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Playing With / Gallows Humor

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Basic Trope: Joking in the face of death, imminent doom, or intense trauma, often as a coping mechanism.

  • Straight: Bob and Alice are on the receiving end of a Bolivian Army Ending. Bob quips "So, who's going to tell them we don't want encyclopedias, you or me?"
  • Exaggerated: Bob and Alice are on the receiving end of the moon falling on Earth. Bob pulls out his guitar and begins singing "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!"
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  • Downplayed: Bob and Alice are informed that something terrible happened to their village. Bob quips "What, did Uwe Boll start shooting?"
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: The fact that something devastating just happened is what shuts the normally snarky Bob up.
  • Subverted: Bob and Alice are on the receiving end of a Bolivian Army Ending. Bob, who has up to this point been known as the snarky one, is at a loss for words.
  • Double Subverted: So Alice pipes up with "I always wondered how Escobar felt."
  • Parodied: Through the non-logic of this comedy world, Bob and Alice are the accidental causes the weirdest of situations. Bob becomes fearful of the consequences, and makes several jokes along the way to cope.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob & Alice tend to make dark jokes at the Crapsack World they live in, but there are some incidences when even they won't bother joking about... unless it's already hilarious, in which case they'll happily add to it.
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  • Averted: Nothing traumatic happens, therefore nobody needs to use humor to cope.
  • Enforced: Initially, the writers produce one of the grimmest stories the executives have ever seen. The executives, fearful of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, implore the writers to not make it too gloomy, possibly by making it funny.
  • Lampshaded:
    Bob: So, who's going to tell them we don't want encyclopedias, you or me?
    Alice: Not now, Bob!
    Bob: Hey, it's not like I'm gonna get an opportunity to make the joke later!
  • Invoked: Bob's trying to break an awkward silence after he and Alice stumble on a dead body. This is the first thing he thinks of.
  • Exploited: The reason Bob and Alice are constantly sent to the most dangerous and/or disturbing cases is because Bob's sense of humor enables him to cope with it, something their boss finds admirable.
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  • Defied: Whenever Alice and Bob stumble on something traumatic or get into a potential doom situation, Alice always tells Bob "No, don't joke!"
  • Discussed:
    Alice: Let's hope it's not something that scars us psychologically.
    Bob: A pity. I had, like, 20 jokes prepped for that precise reason.
  • Conversed:
    Alice: You know those characters that joke in the face of trauma?
    Bob: Indeed I do. My uncle was one.

On second thought, maybe they're selling Girl Scout cookies.
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