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Simply put, military humor, Love It or Hate It. This particular brand of funny centers on stereotypically dim-witted military personnel, asshole officers, and naive recruits.
Comes in two flavors: Wartime and Peacetime. Expect a wartime military farce to turn Darker and Edgier in the penultimate act when the "real war" comes calling for the characters.
Anime & Manga
- Martian Successor Nadesico includes some military farce, even if it's only to contrast the difference between the real military and the Nadesico's crew of oddball civilian contractors.
- Swedish comic 91:an Karlsson has been going on this theme since 1932. Yes. It's still being published.
- As is 91 Stomperud, its licensed Norwegian equivalent. It began in 1937.
- Flygsoldat 113 Bom (the Air Force) and Flottans gossar, Frisk och Rask (the Navy) aren't, however, but they had a good long publishing history. Basically, up until very recently Sweden had a conscript army for a very long time, so almost all adult Swedish males could relate to military humour. Beetle Bailey is also absurdly popular in Sweden for the same reason.
- Beetle Bailey.
- Sad Sack.
- PVT Murphy's Law
- Bill Mauldin's Willie and Joe, published in during WWII, and later collected in Up Front and Back Home. He made fun of the top brass so well General Patton threatened to stop publication of Stars and Stripes, but Eisenhower came to Mauldin's defense due to the comics' morale-boosting effect.
- The Carry On films visited this theme several times:
- Carry On Sergeant
- Carry On Follow That Camel
- Carry On England
- In The Army Now
- Delta Farce, starring Larry the Cable Guy and Danny Trejo.
- Hot Shots and Hot Shots part Deux; parodies of Top Gun and Rambo respectively
- Mister Roberts, which is about the Navy for a change.
- Dr. Strangelove
- No Time for Sergeants presents an Air Force take on the genre
- Catch-22 is military farce turned up to eleven
- The Wackiest Ship In The Army.
- Operation Petticoat about a pink submarine.
- Down Periscope is another submarine example.
- Private Benjamin, the subsequent TV series even moreso.
- Buck Privates, starring Abbott and Costello.
- I Was a Male War Bride, a Very Loosely Based on a True Story 1949 film with Cary Grant as a French army captain who ends up Disguised in Drag as a U.S. army nurse in order to accompany his U.S. Women's Army Corps wife back to America after World War II. (This was because the Pentagon had only anticipated war brides, not war grooms.)
- Modern readers of M*A*S*H may be surprised to find that the original book was more about military farce than social commentary. Later books in the series do include a lot of social commentary, but it's conservative social commentary.
- Captain Fatso was just one a series of little remembered but once popular navy farces written by Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery.
- The Ship With the Flat Tire
- The McAuslan series by George Macdonald Fraser consists of affectionate, semi-fictional Armed Farces stories. His Quartered Safe Out Here is a less farcical, less fictional (though still quite funny) memoir.
- Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan. Based on a True Story, but no less farcical.
- Hašek’s classic satire The Good Soldier Svejk is about the lunatic ineptitude of the Austro-Hungarian Army in WW 1 seen through the eyes of the cunning peasant soldier Svejk.
- Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy is a story of a man who trains to be an elite commando in World War Two... and spends almost the entire war dealing with pointless bureaucratic red tape and farcical incompetence. Only once in the entire war does he actually even see a German soldier with his own two eyes, and that is an indication that he has gotten hopelessly lost and accidentally gone too far toward enemy lines. This series was based on Waugh's own experience as a Royal Marine during the war, during which he participated in several military actions... all of which were incompetently-managed and utterly ineffective fiascoes.
- A section specifically made for military humor has always been a tradition for Reader's Digest magazine.
- Discworld has some examples, such as Monstrous Regiment and portions of Jingo.
- Mary Gentle's Grunts! has military joking aplenty. From the hapless recruits under Gunnery Sergeant Ashnak early in the evolution of the Orc Marines to the equally hapless elf recruits and their orc trainer Sgt. Dakashnit later on. Dakashnit's advice for her recruits on what to do if their parachute fails, in particular.
- Dads Army .
- It Ain't Half Hot Mum.
- Blackadder Goes Forth, set in the trenches of World War One.
- The first couple seasons of Mash included a lot of military farce before they decided to concentrate more on general social commentary. However, at least some military humor was inevitable, given the setting.
- F Troop
- McHales Navy
- The Army Game
- The Phil Silvers Show
- Gomer Pyle USMC
- Major Dad inevitably included some miliary farce (as you would expect from the title) though the true focus was on Domestic Comedy.
- C.P.O. Sharkey with Don Rickles.
- At Ease, a short-lived '80s sitcom starring Jimmie Walker of Good Times fame.
- Hogan's Heroes
- "Meet The Soldier" trailer for Team Fortress 2 is a perfect example.
- Team Fortress 2 in general, really. As opposed to a typical realistic military First-Person Shooter, everything uses a cartoony style and the different playable classes are larger-than-life humorous personalities.
- Air Force Blues, though the characters are more like Bunny Ears Lawyers than full-on incompetent.
- Gone With the Blastwave makes use of this in a post-apocalyptic conflict. As one character asks: "Why haven't we lost this war yet?"
- Crew Dogs: Similar to Air Force Blues, a comic about a squadron of Bunny Ears Aviators.
- Terminal Lance, a comic based on enlisted Marine life (You can't spell "Disgruntled" without "Grunt"!)
- Red vs. Blue practically embodies this trope.
Church: Holy crap, who is running this army?!?
- Private Snafu, a series of army "training" films made during WW 2.
- Donald Duck starred in a series of Wartime Cartoons in which he played a bumbling private under Sergeant Pete.
- The Ren and Stimpy episode "In The Army".
- The Futurama episodes "War Is The H-Word" and "When Aliens Attack". Indeed, any episode centered on Zapp Brannigan will have some elements of this.
- Also "Roswell That Ends Well", with the antics of Private Ennis, Fry's grandfather
- Looney Tunes short "Forward March Hare", in which Bugs Bunny joins the army and is treated like you'd expect an anthropomorphic rabbit to be treated if inducted into the army: with disbelief or thoughts of one losing one's mind.