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Joker: Knock knock.
Murray: Who's there?
Joker: It's the police, ma'am! Your son's been hit by a drunk driver. He's dead!

Anti-Humor is the practice of removing the expected punchline or joke from a familiar humorous situation and replacing it with something non-humorous and serious. The laugh is supposed to come from subverting the audience's expectations and making them uncomfortable; hence the name. Many comics get into anti-comedy — appropriately — after repeatedly bombing on-stage (see Andy Kaufman, Groucho Marx, Andrew Dice Clay). After awhile, they simply cease to give a crap about appeasing their audience and will intentionally troll people for their own amusement. As a result, anti-humour more closely resembles performance art than stand-up.

Often this is simply done by playing the normally humorous situation straight, being literal and truthful. For example, take the following, which sets up and then subverts a Bait-and-Switch Comparison:

Q: What is the difference between Senator Smith and a hippo?
A: One is a large aggressive mammal dwelling in or near bodies of water. The other is a United States Senator.

A standard Anti Joke without the bait and switch punchline tends to have a blatantly obvious punchline. An example of the most common type of anti-joke is

Q: Why are T-Rexes unable to clap their hands?
A: Because they are extinct. ref

Sometimes an Anti Joke goes a step further and creates humor out of a Mood Whiplash. An example here from Jimmy Carr:

Q: What is worse than finding a worm in your apple?
A: Being raped.note 

A third broader category of anti-humor is essentially a form of Surreal Humor where the punchline is completely unrelated to the set up. Not all Surreal Humor is anti-humor and not all anti-humor is Surreal Humor. Humor can be surreal while still following a formula or having a humorous internal consistency.

Q: How many ducks does it take to change a light bulb?
A: The defense rests.

A Super-Trope is meta-humor, like the joke found in this Irregular Webcomic.

Obviously these work best when the audience is thoroughly familiar with the standard version of the joke/humorous situation or the formula the joke/humorous situation normally follows, though this is not always necessary. Any situation where the audience is expecting humor or something light-hearted and gets something straight, dry, and/or darker in tone instead can potentially work. Formats where a humorous twist is always expected, such as in stand-up, cartoons, sitcoms, and sketch comedy, have more latitude for this sort of humor.

Anti-humor is about intentionally avoiding a punchline. Certainly not all anti-humor ends up being funny, but it should be clear that the writer is trying to create humor from avoiding a punchline or humorous twist. For example, when Biff Tannen says "that's as funny as a screen door on a battleship" he's not trying for anti-humor, he is simply screwing up the traditional punchline.

Compare/Contrast "Shaggy Dog" Story where the humor comes from a tediously long story being used to set up a weak punchline. Both tropes stand traditional wisdom about humor on its head. Could be the source of humor in a Shoot the Shaggy Dog scenario. See Chicken Joke for a classic example of an anti-joke where the "punchline" is the lack of a punchline. Compare Bait-and-Switch. Contrast So Unfunny, It's Funny where the humor is unintentionally bad but so bad it's funny. Compare The Comically Serious when a serious character makes a situation funny. Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion is based on the same principle, but with rhymes. And of course, sometimes people just plain Cannot Tell a Joke.


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  • Perhaps the best-known joke in the English language is the Chicken Joke: "Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!" Few people realize it now, but it was created as a subversion of older iterations of the joke. Because the original versions are now long forgotten, the anti-humor is less obvious, to the point that it can be seen as simply unfunny.
  • This is also what drives the humor behind the infamous "No soap, radio" joke, in that the actual "punchline" is a total Non Sequitur, but the more the people in on the joke act like it's actually funny, the funnier it actually becomes. The mark is expecting a lame pun or dated punchline, the humor comes from their confused reaction to a "punchline" that is complete nonsense. Bonus points if the mark actually starts laughing anyway even though they don't understand the "punchline".
  • Bill Bailey is fond of these.
    "Three blokes go into a pub. One of them is a little bit stupid, and the whole scene unfolds with a tedious inevitability."
  • Andy Kaufman loved to dance on the edge between comedian and avant-garde performance artist. Some of his more infamous "routines," such as reading at length from The Great Gatsby, are anti-humor. He often got audiences laughing because they couldn't tell whether it was supposed to be funny. The Kaufman biography Lost in the Funhouse described a time at The Comedy Store when he came out with a camping stove, a pot of water, three small potatoes, and a sleeping bag. Without saying a word, he boiled the potatoes, ate them, rolled out the sleeping bag, and "slept" for 20 minutes before leaving the stage. Andy mined Humor Dissonance for all it was worth.
  • Comedian Brian Regan reports his son had one of these.
    Q: How come dinosaurs don't talk?
    A: Because they're dead.
  • The Game Grumps relate the above when delving into various So Unfunny, It's Funny jokes as well as this trope, dropping this gem they'd found online.
    Danny: A man walks into a bar - his alcoholism is tearing this family apart.
  • Gilbert Gottfried: "David Hasselhoff walks into a bar, every morning and then he stays there 'til it closes."
  • John Thomson used to do a character called Bernard Righton who as a Politically Correct stand up comedian (but in the style of an old-fashioned "club comedian") whose anxiousness to avoid offense resulted in this trope.
    A Jew, A Pakistani and a Black Fella went into a nightclub. What a fine example of an integrated society.
  • When Monty Python performed its famous Parrot Sketch at the The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball, a benefit for Amnesty International, they took it in this direction.
    Mr. Praline: [placing the parrot's cage on the counter] It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.
    Shopkeeper: [looks at the parrot] So it is. 'Ere's your money back and a couple of holiday vouchers.
    [audience goes wild]
    Mr. Praline: [looking completely flabbergasted] Well, you can't say Thatcher hasn't changed some things.
  • French Canadian stand-up comedian Jean-Thomas Jobin combines this with Self-Deprecation as his bread and butter. He has a whole routine in the middle of his show where he reads off (fake) hate mail he got, most of them referencing earlier failed jokes, one of them making fun of the ridiculous shirt he's been wearing since the beginning, which has gone unmentioned since then. Then there are gems such as this one:
    Q: How can you tell if there's a blonde in a group of synchronized swimmers in a swimming pool and they're all wearing bathing caps?
    A: You demand they get out of the pool and remove their caps.
  • One performance by Frank Conniff before a Cinematic Titanic show contained about half a dozen fat jokes about Chris Christie ("I don't want to say Chris Christie eats large portions of food, but all of his silverware was designed by Claes Oldenburg"), followed by this gem:
    No, but seriously folks, when Chris Christie sits around the house, he really passes laws that hurt working Americans.
  • And then there's:
    A priest, a rabbi, a duck, a blonde, a man with a 12" pianist, and a piece of string all walk into a bar together. The bartender looks up and says, "What is this? Some kind of joke?"
    • Similarly...
      A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says "Hey, buddy, why the long face?" The horse solemnly replies "Well, my wife left me, my son committed suicide, and I just found out I have prostate cancer." The bartender looks up and exclaims "Holy shit! I'm in the wrong joke!"
  • Eddie Izzard subverts a cliched expression, with this effect.
    Let's talk about language. Cause yeah, they do say that Britain and America are two countries separated by the Atlantic ocean. And it's true.
  • There's also this old joke:
    A: Knock, knock.
    B: Who's there?
    A: (silence)
  • The whole premise of Broken Jokes, as popularized by Richard Ford:
    "My dog has no nose."
    "Your dog has no nose?"
    "Nope, no nose."
    "How does he smell?"
    "He can't; he has no nose!"
    • And:
      "Waiter! What's this fly doing in my soup?"
      "Oh, I'm terribly sorry sir!"
    • Oh, just one more:
      So this policeman comes upon this guy on his hands and knees under a streetlight, fumbling around on the ground. "What's the matter?" says the policeman. "I'm looking for my keys," says the guy. "Is this where you dropped them?" asks the policeman, and the guy replies, "Yes".
  • And then we have this kind of joke that preys on people's expectations for a racial or sexist joke, and then delivers a Mathematician's Answer along with calling out the listener for their "bigotry".
    Prima: Hey! What do you call a woman/homosexual/(insert race here) flying a plane?
    Secunda: I don't know. What?
    Prima: A pilot, you sexist/homophobic/racist asshole!
  • Norm Macdonald's moth joke on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
  • Why did the car crash?
    • Because Jimmy was driving.
      • Why couldn't Jimmy drive?
      • Because he had no arms or legs.
      • Why didn't he have any arms or legs?
      • Because he was a potato.
  • A very similar joke to the one above:
    Why did Sally fall off the swing?
    Because she has no arms.
    Knock Knock
    Who's there?
    Not Sally
  • Along the same lines as the "Roses are red" subversion quoted above:
    Haikus are easy
    But sometimes they don't make sense
  • A famous Lightbulb Joke:
    How many Germans does it take to change a lightbulb?
    One. They are efficient and humorless.
  • Gregg Turkington's comedy persona Neil Hamburger is built on anti-humor. He tells a barrage of painfully humorless jokes in an obnoxious voice, often while hacking unpleasantly between punchlines.
  • Probably the most famous Russian joke of this kind:
    A man bought a hat and it fits very well.
    • There is also an urban legend according to which, this joke is actually a psychiatric test: if someone laughs at it, he/she has a schizophenia. It may be considered "meta-meta-humor".
  • Russian comedy has a meme "Laugh after word "shovel"" which is used either as "BA DUM TSS" in completely unfunny jokes or as ironic saying which mocks bad jokes.
    Now I'll tell you a joke, but it's a bit hard to understand, so I warn you - you should laugh after word "shovel". A fly with a shovel flies by.
    "Gentlemen hussars, here comes lieutenant Rzhevsky! He will tell unfunny jokes, as always! Laugh after word "shovel"!" Rzhevsky: "Gentlemen hussars, I've got a fresh joke! Once I came back home, and my wife is with my aide-de-camp! So, I slammed his head! Ha-ha!" "Lieutenant, what's so funny?" "Ah, I didn't say, with a shovel, shovel!"
  • There's a joke with a few variants that usually goes something like
    Two hunters were out moose hunting. Suddenly, they see some bushes rustling and prepare to fire. A man comes out of the bushes and says "Don't shoot! I'm not a moose!". One of the hunters shoots him dead anyway. The other one says, "why did you shoot him, he just said "I'm not a moose", the first replies "Oh, I thought he was saying "I AM a moose!"
  • One Barry Cryer joke is about a man who has an orange for a head, and explains that he found a lamp with a genie in it. While this set-up seems to suggest a pun of the "twelve-inch pianist" variety, even if it's hard to imagine what it could be, the actual punchline is that he wished he had an orange for a head.
  • You ever hear the one about the man who drank a glass of milk at a sperm bank? He said "thanks for the milk!" and the other man said "What milk?" The first man says "There was a glass of milk on the counter and it was delicious." The other man says, in sheer repulsed horror, "Oh my God! OH MY GOD! You drank my glass of milk!"

    Anime and Manga 
  • The entire meta-joke behind episode 24 of Excel♡Saga is that, after 23 episodes of balls-out wackiness and parodies, this one is played almost completely serious with only one or two attempts at humor.
  • One of the later Hayate the Combat Butler chapters sets up a confrontation between Mikado and Hayate, promising one of the rare occasions when the plot actually moves forward. Cut to the next week's chapter titled "This is the kind of manga you're reading" with Saki constantly interrupting the conversation with phone calls to Hayate about completely trivial worries, refusing to go away. Notably, there were as many readers highly annoyed at the trolling as there were those amused.
  • The Ax-Crazy Jan Valentine's first onscreen appearance in Hellsing Ultimate — when he'll go on to be a Laughably Evil profligate with a loose trigger finger and a weird sense of humor — is to tell what sounds like a long, disturbing setup for a joke as if he's telling a joke and if it has a point he never gets to it.

    Comic Books 
  • Horndog by Isaac Baranoff had a strip where Bob the Dog is telling his friend that "God is 'dog' spelled backwards. I'm a dog, therefore I'm God."
  • Watchmen: Rorschach's hyperminimal recitation of an old groaner veers into this:
    I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor... I am Pagliacci." Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.
  • Mr Logic from Viz was once best man at a wedding. Knowing that he would need some jokes for his speech, and being Mr Logic, he came up with these belters:
    1. What is the difference between a gnu and a gnostic? A gnu is a large even-toed ungulate native to the African savannah, also known as a wildebeest; a gnostic is a member of a first-century religious movement that advanced the moral primacy of the spiritual world above the material.
    2. Did you hear about the Irish hydrometer? It didn't know how to measure the moistness of the atmosphere.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • From Freddy Got Fingered:
    "What do you call a guy with cheese on his face? The cheese face!"
  • From Kung Pow! Enter the Fist:
    "What do you get when you cross an owl with a bungee cord? My ass."
  • RoboCop (1987) has a Running Gag where people are always watching the same brainless television show. We see nothing of the show except the same Orphaned Punchline where a man turns to the camera to deliver his hackneyed Catchphrase, "I'd buy that for a dollar!" This always causes the person watching to laugh uproariously.
  • Joker (2019): The one time Arthur/Joker gets to actually tell a joke in full, it goes like this. Unsurprising, given who tells it and when.
    Joker: Knock knock.
    Murray: Who's there?
    Joker: It's the police, ma'am. You're son's been hit by a drunk driver. He's dead.
  • Catch Me If You Can has a gem that Tom Hanks delivers perfectly:
    Agent Handratty: Knock knock.
    Other Agents: Who's there?
    Agent Handratty: Go fuck yourselves.

  • In his book The Areas of My Expertise, John Hodgman lists a couple cursed jokes. These are jokes with a setup, but a mundane punch line.
    A priest, a rabbi, and a nonreligious person are flying across the Atlantic Ocean, all for different reasons. There is engine trouble, and one of the wings catches on fire. The plane starts to go down. Luckily, there are enough parachutes for everyone. Evacuation is orderly. End of joke.
  • A Running Gag in Witches Abroad is Granny Weatherwax, who has No Sense of Humor, trying to tell a joke about a man who ordered an alligator sandwich, "And I want it right away!" note 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Gotcha episode of Countdown contained this gem:
    There was a young woman called Richards whose hobby was going to the pictures.
    She liked Dumb and Dumber, and Gone With The Wind, but best of all she liked Saving Private Ryan.
  • Stephen Fry demonstrates one on QI:
    "Your mama’s so fat, she could usefully have a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise."
  • Occurs early on in the Father Ted Christmas special when Ted finds a baby left on the parish doorstep. Before Ted can bring the baby in the mother appears, takes the baby from his hands, and heads off to leave the infant with someone else. Ted muses on the hilarious hi-jinks the priests and the baby would have gotten up to, but stops when Dougal reminds him it wouldn't be funny.
  • Toward the end of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "The Hellcats", as the biker gang confronts the even-badder-guys on a pier, Joel subverts an old joke into a Stealth Pun in this way.
    Joel: You know guys, this kinda reminds me — I've been on a seafood diet lately.
    Servo: Eh, really?
    Joel: Yeah, I'm eating a lot of fish and shrimp and stuff like that.
[The averted punchline is "I see food, I eat it"]
  • This is the point of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. It's awkward, uncomfortable, and often downright scary, but you laugh anyway. If you're into that.
  • Norm delivers one on Cheers:
    "Women. Can't live with 'em, pass the beer nuts."
  • Happens on Mock the Week a lot.
    • One particular example comes from Miles in episode 12-8, when he answered "Picture of the Week, where the panellists are given a topical picture and provide comical headlines for what's happening or being said, with "Maybe they're not talking". Later in the episode during the "If this is the answer, what is the question?" round, he answers with "What is a random length of time?" to the answer of "56 Years".
    • In another episode, Russell Howard responds with "What comes between 25 days and 27 days?" in response to the answer "26 Days".
    • Milton Jones (of all people) once answered the prompt, "Chickens, Nurses, and Rain" with "Is it 'Name three things'."
  • MythBusters once used an anti-humor joke to illustrate that the hosts were properly buzzed for an alcohol myth; when Jamie laughs at a joke like that, you know he's not himself. The joke:
    Kari: What's red and smells like blue paint? Red paint.
  • Trailer Park Boys: Ricky has used this pattern a few times, sometimes replacing the punchline with a full-on rant:
    Ricky: Knock, Knock.
    Person antagonizing Ricky: Who's there?
    Ricky: Fuck off.
  • The Daily Show does this once in a while. In one example, Jon repeated the common joke "what's the deal with airline peanuts?", then explains the real-world reasons in detail.
  • In a Modern Family episode where the family goes to Australia, Claire repeatedly refers to a project she's working on as her "baby", obsessing over it to the exclusion of her actual family. When the computer gets stolen out of her tent by a dingo, she panics:
    Claire: A wild dog took my laptop!
    Alex: Seems like a missed opportunity...
  • A conversation about anti-humor from the panel show Was It Something I Said?:
    Richard Ayoade: The way I like to tell a joke is for there to be no surprises within it. Or humor. I think that's quite trad, you know, actually trying to say something amusing in the joke. It's actually kind of pathetic and needy.
    Jason Manford: I'm regretting those tickets for your arena tour.
    Richard Ayoade: You know, you say that, and yet its very emptiness its its success. In order to fully succeed in this endeavor — and believe me, I am succeeding — no one must come.
  • The Blackadder Goes Forth episode "Major Star" has George refer to the music-hall song "She Was Only The Ironmonger's Daughter, But She Knew A Surprising Amount About Fish As Well"; a "Wanton Daughter" joke entirely free of Double Entendre, or even a Pun.
  • From Bottom:
    Spudgun: Hey! My wife's gone to the West Indies!
    Eddie: Really?
    Spudgun: Yeah, she went on Thursday! [Beat] It was funny in the pub.
  • A knock-knock joke from The Good Place blends this perfectly with Comically Missing the Point:
    Michael: Knock knock.
    Chidi: Who's there?
    Michael: You died alone because you couldn't commit to anyone!
    Jason: "You died alone because you couldn't commit to anyone" who?
  • King Richard from Galavant doesn't mean to, but when he tries his hand at comedy he ends up here anyway.
    King Richard: Three serfs walk into a pub. The first serf orders a hot grog. The second serf orders a hot grog. And the third serf orders a hot grog. But he has no money and neither do the other two because they're serfs.
  • The Eric Andre Show is a deranged late night talk show where stage hands are regularly assaulted, the guests are abused, and occasionally the host will go naked or interview a sofa on fire.

  • One song of Italian band Elio e le Storie Tese was entirely based on this kind of humour. First of all, the jokes were more than deadpan, since they were told by a vocal synthesizer. Then, among the "normal" jokes, it featured gems such as: "An Englishman, a Frenchman and a German are on a plane. The plane crashes and they die".
  • In the "Talk Like a Pirate Day" song, there's an interlude
    Q: Did you hear about the new pirate movie?
    A: No, what's it rated?
    Q: PG-13. They want to appeal to younger audiences, and pirates are really popular with that age group.

  • A Prairie Home Companion did one of these in a series of light bulb jokes.
    Q: How many dull people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: One.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
    • One episode featured a round of Closed Quotes (the panelists get the start of a quote and have to finish it) where the quotes came from Christmas crackers.
      Humph: Why didn't the skeleton go to the disco?
      Graeme: Because he was dead.
    • Similarly, the same round in another episode:
      Humph: What's the difference between a night watchman and a butcher?
      Graeme: One guards the premises, and the other sells meat.
    • And in the same episode, Jeremy's answer to "Why do elephants have big ears?" was a long dissertation on volume to surface area and losing heat in a warm climate.
    • Sometimes if the topic for the final round is particularly obscure, Graeme or Barry will do a series of deliberately lame non-puns, where they just replace a random word.
    • Graeme again, in "Name that Joke".
      "My dog's got no nose." "How does he smell?" "He doesn't."
  • Frequent in Hamish and Dougal. One episode in which they're camping has Hamish talk about how he's looking at the stars, and what this means, until Dougal points out he can't see the stars, they're in a tent. Immediately lampshaded:
    Hamish: Unless someone had stolen the tent?
    Dougal: Stolen the tent! That would be the funniest joke in the world, wouldn't it, if someone had stolen the tent!note 
  • From The Goon Show:
    Gryptype: I thought I saw a Greek urn burried in the sand.
    Moriarty: What's a Greek urn?
    Gryptype: It's a vase made by Greeks for carring liquids.
    Moriarty: I wasn't expecting that answer.
    Gryptype: Neither were quite a few smart-alec listeners!
  • The Kevin and Bean Show has a regular guest called "Sam the Armenian Comedian." Sam is an actual Armenian-American hairdresser who styles himself an entertainer and comedian, when in fact he is a delusional weirdo with a questionable grasp of humor and the English language. Kevin and Bean find his utterly unfunny attempts at jokes to be fascinating and amusing, so they've been inviting him onto the show since The '90s.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978):
    The Poghrils, always a pessimistic race, had a little riddle, the asking of which used to give them the only twinges of pleasure they ever experienced.
    One Poghril would ask another Poghril 'Why is life hanging upside down with your head in a bucket of hyena offal?'
    To which the second Poghril would reply 'I don't know, why is life hanging upside down with your head in a bucket of hyena offal?'
    To which the first Poghril would reply 'I don't know either. Wretched, isn't it?'
  • The radio 4 panel game Don't Make Me Laugh comprises four comedians trying to explain why topics aren't funny, with points deducted if the audience laughs.
  • In a The Unbelievable Truth lecture on "Jokes", Joe Lycett claims that some early German jokes included "How many reindeer does it take to change a lightbulb? One, if by 'reindeer' you mean 'electrician'."; "'Doctor, doctor, I think I'm a pair of curtains!' 'Then I'm sectioning you under the Mental Health Act.'"; and "Yo mama's so ugly, I'm concerned about her self-esteem."

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom of Loathing features this, on the description of the plush hamsterpus: "Why did the hamster cross with the octopus? Why, to serve as a sobering reminder of the consequences of hubris in the face of an uncaring universe, that's why!"
  • In League of Legends, each champion tells a joke when prompted. Diana, perhaps the most tragic figure in the LoL canon, does her best, but...
    A man, a woman and a yordle walk into the sun. They die. Because it burns them alive.
  • There's a particular NPC in Borderlands 2 who desperately pleads anybody nearby to shoot him in the face. Part of his insane suicidal rambling goes as follows:
  • What happens when a Super Mutant tries to tell a joke in Fallout 3
    Super Mutant 1: I have joke for you! Knock knock.
    Super Mutant 2: Who there?
    Super Mutant 1: Humans.
    Super Mutant 2: Humans who?
    Super Mutant 2: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That good one! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Grand Theft Auto V has a Running Gag where each of the main characters sample a marijuana-legalization activist's weed and trip out appropriately. First Michael tries it and hallucinates getting attacked by a swarm of aliens. Then Trevor has a taste and gets attacked by clowns. Then when it's finally Franklin's turn to smoke the hash...nothing happens. He just makes a remark on how weak it is.

    Web Animation 
  • An episode of Smashtasm had the two villains speaking with each other. When one remarks that it's time to get serious, the other one says something along the lines of:
    Gront: Now I am serious. This is my serious voice. I'm so serious, even the jokes I tell are serious. How many blondes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One, because jokes based on gender and hair color are sexist and wrong.
  • One clip in asdfmovie has a guy pressing a button that reads "POINTLESS BUTTON: Warning, pointless". It does absolutely nothing.
    • Another anti-joke from asdfmovie of the Mood Whiplash type: "Knock knock. Who's there? A mirror. I am lonely."
    • One example formed out of Brutal Honesty to a baby artist is, "Oh... my... GOD. (drawing is just scribbles) You're an idiot!"
  • In Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, Walter pulls this on Alucard in Episode 9 while they're fighting and bantering.
    Alucard: (unleashes his Hellhound) Hey, ever heard of "Updog"?
    Walter: (slices the Hellhound in half) Not much. How are you?
    Alucard: First you kill my dog, then you anti my fucking joke?!


    Web Original 
  • 20020: Juice's retelling of the Pagliacci joke. In the classic version being referenced, a depressed man goes to a doctor, who suggests he go to see the performance of a clown named Grimaldi; the man then reveals that he is Grimaldi. Juice's version lacks the ironic twist; instead, "Grimaldi responds, “that is also my name! what a coincidence! i’ll go see him tonight!” and he goes and has a great time and feels a lot better".
  • This Something Awful article.
  • Average Cats is a gallery of anti-humor LOLCats.
  • Unrelated Captions is a site that subverts caption humor by taking pictures and giving them unrelated captions.
  • Uncyclopedia has an article that, for Uncyclopedia, counts as a Self-Demonstrating Article as it delivers a straightforward (if very dismissive) description of what anti-humor is.
  • The Anti-Joke Chicken.
  • The BuzzKilling meme.
  • The Monkeys You Ordered presents cartoons from The New Yorker with their captions replaced by straightforward literal descriptions.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series - "Season 0 Abridged 2" does this with the series' memetic Screw the Rules, I Have Money! line.
    Yami: Wait a minute, did you just summon a bunch of monsters in one turn? That's against the rules, isn't it?
    Kaiba: Actually, there are several situations in which summoning multiple monsters at once can be considered totally legal in this game.
    Yami:...That...that wasn't very funny.
    Kaiba: Why would it be funny? I'm just trying to explain how to play.
    Yami: This is all kinds of wrong!
  • The Lazer Collection:
    • The first skit of Part 2 is simply a guy eating a red pepper.
    • One of the skits of Part 5 is a guy popping a kid's balloon. In both cases, no lazers are fired.
  • Rage Quit is a weekly segment by Rooster Teeth where Michael, a gamer with a very short temper and vocal personality, expresses his... well, you can guess. When he played the game Rage (2011) he was serene and polite for the entire video.
  • Anti-Joke. This is the whole point of this site.
  • Brunching Shuttlecocks once did an article called The Lightbulb Exemption List, which was in essence about doing this to lightbulb jokes.
  • When the Game Grumps play Castlevania, Arin delivers this memorable quote:
    "Why did the axe fly at your face? Because the knight threw it. Why did the axe come back? Because the axe has boomerang-type properties."
  • The New Yorker Anti-Caption Contest, which begun on this blog and transitioned to this one, is won by the "worst" caption that could go with that week's official New Yorker Cartoon Contest. It naturally veers into this territory, but not always. The winner of the first first one is a good example: A monster truck crashes onto the stage of a classical music concert, a sure recipe for hilarious culture clash, and the winning caption (spoken by the conductor) is: "There is a man pinned under this truck who requires immediate medical assistance. Someone please call for an ambulance. Please, before it's too late."
  • In Cracked's 7 Animals That Are Evolving Right Before Our Eyes:
    Q: What did the elephant say to the poacher?
    A: Dear God in heaven, please don't kill me for my ivory.
    Sorry about that. Sometimes we get "joke" mixed up with "tragic imagined dialogue that could be happening at this very second if elephants had the power of speech."
  • Ask That Guy with the Glasses has an example in Episode 6.
    The Narrator: There's a suicidal one-eyed green monkey sitting on my table and smashing newborn squirrels with a kitchen hammer. Therefore I believe the question is pretty obvious: do you like cabbage soup?
    Ask That Guy: Yes, I LOVE cabbage soup. With a little parsley and the right spices, it's actually one of my favourite dishes. Thank you for asking. God bless you.
  • "Cropped Norris Jokes", a variant of Chuck Norris Facts that consist solely of the traditional overdone Chuck Norris jokes with half the joke removed. The result changes the joke from Memetic Badass to Trivially Obvious or casually bizarre "facts" about Norris's life with no followup, such as "I eat soup" or "A snake bit me." Many people have pronounced them funnier than the originals.
  • There's a meme going around (Example, The Last Jedi spoilers) that goes something like this:
    1. Take a captioned screenshot from some movie or show
    2. Selectively black out bits of the caption until it says something completely irrelevant
    3. Post it on your favorite social media with a title to the effect of "How I react when [mundane event relevant to the new caption]"
  • Welcome to Night Vale: In "The April Monologues", Michelle Nguyen tells the listeners a joke: "I listen to Bach often, but never The Beatles."note 
  • RedLetterMedia: the guys often indulge in anti-humor as part of their signature style, delivering painful or cliche jokes badly, often while mugging at the camera during the punchline, which usually prompts an awkward pause.
  • Mentioned specifically by Drew Gooden in discussing his old Vines, with the example being a video where the entire joke is "When you're having sex, and it feels real good", followed immediately by him thanking the audience for watching.
  • Facebook group Memes Without Bottom Text relies on people's familiarity with memes to create an Orphaned Setup.
  • "Steamed Hams but the roast wasn't ruined" is a YouTube Poop of the "Steamed Hams" scene from The Simpsons, but nothing goes wrong and Skinner and Chalmers have a pleasant, if not unforgettable, luncheon.

    Western Animation 
  • There's a lot of this in The Simpsons;
    • Homer throws Mr. Burns off a balcony into a crowd of people. Burns is promptly crowd surfed before being shoved into an idling taxi. Homer thinks this looks like fun, jumps off the balcony, and ... is crowd surfed as well, suffering no injury of any kind.
    • Homer says "A think tank, eh?", and we see into his imagination... which shows a perfectly accurate portrayal of a think tank.
      Homer: What? I'm not allowed to get one right?
    • Homer squirts way too much lighter fluid onto a barbeque, to the point it becomes an Overly-Long Gag. He sets it alight... and it works perfectly. This is a Call-Back to an early episode where he does the same, resulting in a huge mushroom cloud over the city.
    • Barney Gumble drinking a beer after a lengthy stint of sobriety in the series is played up as a massive relapse, and then he simply says "Hey, you're right. I thought it'd get me drinking again, but it didn't."
    • Rainier Wolfcastle doing stand-up comedy for his new movie, "McBain: Let's Get Silly".
      McBain: Did you ever notice how men always leave the toilet seat up? (beat) That's the joke.
    • A Season 16 episode's Couch Gag had the family sit on the couch normally, had Lisa give a short defensive statement about how people can just sit on couches sometimes... and then had Homer get impaled with a spear from nowhere. A case of anti-anti-humor.
    • There's also this gem!
  • Cartoon Planet thrived on this kind of humor.
    • Especially the Brak's Comedy Gold skits, in which Brak, attempting to do stand-up, would often play every joke he told straight.
      • Sample Set:
      Hey, everybody! How's in goin'? I gotta few jokes for ya! A man walks into a restaurant. "Do you serve crabs here?" he asked. "Yes!" said the waiter! [laughs] The other day I met a one-legged man named Ralph! "Oh, really? Was he nice?" [laughs] Ted saw this man and his dog playing chess. "Wow!" Ted said "That's the smartest dog I've ever seen!". "I know!" answered the man! [laughs] Knock Knock! "Who's there?" Orange. "Wait, a minute! Didn't I see you the other night?" [laughs] Thank you, I'd rather be performing at Cartoon Planet than at the best places in the universe! Thank you!
  • Kevin Spencer once told a joke like this:
    Q: What's the difference between a hooker and a mop?
    A: A mop never points at you and laughs and make you feel so dirty inside that you're sure your soul is crying. And then you lie awake at night in a sea of tears, praying for the blackness of your heart to wash over you and obliterate the cruel world around you, as you long for the welcome embrace of death to release you from the unending torment of your meaningless and cruel existence.
  • Family Guy
    • In "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story", a cutback shows Peter launching himself into the air with a catapult. A guy with an open window is gushing about his stacked dominoes, his priceless ming vase and his hemophiliac baby. And just then Peter... lands harmlessly outside the man's window, stands up and congratulates him on all the nice things he has.
    • Another episode had a cutaway to a man in Hiroshima having a very bad day on August 6th, 1945. He stops in his tracks when he sees something falling from the sky and heading straight toward him....a monkey that lands on top of him and mauls him.
  • In one episode of King of the Hill Bill began singing "Puff the Magic Dragon". Hank, embarrassed and annoyed says "Bill, do you know what that song is about? It's about a dragon. We're grown men." The anti-humor is a subversion of the expected punchline, where you expect Hank to repeat the urban legend that the song is about marijuana. Instead, Hank correctly identifies the subject of the song (it is about a little boy and a dragon)note .
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "A Visit To Anthony", when Anthony's dad furiously interrogates Ren and Stimpy, he tells a joke like this:
    Q Why did they bury the fireman behind the hill?
    A Because he was dead!
  • One episode of Sealab 2021 is just an episode of the original Sealab 2020 with the 2021 cast giving the voices (and some footage removed to fit 2021's shorter episode length.) The only joke in the entire episode is at the very end, when the nuclear submarine they spend the whole episode fixing crashes into Sealab, causing it to explode.
  • South Park:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: This seems to be Maud Pie's entire schtick.
  • Fozzie on Muppet Babies once pulled one, which, naturally, lead to him getting pelted with tomatoes.
    Q: What do you get when you put an ice cream sundae in your mother's shoes?
    A: A spanking.
  • At the end of the Steven Universe episode, "Historical Friction", Pearl, who helped Steven rewrite a historic play for accuracy, wonders why Steven had the play end with a joke. Steven explains that art should forsake reason to keep the audience happy, hence the play's joke ending. The episode thus ends with... Steven and Pearl staring at each other. That's it.
  • The writers of Bojack Horseman love this kind of humor, often giving elaborate and obvious setups to jokes, who's punchlines then simply don't arrive.
    Dr. Rhino: I'm the only albino rhino gyno I know. Should we get some wine?
    Princess Carolyn: Oh, great. You're also a wine addict.
  • The Scooby-Doo parody in the "Saturday Morning Funpit" episode of Futurama includes the expected chase sequence between the heroes and the Monster of the Week. Shaggy-Fry and Scooby-Bender enter the stock Scooby-Dooby Doors hallway, run into a door and then...nothing. There's a shot of the empty hall for a Beat, and then we cut to the next scene of the chase.

Two polar bears are sitting in a bathtub. The first one says, "Hey, pass the soap." The other didn't reply because he's just a polar bear and can't speak English, hold a bar of soap, and wouldn't fit in a bathtub. AHA HA HA HA HA!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Anti Humour


The Robot and the Centipede

It's funny because the robot ain't have no arms.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiHumor

Media sources: