->''"He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking\\
Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"''
-->-- '''Music/TheyMightBeGiants''', "Your Racist Friend"

When [[RuleOfFunny humour]] is used to excuse behavior that others find offensive and inappropriate, you have just encountered a "Just Joking" Justification. Never mind that this seldom soothes the sting; the original barb ''hurt'', after all, and hurting others [[ForTheEvulz for one's own amusement]] won't earn much sympathy, either. There is overlap between this trope and emotional abuse. Note however, that humour is subjective, so while the thing excused may or may not have been offensive or hurtful, the person might have still meant it to be funny and the "Just Joking" wasn't made up after the fact. Such examples still belong here, though.

This is one source of humour which comedians have used as a reservoir of material. Contemporary stereotypes are thus often causes of this trope, be they sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise. These can range a very wide gamut, from people getting upset at Michael Richards' (''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'''s Kramer) infamous n-word tirade at a heckler, to people getting upset when they don't realize Jon Stewart's jokes about Jewish conspiracies are actually {{deconstructive parod|y}}ies (and [[NWordPrivileges he]] ''[[NWordPrivileges is]]'' [[NWordPrivileges Jewish]]). Frequently features as an excuse for invoking MarsAndVenusGenderContrast.

An AffablyEvil character may actually get away with this on a regular basis, as may someone who's considered TooFunnyToBeEvil. It definitely won't work if EvilHasABadSenseOfHumor. Compare and contrast SarcasticConfession. Conversely, it may result in CryingWolf if people conclude they shouldn't take any of the speaker's "jokes" seriously. A related tactic is called [[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_asking_questions Just Asking Questions]]. Where the person will make outrageous accusations but phrase them as questions (e.g "Did Bob screw a goat I wonder") to avoid getting in trouble for slander. In other words, it's very easy for this trope to become a form of JerkJustifications.

You may also consider this as a form of justification for when an attempt to [[CrossesTheLineTwice Cross The Line Twice]] results in DudeNotFunny. Contrast PoesLaw, when it really was just a joke but the satirical intention got lost. Also see ParodyRetcon for when this is applied to entire works. Not to be confused with IWasJustJoking.



* The chalk board in front of a coffee shop in New York turned controversial when they advertised their Skim Lattes with "Get your beach bod back." Suffering complaints from people [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment claiming the sentence to be "fat-shaming"]], they removed it and apologised, saying it had merely been a tongue-in-cheek joke. Discussed [[http://thegenderblenderblog.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/there-are-ways-to-advertise-coffee-without-involving-bikini-bods/ here]].

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Whenever Kogoro makes one of his off-the-wall, no-basis-in-fact accusations and it gets shot down, he will frequently backpedal by saying he was just joking.
** Ai Haibara also always tag this to the end of anything that is actually real.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' [[PlayingWithATrope played with]] this. November 11 used to drop a comment somewhat disturbing for everyone present and add "[[{{catchphrase}} Just joking]]" immediately. It's sufficiently annoying to other characters that it gets several Ironic Echoes throughout the series.
* Ferid of ''Manga/SeraphOfTheEnd'' gets his kicks (he's an immortal vampire so he gets bored) out of manipulating and hurting others. When he makes comments that suggest he means to make Krul submit to him or that he wants to suck Yuu's blood he usually follows it up with "It was just a joke."
* ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'': Kaji [[HoYay flirts with Shinji and leans in to kiss him]] before pulling back and saying "Just joking."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Bergelmir (Loki's brother) tries to pull one to cover his ass after attempting to trick Comicbook/{{Lucifer}} into being honor-bound to ''kill himself''.
-->'''Bergelmir''': It was joke, Morningstar. A joke only. I've something of my brother's humor, after all.
-->'''Lucifer''': Take me to the ship. Or I'll show you what makes ''me'' laugh.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'': Mung Daal in when he realized the health inspector he describes as a moron is [[RightBehindMe right behind him]].
-->'''Mung Daal:''' I was just joking before. You aren't really a moron. In fact, I bet you are really quite smart and handsome. Did I say that? You bet I did. Say, I love your hat.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In one version of ''Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin'', after the piper has gotten rid of the rats, the mayor claims he was only joking about the payment. If you've heard the story, you know how ''that'' turned out.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobSquarePantsMovie'' makes fun of this briefly. After mind-controlling just about all of Bikini Bottom, Plankton is arrested. C'mon, he was just kidding.
* At the finale of ''WesternAnimation/ShrekFourD'', Lord Farquaad makes this justification in regards to his attempt to kill the main characters when faced with Dragon.
* ''Disney/AladdinAndTheKingOfThieves''. Genie has made what could be seen as an extremely insensitive joke (that Aladdin isn't really required for a wedding to happen). "It's a joke! (deadpan) I do that."
* Mother Gothel from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' uses this quite frequently when talking to Rapunzel.
-->'''Gothel''': "Ah, Rapunzel, how you manage to [pull me up the tower with your hair] every single day without fail... it looks absolutely exhausting, darling."\\
'''Rapunzel''': "Oh, it's nothing."\\
'''Gothel''': "Then I don't know why it takes so long! Ohohoho, darling, I'm just teasing!"\\
'''Rapunzel''': "Eh-heh... So, mother, as you know, tomorrow is a very big day-"\\
'''Gothel''': "Darling, look at that mirror. You know what I see? Is see a strong, confident, ''beautiful'' young lady. Oh, look, you're here too. Ahahahaha! I'm just teasing, stop taking everything so seriously!"
** Unlike most samples, it's not really done as a joke, but it's a continual chain of ParentalAbuse Gothel slaps on to crush Repunzel's free will, using the 'It's just a joke' to normalize it and make Repunzel feel like she's overreacting.
* In ''WesternAnimation/IceAge2TheMeltdown'', Sid is insulted after Manny and Diego tell him (rather insensitive) that he's not qualified enough to run a camp for kids:
-->'''Sid:''' You guys never think I can do anything, but I'm an equal member of this herd! I made this herd, so you need to start treating he with some respect! ''(hops away offended)''
-->'''Manny:''' Come on, Sid.\\
'''Diego:''' Sid, we were just kidding.
* Bonk from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'' tries this when the Joker pulls a gun on him for an insult. Fortunately, Joker is just joking too. [[spoiler: Oops! No he wasn't.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the Creator/AdamSandler film ''Film/JackAndJill'', Jack (played by Sandler) has a Mexican gardener whose only purpose in the movie is to make tons and tons of horrifically racist Mexican jokes ("We just got over the border!" "This is by son Juan, my other son Juan, and my daughter Juanita.") and follow them up with "I'm just KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDING!".
* Done in ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' when Johnny in the control tower pulls a plug that cuts the runway lights as a prank.
* PlayedForDrama in ''Film/FortyTwo''. After Ben Chapman gets backlash for his racist diatribe against Jackie Robinson, he defends himself by claiming that it's tradition to use derogatory slurs to distract opposing players.
* Also PlayedForDrama in ''{{Film/Confessions}}''. Shuya repeatedly jokes about killing his teacher's daughter, and shields any sincere emotion he might have with a "just kidding"
* ''Film/RevengeOfThePinkPanther''. After being presumed dead in a Mafia assassination, Inspector Clouseau returns home to find Cato has turned his apartment into a brothel (and the password to enter is his own name). After the inevitable comical misunderstandings, Clouseau indignantly shouts that he is a police officer. The bouncer promptly puts a switchblade to his neck, whereupon Cato rushes into the room.
-->'''Cato:''' No, don't kill him! I used to work for this man -- he was only kidding! Tell them you were just kidding, boss!
-->'''Clouseau:''' Yes, I was just...kidding. Cross my heart and hope to ''(eyeing the knife)'' ...see you again some time.
* In ''Film/{{Heathers}}'', Ram Sweeney does this in a conversation he's having with God during a funeral: "Jesus god in Heaven, why did you have to kill such hot snatch? It's a joke, man. Jeez, people are so serious. Hail Mary, who aren't in heaven, pray for all us sinners so we don't get caught. Another joke, man."
* In ''Film/{{Chappie}}'', Hugh Jackman's character points a gun at the protagonist's head and threatens him. After realising it probably wasn't a smart move to openly threaten a coworker in the middle of a busy office, he laughs it off, claiming the gun wasn't loaded and that the whole thing was just a hilarious prank.

* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' abuses this trope horrendously. If a lord says something to upset a favoured retainer, they usually claim it was a joke. Even if the statement that upset the person ''wasn't funny at all''.
* In the ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' book ''[[OverlyLongTitle The Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)]]'' George, Harold and Captain Underpants [[ItMakesSenseInContext jump out of a UFO]] and land SPLAT on the ground... or not; the narrator was kidding.
* In ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters,'' Screwtape discusses this as a method of tempting a person to be a {{jerkass}}. After all, they might not realize their jerkassery is hurtful if they--and better yet, [[GangOfBullies all their friends]]--see it as just a joke.
* Helen from WebNovel/TheZombieKnight says this about commenting that Hector and Lynnette [[ShipperOnDeck would make a cute couple]]. However, she probably was mostly joking.
* A dark, spoilery example from ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'': [[spoiler:Denth disguises Tonk Fah's genuinely sadistic and sociopathic behavior by playing it down and treating it like a joke, essentially passing him off as a HeroicComedicSociopath.]]
* From "The Scrolls" by Creator/WoodyAllen:
-->And so he took Isaac to a certain place and prepared to sacrifice him but at the last minute the Lord stayed Abraham's hand and said, "How could thou doest such a thing?"\\
And Abraham said, "But thou said..."\\
"Never mind what I said," the Lord spake. "Doth thou listen to every crazy idea that comes thy way?"\\
And Abraham grew ashamed. "Er--not really... no..."\\
"I jokingly suggest thou sacrifice Isaac and thou immediately runs out to do it."\\
And Abraham fell to his knees, "See, I never know when you're kidding."\\
And the Lord thundered, "No sense of humor, I canít believe it."

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* A rare example without overtones of racism or outright cruelty: on ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' there was an episode where Jerry Helper (the next door neighbor) was going around saying ''The Alan Brady Show'' -- on which Robert Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) worked -- wasn't funny. He told Rob he was "just kidding" but kept on doing it. Rob was quite upset.
* In ''Series/ToshiieToMatsu'', UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga attempts to pass off a particularly tasteless move (displaying the gold-plated skull of his sister's dead husband, and ordering her and her new fiancee to drink from the skullcap) on his part as a joke.
* Larry David in ''Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm'' makes frequent use of this (usually as a last resort if he needs something from whoever he offended).
* In the ''Series/HannahMontana'' episode "Judge Me Tender", a [[Series/AmericanIdol Simon Cowell]] parody character issues one of these, then immediately retracts it, after saying both Hannah and the judge for whom she was filling in were boring.
* An episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' has a new neighbor boy spreading malicious lies about Malcolm, turning the entire neighborhood against him. When Malcolm confronts him, the kid says, "Hey, it's just a joke. Lighten up," and continues doing it.
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'': Michael Scott often finds himself caught in these after an egregious faux-pas or a joke in really bad taste.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': the Janitor brings a cage to a baby shower(for the baby). When he gets weird looks he then plays it off like he was just joking and really brought it just in case the child gets a puppy later on. We later see him on the phone "No, Ma, 'baby cage, playpen' is ''not'' like 'tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to'!"
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Julius Caesar sends Vorenus to bribe a former army colleague. Honest to a fault but loyal to his superior, Vorenus does so and reports back. Caesar comments that he didn't think the man would sell out so cheaply. "I must send you to handle all of my corruptions." ManipulativeBastard that he is, Caesar quickly sees how uncomfortable this makes Vorenus and says that he was only joking.
* Mr. Brown, the first hotel guest on ''Series/FawltyTowers'', does this after joking about needing a double bed and suggestively saying "hello" to Polly. His boorishness is justified when we learn that [[spoiler:Mr. Brown is an undercover police officer, posing as a guest to investigate the phony Lord Melbury]].
* On ''Series/CriminalMinds'' a psychopathic teenager who had already committed several murders held a knife to his sister's throat, about to kill her in front of their horrified mother because of his jealousy over her perceived favoritism. When the FBI agents arrived in the nick of time and ordered him to drop the knife, he tried to sound casual with, "Fine. I was only kidding anyway." It didn't fool anyone.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones''.
** In "Second Sons", Tyrion Lannister makes a FreudianThreat to [[TheCaligula King Joffrey]] after one too many KickTheDog moments. After a StunnedSilence, his father [[DragonInChief Lord Tywin]] points out that Tyrion is drunk. Tyrion regains control of himself and tries to pass his threat off as a bad joke, engaging in some SelfDeprecation. It's unclear if ''anyone'' is fooled by this (Joffrey certainly isn't) but was a necessary face-saving gesture anyway.
** Comes up again in "Mhysa", when Joffrey says he wants to have Robb Stark's severed head served to Robb's sister Sansa at Joffrey's wedding feast. Everyone else in the room is appalled, but his mother Cersei tries to brush it off as just a joke. [[{{Sadist}} Joffrey]], however, insists that he was being serious.
* ComicBook/TheJoker (appropriately enough) tried to pull this once on ''Series/{{Batman}}''. After winning parole and faking his own kidnapping by Catwoman, he protests that he and Catwoman are just playing pranks when Batman and Robin catch up with them as they're plotting [[TheCaper a heist]].
* At the end of the PsychoRangers story arc of ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'', an exhausted Andros shuffles off to his bunk with the intention of getting some much needed sleep. When he rounds the corner, he finds Psycho Red, inexplicably still alive. He attacks the Psycho, only to learn that it's actually Zane in disguise.
-->'''Andros:''' Oh, it's just a joke.
-->'''Zane:''' Yeah!
-->'''Andros:''' Good one! (judo flips Zane over his shoulder)
* ''Series/TheNewPope'': Lenny, the eponymous new pope, does this repeatedly. He frequently makes rude or upsetting statements and then claims to be just joking. It's never quite clear when he's being intentionally manipulative and when he's just socially awkward. He's never actually joking.

* As evidenced by the page quote, Music/TheyMightBeGiants have expressed opinions on this trope.
* There's also Music/TheSmiths' "Bigmouth Strikes Again:"
-->''Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said\\
I'd like to smash every tooth in your head\\
Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said\\
by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed''
* In the Music/WeirdAlYankovic song "I Was Only Kidding", the singer tries to use the line to justify telling someone that he loved her. As abrasively as possible. He gets shot.
-->''When I said you could always trust me,\\
When I said I'd never leave you flat,\\
Well guess what? I was only kidding, baby,\\
I can't ''believe'' you fell for that!\\
(you're so gullible!)''
* In Music/BareNakedLadies song "The Flag" it's used with pretty dark overtones.
-->''The phone rings, it's early, it's seven o'clock.\\
He says I'm sorry that I woke you but I just had to talk.\\
You know, last night, remember when I tried to choke you?\\
I didn't mean it, I was drunk, it was only a joke.''
* Music/{{Nelly}}'s "Hot in Here" has this bit:
-->''Stop pacin', time wastin'\\
I got a friend with a pole in the basement\\
(Female voice: "What?")\\
I'm just kiddin' like Jason\\
(Female voice: "Oh.")\\
Unless you gon' do it''
** Which Weird Al parodied thusly in "Trash Day":
--->''Some Lysol, some Comet\\
I got a mop and it's got your name on it\\
(Female voice: "What?")\\
I'm just kiddin', doggone it\\
(Female voice: "Oh.")\\
Unless you're gonna do it''
* A particularly flippant example from Megan Trainor's "All About That Bass":
-->''I'm bringing booty back\\
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that\\
Nah, I'm just playing, I know you think you're fat''\\

* Many DeathMetal bands feature lyrical themes such as extreme violence, {{Gorn}}, [[HorribleHistoryMetal historical atrocities]], sociopathy, Satanism, [[ReligionRantSong Religion Rant Songs]] and extreme misanthropy that might leave one wondering how anyone could be a fan of it. However, itís generally understood that most DeathMetal musicians donít take this lyrical content entirely seriously, and simply use it for shock and/or escapist value, which allows many fans to be more comfortable with it.
** In contrast, this trope doesnít apply nearly as much to BlackMetal, which employs similar lyrical themes (though the focus tends to be more on Satanism and anti-Christianity). While theyíre still a great number of Black Metallers who are well-balanced people who donít wholeheartedly endorse the extreme messages in their music, a series of notorious incidents in which Black Metal musicians have actually committed crimes such burning down churches and murder, or admitted to actually believing in the radical ideologies espoused in their music (which can include ''[[ThoseWackyNazis Nazism]]'') has resulted in many people (including fans of other forms of extreme metal) not giving black metal this same benefit of the doubt and writing off the genre as the domain of serious crazies who should StopBeingStereotypical.


[[folder:New Media]]
* This is actually a [[http://www.mixfight.nl/forum/showthread.php?76781-Field-Guide-to-Trolls-Version-5-11 classic troll tactic]].
** From ''FlameWarriors'': [[http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/flame_34.php Not a particularly powerful Warrior, Evil Clown will attempt to avoid defeat by accusing his attacker of having no sense of humor.]]
* The users at the ''{{WebSite/Snopes}}'' [[http://message.snopes.com/ message board]] have agreed on a rule of thumb: any joke that requires you to use this phrase isn't funny.
* ''Website/TheOnion'': [[http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/come_on_lighten_up_im_just?utm_source=onion_rss_daily Come On, Lighten Up, I'm Just Being A Total Asshole]].

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy'': Bucky occasionally says "I'm just sayin'..." after insulting humans and dogs, eventually prompting this exchange:
-->'''Satchel''': "Bucky, you're a jerk!"\\
'''Bucky''': *StunnedSilence*\\
'''Satchel''': "Hey, I'm just sayin'!"
* In ''ComicStrip/ThisModernWorld'', UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump tries this several times in one strip about the "Donald Trump Comedy Hour."
-->'''Trump''' Hey, how about those '''Second Amendment people'''? Gotta love 'em! One of them oughta [[ImpliedDeathThreat take care of]] my '''[[UsefulNotes/HillaryClinton opponent]]''', amirite? Ha ha ha! '''Kidding!''' I'm just '''kidding!'''

* During one episode of the AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho audio dramas, Peri and Erimem are currently posing as two princes who are supposed to be dead, and are as far as they know, stranded due to a temporal mishap. Erimem suggests suicide (to save the timeline) is the only answer, but then pretends she was just joking when hearing Peri's shocked response.

* Even ''Literature/TheBible'' addresses this subject in [[UrExample Proverbs 26:18-19]]:
** New Revised Standard Version:
-->Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows,
-->so is one who deceives a neighbor and says, ďI am only joking!"
** Or, in the KJV:
--> As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
--> So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* Some comedians, such as Russell Peters, have received criticism for this.
* The author of the ''Stuff White People Like'' blog speaks on Creator/SarahSilverman thusly: [[http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/04/52-sarah-silverman/ Get it? It's not offensive, because when she says racist or sexist things she knows they are offensive. So it's okay.]]
* Michael Richards stepped far afoul of this one when a heckler got him so flustered he went on [[http://www.spike.com/video/michael-richards/2798666 a racist tirade]] that was so DudeNotFunny people started walking out. He later said he was trying to shock the hecklers into silence by [[CrossesTheLineTwice Crossing The Line Twice]], but most people think he forgot to cross it back.
* {{Subverted}} by Creator/JeffFoxworthy in one of his stand up acts. After making a joke about having cats stuffed by a taxidermist...
-->'''Jeff''': Did I offend someone in the audience? It's a joke. I have two cats. ({{beat}}) One on either side of the fireplace.
** However, he played it straight on a later album. After making a joke that he feared could be misconstrued as homophobic, he launched into a series of jokes on how gay people and married people are NotSoDifferent.
* Mike Birbiglia had a heartbreaking stand-up in which he talked about a girl he dated in high school. She constantly would say belittling things to him and then add "only kidding!" at the end. After he realized that she had been cheating on him with several other guys, he tells [[TearJerker how he just wished she'd have been there to say "only kidding!" to that]].
* Creator/LarryTheCableGuy does this a lot, in and out of character. Most of the time, it's in the form of "Lord, I apologize" or "...and be with the starving Pygmies in New Guinea."
* Creator/RickyGervais has been accused of this, such as [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/13/stewart-lee-comedy-offensive-gervais here]].
* Creator/AndrewDiceClay has been known to trot out this defense, claiming his on-stage act is "satire." Granted, his character of "The Diceman" is a DeconstructiveParody of the 1950s greaser character type (think The Fonz from ''Series/HappyDays''), but Clay would refuse to break character even during interviews on talk shows, so it's hard to tell how much of this justification is warranted.
* This defence was ''mercilessly'' parodied by Creator/StewartLee, who performed a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7CnMQ4L9Pc nearly fifteen minute-long routine]] in which he mocked Richard Hammond and the other ''TopGear'' presenters to the point that he states he wishes Richard Hammond had been decapitated and killed in his famous dragster crash in 2006. Lee then clumsily follows up the increasingly violent outbursts several times with "it's just a joke, like on Top Gear", demonstrating how lame an excuse this actually is.
* Creator/EllenDeGeneres references this in her 2003 ''Here and Now'' stand-up routine:
-->'''Ellen:''' "I'm just ''kiddin'''." Well, evidently, you don't know how to kid properly. 'Cause we should ''both'' be laughing.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' Joker pulls one as one of his looping taunts after beating challenge mode.
-->'''ComicBook/TheJoker''': While you were fighting I've had everyone you love BRUTALLY MURDERED! [[EvilLaugh hehehe...]] Only joking.
** With [[FauxAffablyEvil the Joker]], you never can tell....
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', your shipboard AI, EDI, will attempt to crack a few jokes, but ends up appending these comments with the phrase "That was a joke" when the people listening don't find it funny, or are afraid she's gone rogue.
-->'''EDI:''' I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.
-->'''Joker:''' *beat*
-->'''EDI:''' That was a joke.
* Caesar in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' gives this gem after he asks why [[WhatAnIdiot you came to The Fort after being vilified by the Legion]]:
-->'''Courier''': You guaranteed my safety.\\
'''Caesar''': And you fell for that? Really? Because I'm going to have you killed now.\\
'''Caesar''' [[EvilHasABadSenseOfHumor ...relax]], I'm [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] with you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}''
** During a Neutral/Pacifist run, Sans will reveal to the player that [[spoiler: [[BewareTheSillyOnes he would have killed them the moment they arrived in Snowdin]] had he not [[IGaveMyWord made a promise to Toriel]]]]. After an ominous pause, he breaks the tension by claiming he was just joking. It's not convincing. [[spoiler:And, as the KillEmAll route reveals, he really wasn't joking.]]
** During the fight with Royal Guards 01 and 02, you can spare them by convincing 01 to confess his love to 02. When it briefly looks like 02 doesn't reciprocate his feelings, 01 awkwardly tries to brush it off as a joke.
* In the prologue of ''VideoGame/UntilDawn'', Emily sets up a trap for Hannah that would have her caught on film in a very embarrassing situation, which she would use to slut shame Hannah in front of her entire school for having a crush on Mike (at the time, Emily's boyfriend). When Hannah runs out of the cabin in tears, Emily claims that she was just joking and Hannah shouldn't have taken her so seriously.
** This is invoked with TheReveal that [[spoiler: Josh was the masked psychopath - he'd done it all as "a joke" to get his vengeance in an ultimately-harmless way.]]
* One of the lines in ''VideoGame/{{Postal}} 2'' is The Postal Dude saying "Just kidding", right after smashing some asshole's head in with a [[DropTheHammer sledgehammer]]. The amount of sarcasm present in his deadpan delivery is palpable.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ZeroPercentDiscount'' sees [[http://zeropercentdiscountcomic.tumblr.com/post/80655996990 an up and coming prankster pepper-spray someone]]. His justification? ''"It was a joke, dude."''
* [[spoiler:[[ADarkerMe Dark]] Skye]] in ''Webcomic/MagickChicks'' said "I was only ''playing''"... after sending a pack of wolves to attack her schoolmate with the words "''dinner time!''". She was so erratic at this point that whether she meant it the first, second or both times is about equally likely.
* A RunningGag in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' during the uniforms arc, was Tedd attempting to lighten the mood by saying something totally outrageous, and being ''genuinely confused'' that his friends weren't taking it in that spirit. [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2008-04-23 Here]], also with DefensiveWhat:
--> '''Tedd''': What? I'm ''joking''. That was a ''joke''. ''I'm not allowed to joke?!''

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'': Krillin tries to use this to explain cutting off Freeza's tail, after Freeza undergoes the [[KillEmAll final stages]] of his VillainousBreakdown.
--> '''Krillin''': What did I do?
--> '''Freeza''': ''Remember my tail''!?
--> '''Krillin''': Can't you take a joke?
--> {{Beat}}
--> [[spoiler: Screaming, and an explosion.]]
* Website/UrbanDictionary refers to one who does this as "[[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Schrodinger%27s%20Douchebag Schrodinger's Douchebag.]]"
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ2WrglmsJk This]] animated video of WebVideo/PewDiePie takes the trope {{Up To Eleven}}.
* The {{yandere}} family to Donnie in WebVideo/DemoReel. They held him captive, planned to keep him through feeding him muscle relaxants, think he's kidding around about ''his mother dying'', and keep on gleefully reminding him about his tragic past. When he's free and pissed, they try to get out of it by mewling "we were just having a little fun!". As one might expect, he doesn't let them off the hook.
* ''Series/{{Noob}}'' has the following situation. Sparadrap is a complete idiot, but has a brother among the elite players who sometimes "borrows" his avatar to have an impromptu chat with his guildmates. Sparadrap's guildmate Omega Zell frequently insults his intelligence out loud, but is also trying to get on the good side of the game's elite. And one day, the insulting and the surprise avatar "borrowing" happened at the same time...
* [[http://notalwaysright.com/customer-service-is-overreaction/39353 This story]] from Website/NotAlwaysRight skewers the trope via IronicEcho. Sadly, the original offenders don't seem to get the hint.
* In his Website/YouTube video "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wldE_4xjVQ IT'S JUST A PRANK BRO]]", WebVideo/FilthyFrank wonders how pranksters can do "these terrible things" and get away with it. After thinking it over he arrives at the simple conclusion that the video is named for, and goes out into the city with varying levels of offensive "pranks". His comments about art school to a random student take this trope {{Up to Eleven}}.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Krusty the Clown in the episode "Mr Spritz Goes to Washington" deconstructs this after an offensive bit by outright saying, "When you give me that look, it's a joke."
** Following Sideshow Bob's HeelFaceTurn in "Brother From Another Series", he remarks that he still just might have the urge to kill Bart Simpson, only to quickly add "Joking, joking!" when Bart gets frightened.
** Bart's [[CouchGag chalkboard punishment]] for the episode "Homer the Great" reads "Adding 'just kidding' doesn't make it okay to insult the principal".
* Casinko, an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Sealab 2021}}'' contains a heavily referenced song entitled "We're Only Joking". [[http://video.adultswim.com/sealab-2021/were-only-joking.html]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouseTheNewAdventures'': In "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy", when Deputy Dawg starts the wedding of Mighty Mouse and Pearl Pureheart with "You have the right to remain silent," Sourpuss calls him on it:
-->'''Sourpuss:''' No, dog! That's da wrong speech! Dis is supposed ta be a weddin'!\\
'''Deputy Dawg:''' (''laughs goofily'') Just checkin'!
* The 1940 Creator/LooneyTunes cartoon "You Ought To Be In Pictures" has Daffy cajoling Porky into quitting the cartoon business to be a legitimate actor in live films. When that proves disastrous, Porky returns, fishes his torn-up contract out of the trash and tells producer Leon Schlesinger he was only kidding. "April fool!"
* In the ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' episode "Ghost Channel", Odd's boneheaded antics du jour had nearly gotten him devirtualized but he pulls off a spectacular return, earning him praise from his teammates. He then proceeds to tell Jeremie to sit back and let the ''real'' heroes take care of things. He starts laughing but then realizes that not only is no one else laughing but the other 3 people on Lyoko are glaring at him. He protests that he was just joking but it quickly becomes apparent the claim is falling flat.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': In "Party With a Pony", Flying Princess Pony Head brushes off her mockery of Marco with this.
-->'''Pony Head:''' I hate your face, plus you're ugly! (''chuckles'') Just kidding, that's a joke.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse''; Peridot, in an attempt to befriend Amethyst after the latter gets entertained with her SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, ends up pushing her BerserkButton when she tries to explain Amethyst's [[StoutStrength defects]] in a joking manner. Unlike most examples of this trope, Peridot really did think she was being funny due to having NoSocialSkills-once Steven explains what actually went wrong, she apologizes ([[{{Tsundere}} through a tape recorder]]).