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The Killjoy

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"Oh no, here come the happy people again."
Oscar the Grouch, Sesame Street

Some people are just very hard to please. No matter how hard you try, they always find something to complain about. And they won't just let everyone have fun, they'll try to spoil it for everyone else too. That's the Killjoy in a nutshell.

Sometimes they try to spoil everyone's fun because it's too noisy, or they're jealous, or they feel like the thing the other characters find fun is idiotic and can't stand to see people enjoying something so stupid.

They might just shout, "Stop that racket!" or similar, but they may also try to actually sabotage the people's fun, which could make them a Harmless Villain, Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, or Knight of Cerebus. Usually, this is just a personality trait, but sometimes it's for a serious reason (see Sour Outside, Sad Inside).

Done well in a contrast, a Killjoy would provide a Vile Villain, Saccharine Show dynamic within the rest of the show.

Super-trope to "Stop Having Fun" Guys, Wet Blanket Wife, Fan Hater, Fun-Hating Villain, Fantasy-Forbidding Father, The Cynic, and Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult. Sister trope to Indubitably Uninteresting Individual (A Killjoy without the antagonistic attitude). If they're elderly, it's overlapping with Grumpy Old Man (or Woman). Can also be played alongside Child Hater, Cranky Neighbor, Comically Serious, or Stern Teacher. See The Gadfly, Troll, and Sadist for other people who want to see others unhappy and The Eeyore for another kind of negative character. Safety Worst (where being safety-conscious spoils people's fun) can qualify, but only if the safety-conscious person is also grumpy. A character who is The Bore can be this accidentally for the most part, but sometimes they also invoke it.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • My Hero Academia has a compassionate example in Aizawa. He has made it his mission to prepare his students for the rigors and cruel realities of hero work, even if it means crushing their dreams with scathing criticism, threatening them with expulsion for bending the rules, and literally dragging them off to remedial classes. There are times when his co-worker Present Mic walks into 1-A to find the class reduced to lifeless zombies because of the sheer negativity Aizawa exudes. And in the World Heroes' Mission film he silences 1-A celebrating being given a mission with a Death Glare for no reason other than them being happy. This is also deconstructed, as his Sink or Swim Mentor and Stern Teacher tendencies backfire at several points in the story, and he admits that his counterpart in 1-B, Kan, is a better teacher than him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bernice from Luann. Her habit of loudly disparaging anything she felt was beneath her became much more pronounced in college. When Luann eventually took the hint and simply didn't invite her (to a lingerie party she knew Bernice would never want to attend), Bernice threw a tantrum and stated that she expects to be invited to everything regardless, so that she can make her choice (and by extension, her negative opinion) known to everyone.
    • She also took that same buzzkill attitude towards the university student body as a whole when serving as an RA. Although keeping order in the dorm is admittedly an RA's job, Bernice took things a bit far (knocking on doors to do bed checks, enforcing a curfew on weekends, physically separating couples a la Dolores Umbridge, etc.) Commenters on The Comics Curmudgeon eventually nicknamed her "the Dormenführer."

    Fan Works 
  • A Devil Amongst Worms, Director James Tagg is certainly this to his colleagues in the PTR board. Not even the news of Leviathan's permanent defeat can put a smile on his face.
  • In Pokémon: A Marvelous Journey, a bonus chapter focuses on Lakeisha Knowles, one of Julia's old classmates. All throughout the chapter, she is consistently crabby and grouchy towards everyone because she finds her autistic sister Merlin to be annoying and bothersome in spite of evidence to the contrary, and wonders why nobody else thinks the same way. She constantly scolds her and yells at her if she does anything, such as talking about names or flapping her hands. In the chapter immediately after that, the main trio run into them, and they see firsthand how snappish Lakeisha is towards Merlin, and are quick to call her on it, especially when Lakeisha makes Merlin cry after rejecting the Smeargle the latter caught for her solely out of pettiness.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Annie (1982): Miss Hannigan is the matron of a girls' orphanage in depression-era New York. The children often entertain themselves by singing with each other and with the radio programs they listen to but scramble to hide when they hear Miss Hannigan coming. One of her signature lines is "Do I hear happiness?" and her standout song is "Little Girls" where she complains about all things most people like about raising little girls. She makes her wards walk punitive laps while reciting lines about how much it sucks to be an orphan and actively works to keep the title character from being adopted by a wealthy billionaire.

  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch hates Christmas and wants to steal it. When he steals the Whos' Christmas-related things, he is even happy to anticipate hearing them cry. When they don't cry, however, he changes his tune and decides to bring Christmas back.
  • In the short story Piddler on the Roof by Paul Jennings, Weesle's aunt Sue is a cross-patch who won't let him drink soda because it's "bad for your teeth"note  and won't let him pee outside because she thinks it makes him a "filthy, disgusting, despicable child".

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon is upset that the gang is having a get-together at Raj's place instead of his own so he makes a point of being as passive-aggressively annoying as possible.
    Raj: Okay, we've got fajitas with all the fixins, so you make your own.
    Sheldon: Wonderful. Dinner, some assembly required.
  • Cheers: Diane Chambers, mainly it's because her interests just don't align with the much more lowbrow tastes of everyone else at the bar. Even gets a Lampshade Hanging at one point, during a Thanksgiving episode when one character mentions every dinner always has "that one fuddy-duddy old aunt who shows up to ruin everyone's fun." Diane immediately appears at the door, and true to form, refuses to let anyone watch the Thanksgiving NFL games (despite being a guest at Carla's sufferance) and just generally sucks whatever fun the day had.
  • House of Anubis: Victor, the perpetually grumpy and old caretaker of Anubis House, gets very easily annoyed when the students do...well, anything, but especially when they try and have fun. There are several times when he'll walk in on them talking happily amongst themselves and demand they stop being so noisy and get to class, he once temporarily stopped a party just by walking in and glaring at everyone, and the one and only time he was interested in participating in any sort of party, he was a Sinner trying to trick the students, and the party was still considered incredibly dull by literally everyone.
  • Mama's Family: How Thelma's mother is portrayed in flashbacks. She's constantly critical of anything lighthearted Thelma tries to do, to the point of almost being abusive.
  • Mr. Berkley from Mork & Mindy takes every opportunity he can to spoil the titular duo's time, although this stems from feeling left out rather than general dickishness (bit of a chicken-vs-egg situation; does he have a prickly personality from being excluded or is he excluded because of his poor attitude?).
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. In the short film "A Day at the Fair", one of the events is a cake contest, with some dour-looking judges.
    Narrator: Judging cakes should be fun!
    Mike: But this woman manages to suck the joy out of it.
  • The Muppet Show has Sam the Eagle, a self-appointed Moral Guardian of the Muppet Theater who believes that it's his duty to keep things "cultured" and stop the other Muppet "weirdos" from going too far. In his mind, this makes him the Only Sane Man of the bunch, but everyone else just thinks of him as a wet blanket, usually just ignoring him.
  • In Planet Ajay, Norman Killjoy, the security guard of Ajay's palace, absolutely hates fun and will do anything in his power to prevent the other characters from having any fun. Thankfully, being called by his mother is usually enough to get him out of the others' hair.
  • Saturday Night Live: Debbie Downer, played by Rachel Dratch, constantly ruins other people's fun by bringing up unpleasant facts or stories. The character's name became a slang term for a depressing person and has been added to several dictionaries.
  • In Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch is as grouchy as his name indicates and he doesn't want people having fun near the trash bin he lives in. If someone is having fun near him, he'll often purposely try to make them angry.
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode "The Guest", The Grinch sees a commercial for the Lake Malloon Lodge, and hates how happy everyone is there. He checks into the lodge for the sole purpose of sabotaging the fun of everyone there, including Larry Nooly, a young boy who is dragged along by his parents, who are on their second honeymoon. Among the things The Grinch does during his stay are drain the lake, dismantle the roller coaster, and cut holes in the trampoline. After The Grinch drives everyone else away, Larry gets an idea to throw a party in The Grinch's honor, topping it off by giving him a gift. However, instead of undergoing a Heel–Face Turn like his book counterpart, The Grinch is unable to handle people being nice to him, and retreats back to Mt. Crumpet.

  • Dead Ringers: BBC News correspondent Orla Gerun is depicted as such, covering depressing news topics. When Hue Edwards mistakenly says one of her news items sounds fun, she icily corrects him that she doesn't do fun. After she does her piece, she informs him she's off to feast on the tears of misery from those nearby.

    Video Games 
  • In Operation Youth Club, the neighbours will complain whenever you employ a DJ or band or put a turntable up, and they only shut up if you remove the offending person/people/thing, which isn't the best idea since then, your guests will complain about the hall zone being boring. The neighbours will also claim to have been sleeping, even in the daytime.

    Western Animation 
  • Camp Lazlo: The platypus Edward is embedded forever into this role. He's always whining about bad luck or else he's trying to put someone else down. Scoutmaster Lumpus also seems this way, all he wants is for the Bean Scouts to just stop having fun so he can get some rest.
  • The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Mr. Krupp is deliberately this in regards to school dances. While he isn't legally allowed to cancel them, there's no rule saying he can't make them as dull as possible, doing so with the aid of the noise-hating music teacher Ms. Hurd as the DJ. That is until George and Harold decide to liven things up a little with their antics.
  • Family Guy has the Running Gag character Buzz Killington, a friendly, old-fashioned sophisticated gentleman type who obliviously ruins the excitement of any fun parties or gatherings he's involved in with either unfunny jokes or boring activities like looking at sketches, which is usually met with characters rubbing their eyes in exasperation.
  • The Loud House:
    • The show has the Loud family's grumpy neighbour Mr. Grouse, who often tells the family to stop having fun and goofing around because he finds them too...well, loud.
    • While Lori isn't usually an example, she becomes one if she's left in charge, disallowing her siblings to goof around like usual to the point of being nicknamed the "Queen of No".
  • One episode of The Magic Roundabout features a hat called the "Bossy Hat" which makes the wearer grumpy and bossy, disallowing activities the others find fun.
  • The Simpsons:
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward often grumpily tells his neighbours SpongeBob and Patrick to stop goofing off. Sometimes it's because they're getting in his way, but other times he's just crabby.