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The Comically Serious / Video Games

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  • 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.
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  • 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. And with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate adding more villains to the roster, now even some of the most terrifying and/or diabolical villains in video games, such as Ganondorf, Ridley, Dark Samus, and Sephiroth, can be subject to the silliness.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Neku Sakuraba from The World Ends with You more than qualifies, with his stoic, Deadpan Snarker personality providing a hilarious contrast when paired up with his partners, most notably Joshua and Beat. This gets taken Up to Eleven in Another Day, where he finds himself acting as the Only Sane Man who constantly finds himself lost on how to deal with the various... quirks of his companions.
  • 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 dorky 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.
  • The Batter from OFF is very stoic and no-nonsense. However, at one point you can get a picture of yourself riding a rollercoaster. This is what the picture looks like. The Batter has virtually no expression on his face, but he's raising his arms in the air as if he's having the time of his life.
  • 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 Quirky Town 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.
  • Persona 4: 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.
  • Commander Zavala from Destiny is one of the precious few Guardians that isn’t a Bunny-Ears Lawyer; on the contrary, he takes himself and his duties deathly seriously, even as his subordinates and colleagues act like total lunatics. He desperately tries to get the other Guardians to take it seriously and rarely succeeds. Exemplified by this quote, which is said with complete conviction:
”I do not purr. Purring is not a thing that I do.”


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