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The Comically Serious

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Everything's funnier with Batman.

Dorothy Gale: Another one to join us on our journey! And what are you missing?
Batman: A sense of humor.

Just because a character's as jolly as a sloth with major depression doesn't mean they can't be funny. A Comically Serious character's lack of reaction to embarrassing, undignified, or just plain bizarre situations can subvert our expectations of embarrassment, hysteria, or insanity and make for comedy gold. When they're not serving as the 'straight man' for all the wacky hijinks the universe throws their way, the character is likely to be a Deadpan Snarker, The Stoic, or The Quiet One.

Typically works as a Straight Man in the cast, although they may have a quirky Achilles' Heel. Often, they become the victim of Not So Above It All.

Comically Serious characters often turn up in Brit Coms.

Bizarrely enough, has a very similar comedic style to the certain kinds of Cloudcuckoolander, in that the Cloudcuckoolander's comedy often comes from serious reactions to their own oddities, while The Comically Serious's comes from serious reactions to other peoples' oddities. Might also be the Butt-Monkey in settings where being serious is seen as an offense.


A Sub-Trope of Bathos.

A Sister Trope to Serious Business, Comical Overreacting.

Compare No Sense of Humor, So Unfunny, It's Funny, Narm. Contrast Laughably Evil, Dude, Not Funny!.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Karakuri Circus: Narumi's nonexistent sense of humor is a problem — because only causing someone to laugh will halt his Incurable Cough of Death. Crosses over into So Unfunny, It's Funny, at times.
  • Raven from Gravion, though this is a result of literally Becoming the Mask. Ayaka, the current "Raven" is a woman and far more emotional than her unfunny alterego.
  • Black Clover: With the exception of conversations with Asta, everything about Yuno is deadpan. Everything. Even Sylph tugging on his cheeks. The effect is frequently hilarious.
  • Bleach: In the omakes, the first time Byakuya makes a joke, Renji freaks out. Ignoring Renji's advice, Byakuya decides to do a comedy routine on stage. As Renji expected, the audience is deeply disturbed. His artwork is as bad as Rukia's, but whereas Rukia is obsessed with bunnies, Byakuya is obsessed with something of his own creation - a childishly drawn... thing he calls Ambassador Seaweed. The Ambassador Seaweed freaks everyone out.
  • Jin in Samurai Champloo. At first glance, he comes off as a stoic, cool, smooth, handsome badass, but then the series proceeds to place him in some of the most comedic of situations alongside his companions. This includes a torture montage, working at an eel stand, getting a sore back after a night with unattractive courtesans, having to pretend to be a tour guide to win back his pawned swords, and dressing up as a female prostitute.
    • It's the fact that he's always so damn serious that gives him the most hilarity of this sort in the entire flippin' show. He's kneeling on a rock in the middle of a river while Mugen and Fuu are over on the shore. With no warning he suddenly dives in, swims and flails around like an utter madman, RUNS up to them in double-time animation (freaking them out in the process) and collapses in a prone-kneeling position before them, panting heavily... And holding a pouch full of (unknowingly, forged) gold coins. MUST be seen to be believed.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: During the very rare occasions of humor, Commander Gendo Ikari and Professor Kouzou Fuyutsuki fit this perfectly. "It's hot." "Yes."
    • Gendo can also stare depressingly at Eva-01... while in an orange raincoat.
    • There's also something funny about Fuyutsuki facepalming and muttering "Those kids are embarrassing us again..." when Shinji and Asuka are bickering at the end of Episode 9.
      • In the dub he says "Those darn kids are embarrassing us again". There's something very comical about that, as the wizened old Vice-Commander can't even say "damn". It comes out sounding like a line from a sitcom.
    • Rei Ayanami, several times, specially whenever she interacts with Shinji and/or Asuka.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • Germany, of course. How could we forget about him? He is most likely the biggest example of this trope in the series.
    • Switzerland is generally a serious, stern character, and occasionally throws out gems like this in his typically serious, stern manner:
      Switzerland: Christmas is about family and loving people. [Pause.] Now get bent.
    • Japan has his moments as well, especially during Germany's training sessions on how to deal with being asked to react if England attacks, or what to do if the enemy asks him to surrender. He gives his answers in complete seriousness:
      Japan: You should imitate William the First's loud voice!
      Japan: Yes sir! I respond Japanese way! Be unclear! Say one thing, but mean something else completely opposite! Lie to them!
    • Norway keeps his deadpan expression and straightforward personality at all times, even when dealing with his excitable friend Denmark's antics.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Riza Hawkeye is a rare female example in the manga omake, doing such things as trying to measure Ed's height against his will, introducing her dog and responding to Mustang's musing that he might want to grow some facial hair by drawing on his face with a marker all with a completely straight face.
    • In the 2003 anime version, Roy Mustang is like this up until he's confronted with Black Hayate and gives a speech about how much he loves dogs! Later in the episode, he reveals that his first executive order as Fuhrer President would be to make all female army personnel wear... tiny miniskirts!
  • Azumanga Daioh: Sakaki is notable for her perpetual stone faced expression and monotone. Yet, she delivers some of the most bizzare lines and has equally weird daydreams, like imaging Chiyo's dad as an oblong talking yellow cat.
  • Sailor Moon: Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask is a pretty serious guy, but can sometimes lapse into this. Particularly when his child-like girlfriend Usagi/Moon (or any of the Sailor Senshi) say or do something that is so over-the-top all he can do is stare at them with a look that says "Moving right along..." Haruka/Uranus and Michiru/Neptune also slip once or twice into this.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Kyon, who is also the Deadpan Snarker; though his creativity and sense of wonder are probably just repressed. His aloofness doesn't prevent him from getting stuck in alternate worlds with a Magical She Is Not My Girlfriend, or from finding himself smack-dab in the middle of mysterious murder cases.
    • Yuki Nagato is another example, reacting with robotic coldness to all the wacky hijinks created by Haruhi and Mikuru. Yuki herself is not above a friendly prank or two. Even if she doesn't show external signs of enjoying it...
    • Kyon's genderbent counterpart, Kyonko, is even better at this than the original.
  • Juubei Kakei in Get Backers (at least as an adult). Toss in blindness, unfamiliarity with the modern world, and copious amounts of Ho Yay. And for extra hilarity, they told him he wasn't funny. He was devastated.
  • Slayers: Zelgadis shifts between this and being the group's Only Sane Man. Which naturally makes him the whipping boy whenever Lina needs a diversion, or a scapegoat to vent her frustrations on.
  • Somehow, Unfunny Hatori Sohma from Fruits Basket manages to put up with Chivalrous Pervert Shigure Sohma and Large Ham Ayame Sohma. Hatori is the only serious one of the three, without much of a sense of humour. Although this is justified, given his traumatic past. Maybe he's just plain tired of Shigure and Ayame's antics, after all this time?
  • Code Geass: Part of the appeal of Lady of War Cornelia li Brittania is the potential for comic seriousness in just about any comedic situation she could be put into. Fanartists have caught onto this, and she's frequently shown looking flustered in comparison to the other characters. Canon toys a bit with this, considering the reaction she had to Clovis's raunchy swimsuits. And Cornelia was naked or at least topless when she commented on how Euphie shouldn't wear any of them. She was concerned about wearing one herself, and it was quite amusing to hear Euphie forcibly putting one on her.
    • Lelouch has his moments too. The Dark Messiah is capable of screaming like a little girl when a cat steals his mask, before running after the cat proclaiming "I shall not be defeated by a feline!" as passionately and seriously as he often declares "I will obliterate Britannia!" As with Cornelia, the sound dramas have fun with this. Suzaku in particular enjoys teasing Lelouch in order to get him flustered. Lelouch goes from panicking about the potential downfall of the Black Knights to blushing because Suzaku ate a piece of rice off Lelouch's face within the space of a minute.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Chrono's expression of cold professionalism remains the same even when he's wearing a bandage tied as a ribbon, combing down a coworker's Idiot Hair, or lightening up the atmosphere with a joke. He grows out of it by the time that he's an adult.
  • Re-L in Ergo Proxy gets this a couple of times, due to her being a Very Serious Intelligence Operative... who ended up Walking the Earth with Vincent, who is effectively The Fool with superpowers.
  • One Piece:
    • Zoro. He plays both "badass" and "buffoon" very well, but what makes it funny is that he's so serious the whole time. One example is when he, Nami and Vivi are caught by Mr. 3 during the Alabasta arc and placed in a Death Trap with powdered wax pouring over them until they become living wax statues. The girls are in despair, but Zoro keeps his cool throughout. Eventually, he decides to raise his sword and point it to the sky, justifying himself with something along the lines of, "if I'm gonna die like a statue, might as well make it look cool". All the while keeping his straight face.
    • A filler episode set soon after Enies Lobby uses this as its entire premise (the title, "Zoro's Slapstick Housework Help", should tell you everything you need to know)
    • He borders on being a Comedic Sociopath. He's a cold-blooded killer, but when he angrily shouts at and threatens someone for giving him directions when he gets lost on a straight, narrow cliff, you know you're supposed to laugh at him.
    • Zoro and Usopp are cuffed together while facing two opponents. With a totally serious face throughout. Zoro still is completely serious even as he executes his (innovative but completely ridiculous) plan. See it to believe it.
      Zoro: I have a plan. We play rock-paper-scissors. The loser cuts off his hand.
      Usopp: How can you say such a scary thing with a straight face!
      Zoro: I'm not finished. Then he goes and gets Chopper to sew it back on.
      Usopp: We're not rag dolls!!
      Zoro: I have another idea...
      Usopp: I don't wanna hear it!!!
    • Nico Robin is another example, especially given she's the only crew member who never adopts crazy facial expressions when shocked or angry (though that's been eroding since the Enies Lobby arc, and she's actually had a genuinely shocked face in the Dressrosa arc). She once calmly remarked how she knew Zoro hadn't been eaten by a shark because the water hadn't turned red, much to her crewmates' shock. She's also an occasional Straight Man for the crew's antics.
    • And a less prominent character who is a notably perfect example: During the Enies Lobby showdown, Cipher Pol 9 agent Kaku takes this trope to hilarious lengths (all ye who have not watched his fight with Zoro, spoil at your own risk): not only does he turn into a ridiculous block-nosed giraffe-man, he gets defensive about it, and says things like "Witness the power of a giraffe!" all while keeping a perfectly straight face. Using attacks like "Giraffe Canon" and "Nose Gun" is several times funnier just because of how absurdly seriously Kaku takes himself. No wonder he came in 9th in the following popularity poll. Though he's right about being dangerous.
    • Jinbei is starting to evolve into one by virtue of hanging out with Luffy and Hancock on Amazon Lily.
    • Trafalgar Law does not appear to be sure how to react to the Straw Hats' usual antics when he offers to ally with them in Punk Hazard, resulting in this trope.
    • Pica of the Donquixote Pirates. Of all the members from said pirate crew, he is The Stoic. However, despite being such a serious character with no quirks, he is a huge, Top-Heavy Guy with a very high-pitched voice. Hilarity Ensues whenever anyone hears his voice and starts laughing, much to his annoyance.
    • Out of Sanji's Big, Screwed-Up Family, the Vinsmoke clan, the one who fits the most is the eldest son Vinsmoke Ichiji. Seeing the aloof and snarky Warrior Prince going gaga over Nami like his estranged brother Sanji did after seeing her for the first time was pretty funny. Seeing him with big heart eyes while keeping his serious disposition is even funnier.
    • Both Zoro and Law continue this attitude in the Wano arc. The former learns that all the animals and water are poison, and simply responds "No wonder my stomatch has been hurting", and the latter shows up to fight Basil Hawkins dressed as a Komuso.
  • Tezuka and Sanada from The Prince of Tennis, especially in the "chibi" episodes. Preceded by Rukawa, Akagi, Maki and Uozumi from Slam Dunk.
  • Full Metal Panic!: Sousuke Sagara. At least it tends to actually be his fault, though. He eventually plays the straight man to his own mecha.
  • This is discussed in Bakuman。, where after one too many failures in getting serialized, Ashirogi Muto's then-former editor Akira Hattori gives them a tip to help set them in the right direction: serious humor. Later on, Takagi decides to bring Mashiro with him to trail Mr. Hattori for a whole day, and at the end, they realize what "serious humor" means after witnessing a few examples along the way (such as Iwase coming on to him and him rebuking her, both keeping themselves straight throughout), which leads to the creation of Perfect Crime Party, the series that gets them out of their creative rut.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Occasionally Setsuna acts like this. Her mentor-figure Eishun played this to comical absurdity in his own group.
    • Fate, at one point, gets his arm cut off. He's not worried at all, since apparently, he can regenerate/reattach it perfectly well, but his haremettes promptly freak the eff out. How does he try to calm them down? Use his severed arm to pat the head of the Cat Girl of the harem. All with a rather dead expression on his face. It's rather hilarious. Two of the other haremettes actually point this out:
      Shirabe: F... Fate-sama actually attempting physical humor?
      Homura: Is that supposed to be funny?
    • Chisame also qualifies on some occasions; most of her humor concerns her reactions to whatever absurd situation she ends up in.
    • And in Cosmo Entelechia, we have Dynamis, who can be a really really Large Ham, but is always dead serious.
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke Uchiha and Neji Hyuuga work out like this, though moreso in the anime. Of course, when something funny actually happens to them, it's just that much better. Seeing Sasuke with those white circle eyes is good for a laugh.
      • Best example of this has to be Shippuden episode 181 (a filler) where Sasuke gets attacked by an ostrich.
    • One of the few fillers worth watching has Neji spazzing out when he eats curry. Were it anyone else making those expression, it wouldn't be as funny. This trope is probably why Episode 101 is so popular despite being filler.
    • Also, Shino. Is it really anyone wonder they dedicated an entire filler episode to getting drugging him to laugh? His return of him sulking because Naruto failed to recognize him right away. Also his reaction to his bugs being eaten by that anteater.
    • And Kakashi. Remember his reaction when Lee takes off his heavy wrist/leg bands upon Guy's request? As everyone is all OMG WTF BBQ, he just covers his masked face and thinks "Guy, you are too much..." To enjoy a true "what the?" reaction from Kakashi, see the beginning of his fight against Naruto and Sakura in Shippuuden.
    • And Sai, too. His reaction to Konohamaru's yaoi version of the Sexy no Jutsu, which involves him and Sasuke naked? "Ah, it's me and Sasuke-kun."
    • Itachi. His response to Naruto telling him about how inescapable, completely fatal the attack being used on them is, based on his own experience? "So, why are you still alive?" The Sunny-Side Battle! OVA takes this a step further by showing him chasing a chicken... while wearing his Akatsuki robes!
  • Giovanni from the Pokémon anime. Which of course, only makes Meowth's progressively delusional Imagine Spots that much weirder.
    • And recently, the Team Rocket trio themselves in the "Best Wishes" arc. One episode had them break from their serious dispositions when their life forces were being drained by Litwick. They attempt to menace the twerps, but they are exhausted and gasping for air even while reciting their motto.
    • In the Sun and Moon series, Kiawe has shades of this.
  • One of the highlights of the Darker Than Black OVA episode (which spoofs the main series) is the resident Emotionless Girl reciting smutty yaoi fanfic in a dead-serious Creepy Monotone.
  • Vanilla from Galaxy Angel, less so in the video games. A stoic, Emotionless Girl couldn't possible be funny, right? You'd be wrong.
  • Lupin III has the very formal and traditional Goemon Ishikawa XIII, who is often used this way for the Bathos. In the crossover movie, Lupin III vs. Detective Conan, Goemon jumps from a plane and cuts through several floors of a building on his way to land in the vault. Once there, he says "Once again I have cut a worthless object" as usual, completely serious... and his legs are wobbling from the impact, seemingly unnoticed. He tries so very hard to be serious and dignified... but when he hangs out with Lupin...
  • A number of characters from Eyeshield 21 qualify:
    • Hayato Akaba of the Bando Spiders remains almost completely stone-faced while striking goofy rock-star poses for no apparent reason, and has a tendency to make convoluted music metaphors with the same completely serious expression.
    • Seijuro Shin of the Oujou White Knight has a tendency to break any piece of technology more advanced than a stopwatch, and is occasionally seen going to comically ridiculous efforts in his training.
    • Shun Kakei of the Kyoshin Poseidons always takes the antics of his wackier teammates in stride, whether it's the rivalry between Ohira and Onishi or whatever hijinks Mizumachi is up to.
  • Gintama:
    • The Shogun, Shigeshige Tokugawa, is a Iron Butt-Monkey who end up naked, accidentaly beaten, or in particularly ridiculous situations everytime he appear, but what make it even funnier is that he always keep a perfectly stern face through all of this.
    • Katsura spend most of his time making a fool of himself by doing things that are considered crazy even by the other characters of the show, coming up with absurd plans or appearing in public in very suspicious costumes. But the joke with him is that he take everything he or anyone else is doing extremely seriously, no matter how stupid or insane it might be to anyone with more common sense.
  • Pani Poni Dash!: Rei Tachibana. Nothing makes her humorless nature more glaring than when her pissed-off face takes up two thirds of the screen while Himeko rises up on the remaining one-third and shoots off her motormouth while rocking side-to-side.
    • Tsurugi Inugami would count even more, with him being the serious, near-emotionless one in the same class as characters like Misao Nanjo and Behoimi (not to mention that said class is taught by Old Geezer).
    • Ichijou never once changes facial expressions (except to change to a more super-deformed version of the same stoic expression,) but is the Cloudcuckoolander supreme of the series.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Jotaro Kujo has a perfect poker face, as he demonstrates to good effect when gambling against D'Arby. The reason he's so stoic is that he thinks his emotions are easy to read, so he tries to hide them, but of course no one can tell what he's thinking anyway. Naturally, he's put into quite a few humorous situations thanks to his deadpan reactions to the bizarre things that happen in the series.
  • Shimoneta: Oboro is head of the Decency Prefects, which makes it "her" job to crackdown on SOX's ero terrorist activity... by confiscating the school's basketball hoop and volleyball net for even vaguely resembling a condom and fishnet stockings. Yes, you read that right.
  • Stein from Soul Eater with his Running Gag of him not be able to slide in a office chair without falling.
    Let me try that again.
    • While Stein does have his moments, Medusa plays a much straighter example. Everyone in the world of Soul Eater has a comedic gag going for them. Medusa's is interacting with these people while being the most serious person in the series. A key example is her meeting with Death and Spirit.
  • Tono to Issho: Most of the main characters just don't realize how insane the stuff coming out of their mouths sounds, and remain completely stone-faced.
  • Accelerator of A Certain Magical Index. He's a former serial killer and child soldier now undertaking a long and painful path to redemption. He only ever laughs and smiles when he's brutally killing people. Therefore watching him get tackled to the ground and hit on by a drunken Misaka Misuzu near the end of season 2 was absolutely hilarious.
  • Most of the punchlines from Servant × Service's Megumi Chihaya come at her outwardly calmer moments... such as declaring dryly that she and Ichimiya are an Official Couple.
  • Attack on Titan has Commander Levi, who doesn't crack a smile ever. He's also the best at what he does (killing Titans) despite being one of the shortest males in the series. He's also deadly serious about cleaning, wears an apron and a dust mask and it just looks hilarious.
  • Laura from Infinite Stratos takes everything seriously. Whether it be an IS battle or trying to find a pair of "hot panties" to flash Ichika with, she will treat it all the same. Bonus for her being German.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Shoto Todoroki will occasionally say or do seemingly absurd things with complete seriousness and sincerity. After the Stain arc he muses about whether, between Midoriya and Ida, he had some curse that causes people to maim their hands around him. It takes a moment for the other two to realize he's serious. Later, when everyone sees he redecorated his dorm room with tatami mats in a single day, his only response is he worked hard. Indeed, he's noticeably more tired than the others.
    • When doing supplemental training for his provisional hero license, Todoroki is one of three students accosted by a teacher in full Drill Sergeant Nasty mode. He calls them all pieces of crap and demands to know how they could ever expect to help people. Todoroki actually considers the question and begins giving an answer about use as fertilizer before being smacked down for needing more guidance.
    • All Might's former sidekick, Sir Nighteye, places high value on humor but you wouldn't know it to look at him. He's a stern man who's hero costume is literally just a suit and tie. He will, without a change in expression, put his own sidekicks in a tickle torture machine if he thinks they aren't being funny enough and uses seals, stamps used in Japan in place of signatures, as his Weapon of Choice, noting the humor of how it goes along with his "salaryman" look.
  • The entirety of Prison School can be summed up as this. The realistic and serious art style is juxtaposed with the absurdity of the premise and plot.
  • The title character of Goblin Slayer. In a blood and violence soaked series full of rape Goblins, 90% of the rare humor comes from Goblin Slayer acting like a borderline automaton. Especially in regards to how food just passes through the slots in his helmet.

  • Steven Wright's on-stage persona is a perfect example of this trope. The jokes themselves are mildly-amusing puns ("I poured spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone."), but Wright's dead-pan delivery makes them even funnier.
  • Rowan Atkinson is well known for this when he isn't busy being comically way over the top instead. He seems to pull either one off with equal levels of comfort. His old 'Schoolmaster' sketch consists of him standing alone on stage and reading out a list of silly/naughty names such as Assbandit, Myprick, and Mr. Great-Big-Hard-Cock, all whilst maintaining a schoolmasterly air of discipline. The absurdity of the names combined with the character's deadpan delivery and utter contempt for any silliness results in comedy gold.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman often plays the unfunny role. Anything can be made funnier by adding Batman as the straight guy. A rare exception is found in the The Killing Joke, when The Joker tells him a joke that's so applicable to the two that it makes them both laugh. More typically: In Hush, when Nightwing and Batman are in the Batmobile discussing Catwoman (well, Nightwing is discussing her, Batman is glaring off into the distance ignoring him):
    Nightwing: If you don't want to talk with someone, why do you even have a passenger seat in the Batmobile?
    Batman: Balance.
    Nightwing: ...was that a joke? ... Of course not.
  • Anyone who hangs around The Joker for any length of time who is not named Harley Quinn and/or doesn't end up getting a whiff of laughing gas tends to become this by default. Not so much true in the Silver Age stories, in which the goons would often laugh along with their boss, but definitely so in most stories from the 1970s onward, and especially in stories from the '90s onward. There's Devil's Advocate, in which "Mister J" is tried in court for murder for the first time in his life and has his lawyer sign all his legal briefs with a lavender crayon (which the lawyer gladly does). Especially funny in the "Death of Batman" story arc, in which the Joker shoots a Snuff Film that's supposed to end with Batman being gunned down in a '40s-era café. Not only does an entire movie studio treat the Clown Prince like just another prima-donna filmmaker, but two stone-faced film critics who look just like Siskel & Ebert stop by and give the Joker's film a bad review. He shoots them both dead. ("TWO THUMBS DOWN!")
  • To a lesser extent, Wolverine tends to be this. Whenever he teams up with young girls (which happens more often than you might think, though an exception can be made for X-23 who is pretty much as hardened as he is) it tends to be a mix between heartwarming and hilarious.
  • X-23 herself, possibly even moreso. She's The Stoic in the extreme (and her Not So Stoic moments generally involve Heroic BSODs and bouts of suicidal depression), only rarely cracks a full smile, and has never truly been shown laughing in the ten years since she was first introduced in the books. She does have a subtle sense of humor, but generally a black one, and is a bit of a Deadpan Snarker (emphasizing the deadpan). Much humor is derived from Laura's completely serious reactions to the craziness that often surrounds the X-Men. Even during a day spent playing hooky from school with her cousin Megan (involving amusement parks, a Dazzler concert, and being buried in a pile of puppies and kittens), Laura's face never changes from her usual neutral expression.
  • Plastic Man. Hard as it may be to believe these days, in his Golden Age Jack Cole comics he was the straight man surrounded by lunatics. Back then Plastic Man was a former criminal and was guilty of some rather serious crimes.
  • Out of the lot of the villainous Secret Six, the role of comically serious goes to Bane. It says something when you try to act fatherly to a grown woman by treating her like a ten year old.
  • Moon Knight: The title character is something of a Captain Ersatz of Batman, and usually takes this role when played against Spider-Man. Moon Knight is also insane, Depending on the Writer (and universe). For example, during a super-hero rooftop meeting in Ultimate Spider-Man #107:
    Spider-Man: Don't mind me, I'm just here for the chicken wings.
    Moon Knight: [confused] There... There are no chicken wings.
  • Cable to Deadpool's antics.
  • Similarly, The Punisher to... anyone he teams up with, really (you don't get much more serious than a man who shoots crime in the face). Deadpool is a common target, mostly because he can recover from Frank putting a bullet in his brain just to shut him up.
  • Previously, Cyclops would fulfill this role. As pointed out before by a few fans, personality wise, he's not unlike Batman, meaning that any situation from his perspective could become funnier, or more awesome. He once had a oneshot story a while back, that involved him fighting evil circus folk while stealing a man's bike and leaving an apologetic note afterwards. A lot of humour was derived from the situation he was in, his reaction, and the ending which turned a small number of bits into a Brick Joke. Sadly, The X-Men are being as serious as they can now, so no more comically serious adventures for Cyke.
  • Dream / Morpheus in The Sandman, either through being the straight man to the likes of Delirium or Immortal Immaturity. When his latest affair ends badly at the beginning of "Brief Lives", he starts brooding on the balcony like a teenager — and causes downpours throughout the Dreaming just to complete the pose.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • The comic takes great glee in turning Ultra Magnus into an Exaggerated version of this trope. Getting him to smile is a literal life-and-death matter in one story. (And said smile is the creepiest thing you ever saw.) In another he literally cannot say the word "fun". He doesn't know the word "relax", either. And it's milked for all it's worth as regards showing how much his anal nature differs from the rest of the crew and placing him in silly situations and/or paired with silly characters. Sometimes he even manages to serve as the Straight Man to other characters who are usually the Straight Men themselves.
    • Megatron is less extreme, but still fills a similar role: apart from a bit of snark every now and then, he's too naturally grim and serious to be a traditional comedic mainstay. It reaches its apex when he and Ultra Magnus, in the same scene, come to the conclusion that they aren't cut out for comedy:
      Ultra Magnus: When I said that, I didn't... I was attempting to make a joke.
      Megatron: Yes, I know — I was running with it. There's a lot of banter on this ship; I thought I was ready to take the plunge.
      Ultra Magnus: I think we've both learned something from this.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: Most of Gaston's fellow employees are serious people who just want to do their jobs. At the far end of the scale, Mr. Boulier is the dapper, persnickety accountant who resents Gaston as a massive source of unplanned expenditures.
  • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Carol Danvers and Hawkeye turned into this when they could not stand all the crazy stuff going on. Aliens, space ships, amateur superheroes, space gods... things were so much simpler back in the Cold War, when they just had the mundane risk of an atomic war.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Investigation Held by Kolobki features Chief, who keeps his cool even as an orangutan attempts to use him as a basketball or he reads a case file of a rare striped elephant that loves fish oil.

    Fan Works 
  • Out to Lunch expands on Jadis and Uncle Andrew's... travels... in London in The Magician's Nephew. Jadis' egotism is in full force, and it's hilarious!
  • In A Wild Badfic Appeared! Commentaries, this is Lucina's gimmick; as shown below in the Video Game folder, she is like that in canon. What the others are able to laugh or snark off, she takes deadly seriously at face value, causing her to get provoked easily.
  • Batman (of course) in I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC. And he's occasionally the Only Sane Man, to boot.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Lampshaded when Team Four Star did Dragon Ball Z Kai Abridged, which covered the entire first season in 2 minutes. Tien's only line in this is "I'm the only serious character in this show. That's the joke."
    • Vegeta can be this as well, when he isn't Chewing the Scenery.
  • Potter Puppet Pals: Snape, Snape, Sev-erus Snape... Everything he says is ridiculously serious, regardless of how silly it is.

    Films — Animation 
  • Principal Celestia shows signs of this in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks. While everyone else (except Pinkie Pie and Sonata Dusk) is cringing at Snips and Snails' Piss-Take Rap, she and Vice-Principal Luna just stare with completely deadpan looks on their faces. Then, after a dreadful feedback-inducing Mic Drop, Celestia flatly says "Please do not drop the microphones."
  • Parodied to heck and back in The LEGO Movie, especially when Batman ends up in Cloud Cuckoo Land:
    Batman: [as a clown and a man in a dinosaur suit dance around him] I hate this place.
  • In the Kung Fu Panda series, Tigress struggles mightily to maintain her dignity at all times. She's the only one who takes her career as seriously as she does, probably even more than Shifu (who has his own moments that he tries to hide). Tigress is a natural at martial arts, but is utterly clueless when it comes to humor, children, or even partying, to the point that she refuses to try any of them and gets irritated when anyone tries to goad her into it. Po often tries to get her to lighten up, but getting a good smile out of her is mostly impossible, at least earlier in the series, though she's still pretty reserved later on. She hasn't exactly had the easiest life, though, so she sort of has an excuse.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Just about any character played by Christopher Walken.
  • Leslie Nielsen was a somewhat successful dramatic actor. When Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker came along and had him act the exact same way in a crazy situation in their film Airplane!, it made him a comedy legend. The rest is history. Hence Leslie Nielsen Syndrome: it is difficult to impossible to watch older Leslie Nielsen films without stifling inappropriate giggles — including such classics as Forbidden Planet.
    • The entire movie is based on this trope. Only Johnny acts silly.
      Stryker: Surely, you can't be serious.
      Rumack: I am serious. And don't call me "Shirley".
    • Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain in the original Battlestar Galactica can induce a similar reaction, having spoofed such military commander roles in Hot Shots!. The Hot Shot movies (done by one of the Airplane trio) treat everything completely serious, especially when Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen) ends up using a chicken as an arrow.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Graham Chapman plays King Arthur completely straight through some of the most absurd moments in theatrical history, his stodginess in the face of carefree lunacy played for laughs.note 
    Tim: Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valour! For the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel, that no man yet has fought with it... and lived! BONES of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair! So! Brave knights! If you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth... [makes fangs with his fingers and holds them in front of his mouth]
    King Arthur: What an eccentric performance.
  • Terminator series: This trope is often the basis for gags involving the Terminators and their lack of social skills. Special mention goes to when they attempt smiling.
  • Tommy Lee Jones in just about any movie, where he approaches even the most absurd scenes completely serious and deadpan. Except Batman Forever, where he is Ham and Cheese incarnate.
    • Such as in Man of the House, where he plays a Texas Ranger tasked with guarding a squad of neurotic University of Texas cheerleaders who witnessed a murder.
    • Men in Black: Agent K. So much so that when they were filming the first movie, Jones was worried he wouldn't be funny, and they had to keep reassuring him that Agent K would be funny in context. He was.
  • Death in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey gets a creepy introduction when he arrives to take Bill and Ted to Hell. He promptly gets Melvined by them and spends the rest of the film desperately trying to regain his dignity, which is shattered over and over again the more time he spends with them (he eventually gave up and became their bass player).
    "Don't overlook *my* butt, I work out all the time. And reaping burns a lot of calories."
  • Death is terribly serious in Death Takes a Holiday when he's being romanced and comically being dumped for analyzing his date.
  • Buster Keaton started his unfunny act young. Working with his father on the stage, he was continually told to "freeze the puss" because a puzzled or frowning face after a gag made the audience laugh harder. This later carried over to his film career - when he's on screen, his face is a worried blank, his body is ramrod straight but his legs do the talking. This gave rise to the Urban Legend that claimed that Keaton was actually contractually obligated to never smile (he wasn't).

    A biography of him explained this trope in action. As a child performer he wore a suitcase handle on the back of his jacket, allowing the adults to literally pick him up and toss him around the stage. The act ended with him getting shoved through a bass drum. If he emerged from the drum smiling and waving at the audience (to assure them he was unharmed), people assumed he was being abused and that the smiling was just something he had been ordered to do. If he kept his face deadpan throughout, he brought the house down every time.
  • Harry Potter: Alan Rickman's subdued performance as Snape is sometimes this, especially in the later films (Cormack puking on his shoes comes to mind). Rickman commented in an interview that the child actors would sometimes act up deliberately to see if they could get him to break character.
    • Rolling his eyes and pulling his sleeves back to push Ron and Harry's faces back into their work wouldn't have been nearly as funny if he'd had any change of attitude or expression.
    • There's this little gem from Order of the Phoenix, when Dolores Umbridge is conducting an inspection of the school:
      Umbridge: You applied first for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post, is that correct?
      Snape: Yes.
      Umbridge: But you were unsuccessful?
      Snape: [irritated but still deadpan] Obviously.
  • The Devil's Rejects: Oddly enough, Otis Driftwood is Comically Serious when he is in the company of Captain Spaulding and Baby Firefly.
  • Inception: Arthur, as he's the most serious in the Dream Team and smiles but twice in the whole film. He does have a sense of humour though.
  • Dragnet - Dan Aykroyd as Joe Friday.
  • Bruce Lee has a few moments as the comically serious in some of his movies. Noticeably, Jackie Chan invoked this trope as one of the reasons he chose to do action comedy: he once was speculated to be Lee's potential succesor, so he decided to do the exact opposite and step out of his shadow.
  • Margaret Dumont in the films of The Marx Brothers and others. So much so that for many years people believed that she really was that stuffy, and simply didn't understand the jokes. It's not true; she was well aware of how funny Groucho's lines were, but was a consummate professional and stayed in character. (In her 20s, she'd been a noted comedy actress.) The reason people believed that Dumont didn't get the jokes was that she was so professional that she kept in character even when she wasn't onscreen. In one television performance late in their careers, Groucho succeeded in making her corpse.note 
  • Moe Howard from The Three Stooges is cast as the most "serious" Stooge and often berates the other two to stop screwing around, but he is no less likely to get a pie in the face or clonked with a shovel than anyone else in the cast note . This is a natural extension of the much older role of the whiteface clown as a Straight Man to the more rambunctious auguste in professional clowning. Some people have trouble with smart clowns...
  • Morticia Adams in The Addams Family films. Anjelica Huston plays the character low-key, simply accepting the weirdness around her as perfectly normal. And it is hilarious!
  • Home Alone: Harry to a certain extent.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man 2, the tough, thuggish Ivan gives the brief and subtle yet highly amusing appearance of a Fish out of Water while joining Justin Hammer for an expensive, five-star meal.
    • Thor has his moments in the first Thor movie while he's on Earth, largely due to his fish out of water status. The most notable instance of this is when he very seriously asks a pet shop employee for a horse, and it turns out they don't sell horses.
      Thor: I need a horse!
      Pet shop employee: We don't have horses, just dogs, cats and birds.
      Thor: Then give me one of those large enough to ride!
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
      • Drax the Destroyer is the member of a race whose members are Literal-Minded. Most of the time, he has no sense of sarcasm, humor, or metaphors, leading to plenty of moments where his seriousness is played for laughs, particularly compared to the other team members, such as in the mid-credits sequence. Averted in the sequel, where he's laughing his head off at least once a scene, often at someone else's expense. (Granted, this is mostly because he's trying to develop a sense of humor and not be so literal, but isn't entirely succeeding.) But reinstated as "stoic to the point of hilarity" in Avengers: Infinity War.
      • Played entirely straight with Ronan in the first movie, though. This trait is especially apparent at the end, when Peter distracts him from trying to destroy a planet by challenging him to a dance off, and starting to dance to '80's music.
      Ronan: [giving Peter a thoroughly bewildered look] ...What are you doing. WHAT are you DOING?
    • Once Peter removes a "Training Wheels Protocol" from his suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he unveils an female Benevolent A.I. not unlike Iron Man's F.R.I.D.A.Y., whom Spidey nicknames "Karen". She's not a snarker like J.A.R.V.I.S. (even if she's voiced by his wife), but still hilarious given Karen is either blunt ("Aw, my head!" "You appear to have a minor concussion."), obvious ("The F.B.I.?!" "The Federal Bureau of Investigation...") or Adorkable ("Your impressions are very funny!").
    • Doctor Strange (2016): Wong spends the majority of the film completely and utterly stone-faced, not cracking so much as a grin as Strange bumbles into his role as Sorcerer Supreme and cracks snarky jokes. Then hilariously subverted at the end when Strange makes a cheesy joke about reading the instructions and Wong explodes into uproarious laughter, much to Strange and Mordo’s confusion.
  • Into the Storm (2009) features the real-life character of General Ismay, Churchill's military aide, who keeps a straight face through all of Winston's antics.
  • Pretty much everyone in Dr. Strangelove, but General Ripper and Col. Bat Guano take the cake.
  • The Secret Garden: Mary at the beginning of the 1993 movie. Particularly with jolly Yorkshire maid Martha as a contrast.
    Martha: [playfully pulls Mary's hat down over her eyes] There you are, Miss Mary!
    Mary: [teeth clenched] I can't. See.
  • Janeane Garofalo's character Heather Mooney in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion spends most of the film being a Deadpan Snarker, but whenever anyone mentions the subject of her old flame Sandy Frink, she becomes this. Because she was very much in love with him. Very much in love.
  • Marilyn Monroe, at least when she appeared in comedies, where she was usually not the main character and didn't get many laugh-out-loud scenes; on the surface, it's pretty obvious why she's there in the first place. This is especially noteworthy in the two films she made with Billy Wilder, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot (and in fact, she said she did not enjoy filming the latter precisely for the above reason). Which is not to say she wasn't comical to more than an incidental extent: George Cukor, another of her directors, pointed out that "she acted as if she didn't understand why it was funny. Which is what made it so funny."
  • Monroe's Spiritual Successor, Anna Nicole Smith, plays a similar role in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, even more so than Leslie Nielsen (see above) and the rest of the cast. As Tanya Peters, she is onscreen less often than the other major characters, doesn't talk much, and is primarily there to react with naive cluelessness about everyone else's antics (which, as the story proves, is just an act). On those rare occasions when she does get a funny line, it's more low-key than other characters'; and when she is the butt of a sight gag, it's more often just a cheap joke about her sex appeal than anything that makes her lose her dignity. Until her final scene in the film, where she strips naked and reveals that she is actually a man.
  • The female lead in any Adam Sandler picture tends to be this. An exception is Mr. Deeds, where Winona Ryder acts ditzy and falls into slapstick and other embarrassing situations — and, in an inversion, Adam's Mr. Deeds is actually quite dignified compared to previous Sandler portrayals.
  • Star Wars:
  • Star Trek Beyond has Jaylah, who in being serious and combative ends up often employed as a straight woman, per franchise tradition (see the Star Trek examples on the Live-Action TV folder). The broken English also helps.
  • Wonder Woman has the title heroine, who not only is a Fish out of Water, but earnest, idealistic and combative. Hence lots of funny moments with her attempts at socialization and\or understanding the non-Amazon world.
  • Hydrozagadka is the world of The Comically Serious, who deliver the most ridiculous lines with completely straight faces.
  • In Escape from L.A., Snake becomes so absurdly, monolithically cool and macho that he swerves right back around to being as ridiculous and camp as everything around him.

  • Discworld:
    • Most of the characters in the universe, but Vetinari and Vimes particularly stick out.
    • Also Granny Weatherwax. Just look at her experience with theater in Wyrd Sisters. To drive the home point about Granny:
      Granny Weatherwax: Get me an alligator sandwich... and make it quick!
      Granny Weatherwax has absolutely no sense of humour but she has, as it were, heard about it. She has no grasp of how or why jokes work — she's one of those people who say "And then what happened?" after you've told them the punchline. She can vaguely remember the one-liner "Give me an alligator sandwich — and make it snappy!" but since she's got no idea of why it's even mildly amusing she gets confused... all that she can remember is that apparently the man wants it quickly.
    • Captain Carrot. Who will track down Death if he must, on the grounds that he's the only witness to a murder. It comes from his Dwarven upbringing (they think "irony" means "something like iron").
    • A Take Our Word for It example is Bouncy Normo, mentioned in The Fools Guild Diary. A man with No Sense of Humor whatsoever, he was, somehow, the funniest person on the Disc and never understood why. His Catch-Phrase was "What's everyone laughing about?" Eventually he was Driven to Suicide, and everyone who saw him do it had to be hospitalised because they were laughing so much.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, Nicci, after her Heel–Face Turn, very much so.
  • The narrator of The Remains of the Day is a butler who's trying very hard to develop a sense of humor late in life, because he thinks his new employer would appreciate it. His Spock Speak Wall of Text musings on the subject are very funny, until they reappear in the last scene.
  • Ax of Animorphs is an alien who doesn't quite understand human humor, but his weird mannerisms among other things make him into a very funny character.
    • Marco was convinced that the Yeerks did have a sense of humor because nobody as comically serious as them could do it unintentionally. Such gems of humor from the Yeerks include making an entrance to their secret lair under a McDonald's and then having the password be "I'd like a Happy Meal with extra happy" and having the audio for the self-destruct system announce "Base will Self-Destruct in 15 minutes. Have a nice day."
  • The eternally unflappable Jeeves of Jeeves and Wooster. His expressions and intonations never change as he responds rationally and politely to the ridiculous things that go on around him and the ramblings of his Cloudcuckoolander boss.
    Bertie: I suppose it bowled the poor blighter over absolutely?
    Jeeves: Mr. Bickersteth appeared somewhat taken aback, sir.
  • Psmith, frequently, swinging wildly between this and Comical Overreacting (typical example: he is blissfully serene as an Angry Mob attempts to pound him into hash, but loses his cool a few seconds later at the indignity of having to make his getaway on the public transport instead of in his usual secluded cab).
  • The Rosie Project has Don Tillman, whose Ambiguous Disorder often results in him taking certain situations or conversations more seriously than he needs to.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, who starts stoic and gets even worse once life mistreats her some more, and thus is forced to endure some hilarious stuff. Best example being during an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment with a stripping woman.
  • The Spirit Thief: Nico tries hard to invoke Emotionless Girl, leaving her defenceless in face of Eli's jokes and the World of Snark she lives in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Various guests from Fawlty Towers including Mr. Hutchison from "The Hotel Inspectors", and the Abbots from "The Psychiatrist", and especially Dr Price from "The Kipper and the Corpse".
    Dr Price: Look, I'm a doctor. I'm a doctor and I want my sausages!
    • Basil Fawlty himself was designed with this trope in mind. John Cleese has mentioned in interviews that the guiding principle he had when designing Fawlty was that someone having something embarrassing happen to them isn't funny; someone having something embarrassing happen to them and trying to press on as though everything is normal is hilarious.
  • Officer Crabtree from 'Allo 'Allo!. Arguably one of the most outrageous characters in the series, with the straightest face. Probably because he has no idea how horrendous his French is...
    • After his first take he was told to "do it again, but like it wasn't funny"
  • Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf: Takes everything seriously but gets everything wrong. The polar opposite of Lister who is usually making a joke at Rimmer's expense but generally quite smart at figuring things out, and The Cat who makes fun of Rimmer on every occasion possible but often gets stuff right because he goes with his gut reaction and doesn't overanalyse it.
    • In the episode "Bodyswap" Rimmer describes what ageing is like. His delivery is deliberate in its bathos:
    "When you're younger you can eat what you like, drink what you like and still climb into your 26" waist trousers and zip them closed. Then you reach that age - 24, 25 - your muscles give up, they wave a little white flag and without any warning at all suddenly you're a fat bastard."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Seth Green as Oz. Also, Giles.
    • Anya Jenkins, by a long shot.
    Dawn (with chopsticks hanging from her mouth): When I was younger, I used to put my chopsticks in my mouth like this, and then Buffy would chase me around the house yelling, "I am the Slayer! I'm going to get you!"
    Anya: That's disturbing. You're emotionally scarred and will end up badly.
    • Angel. The fact that he's periodically-evil while his companions are all Happy Meals with legs might have something to do with all the jokes at his expense, to keep him grounded. When he becomes Angelus it's more a matter of Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor.
  • Indeed, much of the humor on Angel's own show was derived from his being deadpan in comical or bizarre situations, or how absolutely seriously he took his role as Brooding Hero of the Night With a Dark Past, to the point where it became a bit absurd. Cases in point: his dancing (it's dreadful but thankfully imaginary), leaping heroically into the wrong convertible and thereby averting a car chase scene, the discovery that he enjoys Barry Manilow but cannot sing to save his unlife, and dressing up in a ridiculous tourist outfit in order to apparently annoy information out of a local mafia boss. All of these he treats with complete seriousness or hides to keep his brooding cred.
    • The best was when he was turned into a muppet in "Smile Time". For most of an episode he was a dour, brooding, serious fuzzy puppet while everyone else was intensely amused.
    • In episode five of season three, "Fredless," Cordelia and Wesley subject the Buffy/Angel relationship to something that goes beyond a send-up and into a blow-up, leading to this immortal line from Wesley: "Oh Buffy, I love you so much I almost forgot to BROOD!"
    • Earlier, in the season two episode "Guise Will Be Guise," Cordelia gave this impression of Angel: "Oh no, I can't do anything fun tonight. I have to count my past sins, then alphabetize them. Oh, by the way, I'm thinking of snapping on Friday."
  • Spoofed in Monty Python's Flying Circus, where a man talking and acting in a blandly everyday manner causes convulsive laughter in everyone he walks past. And that's even an obscure reference. Does no one remember the Colonel? "Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly." He started as the straight man in his own sketch, and they kept using him to end a sketch for which they had not written a punch line.
    Colonel: Right! Stop that! Silly! And a bit suspect, I think...
    • Generally speaking, Graham Chapman has been described by other Pythons as hating the stereotype of the man who knows that he's funny, in comedy, which is why so many of the characters he played can definitively be described as The Comically Serious.
  • Michael Bluth of Arrested Development.
    • Also, Wayne Jarvis, the self-described consummate professional.
      Michael: Are you serious?
      Wayne: Almost always. I was once voted the worst audience participant Cirque Du Soleil ever had.
  • Much of the humor in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine comes from putting Worf through this. Data and Odo are also frequent targets.
    Worf: Sir, I protest! I am not a merry man!
    • Same applies to Data's daughter Lal, who summed up the essence of this trope after noting that other children were laughing at her.
      Lal: Then, without understanding humor, I have somehow mastered it.
    • In Star Trek: Voyager, Tuvok was often paired with goofy Neelix. Interestingly, in a flashback, Sulu commented that Tuvok was stuck up even for a Vulcan (implicitly comparing him to Spock). Which leads to the hilarious image of him being the Comically Serious in a group of Vulcans.
    • And Worf, above, is often shown as being more serious than most Klingons. This may be a case of him trying too hard to follow an outsider's ideas of Klingon culture, as compared to those actually brought up in it; then again, he might just have a grim and serious temperament. Michael Dorn has a charming smile, but the best you're likely to get out of Worf is a look of satisfaction.
      • It's lampshaded in "Redemption", when Worf tries to claim that Klingons do not laugh, and Guinan immediately calls him on it — they totally do; he doesn't. It's backed up later in the story when Worf goes to fight in a Klingon fleet. In between battles, the other Klingons join their enemies in a bar to boisterously drink together, but Worf has to be all but dragged into the fun, and is still not really enjoying himself.
      • From time to time Worf does show that he is aware of this and uses it to his advantage to sneak in some snark.
      • A Deep Space Nine episode reveals a possible reason for him being so uptight: when he was much younger, he was more enthusiastic than we see him today. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm (paired with his Klingon strength) led to him accidentally killing an opponent during a soccer match. He never really recovered from it.
    • Data discovers the concept of humor and attempts to learn to tell jokes and stand-up. The image of Comically Serious Data, on par with Worf, trying to tell jokes and failing miserably is — on paper - more hilarious than the jokes themselves could ever hope to be. Unfortunately, to say they misfired would be a dramatic understatement — the resulting episode, "The Outrageous Okona", is regarded as one of the worst in the entire Trek canon. He can hardly be blamed for getting it wrong considering the jokes being endorsed by Guinan and the greatest comedian of the 20th century. "Because you're a 'droid and I'm a 'noid."
    • At least once Data and Worf both pulled this off in the same scene. Data is about to leave the Enterprise and asks Worf to take care of his cat Spot:
      Data: You must feed him and pet him. And you must tell him he is a good cat. And a pretty cat.
      Worf: (holding the cat at arm's length with his usual scowl) I will feed it.
      Data: Perhaps that will be sufficient.
    • And of course, Spock himself. While a Deadpan Snarker on his own, the Vulcan generates even more laughs by his lack of emotion and frequent misunderstandings. Zachary Quinto's Spock pushes it a notch further. Note that even when Spock is shown having a rather sharp sense of humor, his stoicsm just plays so well against the original series' campiness (salt vampires, space hippies, the entire plot of "Spock's Brain") to make this trope stand out further.
    • Agents Dulmer and Lucsly from "Trials and Tribble-ations." Especially their reactions to everyone making time-related jokes.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • A great deal of the series' humor comes from putting very serious military personnel into the utmost ridiculous science-fiction situations.
      Maj. Gen. George Hammond: I'm allowing the use of this ship because of the obvious tactical advantage it provides you. Under no circumstances is it to be used to travel through time. Understood?
      Col. Jack O'Neill: Yes sir.
      Hammond: Never in my life would I have imagined giving that order.
    • Teal'c was the team's Unfunny. He might have laughed only once in the show's 10-year run — at a Jaffa joke no-one else on the team got. Once in a while he was a bit of a Deadpan Snarker, and he was frequently the victim of Metaphorgotten, but he was always a serious person. He did let his hair down more in the company of his own people, so Fish out of Water may have been a contributing factor. Made even more hilarious on a meta level by how downright jolly his actor Christopher Judge is in real life. At first his understanding of human humor is more limited, but he learns more as the series goes on, giving us such moments as early on when O'Neill is lying sick in bed:
      Teal'c: [deadpan] Undomesticated equines could not stop me.
      O'Neill: [realizing] You made a joke.
    • The Jaffa race as a whole counts. The other Jaffa may smile more easily than Teal'c, but they're still deadly serious 90% of the time, and will climb up on their honor in an instant.
  • Dr. Wen from Scrubs. Carla as well: you can get plenty of laughs out of her and her storylines, but it's actually made a point of a few times in the show that she can't tell or do good jokes. (It doesn't stop her from trying, though.)
  • M*A*S*H: Col. Potter, Major Freeman, and Major Winchester. They have their breakdowns, but compared to Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J., Radar, Frank Burns, Margaret, Klinger...
  • Derek Hale from Teen Wolf. His glaring or hostile reactions to other people's actions, especially Stiles', are often much funnier than the initial joke. And he's been nicknamed the sourwolf by Stiles because of this.
    Derek: Shut up.
    Stiles: Don't be such a sourwolf.
  • More recent Kamen Rider shows have developed a real love of having a stoic Riders among the heroic cast for comedy value.
    • Chase from Kamen Rider Drive is a biomechanical being with a poor (at best) grasp of human emotions, paired with a police division staffed by the goofs, weirdos, and rejects from the rest of the department, so naturally Hilarity Ensues. In one memorable episode, the Special Division hatches a plan to deal with an Obstructive Bureaucrat that involves Chase "attacking" him while pretending to be a rampaging monster; his performance amounts to waving his arms around stiffly and half-heartedly growling, which the rest of the team sells by hamming it up like their lives depend on it.
      • This gets played up in Chase's stand-alone movie, where he's given a Personality Chip and the sight of him acting like a normal human being (smiling, talking cheerfully about the weather, making little jokes) initially freaks everybody out.
    • Hiiro Kagami of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid always wears a blank expression. It doesn't matter if he's eating a cake, fighting monsters, or talking to his much zanier father. A prime example comes late in the series, where he and Taiga finally mend fences. Hiiro starts treating him more respectfully, including calling him "Doctor Hanaya", but Taiga says that it's kind of weirding him out...which prompts Hiiro to revert to his previous behavior, going stone-faced and calling Taiga "Unlicensed Doctor". After a Beat, Taiga says "...Doctor Hanaya is fine."
    • Gentoku Himuro from Kamen Rider Build is an unusual example in that, at the outset of the series, he was a perfectly cold and serious villain. Later on it's revealed that he's a good person who was put under the effects of a Hate Plague that inverted his personality; once freed from its grip, he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and joins "Team Build". This is the point where the audience learns that his fashion sense is ludicrously gaudy (he wears things like straw baseball caps, cut-off jean shorts and transparent jackets), but he doesn't see anything wrong with it and actually gets offended when the rest of the crew is creeped out by him. When he finally settles into a more reasonable ensemble of a leather jacket and jeans, he takes to wearing Fun T Shirts under the jacket and using them in place of verbal responses, to the confusion of his allies.
  • Lilith on Cheers and Frasier. She also thinks Zeppo Marx is the funniest of the Marx Brothers. Interestingly, Zeppo was often said to be the funniest one in real life.
  • Cameron of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a solid example of this, when she is put in absurd or socially delicate situations, and tends to react in an extremely straightforward and practical manner. Fellow Terminators John Henry and Catherine Weaver tend to be this, too. The odd thing here is how much quiet comedy the writers generate between two comically serious characters.
  • Chuck: NSA Agent John Casey is the most serious out of the 'Operation Bartowski' team, but he's often the bringer of the most laughs, usually because he's put into amusing circumstances.
  • NewsRadio: The whole reason Dave Foley was cast as Dave Nelson (a character created with him in mind) was the fact that Foley has a talent for getting laughs by subtly and seriously reacting to funny or crazy things, more so than the actors who are actually doing them, as creator Paul Simms discovered by watching him steal scenes opposite the Chicken Lady.
  • Castiel on Supernatural. He doesn't even react when he sits on a whoopie cushion, inadvertently interrupting his own Serious speech about the Anti Christ.
    Cas: [completely serious] That wasn't me.
    • See also his utter failure at pretending to be an FBI Agent, and:
      This isn't funny, Dean! The voice says I'm almost out of minutes.
    • Or his voicemail message.
      I don't understand. Why do you want me to say my name? (sound of buttons being pressed)
  • From Conan O'Brien's recurring sketches: Real Life associate producer Jordan Schlansky.
  • Jamie Hyneman from MythBusters is one of the quintessential examples, in contrast to co-host Adam Savage, who delights in clowning.
    • In the episode where they tested the concept of Latex Perfection, Adam got a lot of mileage out of acting zany while disguised as Jamie (though he was able to pull off serious too). On the other hand, Jamie had a hard time acting appropriately goofy while disguised as Adam.
  • True Blood: Eric Northman. A good example—though funnier in context, so spoilered punchline—is when he's speaking in Russian, and his whole speech is subtitled, but he spontaneously switches back to English to call someone a gold-digging whore!
  • Dr. K from Power Rangers RPM. For a character who is a complete Deadpan Snarker with No Social Skills, she provides almost as much humor as the designated Butt-Monkey of the series. It mainly comes from the fact that she is often placed in socially awkward situations. (See "Ranger Yellow, Part 2", "Doctor K", and especially "In Or Out" for proof.)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Raymond Holt plays this to a T. In a twist, though, the character is far from entirely serious, he just expresses himself in a very subdued, very stoic fashion. Mostly.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Dr. Sheldon Cooper. In fact, it's pretty much his entire shtick (aside from neurosis, passive-aggressiveness and love of trains.)
  • Ron Swanson and Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson because he's Rated M for Manly with the corresponding lack of sense of humor, and Ben because he's simply trying to be sane.
  • Glee's Dalton Academy Warblers, individually or en masse, are this to a T.
    Thad: You mock us, sir!
  • Hotch on Criminal Minds gets a lot of mileage out of this trope. He's an immensely deadpan Deadpan Snarker on a team of people with much more overt senses of humour and a tendency to play pranks and get up to other sorts of shenanigans, so he's ended up with a reputation as having no sense of humour. And he usually is the straight man to the silliness, but he's actually quite goofy when given the opportunity (usually around his son, Jack), so it seems that he sometimes plays up being serious for comedic effect.
    • On the sitcom Dharma & Greg, Greg got laughs like this too. It seems to be a Thomas Gibson specialty.
  • Jon Stewart on The Daily Show is not generally this, but when paired with his correspondents for a bit, will oftentimes take on this role as the serious straight newsman/interviewer.
  • The humor of Loriot, probably Germany's most famous comedian, is always this, revolving around people in awkward situations who always keep appearances and manners, which only makes the situations more absurd and hilarious, and frankly, embarrassing. A great deal of his early humor is attributed to the fact that people in Germany in the 60s actually did behave a lot like that and he was merely pointing out the absurdity of trying to keep one's dignity by ignoring the embarrassment.
  • PR consultant and professional snoop Nick Hewer has shades of this in The Apprentice, which the editors occasionally play up - the man's so deadpan that the second he comes within five metres of a stuffed toy he becomes instantly funny. The real life equivalent of the Batman comedy mannequin. Following an appearance on a popular BBC panel show, however, it turned out that the Apprentice team had, if anything, been downplaying Nick's deadpan genius. And all he had to do was wear a jumper and make some faces...
  • Red Foreman embodies this trope in That '70s Show. While he does have a lighter side that pops up from time to time, 99% of the humor derived from his character comes from his stern personality clashing with the absolutely absurd plots going on around him.
    • He does have a dry and sardonic sense of humor that plays up now and then, such as when he remarked on Bob's less than stellar military courage:
    Red: Imagine that, a Minuteman serving chicken!
  • In the classic TV Batman, Batman and Robin are the straight men to the lunacy of the villains.
  • Life's Too Short gives us Liam Neeson's attempt at improv comedy.
  • Jack Soo as Nick Yemana, and later Steve Landesberg as Arthur Dietrich on Barney Miller.
  • Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow maintains the poise and decorum of an 18th century British gentleman no matter what happens around him. He even has an elegant way to hide behind a wall during an explosion.
  • Beau Bridges as Carl Hickey, Earl's grumpy middle-aged father, in My Name Is Earl.
  • Babylon 5 got a fair amount of mileage out of putting the frequently very serious Commander Susan Ivanova into ridiculous situations. Like the time she had to wrap her head around the fact that there were, in fact, ten identical-looking fur-wearing, hairy caretakers of the Great Machine, all of them called Zathras. She probably was intended to do this even more often, but the actress lobbied to let her character be less staunch.
    • G'Kar usually becomes this when he's interacting with Londo, especially once their Odd Friendship starts developing. There's a blooper reel that plays on this dynamic. Londo explains that G'Kar is his bodyguard. G'Kar, dead serious, puts on a pair of Cool Shades.
      Londo: He cleaned out the liquor cabinet on First Class.
  • James Lester from Primeval. His British stuffiness is played up to the point where everything he says comes off as a joke.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Andy Samberg's "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals" sketch mocks Wahlberg by portraying him as this. As the title suggests, it's just two minutes of Wahlberg trying to have a completely straight-faced conversation with a dog...ending it with a dead serious "Say hi to your mother for me!"
    • Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer always interjects with a new mood-killer, accompanied by a sad trombone sound, which was so hilarious in its effect that everyone, including Rachel, ended up corpsing at times.
  • Game of Thrones:
    Davos Seaworth: Lord Celtigar called it admirable.
    Stannis: Had I shown him the contents of my privy, he would have called that admirable too.
    • Tywin Lannister, as seen with interactions with Tyrion during his wedding, as Tywin unexpectedly slips in to the role of straight man to his son. Other incidents include giving a version of The Talk to Tommen in the Sept of Baelor, and trying to talk with Oberyn Martell in a brothel... with Oberyn offering him a seat right where a male prostitute had been laying with Oberyn.
    • Missandei and Grey Worm's interactions with Tyrion in Season 6 amount to this. He spends the majority of the season trying to get them to make a joke. Grey Worm is even more so this than Missandei, he is extremely awkward during his conversations with Tyrion. However, the latter finally gets him to make a joke in the penultimate episode of the season (in the most deadpan way possible).
  • iCarly: Freddie's temporary bodyguard Gunsmoke. Like when he smashed Spencer's snow cone machine.
    Gunsmoke: For all I knew it could've been full of plastic explosives or chemical weapons.
    Spencer: Well it wasn't!
    Gunsmoke: (beat) Then can I have a snow cone?
  • Arrow: Oliver often plays this role next to the likes of Barry and Ray, who are quite enthusiastic.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver showcases C-SPAN's Steve Sculley, aka "The Most Patient Man on Television" as a glorious example given he barely changes his expression while receiving batshit\bigoted viewer phone calls.
  • Francesca "Frankie" Dart of Community is the Dean's Hypercompetent Sidekick and the Only Sane Woman at the college. She usually plays Straight Man to the more eccentric main cast; most of her comedy moments come from her exasperated reactions to the absurdities around her.
  • About seventy-five percent of the funny moments on Bones come from other characters' jokes going over Literal-Minded Temperance Brennan's head and her correcting them. Bones also gives us Dr. Zack Addy (who is very similar to Brennan), workaholic Clark Edison, and Colin Fisher, who was revealed in one episode to moonlight as a stand-up comic. His "jokes" were indiscernible from his usual dialogue.
  • Wolf Blitzer Invoked this trope when he was guest-hosting an episode of Anderson Cooper 360. The show has a light-hearted segment called "The Ridiculist," and Wolf decided to use it to get back at Anderson for making fun of his new glasses. He showed many examples of Anderson Corpsing, and then showed how he can say even the most childishly ridiculous statement with a straight face.
    The pussy willows blowing in the wind on the shores of Lake Titicaca are almost as magical as (beat) Uranus,
  • TNG's Worf and Data are later mirrored by The Orville’s Bortus and Isaac, respectively. Bortus treats every situation with honor and dignity (mostly due to his species being a Proud Warrior Race) including scanning a research colony for bars and strip clubs, participating in historical re-enactments, laying an egg, and karaoke.
    • Isaac, on the other hand, gets the concept of humor (at least, some of it), but — being an android — misses the context it has among biological beings, leading him to, for example, assume "dick" is a compliment since men tend to be proud of theirs, or when his first attempt at a practical joke involved anesthetizing Gordon while he slept, surgically removing his leg, and then hiding it.
  • Heather in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is so apathetic to almost everything that even when she graduates community college, she sings a song with no enthusiasm behind it.
  • Dead Ringers: Both in radio and television format, humour is derived from having BBC newsreader Kirsty Wark reading out song lyrics completely stone-faced as if they were actual news.
    Wark: You liar, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot. Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it's your last. ... more on that story later.

  • Steve Bender, one of the two German members of the 80's multi-national band Dschinghis Khan. Lampshaded in several YouTube comments which mention how utterly serious he is, when compared with his more cheerful bandmates.
  • David Choi is so serious a video on YouTube is dedicated to making him laugh.
  • Just watch the unofficial video for "Whipped Cream" by Ludo and try to keep a straight face as long as the band does.
  • As an April Fools' Day joke in 2007, Alanis Morissette recorded a sad piano ballad cover of "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas.
  • German singer Max Raabe performs even the goofiest songs with teutonic stoicism.
  • Big Marvel, a Korean youtuber who does covers of popular songs. He's known for having a blank, unchanging expression even as he plays pop songs on plastic toy instruments, squeaky toys, and most famously, a rubber chicken.

  • The The Thrilling Adventure Hour's Phillip Fathom, Deep Sea Detective, is an Expy of The Dark Knight Trilogy Batman in the decidedly Silver Age world of "The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam." Everything he says is spoken with serious intensity and in what other cast members describe as "screaming a hoarse whisper," even when all he's doing is getting ice cream.
    Ice Cream Teddy: Which one of you had toasted almonds?
    [a Batman-style Leitmotif begins to play]
    Phillip Fathom: I'M ALLERGIC TO NUTS!
    Ice Cream Teddy: Okay...
  • Madame Director Lucretia from The Adventure Zone falls into this on a regular basis. She's the most professional and serious of all the members of the Bureau of Balance, but this isn't saying a whole lot when the organisation contains people like Magnus, Merle and Taako. She's perfectly willing to go along with their inanity if they keep getting results.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE
    • Wrestler Steve Blackman often served as the Unfunny in a Tag Team with one of the federation's wackier wrestlers, including Cloudcuckoolander Al Snow and white-boy wannabe rapper Grandmaster Sexay.
    • "If I can be serious for a minute..." ECW/WCW/WWE alumnus Lance Storm also used a (fairly humorous) Unfunny gimmick ("Your days of unabashed hijinks are about to end."). The WWE Flanderised him into a robot-like Stoic who would later learn how to have "fun" and dance his way down to the ring. It's a far cry from his WCW and ECW days, where he was both Comically Serious and badass.
    • Kane, who for years had been the most serious of performers, had a point for about two or three years where he could be relied on for some of the best comedy moments — because no matter how many times he did it, you didn't expect Kane to crack jokes, except deadpan.
      • So there's a backstage spot with Booker T, Goldust and Kane, with Kane ominously looming over Goldust who had just been doing a (bad) impression of him. Suddenly Bradshaw comes in and says he's going to party after his big victory just now by going to see some hot lesbian action, and asks who wants to come along. Kane is the only one who raises his hand. The inversion of O.O.C. Is Serious Business only made his normally stoic persona all the better suited for the role.
      • The promo with Hulk Hogan and the Rock.
      • Kane on an August 2012 edition of Raw was being forced to attend anger management classes: when asked to describe some of the issues that made him angry, Kane, in a completely deadpan voice, described his ridiculous backstory and the most ridiculous plotlines he's been in ("I had a girlfriend named Katie Vick. That didn't end well.") which made his segment utterly hysterical compared to the more obviously comic Daniel Bryan part of the sketch.
      • The fact that it was riffing on Dr. Evil's Parent-child counseling likely helped.
  • Sara Del Rey was the so unfunny she was the funny opponent to the much more experienced Manami Toyota, who toyed with her, the super hero Leva Bates, the Hard-Drinking Party Girl ODB and the nowhere near as big and strong as they thought they were Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew among others. She was the serious minded tag team partner to hyper active Courtney Rush, arena devouring Chris Hero and Big Fun Bobby Dempsey, among others. A more experienced Del Rey would later have the opportunity for revenge against Toyota in Mike Quackenbush's Fun Filled Lucha Show, Chikara, where she yet again an example.
  • Beth Phoenix comes off as unfunny since she plays straight woman to the goofy tag team "All Knighters", her boyfriend Santino Marella, her intern Rosa Mendes, frequent tag team partner Jillian Hall and the crazy characters they tend to attract.
  • "Hey Tomko, gimme a beat." "No."
    • Further examples of this would shine during Tomko's term in TNA, specifically in 2007, with him shaking his head at moments such as Scott Steiner's fail-heavy mid-promo history lesson during a Team Cage celebration backstage and Christian Cage's claim in an at-home scene that he and his wife had "three kids" and "twins on the way" as he tried to inspire Tomko and AJ Styles to get revenge on Samoa Joe for him.
  • William Regal always did his best to maintain his dignity but would always get paired up with people like Tajiri, Eugene or Hornswoggle who would frustrate the hell out of him.
  • TNA had a segment where wrestlers were given the challenge of making Low Ki laugh. There were a half dozen failures before someone finally did it.
  • Silas Young manages to consistently be the most serious man in Ring of Honor, a promotion that bills itself as being more serious than TNA. The least serious thing he's done is prove he was in fact capable of having friends by introducing The Beer City Bruiser, a big fat man in the tiniest trunks the television deal will allow who is the much more laid back of their resulting tag team.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show frequently comments on his own program in a condescending tone, usually tripping up over his own hypocrisy (he once follows up a complaint about how uncultured the show is with a comment that the guest of the week, ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, is his "favorite opera singer") or not being aware how silly things actually are (his favorite skit on the show is the "classy" duets by Wayne and Wanda, which always end in some slapstick disaster).
    Sam: [to the audience] I wish to announce I am officially disassociating myself from this whole weird, sick show. Thank you.

  • Bob & Ray had a number of interview sketches that used this — with one (usually Bob) as himself, trying to make sense out of the other as the increasingly loopy subject.
  • Wiretap: Jonathan Goldstein as portrayed in most of the "conversations" on his radio show.
  • In The Men from the Ministry the newsreader Bryan Martin will report the most ridiculous things caused by One and Two's bunglings with utter seriousness, no matter how much of an insane chaos London is in.

    Tabletop Games 
  • For all the potential darkness of the character, Leonardo de Montreal from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine can be comedy gold because of his deeply serious approach to the goofiness he is likely to be exposed to, especially if Rinley or Chuubo is also present.
  • Warhammer 40,000 was originally meant to be an over-the-top parody of the Darker and Edgier direction a lot of games were taking when it was released. A good deal of the humor was meant to come from the seriousness of the Imperium of Man, especially contrasted with da Orkz. Unfortunately (and fortunately, in some cases) this was dropped for a more serious setting that started to go in the extreme direction it used to parody. Thus the game itself has become Comically Serious to many of its fans.

  • Malvolio from William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night is often played this way.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest is a Word of God. Oscar Wilde wrote acting instructions in the original text of the play, calling for the entire cast to perform as gravely as possible; he felt (perhaps rightly so) if they treated the subject matter too lightly the satire would be lost. Essentially, there is a note about the importance of being earnest in The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • In performances by Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, female roles are taken by male dancers, but it's performed, as it were, entirely straight.

    Video Games 
  • Batman in the Arkham series, naturally. Particularly this bit from Arkham Knight while solving riddles:
    Catwoman: Another one? Seriously, what's [Riddler's] problem?
    Batman: Fanatic narcissism, egocentrism and megalomania, crossed with severe obsessive compulsion.
    Catwoman: Thanks.
    Batman: Don't mention it.
  • Sasha Nein from Psychonauts. He's more or less The Spock, but gets the most amusing punishments — such as having his brain removed, leaving him to babble about TVs and hackeysacks, or being squashed on the underside of a giant rubber stamper.
  • Marcus Fenix of Gears of War never smiles. Not even on his birthday, when they give him the cake. He seems to have something of an ironic sense of humour, though.
    Marcus: Hey, Colonel! I guess we are the support, huh?
  • BlazBlue:
    • Hakumen is like this during his "Help Me Dr. Kokonoe!" segment and whenever he's fighting anyone like Bang or Taokaka. Also, he's so Unfunny that he has no joke endings.
    • Relius Clover in his very own gag Reel qualifies as well. While he shows enthusiasm regarding his very own 'experiment', his reactions to the events that unfold are somewhat clinical.
  • Metal Gear - Solid Snake from these gritty, realistic games is a sight to behold fighting and commenting on cartoony Nintendo characters. He also plays that role in his own games too from time to time. Cardboard boxes, anyone?
  • Super Smash Bros. can easily turn the most serious characters into this. It's hard to take Snake, Ryu, or Cloud seriously when they're hopping around comically and breathing fire.
  • Jak and Daxter: Jak, he tends to react to Daxter's comical antics with a serious approach and often does a Face Palm towards this it aswell.
  • As of Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Meta Knight is this. In addition to the fact that in the intro, he just wants to sit down and read a book while the other 3 playable characters are fighting for a cake, Meta Knight is also playable. This means that he can do all the things that Kirby does, including dance at the end of every level, swim on or in water (with a purple inner tube or a scuba mask worn over his regular mask respectively), and get Squashed Flat by enemies. The "Meta Knightmare Returns" mode of Kirby: Planet Robobot only extends the Amusing Injuries he can receive.
  • Valygar from Baldur's Gate II, especially when bantering with Jan Jansen, Minsc, Imoen or Haer'Dhalis (as the latter discovers, Valygar is surprisingly adept at puns). For that matter, almost any character becomes The Comically Serious when paired with Jan, especially Valygar and Keldorn. Or Minsc, even the PC.

    Valygar gets bonus points for actually being able to shut down Jan. In one of their banters, Jan tries to strike up conversation by talking about his mother. Before he can get started on an anectdote, Valygar explains in horrifying detail about his mother and the horrible monster she was. For once, Jan drops the subject.
  • The spin-off City of Heroes comic revealed Statesman to be one of these. To the point where him making a remark about letting Manticore die gave the latter pause because he couldn't tell if Statesman was actually deadpanning a joke or not.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cyan Garamonde from Final Fantasy VI. Much humor is drawn from his interactions with Gau the feral child, his reaction to the flirtatious remarks of a cabaret dancer, and his embarrassment when his companions discover his hobby of crafting beautiful silk flowers. There's also Celes and the "I'm a GENERAL, not some opera floozy" moment.
    • Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII. Despite being intended to be a stoic leader, nobody can take him seriously when cross dressing to save Tifa, giving mouth to mouth to a little girl, and 'jumping with Mr. Dolphin'. Or telling the party "Let's mosey."
    • Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII, because There Are No Therapists on his planet to tell him that getting over your missing sister by joining a PMC at five years old isn't a very good idea.
    • Similarly, his Rule 63 counterpart, Paine from Final Fantasy X-2:
      Rikku: Doctor P is in the house!
      Paine: Stop that.
    • Lightning from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a stoic, professional We Help the Helpless savior working under a god. Her personality crashes hard with the main game mechanic which is, basically, dressing up. This includes her wearing some skimpy outfits that can be recolored and some awkward looking hats. A review from Gamespot take a jab at a crazy possibility.
      VanOrd: "If you'd rather giggle than ogle, you can always equip Lightning with an adornment, like a bushy goatee or a feline tail, and then change her clothing colors to a garish puce-and-pea-green combo. Lightning doesn't smile, so you can't laugh with her—but at least you can laugh at her."
      • That said, the game does go for some giggles in a couple of sequences, one involving her and moogles and another in which she has to specifically dress up for the purposes of the plot and do a play.
    • While he does crack the occasional joke, Ignis from Final Fantasy XV is generally a pretty stoic and serious minded character, who treats things like a Chocobo stealing his glasses as Extremely Serious Business.
  • Yuri Hyuga from the Shadow Hearts series. Somehow he manages to remain badass even while surrounded by a Large Ham pro wrestler, a ditzy fortune teller, an intelligent wolf and the princess of Russia (it's mainly because he's pretty goofy himself). Moreso in the second game, which had a goofier cast, particurly as the events of the first game had made him a Knight in Sour Armour / Grumpy Bear / Determinator.
  • Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis gives us The Stoic Jerk with a Heart of Gold Roxis, who is a frequent target of humiliation from fellow workshop member Flay and especially his own Mana. The Highlight was the 'Secret Crush' Incident. Never has anyone been so hilarious and sympathetic at once.
  • In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, the silly descriptions for the "forms" used with the Wiimote are made even funnier by the deadpan, Ben Stein-esque tone of the narrator reading them.
  • BioWare likes this character type almost as much as their regular snarkers.
    • Bastila in Knights of the Old Republic spends most of the game getting mad at people making jokes of serious matters. It works especially well when she's paired with a male player character who isn't afraid to tease her.
    • Sten in Dragon Age: Origins, especially if he's present during the scene where your team attempts to help break you out of prison, though unlike many examples of this trope, he does have a sense of humor and plays the trope up on purpose.
      Oghren: My partner and I are, ah, performers...
      Captain: You're performers, are you? What's your act?
      Oghren: Our act? Oh... well, the big guy here sings and dances while I... er... juggle swords...
      Sten: On fire.
    • Aveline continues this tradition in Dragon Age II. Some of the funniest moments of the game stem from watching her try to confess her feelings for Guardsman Donnic. And while she is the perfect foil for Varric or a particularly sarcastic player character, she does have a sense of humour she uses to banter with Isabela.
    • Fenris smiles all of maybe once or twice, makes his few jokes hilarious by delivering them with a perfect deadpan.
      Varric: So. What do you do in that gigantic house all day?
      Fenris: Dance, of course.
      Varric: Really?
      Fenris: I run from room to room, choreographing routines.
    • Most of the Qunari, particularly the Arishok, have a very understated sense of humour.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Cullen and Cassandra both share this trait, which makes it particularly hilarious if they walk in on the Inquisitor and Bull having sex. Cullen's romance arc is also a source of many Adorkable moments because of this.
    • Legion from Mass Effect 2 falls into this every once in a while, notably in his accidental "infiltration" of the Citadel.
      Legion: Geth do not infiltrate.
      Security: You'll have to leave your personal synthetic assistant behind. They're not allowed on public transport any more.
      Legion: Geth do not intentionally infiltrate.
  • Radical Dreamers: "The simple fact that Magil tried to make a joke just there makes me stop and forget where I am for a second."
  • Shantae from Shantae with her Visible Silence.
  • Boone from Fallout: New Vegas. A man who takes his beret extremely seriously.
  • Chrono Trigger has Frog, an overtly polite knight who has been turned into a humanoid frog. Add the weirdness of this juxtaposition to (in the original SNES release) the antiquated accent and his reactions are often very funny.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Prince Innes from The Sacred Stones takes himself so damn seriously and yet he can barely have conversations with other people that don't end up with the other going "...huh?"... unless it's L'Arachel, who unlocks Innes's inner Tsundere and manages to make him go totally over the top.
    • Awakening:
      • Gaius is a calm and deadpan thief, which only makes his obsession with all things sweet even funnier. His character portrait has him sucking on a lollipop with a humorless, calculating look on his face.
      • Frederick (almost) always conducts himself in a very dignified, no-nonsense manner... and it ends up all the funnier when he does things like put up naked posters of Chrom or force himself to come over his fears of large animals. And that's before mentioning how one of his girlfriends points out his mancrush on Chrom when he proposes to her with Purple Prose.
      • Lucina is a variation, in that not only is she almost constantly serious, she also has absolutely No Sense of Humor. She's so used to being so serious she takes pretty much everything seriously, such as being about the only person to not be annoyed by her cousin Owain's theatrics, even briefly renaming her sword to "Pointy Demonspanker" at Owain's suggestion of giving it a new name.
      • Lon'qu is an unrepentant, stoic warrior with a deadpan voice. This makes some of his supports, most notably where he plays house with Nowi, all the more hilarious.
      "Now I shall pretend to engage in agriculture. Chop, chop, shovel!"
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • Prince Xander of Nohr. In his supports with Selena, she tries to get him to tell jokes. His level of this trope is so high that when Xander does end up telling a joke he freaks out his siblings and sends them panicking, believing him to be sick.
      • Xander's younger brother Leo has this type of dynamic with his siblings, such as when the Avatar apologizes for making fun of his clothes being inside out. He simply tells him he can apologize by not mentioning it ever again.
      • Their step-sister Azura gets in on this sometimes, too. Normally, she's incredibly stoic, which leads into moments like this in several of her supports. Highlights include Keaton trying to troll her into showing emotion, and Kaden commenting on how serious she is while Azura is mentally convincing herself not to pet him.
  • Anyone in Dawn of War when referring to the Orks. It's probably the reason they've never been a primary villain in the series: it's hard to take a situation seriously when characters talk about Nobz and Boyz (among other orky things) with a straight face.
    • Space Marines in most depictions tend to fall into this category when they're not pissed off, brooding or completely Ax-Crazy. Most Imperial Guard command units are either this trope or overly bombastic.
    • In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, Eliphas the Inheritor is generally pretty funny, but is completely serious during his Stronghold mission. When the Tau - who are immune to Chaos sorcery - attacks, Eliphas spends several minutes blathering via telepathy towards the Tau about how their souls are his, et cetera, while the Tau Commander gets progressively more angry at an "annoying buzzing" over his radio.
  • Sakuya in Ōkami is so serious it isn't funny. Come Ōkamiden, however, her *ahem* interactions with the protagonist Chibiterasu are hard to watch with a straight face. This is subverted completely in Okami's Official Art book, though, which has a certain image that pokes fun at her 'strict and serious' in-game personality, and is described as being 'a more intimate reflection of her as a person'. What is Sakuya doing in this image that is so comically different to her demeanor in-game, you ask? Checking out her ass in a mirror, with Issun in the corner, getting a good view.
  • Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich:
    • Tombstone, as a result of being a '90s Anti-Hero trapped in an homage to the Silver Age:
      Alchemiss: [sarcastically] So how did you spend your sabbatical, Tombstone? Performing in musical theater? Raising puppies?
      Tombstone: Animals wither in my presence.
    • Quetzalcoatl also qualifies:
      Quetzalcoatl: [After being turned into a chicken by Green Genie] YOU DISHONOR ME AND MY ANCESTORS.
      Green Genie: [turning him back] Tell me: were you born this dull? Or did you have to go to school to learn it?
  • Gala from Legend of Legaia is generally an extremely serious fighter monk, but when he is half-forced into acting as the Straight Man in a comedy show, he is amazingly successful at making people laugh. Gala himself is shocked by this!
  • As is typical for a Lego game, everyone in the original LEGO Batman becomes wackier — except, of course, for Batman himself. Batman's trying to free Commissioner Gordon from a cage in the foreground while Harley Quinn has Robin on the ropes in the background? Batman nonchalantly pulls out a Batarang and nails her with it without ever looking or missing a beat.
  • Emotionless Girl Presea Combatir of Tales of Symphonia. By the sequel, her actions clearly indicate that she has regained her sense of humor, but she still speaks in a monotone making even the most ridiculous lines sound completely serious.
  • Gaius in Tales of Xillia 2 provides pretty much all of his humor in this fashion, being so serious that some in the party are dumbfounded when he actually chuckles at something on one instance.
  • Agent Superball from Sam & Max: Freelance Police has a poker face tough enough to crack steel, which is really saying something given all the weird crap that happens throughout the series. It makes it all the more jarring when he breaks out into a Broadway musical number out of freaking nowhere in "Abe Lincoln Must Die!".
  • Those who unlock Dr. Tan in Dance Central 2 will get a Mad Scientist character for whom dancing is Serious Business, meaning he deadpans his way through Lady Gaga and Britney Spears dance routines that would be vague sexy for a female character, and absolutely hilarious for him.
  • A great chunk of the humor in King's Quest VI comes out of Prince Alexander being determined to react to everything with the same serious, polite, poised and gentlemanly demeanor. Whether it's giving gallantly flirtatious praise and a serenade to a set of giggling wallflowers (as in, actual sentient plants), or patiently mediating a pair of chessboard queens arguing over giving a lump of coal as a wedding present when it's clear he'd rather be facepalming. It starts reaching The Chew Toy status after a fashion.
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance has the regal, old-fashioned Asgardians trying to engage in honorable and respectable battle banter with everything from a giant set of animated armor that doesn't talk, to a set of blue-collar uncouth rogues who fight with construction equipment.
    Valkyrie: We cross sword and crowbar once more. Unless you choose to yield.
  • Until patch 1.9 a Good Bad Bug in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim caused the courier to deliver messages wearing just his hat. The fact that he doesn't seem to notice makes it hilarious.
  • In Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, everyone's voice clips indicate they're having fun racing each other—except Shadow the Hedgehog, who takes the races with utmost seriousness and treats it as a life-and-death matter. His Serious Business attitude makes him as funny as anyone else on the roster.
  • Samurai Warriors: Hattori Hanzo, especially when he's around the ever chipper Nene.
  • Super Robot Wars V: Nine can be this sometimes. For example, when asked to say the "Tokyo Patent Approval Office" tongue twister, she replies that such an agency no longer exists following the changes to administrative areas after the Earth Federation was founded. note 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction has Mako Tsunami, who refuses to duel Strings because he's weird.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, Shadi is all business when you duel him, which makes his comments if you're doing poorly quite funny.
  • In Under Night In-Birth, there's a certain Guest Fighter named Akatsuki. He comes from a very dystopian world, compared with the one he's just stepped into... and as a result, he takes himself and his surrounding far, far more seriously than he should.
  • Undertale:
    • Papyrus is introduced as this. He takes his job as a royal guard very seriously, far more seriously than his brother Sans. However, he's also very passionate and something of a Cloud Cuckoolander, which rather undercuts his serious demeanor. Papyrus softens up a bit if you take the Pacifist route and befriend him.
    • The protagonist can also be seen as this, since while a lot of amusing (and outright bizarre) over-the-top moments happen in the game, their sprite will still have that same unfazed -_- expression.
    • Out of all the Temmies who speak in broken English and constantly say and do hilariously over the top things, there's Bob who only ever speaks in calm clear English. And it's hilarious:
      Temmie: hOI!!! welcom to... TEM VILLAGE!!!
      Temmie: hOI!!! im temmie!!! and dis my friend... temmie!!!
      Bob: Hi, I'm Bob.
  • Samuel Hayden from DOOM (2016) keeps his cool and serious demeanor as the Doom Marine refuses to work aside him, letting out a few sarcastic quips over the Marine's simple-minded destructiveness with he UAC's equipment.
  • Agent 47 from the Hitman series. Whatever the disguise nor how absurd the situation get (and it can get really absurd), his eternally grim expression never changes. Especially noticeable in the clown and Santa Claus costumes in Hitman: Blood Money.
    • A really stand-out moment is when 47 visits the bar at a roadside motel and orders a shot of bourbon. His reaction when it is served to him in a coconut is priceless.
      Agent 47: (with absolutely withering dryness) Anything less... festive?
    • The Hitman games can be seen as an entire series of this. You can kill your target with a gun or poison, or you can drop a toilet on his head, or you can dress as Santa and hit him in the face with a battle axe — the game neither penalizes nor discourages wacky methods of assassination (though they can be more difficult by default, because a man wandering around in a Santa costume will draw attention, especially if it's not Christmastime).
  • Jack-of-Smiles in Fallen London. He's a very serious-minded Knife Nut Serial Killer, who has the misfortune of being stuck in a City of Weirdos where Death Is Cheap. There's only two things keeping him scary. First, it's still possible to be Killed Off for Real in the Neath if your body is sufficiently dismembered, which is mitigated by the fact that Smiles doesn't seem to grasp this despite having done it on multiple occasions. Second, he can Body Surf, which turns out to be because he is the knives.
  • Ragewolf in Patapon is the embodiment of Wrath. When his fellow Dark Heroes do or say anything ridiculous, you can practically see the exasperation on his face, despite wearing a mask. He's probably the Only Sane Man.
  • It can be hard to tell in the original games due to his status as a Silent Protagonist, but Yu Narukami seems to be characterised as this. Very little phases him, and most spin-offs depict him as having deadpan reactions to all but the strangest of situations. If he actually shows his emotions, it means that something has gone very wrong. On the flip side, he's also responsible for a lot of the strangeness in these games, which might explain why he never reacts to it. Whether he's this trope or The Wonka depends on how aware of his own eccentricities he really is.
  • League of Legends features Ornn, the Fire Below the Mountain, a grumpy blacksmith god who would much rather continue to forge weapons than chat, with majority of his lines being dry and unemotive, or simply annoyed grunting. Despite this, however, he has plenty of lines reflecting a slightly goofier side to him.
    "If you want a weapon, here's a weapon. If you want conversation... here's a weapon."
    "I have fur. It is soft. Do not hug me."
    "I made this hammer. It was so good I named it... Hammer."
  • If Kazuma Kiryu of Yakuza isn't tackling a mundane situation with extreme gusto, then he's this. He often finds himself dragged into some of the most ridiculous situations possible when it comes to the side stories in the games, and whether he's roped into providing voice acting for a Yaoi sex game or coaching a dominatrix on how to do her job, he'll handle it with stoicism and snark.
  • Panda King becomes this in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, after he somewhat pulls a Heel–Face Turn and begrudgingly joins the Cooper Gang. He comes to the realization that if Sly is willing to drop his grudge for Panda King's involvement in the murder of Connor Cooper he can certainly drop his grudge for Sly foiling him and sending him to prison, but he doesn't exactly warm up to their antics either. This screenshot does a better job summing it up than any words ever could.
  • Part of the fun of Dead Rising is that Frank West takes everything that happens in the game dead seriously, and yet you can dress him in whatever outlandish outfit you want which even carries over to the cutscenes. Your savior has arrived, ladies and gentlemen, and he's covered wars you know. The same can be said for Chuck Greene and Nick Ramos, but they tend to be a little more lighthearted than the intensely stone-faced Frank.
  • Zer0 in Borderlands 2 is a Cold Sniper who displays few emotions and talks in a Creepy Monotone most of the time...but he has enough Sophisticated as Hell moments woven into his haiku and goofy emoticon moments to fit.
    Zer0: (emotionlessly) tee hee hee
  • Shadowrun Returns: Gaichu, a ghouled Red Samurai, can be taken into a wide variety of setttings where he absolutely shouldn't be, with a wide variety of outlandish cover stories which he accepts with complete deadpan. The explanations range from "detached duty" to "cosplayer" to "experimental ghoul-drone hybrid."
  • A few Ensemble Stars! characters qualify here:
    • Keito is the most traditional example, being a strict Stoic Spectacles type who often finds himself highly frustrated by the whimsical antics of his childhood friend Eichi.
    • Shu is similarly stone-faced and harsh, but is also a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who will berate others for their incompetence one moment and then be talking through a Victorian doll he claims is alive the next.
    • Adonis sometimes ends up as this due to being so reserved, level-headed, and hard to read, which makes him a very good foil to the other three much more expressive members of his unit, Undead.
    • And in the theatre club, where Wataru is the Large Ham and Tomoya the Straight Man, Hokuto tends to be more of this, finding Wataru just as frustrating as Tomoya does but serving a stoic contrast to the both of them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney series:
    • Miles Edgeworth. He tries so hard to be stoic and professional no matter the circumstances that you can practically see the target painted on him. Wendy Oldbag and Larry Butz are his main tormentors, but just about the entire cast has taken a turn pushing him off balance for the sake of humor.
    • And, to a lesser extent, Phoenix. His finger-pointing antics pale in comparison to the quirks of the Bunny Ears Lawyers he has to deal with on a daily basis.
    • Shelly de Killer, gentleman assassin and ice cream eater.
    • Also Edgeworth's mentor Manfred von Karma. The man demands that his ATM PIN (0001) be entered as evidence proving his perfection. And he does it with a straight face.
    • For all his own Bunny-Ears Lawyer qualities, Apollo Justice fits into this as well. He tries his damnedest to act professional, but it's made hard when his assistant is a quirky magician who uses magic panties and a large, wooden puppet for tricks, the prosecutor he usually faces is a rock star on the side and air guitars in court, the detective he teams up with is generally apathetic and likes to throw snacks at his head, and his mentor is spacey and rather condescending. That's not even getting into his attempts to be serious around the usual insanity of the witnesses. And just imagine him screaming "I'M FINE!" as a pep talk in a courthouse waiting room.
  • Mai Kawasumi in Kanon, due to her uniqueness in not rising to all of Yuichi's jokes and kidding. Just watch her at lunch or when Yuichi considers groping her just to get some kind of a reaction... and nearly getting beheaded before even starting to move.
  • Ace from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, especially around Santa. Until you get the safe ending. Then he's just plain terrifying.
  • Miku in A Profile. Be careful what you tell very serious people to do, Masayuki. They might do as you ask... and then you'll have them saying 'I love you' with a deadpan face during every pause in the conversation.
  • Though it isn't often, Nero Chaos of Tsukihime, thousand year-old uber-vampire with a body comprised of 666 demon beasts composed of pure chaos, is sometimes called into this role during side stories. His crowning moment? Participating in an involved game of tag.
  • Super Robot Wars: Even in humorous scenes, Raidese F. Branstein keeps up his stoic disposition.
  • In a particularly Mood Whiplash-inducing example, Deathstroke is turned into this at the end of Chapter 9 of Rakenzarn Tales. Then again, that kinda happens to anyone when they're up against Deadpool.
  • Mystic Messenger:
    • Jumin. His Establishing Character Moment is him revealing that his cat's name is Elizabeth the 3rd and ordering the other RFA members to not disrespect her, all with complete seriousness.
    • Jaehee, Jumin's assistant, is almost as serious as he is (except when she's fangirling over Zen) and frequently sighs in exasperation at the other characters' zany antics. One of the game's funniest moments comes when she types up a serious and thoughtful response to a joking comment from Zen that's so long that Zen logs out before she can finish it.
  • Grisaia no Kajitsu: Not only does Sachi do whatever she’s asked completely seriously, but she also has a surprisingly wicked tongue on her.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Agent Washington from Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction behaves like an actual agent from a secret military in the future. Contrasts well with the wacky mishaps of the main cast.
    • Earlier in the series, Tex also qualifies. Though to a lesser degree. Her toughness was played for action and being a badass, rather than humor.
    • Then comes an amalgalm of both, Carolina, an Action Girl with a serious agenda... which forces her to team up with the bickering idiots of the main cast.
  • RWBY has Lie Ren, mostly when calm demeanor provides a huge contrast to his Genki Girl partner Nora Valkyrie. Special mention comes from such a stoic guy suddenly bearing a pink chef apron.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • The show interprets Rogal Dorn as one of these types. He's permanently serious and straight-faced, never considers saying anything other than the bluntest truth, and takes absolutely everything at face value no matter how sarcastic the other characters get. He can't even be offended properly; at best you'll get polite disagreement. When the Custodian has to summon Kaldor Draigo to stop Magnus's uncontrollable rampage through the Palace, Draigo promptly does so, so quickly that the Custodian doesn't even see it happen. Unfortunately, this is Kaldor Draigo, and his grip on reality is... questionable, and the entire conversation is filled with Drago spouting babbling nonsense and the Custodian being utterly confused. When Draigo finally leaves, floating up into the sky and vanishing, everything goes silent, followed by:
      Rogal Dorn: [utterly deadpan] I suspect that he was high on narcotics.
    • Corvus Corax, albeit in a different direction: His seriousness is of the angsty type, being as emo as they come when he's allowed to and just annoyed by the world when it won't let him wax poetical about whatever misery's happening at the moment. The universe doesn't hesitate to make him the butt of a joke, and he's usually blindsided every time, adding yet another thing to be miserable or irritated about. Vulkan's cheery, overly-affectionate presence doesn't help either.
  • Many Non Player Characters in Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas come across as this when dealing with The Courier, who has many quirks typical of "Mind" type protagonists.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Killer's brooding, serious attitude is in sharp contrast to the more expressive members of the cast.
  • Dreamscape: Keela's sullen and stoic attitude really makes her stand out amog her more expressive and upbeat comrades.

    Web Comics 
  • Mordecai Heller from Lackadaisy is the poster child (or would that be poster cat?) for this trope, as lampshaded in this comic.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Roy is the realistic Deadpan Snarker and Straight Man to the rest of his party's wacky hijinks. His death has led to the rest of the party having various breakdowns both comedically and mentally.
    • Vaarsuvius has had their moments, too.
      V: Fascinating. Durkon, I have just now formulated a theory that encompasses both Nale's most likely method of engagement and the most suitable response on our part.
      V: Ah, I see you have already grasped the core principles of my theory.
    • Strips featuring the Lawyers, Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodriguez, that don't center on Evil Lawyer Jokes tend to instead focus on Mr. Jones' status as this. A never-smiling, serious man with a nutty, scatter-brained partner, Mr. Jones serves as the Straight Man to his partner's antics and the ridiculous situations they often find themselves in.
  • Referenced in Girl Genius, when an actor in the travelling Heterodyne show explains his character: "Klaus keeps his dignity, or tries to. That's what makes him funny."
  • Susan from El Goonish Shive occasionally fills this role, due to her serious attitude towards pretty much everything. Due to this, she is, among other things, a favorite cuddling perch for Tedd's cat-hedgehog Jeremy. In addition, a early running gag established that, whenever she did anything overly cheerful, it was so alien to her usual personality that it couldn't be anything but hilarious (to us).
  • Sakido from Slightly Damned spends most of her time brooding, a pastime which is considerably hampered by living in the same dimension as her goofy, affectionate brother Buwaro.
  • Marth in Awkward Zombie. Considering that he has to share a house with the characters from the Smash-verse doesn't help. The artist has noted with some worry that canon Marth is significantly more genki than her interpretation. That's what you get from making up a personality from scratch.
  • Shortpacked!:
    • As shown in our page image, the comic has put forward the notion that Batman is comedy gold, based solely on the fact that combining him with anything mundane produces instant laughter as his Batman's grim demeanor makes him the ultimate straight-man.
    • On Twitter, the author suggested the same was true of Gendo Ikari, which was followed up with this strip.
    • Gardening, beekeeping, houseworking, and dancing.
  • Tag, a warship A.I. for Tagon's mercenaries in Schlock Mercenary, tends to react to any situation with absolute, deadpan seriousness, while still producing a punchline. The two weeks following this strip are a good demonstration.
  • Raizel from Noblesse is an absolutely quite personification of The Stoic. Yet his unfamiliarity with modern technology is the primary source of humor early in the series.
  • Jones of Gunnerkrigg Court has never so much as smiled in the entire run of the comic. Giving her a party hat is comedy gold. Topped only by her non-reaction to a pigeon dancing across her head. What makes it even better is that sometimes she clearly pokes fun with straight face, so with her perfect poker face it's impossible to tell where this ends.
    • Sir Eglamore is too serious sometimes. So "Jolly Elfsberry" made the knight play an Overprotective Dad just to pull his leg. Note that Annie was less than amused by his prancing until the moment she saw what's going on (the next page), but then immediately joined this game, barely holding laughter.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is this trope applied to an entire webcomic. The main character is an Irish Ninja Doctor, who's friends with a cloned Benjamin Franklin, has a gorilla for a secretary, and has a sidekick in the form of a kid bandito with a gloriously huge mustache and his velociraptor. And it only gets weirder from there. However, the comic never seems to realize how utterly insane it is.
  • Batman and Sons plays up on the trope's application to Bats (and as much of the rest of the Batfamily/DC Universe as possible) for all its worth.
  • Two Guys and Guy has Frank, who probably best epitomized the trope here.
  • The Dragon in Sinfest is constantly amused by the whole God vs. Devil enmity and regards their squabbles as the popcorn time. When nothing of this sort already goes on, he(?) can do it himself:
    Dragon: Great Buddha. The time has come...
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things tends to employ Sten in this role.
  • The title character of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! could hardly be called grim (more like "extremely mellow"), but he lives this trope. At one point he casually asks Jerry the MIB whether he should put up some kind of screens to keep spaceships from constantly crashing into his roof, and asks how Jerry deals with the problem at his house.
  • Worf unsurprisingly takes on this role in Larp Trek. Picard has his moments, too.
  • From Peter and Company, we have Korgar, an orc with No Indoor Voice...who happens to be a teacher at the title character's school.
  • In Roommates, Erik, Javert, and James all tend to fill this role, especially when they generally remain in-character and are pitted against the magical antics of Jareth.
  • Princess Chroma has Spiders, June's stern, upright mentor... whose convictions are somewhat undermined by the fact that he's a bunny rabbit.
  • Webcomic: Homestuck. Scene: Andrew Hussie is about to be killed by Lord English, an invincible, omnicidal, time-traveling demon. Problem: Lord English has an expressionless Skull for a Head, and doesn't say a single word while his victim (who is currently dressed up as a space alien, mind you) compares his demise to a herd of horses, tries to kill him with magic, or throws a pistol at his head. Cue the embarrassingly long animated gif of a gun sliding down English's unharmed, unemotive face.
  • morphE features Asia, an emotionally stunted reporter who treats every situation as serious. During the second chapter her captor is attempting to charm her and approaches from many different angles, asking probing questions, playing to her talents. When all attempts are met with flat and bland replies he attempts humor and fails miserably.
  • Guilded Age: GRAVEDUST . Seriously. Keynes herself states that she finds his serious facial expressions hilarious. Case in point: The People's Eyebrow
  • Pixie and Brutus: A large part of the comic's humor comes from Brutus continuing to act like a military dog in the much friendlier setting of a normal house, especially when contrasted with Pixie's innocence and enthusiasm.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • One of the Hydraulic Press Channel's claims to fame is its host's commentary, which sounds ridiculously deadpan and serious to most viewers. The host himself isn't really The Stoic very often, as he often smiles and laughs when on camera.
  • In Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party, the famous writers gathered for the murder mystery game refuse to take the very real murders that start happening seriously. Except for the two gothic writers, Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley, who seem incapable of not taking anything seriously, no matter how trivial.
    Edgar: Parties aren't the place for jokes, Lenore.
  • In the MLP Analysis community, whenever you have several analysts interacting, Dr. Wolf generally ends up in this role. The others can get pretty nuts and easily overreact, but he always stay grounded and serious, creating a hilarious contrast. Just look at the "Analyst Bronies React to Season 6 Finale" video for a very good example. Or most of TF2 Analysis for that matter.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the same vein as Batman, Zuko's perpetually frowning, serious demeanor leaves him wide open to many a humorous moment, partially to being paired with his foil of a jolly uncle.note  Subtly acknowledged later in the series when Sokka asks Zuko if he's happy now that he's foiled Sokka's plan, and Zuko replies, deadpan, "I'm never happy." Sokka and Zuko work together in this role almost as well as Zuko and Iroh.
    • Another female example is the Emotionless Mai, similarly foiled with being accompanied by a cheerful, bubbly Cloudcuckoolander.
    • Sokka started out as a stern, down-to-earth, warrior-in-training, but his Comically Serious moments, as well as improvisations from his comedian voice actor, soon turned him into a goofy Plucky Comic Relief. Also see him trying to work with a bunch of out-there "nomads" in "The Cave of Two Lovers".
    • Not even Azula, The Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, can work her way out of this one. The episode "The Beach" places her and her team in completely normal social situations and ends up highlighting her complete social ineptitude.
      Azula: That's a sharp outfit, Chan! Careful, you could puncture the hull of an Empire-class Fire Nation Battleship, leaving thousands to drown at sea!
      Chan: ...
      Azula: Because... it's so sharp!
    • In The Legend of Korra, Korra's airbending teacher Tenzin takes on this role. He doesn't think that the shenanigans going on around him are at all funny, which of course means he becomes the target of endless inconveniences and humiliations. Also becomes a case of Not So Above It All.
    • Amon has shown potential to be this too if the memetic "Comedy Amon" is any indication.
  • Batman. Batman, Batman, Batman.note 
  • Bob's Burgers: Bob Belcher and his emotionless daughter Tina. A major part of Bob's character is that he reacts to the insanity around him the way a Real Life person would.
  • Daria has just about enough dry humor and witty remarks to qualify as this. Made even more hilarious by the fact that she manages to maintain her dispassionate expression. This is especially evident in the episodes' promos with Jane before the intro of the show.
  • The central premise behind Droopy was the fact that he never raised his voice, or ever sounded interested in anything. One of the character's Catch Phrases was "You know what? I'm happy." He would say this in the most deadpan, uninterested tone possible. Until you ticked him off sufficiently, but even then the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown was prefaced with "You know what? That makes me mad." in the same deadpan tone as the previous line.
  • Edd from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Even his sarcasm can be funny at times.
  • Bill the Caveman, from the Terrible Thunder-Lizards sections of Eek! The Cat. (The fact that he was also The Chew Toy made it even funnier — "When will the hurting stop?")
  • Cosgrove from Freakazoid!, taking everything seriously to the point of ridiculous.
  • Al Gore on Futurama.
    "I have ridden the mighty moon worm!"
  • Benson from Regular Show. He HAS a sense of humor, and he's lightened up over the course of the show, but he can be very uptight, angry, and many of the things listed in the above example. Even when everything going on around him is hilarious, he'll still be red-faced and screaming. "GET BACK TO WORK OR YOU'RE FIRED!!!"
  • Samurai Jack himself. Whether polymorphed into a chicken or sporting an eye-popping rave outfit (complete with a pacifier), he still manages to maintain the same determined expression.
  • Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo movie Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur. How could it be Shaggy you say? Well because of his hypnotism. Whenever Shaggy hears the word "bad", he gets so serious it's laughable.
    Fred: Shaggy, what are you doing?
    Shaggy: Saving your butt, Jones! Get used to it!
  • The Simpsons:
  • The episode "Brother From Another Series" revealed that this trope is why Sideshow Bob became Krusty the Clown's sidekick instead of his brother Cecil. As Krusty explains after a poor pie-in-the-face gag from Cecil's straightforward goofy clown audition:
    Krusty: Free comedy tip, slick: the pie gag's only funny when the sap's got dignity. (sees Bob) Like that guy. Hey, Hal, pie-job for Lord Autumnbottom there!
    • Bob then gets hit in the side of the head with a pie, causing his huge, bushy, palm-tree-like hair to spring out of his hat and everyone else to die with laughter.
  • Principal Skinner as well.
    Reporter: Principal Skinner, you've been referred to as "the funny one." Is that reputation justified?
    Skinner: [seriously] Yes. Yes, it is.
  • One episode had the family visiting a comedy club. One of the comics, with a dreary expression on his face that never changes, walks up to the mike and simply says: "I finally got around to reading the dictionary. Turns out the zebra did it." (Homer is the only person who doesn't laugh.)
  • Rex Banner who's brought in to enforce Prohibition. He's physically unable to laugh, even at his own jokes.
  • Shadow again takes this role in the last first-season episode of Sonic Boom, where he takes the goal of killing Sonic way more seriously than the overly giddy to work with him Dr. Eggman. He also sounds completely serious when he claims Sonic's poor attempt at building a bookcase earlier in the episode is reason enough to justify murdering him.
    Shadow: Your shoddy craftsmanship brings shame on all hedgehog-kind. And for that, you shall perish!
  • South Park:
    • Craig:
    "Listen sir, I am not going to ruin your plans. I'll just walk away... see? Okay... now there's sparks shooting out of my eyes."
    • Also the German people, they may have terrible jokes but their completely serious blunt delivery actually make it a bit funny.
  • Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants. He does sort of have a sense of humor, although it careers between practical joker and Deadpan Snarker, depending on the situation.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Garnet. Silly things sometimes happen to/around her and she never stops being serious. Case in point, in "Together Breakfast" when fighting a monster made from a demonically-possessed plate of waffles she says, completely seriously, "Now it has all the powers of a breakfast. We have to destroy it!" In "Pool Hopping", she wants to be able to look into unlikely futures, and reasons that to do this, she has to be random and unpredictable. A lot of humor is drawn from Garnet acting ridiculous and being deadly serious about it.
    • It's revealed in "Keystone Motel" that Garnet got this from Sapphire.
      Steven: Uhh, Sapphire? The toilet's frozen.
      Sapphire: Such is fate.
      Steven: Am I fated to pee outside in the grass too?
      Sapphire: Yes.
    • Peridot at first. She first assumes that "Steven" is the name of a species that replaced humans, and still thinks the sticker she saw at the Galaxy Warp is an official symbol of some kind. As she starts to lose it from isolation, this trait diminishes, such that by "Friend Ship" she spends the entire episode laughing like a maniac and gleefully tormenting the Crystal Gems. This trait swings around to full prominence in "When It Rains" where she delivers a serious, calculating monologue about trusting Steven after he... explains the water cycle to her.
    • Lapis has her moments thanks to a lack of social skills. When she first leaves Earth to go back to Homeworld a dramatic exit is ruined by some awkward pauses:
      Lapis Lazuli: Thank you, Steven!
      Steven: No prob, Bob.
      Lapis Lazuli: [beat] It's Lapis...
      Steven: [beat] ...Yeah.
      Lapis Lazuli: [beat] Okay, bye.
    • Yellow Diamond as well, as being called a 'clod' by Peridot provokes a hilarious reaction.
  • As opposed to his original source, Shere Khan in TaleSpin is a master of this trope. No matter what insanity is occurring around him, Khan responds to it in the exact same deadpan growl as he uses during a regular business meeting. In fact, if Khan ever smiles at you it's probably a good idea to run like hell.
  • Raven, the Deadpan Snarker of Teen Titans, who the writers torture with such plots as: a "Freaky Friday" Flip with her Cloudcuckoolander team-mate Starfire, being turned into a bunny rabbit, and baby-sitting.
  • Optimus Prime has shades of this in Transformers Prime. Bulkhead explicitly mentions never seeing Optimus laugh, cry or lose his cool, but funny stuff is made funnier by his completely deadpan reaction to it. After showing a LOLCats-esque internet meme that actually got Ratchet to chuckle, Jack asked Optimus if he wanted to see something funny, Optimus replied rather bluntly "No."
    • In another incident, Optimus is called upon by Agent Fowler to talk to his superior General Bryce in order to alleviate some tension regarding recent events. Given that Bryce and the camera-man were not expecting Optimus to literally be outside their window, it results in them acting befuddled talking to a 30 foot robot. Optimus meanwhile remains courteous and polite the entire time.
    • Another giant robot with no sense of humor is the Decepticon Lugnut from Transformers Animated. Luggy is a gigantic and merciless war machine with a completely serious and fanatical devotion to his lord Megatron. As opposed to his more eccentric partner Blitzwing, he never, ever jokes. He's also often hilarious.
    • As Transformers: Rescue Bots is in the same continuity as Transformers: Prime, it should be no surprise that this carries over to Optimus Prime's portrayal in that series as well.
      Blades: Helping you is... Well, you're bigger than Elvis!
      Optimus: I have not met this Elvis and am unaware of his size.
  • Evil Overlord Lord Hater from Wander over Yonder talks a tough game, but he tends to be constantly (and easily) frustrated by Wander's cheeriness and attempts to be friendly with him.
  • Ice Bear in We Bare Bears. His expression remains completely flat even when he's blow-torching a lobster or wearing a stack of stolen hard hats, and his flat, monotone voice makes him extremely quotable.
    Ice Bear: Ice Bear heard wrappers. Not hip-hop.
  • Chase Young may be dangerous, smart and one evil villain, but he's still a serious character trapped in a rather goofy show like Xiaolin Showdown.

  • The stereotype of the Germans being what it is, this seems a rather inevitable result. There was even a worldwide poll that ranked Germany as the least funny country, which Stephen Colbert contested because they have a breakfast cheese called "Oberammergaueralpenkräuterdelikatessenfrühstückskäse."
    Colbert: The funny thing is, is by the time you're finished saying it they've invaded your country!
    • One (non-German) comedian had a bit he used to do in the 1980s at the Just For Laughs comedy festival where he pretended to be a German comedian, complete with accent, and played this for all it was worth.
    "Some people say that the German people are too obsessed with order and rules to make comedians. This is completely untrue, as I will show tonight. So, joke number one: take my wife, I command you." (audience immediately loses it)
  • Thanks to a combination of attempted clinical tone and strange or even downright silly subjects, The Other Wiki occasionally dabbles in this trope. For example, their page for Butte County High School, home of the Butte Pirates. Similarly, their 'plot' section for The Lonely Island song "Jizz In My Pants." Or their entry on "cool."
    • "The Raven Paradox" page takes advantage of this, captioning a picture of apples as "non-black, non-ravens" to aid in illustrating the paradox.
    • Also observe their article on "Maternal Insults," also known to normal people as "yo mamma" jokes.
    • For that matter, their article on YouTube Poop is... interesting.
    • Their page on Dirk Anger, in which they attempt to summarize his (numerous) mental disorders and other faults in complete seriousness.
    • Not to mention serious subjects with funny names, like The Division of Batman, and Batman's Hill.
    • The classic is the article about New Jersey's infamous Action Park, which has often been described as the funniest on the site. The combination of the outrageous-yet-true (and sourced) facts about this dangerous yet fun amusement park and their necessarily dry house style yields such gems as:
      Also, nonswimmers would jump off the cliffs, not fully appreciating how deep the water below was, and have to be rescued. Former employee Tom Fergus says the bottom of the pool was eventually painted white to make it easier to spot any bodies on the bottom.
    • Also the description of the equally outrageous 1904 Olympic marathon.
    • Their entry on Garzey's Wing manages this, especially the Characters section, which gives us such gems as Chris's description:
      He is easy-going, and his sword is unbelievably dull.
    • As well as the article on The Room.
    • And their article on the Fool's Gold Loaf, which starts with this:
      This article is about a sandwich Elvis enjoyed. For the actual Elvis Sandwich, see Peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.
  • Some of the ESRB's detailed writeups about game ratings are simply absurd, especially since they're coming from an organization devised to objectively rate games.
  • Part of the reason why animals like chickens are so funny. They lack facial expressions, which make them look serious all the time. The illusion is heightened by their prim and proper stance and mannerisms, and thus they look silly when they freak out about something.
    • Cats, too. It helps a lot that cats have such humanlike faces that people subconsciously think cats can smile, heightening the disconnect. Cats hold themselves in such a dignified manner and are often quite fastidious and neurotic, which makes their (actually quite common) clumsy or goofy moments even funnier.
    • Frogs and toads too. They tend to look like they're pondering or judging something, and because they are ectothermic, they can remain completely stoic and still for quite some time. This makes it all the more funny when they're casually sitting in a toilet bowl, croaking for a mate or making a high-pitched screech that sounds like a deflating balloon.
    • Thanks to their fluffy faces and squinty eyes, tibetan sand foxes appear to have a sullen, judgmental expression.
  • In response to a glaring mistake on's Encylopedia, Wookieepedia, priding itself on being a source for anything and everything in Star Wars canon, created this article. As of now, "Kamino" being a unit describing the constant height of clone troopers is technically canonical. An administrator archived this and altered the template for denoting that something was mentioned in the Encylcopedia (allowing the archival link) to facilitate the article. Brief, jocular consideration was given to creating an article on 1.87 meters the planet, but it was decided that that would have been ridiculous. Even after this is inevitably (Read:eventually) rectified, a snippet on the error shall appear in the clone trooper's article.
  • Most satirists tend to be this way. They would say something that would be really outrageous and silly while keeping a straight face about it.
  • Roger Ebert always found this style of comedy better than Adam Sandler style clowning. See the middle of his Great Movie review of Dr. Strangelove, where he says merely wearing a funny hat is not funny, but not knowing your hat is funny is funny.
  • MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre appeared in a commercial for an energy drink, in which the director explains all kinds of over the top things he wants to happen in order to demonstrate all the energy. In the end, GSP just stands there with a bottle, staring expressionlessly into the camera and goes:
    "NOS Active helps give you energy. It comes in true refreshing flavours. Buy it. With your money."
  • Harrison Ford went on Reddit to do an Ask Me Anything. With few words, some Grumpy Old Man tendencies, contempt for nerdy questions and at times even Throw the Dog a Bone ("I love you." "I know"), it's this trope on full force.
    Hello Harrison! Who would win in a celebrity boxing match: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?
    The promoter would win.
  • Just before releasing a revamped Star Tours ride, Disney released this. Darth Vader having fun on the rides at Disneyland is a sight to behold.
  • From Cracked's 14 Photographs That Shatter Your Image of Famous People, there's one with Adolf Hitler on a children's snow sled.
  • The Angry Splash Mountain Lady meme. It's basically exactly what it sounds like, a picture of people having fun riding Disney World's Splash Mountain ride, but with one lady looking utterly deadpan and angry.
  • British Royal Guards are often seen as this, especially by foreigners. This results in the occasional ignorant traveler believing said guards absolutely have to stand still no matter what you do to them and instead end up crapping their pants when the guard shoves the barrel of his rifle in their face and hollers "BACK AWAY FROM THE GUARD!!!"
  • Museum exhibits try to be stoic and serious about everything, and in some cases can result in this trope. To quote from the National Infantry Museum in Georgia, regarding a piece of hardtack from the Spanish-American War:
    A staple of the soldier's diet was this hard-baked bread. Note that a soldier chose to memorialize his service on this item rather than eat it.

Alternative Title(s): The Unfunny, Unfunny, Comically Serious