"Of course Fry still exists... as a frozen corpse in outer space! Ho ho ho ho ho... (beat) Oh... I made myself sad."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. Compare Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!, where a character attempting to reassure others that nothing is wrong realizes mid-sentence that something is very wrong. In Black Comedy, this can lead to a Driven to Suicide moment that is Played for Laughs. May also lead to Cry Laughing.
— Professor Farnsworth, Futurama, "The Sting"
open/close all folders
Anime & 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.
- One Piece: There is one point in Film Z where Chopper is invited to take a bath with resident bombshell Robin (which she's fine with because of his childlike innocence). Naturally, Brook, being the pervert he is, tries to get in on it by pointing at himself while screaming about how creepy and disgusting his skeletal body is. Moments later, he's hunched over in the corner, depressed. His friends are quick to point out the problem with this.
- My Monster Secret: In an early chapter, Youko's Childhood Friend Shirou shows up and is convinced that she and Asahi just got done with a date. Asahi quickly tries to convince Shirou that it wasn't a date-date and they're Just Friends...and then remarks that he just made himself sad.
- In Berserk Isma does this to herself when Serpico tries to make friendly conversation with her by asking her about herself and she starts off by cheerfully stating that that she's the only person left on her home island, since The Sea God has turned all the other inhabitants of the island into tentacles. She then immediately begins sobbing as she realizes what she just said.
- 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."
- In Batman: Mad Love: The Joker, looking over his elaborate ideas for killing Batman in a "funny" way, gleefully cackles and carries on about "The Death of a Hundred Smiles," which would involve Batman getting dunked in an aquarium full of piranhas and then torn to pieces - and then suddenly becomes depressed when he realizes that the plan wouldn't be funny at all, because piranhas can't smile.
- From Terry and the Pirates:
Hotshot Charlie: I yield to no one in my appreciation of Oriental art, but there is a small segment of my mind which I reserve for the well-being of Charles C. Charles — Hotshot Charlie to the multitudes — and at the moment I feel myself somewhat depressed about his future.
- 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?"
Films — Live-Action
- From Pump Up the Volume:
Mark Hunter: "Now I'm depressed. Now I feel like killing myself, but luckily I'm too depressed to.
- From Johnny Dangerously: "Johnny Dangerously can't live a normal life! It ain't in the cards, is all. People like me, we're like... we're like shooting stars. We... we cross the sky, burning hot, for one moment in time, and then we... plunge to earth and disappear... Jesus Christ, I'm starting to upset myself."
- In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooge is visited by the Marley brothers, who are played by Statler and Waldorf. They openly admit that, in life, they were selfish and heartless bankers, and they even reminisce about evicting an entire orphanage in the middle of winter. This makes them break out into their trademark laugh, which almost immediately degenerates into a shudder, and they move on to warn Scrooge to repent from the mistakes they made.
- Mark Twain, on being praised as one of the "great writers":
"I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead. Spencer is dead. So is Milton; so is Shakespeare. And I'm not feeling so well myself."
- In Words of Radiance Shallan had previously been forced to put on a not particularly convincing foreign princess act by her conwoman mentor, Tyn, to a guard. When she encounters that guard again, this time guarding people she needs to reach and give her real identity to and he brings up the "Horneater princess" incident, she furiously thinks that she's going to strangle Tyn. Then she feels sad, having momentarily forgotten that she really did kill Tyn a few days earlier.
- 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 up Willow (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: 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.
Doreah: That's very sad.Viserys: Yes, it is. What did I buy you for, to make me sad?
- Another episode has Viserys telling a handmaiden the history of his family's fall from grace and the last of the dragons...while they sit naked in a tub of hot, steaming water.
- Married... with Children episode "Death of a Shoe Salesman" has the reverend giving the eulogy for Al's beloved western star Fuzzy McGee's funeral:
Reverend: Fuzzy McGee was born, and then he died. So will you. So will I. (Beat) God, I'm depressed.
- 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.
- In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, when you give Dr. Borous the dishbowl of his dog Gabe, he gleefully reminisces about how the various horrible experiments he committed on him (turned him into a cyborg and pumping him full of combat drugs) and how despite everything, Gabe was also his only true friend who would always cheer him up no matter what. At that point, Borous is overcome with a deep sadness that he is incapable of understanding and the player is given the chance to either convince him that he truly loved Gabe or to simply see him as a test subject.
- Homestar Runner: Strong Bad made up the Woobietastic character of Lil' Brudder (a one-legged dog whose catch phrase is "I can make it on my own!") just to bring Homestar to tears. It works a bit too well.
- Shows up as a throwaway gag in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
Master of Administratum: I remember the finger I had before I replaced it with an auto-quill... oh, I just made myself sad.
- RWBY; Nora tries to cheer Jaune up and convince him that losing in the tournament they're competing in won't be so bad, only to start rambling on how if they do lose, they'll become social pariahs, get mocked by other students, she and Ren will be cast out with nowhere to go due to being orphans, and they'll be branded for life as "Team Lose-iper". All the color drains from her character model before she gives a weak laugh/sob, leading to a Head Desk.
- Ess in Amazoness here.
- Questionable Content uses this as a punchline a few times, such as when Sven jokes about his relationship issues.
"I mean, I'm 28 years old and I've never had an actual relationship. I have NO IDEA how to have one. Even if I MET a girl willing to give me a chance I'd probably just screw it up. [beat] Oh God. I was trying to be flippant and self-deprecating there, but that's actually TRUE."
- The Sad Songs storyline from Something*Positive.
- T-Rex in Dinosaur Comics here.
- Sakana Taisei does it here.
- And Black Adventures does it here.
- Invoked in The Nostalgia Critic's review of the dumbest moments in the Superman movies, when what he says that the movies reminds him of things like (the tragic fates of) Christoper Reeve, Margot Kidder and the World Trade Center.
Critic: I'm The Nostalgia Critic, and I'm gonna go kill myself.
- The Necro Critic does this during a scene in Sleepwalkers where Charles takes Tanya on a date in a graveyard.
Necro Critic: What? Graveyards are a very romantic place for a date! I mean, I always take MY girlfriends on dates to graveyards. (beat) God, I'm lonely...
- Zack in the Echo Chamber Trope of the Week episode "Terrible Interviewees Montage".
- Used by a lot of people on the internet. On this very wiki it is often additionally linked to this page.
- The Trope Namer would be the episode "The Sting", in which Professor Farnsworth has one of these moments when he jokes about Fry being dead.
- In "I Second That Emotion", Bender does this when he insults Leela while affected by a chip causing him to feel her emotions:
Bender: Aw... I just made myself feel bad.
- Hedonism-bot has a party that is basically an orgy, except then almost everyone there gets blown up.
Hedonism-bot: Everywhere I looked, there were piles of bodies... and then the explosion struck! Ah ha ha ha! Oh hoo hoo...
- An example from everybody's favorite prime time cartoon The Simpsons, in the episode "Radioactive Man", Nelson tries out for the part of Fallout Boy. On being dismissed, he passes a mirror and gives himself his trademark "Ha-ha", followed by "Hey, that hurt. No wonder nobody came to my birthday party!"
- From Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: "I'm Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, but my friends call me... (beat) I just got in such a funk."
- In King of the Hill, Dale, Bill, Boomhauer and Kahn get into the idea of the last meal given to prisoners on Death Row. They construct a giant feast of all their favorite foods, and then before they dig in, Dale tells them to savor every bite, "because the next thing you taste will be the bitter sting of death". They all laugh for a few seconds, then stop when the realization hits and look at the food, having now completely lost their appetites.
- On Daria, Jane comments on Daria's disbelief in a higher power:
"You know what's bothering you? You're afraid that it's true. That the Quinns of the world fit in so well because something really is looking out for them. Everything's already been decided, they win, you lose, and whatever you do doesn't matter because the end is fixed. So, why even bother?" (beat) "God, I'm depressed."