It's Kind of a Funny Story is a 2006 Young Adult novel written by Ned Vizzini.
The story centers around Craig Gilner, an ambitious, pot-smoking teen, who gets in over his head when he applies and succeeds in getting into the Executive Pre-Professional High School, and he spirals into depression and eventually suicidal thoughts. He has trouble eating and sleeping. He eventually plans to commit suicide because his life is spiraling out of his control with his best friend dating his crush and him failing school. Craig calls the suicide hotline and the rest of the story starts from there.
From there a slight suspension of reality is needed, as he is put into the adult ward of a mental facility because the teen ward is being renovated. And what's more, he has to stay there for a minimum of five days straight. Craig soon realizes that the people in here all have real problems. As you can probably see, it's kind of a funny story.
Made into a film in 2010, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and starring Keir Gilchrist as Craig. Also in the cast are Emma Roberts, Zach Galifianakis, Viola Davis, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, and Zoë Kravitz.
- Author Avatar: Vizzini himself stayed in a psychiatric ward for five days for depression.
- Always Someone Better: The reason Craig is depressed.
- Animals Hate Him/Depression Detecting Dog: After Craig becomes anxious and depressed, the family dog starts growling at him.
- Bowdlerise: The pot storyline is completely removed from the movie.
- Also, the scene where Craig feels Noelle up is removed. This is despite the fact that a PG-13 rating would warrant for this content.
- Backstory: Craig provides us a lot throughout the novel and the film
- Betty and Veronica: Noelle and Nia.
- Black Comedy: The title certainly qualifies.
- Boisterous Bruiser: President Armelio.
- Born Winner: Aaron is one, according to Craig.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Aaron.
- Emo Teen: Noelle.
- Fictional Counterpart: When asked where she goes to school, Noelle says, "Dulfin." Dalton is a famous elite school in New York City. Also, Executive Pre-Professional itself is one for Stuyvesant High School.
- The Film of the Book: As noted, it was released in 2010.
- Hope Spot: Discussed when Craig says he experiences "false shifts" during which it temporarily seems that he's getting better.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: It is implied that Craig's sexual and romantic relationship with Noelle plays a big part in his recovery.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Noelle, arguably, at least in the film version. She helps Craig get in touch with his artistic side and his need for independence.
- Parental Obliviousness: Played with as Craig's parents wish very much to help him recover (as he eventually does). Unfortunately, they are not as vigilant toward what Craig actually does when he goes "chillin" at Aaron's house.
- Playing Against Type: Zach Galifianakis as Bobby in the movie.
- Precision F-Strike: Craig says it to Aaron on the phone after their Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure.
- Really Gets Around: Implied with Nia.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Craig with Aaron and Nia. And then, at the end, Craig's dating Noelle.
- Stepford Snarker: Craig calls his dad out on this.
- Transgender: Jennifer/Charles, whose real gender and name is never revealed and might be female, non-binary (eg. gender fluid) or even male and dressing feminine. She's a sex addict who tries to seduce Craig, only for her plans to be thwarted by Noelle.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: See Author Avatar.