DaibhidC on Oct 10th 2011 at 7:28:50 AM
Last Edited By:
XFllo on Mar 17th 2019 at 3:33:29 AM
Page Type: Trope
The opposite of the Long List.
An Amusingly Short List is funny because it's barely a list at all. The main joke of the short list is often the fact that someone has gone to the effort of writing out the list or started listing things out loud, despite there being only one or two entries.
Sometimes the humour comes from the fact that the character enthusiastically claims or implies there are many, many potential items that belong on the list... only to remember only very few. Or only one. Or none at all.
- In Blackadder II, after Blackadder comments that being Lord Executioner is itself a death sentence, Melchett says he has a list of candidates. He announces "Candidates for the position of Lord High Executioner", unrolls a scroll, says "Lord Blackadder", and then rolls the scroll up again.
- Corner Gas, episode "Hair Loss": Lacey tries to make Brent feel better about losing his hair by listing attractive bald celebrities. She manages to think of three before resorting to Elmer Fudd of Looney Tunes.
- Pheobe says Ross is "on my list", before adding "Has anyone seen my list? It's a piece of paper and it says 'Ross'."
- Ross has Chandler type out a pro-con list to help him decide between Rachel and Julie. The only thing in Julie's con list is "She's not Rachel". Rachel is upset when she finds the list, and is not reassured when she finds the Julie's con list, as Chandler has typed it as "She's not Rachem".
- The guy who works a Soul-Crushing Desk Job and to whom Phoebe tries to sells toner over the phone has a hilarious and utterly sad short task list on his white board. It reads: Today's tasks: KILL SELF. No one in his office notices.
- On Great News, Portia reports on the latest celebrity caught in a sex scandal, ending with her listing the only good men left in Hollywood: "Tom Hanks; end of list."
- Implied on Married... with Children. Al wants to list all his worldly possessions, so Peg gives him a small piece of paper. He reiterates that it's "all" his worldly possessions, so she rips off an even smaller piece.
- How I Met Your Mother: Barney Stinson bounces back and forth between Long Lists and short lists. If his list isn't hundreds of people long (they're usually people he's had sex with), then it's just one or two items long (usually a reason to have sex or not to have sex).
- Red Dwarf, "Nanarchy": Dave Lister deals with a loss of his arm and Kryten and Kochanski try to comfort him, saying that there are countless people who have lost an arm, and then gone on to lead a perfectly normal life. Thousands. More than thousands. Millions. They have trouble naming them, but the gang collaboratively manage to find five. Five could be a decently long list, but considering the names... You be the judge of that: Lord Nelson, the Venus de Milo, the one-armed man from The Fugitive, van Gogh note and Dave Lister.
- Saturday Night Live had a Running Gag on the Colin Jost/Michael Che era of Weekend Update where they would present a list that's implied to be lengthy, only to have a small number of items on it. We then cut back to them to find them in the middle of something that should have been finished before the list was supposed to end.
- The X-Files, "Bad Blood": Agent Scully starts listing agent Mulder's problems with first of all... but the first and only thing is so huge that she doesn't even need "a second of all".
Scully: First of all, if the family of Ronnie Strickland does indeed decide to sue the FBI for — I think the figure is $446 million — then you and I both will most certainly be co-defendants and second of all... I don't even have a second of all, Mulder. $446 million.
- Futurama: Zoidberg is the only being on all of planet Earth on Robot Santa's "nice" list.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Cutie Map - Part 1", Sugar Belle—the baker who's sacrificed her talent for baking—lists off everything she has to offer at her bakery:
Sugar Belle: We have: muffins...
- The Simpsons: Power plant announcement: "Attention, workers: we have completed our evaluation of the plant. We regret to announce the following layoffs, which I will read in alphabetical order: Simpson, Homer."
- In the episode "Something Smells" of SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob takes out a long list of things to do, in which all the items are "go to work". He realizes that he needed the list for Sunday, an index card that says "say 'hi' to everyone in Bikini Bottom."
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