Alice tells a sad story
. Bob tells an even sadder story
to cheer Alice up
. If You Thought That Was Bad...
is the phrase people often use before they tell an even sadder story than the previous. Surprisingly, it usually cheers up the first person by making them realize their situation isn't that bad. Sometimes it makes things go From Bad to Worse
Compare From Bad to Worse
for when things actually got worse. Contrast Misery Poker
, where the point is not to cheer the other person up but to keep their problems from overshadowing yours.
"If you think that story about the child molester was bad, let me tell you about..."
- Played with in Warhammer 40,000, where it usually goes "If you think that was bad..." and the something worse is in fact about to attack.
- Also used in the last story in Night on Earth. Several guys in a cab discuss how one of them has been laid off from his job, and then his wife divorced him. Then the cab driver tells them his even more depressing story, which makes them feel like the laid-off-and-divorced guy is just whining about nothing.
- Turned into Peter's catch phrase in the South Park parodies of Family Guy, where it's what he says to introduce all their Manatee Gags.
- Sue Sylvester from Glee says things like "You think this is hard? Try living with hepatitis! That's hard!" or "You think this is hard? Try being told by Baywatch that they want to go in another direction, that's hard!"
- Supernatural: when Chuck is told that he's a prophet and understandably wigs out, Castiel just says "You should've seen Luke."
- On one episode of That 70s Show Eric walks in on his parents having sex, and then has difficulty concentrating on his girlfriend, Donna, when they are alone. When he confesses to Donna why he is distracted, she tries to cheer him up with a story about how she walked OUT on her parents...in a hammock...in broad daylight. Eric is cheered by the story, which has a lot to do with Donna's mother being quite attractive, but it is shortlived as Donna is so traumatised by recounting the story that she is no longer in the mood.