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Clown Tropes

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"You know how there's like three clowns? Happy, sad and scary? I'm seeing all of them! Should I laugh, cry or scream?"
The Mulberry Gallows Project by Adam Marien

Clowns. They evoke laughter, fun, fear or creepiness. They are the source of so many tropes.

  • Cartoon Juggling: How juggling, a common clown trick, is depicted in animation.
  • Clown School: Where you go down to learn to clown.
  • Clown Species: Clowns are portrayed as being a humanoid species of their own rather than humans wearing costumes and makeup.
  • Court Jester: An old-fashioned clown who entertains the king in a Medieval European setting. Usually not what he seems.
  • The Fool: A ridiculously lucky person with an overly cheerful attitude.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: The standard, multi-pointed jester hat.
  • Juggalo: Fans of the band, Insane Clown Posse whomoften paint their faces like clowns.
  • Magical Clown: A clown or jester with magical powers.
  • Mistaken for Clown: Someone is mistaken for a clown or jester often because they're wearing an outlandish outfit.
  • Monster Clown: A clown who is evil and scary.
    • Enemy Mime: An evil mime.
    • Practically Joker: A villain who is a clear imitation of The Joker, one of the most iconic Monster Clowns ever.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: A clown who is happy and friendly, the way of any good clown.
  • Robot Clown: Beep-boop, initiating clown tricks.
  • Sad Clown: Someone who masks their negative feelings by joking around.
  • Slapstick: Physical comedy.
  • Sexy Jester: Attractive people dressed as clowns or jesters.
  • The Unwitting Comedian: The one who everyone laughs at even though they're trying to be serious.
  • Villainous Harlequin: An evil clown who is silly rather than terrifying.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: When mime tricks actually produce invisible objects.


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