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Queer People Are Funny

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"Basically, Homer just had a lot of fun hanging out with gay men, and drinking in bars, and dancing at discos, and all that, and there was nothing — there was no commentary there. Every restaurant had a silly gay name. The gym had a silly gay name. They were all double entendres, obviously. And I said, 'Anybody could do this. You’re the fucking Simpsons. Do something we have never seen before'."
Harvey Fierstein on declining to reprise his role on The Simpsons

There is a tendency for works, particularly older works and works aimed at young men, to treat same sex relationships as being inherently funny. Obviously, gay people and gay relationships can be funny for lots of reasons; for example, if the characters are incredibly mismatched, or if the behavior of one character is amusingly off-putting. This trope only applies when the fact that it is gay is the whole punchline. Litmus test — if it were heterosexual, would it be funny? If not, it's this trope.

Loaded with Unfortunate Implications in many cases, with the idea of homosexuality being inherently Squicky and freakish — but there's no shortage of queer and queer-friendly creators who do it while being in on the joke. In many cases in history, making it into a punchline was the only way to sneak LGBT subtext past the Moral Guardians. For some creators, experimenting with homoerotic humour is a necessary way of coming to terms with their own sexuality.


Subtropes include Gay Bravado. Begets the humorous parts in Ambiguously Gay, Mistaken for Gay, Ho Yay. Contrast with Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?, which could be considered both an Inversion and Subversion.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Angel Beats! there is a running joke about Hinata saying something questionable and Otonashi asking him if he's gay. And Naoi's... rather extreme admiration of Otonashi after his episode also gets played for laughs a lot.
  • In Mayo Chiki!, when Kinjiro refuses to be touched by a girl, because he has gynophobia with embarrassing physical symptoms, his male friend loudly questions him if he is gay, much to Kinjiro's embarrassment.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Sakurazaki Setsuna is a bodyguard of sorts who is constantly teased for her overprotective attitude and attraction to her charge, Konoka. It has become a Running Gag for misinterpretations of situations the two get into... and even some correct interpretations.
    • That said, much of the humor surrounding Konoka and Setsuna's relationship comes less from the mere fact that they are implied to have feelings for each other, and more from their interactions. On Setsuna's side, the humor tends to come from how obvious (if not explicit) her attraction to Konoka is, in spite of her staunch denial. On Konoka's side, her openly affectionate attitude towards Setsuna is generally made funny by Setsuna's embarrassment in response to it, as well as the ambiguity over whether she is aware of Setsuna's feelings and enjoys teasing her, or is just staggeringly Oblivious to Love.
  • One-Punch Man has Puri-Puri Prisoner, who's something of a contradiction. On the one hand he's the source of a lot of gay jokes since he's a campy, muscular man who tends to fight in the buff and poses like Sailor Moon and spends all his time in prison because he can't stop himself from assaulting handsome men, but on the other he's a legitimate hero who cares about protecting the innocent, has no ulterior motives, and got disheartened when the media labeled him a joke after he was defeated by an incredibly powerful monster. Unfortunately as the story progresses the "look at the funny gay man" aspect tends to get more focus than the "honest hero who happens to be gay" aspect.
  • Sgt. Frog: Watching a TV show in S1E7. It is a parody of several anime. When the hero "explodes with the power of love" to save his girlfriend, Keroro remarks offside "Interesting how his love for his GIRLFRIEND causes him to explode in a flaming rainbow..."

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The entire premise of Boat Trip boils down to: "Two straight men get trapped on a boat full of Camp Gay men; isn't that hilarious?!"
  • The titular Deadpool in Deadpool (2016) and its sequel is pansexual, with his relationship to Vanessa being treated serious but showing him happily molesting other guys for comedy.
  • In Death at a Funeral, the main characters' discovery that their father had a dwarf gay lover sparks a plotline revolving around blackmail, but the apparent absurdity of it is also milked for laughter.
  • The 1960s comedy The Gay Deceivers seems to consist entirely of this kind of "comedy". It hasn't aged terribly well.
  • In Inception, Eames turning into a woman and flirting with a teammate for comedic effect.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which tries the task of being pro gay rights and one big gay joke at the same time
  • There are several gags revolving around Hollywood, an openly gay character in both Mannequin and its sequel, most of them from his flamboyancy (because, of course, all gay men are very flamboyant in these sorts of movies).
  • Myra Breckinridge centers around a transgender woman, and has plenty of gay jokes. Openly lesbian reviewer Diamanda Hagan was enraged to discover through the director commentary that his approach was basically "A man in a dress is fucking hilarious!"
  • In Plan B, Bruno initially treats his plan to pretend to be into his ex-girlfriend's new bisexual boyfriend Pablo to sabotage their relationship as a humorous prank, with one scene showing him and his friend Victor laughing uproariously over the absurd idea of a macho man like him checking out another man's dick. The film as a whole is a subversion of this trope, however, as Bruno's gradual realization that his faked interest in Pablo has become something very real and that his "humorous" plan is inevitably going to result in heartbreak for both him and Pablo is treated completely seriously.
  • The Producers—a musical comedy—has a song entitled "keep it gay".
  • Lamar, one of the protagonists in Revenge of the Nerds, is treated as being inherently funny because he's gay; some gags used include his being seen doing aerobics in feminine spandex and leg warmers, and his general disinterest in watching the sorority girls after the group plants cameras in their house. His whole personality revolves solely around his sexual orientation and his race. When the Tri-Lamb commission arrives to the nerds' party and Lewis puts on a record of Old Man River, Lamar was quick to act.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 1980s Britcom 'Allo 'Allo! has far too many jokes about Lieutenant Gruber's homosexuality even to be justified by the inherent irony of a gay Wehrmacht soldier.
  • Arrested Development, especially with the character Tobias, who says things that suggest he may be Ambiguously Gay, though he doesn't realize it.
  • Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served? was a Camp Gay Played for Laughs.
  • Boy Meets World does this a lot. Homosexuality is shown as being weird and hilarious so often, it's hard to wonder if the show would work fifteen years after it aired.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Mostly Andrew. The humour there may have revolved more around the Transparent Closet he was stuck in than anything else, but only if you're reaching for an excuse.
    • The Season 7 episode "Potential" supplied a particularly wonderful example with the introduction of openly gay potential slayer Kennedy, during a conversation with fellow potential, Rona, about using a wooden stake to fight Vampires.
      Rona: I like the feel of wood in my hand.
      Kennedy: Lost me there.
  • These make up the majority of the jokes between Raj and Howard on The Big Bang Theory, more specifically the jokes around them acting like a couple. Also notable in that these jokes are also made about two women, Amy and Penny. There's also the occasional joke at the expense of Leonard and Sheldon’s neighbour before Penny, a large, black, cross-dressing man.
    • During a video call to his parents, Raj watches as they begin to fight about his future and his mother says "The closest thing we have to a daughter-in-law is that little Jewish boy!"
  • Brazilian group Casseta e Planeta loved to mock gays, which they justified with "it's a man who's not a man" and that one of their own was homosexual.
  • The Colbert Report, although the humour mostly comes from the contrast between "Stephen's" Transparent Closet and his ultra-conservatism.
  • Parodied on Community. Pierce is something of a Troubled Sympathetic Bigot, and he thinks gay jokes are hilarious. Not so much the rest of the group, who call him out on it constantly. Pierce especially likes making gay jokes about Jeff, who's very much a ladies' man.
  • One of The Daily Show's most popular examples of Corpsing happened due to a long run of gay jokes in response to allegations that Prince Charles had had a gay affair.
  • Brits old enough to remember The Dick Emery Show will recall that one of Dick's many faces was a Camp Gay and that he never really got any punchlines; it was just meant to be funny because he was a "poof".
  • Friends has a lot of gay jokes, especially around Ross' ex-wife, Chandler's father and Chandler himself. It's so egregious that a YouTube compilation of the show's gay jokes is almost an hour long.
  • Game of Thrones: Most of Westeros frown upon Dorne's openly tolerant attitude towards non-heterosexual relations, as demonstrated in "Two Swords" by Bronn's and the two Lannister soldiers' offensive joke about Dornishmen fucking goats, and Tyrion mentions Oberyn's notorious reputation for having sex with half of the continent.
  • The George Lopez Show has at least three examples. One is an episode where Ernie lies about being Max's father in order to appeal to women as a single dad and George says some Ho Yay things when he catches him in the act. Another is an episode where George is putting out a newspaper advertisement asking for information about his dad and when Ernie gets done with helping him shorten it, it sounds like an ad asking for a Latino male dating partner. There's also an episode where Carmen is pretending to be dating a guy named Noah who turns out to be gay. When George finds out, he says to Carmen, "Your boyfriend's in the closet" and this is meant to be funny because her actual boyfriend is also literally in the closet in her bedroom as he's telling her this.
  • Occasionally in House, especially with House and Wilson, and with references to Chase.
  • How I Met Your Mother, particularly the episode where Marshall and Barney are prank texting Ted.
    • Barney and Ted also spend an episode wishing they were gay, and then 'adopt' a child together. While played for laughs, it's also pretty heartwarming.
    • Mostly averted with Barney's Straight Gay brother. His sexuality itself isn't really played for laughs, but rather the fact he's black when Barney's white, and the fact he was originally just like Barney if he was attracted to men (and uses the same over-the-top tricks to lure men into bed that Barney uses on women).
    • There's also the incident during the road trip from hell, where Ted and Marshall had to "cuddle" to conserve warmth in their car during a blizzard. Ruthlessly joked upon by the other 3 members.
    • Lily being Ambiguously Bi is also usually played for laughs, particularly when it comes to her implied attraction to Robin.
  • The original Monty Python's Flying Circus series did this on a regular basis. Examples include the "Brigadier and Bishop" sketch and Mr. Freight (a.k.a. Great Poof) in "the Visitors" sketch.
  • Many of the gags involving Kenny James on My Name Is Earl fall into this category.
  • Usually averted in The Orville, where Bortus and Klyden's relationship is almost always treated seriously. On the other hand, much of the humor in the episode "Cupid's Dagger" stems from Ed being turned bisexual by pheromones.
  • Porridge occasionally does this with Lukewarm. For example, when Fletcher composed letters to a number of prisoners' wives, he handed them back to the men, "To Mary, my Dear Sharon, (handing letter to Lukewarm) My darling Trevor..."-> Huge audience laugh. Later in the same episode, the wives are seen on the bus comparing their suspiciously identical letters and there is another huge laugh when the camera shows a man reading another such letter.
  • QI is fond of this trope to the point where you'll be hard pressed to find any episode where there isn't a gay joke made at the expense of (or by) Stephen Fry.
  • In the short lived scifi comedy Quark, Chief Engineer Gene/Jean is a "transmute", with both male and female chromosomes. Pretty much all the gags involving his character are queer/transgender jokes.
  • Turk and JD in the last seasons of Scrubs. Even in season one this trope was fully in effect: among other things, JD pictures the Fat Albert gang doing a "Hi-oh!" after he and Turk exchange Accidental Innuendo about an appendectomy ("I want you inside me"/"Well, I want to be the one inside you") and engage in an extended West Side Story reference in which they take on the roles of Tony and Maria and parody "Tonight".
  • Seinfeld had an episode where Jerry and Costanza are Mistaken for Gay by a female reporter and Jerry says, "We're not gay! Not That There's Anything Wrong with That!" This situation was reused and played for laughs each time.
  • In the Pilot Episode of Smallville, the following exchange occurs:
    Lana: Mom wants to know if you're upset about a girl.
    Clark: No...
    Lana: Dad wants to know if you're upset about a guy.
    Clark: No! No.
    Lana: He has a twisted sense of humor.
  • Spin City, where Carter's boyfriend hits on Mike. Had he been a girl, it would have been Played for Drama. As is, it's a comedy piece.
  • Lampshaded in That '70s Show. When Red has a problem with his new neighbors being a gay couple, Kitty points out that he didn't have a problem with The Three Stooges doing it. Red justifies it by saying that it's okay because it was funny.
  • A more classical example would be the gay jokes on Torchwood: Miracle Day, especially in the second episode where a flight attendant is badgered about his sexuality until he cracks.
    • A disproportionate amount of Rex's funny lines involve him making gay jokes about (and generally being rather uncomfortable around) Captain Jack.
  • Two and a Half Men has two cases:
    • Charlie's fiancée Chelsie's father, a virulently homophobic man’s man, comes out of the closet, divorces his racist wife, and marries the black man he’s been in love with since he was a young man in the army; subsequent appearances have them behaving like a normal married couple with some amusing banter, and the occasional Right Through the Wall.
    • Then Evelyn hooked up with the mother of Alan's girlfriend. Cue gay jokes and the children lying about their relationship to their own children, all played for laughs.
    • Partially averting the Unfortunate Implications, the humour in the first situation derived from the irony of the epitome of Real Men Love Jesus who, according to his wife, is ‘always on the watch for the gay agenda’, come out of the closet, and the aforementioned banter; the awkwardness of having one’s own mother and one’s girlfriend’s dating, causing an off-putting (or, in Alan’s case, possibly arousing) case of Not Blood Siblings; and the general awkwardness of Parental Sexuality Squick in general.
    • Aside from these cases, the series also features two transgender Girl of the Week characters: an ex of Charlie’s who becomes a new boyfriend of Evelyn’s in season 1, and a trans woman Alan dates briefly in season 11. Both of them are the subject of some jokes that fit this trope in a fairly non-offensive way, but their treatment is very positive in general.
  • In Ugly Betty, the Camp Gay Marc St. James is almost always the funniest character around, though not all the humor comes from him being gay (the creator of the show, Silvio Horta, was also openly gay).
  • Xena: Warrior Princess generally avoids this trope, but one notable example of it comes from the season four episode "The Play's the Thing" where the following conversation was played for, and received, big laughs:
    Minya: Gabrielle, I wanted to thank you! I never would have met Pollina if it wasn't for you! In fact, the two of you made me realize something deep down about myself that I guess I always knew, but just didn't dare admit. Yes. I'm a thespian!
    Xena: Oh. Hah. Congratulations. You managed to touch someone.
    Gabrielle: That's not exactly what I had in mind. I wanted to change violent people into people of peace, not actors. That is what she said, right? Deep down, she's a thespian? Yeah, um, that's what she said. Yeah.
    Xena: Why? What'd you think?
    Gabrielle: Thespian.
    • Xena being kissed by Miss Artephis (who was actually a transvestite/man in drag) after the latter's victory in the Miss Known World beauty pageant counts as this, but only if you're operating under Trans Equals Gay.
    • Joxer's triplet brother Jace is the definition of ancient Greek Camp Gay, and only appeared in the second (you guessed it) Musical Episode. Jace's terrible (even by in universe standards) Spanish accent, and incredible Camp stylings would make a young Elton John cringe, and gave a few cheap (and oddly glittery) laughs to the audience of "Lyre, Lyre Hearts on Fire".

  • Big Bad Bosses has a song called "Capture You", sung (in-universe) by Ganondorf. It's a Played for Laughs song about him wanting to bang Link.
  • "This Guy's In Love With You, Pare (Buddy)" is a song by the Filipino band Parokya ni Edgar (Edgar's Parish). The song is a about a guy discovering his best friend is gay (and is hitting on him); mostly played for laughs. You can listen to the song with English subtitles (and used as a Naruto parody) here.
  • Lampshaded by Sammy J and Randy in their song "Swiss Lovers in a Past Life". The song is about both Sammy J and Randy having memories of falling in love in a rural Swedish town and realising that they were, uh, Swiss lovers in a past life. Then one mentions climbing a window and making love, and the other says that wasn't his window - and he realises that's why he thought he recognised a man in the crowd earlier. But then they start wondering whether they're exploiting homophobia for cheap laughs:
    Randy: Is this homophobic?
    Sammy: 'Cause it's making fun of gay men?
    Randy: D'you think so?
    Sammy: I have no idea.
    Randy: There's a certain implication homosexual fornication is more worthy of laughs.
    Sammy: They were laughing!
    Randy: That's no excuse, it's 2015!
  • A not infrequent joke in Eminem's music, at least early on. In particular, he has a gay character, Ken Kaniff, who originated as a Prank Call character, and has one Crosses the Line Twice Fan Disservice sequence in which he has sex with Insane Clown Posse, but (starting from The Eminem Show) just sings Depraved Homosexual-themed song parodies of Eminem's comedy singles.
    Guess who's back. Back again. Keniff's back. Tell some men.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • John Cena would regularly make jokes at the expense of Michael Cole. The punchline to all of them are basically, "ur gay. Hur-hur-hur."
  • Ten years earlier, Triple H making fun of Kurt Angle the same way, and the entire schtick of Billy and Chuck.

  • The old radio comedy show Round the Horne, broadcast in a time before homosexuality was fully legalized in Britain, introduced two outrageously out gay characters called Julian and Sandy, played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams. It could be argued that Julian and Sandy, who were loved for their sheer camp outrageousness, helped pave the way in the middle 1960's for fuller acceptance of homosexuality that led to legal reform later in the decade. They were seen, ultimately, as two sweet inoffensive guys rather than slavering perverted monsters.

    It's widely claimed that, in the 1960s, only the more cosmopolitan set would realize exactly what was being implied about Jules and Sandy — to the less sophisticated, it just sounded like a lot of silly voices and nonsense words. (Mind you this is mostly claimed by the "baby boom" generation, who were children at the time and wouldn't have realized, and their parents may have gone to their graves not admitting that they got those jokes either.) Broadcasting codes at the time were such that you could say what you wanted to if nobody who didn't understand all about it already would realise (the logic would be 'if you understood enough to be offended, you're already as corrupted as us!') Some of it was "nonsense words", as Julian and Sandy often spoke in Polari, the contemporary gay slang. [1]

    Standup Comedy 
  • Louis C.K. mentioned this in one of his stand-up specials; specifically, he grew up around a gay man who acted like a complete stereotype of gay people, and Louis would laugh at him. But, Louis defended himself saying he wasn't laughing because the guy was gay, but because of how "weird and silly" he was acting.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, at one route, you can end up falling in love with Sunohara which is Played for Laughs.
    • At another point, Tomoya declares as a joke to his class that Kyou is bi and, when she becomes very angry and threatens him to take it back, that she's a lesbian, only for him to freak out when the situation backfires and everyone starts thinking he's gay or bi, too. Weirdly, while in the original Ryou was comically (and thankfully) totally okay with each idea, the anime tries to increase the tension by making her become teary at the thought of her sister being gay, making the scene potentially rather uncomfortable to anyone who's had to deal with homophobia in loved ones in real life.
  • In Little Busters!, the series sometimes jokes about Riki and Kyousuke's relationship, but unlike in Clannad, the Ho Yay is more often treated completely seriously.
  • Rewrite has this all over the place. In one early scene, Kotarou speculates jokingly that Yoshino is gay, but then freaks out when he realises that he'd be the only possible love interest. A little later, in an optional mappie scene, a nameless character informs Kotarou that insulting his friend, Yoshino, only makes him more unpopular with the underclassmen, but when Kotarou starts declaring that he loves Yoshino, the guy comments that he'll only get 'weird fans' that way. And then, there's another scene where Kotarou jokes that Yoshino is gay (or beginning 'an interest in Boys' Love', anyway), causing Yoshino to punch him and tell him he'll kill him if he says that again. And this is just a few examples...

    Web Animation 

  • In Homestuck, Tavros attempts to troll Dave by rapping at him, but his raps keep becoming unintentionally homoerotic, which starts to confuse him and opens him up to some spectacular counter-trolling from Dave, who hits on Tavros insultingly until he gets upset and blocks him.
    • Generally this is averted, though. Queer characters and relationships are involved which are never milked for cheap laughs, and even in the above case it's later revealed that Tavros belongs to a species where Everyone Is Bi, so his discomfort was entirely based around the unwanted sexual descriptions rather than the gay implications. Notably, Karkat's crush on John, while hilarious, is mostly funny because of how badly Karkat goes about expressing it, and how totally incompatible they are in the way that Karkat wants them to be (specifically, Karkat wants them to have a romance based on mutual hatred, when neither of them hate each other).
    • Gamzee hitting on Tavros comes partially under this (it's impossible to imagine a heterosexual solicitation resulting in out-of-context Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff references and a Homage Shot to the scene from Problem Sleuth where PS is unable to bring himself to tap a Magic: The Gathering-like card of a man's ass), and partially because it was supposed to amuse the fanbase by canonising a popular but noncanon ship that inspired major backlash. Notably, in the next scene dealing with Gamzee's crush on Tavros, it's treated seriously (if disturbingly), and made clear that Gamzee was especially sad about losing Tavros more than anyone else.
  • In Ménage à 3, Dillon was initially a sort-of-flamboyant Camp Gay, but as time went on, some readers felt that he was flanderized into a walking gay stereotype (although others felt that the seeds of that characterisation were always there). This was lampshaded in his own Spin-Off comic, Sticky Dilly Buns, where he says he went "from gay, to super ultra mega gay".
  • Jerkcity uses this as its modus operandi, though a creator behind the comic has said that the comic is actually a satire of this kind of humour.
  • Inverted horrifically in Something*Positive with theatre-director-from-hell Avogadro Pompey, who kept a little person (Pepito) as a sex slave and routinely abused his nephew Ollie. note  Pompey had no discernible sense of humor and was unrelentingly abusive (even non-sexually) to his casts and crews.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation