"Of course Fry still exists... as a frozen corpse in outer space! Ho ho ho ho ho... (beat) Oh... I made myself sad."
, "The Sting"
A character is speaking, usually referencing a tragedy or other unfortunate event, and maybe even joking about it. After finishing his story, the character takes a beat
, then adds a comment that they just depressed themselves by bringing up the tragedy. Alternately, just their facial expressions and body language say it.
Sometimes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
is enough to start one of these. In Black Comedy
, this can lead to a Driven to Suicide
moment that is Played for Laughs
. May also lead to Cry Laughing
Anime And Manga
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Basically the punchline of 90% of what Nozomu Itoshiki says.
- There's also an instance played more seriously. Nozomu is talking about it being easier to get through life if you ignore unpleasant things. One of his students, who is married makes a comment about ignoring her husband cheating on and mooching off of her and generally treating her like dirt. Nozomu pauses and says that he's sorry for saying that. This kind of thing happens occasionally, when his melodramatic complaining runs into actual problems.
- Zathras, from Babylon 5, did this to himself, but he was remarkably sanguine about it.
- In an early Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Buffy and Xander try to cheer Willow up (who has just realized her on-line boyfriend was a demon) by mentioning their own hapless experiences in the romance department: Xander's fling with a giant praying mantis that tried to eat his head, and Buffy's discovery that Angel is a vampire. They laugh together, and then a beat later, sink into quiet depression.
- In an episode of Friends, Joey asks Chandler and Ross for advice on how to repel women. They start off offended, then become enthusiastic, then end up depressed. Ross spends the rest of the episode responding to everything with "Who cares? I repel women."
- A vignette on Lamb Chop's Play-Along has Hush Puppy (the show's Ditz, or maybe their Cloudcuckoolander) opening a door in a prop wall in an obvious Shout-Out to Laugh In and reciting a limerick about a lady who was so skinny "that when she essayed, to drink lemonade, she slipped through the straw and fell in." He then laughs his head off at the poem....until he realizes that the character probably drowned, and he reflects: "Hey, that's not funny; that's tragic!"
- Conan O'Brien uses this a lot after telling a self-deprecating joke - then mimes wiping off a tear, swallowing it, and having it revitalize him.
- Frasier tries to cheer a lonely Daphne up by recounting his own track record of finding (and losing) love, and ends up just as depressed as she was at the beginning of the conversation.
- Episode three of Game of Thrones has the king reminiscing about first kills. His own was during the rebellion that put him on the throne, a young Tyrell noble who came at him with a sword and was defeated by Robert's hammer to the chest. At first Robert is bragging about how strong he was in his youth, but then he muses that the Tyrells switched sides to his cause shortly after, making the lad's sacrifice pointless.
Stand Up Comedy
- Some of the earliest Peanuts strips had Snoopy wishing he were some other kind of animal. One had him simply imagining himself as "The King of Beasts"; the thought makes him happy, because "then I could really strut!" Suddenly, though, he gets sad as he realizes: "But who wants to be a beast?"
- During one of Rich Little's bits as Johnny Carson, a large black man complains of the stereotype of black men having large penises, when he has a small one, and complains that his last name of "Small" reflects that. They run through embarrassing celebrity last names, til "Carson" mentions "Rich Little", pauses, and moans, "For some reason, that one really hurt."
Truth in Television
- In World of Warcraft, when you turn in the quest "Trolls is gone crazy!" to Chief Rageclaw in Zul'Drak, he comments:
Rageclaw thank you, <name>. Though Rageclaw Den probably lost forever and troll-Rageclaw friendship also lost forever... and also now I think of it, Ragemane lost forever too. Also brother-in-law. He gone. Hrm, have you seen Chief's mate? I think she gone too... Maybe you go now. Chief a little depressed.