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Playing With: Sarcasm Failure
Basic Trope: A character who normally delivers sarcastic replies or irreverent one-liners is struck speechless, either by the seriousness or the sheer idiocy of the situation.
  • Straight: Tim, a detective who has been quipping to black at dead bodies the whole series, remains silent when the body is a little kid, suffocated with a teddy bear.
  • Exaggerated: Tim breaks down crying.
  • Downplayed: Tim gives an Aside Glance, but can't go any further than that, and it's left to interpretation what the Aside Glance means.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • The normally-humorless Ted suddenly gets in a good zinger.
    • The utter bleakness of the situation freaks Tim out so badly that he becomes even more sarcastic and irreverent than usual. "Looks like playtime is over! I know, I'm just unbearable today."
  • Subverted: Tim suddenly says, "Heh, you know, I could joke about this, but it would be just too much to ... stand."
  • Double Subverted: Whereupon he starts weeping.
  • Parodied: Tim tries to get in a one-liner, only to be constantly interrupted by someone else doing it instead.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes Tim is speechless at particularly horrifying events, sometimes nothing escapes his wit. He just can't seem to find any consistency — which he himself remarks upon.
  • Averted: Tim delivers a one-liner as usual.
  • Enforced: The editors ruled "Dude, Not Funny!" on the proposed joke, so they took it out.
  • Lampshaded: "Tim? Are you actually speechless for once?"
  • Invoked: Tim is assigned a case that the higher-ups know he won't be amused by, just to get him to quit it with the sarcasm.
  • Exploited: Tim became a Deadpan Snarker just so that the others would be more affected by the times he couldn't crack a joke.
  • Defied: Tim is mortified by the dead child, but forces himself to keep up the caustic wit to maintain his reputation.
  • Discussed: "I don't think even Tim could possibly make a joke about this."
  • Conversed: "Watch, they're gonna make it clear the audience is supposed to be mortified by having Tim not even make a joke. Just you wait, it'll happen."
  • Deconstructed: Tim uses his sarcasm as a coping mechanism, and when he realizes that he's lost the one last barricade against the trauma to which he has been witness, he has a complete breakdown.
  • Reconstructed: After a little episode when he failed to make a quip, Tim realizes that hiding behind sarcasm isn't a healthy way of coping with his stress, and tries to learn a healthier method of dealing. That doesn't mean he won't still have a clever one-liner ready for when it's actually appropriate.
  • Played For Drama: The victim is a child. Tim doesn't joke because the situation is too tragic.
  • Played For Laughs: The victim turns out be a grown man who's died in a bizarre S&M accident involving the insertion of a cucumber too far up an orifice where whole cucumbers normally should not be inserted. Tim tries to get a joke off the ground but fails because the situation is too crazy even for him.

Not going back to Sarcasm Failure is a fantastic idea!

Oh... Oh my...

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