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My God, You Are Serious

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Leela: Doesn't it bother you even a little to be taking advantage of your girlfriend's trust?
Bender: Ah ha ha, ha ha ha! Oh wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

The inversion of I Was Just Joking. A character says something that sounds insane or absurd. Another character either laughs or snarks You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! — then realizes with alarm that the other character wasn't joking.

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Expect to hear this phrase every time a Deadpan Snarker is confronted with the Zany Scheme of the week. Badasses who say things like "I'll just have to bust in and take them all out, then!" can usually expect this reaction, too.

Compare Mood Whiplash, Not Hyperbole, And You Thought It Was a Game.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Kill la Kill, this is Ryuko's reaction when she learns that La Résistance really is called "Nudist Beach". And yes, they're all as naked as that implies, with only conveniently-placed holsters, straps, and bandoleers protecting their modesty.

    Comedy 
  • Used (to very humorous effect) in Bill Cosby's "Chocolate Cake for Breakfast" story, which is detailed in the concert film and comedy album Bill Cosby: Himself. Bill's wife Camille wakes him up one morning at six A.M. and tells him to go downstairs and cook breakfast for the kids. Bill thinks that if he pretends to be dumb about it and just goes back to sleep, she'll let go of the idea and do it herself. Instead, Camille gets a bucket of ice water and threatens to pour it over Bill—and then he knows she's chillingly serious.
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    Comic Books 
  • In Doctor Strange, during the "Montesi Formula" arc, when Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Hannibal King warns Doctor Strange that Dracula is at large, Strange's personal assistant Sarah Wolfe starts laughing nervously, until she realizes that King and Strange are dead serious about the threat of the Lord of Vampires.
  • Dylan Dog thought that Hameln, owner of a shop that tends to disappear at a whim, was joking when he said he was hiring him because someone stole the Pied Piper's pipe from him. Then Hameln showed him the other fairy tale items he had in the shop and described him some of the other powers of the pipe...
  • In Fables, this is Bigby's reaction to meddling journalist Tommy Sharp's plan to expose their secret community of immortals with magical powers... as vampires.
  • In Hack/Slash, Cassie Hack breaks down laughing as she hears about Mary Shelley Lovecraft's Meta Fiction Evil Plan. After enough ranting, Cassie realizes she’s completely serious about all of it, and takes her seriously from then on.
  • The Joker of all people has one of these moments, when realizes, that, yes, The Punisher couldn't care less about his sob story and is going to shoot him right then and there.
  • Tintin: In Destination Moon, when Calculus says he's finishing plans for a rocket that will land on the moon, Captain Haddock has a big hearty laugh about it, and facetiously suggests, "You are taking passengers, I hope?" Calculus replies, "Why else do you think I asked you to join me?", utterly stunning Tintin and the Captain.
  • In Violine, Marushka hires a game hunter with a pack of dogs to hunt down the mouse, Klaas. After his initial laughter, he realizes she is dead serious about it. Later, a Zongo customs official mistakes Redder for a cannibal (having hidden her in his bag. It seems he is just saying this to get a bribe, and tells Redder to have a nice meal, but Violine reads his mind and sees that he is being serious about eating her.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Aftermath of the Games:
    • Princess Twilight is telling her human counterpart, The Humane Five, and Sunset Shimmer the events of The Cutie Map, where there was a villain who was able to forcefully remove Cutie Marks from Pony bodies. Sunset is completely horrified, while Rainbow Dash, thinking they're simply decorative pictures, asks what the big deal is. Sunset reveals to her and the others that a Cutie Mark is a physical manifestation of a pony's talents, so getting it taken away was like having a crippling injury blocking you from being able to enjoy the thing you love the most (like cooking, singing, or running) ever again.
    • In a heartwarming example, Sci-Twi is incredulous to the idea of Sunset being evil, or Princess Twilight being a Shrinking Violet like herself.
  • Amicus Protectio Fortis:
    Dumbledore: The power he knows not may very well be your great capacity to love.
    Harry: I'm sorry. It's just, you can't be serious, can you?
    (Dumbledore looks disappointed)
    Harry: Dear Merlin, you are! You really expect love to kill Voldemort? Really? What do you expect me to do? Waltz through the battlefield then walk up to old snake face and give him a big ol' hug? He'd slaughter me!
  • Beltane Child:
    Daphne: No, the father of my baby is Harry Potter.
    Tracy: Nice try, Daphne, but pull the other one. How would Potter have been able to play the horned warrior on Beltane when he was the most wanted man in the country at that time? [looks at Daphne's expression] Oh my god, you aren't joking, are you?
  • Child of the Storm: When Jesus shows up to pay Harry a visit at one point in Ghosts of the Past, Carol bursts out in disbelieving laughter, until she realizes that the deity in question is exactly who she thinks it is.
  • In Defiance Dumbledore mentions training to Harry.
    Dumbledore: My boy, given how Tom is back, I believe it is time that I take an active part in your education. I have arranged it with Professor Snape to instruct you in the arts of Occlumency.
    Sirius: Very funny joke, you almost got me there. [thinks for a minute] You are actually serious, aren't you?
  • In The Dragon King's Temple, Stargate Command initially pass off Toph's increasingly insistent requests that she and Zuko be allowed to "see sunlight" as the product of a somewhat bratty kid who is feeling confined and wants some time outside. It's not until Zuko passes out and Toph blasts a hole through the mountain to get him outside that they begin to suspect Toph might have had a really good reason to be so insistent on this point.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
    • During their first conversation in Episode 3, Norlock states that the Tallest must have seen something in Zim to send him on his mission to Earth. The Tallest burst into laughter, and it's only when they note Norlock's confusion that they realize he hasn't figured out yet that Zim's mission is fake.
    • Steve and Viera are shocked when Dib suggests teaming up with Zim in Episode 11.
  • In A New Dawn: Allies Luna suggests that Harry and Voldemort should team up against Glorificus.
    Harry: You've got to be kidding me. (Looks into Luna's eyes) You're not kidding me, are you?
  • Second Wind: Ace has this reaction when Luffy and Zoro tell him that they're from the future. He only believes it because Luffy can't lie convincingly to save his life.
  • In Seigikan when L tries to persuade Light to come back to headquarters "so we can prove that you're Kira."
    Light: Tell me, why on Earth would I want to do that?
    L: You need to absolve and pay for your crimes so we can be together.
    Light: I couldn't help it. I laughed even more. For a second I thought I would wake everyone in the house.
    • Earlier, L and Mr. Yagami have this reaction as well when they didn't realize the extent of Light's injuries which includes head trauma so he doesn't remember the last two years:
      Light (to L): Who are you? And who exactly is this Kira?
  • Twice in Traveler, Ash meets one of the legendary birds and tells someone afterwards, causing them to laugh until they realize he's completely serious. In the case of meeting Articuno in Seafoam Caverns, Ash is to forget he ever saw it because if someone else found out, they might be stupid enough to go antagonize the Physical God down there.
  • In the first chapter of the Totally Spies! fanfic Upheaval, the day after Jerry's funeral, Mandy makes fun of the girls for wearing all black, asking "God, who died?". A while after Clover reprimands her, Mandy approaches the girls again, but to apologize for her statement, saying that "If I knew someone actually died I wouldn't have said it."
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: When King Kai believes Frieza has destroyed planet Namek with Piccolo on it, he tells the fallen warriors that they're gonna be stuck on King Kai's planet forever. Tien responds "Tch. Yeah, real funny King Kai... Oh God, you're serious."
  • This Deleted Scene of Hellsing Ultimate Abridged shows Enrico Maxwell interrogating a Pedophile Priest who was suspected of being The Mole for the Nazi organization Millennium in exchange for immortality... amongst other things.
    Priest: I had no choice, they made it impossible to say no!
    Maxwell: Oh, who could resist the temptation of immortality?
    Priest: [beat] Amongst other things.
    Maxwell: Oh, they didn't. What, did they just drive a truck of them up to your house?
    Priest: [stammers in fear]
    Maxwell: Wow.
  • Subverted in episode 11 of Omni Bleach Abridged:
    Kukaku: So this is your way in. We're gonna shoot you through a cannon.
    Ichigo: Oh, please do not be kidding.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: From the Bonds Beyond Time Abridged comes this gem between Paradox and Yusei.
    Paradox: What destroyed the world was... card games.
    Yuse:i What?
    Paradox: That is right, card games.
    Yusei: You're serious?
    Paradox: Yes, very.

    Films — Animation 
  • Barbie In Rock N Royals: Zia and Rayna are initially skeptical when Courtney tells them she's a princess but it doesn't take long for them to realize she's not joking.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, after Shifu tells everyone that Po is the only one who can stop the now-escaped Tai Lung.
    Po: And here I am saying you got no sense of humor... What, you're serious?!
  • The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave: When Littlefoot announces to his friends that he is gonna save his dad from the earthquake he got trapped in.
    Littlefoot: I'm going to the fire mountain to help my dad! And nothing's gonna stop me!
    Petrie: [laughs] That's very funny, Littlefoot! Me thought you said you were going to fire mountain to save your dad!
    Littlefoot: I did say that! I'm going!
    [Petrie's smile droops]
    Petrie: You no seem funny now...
  • In Lilo & Stitch, Pleakley and the Grand Councilwoman are discussing Jumba in his prison cell:
    Pleakley: But it's a delicate planet! Who's going to control him?
    Councilwoman: You are. [walks away]
    Pleakley: [laughs] Very funny, your highness, that's quite — [sees that she's gone] YOU'RE NOT JOKING!
  • In Peter Pan, the Lost Boys have a game of cat-and-mouse with the local natives, constantly trying to catch each other and then turning them loose. Much to their surprise, after being captured, they find out that the natives aren't playing around this time, blaming them for the kidnapping of Princess Tiger Lily (which was Captain Hook's doing) and threatening to burn them at the stake if she wasn't brought back by sunset. Fortunately, Peter managed to save Tiger Lily and get her back in time to square everything away.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, when Naveen and Tiana meet Louis and tell them that they're human:
    Louis: [laughs] Y'all are serious?
  • In Toy Story, when Woody and the other toys meet Buzz Lightyear for the first time, his insistence that he is a space ranger and not a toy is assumed by Woody to be a façade, but one day when Woody wakes out of the toy box and confronts Buzz, he opens up Buzz's helmet and Buzz chokes and gags until he realizes the air is not toxic and chastises Woody for opening his helmet in an "uncharted planet," and his eyes could have popped out. Woody realizes that Buzz really thinks he is a Space Ranger and is not pretending. Woody unsuccessfully tries to convince him, but it takes a TV commercial at the Phillips household for Buzz to realize the truth.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A classic subversion in Airplane!:
    Ted Striker: Surely, you can't be serious.
    Dr. Rumack: I am serious. And don't call me "Shirley".
  • By one of the same creators, Hot Shots! Part Deux has a similar one used twice.
  • A Black Comedy example happens in Batman Returns. After Max Shrek finds out that Selina knows about his plans for the power plant, and he says some to her with a threatening tone, and when she nervously says, "It's not like you can just kill me!" he responds, "Actually, its exactly like that..." while advancing towards her with her back to a window... Then he stops and smiles, as if to say he was kidding, she breathes a sigh of relief as he chuckles and turns away... But then he quickly turns around and shoves her out the window, because he wasn't kidding.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof (film):
    Tevye: Thank you, your honor. You are a good man. If I may say so, it's too bad you're not a Jew.
    Constable: [laughs] That's what I like about you, Tevye. You're always joking.
    [awkward silence ensues as the Constable realizes Tevye was not joking]
  • A variant occurs in Ghostbusters:
    Janine: Hello, Ghostbusters. Yes, of course they're serious! ...You do? You have? ...No kidding?
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the assassin Angel Eyes, who is well known for always following through on a contract, is hired to kill a man after finding out what the man knows about a huge fortune of missing gold. While talking, his target tries to pay Angel Eyes double his fee to spare him. Angel Eyes kills him anyway, but decides to interpret the move as the target hiring him to strike back at Baker, the man who hired him. When Angel Eyes reports back to Baker, the following exchange takes place:
    Angel Eyes: [to Baker] Oh, I almost forgot — he paid me a thousand. I think his idea was that I kill you.
    [both laugh]
    Angel Eyes: ...but you know, the pity is when I'm paid, I always follow my job through. You know that.
    Baker: No! Angel Eyes!
  • James Bond:
    • Goldfinger provides this variation:
      James Bond: Ejector seat? You're joking!
      Q: I never joke about my work, 007.
    • Given a Call-Back in Die Another Day, when Bond is presented with an invisible car that he doesn't realize is there.
      Q: The ultimate in British engineering.
      Bond: You must be joking.
      Q: As I learned from my predecessor, Bond, I never joke about my work.
  • In Vol.2 of Kill Bill, pimp and cartel lord Esteban Vihaio tells the Bride that Bill, his protegée, was much too cruel in putting a bullet in her brain; in Bill's position, Esteban "simply would've cut [her] face." He promptly calls over one of his prostitutes, to dab the saliva from her artificially-cleft lips.
  • In National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, Benjamin Franklin Gates announces his intention to kidnap the President of the United States, since the President has access to the titular book. As in many examples of this trope, his friends think he's joking at first, and then try to talk him out of it when they realize he's serious.
  • In Presumed Innocent, as DA Sabich is called into a conference room and informed that he is the prime suspect in the murder of colleague/ex-lover Carolyn. He scoffs at first, but as two other prosecutors list the evidence against him and a third warns him to keep his mouth shut until he can get a lawyer, he proceeds to say this verbatim.
  • Sneakers. When Bishop and Cosmo finally meet again, Cosmo says he wants to use Janek's "black box" to "crash the whole damn system"—hack into everything and cause cybernated chaos. "You haven't gone crazy on me, have you?" Bishop asks him. He replies, "Who else is gonna change the world, Marty? Greenpeace?" Bishop scoffs—and realizes Cosmo is serious. "You are crazy," he says.
  • Spotlight: Boston Globe Reporter Sacha Pfeiffer finds herself unexpectedly interviewing a former priest who had allegedly molested children. She asks him, at his front door, point blank about the allegations. He admits to "fooling around" with young boys, but says it wasn't rape because he took no pleasure from doing so, resulting in this tropenote .
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home has the following, after McCoy asks Spock to tell him about the afterlife:
    Spock: It would be impossible to discuss the subject without a common frame of reference.
    McCoy: You're joking!
    Spock: A joke... is a story with a humorous climax.
    McCoy: You mean I have to die to discuss your insights on death?!
  • Strangers on a Train starts with this. Bruno suggests that he and Guy trade murders, but Guy doesn't realize Bruno was serious until after his wife shows up dead.
  • This same scenario is played with in Throw Momma from the Train by characters who've seen the above movie.
  • Tremors 2: Aftershocks: Kate's reaction to the ridiculously huge amount of weapons and explosives Burt Gummer has brought in to fight the creatures is laughter... until she notices how everyone else remain deadly serious and realizes her mistake.
    Kate: [laughing] Well, um, it's a bit much, don't you think?
    [she stops laughing as she notices everyone else just staring at her]
    Kate: Well, gosh, maybe I'm wrong... [sotto voce] I hope I'm right...
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    Literature 
  • In Wizard and Glass, the fourth book of the The Dark Tower series, a young Roland gets sent off to the supposedly safe backwater area of Mejis. Just before he leaves his father tells him to keep an eye out for one of the 13 balls of Maerlyn's Rainbow, powerful magic tools, because the leader of the evil rebellion is suspected to have one and may have agents in Mejis. Even Roland, who is famous for not having a sense of humor, laughs at the possibility of happening to run into one and assumes his father was joking. Good old dad just stares him down until things devolve into an awkward silence and Roland realizes that his dad was being completely serious.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: This is Harry's reaction when he is listening to Dumbledore's closing speech during the welcoming feast.
    "And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right hand side is out of bounds to anyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
    Harry laughed, but he was one of the few who did.
    "He's not serious?" he muttered to Percy.
    "Must be," said Percy, frowning at Dumbledore.
  • Used lightly in The Lord of the Rings:
    "But you've left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. 'I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn't they put in more of his talk, dad? That's what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, dad?'"
    "Now, Mr. Frodo," said Sam, "you shouldn't make fun. I was serious."
    "So was I."
  • Mansfield Park: Fanny can't believe that Henry Crawford's marriage proposal is not a horribly distressing joke but a twice-as-horribly distressing sincere proposal until the next day. Cue the Marry for Love rebelliousness in typical Jane Austen tradition.
  • In the earliest English version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin (by Richard Rowlands Verstegan in 1605), the citizens of Hamelin were joking when they promised the piper an outrageous amount of money to get rid of the rats because they never thought he could actually do it. Then he did just that, the citizens told him they didn't think he could do it and didn't actually have that kind of money, and we all know how it ended.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Inverted in Ciaphas Cain: in a Mechanicus dam/shrine protecting an extremely powerful artifact in danger of being stolen by Chaos, one of the commanders suggests blowing up the dam if worst comes to worst. The head magos, understandably upset, asks if maybe an orbital strike wouldn't be better (without sounding sarcastic). The commander replies that none of the ships could get into position for long enough. While the Tech Priest was upset about this for religious reasons, Cain had blown up the last dam at the site for the same reason in another war and everyone there knows it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Londo Mollari discusses with Morden the scale of military aid that Morden's associates can provide against the Narns. Morden boasts that it may be any scale necessary, and Londo asks with laughter if they might just cut to the chase and annihilate the Narn homeworld altogether. Morden calmly replies: "One thing at a time", and Londo's smile slowly fades, as he realises that only one of them was joking.
    • Vir starts laughing when lady Morella says that he will be The Emperor.
      We do not joke in the face of prophecy, Vir.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Buffy learns that Harmony has minions, her response is to laugh. The Scoobies tell her that it is a serious situation, and Buffy continues to giggle.
    • Xander does this as well when Buffy tells him that Spike is in love with her, leading to the following exchange:
      Buffy: I'm not joking.
      Xander: Oh, I hope not. It's funnier if it's true.
  • Community takes this Up to Eleven in the episode "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts":
    Britta: Shirley, if that really is your excuse, I'll plan your wedding for you!
    Shirley: [manic laughter]
    Title Card: Literally two full minutes later...
    [Shirley catches her breath and hands a water bottle back to a concerned passerby, still laughing]
Shirley: [to passerby] Ooh-hoo! Thank you. [to Britta] Oh my good God... Thank you for that...
Britta: [deeply offended]' I was serious!
Shirley:
[stares incredulously]
Title Card:
One minute later...
Shirley:
[deadly serious]'' Britta, you're not planning my wedding.
  • Friends:
    • Ross has been spending the entire episode asking people if they want to watch a Ukrainian film with him, only to be laughed at. At the end he bumps into Mona, and he invites her to the movie. Mona laughs for a bit, then says "Oh, you're serious. Sure!"
    • After Ross and Rachel got drunk in Vegas and woke up married, Ross suggested that they stay married so that he doesn't have another failed marriage. Rachel laughs along and agrees, leading to this exchange.
      Ross: Wow, I'm glad you're taking this so well. I thought I was going to have to convince you.
      Rachel: [still laughing] OK, now I'm a little worried you're not joking.
  • Characteristic moment on Gilmore Girls between Lorelai and her not-quite-soulmate Christopher:
    Lorelai: "Café au lait"? Is that's how it's spelled? Hmm, I always thought it was ¡Caffee olé! You know, like, "Coffee, alright!"
    Christoper: [incredulous] You're kidding! [beat] You're not kidding. [beat] You are kidding. [unnerved] I can't tell if you're kidding!
    Lorelai: I'm a woman of mystery.
  • In one episode of Kaamelott, the notoriously stupid, lazy and cowardly Perceval and Karadoc realize that they haven't done anything useful for a while and volunteer to be part of a highly dangerous mission. All the other knights burst out laughing, and are rendered speechless when they realize they are serious.
  • The Leftovers:
    • In one episode two characters who had met on an earlier episode and had a brief moment of bonding pass each other in the halls of a courthouse. When one says that he's officially getting a divorce from his wife because she joined a Cult that is viewed somewhat similarly to how the Westboro Baptist Church is viewed in real life, she cracks up, then realizes he isn't joking. He gives a somewhat similar reaction just a few seconds afterward when she is rather too insistent in inviting him to abruptly go on a vacation with her.
    • When Kevin Garvey finally confesses about his black out periods, during which he can operate for hours or even days at a time in a seemingly normal state but not remember a thing that happened afterward, Dean (the person Garvey is talking to) refuses to believe him for quite some time. When Garvey's frantic sincerity finally convinces Dean, his reaction is a combination of this and a massive Oh, Crap!.
  • In Lost Girl, Trick gives Bo an ancient Fae weapon, leading to this:
    Bo: What's this made of?
    Trick: Unicorn horn.
    [Bo laughs; Trick gives her a look]
    Bo: Shit, really?
  • In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm's teacher tells Lois that she thinks Malcolm doesn't want to participate in folk dancing because he's self-conscious about his body. Lois' reaction is to laugh before lapsing into complete serious mode when she says, "Oh, you're serious." When the teacher says that she is, Lois continues chuckling to herself.
  • In the series Necessary Roughness when the psychiatrists suggests hypnotism, the football player has this moment.
  • Star Trek
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sisko and Admiral Ross are attending a Klingon ceremony that includes the typical cut on the palm. When Sisko says they're next, Ross half-smiles... and then he realizes that Sisko's expression is stony serious. Cue Oh, Crap!.
    • In Star Trek: Discovery, Reno picks up a nearby drill and suggests that they fit a cortical implant on Tilly to communicate with the lifeform that's fusing with her. When Stamets agrees to this, Reno immediately says that she was joking about the drill and they should go get some actual medical tools to do it. Unfortunately, the loss of ship's functions means that the drill is all they have.
  • Supernatural. Death says he will help Dean only if he agrees to become The Grim Reaper for a day.
    Dean: Are you serious?
    Death: No, I'm being incredibly sarcastic.
  • Done in a very, very serious way in an episode of The X-Files. An alien assassin was sent to earth to kill a rogue alien who chose to stay on Earth as a baseball player. An officer asked where the assassin came from, and laughed at his reply of "Mars". Cue the officer's Oh, Crap! when the assassin's face remained deadpan, implying he is not joking.
  • In one episode of Series/Firefly, the crew finds out that Jayne is a folk hero on a remote moon, and Mal comes up with plan to turn that to their advantage. When Jayne objects, Mal has this reaction.
    Jayne: I don't know. You think we should be using my fame to hoodwink folk?
    Mal: You better laugh when you say that.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • In Alpha Protocol, you find out early on that there are plans in place to dismantle it if something goes horribly wrong. If you ask what happens to the people, you get one word: "Expendable." You respond with this trope.
  • Used by Hazama for extra puppy-kicking points in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift: when it's implied that the apparently-soulless (but arguably sentient) automaton Nirvana might deserve more respect than one would afford the toaster oven, Hazama laughs before giving a variation of the page title. The similarity to Bender's sociopathic page quote is striking.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Adam Jensen responds with this trope when Sarif reveals to him the Illuminati are real.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Alistair can have one of these moments when you tell him he has to sleep with Morrigan if he wants both of you to live.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Arena Blademaster Owyn reacts this way when you tell him you want to be a combatant.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
      • With the Hearthfire DLC, you can adopt children from a local orphanage. However before you can, you're asked what you do for a living, potentially leading to the following exchange;
        Dragonborn: I'm the Dragonborn / Harbinger of the Companions / Archmage of the College of Winterhold.
        Constance: What? If you aren't going to be... wait... Shor, you're serious! Well, I... all right then!
      • This is the guards' reaction when you ask them to whom you should report that you killed the leader of the Dark Brotherhood.
    • Astrid has this reaction when you inform her that you've been hired to assassinate the Emperor.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning declares that she's going to become the enemy Cocoon fears l'Cie as, and she'll start by attacking Eden—the godlike entity that maintains the world's existence. Sazh responds by cracking wise as usual until he realizes that she actually means it; then he starts listing all the ways that would be a very bad idea.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, this is the Deku Princess's response to Link's reaction after she laughs about how absurd her worries were that her father would jump to conclusions and wrongfully punish/torture her monkey friend over her disappearance. She then makes Link carry her back to the palace. In a bottle.
  • In Planescape: Torment, this might come up twice in the Pillar of Skulls episode, depending on what the player does and who's actually in the room with him at the time. If you reject the first two payments or ask more questions than needed (which is purposely taking the harder path) the Pillar's third price is Fall-from-Grace's life (assuming she's in the room). If you agree to this, Grace asks you if you're serious; if you say yes, she disappears, and never comes back. The fourth payment is Annah's life (again, assuming she's actually in the room) and again, if you agree to this, Annah asks if you're serious. If you say yes, she becomes enraged and attacks you, fighting to the death. (The Pillar does not accept this as payment; accepting either of these payments slides the Nameless One's alignment towards evil.)

    Web Animation 
  • Features in Gamer Poop's fifth Oblivion video, when Emperor Obama addresses the Champion of Cyrodiil's request to be president.
  • RWBY:
    • Yang thinks Ruby was referring to having a meltdown when she mentioned she explodednote , and when Ruby tries to explain it as being literal with fire (and she thinks some ice) Yang wonders if she'd learned how to be sarcastic. Then Weiss starts to yell at Ruby for almost blasting them off of a cliff.
      Yang: Oh my God you actually exploded.
    • Ruby discovering that Jaune's hoodie has a cartoon bunny face on it, which had always been obscured by his armor. She's dying of rapidly-escalating laughter throughout the following conversation, where at one point her head instantly grows in size to fill the background. Jaune's pouty lower lip sells it. She even asks if he sent in a box top for a prize when he says it’s the mascot for a popular cereal. He did; fifty of them to be precise.
  • From a very old World of Warcraft Machinima comes this bit, in response to a rogue claiming, "rogues have it hard". Caution: contains highly Contagious Laughter.

    Web Comics 
  • Princess Princess: Princess Amira stops laughing at her mother's idea that she could marry one of those "dull, vapid princes" when she realizes her mother means it.
  • Done in Sequential Art when Hilary realizes the extent of Pip's lack of fashion sense, here.
  • Suicide for Hire: The snack stand Arcturus is temporarily working in is closed:
    "Lena, go make me a Closed sign while I reinforce the shutters so they don't go all Night of the Living Dead on us."
    "Is that all necessary? Won't they see the closed shutters and sign and figure out we're not open for business?"
    "Hahaha... Oh, wait. You were being sincere. Allow me to redirect my mocking laughter to you. You fool."

    Web Videos 
  • This is Hippolyte's reaction in Flander's Company when Kevin comes at his office saying he wants to become a Super Villain:
    Hippolyte: HAHAHAAHAHA!
    Kevin: What's so funny?
    Hippolyte: Wait, so this isn't a joke?
  • In the Honest Trailers video on After Earth, the narrator initially laughs at the name "Cypher Raige", before realizing that it really is the protagonist's name.
  • In the lonelygirl15 episode "Mission Possible" — Taylor's reaction is understandable, since Spencer isn't a badass — he's a nerd who can't even exercise:
    Spencer: [pulling on black ski mask] If Jonas doesn't succeed, I'm going in.
    [Taylor laughs, then stops quickly]
    Taylor: Oh my God, you're serious!
  • When The Nostalgia Critic starts reviewing The Room, he reacts to the entrance of Tommy Wiseau in the very first scene with hysterical laughter and demands for the real actor to appear. Laughter gives way to abhorrence as it dawns on him that that is the actual performance.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, this is Taylor's reaction to PRT Director of Image Glenn Chambers' suggestion of a "less threatening" image.
    Taylor: [having just summoned a mass of butterflies to replace her usual (useful) insect swarm] I just want you to realize that this is what you'd be asking me to—
    Glenn: [interrupting] Yes. Excellent! They did say you were smart.
    Taylor: You're serious.

    Western Animation 
  • In Aladdin: The Series, Jasmine and Aladdin get into an argument about how her privileged upbringing has left gaps in her education concerning how most people live their lives, and Jasmine turns to the Genie to back her up.
    Jasmine: Well, I know plenty about the real world, don't I, Genie?
    Genie: [puts on a trenchcoat, hat, and gangster accent] Sure, you know all about the dark, dank underbelly of this sleazy city of sin! [returns to normal, laughs]
    [Jasmine gives him a death glare]
    Genie: Oh... You're serious.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!
    • The Wasp does this when S.H.I.E.L.D. asks the team to go into a Gamma radiation-infested prison full of escaped supervillains.
    • She does this again in a later episode, after Iron Man says Nick Fury suspects one of the Avengers of being a Skrull in disguise.
  • In Garfield's Thanksgiving, while Grandma Arbuckle is making Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen, Jon is distracting Liz until dinner is ready by telling her about the entire history of Thanksgiving. Liz thinks he's kidding until he starts going into detail about the holiday, causing her to realize that he isn't.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "My Fair Mandy", Mandy tells Billy and Grim that she's considering entering a beauty pageant, causing them to burst into a round of laughter that lasts through the night and into the next day. When they finally notice she's not having any of it, they realize she means it.
    Billy: Is it true, Mandy? Are you...serious?
    [Mandy shows them a piece of paper]
    Billy: What is it?
    Grim: A pageant entry form. Oh, she's serious, mon!
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 121, Olaf informs the main four that they have been fired. They start laughing, but he then reveals that he was sent by the management, so they realize that they actually have been fired.
  • One episode of King of the Hill features an archaeologist who instructs kids helping at a dig "if a bony arm reaches out from the earth and grabs you, remain calm." The kids react in shock; he chuckles and continues "But seriously… remain calm!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Secret of My Excess", Applejack initially laughs at Twilight Sparkle's claim that Spike is running rampant, until she sees it for herself.
    • Later, in "Pinkie Pride", Cheese Sandwich initially laughs when Pinkie Pie says she forfeits the Goof-Off (which she was winning decisively) before realizing she's completely serious.
    • In "Maud Pie", the eponymous pony mistakes a washrag in Rarity's shop for a scarf, and says she likes it. Rarity at first thinks she was joking, then, in an effort to impress her, compliments her taste and offers to make her something out of a collection of dishrags. Maud declines; she only needs the one.
  • Sofia the First: Clover's reaction the first time Sofia tells him she saw a mermaid.
  • South Park: In "Douche and Turd", the Marshes are called into Mayor Daniels' office so she can tell that what Stan is going to be banished for refusing to vote for his school mascot. A shocked Stan asks "You're all joking, right?", but the Mayor's solemn silence is all it takes for him to get this reaction.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Bully", when Flats first says he's gonna kick SpongeBob's butt, he thinks he's joking. Then this happens...
    Flats: [threateningly] No, I mean it!
    SpongeBob: [laughs] That's funny. For a second there, you almost sounded like you—
    [Flats rips off his chest hair to reveal a tattoo reading "I MEAN IT!"]
    SpongeBob: You did mean it.
  • Winx Club: In "The Font of Dragon Fire", the Trix (and Icy in particular) have this reaction when they realize Bloom is not Obfuscating Stupidity, but genuinely has no idea she is the keeper of the Dragon Flame and last living heir of Domino.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: When Dojo asks Master Monk Guan why he was brought to a hidden fortress. Cue Oh, Crap! from Dojo.
    Guan: This is the home of the famous Chase Young.
    Dojo: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I thought you said "Chase Young"!
    Guan: I did.
  • The ZhuZhus Ellen Pamplemousse to husband over pancakes after after he surrenders in response to her disarming his fork and Dual Wielding it along with her own foiling attempt to steal her pancake even though his plate was full "your (maple) syrup or your life!" He passes her the syrup and they both break into laughter as if it was a joke, but then she stops abruptly and glares seriously at him and his face resumes a frightened expression.

    Real Life 
  • Happens all the time on Internet forums, comment sections, blogs, etc. Someone will post something so unbelievably over the top, so inane that it has to be just a joke, only for them to affirm that yes they do believe in it. The Internet gave everyone a voice, and this isn't always a good thing.

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