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Casual Danger Dialogue

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Ronin: Yo, Cage, do they always talk this much during a fight?
Luke Cage: Uh, yes, actually.
Iron Fist: Yeah, I didn't know there was banter involved. I don't do banter.
Luke Cage: You're doing banter now, Fist.
Iron Fist: No, I'm not.
Luke Cage: I didn't say it was good banter.

A common trend for characters in works of fiction is to shrug off danger or laugh at it. In totally serious drama, characters might be crying in fear or "shell-shocked" from life-threatening situations, but in any other genre, characters react to danger in any number of more calm ways:

  • Crack a joke or make a sarcastic comment about the danger.
  • Crack a joke to get people's attention. (e.g. someone hanging from a cliff says "Hey guys? Over here!")
  • Argue or speak casually while the danger is going on, usually about something tangential. Bonus points if the argument briefly stops for one of the heroes to shout "look out!" and then resumes shortly afterward. Points also awarded if a character in danger suddenly focuses on a complete non-sequitur to the action ("Your hair looks fantastic!").
  • Act as if the danger is real in their dialog, but speak calmly about it. See also This Is Gonna Suck and Danger Deadpan.

Depending on how it's handled, the first three occur most often in comedic shows, while the last one is most common in shows that don't lean too far towards humor, or want to be more realistic. The first three also happen fairly often in more serious works, but often with an edge of sarcasm or bitterness, implying that the hero isn't feeling particularly mirthful about the situation.

There's some truth to this. People in real life professions such as police or military become so used to life-threatening situations occurring every week, or even multiple times a day, that they end up engaging in Casual Danger Dialog all the time. For example, Evan Wright's nonfiction book Generation Kill has accounts of United States Marines under heavy machine gun and mortar fire and in the middle of pitched gun battles remaining calm under pressure. Even ordinary people can end up this way, as it's well-known that many people use humor or sarcasm as a way of coping with stress or fear; see Gallows Humor, Stiff Upper Lip, and Street Smart.

Usually done for comedic effect in comedies, naturally. May involve some amount of Acoustic License. Compare Talking Is a Free Action. See also Distracting Disambiguation. Contrast Say My Name and Big "NO!", which involves meaningless exclamations that can seem as unrealistic as a quip. Truly Failure Is the Only Option when dealing with dramatic dialogue. The other intended effect is to communicate just how used to these situations the heroes are. When things are so bad that they don't do it, see Sarcasm Failure. If the person receives a phone call during a tense situation, and picks it up to complain about the timing of the call, see Kinda Busy Here. See Seinfeldian Conversation and "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate for meandering/meaningless arguments to be had in situations such as this.

A subtrope of Bathos. Sister trope to Flirting Under Fire and Snark-to-Snark Combat. Compare Opponent Instruction.


    open/close all folders 

  • One GEICO ad has golf commentators calmly discussing a game, keeping this up even as a Kraken emerges from the water hazard and wreaks havoc.
    Commentator 1: Looks like we have some sort of sea monster in the water hazard here.
    Commentator 2: I believe that's a kraken, Bruce.
    Commentator 1: It looks like he's gonna go with the Nine Iron. That may not be enough club.
    Commentator 2: Well he's definitely going to lose a stroke on this hole.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The manga Assassination Classroom starts off with Koro-sensei casually dodging a heavy barrage of gunfire from his students while he calls out each of their names to take attendance. When one student fails to answer back, Koro-sensei politely asks him to speak up over the sound of the gunfire before resuming the roll call.
  • Boss Chang from Black Lagoon engages in this during the Hansel & Gretel arc. Chang and a group of his Mooks are outside Verrochio's place and he casually mentions, "You may want to duck". Seconds later one of Verrochio's goons goes flying through the air and the Mook ducks and barely manages to avoid being hit by the body.
    • He also does this during the "Goat Jihad and Rock and Roll" arc, engaging in banter with Revy and generally being ultra cool as the two of them blast up terrorists to lead the others out.
  • Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran. Overlaps with Excuse Me While I Multitask; the title samurai throws thugs around while hitting up her partner for lodging cash. Her partner has been imprisoned in a dungeon and she's breaking in.
  • In Classi9, Tchaikovsky casually comments on a furious Wagner’s "boring" behavior after kicking him down so Beethoven could douse him in alcohol. He also gave advice to Brahms on how to insult someone while Wagner was grabbing him by the collar and shaking him because he had insulted him.
  • Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop shows this kind of behavior every time he is in a dangerous situation, probably because he already thinks he's living on borrowed time, and anyone he meets could be coming to collect. One notable exception is during his fight with Tongpu. That guy must've been too freaky, even for Spike.
  • This is a pretty common occurrence throughout the English dub of Digimon. Sure the Digidestined may be facing a monster that holds the fate of the two worlds in its hands, but that won't stop them from making small talk and cracking jokes during the battle. All of them are 12 or under so it's likely a combination of stress relief and trying to distract each other from the situation. Team Dad Jyou tends to engage in this the least which fits his more serious nature.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The first episode of Dragon Ball has a memorable example when Bulma is abducted by a pterodactyl while taking a bathroom break. After Goku defeats the pterodactyl and she ends up with her shirt caught on a tree branch on a cliff, she shouts "I'm having a crisis over here!" with an annoyed voice. If you look closely, her "crisis" isn't the near-death situation. She never got to go to the bathroom, and is now peeing down the cliff.
    • Dragon Ball Z has a tradition for Goku to turn up at the last second, see all his friends beaten to death or near-death by the latest super-powered villain, and completely ignore the villain in favour of ensuring his friends' safety and having a chat with them. Examples include when he finally turns up to face Nappa, and finally recovers enough to face Frieza. He also tends to chat with the villain, like him having casual conversations with Frieza about fighting styles before things became really serious. In Super, he wishes Bulma a happy birthday and apologizes for not bring a gift when Beerus is ready to blow up the planet.
  • Excel♡Saga: In episode 6, an avalanche is careening towards the city security team. Sumiyoshi's reaction? "Yup."
  • Inuyasha: The main character does this regularly. One of the earlier examples has him calmly walking towards his gigantic wolf-like older brother muttering "yeah yeah, 'roar roar' to you too."
  • In K: Missing Kings, Kuroh and Misaki have such an easy time beating the mooks from Jungle that they can just stop for Kuroh to play one of his late master's haiku and ask Misaki what he thinks, complete with sparkle.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion. During the JSSDF assault on NERV's headquarters, Misato is cracking jokes, but then again, she's singlehandedly demolishing the entire JSSDF squad that's hunting down Shinji.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: In the Great Battle Festival arc, Meliodas and Ban spend the entirety of their first fight arguing over whether Elizabeth or Elaine is better... While defeating the bird demons relentlessly attacking them without even realizing it.
  • Knuckles and Rouge play this out in an episode of Sonic X. The building they are in is collapsing around them, bombs they set up are about to explode, and all they can do is argue with each other.

    Comic Books 
  • The Adventures of Aero-Girl: At one point, Aero-Girl is forced to take a phone call from her mom in the middle of a battle with the Bearded Lady.
  • Asterix: Asterix and Obelix do this many times when they singlehandedly and casually beat the crap out of Roman legions. It certainly helps the fact that they are powered by a magic potion which grants them superhuman strength.
  • Batgirl:
    • Stephanie Brown — alias Batgirl II — is an expert at this, often sharing wisecracks with her mission control while in the middle of a fight. When she and Supergirl are being strangled by Dracula in issue #14 of Batgirl (2009), Batgirl tries to apologize for how their night out has been sidetracked.
      Batgirl: I hope you won't hold this against me.
      Supergirl: That's What She Said.
      Batgirl: You're funny.
      Supergirl: I try.
    • Stephanie and her frequent boyfriend Tim Drake used to bounce puns off each other and have discussions while fighting criminals when they were still going by Spoiler and Robin. One of Tim's standout examples however came later in Red Robin when he responded to being cornered by a furious Ra's Al-Ghul realizing just how much damage Tim managed to do to his system with a laid back: How can I help you, Ra’s? Computer trouble?
  • Gotham City Garage: Dick Grayson and Kara Gordon argue as to what Dick's batons are called as being chased down by a killer giant robot. Kara lampshades it:
    Kara: You really think this is the time for a semantics debate?
  • MAD movie parodies frequently have characters (including those on opposite sides) having long conversations during battles, chase scenes and other dangerous situations, often commenting on the absurdity of the story.
  • PS238: Several of The Revenant's scenes have him simultaneously conducting a phone conversation and fighting a villain.
    "Whoop. He's got a bomb. I'll call you tonight, all right?"
  • Rat Queens: The Rat Queens do this on a nearly constant basis during their fights.
  • Runaways: One issue has the team continuing to play a game of truth-or-dare while battling a host of giant snake monsters.
  • Secret Six: Deadshot and Jeanette are meeting with the client at the edge of a cliff. When the client appears, his personal female killer grabs Deadshot by the throat and holds him over the cliff. Meanwhile the client's personal assistant monologues about how the best way to control someone is the death threat, and to prove his point, asks Deadshot what he thinks, knowing that his slightest whim can mean his death. Deadshot responds that he wasn't listening because he was too busy having sexual fantasies.
  • The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis:
    • After the Simpsons and the Planet Express crew have been captured by a wampa expy and they ended up hanging upside down in an icy cave:
      Lisa: Does this sort of thing happen to you a lot in your line of work?
      Bender: Being totally boned? Oh yeah.
    • When Amy is captured by Peter Pan, that doesn't stop her from asking him "Say, where did you get those great shoes?"
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker loves doing this. Depending on the Writer, this is either a coping mechanism for fear (if he's cracking jokes, he's too distracted to be afraid) or boredom (he fights by instinct and thinks so quickly, battles might as well be in slow-motion, giving his upper thought processes spare energy to devote to a running commentary). Spidey, and thus the fans, refer to this type of dialogue as "quipping".
    • His quipping has also been called a mode of managing his enemies: if he keeps them annoyed enough, they'll only target him, as opposed to nearby civilians, and if he keeps them angry enough, they get sloppy. However, it also tends to annoy his allies at the same time, which is part of the reason why he (and most of his fellow Spiders, for that matter) are The Friend Nobody Likes in any given team-up.
    • Spidey's tendency to chat mid-battle seems to be infectious: the New Avengers can hold entire conversations while surrounded by ninjas/demons/copycat villains.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures: Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin spend a lot of "Heavy Metal Jedi" debating the merits of Windu's precision against Tiin's raw power and vice versa... while in the midst of fighting off the droid invasion on Iktotch.
  • Street Fighter: Ibuki casually tells Sarai that ninjas do not take prisoners and they just kill while they both alongside Elena, Makoto, and another ninja were trapped inside a net another ninja clan used to kill them. Though it is worth noting (even though Ibuki wasn't aware) they wanted to kidnap Ibuki and didn't care about the rest so they would have had no problem disposing of everyone else.
  • Superman: In the storyline Way of the World, Supergirl is asking Wonder Woman advice on how to help a little boy as both heroines are stopping a gang of bank robbers (whom they are barely paying attention to).
  • Ultimate X-Men: Cornelius can not understand the X-Men's need for it, and wonders if it is a response to a nervous breakdown.
  • Uncanny X-Men: Madelyne Pryor once took time out from being tortured to have a chat to a friend. Okay, to a demon.
  • Weapon Hex: During Laura and Hellhound's fight with the Covenant, after Laura uses her Hexision ability, we get some banter between enemies.
    Elsa Bladestone: You will not be able to slice my sword! This sword is the progeny of Excalibur herself!
    Hellhound: A sword had a baby sword? How's that even possible? Know what? Never mind. I don't wanna know.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Diana and Steve Trevor have a rather relaxed conversation while staging a slave revolt on Saturn, destroying all the infrastructure that had been built for an invasion of earth and stealing a ship. Though even Steve thinks it's a bit ridiculous that Diana's first concern when they're on said ship is that her shoes are missing, and he can't quite stop laughing.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Kanto has a relaxed conversation (at least on his end) while Artemis tries to kill him. It just makes her more mad at him, but he seems to be sincere when he says he loves her since when he has her dead to rights he just knocks her out and places her somewhere where she'll be safe from his master Darkseid.

    Fan Works 
  • There are several examples of this at LOTR, an excellent example being the bottom left image on this page.
  • Examples from The Calvinverse:
  • A Darker Path: Atropos gets a call from Dragon while she's in the middle of killing the Teeth. She doesn't let chatting on the phone slow her down. (Dragon isn't feeling very casual about it, but Atropos certainly is.)
    "Hi, Dragon," I said cheerfully, then brought my hand back down to the weapon. Two fingers pulled the red safety tab over, then my thumb clicked the trigger button. ...
    "Atropos?" asked Dragon. "What just happened?"
    "The B-team," I said lightly as I vaulted over the Jersey barrier. "Whoops, explosion incoming."
  • Rise of the Minisukas: As the Minisuka "Blue" attempts to murder her, Rei calmly asks why she is trying to kill her, and if her assassination attempt could be postponed since she has laundry to be done.
  • Fly Free has Robin start off her first meeting with Zabuza by having some small talk after he tries to kill her. She starts off the second by offering him and Haku tea.
  • Naruto: Demon's Path. Naruto, Haku and Zabuza end up trapped in the mansion by a villain. This happens:
    [Zabuza looks on as the wall locks up on him]
    Villain: Hello Mister Momochi.
    Zabuza: Isn't it supposed to be Welcome to my parlour said the spider to the fly?
    Villain: [sincerely] You'd be surprised how old that one gets.
    [meanwhile as Naruto and Haku deal with a Zerg Rush of guards]
    Naruto: Ya know... Zabuza's gonna bitch about how you didn't kill the guys upstairs right?
    Haku: I suppose so.
    Naruto: I can hear the lecture now. You boys need to get serious or it will lead to your death and more importantly mine.
    Haku: [chuckles]
  • In New Look Series: Joe's New Look, Silvia tells Joe how to use his new combat form as the latter's fighting against Big John and his troops. Lampshaded. "We're in the middle of a fight, you damn cross-dresser."
  • Twilight and Trixie spends the majority of Unlikely Allies arguing and bickering even as they infiltrate the Lord Umbra's lair. Including defeating the villain's entire army of Tartarus-summoned beasts while arguing over the relative merits of Starswirl the Bearded as a contributor to the field of magic. And eventually devolving into petty name-calling, while still fighting. They don't let up until Lord Umbra parades out his greatest beastie... at which point Trixie just remarks that he must be compensating for something.
  • During her sword fight with the Rat King in How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming, Trixie and her enemy at one point have a polite conversation about why the Rat King's castle has so many flower pots in the frozen north and their mutual love of theatrics, including the fact they're only screaming at this point because they're having a sword fight and it'd be less dramatic if they weren't. Justified, as Trixie's using the conversation to distract him from noticing her plan to defeat him.
  • In chapter 19 of Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, this conversation between Firefly and Rainbow Dash as they escape from Fortress Intimidation:
    Firefly: You know... this is probably the most intense flight I’ve had in my life! Hahaha!
    Rainbow Dash: Yeah... but we gotta make it out of here, so we can live to tell others about it!
    Firefly: Let’s speed up! Now it’s only a straight way out! There’s a light in front of us!
    Rainbow Dash: I hope it’s not a passage to the other world! [laugh]
  • In Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium, during the attack on Adamant Fortress, Hawke takes the time to dryly criticize the fist-shaped battering ram being swung at the fortress doors.
    "That is the tackiest piece of siege equipment I've ever seen."
  • Burning Black has Timmy attempting a Big Damn Heroes rescue of Tootie and holding back a massive inferno of explosions with a slowly failing shield. She shows up, having busted herself out, and proceeds to argue with him over how bad of a job he's done on it himself, then takes her time on figuring out what to do about the raging fires about to break through the shield while still trading snarks with Timmy.
  • Child of the Storm is rife with this. From small scale fights to the epic melee of the Final Battle, everyone finds the time to make small talk and pithy comments, especially the teenagers - though in the latter case it's pretty openly stated to be a coping mechanism, and one that Jean-Paul frequently complains about. By the sequel, other characters are openly and incredulously asking a) how they find the time, b) why they do it, c) if this is what they normally do.
    • In Harry and Carol's case, it usually includes a rich vein of Flirting Under Fire, which they then strenuously deny, claiming to be Just Friends. Absolutely no one, from friends and family to secondary characters, one-shot characters, and major villains, is fooled.
  • Code: Pony Evolution: When Applejack falls to her certain death, she says, "That was mighty impolite of him to throw me down here like this."
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe fanfic The Storms of War, Natasha and Sharon have a system where whenever they go out for a night of fun, one of them deals with the various people trying to kill them while the other has fun. In Designated Duty Wanda accompanies them one night, which leads into a car chase, she is surprised by Natasha nonchalantly singing along to the song playing the car radio and offering her a drink from a flask while Sharon deals with the assassins.
  • Enemy of My Enemy, a Halo 3 fanfic, has Shipmaster Vtan, alone with a jammed weapon, hearing the enemy charging at his position and absently remarking, "Disconcerting."
  • In one story of the Facing the Future Series, Danny and Sam have a pleasant conversation while in the middle of battles with Technus and Skulker.
  • in Four Deadly Secrets Ruby does this, when she and Miltia walk into the middle of a confrontation between India and Venus and a gang of fauns.
  • Greenfire: When a knight is preparing to attack Greenfire, Greenfire's voiced concerns are only of the Knight ruining his picnic with Rarity.
  • In part 1 of Hard Being Pure, Phobia is in the middle of a battle when Dr. Evans calls her.
    "Evans? Hey don't go yet. I'm free to talk right now. It has been so long since we last had a chat.” A few more gun shots were heard, along the ping of bullets against metal, followed by screams of agony. He heard her shout in the back, her hand pressed against her cell phone muffling the sounds, 'Do you mind?! I'm taking a call here!!' “Geez, no manners at all."
  • Hogyoku ex Machina: Ichigo, his hollow and Yamamoto discuss whether or not it's possible to bind two zapakuto to a shinigami at once. All while Tensa Zangetsu and Muramasa try to kill each other about 20 feet away.
  • Imaginary Seas: Percy keeps up his typical quippy remarks in the face of danger, snarking all throughout his fight with Caenis about her Stripperiffic outfit. Chiron is no slouch either, saying that he's having a "slightly difficult day" while murdering scores of Olympus' soldiers with Pankration.
  • Oh God, Not Again!: This is often used by Harry (along with a great deal of sarcasm) every time he and Voldemort have a showdown.
    Voldemort: You have been taught how to duel, Harry Potter?
    Harry: I've been taught to drop my wand and summon snakes. Our dueling club was kind of substandard.
  • Pony POV Series: A fight scene in the Dark World between the Elements of Harmony and Discord's Mooks is so one-sided that Applejack and Rarity are able to have a philosophical debate while kicking flank.
  • Ponyville goes to the...dragons??: Despite the fact that they're in a massive battle against the Canterlot Royal Guards at the time, Spike and Spyro end up pausing during it to discuss one another powers.
  • In the Resident Evil fanfic The Progenitor Chronicles, the MC does this during the attack on Bear University. He admits he really should be scared out of his mind and surmises it’s a defense mechanism.
    Rebecca: “You’re quipping at a time like this.”
    The MC: “I feel like I quip at any and all times.”
  • Saetwo's Story: During the chaos of the Final Battle, Uloobu and Tyscene still manage to find the time to flirt with each other and set up a date for afterwards. Xekrai has to shout at them to focus on the fight.
  • Sugar Plums: This happens during the first chunin exams arc where Ume runs into the center of an all out brawl that has broken out during the second exam, starts fighting alongside Suigetsu and Chojuro while commenting on the fact that Chojuro got a new sword.
  • This Bites!:
    • Happens in Chapter 7, while navigating the Grand Line's weather for the first time, after Cross has finished expressing how much he loves feeling alive, Nami snaps for him to get to work:
      Usopp: What happened to you enjoying living your dream?!
      Cross: [quietly] Nami's not a part of that dream, she's a goddamn course hazard!
      Soundbite: Headstrong! NOT SUICIDAL!
      Nami: I HEARD THAT!
    • Happens again in Chapter 39, while fighting against the soldiers of Enies Lobby.
  • With This Ring:
    • The Sivana family are mostly Mad Scientists, easily intelligent enough to build a new kind of Death Ray and banter at the same time.
      Thaddeus: He won't have done that, Magni.
      Magnificus: Thaddeus, I'm trying to work here.
      Thaddeus: Well, you're being too slow! I fight giant monsters all the time! And some of them I didn't even create!
      Beautia: Boys! We're trying to fight a gravity monster here! Focus!

      Magnificus: Wait, what?
      Paul: Magnificus?
      Magnificus: He's got super moderator access to the system! I don't have that!
      Thaddeus/Georgia: I do. / I do!
      Magnificus: Oh, that's… Splendid.
    • Paul himself doesn't mind chatting with sufficiently Wicked Cultured opponents. At one point, he's fighting a Scarab warrior armed with a power ring, and his entire polite dialogue is spliced with narrative of the two of them duking it out.
      "Have we met?"
      Her armour glows green as her left arm morphs into a blade with a green edge.
      "I ask-"
      She disappears. Jam transitions, toss interdictors out of subspace and into local space, empathic vision-
      -and there, x-ionised sword and parry as she phases back in, construct railgun loaded with phasic rounds and fire.
      "-if you're just-"
      Her sword is turned aside but she tracks my gun construct and shapeshifts reinforced armour. My phasic rounds aren't great against Scarab armour and fail to penetrate, prompting me to change my gun into a multi-barrel affair.
      "-here to-"
      Her sword morphs into a battering ram with a glowing green diamond head as she rushes me.
      "-pick up-"
      I re-aim my gun as I dart aside, sword coming down on the side of her arm just ahead of the crumbler round.
      "-the ring-"
      Sword hits first and the reinforced armour takes it. Crumbler round hits a fraction of a second later, causing the armour to ripple as the reinforcement fails.
      "-then you-"
      I swing my sword at her face while my gun trains itself on her chest.
      She twists, limboing under my swing and phasing out.
      Which means that when the phasic round hits, she reappears a few metres away with a noticeable hole in her flank.
      "-have asked-"
      Two construct pneumatic rams appear on either side of me and surge towards me.
  • Characters in Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path frequently hold conversations during battle both with friends and enemies. One of the few times this doesn't happen is when Byleth fights the Death Knight, who doesn't talk all that much.
    • This is lampshaded by Rhea in Chapter 19:
    Rhea: Are you always this talkative in battle?
    Byleth: Yeah, isn't everyone?

    Films — Animation 
This one's more shell-shock than disregard for danger. At this point in the story, Kuzco has been booted in the nuts by fate so often that the waterfall genuinely isn't all that scary anymore. It'll certainly be an improvement over the days leading up to this moment.
  • In The Book of Life, the Adelita twins have a petty little argument during the battle. Granted, they're skilled fighters with years of experience and already long dead, so what else are they scared of? Not being able to join the fun?
  • In A Goofy Movie, Max and Goofy have an intense emotional argument while they and their car go careening off a cliff and down into wild rapids.
    Max: You shoulda let me stay at home!
    Goofy: Why?! So you'd end up in prison?!
    Max: Prison?! What are you talking about?!
    Goofy: Your principal called me!
    Max: It's not what you think...!
    Goofy: You even lied to me!
    Max: I had to! You were ruining my life!
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 has this exchange during the first major battle between the dragon riders and Drago:
    Hiccup: Welcome aboard, Dragon Rider.
    Eret: Uh, thanks, I think.
    Astrid: Where have you been?
    Hiccup: Well, y'know, catching up with Mom. [Astrid sees Valka, standing atop Cloudjumper in full armor, the Bewilderbeast behind her]
    Astrid: [amazed] That's your mother?
    Hiccup: Well, now you know where I get my dramatic flair.
  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible sees Frozone chasing after a helicopter that's shooting at him... and the two shout out a quick exchange about Mr. Incredible's evening plans with barely any mind to the helicopter.
    Frozone: Shouldn't you be getting ready?
    Mr. Incredible: I still got time!
  • Lilo & Stitch gives us a moment during the fight between Stitch and Jumbaa. While the two of them are causing reckless destruction to the house, Lilo calls Cobra Bubbles, the social worker assigned to her wellbeing, and informs him that aliens are attacking her house and trying to steal her "dog", and hangs up in relief because her dog found the chainsaw. All said with the same tone of voice a kid would use to call a parent about a mild inconvenience that resolved itself.
  • In The Lion King 1 ½, when a stampede heads towards Timon and Pumbaa in the canyon:
    Pumbaa: Shall we run for our lives?
    Timon: Oh, yes, let's.
    [Both start screaming and running]
  • In Disney's Robin Hood (1973), during the big fight at the archery tournament, Robin proposes to Marian and they then proceed to discuss plans for their honeymoon and how many children they should have while fighting off Prince John's goons.
  • From Titan A.E.
    Tek: It's time, Cale. It's time to stop running.
    Korso: [spotting the Drej entering] Well, actually, I think it's time to start.
  • Yellow Submarine: After the submarine is swallowed by an Eldritch Abomination.
    Paul: What should we do?
    John: Serve tea.
    Paul: Lovely.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Bond is a perfect example of this trope, particularly when it's someone else's danger.
  • In the movie adaptation of Angels & Demons, Robert Langdon has this to say upon finding himself locked in a hermetically sealed vault in the Vatican Library with no incoming oxygen because the power is being cycled throughout Vatican City:
    Robert Langdon: Oh, that's disappointing.
  • The Avengers (1998) relies too heavily on this trope, as virtually no one shows any amount of emotion at any point in the entire movie despite being in mortal danger.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
    • While he's not technically the one in danger, Alfred remains perfectly calm and snarky whatever Bruce, a man who's like a son to him, is up against.
      Alfred: I count two dozen hostiles on the third floor. Why don't I drop you off on the second?
    • Later in the film, Batman leads Doomsday, a massive Kryptonian monster, into the abandoned Gotham Port, hoping to find his Kryptonite spear, the one weapon that will be able to kill it. After having the Batplane shot down and nearly being vapourised himself by Doomsday's Eye Beams:
      Superman: Did you find the spear?
      Batman: I've been a little busy.
  • In Black Hawk Down, McKnight seems very casual under fire, conducting conversations in a neutral tone while everyone is freaked out about it and bullets fly by. At one point, McKnight calls one of his sergeants to ask for his status. The sergeant, driving a vehicle through heavy enemy fire, curtly replies that he doesn't want to talk about it right now.
  • Blazing Saddles has this dialogue exchange: "Am I wrong, or is the world... rising?" "I dunno, but whatever it is, I hate it."
  • Jake and Elwood engage in these during both epic police chases in The Blues Brothers. Not once do they acknowledge the police or the ridiculousness of the situation, instead commenting on interesting items and sales while driving through a shopping mall., including lines like "Pier 1 Imports," "This place has got everything," and "The new Oldsmobiles are in early this year."
  • In The Bourne Identity, the always understated title character is in the middle of a high speed chase, being pursued by the entire Parisian constabulary. Trying to keep calm for the benefit of his shell-shocked passenger, he remarks that "We're going to have... er... a little bump here." before driving a Mini Cooper down three flights of stairs.
  • Very common in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but averted in one famous scene: Butch gets annoyed when Sundance finally shows some emotion about being chased for days and cornered on a cliff overlooking a raging river.
    Butch: What's the matter with you?
    Sundance: I can't swim!
    Butch: [pause, then raucous laughter] Are you crazy?! The fall will probably kill you!
  • In Speed Zone, Vic attempts to complete his assignment of killing Alec in the hotel's bathroom. While Vic is strangling Alec, a friend of his walks in and has a casual conversation with him.
    Alec: Clyde! It's me, Alec!
    Clyde: Alec?
    Alec: How've you been?
    Clyde: Oh, fine. It's just this bloody race thing is driving me around the bend. First it's on, then it's off, then it's on again.
    Alec: Really?
    Clyde: Care to introduce me to your friend?
  • Similarly mocked in Carry On Up the Khyber where Governor Sir Ruff-Diamond, his wife and special guests are having a sit-down meal while the natives are massacring the guards outside. This is because he said earlier:
    Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond: Do? We're not going to DO anything. We're British.
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Imagine, if you will, the American president speaking over the telephone to the Soviet Premier in an extremely timid, friendly voice:
    President Merkin Muffley: Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The Bomb, Dmitri... The hydrogen bomb! Well now, what happened is, ahm, one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head, you know, just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing. Well, I'll tell you what he did: He ordered his planes... to attack your country... Ah, well, let me finish, Dmitri... Let me finish, Dmitri... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dmitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... Of course I like to speak to you! Of course I like to say hello! Not now, but any time, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened. It's a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly, you probably wouldn't have even got it.
  • In Foreign Correspondent, three characters chasing after a gun-wielding assassin discuss, among other things, the weather and the spelling of the driver's name. "How do you pronounce it, like a stutter?" "No, just a straight 'fuh'."
  • Parodied (of course) in Galaxy Quest with Fred giving the rest of our heroes bad news in a completely bored-sounding voice while stuff is exploding behind him:
    Fred: Hi, guys. Listen, they're... they're telling me that the... the generators can't take it, and the ship is... flying apart and all that. Just FYI.
  • Downplayed in Get Smart (2008). While chasing a bad guy, Max drives the pursuit vehicle through various hazards. When the car finally stops, a swordfish from a sign they crashed through has narrowly missed impaling the Chief. Throughout the chase, Max is discussing the broader situation and essentially oblivious to the car's surroundings, while the Chief is noticeably anxious about the various near-misses, especially the swordfish.
    Max: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    Chief: I don't know, are you thinking "Holy shit, holy shit, a swordfish almost went through my head!"? If so, then yes.
  • Ghostbusters:
  • Mikey Walsh engages in this in The Goonies, while Andy is trying to hit the right notes on the skeletal organ (where one more wrong note will send them plunging to their deaths):
    Andy: I can't tell if it's an "A sharp," or a "B flat." (which is amusing, since both refer to the same pitch, and hence, the same key on the piano)
    Mikey: Heh. If you hit the wrong note, we'll all be flat.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
    • Indy pauses in the middle of a chase scene to give study advice to a student who has the chutzpah to ask for it when his teacher's just crashed through the library on a motorbike.
    • Later on in the movie, as Indy and Marion are sinking into a dry sand pit, he attempts to educate Mutt on the difference between quicksand and dry sand... while he is sinking deeper by the second.
  • When Indiana Jones and his father are trapped in a burning room in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, daddy has such helpful observations as "The floor is on fire" and "Our situation has not improved."
  • Taken to something of an extreme in the 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans. As Major Heyward is dragged away to be burned alive in place of Cora Munro, he responds to Hawkeye's protests with a hurried, but nonetheless perfectly polite: "My compliments, sir. Take her and get out."
  • The Lethal Weapon movies are known for this, as Riggs and Murtagh are always arguing with each other over something during their various action sequences.
  • In Lord of War Yuri is held at gunpoint by Interpol, and calmly asks one of the agents if he would like a silencer for his new MP5.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm, Sarah Harding and Nick van Owen are stuck inside a two-section bus that has partly been pushed of a huge cliff (they're in the hanging part, of course), the bus is slipping, the glass window on the low end of the bus already broke, and oh yeah, the tyrannosaurus that pushed the bus to its current position is still around, with his partner, and the one remaining party member that could help them is apparently too nervous to know what to do, as this exchange proves:
    Eddie: What do you need?!
    Ian: A rope! Get us a rope!!
    Eddie: Rope! Anything else?!
    Ian: Yeah. Three double-cheeseburgers with everything.
    Nick: No onions on mine...
    Sarah: And an apple turnover!
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe is infamous for this:
    • In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark is incapable of not saying sarcastically inappropriate things in the middle of life-threatening situations.
      Tony: You walked right into this one; I've dated hotter chicks than you.
      Brandt: That all you got? A cheap trick and a cheesy one-liner?
      Tony: Honey, that could be the title of my autobiography.
    • The final conversation over the radio between Steve and Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. They were making plans to go dancing, even when they both know Steve isn't going to make it. (Of course, this was a given both in the film's setup and the history of the character.)
      Steve: It'll have to be a slow dance, I don't want to step on your--
    • The Avengers has a lot of this as well. It's justified in a way, due to the fact that, though they had greater numbers, the Chitauri weren't exactly impressive fighters. Though the casual banter does go down significantly as the battle goes on.
      Tony: I'm bringing the party to you. [comes into view around a corner pursued closely by a giant armored space whale]
      Natasha: I... don't see how that's a 'party'.
    • Happens at least once between Thor and Lady Sif in Thor: The Dark World, with her commenting that everything was under control and him asking with a grin if that was the reason everything was on fire. Plus:
      Sif: All yours.
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Widow spends most of the film trying to get Captain America a date. She doesn't let up during fight scenes.
      Natasha: [after tossing a man off a roof] How about that secretary who works on the first floor?
      Steve: The one with the lip piercing?
      Natasha: Yeah.
      Steve: Yeah... I'm not ready for that.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
      • During the final battle, Hawkeye is driving a car through a warzone with Black Widow in the passenger seat, discussing his plans to knock down a wall in his house to turn the dining room into a workspace.
        Black Widow: You do usually eat in the kitchen.
        Hawkeye: Whoever eats in a dining room?
      • Additionally, The Vision beans Ultron with Mjolnir then compliments Thor on the impressive weight balance of the weapon, to which Thor gives a few pointers on how to get the most out of the swing (though Thor's response seems to be more of an attempt to cover for his obvious surprise that Vision is capable of wielding Mjolnir at all).
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
      • Rocket Raccoon's only reaction to seeing the giant, monstrous Abilisk land in front of them and start screaming is "well, that's intense."
      • While the team is fighting a Starfish Alien, Groot just stands around cutely waving hello to Gamora.
        Groot: [waving]
        Gamora: ...Hi.
      • Peter and Rocket have an extended conversation about finding some tape to cover up the "Death Button" that'll set off Rocket's giant bomb as an entire armada of spaceships have an epic Space Battle behind them.
        Rocket: Does anybody have any tape out there? I wanna put some tape over the death button.
        Peter: Nobody has any tape!
        Rocket: Not a single person has tape!?
        Peter: You have an atomic bomb in your bag, if anyone's going to have tape it's you!
        Rocket: I have to do everything!
        Peter: You are wasting a lot of time!
    • Thor: Ragnarok opens with Thor making idle chit-chat with Surtr while tied up and suspended in front of him.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Stan Lee isn't fazed by aliens invading earth anymore.
      Stan Lee: What's the matter with you kids? You've never seen a spaceship before?
    • Taken to new heights in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is to be expected when you get three different incarnations of Spider-Man teaming up together.
      MCU Spider-Man: I have been in a team, okay? I don't wanna brag, but I will... I was in The Avengers!
      Raimi-Verse Spider-Man: The Avengers?
      MCU Spider-Man: Yeah!
      Raimi-Verse Spider-Man: (impressed) That's great!
      MCU Spider-Man: Thank you!
      Raimi-Verse Spider-Man: What is that?
      MCU Spider-Man: (Beat) Wait, you don't have the Avengers!?
      Webb-Verse Spider-Man: Is that a band? Are you in a band?
      MCU Spider-Man: No, I'm not in a band, no! The Avengers is... uh... Earth's mightiest—
      Raimi-Verse Spider-Man: HOW'S THIS HELPING!?
    • Mostly averted in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness where the fight scenes have very little frivolous lines. But played straight in Strange and Wong's battle against Gargantos, in which they casually talk about the customary of bowing.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian there is a character played by Eric Idle who casually tells the man sending him off to be crucified that he's been set free and then laughs and cheerily admits he was yanking his chain when the man believes him, and walks off to get his cross. Later he asks the guards what the hold up is and japes, "How 'bout a reach-around? We've got time." Upon being put up on the cross he tells Brian, "See? Not so bad once you're up."
  • Mocked mercilessly in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. One section shows British army officers in Africa completely ignoring a raging battle in their own camp in order to have their morning tea.
  • The Mummy Returns:
    • The bus chase has some. Namely, it starts off with this:
      Rick: Oh, I hate mummies.
      Ardeth: Glad to see me now?
      Rick: Just like old times.
    • And it ends with this...
      Rick: You all right?
      Ardeth: This was my first bus ride.
    • Watching a ritual take place:
      Rick: Ya know, a year ago this would have been weird to me.
    • Running away from Elite Mook mummies, Eve tries to close the door on them. Rick answers with this:
      Rick: Uh... Honey. These guys don't use doors.
  • In The Muppet Movie, Kermit The Frog is informed that Miss Piggy's been kidnapped. Doc Hopper orders Kermy to step outside the hotel ..."My boys will meet you there." Kermit obeys ... and is immediately surrounded by goons levelling their shotguns at him.
    Kermit The Frog: Oh, um... are you the guys I'm supposed to meet?
  • In Murder by Death, Dick and Dora Charleston have an extremely nonchalant—indeed emotionless—conversation about the deadly scorpion on their bed which will force them to remain perfectly still, quite possibly for the rest of their perhaps short lives. Later, when the killer asks Dick how they escaped, he replies in a perfectly calm and carefree, cordial tone: "We didn't: it stung Dora. The poison's in her system right now. We have fifteen minutes to get to a hospital."
  • At the climax of North By Northwest, Roger and Eve engage in witty banter while dangling by their fingertips from Mt. Rushmore.
  • The Hong Kong film Powerful Four actually managed to cram a lengthy dialogue between two of it's heroes, Inspector Yiu Hung and Inspector "Fatty" Ho Sum, in the middle of the final shootout, despite having scores and scores of enemies firing at them:
    Yiu Hung: "Fatty! Hang on, I’m coming! You alright?"
    Ho Sum: "… don’t worry, I’m fine! (pulls open his shirt to reveal a vest) Man, I got a great bargain for this vest, at half price too!"
    Yiu Hung: "Wait, you have a vest? And a machine gun? You bastard, why did you keep all the best stuff to yourself?"
    Ho Sum: "Well, I could’ve gotten you a vest, but I don’t know your size…"
    Yiu Hung: "Just get a random one will do!"…
  • The Princess Bride:
    • The dialogue between Inigo and the Man In Black as the latter is trying to Climb the Cliffs of Insanity alone, with his bare hands, probably counts.
      Inigo: Hello there! Slow going?
      Man in Black: Look, I don't mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.
      Inigo: Sorry.
      Man in Black: Thank you.
      Inigo: I don't suppose you could speed things up?
      Man in Black: If you're in such a hurry, you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do.
      Inigo: I could do that. I have some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.
      Man in Black: That does put a damper on our relationship.
    • Then they spend their entire duel complimenting each other's skill in swordsmanship and discussing fencing techniques.
  • In the 2005 remake of The Producers, when Franz is pointing a gun at Max and Leo, Max quips to Leo "Remember when I said I'd tell you when we were in too deep? We're in too deep."
  • The Professionals from start to finish. A crowning example is the scene where Fardan rescues Dolworth from some Mexican bandits:
    Fardan: I wouldn't do that! My friend would die of a terrible headache, and so would you. [aims gun at head bandit]
    Bandit: And so would you. [the bandits close on Fardan with machetes drawn]—
    Fardan: So wouldn't it be more sensible if we both kept our heads?
    Bandit: Put down your gun.
    Fardan: If I did that, how do I know you would still be friendly.
    Bandit: Do I gotta kill you to prove I like you?
  • Happens with Danny and Ray throughout Running Scared (1986), even when the Big Bad is about to crush their car with a trash compactor:
    Danny: Oh sure, nag at me! Nagging's good! You still owe me ten bucks, and I never said anything!
    Ray: You want it now?!?
    Danny: YEAH, I WANT IT NOW!
  • In the intro of Sherlock Holmes (2009), one of Lord Blackwood's men attempts to sneak up on Holmes, only to be ambushed and put into a choke-hold by Watson. As Sherlock grabs and holds the man's nose to keep him from breathing further, Holmes and Watson have a rather pleasant conversation.
    Watson: I like the hat.
    Holmes: I just picked it up.
    Watson: Did you remember your revolver?
    Holmes: Ah. Knew I forgot something. Thought I'd left the stove on.
    Watson: You did.
    [man passes out]
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • Spider-Man 2 gives us the immortal "Hi... This is really heavy..."
    • It also gave us the train conductor sarcastically asking "Got any more bright ideas?" When Spidey's first attempt to stop the runaway train fails. Because imminent death is no reason to stop being a smartass.
    • You know Peter and Harry have finally put their past animosity behind them when they engage in some of this in Spider-Man 3.
  • Star Trek (2009): When George Kirk is making his Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Narada while his wife is giving birth on a medical shuttle. As the Kelvin is falling apart around Kirk, he and his wife decide to name their son Jim—and then the Kelvin kamikazes the Narada.
  • Star Wars:
    • Whenever anybody gets into a fight, they're unusually calm about it. "I have a bad feeling about this", anyone?
      Han: How are we doing?
      Luke: Same as always.
      Han: That bad, eh?
    • By the time of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are almost absurdly casual in the face of death. Anakin's response to meeting General Grievous is "You're shorter than I expected." When Obi-Wan enters a camp full of battle droids and General Grievous later in the movie, he introduces himself with "Hello there!" This shows that they've been at war for a very long time.
    • And, of course, the Coming in Hot scene after the Invisible Hand breaks in half:
      Anakin: We lost something.
      Obi-Wan: Not to worry—we are still flying half a ship.
    • The Battle of Endor. Most characters' voices show some controlled degree of strain or alarm at various points, but Wedge is calm and professional from "Red Leader, standing by" to "I'm already on my way out." In Star Wars Legends, he's said to have ice in his veins - he never panics. Which is funny when one remembers his alarmed observation on the size of the Death Star in the original movie.
    • Red Leader never raises his voice during the assault on the first Death Star (except for his jubilant "It's away!" when he launches his torpedoes, and his defiant scream as his crippled fighter is about to plow into the surface). Even when he announces the fatal damage that kills him to Luke, he calmly reports he just lost his engine and orders him to make his attack run, as calmly as if he were ordering dinner at a drive-thru.
  • In Suicide Squad (2016), Griggs' reaction to being held at gunpoint by Deadshot, a Professional Killer who had previously promised to kill him the first chance he got.
    Griggs: Ames, If this man shoots me, I want you to kill him and I want you to go clear my browser history.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Michelangelo and Donatello workshop combat-related one-liners while fighting the Foot Clan horde in the street.
  • Often in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), but particularly on April and Vernon's part as they slide down a snowy mountain in a truck cab - their conversation does not match their dire situation.
  • In Thoroughly Modern Millie when Jimmy is kicked out of Millie's office building while trying to get to her, he does the next best thing he can and starts climbing the outside of the skyscraper to get to her floor. On his way up, a secretary opens a window, which knocks Jimmy down and is now only hanging on a flagpole. Jimmy casually asks the secretary which floor Millie is on and after the secretary (who doesn't seem to notice or care that Jimmy is hanging on for dear life) tells him which floor he can find Millie on, they both go about their business.
  • True Lies. When Harry and his wife are tied up by the bad guys, she asks if they're going to die. Harry listlessly replies "Yep," then continues with "They're gonna shoot us in the head or they're gonna torture us to death or they're gonna leave us here when the bomb blows up..." Made better by his following it up with a Badass Boast said in the exact same tone. Note that the former was the set-up for the latter, establishing the fact that he was, in fact, unable to lie: "They've given me a truth serum." "Is it working?" "Ask me something you know I'd lie to." "Are we going to die?" "Yup!"
  • From Twister, Jo & Bill are in Jo's truck. Bill is driving, and they're bickering. At one point, in a completely nonchalant tone of voice, Jo asks,:
    Jo: Can I drive?
    Bill: No!
    Jo: Then will you?
    Bill: [noticing truck has drifted off the road and is about to run into a parked farming vehicle] Holy shit!
  • The Wind and the Lion has pretty much every character nonchalantly commenting on their circumstances, whether it be kidnapping, imminent bloodshed or the threat of world war. At one point the protagonist, Moroccan rebel Mulai el Raisuli, is warned not to risk his life in a hostage exchange. Raisuli responds "What does my life matter? I've nothing else to do!"
  • In the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, regardless of whether they're hovering over a doomy canyon of doom, or trying to thread narrow walkways with falling pillars, Justin and Alex still find time to snark incessantly at each other.
  • Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After blasting their way into a high security facility and just before he blasts into a room of guards armed with machine guns he quips at his boss
    Wilson: Stuck in an elevator with five guys on a high protein diet. Dreams really do come true.
    Stryker: Just shut it. You're up next.
    Wilson: Thank you, sir. You look really nice today. It's the green, brings out the seriousness in your eyes.
    Logan: Oh, my God, do you ever shut up, pal?
    Wilson: No. Not when I'm awake.

  • Adventure Hunters: When a booby trap in a tomb activates, Artorius and Lisa take a moment to make a bet: rushing water or giant boulder?
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Alice had a famous monologue about the curiosity of falling down a bottomless rabbit hole to her possible death.
  • Amelia Peabody and her husband have some interesting conversations: What do you talk about while crawling through the unstable, half-crumbled passages of an un-excavated pyramid, hoping that your 7 year old son is right when he says he knows a way out? The similarities of construction with other 12th Dynasty pyramids, of course!
  • Animorphs:
    • The Animorphs do this fairly often, and are self-aware about it. When Ax and Tobias have to infiltrate a slaughterhouse as the steer, they have the following exchange while riding the Conveyor Belt o' Doom.
      Tobias: So. Seen anything good on TV lately?
      Ax: Are you attempting to distract us from our fear by engaging in irrelevant conversation?
      Tobias: Yeah.
      Ax: In that case, I did enjoy watching The Simpsons. I assume that they do not represent some variant species of humans but are, in fact, humorous pictorial exaggerations of humans?
    • And in The Reaction, after Rachel's house collapses due to her uncontrollable morphing and she's trapped in the rubble (keep in mind that she's confused and terrified);
      Jordan: Rachel? Is that you?
      Rachel: [sarcastic] Well, who else would it be?
      Sara: That's Rachel, all right.
  • The characters in the Charlie Parker Series do this constantly, with Parker and Angel in particular often doing it intentionally to irk their enemies.
  • Colt Regan and his partner Alex have discussions about things like Jell-O while in demon-infested bars.
  • Remo Williams and Chiun of The Destroyer (to some extent, the movie as well) may be the most extreme example. Their combat arguments regarding Ung poetry, Remo's alleged unconscious seduction of flight attendants, who left the toilet seat up (all right, not that one, but they have covered toilets in more general terms), and suchlike are used to show that a few hundred soldiers firing assault rifles at them are barely worth paying attention to, let alone commenting on. If the threat's a yawner like the average Bond-style Dragon trying to repeatedly shoot, stab, poison, or bomb them, the authors sometimes (when writing from the attacker's perspective) don't even bother writing explicit lines of dialogue for the two, just to emphasize the disconnect and the frustration that an experienced, professional killer feels trying repeatedly to kill people who apparently don't even notice that they're being attacked.
  • In The Diamond Age, Carl Hollywood and an old British military man keep up a line of casual wisecracks while fighting their way through a rioting city. Hollywood understands that it's to maintain their courage.
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher rarely, if ever, show anything but CDD during tense situations. In the narration Harry makes sure to note how he's only doing it to cope and is really scared shitless on the inside.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Percy Weasley transforms his brainwashed superior using a Sea Urchin Jinx, and states that he is resigning. Fred then remarks that Percy finally told a joke. Unfortunately, Fred dies right after.
    "You are actually joking, Percy... I don't think I've heard you joke since you were—"
    The air exploded.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In the Mage Winds trilogy, Elspeth comments humorously on Kero's penchant for dry understatement, describing an incident in which, caught up in a flood that washed away half a town, all she wrote was "It's a little wet here, be back when I can."
  • Horatio Hornblower: In The Happy Return / Beat to Quarters, Bush and another lieutenant on the Lydia engage in an academic debate about the tactics of the Natividad's gun officer and how closely he's directing the fire... on the Lydia. They're interrupted when a shot hits home, and then use the hit for their counterarguments. Hornblower is eventually annoyed (and envious) enough that he tells them to cut it out. Hornblower himself makes quips during battle over the course of the series, but in his case it's an Invoked Trope to keep morale up as he never feels casual while under fire.
  • In Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Stephen Black attempts to speak in as calm a manner as possible despite being quite terrified as he requests the Gentleman with Thistle-Down Hair rescue him from sinking into the bog he carelessly transported him into. He is aware that the Gentleman puts great stock in his good manners, and being mercurial, distractible, and without any apparent sense of empathy, might well abruptly tire of his company and leave him to die should he lose composure.
  • Even Rudyard Kipling did this. In The Jungle Book, when the villagers are turning against Mowgli for his Raised by Wolves behaviour, it's the wolf Akela who first recognises how much trouble Mowgli is in.
    The old Tower musket went off with a bang, and a young buffalo bellowed in pain.
    "More sorcery!" shouted the villagers. "He can turn bullets. Buldeo, that was thy buffalo."
    "Now what is this?" said Mowgli, bewildered, as the stones flew thicker.
    "They are not unlike the Pack, these brothers of thine," said Akela, sitting down composedly. "It is in my head that, if bullets mean anything, they would cast thee out."
  • In The Mahabharata, while driving a chariot during (through) the Kurukshetra war, Krishna notices that the horses look tired and stops fighting so he can bathe them in a magically summoned lake. (His bro, Arjuna, helps out by providing cover fire.) His gentle reassurances of the horses while he grooms them are therefore this trope.
  • Half of Kennedy's dialog in The Man Who Fell Into The Black Inferno.
    Shay: Any ideas?
    Kennedy: Maybe we should remind him very firmly that we're the good guys here.
    Shay: Any ideas that won’t get us laughed at?
  • Rachel Griffin: In The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, the eponymous Rachel (a thirteen year old girl) does this when the invisible wraith which has been feeding on their classmate suddenly turns its attentions on her, keeping calm and describing its position so the others can avoid it or take it out.
  • In REAMDE, a number of characters spend quite a lot of time making dry observations during the protracted final gunfight.
  • In the Redwall novel The Long Patrol, during the required massive battle scene at the end of the book, two hares carry out the third kind of this trope while outnumbered 5-1. The book specifically notes that they "talked like old pals and fought like demons."
  • What with his not being at all afraid of death, Jaime Lannister elevates this to an art form in A Song of Ice and Fire:
    Jaime: Come on, let's see who's home. [opens inn door and finds a crossbow in his face]
    Crossbowman: Lion, Wolf, or Fish?
    Jaime: We'd hoped for capon.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the various books of the X-Wing Series, Rogue Squadron is notably quieter on missions than when they're off duty. The same goes for the Wraiths - but unless someone's hit, they'll still try to have some back-and-forth. Wedge is often heard telling his squadron, "Cut the chatter".
    • Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor has Luke commanding in a battle where everything goes to hell. He's incredibly calm about the whole thing, and soothes officers who aren't taking it as well. He also records an emergency signal to be broadcast on loop. The narration mentions that his voice is low and "preternaturally calm".
      Luke: This is New Republic Cruiser Justice, Luke Skywalker commanding. Admiral Kalback is dead. The ship has broken up, and there are no escape pods remaining. I have taken the helm and will attempt to set down behind the dawn terminator above the north tropic. Begin the search for survivors at the coordinates on the encoded supplementary frequency. Good luck, and may the Force be with you. Skywalker out."
    • The Thrawn Trilogy: Grand Admiral Thrawn will routinely discuss minor matters with Captain Pellaeon in the middle of major battles, as well as instructing his subordinates to remain calm during battle.
    • During Clone Wars Gambit, Heterosexual Life-Partners Obi-Wan and Anakin bicker incessantly while plunging to their deaths or fighting against droids. Ahsoka seems to have picked this up from them as well.
  • Beautifully averted in the Stephanie Plum novels. While the protagonist normally maintains a running Deadpan Snarker dialogue in her head throughout the books, and can keep it together pretty well as long as the threats stay strictly verbal, or if other people are in danger or have been hurt (such as the time a cop she knew got shot,) any time she's in real physical danger she's shown to lose any semblance of bravery or wit, complete with panicked screaming, crying in fear, and occasionally dripping snot in terror. And even if she does manage to keep it together at the time, she's usually a nervous wreck afterwards.
    • Played straight by Ranger, who has a famously cool head, except for that one time when his daughter was kidnapped.
  • The Stormlight Archive: In Words of Radiance, Sebariel in the final battle, as a highstorm and an everstorm are closing in, threatening to wipe out everyone on the battlefield.
    "Dalinar!" a voice called.
    He turned to find the utterly incongruous sight of Sebarial and his mistress sitting beneath a canopy, eating dried sellafruit off a plate held by an awkward-looking soldier.
    Sebarial raised a cup of wine toward Dalinar. "Hope you don't mind," Sebarial said. "We liberated your stores. They were blowing past at the time, headed for certain doom."
    Dalinar stared at them. Palona even had a novel out and was reading.
  • A fine example in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. At the siege of La Rochelle, d'Artagnan and his friends go and have breakfast in a bastion in the middle of the battleground just so they can talk without worrying about the Cardinal's spies overhearing them. They win a bet by holding the bastion for the length of the meal, too.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • When Alan Partridge of the eponymous British TV shows is held hostage and in a head-lock by a mad fan, Jed, who insists that Alan visit Jed's s brother-in-law next weekend:
    Jed: Bet you can't guess where he lives.
    Alan: Erm...
    Jed: Go on, have a guess.
    Alan: Er, Nottingham?
    Jed: No.
    Alan: [hoarsely] Oh. Er... Chester?
    Jed: [slightly releases his grip] Where?
    Alan: Ches-? Chester. Near north Wales off the M56.


  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
  • Breakout Kings gives us a particularly weird example when some kidnappers make their terrified victim call home:
    Julianne: [terrified] It's Julianne, I've been kidnapped... [suddenly calmer, to her kidnappers] It's call waiting, click over.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the episode "Bad Girls", in the middle of fighting some vampires, Faith asks Buffy if she has ever slept with Xander.
    • Glory would engage in this while Buffy was punching her in the face.
    • Lampshaded in the season 7 episode "Bring on the Night", where Xander's making jokes while the Potentials are scared to death waiting for night to fall and the übervamp to come crashing in:
      Willow: Xander? Newbies. Let's ease them in to the whole jokes-in-the-face-of-death-thing.
  • Burn Notice has Gilroy, whose last words are:
    Gilroy: Sorry, did I mention I'm attached to an explosive device? Perhaps you should run.
  • Castle:
    • In "Cops and Robbers", when Castle and his mother are held hostage during a bank robbery, Castle comments, "Mother, I find I'm no longer satisfied with the customer service at this establishment. I think we should take our business elsewhere."
    • In "Still", Castle does this while Beckett was trapped on a pressure-plate activated bomb;
      Castle: [entering the room with two lattes] Whatcha doing? Napping? 'Cause I can come back later.
      Beckett: Castle, what are you doing here? You promised...
      Castle: Yeah, I promised I'd leave. Didn't promise I wouldn't come back. Oh, I brought coffee for later when you're off that thing.
  • Lampshaded on Chuck when Chuck criticizes Casey for doing this.
    Chuck: "Did someone order drive-thru?" That's clever. Did you think of that on the way over here? "I think I'll say this when I CRASH INTO THE BUILDING!!!"
    • In the Season 4 episode "Chuck Vs The First Bank of Evil", while robbing the titular Macau bank (a distraction tactic to buy Vivian time to hack into the bank computers) Chuck and Sarah briefly discuss their upcoming wedding, and Sarah admits that she enjoyed trying out wedding dresses.
  • Doctor Who:
    • There are definitely elements of this in the Doctor, justified given the Doctor's perilous and bizarre way of life. Topics include romantic issues, bananas, little hospital shops, dancing, and whatever random topic is on the Doctor's mind.
    • The Doctor does kinda get to play this both ways. Half of the time he's genuinely fearful when he's quipping and he's relying on his gob to at least misdirect the Monster of the Week for a few seconds, but other times he just knows the threat's beneath him and decides to have a laugh with it. Compare the way that he acts around the Daleks, who he fears more than anything else in the universe and yet happily taunts just to see how long they'll keep him alive, to the way he treats the Sycorax, who he flat-out ignores in order to quite nonchalantly reintroduce himself to a small group of Londoners.
    • The "maturity" of a companion can usually be gauged by their ability to engage in small talk in the face of danger. Of course, not all of the Doctor's companions appreciate this ability when they're in distress.
      Amy: Is this really important flirting? Because I feel I should be higher on the list.
    • The Doctor did plenty of this before the Time War as well. It's quite common in the series for him to mock his captors or have a quippy conversation with a companion while faced with death, especially if the villain has insulted him. To give just two of countless examples: when finally confronting Morbius in "The Brain of Morbius" and while under torture during "The Deadly Assassin".
    • And who could forget this example from "The Night of the Doctor"?
      Ohila: We restored you to life, but it's a temporary measure. You have a little under four minutes.
      Eighth Doctor: Four minutes? That's ages! What if I get bored and need a television, couple of books? Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.
    • "The Husbands of River Song": River finally recognizes the Doctor when they're surrounded by dozens of armed and angry genocidal maniacs (not to mention a robot trying to steal the Doctor's head). They immediately go back to their normal flirty means of conversing.
      Evil Concierge: Excuse me, but what is this!?
      River: Hush now, mummy and daddy are talking.
  • Falling Skies, Hal reminisces about his old girlfriend "Rita" with Maggie while hiding in a car from patrolling Mechs.
  • Farscape, quite a few times. On one occasion John drops a bomb down a shaft after activating it, knowing it will probably kill them all:
    John: Yeah. It should go off in about... 60 microts.
    Chiana: And then it explodes?
    John: Yeah.
    Chiana: A big explosion?
    [John grunts noncommittally; the nuke hurtles, chittering furiously, down the newly created shaft; suddenly, John remembers the Democracy Thing]
    John: Oh. God — we should have voted. [louder, desultorily] All in favor — show of hands. [he raises his and the others stare at him; then Aeryn and Scorpius raise theirs — a little] All opposed. [Chiana and D'Argo cast their votes] 3 to 2 — Sikozu abstains.
    Rygel: Crichton! What the hezmana just happened? Where are you, you fahrbot? Did you blow up the bomb? HOW COULD YOU BLOW UP THE BOMB?
    John: You missed the vote.
  • Firefly:
    • On numerous occasions. Most notably in the episode "War Stories", when Mal and Wash argue about shipboard romance while being horribly tortured. Earlier in the episode, when the two are ambushed and held at gunpoint, Wash's response is an annoyed, "Now I'm learning about scary."
    • It's subtly implied in a later conversation with Zoe that Mal was purposely invoking this trope when they were tortured by Niska as a way to keep Wash's mind off of the torture and thus keep him alive.
    • And the exchange as they're landing, "I'll likely crash, kill us all." "Well, if that happens, let me know."
      Wash: If Kaylee doesn't get more power to offset the burn-through, things are gonna get pretty interesting!
      Mal: Define 'interesting'.
      Wash: [deadpan] "Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?"
      Mal: [over intercom] This is your captain speaking. We may experience some slight turbulence and then, uh, explode. [to Wash] Can you shave the vector?
      Wash: I'm doing it, it's not enough!
      Mal: Well, just get us on the ground.
      Wash: That part'll happen pretty definitely!
      Jayne: Are we exploding? I don't wanna explode.
      Zoe: Hey Cap'n, we crashing again?
      Mal: Talk to your husband.
    • A few minutes later, after a tense argument between Mal and Simon regarding taking River on a mission, the ship shakes more than usual.
      Mal: Honestly, Doc, I think we may really crash this time anyway.
  • Generation Kill:
    • When Colbert spots hostiles camping no more than a dozen meters from their Humvees, his response is an incredibly calm "There's men in the trees." Beforehand, during the tense moment when the Humvees stop and create their traffic jam, Colbert is notably aware of how much of a perfect ambush place this is, and is calmly singing to himself while waiting for something to happen.
    • Person tries to get some coordination into Hitman's efforts to re-orient their Humvees and get out of what is, essentially, a traffic jam in a killzone. At one point, he walks out of his Humvee, approaches the next one over at a normal walking pace with bullets flying everywhere, asks the driver to "please back the fuck up," gets little in the way of a response, and calmly walks back, telling Colbert their progress getting out is "Not going well." He earlier complains about a panicked colleague babbling Portuguese in the same scene with the comment: "Fucking Baptisa, how would he like it if I joined the Brazilian Marines and only spoke English."
    • Nate Fick does this as well in the same scene, diving out of his vehicle and running to each of the others to give the drivers specific instructions. He's in as much, if not more danger than Person. One can actually hear Gunny Wynn in the background shout "Jesus Christ, Nate!"
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries was filled with this:
    Frank: After you.
    Joe: Me? You're the oldest.
    Frank: Yeah, but you're more agile than me, and stronger.
    Joe: Since when?
    Frank: Since right now.
  • Though not usually commenting on danger to himself, House is nevertheless absurdly calm when nearby patients show catastrophic symptoms. For example, in the 4th season episode "97 Seconds", House watches a clinic patient stab an electrical outlet to electrocute himself. Fitting his personality, he's more curious than concerned, first saying "Interesting." before doing anything else. After calling for a crash cart he pokes the man's lifeless body with his cane and says "I didn't do it."
  • Characters, especially Sawyer, do this all the time on Lost. For example, the following dialogue takes place while Juliet and Sawyer are hiding in the bushes from a group who just attacked them with flaming arrows:
    Sawyer: Who were those people? Are they yours? Did they shoot the arrows?
    Juliet: You want me to crawl out there and ask 'em?
    Sawyer: You don't have to be a wiseass.
  • Pick any episode of M*A*S*H in which there are firefights, shelling of the camp, shelling of an ambulance, shelling of a jeep, landmine navigation, snipers, massive amounts of casualties, insane people, or violent patients (in other words, close to three-quarters of all episodes). There will be massive quantities of this trope being produced during every minute of the episode, often in the form of Hawkeye insulting Frank or Charles and flirting with Margaret while Trapper or BJ makes wisecracks and Henry or Potter yell at them to shut up and pay attention, all while they operate on seriously injured patients and bombs fall all around the camp.
    • It's well established throughout the series Hawkeye, at least, delivers wisecracks to prevent himself from cracking up due to the madness of the war, and he also is trying to keep up everyone else's morale. Unfortunately, eleven... three years of trauma (and uncovering childhood trauma) takes their toll and he ends up in an asylum making jokes that are far more bitter and alienate everyone.
  • This is taken to ridiculous levels note  in Moonlighting, where Maddie Hayes and David Addison almost always argue, even when pursuing the criminal of the week.note 
  • In the series finale of Motherland: Fort Salem newlyweds Adil and Abigail discuss honeymoon options while fighting their way through enemy troops. Since the former has never seen the ocean and the latter wants to lie on a beach, they opt for a beach vacation.
  • The New Avengers: In "The Midas Touch", Gambit and Purdey have a casual conversation about who was the director of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre during a Car Chase.
  • In the season 2 finale of Nikita, Alex and Sean spend the whole episode trying to stop the bad guy from melting down a nuclear reactor in the US. Sean also spends the whole episode trying to get Alex to agree to go on a date with him:
    Sean: After this whole thing is over, this whole storming the castle, save humanity thing, I think you and me gotta go on a proper date.
    Alex: Are you kidding me?
  • Not the Nine O'Clock News has a sketch which is set in an episode of Question Time, after the Soviets have just launched the missiles. Most of the panel members continue sniping at each others' parties and using statements like "I think we're missing the real issue here, which is the government's appalling record on education reform..." while one Only Sane Man gibbers "We're all going to die!"
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In an early episode, the safety film in the long-distance lift is acted by a stereotypically smiley and bubbly air hostess type: "If you look to your left, and to your right, you will see there are no exits!" "In the event of the lift having to make a forced landing, death is certain."
    • Holly shortly before a comet hits the titular ship.
      Holly: Wait a minute. I've forgotten what I was gonna say.
      Rimmer: Well, it can't have been that important then, can it? [a meteor hits the ship]
      Holly: [in a cheerful tone] Yeah. That's it. "Look out, a meteor is about to hit the ship". I knew it'd come back to me.
    • In Quaratine, after Rimmer telekinesis'd an axe into Kryten
      Lister: Kryten man, you okay?
      Kryten: [deadpan] I have a medium-sized fire axe buried in my spinal cavity. [beat] That sort of thing can really put a crimp on your day.
  • In one episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, adopted son Luke informs Sarah Jane that he might be eligible to start university a year early. Sarah Jane suggests it might not be the ideal moment for the conversation, seeing as how they're currently handcuffed to a large alien bomb.
  • Scrapheap Challenge once had a fine example of British Understatement. "Could I have some water, please?" "Certainly, how much would you like?" "Enough to put out a small fire." "Where would you like it?" "On the fire, please." (The requester had set a seat on fire while welding in a car. Possibly scripted, but still funny.)
  • In the Smallville episode "Icarus", Oliver, Clark and Hawkman break into a government base separately and casually talk about Clark's love life while pilfering the bad guy's office.
  • Stargate SG-1: SG-1 do this a lot.
    • Notably, more than once Mitchell responded to a scary Ori's angry preaching with complaining that the Ori sound like his grandma. Sam also once responded to the threat of being run over with a spaceship with "Oh boy."
    • Lampshaded and inverted in "Bad Guys" when our heroes are pretending to be, well, the bad guys.
      [two women are arguing over a man]
      Daniel: What the hell are you doing?! Stop it!
      Hesellven: She started it.
      Sylvana: Oh. I think you started it when you kissed Harron.
      Daniel: Shut up. Shut up! You're hostages! This is like a, a life-and-death situation here. Start acting like it.
      Sylvana: Oh, please. You're not rebels. We're not deaf, you know, everyone in this room knows it.
      Daniel: That doesn't matter. You're hostages, we're... we're your captors. We're heavily armed. There's uh... there's rules, there's a whole school of etiquette to this. (pause) Don't eyeball me.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In the episode "Space Seed," Khan wakes up and holds a scalpel to Doctor McCoy's neck, who had been treating him. McCoy calmly informs Khan of the most efficient way to kill him, and that if he doesn't intend to actually do it, he should put the blade down and let him finish his work. It was incredibly awesome.
    • In the episode "The Doomsday Machine", as Kirk watches as the titular weapon is getting closer within the rigged-to-explode U.S.S. Constellation, Kirk calmly tells his crew to hurry up with fixing the transporters before he ends up going up with the ship.
  • One combination Moment of Awesome/Moment of Funny occurred in the two-part Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4 premiere "Way of the Warrior". It happens when Dukat and Garak (who hate each other) decide to cooperate to protect a Cardassian civilian council from an invasion of Klingons. It's Awesome because they do succeed in holding off the Klingons and Funny because Teeth-Clenched Teamwork means they're slinging barbs at each other while fighting the Klingons at the same time.
    Garak: I find this hand-to-hand combat really quite distasteful!
    Dukat: I suppose you prefer the simplicity of an interrogation chamber!
    Garak: You have to admit! It's much more civilized!
  • Super Dave would engage in this during the stunt segments of his variety show. One example is his safety lesson explaining what to do if you get rear-ended and his demonstration of using the rear view mirror. It should be noted that Fuji is driving a large truck with a push plate in this scene.
    Super Dave: Okay, I'm checking my rear view mirror. I see Fuji. I'd say he's about thirty yards back. I check again and now he's about ten yards back. I check again and now I can see my life is over.
    [Fuji drives into the back of Super Dave's car and crushes it against the wall]
  • This is how Supergirl meets up with her cousin Superman in the first episode of Supergirl season 2.
    Superman: [flying up to Supergirl as she's trying to slow the damaged Venture shuttle] Need a hand?
    Supergirl: Hey, cuz!
    Superman: It's good to see you.
    Supergirl: This... looks like a job for the both of us.
    Superman: Absolutely. [cue cousinly heroics]
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron, being, well, Cameron, always speaks this way in combat situations. At one point, she's pinning another Terminator in place that's trying to crush her and kill everyone else, asks for a knife and then pliers to extract its chip in the same tone one would order coffee. Later on, after punching another rampaging Terminator through a wall and blowing it apart, she glances to Derek and remarks "Sometimes they go bad." as if she'd just stepped on an insect.
  • Thunderbirds: This often happens between the villains and their victims. In "The Man from MI5", Lady Penelope is absurdly chatty with her kidnapper. Also, in "Move - and you're dead", Alan Tracy is somewhat casual with his enemy who is threatening him with a gun, and maintains this even during his capture.
    Alan: (Friendly) What do you want, Gomez?
    Gomez: Why, Tracy! What kind a tone is that to talk to a guy with a gun in his hand?
    Alan: You're wasting your time. I don't have the plans for the BR2. And even if I did, do you think I'd hand them over to you?
    (Later, after Gomez has forced Alan and Grandma to climb high on a bridge, with a metal box)
    Grandma: What is that thing?
    Alan: Never mind.
    Gomez: You'd better explain to the old lady, else she might cause a whole heap of trouble.
    Grandma: Is it a bomb?
    Alan: Sort of.
    Gomez: Yeah, sort of. We've fixed the real bomb right under this roadway. But that other box is an extra present: if you make one move, and disturb the ultrasonic waves, then pow! The whole place blows up.
  • On Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson spends the entirety of a film in which he is chased by baddies in a Corvette through a shopping center reviewing aspects of the Ford Fiesta he is driving and commenting on the shortcomings of the more powerful 'Vette.
    Clarkson: The baddie has made the classic baddie error... he's got too much power. I've got 120 hp in this. You don't want any more than that on marble.
  • Done often in The Wild Wild West, whose heroes are experienced Secret Service agents who react to every threat with Witty Banter.
  • In Wolf Hall, this is Cromwell's reaction when told that Henry VIII has died in a jousting mishap. His initial response is a calm "Oh." (This is followed by slipping a dagger up his sleeve as he departs for the scene.) When he gets there, he details the immediate future to Rafe: they have to get Princess Mary away from the Boleyns, or she'll die. But if the Catholics get her on the throne, he'll die. Either way they'll have a civil war. At best he sounds somewhat distracted as he pushes his way through the crowds around the unconscious king.
  • The X-Files:
    • Mulder has a tendency to do this. In the episode "The Pine Bluff Variant", while trying to infiltrate a domestic terrorist group, he is led to a darkened warehouse where one of the leaders attempts to see whether or not Mulder is a spy for the F.B.I. When the bag that was covering Mulder's head is removed and he sees where he is, he quips "Is this the Pepsi Challenge?" When the leader remarks that this is a method he uses to learn the truth, Mulder's response is "Well, you might want to put that hood back on, unless you want to see a grown man cry."
    • And then there's this classic, when Mulder and Scully are examining a weird viscous substance:
      Mulder: [puts his fingers in the substance to examine it]
      Scully: It almost smells like... [realize] Oh, God, Mulder, it's bile.
      Mulder: ...So, is there any way I can get this off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?

  • Though it may be an artifact of the nature of the song, C. W. McCall's Wolf Creek Pass has this bit in a near deadpan:
    And I said Earl I'm not the type to complain, but the time has come for me to explain that if you don't apply some brake real soon they're gonna have to pick us up with a stick an' a spoon

  • In one episode of The Lucky Die, the team are sailing down a river when one of them spots a ten-foot-tall flaming skeleton on the shore. He gets the others' attention by asking, "How flammable are boats?"

  • Lewa, the Plucky Comic Relief in BIONICLE, does this in just about every scene he's in. He decides to start telling his friends the story of the three Matoran, the Rama swarm and the basket of Bula berries... in the middle of a battle. He even annoys Kopaka into a Not So Stoic moment with his seemingly pointless babble. As a matter of fact, pretty much all Toa have the ability to make lame jokes while fighting.

    Video Games 
  • Non-scripted versions of this can happen in online gaming: while simultaneously fighting the enemy team in a first-person shooter, players with microphones may engage in friendly conversation or discuss upcoming media releases that have nothing to do with the game they are playing.
  • In Alan Wake, while Alan and Barry are holding off waves of Taken from a concert stage, Barry talks about things like the large amount of ammo around, the pyrotechnics, and how bad this 1970's-era wiring is. But this takes the cake:
    Barry: Al, this may be the most AWESOME MOMENT of our ENTIRE LIVES!
    Alan: They are trying to kill us! That's the high point of my life? Really?
    Barry: "Children of the Elder God"! Enjoy it, dammit!
  • Bayonetta series:
    • First Bayonetta: The Auditio are massive Angelic Abominations that each use one of the four elements and trying to kill Bayonetta. Verbally, she treats them like they're mild annoyances at worst. The clearest example is her casually talking to Temperantia while walking in to a tornado. Even as trucks fly around coming close to hitting her.
    • In Bayonetta 2's prologue, Bayonetta and Jeanne seem awfully preoccupied about their upcoming Christmas party. That would be casual enough, if not for the fact that they were at the same time fighting hordes of Angels hell-bent on killing them.
  • Brütal Legend has a cutscene where Eddie and Ophelia are having a conversation as mooks try to attack them, with the two of them telling each other which direction to deliver an Offhand Backhand.
  • Deadly Premonition has Dialog During Gameplay that the player can engage in - in which York talks to his imaginary friend Zach - while driving around town, which is normally a safe activity. However, after midnight, zombies infest the town and giant zombie dogs are in the streets. The Dialog During Gameplay doesn't stop despite this, and the result is that you can drive around and talk to your imaginary friend, holding conversations about movies and previously worked-on cases, while seeming to be totally oblivious to the numerous zombies and demon dogs trying to kill you.
  • Dragon Age II Hawke and crew, particularly Sarcastic Hawke. One example has Sarcastic Hawke standing in front of a powerful pride demon they just released.
    Hawke: [deadpan] Summoned a horror. Of course. Why wouldn't I do that?
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In Dragon Quest VII, when they were testing out the new "Party Chat" system, you could "Talk" to your allies during battle. (Of course, if you chose to "Talk" once too often, your enemies got a free round of attacks. Rude of them, isn't it?)
    • In Dragon Quest VIII, when Marcello is dangling above a gaping crater and certain death, his only reaction is to try to talk Angelo out of saving him.
  • Variation in the two Fallout games, where people tend to have casual danger dialog while getting hurt: You could imagine that "You popped a goddamn lung" was in fact said in a very serious way, but there's no way anyone could go "Crap, my eye's dangling by the optic nerve here" without it being a perfect example of this trope.
  • In Fallout Shelter, if you set up two dwellers to guard the vault entrance during a raider attack, they may have the same casual dialogue that they have while working anywhere else in the Vault. Three raiders are breaking into your vault, and they're talking about what their favorite pizza toppings are with guns at the ready.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy X all of the characters have a chance at doing this, though it's mostly Auron and Lulu, while Tidus, Wakka and Rikku drift more into boasting. One of the best examples is most definitely Wakka and/or Rikku pondering how much food they could get out of a particular fiend when they step up to fight.
    • Balthier, from Final Fantasy XII, deserves an honorable mention, for his behavior in the first level of the DS sequel, if nothing else. If Balthier is killed, one of the quotes he may utter as he dies is a calm "Is that your best?"
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Whenever your characters buff or heal each other, they usually give some variation on a mild mannered "Thanks.", even if they're fighting Demonic Spiders. Or soaring through the air from a launch attack.
    • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, in the final dungeon, Lightning comes across a slew of dead monster bodies, noting that "someone's beaten me here." A floor or two down, she finds Fang duking it out with a Chimera:
      Lightning: Heh, I should have guessed.
      Fang: You all right, Lightning? Almost missed the party.
      Lightning: What are you talking about? Looks like you don't need my help.
      Fang: Stop playing hard to get, and get your butt over here! I know you're dying to get in on this!
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening has plenty of this depending on what you're fighting when certain characters use their battle quotes. You could be fighting hordes of Risen (zombies) or high ranking commanders of enemy armies, but that doesn't stop Henry from saying "Oooh, ugly!" or Nowi from asking "Do you like dragons?" before she blows stuff up with dragon breath.
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
      • Unlike other games, in which most support conversations take place at camp, the Support Conversations in Echoes are initiated on the map. While usually one can chalk this up to Gameplay and Story Segregation, a few conversations actually point out that they're in battle. Taken to an extreme in Lukas and Forsyth's DLC supports, where they talk about whatever book Forsyth happens to currently be reading on the battlefield.
      • This trope actually gets lampshaded hilariously late into the game, when Conrad angrily tells Boey and Saber to stop arguing when they need to fight off Terrors.
      Saber: Blast it all! This place is crawling with Terrors. So much for "begone to wherever you will," you damn useless priest!
      Boey: And what is that supposed to mean? You’re not actually thinking of leaving Celica in there and running away?!
      Saber: Did you hear me say anything about running away? Gimme some credit here, you little snot!
      Conrad: Stop flapping your jaws and focus on the fight! I'd prefer not to die here, if it’s all the same to you two fools!
  • Phone Guy in Five Nights at Freddy's does this in his phone recordings to the player. He's going through the same hell the player is — manning the doors, watching the security cameras, and trying to juggle both to conserve his power supply so he doesn't suffer a Cruel and Unusual Death — and the entire time he's casually chatting as if he's sitting in a break room. Even when he knows he's about to die, he's more or less calm when he tells the player that he might not be able to make another recording because "It's been a bad night here for me" which, despite sounding dire, is the understatement of the century. And Phone Guy still doesn't freak out despite the fact that in the background of the recording, you can hear the same tune that the player hears every time the power goes out and they're about to be brutally murdered — which means that Phone Guy was staring right at the thing that was about to kill him, knew what was about to happen, and was totally incapable of doing anything to stop it.
  • The Ghostrunner from Ghostrunner talks in a manner typical of a ghostrunner, treating droves of armed enforcers that he has to go through or his race against the time to reenable a sector's filtration system with nothing but a flat quip of three words tops. The best case happens after defeating TOM:
    Zoe: "Watching things from your perspective I nearly pissed myself. I bet being there in person was a thousand times worse."
    Ghotsrunner: [after having to dodge scores of lasers and shockwaves while scaling to a multiple stories height, getting electrocuted and thrown around by slashing through powered cables and components and briefly blacking out to come to senses in the middle of a free fall from aforementioned multi-stories height twice] "Yes."
  • The Mantel Soldiers in Haze take this to an extreme, joking, rapping, and generally having fun in the middle of combat. This is intentional, intended to show how Nectar causes a disconnect from reality and humanity. The Promise Hand still uses the fourth type, though.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: Charles Calvin is among the royalty of this trope. He never loses his casual, friendly tone, even with a SAM turret pointed directly at him.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: You pretty much go through the entire game listening to the hilarious banter of all of the characters while you are in combat as Pit (and in one chapter, Dark Pit). Well, that is unless you deactivate the character commentary in the secret options, but considering the hilarity of the characters in this game, why would you wanna do that?
  • In Killer7, Benjamin Keane challenges resident badass Garcian to game of Russian Roulette. Benjamin attempts this trope with increasingly longer and intense rants between rounds. Meanwhile, Garcian just picks up the gun, puts it to his head, pulls the trigger, then passes it back each time. Benjamin probably thought he sounded cool, but his tone and hesitant straining on the trigger pulls suggests he scared and/or crazy. Of course, running a school with invisible, giggling, exploding zombies roaming the halls will probably do that to you.
  • Killer Frequency: Radio host and temporary 911 operator Forrest Nash isn't technically the one in danger, but he makes a lot of wisecracks and is remarkably calm for someone who has people's lives on his hands. You can keep this up in the game's climax when Forrest is trapped in the radio station with the Whistling Man. When formally introduced to the killer, Forrest can casually say "hello" back in a sarcastic way. In the older 2019 Gamejolt version, even when the killer calls in, threatens him, and then tries to cut the power to the station, Forrest keeps chatting with his callers and producer in the same bored, tired tone.
  • Kingdom Hearts II has Cloud and Leon engage in a touch of this during the Battle of the Thousand Heartless.
    Leon: Think you can handle this many?
    Cloud: Well... might be tough if one more shows up.
    Leon: Then that'll have to be the one I take care of.
    Cloud: What, you're fighting too?
    [they charge; several Heartless die]
    • Sora and Axel idly engage in banter while both are surrounded by hundreds of Dusk Nobodies.
    Axel: I think I liked them better when they were on my side.
    Sora: Feeling a little regret?
    Axel: Nah, I can handle these punks. Heh, watch this!
    [Axel charges energy and releases it in a fiery explosion, reducing the Dusks to nothing]
  • The Survivors of Left 4 Dead do this all the time, cracking jokes, bantering and insulting the Infected. They do get serious when they're heavily injured, though.
  • At the finale of the Pantagruel section in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel while the good guys and the bad guys are having a Mexican Standoff, the characters deduce that if they start fighting against one another, it would just end in a stalemate and Olivert thinks that's just no fun. Instead, he then suggests to throw a party instead which makes both the Ninja Maid and his rival to immediately jump onto that idea. Xeno, a Private Military Contractor, also jumps in by bringing in the booze while Duvalie and Altina can't take the casual atmosphere anymore and both want to take things seriously.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mordin Solus in Mass Effect 2 is a borderline example: He's a little too animated to consider him entirely casual, but consider this sample of his combat chatter:
      Mordin: Flammable! Or Inflammable. Forget which. Doesn't matter!
    • Most of Shepard and Liara's banter in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Shepard is obviously having fun during the frantic hover-car chase through the streets of Ilium, while Liara is naturally freaking out at sitting next to the galaxy's worst driver, while later both are surprisingly calm, considering that they are fighting their way across the surface of a really big spaceship, in the middle of a perpetual thunderstorm.
    • In the Overlord DLC opening mission, Shepard and his/her squad look up to see the giant satellite dish they just disabled starting to collapse on them. Shepard's reaction is a simple "You have got to be kidding me."
    • Shepard and Tali engage in some of this in Mass Effect 3 on the Geth Dreadnought if they are in a romance together, including some pretty suggestive flirting. If you bring Ashley, she has this to say:
      Ashley: Maybe we can talk about this when we're not on a damn geth dreadnought!
    • The Citadel DLC takes the cake for this, especially in the Archives, during which Shepard's entire team (and Wrex) all go on the assault together, and casually trash-talk and banter their way through the whole thing. Just another day, and Curb-Stomp Battle, at the office.
      Wrex: Uncle Urdnot is back in town, and he brought the BOOM! *explosions happen*
      Shepard: That some kind of catch phrase, Wrex?
      Wrex: Thought I'd try it out, see what you thought.
      Tali: Try again!
    • Shepard's reaction to being sealed in the Archives for the rest of time by their clone, is to be more concerned about whether or not they really sound like that or say "I should go" that often. Subverted when Shepard points out to their worried companions that they were never in any danger at all, since Glyph was still outside to unlock the door.
  • In Max Payne the titular protagonist deadpans his way through most of his gunfights.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Meryl and Johnny Sasaki in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where they casually discuss their wedding plans while trying to hold off waves of FROG soldiers.
    • Snake and Venus in Metal Gear Ac!d 2. While the game's villain monologues about his motives, the two of them calmly chat about how to destroy the Metal Gear he's piloting and ask him to shut up when they get bored.
  • In Papers, Please, at one point a terrorist drops a bomb on your desk. Calensk the border guard comes by to assess the issue...and complains about how poorly-made the bomb is and how easy it is to defuse ("What is this amateur shit?"). Once you're done with the bomb and suggest closing the checkpoint, Calensk refuses because he needs to make money, and takes the bomb so he can sell it for parts.
  • In Portal 2, the main protagonist falls down a seemingly bottomless shaft, with GLaDOS falling down with her after having her AI transferred to a potato battery by the now-mad-with-power Wheatley, and commenting on the situation.
    GLaDOS: Oh, hi. So, how are you holding up? Because I'm a potato. [slow clapping] Oh, good. My slow clap processor made it into this thing. So we have that. Since it doesn't look like we're going anywhere—well, we are going somewhere; alarmingly fast, actually—but since we're not busy other than that, here's a couple of facts: [Wheatley]'s not just a regular moron. He's the product of the greatest minds of a generation working together with the express purpose of building the dumbest moron who ever lived. And you just put him in charge of the entire facility. [slow clapping] Good, that's still working. Hey, just in case this pit isn't actually bottomless, do you think maybe you could unstrap one of those long fall boots of yours and shove me into it? Just remember to land on one foot...
  • The Dude in Postal 2 remains remarkably calm while being shot, with many cheerfully making remarks.
    "Hey! Now I can't feel my legs!"
    "Oooh, right in the stuff!"
    "That's gonna be sore tomorrow!"
  • Quake IV: In an overheard radio message a Marine relatively calmly informs command he has a hole in his chest (paraphrased):
    Marine: I need a medi evac!
    Radio operator: Who is this? I can't get a read on your med chip.
    Marine: My med chip was damaged.
    Radio operator: What? That chip is installed near your heart!
    Marine: I know, I can see it.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil 2 (Remake), Leon and Claire have a rather casual conversation that sounds more like they are flirting than the fact they are trapped in a zombie-infested city. Even after a helicopter exploded, setting off an alarm and thus the zombies' attentions, the tone of their voices didn't change. It's possible however they are both trying to keep calm and not alarm the other.
    • Resident Evil 6 has all the main characters calmly talking about what they're going to do with whatever is trying to kill them at that moment in time. One fun example is when Leon and Hellena are sliding down a waterway (seemingly into the bowels of the Earth) while being chased by a giant mutant fish; they never raise their voices once. While Jake and Sherry sound almost bored when they're on a speeding elevator that's outrunning a fireball while simultaneously also attempting to defeat a boss.
    • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles: Wesker might be combining this with Thinking Out Loud, or it might just be a very deadpan Inner Monologue. When Sergei Vladimir sets an Ivan on him, Wesker calmly says "This should be intriguing." Note that Wesker doesn't have his superpowers yet at this point.
  • Resonance of Fate does this a lot. Particularly in boss battles, you'll have chatter between your party and the bad guys, that doesn't stop while you're unloading clip after clip of bullets into the bad guy.
  • The main characters of the Shadow Hearts games have a habit of acting completely nonchalant in the face of ridiculous or particularly hammy villains. In one notable example in Covenant, whilst one villain is busy monologuing about how he will rip the heroes' bones apart and condemn them to a lifetime of torture, the party is in a huddle busily discussing how the villain is managing to levitate himself: "It's the pillow he's sitting on! I'm sure of it!" "You think so?". When the villain is finished ranting, main character Yuri has only one thing to say: "Where can I get one of those pillows?"
  • In the Splatoon series, this can occasionally be the case in non-boss levels during the single-player campaign, but especially so when facing off against the Final Boss again after completing the mode. The members of Mission Control will start to casually chat with you and each other during the fight instead of giving tips like usual, since its a Here We Go Again! situation and you don't really need the help.
  • Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell fame never reacts surprised to any danger that erupts around him, speaking dryly and casually even when he has no idea how he's permitted to react at that point. It's implied that from all the battles he's been through, he's gotten used to the odd occupational hazard.
  • Stubbs the Zombie tends to elicit very... unusual death rattles from his victims. Most robots speak casually no matter what happens, presumably due to their programming. But even normal victims tend to have extremely skewed priorities, with shouts such as "That was my favorite arm!", "Now how will I juggle?", or even: "That was my second favorite arm!"
  • Tales Series:
    • This happens quite a few times in Tales of Symphonia, usually when Zelos is involved.
      Yuan: [after trapping the party] I have you now, you fools!
      Lloyd: [to Zelos] ...He just called you a fool.
      Presea: Zelos is... clumsy.
      Zelos: Oh man, I am so sad right now.
    • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, during one event where the characters are being chased, there is a series of skits in which Tenebrae suggests a "Speaking Ban" because he feels the dialogue in the skits themselves is interfering with escape (ironically, it also prevents him from gloating over its success)
    • Flynn and Yuri in Tales of Vesperia. They fight together once and duel twice, and all three times they just can't stop snarking at each other:
      Yuri: Hey, this isn't the time to get worked up.
      Flynn: I am NOT worked up!
      Yuri: It's okay, don't hide it!
      Flynn: Would you be serious for once?
      Yuri: I am serious!
      Flynn: I can't concentrate with you talking all the time!
      Yuri: Well, I can't concentrate without talking, so... we're kinda stuck!
    • In Tales of Arise, the constant Calling Your Attacks of the previous installment, Tales of Berseria is replaced by the characters being downright chatty with each other during battle. Characters will comment on the types of enemies they're fighting ("Stop flying around so much!") or ask why another character just healed them ("Because I need you alive!")
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • While most of the dialogue in-game is various taunts and unwarranted advice yelled back and forth between teams, some lines are surprisingly calm for a battleground, generally from one teammate to another.
    • The Spy will, when set on fire, occasionally say "I do believe I'm on fire" or "I appear to have burst into flames" without any hint of pain. Considering how the most useful way of finding spies is to set them on fire, it might just be commonplace to him by now.
    • The Sniper in Meet the Sniper, while taking aim at one of his marks.
      Sniper: I think his mate saw me.
      [bullet hits railing, Sniper and camera duck]
      Sniper: Yes, yes, he did.
  • Time Gal has a scenario in the B.C. 44 stage where Reika tries to pick up a guy... while swordfighting him.
    Reika: Hey, good-looking. You're my kinda guy! Oh, how old are you?
  • Warhammer: The End Times: Vermintide: Most humor in the world has been eaten alive by the Skaven, so making fun of them (especially the 'ninjas' who can't make a single parkour jump without yelling at their targets) is a good way of getting it back. By Vermintide II the five heroes are so comfortable with one another and dismissive of the Skaven and Chaos that the density of conversations and jokes has doubled if not tripled from the first game (which had more gloomy and loreful exchanges thrown in).
  • WET at the end of the game after being shot at twice by Rupert Pelham Rubi says, "Bummer. Sucks for you." This is in a tone of voice one would expect to hear someone use when they realized they dropped their wallet not when they just deflected two bullets and are about to take Final Vengeance on someone.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yo-Jin-Bo is full of this. Fighting an army of ninjas is apparently good fuel for the wit.

    Web Animation 

  • Rather than escaping, the mad Genius Ditz from Average Joe has a completely casual conversation with the titular character here, while a third character is occupied keeping him from being cut in half by a Bond-style laser beam.
  • On this page of Dead Winter, Liz and Alice have a discussion about pacifism, as they nonchalantly smash in the brains of a zombie who tried to sneak up on them.
  • No surprise with Acrobat. He even does this once when Magnum was being remote controlled by their common enemy.
  • In Blip, Liz gets kidnapped and imprisoned in some extra-dimensional space. You wouldn't know that from the way she telepathically contacts Mary, and asks if Mary can cover for her on stakeout duties while she's out of town.
  • Colour Wheel: Violet takes a call from her dad. "As a matter of fact, there is a robot trying to kill me."
  • All of 8-bit Theater, and not just the dialog between the casual dangers that are the protagonists.
    In a crashing airship
    Black Mage: I have doubts about the viability of manned flight.
    Red Mage: Is it the crashing? It's the crashing, isn't it?
    Black Mage: It features prominently.
    Thief: We're not gonna accomplish anything by burning to death in here. Let's move.
    Black Mage: But there's no fire.(FWOOSH) Oh, that fire.
  • Freefall: This comes up in a chat between Dvorak and Florence.
    Dvorak: Did I turn on the exhaust fans?
    Florence: No.
    Dvorak: Then I suggest we continue this conversation while running this way very fast.
  • In Girl Genius, Gil protects his bedridden father from a few assassination attempts effortlessly in the midst of several conversations with his advisers.
  • High School Lessons: According to Rowan, doing this was her job in high school, in order to help her friends maintain their sanity.
  • Lackadaisy: Rocky's particular streak of eccentricity includes a tendency to run his mouth in bizarre ways, which sometimes interacts weirdly with the danger he encounters. While the pig farmers are attacking, he rambles incoherently.
    Rocky: That's the thing about words; they're wishy-washy. Maybe we'll have better luck with interpretive pantomime.
    Ivy and Freckle: ["Bwuh?" expressions]
    Rocky: No? Not getting it? Give up? It means pig farmers are coming to shoot my face off. Let's step out of the line of fire, shall we?
  • The Night When The Crow Caws: Woo Kang calmly asks Park Tae if she wants to have a beer with him later despite currently being in the same room as a bomb that could go off at any second.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • About just about everyone does this, since most are Deadpan Snarkers and Talking Is a Free Action. No mere action sequence is going to slow down the puns. Belkar is especially prone to it.
    • Elan does this all the time, much to the other party members' chagrin. Well, this is Elan's designated role as the party's bard. And he starts doing it even more after taking the Dashing Swordsman prestige class, which boosts his damage with a rapier whenever he makes a pun or one-liner while attacking.
    • It seems to run in the family — Nale is quite capable of nonchalantly disregarding the most fearsome of his opponents. Note that Nale personally murdered Malack's family, and Malack is higher-level than him.
      Nale: Malack. How's the family?
  • Most of the Questionable Content characters spend so much time snarking, that Marten's reaction to a psycho trying to kill his friend Steve while he's present (supposedly for being a bad boyfriend) is to remark that his hair is neither spiky nor blonde enough for this.
    • In a later confrontation with the same attacker, Dora casually grabs Faye's ass, much to the latter's irritation. When asked why, Dora's response is that if she's going to die, she'd rather die happy.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Schlock has no problem finishing up his one-liner after his friend gets his eye blown off by a sniper.
    • Death is Cheap for the Schlock universe, and even accounting for that, Schlock knows Ebbirnoth's injury isn't as serious as it looks (the sniper thought he was delivering a deadly headshot to a being that keeps its brain in its abdomen); it can be regenerated with the help of nanobots. However, Ebby's eye is still a major sensory organ, so he needs a distraction from the pain, and Schlock is Nigh-Invulnerable.
  • In Spying with Lana, the first conversation where we see Lana has her snarking to her chief that she's "little busy right now" in the middle of a gun fight.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: As a work running on Lightmare Fuel with a Deadpan Snarker in the cast, this was bound to happen sooner or later. From Mikkel's Flat-Earth Atheist perspective, the ghost attack consisted of an unconscious Lalli suddenly starting to scream, followed by Mikkel himself passing out for no apparent reason and waking up to the tank being driven away from the campsite and the monster-decting kitten having apparently had a Bring My Brown Pants moment. Meanwhile, his superior Sigrun is running around trying to resolve the situation after a similar moment of passing out. Mikkel's contribution to the frenzy is pointing out that Tuuri, who technically went against Sigrun's earlier orders by driving away from the campsite while she was unconscious, should be on Sigrun's mutiny risk list instead of Mikkel himself. The list in question had been started due to a minor act of disobedience on Mikkel's part, and only had Mikkel's name on it.
  • Quant and Endorsi in Tower of God. Quant being one of those people who achieved the nigh-impossible goal of reaching the top of the Tower, Endorsi being one of those who got the power of the King and third strongest person of the Tower. There is a lot of danger here to be ridiculed with casual quips.
  • Kitti and Dries in What the Fu discuss their relationship while beating up a bunch of cultists.
  • Avania: Una and Charlotte's banter during bouts of aerial action, such as pursuing another aircraft through a canyon.

    Web Original 
  • AlChestBreach does this quite often. It's amongst his defining characteristics.
  • Sonia, from The Saints, is incapable of not mouthing off to every threat she encounters.
  • Rob from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes is notorious for cracking stupid jokes before, during, or after most battles, usually leading to him being smacked upside the head by Wyn.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Chaka is definitely the guiltiest party of the members of Team Kimba. When super-powered ninjas attacked on Parents' Day, she stopped to hassle the ninja leader about his technique, then collected the throwing stars being hurled at her and handed them out to her little brother and Tennyo's younger brother.
      Chaka: [whistles] Hey Daikon BAY-BAY! How y'all doin'? R'member ME?
    • Basically, all of Team Kimba, except Lancer, who is stuck playing team leader. Their instructors in Team Tactics have been getting on their case about it. When attacked by a stream of lethal robots in a simulation of Crucible's supervillain lair, they pretty much have a contest to see who can come up with the best robot joke.
  • In the Hardly Working episode Emergency Flirt Pat starts flirting with the animal control operator, and forgets about the tiger trying to eat them all.
  • Veronica does this in a bloody, large scale battle with Taylor in Shadowhunter Peril. She talks to Taylor while swinging a mace at her, commenting on her hair and such. Then she goes so far to ask if she's annoying Taylor. It's hilarious in two aspects: There's a massacre going on in the background, and Taylor actually doesn't flip out at Veronica (but she doesn't take her questions seriously).
  • Not Always Right has a guy who told a would-be robber threatening him with a knife to quit holding up the line.
  • Rinkworks' Computer Stupidities has a story of a technician teaching his daughter how to do his job. One of the things he teaches her is to remain calm while working. She takes this lesson a little too well because when she's doing her first hard drive swap, she says "Okay, the drive is on fire. Is that normal?" (It isn't and the drive is faulty.) Oddly enough, the more experienced one panics while the newbie remains perfectly calm.
  • Resident Evil Abridged: Seen when Barry tries pulling a gun on Jill, who effortlessly snatches it out of his hand and turns it on him. Barry keeps his cool and tries to talk her down by joking with her.
    Barry: [raising hands in surrender] Believe it, or not, I have a good explanation for that, too.
  • Shorts Wars: In "wheredidriggygo.mp4, Riggy makes jokes even when his clone is about to kill him. Justified, as Riggy had an escape plan that he puts into motion as soon as his clone leaves the room.
  • The Weather: A running joke in the episode "Tornado" is that the cast and callers all hold casual conversations...while a tornado is raging around them, destroying their property, or threatening to kill them.
  • Oxventure: At one point in their Dungeons & Dragons campaign, they realise that a bartender has served them poisoned drinks. Corazon immediately proposes mixing one drink of poison with one with water so they don't get sick later.
    Dob: Barkeep! Another round, and no poison in it this time, you rascal.
  • S&D Tier: Alex regularly makes and takes phone calls while in the middle of fighting with superheroes. They're Nigh-Invulnerable, so it doesn't even trip them up.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long. Not as badly as some, but enough to get a bit annoying when, in the middle of a perfectly good story, Spud keeps making forced-sounding criticisms of Dark Dragon's Evil Laugh. (Spud, for the record, has no idea what he's talking about — Dark Dragon had a great evil laugh.)
  • Done all the time in Archer. Sterling and Barry argue about Barry ruining Sterling's suit and how Sterling slept with Barry's fiance while they are being shot at by the KGB. Later, Cyril wastes no time laying into Sterling about trying to get them all killed by taking on the Yakuza stone drunk just because they might have his birthday present. And, of course, any time Sterling and Lana talk about their failed relationship. Then there was also the time Sterling is fighting off an army of mooks while talking to a 16-year-old German diplomat's daughter about her daddy issues while she's topless outdoors in the middle of winter.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Zhao and Iroh are discussing invasion plans when Hahn unmasks himself and charges them with a spear. Zhao throws him off the ship without missing a beat and calmly continues talking.
    • Iroh gets one too when a bunch of Dai-Li agents attack him out of nowhere and he simply takes a sip of tea then asks them if they know why he is called the "Dragon of the West".
      • He does the same when surrounded by the Fire Nation equivalent of Special Forces, just asking if anyone would like some tea, he'd love some.
    • The Gaang gets a variant of this when they storm the Earth King's palace, advancing and fending off all of the Earth Kingdom warriors with ease... while apologizing to them, since they were only following orders.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold is full of this. This is expected, as the whole show's purpose is to partner Batman with one or more heroes in every single episode. The most hilarious situations often involve Green Arrow, Aquaman, and the Blue Beetle (both Jaime and Ted).
  • In Beast Wars: Dinobot and Rattrap (who never got along, since Dinobot was originally a bad guy; his sense of warrior's honor caused him to join the good guys) are arguing as they drag Tarantulas down a tunnel. They stop to continue arguing and Tarantulas wakes up, pulls a gun, and stands up. Upon aiming it at the two good guys and screaming a threat, both Dinobot and Rattrap yell "SHUT UP!" and punch him out... in unison!
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "Don't Drink the Water", Gi and Wheeler are trying to escape from lockup in the villains' lair when they're interrupted, forcing Wheeler to distract the henchmen so that Gi can escape. Immediately afterwards, Bleak grabs him from behind, holding his arms to his sides. Wheeler nonchalantly asks him and Rigger how things are going.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • Odd Della Robbia is the living incarnation of this trope. He's constantly fooling around while fighting, whether on Lyoko or the real world. He's done things like giving girl names to the monsters he's destroying or making sport announcer commentaries of his own exploits (this has gotten him devirtualized once). If Odd ever stops this and starts screaming in terror, you can bet he's really in mortal danger.
    • Ulrich Stern is no slouch either, especially when Odd isn't around and he feels the need to take his friend's place at making lame jokes.
    • Aelita and Yumi can sometimes quip or joke, but they tend to be much more serious than the boys.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Numbuh Two while dodging punches in a Humongous Mecha fight with Numbuh Five. Given his Improbable Piloting Skills, he dodges all of her attempts to tag him easily while saying this gem of a line.
    Numbuh Two: [with old master accent] Oh, your moves, young grasshopper, are like elephants doing the mambo in tapioca.
  • As a solenoid minion is chasing Penfold around the pillar box, Danger Mouse chides Penfold not only for his library book being overdue but his choice of book as well (debut episode "Rogue Robots").
    DM: The things that lad reads...tch tch... "Jake Thunder: Super Spy." Absolute rubbish.
  • Happens in an episode of Justice Friends from Dexter's Laboratory. Major Glory takes time in the middle of a battle to catch up with his old college roomie Living Bullet. The whole episode is also about Kronk trying to romance his Distaff Counterpart "She Thing" and his friends actually help him while simultaneously battling the villains.
  • Marsala is generally prone to this in Exo Squad, e.g. this gem:
    [The Squad is trapped by overwhelming enemy numbers and their Powered Armor is half-offline]
    J.T. Marsh: Can you fly?
    Marsala: I presume you mean "in an E-frame"?
    J.T. Marsh: Great. Of all times, you pick now to find a sense of humor?
  • On The Fairly OddParents!, the entire time Chip is being held hostage by Vicky, he casually converses with Timmy, even noting he's only here until "she snaps or the SWAT team arrives". He's far more concerned over the fact that he's going to miss the concert and disappoint the fans.
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie Griffin, being a Deadpan Snarker, and also insane, does this a lot. A classic example:
      Stewie: Be careful! The mountains are the same color as the sky!
      Brian: What?
      Stewie: I said the mountains are the same color as the—WHOA!
      Brian: What was that?
      Stewie: I'm practicing my comedy crash!
    • In "Untitled Griffin Family History", as the Griffins are about to drown in a flooding panic room, Peter Griffin decides to spend his last seconds talking about how he did not care for The Godfather.
    • Another example would be in "Seahorse Seashell Party", during the time when Brian is tripping on 'shrooms.
  • Futurama: Bender and Leela have a brief one in "Fry and the Slurm Factory":
    Bender: (about to be converted into Slurm cans) I can't see what's happening. Are we boned?
    Leela: (lowered into a vat) Yeah, we're boned.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Golf War", Pacifica is left on a deathtrap. When Mabel starts untying her from it, she starts criticizing her rescue attempt. At least, until Mabel threatens to leave her there.
    Pacifica: Took you long enough. And watch the earrings! They're worth more than your house!
    Mabel: You know what, on second thought, maybe I won't untie you.
    Pacifica: Untie me! Untie me!
    Mabel: That's what I thought.
    • Soon after, Pacifica compliments Mabel on her golf game, noting that while Mabel's form is a bit sloppy with some practice she could be great. This is all while they're being swarmed by Lilliputtians that are trying to kill them.
  • In the Johnny Bravo episode "Bearly Enough Time!", this casual exchange happens while Johnny is being chased by Chronos the Bear and they individually pass by the former's mother Bunny, who isn't aware of what's going on:
    Bunny: Hi Johnny!
    Johnny: Hi Mama!
    Bunny: Hello Mr. Bear.
    Chronos: Good morning, Madame.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In one particularly memorable scene, Superman and Batman are fighting a group of anonymous masked criminals while casually talking about Captain Marvel, a new member of the League. About halfway through the scene, one of the heroes suddenly realizes something:
      Batman: What do these guys want, anyway?
      Superman: To take over the world... Or rob banks. I forget. [beats up bad guys] But, back to Captain Marvel...
    • Another example from Justice League Unlimited: Batman has been forced to eject from his jet, and the enemy has destroyed the ejector seat (which presumably contained his parachute). As he is plummeting to his death, he says in a completely calm, deadpan voice:
      Batman: Batman to all points: I could use some air support.
      Batman: Since I can't fly.
      [still falling]
      Batman: At all.
      [seconds from hitting the ground]
      Batman: Now would be good.
      [Superman swoops in to catch him just before impact]
  • On Kaeloo, the main four are normally extremely calm when dealing with danger.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim and sidekick/boyfriend Ron are so used to the danger around them that they carry on casual conversations while sneaking into Supervillain Lairs, fighting the bad guys, or even discuss their relationship while the villain aims a Death Ray at their heads. Often Kim has to tell her sidekick to focus on the matter at hand.
    • In one instance, Ron was fighting Kim (his body controlled by a bad guy) when they argue about a misunderstanding. The dialog includes the lines "Oh, this is our first fight," and "I never meant to hurt you," as Ron throws Kim over a table.
    • From the same show, Yori is like this by nature, most likely as a product of her Ninja training. From the episode "Big Bother":
      [Kim and Yori are tied back to back, they jump onto a patch of ground that immediately becomes the only piece of land in the middle of a large lava field]
      Yori: Hmm. This is a mild setback.
      Kim: Calm in the face of danger much?
    • The time the Go siblings walk into Electronique's trap, it comes across more as simple obliviousness:
      Shego: Can we focus on the fact that Miss Sparky's pointing a weapon at us?
    • Kim and Shego also often have a little chit-chat while fighting, often about fashion, or complimenting Drakken on actually being competent for once.
  • In the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, the heroes discuss the upcoming Winter Festival while fighting off a group of bandits. The bandits even join in.
  • Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters are fond of throwing little asides at the audience during tense moments. One notable example: in Hair-Raising Hare, Bugs is barricading a door with a monster on the other side and shouts frantically "Is There a Doctor in the House?" When one stands up, Bugs merely give him his catchphrase "Eh, what's up, Doc?" The catchphrase is also delivered with total cool when Elmer is pointing a gun at him. When they were first created, Bugs Bunny cartoons were funny because of all the responses the audience expected from a rabbit facing a hunter, casual flippancy wasn't even on the list.
  • This happens often on Milo Murphy's Law, whenever Milo and his friends end up in trouble because of his terrible luck.
    Zack: [while being chased by a rolling concrete pipe] AAAAAH! Wait, why aren't you screaming?!
    Milo: I find it doesn't help. Just hurts the larynx.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Rarity and Pinkie Pie end up being tangled up in rope and dragged around by a brainwashed Rainbow Dash. Rarity says, in a polite tone tinged with sarcasm, "Oh, Fluttershy. Could you be a dear and fly faster, please?!"
  • Brock and Vonnie of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero have had to master the art of this thanks to being trapped in a world of non-stop danger; most of their MUHU conversations with Penn involve them giving him advice or discussing mundane topics while fighting monsters or defusing bombs.
  • Quick Draw McGraw: In the first appearance of Quick Draw's alter ego El Kabong, he and villain Don Chilada are sword fighting in Chilada's spacious home:
    El Kabong: Say... nice place you've got here.
    Don Chilada: I like it. I'm having a swimming pool put in next summer.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Marge Vs. the Monorail", when the monorail speeds down the track, Marge contacts Homer on the microphone, and Homer just casually gives his usual "Y'ello?" greeting.
    • "You Only Move Twice" has Homer and Scorpio having a conversation about Homer's family being unhappy in their new town while the army is invading Scorpio's headquarters.
      Scorpio: Homer, I'm disappointed but I think you need to do what's best for your family. You need anything, you call me...
      Homer: All right. What's the number?
      Scorpio: I never had to call my own company. Someone will tell you [the number] upstairs. But Homer, on your way out, if you wanna kill somebody it would help me a lot.
      (dons a flame thrower and goes back into the fray)
    • From The Shining parody in "Treehouse of Horror V":
      Lisa: Mom, is Dad gonna kill us?
      Marge: I guess we're just gonna have to wait and see.
  • This is all over the place in Sonic Boom. For example, in the opening of "Buster", Sonic is snarking at Eggman's expense while dodging jets of flame.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man's title character and his Rogues Gallery engage in this when they aren't bantering wittily or trading insults.
    • Hawkeye (as Ronin) and Spider-Man once had a witty banter contest while fighting off hordes of ninjas, including musing about what ninjas got as job benefits. ("Oh, and throwing stars. Lots and lots of throwing stars.")
    • Being a Cloudcuckoolander, Deadpool's rambling is even more distracting than Spider-Man's. Even Daredevil is fooled.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Lair of Grievous" Kit Fisto and his former padawan Nahdar Vebb have a light-hearted exchange while dealing with the droids supposedly guarding Nute Gunray, obviously happy to see each other and work together again. This banter disappears as it becomes clear they've walked into an incredibly dangerous trap as their mission quickly becomes something out of the horror genre.
  • Can anyone say Teen Titans (2003)?
    • An especially good example would be the Titans incarnation of Kid Flash.
    • Or any superhero show for younger people, for that matter, like Ben 10.
  • Multiple people on Total Drama do this — a notorious example being singing while plummeting towards Earth at insane speeds — but Noah and Duncan do it an awful lot.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • In the episode "Escape to the House of Mummies, Part II", we get this exchange:
      Villain: Give me the Hand of Osiris!
      Dr. Venture: Give me head!
      Villain: You didn't just say that.
      Dr. Venture: I absolutely did. What are you gonna do about it?
      Villain: I'm... about to kill your sons...
      Dr Venture: Join the club!
    • Gradually, two justifications are developed for the show's many, many examples of this trope. First, most of the villains are card-carrying members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, therefore bound by a thick rulebook that tones down their effective menace (to say nothing of those that are incompetent to begin with). Second, the Venture family have been in seemingly perilous situations their entire lives and have become somewhat Genre Savvy and even bored with it. A lampshade is hung on it in "Victor. Echo. November.", when the danger comes directly from the Guild itself for a change:
      Dr. Venture: [after the lights go out] Don't be a nervous Nelly. The generators will kick in in— [lights come back on] There you go. [lights go out again] Um, this is different, Brock, isn't it?
  • In one episode of Young Justice: Outsiders, titled "Private Security", meta-criminal Brick and his goons attempt to hijack a shipment of expensive electronics, guarded only by a four-man security team... the members of which seem pretty unbothered by Brick ripping the roof off the SUV (aside from concerns about insurance), have no problem jumping from said SUV onto moving semi trucks, and continue personal conversations while simultaneously fighting him on the roof of one of said trucks. (Of course, given that these four men are secretly either retired or active-duty Badass Normal superheroes, the whole event is more of a minor inconvenience for them than anything else, much to Brick's increasing confusion.)
    Dick: Uh, do you mind?!
    Will: Yeah, we're kind of in the middle of a thing here!
    Brick: Y'all interrupted my thing! Be rude not to return the favor!

    Real Life 
  • This kid, who may not be Made of Iron, but probably has Balls of Steel.
  • Anyone who has spent time around people routinely in dangerous situations (police, firefighters, paramedics, and soldiers) will have seen this. (Compare It Never Gets Any Easier.)
  • The crew of Apollo 13. The very real possibility of dying hundreds of thousands of kilometers from Earth in a space capsule would rank slightly higher than "a problem" on most people's scales. American astronauts up to and through the moon shots were all direct graduates from the Chuck Yeager school of flying. Besides which, in space, there are no small problems.
  • In 1908-09, Douglas Mawson and Professor Edgeworth David were part of an Antarctic expedition. Mawson was working in the tent one day when the Professor asked if he was busy. Mawson said yes. A few minutes later, Professor David asked again, explaining apologetically, as Mawson quotes him, "I am so sorry to disturb you, Mawson, but I am down a crevasse and I really don't think I can hold on much longer."
  • Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning in Wisconsin in 1912 when he was shot right before giving a speech. The speech, folded up in his pocket, slowed the bullet and sapped its lethality. Not fazed by a mere bullet, and being familiar with human anatomy, Roosevelt deduced the bullet had not done severe damage and finished his speech, standing up, for 90 minutes before seeking medical attention. In the end the bullet was left in because removing it would have been too dangerous.note  This might more properly be a case of Casual Danger Monologue, however.
    "Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."note 
  • An example of this cost some lives in The Korean War: an American commander, upon being told by the British 29th Infantry Brigade that things were "a bit sticky," ordered the unit to remain in place and continue to defend the river, not knowing that "a bit sticky" meant "outnumbered 70,000 to 4,000, ammunition virtually exhausted."
    • Andrew Marr, A History of Modern Britain:
      Narration: Unfortunately, the American commander didn't realize that "a bit sticky" was stiff-upper-lip for "catastrophic."
  • According to mountain climber David Brashears, he has never heard another climber scream as he/she fell. If they say anything at all, it's a brief warning to those below, like "Falling!"
  • In 1982, British Airways Flight 9 encountered a cloud of volcanic ash that sand-blasted the aircraft's windows and choked all four of its engines with rock fragments causing them all to flame out. The aircraft was reduced to gliding over the ocean, miles away from the nearest airport (or indeed any land whatsoever), with little hope of relighting the apparently dead engines, and the point rapidly approaching where the only option left was ditching (a maneuver never attempted in a 747, and one that has far more often than not gone horribly wrong on other models of airliner). Amid their frantic attempts to restart the engines the crew did manage to find the time to make the following announcement (called "a masterpiece of Understatement") to the passengers:
    "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress."
    • They landed safely. Though by this point the danger was long gone, it is still amusing that the people on that plane called themselves the "Galunggung Gliding Club" (the ash came from Mount Galunggung and they had glided out of the cloud).
    • All airline pilots are told to sound as calm and casual as possible when announcing an emergency, and indeed, only to use the intercom if it is absolutely necessary.
  • 01/15/09, Hudson River, Captain C. "Sully" Sullenberger. An emergency landing after losing both engines to birdstrike. The dialogue with the control tower is available here. In a nutshell, it's "We're gonna be in the Hudson." As in, he was going to land in the Hudson River. This is a professional requirement of pilots and air traffic control - when the fellow you're on the phone with is about to make a split-second decision with a few hundred lives, you're not to add any pressure, thank you very much.
  • Captain Al Haynes, while guiding a DC-10 with no flight controls approaching the Sioux City airport, even cracked a joke. When told he was cleared to land on any runway, he laughed and replied "You want to be particular and make it a runway, huh?" He did hit the runway, and 184 of 296 people on board survived. note 
    • That wasn't the only joke cracked during the crisis. While assisting the crew in the cockpit, deadheading captain Dennis Fitch told the crew, "We'll all have a beer when we get this thing down." Haynes' reply? "I don't drink, but I'll sure as hell have one anyway!"
    • And when he was describing the crew's ordeal in a press conference shortly after being released from hospital (he was in a wheelchair and had several very visible injuries on his face) he was still able to maintain his sense of humour.
      Al Haynes: (regarding being trapped in the wreckage) I just told myself "Don't hyperventilate, stay calm, and wait for somebody to come."
      Journalist: What happened?
      Al Haynes: Somebody came.
  • "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We've had a small problem; the plane is under control now and we're headed back to Detroit for an emergency landing." - Captain Bryce McCormick, pilot of American Airlines Flight 96 (another DC-10) after the cargo bay had decompressed and partially collapsed the cabin floor, severely restricting the pilots' control of the plane.
  • As the RMS Titanic was sinking in 1912, the chamber strings group on board continued to play their music, even as passengers were rushing for the lifeboats. It was documented over and over again by the survivors. What is less certain is what they played - tradition holds that it was Nearer My God, to Thee but opinions differ. One survivor says he certainly did not remember hearing it, as passengers would have taken it as an unsubtle hint that they were all doomed, and caused a panic. Nevertheless, the orchestra continued to play until the angle of the deck became too great for them to keep their balance. This was portrayed in both James Cameron's 1997 film and the 1958 film A Night to Remember.
  • Man Impaled With Knife Orders Coffee
  • Lawrence Oates, British antarctic explorer. Aware that his failing health was impeding his comrades' chances for survival, he chose to speed up his death via exposure in order to give them a better chance. His last words before walking out of the tent into a blizzard were "I am just going outside and may be some time."
  • Ronald Reagan famously wisecracked after he was shot on March 30, 1981, telling his wife Nancy, "Honey, I forgot to duck." He also jokingly told the surgical staff, "I hope you're all Republicans."note 
  • After getting in a bar fight to defend a female companion, which resulted in him getting slashed in the arm with a piece of glass, Sean Bean ordered another drink and let them give him first aid.
  • John Wildey, the British man who landed the flight instruction aeroplane he was in (with no previous experience and an illness-stricken instructor), remarked: "This isn't going to end very well is it," as he took the plane into a controlled crash.
  • As Japanese carrier Hiryu was sinking during the Battle of Midway, her captain and his superior, Admiral Yamaguchi, calmly talked about the moonlit night sky as they went down with the ship. Heroic and honorable this might have been, it was still foolish as Yamaguchi was Japan's best carrier admiral and his loss was a big blow.
  • The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine opened with an example from the men of the Snake Island garrison: 13 soldiers at most with relatively light equipment, facing the Russian Black Sea fleet flagship Moskva. Despite being threatened by a fairly modern missile cruiser with a rather fearsome bombardment capability, the Ukranian garrison quietly acknowledged the seriousness of the situation with remarkable calm, whereupon one of them considered how best to respond. A fellow soldier encouraged him to answer in the traditional Ukranian fashion when presented with an ultimatum.note 
    Russian warship Moskva: Snake Island, I am a Russian warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender. Otherwise, you will be bombarded. Do you copy?
    Ukrainian soldier Roman Hrybov: Well, this is it... should I tell him to fuck off?
    Unknown Ukrainian soldier: You might as well.
    Hrybov: (turning up the volume on his transmitter) Russian warship, go fuck yourself.

Alternative Title(s): Casual Danger Dialog


Beast Machines

The Maximals exchange some casual banter as they try to outrun Thrust and his lackeys.

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