Sure, we all have egos to some degree, save for severe psychological problems; but sometimes you just may not feel like being self-centered or egocentric. Sometimes you may just feel like cracking a joke that says, "Ha! Take That!, Me/Us!" This is the essence of self-deprecation.
This doesn't always work, though. Make these jokes in front of those actually feeling in those aforementioned moods, and they won't see the joke. You may get accused of being "self-hating" or even a "traitor". This, of course, means that oppressive regimes are right out, unless those jokes are too ingrained in the culture, like in the Eastern Bloc states (particularly since the major liberalizing of civil society that followed the Second World War). See also Some of My Best Friends Are X, which can also be invoked by members of group X, but rarely works better there than it does in other settings.
The reasoning behind using humor in this way varies between media but will most of the time be used to relax the audience and let them know that your comedy isn't laser targeted towards one group (unless Self-Deprecation is a staple of your comedy).
Note that this isn't about whether other people are allowed to make fun of you. Those would be different tropes (related to N-Word Privileges). Nor is it Heroic Self-Deprecation, which is actually putting yourself down for real.
Compare Adam Westing, Biting-the-Hand Humor, Self-Parody, Who Writes This Crap?!, Who Would Want to Watch Us?, Take That, Audience!, Offending the Creator's Own, and Creator Career Self-Deprecation (including Writers Suck). Contrast These Tropes Love to Brag.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Live-Action Films
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- In Michelangelo's altar painting for the Sistine Chapel, he depicts his own features on a piece of flayed facial skin being held by a martyr.
- Norman Rockwell's "Triple Self-Portrait" which not only portrays himself as a somewhat dorky man with a pipe hanging loosely from his mouth but portrays himself as portraying himself with better hair, no glasses and the pipe clenched firmly in his jaw.
- In the audiobook version of Jon Stewart's America (The Book), there are these gems: "Stephen Colbert is the Arthur Schlesinger Professor of American Studies at Harvard University. He is personally unpleasant." and "Stephen Colbert has received the Werner Heisenberg Prize for Excellence in Theoretical Mathematics seven consecutive years, yet can barely feed himself." Guess who narrates these parts.
- Bill Engvall frequently calls himself all sorts of names, such as how he's a "dork" or an "idiot." A lot of his routines are stories about getting himself in way over his head or too far outside of his comfort zone. He once described himself as "the guy who's always fifteen degrees off cool."
- Rodney Dangerfield pretty much made a career out of this. It's the whole idea of his routines.
- Stewart Lee is very fond of this, mostly about his weight. One of his routines is about when he reappeared on TV after a couple of years' hiatus; people who didn't even know who he is were still taking pot shots at how he looks.
"Look its that bloke off the telly, whats his name, Terry Christian, but hes let himself go. No, not Terry Christian; that other one, Mark Lamarr, but hes really fucking let himself go. No, sorry, not Mark Lamarr; that other guy, the singer. You know, thats it, Edwyn Collins... but hes let himself go. No, not that man, but a 1930s newspaper cartoon of Tarzans face, which has let itself go."
- Nearly all of Last Comic Standing's Jay London's act was doing this. He would frequently say, "It's almost over," as if the audience was suffering through his routine.
- Eddie Izzard will sometimes criticize himself, especially during his lapses when he forgets where he was going with a joke.
- The Scottish comedian Arnold Brown tells his audiences that he likes to do self-deprecating humour, even though he's not very good at it.
- A number of Mike Birbiglia's stand-up routines center around how he's geeky, weird, and not a very good comedian. One routine, in particular, tells how he was brought in as one of the celebrities for a celebrity golf fundraiser. He was assigned to a group of golfers, who innocently wondered who their celebrity would be. It took Mike a minute to realize that he was the celebrity, and promptly began apologizing because he felt like a letdown.
- Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck" routine could be considered this, seeing as he often refers to himself as one.
- From Norwegian comedian Daniel Simonsen:
"In Norway, there's only one comedy club in the whole country - that nobody goes to - and the best Norwegian comedian, he's really shit. He's dressed as a cat on the stage. [badly impersonates cat] Meow. Me-me-me-meow. And that guy is me."
- Robin Williams spent much of his stand-up routine (and appearances on talk shows) mocking his drug and alcohol issues, excessive body hair and/or acting career (especially Popeye and Mork & Mindy).
- Daniel Tosh has this in one of his stand-up specials.
"Do you like how I start jokes with mass appeal and continue 'til only six people have a clue what I'm talking about? That's not a good style. That doesn't make you famous."
- Jim Gaffigan makes fun of his own act whenever he pretends to be the "Hypothetical Audience Member."
- Hannibal Buress's famous Bill Cosby routine that brought his rape allegations to light tells his audience to "Google "Bill Cosby Rape", it's not funny, that shit has more results than Hannibal Buress."
- An overwhelming majority of Jeff Dunham's act involves his various characters (Walter, Peanut, Achmed, etc.) making various jokes at his expense.
- Deconstructed at some length in Hannah Gadsby's famous special "Nanette," where she argues that self-deprecating humor is just an attempt to make the audience comfortable and sand off any "dangerous" rough edges from the comedian. She swears it off.
- In-Universe in this Garfield strip: A TV show's host loves hosting it because it means not having to watch it. Garfield wished to be the host.
- Pearls Before Swine
- The occasional Sunday strips featuring puns so awful that the final panel then shows Rat threatening the strip's creator Stephan Pastis with death.
- Pastis has many cameos, where he's either portrayed as a pathetic loser, a Small Name, Big Ego or both (one strip even had Rat beat him up with a baseball bat after Pastis had made a blatant plug of one of his strip compilations).
- Pastis goes so far as to draw himself smoking cigarettes despite the fact that he never smokes, not because it looks cool, but because he thinks it makes him look like a loser.
- During a brief arc of Get Fuzzy where Darby Conly was somehow getting his hands on advance copies of the next day's Pearls Before Swine and crudely taping in cutouts of his own characters, Darby did it too. The strip where Stephan called him to ask Darby to cease and desist depicted Stephan as neat, polite, and professional, while Darby himself was a rude, remorseless slob who couldn't even be bothered to remember Stephan's name.
- A later arc was built around the premise that the comic strip was so offensive that the American government ordered the comic to be transformed into something akin to The Family Circus. Stephan Pastis fails and gets put on trial, with Rat as his lawyer. Rat actively sabotages Stephen's case.
- One series of strips had Dilbert go on a date under Dogbert's coaching — which means Dilbert spends the whole date grunting and agreeing. When his date compliments him, he uses another coached response — "Gosh, I'm not good at anything."
- Another run of strips had Dogbert as the charismatic leader of the vegetarian lobby. Since this was clearly a bit of an Author Tract by the vegetarian Adams, he started off by establishing that the reason the vegetarians need a charismatic leader is that they're all "scrawny weaklings."
- A 2011 storyline involved Alice killing the Pointy-Haired Boss and the staff using his body as a puppet to sign off on decisions. When the cops began looking into the matter, she claimed it sounded like a poorly-written story. The cops added that it "sounds poorly drawn too".
- Bloom County:
Opus: (thinks for a moment) Berkeley Breathed.
- In one strip, minor character Yaz Pistachio asks Opus to give her just one name worse than her own.
Yaz: Okay, name two.
- There was also the strip where Opus pitched the idea for Bloom County for a comic strip for his local paper. The editor's response?
Milo: Needs work.
- Breathed also mocked his career a few times. In one arc where Opus became engaged, he realized he needed a better salary then what he made doing the personal ads, so he shamelessly begged the editor for a better paying position, saying he would do any job, no matter how demeaning. He got one as the paper's cartoonist. Also, in another arc, Amoral Attorney Steve Dallas wanted a better job than "getting rapists and serial killers off the hook". Opus suggested cartooning; Steve jabbed him with a pencil and shouted, "I have some scruples, dude!"
- The Sultan of Agrabah, Big Good of Aladdin, uses this trope in the form of a Stealth Insult while lamenting his daughter Jasmine's stubbornness in refusing to accept a husband.
Sultan: I don't know where she gets it from. Her mother wasn't nearly so picky.
- In The Lion King, when Zazu is asked by Scar to sing a more upbeat song while imprisoned, Zazu sings the first few words of "It's A Small World", to which Scar vehemently shouts, "No! No! Anything but that!" In the Broadway stage version, Zazu instead sings "Be Our Guest", and gets the same reaction from Scar. This doubles as a Mythology Gag, since Beauty and the Beast the first Disney animated film that became a musical and paved the way for Lion King to come on Broadway. When Beauty and the Beast closed, it got replaced with "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and at least one performance has him sing "Let It Go." Cast Members at Disney Theme Parks also love taking pot shots at "It's A Small World" in general.
- Frozen has Disney poking fun at its earlier Disney Princess films, like the fact that most of their princesses marry men they barely know.
- In Frozen II, as Elsa is walking through her past memories during "Show Yourself", she cringes in embarrassment and eye-rolls when she sees herself doing her Sexy Walk in "Let It Go".
- In Zootopia, when Chief Bogo chews out Judy for disobeying orders and causing a ruckus in Little Rodentia trying to catch a petty criminal, he also takes the time to poke fun at Disney's reputation for sentimental, idealistic musicals (with a Frozen reference, to boot).
Bogo: Life isn't some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and your insipid dreams magically come true! So let it go.
- Moana takes the time to poke fun at the Disney Princess franchise some more. When Moana takes offense to Maui calling her "princess", he retorts "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess!" Later, as Moana stares out at the sea contemplatively, Maui snarks "If you start singing, I'm going to throw up."
- Ralph Breaks the Internet takes another potshot at the Disney Princess franchise and their reputation for being damsels in distress when Rapunzel asks Vanellope if people assume that all her problems were solved because a "big strong man came into her life", and the little racer says that notion is true for her asks, "What is up with that?"
- Ratchet & Clank (2016): In the first teaser trailer, Qwark, frustrated with the cheap sets and lack of dubstep, calls the movie's animators lazy. As revenge, they remove his textures, make him dance, and then, when he requests an epic logo, they drop it on him.
- The Haunted World of El Superbeasto contains a lot of jokes revolving around the movie making fun of itself, such as El Superbeasto complaining about how ridiculous it is that a character in the film had a book that explained how to defeat Dr. Satan and didn't bother to tell him until the film was nearing its end and another character complaining about the movie's gratuitous use of Toilet Humour. One musical number is even dedicated entirely to lambasting the movie for "ripping off Carrie".
- John Ratzenberger got his chance to poke fun at his tenure with Pixar in Cars where his character, Mack, watched car versions of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and A Bug's Life. Once he got to the third film, he realized that the Hamm Truck, the Abominable Snowplow, and the PT Cruiser Flea were all voiced by the same actor.
Mack: Hey... they're just using the same actor over and over! What kind of cut-rate production is this?!?
- Jake and Josh sometimes refer to themselves as "us little idiots" on The Morphin' Grid.
- The Adventure Zone: Balance has this both in-universe and out. Taako, Merle, and Magnus's most common excuse for disobeying direct orders or wrecking something important (besides "We forgot") is "We're really stupid". Griffin (Dungeon Master), Justin (Taako), Clint (Merle), and Travis (Magnus) occasionally mention that making a podcast of a Dungeons & Dragons-campaign is probably the most uncool thing you can do, and, after the end of the Balance-arc, Justin describes it as "the story of four idiots who played DnD so hard they made themselves cry."
- An unusually subtle one in Rifftrax: whenever puppets and puppet shows are involved in the plot, the guys universally rag on them and mock them with more than typical harshness. Then one remembers that they're all veterans of a puppet show...
- MAD is infamous for this, regularly referring to its writers and artists as "The Usual Gang Of Idiots" and insulting its readership by claiming that only Too Dumb to Live schmucks would be caught reading their magazine. It's all meant in jest though.
- Possibly the best example is when they did a list of the Top 50 Worst Things About Comedy. Guess who was #1?
- Nintendo Power, for its 100th volume, listed 100 things that were equal to 100. One of the entries was the approximate running time of Super Mario Bros.. The next entry was "Number of people who went to see the Super Mario Bros. movie." Finally, in response to a fan letter, a columnist wrote that 100 was also the number of speed bumps they had to add to keep people from leaving the movie.
- Kurt Angle had fans chanting "YOU SUCK!" to the beat of his theme music, whether he was a heel or a face. During one HeelFace Turn after neck surgery, he came out to those chants, declared "You have no idea how good it feels to hear those words again!" and then started leading the chants. The next night on SmackDown, when his proteges Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin said they were sick of getting those chants themselves, Angle replied "You don't deserve to have these people chant 'you suck!' I earned it!"
- John Cena posed for photos with fans wearing "I hate Cena" T-shirts after defeating Batista for the WWE Championship in Wrestlemania XXVI.
- Cena revels in being simultaneously the most loved AND most hated man in pro wrestling, as well as being the only guy who can get fans chanting stupid things like "Fruity Pebbles". From one post-injury-rehab promo:
John: I even miss that guy in section 26B telling me I suck!Random Guy in the Audience: YOU SUCK!John: [throws up his arms in victory with a huge smile]
- Cena revels in being simultaneously the most loved AND most hated man in pro wrestling, as well as being the only guy who can get fans chanting stupid things like "Fruity Pebbles". From one post-injury-rehab promo:
- It seemed Matt Hardy, who was already announced to be challenging for the television title on a taping after Ring of Honor's eleventh-anniversary show and called Matt Taven's match with Adam Cole an afterthought, was making fun of the Trailers Always Spoil Foregone Conclusion nature of pro wrestling. Truth Martini then hit Cole with his book, leading to Taven's victory and Hardy's abrupt removal from the title picture being the real joke.
- It also backfired on Jay Lethal at Supercard Of Honor X when he claimed ROH giving that year's top prospect a title shot against him proved ROH were out of ideas (they were as far as sticking to what they had been advertising, but they were not out of challengers for Lethal)
- The Funday Pawpet Show used filmed opening segments of people saying "Hi, I'm ________, and you're wasting your time watching the Funday Pawpet Show!".
- The Muppet Show often engaged in this. For example in one Veterinatian's Hospital sketch, when discussing the things that might happen to herald the end of the world, such as "Dr. Bob actually curing a patient", Nurse Piggy suggests "One honest laugh". And then there's Statler and Waldorf.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol has the Marley brothers sing about how evil they were in life and what they could have done instead of ignoring people's needs. It's also their way of warning Scrooge and telling him that he can atone for his crimes against humanity.
- It's tradition in game rulebooks to include a page or so showing how the game is played. In the "Obligatory Example of Play" (yep, that's what they called it) in "Lucha Libre Hero", one of the players, "Steve", is clearly not getting the point of the game. His character, El Heraldo de Justicia, is described as a "dark-clad avenger of the night", and "Steve" spends most of his actions trying to get his hands on a gun despite the fact that a luchador can do more damage in this game with his wrestling moves. Steve Long, part-owner of Hero Games, and incidentally the guy who edited "Lucha Libre Hero", got his start as a game designer with the book "Dark Champions", which focused on gritty Punisher-style vigilante action. The flagship character for "Dark Champions" and Steve's very own player character is the Harbinger of Justice. (The section wraps up with "Editor's Note: I do so have a gun.")
- The Werewolf: The Apocalypse supplement Subsidiaries: A Guide To Pentex describes some of the companies under the umbrella of the titular evil Mega-Corp. The last one listed is "Black Dog Game Factory", a fictionalized version of the real Black Dog Game Factory — an actual subsidiary of Werewolf's own publisher White Wolf (which published their mature-themed gamebooks). The company's fictional games all feature White Wolf's signature traits (Darker and Edgier settings, etc.) taken Up to Eleven, and the employees are all unflattering parodies of real White Wolf writers, including the writers of the supplement itself.
- In the Apocalypse book that ended the series, a sidebar details the horrific fates of the aforementioned writers. Cannibalism is involved.
- The 20th-anniversary edition of Werewolf updates Black Dog to the present day, with the company under the influence of a group of unknown horrors from beneath the Scandinavian ice (spoofing White Wolf's partnership with Icelandic company CCP).
- One Vampire: The Masquerade supplement was discussing how to apply difficulties to skill rolls. One of the examples was robbing a Role-Playing Game designer (difficulty 9 just to find anything worth stealing).
- Ho L - Human Occupied Landfill is, in general, a parody of hack-and-slash powergaming. In the "Obligatory Example of Play" section, the example game quickly degenerates into the Jerkass players insulting and then beating the crap out of each other.
- When the Shadowrun Verse's metaplot called for a nuke to be set off to destroy a massive bug-spirit infestation, then-publishers FASA situated both the spirit-hive and ground zero for the nuclear blast in their own Chicago office.
- Cards Against Humanity has the white card "A bunch of idiots playing a card game instead of interacting like normal humans."
- Konami does this a few times with new Yu-Gi-Oh! cards whenever a much-hated Tier-Induced Scrappy is put on the Forbidden List. For example, it put out these three cards when Sangan was put on the list, and this one when Goyo Guardian was outlawed.
- When the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons substantially upgraded dragons' statistics and capabilities, a Dragon magazine article was used to preview these alterations. The article took the form of a footnoted discourse between a party of young adventurers planning to confront their first dragon, and some seasoned experts who heaped scorn on their many misconceptions about draconic weaknesses, i.e. all the mostly-unintended liabilities that used to be true about dragons in 2nd Edition, and that the new rules took pains to correct.
- One of the Activity cards in Chez Geek has your geeks playing a "Stupid Card Game" that's clearly supposed to be Chez Geek itself.
- The "What is a Role-Playing Game?" section of The Laundry Files RPG (2010) opens "Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977".
- In The Pirates of Penzance:
- Gilbert and Sullivan deprecated their previous hit by having the Major-General boast in his List Song that he can "whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore."
- As sung in the operetta Ruddigore, "This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard and if it is, it doesn't matter!"
- In God by Woody Allen, the characters make several not-so-flattering comments on Woody's abilities as a playwright.
Hepatitis: It's terrible being fictional. We're all so limited.
Lorenzo Miller: Only by the limits of the playwright. Unfortunately, you have been written by Woody Allen. Think If you had been written by Shakespeare.
- William Shakespeare himself: every mention of love poems in his many plays implies them to be cynical wooing devices or a sign of a mind driven to madness by frustrated love. This is much funnier when you're aware that the man himself wrote what is almost the longest sequence of love sonnets in history.
- In Much Ado About Nothing, when Benedick is tricked into thinking that Beatrice is in love with him:
"They say the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous; 'tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her."
- The epilogue to As You Like It
"If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in, then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play!"
- As You Like It also features a character called William who is a simple-minded country bumpkin.
- In Much Ado About Nothing, when Benedick is tricked into thinking that Beatrice is in love with him:
- Elphaba does this sarcastically in act 1 of Wicked where in response to her invalid sister being called tragically beautiful calls herself beautifully tragic. However, she does it much more honestly at the end of act 2 when she convinces Glinda in song that Elphaba has limitations she cannot overcome.
- "It sucks to be me" from Avenue Q.
- In Thirteen Patrice happily does this to her hometown:
Patrice: The inbreeding takes up all of our time!
- Stephen Sondheim loves doing this to himself; to wit (from "Parabasis: It's Only A Play" from "The Frogs"):
Chorus: It's only so much natter that somebody wrote/it's only a play...
- Urinetown continually lampshades this, often breaking the fourth wall:
Lockstock: Nothing can kill a show like too much exposition.
- Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark spoofed its own Troubled Production with Green Goblin singing "I'm a sixty-five million dollar note circus tragedy" in his Villain Song "Freak Like Me."
- In The Musical version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the song "Great Big Stuff" has Freddy is dreaming about all of the things he will buy (such as "a mink tracksuit") when he becomes rich.
"I can finally afford to see a Broadway show!"
- Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid includes a line where the titular character's brother invites him to go see a Moliere comedy, only for the main character to snap back that Moliere "is a fine impertinent fellow with his comedies!"
- In the Australian play Dimboola about a drunken country wedding, one of the characters is a theatre critic who mistakes the wedding for a play and delivers a Caustic Critic denunciation of how awful it is.
- In the "Back to Neverland" film that used to be shown at The Magic of Disney Animation, when turned into a cartoon character, Robin Williams shape shifts into the seven dwarfs, culminating into transforming into Mickey Mouse, saying, "Hey, everybody! I'm a corporate symbol!"
- A scene in The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios features a sign saying "Send Money to Universal Studios", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the company's long-time financial issues.
- Ace Attorney Investigations features Miles Edgeworth as the protagonist instead of Phoenix Wright. This is used to make fun of some of the weirder things that happened in previous games. For example, upon examining a fire extinguisher Edgeworth muses how silly it would be to get hit on the head with it and lose your memory. This is the framing device for the first case tutorial of Justice For All.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney constantly makes fun of the series' cliches. For example, Apollo gets told off for shouting out "HOLD IT!" too loud in court. Phoenix also reminisces on the times when he used to present evidence to people through the present button and how he would shout out "hold it" for no apparent reason just to scare people.
- Investigations was full of these. At one point Edgeworth is battering Larry Butz with reasons why his act of dressing as Santa, in the middle of summer, was idiotic, throwing in a couple of "objections!". This leads to Larry lampshading the game's court style arguments that happen at crime scenes.
Larry: Wait a second, This isn't court.
- Also in Investigations, upon finding Gumshoe's name written in bloody lettering, Edgeworth doesn't seem to even take any notice, and almost immediately assumes the message to be fake. While this could be seen as the fact that he trusts Gumshoe would never kill, it could also be a reference to the series' reputation of fake dying messages.
- The confrontation with the Big Bad of Investigations gives us an extended parody of the long-standing series tradition of the Darkest Hour getting averted by the timely arrival of someone to save the day. Here, it happens repeatedly, beginning as normal with the Big Damn Heroes coming from major characters in the game, veers into parody when Larry Butz and Wendy Oldbag show up and reaches a climax when the final example comes from an unnamed, completely random forensics officer who did the standard Big Word Shout because everyone was ignoring him.
- During the first case of Investigations 2, Gumshoe goes to get a gun dusted for prints, only for him to arrive back around 10 seconds later with the results, much to Edgeworth's shock. This is likely a joke at how swift the forensic testing in the Ace Attorney world seems to be, compared to how long such things would normally take in real life.
Gumshoe: Mr. Edgeworth, I've got the results!
Edgeworth: [shocked] A-Already?!
- Dual Destinies seems to enjoy making fun of the ability to present random pieces of evidence to people. Doing it to Apollo in Case 3, when playing as Athena, will have him tell her to keep doing it even if it is completely irrelevant, annoying or embarrassing because it is the mark of a true defence attorney. Phoenix will tell Athena to not do it with Athena noting the irony. In Case 5, presenting random evidence to Edgeworth will have him accuse you of doing it just to get a reaction out of people.
- Presenting your attorney badge to people also gets mocked in Dual Destinies. Apollo will tell Athena the Phoenix taught him to do it to everyone he meets and Klavier will wonder why attorneys always present their badges.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, Sakazaki Yuuya spends much of the first game being mysterious and sketchy, having to run off and disappear a lot, being seen rummaging through trash, and often being insulted for all this. Since he's actually a Teen Super Spy it's necessary, and he responds with his usual careless cheer to all insults. There are a few times when it's visible that this does get to him, though, like in Holiday Star, where he admits that his lifestyle is seedy. Hiyoko doesn't like this.
"Sometimes he says stuff in that self-deriding, or maybe even despairing way. He's usually so cheerful, so whenever he does it I don't know how to respond!"
- In Chapter 1 of Super Danganronpa 2, Monokuma admits straight out of the gate that the students have all had their memories wiped just like in the first game, and says only a complete hack writer would wait until the end of the story to reveal a twist like that. Which, of course, is exactly what the first game did.
- PONY.MOV: SWAG.MOV has a Freeze-Frame Bonus appearing during a particularly ridiculous (even by the series' standards) scene, a giant bipedal Rainbow Dash summoning an enormous sword from the skies above with which to slay Discord.
THIS IS SO FUCKING RETARDED OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ANIMATING THIS.
- While the persona Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation assumes in his videos is that of a quite pompous, sarcastic, caustic critic, he often takes pot-shots at himself, especially his awkward relationship with sexuality, and fully admits to often falling prey to some of the same shortcomings that he frequently criticizes developers for in his own games and writing.
Yahtzee: When you review games for a career — shut up, it's totally a career...
- GEOWeasel has its characters make fun of their own cartoon and its lack of viewers.
Weas: Nar, I think that comment may have cost us some of our viewers.
Nar: Both of them?!
- Homestar Runner frequently makes fun of itself.
- The one-hundredth episode of Strong Bad Email, "flashback", makes fun of the style of the original children's book, The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest.
- The email "ladying" makes fun of the crude animation and weak characterization of the early cartoons on the site such as "Marshmallow's Last Stand".
- An Easter egg at the end of the email "pizza joint" has Strong Sad criticizing the email in his "Review Revue".
Strong Sad: Strong Bad phones this one in with Strong Bad Email 179. Despite a strong showing from fan favorite Strong Sad, the email ultimately fizzles due to a heavy reliance on what can only be called "Internet pizza jokes".
- In "Trogday '08", Strong Bad does a song about the "S is for Sucks" Dragon, complaining that "you Internet types ruined Trogdor, just like you did zombies, pirates, ninjas, and Strong Bad! Er, wait, no... yeah!"
- Homestar Runner Goes for the Gold, an adaptation of an unfinished sequel to The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest, makes fun of more Early Installment Weirdness, including attempts to shoehorn a new character named Dijjery Doo into the plot.
- Most of their videos in The New '10s mocks several outdated aspects of the website that haven't been updated since the early 2000s. (use of Flash, the website's layout, their incredibly infrequent update schedule).
- DSBT InsaniT: A big reason why the series has No Fourth Wall is a lot of its humor relies on this.
- The Grossery Gang webseries features Arak Attack, a character portrayed as a boisterous Aussie villain that loads so much slang into his dialogue that he can be near incomprehensible at times. Moose Toys, the parent company of the franchise, is an Australian company.
- Betsy Lee, creator of No Evil, regularly takes jokes from recording sessions about her typo-laden scripts and puts them in her outtakes videos. One even has a "2 Lines Since Last Typo" sign gradually creeping down to zero.