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Not So Above It All

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You gotta get your kicks somehow.

Flash: So yeah, I did go behind your back! I'd do it again! What do you say to that, big guy?
Martian Manhunter: [smiles] I was only going to ask if you wanted to play Brawlin' Bots.
Flash: Dibs on the green one! [dashes off]
Martian Manhunter: [mumbles] I wanted the green one...

The Straight Man takes a fall. His usual position is far above the prevailing attitude of his crew, wackiness, pettiness or just general slacker-itis.

In a story where the wackiness level is really high, the straight man is still goofier and wackier than anyone you know, but he has his standards to maintain. Under no circumstances will he allow himself to be pulled down into the general chaos of those around him.

Until he does. You can only fight the tide for so long. As the age-old adage goes: "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link." If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Compare with Not So Stoic. May be implemented with an ...Or So I Heard. If he somehow brings it on himself, it might overlap with Break the Haughty, but not necessarily so. See also Hypocritical Humor, where often the Straight Man in question had just told someone off for doing something goofy and is now doing it themselves.


See also Only Sane by Comparison, where the character is more openly "wacky", yet still manages to be the one who holds everything together.

Sometimes related to an Idiot Ball moment. Contrast Smart Ball, when their dimmer co-star may have a moment of clarity or tact.


    open/close all folders 

  • Claude the Cat sometimes makes a joke despite being quite a serious beast usually.
  • Inverted in one Smokey Bear commercial where the bear is seen performing rap to get his usual message of "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" across. Partway through, he stops, annoyed by it all, drops the rap clothes, puts on his ranger hat and "gives it to them straight".
  • In this 2009 advertisement for Friendly's, a bunch of sisters on a soccer team are singing the iconic "I Wanna Go To Friendly's" jingle, but as they're nearing the end, their mother finishes off the song, stopping them dead in their tracks out of confusion as she's singing her lungs out. At the end of the commercial, this gets lampshaded by an African-American couple in the car opposite, who look at the mother in disbelief.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Air Gear gives us Ringo Noyamano. With the exception of her stint as Croissant Mask, which gave her eternal embarrassment, in earlier volumes, Ringo was always more levelheaded and normal than the entirety of Team Kogarasumaru put together and was typically divorced from their antics. However, in later volumes, she gives in and lets them sweep her up in their enthusiasm, showing herself to be just as weird as the rest of them and even getting involved in their team poses.
  • Yuu Nanami from Asteroid in Love is not only serious compared to the other members, but she got into meteorology out of a sense of duty toward others, rather than genuine enjoyment of the subject. Despite that, when she sees a rainbow, she enthusiastically shares what she knows about it, indicating she may have genuine enthusiasm in the field.
  • This happens to Yomi in Azumanga Daioh sometimes, most memorably when she tricked Osaka into eating spicy food that ended up giving her hiccups.
  • Leo of Blood Blockade Battlefront has a moment in episode 6 where he yells at Zapp for getting Libra into the plot of the episode before betting on Klaus to win his bout in the fighting arena.
  • In Blue Exorcist, Yukio is the serious, studious of the Okumura brothers, much different from his elder brother Rin. At times though, he shows that he does have a sense of humour; as his collection and love of gag manga shows, he has a well-developed sense of humour.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: After their initial appearance, the more "serious" characters such as Heppokomaru/Gasser eventually start slipping into bouts of silliness, not unlike that of the title character. Beauty being the sole subversion, with maybe one or two slips that she quickly recovers from.
    • In probably one of the fastest instants of the trope, Hatenko is introduced and he comes across as one of the few sane people in Bobobo, even expressing shock at how Bobobo could forget him so fast. And then he sees Don Patch and promptly loses it.
  • Case Closed:
    • Conan once started screaming and yelling in celebration when his favorite soccer team won a big game, prompting Haibara to snark that "The master sleuth was just a jumpy little boy" when it came to soccer. More than once, it's also shown that Conan has picked up some of Kogoro's bad habits.
    • Ai Haibara is typically the single most serious and snarky member of the main cast, but there are scattered moments across the series where her face lights up when she sees animals or gets scared during a Kaiju movie. The biggest moment of this trope is the "Secret of a Big Couple" arc, in which Haibara's serious personality does a near 180 when she learns her favorite soccer player is rumored to be having an affair with a local idol singer. Her behavior throughout, including hiring Kogoro to investigate the affair and deleting all the singer's music from her phone, is more like a jealous fangirl or an actual child with a Precocious Crush than an eighteen-year-old Deadpan Snarker. When the rumors prove unfounded, she's happily singing the idol's songs and insisting on playing soccer even as the weather turns stormy.
  • In Fairy Tail, Hades and Mavis are arguably among the most purely evil and most purely good (respectively) among any of the characters in the entire series. Both have moments of sheer oddball-ness that rank among the funniest quirks of anyone in the series. Both are former Fairy Tail guild masters. Coincidence?
    • Erza will often scold her guildmates for their constant brawling, and the ensuing destruction it causes. However, if anyone provokes her in the slightest way, she'll almost certainly jump in to join. Including one notorious incident regarding a strawberry cake.
  • In Gakuen Babysitters, Inomata will often state how childish some action is or point out why people shouldn't be doing what everyone else is doing. However, later on, usually in the same chapter, she is either "forced" to do it by simply asking her, or is trying it out in secret such as pretending to ride a broom like a witch.
  • Hiiragi from Hanamaru Kindergarten is a highly intelligent kindergartner who can read and understand adult literature. This does nothing to stop her lighting up at a chance to go down the big slide or being so overwhelmed by a compliment on her costume that she bursts into dance.
  • Hare, the star of the lesser-known anime Haré+Guu, is so normal and level-headed, compared to any of the other characters, that he eventually snaps at one point and erupts into a violent rampage. Granted, he was drunk at the time.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • At the end of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Kyon admits to himself that he does, in fact, enjoy the crazy antics the SOS-Dan finds themselves in.
    • Yuki also has moments where she just gives in to blatant silliness, such as choosing a funny nickname for herself when Kyon blackmails Haruhi with one or wearing silly hats for no real reason.
  • Hen Zemi: Nanako plays the straight man at the start, but as the show progresses, she realises that she isn't as different as she thought.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor's Serious Business staff officers Yuriko Star and Lt. Yamamoto remain the sanest characters at the end of the series... but loosen up greatly between the beginning and the end, largely due to Tylor's cheerful disregard for rules.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency has Joseph and Caesar's first meeting be over a game of cards. Caesar realizes Joseph's cheating and grabs his arm, shaking out several cards concealed in his wristband. A moment later, Joseph grabs Caesar's leg and yanks it up, revealing a mirror on his shoe - they were both cheating.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, after being accosted by a random rich guy for dropping wine on his shirt and knocking that guy out, Narancia accused that guy of being an enemy in hiding, which prompted Mista to join him in kicking the unconscious guy. Abbacchio looked at them and took a sip on a wine glass as if looking at the scene with disdain due to believing that such things should be beneath them... only to join the kicking in the next cut. Immortalized as "Abbacchio Joins The Kicking".
  • Superintendent Akechi from The Kindaichi Case Files is initially introduced as a dignified, elitist Insufferable Genius who acts as Kindaichi's Stock Shōnen Rival. After acknowledging Kindaichi's skills (not that he'd admit it, of course), he mellows down a bit, and his rivalry with Kindaichi is treated as a petty/childish Vitriolic Best Buds bickering rather than any serious attempt to challenge or undermine Kindaichi's efforts.
  • In Kyo Kara Maoh!, this happens to Gwendal periodically. He's The Stoic, serious and very dedicated to his duties as one of the demon king's retainers. He's usually left behind to manage the castle while the others go off and have adventures...along with Bunny-Ears Lawyer Gunter and Gadgeteer Genius Annissina, his childhood friend who just lives to test her inventions on Gwendal and Gunter. None of the rest of the castle staff are any saner, and Gwendal gets dragged into things far more often than he'd like.
  • In the Beach Episode of Martian Successor Nadesico, Erina Wan starts handing out flyers about how to be safe at the beach, only to discover everyone slipped off while she was talking. She protests that they could have at least read the flyer, before doing a clothing fling, revealing she was wearing a swimsuit under her uniform and runs off to join the others.
  • Centorea in Monster Musume is easily the most dignified and level headed of Kimihito's roommates (at least until Rachnera joins the harem). However, she's fairly dorky herself, and is frequently roped into the other girls' shenanigans. She isn't above using a situation to get intimate with Kimihito when she wants either. And while it's never shown on-screen, she makes numerous reference that show she's also a huge manga and RPG fan, like assuming that a slime will be easy to defeat because it's a low-level enemy in most video games.
  • In the final episode of My-HiME, Natsuki steals Midori's thunder by calling out, "Hime-Sentai/Rangers, go!" There was an earlier hint, as, during the Karaoke episode, she was seen laughing long and loud at her arch-enemy Nao's skimpy karaoke outfit and lousy singing.
  • Naruto:
  • This happens to Chisame in Negima! Magister Negi Magi frequently, but most notably when Poyo's Lotus-Eater Machine proves that, despite having been forced into a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, she's the happiest and most satisfied with her life of anyone in the group.
  • Sakamoto the cat from Nichijou tries very hard to be the respectable adult in a household with an eight-year-old inventor and her one-year-old wind-up robot. This ultimately always fails when presented with anything he can bat around with his paws.
  • One Piece:
    • Jimbei, who is The Stoic and badass fishman in likeness to Aquaman, has become skilled in the Wild Take since the Time Skip, first seen during his reunion with the Straw Hats and seen several times afterward to the end of the Fishman Island arc. Another example of it is when he carefully thinks up a complicated plan to save his beloved Fishman Island and King Neptune, who are nearly taken over by Hody Jones. However, he wastes time on one last detail: what name the plan shall take.
    • Trafalgar Law has been growing more and more like this. It starts in Chapter 700: the more he hangs around the Straw Hats, the less he can resist participating in their hijinks. And the more chapters that progress, the less he's able to suppress his emotions; Luffy and the others are just too much of an influence on him.
    • Basically, every serious-minded character in One Piece are shown to have their quirks when they are fleshed out. Among the Straw Hats: Zoro is extremely serious but likes a good booze party from time to time, and that's not even mentioning his lack of direction, but that's more in the lines of The Comically Serious. Nami is generally one of the more sensible members of the crew, but when she smells money, she loses all her brain activity and will act stupid in even the tensest situation — and she also likes to party. Usopp is along with Nami often a Meta Guy, but he isn't at all above goofing off with Luffy and Chopper. Robin is generally seen as the most stoic and "normal" character, but she regularly falls into strange girl territory with things like her morbid comments and unusual Imagine Spots. Also, she rarely calls her more quirky members out on their wackiness, she just sits at the sidelines and smiles at them. And as of the Dressrosa arc, her crewmates' influence has finally gotten to her; she has begun using the Wild Take.
    • Perhaps the best example of this is the Davy Back Fight. Everyone believes Luffy's new afro has given him superhuman power. Nami can't believe it and turns to Robin for confirmation that she isn't the only sane one. Robin believes it too. Nami is absolutely dumbfounded (though Robin could've just been playing along):
      Chopper: Is Luffy gonna win?
      Robin: Of course. He's wearing an afro.
    • Used for heartwarming during the Post-Enies Lobby Party when she offers to take part in Luffy's "How much meat can you eat" contest, since it shows that she has come to fully accept the crew as her family.
    • Former Fleet Admiral Sengoku has been nothing but the Straight Man during the first half of the series since he's always anguishing over anything that threatens the Marines and World Government and is always working hard to counter the pirate threat. The only hint of quirkiness was that he brought his pet goat with him everywhere. But once he resigns, it is shown that he's not so different from Garp and is now cheerful and carefree, eating snacks while learning of world-shaking events like another Shichibukai falling, suggesting that his seriousness was nothing but The Chains of Commanding.
  • Pokémon: Most of the main companions who are supposed to be Ash's senior and voice of reason suffer from this a fair amount:
    • Misty had to lecture Ash throughout most of his rookie tenure, and like Iris, thrives on calling out his idiotic habits. At the same time, however, she is near equally arrogant and short-tempered, and half her Pokemon have the same teething issues as Ash (most infamously Psyduck). Even Ash sometimes calls her out on how rude and bull-headed she can sometimes be. Word of God states that Misty was actually intended to be rather inept in reality.
    • Brock was the oldest of the companions, usually serving as the Team Dad and holding the most intellect and clarity over the gang's experiences. Whenever he saw a pretty girl, however, it all dropped in a flash.
    • Iris often calls people children and pointing out their mistakes, no matter how justifiable they are. (She shows Ash no sympathy for not knowing about Unova, despite him being a foreigner.) She's shown to be extremely immature by glomping Pokemon and hurting them by accident. Ash himself eventually stops giving into Iris's insults, which causes her to tone them down a bit. And while Iris herself is a competent Trainer, for the first half of her saga, her team is underdeveloped or disloyal.
  • Promare: Kray Foresight blatantly demands Galo to cease his habit of making up random attack names while fighting him in their respective mecha. He then immediately after calls out his own mech attacks.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Ami is typically the most mature and responsible of the girls. When they all go to a dance with some English exchange students (French in The '90s English dub), all of the other girls want to dance with Haruka. When Usagi gets the first dance Makoto, Rei and Minako start playing Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who gets the next dance. When Usagi is finished dancing, we see in the background that the girls are still playing Rock–Paper–Scissors. And Ami has now joined in.
    • The infamous Snow White episode has the girls arguing over who should play the lead role. Ami believes that she could play the role since Snow White only has a few lines and even begs to at one point. The next few scenes then have her and the other girls arguing with each other, culminating with all of them, including Ami yelling at both Umino and Naru for intervening.
    • There's also another episode where she surprisingly agrees to stop studying for the day so they can all go down to a film shoot and ogle a famous movie star. She needs very little persuasion.
    • There's the episode in S where Makoto goes out of town to train. The girls decide to pay a visit to cheer her on. But there also happens to be a resort hotel with a pool nearby. Minako reveals she brought a swimsuit for the occasion. Rei reveals she brought one also, as does Usagi. Luna and Artemis moan that Ami seems to be the only one who only came to cheer on Makoto — until she sheepishly admits she brought her swimsuit, too. In the same episode, after Rei, Usagi and Minako start throwing pillows around in an argument, a stray pillow hits Ami in the face, and she escalates it into a full pillow fight.
    • And in the Season 1 finale, the other girls are talking about how they plan to have full-blown romances when the Big Bad is defeated. Ami — who is the least boy-crazy of them — remarks that she might get a boyfriend too. Cue everyone gawking at her and a Luminescent Blush.
    • In Stars, an incident involving Seiya and a short towel leaves all the girls shocked, and Ami seems to be peeking between her face-covering hands.
    • Luna gets a lot of moments like these as well. When Usagi freaks out about gaining half a pound, Luna sketches a fat caricature of her. When Artemis is having a bad day, Luna joins in with the teasing too (though does back off when she realizes he's legit offended). Also, Luna usually scolds Usagi for her Big Eater habits but in one episode she enjoys some of Ikuko's home-made treats — and complains when Usagi takes them to share with Rei.
    • Serenity is Usagi's Older and Wiser self. She is a regal queen most of the time, however, there are scenes that show that she's still Usagi after all. She still has some of her goofy qualities.
    • Related to the above, in one episode of SuperS has Diana reveal to Luna that whenever some royal meeting was supposed to happen the King and Queen (the future Mamoru and Usagi) would always get sick. Luna even comments, "The King, too?"
  • In Saki, Teru is an emotionally detached Aloof Big Sister who appears completely humorless. But in the spinoff, Saki Biyori, a series of comedic 4koma strips, she goes along with the relatively silly Awai's suggestions.
  • Nami Hitou of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is the dysfunctional cast's token normal girl. Unfortunately, she has a complex about being called normal because she equates it with boring.
  • The entire life of Zelgadis from the anime Slayers. Originally a series villain who frequently switched sides to pursue his own agenda, he was derided for his stoicism and attempts to maintain a "cool and mysterious" image by the slapstick-prone cast and writers. By the second season, the damage was done and he was seen cross-dressing in a frantic attempt to enter a tennis doubles tournament with a mixed-gender teams requirement.
  • Soul Eater: During the Lust chapter, Tsubaki is discovered to be much more perverted than anyone would have guessed (being the most perverted out of them, barring Blair, and narrowly beating Liz). Especially considering how she reacted to Black Star peeping on her.
  • In Sword Art Online, Asuna's mother, Kyouko, is a strict and serious Education Mama, albeit one who can lose her temper if her buttons are pressed. When Asuna convinces Kyouko to log onto ALO to see Asuna's house, Kyouko immediately notices that her avatar feels light. Asuna points out that this is only natural, since the avatar only weighs 40 kg (roughly 88 pounds, far less than what an average adult woman weighs), prompting Kyouko to chide Asuna and ask if she's gained weight. Asuna realizes that this is the first time in a long time that she and her mother have been able to have a conversation about nothing.
  • In Wasteful Days of High School Girls, while Masatake "Waseda" Sawatari tries to be professional and stern at all times on campus, he couldn't help but whip out his phone to take selfies of himself with Baka and Yamai, who got their heads stuck in a huge cutout. One photo even has goofy filters slapped onto every face, including his own.
  • Straight from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, we have Jack Atlas. Yusei's rival who is a Kaiba expy, acts like a serious duelist and runs some fearsome monsters in his deck such as "Red Dragon Archfiend". However, type up "Jack Atlas Cup Ramen" and you will never see him the same way again.
    • From the same franchise, in Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS, we have Neiru Saionji, the calm and collected admin of the Garden of Providence. When, in “The Goha-Rush Tournament” Arc, the other characters and him go to a ramen restaurant, he declares ramen to be “a new Providence”, even skipping out on most of a duel so he can have more.
      • Roa, the charismatic and smooth-talking lead guitarist of Roa-Romin, tries to tease him about this… Only for it to be pointed out that he himself had visited the place five days in a row.
      • His cousin, Romin, usually acts as the Only Sane Woman of the main cast, but even she has moments of goofiness, like when she joined Luke in eating the monument made out of sweets.
      • We also have Neiru’s massage chair/butler (don’t ask) Sebastian. Despite claiming to lack emotions, he got very pissed off when Yuga managed to hold off his One Turn Kill. It was quite terrifying. On a lighter note, he was clearly enjoying himself during his duel with Finger Chikako in episode 34.
  • Kurama from YuYu Hakusho. He is the team's resident Smart Guy, is actually a Kitsune that is over a thousand years old and likes to act cool-headed, rational and intelligent. Then we get to see he is not above sarcastically teasing Yusuke or cheating at card games. Then the Chapter Black arc came along and we find out he is a huge video game nerd.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Careful S., being The Stoic, usually prefers to not get involved in his more carefree “siblings”’ antics. But, there are certain moments where he lets himself be a bit goofy. Just look at the “Rubix Cube Tournament” episode…

    Comic Books 
  • One Archie Comic had Mr. Lodge ask some of the kids what they would do if they won the lottery, expecting them to say they'd waste or squander it. However Dilton comes forward and begins listing off some very financially savvy and intelligent things like ensuring the taxes were paid to avoid interest and penalties and putting some away for future education and retirement, increasingly impressing Mr. Lodge with everything he says. And with what's left, he intends to buy a bumper car ride and install it in his basement — cue Face Palm from Mr. Lodge.
  • On the rare occasions Batman has displayed a sense of humor, the rest of the League find it unsettling.
  • Daredevil's frequent tragedies don't leave him much reason to joke and laugh. During a mini-series by Paul Jenkins, Daredevil's criticism of Spider-Man's tendency to make jokes in even the most dire of situations caused the wall-crawler to in turn call him out on his lack of a sense of humor. The final scene of the story was Spider-Man swinging off into the night unaware of the "Kick Me" sign Daredevil had placed on his back.
  • J'onn J'onzz often played The Stoic and The Comically Serious in Justice League International. While it was a good act, it was just that, and he would occasionally break character.
    Martian Manhunter: I'm going to engage in an ancient Martian meditation technique.
    Captain Atom: What's it called?
    Martian Manhunter: Screaming.
    • And then there's the scene from Issue #3, with Batman making a Star Trek joke to Blue Beetle. Even he finds it unusual for the Dark Knight to say that.
    Blue Beetle: Hey everybody, Batman made a funny! Batman made a funny!
    Batman: Don't push your luck, Beetle.
    Blue Beetle: Sorry, Bats.
  • Krypto the Superdog: In the comic book story featuring an intergalactic mailman, Brainy Barker constantly berates the other dog stars for barking at the mere mention of the mailman. In the end, she can't help but bark as well.
  • In the 6th and final issue of the Ratchet & Clank comic miniseries, the usually calm and logical Clank decides that the best way to keep President Qwark from causing trouble is to simply duct tape him to a chair. In the end it actually was the right decision, as it not only held Qwark down when the comet shard opened a portal that started sucking everyone and everything into it, but it allowed him to hold onto Clank with his teeth preventing the robot from being sucked in as well.
  • In Runaways, the normally quiet and polite Klara utterly pigs out when Molly and Karolina take her to a restaurant. In a later arc, she discovers video games and quickly becomes ruthlessly competitive.
  • Scott Pilgrim: As much as Ramona Flowers prides herself on having the moral high ground compared to Scott, it's made clear that she too has skeletons in her closet; in fact, if anything she's done things way worse than Scott ever did. Scott spends a non-romantic night with another girl, one that was an old friend (even before Kim Pine)? She calls him out on it while hanging out with and even kissing an ex of hers. Scott starts dating her while dating another girl and going through with breaking up with her when he realises it’s wrong to pursue Ramona? She gets pissed at him even though she cheated on just about every single ex-boyfriend she had. Scott at least had no idea what an asshole he was until it was spelled out for him, but everything Ramona did before meeting Scott was intentional and for the fun of it.
  • The Superman Adventures: while she and Jimmy are covering one of Superman's battles, Lois remarks that the populace is treating it "like a cheap prize fight" only to murmur, "Ooh, good one" with the next punch.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • Ultra Magnus, a guy whose "smiling" mechanisms actually rusted over, at one point Trolls some people who have just been released from stasis.
      Magnus: Please present to our medical staff for a check-up and the details of your new beast mode.
      Anode: Beast mode?!
      Magnus: Joke. I've been practicing.
    • Cyclonus is a figure from Cybertron's past, who speaks ancient languages, remembers bits of Cybertronian culture that have been nearly forgotten, and tends to pipe up in order to tell old legends or deliver points of his personal philosophy. Except when he heads to Swerve's bar and starts singing "The Power of Love".
    • Megatron is a blunt, grim figure, now with added guilt to add to the grimness...but that doesn't stop him from deciding to head back to Cybertron just to see the look on Starscream's face, or attempting banter with Ultra Magnus (admittedly, it doesn't go too well).
  • From The Astonishing X-Men:
    Agent Brand: The Breakworld's psychics...hunted for the X-Man destined to destroy their world and Colossus got the nod. I'm assuming you're as mystified by this as the rest of us, Rasputin.
    Colossus: No. I'm not. I have been planning to destroy the Breakworld since I was a child.
    (everyone gapes at him)
    Colossus: This is why I don't make so many jokes. I never know when is good.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction, Vivienne Graham is revealed to have been this among Monarch when she was human. In the MonsterVerse movies, she's largely presented as something of a Satellite Character to Dr. Serizawa, but this fic reveals she wasn't above being a little bit of a jokester with some of her Monarch colleagues once in a while.
  • Andy, the Only Sane Man of the Calvinverse, develops a crush on a girl in the Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode "Insanity Is In The Air" and ends up going insane with envy when she ends up liking Calvin (who has no interest in her and was forced to compete for her love by Andy) more. Hilarity Ensues, to say the least.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron: Kallen asks Coran and Allura if they can throw Viletta in the castle's dungeon to interrogate her the old fashioned way since they can't use Lelouch's Geass.
  • In the Guardians of the Galaxy story Mission Report Impossible, Nova Prime doesn't want anyone to tell the Guardians how to write a mission report so she can keep getting comedy gold like their last one.
  • In the RWBY fic A Night of Debauchery, Jaune wonders how much more crazed Nora will get now that she's drunk, and comforts himself with the thought that Ren will take care of her. Then he notices Ren onstage with the strippers.
    • Pyrrha goes through several bottles of alcohol, gets very flirty, and later "[destroys] half the club" in a jealous rage.
  • Pony POV Series:
  • Queen of All Oni:
  • In The Legend of Korra story Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, Lin Beifong of all people appears extremely entertained by how Korra and Asami's relationship is developing. The fact that she won quite a bit of money thanks to them probably helps.
  • In part 11 of Sister Floriana, Sister Diana catches the novices trying to recover various confiscated items they've lost over the course of the series. She lets them go on the condition they help her get something of her own that got confiscated — a rather cheesy French romance novel.
  • The Tears of Gaia: Star Swirl admonishes the Mane Six for starting up a snowball fight in the middle of their quest... until he gets hit with one, and immediately joins in on the fun.
  • The Twilight Child frequently has scenes where Princess Celestia, Luna, and Cadence are doing something strange, like treating going out to fetch coffee like an epic quest, having snowball fights where the snowballs are the size of boulders, or lightly tormenting Shining Armor.
    • Apparently Spitfire, the no-nonsense leader of the Wonderbolts, knows no less than one hundred and twelve separate butt-related jokes.
  • In Viral (part of the Transformers fanfic series Botosphere, Soundwave monitors the Internet activity of the Autobots and their various human friends for surveillance and intelligence-gathering... but also has holdings in the human stock market (because the Autobots also do), is interested in Simmons's preferred reality TV series, and plays with Sharksy in World of Warcraft.
  • Weiss Reacts: Weiss' behaviour is normally as the Only Sane Man, looking down at everyone else's antics, but at times, including the Great Antic War, she shows that she can just as easily prank others as the likes of Yang can.
    • Lucina Reacts: Lucina, despite her attempts at being the Only Sane Man, is constantly undermined by her being easy to fluster, her blatant crush on Robin, and her lack of experience with social situations.
    • Laurent, Nah and Kjelle attempt to form a group of Only Sane Men against the Justice Cabal. The former two are easily manipulated due to their being Twice Shy for each other and them being outmanoeuvered by the likes of Reflet and Ren.
  • In the Soulsborne (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls II and Bloodborne) fanfic Hotspring Souls!, there's Maiden Astraea. Despite being a saint, she isn't above getting a kick out of playing Cards Against Humanity. Garl is horrified when he finds out about this.
  • In Mother's Wish, Emma Frost learns that two of the teens that suddenly appeared at the X-Mansion are genetically her children with Scott. Emma calmly leaves the room for a moment then everyone hears her yelling.
  • In This Bites!, when Cross decides to act like Phoenix Wright, Robin plays along as the judge, finding the whole thing rather amusing.
    • Later during the G-8 arc, she sits down for a game of chess against Vice-Admiral Jonathan.
      Robin: The middle of a life-or-death situation, and I find myself playing a friendly game of chess with the person responsible for every bit of danger in that situation. I can't deny it anymore. I love being a Straw Hat Pirate.
    • Hina desperately tries to remain professional while her crew has a dance party behind her while listening to music playing during the SBS broadcast, until she finds herself joining in.
  • Chief Bogo in Evidence spends the entire story listening to people debate whether Nick and Judy are a couple (apparently, the entire city is debating it) and thinking to himself how pointless and ridiculous it is. The last couple of paragraphs reveal he only thinks it's ridiculous because he already knows they are.
  • In An Open Secret, not only does it seem that most of the Jedi are aware of Anakin's relationship with Padme, but they all want to be a godparent of their unborn child. At one point Aayla and Shaak-Ti get into a lightsaber duel over it.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Rex tries to stay calm and dignified most of the time, but he's not above having a little fun every now and then, like teasing Vix-Lei with his reaction to the idea of setting her on fire.
  • Robb Returns: When Baelish demands to be judged in front of his peers, Stannis Baratheon tells him that weasels cannot speak and, therefore, cannot attend trials.
  • Solas is by far the most serious of the teachers at Skyhold Academy. This does not, however, stop him from participating in things like bachelor parties and talent shows, or from fully enjoying his internet Secret Identity as the popular Lets Player "The Dread Wolf."
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: Patchouli may dislike Coop and outright hate Megas, but even she's not immune to the lure of a pizza wrapped around a ham. A scene right before the credits suggests that she's given in to that particular temptation.
  • My Huntsman Academia:
    • Izuku tries his best to be a responsible, professional leader for his team. But even with his nerdy fanboyism accounted for, he can still be rather goofy in his downtime. He excitedly calls shotgun when Sun offers to take him for a joyride, intentionally gets on Katsuki's nerves against his better judgment (albeit while he was feeling tipsy), and decides he's so exhausted that no one would care if he pees in the shower after the fight with the White Fang at Vale's docks.
    • Pyrrha also presents herself as a calming influence on Izuku as part of her prestige as an invincible fighter. But she can't help herself when Yang and Nora ask her to raid Izuku's room and start snapping pictures of his old Toshinori onesie.
  • In Earth-27 story "Roy Harper" Voxbox, Barbara finds Roy and Jason both drunk, wanting to see the Batmobile. She says that Oliver and Helena would be disappointed in both of them... when the later two enter, equally drunk.
  • In Ask King Sombra, between her and Sombra, Coffee Talk is generally the far more sane and focused of the two, but she does have her moments.
  • The X-Files fanfiction created by AI Coveralls has Scully talking like she's the voice of reason but still doing bizarre things like enthusing about poison and writing on Mulder's face.
  • In POWER!!: An origin story, Mirio and friends poke fun at a mortified Izuku for almost dying of a Marshmallow Hell, courtesy of his girlfriend Nejire, which his whole class witnessed. Izuku is only able to get over his embarrassment when Recovery Girl makes a joke about the situation too, prompting everyone present (including Izuku) to laugh.
  • The Loud House fanfiction:
    • Irrational Fear has Lisa laugh when Lincoln reveals Lori's fear of puppets and suck her thumb in her sleep despite usually being a no-nonsense stoic.
    • Birthday Breakfast has Lola, normally a snob and a Neat Freak, apparently having worn the same undies for a week in the past.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse:
    • Corona, fits of mad ham-ery aside, tries to present herself as the True, Regal Queen of Equestria. It turns out she has a massive sweet tooth, which she considers her one weakness.
    • Midnight, who initially appears to be a sarcastic ice queen, and agent of a mysterious conspiracy, who can't crack a joke to save her life. When Ponyville is attacked by random weirdoes, she reacts to Trixie's comment that this happens all the time with what sounds like envy.
  • On the Back of the Turtle
    • Hippolyta might be a millennia old queen but she's still joins in with Xander's antics, such as declaring that leaving a ship half-buried on their beach is ridiculous... because it doesn't have a mast and thus can't have a flag flapping in the wind. She also becomes near addicted to slushees.
    • Sasuke discovers his interest in women after seeing Hippolyta wearing nothing but bike shorts and gets Kakashi to teach him a wind jutsu so he can blow open Raven's cloak.
    • Raven herself spends some time screwing with Sasuke by deliberately interfering with his attempts to mess with her cloak for no other reason than enjoying his frustration.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Mittens gives up her Comic Trio role of Only Sane Man a few times.
    • In “The Cakes,” Mittens initially tries to keep Bolt and Rhino from eating the title pastries until she is pushed into one of them and gets covered in frosting. She responds to Bolt’s continued angry insistence for cake by dropping one on his head, initiating an all-out food fight with the dog.
    • In "The Ski Trip," Mittens repeatedly tries and fails to stop Bolt and Rhino from hopping a chair lift, snitching a pair of skis, and slaloming down a mountain trail. When the three pets end up crashed into a snowbank, the cat starts a Snowball Fight out of exasperated anger.
  • Just like in the cartoon, Antauri is this in The Truth of Fatherhood. When he proposes to the other monkeys that Chiro stop hanging out with his new friend Isomer, he tries to spin his intentions as concern for his adopted son's well-being, but it's made very clear that he's lying, and in truth, he's just as jealous as the other monkeys that Chiro is spending time with someone who isn't them.
  • In Ultimate Fairy, the Strongest Team have to travel through Ben's mind to remove a Mind Rape-inducing curse that is killing him. While watching one of his memories, Natsu and Gray get into an argument over which of his aliens is the best (choosing Heatblast and Big Chill respectively) with Happy chiming in that it's Rath. Erza quickly reminds them they are in the middle of a serious mission and they need to focus.... before stating that Upgrade is the best alien to Lucy's chagrin.
    Erza: Silence! ([She] commented, making the trio flinch). You need to focus and cease this banter! And for the record, all three of you are wrong. Upgrade is obviously his most awesome form.
  • Metagaming?: Elune is the ancient patron goddess of the Night Elves, but she finds it absolutely hilarious that Harry and Luna used to use her likeness (and Tyrande's, Jaina's, Alexstrasza's, and more) for kinky sex games. Any time the topic comes up, Luna, who's one of Elune's priestesses, comments that the goddess is laughing again.
  • Hugo Strange in Justice Matrix admits he's honestly intrigued at the idea of a romance novel featuring a transgender robot and a vampire with cancer.
  • Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo:
    • As the others on the crew escorting Padme from Naboo to Coruscant get roped into a card game, Obi-Wan initially disapproves before admitting he's rather fond of the particular game.
    • Vader admits that having to explain to everyone in the early years of the Empire that his name is not, in fact, "Darth," was one of the few times that he actually felt awkward after his transformation.
  • In A Special Kind Of Magic, once Naofumi gets the hang of his shield's weapon copying function, what is one of the shields he chooses to copy? Captain America's! And then he makes a sword version of Mjolnir!
  • Universe Falls: Pearl and Garnet are against Amethyst's pranks, unless those pranks have the Northwests as targets. This is more evident with Pearl, given Pearl and Amethyst's dynamic.
    Pearl's message: “Snobbish, self-entitled, greedy, supercilious, upper crust, corrupted, coldhearted, thoughtless, rude, arrogant elitists!”
    • Later, in "Northwest Mansion Nightmare", the three Gems trash the Northwest Manor.
  • Living in a Frog World: Frank is more level-headed than Anne, but he still isn't above stunts like taking Hop Pop's keys. He also makes frog related puns at Hop Pop's expense.
  • The Ultimate Big Brother: Just like in canon, Charlotte Katakuri is this. He usually comes off as a stoic, no-nonsense individual, but he is more than capable of being playful (his introduction is basically a massive, childish prank he drags Makoto into, and gets more than a little satisfaction in frightening Shuichi's group, particularly Kaito), and his gluttonous love of donuts hasn't ceased in the slightest, bonding with the similarly donut-obsessed Aoi Asahina.

    Films — Animation 
  • Tendai of Adventures in Zambezia is seen happily dancing at the end of the movie, despite not showing any sort of actions previously in the movie. His son, Kai, is understandably bewildered.
    Kai: What is he doing?
    Zoe: Let's call it "The Funky Chicken".
  • Kirby from The Brave Little Toaster might be a Grumpy Bear through and through who sucks the fun out of everything at every opportunity with his no-nonsense workaholic loner nature, but he'll dance happily to music like the rest of them so long as none of them are around to see it.
  • Frozen: Even before her Character Development, Elsa has a playful moment where she makes Anna dance with the Duke of Wesselton, who is a terrible dancer.
  • Kung Fu Panda has at least three of those moments:
    • The Furious Five are trained to not be envious of whoever gets chosen as the Dragon Warrior. They obviously are when Po is chosen.
    • Master Shifu says that the scroll is for the Dragon Warrior only and that he (Shifu) should not read it — but curiosity gets the best of him when Po says that the dragon scroll is blank.
    • Master Oogway is so calm and relaxed and zen that there is no bad news to him — there is no good and bad, there is only news. His comment on hearing that Tai-Lung escaped: "That IS bad news."
      • Subverted when he adds "...If we did not have the Dragon Warrior."
    • In the closing credit sequence, the normally uber-serious Tigress is seen sporting an improvised mustache of noodles, impersonating Master Shifu in the same way Po had done earlier. Shifu, for the record, is laughing uproariously.
  • Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge: Raiden is a very stoic and serious character, often explaining how important it is to Earthrealm's survival that they win the Mortal Kombat tournament. Throughout the beginning of the tournament Johnny Cage is convinced it is all just a movie and everyone else is an actor like him. When Liu Kang asks Raiden if they should just tell Johnny the truth, Raiden says no since Johnny is on a journey of self-discovery... but also admits that he finds his ignorance of the situation amusing.
  • Ting Ting of Mulan II is the eldest and most mature of her sisters, and tries to keep the others in control of themselves. As seen in "Like Other Girls" however, she can be just as silly and childish as they can, and hates rules just as much as they do. She later reveals to Ling that she acts so stoic because she hates how she snorts uncontrollably when she laughs, following up by sticking chopsticks up her nose and wriggling them around in protest to his belief that she had no sense of humor.
  • Kanga, usually the Team Mom and Only Sane Woman of the Hundred Acre Wood, takes part in the other animals' Too Dumb to Live antics a lot more in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie. Most noticeable during the Backson song, where she not only buys into Owl's story of the supposed monster as easily as everyone else but even adds her own superstitions to the number, such as the monster waking up babies and stealing her youth.
  • Zootopia:
    • Contrary to his gruff no-nonsense exterior, Chief Bogo is a closet fan of Gazelle and is seen using her popular smartphone app to make himself one of her back-up dancers. Bogo is also seen dancing with fellow Gazelle fan Clawhauser during the Dance Party Ending.
    • A major part of Judy's Character Development is her realizing that like everybody else, she has her own hidden prejudices against other species and is susceptible to the same trap of ignorance and small-mindedness. She admits this to Nick during her tearful apology.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Cabin in the Woods the entire staff are betting on what monster the teens will summon. Lin seems like the Only Sane Man as she tries to explain everyone's actions to the new guy. When Hadley comes over with the pot, Lin sheepishly drops her bet in there.
  • Captain Marvel (2019) has Nick Fury, previously a stoic and scary figure of authority... cooing over Goose, a cute cat. Well, cat-like alien.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mike spends most of the movie looking bored or surly. When the Wonka Television machine causes him to float in the air, however, he does some silly karate and dance moves, then smiles and waves at the others.
    • To a lesser extent, when Veruca approaches the squirrels — everyone else looks worried while his posture is more "ooh, this should be entertaining."
  • Subverted in Django Unchained: Dr. Schultz does most emphatically not approve of slavery, but initially seems to be more offended by it on an intellectual level, i.e. "How can you people be so stupid that you think basing your entire economy on slave labour is a good idea?". However, it quickly becomes apparent that he sees slaves as people, and his facade cracks at inopportune moments.
  • In The Edge, Robert Green criticizes Charles Morse for lacking a sense of humour — this being while they're fighting for survival in the wilderness. When Morse finally cracks a joke, it takes Green by surprise.
    Robert Green: You know, this is a lot different from snorting coke off of models' underwear.
    [long beat]
    Charles Morse: In what way?
  • In Iron Man, James "Rhodey" Rhodes is a dedicated, hard-working, highly professional soldier, who basically looks after Tony Stark for the US military. On his private plane, Tony orders drinks, despite Rhodey's objections. Rhodey insists "We're not drinking." Smash cut to Rhodey drunkenly telling Tony about how much he appreciates his fellow soldiers, while Tony is distracted by his flight attendant pole-dancers.
  • Just One of the Guys: Linda finds Buddy's advances annoying, but when he asks if it would make a difference if he was hung like a bear, she admits that it might. Buddy then admits that he isn't, and that was a desperate shot in the dark.
  • In The Martian, NASA head Teddy Sanders and several other NASA officials are summoned for a secret meeting which is code-named "Elrond" after the Council of Elrond. Sanders at one point deadpans, "If we are going to have a secret project called 'Elrond', then I want my code name to be 'Glorfindel'." Bonus points when you realize that since Glorfindel was never in the films, Teddy must have read the books and not just watched the movies.
  • Nurse Betty: Wesley chides Charlie for Loving a Shadow and being unprofessional, but he gets increasingly invested in the Show Within a Show that Betty watches and Has a minor Villainous Breakdown upon learning that the character he has a crush on is a lesbian.
  • Nick (Breckin Meyer) from Rat Race initially doesn't want to be a part of the race because he thinks it's a scam and is very calm and dignified. Then he finds out that every plane in the airport is grounded and a helicopter pilot has just offered him a ride. Suddenly he becomes just as insane and crazy to get the money like everybody else.
  • In Super Troopers, Captain John O'Hagan doesn't approve of most of his state troopers' pranks and general attempts at goofing off, but he does seem good-natured and fondly remembers his days as a patrol cop. Near the end, though, when their station is about to be shut down, he gets wasted along with his men and goes on a rampage.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), while Leonardo is a pretty serious character, he often finds himself going along with his brothers' antics. The elevator scene is a good example.
  • Abner from Ernest Rides Again is devoted entirely to finding Goliath, a gigantic cannon that contains the crown jewels, purely to prove his theory that such a thing exists. He takes his job immensely seriously, very much unlike the cavalier Ernest, but when Ernest suggests that he could pocket a few of the crown jewels to buy a pair of "his and her Humvees" for him and his wife?
    Abner: (Shrugs) I always wanted a Humvee...

  • In Animorphs, Jake is usually a pretty Standardized Leader, maintaining a stoic facade even when he's panicking internally. Then he gets in a car with Marco:
    Jake: Get off the sidewalk, you lunatic!
    Jake: Do you hate trash cans? Is that your problem? Do you just HATE TRASHCANS?!!
  • Bazil Broketail: In book five, Ribela projects her spirit out of her body in order to learn of Relkin's whereabouts, loses connection with her physical body and is forced to possess an artificially created being Relkin is currently having sex with. Her initial reaction is to retch and vomit. However, once she calms down and watches Relkin as he's dressing after, her primal instincts kick in and she actually takes time to casually observe his naked, well-built body.
  • Susan in Discworld is an extremely sensible person, to the point that she almost considers it a character flaw, and is very quick to point out the faults and weaknesses in human beings (the fact that she is Death's grand-daughter and inherited some of his powers helps). It is revealed in Thief of Time that she is absolutely unable to resist a good chocolate and, while she sternly limits herself to one a day, this rule has a lot of loopholes.
  • Scobie in Don't Call Me Ishmael! is usually the voice of reason of the debate team, but he has some weak moments. For example, after Ishmael faints during his first debate and accidentally gropes Kelly, Scobie doesn't join in on the others making fun of the incident. Until...
    Ishmael: But what do I say to her, Scobe?
    Scobie: Thanks for the mammary?
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Death Masks: Harry and two of the three Knights of the Cross have captured the host of a fallen angel. The job of the Knights is actually to save said hosts from the influence of the Fallen Angels whenever possible, so when the host gives up his Angel and "repents" the knights can't do anything, even though he's obviously lying and plans to search out another such coin as soon as possible. Harry has no such limitations and beats the crap out of the guy with a baseball bat to get information, Michael chides him for it, but then goes:
      Michael: Did you see the snake's face, when Harry turned with the bat?
    • In Turn Coat Listens-to-Wind is a "genuine Native-American medicine man" and Senior member of the White Council, generally regarded as the best magical healer they have while also holding multiple traditional medical degrees. He's very serious and for most of the series he never actually fights anyone. But when facing down a skinwalker who's been terrorizing everyone for the entire book, he goes out of his way to taunt the monster with a Badass Boast. First he picks up a handful of dirt and says "Mother says you have no place here." Then there's a flash of lightning without the boom of thunder and he reports "Father says you are ugly." The Skinwalker says that since Listens-to-Wind doesn't follow the Old Ways and he has no power over it, he just replies:
      Listens-to-Wind: I don't plan on binding or banishing you, old ghost, I'm just gonna kick your ass up between your ears.
      • He delivers fully on the threat as well. As Harry is fond of saying, you don't become a member of the Senior Council by collecting bottle caps.
  • Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter is a textbook stern, but fair teacher most of the time. However, when Quidditch gets involved, she means business, especially when it comes to beating Slytherin. Also towards the end of the fifth book when the school turns to mutiny against Umbridge, she's a willing participant. Harry overhears her whispering to Peeves the Poltergeist that the chandelier unscrews the other way.
    • Crabbe gets a lot of these moments in the films, such as rooting for Harry during the duelling club, cheering when Hagrid returns to Hogwarts, happily singing the Hogwarts school song, dancing with Viktor Krum, writing Krum on his forehead, looking extremely proud of his badge and clapping when Harry wins liquid luck.
  • In Magik Online Kari Matsumoto puts great effort into her stoic ninja image but it can break at times showing surprising mundanity such as when she reveals her skill at drumming or when her ringtone reveals that she's a massive fan of the Beatles.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror:
    • After enduring his gibes and bad behavior, Lyrah gets a rise out of making some quips about food that Cueseg finds so horrifying that it cracks his Stoic demeanor.
    • Daylen at one point catches Lyrah using her augmented hearing to eavesdrop on the people they pass, and takes a (self-admittedly) juvenile pleasure out of teasing her about it, commenting to himself that she needs to lighten up. She gradually does, and the two begin exchanging some snark instead of the usual ham.
  • The Silmarillion could be considered one for the entire elven race. While in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, they mostly came across as wise and benevolent, albeit far from flawless, the Silmarillion shows their warmongering, greedy and cruel sides far more. The vast majority of plotpoints in the book are either directly caused by, or indirectly related to, Fëanor's war for the Silmarills, which can itself be summarized as "Elves are angry because someone stole their jewelry". In fact, while there are several non-elven characters who seek the silmarills, the elves are the only ones who actually want them just to have them. The dwarves largely stay out of the conflict, or join to fight a common enemy, while most human characters are merely caught up in drama caused by elves. Even Beren, who actively seeks a silmarill, only does so because the elven king demanded it in return for his daughter's hand in marriage.
  • In The Wheel of Time:
    • Aes Sedai go through Training from Hell that teaches them to maintain perfect decorum in all sorts of horrible situations. Moments when it cracks tend to go this way. In one case, Mat peeves an especially serious Aes Sedai to the point that she slings dung at him when nobody's watching.
    • Finding, protecting, and educating the Dragon Reborn is Moiraine Damodred's life work, which she pursues with steely resolve, even after being rescued from years of imprisonment and torture following a Heroic Sacrifice. She also Politeness Judos said infamous Person of Mass Destruction into pouring her tea, just to see if she could.
    • The legendary Torture Technician Semirhage is a Soft-Spoken Sadist who hides a fetishistic love of pain in an emotionless, decorous, serene facade, and eschews messy tools in favour of inflicting Agony Beams in sterile interrogation rooms. Nonetheless, when she gets the chance, she sucker-punches Rand across the jaw and mutters that primitive methods have their own appeal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of 30 Rock, Jack criticizes Lemon for always hanging out with her immature writers, who are in the process of having a "yo mama" joke contest. He asks her to go to a sophisticated royal birthday with him.
    Lemon: Okay, I'll do it. But I won't like it.
    Jack: That's what your mom said last night. Booyah.
    Lemon: That... was surprising.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In a first season episode, Fitz charges in on the rest of the team (who are relaxing on the Bus), demanding to know who put shaving cream in his hand while he was sleeping (which he then smeared on his own face). The others burst out laughing and deny responsibility, which Fitz doesn't believe, asserting it had to be one of them. The scene cuts to the cockpit where The Stoic May is listening in via intercom and has a very smug smile.
    • Another first-season episode: Nick Fury is rather upset with Coulson for destroying a mobile command centre in defeating the problem of the week...but not for the reason you'd expect.
      Fury: Do you know how much this plane costs? It's got a bar! ...a really nice one.
  • All in the Family:
    • Edith is normally a Kindhearted Simpleton and All-Loving Hero-type who happily treats everyone with love and respect, even non-whites, gays, and trans-people in a time where they were generally treated with scorn. That said, in the flashback when she first meets the Meathead, and he shows up at their door with messy hair, a big beard, and a tie-dye shirt with a popped collar and his chest exposed, she's every bit as repulsed at the sight as Archie is.
    • And despite Archie being the outward racist of the family, both Edith and even the Meathead have their moments of racism as well. Just to name example of each, one episode has Edith muse that "the Sandman" should be Arab rather than Japanese because "The Arabs have much more sand", and another has Lionel call out the Meathead for treating him as "a spokesman of Black people" while Archie, despite his racism, treats Lionel as an individual and genuine friend.
  • This happens to Michael Bluth on Arrested Development all the time. His family usually drives him to it. And his family will mock him for falling to their level.
    • In fact, a Running Gag on the show is that Michael's family members are always accusing him of being selfish when he sacrifices himself for them all the time and they (specifically George, Lucille, G.O.B., and Lindsay) are selfish and self-absorbed to the point of absurdity.
    • It's not just Michael. George Michael and Maeby are pretty normal at the beginning of the show. But the former becomes a Jerkass in Season 4 while the latter devolves into a Consummate Liar after becoming a movie executive.
  • As a typical characteristic of the Blackadder dynasty, Mr.E.Blackadder harshly shows contempt for all popular trends and contemporary idols, such as highwaymen and the Scarlet Pumpernickel, that is until he grows desperate and/or greedy enough to have a part in them, showing that not even he is totally above being influenced by society and its rewards. His skin is also surprisingly easy to get under, seeing that anyone's insults (even Baldrick's) manage to touch a nerve.
  • On Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny puts up with Eric's wacky treatment of him (including the vaunted Feeny Call) for years. Finally, at the end of the show, Eric gets him to admits he enjoys the Feeny Call.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Holt is the series The Comically Serious Stoic, and is (ironically) the Straight Man for everyone else's wacky antics. However he still gets moments of joining in, and they just get more common as the series gets Denser and Wackier.
    • The Halloween Heist is probably the most obvious example. The first Heist Holt only participates to get extra overtime out of Peralta, but by the later seasons he's taking it just as, if not more, seriously than everyone else.
    • "The Chopper" stands out as one of the first big examples. After spending most of the episode trying to reign Jake in (and being dubbed "Wet Blanket" as a result) Holt snaps and joins in on solving the case, realizing that it's the opportunity to do the police work he used to do before being assigned to Public Affairs the first time around.
      Holt: Maybe we should take the chopper.
      Jake: [gasps] You said chopper!
      Jake: Roger that, Wet Blanket!
      Holt: No. From now on, call me... Velvet. Thunder.
      Jake: Oh-kay!
  • The Scoobies visit Giles's place in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xander notes that Giles is not that different from the rest of us — he owns a TV, even if Xander had to move some things in order to find it.
    • In "A New Man", a spell turns Giles into a demon and Spike encourages him to work off his frustrations with some gratuitous violence. Giles indignantly refuses...until he sees Professor Walsh, whom he promptly chases down the street with load roars.
  • Cluedo: In "And Then There Were Nuns", Reverend Green engages in some Percussive Therapy by throwing all of the Holier Than Thou Sister Concepta (who questioned his godliness and his trying to evict his friends)'s suitcases out of the house and Ms. Scarlet, who has been the calmest of the suspect's throughout Sister Concepta's visit, sees this. Ms. Scarlet calms Green down, says not to let the nun get to him, and suggests he take a long walk. Then, once Reverend Green leaves, she glances at Sister Concepta's parasol, which she's carrying around, and drops it on top of the rest of the discarded luggage.
  • Cobra Kai hints at this with Daniel on more than a few occasions, implying that deep down he really does enjoy the bombastic and bad-ass nature of the titular karate a lot more than he will ever admit to anyone or even himself. When learning Eagle Fang from Johnny he admits that he does respect the tough-guy nature of it, albeit the way he "would respect a mad man with a nuke" which greatly satisfies Johnny. Terry Silver even stares him down at one point and outright tells him "there's a little Cobra Kai in him" and that he secretly enjoyed his time as a bad guy, to which Daniel has no response but to storm out.
  • Community: In the episode "Basic Lupine Urology," it briefly looks like Colonel Archwood (who came to the school to defend Todd against accusations of murdering a yam) will be the Only Sane Man when he refuses to accept a pinky swear as legally binding. Then it turns out his problem wasn't with the pinky swear, but that it was made with a criminal, and proceeds to spend the rest of the episode getting just as crazy as everyone else.
    Archwood: This is ridiculous. This whole school is ridiculous. Who honors the pinky swear of a degenerate over the word of a decorated soldier?
  • In Criminal Minds, Hotch is The Comically Serious Stoic and believed to have No Sense of Humor (though less so in later seasons), but he gets a few moments like this. In "Profiler, Profiled" Reid is demonstrating "physics magic" (read:using vinegar and Alka-Seltzer to make rockets), when one lands at Hotch's feet. He picks it up and walks over to Reid's desk, looking like a stern father about to give lecture (with implied previous lectures) when:
    Hotch: [beat] Really starting to get some distance on those. [leaves]
  • Fran Sinclair from Dinosaurs is usually portrayed as the most responsible and sensible of the family, with many episodes having her try to steer her husband Earl toward the right direction. On some occasions, though, Fran has her moments of being in the wrong or at least less responsible than she usually is.
    • In "Wilderness Weekend", after being inebriated from drinking beer, Fran becomes rather forward with Earl, who is visibly surprised by his wife being eager to do the nasty with him.
    • In "Out of the Frying Pan", after their youngest child Baby Sinclair proves to be a popular advertising mascot for frying pans, Fran becomes obsessed with making Baby a star. Earl's warnings of valuing Baby's success as a star over living a decent life aren't heeded until Fran eventually has an Imagine Spot of Baby resenting her in his adulthood because of how far she pushed him.
    • She is among the people who end up brainwashed by the new religion of "potato-ism" in "The Greatest Story Ever Sold". It isn't until her son Robbie is sentenced to burning at the stake for challenging potato-ism that she comes to her senses.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Bad Wolf": The Doctor grouses about humans being brainless sheep, fed on a diet of mindless reality shows... and then asks Lynda if they still have Bear With Me, a reality show about three people having to live with a bear.
    • "In the Forest of the Night": The Doctor's frustrated words about how sonic screwdrivers don't work on trees might just imply that even he isn't completely beyond the Primal Fear factor of the forest. Not that extraneous given that Gallifrey was said to have forests as well, whatever fancy colours they might come in.
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger has Sixth Ranger Hiroto and Miu Suto being much more serious than the rest of the team. That being said, Hiroto has a very comical fear of ghosts and whenever Miu learns about whatever the main team is up to, her response is generally along the lines to "This is the dumbest idea I've ever heard, let me join you guys."
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Senior lawyer Myung-seok carries himself with dignity but will launch into song-and-dance and engage in juvenile humor if a case calls for it.
  • The Flash (2014) has Dr. Harrison Wells, who is normally the most serious member of the S.T.A.R. Labs team. However, he has a tendency to geek out over movies like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, is very fond of Big Belly Burger and is known to appreciate Cisco's bad puns and nicknames.
  • In an episode of Frasier, let's just say the Crane Boys aren't the only ones who make quick, rash decisions. In this particular episode, since Daphne has married Niles earlier and will thus be moving out of the condo, Frasier is looking for a replacement housekeeper but has trouble finding a suitable one. One of the candidates turns out to be a major sports fan and for this reason, Martin hires her on the spot in spite of Frasier's objections (it's usually the other way around). Unfortunately, the lady turns out to be very irresponsible and some days doesn't even show up for work. Martin takes it upon himself to clean up the place because he doesn't want to admit that Frasier was right.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The North is not above betrayals and realpolitik that Ned accuses the South. While they were praising Robb as he was winning battles on the field, the stronger houses started going against his orders when the going got tough and after losing they put all the blame on him. The Undying Loyalty from most houses was a case of Fair-Weather Friend. Indeed, in Season 6, Jon and Sansa's true supporters against the Boltons are mostly outsiders — southerners like Davos and Brienne, Essosi like Melisandre, the Wildlings and the Knights of the Vale, while Northern stalwarts like the Umbers betrayed Rickon and the Glovers sat on the fence.
    • While undoubtedly a good person, Jon Snow initially had some entitlement issues, which was actually a problem when he was still starting at the Night's Watch.
    • Even though Tywin has little patience for Joffrey's antics, he's shown suppressing a grin during Joffrey's "War of the Five Kings" reenactment-by-dwarf, which mocks his former rivals. Despite his aura of invincibility, he has never won a battle without overwhelming numerical superiority and once lost a battle to Edmure Tully, with greater numbers to boot.
    • Tywin is known to be one the most humorless and stoic men in Westeros and seems to be proud of his demeanor. Nevertheless, Arya gets a smile and a chuckle out of him while being a smartass prisoner.
    • Tyrion Lannister:
      • The usually cool and snarky Tyrion finally loses it when Joffrey's stupidity nearly gets them all ripped apart by a mob in "The Old Gods and the New".
        Tyrion: We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings, but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!
      • In "The Laws of Gods and Men", he completely snaps after Shae's betrayal, where the abuse and humiliation he's been through his whole life reaches its tipping point and in a rage calls out the entire court for being ungrateful for all he did for them as acting Hand of the King, wishing that he had just let Stannis kill all of them.
      • In "The Children", he kills Shae, and then coldly shoots his father with a crossbow.
    • Even the stoic and no-nonsense Grey Worm can't help but be roped into silly little contests with Daario. On a more poignant level, despite being a eunuch he is implied in "Two Swords" to have a crush on Missandei, which Daario good-naturedly taunts him over. He also makes jokes. Hilariously serious ones.
  • Margo Leadbetter on BBC sitcom The Good Life (from The '70s). Famously snobbish and humourless (something which she admits she was cruelly teased about as a schoolgirl), she nonetheless can be counted on when it matters and (to her astonishment) actually cracks some genuinely funny remarks at times.
  • Replace "wackiness" with "fratricidal scheming" and you have Claudius' role in I, Claudius in a nutshell. He tries to stay out of his family's internal power struggles, but as soon as he becomes Emperor he realises it's "get your hands dirty or die".
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: Alain is often The Stoic, who keeps out of the hijinks going on in Dai Tenkuu Temple. When Onari drew on his face, he didn't seem to mind repaying him in the same way. The smug expression he had, while both of them were wiping the paint off, would definitely imply this. note 
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Taiga Hanaya is the serious Straight Man to Nico Saiba's trolling Genki Girl. Episode 28 presents us with a scene of the duo in Nico's room. She is playing a game, while Taiga calmly toys with a puzzle.
    • Kamen Rider Build: Under the influence of the Pandora Box, Gentoku is a power-mad tyrant, and even after he breaks free of the influence is a Shell-Shocked Veteran who deeply regrets the mess he helped set into motion. He also has a horrible sense of fashion that terrifies the heroes more than he ever did as a villain, with a particular fondness for text shirts, and easily gets himself wrapped up in the silly antics of the heroes after his Heel–Face Turn cements itself.
  • In the episode of The King of Queens "American Idle", Carrie says that she needs time to find herself after losing her job. But (as the title suggests) it seems to Doug that she just sits around watching TV all day — the very things she often criticizes him for doing.
  • In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Care", Donald Cragen takes a jab at Finn and Munch for playing a video game, jokingly calling them the "Super Mario Bros.". Later, he's seen not only playing the same game but doing well in it. This proves very helpful in finding the identity of the killer of a foster child since the only witness to the crime was an autistic foster brother who played the same game.
  • Season 3 of The Leftovers has Matt Jamison uncharacteristically tell a dirty joke in exchange for passage aboard a ship.
    Matt Jamison: What's the difference between a pimple and a priest? A pimple waits until you're 12 before it comes on your face.
  • DI Sam Tyler from Life on Mars (2006) is a Fish out of Temporal Water and a By-the-Book Cop. When he goes to pick up a thief from prison with DS Ray Carling and DC Chris Skelton, they keep making "baah baah" noises and laughing, explaining that the thief was caught "in flagrante" with a sheep. Sam tells them to cut it out and escort the thief to the car; when they're gone he grins and chuckles.
  • Lucifer: Amenadiel, the "Fury of God" and firstborn of the angels, starts the series as a no-nonsense Well-Intentioned Extremist and mellows out to The Comically Serious. He also secretly convinced humanity to associate Lucifer with goats, purely to annoy Lucifer.
    Amenadiel: You know, I waited a thousand years to tell someone that.
  • The crew on Major Crimes at one point had to deal with evidence consisting of very good knock-off designer handbags. The normally no-nonsense and tough-as-nails cops Raydor and Sykes, as well as the equally tough ADA Rios, stare at them longingly as they're carted off to evidence storage.
  • Major Winchester from M*A*S*H would often berate Hawkeye and B.J. for their penchant for pranks, only to pull off a few of his own.
  • Frankie Boyle of Mock the Week often tells his (darkly hilarious) jokes with an utterly, completely straight face. Unless it's an absolutely terrible one, in which case he often breaks into a giggle just as he finishes it. One 'Scenes We'd Like To See' sketch had "Things You'd Never Hear On A Cooking Show" — Frankie made a reference to the Food Porn nature of Nigella Lawson's show. Russell Howard later turned it into a Brick Joke by doing a seductive Nigella Lawson impression. And Frankie can be seen cracking up.
  • Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson has nothing but manly contempt for parties, games, and group fun of every kind. But when Leslie organizes a riddle based scavenger hunt that he's forced to take part in, he ultimately comes to her and asks her if she'd do the same for his birthday. The next time a scavenger hunt pops up in the series, he becomes embarrassingly excited and giddy about joining in, acting so Out of Character that Donna does an Aside Glance.
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Zurgane is typically The Comically Serious Only Sane Man of Lothor's army, but he drops this persona at times.
    • He displays some dancing moves for his fellow villains on two occasions. The first time Lothor orders him to to improve morale, but the second time he does so on his own accord and clearly enjoys it.
    • He laughs at a sarcastic quip Lothor makes while chewing out Choobo.
    • He introduces a new monster (General Trayf) in the style of a fight promoter.
  • In The Revolution Will Be Televised, the character of Dale Mailey is a parody of the far-right press in Britain, notorious for having a need to try and tell others what is moral and what isn't. However, like the press, he's something of a Hypocrite. After decrying prostitution, recreational cannabis use, music festivals, Fifty Shades of Grey and so on, he's been shown to try most of them (he didn't sleep with any of the prostitutes, but admitted to being extremely turned on) and liked a lot of them.
  • When Roseanne and family go to Disney World, Darlene maintains her sulky teenage-girl in front of being determined not to enjoy it, but it instantly cracks when she meets Winnie the Pooh.
  • Zelda Spellman in Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
    • In one particular episode she lectures Sabrina about using a short-cut to finish her book report (zapping herself into Wuthering Heights). But at the very end of the episode, Zelda notices a chapter is missing from the book and instead of going to the library, zaps herself in as well.
    • When Sabrina and Hilda cook up some literal 'just desserts' for a Sadist Teacher, Zelda scolds them and goes to meet with the teacher. Gilligan Cut to her helping them with the potion — and the cauldron is even larger.
    • One episode has Sabrina and Zelda learning a Double Aesop about Humble Pie. Sabrina yearns for more appreciation for her achievements, as does Zelda. Sabrina casts a spell that gets her recognition for everything she does, while Zelda inherits a country and gets the population to honour her like a queen. In the end, while Zelda is lecturing Sabrina about it and conjures up literal Humble Pie for her to eat, Sabrina suggests Zelda might need a bite too.
    • Once she finds out Cousin Marigold is getting divorcednote , Zelda joins in with Hilda in a little dressing down.
    • In Dante's Inferno Zelda realizes she hasn't been on a date in a long time so she contacts a dating service and she's soon introduced to a man named Ron. Meanwhile Hilda is afflicted with a witches condition which causes her words to become reality. When Ron arrives Hilda makes the mistake of calling him a "real dear" which instantly transforms Ron into a literal deer. Zelda is very annoyed because it looks like her much-anticipated date is over before it even began, but she decides to just make do and goes out with the deer instead.
      Hilda: You're still going out with him?
      Zelda: Yes, we're going to see My Best Friend's Wedding.
  • Saved by the Bell:
    • One episode has Jessie's attitude to Screech spying on a rival school's cheerleading routine.
      Jessie: No, why would we stoop so low?
      Lisa: To win.
      Jessie: Take notes.
    • Again when Zack takes pictures of the girls in their swimsuits and sells a calendar without their knowledge. They are outraged but then a photographer asks to do a spread with them and they all turn to Zack and say sweetly "sell those calendars, Zacky".
    • In an episode of The College Years the gang gets a chance to look at the answers to an upcoming Ethics Class test. Leslie takes the answers away and throws them in the garbage. Later at night when Zack, Slater, and Alex are rooting through the garbage, they find Leslie there too. She lampshades this in class when she explains herself.
  • One episode of Scrubs features a patient who took Viagra and his penis won't go down. The rest of the staff find this hilarious but Elliott insists on remaining professional. However, when she hears the full story — he took them just before breakfast with his girlfriend's family and erection ended up damaging her grandmother's breathing apparatus — she bursts out laughing in front of him.
  • Happens a couple of times on Sliders with the team landing on a world and at first critical of how different it is but then pulled into it. Other times, they'll realize that what they think is a better world really has as many issues as others.
    • In "Eggheads", the team finds a world where intellectuals are revered and treated like sports stars. Quinn's double is the star of Mindgame but soon finds his double is heavily into gambling debts to the point of being ready to throw a game for the mob. Meanwhile, Arturo finds his double is a scoundrel who abandoned his wife (who Arturo lost to cancer in his own reality). Quinn openly notes how they assumed a world revering intellectuals would be great but it's just as corrupt as any other.
      Arturo: Intellectual refinement is one thing. Moral refinement is another.
  • In one episode of Stargate SG-1, Teal'c (usually The Stoic and The Comically Serious) reveals that the mask of a Setesh guard is the butt of many jokes amongst other Jaffa. When O'Neil expresses surprise that Jaffa have a sense of humor, Teal'c helpfully translates one such joke:
    Teal'c: A Serpent Guard, a Horus Guard, and a Setesh Guard meet on a neutral planet. It is a tense moment. The Serpent Guard's eyes glow! The Horus Guard's beak glistens! The Setesh Guard's nose... drips. [bursts out laughing]
    [the others stare blankly]
    [Teal'c slowly stops laughing]
  • Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation comes across as the most serious and dignified of the Star Trek captains — and in "Up The Long Ladder", the Enterprise plays host to a group of Oireland-ers and their livestock. Picard spends several scenes struggling to maintain his composure, before breaking down laughing, having decided that the whole thing is Actually Pretty Funny.
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo is typically gruff, aloof, and easily annoyed by humanoid antics. When he holds a tribble, however, he quickly succumbs to their Cuteness Proximity.
  • On Grey's Anatomy: The patient of the week has an object stuck in his anus, as a result of a failed sex-play. Chief Webber, unlike the rest of the cast, maintains a completely serious demeanour throughout the operation, only to break down laughing afterwards.
  • On Star Trek: Enterprise Mayweather and Reed build a snowman on a comet; the Enterprise and the Vulcans were watching, resulting in this gem of a conversation:
    Archer: Archer to Lieutenant Reed.
    Reed: Go ahead, sir.
    Archer: How are you doing, Malcolm?
    Reed: We're just about to set the charges.
    Archer: I'm sure I don't need to remind you we're being observed.
    Reed: No, sir.
    Archer We want this to go as smoothly as possible. Make a good impression.
    Reed: Right.
    Archer: So tell me, who's the sculptor?
    Reed: It won't be there for long, sir.
  • James May, Deadpan Snarker and resident Straight Man on Top Gear (UK), gripes that co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond are too loud, too careless, and too obsessed with power and winning. Doesn't stop him from jumping up and down and shouting on the occasions when he wins, though...
  • Wellington Paranormal: Sergeant Maaka doesn't joke around on the clock, but does dress up a small dog as a cop at work in "The She Wolf of Kurimarama Street" episode.
  • White Man's Burden: Megan shames Thaddeus throughout the movie for his casual racism. However, when their child brings home a white date, she looks visibly uncomfortable.
  • Cedric Daniels from The Wire is almost always The Stoic, so many of his jokes tend to come off as this. More seriously, he's also one of the most rule-abiding characters, but he's still willing to indulge in some Police Brutality on Bird for throwing vulgarities at Kima. In Season 4, when Rhonda talks to Daniels about her disputes with Lester Freamon, he responds by doing a Lester Freamon imitation.
  • In Workaholics, the guys are generally dumber and crazier than everyone around them, although many of their coworkers (Montez, Jillian, Jet Set, Bill) are still weird. Alice the ill-tempered boss is pretty intelligent and reasonable, but she sometimes acts more like the guys. In one episode she gets drunk (after two years of sobriety, which even Adam realizes is a bad thing) after seeing one of her employees with a great house in a cool neighborhood while she lives in a "widow's pad", and in the Season 3 opener, she drops acid with the guys, to win over a hard-partying potential client.

  • John Entwistle was generally seen as the Straight Man of The Who, due to his status as The Quiet One and his tendency to stand perfectly still on stage while his bandmates ran around smashing things. But he was also known for participating in many of the crazy stunts Keith Moon came up with, admitting years after Moon's death that he'd helped him blow up a hell of a lot of hotel toilets by standing behind and holding the matches. (This may be more of a case of how Entwistle was perceived by the audience than anything else; those who knew him well generally considered him to have a pretty out-there personality.) His death was even more rock and roll than Moon's; Entwistle died of a cocaine-induced heart attack after spending the night with a groupie.
  • This trope in and of itself seems to be a main theme of "Down in It" by Nine Inch Nails, if the refrain ("I was up above it/Now I'm down in it") is any indication.
  • In /v/ The Musical's Bing Bing, the narrator is watching his neighbor play Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch while on an airplane and getting increasingly frustrated while holding the neighbor and game in contempt, to the point where he wanted to throttle the guy. Then the neighbor offers the narrator a chance to play, and the narrator immediately starts enjoying himself.
  • Charlie Watts is considered The Straight Man of The Rolling Stones, not being partial to drugs and hedonistic behavior and having been married to the same woman for over 50 years. However, one anecdote stands out. One night, a drunk Mick Jagger woke Watts with a phone call to his hotel room, screaming "Where's my drummer?! Where's my drummer?!" Watts got up, showered, shaved, put on some clothes, went down to Jagger's hotel room, punched him in the face and yelled "Don't you EVER call me your drummer! You're my fucking singer!"

  • In The Hidden Almanac, Reverend Mord is usually the stoic to Pastor Drom's ebullient ditz. In one episode, Mord is insistent that he didn't feed the baby chicks Drom kept in his office more than once. Or twice. A day.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • At TLC 2013 Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox scolded a few of the wrestlers for playing with WWE action figures backstage. Vickie then noticed that the Brodus Clay figure was "kind of cute" — and she and Maddox decided to join in.
  • Any wrestler in the WWE who tries to convince themselves that they are the Only Sane Man is ultimately this in the end. The insanity of the company is contagious to the point that wacky hijinks is often times the norm for a standard broadcast.


    Video Games 
  • Best of Three: Discussed. Grant discusses well-known yet cliche romance novels, which he looks down upon for being too structured and not realistic, seeing them as mindless fluff that "desensitizes readers to actual thoughts". Helen admits that she has read a few, to Grant's disbelief.
    Helen: Fine. I read these things from time to time, but it hasn't obliterated my capacity for rational thought. So get off your elitist high horse and admit that there are things that even you enjoy irrationally, and that this is not itself the highway to stupidity.
  • Early on in Blaze Union, when the party commandeers a beat-up cannon from an enemy, they decide it would be a good idea to try using it for themselves — except that nobody knows how. Garlot tries and sets it off accidentally, Siskier yells at him for being careless and sets it off accidentally, Jenon shoos her away because it's not suitable for a girl to do and sets it off accidentally... and then when Medoute comes to yell at them for fooling around, they make her give it a try too. Medoute instantly takes a liking to cannon-firing as a form of stress relief and immediately gets carried away.
  • Bug Fables: While Leif is more rational than Vi, he is not above occasionally agreeing with her greedy and mischievous methods, such as considering pulling some pranks on sleeping technician on Golden Path, snitching Doctor H.B.'s medals, and agreeing with Vi on leaving Kabbu in the inn the next time they would plan on raiding Bandit Hideout to steal the food from their treasure room (since Kabbu insists not on stealing, since he believes that a thief who steals from thieves is still a thief).
  • The Ancestor in Darkest Dungeon spent his entire life spending the family fortune on "higher things" (read: Things Man Was Not Meant To Know), and mostly views your loot as fuel for your campaign to get Man to un-Know those things, generally in a tone that, while not exactly flat, is heavy on the Dramatic Pronouncements and rarely seems impressed. However, if you manage a sufficiently profitable run, he may break this pattern:
    Impressive haul! ...Ahem. If you value such things.
  • A subtle, but core element of Vergil's character in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. Despite trying to present himself as an aloof, stoic swordsman, there's more than a few hints that he has an ego just as big as his loudmouthed, cocky brother Dante, just delivering it in a more dry sense of humor rather than Dante's boisterousness. Examples include Vergil playing along with Dante's banter before their first battle ("My sincerest apology, Brother. I was so eager to see you I... couldn't concentrate on preparations for the bash"), his constant trash talk during his boss fights, opting to test out his brand new Power Fist weapons in his second fight with Dante rather than the sword he's an expert with, and, in the finale, teaming up with Dante to deliver a flashy coup de grace on the main villain ("I'll try it your way for once"). It carries over to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with some of Vergil's victory quotes (Chuckling while saying "The flames of desire? Couldn't even melt a marshmallow," after beating Ghost Rider, for example). In Devil May Cry 5 more is learned about Vergil's character, and we see playable character V, Vergil's human half divorced from his demonic lust for power, with the same dry wit, from killing enemies while reciting off William Blake poetry to tap dancing as one of his taunts. When the true Vergil is restored at the end of the game, it comes to a head as he's just as willing as Dante to fight to the death for the sake of nothing more than their sibling rivalry. The very end of the game has him arguing with Dante — on more friendly terms now — over their score in their sparring matches, and as much as he denies it in front of Dante, he does like to say "Jackpot" (he'll say it when you do four Judgment Cuts in a row).
  • Disco Elysium: Kim Kitsuragi is normally The Stoic Consummate Professional By-the-Book Cop who plays The Straight Man and Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder to The Detective, who (even if you laser-focus in on playing as a Regular Law Official) is likely to come off as having more than just a few screws loose, what with the whole 'drank themselves into amnesia' thing. Despite this, there are a number of ways of cracking Kim's facade; he loves cars and will occasionally find himself dragged into geeking out about them, sarcastically mocking racists will often lead to Kim joining in with his own (bone-dry) humor, you can buy and play a board game with him that he'll eventually admit to enjoying, and if you reveal to him you named one of your previous cases "THE SQUARE HOLE BULLET MURDERS" Kim will reluctantly admit he once named one of his own cases "THE MAN WITH A HOLE IN HIS HEAD" because he thought it was funny.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins: Tall, stoic swordsman Sten can be induced, with the right dialogue choices, to talk about how incredible cookies are and how the lack of such foodstuffs in Qunari lands needs to be urgently rectified. If you have Leliana in the party with Sten, she can catch him picking flowers or playing with a kitten (he insists that he was helping it train).
    • Dragon Age II: The normally grim and angry Fenris occasionally surprises the party with sarcasm.
      Varric: So what do you do in that gigantic house all day?
      Fenris: I dance, of course.
      Varric: ...Really?
      Fenris: I run from room to room, choreographing routines.
      Varric: You're actually joking. Alert the Chantry! They need to put this day on the calendar.
      Fenris: And you thought I was always serious.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Cullen is sometimes a bit of a Butt-Monkey for the others because he's The Comically Serious surrounded by Deadpan Snarkers. But he tells funny stories, jokes with the other advisers, snickers at Bull's sense of humor when in an uncomfortable situation during Bull's romance arc, and even points out that "If you squint, Lake Calenhad is shaped like a bunny."
  • When Hendrik, from Dragon Quest XI, finds Rab's copy of Ogler's Digest, he gets rather excited even identifying it as a first edition and in mint condition. Up until this point, Hendrik had always been presented as a very upright, straight-laced figure. Later, if you get the "puff-puff treatment" in the Battlegrounds, he will state that it was unlike any puff-puff he has ever seen before, only to then backpedal and state that the word "puff-puff" is unfamiliar to him and suggest talking about the weather, or swords because he likes swords.
  • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Domon Kasshu, Elpe Ple, and Milliardo Peacecraft wind up fighting on the same team in the story mode. A lot of humor is derived from Domon's Hot-Blooded-ness and Ple's excitedly going along with it, compared to Milliardo being The Comically Serious. Yet, in the end, Ple convinces him to do the "School of the Undefeated of the East" kata with her and Domon.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, Paine is generally presented as aloof and uptight, but she's the one in Chapter 1 who says that she could use an "awesome sphere" when Rikku suggests abandoning the mission. Later, when the group questions whether it's really right for them to take a dip in the sacred hot springs on Mt. Gagazet, she states that "No one's looking."
  • One of the funniest moments in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is in a particular conversation after Chapter 23; after an already rather comical scene of Ike running from Abhorrent Admirer Aimee, Soren, his antisocial, serious, stone-faced but extremely, extremely loyal tactician, not only shows his unlikely ability to calmly get Aimee off of Ike’s trail, but was apparently so amused by the scene he quotes Aimee and teasingly calls Ike “Ikey-poo”. One can only imagine him mentally giggling to himself as he says the ridiculous line.
    Ike: Hey, wait a minute!
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, Bastila Shan, a Jedi Knight whose mastery of Battle Meditation makes her key to the Republic's war effort, tries to present herself as a serious and competent leader. As such, when Mission Vao, one of the youngest party members, asks Bastila if she's ever thought of tripping someone she doesn't like with the force, Bastila denies it. Mission soon gets snippy in response to Bastila's condescending attitude, and when she's pushed too far, Bastila trips Mission with the Forc, denying it when Mission confronts her about it.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Most of the time Riju does her best to project a regal and formal air as is befitting for the Gerudo Chief. But she can also be seen playing with her stuffed animals and her pet Sand Seal Patricia in a way more befitting a child of her age. She'll get rather embarrassed if you catch her doing the former.
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis has both Anna and Roxis. The former is something of a child prodigy (she entered the academy at 12 years old), and her personality quirks are her overactive sense of imagination and Neat Freak tendencies. Roxis, on the other hand, is The Stoic, who sometimes puts himself above the other characters. However, their interactions with the other members of the workshop have desensitized them to the weird... Most notably, they fell for the masquerade of a slug-like alien that transferred to the school...
    • Vayne is a straight man mostly by his background — and he usually ends up engaging in activities like being a "Superheroes" Sidekick, or popping said Alien's spawn. (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
    • Cora, usually the Only Sane Man among the Tempest and its ragtag team of misfits, can be heard at one point talking with the ship's doctor, Lexi, who is once again trying to get everyone to take a physical already. Cora reassures her she'll make sure everyone turns up and then is told she's first on the list. Cue Cora swearing under her breath.
    • A note found in the Remnant city of Khi Tasira is essentially "yes, we know the weather systems aren't working. Stop bugging us about it." Not the sort of thing you expect to find in a Precursor Apocalyptic Log.
  • LQ-841 / "Blade Wolf" from Metal Gear Rising, despite being a very advanced and intelligent Artificial Intelligence in a wolf-like machine whose only real motivation seems to be freedom to choose his own path in life, really cuts loose around Sunny and is willing to shake a paw for her (but not when Raiden tries it seconds later) and happily wags his tail when she pets him. This is all in spite of Mistral earlier torturing him by forcing him to do all of this while electrocuting him.
  • Soldier: 76 of Overwatch is gruff, jaded, no-nonsense vigilante, but he's not completely above having a little fun. An arcade in Blizzard World shows he has one of the high scores in Murky Skeeball.
  • Persona:
    • The later stages of the Hermit link in Persona 3 can have this vibe depending on how you played the Magician link. To elaborate, in the latter, you help Kenji get over his feelings for his teacher (who's already engaged), while in the former, you can end up having your own teacher fall for you.
    • Compared to her more playful Cloudcuckoolander younger sister from Persona 3, Margaret from Persona 4 seems a lot more mature and professional. That is until you start her Social Link, where she does things like admit that she had the protagonist fuse a certain Persona so she could ride on it, or so that she could have a Persona that could outdo Igor's Gag Nose.
    • Due to her role as Team Mom, Makoto Niijima from Persona 5 is far more serious than the rest of the team, and is usually the one keeping them on-task. She's also one of the party members who's more willing to use underhanded tactics in order to overcome their foes and get justice and is easily one of the most vicious of the Phantom Thieves.
      Makoto: Would anyone know any good vendors for professional-quality brass knuckles?
      Ryuji: I know you're serious, but you say the scariest shit sometimes.
  • Iron Lady Captain Cyllene (identical grandma of Team Galactic Boss Cyrus) in Pokémon Legends: Arceus has her moments, such as panicking upon seeing a Wurmple in her office and screaming for her Abra to teleport it outside.
  • Series Big Bad of Resident Evil Albert Wesker proves to be a villainous version of this. While normally an Omnicidal Maniac without even a shred of a good quality bent on bringing about The End of the World as We Know It and ruling over the new race of humanity as its God, he still seems to have genuinely considered William Birkin to be a friend (during Wesker's Report he sounds genuinely angry at Hunk for killing the man) and he managed to (ahem) "tolerate" the company of at least one woman to sire a son.
  • Both Marge and Lisa in The Simpsons: Hit & Run are the first to chastize Homer and Bart for causing trouble. However, they themselves have reactions to causing destruction or mayhem, or doing something ludicrously dangerous or damaging, where they laugh or cheer and then immediately note how they shouldn't be enjoying it.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog from Sonic the Hedgehog usually mantains an air of stoicism and aloofness about him but there are times when he lets his grumpy persona slip a bit and has a bit of fun, especially when a chance to compete with others (Namely: Sonic) shows itself.
  • Spider-Man (PS4) sees Spider-Man say to Vulture when he and Electro team-up "Yo, Adrian, it's me, Spider-Man!", complete with Sylvester Stallone impression. While Vulture doesn't get it, Electro does—as he shortly says Ivan Drago's infamous "I must break you!"
  • Rosalina from the Super Mario Bros. franchise is described as a stoic motherly woman who has a calm and dignified demeanor. In the spin-off titles like Mario Kart, Mario Party and sports games where she's playable, while still keeping an air of elegance and mysticism to her, she's just as willing to cut loose like the other characters. Her profile in Mario Kart Wii specifically takes not of how she's come to especially enjoy riding choppers as a hobby.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation:
    • Raidiese F. Branstein, the team straight man, ends up falling prey to his friend's wackiness. At one point, when the protagonist tells him his idea for the name of their new Limit Break, he realizes he can't think of anything better:
      Rai: Can't do you something about your taste in names?
      Ryusei: Well, what do you have in mind then?
      Rai: ... ...... ....... .............
      Ryu: Okay, okay, forget I said anything...
    • In Original Generation Gaiden, when Ryusei asks him a name for his new move, he dubs it Galaxy Phantom Explosion (constituting a very easy seiyuu joke)
      • During one scene he ends up joining Ryusei for a marathon of a super robot anime, because after Ryusei's love interest who watched it as an excuse to spend time with him, but ended up really getting into it, and their CO who ended up watching it because she didn't want the other two alone in the same room with the door closed (Ryusei's love interest is her younger sister) and ended up analysing every battle in terms of strategic value, he didn't want to be the only one on their team who had no idea what Ryusei was going on about. He refuses to admit whether he liked it or not.
    • In Scenario 11 in the Earth Route of Shin Super Robot Wars, Rai introduces himself formally after the battle, saying that the aliens have been up to abducting people. Sanshirou has been eyeing Rai, wondering if he's another weirdo like Ryusei. Rai stiffly asks him not to liken him to Ryusei, the shame of the SRX Team. Sanshirou tells Rai about Ryusei's "self-proclaimed genius pilot" line, which Rai allows after a moment is pretty much true. The others realize that Rai, too, is somewhat off his rocker.
  • Super Sized Family has the kids described as "seven screaming children", even the normally responsible Torri and polite Duncan. Torri also sometimes uses her phone despite not being allowed.
  • Sniper from Team Fortress 2 claims to be polite, professional and have no emotional ties to his work. However, his domination lines are so very rage-filled. Spy also says some amazingly immature things in his lines. Furthermore, while the Spy is as cultured and hoity-toity as he is, he has absolutely no qualms about performing any of the wackier single and co-op taunts with anyone else, including flipping friends, excited Kasack dancing, dealing and receiving high fives and even a friendly bit of headbutting with whoever's available. In fact, Spy sounds outright eager to take part in all of them (Except line-dancing.)
  • Valder, The Stoic and Big Bad of Wargroove, gets hit by this in his Arcade Mode route as one of his match-ups is against Caesar. Valder starts out the battle perplexed as to what a dog is doing leading an army, and ends it by telling Caesar there's no sense making Puppy-Dog Eyes at him over losing, before catching himself and wondering aloud why he's talking to a dog.
  • World's End Club: Aniki is the oldest of the Go-Getters club and very aloof towards the others, he still plays along with their antics whenever the moment calls.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Miles Edgeworth. Badass prosecutor. Brilliant logician. Huge Steel Samurai fanboy.
    • Phoenix is usually the Only Sane Man for the rest of the loony cast, but he has his moments, like obsessively scrubbing the toilet for no apparent reason. He gets more in the fourth game, partly because you can't be CloudCuckooLand's best attorney for three years and then fall from grace without letting a little of the madness get to you, and partly because by then Apollo is around to play Straight Man for him. In fact, it could be said that Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Apollo consistently toss around a single Sanity Ball between them, at least until it's time to get dangerous.
    • In The Great Ace Attorney, your level-headed and reliable assistant Susato is the player character for the first case of the second game. She spends most of the trial flopping about like a dying fish. It's understandable when you consider it's her only trial as lead defense attorney, she knows she'll be in serious trouble if she gets caught (women aren't allowed to be lawyers in the time period, and she's disguised as a man to do it), and her best friend is being accused of murder.
  • Danganronpa: Each protagonist of the main games are straightforward in their investigations. But whenever they hear of a fanservice event occurring, they completely go out of character just to gain a peek at the girls. Hajime in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair lampshades his sudden change just to peep on Mahiru and Hiyoko in the shower.
    Hajime: Huh? Was my characterization always this way? It feels like... I lost sight of myself.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: While protagonist Yuuji usually sticks to his more stoic demeanor, from time to time he still gets caught up in his classmates antics, or even his own wacky attempts to amuse himself.
  • Yuri from Doki Doki Literature Club! is typically portrayed as very shy, but she is not above having some fun or cracking a joke every now and then. She laughs after witnessing the player character catch Sayori attempting to mooch off of him, and also when Sayori gave Natsuki a hug so she could take a bite from a cookie that Natsuki was saving for herself. In Act 3, Monika recalls that Natsuki and Yuri, of all people, might have made fun of her for her tendency to say "Okay, everyone". That Natsuki would do it is understandable, but that Yuri would do this comes off as surprising. The side stories in the Updated Re-release also give us this gem:
    Sayori: (to Natsuki) I always judge people so hard!
    Monika: No you don't, Sayori.
    Yuri: (deadpan, from the back of the room) Yes she does.
  • Katawa Shoujo has a mild example. Hisao wonders how lonely you'd have to be to come up with a game that involves stepping on the right tiles on the floor. In the very next line, he finds himself stepping only on the darker tiles.
    • The same game gives us the example of Lilly Satou, a polite, proper ojousama who normally acts like everyone's mother. Having been born blind, she holds an intellectual interest in the concept of color. One time, she asks Hisao what his favorite color is and what things are it. When he responds that it's green, and almost immediately mentions army uniforms, she quietly laughs that boys are always thinking about such things... When asked what her favorite color is, she replies that it's white. Why? Because that's the color of vanilla ice cream, her favorite flavor. In fact, a lot of Lilly's route seems dedicated to showing that even the prim and proper her can act silly sometimes, such her famous insistence that she is isn't horny (having just finished having sex), she has a healthy adolescent sex drive.
  • In Kindred Spirits on the Roof, Miyu Inamoto, vice-captain of the track team, initially seems like one of the more prim and proper characters, especially when contrasted with her girlfriend Matsuri Amishima. Miyu, who is a serious and disciplined individual as well as a good planner, sets rules for Matsuri to follow (e.g. no public displays of affection) so Miyu's parents won't learn about her going out with Matsuri, and is frustrated when the impulsive and free-spirited Matsuri does not follow them. However, Miyu is a rather eager top in her sex scene and trolls Matsuri by bringing up an underclassman who made a Love Confession to her(since she was tired of Matsuri doing the same thing to her all the time). More seriously, Miyu brings their friend and underclassman Hina into an argument, resulting in the two having a competition over who can give Hina a better date at the School Festival.
  • Riki, the protagonist of Little Busters!, usually plays the part of the sweet Straight Man bemused by the idiosyncrasies of the people around him. Every now and then, though, he proves he can be just as bad as them, such as in the various Play With Masato commands, which invariably involve Riki yelling 'Muscles! Muscles!' over and over and taking part in some weird muscle-themed activity.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, Raiko Shinpuku, the protagonist, is serious to the point of being borderline humorless and often acts as the Only Sane Man of the group. Despite this, Raiko plays along with her friend Rie's prank despite realizing that Rie staged the blackout, simply because she feels the need to "come out on top," like how Mika wants to scare Raiko or Hiro wants to scare Raiko so he can beat Mika. Raiko lampshades this by noting that even though she fancies herself as being more mature than the others, she can still be rather childish.
  • In Yo-Jin-Bo, Blood Knight Ittosai grimly resists the wacky antics of the other five bodyguards, insisting he's only on board to kill people. After a dip in a hot spring, however, when Sayori reties Jin's loose belt for him and all the other guys suddenly need help with theirs as well, Ittosai can be heard quietly complaining that he can't get his belt to come loose. Later in the game he reluctantly begins setting the other guys up with straight lines, because — as he explains when Mon-Mon compliments him on it — splitting up the party means they're running out of designated straight-men and someone has to do it.

    Web Animation 
  • Camp Camp:
    • Max is a very cynical boy who often disregards others for caring and acts like he hates everything. But when Gwen finds his lost Teddy Bear, Mr. Honey Nuts, he immediately gets excited and refuses to leave her alone, until she gives it back to him.
    • David is usually the living embodiment of friendliness and optimism, and does his best to be a good role model to the campers, despite their Troubling Unchild Like Behavior and Max often antagonizing him for trying, but even he has a couple moments of weakness: even he can't stand trying to be nice to Jeremy and eventually lets an insult slip and in another episode, beats up his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, after just giving big speech about moving on, which said boyfriend commended him for no less.
    • While exploring a supposedly haunted island house, Nikki initially excited at the prospect of running into potentially dangerous horrors on the island, in spite of Neil's and Jasper's protests...until they find what appears to be a torture chamber, at which point she's reduced to a scared little girl, that can only say she doesn't want to be there on repeat.
    • From the same episode, Max, the leader of the main trio, insists that he isn't scared of anything and for the most part backs this up, proving to be even braver than Nikki. But in the end, he finally finds something that even he screams in terror at: walking in on an orgy, involving the camp's creepy elderly quartermaster and some other old people.
  • DSBT InsaniT: As often as Snake tries to control Bear, Duck, and Balloon, he usually finds himself getting into mischief with them anyway.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • Kitten, though he doesn't want to admit it, secretly wants to engage in the same male Stripperific tendencies as his brother Custodes.
    • The Emperor, for all his "being of logic and reason" attitude, sees people who don't engage in melee combat as disgraceful.
    • While Magnus maintains an air of studied indifference and sanity around him, he high-fives the Emperor when the latter turns the Astronomicon into a giant middle finger for a moment.
  • Red vs. Blue: Sanity Slippage is common in Blood Gulch, and in everyone who associates with it.
    • Doc was originally introduced to lampshade how absolutely bizarre the Reds and Blues were. Then his Granola Guy tendencies got the better of him.
    • Agent Washington has a ... tumultuous relationship with this trope. He begins as a Straight Man to the Blood Gulch Crew, but the insanity of hanging out with them eventually pushes him too far. But when we see him in his Freelancer days, and he's the Butt-Monkey of his team, being constantly attacked by vehicles, somewhat gullible, and best known for the time when Carolina had to grapple his codpiece to save him. Eventually, he mostly settles into his role as the Only Sane Man, with several slip-ups that show that he really does fit into the team. For example, he contributed to the crash that left the Reds and Blues stranded in Chorus by pulling an Are These Wires Important?
    • Agent Carolina herself does this too. She begins as a cold, revenge-driven Anti-Hero who outright admits that she thinks of the Reds and Blues as cannon fodder. Then Season 15 rolls around, and she's relaxed enough to join a band just to troll the others with her terrible singing voice, taking lessons from Grif in being lazy, and emphasizes Washington growing a beard as the most important thing happening during the 10-month Time Skip (which also included dinosaurs fighting robots and Donut burning down a water park).
    • The Chorus Trilogy introduces Felix, a mercenary for the New Republic and one of its more skilled and pragmatic members, at least compared to the lieutenants (and Palomo). Then Tucker decides to have his team 'capture' Felix to prove they're ready for a rescue mission.
      Felix: Fine.
      Tucker: Good!
      Felix: Great!
      Tucker: Sooo, are you just gonna stand there, or what?
      Felix: No, I was sticking my tongue out at you! But — I-I guess I'm wearing a helmet, so — shut up.
  • RWBY: Weiss begins the series as a Spoiled Brat Alpha Bitch who's used to getting what she wants and disdains anyone she considers beneath her. However, after Professor Port lectures her about her terrible attitude and says she needs to be a better team player, she changes into a Defrosting Ice Queen and starts getting these moments. The first comes in that very same episode: earlier the other members of Team RWBY decided to set up bunk beds in their dorm; the night after getting lectured, Weiss apologizes to Ruby for her earlier rudeness and shyly admits that she always wanted a bunk bed when she was little. The descent continues from there, with moments like her high-fiving Ruby while defending their uniforms having "combat skirts", delivering a Large Ham Evil Overlord speech while playing a tabletop game, balancing on chairs for extra drama when trying to cheer up teammates, and suffering a massive case of Cuteness Proximity when she meets Zwei, Yang and Ruby's pet corgi.
    Weiss: Are you telling me that this mangy, drooling mutt is going to wiv with us for-weva!? Oh, yes, he is! Yes, he is! Ooohhh, he's adorable!

  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Bruce is at first nonplussed at his kids fighting each other over a cookie. But when it lands onto his coffee cup, he's more than willing to leap into action to defend it.
  • From The Dreamland Chronicles: Nicole, as well as determined to explain any and all supernatural elements with science, is very much stoic and reasonable. Then she starts spending time with the two main characters and gradually loosens up a little. The first instance would be when she starts giggling about the Sickeningly Sweet name she had for her pretend horse when she was a kid.
  • Goblins: Minmax accuses Big Ears of enjoying seeing him land painfully when he cut him down from the ceiling. Big Ears denies it, and when he's accused of lying, he claims that paladins never lie, or they lose all their paladin levels. Moments later, he admits to Thaco that he was lying and that he did enjoy Minmax getting hurt.
  • Maxima of Grrl Power is a bright gold statuesque superhero with a no-nonsense military attitude...but she admits to having been a nerd as a kid, and can keep up with geek girl Sydney when it comes to comic book trivia.
  • Jones in Gunnerkrigg Court is usually an Emotionless Girl coupled with literally centuries to cultivate indifference. But some of her more "human" traits come out in "The Stone".
    Antimony: Jones, are you able to smile?
    Jones: I can mimic the facial movements for a smile, but I tend to avoid it, as it often leaves the onlooker somewhat unnerved.
    Antimony: May I see?
    Jones: If you wish.
    Kat: You okay?
  • Homestuck has Rose Lalonde. Wear the scarf. Be the Rider.
  • This is basically all over the place in Paranatural. At one point, a member of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council attempts to make an offer Max can't refuse, only to be refused. Most of the page consists of the council member being intimidating and ominous and threatening, and then this happens.
    Max: Sorry, dude. Han Solo and Darth Vader don't team up.
    Serge: That would be sick though.
  • Invoked in PvP: when the gang discovers that Jade is a Former Teen Rebel, Francis considers that this brings her down to their level and everyone immediately starts chanting "One of us! One of us!" (which is exactly what Jade feared would happen).
  • Happens over and over in Shortpacked! — anyone who is introduced as a Straight Man will eventually be revealed to be insane in some way. Ethan and Leslie managed to keep up the illusion of being the Only Sane Man for a good long time but their neuroses gradually overwhelmed their personalities and pushed them away from this role. Jacob was introduced to be their replacement in that capacity but was revealed to have an addictive personality in short order. As a rule, Ethan's Love Interests tend to occupy this role, but Thad got written out, and Drew became as obsessively against Ethan's toy collection as Ethan was with maintaining it. By the end of the strip the Only Sane Man was Historic Jesus.
  • Zoe is usually the Straight Man in Sluggy Freelance, but, at least when it comes to sorting through a love triangle, she can get pretty crazy herself. The reason she became the Stormbreaker (and thus targetted by various demons, at least one of whom has used a cult to try to do Zoe in) was because she feared she was "boring", and thus leapt at a chance to participate in one of the guys' more than usually harebrained schemes. She's exceptionally gung-ho about going back in time to save beer... at least until they end up in the wrong time period without a way back.
  • In Welcome To The Pharmacy, when Elena’s second day at the pharmacy gets off to a boring start with next to no customers, she tries to get away from Jean-Luc & Jessica gawking at her old social media posts, and notices that Matt, who always acts serious and dignified, is doing his work while reading a goofy internet article about wether pandas and red pandas are related. Shortly after that, we see in a flashback/explanation from Jessica about how he is from Mauritiusnote , and is very knowledgeable about his homeland, the computer he is looking at has another goofy article, this time about wether a rhino or a hippo would win a fight against each other.

    Web Original 
  • Zhang Zhao may be the dignified elder statesman of Wu in Farce of the Three Kingdoms, but the narrator has photographic evidence of him getting completely wasted at the office New Years' party.
  • Survival Tips for S.H.I.E.L.D. Recruits: While deeply concerned with curtailing dangerous hijinks, S.H.I.E.L.D. has nothing against harmless fun.
    Tip #531: Planning the most efficient shopping sprees is not the intended use for your tactical training sessions, but doing so is not actively discouraged. There may, in fact, be unofficial contests involved.
  • Most of the staff in the Whateley Universe are, as teachers, required to act in a responsible, professional manner. Lady Astarte, for example, is the respectable school administrator, unflappable...until she marches out on a stage and snaps in front of everybody, screaming at them that there will be no more shoulder angels. And Elyzia Grimes, who was the equivalent of Morticia Addams amongst the staff, finally got tired of it all and beat Caitlin Bardue sbout the head and neck.

    Web Videos 
  • Dad: In "Dad Bod — Official Music Video", the normally serious and stoic Cheryl gets in on some of the dancing with Dad, and is shown laughing and having a good time with him.
  • Lewis Brindley and Hannah Rutherford appeared to be the only sane individuals in the Yogscast, in no small part due to the actions of Simon Lane. However, as the Yogscast has expanded, more sane members have joined and both Lewis and Hannah have started behaving weirdly. Lewis in particular has developed a shorter temper and started goofing around more.
  • From hololive:
    • Tokino Sora is the first and most traditionally pure idol among them and is so respected by the other members that they tend to put her on a pedestal (barring a few people like A-chan and the rest of Gen 0). However, Sora does not claim or act to be above anything or anyone and is just as prone to being silly or participating in any multitude of events as the others, albeit not to such drastic degrees as some are known to do. One particular example was when Pekora wanted to trick someone into blowing up a mountain on the JP Minecraft server. Sora, who was watching at the time, logged in to help with the construction (by constructing her mascot's face on the front of the mountain) and then played along by feigning shock and pretending to be upset when she "discovered" that Towa had blown up her mountain.
    • Very notably for a Japanese executive, founder and CEO of hololive, Tanigo Motoaki, is this; he is not afraid of his talent or the fans making jokes at his expense and will actively go along with their more harmless gags. His nickname of "YAGOO," for example, was the result of Subaru misreading his name and instead of correcting her, just went along with it and (according to Noel) even encourages people to call him that sans honorifics. He also has engaged with his talent with semi-regularity, such as voicing "Hellshake YAGOO" for Kanata, congratulating Polka for her 3D(ays) anniversary and becoming the company's primary merchandise model.
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
  • TT and Momo from Cream Heroes. TT is The Stoic most of the time and punches any cat who dares enter her personal space. She also pounces on toy fish and chews toy feathers like a rambunctious kitten. Likewise Momo is a proud cat given the persona of the refined chairman of Momo Corp. He also cannot help but chase toys around the floor, fight with other cats and has even played a couple of pranks on Claire.
    • Chuchu has also shown signs of this, especially after having her nostrils widened. In one video, she sits looking quiet and innocent while Claire reveals she sometimes like to gnaw on cables.

    Western Animation 
  • Various episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force show that Frylock is just as corrupt as either Shake or Carl if given the chance to embrace his urges, and in some cases like "Total Re-Carl", making such bad decisions that even Master Shake calls him out on it.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball generally plays the Women Are Wiser trope straight with Nicole and Anais, who are generally portrayed as the smarter, responsible, and more level headed members of The Watterson Household, especially the latter, who's a Child Prodigy while her father and brothers are all generally some form of reckless Idiot Hero. (Granted, how sensible Gumball or Darwin is can vary greatly from episode to episode.) And the girls in the family generally play Straight Man to the boys' antics. Despite this, all members of the household are capable of grabbing the Idiot Ball and both Anais and Nicole have their own character flaws that can get so out of hand at times, the guys (usually Gumball) end up playing the Straight Man to them.
    • In "The Fuss", Nicole spends most of the episode passively aggressively guilting her family over a Forgotten Anniversary... only to realize she had somehow been reading the calendar upside down for months without noticing and had been guilt tripping her family, especially her husband Richard, for nothing.
    • In "The Flower", Gumball gets literally possessed by the embodiment of his jealousy towards Leslie, after he starts hanging out with his Love Interest Penny. After it is all resolved, Penny tries to give Gumball a lecture on jealousy... only to be possesed by jealousy herself when Gumball's platonic female friend Carrie gives him a friendly bump on the shoulder.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • Sokka is usually the Straight Man to everyone else's weirdness, even the Only Sane Man at times...and then there are the times when he gets high on cactus juice, puts on a fake beard and performs a ridiculous Sigmund Freud impersonation, tries to crawl inside a giant monster's mouth...
      • Really, this happens so often that Sokka is an odd case of The Smart Guy/Deadpan Snarker also being the show's Plucky Comic Relief. He spends half his time dryly mocking everybody else's foibles and then goes on to outdo them all.
      • Azula is a detached, borderline sociopathic princess who always seems perfectly in control of her emotions. In "The Beach", she is revealed to be a colossal dork. Her attempts to interact with other teenagers and winding up looking deranged, treating a volleyball game like a huge military victory and giving a dramatic We Can Rule Together speech to a boy who likes her. And this isn't even counting her eventual Villainous Breakdown.
    • From The Legend of Korra, Tenzin tries to be the composed airbending master that he really is. The problem is that the universe simply will not let him maintain his composure. It seems to be something he got from his uncle Sokka in the original series (see above). Whether it's Korra using his mother against him in an argument, or his youngest son using a potted plant as a bathroomnote , the stoicism is never around for long. In particular, despite earlier deriding pro-bending as a "mockery of the noble tradition of bending", he later caves in and becomes a closeted fan himself.
    Tenzin: Oh come on, refs! There was some funny business in that last play!
    Lin: Wouldn't have guessed you knew the rules of pro-bending.
    Tenzin: [ahem] I've been...brushing up.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head:
    • Despite his clear disdain for Beavis and Butt-Head's disruptive behavior, there are many instances where Principal McVicker is shown to be almost as amoral and conniving as they are. For example, in the episode "Wet Behind The Rears", Beavis and Butt-Head are showering in their underwear after gym class. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off, and they are forced to get out before they can put their clothes back on. Cue the rest of the school pointing and laughing at them and the grand revelation that the fire alarm was deliberately set off by McVicker and Buzzcut to humiliate Beavis and Butt-Head.
    • In "The Final Judgment Of Beavis'' Saint Peter is this when Beavis dreams he has died and is having everything he's ever done in life, most of it negative, judged:
      Beavis: What do you know, asswipe?!
      Saint Peter: I know everything, buttmunch.
  • Ben 10: "Under Wraps" begins with Max taking Ben and Gwen to work on a farm to teach them the value of hard work, which he claims he learned on his uncle's farm as a boy. At the end of the episode, when Ben and Gwen insist that they've totally learned their lesson, Max is relieved, because he now remembers how much he hated working on the farm and happily bails on it with them now that he's made his point.
    • In the same episode, Gwen tries to take Grampa Max’s side when he is chastising Ben for his laziness, but when he points out she's behind on her chores too, she whines about it being summer vacation like Ben would do. And later, Gwen tries to stop Ben from using his alien powers against Max’s orders to get their farm work over with faster. Until he offers to let her get to it, at which point she eagerly encourages him.
  • Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! has a Halloween Episode where Velma spends the episode decrying how the modern celebrations distract from the holiday's historical roots. But after the catch the episode's villain, who had similar complaints, she demands to know why Velma doesn't support her. Velma's response is to say that while she talks a good game, she still loves candy as much as the next person.
  • Bob's Burgers: Bob is usually the Only Sane Man in the Belcher family, but he has a few eccentricities of his own, like talking to (and for) inanimate objects, treating Thanksgiving dinner as Serious Business, and his bad habit of tripping on painkillers.
  • The serious and straight-laced Lucky Piquel from Bonkers is frequently shown as being prejudiced against even the most cordial of toons, but when he gets a mouse ears hat from Mickey Mouse in "I Oughta Be in Toons", he puts it on with a big grin after making sure no one's around to see him.
  • In Central Park, Season 1 "Garbage Ballet", Bitsy tries to convince the hotel housekeeping staff that the seventh floor is not haunted. She agrees to spend the night on said floor in order to convince them. While she openly mocks them for thinking the floor was haunted, as soon as Bitsy is alone she openly expresses that she can feel (and smell) her father haunting the floor.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • Numbuh 2 believes himself to be a very smooth joke-teller and tries to make a pun or joke of the situation, resulting in most of the other operatives, including Numbuh 5, to groan at the punchline. However, when dealing with chocolatized Heinrech trying to freeze her, she resorts to melting him from driving her rocket close to the Sun and then bombarding him with marshmallows. She throws this in as her victory line before laughing. "As Numbuh 2 would say: you can't hurt anyone any s'more!"
    • Numbuh 1, despite his overall characterization as a serious and competent leader, can be just as foolish and immature as you would expect a kid to be.
  • Dark Danny, the titular Danny Phantom's villainous Bad Future alternate self, who is easily the evilest creature to ever appear in the series and lacking even a shred of decency, compassion, mercy, or kindness, still admits he does miss Tucker's comedic moments.
  • Elise in Dan Vs. tries to avoid getting caught up in Dan's vengeance, and early on tried to keep Chris from getting dragged into it, too. Then again, in the very first episode, she shares Dan's hatred of New Mexico (her grudge has lasted since childhood) and takes her revenge even further he "settles" for ruining the annual hot air balloon event, she hijacks an alien warship, slaughters road-runners, and blows up cities. In "Dan Vs. George Washington", she tags along with Dan's latest campaign of revenge and admits to Chris that Dan's revenge schemes are actually pretty entertaining.
  • Daria:
    • Aunt Amy is once brought in to settle a dispute between her sisters, with the expectation that, as the smart, detached outsider of the family she could easily resolve the petty conflict without getting drawn in. It took her all of thirty seconds to join the bickering, leaving Daria and Quinn to solve the problem themselves.
    • This is actually rather fitting since Amy is considered to be like an older version of Daria. Daria herself, especially in the later seasons, proved that she does have some flaws like regular people. Helen herself as mentioned that not even Daria is able to live up to the high standards she has.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • During a poker game that Poison Ivy crashes in Batman: The Animated Series, Two-Face coldly informs her, without flipping a coin, that half of him wants to strangle her and the other half wants to hit her with a truck. His good side is usually just that, but it turns out he holds quite the grudge for the time she tried to poison him, back before he became Two Face and was still the benevolent district attorney, because he unintentionally and indirectly caused a species of rose to go extinct by breaking ground on a new prison.
    • A milder version than most takes place at the end of one episode of Justice League Unlimited. After The Flash, feeling he's not appreciated and seen as immature, goes against orders to help rescue a friend of Scott Free, he meets with the Martian Manhunter following the mission. Flash begins to defend himself, expecting J'onn to admonish him for his immaturity...instead, J'onn just wanted to play Brawlin' Bots.
    • Another good example is J'onn's addiction to Oreo Cookies.
  • Amberley of The Dreamstone is usually a more lucid and well-behaved counterpart to Rufus, though she has a bratty temper and sometimes joins Rufus in rambunctious antics. She ends up only exasperating the problems caused by Rufus in the pilot by getting captured by the Urpneys after jumping into their ship Leeroy Jenkins style.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has Double D, who, while most of the time acts as the Only Sane Man of the show, often goes along with Eddy's schemes, despite the fact that he knew he'd go too far one day.
  • Family Guy:
    • Lois normally falls under Women Are Wiser. However, it's only really in comparison to her husband, as she gets a gambling addiction in one episode, becomes a kleptomaniac in another, and when she gets elected mayor, embezzles from the town and accepts bribes. Lois' role in the show in modern episodes consists near solely of this trope. She generally only exhibits Straight Man behavior for a short time before acting as stupid or callous as her husband.
    • Meg, in that she sometimes makes fun out of other Griffin members when the situation calls for it e.g. Chris being made fun of for Lois being in a porno by other schoolkids and Meg joins in. She also salvaged upon a brief moment Brian was "the New Meg".
    • Brian gets this treatment just as often. Where he used to be the Only Sane Man, many later episodes have seen him developing more and more jerkass tendencies.
  • Final Space: Bolo might be an eons-old Titan voiced by Keith David, but even he's capable of bringing himself down to the Team Squad's three-dimensional mortal levels quite a few times; such as sharing their universal hatred of KVN, and being extremely sour at the Titan Oreskis for seducing Bolo's first love and giving her an Eldritch Abomination STD.
  • Futurama:
    • Generally speaking, robots in fiction almost always brag about how they're better than humans. The robots of Futurama are just as boastful...but don't quite live up to the standard they project, struggling with rampant social issues like organized crime (see The Robot Mafia), unorganized crime (see Bender), and addiction to illicit activities (again, see Bender).
    • Leela has been subject to this trope multiple times.
      • In "The Lesser of Two Evils", Leela twice talks down to women hoping to win the "Miss Universe Pageant"; first to Amy, then towards the actual contestants. But when a misunderstanding briefly leads her and everyone else to think she actually won, despite not even being in the pageant, Leela is clearly excited, then disappointed when the misunderstanding is cleared up and the prize taken from her and handed to the actual winner.
      • In "That's Lobstertainment", rather than pay a nominal parking fee for a Hollywood premiere, Leela flies around for hours before landing on the La Brea Tar Pits...which is exactly the sort of thing she usually scolds Fry and Bender for.
      • Leela usually serves as Fry's voice of reason whenever he lets something go to his head. However, in "Bender Gets Made", she practically thought she was Daredevil (with the expected but not unwelcome hilarity ensuing).
      • "Fun On a Bun" begins with Fry doing a very Fry-like thing: using his bare foot to pick up a tortilla chip between his toes, dip it in some salsa, and then put it in his mouth.
        Leela: Ugh! Fry! That's disgusting!
        Fry: What?
        Leela: You double-dipped! Geez.
        [Leela picks up a chip with her own toes, dips it, and eats it]
    • In "War is the H-Word", it turns out Kif can be just as much of a Mean Boss as Zapp is to him after Fry has the misfortune of being demoted to his assistant. Years of pent up frustration at Zapp are no doubt being released since he has someone to pick on himself.
    Zapp: Private Fry, you shall henceforth serve as Kif's assistant.
    Kif: You'll speak when I tell you to, you filthy worm!
    • In "When Aliens Attack", Hermes Conrad, the resident no-nonsense workaholic, Obstructive Bureaucrat refers to Labor Day as a phony holiday made up by unions...before excitedly joining in with his coworkers for their day off, after having previously scolding them for slacking off.
  • Hero: 108: Lin Chung is usually portrayed as the calm and collected warrior and leader of First Squad, but he does have his moments of levity, like whenever he gets too wrapped up in drawing to focus on the battlefield...Or really anything else.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Sasha is mostly portrayed as the Servile Snarker Beleaguered Assistant of Justin Hammer, just as evil and ruthless as him, but far more level-headed and trying to get him to actually run the business instead of messing about with Humongous Mecha and schemes to humiliate Tony Stark. That is, until she gets to control the Titanium Man, and becomes positively giddy as she revels in the destruction she can cause.
  • Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes regularly rolls her eyes at the antics Jimmy and Beezy cause, and their insane childish activities. However, she has fallen victim to Kids Prefer Boxes and is shown to be extremely susceptible to a Cuteness Proximity.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat always pretends he can't be bothered to play games with the others, but when they don't invite him to join them, he gets really, really mad.
    • In one episode, Mr. Cat opens a restaurant that is clearly designed to be a Take That! at McDonald's. When the food gives Pretty multiple organ failure, everybody starts protesting the restaurant, so he offers them free toys with their food. Everybody except Kaeloo rushes off to get toys while she looks on in disapproval, but when a toy lands near her feet she plays with it after making sure nobody is looking.
  • A common gag on Kim Possible. In general, it's a running theme in the show that Kim is nowhere near as infallible in her regular life as she is in "mission mode".
  • Happens to Master Shifu frequently in Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, just like in the films. For one example, in the Fight Clubbing episode "Kung Fu Club", he attends incognito to find out why Po hasn't put a stop to it, and rapidly goes from horrified disapproval, to grudging admiration of the combatants' skill, to the most rowdy member of the audience ("We came to see a fight, not a dance!") He gets even more enthusiastic when the baddies show up and the whole thing descends into a free-for-all.
  • Kiva from Megas XLR, who at first looks down on the people from the present, namely Coop and Jamie, for wasting most of their time with activities that serve no practical purpose, being from a Bad Future where survival was always on everyone's minds and all. But as time goes on, Kiva seems to come to enjoy many of the antics the guys get into as she spends more time in the present.
  • Mickey Mouse anyone? After becoming the straight man and nice guy he's better known for being, there were still times Mickey displayed a breaking point such as in "Magician Mickey" where after being heckled one too many times by Donald he puts the Duck through a magical Humiliation Conga or "Symphony Hour" where he threatens Donald with a handgun to keep him from abandoning the other performers during their disastrous concert.
    • A good few of his shorts in House of Mouse involve him undergoing this as well, especially if he's trying too hard to impress Minnie.
    • Repeated in Mickey Mouse (2013), you'd be surprised how many times a sweet, idealistic guy like Mickey can spiral situations horribly out of control.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle likes to regard herself as the Only Sane Mare: her first impression of the citizens of Ponyville is "All the ponies in this town are crazy!" However, Twilight frequently displays lapses in judgment either due to her social awkwardness or her almost-obsessive need to make a good impression on her mentor, Princess Celestia.
    • Princess Celestia as well, despite being a physical goddess who is well over 1000 years old. Her age and standing as the ruler of all things don't stop her from playfully teasing her subjects from time to time or skipping out of the Grand Galloping Gala to just hang out with friends in a doughnut shop. Another episode has her licking her lips at the cakes at a contest between the best confection-makers in Equestria. The immortal alicorn who raises the sun every morning and lowers it in the evening has zero resistance to chocolate.
    • In "The Ticket Master", Spike calls the Gala "girly frou-frou nonsense," but once everyone is out of sight, is upset at being the only one without a ticket. Celestia sends down one for him, and he immediately Squees, only to be caught by Applejack.
      • In fact, one notices that Spike is initially excited at Twilight getting the two tickets until Twilight begins thinking on who to invite. It's heavily implied that the second ticket was for Spike and Twilight's lack of consideration was why Spike feigned disinterest.
    • Both Spike and Twilight tend to backhand this role onto each other since they so often play The Straight Man to each other's shortcomings. Both characters neared outright Anti-Villain territory after going off the deep end at separate points, and both had to snap the other out of it. Noteworthy for the over the top manner both took their respective breakdowns (Twilight became outright Laughing Mad, while Spike turned into a Harmless Villain, complete with Dastardly Whiplash mannerisms and attire).
    • Applejack tends to act as The Straight Mare whenever these two are out of the picture, however having the key traits of a rowdy cowgirl, she naturally plays up at times. She can be rather over assertive and is apparently stubborn enough to make a mule look reasonable.
    • What does Princess Celestia, normally The High Queen and wise Big Good of the series, do when offered a chance to act in a play in Horse Play? A Happy Dance!
  • In "A'Sledding We Will Go" from PB&J Otter, Ootsie and Bootsie, the Snootie poodles, spend most of the story teasing the other kids about a not having a fancy sled. At the end, nobody can use their sleds, but Peanut, Baby Butter and Jelly realize that they can slide on their otter bellies just as well. Ootsie and Bootsie find that they can't do it and are upset. Then Peanut and Jelly offer them a ride. They turn to each other and agree, telling them, "Well, if you insist."
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Blossom usually acts like the calm and mature leader of the girls, but there are times where she actually acts her young age, like in “Rainy Day Adventure”, where they all play inside on a rainy day, and Blossom does quite a good Mojo Jojo impression.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • Sean is usually uptight and adamant about going to space the human way, rather than the alien way. However, in a later episode, he is more excited about going to space with the other kids, much to their shock.
    • Mitchell always acts like he's a better detective than Jet and his friends, but he still attends Mindy's concert at the end of "Mindy's Mystery".
  • Despite Matrix's insistence in Reboot that he's not the little kid Enzo anymore, the first thing he does when he finally finds Bob? Yell the Guardian's name and try to bowl him over.
    Bob: WOAH!!! I think you're a little big for that.
  • Benson from Regular Show. One word: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!
  • In one episode of Rocket Power, Otto and his family are entered in a surf contest with surf legends and their kids. After some trash talk to the competition and lecturing Reggie about how she'd better not mess up, Otto takes a nasty spill himself.
    • More consistently, Reggie is the voice of reason of the group, though sometimes is reduced to the same mayhem as the others. One particular case had her try to run out of the crime scene and leave Otto taking the fall.
  • Dr Quinn of Sealab 2021 tries in vain to avoid this, but especially as the series went on, would eventually succumb.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Marge Simpson has a gambling addiction.
    • When Marge decided to sell prescription drugs just so that her garage sale would be a success. Marge ended up in jail at the end of that one.
    • Marge secretly likes Homer's wild side. After Homer mellowed out in one episode, Marge quickly became frustrated by the lack of activity, and took up monster truck racing, leaving Homer having to rescue her.
    • In "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star", in a refreshing twist, it is Marge, not Homer, who learns a lesson about tolerance. (Though less satisfyingly, Marge's dislike of Catholics is never fully explained).
    • When the family has Mr. Burn's teddy bear Bobo in "Rosebud":
      Marge: I'm sure he'll offer us a fair reward. (Beat) And then we'll make him double it!
      Family: Huh?
      Marge: Well, why can't I be greedy once in a while?
    • That said, Mr. Burns as well. It's very odd to see such a greedy man who is so consumed with desire for money to put all that aside in favor of wanting a nostalgic but financially worthless teddy bear from his youth.
    • In "Dead Putting Society", after Homer and Ned Flanders have a fight, Flanders feels guilty and mails an apology to Homer... but it's so cheesy that all Homer and the kids do is mock it. Marge chastises her family for making fun of something that was so heartfelt from Ned, then excuses herself to the next room where we see that she herself can barely contain her laughter.
    • In "They Saved Lisa's Brain", the Springfield members of Mensa take charge of the town when Mayor Quimby skips town. All seems well until they start making outlandish proposals they all conflict over. It's ultimately up to special guest Stephen Hawking to knock some sense into them.
      Lisa: Oh, Dr. Hawking, we had such a beautiful dream. What went wrong?
      Hawking: Don't feel bad, Lisa. Sometimes the smartest of us can be the most childish.
      Lisa: Even you?
      Hawking: No, not me. Never.
    • Conscientious Lisa loves the ultraviolent Itchy and Scratchy cartoons as much as Bart does. She also occasionally joins him in his more destructive fun, like indoors ice-cream ball fights, bathroom product races, indoor bike jousting and prank-calling Moe.
    • Lisa likes to think she's smarter and above the corrupt actions of nearly everyone in town but is just as susceptible to them as anyone else whenever they come around. She quickly gets jealous of anyone who does better at school than her (even her baby sister Maggie), is not above trying to force people to her way of thinking, is easily corrupted by any amount of power, and quickly becomes unhinged the moment any blemishes on her school work appear.
    • In "Homer's Enemy", Frank Grimes has a breakdown and starts impersonating Homer, whose consequence-free stupidity drove him to this point. This ends when he has a moment of genuine stupidity and electrocutes himself. Unfortunately, the same rules don't apply to Grimes and this mistake costs him his life.
  • Solar Opposites: Korvo hates Earth, and pretty much wants to get their mission over with and leave. Despite that, he and Terry cook up convoluted schemes to fit in with the population.
  • South Park:
    • Stan and Kyle are hit with this every now and then.
    • In the "Coon and Friends" Trilogy, Mysterion is an aloof figure in line with the Nolanverse Batman and the only hero who actually has superpowers... but when Stan asks why they're still calling themselves "Coon and Friends" after kicking out Cartman, he admits it's because "it pisses Cartman off beyond belief, and I find that (giggles) extremely funny." There are also one or two moments when he's surprised and lapses back into his normal voice.
    • From "The List", when Wendy finds out the other girls have masterminded a conspiracy to get free shoes:
      Wendy: You've compromised everything! Our lists' integrity!
      Bebe: Did you see these shoes, Wendy?! [pulls out a new pair of shoes] They're incredible!
      Wendy: It doesn't matter how incredible they are; you can't—oh my God, those are amazing.
    • Wendy again in With Apologies to Jesse Jackson. When Cartman fights the midget David Nelson, Wendy is one of the people in the crowd gleefully cheering on the fight.
  • One episode of Spongebob Squarepants had Squidward Tentacles, the show's comically serious character, move away from his wacky neighbors and into a community of people exactly like him. Initially delighted, he eventually became bored with the lack of hijinks he so detested and, by the end of the episode, was acting exactly like his ex-neighbors usually did. (This was subject to Snap Back and never referred to again.)
    • In a future episode, Squidward is seen cutting loose at two parties for Spongebob along with the rest of the cast, despite his dislike of both Spongebob and such activities.
    • In one episode, the character roles of Spongebob and Squidward are briefly reversed when Squidward wins a crane game, and won't stop bragging about it to the point where Spongebob gets annoyed and starts snarking at him. Squidward then attempts to operate a construction crane with his eyes closed.
    • Sandy Cheeks also occasionally had moments of stupidity or arrogance. Most of her appearances in the second season seemed to be made solely to prove she wasn't good at everything.
    • In "Sleepy Time", the king in Squidward's dream is amused by the man from Peru limerick.
      • Both the king and the audience chase SpongeBob out of the theater like a bunch of fangirls after the performance.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Landing at Point Rain", Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi makes Anakin Skywalker fall into Stunned Silence by revealing he's been partaking in Anakin and Ahsoka's Body-Count Competition.
    Ahsoka: So Master, what was your total?
    Anakin: Not now, Ahsoka.
    Ahsoka: C'mon, are you afraid you lost this time?
    Anakin: Fine, fifty five. That's my count, and you?
    Ahsoka: Sixty, looks like I won.
    Anakin: Yeah.. but I called in the air strike! TIE!
    Ahsoka: [rolls eyes] You're impossible. [leaves]
    Obi-Wan: I'll never understand how you can simplify these battles into some kind of game.
    Ki-Adi-Mundi: Sixty-five, Skywalker.
    Anakin: Uhm, sorry?
    Ki-Adi-Mundi: My total, sixty-five. So what do I win?
    [cue Stunned Silence between Obi-Wan and Anakin]
    Anakin: My everlasting respect, Master Mundi. [bows]
    Ki-Adi-Mundi: [disappointed] Oh.
    Obi-Wan: That is a gift Anakin rarely bestows, I assure you.
  • Steven Universe:
    • While the show is primarily light-hearted, the character of Lapis Lazuli appears largely in a series of serious episodes, highlighting both her power and Broken Bird status. But early in Mirror Gem, she wastes the better part of a day making fart jokes with Steven, and she's shown to be quite a Deadpan Snarker in "Hit the Diamond". It's just that her later circumstances don't always mesh with her sense of humor.
    • Pearl is overly responsible, sometimes to the point of being uptight, but she has her own quirks that are often played for comedy. In "Too Many Birthdays" she goes right from talking about how they might be too mature for birthday parties to getting into a fistfight with Amethyst, and in "Full Disclosure" her problem with Amethyst's plan to build a moat and be the crocodile is "You always say you'll be the crocodile, but you never commit!". She also completely defeats the purpose of Steven's chore wheel in "Keeping It Together" by crossing out the other three names and writing her own over them ("I just really like doing all those things!") but leaving the wheel up.
  • Super Best Friends Forever: Being an Amazon princess, Wonder Girl may try to act as an example, yet in the first short she is tempted to hijack her sister's Invisible Jet by a promise of burritos. She plays with this in the fifth short, by first scolding the other girls about irritating Solomon Grundy and then intentionally throwing in her own braaaaaains pun and laughing.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!!: Antauri is shown to be wise, mature and spiritual… But in “Big Lug”, even he is shown to get swept up in the wonders of the gas station.
    Sparx: Look at this place! It has everything we could ever need.
    Antauri: Yes, if what you need is endless sugar, chemically-processed animal flesh, and- OH! That’s a nice visor.
    • And later…
    Antauri: Mind over matter… (Spin around, revealing that he’s wearing a soda-hat) Is nothing compared to hands-free refreshments. What a marvellous invention!
    • And later, in the Super Robot…
    Sprx: (as Antauri uses his Ghost Claws on the Sun Riders pinball machine) What are you doing, Antauri?! Get your ghost paws outta that machine!
    Antauri: What? At least I didn't tilt.

  • Rebecca Cunningham of TaleSpin, though somewhat Women Are Wiser and more educated than Baloo, shared his ego and stubbornness as well as lacking the latter's streetwise aspects and thus fell into this trope a frequent amount of times. Sometimes even he could be surprised how out of her mind Rebecca acted at times.
    Rebecca: Face it Baloo, you're too gullible, I would never fall for something like that, no possible way...
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the typically serious Splinter occasionally cracks a joke, often as part of an "Everybody Laughs" Ending.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Robin usually tends to be the straight laced leader of the Titans, akin to his father, but is still a normal teenager at heart. Various episodes show him to be just as awkward, or goofy as the rest of the titans.
    • The Titan for this trope is Raven. The Stoic Dark Action Girl, most frequently the Only Sane Woman. And yet, when Robin was off training, the other Titans convinced her to suit up in Robin's uniform. "You know you want to" indeed. Also, in "Stranded", Raven is separated from the other Titans — who are each put into groups of two as they deal with being lost on an alien planet — and runs into a tribe of tiny, harmless aliens who insist that she not leave. By the end of the episode they've given her the typical tribal goddess schtick, feeding her grapes and giving her a massage on a comfy pillow, and Raven is just loving it.
  • Raven gets even worse in Teen Titans Go!. Her room is full of dark magicky things, she tries her best not to smile... yet she just adores "Pretty Pretty Pegasus", a My Little Pony Expy.
  • The older wiser engines of Sodor tend to get hit with this in later seasons of Thomas & Friends. Toby and Edward, in particular, have shown frequent self-esteem issues, and are sometimes left in such a pitiful state that the younger engines they previously mentored have to bail them out.
  • A dark and twisted version of this happens in the infamous Tom and Jerry cartoon "Blue Cat Blues", where Jerry watches a heartbroken Tom sitting on the train tracks waiting to be run over because the love of his life married someone else and Jerry appears to be in a stable relationship. Then Jerry sees his girl marrying another mouse and sits down on the tracks next to Tom.
  • Despite how Jerry is the head of WOOHP and technically Clover, Alex, and Sam's boss in Totally Spies!, there are several times when he shows he's still capable of making the same mistakes they do even though he'll sometimes get exasperated with them whenever they act immature.
    • The first indicator is the amusement he shows in the unorthodox and rather insane ways he gets the girls into his office, often followed by some pun depending on their unwilling mode of transportation.
    • The second indicator is when he'll fall victim to whatever scheme the Villain of the Week is enacting just like one of the girls would despite how his years of spying experience should tell him better.
    • Out of the three girls (and sometimes even Jerry) Sam is usually the Only Sane Man and The Smart Girl, though there are several points her intellect gets to her ego or she has an irresponsible streak like Alex and Clover, most often when it's her turn to hold the Distress Ball.
  • Transformers: Animated: Optimus Prime acts as the level-headed leader of the Autobots, at most occasionally indulging in light bits of snark. That being said, upon seeing that Sentinel Prime has been reduced to a head, courtesy of Headmaster, Optimus starts gleefuly laughing. While he helps Sentinel get back to normal, Optimus clearly finds the whole situation hilarious, especially the part where he gets to beat up Sentinel's body.
  • In "Freeze Tag" from Trash Truck, Hank and his friends are all playing a game of freeze tag when they discover a smartphone with a catchy game inside it inside Trash Truck. They all start fighting over it until finally Mona takes it away, saying that it's caused quite enough trouble for one day, then heads off inside her home. They then start bickering with each other over who's to blame for this... only to hear the sounds of the game and discover that Mona is now playing the game.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: Kitty Katswell generally acts professional, yet has her bouts of goofiness like the rest of the cast, and occasionally joins in on her partner Dudley Puppy's shenanigans.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Even the most straight-laced of the defenders of the universe have their moments where they get involved in their teammates' antics.
    • Keith is usually portrayed as a brooding loner, but he's seen fooling around with Hunk at a dinner party, has no problem with taking part in a food/snowball fight, and gets the same idea as Lance to go to the castle's pool.
    • Pidge once chided Lance for wasting his time at a store that sells Earth memorabilia while they were looking for supplies, then joined him when finding out said store sells retro game consoles. Also, Lance doesn't seem that interested in the consoles but still helps Pidge get money to buy one, and is seen playing on it in a later episode.
    • As serious-minded as Allura is, she wanted to go shopping for something sparkly when they stopped for said supplies, then pouted when Coran forbade her.
    • Shiro is the most serious of his group, but lets his fun side out at times, from joining his friends in a food/snowball fight to getting them to stop making laser sound effects until "correcting" them. He also joins in with the show's equivalent of "Dungeons and Dragons" and comes up with a backstory for his character, complete with flashbacks in an Art Shift.
  • In Wander over Yonder Commander Peepers, Lord Hater's ever-serious Dragon and full-time Cloudcuckoolander's Minder, has his moments, most especially in "The It" when Wander distracts Hater from the plan of the moment by instigating a game of tag. When Peepers insists that one of the Watchdogs let Hater tag him to get the whole thing over with, they ask him why he can't just do it himself. It quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't want to be "it" either and is willing to full-on battle Lord Hater to prevent it from happening.

    Real Life 
  • Cats. Some are so snooty that they are basically arrogance embodied, but shake the treat bag and watch even the snootiest of cats break down and start begging.
    • Likewise: dogs. Some may be stern, territorial, not even bark once. Then this one stranger just says "Who's a good baby boy?!" and they will start acting silly, playful, wag their tail and even let them through.
      • Huskies. They look like wolves, they usually have this serious look on their face, but they are the silliest breed there is and can throw one noisy temper tantrum.
  • In what is the positive contrast to G.I.F.T, the internet's anonymity allows for pretty much anyone to be this. Someone might be too stoic or shy to let loose in real life, but give them a screen name and let them loose on a fansite for something they're really into and watch them Squee about their interest with the best of them.
  • This video tells the story of the time when this YouTuber got raided by the FBI (don't worry, he was not involved in the crime) and find out that the Feds may not be as serious as one might depict them in media.
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has a reputation for calm, even-keeled, bipartisan governance and is generally considered to be an eminently sensible, dignified person...a perception which unfortunately omits her rather passionate love for the Minnesota Vikings football team and tendency to do things like tell a biased and possibly unconstitutional government committee to go jump in Lake Superior. Naturally, these only make her more beloved to her constituents.


Simon Gets a Big Hug

Even the infamous music critic Simon Cowell can't resist the Teletubies.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / GroupHug

Media sources: