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When a character expresses a moment of joy in the most deadpan manner possible. Often by saying the word "yay" or "woo hoo" in a flat monotone or other tone of voice that does not exhibit joy.

Can frequently be used sarcastically, when the "joy" is invoked by something very much not joyful. In this circumstance, it is inevitably said by the Deadpan Snarker. Just as often, however, the character in question may actually be truly joyful, and merely that he or she simply isn't an emotional or expressive person, or is incapable of being loud. Deadpan or Flat is the character's normal tone of voice, even when expressing happiness.

Compare with And There Was Much Rejoicing. See also Flat What and Sarcasm Mode. Not to be confused with Petite Pride.

Examples of Flat Joy include:


  • Ben Stein did this at the end of the eye drop commercials that featured him.
  • In the radio version of a 7Up ad, Brad Garret is used to show how 7Up can turn someone who is a curmudgeon on the outside (expressing Sarcastic Joy) to happy on the inside (where he's singing his own version of "Everyone Knows It's Windy").

Anime & Manga

  • In the anime version of Azumanga Daioh, Yukari-sensei sets up a dodgeball game with her, Tomo, and Yomi on one team, and Osaka, Chiyo and Kaorin on the other. Yukari enthusiastically introduces her team as "Team Yukari", prompting an insincere "Yay" from Tomo and Yomi. Osaka, meanwhile, introduces her team with equal enthusiasm as "Team Sea Slug", over the protests of her team-mates, who also end up pulling off this trope.

 Osaka: Go Team Sea Slug!

Chiyo & Kaorin (unenthusiastic) Yay...



  • The reaction to the eating of Robin's minstrels in Monty Python and The Holy Grail is a very unenthusiastic "yay".
    • The reaction to meeting up again was a flat yay, but the reaction to eating the minstrels was a slightly less flat yay.


Live Action TV


 Buffy: I'm gonna give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every person on the face of the Earth to do it.

Xander: Yay?

  • Dollhouse: Laurence Dominic's reaction when he and Echo finally get what the guy in the Attic meant when he said that they have to "enjoy themselves."

  Mr. Dominic: Good Times.


 Joel: And the crowd goes wild.

Joel, Tom Servo, and Crow in unison: [monotone] Yaaaaaaaaaaay.

  • A common occurrence in Stargate Universe. Whenever Dr. Rush, and sometimes, Eli Wallace, come up with a "solution" to a problem that ends up highlighting difficulties ahead, Dr. Volker will respond to the news with a very deadpan "Yaaaaaaay." Since Dr. Brody is no fan of Dr. Rush, he'll often join in with a bit more sarcasm.
    • In one of the last episodes, when they were forced by aggressive automated drones to refuel using a class-O supergiant star instead of the usual red dwarf, and were facing a future of being dogged by said drones, Dr. Rush pointed out that at least they had a full tank of gas. Volker, Brody, AND Colonel Young all responded with a rather joyless "Yay."
  • George's surrogate in Arrested Development ignores affect: "Oh boy. Goodie."
  • In one episode of Scrubs, Ted reacts very deadpan to some good news. When asked about it, he says that he frowns so much it now hurts to smile. Later, when he gets even better news, he smiles, and his mouth erupts in pain.



  • The first lines of "Pulled" from The Addams Family, sung by Wednesday Addams: "I don't have a sunny disposition / I'm not known for being too amused / My demeanor's locked in one position / See my face -- I'm enthused."

Video Games

  • Wizardry 8 takes this to its logical extreme with one of its male "Loner" voice sets. Every single line is read as though the character is perpetually bored or depressed (although balanced with some vicious Deadpan Snarking). Just imagine flat lines like: "Woo-hoo," on killing a high-level monster; "How exciting," on a level up; "I'm... very excited," on entering the Very Definitely Final Dungeon; and "I'm... filled with glee," on winning the game.
  • Mass Effect 2 has a character named Niftu Cal, who is high as a kite and has delusions of grandeur and is convinced he can take on the Boss Fight alone. The player can either encourage him to take a nap, or give the least enthusiastic 'Charge!' humanly possible.
  • Portal: "Wheeeee..."
  • Roclelle, from Left 4 Dead 2, especially concerning Ellis' and Coach's enthusiasm over Jimmy Gibbs Jr.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:

  Pandora: You made it. Yay.


Web Comics


 "...I'm really excited about this, actually."

"ME TOO--wait. Are you being facetious?"


Western Animation


 Dracula: I liiiiike that!

    • They also cheer when something bad happens to Drac.

 Dracula: Pipe down!

  • The crowd in the old Tom Slick cartoon shorts always gave a very unenthusiastic, half-hearted, deadpan "yay"s and equally unenthusiastic "boo"s.
  • When Lemongrab of Adventure Time tries to comprehend the concepts of humor and pranks, the result is one of the most unsettlingly joyless laughs in television history. The volume is there, but he doesn't smile, and looks more "dully surprised" than anything else. It just makes everyone else uncomfortable, and he goes back to his regular, bitter self within a matter of seconds.
    • There's also a moment where he says flatly, "Me, too. I'm excited, too."
      • That part was more of a subversion. The way he expresses himself outwardly doesn't always match up to how he's actually feeling. The creators of the show said he REALLY likes bland foods such as mashed carrots lovingly boiled of all flavor. He actually WAS genuinely excited about the meal- he just has weird ways of expressing his emotions sometimes. And he was probably still annoyed by Peppermint Butler screaming. He wasn't being sarcastic.
  • Disney's Aladdin, when "Prince Ali" arrives in the palace.

 Sultan: I'm delighted to meet you. This is my royal vizier, Jafar. He's delighted too.

Jafar: [Deadpan] Ecstatic.

    • Also from Aladdin, when Al is fighting Jafar as a giant snake, Genie is cheering him on enthusiastically. When Jafar tells him to stay out of it, Genie then cheers flatly, at first.

  Genie: Jafar, Jafar, he's our man. If he can't do it — GREAT!

  • In Kim Possible, Dr. Drakken is disappointed by Shego's lack of response to his gloating over his plan:

 Drakken: A little sidekick enthusiasm wouldn't hurt, you know.

Shego: [deadpan] Woo hoo. Extra hoo. Happy?

  • Subverted in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Sonic Rainboom": Fluttershy is sincere when she practices cheering for Rainbow Dash, but it comes out as this because she's so meek and soft-spoken, at least until the end, Rainbow Dash pulls off the title move and saves Rarity and the Wonderbolts' lives, causing Fluttershy to start break into cheering so ecstatic her voice cracks. Yay.
    • Played straight in the episode "Look Before You Sleep". Rarity and Applejack, both of whom are not in good terms with one another at the time, express this when Twilight Sparkle announces their slumber party.
  • Lor in The Weekenders is a bad actor, so when she's given the line "After all these years I finally feel truly alive," this is how it turns out.
  • Raven in Teen Titans would occasionally indulge in the Deadpan Snarker version of this trope:

 Cyborg (under the effects of a computer virus): I know what we should do! Lets go get some waffles! Raven you like waffles, dont you?

Raven: More than life itself.

  • Tiny Toon Adventures had an episode where the students of Acme Looniversity face their rivals Perfecto Prep in a football game. Although the Acme cheerleaders (Babs, Fifi, and Shirley) are quite enthusiastic, all the Perfecto cheerleaders can manage is a halfhearted "Perfecto Prep. Rah."
  • On Phineas and Ferb, the incredibly sarcastic Candace can sometimes fall into this trope.

 Phineas: You're on fire, Candace!

Candace: Yay. [Beat] I'm not actually on fire, am I?

  • The heroine of Daria, quite often. Usually the sarcastic variety, but even when legitimately happy, the most one usually gets out of her is a slight, sly smile.

Real Life

  • Some people with Aspergers/Autism can have this problem sometimes. Feeling it but not quite able to express it.
  • "Whoop-dee-damn-doo" - Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, upon hearing that he had been confirmed to that position.
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