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The use of captions in visual media in order to invoke a humorous effect. Specifically, the caption uses the scene as a joke setup and delivers a punchline to it. This includes commenting the scene, pointing out the obvious or even absolute non sequiturs.

Is the core premise to Caption Contests. Sister Tropes to Fun with Subtitles.

Examples of Caption Humor include:


  • The Spoony Experiment uses these a lot.
  • Help uses them. The funniest moment is probably when a tiger enters the scene and the caption "A Tiger" pops up on the screen.
  • Sometimes used on this very Wiki.
  • Often used on Flickr, especially with photos of museum displays where the real exhibit caption can't be seen. One example had a human standing next to a rocket for scale and the caption was: "You should never stand this close to a rocket. Unless you are demonstrating how cool it is."
  • In The Onion AV Club, they used to do a humorous caption for a pic from one of the movies being reviewed that week, but they haven't done it in years.
  • The "Spanish Inqusition" sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus has the caption "DIABOLICAL LAUGHTER" followed with "DIABOLICAL ACTING".
    • And the "Architects" sketch, in which the caption "SATIRE" starts flashing over a very obvious piece of satire.
  • The opening credits of Monty Python and The Holy Grail has this, with inane comments about mooses and llamas.
  • Looney Tunes had funny scientific names for the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.
  • There was a very similar thing in the opening of The Day Today: Chris Morris would read out an ostensible headline and then a piece of genuine news footage would play to humourous effect.
  • Running rampant on the Internet, particularly Imageboards and Deviant ART, are De/Motivators, which are designed in the vein of typical office motivational posters.
  • Chopping Block pages consist entirely of an usually silent picture and a caption.
  • From Cracked, we got Craptions!
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday would have amusing sarcastic captions show up every now and again. Caricatures of the guests would serve the same purpose. Note: these were all done live.
  • Burn Notice initially used captions to identify people that Michael was dealing with, but they have started to become more comical, such as repeating an earlier assessment of a character, identifying them as "Arrogant Jerk" or something similar.
  • A scene in Thank You for Smoking has a terribly funny derogatory caption when the boss says the word "environmentalist".
  • Used in recent X-Men comics, providing a brief, usually humorous bio of any character who shows up, including these two, which popped up during a Fastball Special.

 Colussus: Bio-organic steel. Fastball tops out at 220 miles per hour.

Wolverine: Claws and healing factor. Currently moving at 220 miles per hour.

  • Much of the humor of "The Word" segments on The Colbert Report arises from the captions at the side of the screen, clarifying or elaborating upon what Stephen says aloud.
    • Sometimes the captions take a life of their own. When Colbert started bashing on Islam in one episode, the captions tried to leave, but Colbert forced them to stay.
  • Many YouTube gameplay videos utilize this technique to remain interesting.
  • Used often in Ouran High School Host Club as a lot of its humor revolves around wordplay.
  • Regular feature of any magazine aimed at young adults. Particularly the case in lad's mags like FHM and Loaded.
  • In the DVD Bonus Content for Daybreakers, there's a behind the scenes look at shooting a particular scene, with "Drunken Idiot Ruining Take" following, well, a drunken idiot running in the background ruining the take.
  • The Blurb versions of Happy Tree Friends episodes.
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