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Sarcasm Failure

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"I wonder what else lives down here that we don't know about?" said Carrot.
"Well, there's always the invisible squid-like creature that sucks all the air out of—" Rincewind began, but sarcasm did not carry very well out here. The universe diluted it. The huge, black, solemn eyes in the sky withered it.

Sarcasm Failure is, to put it simply, when a character who you'd expect would be able to deliver an irreverent, sarcastic or deadpan comment on just about anything fails to do so because of the nature of the current situation. This trope can be Played for Drama — if the writers want to show that a situation is particularly dire, having the funny guy go completely serious is one way of showing that — or Played for Laughs, by having the character encounter a situation so completely, utterly, and patently absurd that he or she is rendered temporarily incapable of responding coherently. (Basically their Snark short-circuits.)

Comedy versions may be reduced to gawking, stuttering, or incoherent babbling rage at the sheer idiocy of it all, a Beat, or just greet the situation with stunned incredulity, often lampshaded with some variation of "words fail me".

Not to be confused with Sarcasm-Blind, Cannot Convey Sarcasm, nor with Insult Backfire, though an Insult Backfire may well take the form of a sarcastic insult that fails to be appreciated as such. Compare O.O.C. Is Serious Business, Flat "What", I Have Nothing to Say to That. Compare also Shoo Out the Clowns, when this is an indicator the entire story is taking a turn for the serious. Compare and contrast Dude, Not Funny!, the reaction when someone attempts to be funny about a situation everyone else sees as no laughing matter.

Examples of the first kind (serious):

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Albireo Imma, the man with the perpetual Cheshire Cat Grin who never stopped acting with a strong whimsy, reached a point of utter horror as the (Magic) world was about to come to an end. Telepathically, Princess Arika made sure to tell him to stop being a defeatist fool. This was the only time he ever seemed without his usual joking demeanor (and with his eyes widened).
    • Later on, Asakura was rendered completely speechless upon seeing several people get wiped from existence.
  • In the first season finale of Code Geass, when Nina completes her super-bomb, Lloyd does this. The fact that the "Pudding Earl" got deadly serious is enough to convince Rakshata that he's not bluffing when he says how dangerous it is.
  • November 11 of Darker than Black is infamous for his twisted sense of humor. However, he has moments when his True Companions are in danger/has just escaped danger where he becomes serious and sincere.
  • Deadpan Snarker Kyon is momentarily reduced to incoherent choking sounds in the Haruhi Suzumiya movie when Ryoko Asakura shows up in class acting like she'd never tried to kill him. Considering he can ordinarily keep up, verbally at least, with Nagato, Koizumi and Tsuruya, it's a memorable moment.
  • Hayasaka from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Servile Snarker par excellence, always having a snide comment for whatever comes out of Kaguya's mouth. Despite that, she's caught completely off guard when Kaguya finally admits that she's in love with Shirogane.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: It's often considered that the ultimate way to show just how bad things have gotten is to have The Joker stop laughing.
  • Deadpool: Deadpool is typically a Motor Mouthed, wise-cracking assassin, often prone to Talking the Monster to Death, but when things are serious, he shuts up.
  • Doom Patrol: Cliff Steele is often snarky about the situations he finds himself in. Upon seeing Orqith, a parallel dimension of bone and decay: "All of a sudden, I can't think of anything remotely funny to say".
  • Justice League of America: When the Justice League nearly got taken out by Batman's contingency plans in the Tower of Babel arc, someone shouted an order at Plastic Man and he replied with "On it." The response was "...What, no jokes?" "This is not funny."
  • New Warriors: Speedball starts making a sneeze joke about somebody called "Ashu" (or similar), but when he starts explaining, he gives up with "Even I can't make jokes right now".
  • Shade, the Changing Man: Lenny was always good for a snark, no matter how dire the situation. Her Sarcasm Failure was a result of an author, an unwitting personality plunderer, who had written her into his book, and shocked her enough to drive her to a suicide attempt.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Man is famous for his habit of quipping his way through fights. If he's not joking, it probably means the villain has really pissed him off, and is in for quite a bit of pain.
    • From the Ultimate Clone Saga, Jessica Drew puts it well, after a villain asks if Peter's silence means he's too scared to talk:
      Spider-Woman: No, that's how you know he is serious!
  • Watchmen: The Comedian can't crack jokes about Ozymandias's plan, which also serves as his Despair Event Horizon. He's built his life laughing at the darkness in himself and in humankind, but even he never imagined doing that.
    Comedian: [tearfully] What's funny? What's so goddamn funny? I don't get it. Somebody explain — somebody explain it to me!

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has the former character trying to snark at a rather heartfelt speech about parental relationships, and not doing a very good job at it.
  • In Chapter 29 of Origin Story, Tony Stark, Alex Harris, and Natasha Romanov have what is effectively a strategy session while the two women are sitting topless, sunbathing next to the Black Panther's swimming pool. Stark not only doesn't ogle the naked women, he doesn't even comment on the fact that their naked breasts are on full display. This is especially notable because while all women in the Marvel Universe enjoy the Most Common Superpower, Alex Harris is a physical clone of Power Girl, and thus her Most Common Superpower is a bit more "most" than anyone in the Marvel Universe. The fact that he's not making tit jokes and eyeballing the boobies is a clue that he's seriously worried about the situation they are all in.
  • Throughout the second season of Sword Art Online Abridged, Suguha is a Little Sister Bully who constantly subjects her brother Kazuto to sarcasm and mockery, even about the fact that his lover is in a coma. But when she decides to accompany him to the hospital one day, it turns even she has some standards.
    Suguha: So, like, what do you get out of this? Are you hoping she'll be all grateful you didn't leave her while she was under? (laughs) 'cause, right now, she does not seem like a lot of fun at parties—
    (she trails off as she sees Kirito holding Asuna's hand, gazing at her in somber silence)
    Suguha: Ah. Sorry. (Mirthless Laughter) I'm the worst...

    Films — Animation 
  • Kup, the grizzled veteran in 1986's Transformers: The Movie, often told war stories comparing situations to battles he'd been in. Eventually they discover Unicron devouring their home planet.
    Hot Rod: Doesn't it remind you of something, Kup?
    Kup: Nope... never seen anything like it.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker:
    • The Joker spends most of the film quipping, laughing, and generally being his usual Monster Clown self (with a bit of anger on the side). The only scene that makes him drop it all is when Tim Drake shoots him dead.
      The Joker: That's not funny... That's not...
    • Joker also loses his smile and replaces it with indignant rage later in the movie when Terry says he never had a good joke and the only way he could ever make Batman laugh was over how pathetic he was. The clown flips out at this that even when he had temporarily turned the tables on Terry, he wasn't laughing, but snarling while taunting Terry.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Deadpool 2: Yukio is so adorable and nice that Wade is unable to find anything to snark about regarding her and just suffers from Cuteness Proximity instead.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, when the dwarf and the elf stop competing and focus on fighting together, you know they're in serious danger.
  • Variation: In The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo has a Swagger Failure when the hyperdrive fails. That's when you know they're in real danger.
    Han: Oh, yeah? Watch this!
    [nothing happens]
    Leia: Watch what?
    Han: I think we're in trouble.
  • In Manhattan, Woody Allen gets dumped when his girlfriend reveals that she's going back to his (married, though soon to be divorced) best friend. You can see him clearly reaching for a standard Woody one-liner, but instead he can only stammer, "I'm... I'm stunned, I'm, I'm, I'm...."
  • Harry from The Journey of Natty Gann does this in a very subtle way. He spends most of the film making sarcastic remarks to Natty. He tells her that he last went to the west coast with his "old man" and she responds with "Your dad?" He looks like he's about to make some retort like "No, my sister." Instead, he lets his guard down and tells her about his dad's death.
  • Joe Gillis is exceptionally snarky, but suffers from this more than once in Sunset Boulevard as the situation around him takes yet another turn he doesn't want to make into a joke.
  • Tony Stark from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for being an irreverent, ostentatious jackass, so when he clams up you know something's serious.
  • Operation Petticoat: The Chief Engineer says that having five women on the submarine is bad luck, the Captain replies sarcastically asking what he's supposed to do "throw them overboard?", and the Chief responds -straight faced- that it is "something to think about".

  • Animorphs:
    • You know the situation is either particularly dire or somehow personal when Marco stops making sarcastic jokes. Jake actually has to take him aside at one point and order him to start cracking jokes, because his seriousness is frightening the others.
    • In "The Threat", Marco tries to demorph from flea while dangerously close to the time limit. He's nearly trapped as a flea the size of a dog, and needs Cassie to coach him through the rest of the morph. His response is to do something Jake "didn't think Marco was capable of" — collapse on her shoulders, sobbing with naked fear and relief.
  • Similarly, you know things are bad when Richie Tozier stops cracking jokes in IT. (Though sometimes averted — as a Motor Mouth with poor impulse control, he slips up from time to time, notably mouthing off to Henry Bowers twice in a row, straight to his face when the big lummox falls over.)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
    • Fred Weasley is reduced to this after he sees that George's ear has been blown off. George, however, is not.
    • Immediately lampshaded:
      "Pathetic! With the whole wide world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?"
    • On the other hand, when Fred dies, we can safely assume George doesn't start cracking jokes about it.
      • Likewise, Mad Eye's death made the twins shut up.
  • In American Gods, Mr. Nancy (Anansi) starts out as a Cool Old Guy who is perpetually joking. When things start going bad for the old gods, the protagonist notes that Nancy complete stops smiling and telling jokes. Only when things are settled does he return to his former carefree attitude.
  • In the true-crime book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (upon which Homicide: Life on the Street was based), one of the recurring observations is that homicide cops can be very, very snarky on crime scenes, as they have to deal with a great deal of unpleasantness in their day-to-day working lives and use wit as something of a defense mechanism. This, then, serves to make the discovery of the body of eight-year-old Latonya Kim Wallace and the investigation into the scene of the crime particularly powerful; it's simply noted that there's no jokes, no sarcastic comments, just a lot of grim and serious-faced cops doing their jobs.
  • In Small Favor, Harry is unable to deliver any of his trademark snark when confronted by Queen Mab of the Winter Court, and for good reason: he's too damned scared to snark.
    • This was later shown to be a good reaction: when he does start cracking jokes, it annoys her. And because it annoys her, she freezes the water in his eyes. He's reduced to whimpering in pain and crying Tears of Blood for a while.
    • Harry generally goes light on the sarcasm around Nicodemus as well, for much the same reasons. Nicodemus is too much of a No-Nonsense Nemesis to get affected by it anyway.
    • In Changes Harry, when he first sees Thomas, tells him "Congratulations. You're an uncle." Thomas's first reaction is to laugh, and say that in his vampire family, that just doesn't happen... and then he realizes that Harry is saying that he has a child. The realization leaves him completely unable to come up with a snappy response for several minutes.
  • X-Wing Series: Wes Janson is something of a Manchild much of the time. He's always irreverent, always making some quip. When he's not, well...
  • A strange example of mostly dramatic but with a hint of bitter comedic aftertaste in GONE. PLAGUE has Diana at a loss of words when her boyfriend declares himself king and tells her to get the fuck off his island, thus breaking up with her. In the next book, after having a torturous birth aged fifteen in a hot, pitch dark mine she has this reaction when, just minutes after giving birth, she's ordered by Drake to just "Get up and walk."
  • In Shaman Blues, upon finding out Konstancja's Dark Secret, Witkacy, Deadpan Snarker of the story, can only manage to say "Ah."
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Sansa Stark desperately resorts to throwing courtesy and rote phrases up as defences against the jibes and snark aimed in her direction when she's left with no other recourse in King's Landing. It doesn't stop the abuse, but from Joffrey (trying to bait her) to Cersei (trying to verbally maul her) and Tyrion (trying to joke with her), it does make getting the effect they were wanting rather more difficult than anticipated, as it makes her appear just blind to it, while they come across as plainly and awkwardly rude to anybody else watching. This is the closest to victory she can get, poor thing.
  • In the Discworld series, Nanny Ogg is a Cool Old Lady who can turn nearly anything into a rude double entendre. In Carpe Jugulum, it's a dramatic sign of how worried about the situation she is when Agnes makes an Innocent Innuendo and Nanny Ogg lets it go by unremarked.
  • You know that Garrett, P.I. is hurting, badly, after a mob beating when he can't maintain his usual Running Gag conceit that horses are out to get him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder does this at the end of the fourth season. The main character, who is probably sarcasm made flesh, remains serious when Darling, Baldrick and George admit to being scared before they all charge into a battle in World War I. The episode itself became this trope in its surprisingly-reverent conclusion,
  • As Boy Meets World went on Eric got sillier, more erratic and just plain damn weird, but when he did get serious you knew things were bad. Like the time a prank war caused a serious fault in the friendship and he was the only one willing to work it out, the silliest thing he did was pick up Rachel and drag her back into the classroom Mr. Feeny had locked them in and sit on her so she could read what he had written.
    "Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself."
  • An inversion of this can be seen with Simon Cowell. If he stops being mean or sarcastic even with his body language, you know the person he's watching is good. From Britain's Got Talent alone: Paul Potts, Connie Talbot, Susan Boyle, and Julian Smith.
    • For example, take Hollie Steel. Simon's not thrilled with her because she looks like a typical wannabe-ballerina, and has his hand over the buzzer. The camera cuts to her beginning to sing, and the next shot is him absolutely shocked.
    • Susan Boyle. From rolling his eyes, to shock, to fawning.
    • In all fairness though, it's been indicated as fairly likely that these reaction shots aren't always the ones from those contestants, since, you know, it's a TV show and everything (Skip to about 05:20 for the relevant chunk).
  • Subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anya's irreverence comes out of genuine cluelessness, not an attempt to be funny. So when Buffy's mother dies, Anya behaves as normal, and infuriates the other characters. However, her explanation of why she isn't acting like any normal human with normal sensitivities would act (she's not a normal human, and she doesn't "understand... how this all happens... how we go through this...") is one of the most heartfelt of her character arc, and does follow this trope.
    • One example of Xander playing this one for comedy (there are probably many others): in the Season 4 episode "Something Blue," Willow accidentally, and unbeknownst to the rest of the gang, casts a spell that makes Spike and Buffy fall in love and become engaged.
      Buffy: Spike and I are getting married!
      Xander: How- What- How?
      Giles: Three excellent questions.
      • As is Giles, who can usually be counted on for a dry remark. In the seventh season, as the cast falls once again into mocking Xander's dating habits, Giles rather sharply points out that they are fighting a war for their very survival.
  • On The Colbert Report, Colbert can almost always find some way to swing a story and turn it into a crack — even if his character is cluelessly in earnest — but when the News International hacking scandal got to the part about tampering with the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler, which may have led to the deletion of her voicemail, in turn both impeding the investigation and causing her parents to believe she was still alive, it was apparently so unambiguously wrong that it reduced him to open-mouthed shock.
  • Whenever Morgan and Garcia of Criminal Minds aren't bantering and flirting, you know things are bad.
    Reid: (On the phone, sick with anthrax and getting worse.) What, no goofy Garcia nickname for me this time?
    Garcia: No. I can't be my cheery self when you are where you are.
  • CSI: Gil Grissom almost always makes some kind of quip at each murder scene that takes us into the credits. When he doesn't, it's an indication of how disturbing the murder is.
    • Or just... weird. In the opening of the infamous "Fur & Loathing in Las Vegas", Grissom and Catherine come across a dead man in a furry costume; both of them perceived it to be a dead animal from afar. When seeing what it actually is, both are weirded out. Catherine looks to Grissom for the requisite one-liner, perceiving Grissom to not be weirded out by anything, but Grissom continues to look weirded out silently into the opening credits.
    • Horatio in CSI: Miami does this also. One such example: when his old friend is blown up and instead of his usual quip he just stares at the smoldering house in horror.
  • Dexter:
    • The usually lecherous Masuka becomes stone serious when investigating the crime scene where a cop was attacked.
      Deb: What, no jokes about providing gross sexual comfort in a time of crisis?
      Masuka: My friend was stabbed, and he might die.
    • It's actually used as a barometer of Masuka's mental wellbeing at times. Later that episode:
      Masuka: Hey Morgan, wanna sit on my lap when we're done and tell me what you want for Christmas?
      Deb: And he's back!
    • Similarly, we get an impression of how gruesome a murder scene is when Dexter himself (a blood-spatter analyst who is also a serial killer who chops up his victims) gets nauseous at the sight of it. It's also a hint that the scene had been constructed specifically to remind him of his repressed memories regarding his mother's brutal murder.
    • In Season 3, Masuka gets one of his articles published. He's very happy and proud about this and gives autographed copies of the journal to his co-workers who, we later learn, never bothered to read the article. Masuka's personality undergoes an abrupt change after this. When the officers ask him why, he tells them "You hurt my feelings."
  • Early on in Firefly when Malcolm discovers River stored in a crate, his initial response is a dull "Huh". He recovers more or less instantly and begins snarking at Simon, however.
  • House: When the title character starts wearing a serious expression and talking respectfully to the patients and their relatives, it's an extremely ominous sign.
    • Unless he's doing it consciously to mess with the others' heads.
  • M*A*S*H: This show attempted this with Hawkeye, but overdid the seriousness.
    • The Futurama parody, where Hawkeye is a robot (named 'iHawk') who switches between IRREVERENT and MAUDLIN modes, is an indication of the result.
      iHawk : (maudlin) This isn't a war. It's murder.
      iHawk : (irreverent, as Groucho Marx) Dis isn't a war, it's moidah!
  • The Middleman subverts this in "The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation":
    The Middleman: Dubbie, did he just turn into a bat puppet?
    Wendy: Man, I don't even have an opinion.
  • Psych played this straight, then subverted it, when Shawn is targeted by a Serial Killer. Shawn quickly loses his snark as he was overwhelmed by the pressure. As the situation grows more dire, Shawn convinces Gus that he should joke around for both of them. Which Gus does, resulting in hilariously awkward and terrible prop comedy.
    • Technically, it was subverted, then played straight. Shawn never lost his ability to crack jokes while crime-solving (in fact, he outright states that if he isn't able to joke, the bad guy wins) and that is why Gus starts behaving ridiculously. The trope is then played deadly straight later in the episode when the bad guy kidnaps Shawn's mom.
    • Shawn also plays this trope out during the episode Gus Walks into a Bank, when Gus was in serious danger and Shawn couldn't be there with him.
  • On QI, regular panelist Jimmy Carr makes ample use of his trademark Black Comedy and Crossing The Line Twice. However, in the episode "Gifts", the discussion of the system of American prison labor - effectively, as Stephen Fry puts it, a reinvention of slavery - leaves even Jimmy rather shocked.
    Jimmy: I'd very much like to say something hilarious, but something must be done!

  • Music example: Dead Kennedys' 12" single In God We Trust Inc. The Single includes rants against the religious right, Ronald Reagan (We Got Bigger Problems Now, sung to the tune of California Uber Alles from their first album) and against neo-nazis that flocked their gigs after misunderstanding some of their songs (Nazi Punks Fuck Off, arguably the Sarcasm Failure of the band).
  • While Rammstein's music can be described as Indecisive Parody, they are deadly serious in the self-titled song Rammstein, which is about the Ramstein airshow disaster.
  • Tom Lehrer's response to Henry Kissinger receiving the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize:
    Political satire is obsolete.

  • RiffTrax: In the "This Is Hormel" short, the narrator describes hot-dog mass-production while hot dogs fly up from a huge bin into our faces. Kevin overloads from the potential.
    Narrator: Thousands of pounds of wieners are produced daily.
    Kevin: Oh, no... sounds too good... panicking... um... wieners!
    Narrator: The Hormel batch-master...
    Kevin: Another great one... think, Kevin, think... err... wieners!
    • Eventually Bill starts underlining the material instead of snarking on it.
      Narrator: The wieners are next discharged onto a much-wider conveyor belt for even distribution to four high-speed take-away belts.
      Bill: "Wieners discharged" is all I heard.
      Narrator: The wieners hurry to a slotted, stainless-steel belt, where free-swinging deflectors arrange them into a single layer.
      Bill: "Free-swinging wieners discharged" is my take-away.
      Mike: Would you stop that?!
  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: of the Tres Horny Boys - and how serious can they be, with that name - Taako is easily the most irreverent of the three. But when he discovers that Lucretia erased 100 years worth of memories, including his entire knowledge of his twin sister Lup, he has no response but to start counting down from 10 while pointing his staff at Lucretia.
    Taako: I have nothing, and I don't give a shit. The world is ending, and I. Don't. Care.

    Video Games 
  • Throughout Disgaea, Etna has delivered descriptions of the next chapter that are nothing like what happens. The one time she did, nobody believed her. Then for the final chapter, when things have hit the fan, Etna's description is both perfectly accurate and completely serious. Everyone panics. She is less than amused.
  • One of the routes you can take in Dragon Age II is to turn Hawke into a snarker who turns every situation into a joke, no matter how appropriate that may be. One mission in the second act involves someone stealing qunari gunpowder, except it's not gunpowder, it's a poison gas that makes non-Qunari go insane and kill each other. The elf responsible tries to make bombs to blow up a street to frame the Qunari, but instead winds up poisoning lots of people, and doesn't entirely see it as a setback. Upon learning this, Silly!Hawke's response is:
    "You were going to kill a lot of people anyway? That's... not funny at all, really."
    • There's also the quest in which Leandra is taken by a serial killer and Hawke has to follow a trail of her blood to find her. Every version of Hawke, be they The Paragon or a Deadpan Snarker or a Blood Knight, will sound horrified and panicky.
      • Snarky!Hawke embraces this trope during that quest:
      Snarky!Hawke: I hate to interrupt this lovely student-teacher reunion, but WHERE IS MY MOTHER?
  • Final Fantasy X: there are a few moments when the normally stoic Deadpan Snarker Lulu gets this. Most notably when it is revealed that Sin will come back eternally, no matter what the Teachings say and how much people repent. Also, when Tidus pulls the final reveal on the party right before the final boss, if she's got the highest affection score with him, her reaction is an utterly bewildered "What are you talking about?!".
  • Iji has the Scrambler, a Silliness Switch that either turns the game into a "Blind Idiot" Translation or makes the lines even crazier ("You promised me a pony... with missiles... I want a missile pony!"). However, near the end of the game, Asha tries to kill your Voice with an Internet Connection, Iji's brother Dan. When Iji finally kills Asha, she screams, "That's what you get, you bastard! That's what you get for trying to kill him!" Even with the Scrambler on, this line is almost untouched.
  • Equal parts of both in Kingdom of Loathing, leaning towards the latter: whenever the horrific, nightmarish Guy Made Of Bees appears, the game's narration turns far straighter than it usually plays, aside from some Lampshade Hanging.
    "Dang, man, couldn't you have summoned Beetlejuice? At least he's funny."
    • In the later areas of the Sea, when discussing the hideous eldritch powers that have corrupted Mom and Dad Sea Monkey, the game is completely devoid of jokes.
  • Legacy of Kain has a particularly amazing example. Throughout the multiple-game-long series, main character Kain has always spoken faux-Shakespeare dialogue, and he always mocks his opponents; he's the equivalent of the game universe's Dracula, and he's so powerful that in a normal series he'd be a Game-Breaker. However, when he sees the Elder God, a horrific Lovecraftian monster responsible for everything he's suffered in the series, his only response is a genuinely bewildered, "What in the hell?" It's a sign of how utterly overwhelming the truth is that even Kain can't come up with a good taunt.
    • And just before that, you get to see one of the few times Kain genuinely smiles, because Moebius is there, and has no idea that Kain is about to kill him. Again. As one Fauxtivational Poster put it, "Kain is smiling. Run for your lives."
  • Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat can snark to the very moon against his foes, may they be Ermac, Shinnok and Raiden, or even his own daughter. But when Jason shows up, Johnny only has two words - and no snark in his voice.
    Johnny Cage: Ohh...Freak.
  • Portal 2: GlaDOS is usually an unrelenting fountain of snark, and remains so as she finds out you sabotaged the turrets she tried to use to execute you. As soon as she tries to deploy her Neurotoxin only to find out you sabotaged that too (complete with Wheatley rolling down the tube instead), all she can offer is an uncharacteristically straightforward "I hate you so much".
  • An example in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, when Bentley is explaining to Sly how they'll have to cheat in the ACES dogfighting competition since they have only one plane compared to the 15 each on the two opposing teams.
    Sly: Normally I'd make some sarcastic remark about how "overcome I am by your confidence in me", but those are some pretty grim odds.
  • In Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), Anakin Skywalker engages in snarky Trash Talk when faced with opposing Dark Side hero units... unless he's in a cross-era match against Darth Vader, in which case he freaks out.
    Anakin: No... no, no, NO, NO!!
  • Garrett from Thief is usually a prime Deadpan Snarker and has wry, or at least interested, insights into a lot of things you see during your missions and cutscenes. He usually shuts up during the more frightening areas of the game. The Shalebridge Cradle from the third is especially notable: Garrett speaks exactly two lines during the entire mission, and both of them are more to the effect of Oh, Crap!.
  • Beckett from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a Badass Bookworm vampire who spends most of his encounter with the player being agreeably sarcastic and bemused with the chaos occuring around him, especially the all the agitation revolving around the Ankaran Sarcophagus, which he belives to just hold a mummified Assyrian king and not an Antideluvian that will bring about the apocalypse. But towards the endgame, he suddenly runs up to you in the street, panicked and out of breath, and tells you that whatever you do, you cannot open the Sarcophagus. With the knowledge that Beckett is a very intelligent and seasoned archaeologist who is not easily swayed by rumor or hysteria, the weight of the situation suddenly lands on you hard.
    • Also, when you talk about Kindred origins with Beckett and have low Humanity at the same time, you can say that vampires were created to prey on humanity like demons. He'll drop the sarcasm to an extent and tell you that you've got a dangerous mindset, and it'd be wise to change it.note 

    Web Animation 
  • In the Red vs. Blue: The Chorus Trilogy episode "Fed vs. New", Felix fails to form any sort of quip or sarcastic response when Tucker reveals that he recorded and broadcasted all of Felix's Evil Gloating about how he and Locus manipulated both sides into going to war so that they would end up killing each other. Tucker even lampshades that, for once, Felix is speechless. It happens again in his Villainous Breakdown during the finale.
    Tucker: Oh, dude, are you speechless? That's a first!
    Felix: You... You're dead!

  • Looking for Group: Richard can usually be trusted to have a snarky comment or off-beat action in most situations. But after seeing a vision of his past self and asked if it was really him, all he can come up with a simple "Pass".
  • In Go Get a Roomie!, during "The Night in Furs" (Lillian's retelling of The Knight in Rusty Armor), the knight's irreverence isn't up to mocking The Shadow of Fear and Doubt.
  • In the Schlock Mercenary book "Broken Wind", Tagon figures out that the situation is dire because Ennesby didn't make a fart joke about the eponymous Broken Wind - who is, after all, a terrifyingly powerful and ancient AI with a name that more properly translates to "Angry God".

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom: Happens twice in one episode. At first, it was Skulker, completely ignoring Danny and not saying a word. Later in the episode, it's Danny, who is searching for his sister. He attacks Skulker and demands answers, no quips involved.
    Skulker: That's odd, no witty banter?
    Danny: Not in the mood!
  • In The Spectacular Spider Man, when the Green Goblin's glider slams into a building while flying backwards, just before impact the Goblin jumps off the glider, does a backflip in midair, and lands on the glider on the other side of the building.
    Spider-Man: Okay, wow. Just... wow.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Carnage of Krell", the prospect of being executed on the orders of The Neidermeyer General Krell for an act of disobedience that saved the day causes the normally extremely sardonic Jesse to announce that he's "officially lost [his] sense of humour."
  • Teen Titans (2003): When Slade returns in "Birthmark" and demonstrates his new powers.
    Cyborg: Whoa!
    Slade: "Whoa"? That's it? No clever comment? I was looking forward to that.

    Real Life 
  • The satirical invent-silly-stories newspaper The Onion has found itself at a loss for words on more than one occasion.
  • Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, doing election coverage in 2016 when Donald Trump was about to win the electoral college.
    Colbert: Donald Trump has taken the state of Florida.
    Guest: He is now on the doorstep of 270 electoral votes.
    Colbert: Wow. Wow. Uh, that's a horrifying prospect. I can't put, uh, I cannot put uh uh-uh, a ... I can't put a happy face on that. And, and that's my job.
  • Satirist group The Chaser (Australia's answer to The Onion) made what was intended to be a comedic article in response to the 2021 controversy about Australian politicians involved in perpetrating and covering up sexual assaults ("Life Hack: How to not rape someone in one really fucking easy step"), but their sheer disgust towards rapists and the people who enable, cover up for, and make excuses for them came through in their sheer incredulity that they're apparently having to EXPLAIN to people how rape is bad.
  • The Twitter account Dystopian YA Novel by Dana Schwartz, a parody of dystopian young adult novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent told from the point of view of an incredibly cliched protagonist of one named Valentine "Val" Neverwoods, did this three times.
    • The first was the day after Donald Trump was elected President, when Schwartz posted a tweet that simply read "Uhhhhhhhhhhh", causing several replies to joke about living in the prologue to such a book. Several later tweets also cast shade on Trump, though written in-universe as Valentine.
    • Second was when she started posting unedited excerpts from Time of the Twins: The Story of Lex and Livia, an actual dystopian YA novel by Kendall and Kylie Jenner (yes, the models and reality TV stars), that were indistinguishable from some of the cliched lines she'd written as a joke.
    • Third was during the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, when she wrote that "This account was supposed to be a joke not a preview". Tellingly, this was the last tweet that Schwartz made from the account, barring a retweet from her own account later that day making fun of the British royals.
  • DougJ created the New York Times Pitchbot as a satirical Twitter account spoofing what he sees as the mealy-mouthed "both sides" centrism of The New York Times. In 2022, he threw up his hands and said "I can't top this" while retweeting an actual article published by the Times talking about how, after the disgrace of cryptocurrency billionaire and onetime tech wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried, people in The Bahamas were afraid that the collapse of his white-collar criminal empire (which was based in The Bahamas for tax and regulatory reasons and, much like Al Capone and Pablo Escobar, spent lavishly on local philanthropy for PR purposes) would plunge their nation into economic ruin and gang violence.

Examples of the second kind (funny):

  • Occurs during Jeff Dunham's routine with his puppets Peanut & Jose Jalapeño-on-a-Stick. Peanut and Jose begin conversing in Spanish, and Jeff asks them to stop because it leaves him left out. The usually smart-assed Peanut is reduced to a "Huh?!", and when Jeff's explanation is that he can't speak Spanish, Peanut stops his sarcastic comment before it can even begin to just stare at him.
  • Lewis Black had a variation in a bit about the excesses of the rich:
    "They bought houses, second and third homes, that they decorated and didn't live in — but that they got a tax write-off for. And I'd have a joke about that, but it makes me too FUCKING ANGRY!!!"

    Comic Books 
  • Lampshaded in one early Hack/Slash story, just after the normally cynical and caustic Cassie is hit on by a bunch of drunk college kids, and can only manage a sputtered refusal.
    Vlad: I have never seen you without a oneliner.
    Cassie: [blushing] Yeah, let's never speak of that again.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Turnabout Storm: Phoenix, resident First-Person Smartass, nearly always has a snarky remark about the weirdness around him, especially now that he's stuck in Equestria; but one of Pinkie's comments short circuits him.
    Pinkie: Hmm... What element could you be?... OH! OH! OH! I got it! "Phoenix Wright, with his nifty do, represents the spirit of... HAIR GEL!"
    Phoenix: ... (No comment...)
  • Dragon Ball Abridged's Freeza keeps a mental checklist on how many times he's heard certain heroic speeches. Eventually, he meets Goku:
    Goku: Are you that freezer guy?
    Freeza: I am Lord Freeza, yes.
    Goku: Awesome! I'mma deck you in the schnozz!
    Freeza: I'm sorry, that's a new one.
  • Freeman's Mind:
    • This is Gordon's reaction to the "YORE DEAD FREEMAN" graffiti he encounters.
      Gordon: "Yore dead." Wow... I can't even make fun of that.
    • When facing down the Hunter-Chopper in 2, witnessing the thing deploy dozens and dozens of timebombs like some kind of explosive-deploying clown car baffles him so much he has a brief moment of complete silence.
      Gordon: What's he doing...? How many of...? No, no, come on! I'm a physicist, THIS ISN'T POSSIBLE! THIS IS JUST BASIC MASS CONSERVATION!
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kirito is a snarker par excellence, able to keep up the insults even when someone's trying to murder him, but even he has his limits.
    • Episode 3 also contains an example that is Serious in-universe, funny out of it, as Sachi confides in Kirito that she's worried that her poor internet connection is going to get her and others killed.
      Kirito: ...Well shit, I don't know how to mock that. OH GOD, that's never happened before!
    • In Season Two, he enters Alfheim Online, and eventually learns that the entire Spriggan faction is comprised of fanboys imitating the "Hero of Aincrad"'s style and taking nearly every permutation of his Online Alias, led by "Kirito Prime."
      Kirito: Um, that's um... wow. Yeah, I'm gonna need a minute!
  • Yami Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is near-constantly snarky, but occasionally things are just too out-there even by his standards. When Dartz is recounting his tragic backstory about Atlantis, he matter-of-factly reveals that it fell "because of people turning into furries." The pharaoh, who was expecting an And Man Grew Proud moment, can only give a Flat "What" in response. Though a Serious moment turns up a short time later, when Dartz gives the pharaoh a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that he can't really refute, sending him into a Heroic BSoD.
    • When Yugi is getting introduced at a tournament, Kaiba has the announcer also point out that Yugi canonically has the worst win-loss record of any Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonist, solely to be a prick. The pharaoh awkwardly asks if they can please just move along.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ghostbusters (1984): The normally deadpan Egon Spengler delivers this classic example just after Gozer incarnates as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man:
    Peter Venkman: Egon, what have you got left?
    Egon: Sorry, Venkman, I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
  • Evolution (2001) had Deadpan Snarker Harry temporarily blow a fuse. Upon witnessing the (rather messy) birth of a breed of alien able to breathe Earth's atmosphere, Harry — who had up to that point been a snark gatling gun — was at a loss for words and fell back to an old standard:
    Harry Block: [Beat] Mazel Tov, it's a boy.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • At the end of Iron Man 3, Tony witnesses Pepper Potts come back from seeming death and blast the villain to pieces right as he was declaring himself "the Mandarin", saving his life; his only reaction is to stare at her and finally come up with, "I got nothing."
    • At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Ronan has a variant of this — specifically, while during the entirety of the movie beforehand he's been an amazing Large Ham, he's left unable to come up with anything besides a flat "What are you doing?" when Star-Lord challenges him to a dance-off.
  • Clerks II has resident Deadpan Snarker Randal left in Stunned Silence when Elias tells him all about "Pillow Pants", his girlfriend's pussy troll.

  • Animorphs: In The Suspicion, the heroes learn that Helmacrons kill any of their kind who take a position of leadership. Why? Dead people can't make mistakes. It's specifically noted that Marco can't even joke about that.
  • The Stormlight Archive: The King's Wit is a legal, institutionalized Troll, so people generally aren't happy to see him — which makes him very happy, as it gives more chances to make fun of them. When Shallan Davar sees him, she realizes he's the same man who gave her some advice a few years ago, and greets him with a giant hug. Wit is speechless, possibly for the first time in hundreds of years.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Every so often on Cash Cab. Most hilariously and unbelievably:
    Ben Bailey: An alternative to permanent tattoos, what plant dye, popular in India, is used for temporary body art?
    Contestant: I know this!
    Ben Bailey: You do?
    Contestant: Hentai!
    Ben Bailey: ... (Aside Glance)
    Ben Bailey: ... The correct answer was henna.
  • Barney Miller: In "The Clown", when William "Bingo" Krebs is being interviewed after he was mugged, Harris resists the urge to make a witty comment:
    Harris: Sounds like our man, huh?
    Bingo: What man?
    Barney: I'm afraid you were the third clown to be assaulted in this precinct in the last two weeks.
    Harris: I didn't have the heart to say it.
  • In one episode of Dad's Army, the platoon is covered in mud after saving Pike from a bog and are marching back into town when they spot Hodges (the local greengrocer/ARP Chief Warden and Captain Mainwaring's rival), Mainwaring mentions that he's probably got some "smart-alek remark" and tells the platoon to march smartly and just ignore him. Hodges is practically quivering with anticipation at being given such a prime opportunity to try and take the wind out of Mainwaring's sails, only for him not to think of anything to say as the platoon marches past un-snarked. The verger (who was with Hodges at the time) remarked that he looked like he was about to have a heart attack.
  • Certain news stories on The Daily Show can get this reaction out of Jon Stewart. His reaction to Newt Gingrich using a "describe yourself in one word" question to describe himself as "cheerful" (after using a debate prophesying doom, gloom and general unpleasantness if he's not elected)? Walk off the stage.
  • In Friends, Chandler gets a sarcasm overload when he sees Joey dressed as an elf.
    Chandler: Too... many... jokes... (Laugh Track) Must... mock... Joey...
    • He also does this when he accidentally spills to Rachel that Ross is in love with her. He sputters "crystal duck" a couple of times and then descends into meaningless babble.
    • And in a Throw It In example: at one point Chandler mocks Joey's attire by saying "Donald Trump called and he wants his blue blazer black" (instead of "back"). Matthew Perry genuinely messed up the line, but the other actors took advantage of it and went with it, pointing out the mistake and making fun of snarky Chandler. (Monica: "No, no, you messed it up! You're stupid.")
    • And at the end of "The One With Phoebe's Ex Partner", Chandler comes back from getting his nubbin removed.
      Chandler: I just had me a little nubbinectomy. Yup, two nipples, no waiting.
      Monica: Wow, like Rachel in high school.
      Rachel: Hey!
      Monica: Come on, I was kidding. It was such an obvious joke.
      Chandler: That was an obvious joke, and I didn't think of it. Why didn't I think of it? [feels where his nubbin was] The source of all my power. Oh, my God, what have I done?
  • Mock the Week ran into this after the David Cameron "pig scandal" emergednote . When the Picture of the Week was Cameron holding a pig, host Dara O'Brien announced that comedy was now obsolete, pulled out his briefcase, and prepared to walk out.
    Dara O'Briain: Here we go ladies and gentlemen, the end of comedy. That's it. There's literally nothing we can add to this particular story once we've shown you that picture. That's it. It's all over, folks. Time to go home. That picture has finished it. 250 years of satire and it's now done. Punch, Private Eye, Have I Got News for You, The Establishment Club, all done. Good night people, we're outta here! Just show that picture and go to bed.
  • One of Eric Morecambe's catchphrases was, after a particularly spectacular example of Comically Missing the Point by Ernie, to be about to reply, then give up, turn to the camera and say "There's no answer to that."
  • A gag-oriented version occurred on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! during the episode on fast food. When the issue of the "Soda Tax" was raised they cut to a scene of Teller fiddling with a wide array of props. Penn went on to explain that the two of them found the concept of taxing the sales of soft drinks made with government-subsidized ingredients so asinine they couldn't come up with a magic trick to adequately express it.
  • The Rachel Maddow Show: Rachel Maddow was reduced to this in an attempt to respond to a very poorly worded Republican speech, as seen here.
    Rachel Maddow: Um. Eh — um — I'm — ah buh buh. Uh buh buh buh.... I know that I am paid to talk for a living. I am incapable of doing what I'm paid to do right now.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 would occasionally have this when something in a movie was bad enough to leave even Joel/Mike and the bots stunned. One example is on Monster a-Go Go, where a telephone is supposed to ring but rather than a ring being dubbed in, the sound is clearly just someone making a phone ringing noise with their mouth. Rather than any witty riffs, Mike just mutters "Unbelievable", while Tom Servo bursts out laughing.

  • The Adventure Zone: Amnesty: in their trip to visit Heathcliffe after fighting the Calamity Tree, the other members of the Pine Guard start riffing on Duck when he asks for a helmet - just a normal ass helmet. Duck, who had been depowered following the apparent destruction of his Spirit Advisor Minerva's homeworld, enters a Heroic BSoD and starts sputtering some semblance of a response back at them.
    Duck: Shut up! Hey! You two! Pipe down, alright! Yuck it up! I'm glad you all are still fuckin' X-Men! I'm just a regular dipshit, and I need a fuckin' helmet!
  • Black Jack Justice: Jack Justice and Trixie Dixon are masters of Snark-to-Snark Combat, with at least one episode dedicated to nothing but the two of them snarking at each other. The episode "Now Who's the Dummy" has the pair involved in a custody battle between ventriloquists, which ends up as a four-way argument between the ventriloquists and both of their dummies and results in things like one of the ventriloquists being talked down by his own puppet and the second puppet pulling a weapon on everyone. During this confrontation, the pair can only watch and, at best, lampshade the sheer absurdity of it all.
    Trixie: The puppet has a cap gun tied to his hand!
    Jack: The nervous guy with the real gun is taking this seriously.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A 2011 episode of WWE Raw had "Stone Cold" Steve Austin stunned silent at the sight of R-Truth entering an arena in Richmond, Virginia dressed up as a confederate soldier. You can see the exact moment where he gave up on the conversation — while certainly one who never aspired to comply with political correctness, Austin clearly recognized the perversity of a black man wearing those gray colors.

  • At the beginning of 1776:
    McNair: Better get yourself back down to Congress, Mister Adams. Gettin' ready to vote, and they say they can't settle such an important question without Massachusetts bein' there.
    Adams: <bored> I can just imagine. Alright, what burning issue are we voting on this time?
    McNair: <earnest> On whether or not to grant General Washington's request... that all members of the Rhode Island Militia be required to wear matchin' uniforms.
    Adams: ... oh good God.

    Video Games 
  • In Fallout 3, during the very long and involved "Wasteland Survival Guide" quest chain, you can respond to questgiver Moira Brown in various ways, from snarky to straightforward to outright lying as she questions your experiences, all of which affect both the quality of the book she's writing and the perk you get at the end of the quest. But during the part where she asks you to irradiate yourself, if you go the extra mile and voluntarily get severe radiation poisoning, your character can't even muster the energy to be sarcastic.
    Moira: Oh, feeling a bit under the weather? Or a bit over the Geiger-counter?
    The Lone Wanderer: I'm about as irradiated as I can get without burning a hole in the floor.
    Moira: I can tell! You're positively... glowing! Now, just hold on and try not to move. Tell me how it feels, and I'll get you fixed right up.
    The Lone Wanderer: Too... tired... to be... snide...
  • Throughout God Hand, Gene has a mocking quip for every scenario... except the first time he meets the Mad Midget Five. After a stunned second, the best he can do is to choke out, "Douchebags!"
  • In Tyranny, the Fatebinder is offered many snarky and sarcastic responses to strangeness from their Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, or the idiotic squabbling of the Archons. In such situations, there's usually also an opportunity to "glare silently", in case none of the available snark seems sufficient to convey just how tired or unamused the Fatebinder is.
  • Also in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Beckett suffers a humorous form if you end up having a discussion on Kindred origins with him as a Malkavian. While the 'normal' player characters have theories he's already well-acquainted with, the Malkavian ones are a bit more... radical.
    Beckett: ...Can't say I've heard that one before...
    • When a discussing how to open the sarcophagus, Beckett says that he may know someone who is an expert on the field. You can respond with "That guy on the History Network with the pith helmet? He made learning fun." Which will make him answer with an uncharacteristical "Uhh... no."
  • The World Ends with You. After Beat betrays the Reapers for Neku in the first day of the third week, Kariya and Uzuki warn him that "he's treading on thin ice". The character responds triumphantly that it couldn't possibly happen; Shibuya is too hot for there to be any ice for him to tread on. Despite both Neku and Kariya being prime Deadpan Snarkers, Sarcasm Failure immediately strikes everyone present.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

  • 8-Bit Theater
    • This happens to Black Mage a lot when he spends too long around Fighter or Red Mage.
    • And notably, Fighter's mention of becoming the "Drownball" Champion reduced the omniscient wizard Sarda to muttering under his breath at the sheer absurdity of it.
      • Ranger also briefly broke Sarda's stride — not that it saves him or anything — by threatening him with a one-man "dodecarrow storm" from four bows at once. "How are you holding those?"
  • Likewise, several members from The Last Days of Foxhound, most notably Psycho Mantis.
  • Abel, the Deadpan Snarker of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, is struck senseless by the idea that "clothes make the manlove."
    • "...Ow. Just... ow" is still his only response upon recovery.
  • Erfworld: In this strip, they are in a deadly serious situation...but what finally makes Jack stop joking is Parson's absurd suggestion that they might actually win.
  • Freefall: In comic 2735, discussed, by Blunt:
    I see. Sarcasm. Is lost upon you.
  • Something*Positive, being a World of Snark, still managed to have Davan completely taken off-guard by a restaurant owner's new mascot costume - which is basically a fursuit.
    PeeJee: Are you okay?
    Davan: Yeah, just... ever get a cramp from too many snide comments bubbling up at once?

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • This happens to the Critic a bit, at which point the Running Gag of him aborting the joke occurs. Thinking about this (perhaps a little too much) leads to wondering how often these are unintentional and put in during editing, vs. how many of these are pre-scripted. Fantastically done in the Bio-Dome review.
      Joey Lauren Adams: (affectionately) There is something about a man who can lick his own back...
      Nostalgia Critic: (beat, stunned) What am I supposed to say to that?
    • In the Scooby-Doo (2002) commentary, after hearing Critic's improvised by Doug rant on how much he hates his job and his life, Rob can only emit a stunned "wow".
  • What is this I don't even
  • The Spoony Experiment:
    • Spoony's review of Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge. A marked difference from his usual review style which is heaped to the brim with snark.
    • Highlander: The Source has the same, with him early on commenting that all he has to do is show the clip and his reaction shot, because the stupidity speaks for itself.
  • Retsupurae and The Ultimate Challenge:
    "I am sure that someone wants me to come up with something witty to say to this guy, but he is just faaaaat."
  • The Nostalgia Chick got her best moments of this in her Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas review. The Plot Holes are so great that she can only reply sometimes by breaking down crying.
    • "What...ever, just end!"
    • Also, about "the Beauty and the Beast" in her recent "My Monster Boyfriend" : "...What bombed-out wine mom wrote this?"cue George R.R. Martin"Err-er... really?"
  • Nash's only response to the appearance of the TROUSERS COSMIC is "...alien pants."
  • Mark, of Mark Reads Twilight and Mark Reads Harry Potter fame is often completely lost for words when he reads something particularly painful or an amazing plot twist is revealed. At said points, he will usually resort to either gifs or keyboard smashing.
  • Film Brain's review of Mega Piranha eventually turned out a scene where the only response was "... I got nothing."
  • During particularly horrifying, baffling or flat-out stupid moments of Fan Fiction Friday, Rob may only manage a horrified response or a Flat "What" rather than the usual face melting, head explosion, Picard Face Palm or angry Maximus.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall:
    • After Linkara reads in Uncanny X-Men #424 that Nightcrawler is a priest with lustful desires, he states that he isn't going to touch that one.
    • When he reviews Batman & Elmer Fudd and sees that the comic opens with a Film Noir narration given by Elmer Fudd he states that there is simply no joke he could make that would improve on this.
  • Most of Rowdy C's TV Trash review of Brickleberry includes this.
    Rowdy: (catatonic) Yeah, get used to this, people. I get a feeling that a lot of these "jokes" are beyond commenting on and I'll just have to respond with facial expressions.
  • JonTron:
    • In Jon's Birdemic review, when he sees the cast swinging at bird GIFs with wire hangers:
      JonTron: Well, I hope they're proud of themselves. They've done it. They broke me. I have... no words.
    • During Jon's review of The Zoo Race, he's already having a bit of trouble finding the words to snark at the game's sheer weirdness, but it's one of the characters slowly looming over his desk while a drainage pipe sound effect plays that truly drives him to this.
      JonTron: For the first time in my life I'm... I-I'm fucking speechless. I got nothing.
  • Jacksfilms: In the middle of his parody of the snuggie infomercial, Jack drops his sarcasm and becomes honestly incredulous at a woman using a flashlight to read a book in a brightly lit room.
  • Pikasprey: The voice-acted opening cutscene of Mario and Sonic: Revenge of the Deadly Six leaves him speechless, and he admits he'd run out of jokes to tell.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Ant and the Aardvark cartoon "Technology Phooey," the Aardvark's quicksand trap backfires on him, prompting him to quip "I'd say something right now, but it would only be censored!"
  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "Almost Got 'Im" involves several members of Batman's Rogues Gallery telling each other stories of their most brilliant attempts to kill Batman that almost succeeded. Killer Croc's "brilliant plan" is so dumb, everyone else at the table can only stare dumbfounded at him, with The Joker's face frozen into this sort of "what-is-this-guy-even-doing-here" expression. For those of you who are curious, Killer Croc's "brilliant attempt" at trying to kill Batman was throwing a rock at him.
    Croc: It was a big rock...
  • From The Fairly OddParents! episode where Timmy uses a Time Machine watch to score progressively better on a test.
    Mr. Crocker: Good news, Turner. You've taken 'F' to a new level. I'm going to give you a Super 'F'!
    Mr. Crocker: 'D'! As in Don't get your hopes up for a high-paying career!
    Mr. Crocker: 'B'! As in but you're not supposed to B this smart.
    Mr. Crocker: An 'A-'! As in... uh... I give so few A's, I have no prepared sarcasm.
  • Sarcasm Failure is a chronic condition with ISIS field agents in Archer, to parody the spy genre convention of timely quips.
    Lana: Once again, words fail me. This is happening a lot. I think I might have aphasia.
  • South Park's "How to Eat with your Butt" had Eric Cartman believe that he'd "blown a funny fuse" when his prank goes horribly right and the parents of a butt-faced child (themselves having butts for faces) show up in the hope of finding him. Kyle thinks it's more Type A, and that Cartman is feeling genuinely remorseful but is such a sociopath that he doesn't recognize that emotion.


Video Example(s):


Esta Passant

A few days after getting in hot water for a spoof interview to the Virgin of El Rocio, Toni Soler, host of Catalan satirical show Esta Passant, makes it look like they are going to apologize at first... but instead launches into a tirade about the people and media who should be apologizing to THEM for their reactions, including one he can't bring himself to crack a joke about.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / OrderedApology

Media sources: