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If You Thought That Was Bad...

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Alice tells a sad story. Bob tells an even sadder story to cheer Alice up. If You Thought That Was Bad is the phrase people often use before they tell an even sadder story than the previous. Surprisingly, it usually cheers up the first person by making them realize their situation isn't that bad. Sometimes it makes things go From Bad to Worse.

Compare From Bad to Worse for when things actually got worse. Contrast Misery Poker, where the point is not to cheer the other person up but to keep their problems from overshadowing yours.

"If you think that story about the child molester was bad, let me tell you about..."


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  • BoBoiBoy: In episode 5, flashbacks display as Ochobot tells Tok Aba and Gopal what happened in each of BoBoiBoy's deliveries that he messed up due to his deteriorating memory via prolonged use of the Triple Split. When Gopal comments how outrageous it was that BoBoiBoy got Mr. Mat to deliver the cocoa for him, Ochobot simply states, "That's not bad actually. There's worse." before it proceeds to the next flashback (where one of his counterparts got the mail delivery man to drive him to the customer).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used in the last story in Night on Earth. Several guys in a cab discuss how one of them has been laid off from his job, and then his wife divorced him. Then the cab driver tells them his even more depressing story, which makes them feel like the laid-off-and-divorced guy is just whining about nothing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee says things like "You think this is hard? Try living with hepatitis! That's hard!" or "You think this is hard? Try being told by Baywatch that they want to go in another direction, that's hard!"
  • Supernatural: when Chuck is told that he's a prophet and understandably wigs out, Castiel just says "You should've seen Luke."
  • On one episode of That '70s Show Eric walks in on his parents having sex, and then has difficulty concentrating on his girlfriend, Donna, when they are alone. When he confesses to Donna why he is distracted, she tries to cheer him up with a story about how she walked OUT on her parents... in a hammock... in broad daylight. Eric is cheered by the story, which has a lot to do with Donna's mother being quite attractive, but it is shortlived as Donna is so traumatised by recounting the story that she is no longer in the mood.
  • Done inadvertantly by Oscar the Grouch in one episode of Sesame Street. His goal was to make everybody miserable, but it backfired, resulting in this trope. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain is kind of inevitable with him.
  • Subverted in The Young Ones. In the final episode, Rick receives a message that his parents have been killed. While he's trying to get his head around this news, Neil immediately moans "You think that's bad?", but before he can contribute his worse story Rick immediately snaps back "Yes I do actually, pissface!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Played with in Warhammer 40,000, where it usually goes "If you think that was bad..." and the something worse is in fact about to attack.

    Web Original 
  • Subverted in The Nostalgia Critic's review of Bloodrayne:
    Linkara: If you thought Twilight was the worst disservice to vampires the world has ever known... it is, but this one's pretty bad too.
  • The stinger by the KGB agent for the ad for the parody board game Communist Monopoly, after the "winner" is left sobbing since his three friends were, in order, shot by said agent for questioning how come a space that used to say Leningrad now said Stalingrad, taken away by more secret police to be sent to jail despite not actually having landed on the "Go To Jail" space, and losing a game of Russian Roulette after landing on Chance.
    "You think this is bad? You should play Hungry Hungry Bolsheviks."

    Western Animation 
  • Turned into Peter's catch phrase in the South Park parodies of Family Guy, where it's what he says to introduce all their Cutaway Gags.
  • In a first season bumper of The Beatles cartoon, the boys are in a desert dying of lack of water. Ringo accidentally does a rain dance which saves them—but it's way too much and he doesn't know how to stop it. John turns to the camera:
    John: (to us) If you think we're up to our necks in hot water now, wait till you see next week's stories!
  • The Simpsons: At the end of "Bart the Daredevil", Homer says this to Lance Murdock when the two are both in traction.
    Homer: You think you've got guts? Try raising my kids.