Played for Laughs
If something is played for laughs, it means it is being used with the intention to be comedic. It is often a parody of the instances where said device or Trope is used seriously. Sometimes involves Lampshade Hanging on a particular Trope.
- Most of the middle of Ep. 4 in Umineko no Naku Koro ni is Beatrice having fun making the story play out as much as a cheesy kids' action anime as possible. Eleventh-Hour Superpower, Out-of-Character Moment, Interface Screw, you name it. After everyone stops acting it becomes obvious in hindsight.
- We have uncontrolled lechery, fathers beating their daughters, bipolar childhood friends with murderous grudges, a pyromaniac baby, a mother who wishes her son was never born, wanton property destruction, and alien invasions. This is Urusei Yatsura. All of the above is frikken hilarious.
- Try an Aquatransexual with a mother who thinks he should be manly or face the sword, way too many fiancées, rivals who practice all kinds of ridiculous martial arts, a Dirty Old Man Fair Weather Mentor who will stop at nothing to get him into a bra, and all sorts of other random stuff happening in his neighborhood.
- Despite occasional Mood Whiplash, Axis Powers Hetalia is this for world history.
- In Mazinger Z, Kouji's sexism and the fights between him and Sayaka nearly always are Played for Laughs.
- Casino Royale 1967 plays its Kill'Em All ending for laughs, by immediately following it with a Fluffy Cloud Heaven Ending.
- The most famous example is probably Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and how it plays The End of the World as We Know It as a farcical Black Comedy.
- Back to The Future features a teenage boy meeting his young mother through Time Travel and her rather forwardly coming on to him, which it plays mostly for laughs.
- Four Lions, a farcical black comedy about five Muslim suicide bombers and their ultimately successful quest to blow themselves and other people up in the most pointless ways possible.
- Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo: What Raven and Beast Boy are doing reflects a type of comedy that Japan has called Manzai, where there is a serious straight and an irreverent idiot (Boke and Tsukkomi Routine), only it's in an American parody and mockery of the original Japanese Manzai.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Blackadder, particularly Blackadder Goes Forth, likewise (except in the finale).
- Sam's cruel, oftentimes Kratos-esque treatment of Freddie on iCarly is often played for laughs. And always unsettling in its nature.
- On a similar vein, much of Victorious' humor comes from jokes that imply mental instability, death, parental abandonment, etc. In real life, this would be horrifying, and it's not too funny when they make jokes about it anyway.
- Forgetful Jones from Sesame Street is played purely for comedic value, but all his supposedly funny mistakes show all the signs of advanced dementia. What person thought that would be a great concept for a Butt Monkey character on a kids show?
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Jade Empire' Black Whirlwind would be an utterly insane Ax Crazy Complete Monster if he weren't so funny about it.
- HK-47 in Knights of the Old Republic is the same, especially as he's open about it.
- Dragon Age 2: Isabela's attachment issues and nymphomania are played for laughs unless Hawke pursues a romance with her.
- Little Shop of Horrors does this with man-eating Plant Aliens and sadistic dentists.
- The Mikado does this with all manner of bloodthirstiness, despite being a light romantic comedy, including, for example, a song ("The Criminal Cried as He Dropped Him Down") in which the chorus goes:
As the sabre true
Cut cleanly through
His cervical vertebrae
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Zaboo from The Guild's Stalker with a Crush behavior would be horrifically creepy in Real Life, but on the show it's over the top funny.
- The blog Cut! is basically Slender Man Played for Laughs. At one point, Slendy himself actually bumps into a clear glass door before slinking off in embarrassment.
- Invader Zim does this to the old chestnut of an alien coming to infiltrate society, in all but one episode- the pure Nightmare Fuel that is "Dark Harvest".
- The infamous Lucy-pulling-the-football-away-from-Charlie-Brown gag in the Peanuts series.
- KaBlam!: Billy from "The Off-Beats", The Running Gag in the series usually involved Billy saying something that would get Tina mad, and then the Populars would throw him out of the group, causing Billy to crash into something.
- Teen Titans in the episode "Fear Itself". Beast Boy, being an aficionado of horror movies, spends most of the episode (until he's caught) telling everyone not to split up as the monster always gets his targets easier that way, and that he, the funny guy, will inevitably be taken first. He ends up being right.