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Low Count Gag

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This sort of joke subverts the audience's expectations by revealing that the amount of something is much less than typical. A band's fanbase might be accurately referred to as "both of them", or a nation's air force might turn out to be just one person. A political party consists of three people. A prepackaged meal advertised as full dinner in a big container turns out to be just a single piece of fruit. This is usually hilarious. Or sad. Or hilariously sad.

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For a trope that is similarly insulting by separating something into a smaller group, see And Zoidberg. Amusingly Short List also mines humour from subverted expectations and comically small number of items on the list. Comically Small Bribe, Critical Staffing Shortage, Decided by One Vote, Down to the Last Play, Oddly Small Organization and World's Shortest Book are related, especially if these tropes are Played for Laughs. For an inversion, see All of Them (the real number is extremely large, and it's Not Hyperbole).


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Gokushufudou: Immortal Tatsu and a rival Yakuza decide to settle their differences in a duel. A Cooking Duel, specifically, with the winner decided by how many people like the Instagram photos of their food. Tatsu wins... with a single Like, from his wife.

    Comic Strips 
  • A collected edition of The Perishers strips opens with a Dramatis Personae for new readers which says that "established readers (bless you both)" may skip it.
  • Andy Capp: In one strip when discussing increasingly low turnout of supporters at one of Andy's football matches, his wife says at the latest one the "crowd" wore a fawn raincoat and a cap.

    Films — Animation 
  • Over the Hedge: The forest animals are awed at the sheer size of an SUV, which RJ states humans ride around in because they're slowly losing the ability to walk. When asked how many humans can fit in such a massive thing:
    RJ: Usually... one.
  • A sad example occurs in Toy Story 3, when we see that Andy's immediate toy family are all the toys he has left.
    Woody: Slink, gather everyone up.
    Slinky: Uh... we are gathered, Woody.
  • Judy Hopps of Zootopia has had a miserable first day on the police force, and microwaves herself a prepackaged dinner of carrots. The box image shows three sizable, succulent carrots. Intersecting with Failed a Spot Check and Humiliation Conga, the dinner tray contains just one shriveled, unappetizing carrot. Judy discards this dud uneaten.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Life of Brian: After going through a list of rival resistance movements against the Romans, it is revealed that one such movement has only one member.
    Francis: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
    Reg: He's over there.
  • Small Soldiers: Alan's mother asks him to empty the cash register. There is a snarky joke about not enough cash in it.
    Mrs. Abernathy: Did you empty the cash register?
    Alan: Both quarters and all six pennies.
  • That Thing You Do!: Haise snarks after a band performance in a restaurant about "their fan", singular.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: At one point, Beast proudly shows Wolverine a gadget he cooked up that can receive and record every television network in the US simultaneously. Thing is, they're in The '70s, so to Wolverine's astonishment, the number of networks is... three... and PBS.

    Jokes 
  • There was a fire at the (local municipality) library. It was tragic. They lost both books. (Usually followed with "One of them wasn't even colored in yet.")
  • A Low Count Gag punchline is used to highlight high textbook costs, stating that there was a theft at the campus book store, with losses initially estimated at tens of thousands of dollars, but both textbooks were recovered.

    Literature 
  • Discworld: The tiny country of Lancre has a standing army, except for when he's sitting down.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 31 Minutos: Used to calm down Policarpo after he's spent the whole episode freaking out about being revealed as bald mid-broadcast. He decides to let things pass after being told the program has zero viewers at the moment, including their only regular. And they're lying/wrong; his baldness makes international news during the credits roll.
    Tulio: Our only viewer has their TV off? [to camera] MOM, WHERE ARE YOU!?
  • 'Allo 'Allo!: When the Germans and the visiting Italian officer are discussing the heroes of their respective countries, the Italians fall decidedly short: "Our names will go down in the history books alongside the great German war heroes of the past!" — "Or the great Italian war heroes!" — "Him too."
  • The Big Bang Theory, "The Loobenfeld Decay": Penny is an aspiring actress. She's replacing a girl in a workshop production of RENT. It's a one night showcase, but they invite a lot of casting people and agents, so she hopes for a big break. She's not a good singer though, and there is a low count joke about the audience.
    Leonard: Why don’t you tell me about your showcase last night?
    Penny: Oh, it was okay I guess, wasn’t a big turn out but they both really seemed to like it.
    Leonard: There were only two people there?
    Penny: By the end. Yeah.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • "Old School": Detective Jake Peralta boasts of having read 15 books. Detective Amy Santiago, ever the competitive cutie, mishears and claims that 50 books is not a lot, then realizes the actual number and is confused.
      Jake: It's the best book I've ever read, and I've read 15 books.
      Amy: 50 books is not a lot. Wait... You said 15?
    • In "Fancy Brudgom", Terry, Amy and Gina go on a very 'scientific' diet, despite them all being in perfect shape, as Captain Holt points out. All the meals are pre-planned and delivered. For example, the breakfast consists of an orange wedge, three cashew nuts and a solitary grape. Another meal is a single baby carrot (the container says "ingredients: carrot") or one almond.
  • On Cheers, Cliff's mother gets engaged and he decides to throw a party.
    Cliff: Call all my friends.
    Norm: I think he moved.
  • Doctor Who: In "Doomsday", it's Played for Drama when the Daleks attack the Cybermen. And the claim isn't an exaggeration, either.
    Cyber-Controller: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
    Dalek Sec: Four.
    Cyber-Controller: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect.
    Cyber-Controller: What is that?
    Dalek Sec: You are better at dying!
  • In Frasier episode "Good Grief", an unemployed Frasier hears he has a fan club that wants to protest his show being taken off the air. He has a large buffet ready for them — and it turns out there's only three of them. After telling Frasier they intend to stop traffic with a rally, he's understandably mortified.
    Frasier: I can't let them do this rally. Three kooks marching round in a circle, you know what that'll do?
    Niles: [deadpan] Make them very dizzy very fast.
  • In Friends episode "The One Where They're Gonna Party", Monica announces that she's filling in for a newspaper food critic, Chandler is unimpressed...
    Chandler: What an amazing opportunity to influence... dozens of people.
  • The Golden Girls: This trope is in place during the dialogue regarding the previous winner of the "St. Olaf Woman Of The Year" award, who won by saving the local St. Olaf library books when said library was burning.
    Blanche: That's amazing. How did she do that?
    Rose: Well, she grabbed two books in one hand and one book in the other and ran like the Dickens.
    Dorothy: Your library only has three books? What happens if someone's read them all?
    Rose: I guess we'll cross the bridge when we get there.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • "Reptilicus": At one point while watching Reptilicus, there's a shot of a single Danish Army jeep with four soldiers. Tom Servo quips, "I'm impressed! They rolled out the entire Danish Army."
    • In "Time Chasers", the week's movie was filmed and set in Rutland, Vermont. Upon seeing an Establishing Shot resembling a Vermont tourism commercial, one of the SOL crew says, "Vermont: city on the go!"
  • Red Dwarf, "Future Echoes": The crew experiences a phenomenon that Holly names "future echoes", pieces of the future that they are catching up with as a result of light speed. It foretells the future accurately. Rimmer sees Lister getting killed and Lister has some regrets about dying young. He claims he has has never read... a book.
    Dave Lister: It's not fair. There's loads of things I've never done. Like... I've never had a prawn vindaloo. And I've never read... [pauses to think] a book.
  • The Red Green Show: The crew discover a missile has been abandoned on the territory of Possum Lodge. When Harold suggests contacting the Canadian Air Force, Red suggests that the one member went home at 6 PM.
    Harold: What about the Canadian air force?
    Red: It's after six, he's gone home.

    Music 
  • Dream Theater titled their greatest hits album "Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)", joking about how most of their songs have never charted. This is likely due to them being too long, complex and unsuitable for mainstream radio play. Typical greatest hits albums have more than one hit.
  • Reportedly jazz flautist Moe Koffman introduced Swinging Shepherd Blues as "a medley of my hit."
  • The self-effacing Danny Don't You Know by Ninja Sex Party has lead singer Dan Avidan narrate that "[I] send birthday invites, and now all [my] friend is here" when only one person attends.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Sooty Show episode "Amateur Dramatics", Matthew is surprised to see only two people in the audience as Soo had told him that there were twice as many people before. She says that previously there was only one person in the audience and now there are two, so technically there's twice as many. Later, when they walk out in the middle of the play due to finding it boring, Matthew is embarrassed at having the "whole audience" walk out on him.

    Radio 
  • The Goon Show: In "The Great Bank Robbery", Grytpype deposits a mattress at the bank:
    Grytpype: Good morning, cashier. We would like to open an account and pay [strains] in this mattress
    Greenslade: Certainly, sir. I'll just count it.
    [Boing!]
    Greenslade: One. Yes, it's all here, sir.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue: In a regular gag, the chairman uses variations of this joke to say the show has been deluged by an unprecedented number of letters, and it's from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao is invited by Shizune and Misha to join the student council. He asks to meet the rest of the members, but Misha and Shizune keep brushing off the request. He quickly figures out why. Shizune's bossy behavior combined with Misha's Cloudcuckoolander behavior drove everyone else to quit. Misha and Shizune are the entire student council.

    Web Animation 
  • In GEOWeasel, when Weas mentions that Nar's antics may have lost them some of their viewers, Nar responds with, "Both of them?!"
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "old comics", the last strip of The Castlefunnies gives thanks to "all our reader": specifically, "Chester", a civil war veteran and creamed corn enthusiast.
    • The Teen Girl Squad spinoff "4 Gregs" has Tompkins's website get "HAXXORED", to which he exclaims, "Ow! All my client!"

    Webcomics 
  • The Order of the Stick: One strip has Roy approach a chunk of starmetal he needs to reforge his sword, which looks bigger than him at first, but this turns out to be Forced Perspective: it's small enough to fit in his hand. However, when he brings it to the smith, it turns out to be plenty (a sword made of pure starmetal would be too heavy to lift and use the entire known supply of the stuff).
  • The Petri Dish:
    • Thaddeus Euphemism makes a YouTube video of himself and expects it to get thousands of views but really it only gets seven views. Moreover, two of those were from himself watching it, four were from his assistant Bob watching it, and one was from a talking squirrel who was just watching it because it was bored.
    • At one point, Thaddeus gets a fitness tracker, which reveals that he's only taken eleven steps. He then adds that maybe two of them were from when he sneezed really hard.
  • Penny Arcade: Tycho and L.H. Franzibald are guests at a convention. Upon entering the hall for their panel, Franzibald notes to Tycho, "I see all your fan turned up." And there is, indeed, a solitary "furnie" on one side of the room.
  • In Freefall, at one point they think of calling in the Army due to a potential calamity, but unfortunately, he's on vacation.

    Web Original 
  • This very wiki: The article The Law of Fan Jackassery has an aside: "Thus, for example, the fans of VR 5 are really nice people. Both of them."
  • After JonTron left Game Grumps, a major Win Back the Crowd moment was when his replacement told the following story:
    "I once had a friend. And when he came over, my mother would say, 'Daniel! All your friend is here!'"

    Web Videos 
  • The Cry of Mann: When Jack becomes obsessed with working out and getting stronger, he makes a caller guess how many reps he did. The caller guesses 200... and Jack responds with "close, I did like, 30!"
  • From The Nostalgia Critic's review of Barney's Great Adventure, when the Critic questions if the first scene of the titular film is the point-of-view from his blindfold after Barney kidnapped him:
    Critic: [as Barney] Oh, boy! We're gonna make so much money ransoming off your body parts! Let's count how many toes you have left! One... that was fun! [laughs]
  • In one PeanutButterGamer video (Top Ten Best Wii Games), PBG suddenly goes "missing" mid-way through and a news report reports that "tens and tens of people" are concerned about his absence.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • Donbot introduces his two henchmen as "the entire robot mafia". So the criminal organization consists of the boss Donbot and goons Clamps and Joey Mousepad.
    • In "A Head in the Polls", the TV news describes the election results for the Earth presidential campaign:
      Linda: The sheer drama of this election has driven voter turnout to its highest level in centuries. Six percent!
  • The California Raisins 1988 claymation television special "Meet the Raisins", one of the Raisins says of their first movie, "Everyone who saw it liked it." Another member adds, "I talked to both of them myself."
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Springfield Police Department sometimes do have a large force (even if we only know the names of three). At other times it is explicit they're just three people: Chief Wiggum, and his subordinates Eddie and Lou.
      Wiggum: We gotta get the whole force on this!
      Lou: Chief, we are the whole force.
      Wiggum: OK, we gotta start recruiting, Lou!
    • "Lisa's Substitute": Bart's class is about to elect a class president. Bart gets nominated and he wins the class over by telling jokes and other gimmicks. Certain of Bart's victory, they forget about voting, including Bart. So it happens that Martin wins with just two votes, his own and Wendell's.
    • "Homer Badman": Homer tries to salvage his reputation on public access television, and the technician gets everyone's hopes up by making them think people were listening.
      Technician: The switchboards are lighting up!
      Simpson family: Yay!
      Technician: Two calls! That's our best ever.
      [he answers the first call]
      Technician: Hello? No, Janice doesn't live here.
      [he hangs up and answers the second call]
      Technician: Hello? Yes, I am interested in long-distance savings. Very interested.
    • In "The Bart Wants What It Wants", Rainer Wolfcastle drives to the Simpsons' house in an enormous SUV, and Homer asks about its fuel economy.
      Homer: What kind of mileage does it get?
      Rainer Wolfcastle: 1 highway, 0 city.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies": After the end shows Steven and the Crystal Gems watched Ronaldo's video, Pearl asks how many people have seen it, and Amethyst points out they're its only view. To add salt to the wound, Ronaldo's Character Blog reveals it was taken down immediately afterwards by content ID bots.
    • "Dewey Wins": A video of Dewey getting pelted by a tomato is put online and only gets a dozen views, not that Dewey is consoled ("That's half the town!").
  • The gag credit for the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Viewer Mail Day" is: "Thanks to our loyal viewers — both of you".

    Real Life 

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