Alleged consequence of any event in a Sitcom or cartoon which in the real world would result in hospitalization, a lawsuit, or dismissal from one's job, at the very least, up to and including possible imprisonment or death. Thankfully for our fictional friends, both the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny keep them safe (the latter more prominently).
Traditionally seen in the capsule descriptions of episodes found in programming guides: "Jimbo accidentally glues his boss to a golf cart and hilarity ensues." Outside of these descriptions, though, the phrase is usually used sarcastically, indicating that the consequences are anything but hilarious. The less charitable might say that hilarity is what happens for those hearing about it afterward.
Variants include "...with hilarious consequences" (more common in the UK), "wackiness ensues", and "hijinks ensue." In extreme cases "wacky hijinks ensue." Hijinks are often "aplenty." Compare Silliness Switch, when the hilarity is a choice in an otherwise serious medium.
Not to Be Confused with the webcomicHijinks Ensue. Or with Humanity Ensues. When something serious happens and it's not played for laughs, you may end up with Reality Ensues. If the aforementioned hilarity is a lawsuit, it may be a case of Hilarity Sues.
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In Kokoro Connect after Taichi and Yui personality swap, after finding out that Yui has an extreme case of androphobia due to her almost getting raped, Taichi kicks Yui in the balls to show her how to disable any man. This drops Yui to the ground in pain as she wonders why it hurts so much. After the Groin Attack, Taichi says that is all it takes. Taichi continues to talk for a few seconds until Hilarity Ensueswhen he is interrupted suddenly and finds himself in his original body on the ground in pain from sore, freshly kicked, nuts.
You can summarize most non-action-based episodes of Full Metal Panic! in this manner. Sousuke goes to school; hilarity ensues. Sousuke goes to the beach; hilarity ensues. Sousuke goes on a date; hilarity ensues. Sousuke goes to a festival; hilarity ensues. If you swap out "hilarity" and "violence" as appropriate — or more frequently combine the two — you can summarize every episode that way.
On Dragon Ball, Master Roshi's interactions with a female character, any female character. Also when Vegetto gets turned into a gumball by Buu. Everything from that point until when Kid Buu destroys the Earth qualifies as this.
What happens when you assign a class of untrained, inexperienced, ADHD-afflicted ten-year-old kids to pilot and monitor a giant robot capable of untold destruction when placed in the wrong hands? Hilarity!
School Rumble: High school romance comedy. Idiot delinquent (Harima) has a secret, obsessive crush on an even more clueless classmate (Tenma), who is in love with a complete oddball (Karasuma), who is in love with food (curry). Tenma's quiet, gentle sister Yakumo, her ojou friend Eri, and the hot school nurse may or may not have feelings for Harima, depending on the rumors you believe and the time of day. Also, both Tenma and Harima's cousin Itoko think Harima is in a relationship with Yakumo. Class rep Hanai is loudly in love with Yakumo (thus seeing Harima as his rival), while two or three girls may or may not have feelings for him. And that's just the beginning.
Tons of examples in One Piece. The rather off-the-wall thought processes of the Straw Hats and plenty of other characters make everything comedic fodder. The idea behind a stretchy hero is, in the first place, to make serious situations funny.
Me, Deadpool, in... well, any- and everything I happen to appear in actually. I've considered attempting to usurp the throne of Hilarityensusia, but I've concluded that it's probably, like, a LOT more appropriate to be the court jester, instead. Now, if I could only find a way to by-pass his Joker Immunity and off The Joker...
Similarly, Tiny Titans. Especially at Wayne Manor and Pet Club.
The Scott Pilgrim series. Video game elements, and ex-boyfriends as evil bosses? Hilarity indeed! Balanced by the relationships, which are all treated really nice.
The comic is best summed up as Hilarity Ensues, followed by Reality Ensues With Hilarity.
In the "Save Our Bluths" Arrested Development episode the narrator described their dinner party emergency as a "relatable situation with a promise of comedy", to emphasize something more conventionally sitcomy over the family's massive incestuous implications.
Jeff: "If you're lying to me, if my father isn't coming, if a car pulls up and anyone other than my father steps out, say an actor or you in a wig, if you pull any Ferris Bueller, Parent Trap, Three's Company, FX, FX2: the Deadly Art of Illusion bull... I will beat you. And there will be nothing madcap or wacky about it."
On the other hand, the beating was pretty hilarious.
The Father Ted Christmas special begins with Ted finding a baby left on his doorstep... which is swiftly reclaimed by the mother, who had gotten the wrong address. Ted and Dougal are left musing over all the hilarious situations they could have gotten into while trying to take care of a baby... then conclude that it wouldn't have been funny at all.
Referenced frequently by early seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Any time it appeared that plot threads were about to converge, Joel would shout, "Looks like we're on a collision course with wackiness!"
Evoked by name in an episode of MythBusters which involved testing the slipperiness of banana peels and their conductivity to comical pratfalls. After an already hilarious starting test which Jamie managed to fail by virtue of laughing too hard to get up after a fall, the Mythbusters decide to try for a comparison test and cover their testing field in animal birthing lubricant. As Adam notes of the proceedings, "Hilarity will ensue." Adam promptly validates his guess mere moments later.
FoxTrot uses a similar phrase to describe the typical plot of an episode of Frasier. Jason complains to Andy that the restaurant where he's scheduled an impressive party is removing foreign cheeses from its menu, finishing with "I just know madcap hijinks will come of this!"
Referenced and parodied by Bill Bailey right at the beginning of Part Troll when explaining why he can't tell traditional jokes. He tends to bail out because:
Three blokes go into a pub. One of them is a little bit stupid, and the whole scene unfolds with a tedious inevitability! (slumps, shuffles about for a moment)
Stephen K. Amos claims that his entire life can be summed up in the phrase, "A black family moves in next door to a white family... hilarity ensues!"
"Hilarity ensues" is a good way to describe what happens when Orks go to war in Warhammer 40,000 because, to the Orks, it really is hilarious — they're having a great time, and the bigger the stuff they blow up, the more fun it is. To say that everyone else in the galaxy does not reciprocate the Orks' feelings on warfare and Ork invasions would be an understatement. For another perspective, an Ork Waaagh!, or campaign, is referred to in the background as a mix between a holy war and a pub crawl.
Tends to pop up whenever anything involving Paranoia is discussed. Indeed, the latest release features slogans down the bottom, including one requiring hilarity to ensue.
Actively invoked in Teenagers from Outer Space, where, should the mood be getting too serious, it's expected that the players make it funnier. There are actual instructions in the rule book to also interrupt any romantic moment getting too romantic with...anything.
This is endemic in Dwarf Fortress, be it the Cruel Player Character God sort of hilarity (let's flood the baron's bedroom with lava!), the "made an engineering mistake" sort of hilarity (watch the dorfs attempting to outrun the well overflowing because you forgot to prevent a water pressure backup!), or one of the infamous tantrum spirals. Just bear in mind that Losing is Fun. Then go back to laughing as goblins attempt to invade and get turned into goblin salsa when they hit your wall of weapon traps loaded with giant swinging axe blades and huge serrated steel discs.
Good Bad Bugs often leads to this. For example, in Makai Toshi SaGa (aka The Final Fantasy Legend), the player can One-Hit Kill virtually anything with a chainsaw (up to and including God!), often leading to laughter — which wouldn't happen in real life!
Magicka oh so much. Easily accessed nuke spells, no mana bar, squishy player characters, and friendly fire? Check, check, check, and check. Seriously. Go watch the Yogscast's Simon and Lewis and TotalBiscuit play Magicka together. Half the hilarity is from watching them kill one another. Both on purpose AND by accident. And a majority of the deaths are Simon's fault.
Solatorobo is this in spades. It happens a few times in the main storyline, but at least 90% of Sidequests are able to be summed up as "Red takes a job and then Hilarity Ensues."
A lot of Team Fortress 2 's appeal comes from the fact they took the team-based warfare of Team Fortress Classic and threw in, among many things, one key element: a sense of humor. The general idea with TF2 is that if you're going to pit two teams against each other, you might as well have fun doing it. A 2011 update invokes this trope by name, describing the Payload Race game mode (where the teams compete to escort their team's cart to the goal first) thusly: "Two teams, two carts, two tracks. Hilarity ensues."
Invoked in World of Warcraft where the final step of a quest is to "sit back and watch the hilarity ensue". Said "hilarity" is the angry and armored dinosaur you just freed rampaging through a troll camp.
"Hilarity ensues" is one of the cliches often used in headlines at not-news website Fark.com. A variant, used for stories that involve idiot criminals, is "jailarity ensues".
Used frequently in the summaries of Fanfiction. Can sum up the first part of the Prolecto series, though it's deconstructed later on. "Girls get turned into Succubi, Hilarity ensues. Emphasized by the character of Kayla, who is stark-raving mad.
Thomas Wilde and Dan Birlew's Resident Evil Plot Analysis frequently uses the phrases "hilarity ensues" when giving the preliminary outline to the plot of a game. Since the games involve zombies, mutants, Corrupt Corporate Executives, and vast amounts of death, it's safe to say this is slightly ironic...
"I hadn't realized I used it so much. It's Fark's fault. - Thomas Wilde"
Wilde's usual writing style usually has an extremely sarcastic tone to it, so it's not so much ironic as two tons of deadpan snark.
Web Author Tucker Max uses "hilarity ensues" in the titles of his short stories on occasion, e.g. "Tucker ruptures appendix, hilarity ensues". Or "Tucker fucks fat girl, hilarity ensues". Also used in inverted form once, with the story, "Tucker tries buttsex; Hilarity does not ensue."
Uninvited Guests. So the borderline insane and chaotic soldiers burn down their own barracks and decides to move into the barracks of division right next to them, which is led by a rational captain who just wants everything to go all normal. MADNESS ENSUES
So, a guy suddenly breaks up with his girlfriend and is force (along with the others in his apartment) into the dangerous, violent world of male prostitution in Manwhores. Somehow, Hilarity Ensues.
Players in a Guild meet in real life for the first time. Hilarity Ensues.
Moe gets on a soap opera, only to be led to think his character will be killed off. He decides to have Homer spoil the future plot events on live broadcast. All the plot summaries written seem to end with "...with sexy results".
Homer: Gabriella's baby shower will be invaded by terrorists... with sexy results.
Moe: Ooh! That's unexpected. What else?
Homer: Well, Sister Bernadette will leave the convent and start a softball team... with sexy results.
In one Simpsons comic, Bart convinces professional Butt Monkey Milhouse van Houten that Professor Frink's dumpster has rendered him (Milhouse) invisible. Lampshaded, because when Bart's thought bubbles include the phrase "hilarious hijinks", he concludes he spends way too much time reading program descriptions in the TV guide.
Bloo: But imagine what would happen if someone spotted me and I became a big celebrity! That would lead to all manner of crazy and hilarious consequences, don't you think?
Family Guy: Virtually everything that Peter Griffin and/or Glen Quagmire do. This has involved everything from Peter physically abusing both Lois and Megan viciously, and Quagmire inviting teen-aged girls to his house to the two scheming to burn down Goldman's Pharmacy to help him collect an insurance payment, Peter burning down a black man's house and Peter (and Joe, a POLICE OFFICER!) shooting at Goldman (a Jewish man), just for the fun of it. There have also been wild shootouts that Peter and Quagmire have helped instigate that resulted in mass destruction and injury. Each of these scenes — and many more — pass for comedy when in real life all of this would result in prison.
A lot of times, little kids manage to pull this off. When a three-year-old calls Uncle Bob fat or says that Grandpa sure has a lot of gray in his hair, it tends to be kind of funny. When you do it, expect to get a lot of death glares aimed your way.