And, what black humor list would be complete without mention of Drawn Together? The show definitely goes out of its way to be controversial and gross, though some jokes can be seen as pretty tasteless.
Perhaps the best example of something on the show being both dark and hilarious is in "Little Orphan Hero" in which Captain Hero ends up reenacting the rape scene from The Accused. It doesn't sound funny until you consider the fact that A: He's dressed like a woman for no good reason and no one at the frat kegger questions this; B: He's powerful and crazy enough to kill all his attackers with ease; C: A newspaper headline later in the show reads "Best Kegger Ever!", and D: It's a Superman Expy in a tube top being gang banged by frat boys. The sheer insanity of the situation counteracts the otherwise offensive nature of the joke.
From the same episode: Captain Hero wipes out his species out of spite.
Futurama treats all the problems of living in a futuristic dystopia very humorously.
There's an episode where Bender adopts a dozen orphans and then attempts to sell them to a restaurant as meat once they become too expensive to care for. He hugs one to check their average weight, and when arrested by the police, one of his offenses is "misrepresenting the weight of livestock".
Then there's the second movie "The Beast With a Billion Backs" where in order for the Robot Devil to provide the robots with weapons he tells Bender he must give him his first born son, so he brings him to Robot Hell and casually kicks him into a vat of molten lead saying "Here you go". The Robot Devil notes that the act was brutal even for him, only for Bender to reply "No backsies."
In the same movie, Bender goes to kill himself in a suicide booth (itself a Running Gag example). He ends up falling through a trap door before it has a chance to work, and after it does, this happens.
Recording: You are now dead. Please take your receipt.
A receipt is printed out, falling onto a very large pile of untouched receipts.
There's also a number of jokes implying that cannibalism is legal in the future.
An episode where The Littlest Cancer Patient wants Stan and Kyle to win the hockey game for them. In a horrid subversion of this tired sports cliché, in the end they lose and so the child dies. The end!
The infamous "Scott Tenorman Must Die", where Cartman gets revenge after being tormented the whole episode by getting Scott's parents killed, chopping them up, putting their remains into a chili which he feeds to him, inviting his favorite band over just so they can mock him, and licking his tears as he cries his eyes out. It's Disproportionate Retribution taken to such a horrifying extreme that it's hilarious.
Family Guy is a black hole; blackness so dense, not even light can escape. For example; "September Eleventh, Two Thousand Fun!" The show couples this brand of humor with Breathless Non Sequiturs. "Airport '07" applied the trope by featuring a sequence in which a group of "Prom Night Dumpster Babies" sing a showtune about their plight.
The episode "The Splendid Source" spoofed this; Peter and friends find the people who write the world's dirty jokes. They have on display the first dead baby joke, a papyrus scroll with an Egyptian woman saying "My baby is dead" and a man pointing and saying "Ha".
Courage the Cowardly Dog: Courage and his owners, Eustace and Muriel Bagge, constantly run into monsters, aliens, demons, mad scientists, zombies, and island natives that Courage must fend off to save his owners. Eustace always ends up being attacked by all the horrors in the series.
This show is nightmare fuel, pure and simple. This 'nightmare fuel' aspect is, in no way, a negative view of the show. The backgrounds' dark and dreary art style seems to compliment the characters' lighthearted antics. Oftentimes, extreme reactions in the characters faces are grossly exaggerated in a vividly horrifying, and wildly entertaining, manner. The story lines, and even the setting, are twisted and sometimes hard to follow. Again, this is not detrimental to the show's entertainment value, but instead enhances it.
The classic two-reel 1936 Popeye short Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor had a rather dark running gag. Wimpy spent most of the story chasing a duck with a meat grinder, with the intention of turning it into a burger. Fortunately, the duck ends up getting away, swiping Wimpy's last hamburger in retaliation after he gives up.
Moral Orel, which occasionally decides to drop the "comedy" part; it left it to die in a ditch for most of the last season.
Almost inevitably, the show had one such sketch in which a crowd of visitors inside a maternity ward coo at a baby, and then a nurse walks up and covers its face to illustrate that it's dead. Good stuff.
Lampshaded in one episode where a sketch shows a visit from the Tooth Fairy being interrupted by the girl's mother and father arguing in an obvious abusive situation before a gunshot goes off, and showing Multiple Endings where some combination of the parents and the Tooth Fairy die. The characters in the sketch then win an award for "Darkest Sketch Ever". What makes this even darker is that you don't even see outside the room, just the poor child holding the covers in her room.
Ending 1: The Tooth Fairy wrestles the gun from the father, supposedly kills him, then walks back into the room and sits down with the kid before telling the child to be good and leaving the now orphaned child alone in her room.
Ending 2: The father kills the mother, and when the Tooth Fairy intervenes, kills her as well, then enters the child's room and tells the child that they're going on vacation to Disneyland. When the child asks if mom is coming, the father just repeats louder "Disney Land!!!"
Proving that even the creators have limits, supposedly they scrapped a potential skit in which a baby is delivered stillborn, causing the doctor to work it like a hand puppet. It was (obviously) never made.
They also like doing this to kids shows a lot to give them darker jokes for a "Right In the Childhood" kind of blow. An example is the skit with Dora climbing a mountain and leaves Swiper to die in the cold (She hands him a gun to kill himself with, but purposely left it unloaded just to torment him further), Diego is dropped to his death from a mountain, she eats a small band of insects that started playing for her, and we even see the Grim Reaper come to claim Swiper as Swiper says "Reaper no Reaping" over and over.
The episode "Mr. Grumpypants" of Superjail!! has Jailbot following Jacknife into a hospital and accidentally killing some sick kids; later on, various inmates of the prison are reverted into infants by magical means, which is a probably rare instance of seeing toddlers cutting each other to pieces. Also, the driving force of the episode is the Warden's hatred of children and desire to murder the little girl who Jailbot accidentally brought to Superjail. However, the inmates treat her with dignity, and when she finally succumbs to cancer, this is treated as a very sad moment.
In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, awful things are always happening to the neighbour, Carl. He has 'died' many times on the show, including; his arms being ripped off, his skin being torn off (and then shot with robot lasers), being blasted with laser guided socks by robotic turkeys, and and being sucked into a turbine powered toilet (with only his head left intact) after which he was revived in various ways. His penis has also been surgically removed, he's been raped by dogs, was hypnotised and then forced to shove and entire broomstick into his body by way of his anus, and other various assaults. One of the main characters, Shake, has also attempted suicide many times (succeeding a few times, and once by accident), including; putting a hose on the exhaust pipe of Carl's car and feeding it into the interior with the windows rolled up, hanging himself (which was thwarted by Frylock, but then doing it right in Carl's pool with piranhas, sleeping pills, and another hose attached to Carl's car exhaust), cutting himself in half with a katana (the accidental one), and finally, attempting to shoot himself in the head, only to be patched up by the Marines so he could report for duty.
Standards and Practices: Acceptable!
In the Hulk Vs. Wolverine direct-to-DVD animated movie, after a shot showing a bunch of fetuses-in-tubes at Weapon X HQ, the following exchange takes place:
Deadpool: What do you say after the mission we kill all those floating babies? Omega Red: ...do you ever shut up, Wilson? Deadpool: What? Babies creep me out! Rock-a-bye—BANG!
Perhaps the best of the lot was Ivan Dobsky, a man constantly committing murders so he can stay in prison, which he finds a lot nicer than the modern world.
Others consider the Paedofinder General skits in which a man resembling a 16th-century witch hunter roams Britain accusing people of being "paedophiles" and executing them for trivial reasons, to be the best.
"By the powers invested in me by a text vote on Sky News, I find you guilty of paedophilia!"
Metalocalypse toys around with this from time to time (aside from the straight Gorn), particularly with the "Dethkomedy" episode.
Heck, even before season 4 they did it on occasion. The season 2 episode The Fry Cook Games had a pole-vaulting event in which the competitors pole-vaulted over a vat of frying grease. Patrick bungles the whole thing, landing on the handle of the fryer, causing the grease to get launched into the crowd, turning an entire section into fish sticks. A fish promptly comes on-screen, ready with a sign, and begins selling them for $1 each.
A brilliant example is the beginning of the episode Plankton's Pet, where Plankton attempted to steal a krabby patty with a baby-like robot. Mr. Krabs tackled the thief, horrifying the customers and employees until he reveals the truth. However, when he puts the baby's head back on and kicks it out of the Krusty Krab, he is beaten by some women for his abuse.
The later episodes of The Simpsons occasionally use this type of comedy. A couple of examples include a pregnant Brandine smoking a cigar and chugging a jug of moonshine and proudly patting her belly saying "That stopped the kicking" and another features Chief Wiggum in a flashback playing with a baby Ralph and dropping him on his head.
One well-known example from an earlier episode occurs in "Homer's Enemy", where Frank Grimes accidentally electrocutes himself. What makes this episode particularly difficult to swallow is that Grimes has had bad luck all his life and even during his funeral Homer falls asleep, causing everybody to laugh as the coffin is lowered in the ground.
In the movie, Bart plays a game that involving blasting down babies. Maggie is not pleased... seemingly because Bart stole her game (she is implied to be playing the game later).
Examples of this trope existed within episodes as early as season four, like the episode "Marge Gets A Job". On her first walkthrough of the Nuclear Power Plant, she notices some nameless employees each exhibiting some signs of work-related depression, each worse than the last to the point that one employee looks like he is ready to go on a shooting rampage. Marge, making quick note of this, suggests some quick ideas to liven things up, such as a day where the employees wear festive (read: loud Hawaiian) shirts, and Tom Jones music plays in the background to lighten the mood. Mr. Burns immediately takes to this, and the next day, we see all of Marge's suggestions lumped into one, including a depressing rendition of "What's New, Pussycat?" playing scratchily in the background as the same employees are now dangerously depressed, and the one man grimacing menacingly while patting his gun.
The episode "Princess Monster Wife" is about The Ice King stealing body parts of other princesses to create his own princess. His own fully aware princess. She's so horrifying that Finn and Jake faint at the sight of her, and she knows that she's an unnatural and suffers horrible emotional trauma by merely existing and knowing she's an abomination, while the Ice King only tries to comfort her with some of his only displays of kindness in the whole series only for Finn and Jake to screw it up by not understanding the situation or that she's fully aware. And it's somehow as hilarious as it is heartwrenching, partially thanks to the simplistic and childish art style that the show deploys.
The Christmas Special"Holly Jolly Secrets"established that The Ice King was once a normal antiquarian who stumbled upon an Artifact of Doom that drove him insane and away from his fiancee Betty and he lives through the apocalypse crying out for his lost love and begging that anyone forgive him for whatever he may do under the influence of his evil crown. After The Reveal, Jake's first line is "Drama boooomb!!!", and the Ice King cries out about his secret being revealed; that secret being that he "used to wear glasses", and he continues to brush off everything that happened, along with everyone else besides Finn. Even not considering The Reveal, the entire two part episode consisted of Finn and Jake watching The Ice King's video diary, which was filled to the brim with Cringe Comedy and The Ice King sobbing for hours about his unhappiness. It's all darkly funny, until the depressing ending.
One of the tamer examples: In one episode Jake is imprisoned by a Demon who weakens him by stealing Jake's blood and supplies him with various things he might need, albeit surrounded by a force-field that is rigged to vaporize him. He has a rather careless attitude towards the whole situation and takes a seat on what he believes to be a rock. It turns out to be a member of turtle-like species that apparently spends the first twelve years of its lifetime sleeping. it eventually approaches the supplies and cheerfully exclaims "I just woke up today!" before being obliterated by a quick and powerful zap. Jake picks up the shell and decides to pretend its sleeping.. The show in general is getting much Darker and Edgier.
Black comedy occurs in the episode "Hereafter" of all places, justified in that it deals with Vandal Savage and a Superman who was shot into the future. In the Season 2 episode "Hereafter", Savage recounts how he killed the entire Justice League and destroyed the solar system, at which point a depowered Superman beats him into the ground and raises up a rock.
In "The Once and Future Thing, Part Two: Time, Warped", the time-traveling villain Chronos punishes one of this henchmen (Chucko, a member of the Jokerz gang) for informing the Justice League by sending him approximately 65 million years into the past, exactly when the dinosaurs were killed in a mass extinction. This mook's fate is just too absurdly over-the-top to take seriously.
There are also a number of jokes revolving around Animate Inanimate Object characters being maimed in ways that befit what they are, such as in "The Coach", when a flashback shows that Jamie has in the past ate bits of Sarah (an ice cream cone) and Banana Joe, tore off Teri (a girl made of paper)'s leg, then chewed it up and spit it at her, and fed Anton (a piece of toast) to a group of ducks.
"The Parents" has Nicole mentioning off-hand that her parents almost killed her by attempting to get her an A+ blood transfusion when her blood type is B-.
Gumball by the fifth season has so much dark humor and relentless satire that it can be described as South Park for kids.
A mainstay of the humor in Rick and Morty, with frequent subjects including trauma, sociopathy, alcoholism, and death. The show does an extremely good job of balancing the humor and the darkness, to where you can find a grim situation funny and yet still sympathize with the very realistically human reaction characters usually have to it (e.g. Rick pantsing Morty in front of two girls he was trying to impress and pushing him down the stairs is played for comedy, but Morty's humiliated crying afterwards is not).
The Goofy short "How to Be a Detective" opens with a guy getting thrown off a bridge, followed by a pan over silhouettes in an apartment building, each of which is displaying a scene of comically over-the-top violence. Later, there's a gag where Goofy is kicked out of the city morgue after falling down an elevator shaft, and is told, "Beat it, and don't come back 'til you're ready!"
Ernest et Célestine has a number of black comedy moments, such as when Celestine waxes about the diseases that Ernest might get if he keeps eating out of garbage.
Happy Tree Friends: A bunch of cute forest animals killing each other off in every episode.
For such a cheery, uplifting show, Steven Universe can give very dark humor at times.
"Steven and the Stevens" ends with Steven forming a rock band with the Crystal Gems and singing a song about the dangers of time-travel. Based on personal experience.
We're Steven and the Crystal Gems Come on now, don't be shy I learned how to be true to myself By watching myself die!
The episode "Keystone Motel" involves Steven and Garnet going along with Greg on a road trip, so Greg can buy a replacement brush for his car wash. He met the seller over the Internet, and nervously tells Steven that the seller might turn out to be an axe murderer:
memory!Pearl: What was [Steven's mother Rose] thinking?! She can't have a baby! Steven: Well. This is awkward. [Later] Steven: [Making his way through the ruins of a battlefield] It better not turn out that her phone was in her pocket. Or she left it on the dresser or dropped it in the toilet. Seems about as likely as putting it away in your repressed war memories!
Gravity Falls uses this trope a lot for a Disney cartoon, even more so in Season 2. Examples would be Preston Northwest casually mentioning in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" about eating the butler if things go badly, or Bill Cipher giving Dipper a decapitated head that constantly screams as a present in "Sock Opera".
Bill seems to be fond of this trope, particularly when he is giving out "gifts" to people. What's one of the first things he does when he appears in "Dreamscaperers"? Rip out a deer's teeth and give them to the nine year old who summoned him of course!
The Boondocks often plays racial stereotypes and violent crimes for laughs.
The very first episode of Bob's Burgers jokes about cannibalism (the restaurant comes under fire from Louise's rumor they serve human meat from the mortician's next door) and pedophilia (Louise's "Child Molester Burger" that comes with free candy).
BoJack Horseman. In spades. At least one off-colour joke per episode. Special mention has to go to BoJack having sex with his TV daughter and, in a later episode, his roommate Todd witnessing a shanking in prison after being informed he'll be "just fine" by the victim.
The series' constant down-to-earth depiction of everyday misery, clinical depression, consumerism in an increasingly spiritual empty world and use of philosophical Kafka Komedy can get like this when coupled with the normal absurdism of Hollywoo.
The series finale of Horsin' Around apparently has BoJack's character dying of a broken heart due to his three adopted orphans not appreciating him enough, who are in turn handed over to the child protective services.
BoJack: We might've gone too dark on that series finale.
Beatrice Horseman:(dryly) Here's your omelet. (throws it on the table) I'm sorry it's not as good as the omelets your secretary makes, but then you're not married to your secretary, are you? Butterscotch Horseman:(bitterly) Well, maybe if my secretary also refused to get an abortion, I would be! (camera pans to reveal a young BoJack sitting at the table) Young BoJack: Mommy, can I have an omelet? Beatrice Horseman:You're the birthday boy.
Most of the humor in the otherwise very gloomy World of Tomorrow is this. It's especially common in young Emily's blithe reactions to horrible news, like the pretty shiny stars that are actually dead bodies being burned up in space through failed time travel.
A large amount of humor in Dawn of the Croods revolves around how short life expectancy is for cavemen. The valley the Croods live in is called "Ahhh! Valley" because those were the last words of the first person to discover the valley, as he didn't check to make sure there wasn't any dangerous animals living there.
The Madballs animated series' second episode "Gross Jokes" features some of this brand of humor.
The first sketch consists of Screamin' Meemie portraying an incompetent doctor named Dr. Ghastly, who ends up performing surgery on a patient that he isn't sure whether they've even been anesthetized and makes the assumption that the patient's problem is that they have an ugly thing inside their head, which turns out to be the patient's brain. At one point, Aargh remarks that Dr. Ghastly kills him, which results in Slobulus adding that Dr. Ghastly kills most of his patients.
Another skit in the episode has Aargh and Slobulus decide to visit their friend Skull Face in the cemetery. When Slobulus asks how they'll get to the cemetery, Aargh answers with "Easy, we'll just jump in front of a truck!"
Because the tone of the show had changed after the events of The Transformers: The Movie, the third season of The Transformers is lacking in the traditional comedy and edges more into Black Comedy, sometimes going into full blown Gallows Humor. For example, a comedy episode in Season 2 has local Grumpy Bear Gears get turned into an Extreme Doormat by the Decepticons, driving the latter crazy the entire time thanks to his Servile Snarker attitude. A comedy episode in Season 3 has the Decepticons attempting to cure Galvatron's insanity, playing the full gamut of psychiatric cures for comedy (including lobotomization)—culminating in Galvatron destroying the medical planet and leaving its doctors at the mercy of their insane patients. Yikes.
"Power Trip" begins with Really Really Big Man accidentally throwing his kid sidekick Jimmy into the sun.
"Spitballs" has a scene where a baseball player thinks he's caught the ball, but is horrified to find a severed head in his catcher's mitt.
In the beginning of "Rocko's Happy Sack", when Rocko finds that he's out of food, a starving insect comes across a single crumb. The insect happily declares "It's Thanksgiving!", only to fall over dead before he can start eating the crumb.
At one point in "Who's for Dinner?", Rocko excuses himself while having dinner with the Wolfes, who are anthropomorphic wolves as their surname implies (except for Heffer, who is a bovine). Rocko finds a closet full of little girls in red hoods with picnic baskets while trying to find the bathroom and later opens the bathroom mirror to find three pigs bound and gagged, each of them labeled with a day of the week.
The episode "Mama's Boy" has a Running Gag of Heffer's mother calling her son out of worry after he's started living on his own and Heffer exasperatedly telling his mother that he's just fine when he obviously isn't. The gag eventually escalates to Heffer lying to his mother that everything is alright while he's in jail, about to be executed, and in Hell.
Dinosaur Train has this for the audience, with the characters blissfully unaware. In "Zeppelin: Crater," the Pterosaur family and Mr. Conductor visit a crater that may have been created by an asteroid. They discuss the idea of something like that happening again. Mr. Conductor says his mother told him that something like that is very rare and not something to worry about. Buddy comments "I mean, what are the odds an asteroid would ever hit us?"
The Galaxy High episode "The Beef Who Would Be King" has a dark joke where Doyle swats a fly that turns out to be a student at the high school, with Doyle's embarrassment at accidentally killing a student and Ms. McBrain's confusion at the student's absence being played for laughs.
The Stick is a short about a man going to a therapist because he's afraid a boomerang that never came back to him will hit him at any moment. The short ends with him having overcome his anxiety and settled down. He's holding his newborn baby when all of a sudden the boomerang hits him and his baby falls out the window.
Toonsylvania, being a horror comedy cartoon, had its fair share of morbid jokes. Most examples were prevalent in the Night of the Living Fred segments, such as the Deadman family constantly falling apart due to being zombies, Fred Deadman dragging around his deceased pet dog Frisky and acting as if his pet was still alive, Dedgar Deadman implying that he and his family died from getting hit by a car and the episode "Bang!" ending with the entire neighborhood getting blown to Kingdom Come because Dedgar activated a bomb kept in his FBI agent neighbor's basement under the belief that he was being a good neighbor by helping him fix broken equipment.