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Narm Charm
Moments like these are silly, but also just too heartwarming to laugh at.

"When people express what is most important to them, it often comes out in clichés. That doesn't make them laughable; it's something tender about them."

During a dramatic moment, there is Narm: a line is said too emphatically, or the alien is obviously a guy in a rubber suit.

So why isn't the entire audience laughing?

Perhaps the rest of the work is so good, and they are too wrapped up in it to be bothered. Or what's cheesy is more the fun kind of cheesy, so they are happy, but not laughing. Or maybe Rule of Cool is working its magic. Or maybe it was supposed to seem somewhat cheesy. Or perhaps the Narm feels natural in the scenario presented.

This is Narm Charm, something that by all reason should kill the drama, but doesn't. Some people will still find the scene to be true narm and others will find no narm at all. To some, it's Narm Charm and all part of the fun.

If a remake does away with this, it can result in I Liked It Better When It Sucked.

Compare Camp, Ham and Cheese, So Bad, It's Good (when something is liked because of the Narm).


Examples:

Do not state you disagree with an example, or that other people would. No example here is meant to be absolute.

    open/close all folders 

    Fan Works 

    Professional Wrestling  
  • Zack Ryder following his arrival in ECW and his subsequent gimmick change. Oh, radio, tell me everything you know...
    • And honestly, a lot of smarks loved him for it, because up until then he had no personality and was a sub-par wrestler. Since the change, he's had some really good matches and retired Tommy Dreamer. In fact, thanks to an internet series, he eventually became a major Ensemble Darkhorse.
  • Much like Zack Ryder, there's Robbie E in TNA, though admittedly this is on a much smaller scale and much more dependent on YMMV. When he stared off as a blatant ripoff off Jersey Shore (and possibly attempting to follow the lead Zack Ryder started,) he was immediately despised by... everybody. However, Robbie E's surprising devotion to the whole gimmick (his physics-defying hair for example) is very commendable.
  • Wrestlicious has a fan-base that are fully aware it has a horrible commentator, ridiculously corny skits and silly characters...but are willing to overlook all of that for the quality of the wrestling.
  • Lay Cool - two exaggerated Alpha Bitch Valley Girl parodies whose catchphrase is "Famous and Flawless". Storylines included making fun of another woman's weight, insinuating one was really a man and claiming another had bad hygiene problems. Yet Layla and Michelle somehow made it work.
  • The Boogeyman. The idea of a guy running around thinking he's some kind of boogeyman, wearing Darth Maul-inspired makeup and having live worms sticking out of his mouth, is thoroughly ridiculous, yet Marty Wright, and his partially-toothed Slasher Smile, was so into the gimmick that it was vastly entertaining to watch.
  • The Undertaker is the pinnacle of this trope in Professional Wrestling. Some sort of undead zombie, getting strength from an urn and wielding mystical powers? Mark Calloway played all that straight, and became a main eventer within a year of his debut and stayed that way for over two decades and counting.
  • Taker's most famous rival, Mick Foley, actually came up with a gimmick that invoked this trope: Dude Love. A Shawn Michaels ripoff (his finisher was called "Sweet Shin Music"), who dressed in tie-dye shirts, wore old-school sunglasses and spoke in corny lingo that would've been out of touch in 1969. It was an absurd, bush-league persona, and fans just loved Mick Foley that much more for it.

    Webcomics 
  • In Questionable Content, the big reveal — that Faye's dad committed suicide in front of her — is so dramatic that even the big, cartoony sound effect "BLAM!" doesn't ruin the scene.
  • The bits of comedy that MegaTokyo contains post-Cerebus Syndrome often slip into this. For example, in this strip, Ed is taunting and tormenting Ping with text messages while planning to kill her; meanwhile he strikes up a pleasant conversation with our favorite Cloudcuckoolander Largo and (among other things), complements him on his Nice Hat.
  • Nuzlocke Comics are designed to be way too over-the-top and silly to be taken seriously, but due to the nature of the challenge it's hard not to feel something for the guy whenever a Pokémon faints.

     Web Original 
  • From That Guy with the Glasses:
    • Invoked with That Dude in the Suede' Let's Play/Review Show series Suede Played, were he plays his favourite silly games.
    • Kickassia (That Guy with the Glasses's second year anniversary video) THRIVES off this. Almost everyone overacts, scenes are over the top and goofy, and yet it's awesome. Part 4 has some good plot developments, and an honestly creepy scene where the Critic explains what the dynamite is for. And it's because you're not supposed to take anything seriously that you're able to enjoy what happens in it.
    • Also appears in The Nostalgia Critic's "Commercials Special" with a few over-dramatic lines like "I'm a wreck!" and "You were right, director of My Pet Monster.". But somehow it still managed to be a Tear Jerker overall and you just wanted to tell him that it was going to be okay. And it was.
    • Linkara is able to use Narm in order to make even the most ridiculous sentences sound badass. "I AM A MAN!" is the most prominent example, but it's worth mentioning that he did it even with the words "I'll kill you to death!" in his Countdown to Final Crisis review.
      • The whole Lord Vyce arc is made of this. A bunch of geeks running around shooting at each other with toy weapons, complete with hammy overacting and dime-store special effects shouldn't be nearly as awesome as it is.
    • The Nostalgia Chick's "Dark Nella Saga" was this all the way. Nella left no scenery unchewed, Lindsay's acting is... not the best ever and that's still awesome, both because she knows this and Nella herself can actually act legitimately scary while still being funny.
  • There Will Be Brawl brings us the famous "Well, excuse me, Princess", said by Link himself. However, the way he delivers it, dead serious and menacing during a falling out with Zelda, definitely make it fit this trope.
  • The meme Israel loves Iran, Iran loves Israel, because this campaign was practically asking for sarcastic and cynic replies, but then Israeli and Iranian citizens decide to it really serious and call for peace between the two countries.
  • NES Godzilla Creepypasta: 'I'll tell you a secret... I KILLED MELISSA. Narmy? Oh god yes. Terrifying? Just as much. Sad? Yes.

    Other 
  • Roger Ebert, in his review of Star Trek: Nemesis, gave a veiled insult to the material through a backhanded compliment to Patrick Stewart (or vice-versa) when he noted that Stewart has a talent for making completely ridiculous dialogue riveting.
    Ebert: "It is always said of Stewart that his strength as an actor is his ability to deliver bad dialogue with utter conviction. I say it is time to stop encouraging him."
  • Every single "F*cking Short Version" video found on YouTube.
  • Disney Theme Parks.
  • Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab descriptions. One of their more popular perfumes is described as "The scent of sexual obsession, slavery to sensual pleasure, and the undercurrent of innocence defiled utterly. Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla." Completely overdone, but it damn well sells.
  • The final launch of the Space Shuttle has a moment of this. "On the shoulders of the Space Shuttle, America will continue the dream." That is an incredibly cheesy line by ANY standard, NASA, so why is it working so well?
    • Also the final launch of Discovery. "The shuttle now rolling over on its back for the eight and a half minute ride into orbit. Discovery now making one last reach for the stars."
  • In-universe: in an advertisement for the American version of The Voice, the four hosts are driving together in a truck. They argue over the music and keep changing it; it reaches Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Adam Levine says "talk about corny." Cut to an exterior shot, then back in the truck, where they're all singing along.

    Real Life 
  • This does happen in real life, though it's sometimes not to dwell on it depending on the situation. A situation will occur where a person will think to themselves that in any other situation this would be funny.
  • As parents know, a toddler with a sore throat can have the cutest little whispery-raspy voice - but the poor kid isn't feeling well, either.
  • School plays- particularly Nativity plays- are full of this. Small children in badly made costumes, and making it obvious from the way that they recite their lines that they have no idea what they're saying. Aww.
  • Crying your heart out usually involves ridiculous expressions and "dying moose" noises, but in most situations people are willing to forgive you for it.


Name's the SameSublime RhymeNever Lend to a Friend
Most Wonderful SoundYMMV/HomepageNausea Fuel
Most Wonderful SoundYMMVNausea Fuel
Killed Off for RealImageSource/Live-Action FilmsTin Man
Motionless ChinThe Dark Age of AnimationNostalgia Filter
Montage Ends The VHSThe EightiesNostalgia Filter

alternative title(s): Mostly Narmless
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