Some tropes reference things that really should not be played for laughs, but for some reason often are. One of the consequences of comedies using schadenfreude is that they can tread on subjects that are quite serious to some people.
- Death: Whether it be natural causes, unfortunate accidents or mandate deaths like murder, serial killings, and mass killings, it is almost always completely unacceptable to talk positively about someone's death. The sole exception to the rule is if the person was a despised criminal, bigoted extremist, dictator, terrorist, or sympathizer for any of the former four categories.
- The Sick and Dying: Similarly, speaking ill of those at Death's door is considered extremely bad form if not taboo. And never make light of the illness, injury, etc. that caused the situation.
- Suicide: Although you do find Suicide as Comedy often enough to be a trope, this can tread into very dangerous territory because it may trigger people who suffer suicidal thoughts.note
- Suicide Dare: Telling someone to kill themselves, even as a "joke," is considered completely beyond the pale, not least because depressed or mentally ill people may decide to take you up on it.
- The old sitcom version of Domestic Abuse
- Modern sitcoms' use of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male variety has been gradually starting to get this reaction, although so far it hasn't been nearly vocal enough to convince the networks to stop using it.
- Abusive Parents, particularly as it was used in professional wrestling where — to mock a babyface opponent — the heel claims that a beaten child wants to go live with said babyface "because he don't beat nobody!"
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood
- Any felony where the victim is a woman or especially a child. Furthermore, saying anything negative about the victim or positive about the criminal is considered equally deplorable, as is supporting people who sympathize with the criminal.
- Maximum Fun Chamber: Cold-Blooded Torture, played for humor. Because who can't see the lighter side of agonizing pain?
- Butt-Monkey: If taken too far.
- No Sympathy
- Some of the more severe cases of Kafka Komedy (too much Kafka, not enough comedy)
- Too Soon
- Funny Aneurysm and Harsher in Hindsight moments.
- Insanity and Mental Illness, particularly as a result of intentionally inflicted mental distress such as Gaslighting.
- Also alcoholism.
- Mocking or criticizing:
- Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Expect this to happen at least once in a Harem anime.
- April Fools' Day jokes if they seem to come across as way too cruel or unfunny.
- Jokes about animal cruelty
- Cruel Twist Endings
- Anything that involves antagonizing Santa Claus, especially if he gets killed.
- Social problems
- Anything having to do with the Nazis — even if it portrays them in a bad light (there are some exceptions, but not many)
- Racial stereotypes played for mockery
- Using the N-word, especially if the characters saying it are white, and regardless of context, however even in productions involving black characters, use of the word for comedic reasons is dicey depending on the venue.
- Homophobia and Transphobia
- Misogyny. Misandry, on the other hand, is still a perfectly acceptable theme in comedy — as was misogyny back then (and still is by the tasteless).
- Unfortunate Implications
- Drunk Driver. It used to be a source of humor, but the usual reaction now is "My God, he's going to kill somebody!"
- Sorry Ociffer: Ha ha, somebody behind the wheel is too drunk to speak straight.
- Trauma Conga Lines
- Victim Blaming
- The Woobie (and similar Tropes, such as Designated Monkey): Making fun of someone's misery (especially if it's realistic misery or overwhelming misery) can backfire hard.
- Fake pregnancy jokes can come off as this when the person playing the prank makes it less obvious that she's joking.
The academic terms "dark humor," "black humor," or "tragic farce" apply to some examples, although the exact execution is somewhat different. Black Comedy is not about making jokes at the expense of groups, but rather about using Irony and Fatalism to make them seem amusing while still showing their seriousness. A prime example is Paul Zindel's play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, which ends with the protagonist's mother having a psychotic breakdown and killing her daughters' pet rabbit. The natural reaction to such a description is "Dude, not funny!" — but the way it's written, it is one of the funniest scenes in the entire play. (And after all, it was only a rabbit.)
How do you know if something deserves linking to this page? Well, it might be overused, funny, or nothing to most people. If just a few people cringe at something, well... if more people are amused than disgusted, then it's not justified to put a stop to it. But if a large number of people are offended or outright traumatized, well, to them, it is not funny.
Note that the fact something is not funny to some people does not mean that other people may not find it funny. Often happens when Black Comedy or Gallows Humor is mishandled. The creators may offer a "Just Joking" Justification, but this does not always soothe hurt feelings. This may also overlap with Values Dissonance as society in general becomes more sensitive to the reality that certain issues carry Unfortunate Implications — a joke that wouldn't have raised eyebrows in the 1930s might be seen as appallingly racist or sexist today.
On the other hand, outright forbidding people from saying anything that could be perceived as offensive may lead to Political Correctness Gone Mad. Where the line is between these extremes is a subject of much debate (so let's not, and just agree not to be Jerkasses, okay?)
If something that was funny falls into this following some related event in the real world, see "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
Villains may get a free pass on these because Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor and cracking a tasteless joke may be a good way to highlight this. It may also overlap with Comedic Sociopathy, in rather the same way that treating these subjects too callously in real life would overlap with actual sociopathy. Conversely, a villain who plays it with enough finesse may be considered Too Funny to Be Evil.
- Web Original
- In the long running Geico commercial campaign, very bad news is invariably followed by the same good news. The deliverer of the bad and good news always says: "I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico." Don't Try This at Home.
- And from the same company, "So easy, a caveman could do it!" while a caveman stands nearby to take offense.
- One Piece
- Nami gets mad when Luffy playfully mimicks being frozen using flour while Usopp and Chopper laugh at it, right after he and Robin almost froze to death in a fight with Aokiji.
- When Arlong's name is brought up, Brook makes an Incredibly Lame Pun based off his name in front of Nami with Usopp kicking him suddenly for it. Usopp explains briefly to the crew members who didn't know about Nami's past about how her hometown was under the control of Arlong and how her adoptive mother was killed by him.
- There are a couple of moments in Excel Saga where Hyatt will include the phrase "sleeping like the dead". Given that Hyatt has a habit of dying very suddenly (though she comes back to life later), no surprise that Excel comments that it's not funny when she says it.
- Kai in Mobile Suit Gundam tends to hear "Kai, enough!" quite a bit when his sarcasm gets too black.
- Fairy Tail:
- Gildarts returns from a several-years-long journey and teases Natsu about his crush on Lisanna like he used to do. Natsu gets upset and informs him that Lisanna had died while he was away. Gildarts is shocked and apologizes.
- Shortly after the Time Skip, Cana asks if anyone has seen Gildarts. Gray teasingly asks if she's getting lonely without him around (he's been an Overprotective Dad since he learned that he was her father), causing Cana to snap at him for saying this in front of Lucy, who recently learned that her own father passed away. Gray quickly apologizes to Lucy, but she takes it in stride.
- In one scene in Spirited Away, Chihiro is trying to refill a bathing vat for the stink-spirit and having a very hard time doing so (which is hardly a surprise). Yubaba, who is watching from a balcony, can't help but laugh a little, but the toad-like bathhouse worker next to her who's also watching comments that he does not think it's very funny.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, a group claiming to be Sanosuke's former military unit goes on a crime spree. When Yahiko hears that they have been leaving portraits of Sanosuke's beloved mentor/former captain (who Sanosuke last saw as a severed head after he was executed) at the crime scenes, he jokes that maybe Sanosuke was involved after all and starts laughing. Kaoru hits him and tells him "There are good jokes, and there are bad ones!"
- At the conclusion of the Duelist Kingdom arc in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the gang is searching for Kaiba after his soul was restored following the defeat of Pegasus. Jounouchi, who's made it perfectly clear that he hates Kaiba due to his actions during the Death-T arc, jokingly suggests that maybe his soul died and went to the afterlife instead, leading Anzu to mutter "Not funny!" right behind him.
- At one point in Queen's Blade shapeshifter Melona impersonates Menace's former lover Anarista for a laugh, but since Anarista betrayed Menace and left her to be raped and killed Menace is not amused and threatens to kill Melona if she ever does that again.
- Steins;Gate: Okabe repeatedly calls Ruka - who is undoubtedly the most effeminate character in the series - a dude several times (sometimes to remind even himself, other times to tell unwitting newcomers like Kurisu). However, it eventually stops being funny when Ruka uses D-Mail to make it so he was born female, and it drives Ruka to tears every time he says it afterwards. Justified in the sense that Okabe's Reading Steiner, along with the fact that Ruka looks exactly the same as a girl meant he had no idea that Ruka's D-Mail actually worked, while to the others it just looks like he's making fun of her for no reason all of a sudden.
- Variable Geo: Sexual harassment is never a laughing matter, especially when the girl they're doing it to has the innate ability to summon flames. So when Yuuki decided to 'get friendly' with Satomi, Satomi responded with her ultimate attack, which incinerated the ring and Yuuki along with it (at 21:09-23:03).
- In This Corner of the World: Suzu can't see the humour in the rest of her family laughing about the military police suspecting her of being a spy.
- Death of the Family: The Joker is engaging in Black Comedy once again, and it produces this reaction. Then again, you could count the number of times his form of comedy did not produce this reaction with the fingers on one hand!
Joker: (actually looking sad) Why aren't you laughing?
- One of the most famous examples is in The Killing Joke, where Joker gives a Motive Rant about how the world is so absurd and cruel, the only thing he can do is laugh at it.
- In an Andy Capp strip released in 2013, Andy meets a professor in the tavern who says he's studying phobias, who quickly points out that "ergophobia" is the fear of work, and laughs in Andy's face. Given Andy's reaction, he really didn't think it was funny. (In the last panel, the bartender muses, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...")
- When Obelix gets Taken for Granite in Astérix and Obelix All At Sea, Vitalstatistix, Unhygenix, Cacofonix and Fulliautomatix all stand around making morbid rock-themed puns in the manner of the standard Asterix joke template of this kind. Instead, Asterix yells at them all that his best friend is dead and now is not the time, and Getafix agrees with the others not to make any more jokes in poor taste.
- In one of The Beano annuals, Rodger the Dodger reacts this way when a pair of newsreaders reveal that a meteor they claimed would hit Earth is actually going to miss the planet entirely.
- In Empowered, Oyuki impersonates Mind███. Ninjette tells her that's not funny. Given that Mind████ had died with Empowered unable to save her, if she had seen Oyuki, she probably would have had a Freak Out!.
- The Transformers: Dark Cybertron: Prowl smirks at the death of Chromedome's significant other, Rewind, as Chromedome's actions, under Prowl's direction, got Rewind killed. Chromedome throws him off a cliff for that.
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: In Chapter 8, Soapy Slick and all of his cronies have a good laugh at the defeated Scrooge, with Soapy humiliating him over his defeat. Soapy reads all of Scrooge's letters from home, causing everyone to mock him for being a Momma's Boy, and laughing over their misfortune. When Soapy reveals to Scrooge that his mother has died, and laughs in his face for it, everyone else quiets down and looks sorry for it all, right before the ensuing Mass "Oh, Crap!" over Scrooge's Unstoppable Rage.
- In The Pulse, the New Avengers end up taking Jessica Jones to Doctor Strange so she can have a baby (thanks to the person in charge of a hospital freaking out and thinking Jessica was going to give birth to a mutant). When he mentions that he helped give birth to the Scarlet Witch's children, Spider-Man replies that it has to go better than that did. Strange and the Avengers side-eye Spidey before he realizes he just put his foot in his mouth, stating that it was so much clever in his head before he actually said it.
- Scooby Apocalypse: When Shaggy thinks Scooby is in mourning because the chili dogs are rotten, Fred asks if a dog eating dogs is cannibalism and Shaggy replies with "Not funny, Dude". Fred later says the same thing word by word when Shaggy asks what's between him and Daphne other than Fred being a "serial proposer" but Shaggy argues that "Actually, it is".
- Ino and Sakura both have no problem mocking Naruto in Shards but when Sakura makes fun of Naruto for being an orphan, Ino stares at Sakura and asks what the hell is wrong with her. It's also a case of Insult Friendly Fire; as Ino explains while chewing Sakura out, Ino almost became an orphan herself, since her mother died in Kyuubi's attack and her father almost died of his wounds, and if her father had died too, Ino could have acted just like Naruto.
- In one Harry Potter story, Harry and Sirius accidentally land in an Alternate Universe where they (and Voldemort) died but Lily and James Potter lived. When Sirius makes a joke that since Gabrielle drowned during the second task, Harry won't be able to hit on Fleur, Harry furiously tells him that Gabrielle was a wonderful child whose life he personally saved and her death means far more than not being able to date her sister.
- Wocky and Apollo are horrified in Dirty Sympathy when a radio announcer jokes about Klavier's near strangulation by saying that he should suck on ice cubes because he has another concert to perform.
- In The Stalking Zuko Series, Katara did not like Zuko joking that he'd rather get hit by lightning than do something else, once he was on the mend after his duel with Azula.
- Luna decides to sneak up and surprise Joker in Lightning Among the Stars. Harry rather sternly tells her it wasn't remotely funny as Joker (who has brittle bone disease) broke his knee hitting it against a console when he jumped in fright.
- According to Scott in A Third Path to the Future, when Evan first joined the X-Men he tried making a joke about Kurt looking like the Devil. Scott came down on him hard for that as not only is such a comparison rather insensitive to begin with, but Kurt's a devout Catholic.
- Defied in Blue Belle when Cordelia makes a joke that Kendra's death "left [them] with the defective Slayer". Buffy insists she crossed the line but Cordelia fires right back that everyone in the room has joked about somebody's death; what difference does it make that this time it was someone they "kind of knew". The other Sirens admit that Cordelia does have a point.
- Naruto's sense of humor has a tendency to cause problems in the Reaching for a Dream series. Besides making a lot of people deeply uncomfortable, Tayuya reacted so badly that she ignored all his attempts at diplomacy, forcing him to kill her.
- In the sequel Trolling the League, Naruto still has problems realizing that most people do not appreciate him joking about raping someone. Catwoman only truly calmed down after he made her a diamond shaped like a kitten. Fortunately, afterwards Naruto stops making rape jokes (except when trying to goad Superman into fighting all out), apparently realizing they cause more problems for him than laughs.
- In The Mouse of Konoha, Inoichi tries to tell Tsume this after she jokes that the Nara exist to be a legal alternative to necrophilia. It falls flat however as everyone else is laughing their asses off.
- In Vapors Naruto and Sasuke try to break the tension on a mission by teasing Aiko about the time she was kidnapped by Sasori. It only stresses her out more, because they didn't realize how close she came to dying or being vivisected into a puppet since she never ever talks about what happened.
- Done preemptively in The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor when Naruto takes out an ad to help a Tok'ra get a new host to replace their dying host. The ad mentions that as said host has little time left, prank applications will be classified as "Adding difficulty to a life threatening situation" which is a criminal offense.
- Core Line: The "Fakehuggers" found in Legends Of The Fourth Of July Coreline are made of this Trope. Designed to look and act exactly like a real Facehugger, right down to knocking out their victims and wrapping around their faces, they were intended to be a harmless prank. However, they instead resulted in some people having fatal heart attacks.
- Doing It Right This Time: Asuka and Misato have this reaction to Shinji making a rather dark joke about seppuku in Chapter 3, though it's not so much the joke itself as the fact it's the known suicide-risk making it that sets them off.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Aftermath: Takumi is not amused when Izana shows up, reveals that he faked his death, and proceeds to make jokes about it.
- Influenced Out of Normality: When Tony Stark hears that Sunnydale doesn't even have an aquarium, he ponders how people survive growing up there. Xander (his son), remarks that most don't. Tony tells him he really shouldn't say that to his father who only hasn't taken him out of that deathtrap of a town on his wishes.
- In Of Princesses and Changelings, Princess Luna chastises Princess Cadence for using a Fantastic Slur when talking about Changelings, noting that as both royalty and diplomats they must put aside any personal feelings while dealing with others.
- Charles Xavier chews out several of his students in One Way to Become an Ex-X-Man after a prank war culminates in them stowing Xander in the women's locker room just before all the female telepaths entered, then locking everyone inside with their telepathy forcibly turned on. They for all intents and purposes forced their teammates to rape someone who considered them a friend, all as part of a prank. It's later revealed that Xander avoided it by focusing on his other main fantasy of having a loving family. This still resulted in Psylocke raping him, though they're getting married.
- In A Year Too Soon, Draco Malfoy starts to express his wishes that the troll had killed Hermione instead of just injuring her before being shut up by a Death Glare from roughly a third of Slytherin. For wishing death upon a fellow student, Snape gives him detention until the holidays and informs Dumbledore of his actions.
- In A Triangle in the Stars, Bill falls victim to this In-Universe in Chapter Forty-Seven. Wendy tells a scary story, and Bill tries to help it by supplementing it with an image of the monster. He laughs. The others don't, and Connie calls him out, which confuses him for a bit.
- One of the Beauxbatons students in Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum jokingly threatens to reveal where Sirius is when she overhears Harry and friends talking about it. Harry and Luna both give her an Implied Death Threat and she learns later Sirius has a Kiss On Sight order out for him. She apologizes afterwards, admitting that she thought it was something minor rather than them harboring an escaped (but innocent) felon.
- Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: Reisen has this reponse when Eirin gives her some herbs and spices from the kitchen to take with her, shortly after she'd just gotten done reassuring her subordinate that Reimu wouldn't turn her into rabbit stew for not safeguarding Megas's crew.
- In Epic MK doesn't like how Nod and Ronin are making fun of stompers, particularly her dad who is sitting beside them and saddened by his daughter's departure. Then she blatantly points out that she is also a stomper.
- In The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, Plankton remarks, after he and SpongeBob were exiled from Bikini Bottom, that they could rename Bikini Bottom to "Dirty Bottom". SpongeBob's reaction is "...that's kind of gross, Plankton."
- The Lion King has Banzai complaining about the scars Mufasa had given him and the other hyenas, while Ed (despite being thrashed earlier by Mufasa as well) laughs at him. Banzai tells him angrily that it's not funny.
Banzai: It's not funny, Ed.Ed: (laughs even louder)Banzai: Hey, shut up!
- To be fair, though, Ed always laughs uncontrollably.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut has the scene where Terrance and Phillip appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and do their fart joke routine. After guest Brooke Shields admits that she once farted on the set of Blue Lagoon, Terrance slaps her.
- The movie Heathers had an example when Veronica's boyfriend J.D. cracks a joke at the funeral of two of their victims that they made look like a double-suicide and the little sister of one of the boys killed turns to look at them while crying. It's at that point that Veronica begins to realize how messed up she's becoming under J.D.'s influence.
- American Psycho:
- Patrick pretends to be offended by a racist joke one of his associates tells, though he's actually a virulent racist himself.
- Patrick tells what he think is a hilarious anecdote about Ted Bundy. His colleagues are less than impressed.
- In Wag the Dog, the movie producer shows his pet musician (played by Willie Nelson) a political cartoon poking fun at the President's sex scandal. The musician immediately composes an impromptu song mocking the whole thing, but stops when he realizes that everyone else in the room (most of whom work directly for the President) is staring at him in horror.
- At the beginning of Star Trek: Generations, the officers are having a promotion party for Worf on the holodeck, where they're on an 18th-century naval ship. They make Worf walk to the end of the plank and jump for his new rank insignia, then Riker shouts "remove the plank" - which is interpreted by the computer as a command to remove it from the simulation. As a result, the plank disappears, dropping Worf into the sea. Picard chides Riker, saying that he should have said "retract the plank". After Crusher attempts to explain the humor to Data, he pushes her overboard.
LaForge: Data!Data: (smirking) That was...LaForge: ...not funny!
- This serves as the catalyst for Data to have Geordi install his emotion chip, as if he cannot grasp a concept like humor, he will never be human. This is ironic, considering many in the audience found Crusher's dunking hilarious.
- So Geordi conflated "differing sense of humor" with "zero sense of humor"?
- This serves as the catalyst for Data to have Geordi install his emotion chip, as if he cannot grasp a concept like humor, he will never be human. This is ironic, considering many in the audience found Crusher's dunking hilarious.
- In Tropic Thunder Alpa makes a crack about a "dingo eating your baby" to the Australian Kirk Lazarus, which he is so offended by he almost breaks character.
Alpa: Why am I in this movie? Maybe it's because I knew I had to represent. They had one good role for a black man, and they gave it to Crocodile Dundee!Kirk: (stops smiling) Pump your brakes, kid. That man's a national treasure.Alpa: I just wanna throw another shrimp on your barby.Kirk: That shit ain't funny.Alpa: I'm just messin' with you, Kangaroo Jack. I'm so sorry a dingo ate your baby!Kirk: Y'know, that's a true story? Lady lost her kid. You 'bout to cross some fuckin' lines!
- During the astronaut tryouts in The Right Stuff, Alan Shepard frequently mimics 50s comedian Bill Dana's Mexican astronaut character "Jose Jimenez", but it eventually gets on the nerves of Gonzalez, the Mexican orderly, who tells him "me and my friends think your Jose Jimenez imitation is A-OK. But what you're doing with it is B-A-D.".
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Kíli joked about orcs to a nervous Bilbo. Thorin immediately sternly lectures him on taking the matter so lightly. It's understandable why Thorin doesn't think it's something to be joked about, because orcs had overrun the dwarf kingdom Moria and killed many dwarves (including Thorin's grandfather) which Thorin had witnessed firsthand.
- In The House of Yes, Jackie once went to a costume party as Jackie Onassis in the pink dress she wore when JFK was assassinated, complete with fake blood. Also, little bits of pasta. Don't forget the bits of pasta she glued on the dress. Because a Jackie Kennedy The Day Of The Assassination costume would not be complete without little bits of brain. This trope was the reaction she got from the rest of the guests at the party.
- In Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Bruce Lee and his girlfriend/future wife Linda go to see Breakfast at Tiffany's. Linda is shown laughing at the antics of Mr. Yunioshi until she sees Bruce is visibly unamused. This scene emphasizes how typically Asian characters were stereotyped at the time, and how Bruce would help change their image for better.
- Mean Girls: Cady thinks Aaron will find it funny when she tells him that she pretended to be bad at maths so he can tutor her. However, Aaron takes it the opposite way as he realizes that Cady has become a second Regina and storms off.
- The Hangover: Stu has this reaction to Alan wiggling a baby's arm to pretend "he's jacking his little weenus!"
- Three examples in Neighbors (2014).
- The airbag prank is seen as this to Mac especially, since it could easily have led to Stella being injured or killed.
- The Second-Act Breakup is seen as this by Pete, who is a child of divorce. Teddy says that as a child of two loving parents, he finds it hilarious.
- And when Mac asks: "What gets a frat kicked out of college fastest?", Jimmy replies, all too enthusiastically, with "RAPE!" Mac and Kelly can only stare at him, appalled. Even Jimmy realizes this, and immediately apologizes.
- In The Descendants, Sid laughs uncontrollably at Elizabeth's mother's dementia. Elizabeth's father eventually punches him in the face.
- In Home Alone, when Kevin's parents realize they left him behind, Uncle Frank attempts to cheer them up by telling them he forgot his reading glasses. His wife and Kevin's parents then give him this reaction.
- Then in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin gets on the wrong plane and his parents find out while checking their baggage. They report to security where his father jokes that at least they don't lose their luggage. His mother laughs but the head of security answers with a disapproving stare.
- eXistenZ: After Pikul assembles a new Gristle Gun from his Alien Lunch, he jokingly points the weapon at Allegra and repeats the line used by an assassin who previously tried to kill her. She's not amused, and he apologizes.
- Scary Movie 4: The entire UN Assembly are appalled the President's racist jokes. That's what ends up making the scene so funny.
- In Jurassic World, Claire considers Lowery sporting a classic Jurassic Park t-shirt after what happened in the first film to be in poor taste and orders him not to wear it again.
- In Hot Tub Time Machine, Kelly is appalled when Lou starts laughing at the Bellhop losing his arm.
- Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy gasps in shock when Rocket mocks the death of Drax's family.
- Morris in Purple Rain: The day after the kid's (Prince) father tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head, his rival, Morris poke his head in the dressing room and ask How's the family? (Partly subverted when a shot of Morris expression outside the dressing room seem to show his regret of the taunt and the realization that he had gone too far.
- Elf has the scene where Buddy mistakes a little person, Miles Finch, for an elf. Miles takes so much offense that he beats the crap out of Buddy for it.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: In universe example, Played for Drama. In the first movie, Yondu mentions that when he first picked up Peter on Earth, his crew wanted to eat him, and Yondu stopped them. Yondu has been bringing that up for twenty-six years. It was always just a stupid joke to him, but Peter seriously thought there was a chance he could have been eaten.
Yondu: That was bein' funny!
Peter: ...Not to me!
- It (2017): When the Losers find a shoe belonging to one of the missing kids in the sewer, Richie cracks a joke how he wouldn't want to be her: wandering around with only one shoe. The others all give him a disapproving stare.
- In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Larry Talbot is upset that no one takes his warnings seriously about being the Wolf Man ("I'm sort of a wolf myself," quips Wilbur), which to him is no laughing matter. However, he's downright offended when the cast goes to a costume party and Chick Young shows up wearing a werewolf mask.
- In Tremors, teen Jerkass Melvin at one point pretends that the Graboid tongue that Earl and Val got (and then sold to Walter) became alive and grabbed him. Burt makes a point of telling Melvin, quite angrily, that he almost shot him out of fright.
Burt: No more games.
- In the film Dreamgirls, when Jimmy drops his pants on national television, he expects others to find it funny. The others then criticize him for making a fool out of himself instead.
- In Deadpool 2, Wade muses that he'd like to go to a planet filled with weak morons and be their equivalent to Superman. Weasel asks if he's just describing Canada, which actually manages to piss Wade off. note
Wade: You shut your god damn mouth!
- In Romeo Must Die, after Colin's death, Trish recalls a story to Han that as children, she and her brother pranked their mother by pretending he had been hit by a car. It was when they saw their mother's reaction that they realize the prank went too far.
- In one scene from Stephen King's novel Christine, a bunch of high school hoods are cruising and drinking beers after a school basketball game, and complaining that their team lost. At one point, one of the hoods compliments the athleticism of the school's basketball star (in one of those "The rest of the team sucks, but this one guy is a good player" sort of way), who just happens to be black. The leader of the gang sneers, retorting, "I hate that fucking spade." This prompts one of the newer gang members to make a racial joke, to which the rest of the gang reacts with this. Specifically, the gang leader says, "I said I hated that spade. I got no problem with the rest of them..." and threatens to toss the "fucking bigot" out of his car at high speed. The new guy shuts up quickly.
- In Cold Days, Harry jokes about having sex with Molly. Molly—having unrequited feelings for him—is not amused.
- Skippy's List has examples.
93. Nerve gas is not funny.
- Nicko Heap in Septimus Heap often gets criticized for this, having an habit of not understanding the seriousness of a situation.
- In the Beverly Cleary novel Otis Spofford, there's a scene where Otis cuts off one of the pigtails of his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Ellen Tebbits, and gets this reaction from the class.
- In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the cinema plays horrid newsreel footage of refugees being murdered, including a woman and a small child. The audience laughs, except for a single prole woman who loudly objects to it, only to be carted outside by the police to whatever horrid Fate Worse than Death awaited her.
- In The Honor of the Queen Admiral Courvosier, while discussing the patriarchal nature of Grayson society with his (female) protégée Honor, jokes that the lack of women in Grayson's armed forces might be "a bit restful, now and then". Honor gives him a brief Death Glare, after which he admits that it "wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be."
- Harry Potter: Peeves the Poltergeist is often called out for his pranks. In The Chamber of Secrets for example, he accuses Harry Potter of attacking students and even creates a song to go with it. Professor McGonagall orders him to stop.
- In Wings of Fire: Moon Rising, Moon reads Kinkajou's mind about hoping to tell Glory about Moonwatcher's mind-reading powers. Darkstalker suggests killing her and then says "Just kidding". Moon scolds him, and his response is "Too Soon?"
- In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin reacts this way to Palpatine's manipulations at first. He's so utterly convinced that Palpatine is trustworthy that he can only think he's joking whenever he starts praising the Sith. More than once, he cautions Palpatine not to say such things in front of the Jedi.
- In The Serpent's Shadow, Maya has to deal with catcalling Upper-Class Twit observers when trying to remove an inflamed appendix on a pregnant Irishwoman without excising the uterus, respecting her beliefs on the matter. However, when Simon Parkening says that "one less Irish bitch pumping out litters of whelps" won't matter anyway, the catcalls and mockery die down and one of his fellows calls him out of order.
- Captain Underpants: After Professor Poopypants is defeated in Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants, George exclaims "Let's all give Captain Underpants a big hand!" Harold, whose hand was accidentally enlarged a few chapters prior, glares at George who apologizes.
- Journey to Chaos: Annala tells Eric about her grandfather, Nueces, who suffers from chaotic madness that makes him think he's being chased by squirrels. When it's especially bad, he thinks they are in his pants. Eric laughs when he hears this but Annala's stern glare quickly silences him. Chaotic madness is not the least bit funny and especially not among elves.
- Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes: Actually used to argue that Carlton really was kidnapped instead of faking it to make the police search for him. Carlton has a habit of making tasteless jokes and pranks including pretending to be "twins" when he started school then pretended that one was kidnapped, but he would never make any jokes about Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria because a friend of his died there and his friend's Trauma-Induced Amnesia was casued by it.
- Guardians of Ga'Hoole: Primrose the pygmy owl suffers from a slug allergy (the slug was her dessert) and has to be taken to the hospital (or the owl equivalent of it). A Pure Ones spy named Ginger makes a joke that she can have the dessert now. Immediately, she gets Death Glares from Gylfie and Otulissa, who tell her off sharply about making jokes like that.
- One episode of The Adam and Joe Show featured a parody of Jam, in particular the infamous dead baby sketch. In the skit, Joe plays a TV repairman who finds a "dead baby" (a cheap-looking doll) behind the set and says he will have to rape the corpse in order to fix the TV. Adam is horrified, refuses to film any more and storms off the set while Joe complains that it's supposed to be uncompromising and "you don't understand my genius."
- Not played for laughs in one episode of All in the Family. In the episode, Archie's boss has to lay off a worker, and tells Archie to recommend one of the guys he supervises. A smart man would choose "Stretch" Cunningham, the slacker who does nothing but tell jokes all day and never works. However, being the type of guy he is, Archie eventually does the stupid thing and lets Stretch keep his job because he's white, lays off the competent Hispanic worker, giving all sorts of lame excuses as to why, including that the other workers would hate him for choosing the other two over Stretch, and that he actually thinks the guy's jokes are good for morale. (Not that his family actually believes it.) In The Stinger, when he comes home from work, hours late and exhausted, he tells Edith, "You know that Stretch Cunningham? He ain't so funny."
- Video compilation programs such as America's Funniest Home Videos occasionally fall prey to this. A bicyclist flipping over a suddenly opened car door is only funny when it does not result in serious injury; a toddler at the beach being entirely engulfed by a wave is only funny if the child is not drowned or swept away.
- In an episode of The Bernie Mac Show, when Bernie Mac convinced Jordan to fake an asthma attack to go to a Clippers game, guest actor Billy Crystal criticized Bernie's actions, emphasizing how he suffered from asthma as a kid and how it should never be used for nefarious purposes. Then Billy Crystal started faking an asthma attack to mess with Bernie's head.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander, shortly after having an eye gouged out by Caleb quotes Giles:
"No more fun and games, Xander."
- The fourth season of Canada's Worst Driver featured a street-racing incident on the way to the Rehabilitation Centre. Since, being illegal, it could have gotten the entire franchise shut down on the spot, host Andrew Younghusband was not impressed.
- Nor was he impressed with Dale from Season 6 chasing him with a car. You read that right. He would later say it was the scariest moment of his time on the show.
- Subverted in the Castle episode "The Lives of Others"; Castle, stuck at home with a broken leg, becomes increasingly obsessed with what he thinks is a murder in an apartment across the street. When he sees the alleged killer pulling a knife on Beckett, he, Esposito and Ryan race to the apartment, where it turns out that Beckett staged the whole thing as an elaborate birthday surprise for Castle. When he finds out that there was no murder, he initially stands there in utter shock, muttering, "You made me think I was crazy?", and you can see the apprehension in Beckett's face as she worries that they may have carried this a bit too far. Finally Castle declares, "This is...without a doubt...the GREATEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MY LIFE!"
- Abed pantses Troy, who pantses Abed back in retaliation - only to see Abed had anticipated it by wearing Goofy Print Underwear. Everybody laughs, then Shirley comes in, smiling "What's so funny?" Pierce says "This!" and pantses her. Everyone's horrified but Pierce, who laughs, "Get it?"
- Troy calls out Chang who referred to Troy and Shirley as "dirty".
- In Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking, Jeff is not amused by Pierce's attempt of a Mind Screw, in which he is made to believe his deadbeat father was coming to see him. He even makes it clear to Pierce that he will beat him to a pulp if he tries to make some kind of elaborate, FX-style practical gag out of it. And when Pierce still does it on the third act, he barely manages to outrun an irate Jeff.
- Subverted when Britta makes an inappropriate joke, and Annie is aghast.
Annie: Britta, don't make jokes! You're bad at it!
- The episode Loco Motives features as one of the killers of the week an impressive example of a Lethal Klutz that had killed his wife and a Nosy Neighbor completely by accident (and he got stuck in cement up to his waist and was mugged while trying to dispose of his wife's body... and on his backstory he'd also accidentally run over and crippled his daughter, the day after he'd given her a puppy). Katherine cannot stop herself from giggling at how much the absurdity of the situation Crosses the Line Twice, but Grissom remains melancholic and gives a Schiff One-Liner about how ugly living with such a kind of luck must really be that sobers her.
- Doctor Who: In "Tooth and Claw", Queen Victoria is NOT amused by the Doctor and Rose's playful antics while there's a werewolf running amok and killing people. How much "not amused"? She exiles them from Great Britain (Rose is especially miffed because she's a native and she's being kicked out of the country long before she's been born) and orders the creation of the Torchwood Institute to deal with the Doctor if/when he ever appears again.
- In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Geoffrey unveiled his hidden shame of leaving England, because years ago, he was caught taking a taxi in order to win a marathon (he thought the information might ruin Philip's political campaign, and yes, that marathon thing has happened in real life, albeit accidentally). After showing them the video, everyone sat in silence for a good ten seconds before bursting into laughter. Geoffrey was not amused.
- In the Friends episode "The One with the Girl who Hits Joey", Chandler has a fight with Monica, and proposes to her out of guilt. Monica says no, and the rest of the gang teases Chandler:
Joey: Hey Ross, will you pass me that knife?
Ross: No, I will not!
Joey: Oh, it's okay. You don't have to be so mean about it.
Ross: You're right, I'm sorry. Will you marry me?
Phoebe: Aw, and I was gonna ask you to marry me because I forgot to say hello to you last week.
Rachel: Oh no wait Pheebs, I think for something like that you just ask them to move in with you. But I'm not sure, Chandler?
Chandler: Okay, how long is this going to go on?
Monica: Well, I think the length of teasing is directly related to how insane you were so, a long time.
Ross: This is fun. Hey Rach, remember that whole "We were on a break thing?" Well, I'm sorry, will you marry me? (nobody laughs)
Chandler: That's not funny.
Joey: That's not funny at all!
(they all get up and leave Ross)
- Downplayed but still implied during Chandler's job interview. He aces it until he makes a "poo" joke, befuddling the interviewer and ultimately costing him the job.
- "The One with... The Birth", when Rachel jokes about a taxi charging for each contraction during labor, everyone looks at her like she made a tasteless joke. Rachel points out that Chandler does stuff like that and it is considered funny. Shortly after Chandler picks a better joke and moment where everyone laughs, reminding Rachel to pick her spots more carefully.
- In the alternate universe episode, Phoebe in this timeline is a successful stock broker, but the stress of her job causes her to have a heart attack. When Ross tells her that having a heart attack is a sign that Phoebe should slow things down, Chandler jokes that having a heart attack is a sign that she should have died instead, causing everyone in the hospital room to shoot him dirty looks.
- Someone 'accidentally' took a taxi and 'accidentally' won a marathon. No one was amused.
- In Glee, Sue and Roz Washington scold several of the girls for making jokes about domestic violence in response to Coach Bieste's black eye. The injury was later revealed to actually be the result of domestic violence.
- In The Golden Girls episode "Where's Charlie?" Rose believes she's receiving a message from her deceased husband Charlie in regards to her current relationship with her boyfriend Miles. After saying she'd "Pay anything" to speak to Charlie again, Sophia pretends she's channeling Charlie's spirit to get money from her. In the process she convinces Rose "Charlie" is unhappy with Miles being with her, and Rose almost breaks up with Miles. When Dorothy realizes Sophia's tricked Rose, she flat out calls her a horrible person and orders her to come clean. Rose is absolutely furious when Sophia admits she lied, both for mocking Charlie and practically ruining things with Miles before asking just what the hell is wrong with her.
- The Great British Bake Off: The competitors usually go along good-naturedly with the hosts' comic asides at their expense, but when Mel attempted to joke with Paul the prison governor about "taking security measures" in series 6, he immediately clammed up, looking extremely uncomfortable even as she tried to apologize.
- In the season 3 premiere of Happy Endings, the gang is laughing at a video of Penny falling down the stairs, when Penny (who is in a half-body cast due to the accident), finally gets fed up with the mockery, and tells them it's not cool - she actually died for two minutes on the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They immediately stop after hearing this.
- In one episode of Home Improvement, Jill wants Tim to get a vasectomy, because they both feel they're done having children, and he's nervous about it. At Harry's store, Benny and Marty start to make a lot of jokes about it at Tim's expense, while Al tries to defend him and Harry himself bluntly tells the two of them to shut up, clearly not finding them funny at all. It's later revealed that Harry is so quick to defend Tim because he has had a vasectomy, and doesn't want Tim to be discouraged by dumb jokes about the procedure.
- The three kids cracked on their father all the time, but one such wisecrack was met not with canned laughter, but instead Tim pushing Randy's head back so that he could meet his father's stony, unamused glare:
Randy: (squeaking) ...Over the line?
Tim: Way over.
- Discussed in one episode where Jill's dad dies, and as the family prepares for the funeral Randy keeps cracking bad jokes. Tim talks with him and says he understands that the joking is a coping mechanism, and advises Randy to save the jokes for him because he won't be offended by them.
- The three kids cracked on their father all the time, but one such wisecrack was met not with canned laughter, but instead Tim pushing Randy's head back so that he could meet his father's stony, unamused glare:
- I, Claudius: Tiberius and his younger brother Drusus discuss their roles in life. Tiberius criticizes their mother's treatment of Drusus, and her overall abrasive nature. He quips that "a snake once bit her and died." Drusus takes offense as she is still their mother.
- Jessica Jones (2015): After her bed-breaking sex with Luke, Jessica is buying bourbon from an all-night deli. The clerk is listening to a call-in radio show talking about Hope Shlottman, and one of the callers comments, "Ever since those guys quote, 'saved the city', people have been making up stories about more super folk out there. Now some kid is pinning her murder on one? Have you ever heard a more made-up name than 'Kilgrave'? I mean come on. Give me a break." The clerk laughs at the guy mocking the silliness of Kilgrave's name, causing Jessica, herself a fellow victim of Kilgrave, to glare at him and say, "What, are you trying to drive customers away with that shit?"
- In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called "Zebras", Munch calls upon a member of a conspiracy chat room he knows in real life to find a missing suspect. The woman, named Gwen, shares Munch's conspiracy theorist tendencies, as did the suspect, although Gwen appears to be slightly mentally ill and has mentioned that she is thinking of going back on her medication. After Munch is able to find out what he needs to know about the missing suspect, Fin makes a crack about Munch "hooking up with loony lady" before Munch tells him Gwen is his ex-wife.
- In-universe on Law & Order: UK. While investigating the murder of a boy whose remains were found in the basement of his building, Matt and Ronnie track down the man who was one of the prime suspects, thanks to the then-detective's belief that All Gays Are Pedophiles. 20-something years later, the man is still bitter and angry about the prejudice he faced, leading him to sarcastically confess to killing the boy. At this, Matt snaps, "That's not funny, Mr. Connor."
- Madam Secretary: "Catch and Release" has Jason come running down the stairs crowing about how the US "just lit up Jihadi Judd,note BOOM!" Henry, knowing it was a Shoot the Dog call and that Liz had been asked by the guy's mother to save his life, is furious and sends him to his room.
Henry: This is not a video game!
- In an episode of Married... with Children where Al gets a circumcision by mistake, he warns everyone when he comes home NOT to ask him "What's up?", saying that the nurses and doctor at the hospital asked him that several times, and he did not find it funny. (Bud and Jefferson do not hear this warning, unfortunately, and they learn not to say it the hard way.)
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: In-Universe. At her wedding, Midge ends her speech by saying they put shrimp in the eggrolls, to the horror of everyone present, since they're all Jewish. Her father doesn't help by arguing with the rabbi that shrimp aren't explicitly banned.
Abe: Show me where it says that Jews can't have shrimp!
The Rabbi: Leviticus 11:12 "Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that is a detestable thing unto you."
Abe: THAT DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT SHRIMP!
- On an episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye pantsed Winchester while they were in the OR. No one laughed and Hawkeye was vilified by the camp for it.
- Of course it's revealed later in the episode that BJ was in on it but played dumb because of how bad it went. The finale had Colonel Potter reveal that he also found it funny but had to keep up appearances.
- In an episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy is going through a lengthy and argumentative questionnaire with her love interest/frenemy Dr. Castelllano (who is recently divorced because his wife had an affair). When he checks that she isn't planning to have kids because she's not married or in a serious relationship, Mindy says this.
Mindy: Yeah, but when I do get married, I'm gonna stay married, unlike you.
- Danny's response is to list a terrible hypothetical life Mindy is going to have, step by step. He never says he's upset by what she's said-because he doesn't have to.
- Misfits: Jess gets quite upset when Finn tells her about how his uncle raped him as a child, then admits it was a joke to "lighten the mood". Naturally she doesn't find it funny at all.
- The Monk episode "Mr. Monk is On the Air" has Howard Stern-style Shock Jock Max Hudson mock Trudy's death right after Monk brings it up in conversation. Not only do Max's toadie sidekicks give their condolences to Monk, they also try to stop Max from making said joke... just a little bit too late to prevent Monk from trying to beat him up in a rage. It also more firmly convinces Stottlemeyer and Disher that Max is guilty of murdering his wife.
- In Monty Python's Flying Circus, one sketch, where an undertaker suggests cannibalism as an alternative to interment or cremation, ends with the studio audience storming the stage in disgust (which, of course, is part of the show).
- Apparently, it was written in due to Executive Meddling on the part of the BBC - they wouldn't allow the sketch if the audience was to approve of it, so the Pythons suggested that instead of laughing, the audience react violently to appease the censors. This works just as well.
- In one episode of The Muppet Show, Fozzie makes the joke 'What do you get when you cross the Atlantic with the Titanic? Half way!" Waldorf thinks it's funny, but not Statler - he was on the Titanic when it sank! (And, according to Waldorf, still has the dress he wore to get on a lifeboat.)
Fozzie: (backstage to Kermit) Just my luck, a Titanic survivor in the audience!
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000, it's not uncommon for Joel, Mike, Jonah and/or the Bots to do something a little over the top and get chided for it.
- At the end of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Joel shushes Tom Servo twice in a row when Tom's riffs start getting a little too dark.
- A well known one was in Riding With Death where Mike and Tom get tired of Crow's Double Entendre quips.
- Mike and the Bots end up apologizing for a very racist scene in The Wild World of Batwoman. Equally, Crow gives a stern "thank you" for a stereotypical Asian tune in The Skydivers.
- Jonah actually pops Tom's head off and tosses it away after he gets carried away with an Overly Long Gag in Starcrash.
- MythBusters: This was Adam Savage's reaction to taking the full force of an electric fence device across his body. He'd basically been tricked into it by the Build Team, at the urging of the producer. After this incident, the producer was dismissed from the show. This was also likely one of the motivations for Scottie Chapman leaving the show.
- In Power Rangers in Space, Zhane had a habit of making jokes at inappropriate times, but one time really took the cake. In the episode where Psycho Red, Psycho Black, and Psycho Yellow were finally defeated and it appeared they had finally seen the last of the Psycho Rangers which was sadly, wishful thinking, as it turned out someone who appeared to be Psycho Red ambushed Andros. It was actually Zhane, who was wearing a copy of the villain's costume to try to scare him. Andros did not think it was funny.
- The Punisher (2017): Curtis Hoyle is telling Billy Russo about Lewis Wilson's living conditions, trying to convince Russo to not hire Lewis to work at Anvil. Namely, that Lewis is sleeping in a foxhole in his backyard and nearly shot his father. On the latter, Russo quips "God I've always wanted to do that," causing Curtis to give him a cold look. Russo attempts an awkward laugh to break the tension, but ultimately concedes to Curtis's request. It also foreshadows the later reveal that Russo has a very fucked up childhood of his own.
- Ramez in Control is a notorious prank show that receives a lot of criticism for its disturbing pranks. These include making people think they were being attacked by sharks and making Paris Hilton think the small plane she was on was going to crash (the pilot was an actor who started flying the plane erratically and claimed he was losing control, and one of the other passengers who was in on it was a trained skydiver who jumped out). When the prank was revealed, Paris angrily threatened to kill them, and even many of her naysayers are on her side.
- In the Robin of Sherwood episode "The Time of the Wolf" one of Gulnar's warriors, who worship the mythical Norse wolf Fenris as a god, jokes that the stores of food in the abbey they've seized "should keep the wolf from the door". The other men burst out laughing but stop abruptly when they see the Death Glare Gulnar gives them. Apparently even an evil sorcerer and leader of a murder cult won't tolerate blasphemy.
- In Scrubs JD hears from his mother that his favorite former schoolteacher Mr. Peters has died. When Turk asks if JD is okay, JD responds that he's doing a lot better than Mr. Peters. In the same episode, after JD arrives home and announces he's going to bed. Turk asks Elliot, JD's ex, if she's going with him. JD and Elliot both give him an annoyed look, which makes Turk realize that it's way Too Soon.
- In Supernatural, conversations between Sam and Dean tend to use this trope a lot, with Sam protesting Dean's use of Gallows Humor.
- In Faith [1.12], when Dean believes he is about to die, the dialogue directly echoes this trope:
Dean: Hey. You better take care of that car. Or I swear I'll haunt your ass.
Sam: I don't think that's funny.
Dean: Aw c'mon, it's a little funny.
- In Fresh Blood [3.7]:
Sam: You know what, man? I'm sick and tired of your old stupid kamikaze trick.
Dean: Whoa. Whoa. Kamikaze? I'm more like a ninja.
Sam: That's not funny.
Dean: It's a little funny.
Sam: No, it's not.
Dean: What do you want me to do, Sam, huh? Sit around all day writing sad poems about how Im going to die? You know what, I've got one. Lets see. What rhymes with 'Shut up, Sam'?
- In Faith [1.12], when Dean believes he is about to die, the dialogue directly echoes this trope:
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: When John weasels out of doing the laundry by getting Cameron to do it, she gives a completely human reaction by giving a Death Glare indicating that she is not amused.
- The Thick of It has Steve Fleming take over during Malcolm's 10-Minute Retirement, and he delivers what may be the worst New Era Speech in history, describing all the beleaguered politicians, aides and civil servants as "emerging from the cellar, pleased that the beatings have stopped, scared of what the future may hold." Every single one of the characters listening to him was visibly appalled, despite enduring abuse from Malcolm and each other on a daily basis.
- In another instance, Olly Reeder makes a tasteless joke about special needs children...in front of Glenn, who has a son with special needs. Even Hugh is appalled, and lets Olly know in no uncertain terms that he's crossed the line.
Hugh: You just took a shit with your pants on, Olly. Glenn's boy, Peter, goes to a special needs school.
- In another instance, Olly Reeder makes a tasteless joke about special needs children...in front of Glenn, who has a son with special needs. Even Hugh is appalled, and lets Olly know in no uncertain terms that he's crossed the line.
- This occurs during the tenth season of Trailer Park Boys, where Ricky screws up with Lucy and J-Roc made it worse with an needless comment.
- In the episode of The West Wing where Leo McGarry dies of a heart-attack, Senator Vinick (the opposing presidential candidate) and his campaign staff watch the news reports. One of them makes a tasteless crack about how Leo, who had plenty of health problems, was only the Democratic vice-presidential candidate because the Democrats "thought he had a few thousand more miles left in him". Vinick, who is genuinely affected by news of Leo's death, doesn't say anything but sends her a cold Death Glare that clearly indicates how little he thinks of her at that particular moment. The staffer, needless to say, shuts up quick.
- On the American edition of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin Mochrie frequently gets mocked for being bald and/or Canadian. In one sketch, when he made a joke about Ryan Stiles' nose, the audience booed him even though moments earlier, they applauded Ryan for a joke about Colin's head. After the sketch, Colin said "Notice all the melon jokes, the bald jokes? I make one nose joke, it's OOOOOOOHH!".
- The Wire: Carcetti finds out about McNulty's invented serial killer. As he's processing, his aide Norman Wilson is trying not to laugh at the ridiculousness of the scheme:
Tommy Carcetti: So, um, let me just...understand this. Um...so I've been going out there for weeks, slamming the governor for his neglect of the homeless and declaring at how we will stop at nothing to find the person responsible for preying on the homeless, (Norman, who has been trying valiantly not to laugh, loses it) and all - hey, Norman, this is my ass here!
Norman: (pulling himself together) That's true, boss. But it does have a certain charm to it. They manufactured an issue to get paid; we manufactured an issue to get you elected governor. Everybody's getting what they need behind some make-believe.
- In an episode of Workaholics, Ders gets this when he offers to fire people for Jillian (acting boss while Alice is sick).
Ders It's not that hard, give me the list, and I'll Schindler those fools right now.
Blake: I don't think you want to say that.
Adam: So inappropriate.
Ders: I never saw the movie.
Adam: It's a tearjerker. Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson. They have a whole list that they need to Schindler before they die.
Blake: Well, that's Bucket List.
- Ed Ferrara's "Oklahoma" parody of Jim Ross. It goes from jibing about BBQ sauce (JR has his own brand) to making fun of his Bell's Palsy. It pissed off Jim Cornette so much that he flat out slapped Ferrara across the face and even Ferrara refuses to defend it.
- Matt Hardy making his triumphant return to Monday Night Raw, the crowd firmly on his side against Edge and Lita, till Matt mentions he wishes they died in a car accident.
- During a feud against Samoa Joe, D'Angelo Dinero mocked Joe's obesity by showing footage of two pigs mating and claiming that he was showing Joe and his wife. Nobody was amused.
- Matt Striker, in his gimmick of an obnoxious teacher who insults the intelligence of the audience and other wrestlers, once made a reference to the death of Steve Irwin (the day after he died, which should have never okayed the segment), saying he wouldn't be stupid enough to go swimming with stingrays. Vince McMahon immediately released a public apology on WWE's website.
- Drew Gulak's Campaign For A Better Combat Zone was the most hated group in CZW because Gulak argued the need for change by bringing up CZW wrestlers whose lives had legitimately been ruined, such as Nick Gage.
- Lord Tensai (Albert/A-Train) did a short video on Tout where he was riding in a car with his Japanese manager at the wheel and yelled at him to "open his eyes". Needless to say, not very tasteful (WWE had to apologize for that too).
- Most of Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic especially those that involved a deceased wrestler:
- 1999: Over the Edge continued to air even after Owen Hart's death.
- 2006: Randy Orton mocking Eddie Guerrero who had died fourth month at the time of the angle.
- 2012: CM Punk mocking Jerry Lawler after he almost died from a heart attack live on Raw.
- 2013: CM Punk again mocked the recently deceased Paul Bearer during his feud with The Undertaker and even played with an urn that supposedly contained Bearer's ashes.
- 2015: Paige mentioning Reid Flair's death in front of Ric and Charlotte.
- 2017: WWE promoting Jimmy Snuka as a hero in death despite the allegations of murder a few months before his death.
- Mass Effect 2: Just before Commander Shepard's crew board the Heretic Geth station during Legion's Loyalty Mission, Joker mocks Legion when it's not looking by mouthing its words and making robot arm gestures. Shepard comes over and gives him a Disapproving Look, prompting him to make an "Okay, okay!" gesture and get back to work.
- In Mass Effect 3:
Shepard: Careful, there goes the next Shadow Broker.Garrus: Could've sworn he was muttering "T'Soni!" the whole time.Liara: Not funny!
- During the mission on Sur'Kesh, the party crosses paths with a rampaging yahg. Shepard and Garrus can't resist the opportunity to crack jokes about the last yahg they encountered, which teammate Liara T'Soni replaced as Shadow Broker after she and Shepard killed him. Liara is not amused:
- Done seriously later when Joker cracks a joke about the asari after their homeworld, Thessia, falls. Shepard usually lets those kinds of jokes slide but, in this case, they're at their lowest point and blames themselves for the fall of Thessia, so they proceed to snap at Joker. Joker, on the other hand, points out that he knows exactly how serious the situation is: His family was probably killed already when Reapers hit the colony they live on. On a more general scale, most of Joker's jokes appear not to be funny to anyone but himself.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: During the search for Meridian, when Ryder finds out what they and the kett are looking for isn't there, Peebee declares it funny. Ryder glowers at her, and she backtracks.
- Grand Theft Auto V: Surprisingly, we get one from Trevor of all people when Wade accidentally calls Ashley Butler a bitch, which Trevor finds very disrespectful.
- Dragon Age II has lots of snarky dialogue options (usually the one in the middle) which tend to involve cracking jokes at very serious situations. Sometimes your party members or NPCs will tell you that they're not funny, but there's a few examples of Hawke realizing that himself/herself mid-joke:
Carver: Sure, make light. We all know what happens when someone leaves big brother/sister's protection.Hawke: Fair is fair, but you are taking this little pissing match too far!
- An attempt to reassure Anders about having accidentally given himself a Superpowered Evil Side by saying "What's the worst that could happen? You turn into an abomination and start... Never mind. Bad joke."
- "You were going to kill a lot of people anyway? That's...not funny at all, really."
- Hawke gives this out to Carver at one point. After s/he's been snarking at him during an argument, he tries to snark back, implying that s/he's indirectly responsible for the death of their sister, Bethany. Hawke immediately drops their fun demeanor and gets noticeably angry.
Hawke: If theyre not dead, watch out for a bunch of boneless women flopping through the streets.
- An example of Hawke being called out on this:
Ser Emeric: Show some respect, serah!
- On very rare occasions, Hawke is on the giving ends of these, such as when trying to convince Fenris to join them with Bethany present in the group. Bethany will answer his suspicions with a joke about going crazy and murdering everyone, to which Hawke will reply "not now.".
- In Tales of the Abyss, Guy is surprisingly afraid of women for the first half or so of the game, since every time a woman comes into close contact with him, he recoils in fear or starts screaming. Everyone, even in-game laughed at this and thought it funny, but also wanted to help him get over his gynophobia. Then the truth comes out to why he's so afraid of women. His sister and the maids from his childhood home threw themselves onto Guy to protect him as they were all killed by invading soldiers, and when Guy came to, he was smothered in a pile of dead female bodies. Nobody was laughing after that.
Luke: "I didn't have time for any of that! I had other things to learn. Like my parents' faces."
- Despite being a Jerkass, Luke gets one during the beginning of the game. When he is being mocked for his lack of any knowledge of the world and its workings he delivers a great line that shuts people up fast.
- Final Fantasy X has a moment near the end:
Jecht: You've really grown.Tidus: Yeah. But you're still bigger.Jecht: Well, I am Sin, you know.Tidus: That's not funny.
- In Borderlands 2 Mad Moxxi reveals that her double entendres and suggestive comments are a defense mechanism, when she makes a joke about one of her ex-girlfriends being eaten alive, then promptly apologizes and throws up a little in her mouth.
- In Doom And Destiny, one of the bonus dungeons in the game has the heroes fighting against enemies named after astrological signs. In one of the floors, there will be nothing but a tombstone that reads "Here lies Cancer, died of...cancer." The guys were disgusted by it.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, two mercs are discussing the punishments Revas metes out to the crew to keep them in line. When one of them makes a black humored joke about the apparent Torture Technician known only as "the Dentist", his older colleague reminds him that there's nothing funny about it with a Precision F-Strike.
- In the Duke Nukem Forever DLC The Doctor Who Cloned Me, Dylan makes a sexual reference to the now deceased Holsom Twins, then apologizes when he sees that Duke is still mourning for them.
- It doubles as an Author's Saving Throw after fans and critics reacted negatively to Duke making a similar joke in the original game.
- When raocow played through Waru Borei in Something Else, a huge portion of people were livid with the out-of-place sex scene in the game.
- One quest in World of Warcraft has this conversation between two characters at its conclusion, in which one character tries to joke about the serious situation, and the other is less than amused:
Malynea: Did you hear that, Clubnik? Those that died defending Lake Mennar are heroes. Their selfless actions may have even saved this entire world! A memorial should be erected.Clubnik: Sure, I hear ya. Howsabout a... Memorial Fuel Depot? It'll be very tasteful!Malynea: Clubnik? I hope you die. In a fire.
- Persona 4 has a piece of armor you can equip on you male party members that consists of just a towel. While Yosuke protests to it comically, gave it to Kanji and he says it makes him uncomfortable due to it reminding him of his Shadow.
- Serious Sam is a Guest Fighter in Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator. His weakness is insults that make light of serious subjects, like "[Your father] [supports] [the Nazis] [and] [your math teacher] [has bum cancer]!"
- At one point in Ninja Pizza Girl, Gemma decides that perhaps the abuse she's been getting from the enemy ninja is just good-natured trash talk, and tries responding in kind. The enemy ninja immediately prove her theory wrong by mocking her brother's wheelchair-bound condition and threatening to snap Gemma's neck as well, leaving Gemma (and probably the player as well) horrified.
- In Batman: The Telltale Series when Batman and Commissioner Gordon figure out that The Riddler was feuding with the other members of "The Pact", Gordon remarks "Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll kill each other". Batman doesn't say anything, but the look he gives Gordon and Gordon's innocent shrug say it all.
- Randal's Monday: The Jay cosplayer does not appreciate mom jokes.
- In Until Dawn, after Hannah runs away into the woods out of embarrassment, only Sam and Beth show concern for her while some of the others accuse Hannah of overreacting and says she can't take a joke. Said "joke" was playing with Hannah's feelings, getting her to be almost naked in front of the guy she had a crush on and taping it. While Hannah knew Mike was already taken and was willing to cheat, it was still dangerous that she ran out into a storm, which would lead to her death.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
Phoenix: H-hey, don't look so serious, guys! I was kidding! Just a little joke!Edgeworth: There was nothing little...Maya: ...or joke-like about it!Phoenix: (I thought it was funny...)
- There is a moment when Phoenix can decide not to take Edgeworth's murder case. ("Sorry, charley! No way!") An appropriate reaction occurs.
Apollo: (What type of sick joke is that...?)'
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, Betty and Bonny both reveal to the court that the incident that occurred at the magic show that Trucy Wright is currently on trial for was all just a prank on Trucy that was set by the TV station that was filming the show. The victim was supposed to have tumbled from the coffin, pretending to be dead, which would horrify Trucy, before the set piece came crashing down, causing Trucy to become even more horrified, along with prompting the audience to go into a panic, thinking that she had gotten crushed. Then the victim would "come back to life", and "fly away" via a harness, startling everyone. The only thing that wasn't part of the prank was that the victim actually ending up dead from a real stab wound. After they reveal this to the court, Apollo and the Judge are both pretty disgusted at how cruel the prank is.
- Questionable Content had an arc where Angus started making jokes about suicide to Faye, whose father killed himself in front of her when she was a kid. When she tells him off, he initially doesn't believe her, and Faye realizes that her constant sarcasm has "set an unfortunate precedent". Angus also calls out Faye for making jokes at his friend Marigold's expense.
- The web-comic Fans! featured a murder investigation involving a crossword puzzle convention. When crossword fan Hilda makes a comment about the case while putting on her glasses, Marc shouts "YEEAAAAAHH!", a la the Roger Daltrey shriek from "Won't Get Fooled Again" in CSI: Miami. He gets roundly chewed out for it.
- Defied in the child kidnapping episode in Monster of the Week. The whole premise Monster Of The Week is taking The X-Files episodes and abridging them in funny way, but this episode was surprisingly serious. Author notes in The Rant that child kidnapping is not funny and it's very hard to joke on it without invoking Dude Not Funny.
- There were two such instances in Eerie Cuties:
- During the Tiresias Orb incident, Blair changed all the girls of Charybdis Heights to reflect his vision of the ideal woman. Which culminated in him having Brooke and Nina (both 14) engage in a kissing contest against their wills. The readership was so appalled by it, that it caused the writers to change it, so that Brooke simply became a blonde cheerleader instead. A footnote concerning the change and a link to the original strip can be found underneath the revised version.
- While not as offensive as the first, the incident where Nina stole her sister's body was also met with criticism from the readers. She hijacked Layla's body, offered to let Blair feel her up, then used it to go on a date with her sister's boyfriend, Kade - simply because Layla poked fun at her. Making it an egregious case of Disproportionate Retribution.
- In Platypus Comix's Family Guy parody, Herman calls his mistaking the fire station's lunch bell for a fire alarm "funnier than beating a homeless man to death." After the Cutaway Gag that features Herman finding enjoyment in physically abusing a homeless man, Herman's companion tells him in-universe that he didn't find the scene funny.
- In Act 6 Intermission 3 of Homestuck, John was already in a shitty mood when he realized (on his birthday, no less) that his most beloved movie Con Air is actually pretty terrible, and then that Davesprite and Jade have broken up, all of which only adds to a slowly growing case of Cabin Fever, but the breaking point comes when Davesprite leaves a note in the style of John's dad (who died on this day two years ago, no less) mockingly telling him how proud he is for finally realizing that Con Air sucks. He is not pleased.
- During the Alterniabound flash game, Karkat mocks the higher-class Equius with a snarky comment about butlers, when Equius mentions that his butler/father-figure is dead. Karkat, realizing he's just stepped over this line, apologizes immediately, but denies Equius' offer of a bro-hug.
- Karkat tells Dave that Rose's issues, her drinking, make her funnier and charming. In contrast Kanaya's particularly distressed, as she feels Rose is throwing her talents away, and has developed a severe problem.
- Goblins features a scene where Dellyn Goblinslayer mentions that he rapes his Yuan-Ti slavegirl Kin every night, clearly expecting Minmax to laugh along. Minmax however is not amused and promptly throws Dellyn through a window.
- At one point in L's Empire, they find themselves in a pocket dimension inside Daisy's womb (don't ask), and Geminiman decides that the best way to get out is to blast the fetus. Mr L whips out his lightsaber and scolds Geminiman for even thinking of threatening his child. The author even says that they've gone beyond the realm of good taste.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Fighter calls this on Black Mage shortly after Black Belt's death.
Fighter: I mean, really. Ignoring the gross display of insensitivity these remarks represent and looking at them from a strictly structuralist perspective, they just aren't funny.
- An old Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal features a father threatening his daughter at gunpoint. Zach Wiener went back to draw a votey for it years later, after the birth of his own daughter, and didn't find it quite so funny.
- In True Villains, Mia makes an offhand comment about being a vampire, which makes Bayn sober up and tell her not to joke about them. When a vampire does show up, it's a feral One-Man Army who tears their boss Xaneth limb from limb, curb-stomps the rest of the party, and takes a large-scale Enemy Mine team-up to neutralize before it can summon in an even stronger vampire.
- Dumb Rwby:
- In one strip, Qrow make a bunch of hand-related jokes after Yang lost a arm, the others character just wonder what's wrong with him.
- The Inappropriate Timing Spongebob meme mocks this trope. note
- In The Nostalgia Critic's review of The Room, Mark tells Johnny about a girl he knew who was dating several guys at the same time. One of them finds out and beats her up so badly that she ends up in a hospital. Johnny's response is to laugh and say "What a story, Mark!" The Critic comments on this, saying "That's not funny, you sick fuck."
- Incidentally, this was the reaction of the cast and crew of The Room as well — Tommy Wiseau had to be told that domestic abuse was not something to laugh about, as he apparently didn't know.
- In the Bridge to Terabithia review, he is absolutely furious when a bully makes fun of Leslie's death and descends into pure Angrish.
- Meta example: The Protectors of the Plot Continuum writer who had originally claimed Sweet Apple Massacre gave up because there was just no way to make the mission funny - for those not in the know, that fic is a Not Safe for Work My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic wherein a character replacement of Big Macintosh does unspeakable things to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. And more to the spirit of this trope, the disastrous in-universe sporking of the fic in question also gets this treatment whenever it's brought up by Rayner, who was one of the survivors of the so-called "Killer Mac Incident". Even his Jerk Ass partner, E.V.L., flat-out refuses to make snide comments about said incident, partly because her telepathic connection with him gave her access to the traumatic memory of the mission itself, which directly led to the death of his previous partner.
- In "The Gods Must Be Crazy", Backslash openly derides Lapis' severed hand as a liability and refuses to let her join the other agents on their pending mission because of it. Since the events that led to Lapis losing her hand were almost as traumatic as S.A.M., and could've easily led to the loss of her life if it hadn't been for a bout of Power Incontinence, this strikes a nerve with her to a far greater extent than he thought. Needless to say, her partners are quick to call Backslash out on this, and even he himself agrees with them.
- Newgrounds.com has an entire collection for flash submissions called "BASTARDS" that is devoted to this trope.
- This is The Nostalgia Chick's reaction to a slavery joke in her review of Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.
- In CinemaSins, during the third released EWW of The Force Awakens trailer, when they account a sin of trailer, they remark upon themselves for being "Too Mean".
- In the latest April Fool's Day Episode of The Annoying Orange, this is Orange's friends' reaction to Orange's April Fool's Day pranks. Turns out Orange was actually Liam the Leprechaun in disguise.
- Binder of Shame: Ab 3 walked away from a Dungeons & Dragons game when he realized the DM had transported the group to WW2 Germany and expected them to help Hitler.
- In Midnight Screenings, Jake saw That's My Boy and got so enraged at the jokes involving a teacher having sex with an adolescent boy that he wasn't even doing Comical Overreacting. He was actually furious.
- From The Onion: "Circus Train Wreck Not Funny, Investigators Emphasize".
- The Rifftrax for the movie Glitter has Mike make a joke about Eric Benet's sex addiction. Mary Jo doesn't think there's anything funny about sex addiction and keeps trying to explain this to Mike as he keeps making more jokes about it. Eventually she gives up, which is for the best since there aren't many other places to go when making jokes about Eric Benet.
- In the Rifftrax for Star Trek: Generations, Disembaudio keeps declaring "BUY MORE RIFFTRAX" during Kirk's death scene with Bill joining in as well. This is vastly different from when they deal with Picard's breakdown over the death of his mother and brother.
- On TV Trash, Rowdy goes ballistic when Allen Gregory makes a racist joke and decides to end the review right there.
- The Goosebumps book Chicken Chicken is the only one absolutely despised by Troy Steele, writer of Blogger Beware. He cites the Body Horror the kids go through, in addition to the fact that everyone around them laughs at their worries, as his rationale for this - and when the ending implies the kids have to go through it again he literally throws the book across the room.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, when Vegeta makes a Christopher Reeve joke while crushing Goku's legs, Goku states that it was in bad taste but Vegeta doesn't care because he's evil.
- Subverted in Hellsing Ultimate Abridged where a mercenary balks at Willingham's insulting joke only to be told Willingham doesn't care if it offends the Nazi vampires.
Willingham: Uh so, sir? What's the over-under on any of us finishing this mission alive?
Pip: About as good as any of getting laid tonight.
Willingham: I don't know, those vampires do look kind of rapey.
Mercenary: Holy shit dude!
Willingham: Oh, who the fuck am I offending?! The Nazis?!
- Sword Art Online Abridged:
- Episode 13 reveals that Yui's death was an attempt to "humanize herself through clever witticisms", but Kirito did not find it funny in the slightest, even calling her out on it.
- Episode 12 has Suguha trigger two of these moments with Kirito.
- The first is when she calls him a retard for tearing his dick in half after coming out of his VR coma, to which he sounds shellshocked from the resulting surgery.
- The second is when she tells Kirito to bring some tissues with him to clean up anything he leaves on Asuna's face. Kirito, who fully comprehends Asuna's condition, is offended this time.
- When Retsupurae made fun of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, they handled the attempted rape scene by having Diabetus pretend not to know about it, then get angry and threaten to leave when he "learned" that slowbeef had just tried to trick him into making fun of rape.
- While reviewing The Lion King 1½, Duckyworth gets offended constantly by the film mocking the tone of the original, including, but not limited to Pumbaa being revealed as the one who made the animals 'bow' by his flatulence, inserting him and Timon into the infamous stampede scene, Timon's mother beating Rafiki up, and, to let Duckyworth sum how they handle the luau scene up:
- *Timon pauses the film and says Lets cut to the chase, shall we?*Hahaha.. no, no dont ruin the joke Youre ruining it, film.. Youre ruining it!*the two run away from the hyenas, and then an explosion comes from the hole they ran into, and the hyenas come back out with stink lines. Timon then says I love the smell of Pumbaa in the morning *Hahahaha...AAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH! YOU DID IT. You actually DID IT! You ruined the luau joke for me! Youre so desperate for these terrible jokes you cant even respect your own Timon and Pumbaa joke... DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!
- In an Achievement Hunter video on Black Ops 3: Zombies - Shadows of Evil, Ryan Haywood is trying to compare one of the game's guns, the Shiva, to the M1A1, but forgets the name and somehow ends up asking "What's the 9/11 that everyone loves?" This causes the rest of the AH crew to call him out on it.
- When Kyle Kallgren reviews Mister Lonely, he gets to a scene near the end where the Marilyn Monroe impersonator hangs herself. Ven comes in singing Elton John's "Candle in the Wind", about the death of the real-life Marilyn Monroe, and Kyle is not amused.
- In RWBY Volume 4, this is Subverted when Yang has an argument with her father in the kitchen and Taiyang makes a comment about how she may have "lost some brain cells to go with that arm". Yang jumps back in shock and Oobleck and Port are also lost for words (and presumably so were a lot of viewers), but then she playfully punches him with a "You jerk!" and laughs at it. Quite a sweet moment as it shows she is beginning to recover from the Trauma Conga Line she went through in the last volume.
- In Episode 7 of RWBY Chibi, Weiss gets back at Ruby for a water bucket prank by doing the same thing, except freezing the water solid. The bucket knocks her out and Yang and Blake are obviously not laughing at a possibly-concussed Ruby.
- When Sun, Neptune, Ren, and Yang find Nora in a food coma in Season 2 Episode 4, Yang, in the spirit of her VA Barbara Dunkelman, starts making terrible puns instead of trying to help, much to the annoyance of the boys. When Sun demands to know why Yang does this, he promptly gets his answer... in the form of her dad, Taiyang, who starts making terrible jokes of his own, demonstrating that ill-timed humor apparently runs in the family.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
Yami Yugi: 5 guys in one body, eh? Sounds like a typical day for Mai Valentine, am I right?
Joey: Yug, she's in a coma!
Yami Yugi: Am I right?
Joey: It's just very inappropriate.
Yami Yugi: But am I right?
Yami Yugi: JOEY!
Yami Yugi: AM. I. RIGHT?
- Following up on this, when Mai pretends to have never woken up from her coma, everyone thinks that she and Serenity went too far on Joey there. Even Yami.
- The creators of Bad Call TV changed the facts on a person dying because instead of seeking medical help their associates instead tried to employ faith healing by making it about a man dying of a seizure and his friends being idiots... instead of a small child dying of pneumonia while their parents prayed for them to get better.
- The hosts of The Last Podcast on the Left regularly discuss dark topics like serial killers and cults and treat them with all the respect they feel the people involved deserve: None. That changes when the discussion goes to the victims of these people. For example, in their Children of God series, jokes about the cult's founder being a Dirty Old Man pedophile fly freely, but in the final part, when the main topic is a man raised in the Children of God's sexually abusive environment who went on to murder one of his abusers then kill himself, the number of jokes drops sharply and they express sympathy as they refer to statements he made before the act showing he knew what he was going to be doing.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show: At one point, Ed and Eddy fall into a pit of quicksand and seemingly sink to their deaths in front of Double D... but it turns out that they were just pulling a prank on him. Double D is understandably pissed at them for it, furiously chews them out, and even gets in a fist fight with Eddy before deciding to return home and face the kids' wrath, declaring he'd rather accept the consequences of his actions than wander aimlessly with a "so-called friend" like Eddy.
- The Simpsons:
- In "King of the Hill", After McBain snaps a Commie-Nazi pilot's neck in a TV movie despite the latter surrendering, Marge jokes that that's "breakneck speed." Bart responds by coldly telling her that a man just died.
- Bart doesn't find McBain's very politically incorrect talk show funny either, with Lisa saying "The Fox Network has sunk to a new low."
- In "Insane Clown Poppy", a flashback to where Krusty was performing for Gulf War soldiers at a USO show had him mocking Saddam Hussein by calling him "So Damn Insane". A soldier then calls him out saying he's fanning the flames of hatred - a bit hypocritical, since at least one of the soldiers is there precisely to kill Saddam.
- In "My Mother The Carjacker", as Homer is chasing after the car taking his mother to jail, the driver stops the car to tempt Homer and speed off when he gets close. The other man in the car complains that the guy is losing his mother, but when the driver asks if he can do it one more time, the other guy admits it's Actually Pretty Funny and allows it.
- In "Round Springfield", "Bleeding Gums" Murphy tells Lisa (via flashback) how his own mentor Blind Willy Witherspoon tried to give him his saxophone, only for Murphy to tell him it was an umbrella - meaning that Willie had been playing an umbrella for thirty years. When Willie asks why no one told him, Murphy chuckles and says, "We all thought it was kinda funny!" Willie's reply is, simply, "That's not funny."
- In "Burns' Heir", Bart is watching The Itchy and Scratchy Show with Burns; at first, Bart laughs like he always does at Scratchy's violent, gory murder. But then, Burns starts to enjoy it a little too much. Bart is noticeably creeped out.
- In "Love, Springfieldian Style" during the "Homer and Marge re-enacting Bonnie and Clyde" short, at one point Homer and Marge enter a theater where a Woody Woodpecker Captain Ersatz short is being played. The (current) page quote is the reaction of Wiggum at seeing the excessive (although (unfortunately) somewhat period-accurate) racism towards Mexicans (and their food) playing on screen.
- Family Guy:
Peter: And the plane is voiced by David Spade.
- The first episode has a cutaway gag of the Griffins watching Philadelphia. Peter recognizes Tom Hanks in the movie and, thinking he is playing a comedic role, says out loud that every line of his is pure gold. Hanks' character says, "I have AIDS." which prompts Peter to laugh uncontrollably while the other moviegoers glare at him.
- "The Kiss Seen Around the World," an attempted invoking comes when teenager Neil Goldman (Jewish pharmacist Mort Goldman's socially awkward, annoying son) is humiliated and plans to jump off the roof of city hall. Quahog 5 News anchor/reporter Tom Tucker is assigned to cover the breaking news. As police are trying to talk Neil down, Tucker takes his cameraman aside and discusses what to do if a fatal jump is recorded on tape: add cartoon-type "object falling" sound effects, along with humorous commentary in an attempt to amuse the audience. Before it is invoked, Meg (who had a crush on Tom throughout the episode) overhears Tucker and his cameraman talking and tells him that what he plans on doing is wrong.
- Peter invokes it in the episode "Back to the Woods." After James Woods steals his identity, Peter takes revenge by stealing Woods's identity and ruining his career by stating on David Letterman's show that he's working on a comedy based on 9/11 called September 11, 2000-FUN!. The film, he claims, focuses on a window washer who sees the plane coming toward him while he wipes the window of the Twin Towers and exclaims, "Aw, c'mon!"
Mayor West: Oh, by the way, I should tell you that I've got AIDS.Carol: What!?Mayor West: Yeah, they're right over there waiting for me.Aides: Ready to go when you are sir.Mayor West: Poor guys, they both have AIDS.(Cutaway to Live Action)Robert Loggia: NOT OKAY!
- Invoked again by Mayor West in "Brothers & Sisters"
Joe: It's an intervention.Peter: Now's a perfect time to tell my jokes.Lois: Peter!Peter: They can wait 'til later.
- And this moment from "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q."
Peter: Okay, here's another riddle. A woman has two children. A homicidal murderer tells her she can only keep one. Which one does she let him kill?Brian: That's... that's not a riddle. That's... that's just terrible.Peter: Wrong! The ugly one.
- The opening to "E. Peterbus Unum."
- In the Grand Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, having been told that he must kill Fire Lord Ozai, says he can't go around wiping out people he doesn't like. Sokka responds that he can because he's the Avatar and Aang angrily tells him that this isn't a joke.
- Justice League episode "Kid's Stuff" has Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern magically transformed into kids. Batman remains the closest to his adult counterpart, composed and grim, while the others are hyper, childish and sometimes a danger to themselves or others. When changed back to normal, Wonder Woman light-heartedly comments that it was nice being a kid again. Batman responds "I haven't been a kid since I was eight years oldnote ."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
Scootaloo: That's so funny I forgot to laugh.
- Some of Rainbow Dash's pranks are seen as this by the other ponies. For example, In the episode "Luna Eclipsed", she shocks Pinkie Pie with a lightning cloud. Not only did it scare her, Spike was startled and dropped his candy (in a pose that implied he was choking). Twilight Sparkle scolded at RD for her prank.
- When the Cutie Mark Crusaders look for Fluttershy's lost chicken in the Everfree Forest, they suggest calling out to it. Apple Bloom says she knows how to call a chicken... and starts calling Scootaloo's name. Scootaloo isn't amused in the slightest.
- In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", Rainbow Dash says theres something wrong with the baby she just rescued: Shes not cheering for everyones favorite hero, Rainbow Dash! Afterwards, Dash gets distracted by the paparazzi and casually tosses the baby to her mother, who doesnt look too pleased by such carelessness.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Fools in April", SpongeBob pulls several harmless pranks to various people at work during April Fools' Day. Squidward quickly begins to find the pranks increasingly annoying, so in an effort to put and end to them, he sets his own, far more sadistic prank for Spongebob... which involves himstepping in a snare trap, flung/smacked all around the Krusty Krab, sliding through Bubble Bass' rear end, and landing into a trash can after a fall from the ceiling. SpongeBob is far from amused and runs out of the Krusty Krab in tears as the on-lookers walk out, disgusted by Squidward's cruelty.
"April Fools... jerk!"
Sandy: That wasn't funny, SpongeBob! You had us all worried sick!Spongebob: Let's see,Lifting weights = Big laughFrisbee in the face = KillsSurfing = Knocks em deadPretending to drown = Noooooo...
- And then the whole thing turns out to have been an April Fools joke made by SpongeBob himself, with the patrons being in on it the whole time.
- In "Ripped Pants", one of SpongeBob's many, many stunts involving comically ripping his pants involves pretending to drown at the beach. The beachgoers, who were already getting sick of his "ripped pants" schtick all desert him in disgust.
- A sketch in Robot Chicken had a young kid dressed up as Iron Man follow the real Iron Man to a big fight in the city. The Avengers mistake the kid for the real Iron Man and throw him into battle, causing him to get fatally injured and accidentally taking down a giant robot by jamming its motors. The kid is given an iron statue to honor his sacrifice, when Iron Man makes this joke:
- In the Rocket Power episode "Radical New Equipment", Twister makes a comment about a group of handicapped snowboarders that leaves the rest of the crew in shock.
Twister: Squid, don't worry. You're not the lamest snowboarder on this mountain anymore.
Reggie: Twister, harsh!
Otto: That's not cool, man!
Sam: I can't believe you said that, dude!
- In Drawn Together, Spanky Ham once laments the existence of a cell filled with stereotyped "Red Indian" animated characters, noting that poking fun at them isn't funny and they "got a raw deal" as people. To put this in perspective, he's fine with laughing at the racist stereotypes of black people, Asians and Mexicans in other cells.
- Camp Lazlo had the episode "S is for Crazy", where Samson gets his brain fried by a jellyfish and starts acting dumb. In the beginning, Scoutmaster Lumpus initially joins in with his antics (such as having Raj unknowingly scrape his trunk off and dumping chocolate pudding in the lake), but Samson's pranks stop being funny when Lumpus falls in pudding and Slinkman gets sprinkled with salt. After Samson continues laughing after Slinkman gets watered, turns to his old self and says "That was not funny", Lumpus tells him this:
Lumpus: You're fun when you were crazy, but now you're just crazy!
- In the My Gym Partner's a Monkey episode "The Hyena and the Mighty", Adam is trying to give a report on an oil spill and how it harmed wildlife, but the titular hyena's laughing and Jake's mockery of the situation do not make him happy. For frame of reference, Adam's report mentions that millions of animals died in the spill; but Jake is joining the hyena's laughter by mocking the animals for being dirty. Adam's expression is a good representation of this trope.
- In the Superman: The Animated Series origin story "The Last Son of Krypton", Clark tells Lana that weird things have been happening to him, such as being able to see through walls. Lana asks him if he's been using this ability to peek into the girls' locker room. Clark is genuinely freaked out and in no mood for jokes; Lana apologizes when she realizes that he's trying to deal with a serious issue.
- Kaeloo: This happens so very often with Mr. Cat's "jokes" that "That's not funny!" may as well be Kaeloo's Catch-Phrase. It happens even more often in the French dub than the English one.
- Gravity Falls: "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" has Grunkle Stan interrupt a proposing couple with a joke ending with "It's funny because marriage is terrible." They are predictably not amused and leave immediately in disgust.
- An earlier episode of Daria partially revolved around this. Jane and Daria collaborate to produce a portrait of a pretty and happy-looking girl looking into a mirror with the caption reading, "She knows she's a winner, she couldn't be thinner, now she goes in the bathroom and vomits up dinner." Their art teacher immediately reprimands them for making fun of someone suffering from an eating disorder, but they rebuttal by saying that it's not meant to be funny and was actually pointing out the dangers of conformity through the most shocking way possible. After some deliberation, their teacher accepts the portrait for what it is and enters it in the school contest. Later, when Principal Li and Mr. O'Neill try to change the message into something more approachable and mellow, Jane and Daria are not happy.