Amusing Injuries

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Amusing is in the eye of the beholder...or in this case, the body-holder.

"You call that breaking my spine? You RED team ladies wouldn't know how to break a spine if- (crack) AAAAAAAAAGH MY SPIIIIIINE!"

Injuries in Slapstick comedies never have any lasting effects, are only painful for a short while, and are often a source of visual humor. Occasionally, you will see a character in traction or on crutches or sporting Instant Bandages; however, this is strictly for punctuating a gag or putting a cap on an episode, and will never last more than 10 seconds. Gunshots and explosives in particular can lead to Amusing Injuries; what would normally destroy a large chunk of someone's face in real life often does little more than blow soot all over a cartoon character. Guns in these shows often inexplicably emit directed explosions to the face rather than firing bullets.

This can lead to very jarring circumstances within a show. Like say when the plot of an episode rides on a character getting injured and taken out of an event, or when there's a character who's a physician of all things, or in the rare event that a permanent death actually occurs. It'll be treated at least somewhat seriously in that particular instance, but next thing you know it, they're back to jumping off cliffs and juggling chainsaws. ...Or trying to see if they can do both at the same time.

Sometimes, it can also involve a huge Double Standard. A male character will often suffer them at the hands of a female, who can punch/kick/beat/attack him as much as she wants and it'll be often taken as mere comedy. Try imagining the same situation with a Gender Flip... yeah, people will be up in arms.

If it does regularly happen to a woman, it is also a Slapstick Knows No Gender

Amusing Injuries are usually healed via Negative Continuity. A common variety is The Pratfall. Can overlap with Groin Attack and Ass Shove. Required for Hyperspace Mallet and Megaton Punch. Extremely common in a Plank Gag.

One special example: Cranial Eruption.

Compare with Inconvenient Itch.

Subtropes

Examples of Amusing Injuries include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Brutally subverted in this ad campaign by the NSPCC, which combines footage of a real actor physically abusing a terrified cartoon child. The child reacts with Amusing Injuries throughout, until the very end, where a real kid lies in a broken heap at the bottom of the stairs. It's downright uncomfortable to watch, but Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • One Piece:
    • Nami and Sanji have caused Amusing Injuries to Luffy more than once, even though Luffy is made of rubber, and thus isn't normally hurt by physical blows. He always seems to recover quickly enough.
      • Though to be fair, considering what his grandfather put him through during his childhood, their hits are probably little more than a slap on the wrist to Luffy. And they do try verbally chastising him. It never works.
  • More in the filler than canon, Naruto often finds himself receiving bodily harm from Tsunade, Sakura, even inadvertently by Hinata one time, and the occasional anonymous female. This can be played off due to his Healing Factor but a normal person would most likely be rendered catatonic by just one of the beatings he gets from Sakura.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when Naruto is poisoned, and apparently would have died without the antidote, and it's played for laughs (particularly him foaming at the mouth and passing out). This is preceded by a very early scene where he gets poisoned, dramatically removes it by cutting open the wound with his kunai, and starts comically freaking out when Kakashi tells him he needs medical treatment or he'll die of blood loss.
    • Gai punching Lee for not listening.
  • Pokémon: Injuries to humans seem to yo-yo between being funny and dark depending on what the plot needed. After Ash's Charmander evolved into Charmeleon, it was a running gag for him to roast Ash's face; similarly, there was a running gag between James and his anarchic, face-eating Victreebel (and his overly- and painfully-affectionate Cacnea and Carnivine...what is it with James and Grass-types?). However, at other times in the story, Pokémon attacks were treated as genuinely harmful and dangerous, particularly the first episode in which Ash gets chased by a group of Spearow out for blood (no, this has nothing to do with Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds").
    • Also when Meowth slices peoples' faces and red lines appear. They seem to heal after a couple of seconds though.
    • The Team Rocket trio survives explosions powerful enough to launch them into the stratosphere at the end of almost every episode.
      • They were legitimately fearing for their lives in the second movie when they fell of Lugia's back. They landed on thin ice and Soft Water though. Everything seems a bit more lethal in the movies.
  • 'Love Hina: Although the main protagonist Keitaro Urashima was invincible in both versions—he is frequently chased by a magical swordswoman, various Humongous Mecha, and the woman who gave the Naru Punch its name, all without sustaining any lasting injury - it is only in the manga version that the characters discuss it, and are genuinely surprised when he ends up with a broken leg.
    • Note that it took a gigantic piece of masonry falling on top him like a cartoon anvil to even manage that.
    • In the manga, both the story and the author's comments say outright that Keitaro is "invulnerable" several times. Which seems to mean Wolverine-style ability to recover from damage, not outright invulnerability...
      • When Kanako prepares to launch Kitsune into outer space, all other girls protest with a hearty "she's not Keitaro! If you do that, she'll die!"
    • And in the Christmas special OVA, Keitaro falls off the roof and sprains his ankle, putting him in crutches for the rest of the special. This is rather surprising considering he's fallen off that roof numerous times (and has had far worse done to him) without so much as a bruise before.
      • Meh. Anyone can land wrong once in a while.
    • At one point in the manga he takes a bowling ball to the back of the head and is fine. Naru actually gets freaked out by this and demands to know if he's a zombie.
      • SO not Genre Savvy. That would kill him if he was a zombie.
  • Very common in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and parts of the anime, usually when Winry finds out that Ed has damaged his automail again. She brandishes her monkey wrench, and in the next frame Ed is lying in a bloody puddle on the ground, with Al crying in the corner and any bystanders looking horrified and frightened. The next frame, everyone is back to normal.
    • Note that this really only applies to Winry's wrench hitting Ed. Whenever Ed (or anyone else) is hurt in a fight, it is treated seriously and they spends at least some time in the hospital recovering. We also see notable injuries like Havoc being paralyzed from the waist down after the fight with Lust that don't heal, and prove difficult for the characters because of it.
      • But notable among those instances is one (in Brotherhood at the least) where Winry hits Ed so hard he's sitting in a pool of blood, and Al has to catch Ed's soul before it escapes his body!
    • Also applies to Armstrong following the 5th Lab incident. Ed recieved a few serious injuries in the fight against Slicer, including a cut on his forehead, a gash to his shoulder and a gash along his side. However, when Winry shows up in the hospital to repair his automail, Ed is covered head to toe in bandages. Winry asks what happened, and Ed explains that Major Armstrong, upon hearing Ed had been injured, crushed Ed in a deathly tight hug of manly affection and bishie-sparkles. Ed is shown removing the excess bandaging in the next scene, fine aside from his actual fight wounds.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: Lampshaded and subverted when Hayate finds himself bleeding from the head, then shrugs it off saying that, since this is an anime, he'll be all better in the next shot. Then the blood starts erupting out.
  • Rumiya in Magical Project S gets constantly beaten up by his sister in over-the-top ways and never seems to take any permanent damage from it.
    • Many characters are also qualified for this tropes as Sasami(even more than Rumiya), Pixy Misa, Ryo-Ohki and Mihoshi.
  • The eponymous Kamen no Maid Guy is regularly beaten close to death with a nailbat as a form of amusing injury. The other characters are sometimes maimed pretty badly, too.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan show the title character frequently pulping the male lead in very bloody and over-the-top ways that approach Happy Tree Friends levels of violence. Fortunately, she has a reset button, because she's really fond of him.
  • Ranma ½, is powered solely by this trope. To list the injuries involved would take up most of the page. This applies only to the comedic instances of violence. Serious battles do give serious injuries their proper place, even when the characters are unnaturally resilient.
  • Sailor Moon: Much of the humor comes from this. One of the more creative ones was when Usagi's feet fell asleep during a tea ceremony and Chibi-usa punched her in the foot. One word: ouch. Subverted in Season S, where Uranus sustains injuries in battle. They don't stop her from fighting, but they are real and lasting.
  • Excel Saga: The eponymous protagonist has been blown to bits numerous times, has fallen from tall buildings, and suffers more of such things multiple times per episode, without any lasting effects. The only exception is near the end of the anime when the Great Will of the Macrocosm is not available to do the usual Snap Back and one particular injury sticks around for a while.
    • Dr. Iwata is routinely beaten by his nurse sidekick in the manga, but never seems to take any lasting damage.
    • Pretty much everyone in the anime and even the manga is pretty close to invulnerable, really.
  • Full Metal Panic!? Fumoffu is made of this trope. There is not one episode where Sousuke doesn't shoot someone, blow someone up, tear-gas someone, or do something that would otherwise kill said someone. However, in the first and third seasons, these things are usually very deadly.
    • And don't forget what Kaname does to him. In the first season, she hurled a concrete slab across a baseball field with enough force to hit him in the back of the head and knock him down. This trope is the only reason he got away without a broken skull or neck.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima fluctuates in and out of using this, usually depending on the drama of the situation. Comically breaking a boulder over someone's head? Amusing injury. Arch-enemy impaling you with a stone spear because you happen to be in his way? You'll nearly bleed to death.
  • How many times has Shinji Hirako been pummeled by Hiyori Sarugaki?
    • Kon's existence period.
    • Every time someone attempts to throw himself at Rangiku Matsumoto.
      • Toshiro meets Rangiku for the first time.
    • Kenpachi anyone?
    • Ichigo getting whacked by his dad.
      • Ichigo getting whacked by Rukia.
    • Ishida getting hit by a spirit core ball thingy.
    • Shiba Kuukaku beating up (mostly) Shiba Ganju or any other character that pisses her off.
  • Naga from the Slayers OVA's gets set on fire a lot...
  • L and Light's punch-ups in Death Note are oddly lacking in consequence. They slam each other in the face while playing headgames to make sure the other party's caught physically unprepared, but seem to come out a bit dirty at best. Especially odd in a series that's all about tragic/fatal consequences for very small physical actions, like writing or thinking—yet there they are, whaling on each other to no real effect.
    • This is largely because the arc with the punch-ups is mainly light relief (sorry) from the otherwise unrelenting darkness of the plot. L and Light fight on two occasions, hitting each other three times each. They never really lose control (they argue all the way through the longer fight), and the impression given is very much that both of them are too smart to really hurt the other.
  • In Soul Eater, people suffer great blood loss from being whacked by books and hands. Having a scythe blade hit you on the head is one used as an amusing injury. One fight goes in the same scene from a character being stabbed through the chest, to having birds and stars around their head after being kicked.
    • Black*Star has been the victim multiple bad encounters.
      • getting stabbed in the butt by OX using Harvar and then electrocuting him. Maka applies to this in the same episode, though indirectly.
        • And later he gets his revenge but one-shotting the guy
      • Tsubaki throws a shuriken a Black star had for getting caught peeping.
      • notably to Spirit, and Chibi Medusa once
    • umm does kid's bangs getting cut count here? he did start spitting blood
    • Stein falling off his chair constantly
    • Chrona, the meat shield of Ragnarok
    • Black Star, Killik, and Kid vs Hero and Excalibur
      • Maka Chopping people for flipping her skirt.
  • Clannad: Almost the only reason for Youhei Sunohara's existence.
  • Played consistently sexist in City Hunter, with Ryo usually on the receiving end of some woman's wrath (most commonly Kaori, courtesy of her personal Hyperspace Mallet).
  • and usually ends like this.
  • K-On!: Mio constantly bonking Ritsu. That is, hitting.
  • In To Aru Majutsu no Index when Touma pisses off Index she always retaliates by biting him everywhere, especially on his head. While other guys end up with lipstick marks, Touma ends up with bite marks. And pretty frequently, at that.
    • Similarly, Kuroko invoking the wrath of her dorm supervisor in Raligun usually ends in the Badass Normal supervisor snapping her neck so quickly she doesn't even have the chance to teleport away.
  • In He Is My Master Nakabayashi Yoshitaka is constantly injured.
  • Poor, poor Maoh-sama (Sia's father in SHUFFLE!). He has a Running Gag of being KOed by his daughter... with a chair.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, when America and England get sent a box of supplies, England finds ice cream inside. He offers it to America, who runs over to get it, slips on a banana peel... and breaks his foot.
    • And let's not forget the case of England and the shooting star, with America spazzing out and grinning wide.
  • Every time Yayori attacks Shiraisha-sensei in Neko De Gomen
  • Kunisaki Izumo no Jijou: Izumo often hurls Sae against a wall, leaving a distinctive impact crater on it, whenever he tries to get too close to him.
  • Afganisu-Tan: Usually happens towards the titular character as an allusion to the decidedly less amusing stuff that happens to the real Afghanistan.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In one issue of the comic Gold Digger, the character of Stripe is repeatedly hit by various painful booby traps in an old temple. Due to his relative ability to take damage, he is merely put in increasing levels of Instant Bandages. (At one point, they forget to give him a hole to breathe through!) His wife Brittany, a werecheetah who can bench press Mack trucks, gets a little angry when she finds out.
  • Wolverine occasionally comes in for this, thanks to his Mutant Healing Factor (TM). One of the more notable examples was a pitch-black parody about chainsaw-wielding midget mafiosi that culminated in the Punisher parking a steamroller on top of Wolverine.
    • In Marvel Ultimate Team-Up, Spider-Man rescues a severely injured Wolverine and recommends a hospital, only for Wolvie to brush him off and heal up almost instantly, resulting the hilarious line, "Oh my god I think I'm going to throw up in my mask."
  • Deadpool took more punishment in funny, amusing or plain crazy ways and he is still wise-cracking.
    • He also does this to poor Mr Immortal of the Great Lakes Avengers. So does almost everyone who they face off against, and this is on top of his own death wish, which is played for amusement.
  • Basile always gets hurt in Leonard Le Genie, either because of his clumsiness or his master's sadism.
  • Every single major character suffers these in spades in Mortadelo Y Filemon.
  • Happens regularly to Slapstick, whose indestructible cartoon-like body allows him to recover almost instantly.
  • Sin City has the death of Jack Rafferty, which is probably one of the most gruesome deaths in the series (which is saying something) but also the funniest. His dialogue helps.
  • Often in the stories by Wilhelm Busch, up to Amusing Death. Note that these stories are more than 100 years old, and even decades older than The Yellow Kid, often said to be the first comic.
  • In Asterix, whenever our heroes go up against the legionaries, the legionaries end up with these. Often they are punch-drunk, to boot.


Fan Work[edit | hide]

  • In an episode of A Day in the life of a Commissar, a Dawn of War machinima, an Imperial Guardsman is panicking because his unit is under artillery barrage. A shell goes off beside him, and he flies through the air, squealing "Wheeeeeee!" as if on a ride.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Achakura has been drowned, hit across the room, among other lethal attacks, mostly by Yuki. She survives them all unscathed, because she doesn't have a physical body.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In the climax of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the main characters dangle off of a fire escape and then all fall down in various painful, and yet very funny manners. Also, Mrs. Marcus's tripping on the banana peel, but this is because she's a horrible shrew.
  • The James Bond movie Live and Let Die has an amusing death scene at the end. Bond pops a compressed air pellet into the mouth of the villain with alarming and jarring effects: he literally swells up like a balloon and hovers up into the air, where he continues to expand until he explodes with no gore whatsoever. Such a sudden, cartoonish moment in a movie that has so far been at least vaguely grounded in the laws of physics was a bit hard to stomach for most. It's no surprise that this was Roger Moore's first Bond movie, signifying the beginning of a sillier, more outlandish Bond than before.
  • Played with in Death Becomes Her. Two women had taken an eternal youth potion. But being unable to die, well, one falls down a staircase and ends up with many injuries (the ER doctor makes a list of them and shortly later has a heart attack), the most prominent a broken neck; and the other is shot by the first in the stomach, leaving a fist-sized hole clear through her torso.
  • The duel scene between King Arthur and the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Classic example of escalation of comedy violence.

King Arthur: "Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left."
Black Knight: "It's just a flesh wound!"

    • What about the line the Black Knight says when he's got no legs?

Black Knight: "I'll bite your kneecaps off!"

  • Iron Man. Tony sets the suit's thrusters to ten percent power, and is slammed against the ceiling hard enough that, realistically, he should have broken at least a few bones... from that or from the subsequent face-first fall on the floor.
    • It probably doesn't help that his robot, equipped with an extinguisher hose, was all too trigger happy in using it. It does make it more hilarious though.
    • Then, there's the scene when Tony's assistant, Pepper Potts, walks into his lab just as he's testing one of the repulsor beams in the suit's gloves. The recoil throws Tony offscreen and you hear him hit the far wall a couple seconds later. Pepper's reaction, mainly her complete lack of concern for his safety, is what really sells it.
  • The Three Stooges were famous for getting into goofy slap-fights and otherwise injuring each other (and themselves) in an amusing fashion. (Joe Besser, for some years working with them, claimed that the left side of Larry Fine's face was noticeably coarser than the other side, which he attributed to Moe's less-than-staged slaps.)
  • Space Jam uses it not only with the Looney Tunes, but with the live-action actors - Michael Jordan is curled into a ball, and Wayne Knight is crushed flat.
  • The Home Alone movies practically ran on this trope.
  • Mousehunt: Much of what happens to Ernie and Lars(and Caesar and Catzilla).
  • Larabee gets a paper stapled to his head twice in the Get Smart movie.
  • Mostly Averted Trope in I Love You, Beth Cooper. The characters were injured several times but the injuries were dealt with realistically.
  • Played straight in Fools Gold with Matthew Mcconaughey's character, who should have died from intracranial bleeding 30 minutes into the movie.
  • Most films with Bud Spencer and/or Terence Hill.
  • "I got shot in the buttocks." - Forrest Gump
  • Laurel and Hardy lived this trope in their movies - though one scene in The Music Box looks genuinely painful to this troper: Stanley, pushed once too often, pokes a finger in Ollie's eye - then, staggering in pain, Ollie steps on a nail in a board that sticks to his foot. Gaaah.
  • Averted with Jason's bullet wound in Mystery Team.
  • The protagonists at the end of The Producers are all sporting these, including a most unfortunate finger splint.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The entire purpose of Mr Bump of the Mr. Men.
  • In the third book of the Knight and Rogue Series Michael subjects himself to this when he starts destroying magica plants. The various punishments he recieves involve many painful instincts and, on one occaison, a skunk.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Fawlty Towers
    • Manuel receives large quantities of injuries inflicted upon him by Basil Fawlty because of him misunderstanding his orders and generally not doing exactly as he says. One of the most popular examples is when, as Basil creeps around in the middle of the night, he mistakes Manuel for a burglar and then hits him over the head with a frying pan; this scene is so infamous because John Cleese actually used a real metal frying pan to hit Andrew Sachs as opposed to the prop one, but the scene still carried on.
    • Basil gets a few injuries himself, but they are quite tame compared to anything Manuel is dished out. This makes the episode where Basil ends up in hospital because he was squirted in the face with a fire extinguisher and then bumped his head on a frying pan seem quite strange when Manuel has been able to take much worse without needing to be hospitalized.
  • Bottom: Played up immensely with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson, where the main characters are thrown around and tormented with cartoon levels of injury with no major consequences except when it is required for the plot. For example in the first episode, Eddie (Edmonson) tries to yank out one of Richie's (Mayall) nostril hairs with a pair of pliers, throwing him around the room before dislodging them from his nose. Richie retaliated by ripping a cabinet off the wall and smashing it over Eddie's head. He barely flinches before hitting Richie right through the door.
    • One of the most far-fetched is definitely in the episode "Gas" where they hit the gas-man over the head repeatedly with a frying pan and punch him, then (when they think he is dead) proceed to punch him some more, inflate him with a bicycle pump ("How does he look?" "Fatter."), electrocute him with wires, stick a fork in his groin after deciding to try eating him, jump up and down on top of him to flatten him down underneath the carpet and are then about to toss him out of the window on top of a bus when he wakes up, alive and well.
    • One of the most cartoonish no-long-term-consequences moments is when Richie cuts both Eddie's legs off with a chainsaw. Eddie then sews them back on with an ordinary needle and thread, but gets them back to front. Richie then cuts them off with the chainsaw again and sews them back on the right way round himself. Apart from walking strangely for a few moments Eddie is unaffected.
  • Highlander the Series, of all things, plays with this trope in "Money No Object," where it's justified by the series concept: Immortals can quickly recover from any injury except decapitation. (Although this wasn't true in the original film, in which some immortals carried centuries-old scars.)
    • Immortals in the series can also carry long-lived scars, usually on their faces and necks (fan theory suggests this vulnerability is a side-effect of the whole decapitation thing), and there's a question of whether the Healing Factor will regrow lost limbs.
    • One would imagine that heaving a very high tolerance to pain would be a great survival trait for an Immortal. A few times we are shown an Immortal who suffered massive trauma (eg being burned alive) and went insane from the experience even though their body healed.
  • Stargate Atlantis, Dr. Rodney McKay is shot in the ass with an arrow, made more hilarious by him being so doped up afterwards in the infirmary that he doesn't care that there's something sticking out of his ass, and also his extreme aversion to/phobia of arrows later on- apparently they're worse than bullets.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit, after a shooting in a courtroom, Munch is being treated for a grazing gunshot wound in the ass.
  • Most of the stunts in Jackass revolve around this.
  • Heroes has plenty of this to demonstrate Claire's healing factor.
  • Summarized rather well in a send-up of Last of the Summer Wine, of all things, where the characters had realized that they had been "using the same script for fifteen years" and attempted to make their programme funny again. After one of them encourages the other to fall off a high fence:

Clogg: [Concerned] Did it hurt much?
Compot: No, not really.
Clogg: Well, it wasn't funny enough, then.

  • Gibby's cracked ribs in iCarly.
  • In Firefly, "The Train Job," when Jayne is telling Wash they're going to finish the job or he's going beat Wash with the chain of command, then goes crazy and slumps over, unconscious. Tell me that wasn't hilarious.
    • "I got stabbed, right here...."
    • River slashing Jayne across the chest. Come on, that was hilarious.
      • And in The Movie, River punching Simon in the throat and then knocking him out.
      • River. Maidenhead Bar Brawl. Both the beatdown and the Ball grab.
        • Acknowledged in-universe as such.

Wash: Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl 'cause... I don't think that's ever getting old.

  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The perfectly deadpan fight in the lift.
    • Also, Cameron gets a face full of windshield from a moving car. Her only reaction is to look through the broken windshield at the shocked driver and say "Please remain calm."
      • This is actually a recurring theme in the Terminator franchise, used to emphasize the non-human nature of the titular characters. Terminators are frequently shown to endure physical punishment which would cause very severe (even life threatening) injuries if it happened to a human, yet they not only walk away uninjured, but they don't even react to what just happened to them.
  • In one of Ellen Degeneres's standup routines, she subverts this trope by poking fun at the fact that we're all supposed to laugh at our own injuries; she mimes accidentally running into a glass door and trying to make it sound like it was hilarious, then asks aloud "Is that my eye? I think I lost my eye! Ha ha ha!"
  • Subverted for grim effect in an NSPCC advert on British TV: a live action man yells at and assaults a cartoon boy, complete with wacky sound effects. After he throws the cartoon down the stairs, the camera tracks down to a real boy. (The NSPCC is the National Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Children.)
  • MythBusters: Every time Tory or Adam gets injured (which is almost all the time), you can bet that it will be funny.
    • With Adam, it's his over-the-top reactions; with Tory, it's the fact that he so rarely gets seriously hurt. Case in point for Tory: The infamous bike crash in "Driveshaft Pole-vault". Initially it looked scary, and would have remained that way had Tory not immediately sat up and said (almost nonchalantly) "I'm okay."
    • Subverted in episode 29 of the 2005 season, "Cooling a Six Pack." Adam was going to touch a replica of the Ark of the Covenant hooked up to ancient batteries (It Makes Sense in Context) and report on the shock he received. One of the producers convinced the Build Team to hook up a powerful battery to it, because he thought it would be good television. Cue Adam becoming very angry (extra jarring because he is Fun Personified and is NEVER angry), and nobody, not even the cameramen, would follow him after that. That particular producer was released from his duties shortly after.
  • Angel: The Double Standard is averted in the fourth season. Toward the end of the season, Cordelia has been revealed as the big bad, and whenever she inflicts violence, it's portrayed as evil, especially against the supremely naive Connor. Then she turns around and tries to play up all the expected tropes, nicely subverting them.
  • On Home Improvement, Tim suffered these almost Once an Episode, mostly due to his lack of caution when repairing things.
    • In one episode he accidentally causes Brad's current girlfriend to hurt her leg and take a trip to hospital. According to the nurse he makes a trip there on average once a week (the same hospital also being the first number on speed-dial because Jill has to call them so often), the huge folder the nurse shows them is only Tim's folder for that month, and that when he's there for the girlfriend it's the first time he's ever been to hospital without being the injured one... and then he walks into a door and breaks his nose.
  • Many clips on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Tom Servo: "Go on, Crowe... to get the full effect I need you on top of the stack of boxes.
Crowe: (from atop a visibly swaying stack of wooden crates) "Not feeling too comfortable up here, Servo... this feels like it'll come down around me at any second!"
Tom Servo: "Don't be such a baby... there's no way it'll fall over until after I set it on fire..."


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • This trope is par for the course in many classic comic strips, which (being static and somewhat trite) would arguably be less funny for lack of them. You could probably make a Drinking Game out of all the times Calvin opened the door and announced "I'M HO-OME!" only for Hobbes to tackle him and roll around with him in a Big Ball of Violence until Calvin was thoroughly bruised and his clothes were partially shredded. Didn't happen so much in Peanuts (as Charles Schulz preferred to dish out psychological pain to his characters), but occasionally someone (usually Linus) would get knocked on his ass by a punch and have cartoon "whirlies" orbiting around his head.
  • A standard Beetle Bailey gag has Sergeant Snorkel pound the daylights out of Beetle as a punishment for laziness or insubordination, whereupon Beetle ends up as a shapeless mass of limbs, hands and feet twisted in anatomically impossible ways. And with missing teeth.
  • Similarly, in FoxTrot Jason would often be beaten up by his sister Paige, ending up with some bruises and broken glasses.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • There was an old radio show (I balk at calling it a show though, as they were one minute segments between shows—filler episodes, I guess) featuring the Story Lady, whose job it was to tell short stories, generally with some very weird twists. The fillers used this trope a great deal: Story Lady is very prone to losing her temper and when she does, the only target is generally her hapless partner, who announces the segments. She has no qualms about hitting him with books, beating him out of her path with her bare fists, breaking his limbs, or actually shooting him if he doesn't do what she wants fast enough. No mention of these injuries is brought up later to my knowledge, but they're always, always played for laughs.


Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • In Toon, someone who runs out of Hit Points will "Fall Down". The character is out of the game for the rest of the scene, but after the "Cut" to the next scene - usually a few seconds later - they return as good as new, as all injuries were merely temporary. You can't kill a cartoon.
  • Honestly, in many Role-Playing Games, all injuries slide in this direction. For example, a tenth level fighter in Dungeons And Dragons could, quite literally, fall 100 feet into a pit full of chainsaws (assuming that chainsaws somehow existed in D&D), get up, and walk away as if nothing had happened.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Wario. Oh, Wario .Throughout the main serie of games starring him he's been stunned, stung and inflated, ignited, flattened, compressed, zombiefied, vampirified, frozen solid and then shattered to no ill effects except being dazed or moving erratically for a while, that in exchange granted him the ability to solve numerous puzzles along the way.
  • Dawn of War: Chaos cultists: AUGH, MAH SPLEEN!!!
  • The Fallout series play with incredible injuries in combat pretty well. Exploding heads, huge chunks blowing up out of a BB shot, bodies shredded to pieces by machine guns. Lots of fun. Even worse, you can a take perk called "Bloody Mess" to make it even worse.
    • The 'amusing' comes in the first two games from the running commentary, both from the characters and the combat log leading to such gems after shooting a woman in the groin as 'She took it like a man, that is to say, it hurt'
    • In Fallout 3, one can get blown across town if they stand next to a car when it explodes. Set the car on fire and walk away. Ten seconds later, you're watching your sorry ass fly.
  • Pretty much the entire point behind Team Fortress 2. The exchange at the top of the page is from "Meet The Sandvich", which amps up the comedy by hiding it behind a Gory Battle Discretion Shot. The lines cut from the sequence implies that the Heavy deals out more comedic pain:

Scout:Give me back my legbone! *Smash squish smash* AGH, DON'T HIT ME WITH IT!

  • Ace Attorney: While the setting is not prone to them (being a series focusing on murders) at a few point in the 3rd game Godot throws his coffee at Phoenix and it is played for laughs. The fact that coffee is HOT never comes up the first time it happens. When it is commented upon Phoenix's thoughts reveal it is only hot enough for first-degree burns.
    • And of course there's Franziska von Karma's neurotic whip, which afflicts absolutely everybody through the second game with no ill effects, except when she whips Phoenix into unconsciousness with it.
  • These are actually a gameplay element in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. The Mummy of the title is already dead, so things that would normally kill him instead have... other effects. Being set on fire allows him to set other things on fire, getting smashed flat by Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom makes him paper-thin and lets him slip through bars, and getting put through shredders turns him into three separate mummies. Though he doesn't get hurt, he definitely doesn't like being set on fire if you watch his Idle Animation...
  • The UK edition of Official Playstation Magazine had a semi-regular column where an actual ER Nurse would analyze a couple of different Amusing Injuries from some games like Ready 2 Rumble and Disney's Tarzan and describe their Real Life consequences in precise clinical detail.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, the current captain of the Screaming Narwhal encourages you to try to roust him from the deck of the ship (thus becoming captain yourself) by any means necessary, because due to Flotsam Island's odd winds no one can leave, so it's become something of a game, and he has proven so skilled at beating all comers that no one's even tried for two years, and he's bored. Once you succeed, he congratulates you on your captaincy and cheerfully excuses himself to have the doctor see to his grievous internal injuries.
  • In Bubsy, every time you die it is in a cartoony, amusing way. Examples include splatting when you fall too far, only to stand up and walk off screen while your midsection accordions, putting on an olde-timey captain's hat, holding up a miniature flag and saluting when sinking into water, and shattering when hit by a gumball launched out of a gumball machine.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: "Remove the arc wrench! Remove the arc wrench! Medic!"
  • Ultimate Spider-Man "Don't worry, nothing's broken except my spine, and my ribs, and everything else."
  • The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker is full of these, thanks to the game's cartoony, slapstick-y style. Notable examples include Link flying 50 feet in the air with his rear on fire if he falls in lava, flying facefirst into the side of the Forsaken Fortress in a launched barrel early on in the game, and later repeating the same (sans barrel) with the Tower of the Gods.
    • Interestingly, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has at least one instance of unrealistic injury, despite the game going into such detail as to show Link melting and sinking beneath lava, struggling and screaming. If Link falls into a body of ice cold water in the Snowpeak region, he instantly becomes encased in a perfect block of ice, rather than suffering hypothermia and sinking.
  • Dwarf Fortress certainly qualifies. Even with its incredibly complex anatomy system, a lot of injuries that would normally kill someone in real life is pretty much harmless in the game. For example, losing a limb in adventure doesn't cause you to bleed to death, like you would expect. In fact, you just have to walk a while for the wound to heal by itself ! And you can get injured (or injure someone else) in pretty unique ways. This is probably one of the reason behind the game's popularity.
  • A Bilingual Bonus example from the slain SS in Wolfenstein (2009 video game) (and in the secret levels in Doom II): "Mein Leben!" [1] Particularly funny (What? They're Nazis...) in Doom II because SS spawn in clusters of four to compensate for the much better weapons in Doom II. Given the game's love for the Supershotgun and the Rocket Launcher, often you will hear multiple SS crying out "Mein Leben!" all in a bizarrely amusing chorus of death.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • In Yu No Takuya occasionally gets pissed at what other people tell him and punches them in the face. After doing so, he assures them that they had some kind of bug on their face and gets a thank you in response while the injured party offhandedly mentions that they have a chipped tooth or compound fracture now.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Banana-nana-Ninja!: Seppuku is impaled or otherwise exposed to hilarious harm in almost every episode he appears in. In the accompanying game Dueling Ninjas, every loss scenario for Seppuku involves him being impaled (except for one, where he chokes on Master Fuji's chopstick).
  • In Harry Partridge's Twitter cartoon, he threatens to do terrible things to a Cockney orphan. The orphan's response?

Orphan: Don't worry about me, folks! I'm animated!

Somewhat subverted, however...

Harry (complete with eyes sewn shut): But the pain will be more than real...


Webcomics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog plays for laughs the many humiliating injuries inflicted upon Villain Protagonist Dr. Horrible by the Smug Super Captain Hammer. Among a Long List, these include: being hurled hundreds of feet into the air (in a prequel comic), having his shoulder dislocated (again), being choked and slammed repeatedly into a van, having a car thrown at him, and in a flashback montage, being pummeled repeatedly (including a Groin Attack), given an atomic wedgie, and spun like a helicopter, WWE-style. Dr. Horrible takes it all in stride until Captain Hammer steals his would-be girlfriend, making it personal.
    • The Emmy skit continues the matter by having Captain Hammer hijack Dr. Horrible's attempted incursion, punch Horrible out repeatedly as he keeps trying to regain the focus, and finally stick him in a headlock to continue his superhero monologuing uninterrupted.
    • There are also two subversions. The first is during Billy's conversation with Penny in the laundromat at the start of Act II, when she notices that he's driving a spork into his leg (in an attempt to suppress his anger). He tries to play it off as "hilarious" but it's clearly anything but. The second is when Captain Hammer is injured by the exploding Death Ray.
      • The latter instance is played mostly straight though, as he'd never been injured before (and wasn't visibly hurt here), and ran off crying for his mommy because "I think this is what pain feels like!"
  • RT Shorts' "Paper Cut" short. Joel and Matt are both horrified by the spike and screwdriver stuck in each other's head, but only when looking in a handheld mirror to see it.

"OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! You wanna get some lunch?"


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • South Park makes a running joke out of Kenny's horrific injuries. In this case, the character actually dies, and is revived each episode by Negative Continuity rather than by an Unexplained Recovery.
    • In one two-part episode, he miraculously popped back into existence in the first few seconds of the second episode without comment.
      • Later, it's deconstructed when Kenny reveals he remembers every death. Every single one.
    • In another episode, Mayor McDaniels shoots herself in the head, and appears in a later scene alive and well with a bandage around the affected area.
  • Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck in the course of his career was riddled with countless bullets usually only ending up bare and sooty with a humorously displaced beak. However, near the end of the 1953 short "Duck! Rabbit, Duck!", after getting shot in the face for the sixth time by Elmer Fudd, he finally snaps.

Daffy: Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers, and gunpowder, and cordite! I'm an elk! Shoot me, go on! It's elk season! I'm a fiddler crab! Why don't you shoot me?! It's fiddler crab season!!!

    • However, not even Daffy can equal the sheer amount and variety of the (highly) amusing injuries inflicted on one Wile E. Coyote (SUPER-genius). Over the years, the hapless hunter has been on the receiving end of everything from catapults to earthquake pills and all possible variations of falling off of a cliff.
    • Surprisingly averted at the end of What's Opera Doc?. It's... not funny.
  • Lampshaded in Darkwing Duck. In one episode when the plot involves a movie theater, Darkwing is hit by a heavy object and explains: "see the difference. A Movie figure would stand up and be okay now. I, on the other hand, am seriously hurt..." Funny because he actually behaves pretty much like those "movie figures" - and in this episode is OK 10 seconds later.
    • And we can't forget the scene pictured above: "Put out the Darkwing! Put out the Darkwing!" Actually, this happens a lot to EVERYBODY in that show.
  • Subverted in an episode of Family Guy where we see Elmer shoot Bugs Bunny down dead then snap his neck as he lies in a pile of bloody, mangled flesh.
    • The series also has a habit of pausing the show to have characters provide drawn-out reaction to Amusing Injuries the way a real person would, invariably turning into an Overly Long Gag.
      • "Thhhh...Aaahh...Thhhh...Aaahh...Thhhh...Aaahh...Thhhh..."
    • During Stewie's Fantastic Voyage, he shot Peter in the duodenum to distract him. Peter's reaction: "Oh, my duodenum is acting up." Funny mostly because Peter probably doesn't even know what a duodenum is.
  • Every episode of Drawn Together has at least one character getting a comically horrific injury, only to appear fine in the next scene (though sometimes, the characters remain this way for the remainder of the episode). There is not enough room on this page to list all of the injuries that the characters have gone through.
  • Happy Tree Friends: the entire premise — graphic, bloody injuries on cute cartoon bodies — Crosses The Line Endlessly.
  • The Simpsons: Played straight in S2 "Bart the Daredevil" in which Homer falls down a cliff, hitting nearly every rock on the way down, only to land on the ground bleeding and with serious injury. He hits his head repeatedly while being hauled back up. Then the ambulance crashes. Then his gurney rolls out and falls down the gorge again.
    • A later episode (the "Reality Show" one in season 11, titled "Behind the Laughter") jokes that he was in remission for a long time and became addicted to painkillers, which is what allowed him to perform the "bone-shattering physical comedy that made the show famous".
      • Mocked, like everything else, in "The Onion" headline: Live-Action Simpsons movie on hold after 11th Homer stuntman dies.
    • The Show Within a Show Itchy and Scratchy defines this trope.
    • The episode A Star is Burns parodies this trope as a video of a man getting hit in the groin by a football wins much praise at the film festival (twice).
  • Played with in Transformers Animated; while the main characters themselves are subjected to realistic injuries, disposable household robots are frequently seen blown up or decapitated with hilarious results. There's also the "Starscream Death Montage".
    • In fact, pretty much every time there's a robot on an animated show, they'll have at least one time where they'll have parts ripped or blown off, usually with the separate limbs running about by themselves. Beast Wars did this a lot as well, especially with Waspinator.
      • Waspinator has had to use this to reassemble himself on multiple occasions, because his position as Cannon Fodder and the knowledge that he'll do it meant that no one could really be bother to gather up the bits, and Megatron even thought it was a waste of effort to order someone to.

Waspinator: Inferno blow up, Waspinator must salvage. Waspinator blow up, nobody salvage. Why universe hate Waspinator?

    • Averted, brutally, with Blurr's murder. Word of God says his body was crushed into a cube, but his "spark" (a TF's soul) was still alive inside.Then the cube was thrown into a garbage incinerator.
  • Tom and Jerry. If the violence on each episode was to be taken seriously, it would probably trump Happy Tree Friends.
    • Animation historian Michael Barrier argued in one book that some of the violence in the very early T&Js was a little unsettling, precisely because the character designs and animation were too realistic. As the '40s progressed into the '50s and the designs became flatter and more stylized (following the lead of Tex Avery, who headed a different MGM cartoon unit), the violence got funnier and more "cartoony".
    • One cartoon actually showed the effects of different injuries Tom subjected to, as he accumulates more bandages through the story. Including a toupee' to hide the fact he'd earlier blown the top of his scalp off with a shotgun.
  • Beavis and Butthead started out giving the characters gruesome and realistic injuries (missing teeth, heavy bleeding) and playing it for laughs by Snap Back before switching to a more lighthearted approach of just making them bruised or knocked silly by things 10 times worse than had previously harmed them.
  • Phineas and Ferb is a fairly standard example of this, Lampshaded in "S'winter". Phineas, Ferb, and Candace are all riding on a snowboard and they crash into a snowman. Candace (on the back of the board) is the only one to hit it, and Phineas asks Ferb "How did we miss that?" Then they hit a tree, or rather, Candace does. Phineas remarks "Now that's just weird." This also highlights Candace's status as the show's Butt Monkey. The majority of the show's cast never ends up as fodder for this trope, (unless it would be funnier), but it's about Once an Episode for Candace and Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
    • Ferb is also fodder for this trope. He is specifically thrown around in "Chronicles of Meap", and "One Good Scare Ought to Do It". His mental state is the main target; likely because it's typically unalterable.
    • Parodied in one episode. After Doofenshmirtz gets a new nemesis, the episode treats this like a break-up, complete with Perry and Doofenshmirtz appearing on a parody of Dr. Phil. Doofenshmirtz promises to hurt Perry "the right way: with cartoonish violence and hair-brained schemes."
      • In another, Perry is busy dealing with another crisis, so Doofenshmirtz decides to gloat to "Planty the Potted Plant", an actual potted plant with a tiny hat on it. Somehow, the plant beats Doofenshmirtz and wrecks his lair, and is officially hired by Monogram at the end of the episode.
  • The toon in the vivisection parts of Monkey Dust has the standard cartoonish Amusing Injuries, then it gets subverted when he drops an anvil on the (less-toonish) doctor's head. It's not pretty.
  • Daria is pretty realistic as far as cartoons go - When the school goes on a paintball-playing field trip (the episode "The Daria Hunter") the Running Gag is "Ow! Those paintball thingies hurt!"
  • Ruby Gloom does this too. Misery, one of the main characters is always hit by lightning, only to say "ouch" and come back 10 seconds later in best shape.
    • Inverted in one episode, where Misery isn't hurt at all. The other characters are getting hurt instead
  • League of Super Evil does this almost constantly with Doktor Frogg. Wether it's being crushed by giant doors, or eaten by Doomageddon. Then again he is the resident Chew Toy. So it's expected of him.
  • Ren and Stimpy is full of this, frequent things that happen include large veiny bumps appear after getting hit on the head, skin would get sucked or ripped off, getting run over or smashed with a large object would reduce them to a puddle, sometimes a blow to the face would knock teeth out or make them shatter like glass, knock a brain out of the head, and leave an eyeball hanging out of the socket
  • SpongeBob SquarePants adores this trope, especially in the newer episodes. "The Krusty Krushers" is possibly 10 minutes of little more than Amusing Injuries and Spongebob style gags.
    • And of course, there's the ever-popular "MY LEG!", predominantly from the earlier seasons.
  • The Fairly OddParents makes use of This. Timmy has fallen of cliffs, been mauled by dogs, and had several other potentially fatal things happen to him. And yet, he can take it.
  • Disney movies seem very fond of amusing injuries to the buttocks; from being bitten by a dog to landing butt-first in a briar patch to being stabbed there with a flaming arrow.
  • Henry off KaBlam!! goes through A LOT. Falling off cliffs, melting, having extremely heavy objects fall on him, getting beat up by a sasquatch (or an angry little girl), almost getting attacked by a black widow, however he's fine by the next episode (or after the next cartoon short). God, I feel sorry for this kid.
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, to a truly extraordinary extent. Injuries only last any length of time if it's funny, but it's effectively Deconstructed Trope in The Movie, where Eddy's treatment at the hands of his brother is treated with horror by the other kids.
  • Ow, my scapula. (That's a shoulder blade, for those who weren't paying attention in human anatomy and phisiology.)
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes. In the original pitch for the show, this was justified by Jimmy already being dead.
  • Being a zombie, Randall in Ugly Americans seems to perform this trope nicely. The really amusing part is, like the robot example above, it seems in this universe separate body parts retain their individuality. Which is then Lampshaded by his mistreatment of his penis resulting in it ripping itself off his body and running away, the final straw having been a one-night stand with an Eldritch Abomination he picks up at a movie theatre. In the first season finale he's carried around missing his lower torso for most of the episode.
  • Superjail follows the Happy Tree Friends/Retarded Animal Babies train of thought. Make it as realistic as possible for maximum comedy value. Ditto The Venture Brothers. (Dean and Hank learning about real death when Race Bannon dies in front of them with Brock lecturing them on it.)
    • Another interesting example from Venture Bros., though an aversion, many villains, but especially 21 and 24, seem to derive a particularly morbid enjoyment from pondering the potential injuries Brock Samson is about to inflict upon someone. Provided they aren't the intended target, of course.
  • Invader Zim makes constant use of this trope. Zim has been mauled by rabid dogs, hit with at least four dozen dodgeballs simultaneously, injured his squeedlyspooch multiple times, and has been burned by meat and contaminated water, which apparently he is vulnerable too.
  • The stars of the Classic Disney Shorts do this more often in modern times, such as on House of Mouse and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.
  • All the time in The Schnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show, in all three segments.
  • Nearly every character in the Total Drama series gets this eventually, especially if they're a Butt Monkey.
    • In fact, there are so many injuries that its wiki has created its own page for them.
  • The Gorillaz both use and subvert this with 2D. On one hand, his injuries are often Played for Laughs, but this quickly delves into Fridge Horror when you realize that 2D doesn't recover like most cartoon characters and has in fact developed a problem with painkillers as a result.
  • Twilight Sparkle of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic suffers several Amusing Injuries in the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
    • Twilight is usually the one who get hurt the most without being the butt monkey, but the entire mane six has their moments.
  • In Slacker Cats all the injuries are Played for Laughs, even in episode two when Tabitha got her only ear ripped off.
  • Spliced has a lot of amusing injuries. The most common case is a character getting thrown into a volcano, but there are plenty of other examples as well.
  1. translation: "My life!"