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Crosses the Line Twice

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"I may disapprove of a movie for going too far, and yet have a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much farther than merely too far."

"Pain is funny. Therefore, more pain must be even funnier!"

Thus goes the logic in a lot of comedy shows and a few adult cartoons. Sadly, that's not the case. The line separating The Three Stooges-style painful fun from outright villainous squicky sadism varies from person to person but is definitely there; crossing it makes one fan's "Nyuk nyuk!" another fan's Guilty Pleasures.

However, if a show goes far enough with its violence, it may end up crossing the line not once but twice, as it goes around the planet and crosses it again. This second crossing takes the violence from sick back to funny in its ridiculous extremes. Similar to So Bad, It's Good, but done quite intentionally.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. Shows attempting to be Darker and Edgier with their humor this way straddle the line between sadism and comedy, and it's easy to make a mistake and fall on the wrong side of the S.S. Tightrope. Rather than cross the line a second time, the show makes a Wrong Turn at Albuquerque and breaks the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Some people just don't have a second line to cross in their minds, and will dislike any turn into sadism or vulgarity.

This can also apply to things other than violence for funny's sake; any time a little exaggeration would provoke a negative reaction, but exaggeration is fine, that's crossing the line twice. Take action scenes, for example: some shows try to keep action scenes realistic in order to seem believable, while others go so far over the top that it breaks the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Still, others take the over-the-top so over the top that what was before unbelievable garbage is now heart-wrenching, adrenaline-rushing, undiluted AWESOME. Of course, this form of the trope is just as subjective as the last, so be careful what you put down as an example.

See also Black Comedy, Bloody Hilarious, Refuge in Audacity, Vulgar Humor. If this happens completely by accident, that's Springtime for Hitler. Part of the Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror. When this trope isn't taken to extreme, over-the-top levels, it's mere Comedic Sociopathy. When it succeeds in being offensive but not so much at comedy, it's Dude, Not Funny!.

The Hilariously Abusive Childhood depends on this trope, piling misfortune on misfortune until it becomes so ridiculous it's funny. For instance, the Boarding School of Horrors in Bleak Expectations would be abusive if the staff beat the students and deprived them of food. That they use the boys as ammo for artillery practice and make them play a game where the smallest boy is chosen as the ball, kicked and punched across the field, and finally has his head shoved in a bucket of manure to score a goal is just silly.

This is also the way the Heroic Comedic Sociopath holds the audience's hearts. This character does evil in such an over-the-top, outrageous fashion that the audience stops feeling any moral qualms, because it's so over-the-top and out of line that it becomes hilarious instead.

Compare Actually Pretty Funny, when even the target of the joke concedes the humor of the situation.

For the (mostly) non-vulgar variant, see Overly-Long Gag.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Featured at the end of an episode of The Gruen Transfer was an ad for 42Below brand Vodka. The ad mercilessly poked fun at homosexual stereotypes, then, at the end, said the ad was run past "two fags and a queer" to make sure it wasn't offensive.
  • [adult swim]'s "Smart Pipe" infomercial, which begins as a satire of social media and their obsession with gathering and selling personal data (in this case in the form of a pipe that goes in your toilet plumbing and analyzes your waste,) and for some odd reason begins with an announcement that the company (the entire company) is a registered sex offender. Later on in the infomercial they try to explain this with the revelation that Smart Pipe analyzes and creates a topographical map of each user's anus, and how they've run afoul of "ancient child pornography laws" by scanning children, before suddenly turning political and requesting that viewers call and harass a specific congressman about it.
  • This entire Super Bowl L ad for Doritos. It's better to watch until the end to see exactly why. Let's just say that even unborn babies enjoy Doritos too…
  • Metro Trains Melbourne's rail safety ad: Dumb Ways to Die here. Basically, it's a PSA about being safe around trains, and it compares it to other stupid deaths, such as using private parts as piranha bait, and selling both your kidneys on the Internet.
  • This banned NSFW IKEA commercial shows a couple playing kinky games at home. Then their kids walk in on them prompting the father to cover up his manhood with a photo of his daughter which pushes the whole things into incest territory. From the same campaign is this ad, depicting a boy playing with toys... including one of his mom's.
  • Nandos has a commercial which depicts the one time strongman of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, reminiscing over doing childish games (i.e. water guns, swinging, etc.) with other dead dictators like Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and Uganda's Idi Amin. Not only does it cross the line twice in terms of humor, it's also bizarrely moving. It was perhaps unsurprisingly pulled before release, though that didn't stop it from making the rounds on YouTube.
  • This 2003 NSPCC ad depicts a mother becoming increasingly agitated by her toddler son's demands to the point that a request for water is heavily implied to be answered with violence. The funny part is that the kid is initially depicted as a Drill Sergeant Nasty clearly matching or surpassing R. Lee Ermey in sheer hamminess as he barks childish orders throughout the day.
  • A series of Pop-Tarts commercials have really pushed the boundary by portraying the Pop-tarts as sentient beings always being hunted by humans and animals out to gobble them up. Worse is that the Pop-tarts always lose; an especially weird one has a baby pop-tart eaten by a nurse as its parents watch.
    Mom: Ah Jammit.
  • This Canadian PSA, which features a pop group at a school assembly singing about sex, with the audience uncharacteristically eliciting a Flat "What". Just when you thought it couldn't get weirder, then came the dancers in penis and vagina costumes, and the people chanting "Go Penis! Go Penis!"
  • This ad for the Squatty Potty, involving a unicorn pooping out ice cream... which the advertiser proceeds to eat. The entire ad is full of poop-as-ice-cream analogies, and the presentation in general is so ridiculous you have to take it seriously.
  • Sending a gift box containing a stuffed representation of the organism that causes an STD? Tasteless and offensive. Sending a gift box containing five stuffed representations of various STD-causing organisms? Hilarious.


    Comic Strips 
  • The cartoons in The Rejection Collection crossed the line once when they were rejected by The New Yorker, but crossed it a second time when they were funny enough to be published in this book.
  • Scary Gary: Being a series with a lot of Black Comedy, many, many jokes merrily skip their way across the line. One of the lighter examples would be Gary telling Leopold "- for the last time -" to stop burying body parts in Gary’s flower bed, only to do a 180° when Frankenstein’s boyfriend gushes over how gorgeous the flowers are.
    Gary: (To Leopold) "Throw in another foot."
  • One Baldo strip in 2002 had the family talk about the Scenery Porn they would see in Colorado... only for them to enter Colorado and see a bunch of burnt-out trees that were still smoking. At the time, Colorado had quite a lot of wildfires (Notably the Hayman Fire) and seeing something produced within months of them was quite shocking - yet people in Colorado thought it was Actually Pretty Funny.
  • One comic strip for Big Nate depicts Nate and his friends at the beach making a sandcastle. A bully threatens to knock it over... only for Nate to say he will not. Cut to the sandcastle being the twin towers. Yes, this strip seriously ran on September 11th.

    Films — Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: At one point, Horace and Jasper argue over who will kill the puppies and who will skin them.
  • Boogie is filled to the brim with stuff like these. The titular hero introduced tricking a 7-year-old kid into ringing the doorbell of a mafia hideout, leading to the kid getting machine-gunned, which is all Played for Laughs, pretty much sets the tone of the film. And later there's a Mushroom Samba sequence containing a Disneyland Parody called "War Land", where a Tinkerbell Captain Ersatz blows up a child with a grenade launcher before the Disneyland castle turns into a series of nukes and launching into the sky.
  • Some characters' antics in The Boxtrolls, such as Lord Portly-Rind using his funds to build a cheese wheel instead of a children's hospital.
  • Igor:
    • There's a running gag of Scamper being suicidal but having the Healing Factor. And when he's in mortal danger, he says, "Just when I've decided I want to live!".
    • There's an orphanage specifically for blind orphans, and initially it looks like Eva is killing them (when really they're squealing happily). Igor (who created her for evil) says, "Oh my gosh, she's killing blind orphans! That's so evil! I mean, which is great, but... blind orphans?!"
    • Brainwashing is treated like an actual wash, and it has types of brainwashes called "Arsonist Scrub" and "Axe Murderer Wash".
  • The Incredibles: The death montage of the Supers who died thanks to their capes. Normally, the means of death (including getting sucked into a jet turbine and crushed by an elevator) would be horrifying. But the rapid fire way that Edna Mode lists them, as well as the fact that they all died to something as trivial as a cape turns it back into a hilarious moment.
  • Inside Out: Sadness talking about the "funny movie where the dog dies". Double for when Joy desperately brings it up to try to cheer her up. This goes even further in at least one foreign dub, where it's "the movie where the lion's father dies."
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: The fact that President Hathaway designed the nuclear fallout button to be right next to the latte button is rather ridiculous, but then it leads to this interaction.
    W.R. Monger: And we all know... nukes ain't an option.
    President Hathaway: Sure, they are. Just, uh... (casually leans on the nuclear fallout button)
  • Mulan gives us a rare Disney example — Mulan is bathing in secret in a lake. Then, however, Yao, Ling, and Chien-po enter prompting a hilarious water-fight in which Mulan is trying to hide that she's a woman in front of three naked men. She manages to get away from them, and says "I never want to see another naked man ever again..." Cue a stampede of about a couple dozen naked men running running past her.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" is an infectiously gleeful song, sung by three children, about their plans to kidnap and torture Santa.
  • ParaNorman has an Overly-Long Gag where its twelve-year-old Kid Hero has to pry a book out of the hands of an obese man's corpse through increasingly aggressive and ridiculous methods. Then there's a throwaway line from the cop character, which has only gotten more hilariously awful with age:
    Sheriff Hooper: What are you doing, firing at civilians? That's for police to do!
  • Robots: Aunt Fanny's Fartillery causes a nearby street lamp bot to collapse. Cut to the next morning, he's gone... with a tape outline marking the spot.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph's parents cover his nose so it won't raise a fuss when he plays reindeer games. The cover comes off and a buck Rudolph just befriended whimpers and yells "Get away from me!" with Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises. One can't help but laugh at the reaction that triggered Rudolph getting shunned by the other reindeer.
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: The premise involves the Teen Titans traveling back in time to prevent all other superhero origins so they can get their own movie, so at the end they have to undo all their changes to bring the past and present back to normal. This includes pushing the Waynes into Crime Alley so their deaths create Batman. Raven even slaps the infamous pearl necklace onto Martha Wayne first.
  • Toy Story: Woody's cringeworthy attempt to convince the other toys that Buzz is fine, and that they're friends now...using Buzz' currently severed arm (Buzz having suffered a complete mental breakdown at this point). He also smacks Buzz across the face to knock some sense into him with Buzz' own dismembered arm.
  • Toy Story 2: While the Reality Subtext made it awkward enough for Disney to cut it out of future releases, the gag of Stinky Pete flirtatiously offering two Barbies a role in the sequel, with obvious ulterior motives, is still hilarious on its own.
  • Trolls:
    • A flashback is shown of the many incidents caused by Branch's paranoia of a Bergen attack. Birthday party? Knocks down the cake in panic. Wedding? Knocks down the cake again. Funeral? Knocks down the casket, causing the body to fall out. Made doubly so when the deceased troll and his widow being the groom and bride from the previous wedding sequence, and the groom originally being a clown for her birthday.
    • When the Bergens are singing about how they're all miserable, one is seen burying himself alive... with a "meh" expression on his face.
    • Cooper's best moment in the film is when he cracks a totally inappropriate joke while everyone else is letting Branch's tragic backstory sink in.
      Cooper: My uncle broke his neck tap-dancing once.
  • Turning Red:
    • The circumstances surrounding Ming confronting Devon at the store over Mei's drawings of him shirtless would normally be pretty serious, since she finds Mei's drawings and mistakes the 17-year-old Devon for a 30-year-old who is preying on her 13-year-old daughter. It wouldn't be so funny if the real reason behind Mei's drawings weren't so simple (it was just Mei starting to form a crush on Devon, and she'd never even spoken to him before), and if Mei's horrified and embarrassed expressions during it all weren't downright hilarious.
    • Mei Shaking the Rump at her own mother likely wouldn't be so funny if they weren't both in their red panda forms, with Ming being the size of a Kaiju, or if Mei wasn't doing it just to get a rise out of her (which she succeeds at spectacularly).
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Kano performing his most iconic fatality on a zombie at the Bad-Anon support group meaning (albeit with purplish goo rather than red blood). It's already a rather shocking gag for a PG-rated Disney movie, but the way that 1) Kano is doing it as an enthusiastic expression of support, 2) Ralph is absolutely horrified, and 3) the zombie in question doesn't seem to mind much elevates it from "violent and funny" to "violent and hilarious".

    Game Shows 
  • Taskmaster has one that gleefully speeds across the line on a motorcycle when, during their Cold Open back and forth, Greg and Alex are voicing each other:
    Alex voicing Greg: You, Alex, are a wonderful person! I love you, Alex.
    Greg voicing Alex: Hello, I'm Alex Horne, and I support Apartheid.

  • The funnier jokes on Sickipedia. There's a reason why Frankie Boyle and Sickipedia appear to have reached something of a "steal and steal alike" agreement.
  • Mel Brooks on what he does for a living: "If I cut my finger, that's tragedy. If a man walks into an open sewer and dies, that's comedy!"
  • Three men and a woman were marooned on a desert island. After one week, the woman felt so guilty about what she had been doing that she committed suicide. After another week, the three men felt so terrible about what they had been doing they buried her. After another week the three men felt so terrible about what they had been doing they dug her back up.
  • Why did (insert name of child molester here) go to Walmart? Because children's clothes were half off!
    • It would be physically impossible to list every child molester joke ever made and all of them are like this. Another is, "How does (insert name of child molester here) know what time it is? When the big hand is on the little hand!".
  • The "Dead Frog" joke crosses it numerous times. A young boy named Timmy goes to a brothel with a dead frog and asks to sleep with one of the girls, and an employee lets him. Then, he asks if Timmy has any preferences and he asks for the girl with the most diseases. The employee is shocked, but arranges it, and later, he asks Timmy why he made that request. Timmy responds that it's to spread them to his babysitter when she "touches" him, who will then spread them to his father, who will spread them to his wife (Timmy's mother), who will spread them to the milkman, who ran over Timmy's frog.
  • A white guy, a black guy, a Japanese guy, and a Mexican guy were standing on the edge of a cliff, contemplating oblivion. The Mexican man shouts, "For the honor of my people!" and jumps off the cliff. Japanese man shouts, "For the honor of my people!" and commits seppuku. The black man shouts, "For the honor of my people!" and pushes the white guy off.
  • Why did little Suzy fall off the swing? She had no arms. Knock knock. Who's there? Not little Suzy. What did Little Suzy get for Christmas? A scooter! Just kidding, she couldn't open the box.
  • A murderer, a sadist, an arsonist, a zoophiliac, a necrophiliac, and a masochist were sitting in a room together. "We should kill a pig," says the murderer. "We should set the pig on fire and then kill it", says the arsonist. "We should fuck the pig and then set it on fire and then kill it", says the zoophiliac. "We should torture the pig and then fuck it and then set it on fire and then kill it," says the sadist. "We should torture the pig and then fuck it and then set it on fire and then kill it and then fuck it again", says the necrophiliac. "Oink," says the masochist.
  • The entire point of The Aristocrats, a joke that's meant to be a challenge to come up with the most vulgar, offensive and outright wrong story one can think of all for the purposes of making things that should never be considered funny funny.
    • The joke is that a group of performers, usually described as a family, are auditioning for an agent or for a gig, sometimes at a circus. The person evaluating them asks to see their act, so they proceed to perform a long series of absolutely terrible things, from killing and torturing animals, to perverse sexual acts, to defecating or urinating. Eventually the act stops and the bewildered audience of one asks what the hell they call their act. "The aristocrats!" (Because this is the sort of thing aristocrats supposedly get up to.)
      • In one version of this joke, the act is actually an elaborate group suicide, and the whole family dies.
  • A man sees a crying woman by a pond. She is in a wheelchair and has no arms or legs. He asks her why she is crying and she answers that she has never been hugged. Feeling pity, he hugs her then jogs away. The next day he finds her crying again and she says she has never been kissed. The man kisses her and jogs away again. On the third day the man sees her crying and asks her thrice. She tells him she has never been fucked. The man picks her up... and throws her in the pond telling her, "You're fucked now!"
  • Some jokes written by kids. For instance, "Why did the banana eat himself? Because he had nothing" and "What do you get when you cross a T-rex with a chicken? Nothing but death".
  • Why is Helen Keller a bad driver? Because she's a woman. Or alternatively, because she's dead.
  • What's white and bobs up and down in a baby's crib? A pedophile's ass.
  • Two Holocaust survivors go to heaven. One of them tells a Holocaust joke to the other, who laughs. God, who overheard them, asks what's so funny about the joke. They reply, "Ah, I guess you just had to be there."
  • Norm Macdonald had a joke on Saturday Night Live that crosses the line three times: “ Who are safer drivers? Men or women? Well, according to a new survey, 55% of adults feel that women are most responsible for minor fenderbenders, while 78% blame men for most fatal crashes. Please note that the percentages in these pie graphs do not add up to 100% because the math was done by a woman. For those of you hissing at that joke, it should be uh noted that that joke was written by a woman. So, now you don't know what the hell to do, do ya? Nah, I'm just kidding. We don't hire women.“

  • The vampire feast in Almost Night features various animals being drained of blood and killed. Then their corpses are used as playthings such as impromptu pillow fights, and sword fights for birds. Carlisangel even tortures one for kicks during the first one.
  • Andy Griffiths' Just Series: In "Band Aide" from "Just Crazy", Andy imagines ripping off his band-aid and filling up the bathroom with blood, then his mother opening the bathroom door and sending them down the street in a wave of blood... and then when he explains that he ripped his band-aid off, her yelling at him about band-aids being expensive.
  • In The BFG, the giants eat humans, and there are so many over-the-top jokes about it, like puns about where the humans come from (e.g. humans from Panama taste of hats and Hottentots are literally hot), and the giants having ridiculous names like Butcher Boy.
  • In A Brother's Price, one of the Whistler sisters tells the other that the neighbour's boy, Balin Brindle, is rumoured to have fathered his younger sisters. The reply? "And? At least we know he's fertile".
  • Candide by Voltaire has horrible things happening to almost all of the characters. Several times one character is forced to flee abandoning others to gruesome deaths. But as they often manage some to survive in some incredibly improbable way as it progresses the horrible events become funny.
    • Made even worse by the recurring quote "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" with all the atrocities around, often repeated just after something especially terrible happened. Well justified as the book was intended to be a sarcastic approach to the government, society and philosophy, particularly Gottfried Leibniz's optimism.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: At the end of the twelfth book, Greg visits the Isla de Corales website and sees a picture of his family that says that they have been banned from the resort. The picture in question? The family falling off an inflatable boat!
  • Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a book where twenty-six children die in alphabetized ways.
  • These lines from The Hunger Games:
    We were resting a moment by a stream when we saw him. A young buck, probably a yearling by his size. His antlers were just growing in, still small and coated in velvet. Poised to run but unsure of us, unfamiliar with humans. Beautiful.
    Less beautiful perhaps when the two arrows caught him, one in the neck, the other in the chest. Gale and I had shot at the same time. The buck tried to run but stumbled, and Gale’s knife slit his throat before he knew what had happened. Momentarily, I’d felt a pang at killing something so fresh and innocent. And then my stomach rumbled at the thought of all that fresh and innocent meat.
    • A pretty hefty portion of the humor in the series is this. For instance, "The Head Shackle" from Mockingjay.
  • The French novel/prose poem Les Chants de Maldoror crosses the line so many times that it becomes impossible to tell if it's meant to be funny or not. In one episode, the main character, sitting on a clifftop armed with a rifle, calmly watches a ship leave harbour during a storm, hit some rocks, and sink. Amid the mass of survivors, one sixteen-year-old boy swims bravely towards the shore, and the main character takes some time to admire the boy's beauty and bravery and then shoots the kid in the head. Then, a group of sharks attacks the remaining survivors. The main character watches all the survivors getting eaten, then identifies an especially large female shark as the most savage one. He waits until all the surviving humans are dead, picks off all the other sharks with his rifle, then dives into the sea, swims up to the female shark and fucks her.
  • Jonathan Swift's satirical essay A Modest Proposal definitely qualifies. Eating babies to prevent overpopulation is rather dark and gruesome. However, saying that they make for a delicacy, great gloves, and should have women act like cows to raise them up for being eaten is just plain hilarious.
  • Paper Towns:
    • At the prom afterparty, Ben sets a county record for longest keg-stand. Radar describes him as some kind of "autistic savant".
    • During the road trip, Radar is bought a T-shirt with a Confederate flag on it that reads "Heritage not Hate". Radar is black.
  • Ratburger: The way the villains die is that they get made into burgers and then eaten by the rats they wanted to make into burgers.
  • In the first chapter of Starship Troopers, Rico drops a bomb into a room full of people. It's a talking bomb, programmed to announce, in the enemy's language, that it is a bomb, and count down until it explodes. Rico winces as he throws it, but the image of the whole thing is just hilarious. It's helped by the long-ish countdown, and that it's intended more to freak the enemy out than to actually kill anybody.
  • Supervillainous!: Confessions of a Costumed Evil-doer has the dubious honor of being home to a supervillain named White Power, who is decked out in Ku Klux Klan robes and has the power to make white people violently racist. In one scene he and the rest of his team parachute into a prison yard and start to kill a bunch of inmates. When the guards come out he points to a group of black inmates and says "They did it!", prompting the guards to immediately attack said inmates.
  • The entire plot of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus could be this. According to this guy, it is.
  • Pilgrim has a bit that has achieved a fair bit of infamy in fantasy circles. In brief: a woman is used by her grandfather to channel the soul of his long-dead wife (her grandmother), so that she basically possesses their granddaughter and they have hot, passionate sex while the granddaughter is still conscious and powerless to do anything about it. She gets pregnant, and over the course of the pregnancy manages to regain control of her body, forcing grandma's soul into the unborn fetus instead. She then beats herself into miscarrying in front of her grandfather's eyes, expels the aborted fetus, and crushes its already-dead skull with her foot. All very macabre, twisted and Squicky. But when she smacks grandpa in the face repeatedly with the dead fetus while berating him, it becomes a stellar example of this trope.
  • The Witches:
    • The witches all want to kill kids... because they think kids smell of dogs' droppings.
    • While the Grand High Witch is "frying" (i.e. psychically burning) another witch, she sings a rhyme with lines like, "An idiotic witch like you must roast upon the barbecue".

  • After the Forking Show (ATFS), a podcast spinoff of a now defunct Australian radio show called The Spoonman, crosses the line in every podcast. One notable, repeated example: Bringing slavery to Australia (both played for laughs and discussed seriously).
  • Disc Only Podcast: In Episode 5, Stephen pitches an idea for a steakhouse in which patrons pay for their meal with their blood. There's even fanart that spawned from his pitch, some of which was shown off in the podcast.
  • Fat, French and Fabulous:
    • The episode on the murderous Papin sisters crosses several lines. It crosses lines you never knew you had. The two sisters murdered their employer and her daughter with a pewter jug (referred to as an "attempted poisoning" due to the high lead levels found in pewter) then cut off the women's buttocks and basted them in menstrual blood (referred to as "avant-garde French cooking").
    • Then there's this discussion from the FFF episode on the Mystery of Room 1046:
      "Who needs a child-leash when you can put 'em in a regular old gimp mask and dog collar?"
      "Hey, it's really hard to find a gimp mask that small."
      "Yeah, there's a reason that doesn't come in fucking child size. You have a hard time finding cock rings for toddlers for the same reason."
  • In the Road House live show episode of How Did This Get Made?, the hosts notice that someone in the audience has brought a baby to the show. This is after they've been discussing the nitty gritty of a sex scene and shown a clip of it. Jason Mantzoukas then contemplates asking if he can hold the baby for the rest of the show.
    Jason: If you brought a tiny baby, please bring it up here, I would like to hold it for the rest of the show. 'Casue I'm only going to say more horrible things, and it's only gonna be funnier if I'm holding a baby.
  • Too many examples to list in The Scathing Atheist.
    • One notable example was when they brought on the hosts of the Cognitive Dissonance Podcast in episode 128, where they listed jokes about the controversy regarding fetuses and Planned Parenthood.
    • One week Noah made a passing joke of making a top ten list of analogies involving puppy rape. Guess what was in the show the following week?
  • Antigone from Wooden Overcoats has clinical depression, and has for most of her life, which would be something to take seriously... except she got diagnosed with said depression twenty minutes after she was born.
    Madeline: It was a world record. Which didn't offer her the least bit of consolation.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol has Statler and Waldorf laughing about the time they shut down an orphanage on Christmas. They remember all the little tykes in the snow with their frostbitten teddy bears.
  • Muppet Treasure Island:
    • Billy Bones' death scene. It's surprisingly intense for a Muppets film but at the same time, the Narm makes it impossible not to laugh. When Bones collapses, Rizzo says, "He died? And this was supposed to be a kids movie!". Later on, Rizzo, Gonzo and Jim panic when they realize they're "standing in a room with a dead guy".
    • Then there's Dead Tom who is just a skeleton being casually dropped after it's stated he's always been dead. Then there's Blind Pew who keeps bumping into things because he's blind. But you laugh anyway because he's a jerk and is Large Ham in doing so.
      Blind Pew: [while the cabin is burning down] I think I smell... Something burning, no?
  • Team America: World Police
    • The scene with the vomiting puppet. The dramatic music takes it over the top.
    • Not to mention the sex scene. Just in general. note 
    • The speech about dicks, pussies and assholes would just be crude, but it being such a brilliantly sagacious description of human nature makes it utterly hilarious instead.
    • A teenager going to see a show, being invited backstage, and then raped - disturbing. Said rape taking place with the perpetrators dressed as, and in character as, the cast of Cats - hilarious.

  • As mentioned at the top of this very page, Bleak Expectations does this with St. Bastards, the most sadistically cruel school in all Georgian Britain.
    • And there's also the Chinese... restaurant in Series 2, followed shortly thereafter by Abraham Bagel, a parody of the Greedy Jew who is in fact a Catholic.
    • The subversion of a "release the dogs" moment. Setting dogs on abused factory workers? Not funny. Dropping dead dogs on said factory workers, on the other hand...
  • The Brewing Network: Pretty much all of the humor of Lunch Meet.
  • This sketch from Hello Cheeky, which is so short it can be transcribed.
    Boy: Mummy? When's Daddy coming home?
    Mother: Daddy won't be coming home any more, Julian. Daddy is... up high, in the sky.
    Boy: Has he gone to heaven?
    Mother: No, he's flying to the south of France with his secretary.
    Boy: Is that why Uncle Milkman's upstairs with his boots off?
    Mother: Yes. Go and play in the motorway.
  • To "bring something up" was/is a term for vomiting. ("Brought up my lunch", etc.) I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again was a sketch comedy which was usually plenty bawdy and occasionally touched on dark ideas, but often kept a light heart or a non-serious tone about it. This is all the context you need to get the next absolutely terrible yet horribly fantastic pun.
    David Hatch went to the countryside to bring up his babies, which serves him right for eating them.
  • One of the most popular and most requested sketches from The Mark & Brian Radio Program is the Parody Commercial Kruger's Supermarket, which emphasizes how cruelly they kill the animals to get the best taste out of the meat.
  • Old Harry's Game uses this a lot.
    • Everything Thomas says or does.
    • Or the things done to Thomas, such as being squashed into a pancake then roasted in a frying pan, solely to get God's attention (either from the cries of pain, or the smell).
    • This exchange, in the episode where the Professor starts interviewing the damned to find the true account of history.
    The Professor: [A]nd a Nazi who claimed he was just following orders.
    Satan: They all said that.
    The Professor: Yes, but this one was Hitler.
    • One episode had a Muslim suicide bomber confused as to why he ended up in Hell when he gave his life for Allah and blew up an American top-secret military base, which skirts if not crosses the line into Dude, Not Funny! territory. Then it becomes funny again after Satan reveals the "top-secret military base" was actually just a barber shop.
  • Peter Davison Work Com Rigor Mortis generally runs on black humour but in one episode a lack of bodies drives the pathologists to dangerous levels of boredom. So much so that they are appalled to hear that a very young patient survived the night and then consoled with the thought that he was small so the autopsy wouldn't have lasted long enough to be interesting. A fatal traffic accident ends the drought, cheering them all up.


    Short Films 
  • Don Hertzfeldt's animations have all sorts of violence inflicted on stick figures that go between horrible and hilarious routinely.
  • Jim Reardon, before he went on to do animation for The Simpsons, created this student short about Charlie Brown gunning his classmates down in a Scarface-style rampage. A perfect example of a film which straddles the line between "appalling" and "the most hilarious thing ever made." (Warning: video Not Safe for Work or Sanity.)
  • Forklift Driver Klaus - The First Day On the Job.
  • Pogo et ses amis (warning: subtitles), so very much. A Quebecois stop-motion animated short chronicling a day in the suburban life of Pogo the clown and his friends Ed, Albert and Mister Z. The whole thing is presented like an episode from a children's show, with voices provided by locally known actors (including the voice actors for Ned Flanders and Mr. Burns in the Quebec translation of The Simpsons) and a cameo from a local right-wing politician. It's hilarious, especially if you understand French.
  • A 2016 Irish short film contest was won by a group of teenagers whose genre was Black Comedy. As such it was full of these types of jokes, with the crowner being...
    Girl 1: My boyfriend's terrified of ovens.
    Girl 2: What do you expect? He's Jewish.

  • Bringing guns into an NBA locker room and threatening a teammate with them? Crossing the line. At a game, pantomiming shooting his teammates as a joke? This trope. Nice job, Gilbert Arenas.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Crossing the line is the whole point of Cards Against Humanity, which is Apples to Apples for people with a twisted sense of humor. Crossing the line twice is how you win.
  • Paranoia: each player is given several clones of his character on the assumption that The Computer and/or fellow players will find horrible and creative ways of destroy them. It usually happens.
  • The game Public Assistance: Why Bother Working for a Living? is a parody of the American welfare/government assistance program where the object of the game is to stay on welfare as long as possible to make easy money (and even do illegal things on the side like prostitution, having illegitimate children, and selling drugs) whereas doing things people do a daily basis like working a 9-5 job and paying bills is considered a detriment to the player's success and such areas on the board are actually called "Worker's Burden" to simulate the burden of making income.
  • In the "Attitude" sourcebook for 4th edition Shadowrun the electronically recorded memories of a dead Street Samurai are reviewed and commented upon by fellow Shadowrunners. One fellow he'd worked with was known for keeping a cloth bag filled with stray cats; in a fight he would grab one by the tail, whirl it around, then hurl it at someone's face. One of the Runners comments on how this bit of animal cruelty is the most disgusting thing he'd ever heard of and he wanted nothing to do with a psycho like that. Then the memory log notes the crazy cat guy's specialty: the Cat-astrophe, where he attaches a bomb to the cat first. The same Runner responds, "okay, I take it back. That's just awesome."
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Da Orks do not live this trope; they are this trope. Psychotic, belligerent monsters (in a galaxy already filled to the brim with the psychotic, the belligerent and the monstrous) taken so far past the utter screaming extreme that they become endearing instead, not at all hurt by their ridiculous Funetik Aksents or their treatment of warfare as a cross between a mass migration, holy war, looting party and pub crawl, with a bit of genocide thrown in for good measure. Deyz show all deze udder gretchin gitz 'ere 'ow itz don'. Follow me, ladz! WAAAGH!
    • The setting in general is this on several levels, considering the absolute grimdarkness it revels in. One of the common jokes is that the Eldar literally Squicked a god (the god of sex no less) into existence and that the Catholic-Space-Nazi Imperium are the good guys.
    • Most things related to Slaanesh tends to pole dance on the line. Slaaneshi Chaos Space Marines tend to be genetically engineered drug addicts, possible sex maniacs, and often sport literal breast plates (with one boob no less). In previous editions they even went into battle wielding guitars.
    • Why not talk about Cherubs? Flying Cyborg babies that have been hollowed out and lobotomized to serve as combat familiars. Or Catachan, a jungle Death World that has everything from carnivorous zombie plants to scorpions the size of tanks; only 25% of the locals survive past their tenth birthday, and doing so is considered a major accomplishment. How about Commander Chenkov of the Valhallan Ice Warriors, who once threw one million of his own men to their deaths assaulting a fortress without artillery or air support and got widely commended for it?

  • The Book of Mormon. Just... well, it does starts as a black comedy mocking religious organizations in general, and then we have Hasa Diga Eebowai. It's a song about how the Africans resolve to endure with famine, poverty, and AIDS; they just throw their hands to the sky and say a seemingly innocent phrase: Hasa Diga Eebowai. What does it mean? Fuck you, God. How does it cross the line a second time? With the following sentence sung out loud by women and men alike: Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt!. And that is just the fourth song in the story. Later you will find someone intending to fuck a baby Played for Laughs. And then someone else tries to do it, being none other than the most important prophet for a whole religion!. Trey Parker and Matt Stone indeed.
  • Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel. Tsar Dodon finding out his sons have killed each other? A very grim and tragic moment. And then Dodon lets out a long and carefully-sung "Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-OH!" To the music. Four times.
  • Hamlet can be played as a Black Comedy, and it works incredibly well if the actors involved are good. It mostly comes off as this. Notably, Hamlet casually dragging a dead body offstage while saying, "Goodnight, Mother!" can get a big laugh out of the audience.
  • Norwegian playwright Johan Herman Wessel managed this in his parodic play Love without stockings, taking the Driven to Suicide trope up to hilarious levels, because every single member of the cast commits suicide one after another, passing the same knife around. Made doubly hilarious because of a bowl of pea stew, also passed around at the same time.
  • Little Shop of Horrors:
    • Orin Scrivello is a drug-addicted domestic abuser, whose girlfriend Audrey is terrified of him. In real life, there would be nothing funny about him. But he's also an Elvis impersonator who works as a Depraved Dentist, his drug of choice is laughing gas, he makes Audrey call him "doctor," and he takes childlike glee in inflicting pain on everyone. The audience can't help but laugh and Love to Hate him.
    • Audrey's death is heartbreaking... except her Last Request begins "When I die... which should be very shortly...", which in some productions is delivered with a glance at the audience in a hilariously dry tone.
  • Reefer Madness. The Musical has Jesus show up to tell the main character to stop smoking pot...and that's at the halfway point.
  • Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare's bloodiest play. The Rape of Philomela is used as the basis for a secondary plot line, lampshaded in the dialogue, and it goes From Bad to Worse. There is even a very blatant "Your Mom" joke.
    • Two of Titus's sons are framed for the murder of their sister's fiancé, and Titus cuts off his own hand to secure their release... except he's been lied to, and he only gets their heads back, along with his hand. So, he grabs one head, has his brother take the other, and orders his handless, tongueless daughter to carry his hand by picking it up in her teeth.
    • After Aaron is arrested, he tells his captors about his hobbies, including this gem: "Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves, And set them upright at their dear friends' doors, Even when their sorrows almost were forgot; And on their skins, as on the bark of trees, Have with my knife carved in Roman letters, 'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.'"
    • It has been described as the Kill Bill of the Elizabethan era.
  • The Trail to Oregon! is basically a case study in this.
    • The second song in the musical drops reference to incest, using kids as tourniquets, getting bit by a bear (or a snake), and the actual historical genocide following the migration west, all in a fast-paced Patter Song.
    • The scene where Son is forced to kill a family of oxen could have been sad...except that the oxen physically resemble his parents, the baby ox is constantly slipping and striking sexy poses, and his grandpa is singing an incomprehensible song about being an animal and...waking up with mud on your dick.
    Baby Ox: And if you're really that goddamn hungy, just eat my pawents wight in fwont of me...JUST DO IT, MOTHERFU--
  • A Very Potter Musical has a couple examples, but the Ron/Hermione kiss must be seen to be believed. It's... funny, but mostly just... wrong. A Very Potter Sequel does this with Umbridge and all her plot.
  • This is the basic MO of many Jacobean and Elizabethan revenge tragedies. Shakespeare was unusual in how soberly (apart from in Titus, which crosses the line twice for the whole genre, that some critics see it as an intentional parody) he dealt with his tragedies.
    • Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy jumps back and forth over the line constantly. The title character Vindice exhumes his beloved's skeleton, dresses her, fills her mouth with poison, and then tricks her murderer into making out with it. Hilarious. Not quite dead, Vindice and his Brother then proceed to kick the dying man to death. Not so funny.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Crossing The Line Twice, Cross The Line Twice


Saucy Jr.'s Posthumous Win

Saucy Simmons Jr., a living sausage roll, is killed by being grilled to death on Chad Wagon's car that was meant for the Queen of Australia. The Queen declares Saucy Jr. the new winner of the Miss Sausage Roll Pageant because she "saved" her life, when in reality, Alison pushed her in front of the Queen to take her place. She takes Alison's crown and places it on Saucy Jr.'s grilled corpse. When Saucy Jr.'s funeral is televised, Kevin reveals her casket is empty and they fed her body to needy families.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / CrossesTheLineTwice

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