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Oh, the Humanity!

Stock Phrase for whenever someone sees something particularly horrible. So horrible, in fact, that you just can't help but shout your horror to the heavens. Originated in 1937, when reporter Herbert Morrison witnessed the Hindenburg disaster first-hand. Morrison kept reporting, though he was clearly horrified, and, overcome, exclaimed "Oh! The humanity!" ("Humanity" was apparently a term Morrison frequently used to describe any large group of people; in context, immediately prior to the disaster, he'd used the word to refer to the "mass of humanity" awaiting the blimp's arrival, and was expressing concern that they could be injured rather than appealing to humanity as an abstract concept.)

Today, nearly always Played for Laughs. Not to be confused with Oh God, with the Verbing!.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • The much-lampooned Doom comic book's version:
    Marine: Why can't we find a way to safely dispose of radioactive waste and protect the environment? Even if I personally stop this alien invasion, what kind of planet will we be leaving to our children? And our children's children, and... Oh, the humanity! My big gun is out of bullets!
  • The last issue of Archie Comics' Sonic Mini-series (the four comics printed before the main series began), Sonic (disguised as a Roboticized version of himself) inputs the wrong coordinates for Robotnik's missile, causing it to strike his Buzzbomber factory. The Buzzbomber that was with Robotnik cries "Oh, the inhumanity!"

Film

Literature
  • Although it's not used in it, there's a spoof self-help book out there bearing this name.

Live-Action Television
  • In The Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon is told that money that could go to the physics department might go to liberal arts instead, he shouts, "Oh, the Humanities!"
  • Chandler in Friends gives a deadpan one of these after watching Ross's terrible attempts to hit on the pizza delivery girl.
  • Kenan & Kel: I...DROPPED THE SCREW IN THE TUNAAA , OH THE HUMANITY.
  • Directly parodied by the "Who Cares Hindenburg" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After bringing up some useless news stories, usually celebrity gossip, Jimmy Fallon declares that all those stories are going into the "Who Cares Hindenburg". Then we see Stock Footage of the Hindenburg exploding while an announcer sarcastically mourns the loss of all those stories, ending with "Oh, the humanity! WHO CARES?!"
  • In Mad Men, in the episode "The Benefactor", Jimmy cruelly imitates the "Oh, the humanity!" speech.
  • Monk says this a lot, for reasons most wouldn't. Hilarity Ensues.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Kid". Monk is performing a diaper change.
      [sound of Velcro ripping]
      Adrian Monk: Oh! Oooohhh! Oh, my God! Oh, the humanity!
    • "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy"
      Adrian Monk: [accidentally wipes his hands with an oil-covered cloth] Oh, my God! Oh, the humanity!
  • Used so often it's almost a running gag on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In the Prince of Space episode, they pun over it:
    [The rocket that is key to Japan's space program explodes violently.]
    Mike: Oh, the inanity!
    Tom Servo: Oh, the Japanity!
  • This line is uttered in an episode of The Red Green Show, when a canoe that had become airborne due to hydrogen gas explodes.
  • Newman tops off a Crowning Moment of Funny in Seinfeld by yelling it as his mail-truck catches on fire.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: Les Nessman yells it during the infamous Turkey incident.
  • The Daily Show used a variation when a scandal was busted by Jimmy Carter 's grandson: "Oh, the Habitat for Humanity!"
    • There was also a sketch about the Herman Cain sex scandal called "Oh the Hermanity!"

Radio
  • The narration of the first Martian attack in the famous Orson Welles/Mercury Theater broadcast of The War of the Worlds was based directly on the Hindenburg broadcast, including the famous "Oh the humanity". This verisimilitude may have been one reason why some people found it so convincing and panicked. Reportedly the actor listened to the original several times in order to get into character.

Real Life
  • The Trope Maker: Famously spoken by Herbert Morrison, a WLS Radio announcer witnessing the Hindenburg disaster (warning, extremely sobering moment).
    • Also possibly a Mondegreen: it's entirely possible he really said "All the humanities, all the passengers."
    • And before you start snickering, the recorder was running slow that day, making him sound like a chipmunk. This is what he actually sounded like. And this is what he saw.
    • Morrison and his assistant Charlie Nehlsen were making an experimental audio recording, not a newsreel. It was played on WLS that night and on the NBC Radio Network the following day, but not dubbed onto newsreel footage until some time later. Today, the discs reside in the National Archives.
    • Also, Morrison was not fired. In fact he was commended for being a heroic Intrepid Reporter. He left WLS for a higher-paying job at WOR in New York the following year.

Video Games
  • Guilty Party features a manatee named Hugh. At one point, he rescues the heroes from an exploding zeppelin. "OH, HUGH THE MANATEE!"
  • In Spore, you get an achievement for finding Earth and obliterating it. One guess as to what it's called.
    • An urban legend is that a similar achievement "Oh, the Huge Manatee" is found for getting eaten by the giant sea monster in creature stage.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom if Spongebob is hit by an attack during a boss battle:
    • Fish Head: OOH! THE HUMANNITY! or should I say... THE FISHANITY!
  • Resonance of Fate has Zephyr, of all people, saying it if he examines Leanne's closet:
    Zephyr: What's this? My hand is moving on its own! Oh the humanity!...Damn! There's nothing there.

Webcomics

Web Original
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series uses it verbatim:
    Tristan: My voice gives me super-strength!
    Kemo: Yes, but my hair allows me to defy gravity!
    Tristan: *Falling after getting hit by Kemo's flying kick* Oh, the humanity!

Western Animation
  • In Archer, the central character says it in mockery as he has to embark on a blimp.
  • Parodied in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, where XR utters "Oh, the Technology!" upon seeing a mutilated robot.
  • In one episode of Cow and Chicken (or possibly its Spin-Off I Am Weasel) the Red Guy is playing with toy cars. He has a fuel truck crash into a regular car (complete with explosion and fire) and yells the phrase.
  • Parodied by Daria as she and Tom watch a parade float burning after a very slow-speed crash:
    Daria: Oh, the lack of humanity.
  • On an episode of Darkwing Duck, Drake takes Gosalyn camping. While they're roasting marshmallows, Gosalyn sets her marshmallow on fire and quotes Morrison's commentary.
  • Edd of Ed, Edd n Eddy used the "inhumanity" variation on occasion, often when faced with something particularly unsanitary, usually concerning Ed's clothing, possessions, basement lair, or body odor.
  • In Futurama, when the Professor thinks Amy and Bender have died:
    The Professor: Oh, the humanity! Also Bender.
  • On Hercules, a balloon crashes into the cloud where the gods have gathered to witness a festival, causing Homer to shout, "Oh, the divinity!"
  • Mikey says this line in Recess a number of times.
    • He also said it in the Dodgeball game on Toon Disney's website (now gone) when you hit him with a dodgeball.
  • A Ren and Stimpy short has Ren shout out this phrase as pro wrestlers have their way with Stimpy.
    Ren: "Oh, the humanity of it all!"
  • The Simpsons does it in "Lisa the Beauty Queen", when the Duff Beer blimp crashes Kent Brockman mutters "Oh, the humanity... anyway..." and carries on talking as if nothing had happened.
    • Another Simpsons episode has Bart showing off his checkbook flip-book of the Hindenburg crash, with the last check reading, "OH THE HUMANITY"
    • In one episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Scratchy is blown up like a blimp and explodes. A nearby reporter exclaims, "Oh, the hilarity!"
    • In "500 Keys" Chief Wiggum in a low speed blimp chase shouts "Oh the Zumanity!" after crashing into a Zumanity billboard.
  • In The Venture Bros., this is Sergeant Hatred's reaction when the Monarch's cocoon, which he already, accidentally, set on fire, crashes and explodes in a huge fireball.


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