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Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
aka: Murder Arson And Jaywalking

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"Lincoln Sternn, you stand here accused of 12 counts of murder in the first degree, 14 counts of armed theft of Federation property, 22 counts of piracy in high space, 18 counts of fraud, 37 counts of rape... and one moving violation."
Prosecutor, Heavy Metal

When listing three or more things, the comedy rule is to not finish strong, but to list some strong examples followed by a very weak example, for the funny. Sometimes this will stick to the Rule of Three, but sometimes a proper Long List will increase the humor.

In the US and Canada, "jaywalking" means crossing the road in a dangerous manner, particularly ignoring the crosswalks when crossing city streets. In many other countries, not only are there almost no restrictions on where you can cross, but the idea of someone being fined for crossing the road is alien. In places where jaywalking is illegal, including France and Poland for example, it's usually an infraction (i.e. like a parking ticket) rather than a proper criminal offense, and some cities don't even bother to enforce it.

See also: List of Transgressions, Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving, Felony Misdemeanor, Good News, Bad News, Odd Name Out, The Triple. Compare Poke the Poodle, Skewed Priorities, All Crimes Are Equal, Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life (when the minor crime carries significant consequences), and Worst News Judgment Ever (where jaywalking is the main headline over arson and murder). This trope is sometimes used to invoke Bathos. The inverse is Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick, where a list of seemingly mundane things ends with something much darker. Clue, Evidence, and a Smoking Gun is a related inverse that deals with deductions rather than listing things. This can also overlap with Take That!, in cases where the speaker/writer is jokingly implying that the last item on the list is equally as horrible (or even more so) as the serious bad things earlier in the list.

Example subpages:

Alternative Title(s): Ending Weakly, Murder Arson And Jaywalking


Woody Is Scared Of Everything

Pin explains that Woody is always scared of everything like sharp things (like Pin's sharp top), fire (like Firey) , and even... bubbles (like Bubble).

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5 (9 votes)

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Main / ArsonMurderAndJaywalking

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