A type of gag in which a character's actions or words contradict each other and this is Played for Laughs. Tends to run in one of several ways:
- Bob openly makes some kind of statement or declaration and then does the exact opposite.
- Bob is accused of engaging in a certain behavior or activity, denies it, and then immediately does said behavior or activity.
- Bob criticizes Alice for some fault that is an established part of his own character, or just before or after exhibiting that particular fault himself.
- Bob makes fun of a group of people of which he himself is a member.
- Alice tries to warn Bob of something several times, but he doesn't listen (either by interrupting her or by not believing her). Then when that thing happens, Bob turns to Alice and says, "Why didn't you tell me?"
For example, if Alice is an overweight girl deep in denial, she might say, "I don't see why you guys think I have an eating problem"... right before taking a bite out of her fourth consecutive Big n' Tasty. Or if Bob is known a miser, he could exclaim, "What are you talking about? I'm not greedy"... and then swipe every last cent from the take-a-penny/leave-a-penny tray.
It doesn't even have to necessarily be Bob who does the opposite. Half the time it seems like the entire universe is instantaneously altered just so the polar opposite of Bob's sentence occurs for a gag. If Bob is lying to his parents and says that he didn't go to that concert last night, sure enough, the phone will instantly ring and the answering machine will broadcast a friend instructing them to call back, raving in great detail about how much fun they had at the concert, how glad they are that they snuck out and how there's no way their parents will ever find out.
Often evident (and occasionally Truth in Television) when Bob prematurely accuses Alice of engaging in Double Entendre or sexual innuendo, thereby indicating that his own thought processes have already walked that crooked line. It drives the point home if Bob accuses Alice before she herself makes the connection or if she wouldn't have made it in the first place.
The delivery of hypocritical humor in reality-bending situations is usually executed via Contrived Coincidence.
A standard comic strip tactic, as it makes for a quick and neat four-panel gag.
Sometimes used as a Hypocrisy Nod, or a Hypocrisy Nod is used for laughs by mixing it with this.
Compare with Immediate Self-Contradiction, Boomerang Bigot, Tempting Fate, I Resemble That Remark!, I Would Say If I Could Say, Such a Phony, Don't Be Ridiculous and Description Cut.
Some tropes, like Sorry Ociffer, Some of My Best Friends Are X, and Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For, inherently lend themselves to Hypocritical Humor.
Not to be confused with Hippocratic Humor, which would be what M*A*S*H, Scrubs, and House are all about. Also don't confuse with Hypocritical Heartwarming.
Please do not attempt to add examples of people doing this unintentionally (nearly all Real Life examples would fall under that). This trope refers to deliberate uses of hypocrisy for humor's sake, at least by the writer. The same goes for Wicks and Potholes, so if you catch any, feel free to destroy them without pity.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Comic Strips
- Fan Works
- Films — Animation
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Animation
- Web Videos
- Western Animation
- Mr. Whipple in the Charmin commercials. He spends half a minute warning women not to squeeze the Charmin. Then later on, he is seen squeezing said Charmin himself.
- Kotex ads feature a woman talking sarcastically about how other tampon commercials are helpful, while proving them to be just the opposite.
Woman: And they use that blue liquid stuff so I'm like, 'Oh, that's what it's supposed to look like.'
- One State Farm commercial has a mime come up to a State Farm salesman with a woman and her infant son and tell them how beneficial State Farm is. The baby then starts talking about how freaky it was for a mime to talk.
- In a GEICO spot, a rep is showing the Geico gecko footage of him as a two-dimensional hand-drawn cartoon plugging the product. The CGI-animated gecko does a Face Palm and quips "So you've turned me into a cartoon. Lovely."
- The ADT medical alert commercial with the old woman protesting, "That's not for me! That's for some old person!"
- The Daily Show has an ad on Facebook where Trevor Noah takes turns pandering to and insulting his FB audience.
- In this promotional video for her 2018 tour with Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling admits to being a "casual fan" of the band, saying "I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with them." All the while wearing an Evanescence t-shirt in a room full of Evanescence posters, with a picture of Amy Lee on her cell phone and "Bring Me to Life" as her ringtone. Not to mention the absolute "OMG" look on her face when she receives a text message from Amy Lee reading "What are you doing this summer?"
- The announcement ad for Disney's California Adventure park had Buzz Lightyear watching the new park with binoculars and describing it to the other Disney World characters. When Goofy suggests just walking over and introducing themselves, Buzz scoffs "nobody likes a nosy neighbor."
- One station promo for Australian digital radio station MMM Classic Rock complains about how today's music is all about money, drugs and sex... while playing clips from classic rock songs about money, drugs and sex.
- In this Credit Karma commercial two ladies are sitting on a park bench. One is checking her credit score, and the other snatches her phone and throws it in the lake, out of the belief that checking her credit score lowers it, and tells her to "just be cool". The first lady then explains that checking your credit score with Credit Karma doesn't effect it at all. Lampshaded in The Stinger, one the second lady retrieves her phone saying "Sorry about that".
- Banksy is fond of this trope.
- Obvious examples include "We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves."
- And his list of people who should be shot — "Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, and people who write lists telling you who should be shot."
- BoBoiBoy: As they haven't seen each other in a while, BoBoiBoy and Tok Aba (his grandfather) accidentally hug separate people instead of each other. Only when Tok Aba calls him out does BoBoiBoy realise it, and Tok Aba huffs. The kid who Tok Aba mistakenly hugged then says, "Huh, speak for yourself."
- In episode 90 of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons, Wolffy asking Paddi to say something nice to Wilie from inside the candy house is met with a response of "I'm not saying a word!", which directly contradicts itself as he refuses to say anything but still vocalizes this to get his point across to Wolffy.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama The Sword of the Chevalier, the Tenth Doctor and Rose meet the Chevalier D'Eon, who they find nice but with a tendency to talk about herself. The Doctor says she can't possibly have met all the people she claims, and Rose sardonically notes that people like that are annoying. Completely Oblivious to His Own Description, the Doctor agrees that he hates name-droppers, and adds that Oscar Wilde used to do the same thing.
- In one of his stand-up routines Irish comedian Ed Byrne noted that there was an increasing strain of anti-immigration rhetoric entering Irish society ... before pointing out that, given the prominent history of Irish immigration to other countries, the Irish might not have much of a leg to stand on about this:
Ed Byrne: You cheeky bastards! What kind of brass balls do you have, as an Irish person, to complain about immigration? We've been populating the globe ever since we worked out how to get into a boat!
- Russell himself, from Russell Howard's Good News.
Russell: [after a clip of someone accidentally break their arm] What twat breaks his arm like that?
[cue Russell looking down at his broken wrist and hand]
- From Woody Allen's stand-up routines. "My ex-wife was childish. See if you don't think this is childish. She'd come into the bathroom when I was having a bath, and sink my ships."
- Bill Engvall on discipline: "Hey!" *smack* "We do NOT hit!"
- "If anyone says he hates war more than I do, he'd better have a knife, that's all I have to say." — Jack Handey
- "An egotist is a person of low taste — more interested in himself than in me." — Ambrose Bierce
- "There are three things in this world I can't stand. Hatred, bigotry, and midgets." (pause for laughter) "I'm sorry, I just don't like 'em." — James Gregory
- The Watergate Comedy Hour was a 1973 comedy album starring the likes of Jack Burns, Avery Schreiber and Fannie Flagg. The lead cut takes the form of a late night show a la Johnny Carson with then-president Richard Nixon as the star:
Nixon: My fellow Americans...I wish to speak to you tonight from the bottom of my deeply troubled heart and not from some ghostwritten prepared script. (softly to stagehand) Uh, could you raise the cue cards a little higher? Fine. Thank you.
- "Tomorrow, I'll stop procrastinating."
- "I'm going to start making my own decisions... if that's okay with you."
- "I never brag. I'm awesome like that."/"I'm too awesome to brag."
- "I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!"
- "Thank God I'm an atheist." - Luis Buñuel
- "I never make mistakes. I thought I did once, but I was wrong."
- "Stop being such a narcissist. This should be about me!"
- "All generalisations are false."
- Likewise, an eerily similar phrase has gone memetic after Obi-Wan Kenobi said it in Revenge of the Sith, apparently without realizing the irony: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
- "95% of all surveys/statistics are made up".
- "Watch your fucking language!"
- "As a Capricorn, I don't believe in astrology."
- "Proponents of eugenics shouldn't be allowed to reproduce".
- "All extremists should be killed."
- "I have to say, I think I'm especially modest."
- "all sentences should begin with a capital letter."
- "I am the nicest person in the world. And if there is ever anyone nicer than me, I'll kill them and will be the nicest one once again."
- "Why must you always think that I'm criticizing you?"
- "Those who are against freedom of speech should be denied the right to say that."
- Redneck dating tip: "Don't be sexist or vulgar. Bitches hate that shit."
- "Never stereotype entire groups based on one member of that group, that's what Southerners do."
- "Don't anthropomorphize computers. They don't like it."
- There's an old joke about a woman whose son and daughter got married within a week or two of each other. A few months later, a friend asks her about how her daughter is doing. The mom gushes about her son-in-law, how he cooks for her daughter, gives her lots of gifts, and sends his wife to a spa once a month. The friend then asks how the son's marriage is, and the mother gets a disgusted look on her face and begins going on about how her daughter-in-law doesn't cook, wants lots of gifts, and always wants to go to the spa...
- This joke:
A guy says, "I don't smoke, I don't cuss, and I don't drink." Then, a second later, he says, "Fuck, I left my cigarettes down at the bar."
- The Bible:
- Book of Numbers 12:3 goes, Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. And who wrote Numbers? That's right. Justified, since: the Biblical concept of humility is attributing all success to God rather than your own abilities; he was very resistant to being a prophet and leader multiple times (which gave him vast power), and also the power he initially lost as part of the life he had in the ruling family, to then be a serf, it actually fit his history; and Moses lived in humble circumstances because he had not used his position to enrich himself, or otherwise enjoy the perks that usually come with power.
- The Four Gospels: The parable of the pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18 is a straight example. The pharisee loudly praises himself for not being like that filthy tax collector over there while the tax collector doesn't even dare to lift his eyes to heaven and simply prays, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
- In the House to Astonish 2012 "Homie" awards, Al Kennedy complains about Brian Michael Bendis's All -New X-Men, because Emma Frost's speech patterns have changed so drastically it's like she's being written with a different accent. This is in between the winners being anounced by big name US comic book professionals with British regional accents.
- In the Aum Shinrikyo episodes of The Last Podcast on the Left, everyone is disgusted at the fact that the cult's leader Shoko Asahara sold his bath water to followers... at which point Marcus then takes the opportunity to remind listeners that you can get a bone fragment from his ranch for the low low price of a $25+ monthly Patreon donation.
- Timmis the intelligent germ from Mission to Zyxx protests that its life is undervalued because it is smaller than the crew. Timmis wears clothing fashioned from smaller germs, whose lives it does not value because they are smaller than Timmis.
- The host of the podcast Swindled, A Concerned Citizen, gives a very tongue-in-cheek example in "The Tour", where he delivers a moral to the Milli Vanilli story. He appears ready to launch into an anti-consumerist diatribe, only to take a sharp left turn:
Concerned Citizen: Listen up, kids. Authenticity is rare. It's important to understand that not everything you see or hear is real. And it is important to understand that sometimes the media targeted at you has no artistic merit. In fact, some media is created with the sole purpose of serving as a vehicle to shove advertisements into your consciousness. It's true of radio, it's true of movies and television, and it's especially true... of podcasts. [cut to the Citizen narrating a plug for another podcast]
- Welcome to Night Vale:
- Complaints about the shadowy World Government are often tempered with glowing praise for the town's own Secret Police and totalitarian City Council.
- In the The Thrilling Adventure Hour crossover, Carlos is fed up with things that are unscientific. Keep in mind, barely an hour before, this man dismissed horses as being pure (and unscientific) fiction.
Carlos: This won't work, according to science! Okay? If no one's going to listen to SCIENCE, then I'm just going to project myself back into the otherworld desert dimension, where I live. Okay?!
- Sunday Times editor Sir Harold Evans once collected the following ten guidelines for written English:
- Don't use no double negatives.note
- Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent.note
- When dangling, watch your participles.note
- Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.note
- Verbs has to agree with their subjects.note
- About those sentence fragments.note
- Try to not ever split infinitives.note
- It is important to use apostrophe's correctly.note
- Always read what you have written to see you any words out.note
- Correct spelling is esential.note
- One of Dave Barry's columns lamented the trend for making things look old, and he took particular exception to superfluous Es, as in "Ye Olde Shoppe". The column in question, naturally, was titled "Ye Olde Humore Columne".
- The Muppet Show:
- Rather than watch the show, Statler and Waldorf opt to watch television through a set installed in the box, and upon flipping through the channels, find...
Statler: What is THAT?!
Waldorf: Looks like two ancient old guys sitting in a theatre box watching television!
Statler: That's crazy! No one would watch junk like that!
- On a Tales from the Vet section of Muppets Tonight Dr. Van Neuter warns the guests not to overdo it on the eggnog at the Christmas party. Hilarity Ensues when he doesn't follow his own advice...
- Another episode, in a Muppet Labs segment, had Dr. Bunsen Honeydew describe his assistant Beaker as a "short stubbly person". Beaker is actually taller than Bunsen.
- And then there's Miss Piggy, who will tie Kermit into a knot for even looking at another woman in one episode, then go out of her way to hit on any male guest star in the next.
- Rather than watch the show, Statler and Waldorf opt to watch television through a set installed in the box, and upon flipping through the channels, find...
- Digger, a caller on the Australian Rules Football radio show The Coodabeen Champions, had the Catchphrase "I never complain about umpires, but...", before immediately launching into a rant about how the umpires had "crucified" his team.
- In one episode of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, the wildly incomprehensible caricature of sports commentator Eddie Waring is speaking to a German with a mild accent.
Eddie: Hah-ar, well, 'e's certainly gorra' fonny accent--I'm sure you could understan' what 'e was sayin', and if you can't, well, you'll jus' hafta barra scradley scrive, ya know!
- In the surrealish sitcom At Home with the Hardys, Kit and Jeremy are having an argument.
Kit: Oh my god — you are such a hypochondriac!
Jeremy: I am not a hypochondriac, and stop shouting at me, you're making me ill!
- Sandi Toksvig making jokes about Andy Hamilton's height on The News Quiz.
- A recurring bit on Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation, for instance:
Jeremy: But nothing alienates the young more than attempts by their elders to understand them. Isn't that right, kids?
- The Men from the Ministry:
Mr. Crawley: I said we just have to stand up to him.
- When General Assistance Department along with Mr. Crawley are planning on giving a petition about the poor quality of Ministry's bathrooms, and Mr. Crawley says that they have to stand up to Sir Gregory. After talking with him about it:
Lennox-Brown: You can come out from under the desk now.
- At one point the Government wants to promote the use of British products and cut down unnecessary imports by distributing "Buy British"-lapel badges... Made in Japan, of course.
- Jim Backus' recorded comedy skit Dirty Old Man is about a happy-go-lucky squire who makes obscene phone calls to women he randomly picks from a phone book (actually, he has his servant Gwendolyn do the dialing). He turns the last names of the women he calls (Melanie Tate, Peggy Percy) into a bleeped-out play on words. When he gets to Peggy and starts his vulgar spiel, Peggy is more than ready for him:
Squire: Now don't run off, my dear. How would you like it if I came over and—
Peggy: Oh, I'd love it! I'd just simply love it! But hurry while I'm still in the mood. I'm not a light switch, you know. [Squire quicky hangs up]
Gwendolyn: Something wrong, sir?
Squire: What the [sound effects] is the world coming to? She was a pervert!!
- I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue:
Jack: Where do you think you are? What do you think people are going to think, tuning in for some sophisticated Radio 4 entertainment, and hearing you and your little nose? We do have standards, don't we, Tim?
- In Series 70 Episode 4, Tim has invented a new game called I Hear With My Little Ear, which doesn't work. He then tries to create I Smell With My Little Nose, at which point Jack has had enough.
Tim: Yes, Jack.
Jack: What do we have?
Tim: Standards, Jack.
Jack: And don't forget it. Right. On to the next round, and it's a game called In My Pants.
This next round is all about cutting costs. There's nothing that gets my goat more than the senseless waste of licence fee income, which is why I've instructed the BBC to stop putting chilled champagne in my dressing room. There's no point going to the expense of chilling it if it's only going in the bath.
- In Series 31 Episode 5, under the original chairman Humphrey Lyttleton:
- In the sitcom Charlotte and Lillian about an elderly lady and her volunteer visitor, Season 3 Episode 1 has Lillian going on about how a personality test shows she's really empathetic and in tune with what other people want, entirely oblivious to Charlotte asking her to use a coaster, or at least not put her cup down on Charlotte's book. In the same conversation, Charlotte accuses Lillian of being a narcissist who doesn't really want to help people, just to be seen as someone who helps people, and Lillian retorts "I'm, like, super modest. I just want to change people's lives!"
- One of the fake archival clips in The Now Show's one-off special about Twelfth Night has an expert explaining that Shakespeare was very much the Netflix of his day, and his comedies were very much the sitcoms of their day, which is why they're full of topical references, because Elizabethan audiences needed to relate everything to things they were already familiar with, unlike people in the 21st century.
- In the Radio 4 travelogue The Trainspotter's Guide to Dracula, Miles Jupp, having recreated Jonathan Harker's journey in Dracula, is disappointed to find "Castle Dracula" today is in fact a theme hotel with a fake portcullis.
Miles: I opted not to go into this cynical tourist trap and instead wandered away to be with my thoughts, and also buy a Dracula fridge magnet from a stall.
- Atmosfear: In Nightmare II, Baron Samedi complains that he hates bad manners, then immediately decides to snort and spit.
- The Binder of Shame depicts a particularly horrifying game master by the name of Biff Bam. Under his house rules for Call of Cthulhu "real men have no fear" so "the less sanity points you have, the more gay you are". He actually forces the players to act this out; "You failed your sanity roll again [...] now your character not only has a limp wrist which gives him a dexterosity modifier, but he also speaks with a lisp. You better be lisping when you talk, got it?" Over the course of the game, he shamed everyone into stripping to the waist because it was hot in the room and the window was stuck, and enforced his rulings by physically wrestling complainers into submission.
- This Cracked.com illustrates its subject by the way of Self-Demonstrating Article parody. The hilariously anvilicious cartoons treating the viewers as morons, "mind reading" and spelling out the assumed strawman points and label everything. So it shows examples of these, then treats the readers as morons, guessing and spelling out the assumed points reduced to strawmanship and anviliciously comments on what's where and who's what in each case even more. The point of the article, obviously, ends up perfectly illustrated. By the way, the entry you just read was an Expo Label...
- One Demotivational Poster had a picture of a stick figure saying "Demotivators that say exactly what the picture says aren't funny". The poster said "DEMOTIVATORS THAT SAY EXACTLY WHAT THE PICTURE SAYS: They aren't funny".
- One bit of porn in Kristen's Archive starts out decrying the unrealistic fantasies in the other porns: It makes me sick to my stomach when I read the stories in this archive, so I wrote one myself.
- As Fredrik K.T.Andersson once described Censor Box:
How can I show this filth to my friends?!
Nay! For it is too good not to show, but too nude to let me do it without fear nor shame!
- Tales of MU uses this, both to underscore the Unreliable Narrator (who denies any interest in her classmates' chests and then mentions being so shocked that she looks up and meets their eyes) and to poke fun at the informal writing style, as when Mackenzie mentions her campaign letter containing barely any ellipses.
- Women and children board first. I catch a young man trying to board by way of a lifeboat. Unseemly. I throw him off and take his place..
- This screen cap — "anime is for kids!" (reads Naruto manga).
- The blog Mary Sue Problems has some examples.
Gary Stu Problem #4: I can't help it if I don't have feelings for a girl who likes me. But if a girl doesn't like me back, then it's obviously because she's a total bitch.
Mary Sue Problem #989: "I'm not like other girls," they chant. Over and over again. They are the legion. They are Many.
- The "Almost Politically Correct Redneck" meme often goes this route by having the redneck make an open-minded statement that is quickly contradicted by a blatantly bigoted statement.
"The TSA is racist. Being a towelhead doesn't make you a terrorist!"
- In "Our Dumb World" (an atlas by The Onion), the entry on Italy describes the nation as a place where "...citizens base their opinions of other ethnicities on appearance and stereotypes alone. But then, what more do you expect from a bunch of greasy, filthy womanizers?"
- This T-shirt.◊
THINGS I HATE!
- Silly T-shirt slogans
- "STOP USING ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!!"
- This trope is often used as meme fodder.
- Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube. Kitboga's characters will often chastise the scammers for wasting their time or taking forever, even as Kitboga purposely does stuff to waste the scammers's time and delay them and/or the character follows this up by launching a long, rambling story.
- In Njal Gets Burned, Gunnar mocks Otkel for doing whatever his smarter friend says without questioning it. This is absolutely true and a major source of Otkel's problems, but rich coming from Gunnar, who consults Njal about what colour shirt he should wear.
- John von Neumann quipped, "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin," in a 1951 paper that describes pseudorandom number generators. (Justified, in that his point was that the numbers so generated can't be treated as truly random)
- Bobby Kennedy was fond of joking that he would "destroy" anyone who called him ruthless.
- Barack Obama during his spiel at the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner: "One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don’t know about [him running for president in] 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he’s ready to be president. (laughter) Kids these days."note
- At his high school reunion, Gabriel Iglesias was called up to give a speech as the celebrity of the class. He was completely hammered at the time, and went on a drunken tirade that ended with him calling two women who rejected him back in high school fat. One of them pointed out the obvious hypocrisy: Gabriel is also fat. However, he had a comeback for that: "I know, but I was fat back then too. I kept my figure, how come you couldn't?"
- The Gravity Falls episode "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons" was based on Alex Hirsch attending a Dungeons & Dragons game after Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward and Over the Garden Wall creator Patrick McHale invited him during the trio's time on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. According to Hirsch's account, when he asked about the rules, Ward and McHale said there weren't any — then Ward and McHale proceeded to spend an hour and a half bickering about exactly that.
- After the Decemberist coup attempt in Russia in 1825, one of the judges over the rebels was Pavel Golenishchev-Kutuzov, a man who participated in the assassination of Paul II in 1801. So the tradition goes that during the trial, he spat out "How could you consider something as terrible as a regicide". One of the accused answered "Well, that wouldn't be the first time, some people got sashes and badges out of it". note
- During his 2018 reelection campaign, Sen. Ted Cruz aired ads attacking his Democratic opponent, Rep. Beto O'Rourke, for pandering to Hispanic voters by using the name Beto instead of his actual given name, Robert. Cruz, whose actual given name is Rafael, later backtracked saying the ad was meant in jest.
- During the 2019 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel spun at the Ascari chicane; his attempt at rejoining caused Lance Stroll of Racing Point to spin out in avoidance, causing Lance to remark that Sebastian "just came back on the circuit like an idiot!" Lance then proceeded to come back on the circuit like an idiot himself, forcing the oncoming Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly off the track.