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There is a tendency for works, particularly older works and works aimed at young men, to treat homosexual relationships as being inherently funny. Obviously, gay people and gay relationships can be funny for lots of reasons — for example, if the characters are incredibly mismatched, or if the behaviour of one character is amusingly offputting, so this doesn't just apply to any humour derived from gayness or from gay relationships, only when the punchline is that it is gay. Litmus test — if this was heterosexual, would it be (roughly, if not quite) as funny? If not, it's this trope.

Subtropes include Gay Bravado. Begets the humorous parts in Ambiguously Gay, Mistaken for Gay, Ho Yay.


Anime & Manga


  • In Death at a Funeral, the main characters' discovery that their father had a dwarf gay lover sparks a plotline revolving around blackmail, but the apparent absurdity of it is also milked for laughter.
  • The Producers — a musical comedy — has a song entitled "keep it gay". See for yourself: 9 Xj D 8
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which tries the task of being pro gay rights and one big gay joke at the same time
  • In Inception, Eames turning into a woman and flirting with a teammate for comedic effect.
  • Lamar, one of protagonists in Revenge of the Nerds, is treated as being inherently funny because he's gay; some gags used include his being seen doing aerobics in feminine spandex and leg warmers, and his general disinterest in watching the sorority girls after the group plants cameras in their house. His whole personality revolves solely around his sexual orientation and his race. When the Tri-Lamb commission arrives to the nerds' party and Lewis puts on a record of Old Man River, Lamar was quick to act.
  • There are several gags revolving around Hollywood, an openly gay character in both Mannequin and its sequel, most of them from his flamboyancy (because, of course, all gay men are very flamboyant in these sorts of movies).

Live Action TV

  • Xena: Warrior Princess, despite all the Ho Yay and general gay subtext in the show, Xena features very little of this. One rare and notable example being from the season four epsiode 'The Play's The Thing' was played for, and recieved, big laughs.

 Minya: Gabrielle, I wanted to thank you! I never would have met Pollina if it wasn't for you! In fact, the two of you made me realize something deep down about myself that I guess I always knew, but just didn't dare admit. Yes. I'm a thespian!

Xena: Oh. Hah. Congratulations. You managed to touch someone.

Gabrielle: That's not exactly what I had in mind. I wanted to change violent people into people of peace, not actors. That is what she said, right? Deep down, she's a thespian? Yeah, um, that's what she said. Yeah.

Xena: Why? What'd you think?

Gabrielle: Thespian.

    • Xena being kissed by Miss Artephis ( who was actually a transvestite/man in drag) after the latter's victory in the Miss Known World beauty pageant counts as this, but only if you're operating under Trans Equals Gay.
    • Joxer's triplet brother Jace is the definition of ancient Greek Camp Gay, and only appeared in the second (you guessed it) Musical Episode. Jace's terrible (even by in universe standards) Spanish accent, and incredible Camp stylings would make a young Elton John cringe, and gave a few cheap (and oddly glittery) laughs to the audience of 'Lyre, Lyre Hearts on Fire'.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, mostly Andrew. The humour there may have revolved more around the closet he was stuck in than anything else, but only if you're reaching for an excuse.
    • The Season 7 episode "Potential" supplied a particularily wonderful example with the introduction of openly gay potential slayer Kennedy, during a conversation with fellow potential, Rona, about using a wooden stake to fight Vampires.

 Rona: I like the feel of wood in my hand.

Kennedy: Lost me there.

  • These make up the majority of the jokes between Raj and Howard on The Big Bang Theory, more specifically the jokes around them acting like a couple. Also notable in that these jokes are also made about two women, Amy and Penny.
  • Turk and JD in the last seasons of Scrubs.
    • Even in season one this trope was fully in effect: among other things, JD pictures the Fat Albert gang doing a "Hi-oh!" after he and Turk exchange Accidental Innuendo about an appendectomy ("I want you inside me"/"Well, I want to be the one inside you") and engage in an extended West Side Story reference in which they take on the roles of Tony and Maria and parody "Tonight".
  • How I Met Your Mother, particularly the episode where Marshall and Barney are prank texting Ted.
  • A more classical example would be the gay jokes on Torchwood: Miracle Day, especially in the second episode where a flight attendant is badgered about his sexuality until he cracks.
    • A disproportionate amount of Rex's funny lines involve him making gay jokes about (and generally being rather uncomfortable around) Captain Jack.
  • Two and A Half Men Chelsea's gay father became a fountain of these.
    • And like most things on that show, they weren't handled very classily.
  • Occasionally in House, especially with House and Wilson, and with references to Chase.
  • Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served? was a Camp Gay Played for Laughs.
  • The original Monty Python's Flying Circus series did this on a regular basis. Examples include the "Brigadier and Bishop" sketch and Mr. Freight (a.k.a. Great Poof) in "the Visitors" sketch.
  • Lampshaded in That 70s Show. When Red has a problem with his new neighbors being a gay couple, Kitty points out that he didn't have a problem with The Three Stooges doing it. Red justifies it by saying that it's okay because it was funny.
  • The George Lopez Show has at least three examples. One is an episode where Ernie lies about being Max's father in order to appeal to women as a single dad and George says some Ho Yay things when he catches him in the act. Another is an episode where George is putting out a newspaper advertisement asking for information about his dad and when Ernie gets done with helping him shorten it, it sounds like an ad asking for a Latino male dating partner. There's also an episode where Carmen is only pretending to be dating a guy named Noah who turns out to be gay. When George finds out, he says to Carmen, "Your boyfriend's in the closet" and this is meant to be funny because her actual boyfriend is also literally in the closet in her bedroom as he's telling her this.
  • Friends to the point where an hour long clip could be put together of only the worst offences.
  • Boy Meets World does this *a lot*. Homosexuality is shown as being weird and hilarious so often, it's hard to wonder if the show would work fifteen years after it aired.
  • Veronica's Closet.
  • Seinfeld had an episode where Jerry and Costanza are Mistaken for Gay by a female reporter and Jerry says, "We're not gay! Not That There's Anything Wrong with That!" This situation was reused and played for laughs each time.
  • The Colbert Report, although the humour mostly comes from the contrast (well, I say contrast, but...) between "Stephen's" Transparent Closet and his ultra-conservatism.
  • Spin City, where Carter's boyfriend hits on Mike. Had he been a girl, it would bave been Played for Drama. As is, it's a comedy piece.
  • Arrested Development
  • Brits old enough to remember The Dick Emery Show will recall that one of Dicks many faces was a Camp Gay and that really he never got any punchlines, it was just meant to be funny because he was a "poof".
  • Saturday Night Live can't seem to get through a taping without demonstrating this trope in a sketch, or at the very least in a few Weekend Update jokes.


  • The old radio comedy show Round The horne, broadcast in a time before homosexuality was fully legalised in Britain, introduced two outrageously out gay characters called Julian and Sandy, played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams. It could be argued that Julian and Sandy, who were loved for their sheer camp outrageousness, helped pave the way in the middle 1960's for fuller acceptance of homosexuality that led to legal reform later in the decade. They were seen, unltimately, as two sweet inoffensive guys rather than slavering perverted monsters.

Visual Novels

Web Original

  • In Homestuck, Tavros attempts to troll Dave by rapping at him, but his raps keep becoming unintentionally homoerotic, which starts to confuse him and opens him up to some spectacular counter-trolling from Dave, who hits on Tavros insultingly until he gets upset and blocks him.
    • Generally this is averted, though. Queer characters and relationships are involved which are never milked for cheap laughs, and even in the above case it's later revealed that Tavros belongs to a species where Everyone Is Bi, so his discomfort was entirely based around the unwanted sexual descriptions rather than the gay implications.
    • On the other hand, earlier MS Paint Adventures works did tend to fall into this, especially the running gag revolving around gay porn in which the entire joke seemed to be "Haha! Gay porn!"
  • The Key Of Awesome's parody of Eminem and Dr. Dre's "I Need A Doctor" is based around mocking the unintentionally homoerotic tone of the video by portraying Eminem as being secretly in love with Dre, who he attempts to make out with while Dre is comatose. This backfires when Dre comes to and freaks out. Things get awkward until Elton John appears to them in a vision and suggests they just make out, join the pride parade and have fun, so they skip off together arm-in-arm.
  • Buttlord GT.
  • Epic rap battles of history had an episode with Gandalf and Dumbledore. Of course there were plenty of references to the latter's sexuality, including a Lockhard expy as a boy toy.
  • Happens in Zero Punctuation, particularly in his reviews of Army of Two (where he berates himself for calling Salem and Rios gay) and Guitar Hero 3 (which is one long Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?).
  • Little Kuriboh does this frequently in Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series and Naruto the Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show. While some of them are obviously a Take That toward the Ho Yay Fan Dumb (see the page quote for Het Is Ew for an example), he often invents homosexual qualities or uses Character Exaggeration for the sake of comedy. A thing of note, though, is that Little Kuriboh is openly bisexual.

 Hokage: What's with all the gay jokes? You homophobic or something?

Iruka: Geez, Hokage, it's just a joke!


Western Animation


 Finn: We were just trying to beat the heat, 'cause we've got a lava man in front of our house, and he is hot!

Jake: *nugs him* Woooooo!

Finn: Wait, that's not what I meant. I mean 'hot hot', not 'sexy hot'.

Jake: You did mean 'sexy hot'!

    • Of course, Finn is 13, so this kind of humour is probably to be expected...
  • Family Guy is fond of this, most commonly between Stewie and Brian. It's notable that gay jokes revolving around Stewie are near constant in later episodes, and yet any time they want to include a serious romance he's paired with a girl. And yet the word 'bisexual' is never even hinted at...
  • In American Dad, their neighbors Greg and Terry encompass this. They are gay; that's the joke. Some various topics are brought up because of this in episodes, such as the two wanting to adopt a child, one telling his father that he is gay, etc.
  • The Simpsons does this a lot, especially whenever Smithers is around.
  • The gay character in Archer is mostly fodder for gay jokes.

Real Life

Matthew Splawn.


  • Most jokes about Prison Rape come under this banner as much as they do about Black Comedy Rape.
  • John Cena would regularly make jokes at the expense of Michael Cole. The punchline to all of them are basically, "ur gay. Hur-hur-hur."
  • Michael McIntyre tends to play his Camp Straight-ness for these kinds of laughs while making sure the audience knows he's married with kids.
  • Anytime someone is in a literal closet for any reason, especially when they are planning to come out of it, you can reasonably expect someone to make a joke about it. It's practically joke-bait in and of itself.