It's tough to describe without going into a tirade and listing off all these moments in a bunch of movies. It started back in Transformers if I recall. But it really caught on and no new movie seems complete without the:

"Deadly serious moment>JOKE>TheBigBangTheoryLAUGHTRACK.MP3" formula.

I'm just struggling to use a simple phrase/director name or something of the likes that let people know what I mean immediately by these forced jokes in serious moments.

  • I learned something new today. But i fear no one will understand me when i say use this word "The bathos trope", unless they have already read up on it beforehand like i have. It will have to do for now. Thanks.
    – Victor
    Dec 20 '17 at 8:27

It's called Bathos

Bathos is a story-telling technique that follows serious ideas with the commonplace or ludicrous. The juxtaposition of these ideas creates humor.

It has its origins in poetry, where lofty prose would be followed with an anticlimax of sorts. It later evolved to cover any instance where the serious is mixed with the surreal or commonplace in order to provide humor.

But Bathos are sometime associated with non-intentional stuff only.

For the rest it can be called Gallows Humor:

This trope is when you are able to make the best of a bad situation - this is finding something funny even in Hell itself. "Laughter is the best medicine", says the age-old adage. Therefore, these tend to be stories that focus on a select group of individuals who are in recovery or surviving an ordeal. It is highly unlikely for a gag of the week format to be Gallows Humor. It is also likely that the main character suffers from depression and is cheering himself up.


It started in ancient Greek. It's called "Tragicomedy". It's not a trope, it's not a trend. It's a genre.

You started noticing it because "if a movie make me laugh, cry and weep in two hours then it's a money well spend". So in another words. It's more common now in popular moviemaking.

Also it was present in previous Star Wars. "I love you, I know". "we're all gonna die in this trash crushes. What do you mean you opened a peep show on level 5?"

  • It's always been there, sure. But there's a definitive moment where the trend can be viewed on a graph and it curves up sharply. But it's also a very particular style of joke that's caught on, is being copied and imitated across many different movie studios and works to get lots of cheap laughs, fast. Rewind maybe 10 years in media and you won't find anything like what's going on today. But i don't really want to argue about these fine details and can only link you this video that shows that im not the only one picking up on it youtu.be/L9hwGZFPSmw?t=103
    – Victor
    Dec 20 '17 at 8:49
  • @Victor The trend is normal in moviemaking. For example 10 years ago there was this trend to movietize every crap book lying around. And you could point to Harry Potter as the starting point. If you look for such spot in the "joke, no it wasn't funny at all" then it would be Joss Whedon hired by Marvel studios. Of course, you've seen it in Transformers but it was rather an outcome of Bay trying to make a script for such movie rather than intended output from which Whedon is known for. Dec 20 '17 at 9:07

It's called Wisecracking, and it's used to lighten the mood. By attacking two of your emotions at once (humor and fear, or tension), you put your audience off-kilter. It's mostly psychological in nature, and is akin to when you see a hero jump off a tall building and swing from a rope, and yell, "YAHOOOO!!!!" or something. If you edited a scene like that in Vegas Pro and removed the audio track when the character screams, you get a MUCH different visceral reaction to what you're seeing.

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