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Made Myself Sad

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"Of course Fry still exists... as a frozen corpse in outer space! Ho ho ho ho ho..." [beat] "Oh... I made myself sad."
Professor Farnsworth, the Trope Namer, Futurama, "The Sting"

A character is speaking, usually referencing a tragedy or other unfortunate event, and maybe even joking about it. After finishing his story, the character takes a Beat, then adds a comment that they just depressed themselves by bringing up the tragedy. Alternately, just their facial expressions and body language say it.

Sometimes a Harsher in Hindsight moment is enough to start one of these. Also a possible self-inflicted Misery Trigger. Compare Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!, where a character attempting to reassure others that nothing is wrong realizes mid-sentence that something is very wrong. In Black Comedy, this can lead to a Driven to Suicide moment that is Played for Laughs. May also lead to Cry Laughing.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Basically the punchline of 90% of what Nozomu Itoshiki says. There's also an instance played more seriously. Nozomu is talking about it being easier to get through life if you ignore unpleasant things. One of his students, who is married makes a comment about ignoring her husband cheating on and mooching off of her and generally treating her like dirt. Nozomu pauses and says that he's sorry for saying that. This kind of thing happens occasionally, when his melodramatic complaining runs into actual problems.
  • One Piece Film: Z: There is one point where Chopper is invited to take a bath with resident bombshell Robin (which she's fine with because of his childlike innocence). Naturally, Brook, being the pervert he is, tries to get in on it by pointing at himself while screaming about how creepy and disgusting his skeletal body is. Moments later, he's hunched over in the corner, depressed. His friends are quick to point out the problem with this.
    Sanji: Did you just hurt your own feelings?
  • My Monster Secret: In an early chapter, Youko's Childhood Friend Shirou shows up and is convinced that she and Asahi just got done with a date. Asahi quickly tries to convince Shirou that it wasn't a date-date and they're Just Friends...and then remarks that he just made himself sad.
  • In Berserk, Isma does this to herself when Serpico tries to make friendly conversation with her by asking her about herself and she starts off by cheerfully stating that that she's the only person left on her home island, since The Sea God has turned all the other inhabitants of the island into tentacles. She then immediately begins sobbing as she realizes what she just said.
  • Maki from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has a bad habit of making herself depressed when she talks about her lack of luck when it comes to romance.
  • Silver Spoon: When a rumor starts that Hachiken and Yoshino are in a sexual relationship (which is against school rules), they are called to their teacher to explain themselves. Hachiken, somewhat incredulously, points to his academic schedule and the number of extra-curriculars he is involved in, and states that there is no way he would have time for a sexual relationship. Then he muses that "It's true, but it still makes me a little sad..."

  • During one of Rich Little's bits as Johnny Carson, a large black man complains of the stereotype of black men having large penises, when he has a small one, and complains that his last name of "Small" reflects that. They run through embarrassing celebrity last names, til "Carson" mentions "Rich Little", pauses, and moans, "For some reason, that one really hurt."

    Comic Books 
  • In Batman: Mad Love: The Joker, looking over his elaborate ideas for killing Batman in a "funny" way, gleefully cackles and carries on about "The Death of a Hundred Smiles," which would involve Batman getting dunked in an aquarium full of piranhas and then torn to pieces - and then suddenly becomes depressed when he realizes that the plan wouldn't be funny at all, because piranhas can't smile.

    Comic Strips 
  • From Terry and the Pirates:
    Hotshot Charlie: I yield to no one in my appreciation of Oriental art, but there is a small segment of my mind which I reserve for the well-being of Charles C. Charles — Hotshot Charlie to the multitudes — and at the moment I feel myself somewhat depressed about his future.
  • Some of the earliest Peanuts strips had Snoopy wishing he were some other kind of animal. One had him simply imagining himself as "The King of Beasts"; the thought makes him happy, because "then I could really strut!" Suddenly, though, he gets sad as he realizes: "But who wants to be a beast?"

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • From Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: "I'm Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, but my friends call me... (beat) I just got in such a funk."
  • Towards the end of Toy Story, Woody while trying to escape from Sid's room from a crate that Sid has trapped him in, tries asking for a despondent Buzz's help. When Buzz doesn't even try to move, despairing over the revelation that Woody wasn't joking the whole time and that he really is a toy, and not a real Space Ranger, Woody proceeds to lift his spirits by telling how great he is as a Buzz Lightyear action figure and how he does a great job making Andy happy and how toys envy him. Mid-speech, Woody proceeds to slip into despair himself, reminding himself how he can't compete with Buzz and how he got them into the mess, and gives up trying to escape, telling Buzz to try to escape on his own and leave him. Buzz however, with spirits lifted, decides to save his buddy.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • From Pump Up the Volume:
    Mark Hunter: "Now I'm depressed. Now I feel like killing myself, but luckily I'm too depressed to.
  • From Johnny Dangerously: "Johnny Dangerously can't live a normal life! It ain't in the cards, is all. People like me, we're like... we're like shooting stars. We... we cross the sky, burning hot, for one moment in time, and then we... plunge to earth and disappear... Jesus Christ, I'm starting to upset myself."
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooge is visited by the Marley brothers, who are played by Statler and Waldorf. They openly admit that, in life, they were selfish and heartless bankers, and they even reminisce about evicting an entire orphanage in the middle of winter. This makes them break out into their trademark laugh, which almost immediately degenerates into a shudder, and they move on to warn Scrooge to repent from the mistakes they made.

  • Mark Twain, on being praised as one of the "great writers":
    "I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead. Spencer is dead. So is Milton; so is Shakespeare. And I'm not feeling so well myself."
  • In Words of Radiance Shallan had previously been forced to put on a not particularly convincing foreign princess act by her conwoman mentor, Tyn, to a guard. When she encounters that guard again, this time guarding people she needs to reach and give her real identity to and he brings up the "Horneater princess" incident, she furiously thinks that she's going to strangle Tyn. Then she feels sad, having momentarily forgotten that she really did kill Tyn a few days earlier.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Zathras, from Babylon 5, did this to himself, but he was remarkably sanguine about it.
  • Better Call Saul: In the future, Jimmy/Saul/Gene needs to distract a security guard and does so by pretending to have an emotional breakdown over what his life has become. It's not long before he starts to breakdown for real, sobbing over how his life has been ruined, how he's lost everyone and everything he ever loved, and how if he died tomorrow he's not sure anybody would even care.
  • In Bored to Death George manages to get out of drug rehab because he has cancer. At first he sings himself a self satisfied ditty before realizing exactly what he just said.
  • In an early Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Buffy and Xander try to cheer up Willow (who has just realized her on-line boyfriend was a demon) by mentioning their own hapless experiences in the romance department: Xander's fling with a giant praying mantis that tried to eat his head, and Buffy's discovery that Angel is a vampire. They laugh together, and then a beat later, sink into quiet depression.
  • Conan O'Brien uses this a lot after telling a self-deprecating joke - then mimes wiping off a tear, swallowing it, and having it revitalize him.
  • Frasier: Frasier tries to cheer a lonely Daphne up by recounting his own track record of finding (and losing) love, and ends up just as depressed as she was at the beginning of the conversation.
  • In an episode of Friends, Joey asks Chandler and Ross for advice on how to repel women. They start off offended, then become enthusiastic, then end up depressed. Ross spends the rest of the episode responding to everything with "Who cares? I repel women."
  • Episode three of Game of Thrones has the king reminiscing about first kills. His own was during the rebellion that put him on the throne, a young Tarly noble who came at him with a sword and was defeated by Robert's hammer to the chest. At first Robert is bragging about how strong he was in his youth, but then he muses that the Tarlys switched sides to his cause shortly after, making the lad's sacrifice pointless.
    • Another episode has Viserys telling a handmaiden the history of his family's fall from grace and the last of the dragons...while they sit naked in a tub of hot, steaming water.
    Doreah: That's very sad.
  • A vignette on Lamb Chop's Play-Along has Hush Puppy (the show's Ditz, or maybe their Cloudcuckoolander) opening a door in a prop wall in an obvious Shout-Out to Laugh In and reciting a limerick about a lady who was so skinny "that when she essayed, to drink lemonade, she slipped through the straw and fell in." He then laughs his head off at the poem....until he realizes that the character probably drowned, and he reflects: "Hey, that's not funny; that's tragic!"
  • Married... with Children episode "Death of a Shoe Salesman" has the reverend giving the eulogy for Al's beloved western star Fuzzy McGee's funeral:
    Reverend: Fuzzy McGee was born, and then he died. So will you. So will I. (Beat) God, I'm depressed. I'm going home.
  • Wings: Antonio and Bunny talk about how wonderful Christmas time is, only to remember that they're both single and miserable.
    Bunny: Ah, Christmas. It's such a wonderful time of year, isn't it?
    Antonio: It's magical.
    Bunny: Making angels in the snow.
    Antonio: Listening to carolers.
    Bunny: Decorating the tree.
    Antonio: Watching It's a Wonderful Life.
    Bunny: Being downtown with all the lights and the decorations and seeing all the...happy couples walking hand in hand.
    Antonio: Sitting alone at midnight mass.
    Bunny: Opening the Christmas present you bought for yourself and trying to look surprised.
    Antonio: Watching It's a Wonderful Life again, wondering why Jimmy Stewart didn't jump off that bridge sooner.
    Bunny: I hate Christmas!
    Antonio: It sucks!

  • Johann of The Adventure Zone: Balance gets one of these:
    Johann: Are you guys really ok with this part of the deal? Like, if you beef it down there, the world just forgets about you? [...] Anyway, Iíve just sorta existentially bummed myself out, so Iím gonna head out.

    Video Games 
  • In World of Warcraft, when you turn in the quest "Trolls is gone crazy!" to Chief Rageclaw in Zul'Drak, he comments:
    Rageclaw thank you, <name>. Though Rageclaw Den probably lost forever and troll-Rageclaw friendship also lost forever... and also now I think of it, Ragemane lost forever too. Also brother-in-law. He gone. Hrm, have you seen Chief's mate? I think she gone too... Maybe you go now. Chief a little depressed.
  • In the Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, when you give Dr. Borous the dishbowl of his dog Gabe, he gleefully reminisces about how the various horrible experiments he committed on him (turned him into a cyborg and pumping him full of combat drugs) and how despite everything, Gabe was also his only true friend who would always cheer him up no matter what. At that point, Borous is overcome with a deep sadness that he is incapable of understanding and the player is given the chance to either convince him that he truly loved Gabe or to simply see him as a test subject.
    • You can also do this with Philippe, a chef who's about to cook a person for the White Glove Society. With a high enough Medicine skill you can psychoanalyze him, at which point he goes on a rant about his shitty childhood. Eventually this causes him to run off and cry, leaving you in charge of the kitchen.
  • Say enough leftist things in Disco Elysium and you'll gain the Mazovian Socio-Economics thought, which allows you to identify as 'the last Communist' and set about restoring the Commune of Revachol nearly half a century after it was crushed by the coalition. Actually completing the thought, however, just leaves you in a funk at how impossible the task you've set yourself truly is.
    Mazovian Socio-Economics: 0.000% of Communism has been built. Evil child-murdering billionaires still rule the world with a shit-eating grin. All he has managed to do is make himself *sad*. He is starting to suspect Kras Mazov *fucked him over* personally with his socio-economic theory. It has, however, made him into a very, very smart boy with something like a university degree in Truth. Instead of building Communism, he now builds a precise model of this grotesque, duplicitous world.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Emi does this a few times by mentioning her dead father.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "crying", Strong Bad makes up the ridiculously pathetic character of Lil' Brudder (a one-legged dog whose catch phrase is "I can make it on my own!") just to bring Homestar to tears. It works a bit too well, as Strong Bad almost starts to tear up himself at the end of the cartoon.
    Strong Bad: That Li'l Brudder sure knows how to tug at your heartstrings. (choked up) He's just such a trooper. Got such a strong... one leg. (recovers) Um, yeah. I think I've got a... food in the oven. I gotta go.
  • Shows up as a throwaway gag in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    Master of Administratum: I remember the finger I had before I replaced it with an auto-quill... oh, I just made myself sad.
  • RWBY:
    • Nora tries to cheer Jaune up and convince him that losing in the tournament they're competing in won't be so bad, only to start rambling on how if they do lose, they'll become social pariahs, get mocked by other students, she and Ren will be cast out with nowhere to go due to being orphans, and they'll be branded for life as "Team Lose-iper". All the color drains from her character model before she gives a weak laugh/sob, leading to a Head Desk.
    • In Volume Five, Ruby tries to cheer on Oscar, asserting that he'll be "combat ready in no time!" Her cheerful demeanor wilts away as soon as she realizes what she said; it's her dear friend Penny's catchphrase, and Penny was murdered months ago.
    • A particularly high-stakes version occurs during the finale of Volume 6. Ruby tries to invoke her Silver Eyes on a Leviathan Grimm, which requires the desire to protect and preserve, by focusing on thoughts of her friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, this reminds her again of the Fall of Beacon and the deaths of Penny and Pyrrha, which does not help.
  • Angel Dust in Hazbin Hotel, after Vaggie chews him out in the limo for making the hotel project look like a joke.
    Angel: No, no, no, babe, jokes are funny. I made you look, uh... sad! And pathetic! Like an orphan, with no arms, or legs and... oh, with progeria! (Beat) Great! Now I'm bummed thinking about it! This thing have any liquor?

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Invoked in "Time Sandwich", when Jake discovers that sadness is the only way to get through Magic Man's time-slowing bubble and retrieve the ultimate sandwich Jake made. Jake has to keep himself sad enough to move through the bubble, which he does first by imagining his own funeral, then imagining a heartfelt conversation with Mr. Cupcake.
  • Amphibia: In "A Day at the Aquarium", the Plantars are saddened by the prospect of having to say goodbye to Anne soon, and hope to cheer themselves by spending their last day in Newtopia at the local aquarium. Unfortunately, everything Anne and the Plantars see there somehow reminds them of their past adventures together and just makes them sadder.
  • In the Big Mouth episode "Am I Gay?" Maurice tries to show a questioning Andrew a gay sex scene from Dallas Buyers Club, telling him to "try not to think about AIDS" so it'll be sexier. Not even a second later, Maurice looks very sad and says he's thinking about AIDS.
  • On Daria, Jane comments on Daria's disbelief in a higher power:
    "You know what's bothering you? You're afraid that it's true. That the Quinns of the world fit in so well because something really is looking out for them. Everything's already been decided, they win, you lose, and whatever you do doesn't matter because the end is fixed. So, why even bother?" (Beat) "God, I'm depressed."
  • Futurama:
    • The Trope Namer would be the episode "The Sting", in which Professor Farnsworth has one of these moments when he jokes about Fry being dead.
    • In "I Second That Emotion", Bender does this when he insults Leela while affected by a chip causing him to feel her emotions:
      Bender: Aw... I just made myself feel bad.
    • Hedonism-bot has a party that is basically an orgy, except then almost everyone there gets blown up.
      Hedonism-bot: Everywhere I looked, there were piles of bodies... and then the explosion struck! Ah ha ha ha! Oh hoo hoo...
    • In "T: The Terrestrial" Bender, after leaving Fry behind on a hostile planet and lying very successfully to cover for his absence, chuckles malevolently to himself before adding a pained ".....oh."
  • In King of the Hill, Dale, Bill, Boomhauer and Kahn get into the idea of the last meal given to prisoners on Death Row. They construct a giant feast of all their favorite foods, and then before they dig in, Dale tells them to savor every bite, "because the next thing you taste will be the bitter sting of death". They all laugh for a few seconds, then stop when the realization hits and look at the food, having now completely lost their appetites.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: When Thorax asks what happens when a dragon loses a competition, Ember proudly boasts that the loser feels so humiliated that they feel like crawling under a rock... which makes her deflate when she realizes right after that she's been unintentionally isolating her own subjects all this time. It also serves as an Armor-Piercing Response, with the twist that she accidentally applied it to herself.
  • An example from The Simpsons, in the episode "Radioactive Man", Nelson tries out for the part of Fallout Boy. On being dismissed, he passes a mirror and gives himself his trademark "Ha-ha", followed by "Hey, that hurt. No wonder nobody came to my birthday party!"


Video Example(s):


Making Philippe Sad

With the right skills, you can make a chef sad by getting him to talk about traumatic childhood memories.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / MadeMyselfSad

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