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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_life_of_brian.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:♫ "Always look on the bri-i-ight side of li-i-ife..." ♩]]
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->''"Whatever success I've had aside, between you and me? ''This'' [[[StandUpComedy routine]]] right here, I've been doing it since I was 18, this is the difference between paycheck... and medication and bedcheck. And don't get me wrong. I want to hear your pain! For God's sake, just put it in joke form, that's all."''
-->-- '''Creator/ChristopherTitus''', ''Norman Rockwell is Bleeding''

This world is filled with horrible things: death, combat, pain, torture, sexual assault, (mental) disease, starvation, slavery, addiction, unjustified contempt (sexism, racism, etc)... that happen to the defenseless, the innocent, the vulnerable - quite often, children. However, while it's good to know these things exist and work to minimise them, there's a point where thinking about these things doesn't help and is bad for your mental and physical health. Indeed, it can kill you.

Thankfully, there's a way to keep sane: humour. People who are easily hurt, [[StopHavingFunGuys or like to keep things 'dignified' and 'serious']], may say "[[DudeNotFunny This is not a laughing matter]]." But the truth is there is a healing power to comedy. If you can make fun of yourself, talk about your problems and have someone laugh with you, you feel better and your problems don't seem quite so bad anymore.

This trope is when you are able to make the best of a bad situation - this is finding something funny even in Hell itself. "Laughter is the best medicine", says the age-old adage. Therefore, these tend to be stories that focus on a select group of individuals who are in recovery or surviving an ordeal. It is highly unlikely for a gag of the week format to be Gallows Humor. It is also likely that the main character suffers from depression and is cheering himself up.

Gallows Humor is, by definition, from the perspective of the victim or at least expressing empathy. If anyone else laughs at the victim or the author tries to make the situation funny, it's BlackComedy. This trope is generally when the joke itself or simple laughter allows you to deal with your problems.

Compare BlackComedy, QuipToBlack, RefugeInAudacity, TheFunInFuneral. Contrast TooSoon. See also FacingTheBulletsOneLiner and SadClown.


* In the commercial for Tombstone pizza [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnlZtAYAOt8 seen here]], a victim of a mob execution who is about to be sent to [[CementShoes "sleep with the fishes"]] says he's going to "make a big splash".

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' manga does this all the time, hence the MoodWhiplash and the sudden shifts to SD mode. Some Western fans complain that the bits of tragicomic laughter during gloomy, gritty fights become {{egregious}} towards the end of the manga. The humour tied to characters such as Livio and Legato gets particularly disturbing and seemingly out of place at times. Vash and Knives's snarky banter has a weird edge too, and [[spoiler: Cosmic Horror Knives]] yelling insults in SD form is possibly even creepier than his non-SD moments.
* ''Manga/KimiNoKakera'' (''Your Piece'') contains a few outrageous cases too. A particularly jarring example is the RunningGag tied to Icolo's [[spoiler: breasts]], since [[spoiler: the children are fascinated by them because they're all motherless and have had no substitute mom before teenage Icolo]] and [[spoiler: Icolo/Cololi and a few other young girls are rape victims who went through forced prostitution]].
%%* Half of ''LightNovel/WelcomeToTheNHK'' is nothing but this, particularly with Satou and Yamazaki.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': The short jokes and quirky personalities of the officers are the only thing keeping from being a being a manga about the horrors of war. The inability of the series to keep a straight face for more than five seconds at a time is part of why some fans prefer the first anime (which maintains a more consistent mood).
** At one point, the manga had AxCrazy SerialKiller Barry the Chopper as '''comic relief'''. And he's [[LaughablyEvil really funny.]]
** One side story had Mustang contemplating about his "[[MyGodWhatHaveIDone work on Ishbal]]", then later we had his subordinates pushing paperwork on him.
** Izumi Curtis lost a good deal of her internal organs from a failed human transmutation. This doesn't stop her frequent [[WaterfallPuke vomiting]] of [[BloodFromTheMouth blood]] to be played for laughs.
** And the omakes didn't help, too. Especially the ones that mock her own TearJerker moments like [[spoiler:Martel's death, Hughes' death, and the Rockbells' deaths]].
* ''Manga/TheKurosagiCorpseDeliveryService'' is full of this, being about a business that deals with dead people for a living.
* Brook of ''Manga/OnePiece'' constantly makes jokes and puns at his own expense over the fact that he is a [[DemBones skeleton]]. It lands solidly in this category when you realize that the series has more than once acknowledged that being reduced to a skeleton is not actually very funny, and that Brook knows it. Most acknowledge it as a bit of SanitySlippage due to the ordeals he experienced between originally dying and being found by the Straw Hats.
* A staple of the [[TearJerker often sad]] ''Anime/AngelBeats''. At one point, they play a character hanging herself for laughs. There's also the hilarious DwindlingParty sequence -- and it's a ''BreatherEpisode'' in this series -- where the characters all do a SayMyName whenever someone gets killed off. That is, until they get to [[TokenEvilTeammate Naoi]]:
-->'''Naoi:''' No, no, [[HeroicSacrifice I'll go next]]!\\
''[gets stabbed]''\\
'''Hinata:''' ''[{{beat}}]'' ...Somebody say something.\\
'''Yui:''' I don't know his name.
* ''Manga/KoiKaze'' has a mild example with most of their [[OnTheNext next-episode previews]], which involve Chidori passing "judgement" on the other characters for the various inappropriate things they have done or want to do.
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'', in any gags that involve Angol Mois assuming her true form and her Armageddon powers.
* Invoked by way of the InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike and {{Mondegreen}} tropes in the "English" episode of Manga/SquidGirl, at the very end when "English-impaired" Eiko meets a foreign tourist who asks how to get to Yuigihama station, she tells him "Aru keru yo!" ("You can walk there"), but to the tourist, [[spoiler:it sounded like she was saying "IllKillYou"]].
* The dub of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' used this a lot, which fits with its WorldOfSnark. Such gems includes Hiei suggesting killing Kuwabara so Yusuke can release his full power and Yusuke snarking about his Spirit Gun being useless.

* Creator/RichardPryor was the master of this trope.
* Creator/ChristopherTitus
-->"How come Mom's crazy and I'm not? It's possible she could have got up every night in front of this many people, talk about all the ''CRAP'' in her life and those people sat around and ''laughed'' with her, would have meant nothing and she could have moved on cool. It's also possible she also could have taken out the front row with a large caliber weapon, she was, ''whew'', out there. And maybe things would be different for Mom, she would have gotten her [[Series/{{Titus}} own show]] and you would read about me in 'The Inquirer' as her heroin addicted son. Oh, we can dream!"
* The Dutch stand-up comedian Herman Finkers does it literally: "Two gallows are walking down the street...".
* Following his open-heart surgery, Creator/RobinWilliams was quick to poke fun about it in his HBO special "Weapons of Self-Destruction."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* John Callahan draws politically incorrect comics making fun of disabled people, which has to do with the fact that [[SelfDeprecation Callahan himself]] is [[NWordPrivileges seriously disabled]].
* {{Lampshaded}} by Beast in an early issue of Creator/GrantMorrison's ''ComicBook/NewXMen'', in the wake of the Genosha Massacre, when he tells Jean to tell Xavier that gallows humor is the only thing keeping them sane. The issue opened with him holding up a partial skeleton and saying "I don't know how to tell you this, my friend, but your dating days may be over."
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' has quite a bit of gallows humor. Moloch: "Well, now, y'know that kind of cancer that you eventually get better from? Well, that ain't the kind of cancer I got."
%% * [[http://lh5.ggpht.com/-VcCiFXVeFCE/R11E-N6_ijI/AAAAAAAADlU/v4uyPuNUv1E/s720/Mundo%252520Quino%252520078.jpg Several]] [[http://lh6.ggpht.com/-G5CJhlvDRkw/R11FQd6_imI/AAAAAAAADlw/canaEXDoN44/s1024/Mundo%252520Quino%252520080.jpg examples]] [[http://lh3.ggpht.com/-45fUckRciVY/R11FGt6_ikI/AAAAAAAADlc/97x45WotuAY/s1024/Mundo%252520Quino%252520081.jpg by]] [[http://lh3.ggpht.com/-sJJ8CNfIxFk/R11FKt6_ilI/AAAAAAAADlo/14CkeBMLkDk/Mundo%252520Quino%252520088.jpg Argentinian]] [[http://lh6.ggpht.com/-UYSFWS8UoRE/R11Gkd6_iyI/AAAAAAAADnQ/qNqi_ecknWs/s720/Mundo%252520Quino%252520076.jpg cartoonist]] ''Creator/{{Quino}}''. [[http://lh4.ggpht.com/-C7ZtGybfqmA/R11Hk96_i6I/AAAAAAAADoU/DMlFPXUkhqI/s720/Mundo%252520Quino%252520086.jpg Many]] [[http://lh5.ggpht.com/-MHnVAjdrbd8/R11GrN6_izI/AAAAAAAADnY/K1SR37T_b-o/s720/Mundo%252520Quino%252520077.jpg examples]] [[http://lh4.ggpht.com/-dAXud9_V0aQ/R11G-96_i1I/AAAAAAAADno/h-09QaITYyA/s1024/Mundo%252520Quino%252520079.jpg indeed]].
* Happens quite often in the Swedish comic ''Hälge''.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} once chastised Franchise/{{Superman}} for this when he was trying to remove a Kryptonite bullet from his chest in ''Superman/Batman: Public Enemies''.
-->'''Batman:''' The Kryptonite's near your heart. I don't know if I'll be fast enough to get it before the wound closes.\\
'''Superman:''' Where's Franchise/TheFlash when you need him?\\
'''Batman:''' Do me a favor, and lose the sense of humor.\\
'''Superman:''' Do us both a favor and buy one.
* ''ComicBook/{{Sturmtruppen}}'', including a whole story arc centered on the resident SS firing squad being unable to "exterminate" a Jewish prisoner.
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'': In ''Belle Starr'', [[spoiler:one criminal sentenced to hang refuses OneLastSmoke because it would be bad for his health]]. This was an allusion to [[TheBluebeard Landru]] (see RealLife below).
* ''ComicBook/RedEars'': A man is told by his doctor that he has less than a day to live, so he goes home and has a last night of drunken sex with his wife until they're both so exhausted that they collapse from the effort. When he wakes up and wants to continue, she tells him to stop complaining because at least he doesn't have to get up in the morning.
* Many Marvel Universe characters are fairly fond of this.
-->'''Black Widow''': A boat is coming to pick you up in fifteen minutes -- try to hold out. If the enemy gets past us, my advice is for you to commit suicide.
-->'''Punisher''': You ought to do that anyway.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''Magazine/{{Mad}}'' does this all the time. For instance, in one Al Jaffee article, two rather sadistic correction officers lead a prisoner on death row to the gallows. They mockingly keep him from walking under a ladder or letting a black cat cross his path, saying it will bring him bad luck. When they give him a last cigarette (each of them lighting one of their own) he warns them that lighting three cigarettes with one match is also bad luck. [[spoiler: (And it ''is''; when they pull the leaver, [[LaserGuidedKarma the whole scaffold collapses and crushes them,]] giving him the last laugh.)]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8358093/1/Love-in-Shades-of-Green-and-Gray Love in Shades of Green and Gray]]'', [[TeenTitans Beast Boy]]'s final words to Raven (a natural death at the age of 211, with her living three centuries more) are "How do you keep a beautiful half-demon in suspense"?
* ''FanFic/ABrighterDark'': [[CrapsackWorld Considering the environment,]] this is usually the only kind of humor possible.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/TheVampireOfSteel'', both heroines find two demons killed by heat-vision:
-->'''Buffy:''' Burn marks on the edges of the holes. That would be that thing you do with your eyes, all right.\\
'''Supergirl:''' What are these things?\\
'''Buffy:''' Ghoul demons, most likely. Flesh eaters. They probably went out for dinner, but weren’t expecting such a hot meal.\\
'''Supergirl:''' How can you joke about things like this?\\
'''Buffy:''' Because if I didn’t, I’d have gone raving bonkers when I started Slaying.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'', after [[spoiler:being captured by Shen and about to be executed]], Mantis makes this quip.
--> '''Mantis''': I thought I'd meet a nice girl, settle down, and then she'd eat my head.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'', we get a slow-motion scene of Alex reverting to a primal state and ferociously chasing his friend Marty... while the National Geographic fanfare triumphantly plays in the background.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ending of ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' looks heart-breaking at first... but it is rendered hysterically funny when everyone starts singing "Always look on the Bright Side of Life". The whole troupe later went on to sing this song at the funeral of Graham Chapman, [[TheFunInFuneral after a speech loaded to the brim with this sort of humor]]. It's [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=fsHk9WC7fnQ as funny as it is moving]]. They all sound like they're about to cry as they sing. ManlyTears.
* ''[[Film/SeventeenSeventySix 1776]]'' - The members of the Second Continental Congress employ this to get through signing the Declaration of Independence. Franklin's [[TruthInTelevision real life quip]] about the situation (as seen in the page quotes) is famous enough that he gets to give it in the movie as well.
* ''Film/TheLastSamurai'': Katsumoto returns to his badly outnumbered and outgunned force after 'negotiating' with Omura, and tells his commanders: "Well, they won't surrender."
* ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid''. After being challenged to a knife fight:
-->'''Butch:''' There's a way to profit from this... bet on Logan (the other guy).\\
'''Sundance:''' I would, but who'd bet on you?
** Butch and Sundance have the choice of being shot dead by bounty hunters or jumping off a high cliff into a river. Butch keeps saying they should jump, but Sundance'd rather fight them (and probably get killed).
--->'''Sundance:''' "I can't swim!"\\
'''Butch:''' ''(bursts out laughing)'' Are you crazy? The fall'll probably kill ya!
** Near the end of the movie, Butch and Sundance, badly wounded, are about to [[BolivianArmyEnding charge out from their cover into a firefight that'll most likely kill them]].
--->'''Butch:''' Hey, did you see Lafors out there?\\
'''Sundance:''' Lafors? No.\\
'''Butch:''' Oh good. For a moment there I thought we were in trouble.
* ''Film/{{Severance}}'' is a particularly good example of this. The comedy up until the middle of the movie is almost entirely BlackComedy, including the discovery that the meat pie the main characters have been eating contains a human tooth being met with the insistence that, "It's not all bad, I cooked it for the whole hour!" The movie actually ends with [[spoiler:the four surviving characters, two of whom are strippers, rowing to escape in a small boat. Things look bleak and no one really has any hope for survival when the sole male in the boat turns to his coworker and says, "Foursome?"]] It is the last line in the film.
** Not actually that bleak: [[spoiler: all the villains are dead and they should be able to get to relative safety.]] Unless of course you watch the original ending on the DVD: [[spoiler: [[ShootTheShaggyDog where it's shown they're unknowingly rowing towards a giant waterfall]].]] Grim or not, it's still a little hilarious.
* Creator/IngmarBergman is pretty good at this - bits of ''Film/TheSeventhSeal'' are intentionally both disturbing and hilarious, as are the attempted suicides in both ''Smiles of a Summer Night'' and ''The Magic Flute''. (Admittedly, the latter is Schikaneder's doing, not Bergman's.)
* Roy Andersson's ''Songs from the Second Floor'' manages to make murder, Nazi sympathizers, insanity, etc. ''really'' funny while still as horrifying as ever. One scene has a magician trying to saw a lady in half without really knowing how the trick is done. Ah, those Swedish filmmakers.
* In one scene in ''Film/CastAway'', Chuck has developed a toothache during his stay on the island and is considering his options about extracting it (without anything close to the proper dental tools available), bouncing ideas off [[CompanionCube his buddy Wilson the volleyball]], including the speculation that Wilson could be his dentist. Then he realizes (and shares) the ironic recollection that Chuck's ''actual'' dentist back home was named Dr. Spaulding (another brand of sporting equipment).
** Right after he "creates" Wilson, Chuck is trying to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. His first words to Wilson are, "You wouldn't have a match, would you?"
* ''Film/TheDevilsRejects'' - The Firefly family: "We're sorry to inform you the Banjo and Sullivan show will be canceled for this evening!"
* Despite the inherent seriousness of the situation, after [[spoiler:Richie's suicide attempt]] in ''Film/TheRoyalTenenbaums'', a dark joke is thrown in:
-->'''Richie:''' I wrote you a [[spoiler:suicide note.]]\\
'''Chas:''' You did?\\
'''Richie:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chas:''' ...Is it dark?\\
'''Richie:''' 'Course it's dark, it's a [[spoiler:suicide note...]]
* Outtake first seen in the ABC-TV version of ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'': After the transporter is fixed following a nightmarish transporter error that resulted in two crewmen being turned inside out, an arriving crewman says "Someone wanted to first see 'how it scrambled ''our'' molecules'".
-->'''Kirk:''' ''[to Transporter Chief Rand]'' That has a familiar ring to it....
::(True to the trope, another poster objected to this being placed under ''CrowningMomentOfFunny'' on the ''STTMP'' page.)
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** ''Film/ANewHope'', when the heroes are [[AdvancingWallOfDoom about to be crushed]] in the trash compactor:
--->'''Han:''' One thing's for sure, we're all going to be a lot thinner!
** In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'', after being woken from the carbonite, Han is stuck in this mode:
*** After Luke kills the Rancor leading Jabba to sentence them to death by sarlacc:
---->'''Han:''' How we doin'?\\
'''Luke:''' Same as always.\\
'''Han:''' That bad, huh?
*** And then as they're heading out to the sarlacc pit:
---->'''Han:''' I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.\\
'''Luke:''' There's nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.\\
'''Han:''' You're going to die here, you know. Convenient.
* Present quite often in ''Film/ANightToRemember'', from the "You and I will be in the same boat later" conversation, to an aristocratic lady moaning about being out of bed due to the Titanic being 'unsinkable', cut to the boiler room flooding and the stokers desperately evacuating.
* Due to a long, ''long'' history of persecution, Jews are generally acknowledged as the grand masters of Gallows Humor; this is highlighted in one scene in ''Film/SchindlersList'' which features a group of ghetto residents tossing around very dark jokes about the number of people forced to move into their houses.
* From ''Film/TheCounterfeiters'': "Why is there no God in Auschwitz?... He didn't get through the selection process."
* ''Film/SinCity'': [[spoiler:Marv]] does this right before their own execution.
-->''[Reverend reads a bible passage]''\\
[[spoiler:'''Marv:''']] Could you get a move on? I haven't got all night...
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'': Pintel and Ragetti tell Will the story of how, only after they sunk his father to the bottom of the ocean, did they learn they needed his blood to lift the curse. They then have a laugh at the cruel irony of their situation.
%%* ''Film/PennAndTellerGetKilled''
* In ''Film/{{Downfall}}'', a group of Nazi soldiers have realized that their leadership has lost its damned mind and they're probably screwed, so they decide to get shitfaced and trade jokes while they wait for whatever's coming next.
-->''"Berlin has become a city of warehouses - 'Where's my house?!'"'' [[note]]The original German punchline translates to "Here ''were'' houses, there ''were'' houses!"[[/note]]
* In ''Film/{{Argo}}'', Jack O'Donnell drops Tony Mendez off at the airport, as Tony's leaving to extract six Americans who are hiding out in Tehran at the height of the hostage crisis. Being a CIA agent who's going into post-revolution Iran, it's naturally a very dangerous mission that can end very badly, very bloody, very publicly. Before Tony leaves the car, there's this exchange:
-->'''Tony Mendez:''' I should have brought some books to read in prison.\\
'''Jack O'Donnell:''' Nah, they'll kill you long before prison.
* ''Film/DumbAndDumberTo'': When Harry and Lloyd are at the funeral home, Lloyd says that they should select a coffin for the terminally-ill Harry while they're there anyway.
* In the film ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', TARS is rather crass with his gallows humor, often plugging at inappropriate times, given that his humor setting was originally set at 100% before it was modified by Cooper.
-->'''TARS:''' Everybody good? Plenty of slaves for my robot colony?\\
'''Cooper:''' A giant, sarcastic robot. Wonderful.\\
'''TARS:''' I have a cue light I can use to show you when I'm joking, if you like.\\
'''Cooper:''' That might help.\\
'''TARS:''' Yeah, you can use it to find your way back to the ship after I blow you out the airlock. ''[cue light blinks]''\\
'''TARS:''' I won't leave you behind, ''[beat]'' Doctor Brand. ''[as he addresses the entire group concerning a potential suicide mission]''
* In ''Film/AlmostFamous'', when Stillwater's plane starts experiencing severe turbulence, Russell starts singing [[Music/BuddyHolly "Peggy Sue"]], referring to how its singer, Buddy Holly, died in a plane crash.

* A lot of early translators didn't realize Creator/HansChristianAndersen had quite a dark sense of humor underlying his many grim morality tales. "The Tinder Box" in particular has a line from the protagonist while he's awaiting his execution that, translated properly, is ''hilarious'':
-->''In the morning he could see through the bars in the little window that the people were hurrying out of the town to see him hanged. He heard the drums and saw the soldiers marching along. All the world was going. Among them was a shoemaker's boy in his leather apron and slippers. He was in such a hurry that he lost one of his slippers, and it fell close under the soldier's window where he was peeping out through the bars.\\
"I say, you boy! Don't be in such a hurry," said the soldier to him. "Nothing will happen until I get there!"
* ''Literature/{{Gone}}'':
-->'''Quinn:''' It looks like the world's worst picnic.\\
'''Astrid:''' I believe that's what's referred to as Gallows Humor.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Harry frequently makes these types of jokes, which for some reason are usually followed by a variation of the phrase: "Ron laughed, but Hermione didn't."
** Especially true of Fred and George, who are known for making jokes about everything.
--->'''George:''' [[spoiler:''[after losing an ear]'']] With the whole world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series does this all the time, and points out why it works with Vimes musing "We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything."
** Similar musings played straight in ''Discworld/TheLastHero'': Carrot takes a moment to work out that the motto Rincewind recommends be sewn on Leonard's space suits translates from CanisLatinicus as "We who are about to die, don't want to."
** Another good one is Moist Von Lipwig in ''Discworld/GoingPostal''. As he is about to be hanged, he says "I commend my soul to any God that can find it!"
** ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' is packed with this sort of joke, since it's one of the most dramatic and ''almost'' one of the darkest in the series. Most are about war and racism. And there's the World's Most Laughable Shipwreck.
* ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime''. [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Mrs. Which]]: "We mustn't lose our senses of humor! The only way to cope with something [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt deadly serious]] is to try to treat it a little lightly."
* In ''Literature/NewJediOrder'', a lot of businesses in Nova Station (in the remains of the Carida system) had names referring to the system's destruction (e.g. Big Boom Cantina).
* In ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'', [[UnreliableNarrator Johnny Truant]] describes the Gallows Humor:
-->'''Johnny Truant:''' Zampanò, I've come to recognize now, was a very funny man. But his humor was that wry, desiccated kind soldiers whisper, all their jokes subsurface, their laughter amounting to little more than a tic in the corner of the mouth, told as they wait together in their outpost, slowly realizing that help's not going to reach them in time and come nightfall, no matter what they've done or what they try to say, slaughter will overrun them all.
* Some characters in ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'', such as Gurney, show this kind of humor.
* Raymond E. Feist's ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' is notable for this, but ''Prince of the Blood'' has one mercenary who just takes the cake.
--->"My mother always wanted me to go into an honorable trade, like grave-robbing. But did I listen? Nooooo. Be an assassin, like your uncle Gustav. But nooooo. Apprentice to the Necromancer..."
* ''In Cold Blood'' by Truman Capote: Perry Smith was reportedly joking with the hangman the night before his death.
* ''Eat Your Feelings'' by Heather Whaley (based on a blog of the same name) is essentially relentless mockery of life under mental illness and other forms of stress. As a cookbook. Sort of "Sarah Silverman cooks" kind of thing.
* The titular character of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' is, along with his SadClown ways, a master of this form of humor. Somewhat unusual in that [[spoiler: he deals in post-gallows humor as well.]]
* Some victors/tributes from ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', including Katniss, have a rather droll outlook on their CrapsackWorld. Finnick in ''Catching Fire'' even ties a noose and pretends to hang himself as a joke.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': The Lannister boys are particularly adept at this. No matter what the situation is - even after he has hit rock bottom and is [[spoiler:MadeASlave]] - Tyrion is always ready with a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky quip]], which annoys his colleagues thoroughly. Jaime is an even straighter example. Shortly after the single most traumatic moment of his life, he has this exchange:
--> '''Roose''': You have lost [[spoiler:[[AnArmAndALeg a hand]]]].\\
'''Jaime''': No. I have it here, hanging about my neck.
** This, along with DeadpanSnarker, is Dolorous Edd Tollett's [[TheEeyore defining characteristic.]]
** Supposedly, Oswell Whent of the [[PraetorianGuard Kingsguard]] had a wicked sense of black humor. Unfortunately, we never get to see it in action, since he's dead. Alas.
** Sandor Clegane is no great wit and about the last person you'd ever see as jester. Yet, he has this tendency of pointing out the grim absurdities that living in the Seven Kingdoms regularly throws up and leaving it up to his audience to find their own punchline... or give in to despair.
* The cadets in ''Literature/TheLordsOfDiscipline'' develop this as a coping mechanism towards their brutal MilitarySchool. The most notable instance occurs when one character commits suicide by walking in front of a train and graffiti starts appearing on the bathroom walls reading, "[[spoiler: Dante Pignetti]] was railroaded out of the Institute."
* Hazel, Augustus and Isaac of ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'' are as full of this as you would expect terminally ill teenagers to be. One particular gem:
--> '''Hazel:''' It's primarily his hotness.
--> '''Gus:''' It can be sort of blinding.
--> '''Hazel:''' It actually did blind our friend Isaac.
--> '''Gus:''' Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?
--> '''Hazel:''' You cannot.
--> '''Gus:''' It is my burden, this beautiful face.
--> '''Hazel:''' Not to mention your body.
--> '''Gus:''' Seriously, don't ever get me started on my hot bod. You don't want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace's breath away. ''*He nods toward Hazel's oxygen tank*''
* The Creator/DavidDrake anthology ''All the Way to the Gallows'' is a collection of stories rich with martial gallows humor, primarily from "pointy end of the stick" people getting stuck in horrible situations by either political direction or circumstances.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** When Arya learns that yet another death has prevented yet another homecoming, she simply bursts into laughter.
** The Hound acknowledges he's dead meat "unless there's a maester hiding behind that rock".
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Dean from when he has a year to live. To the point where it becomes disturbing (given [[CrapsackWorld the world they live in]], most of the humor on the show is this type).
--->'''Bobby:''' So now we're having bacon cheeseburgers for breakfast?\\
'''Dean:''' I got a year to live, I'm not worried about the cholesterol.
** When Dean and Sam go undercover at a church abstinence group, Sam tells the group that he's slept with women in the past and it always ends up badly. Dean adds, [[CartwrightCurse "He ain't lying.]]"
* ''Series/{{Mash}}'' is a great example. The theme tune is "Suicide is Painless". The episode ''Rainbow Bridge'' had a high-stakes turnover of prisoners to the MASH doctors, and Frank nearly screwed it all up by bringing a gun. In reflex, Frank reached for his gun and stopped, but the enemy soldiers were not happy about this violation. Upon command, Frank revealed his gun, a very tiny pistol, which made the enemy soldiers laugh so hard that they forgave him and the turnover went smoothly from then on.
** In another episode, a no-nonsense visiting Colonel takes Hawkeye to task over his constant cracking of jokes. Hawkeye points out that, given the horrors he witnesses on a daily basis, making a joke is the only way he can open his mouth without screaming.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. In "Murder Most Maris", Frasier attempts gallows humor, and in a running gag, keeps bringing up the fact he was punched by a man now dead, repeatedly, even ''days'' after the fact, to win an argument. The funny part? It works each time.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' - The entire show was about finding something funny about dark things.
--> "It actually comforts me to know that when I was in Kindergarten, gluing macaroni to paper plates, my Mom was in therapy... gluing macaroni to paper plates."
* Parodied on ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'':
-->'''Lucille''': "Oh, it's so good to laugh again."\\
'''GOB''': "Oh, feels good."\\
'''George, Sr.''': "It does."\\
'''Michael''': "They say seven minutes heals all wounds."
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' has an entire episode of this, appropriately titled "Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead".
* ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuckles_Bites_the_Dust "Chuckles Bites the Dust"]]
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''
** An episode of where the Defiant was hit with a warhead, and Quark and a Gamma Quadrant merchant are stuck right next to it. It turns out the merchant sold that kind of warhead to the Defiant's attackers, but it was designed to go off on impact. Quark jokes that they deserve a refund. To a Ferengi, that would be almost a sin, but considering they were that close to death, he and the merchant burst into laughter. The merchant also prided himself on only selling [[HonestJohnsDealership top quality merchandise.]]
** Another episode ("Nor the battle to the Strong") is a kiss to M.A.S.H: Three Starfleet surgeons casually discuss the merits and drawbacks of various ways of dying as they await a Klingon assault they have little chance of withstanding. Over ''breakfast.''
--->'''Kirby''': Decapitation has its virtues. Nice clean blow with a sharp bat'leth.\\
'''Bolian Doc''': The brain lives on for five, ten seconds at least. In theory, your headless corpse could be the last thing you see.\\
'''Nurse''': You're so negative.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' - In the "Catspaw" episode, Kirk and Spock are shackled with their arms raised against a wall next to a skeleton in the same position. At one point while discussing the situation with Spock, Kirk pauses as he looks at the skeleton, momentarily cocks his head in the same position as the skeleton's, then turns back to continue talking to Spock.
** Earlier, when Dr. [=McCoy=] was also in the dungeon, Kirk turned his head to ask if 'Bones' was all right, saw the skeleton, and called [=McCoy=] 'Doc' for the rest of the episode.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy has always had a morbid sense of humor; in Season Six after she's brought back from the dead it tends to get a DudeNotFunny! reaction from the Scoobies.
** The final episode of Season Six. Buffy is updating the recently returned Giles on the horrible things that happened to her and her friends (her masochistic relationship with Spike, Xander and Anya's altar break-up, Dawn's shoplifting, etc.) After this laundry list of soul-crushing defeats, both Buffy and Giles suddenly break out laughing. Buffy even recounts the particularly traumatic events of ''Normal Again'' (where she's hallucinating that her entire time as the Slayer was just a delusion from a mental hospital, and she tried to kill everyone to stop the delusion...) in a fit of giggles.
** They attempted to use this when Xander got his eye poked out by [[TheDragon Caleb]]. Sitting in the hospital bed, Xander tried to crack a few jokes about the situation, which was hardly working for him let alone an emotionally frail Willow, which ended up being a DudeNotFunny and TooSoon.
*** Though a bit later:
-->'''Xander:''' And you know what's even worse? All the stupid "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" jokes. "Hey, --Xander, so no more fun and games, huh?"
-->'''Dawn:''' Giles was just having fun with you.
-->'''Xander:''' That's not the point. It's an obvious joke. It would be like someone calling me a cyclops ... I mean, give me some "eye of the beholder" jokes, you know? Or some "eye for an eye" jokes or maybe even a post-modern I, Claudius joke. It's about standards, Dawnie.
* One particularly gallows example from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has Angel cut during an earthquake, the blood drip onto his son's sheets, and him mention that if they did get trapped at least they would have food. As Wesley had learned of the prophecy that Angel would kill his own son everything that happens after this is really his fault.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'' - This partially explains why several Jewish actors (one or two of whom narrowly escaped the Holocaust) were willing and eager to play ThoseWackyNazis (including the main four Nazis, Klink, Schultz, Burkhalter, and Hochstetter). That, and the chance to make a ''career'' out of TakeThat. John Banner (Sergeant Schultz) supposedly told someone, "Who better to make fun of them than us?" There's a reason you never see any of the Germans with their forearms bared, after all.
* The jokes present in ''Series/ThisHourHas22Minutes'' are only rarely Gallows Humor, but in a commercial for the show in the nineties, Rick Mercer had this to say on the subject, after musing on why Canadians seem to take such glee in lambasting not only their politicians, but themselves: "If ya can't laugh, ya might as well cry."
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' can feature quite a bit of this although sometimes they advise against it if it's not really helping, it can make you even more miserable. J.D. and Turk once explained to a dying patient that because they are around it so much they need to make it clear they aren't afraid of death. And there are other examples such as regarding Doug, a doctor and later pathologist, who has killed ''numerous'' patients and treats dead bodies like "giant children", Dr. Kelso, who has a habit of cracking extremely morbid and perverse jokes that horrify his colleagues, and [[TheChewToy Ted the lawyer]], who comedically threatens to kill himself numerous times over the course of the show.
** Ted also makes the occasional oblique reference to murdering Dr. Kelso. "Bloop..." certainly comes to mind
* ''Series/TopGear''
** Richard Hammond's first episode after his 288 mph crash and subsequent recovery from a serious brain injury, with James May standing by with tissues in case Hammond starts "dribbling" and Jeremy Clarkson asking if he was now "a mental."
** Virtually every time one of the presenters has a big crash there's some variation on the theme of "We've just killed [presenter]. If you want a job on ''Series/TopGear'', write to 'I'm Better Than [Presenter] Was', BBC TV Centre, Wood L... no, wait, he lives!"
** After Jeremy blew a tire on a Bentley, Jeremy looks at Richard and says "I had a blowout, and I held it."
** The presenters allegedly have a pact that, should any of them die, the others will appear at the beginning of the next episode, make a mournful comment, and then say "Anyway..." and cheerfully continue with the show.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' has its fair share of this, but the most literal example has to be River giggling at the absurdity of being tied to a post so she can be burned at the stake on the same day as she learned what a "post-holer, for digging holes for posts" looked like in "Safe".
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' makes use of this frequently, which is probably a good thing on a show that has had cannibals, killer clowns, guys that kill people and do experiments on them before feeding them to pigs, people that remove their victims eyes, people that kill others randomly, people that do live autopsies on others, and people that set up death traps to watch their victims suffer. And that's only a ''few''. Gallows Humor is probably one of the only reasons any of the (current) main cast is at all sane.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' is full of this. One episode deals with Lister losing his arm. Doug Naylor(who wrote the episode) is missing a leg.
* ''Series/TheJob'', and even more so its SpiritualSuccessor ''Series/RescueMe''.
* A recurring theme throughout the various ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' series.
** Special mention should be granted to "Goodbyeeee...", the final episode of ''Blackadder Goes Forth'', where the constant threat of death has finally... [[{{Pun}} pushed them over the top.]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH3-Gt7mgyM The final few minutes of "Goodbyeeee..." has a few parting shots.]]
** Of particular note is the episode "Corporal Punishment", where Blackadder jokes constantly about his imminent [[spoiler:and ultimately avoided]] doom.
--->'''Blackadder:''' Can I ask you to leave a pause between the word "aim" and the word "fire"? Thirty of forty years, perhaps?\\\
'''Blackadder:''' ''[asked by the marksmen where they should hit]'' Just above my head might be a good spot.\\
'''Blackadder:''' Robinson, good to see you! ''[gun gestures]''
::It helps, though, that he's set up and expecting a LastMinuteReprieve to pull his chestnuts out of the fire, and when it looks like it's not coming he starts sounding a lot more panicky.
** Another example, however, is at the KangarooCourt where he was sentenced to death to begin with:
-->'''Melchett:''' I therefore have absolutely no hesitation in announcing that the sentence of this court is: that you Captain Edmund Blackadder be taken from this place and shot to death by shooting tomorrow at dawn. Do you have anything to say?\\
'''Blackadder:''' Yes, can I have an alarm call, please?
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'' had an episode where Jill's dad died and the family had go to Texas for the funeral. Randy was constantly making jokes about it and upsetting Mark. He later admitted to Tim he didn't know why he was acting that way. Tim said he was the same way when he was 11 and his dad died, and suggested to just be careful around certain people like Mom and Mark.
* ''Series/That70sShow'' had an episode where Eric was driving his grandmother home, and the lady was not well liked by anyone for her fault finding and meanspiritedness. When Eric finally tells her that she isn't very well liked, she just suddenly drops dead. Interestingly no one, not even her son Red, cried at her passing and while the show had plenty of jokes happening, the funeral was a rather standard ordeal. After the funeral Eric confessed to Red that she died immediately after he told her off, Red chuckled saying "It could only [[CosmicPlaything happen to you]]." Kitty then came in, after spending the entire time just cooking things and finding herself with nothing left to keep her busy, and started to break down in tears. The three of them then cried together for a moment of grieving.
** Specifically, Eric said "It wouldn't kill you to be nice", hence this trope and Red's reaction.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'': An awful lot of it. No matter how brutal or horrific a situation, someone is going to make a joke about it.
-->'''Warden Glynn:''' The M.E. has ruled [=McCullum's=] death as suicide. He bit into his skin, chewing off chunks of muscle over the course of a week or so, causing himself to bleed out.\\
'''Sister Pete:''' Sweet Jesus!\\
'''Officer Murphy:''' Like a cannibal!\\
'''Tim [=McManus=]:''' A cannibal eats somebody else's flesh.\\
'''Murphy:''' So what do you call a guy who eats his own flesh?\\
'''Tim [=McManus=]:''' Inventive.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** This exchange between Sarah Jane Smith and the Third Doctor as they're trapped in a web in "Planet of the Spiders":
--->'''Doctor:''' I think they'll find I'm rather a tough old bird.\\
'''Sarah Jane:''' An old boiler, in fact.\\
'''Doctor:''' ''[chuckles]'' yes, yes. I would make a good item on the agenda of the next spider council meeting. Whether to stew a Time Lord or roast him in a slow oven?\\
'''Sarah Jane:''' That will give them something to chew over.\\
'''Doctor:''' Yes, something they can get their teeth into, hmm?
** In "The Sound of Drums", TheMaster [[BoardToDeath gasses the cabinet to death]]. So what's so funny about it? TheMaster gives an enthusiastic double thumbs up after one member of the cabinet tells him "YoureInsane".
** In "The Time of the Doctor", when the Eleventh Doctor is dying of old age and out of regenerations, surrounded by [[AbsoluteXenophobe Daleks]], on the planet Trenzalore where he is destined to die, he tells some to Clara.
--->'''Doctor:''' The trouble with Daleks is, they take so long to say anything. Probably die of boredom before they shoot me.
** One of the soldiers being chased by murderous ghosts in "Under the Lake": "If I die, you know that I will come back to haunt you."
** Done literally in "The Woman who Lived", with a highwayman waiting to be executed stretching out his life with stand-up comedy, mostly puns on "hanging about" and "well hung", because the crowd will be angry if they hang him while he's still funny.
* Sketch comedy shows like ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' and ''Series/TheState'' will sometimes do a sketch in the recovery room of an attempted suicide. Expect no one to have read the attempter's (long and detailed) suicide note.
* In ''Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves'' Paul whines about people who commit suicide when they find out they have AIDS, saying that they are mean to make their friends carry the coffin with their heavy body and that they should have the decency to wither away from the disease and make the coffin lighter to carry.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'':
** Most of "The Russians Are Coming", where Rodney convinces them to build a nuclear fallout shelter after Del unknowingly buys a kit along with a shipment of lead. Most of the episode highlights just how unprepared the average person in 1981 was to cope with the possibility of nuclear war and life afterwards, particularly with only a "four minute warning" to seek shelter.
--->'''Del:''' By the way, how are we doing?\\
'''Rodney:''' We're dead. We died 45 seconds ago.
** The final reveal makes it even more poignant, revealing that the "Safe as houses" location that they decided to build their shelter was [[spoiler: on ''[[TooDumbToLive top]]'' of Nelson Mandela House]].
* ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' uses this trope a few times, the most memorable being after Will got shot. He spent most of his hospital stay cracking jokes to distract both his loved ones and himself from the emotional distress they were all feeling.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'' has an odd example near the end of the series: [[spoiler:[[SixthRanger Gou]] killing Professor Banno, the BigBad and [[{{Patricide}} his own father]], is obviously an important and somber event. However, it's made unexpectedly comical when he strikes the final blow with the late Kamen Rider Chaser's Signal Axe, with the same goofy sound effects and voice clips it's always had.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Signal Axe:''' ''Wait for it!''\\
'''Banno:''' Wait! Please wait, Gou! Don't rob the world of my glorious mind!\\
'''Signal Axe:''' ''Go for it!''\\
'''Banno:''' Gou!\\
'''Gou:''' It said "go for it"...didn't it?]]
* In the third ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' telefilm, Horatio accidentally sails his tiny dispatch ship into an enemy fleet thanks to the fog--several Spanish frigates of which any one could reduce his vessel into splinters, if they make a fight of it. Horatio tries to play it off lightly.
--> '''Horatio:''' Still, I imagine it would be a damn close-run thing.\\
'''Styles:''' [utterly expressionless] Damn close, sir. It'd take at least a minute to sink us.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'' likes to parody numerous adult television and media, but may have reached their zenith with [[Series/GameOfThrones Game of Chairs.]] For those who had not seen it just rest assured that the WhamEpisode moments are squarely addressed.
-->'''Robb:''' Can we hurry this up? I've a wedding to get to.
* In ''Series/ChinaBeach'', the characters are trapped in a bunker under heavy fire. Some of the men spontaneously burst into song.
--> '''Soldiers''' (''singing''): “Mama said there’d be days like this”
* ''Series/Babylon5'' has a good line in this, but G'Kar is notable for reacting to several absurd, awful situations by laughing at them. When he begs allies for help with a war effort and their best offer is some paltry aid to refugees, he doesn't know whether to laugh or cry, so [[CryLaughing he does both]]. When he's stuck in a burning elevator with his worst enemy and decides he'd rather burn to death with him than cooperate to escape, he's [[LaughingMad giggling so hard he can barely get the words out]]. And when a challenger asks G'Kar what he has personally suffered that could equal the suffering of his people, G'Kar, who has just spent the last week being horribly tortured and is quite obviously missing an eye, can only stare at the man and then [[LiterallyLaughableQuestion walk out chuckling]].
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'' was known to delve into this once in awhile. A sample from "The Late Captain Pierce," where Hawkeye was inadvertently listed by the Army as being dead, and B.J. decides to hold a wake for him.
-->'''P.A. Announcer:''' Attention, all personnel. Come one, come all to a wake for the late great Captain Pierce. There will be mourning all afternoon and evening. The deceased will deliver the eulogy, and the guests will have ten minutes for rebuttal. Remains to be seen in the Swamp.

* Shel Silverstein' "25 Minutes to Go" is a good example.
* Music/FrankZappa's "Suicide Chump" is about the importance of just getting your damn suicide over with.
* Music/TomLehrer's songs:
** "We Will All Go Together When We Go", on ''Music/AnEveningWastedWithTomLehrer'', is all a touching, hilarious example of this kind of humor, applied to UsefulNotes/ColdWar fears of nuclear annihilation: "We will all go together when we go / All suffused with an incandescent glow / No one will have the endurance to collect on his insurance / Lloyd's of London will be loaded when they go".
** Taken UpToEleven in his song for World War 3, "So Long Mom (I'm Off To Drop The Bomb)", on ''Music/ThatWasTheYearThatWas''.
* In Music/{{Cage}}'s "Suicidal Failure", the lyrics are partly Gallows Humor, partly Nightmare Fuel. An example is Cage walking past a group of Crips bleeding, hoping that they would kill him (implying that they would think he was a member of rival gang the Bloods).
* There's also Music/WeirdAlYankovic's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t039p6xqutU song]] [[AntiChristmasSong "Christmas at Ground Zero"]] about a full-scale nuclear war during the aforementioned holiday. It has [[LyricalDissonance a cheery tune combined with lyrics such as: "Everywhere the atom bombs are dropping / It's the end of all humanity / No more time for last-minute shopping / It's time to face your final destiny. / It's Christmas at ground zero / There's panic in the crowd / We can dodge debris while we trim the tree / Underneath the mushroom cloud."]]
* Music/JunTogawa (especially YAPOOS) occasionally delves into this when she's not being [[TearJerker straight-up depressing]].
* Steve Goodman's "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" is about a dying Chicago Cubs fan poking fun at his beloved team's futility and ultimately deciding, between dying and cheering for the Cubs, dying is the less miserable prospect. Crosses over into real life: Goodman was a Cubs fan; he died of leukemia the year after writing the song, days before the Cubs clinched the National League East for what would have been their first playoff appearance in his lifetime.
-->He said, "But you, the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs\\
So it's me who feels sorry for you!"
* Squaddie songs - songs written and sung by the soldiers very low on the military food chain - tend to be of very much GallowsHumor when they aren't BlackHumor. A very good example is the Airborne troops' song ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_on_the_Risers Blood on the Risers]]''.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Roughly ninety percent of all humor in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is of this variety, [[CrapsackWorld for good reason]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' characters can use this trope, if they've purchased the aptly-named "Gallows Humor" ability. It allows any character to replace a ''guts'' roll (made when facing virtually anything frightening, from a rattlesnake to an EldritchAbomination) with a ''ridicule'' roll (made to crack wise)...provided the character has the ability to speak, and the [[PaintingTheMedium character's player can think of something witty to say.]]
* The card game ''TabletopGame/NuclearWar'' is built on this.
* The world of ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution'' is pretty bleak, so some of the characters display this. Even when faced with imminent grievous bodily harm, Lucky refuses to stop quipping, and Mama Bear makes light of PTSD, (citing that it's very common in The Zodiac Order) even while working on getting help for a character who is suffering from it.

* This exchange in ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' after Mercutio has been (mortally) wounded in a duel:
-->'''Romeo''': Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.\\
'''Mercutio''': No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me [[DeadlyEuphemism a grave man]].
* ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'' notes that Jews laugh because if they didn't, they'd have to cry.
** This is also said in the stage musical of ''Theatre/HedwigAndTheAngryInch'', though the movie itself has plenty of such jokes, like "During my first performance, the audience threw tomatoes at me, and afterwards I had a nice salad"
* In Hugh Wheeler's libretto for ''Theatre/{{Candide}}'', Dr. Pangloss gets in a few optimistic words as he stands on the gibbet, just before the executioner releases the trap:
-->"adies and gentlemen, one final word in praise of the universal laws of Science. God in his wisdom made it possible to invent the rope and what is the rope for but to create a noose? And, Glory be to the Greatest Philosophers, what is a neck for but to be...
* ''Theatre/TheMikado'' derives considerable merriment from the subject of execution by beheading.
* During the signing of the Declaration in ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'', Franklin jokes about their impending treason and [=McKean=] speculates on which one of them will hang the easiest, to great laughter--which gets louder when Hancock points out:
-->'''Hancock:''' Gentlemen, forgive me if I don't in the merriment, but if we're arrested now--my name is still the only one ''on'' the damn thing!

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The increasingly inaccurate title ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' was given to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI the first game]] because Square was in trouble at the time, and had it not been a hit, it would have been Square's last game. The creator of ''Final Fantasy'', Hironobu Sakaguchi, presumably attempted to do it again, with a Wii game titled ''VideoGame/TheLastStory'', though he himself said it wasn't directly intended (and ''The Last Story'' became a success anyway).
* Moira Brown of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' is always making little Gallows Humor jokes in her conversations. You can amplify the effect by [[spoiler:[[VideoGameCrueltyPotential nuking Megaton and turning her into a ghoul.]]]]
* During the [[spoiler:boarding of the Normandy]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', EDI makes an inappropriate joke about the sight of humans on their knees. When Joker just glares, she clarifies "[[DontExplainTheJoke That is a joke]]."
** Also in ''2'', as he notices that they're about to start fighting through a hospital, Garrus Vakarian cracks "That's unfortunate. Hospitals aren't very much fun to fight through." Late in ''3'' he says "I thought hospitals were ugly to fight through. This is so much worse," making the joking sentiment suddenly seem much more serious.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' - if you play a consistently Snarky Hawke, you'll run into this more than a few times given they live in one heck a WretchedHive. You can expect either SarcasmFailure or party members going DudeNotFunny if you pick *really* bad times to joke.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' does this quite often - no wonder, considering the CrapsackWorld they're in.
* ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'' has a camping skill that's called this word for word. It can recover the stress of your party members by rather sizable amount, but it also has the chance to stress them out even more.
* In ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'', a literal case is [[SadClown Edér]]'s EstablishingCharacterMoment: he's more than happy to quip about the dead tree ''filled with hanged bodies'' that he fully expects to join.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The JournalComic ''Webcomic/TheSecretLifeOfAJournalComic'' goes for this occasionally -- such as in "[[http://www.journalcomic.com/comic.php?p=308 Number Is Up]]", about [[spoiler:[[{{Irony}} lying to a suicide hotline operator to make her feel better]]]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' put it best when saying that it's been long enough to make jokes about 9/11 and AIDS, because if you keep taking it so seriously then the terrorists win.
* Surprisingly, an example is found in a ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' segment where Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are hired to bring an organ to a demented toymaker that wants Mickey's heart to bring his doll bride to life.
-->'''Mickey:''' He didn't want to donate an organ! He wanted me to donate my organs!\\
'''Goofy:''' And you're not even done with them.
* Another Disney example, in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/ChipAndDaleRescueRangers'', Fat Cat is using a device that makes cows unable to give milk. When the protagonists question the cows, they'r clearly nervous, because if they "don't think milk, the farmers will start thinking hamburger!" (The heroes manage to destroy the device, but seeing as this is the eventual fate of most cows anyway...)
* ''AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers.'' While most of [[GentlemanSnarker Doc's]] dialogue is delivered in SarcasmMode, and often lampshades the team's status as SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder (being as he's the team's BadassNormal, his sarcasm isn't misplaced), his casual contemplation on what ''proper attire'' would be to wear to his execution on Tarkon was probably his most literal case of it.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin: One of his most famous quotes, referring to the Revolution, was "Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, [[DividedWeFall or most assuredly]] we shall all hang separately." A rather literal use of gallows humor indeed.
** Along with the ever-infamous "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead." (Though this might an adaptation from Shakespeare, ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' - "two may keep counsel, putting one away"--there's little doubt Franklin said this.)
* "Soon, we will be able to take a tram from one theater of the war to the other." Reportedly said to Hitler during the last days of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. (A variant goes "when will the war be over?" - "When the ''Volkssturm'' (last reserves) takes the ''S-Bahn'' (commute trains) to the front" - in April 1945 it did.
** Speaking of the ''Volkssturm'', it was sardonically referred to as "Gulash", because it consisted of [[OldSoldier old meat]] and [[ChildSoldier fresh vegetables]]. By the end of the war, nearly all of Germany's prime fighting men were either dead or captured, so they were reduced to recruiting underage boys and old men - anyone who could hold a rifle basically.
** A popular German joke of the period:
--->'''Eins:''' I was thinking, after the war ends I will go for a walk around the perimeter of the Greater German Empire.\\
'''Zwei:''' Oh? And what are you planning to do in the afternoon?
** A joke popular among German soldiers in the last weeks of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII goes (in the original German):
--->"Berlin ist die Stadt der Warenhäuser. Hier war'n Haus, da war'n Haus" (literally "Berlin is the city of warehouses. Here was a house and there was a house").
:: : It was adapted to English (as featured in ''Film/{{Downfall}}'') as:
--->"Berlin is the city of warehouses: 'Where's my house?' 'Where's ''my'' house?'"
** How did you tell an Optimist German from a Pessimist German in late 1944? An Optimist German would study English while a Pessimist German would study Russian.
** ''Attention [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons soldiers!]] Here is a guide on how to tell which airplane is in question. If it is grey, it is British. If it is aluminium, it is American. If it is green, it is Russian. And if it is invisible, it is ours!''
** GermanHumor is pretty fond of gallows humor. Another old literal one: "In the Middle Ages, a criminal was to be hanged on a Monday. He told the judge: 'Great start of the week, huh?'" (Please note that in many countries, the calendar week begins on Monday.)
* Mexican ''Calaveras'' (joking poems on someone's encounter with the GrimReaper --even if not dead yet) are all about this. Then there are Posada's engravings, many of them satirical. Also, skull shaped ''candy''!
** Indeed, it might be said that the holiday of ''Dia de los Muertos'' (Day of the Dead) is about this: rather than a grim mourning of those who have died, it's a celebration featuring all sorts of skeletal decorations (juxtaposed with bright colors and flowers). The reasoning behind this is that one should celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, not dwell on the fact that said lives are over. It also has the effect of making death somewhat less frightening.
* TruthInTelevision: Rudy Giuliani's appearance on the first ep of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' to air after 9/11.
-->'''Lorne Michaels:''' Can we be funny again?\\
'''Rudy Giuliani:''' Why start now?
* A couple of near-literal examples from [[FamousLastWords real world executions]]:
** "Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel." George Appel, executed in New York's electric chair, 1928.
** "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? French Fries." James French, executed in Oklahoma's electric chair, 1966
** "I'd rather be fishing." Jimmy Glass, executed in Louisiana's electric chair, 1987
** "This is the first time authorities helped me escape prison." George Sitts, executed in South Dakota's electric chair, 1947.
** A more literal example is "Black Jack" Ketchum, hanged in New Mexico Territory, 1899. There are at least three reports of his last words.
--->"Good-bye. Please dig my grave very deep. All right; hurry up."\\
"I'll be in Hell before you start breakfast! Let her rip!"\\
"Hurry up! I'm due in Hell for dinner!"
** Another literal example is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Palmer_(murderer) William Palmer]], who exclaimed while looking at the trapdoor:
--> "Are you sure it's safe?"
** Some rumors said Henri Landru refused the last cigarette before entering the guillotine because it would be bad for his health.
** John Albert Taylor asked for a bulletproof vest before being ShotAtDawn.
** Kind of a traveling legend, but [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Andreas Hofer]] who fought against Napoleon's forces in Tyrol is said to have said "mei schießt's ihr schlecht" (Austrian dialect for "you are truly bad shots") after the first volley missed him, before giving the order to fire himself on the subsequent volley.
** Serial killer Carl Panzram to his executioner: "Hurry up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill ten men while you were fooling around."
** As Sir Walter Raleigh approached the executioner's block, he looked at the axe and whispered to the executioner, "Tis a sharp cure, but good against all ills."
** As they were being taken to the [[ReignOfTerror guillotine]], the poet Fabre d'Églantine lamented to Georges Danton that he would not be able to finish his verse drama, ''The Neapolitan Orange''. Danton replied: « ''Des vers... Avant huit jours tu en feras plus que tu ne voudras, et nous aussi !'' »: "Verses/worms ("''vers''" means both in French)... In a week you'll be making more of them than you want, and so will we!"
** Another story of the Terror tells of a commoner who was being tried and faced the guillotine. Assuming he was a nobleman, the court called out for him to stand, adding a "de" in front of his name. The prisoner stood up and testily replied : "Je ne suis pas ici pour qu'on m'allonge, mais qu'on me raccourcisse" (translation : I'm here to be shortened, not made longer). Reportedly, the judge liked his wit and answered "Eh bien, qu'on l'élargisse !" (lit. "very well then, let him be widened !", but in French legalese meaning "[[DeadlyEuphemism release him]]").
** Georges Cadoudal, a Catholic Royalist guerrilla fighter during the French Revolution, was arrested and sentenced to death in 1804 after a failed assassination attempt on Napoléon. On the guillotine, as he was reciting the "Hail Mary", he stopped at "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now". As the priest who assisted him encouraged to finish the prayer, he answered : "Why? Isn't now "the hour of our death"?"
* During the Winter War, the Soviet Union dropped large numbers of incendiary cluster bombs on Finnish cities as part of their attacks. The Soviet foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, went out in the international press and claimed that this 'bombardment' was a filthy lie; they were actually food drops to help feed Finnish refugees from the war. The Finnish responded by naming the bombs "Molotov bread baskets" in his honor and began referring to the mass-produced incendiary bomb (filled with high-proof vodka provided by the state liquor monopoly) they used on the Soviet as the MolotovCocktail; "a drink to go with the food".
* People in the medical business do this a lot. Making jokes about patients, disease, etc.
** What's the difference between a doctor and a lawyer? When the lawyer's done robbing you, at least you're still alive.
** One particularly disturbing example of just ''how'' dark doctors' and nurses' senses of humors can get, there's the medical term "CTF," or, "Cletus the Fetus," referring to a child born before 23 weeks. [[CrossesTheLineTwice There are no cases of a child born before 22 weeks surviving.]]([[http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/health/premature-baby-21-weeks-survivor-profile/index.html With one exception]] [[ScienceMarchesOn thus far.]])[[note]]Mainly because it takes that long for the ''lungs'' to properly develop: without which one cannot survive in atmosphere.[[/note]]
*** And on the other end of the age spectrum, you'll know that a patient that was CTD ([[spoiler:Circling the Drain]]) is now GFPO ([[spoiler:Good For Parts Only: ring the organ donor desk and see if there's anything they want]]) when he/she gives the Q sign ([[spoiler:Tongue lolling out of a slacked jaw. Mouth now looks like the letter Q.]]). Meanwhile, you can take the GOMER ([[spoiler:Get out of my emergency room! Person whose injury does not rate the ER]]) aside and practice your PRATFO ([[spoiler:Patient reassured and told to...]]) technique.
*** Classic signs of a concussion include being '''D'''isoriented, '''I'''rritable, '''C'''onfused, and '''C'''ombative.
*** A psychiatric hospital was once on trial over its practices and a doctor was asked what the term "FITH" stood for. After trying to dodge the question by saying it was highly technical, he was finally forced to answer: "Fucked In The Head".
*** A patient who refuses lifesaving treatment or has a Do Not Resuscitate order may get AMFYOYO written on their charts ([[spoiler: Alright, motherfucker, you're on your own.]])
*** In Russia, there is a famous joke about a new doctor who saw a lot of patients with "GAK" as the diagnosis. It turns out to mean "God Alone Knows".
** Before it became better known thanks to the internet, [=EMTs=] and Paramedics could sometimes be caught referring to a call as being a "LOLFDGB" ([[spoiler:Little Old Lady Fall Down Go Boom]]).
** FUBAR/TF BUNDY: Fucked Up Beyond All Recovery/Totally Fucked, But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet.
** The cardiac care unit is also known as the CABG Patch [[spoiler: [[FunWithAcronyms (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)]]]].
** Eleventh Floor Transfer: In [[MissingFloor a ten-floor hospital]], this refers to a patient near death; i.e. soon to be transferred to the afterlife.
** SBI: Something Bad Inside. There's definitely something wrong with you, but the doctor has no clue exactly what it is.
*** SVBI: Something Very Bad Inside. There's definitely something wrong with you, but the doctor has no clue exactly what it is, other than it's terminal.
* Police also tend toward very dark humor, for a similar reason. The slogan "Our day starts when your day ends" has been used by a number of homicide units.
* Police and paramedics frequently refer to anyone instantly killed in an accident as DRT (Dead Right There); Creator/StephenKing has had a few police characters use the acronym. In particularly gruesome cases, you might see DRTTT (Dead Right There, There, and There)
* The military.
** Nuclear scientists in particular, especially the ones who have to plan for TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
-->''Stuart Slade, on the effects of direct radiation from a nuke'': "Once thermal blast and concussion have reduced you to the size, shape, and color of a [=McDonald's=] hamburger patty, irradiating you as well would be incredibly superfluous."
** Phrase commonly seen on T-shirts among Explosive Ordinance Disposal personnel: "I am a bomb technician. If you see me running, try to keep up!"
** Old navy joke: "Any ship can be a [[UsefulNotes/TypesOfNavalShips minesweeper]]. [[ItOnlyWorksOnce Once]]."
** Pilot joke: "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. A 'great' landing is one where you can use the airplane again." Helicopter pilots refer to the bolt that attaches the main rotor assembly to the rest of the aircraft as the Jesus Pin, as in if it breaks your last words will be "[[OhCrap Oh Jesus...]]", or the next thing you see will be Jesus.
** Submariner joke: "A submarine is a ship for which the number of sinkings is equal to the number of surfacings. Hopefully."
** The crew of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Sheffield_(D80) HMS Sheffield]], a British destroyer sunk in the Falklands in 1982, sang "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" from ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' while waiting for rescue.
** The Fleet Air Arm squaddie song "The A.25 Song". The song itself contains some 20 or so verses, each describing various ways a naval aviator can screw up his plane, landing or himself. The name of the song, A.25 itself, refers to Fleet Air Arm damage report form, very detailed, and agonous to fill.
--> They say in the Air Force the landing's okay
--> if the pilot can get out and still walk away
--> But in the Fleet Air Arm the prospect is dim
--> if the landing is poor and the pilot can't swim
** Military units in general, particularly in combat zones do. [=IED=]s have been said to be the terrorists' way of making you obey the speed limit. You get nailed by one, you were driving too slow.
** The anthem of American paratroopers is "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWgsdexkv18 Blood on the Risers]]", a song about a paratrooper whose parachute didn't open during a jump.
--> There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute,
--> Intestines were a'dangling from his Paratrooper suit,
--> He was a mess; they picked him up, and poured him from his boots,
--> And he ain't gonna jump no more
** The song Blood on the Risers also serves to illustrate another purpose behind a lot of Gallows Humor; the [[MoralityBallad cautionary tale]]. In the song, the paratrooper does all his equipment checks ''except'' his static line ("He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked"). A static line is a cord on a military parachute that attaches to a cable inside the plane. When the trooper jumps out of the plane the static line deploys his parachute for him, just in case he should happen to freeze up or pass out from the fall, or if he jumps from very low altitude. The song is a warning for paratroopers (and by extension soldiers in general): ALWAYS remember to check ALL your equipment.
** In the same vein, the German paratroopers' squaddie song, ''Abgeschmiert aus hundert Metern'' ([[DeadlyEuphemism Bought the Farm]] at 100 Meters), describing [[{{Squick}} a similar accident]].
** Literature/SkippysList has some choice example:
-->''54. “Napalm sticks to kids” is *not* a motivational phrase''
** The original "Napalm Sticks to Kids" song is a really really bleak example of this trope:
-->''Children suckin' on a mother's tit?\\
Gooks down in a .50 pit?\\
Dow Chemical don't give a shit!\\
Napalm sticks to kids.''
** How do you recognize a [[RussiansWithRustingRockets Russian nuclear submarine sailor]]? Answer: They glow in the dark. The Russians used to tell it about the Northern Fleet sailors - the submarines there seemed to be most unlucky at one point.
** When military humor isn't Gallows Humor, it is often BlackHumor that CrossesTheLineTwice.
** In Finland, whose army is based on {{conscription}}, military slang and prison slang tend to overlap [[CaptainObvious a lot]].
* French comedian Pierre Desproges
** After he was diagnosed with cancer: "If it weren't for science, how many of us could enjoy cancer for more than five years?".
** You can add: "plus cancéreux que moi, tumeur" (more cancer-afflicted than me, tumor). The pun is the homophony of tumeur (tumor) and tu meurs (you die).
** Also this one: "Noël au scanner, Pâques au cimetière". Desproges was playing on an old saying that went "Noël au balcon, Pâques au tison" (Christmas on the balcony, Easter by the chimney), effectively saying Christmas at MRI, Easter at the grave. Morbid, but since he kept saying it with an exhilarating smile, it still elicited laughter.
** Desproges also justified Gallows Humour in his mock-prosecutor's charge against french right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, explaining that "On peut rire de tout, mais pas avec tout le monde" (You can laugh about anything, but not with everybody).He justified it even better when he told "On peut rire de tout. On ''doit'' rire de tout. Même de la mort. ''Surtout'' de la mort. Après tout, la mort se prive-t-elle de se rire de nous ?" (We may laugh about everything. We ''must'' laugh about everything. Even death. ''Especially'' death. After all, does death show any qualm about laughing at us?). This is a simplified version of the original quote:
---> "S'il est vrai que l'humour est la politesse du désespoir, s'il est vrai que le rire, sacrilège blasphématoire que les bigots de toutes les chapelles taxent de vulgarité et de mauvais goût, s'il est vrai que ce rire-là peut parfois désacraliser la bêtise, exorciser les chagrins véritables et fustiger les angoisses mortelles, alors, oui, on peut rire de tout, on doit rire de tout. De la guerre, de la misère et de la mort.". Translation: "If it's true that humor is the politeness of despair, that laughter sacrilege blasphemous bigots of all the chapels are taxing of vulgarity and bad taste, if it's true that laughter there can sometimes desecrate stupidity, exorcise real sorrows and castigate mortal anguish, then, yes, we can laugh of everything, we must laugh of everything. of war, of misery and of death."
** His book "L'Almanach", which he wrote while in the final stages of his cancer, and was published after his death, is literally rife with Gallows Humour. Including, but not limited to, one different darkly sarcastic subtitle for Picasso's ''Guernica'' for each week of the year.
* The American aircraft carrier USS Forrestal had a number of fires on board during her deployment. The worst fire happened in 1967 and killed 134 people. Sailors jokingly referred to the ship as the "USS Zippo," "Forest Fire," and "Firestal." And the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the first USN nuclear supercarrier, has nicknames "Three-Quarter Mile Island" and "Mobile Chernobyl".
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the USS ''William D. Porter'', which already had a reputation as a bad-luck ship, had the misfortune to launch a torpedo...right at the USS ''Iowa,'' which was then carrying President UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt. The ''Iowa'' had to turn hard to avoid the torpedo, and for the rest of the war, the ''William D. Porter'' had to put up with every other US Navy ship they sighted signalling: "Don't shoot! We're Republicans!"
* US Navy hull designation codes themselves are a source of GallowsHumor:
--> CVE (escort carrier) = Combustible, Vulnerable, Expendable
--> LST (Landing Ship, Tank) = Large Slow Target
--> LSD (Landing Ship, Dock) = Large Sitting Duck
* Pilots have often strong opinions with the planes they have to fly, making FunWithAcronyms: [=LaGG-3=] (Soviet fighter) = "Lakirovanny Garantirovanny Grob" (Varnished Guaranteed Coffin), [=SB2C=] (USN dive bomber) = "Son-of-a-B*tch, Second Class", SB-2 (Soviet bomber) "Svoloch Bezdarnaja" (lousy product) etc
* [[Music/TheBeatles George Harrison]] had coincidentally hired new groundskeepers about a week before a crazed fan broke into his house and stabbed him nearly to death. As he was being taken away by paramedics, with stab wounds in his chest and a punctured lung, he reportedly looked up at the new groundskeepers and asked "So how do you like the job so far?"
* On his deathbed, Voltaire, a fervent deist, received a Catholic priest who asked him to renounce Satan and thus be accepted in Heaven. He reportedly replied "[[FamousLastWords/RealLife Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies]]".
* Another one from the U.S.A.'s Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence.
--->'''Benjamin Harrison:''' "I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. [Elbridge] Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead."
* Yet another political one: when UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan was shot, his first words to his wife were "Honey, I forgot to duck." And when the surgeons were about to operate on him to remove the bullets, he told them "I hope you're all Republicans." A doctor (who was a Democrat) replied: "Today Mr. President we're all Republicans."
* According to medieval Catholic legend, Saint Lawrence of Rome was martyred by being roasted to death on a gridiron. After roasting over a hot fire for a while, he supposedly told his torturers, "''I am done on this side; you may turn me over''". The Catholic Church decided that because of this, he should be considered the patron saint of cooks and chefs, making this first-rate BlackComedy as well. Lawrence is also the patron saint of stand-up comics for just this reason. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Escorial The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial]] is built in the form of a grill just for this.
* St. Sebastian (the one who was tied to a tree and shot full of arrows) is the patron saint of lacemakers. Bartholomew the Apostle -- the one who was flayed alive and then crucified -- is the patron saint of tanners and leather-workers.
* Creator/TerryPratchett said he was going to [[TakingYouWithMe take his Alzheimers with him]]. He also described it in his initial announcement as "an embuggerance".
* Russell Means once said American Indians should be placed on the endangered species list, much like the aforementioned ''Franchise/StarTrek'' example.
* Philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek has a fondness for gallows humor. It was part of the language of academics living in the East Bloc, and his fondness for this type of humor carries through. He's also argued that in many circumstances, like the Holocaust, the monstrosity of the situation is "too strong for tragedy", and so the only decent response is one of comedy, ridiculing the brutality of the situation.
* Creator/ChristopherHitchens:
** During his losing battle with cancer, he announced he had it in an article called "[[IncrediblyLamePun Topic of Cancer]]," and said that, because his cancer was so developed he had "joined the cancer elite." He also said: "I make preparations for living and dying every day. But with the emphasis on not dying, and on acting as though I was going to carry on living."
** When asked how he was coping, he replied "Well, there are the bad days and then there are the worse ones." To the first friend he spoke to after learning of his cancer and its advanced state he said, "I had plans for the next ten years. I expect I shall have to cancel them."
** When he wrote his short book on the subject of cancer (published posthumously) his reaction to the diagnosis, considering his nicotine and whisky vices? "Its so predictable and banal it bores even me"
* Add firefighters and [=EMTs=] to the other occupations that do it. Stand near some firefighters as a building, despite best efforts, burns to the ground and almost inevitably someone will ask who brought the marshmallows.
--> EMT 1 (after moving a very heavy patient): "When I die, you can wait until I'm rotted down to a skeleton so I'm easier to move."
--> EMT 2: "I have a carving knife. I don't have to wait that long."
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232 United Airlines flight 232]] was a DC-10 that suffered a total failure of all its hydraulics in flight, making it all but impossible to control. During the co-ordination of the emergency landing attempt, the following conversation occurred between ATC and flight captain Alfred Haynes:
--> '''Sioux City Approach''': United Two Thirty-Two Heavy, the wind's currently three six zero at one one; three sixty at eleven. You're cleared to land on any runway.
--> '''Haynes''': [laughter] Roger. [laughter] You want to be particular and make it a runway, huh?
* [[http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/07/09/famous-last-words-from-football-fans-and-other-fanatics/#ixzz2mTAoeTop The obituary]] of a lifelong [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague Cleveland Browns]] fan: "He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time."
* Three years after British Comedian Rik Mayall almost got killed in a quod bike accident, he could joke about it in the fourth live version of ''Series/{{Bottom}}'':
-->'''Richard Richard:''' That actor who plays me... You know.. the tosser who fell off his bike?.
* When Rik did finally die in 2014, his frequent comedy partner Adrian Edmonson commented that he died "without me. Selfish bastard."
* During UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup semifinal in 2014, hosts Brazil faced Germany [[DecapitatedArmy without two key players]]. At first incentive hashtags such as "#[=PrayForBrazil=]" were common, specially once the Germans scored first. Then the Germans quickly built [[CurbStompBattle a 5-0 lead over]] a clearly [[DeerInTheHeadlights lost]] and [[DidntThinkThisThrough unprepared]] adversary (final score: '''7-1'''), and soon the Brazilians were resorting to SelfDeprecation [[http://f5.folha.uol.com.br/humanos/2014/07/1483046-goleada-alema-sobre-o-brasil-vira-piada-nas-redes-sociais.shtml gallows comedy]] instead. The ShockingDefeatLegacy remains to the point of MemeticMutation-- the phrases "Germany goal!" and "7-1 wasn't enough!" are still used in Brazil to joke about the country's disgraces, football related or not.
* After the accident that left him quadraplegic, Creator/ChristopherReeve was visited in the hospital by Creator/RobinWilliams who, dressed in medical garb and talking in a russian accent, said he was a proctologist and was going to perform an analysis. Reeve burst into laughter for the first time since the accident.