What's so funny? Robert:
Oh, nothing. Hilarity just ensued; that's all. Jazmine:
Actions that are dangerous or illegal often lead to injury, arrest, job dismissal, expulsion from school, deportation, or other dire consequences. 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." Both hijinks and
hilarity are often "aplenty." Compare Silliness Switch
, when the hilarity is a choice in an otherwise serious medium.
Not to Be Confused with
the webcomic Hijinks 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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Anime and Manga
- 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.
- About half the plots against Loki in Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok have this at some point.
- 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.
- The basic premise of Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh. 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!
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: A 10-year-old wizard has to teach an all-girls class! It's wacky! At first.
- In the first episode of Mitsudomoe, the class hamster is named Nipples.
- Take a powerful, macho martial artist and throw him into a Gender Bender cursed spring. Then add liberal doses of Comedic Sociopathy, way too many girls after him (not to mention the guys...), a Tsundere fiancee, and a couple of perverts. Welcome to Ranma ½. Oh, and let's two of his rivals the King of Wangst who blames Ranma for it all (and gains the ability to channel it into an Angst Nuke), and the King of the Hyperspace Arsenal (who keeps forgetting to put on his glasses).
- 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.
- The entirety of To Love-Ru. The manga sequel To-Love-Ru Darkness opts instead for having more plot, though still being comedic.
- 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.
- Made all the funnier when an outsider (Vivi, Jimbe or Law) teams up with the straw hats and has no idea how to respond to their antics.
- 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 Amazing Spider-Man #606, Black Cat refers to her ability to cause people to have bad luck as "hilarity ensues" powers after causing Spider-Man to fall off a building with a criminal he'd just caught.
- Referenced in the Discworld novel Jingo: "Any homely featured man who for whatever reason has to disguise himself as a woman will inevitably become attractive to otherwise perfectly sane men, with, as the ancient scrolls say, hilarious results." Unfortunately, laws of reality had to go against Nobby and admit defeat.
- In The Dresden Files, one of the short stories can best be described as "Harry has a day off. Hilarity Ensues." It's glorious, too.
- In The Pale King, David Foster Wallace gets mistaken for David F. Wallace due to a screw-up with the IRS's records and has to spend his first few days in the Peoria REC attending meetings he knows nothing about. The other David gets stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare because the IRS already has records of him arriving and won't allow him to register.
- Just about every Zany Scheme the Bastable children come up with results in this.
- Given the Gag Series nature of How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, it isn't surprising seventy percent of situations end up in this. An example may be the Anti-Zombie Squad, a group formed to end the After the End scenario, tea up with zombies themselves to flee a place full of even more psychotic people.
- The Hogan Family: Played straight, then reversed in the Season 2 episode "Leave It To Willie." Willie is a diehard fan of a TV sitcom where the main protagonists are seemingly allowed to get away with little more than a slap on the wrist for various offenses, and deduces he, too, can get away with being an unlicensed driver while taking his father's convertible out for a joyride, causing a hit-and-run accident, and keeping quiet as his mother rakes his older brother, David, over the coals about the incident (believing David to have been responsible) and then is asked if he knows anything. After he has an Imagine Spot where he sees getting away with his actions, Willie finally admits he caused the damage to his father's car … only for Val to become furious and punish him. But even worse tells him she's lost trust in him and that it's going to take awhile to regain it – making Willie realize that in the real world, hilarity does NOT ensue and that actions do have consequences.
- 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.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spike: "Let me guess. Someone pulls out the sword... The demon wakes up, and wackiness ensues."
- Also in episode "Tough Love":
Willow: "So we made a triangle with our bodies, and that's when I called Xander 'obtuse' and he got really grumpy. And then Dawn said we were 'acute' triangle and, well... hilarity ensued."
- Referenced in Community:
: "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*beep
* 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.
Jayne: Remember that time she came at me with a butcher's knife?
Wash: Wacky fun.
- Keeping Up Appearances: Hyacinth tricks Richard into stealing a car, and then she blames him, but neither of them is known to suffer any legal consequence.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: "And next week, Dan falls into a vat of human dung, with hilarious consequences."
- 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.
- Sherlock: Although it's not mentioned, John meeting Sherlock leads to well...you know....crazy situations.
- Veronica Mars: Veronica charges extra if Hilarity Ensues.
- 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!"
- "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 more fire and dismemberment you can arrange, 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.
- Fiasco also has this written into the rules. In set-up, people create characters by defining their relationships to each other, motivations and attached places and objects, meaning that everyone is automatically placed at cross-purposes to each other, usually with elements written with such a tone as to encourage the creation of Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist-type characters. There are only two outcomes in Fiasco - Good and Bad - and these are either determined by the other players on the table by consensus for your character, or determined by you at a penalty of allowing the other players on the table to determine whatever ridiculous thing your character is actually doing to succeed or fail at. The result is that everything soon goes spectacularly wrong, and after half of the game is played, an event called "The Tilt" happens which adds a bunch of extra, awful events on top of everything that inevitably is already going wrong. The mechanics make it very difficult for characters to have a happy ending, with getting out of the situation back where you started but with a bunch of fresh physical and emotional scars being about as best as a player can hope for unless they get really lucky. That said, most players like to play to lose.
- 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!
- Weapons that allow the player to throw about objects or people at will, like the Gravity Gun or Gravity Hammer.
- Dan Hibiki. Taunt in the air, taunt on the ground, Waste your super on a taunt, own Akuma where he stands.
- 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 Simon Lane, Lewis Brindley 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.
- And invoked again in one mission of The Secret World: after you've angered the werewolf thralls by killing one of their elders and dressing up his corpse in their vampire masters' S/M bondage gear, phase 4 of your plan is to "watch the chaos you created unfold", it's hilarious. And useful for taking down their boss, as he's too busy fighting hordes of pissed off werewolves to concentrate on the cherry-tapping human. Bonus points if you're an anarchist Dragon.
- In Dreamfall Chapters, if Zoë decidd not to return to school, she will work for Mira and eventuall ybe tasked with taking Shitbot out for a walk, testing out all of its features to see what it's good at. Naturally, Shitbot comically fails every single task - which will most likely leave the player with a cracked rib if they hold back their laughter.
- Homestar Runner lampshades this at the end of this Strong Bad Email. "And his first guest... is hilarity!"
- "Hilarity ensues" is one of the cliches often used in headlines at not-news website Fark. 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."
- The entirety of Kickassia. Yes, all of it.
- 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.
- The Simpsons
- A variation: 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.
- Lampshaded in the "Sweet Stench Of Success" episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
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, particularly any time Quagmire (or, in some recent episodes, Peter) talk of or nearly molest or abuse children (especially for Quagmire, who, according to "Emission Impossible," is a registered sexual offender under Megan's Law). Nevermind that Joe (their friend and neighbor) is a police officer and should have arrested both of them for all the crap (sexual and otherwise) they've done if this show followed reality. Since it doesn't, it just becomes one big, dark joke about police incompetence.
- 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.
- People have reported (complained) about getting/downloading what they thought was Disney's Frozen for their kids when it ended up being the OTHER Frozen with a group of tasty friends stuck in the snow on a ski lift and hungry hungry wolves.
- A lot of the more riskier pranks performed by people on friends and family are this...unless things go horribly wrong.
- There are an enormous amount of hilarious accidents that happen to people but which people come out of alright. The Internet would be made out of these videos and photos if it wasnt for cats (half the cat videos are these situations anyway). These could have resulted in debilitating injuries but everything worked out and a good laugh was had and remembered down the years.