddenly stop and look at the camera, and give his usual flat joy line "You know what? I'm happy." This tended to happen when at the end of the episode he received a large sum of money, or a kiss from a beautiful woman.
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf had a crowd of Transylvanian peasants cheering like this. This is subject to some mocking by Dracula: "If I vant to be alone, I'll call you guys!"
    • Also a funny subversion when the peasants are stuck by lightning, they do cheer appropriately, for once.
    Dracula: I liiiiike that!
    • They also cheer when something bad happens to Drac.
    Dracula: Pipe down!
  • Any crowd of people on Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, or any other Jay Ward productions, always gave a very unenthusiastic, half-hearted, deadpan "yay"s and equally unenthusiastic "boo"s.
  • In Kim Possible, Dr. Drakken is disappointed by Shego's lack of response to his gloating over his plan:
    Drakken: A little sidekick enthusiasm wouldn't hurt, you know.
    Shego: [deadpan] Woo hoo. Extra hoo. Happy?
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Subverted in the episode "Sonic Rainboom": Fluttershy is sincere when she practices cheering for Rainbow Dash, but it comes out as this because she's so meek and soft-spoken: "Yay..." When Rainbow Dash pulls off the eponymous move and saves Rarity and the Wonderbolts' lives, Fluttershy breaks into cheering so ecstatic that her voice cracks.
    • Played straight in the episode "Look Before You Sleep". Rarity and Applejack, both of whom are not in good terms with one another at the time, express this when Twilight Sparkle announces their slumber party.
    • In the episode "Maud Pie", the titular character is pretty much this in stark contrast to her sister, Genki Girl Pinkie Pie.
  • Lor in The Weekenders is a bad actor, so when she's given the line "After all these years I finally feel truly alive," this is how it turns out.
  • Raven in Teen Titans would occasionally indulge in the Deadpan Snarker version of this trope:
    Cyborg (under the effects of a computer virus): I know what we should do! Lets go get some waffles! Raven you like waffles, don't you?
    Raven: More than life itself.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had an episode where the students of Acme Looniversity face their rivals Perfecto Prep in a football game. Although the Acme cheerleaders (Babs, Fifi, and Shirley) are quite enthusiastic, all the Perfecto cheerleaders can manage is a halfhearted "Perfecto. Rah."
  • On Phineas and Ferb, the incredibly sarcastic Candace can sometimes fall into this trope.
    Phineas: You're on fire, Candace!
    Candace: Woo-Hoo. [Beat] I'm not actually on fire, am I?
  • The heroine of Daria, quite often. Usually the sarcastic variety, but even when legitimately happy, the most one usually gets out of her is a slight, sly smile.
  • A memorable mocking of then Vice President Al Gore on The Simpsons played this up.
  • The animated version of The Ricky Gervais Show employs this in the cartoon for Karl Pilkington's diary entry about learning the word "wewe",note  which Stephen Merchant pronounces "woo". When Steve reads Karl's comment that he could not imagine a situation where he would ever need the word "wewe", Karl is shown sitting at a table in a pub with a pint, looking around the room, then mouthing "wewe" (in time with Stephen's voice) with an expression of flat joy.

     Real Life 
  • Some people with Aspergers/Autism can have this problem sometimes. Feeling it but not quite able to express it.
  • "Whoop-dee-damn-doo" - Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, upon hearing that he had been confirmed to that position.


Stinger time? Yay.


Flat 'What."Character Reaction IndexFlat Scare
Flashback CutComedy TropesFlat Scare
Falling in Love MontageImageSource/Animated FilmsFlight of Romance

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