->''"A man walks into a talent agency..."''

Comedians don't tell jokes. A proper joke seldom fits the format and atmosphere of stand-up comedy, and jokes end as soon as the audience knows the punchline.

One joke prevails over all others, however: '''''The Aristocrats''''', a joke comedians keep back to tell each other (or themselves, as a warm-up act). The details of the joke change with every telling (and who tells it), but the basic structure remains the same no matter what:

1) A family act goes in to see a talent agent. While the agent doesn't want to hear them out (because he considers family acts too cute), the father finally convinces him to give them a chance.

2) The comedian telling the joke describes the family's act in as much detail as they prefer. Sometimes, the father tells the agent a blow-by-blow description of the act, while other times, the family performs it live for the agent. The act ''always'' involves the family performing shocking, heinous, risque, and possibly even illegal acts.

3) At the completion of the description, the shocked agent can only ask what the family calls their act. The father proudly replies, "The Aristocrats!"

In the past, the joke served as a form of satire about the upper class, but [[FairForItsDay that take doesn't really apply these days]]; in modern times, it's not particularly funny as a joke anymore (since it's essentially a ShaggyDogStory with a weak bit of irony as the punchline). The real point of the joke these days involves the description of the act itself: anyone who tells the joke must [[CrossesTheLineTwice cross the line as many times]] and in as many directions as humanly possible. Most comedians traditionally invent the act on the spot as they tell the joke, which turns it into an improv comedy exercise. Standard ingredients for the description of the act include incest, paedophilia, rape, death, coprophilia and urophilia [[note]]Getting turned on by shit and piss, respectively[[/note]], bodily fluids, bestiality, and pretty much every vile sex act and fetish one can think of -- and every horrific act of violence, depravity, and otherwise immoral human behavior that nobody ''wants'' to think of.

A variation upon the joke leaves the act completely tame, but gives it a shockingly disgusting name.

[[Film/TheAristocrats There is also a documentary for the jokes released in 2005.]]

Do not confuse with ''Disney/TheAristocats''. '''PLEASE.''' [[note]]Humerously enough, the documentary has a segment in which comedians discuss [[FreudianSlip making that mistake]].[[/note]]

----

!! '''We call it: The Tropes!'''

* AristocratsAreEvil: If the punchline isn't taken as ironic, then it would be a straight example of this trope.
* BlackComedyRape: In most retellings.
* ClusterFBomb
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Invoked.
* SarcasmBlind: In some versions, the disbelieving agent says "What the ''hell'' would you call an act like that?", meaning the punchline is this trope.
* SerialEscalation
* ShaggyDogStory
* StraightMan: The talent agent that witnesses and responds to the depraved acts before him.

----
!!Different variations of this joke:

* The ones in [[Film/TheAristocrats the movie]].
** Notably Creator/GilbertGottfried's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGA0dIz9-Wk version from the Roast of Hugh Hefner]], which he'd done to ''recover'' from a TooSoon joke about "Miss[ing his] connecting flight at the World Trade Center". During the bit, after describing all manner of vile things, he finally draws the line [[spoiler: [[FelonyMisdemeanor at sweat involved in the act]]]].
* Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses did a nifty version, [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/sketches/189-the-most-raunchy-aristocrates-joke-ever you can check it out]].
** [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/blogs/latest/entry/gaming-disconnect-15-fatal This review]] of the game ''TabletopGame/{{FATAL}}'' ends by implying the game is one big Aristocrats joke.
** When WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic reviewed ''{{Ferngully}} 2'', there's a scene where Budgie accidentally pulls her grandfather's pants down, and he says it's no time to practice their act.
--->'''Critic''': ...Kay, I don't want to know what kind of act requires her to pull his pants down. *beat* But it's probably called THE ARISTOCRATS! *sting*
** Oancitizen of ''WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh'' (quoting Phil Buni of ''TheBunnyPerspective'') compares the content of ''Film/ASerbianFilm'' to this joke. Instead of the usual punchline he delivers a very stern [[TrueArt "Art!"]]. ''*[[{{Beat}} beat]], [[TheStinger finger snap]]*''
*** A SomethingAwful Photoshop Phriday [[http://i.somethingawful.com/u/garbageday/2011/Photoshop_Phriday/moviemixup/zeVoguee_01.jpg did the same joke.]]
*** This very wiki briefly described ''Salo'' as: ''TheAristocrats'' [[XMeetsY meets]] ''{{Hostel}}'', only worse.
*** And the same thing was also said on this wiki about ''Literature/The120DaysOfSodom'', the Creator/MarquisDeSade novel that the movie was based upon.
** Doug had earlier held a contest on Youtube for who could tell the best version of the joke. The winner was an overweight, bald, heavily tattooed man with the handle "Church of Dave," who describes an act climaxing in the souls of every evil person being raped by the souls of every good person, which is called [[spoiler:Justice.]]
** More of a reference than an example, but a couple of times during some of the live episodes of ''WebVideo/WhatTheFuckIsWrongWithYou'', when Nash got to a particularly nasty news article, either he or one of the people in the live chat would yell out "The Aristocrats!" after reading it.
* NataliePortman made an [[StylisticSuck intentionally lame]] attempt at this joke on ''SaturdayNightLive''. Considering this is the same episode as her infamous [[CrowningMomentOfFunny rap video]], one can't help but wonder what it would be like if she really gave it a go.
* In "Beach Games," ''[[Series/TheOfficeUS The Office]]'''s penultimate third season episode, Dwight attempts to tell this joke in what is more or less a FunnyBackgroundEvent - since the audience's focus is on Pam doing the coal walk - [[ItMakesSenseInContext in order to win Michael's job]]. He also [[ComicallyMissingThePoint completely misses the point of what makes the joke funny]]. [[SoUnfunnyItsFunny (Which is why it's so hilarious to the viewer.)]]
--> '''Dwight:''' And the talent agent says, "Describe your act." And the man says something really, really raunchy. And the town representative says, "What do you call yourselves?" And the man says, "The Aristocrats." ''([[{{Beat}} awkward silence]])'' [[TakeOurWordForIt ...I mean truly repulsive acts.]]
* [[Podcast/WrecklessMediaRadio Brian Berris]] [[SubvertedTrope subverts this trope]]. In [[http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/aristocratjoke his version]], the act is incredibly tame and standard and the punch line is [[FantasticSlurs altered]].
* WebVideo/HellsingUltimateAbridged: When Abraham Van Hellsing confronts [[{{Dracula}} Alucard]] about his [[KillEmAll many]], ''[[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice many]]'' [[ComedicSociopath atrocities]], Alucard responds with this.
-->'''Sir Hellsing''': Vampire King... You lay upon the blood soaked death of your ruined land, castles plundered, dominions in ruin, servants destroyed, all to end the hellfire with which you sought to cover the world. A bloody conquest having consumed hundreds of thousands, countless villages razed to the ground, '''and over twenty thousand impaled and prostrated by you and you alone, to strike horror into the hearts of mortal men!''' WHAT SAY YOU!? MONSTER! DEMON! DEVIL CONCEIVED BY THE BLEAKEST WOMB! WHAT SAY YOU ''NOW''!?
-->'''Alucard''': ...The Aristocrats...
* LetsPlay/{{Raocow}}, after completing an extremely hard and sadistic level in ''VideoGame/ASuperMarioThing'', ends the level by declaring "The Aristocrats!"
* In a short gag strip in ''Webcomic/GastroPhobia'', we see Gastro finishing telling the joke to a very angry Phobia. In the last panel we see Klepto bandaging Phobia's hand.
-->'''Klepto:''' Gastro, look at what you did to your poor mother's spanking hand!
* Namedropped in Creator/RobertBloch's 1976 short story "Crook of the Month" regarding the latest [[ExtrudedBookProduct quickie crime novel]] the main character is ghostwriting.
-->"... I like that hero of yours, Lance Pustule. And having him murder his parents at the age of eight--it's going to win a lot of reader sympathy, because everybody has a kindly feeling for orphans."\\
"Ann, please--"\\
"That scene where he's raped by his grandmother is terrific! And all those killings and tortures he uses to get control of the television network--you really tell it like it is! The drugs and violence and kinky sex are dynamite. By the way, what's the title of the book?"\\
"''The Aristocrats.''"\\
"Perfect!"
* One part of the ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' segment "Who's Killing TheMuppets?" has Fozzie say "And then the dad says, 'The Aristocrats!' Wocka-wocka!" before the mysterious killer in the segment visits him.
* On the blog [[http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/ Rejected Disney Princesses]], the entry for [[http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/elisabeth-bathory/ Elisabeth Bathory]] has a lengthy description of the various crimes Bathory was accused of in her lifetime, the things she was accused of after her death, the torture and execution of her accomplices, and how she was bricked up in a room for the rest of her life. The section finishes with, "In conclusion: the aristocrats!" (The post does go on to give a more accurate explanation of Bathory's life, however.)
----
"...''The Aristocrats!''"\\
That's ''disgusting''! (Pause) ...So how much for season tickets?
* And is there a matinee show?
* [[Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses And how do you]] [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext want to get Richard Attenborough?]]

----