Archive for the ‘charientismus’ Category

Charientismus in Bridesmaids

December 9, 2011 3 comments

The next example of charientismus I found comes from the movie Bridesmaids. This is one of my favorite movies, and when I picked my rhetorical concept I knew I would find an example of charientismus in the film. Warning: the clip is really gross. In the scene that I am examining, all of the birdesmaids have just eaten lunch at an exotic restaurant. Now, they are all trying on very expensive bridesmaid dresses at a luxurious dress shop. The situation becomes very serious when all the bridesmaids seem to get nauseous. 3 out of the 5 ladies actually have to run to the bathroom because they feel so sick. At this point, it becomes clear that they probably have food poisoning. Kristen Wiig, the bridesmaid who took them to the restaurant claims that she does not feel sick. She says, “In fact, Helen I’m hungry and I wish I had a snack” This is charientismus because she is saying something lighthearted and somewhat funny in this situation. When she states she is not hungry, Helen then offers her a chocolate covered almond- which obviously makes her nauseous. The fact that Kristen said that she was hungry completely changed the course of the scene and made the serious situation into a humorous one.

The Link: 

Categories: charientismus, film, humor

Charientismus in George Lopez Show

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The George Lopez Show gets cancelled- Lopez himself makes joke about it

            Charientismus is very evident in this example I have chosen. On an episode of the George Lopez Show, Lopez explains that the show is being cancelled. He says, “In case you haven’t heard the news, TBS has decided not to renew Lopez tonight and tomorrow will be our last night. The unemployment rate is high and for Latinos it just got a little higher”. This is evidently a serious situation (especially for Lopez) and he is making a joke out of it. In most of the other examples I’ve used of charientismus- people are using it to be “smart-alecks”, but in t his situation Lopez is actually using charientismus to his benefit and making light of an otherwise sad situation. Lopez is portraying himself as carefree and dignified. He could have spoken badly about TBS but he chose to make a joke out of it- which is ironic because his show is a comedy.

The Link:

Charientismus in Days of Our Lives

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Days of Our Lives: Smoothing it Over

The next text that has charientismus is an episode of Days of Our Lives. In this episode, the younger members of the cast who attend college are working on their website. This website is something they have been taking very seriously and it is affecting their everyday lives. If they mess up on the website, many bad things might happen to them- including expulsion. In this episode, they are dealing with a malfunction in the website and their stress level seems very high. One of the guys is talking about how they must fix this and it is a very serious issue. Then, the other college student who is a part of this website says, “Listen ladies, we need to keep this in the vault.” By saying this, he is making light of the very serious situation. Obviously, the people he is speaking with are not ladies- and by saying this he is making a joke in the serious situation. I do not think that the other guys think it is funny, though.

The Link:Days of Our Lives

Categories: charientismus, TV episode

Charientismus in Pan Am

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Pan Am: Episode 5

            The next example of charientismus I found was in an episode of Pan Am. In this episode, one of  the stewardesses is talking to one of her co-workers about how she pawned her engagement ring. The stewardess is very upset and is looking for guidance in the situation. When referring to the pawn, she says “They just sold it to a man in Harlem.. they can do that?” Her co-worker (a pilot) responds with, “It’s in the how to pawn manual.” Obviously, there is no “How to pawn manual” so he is turning this serious situation into a funny one by his comment. This is a clear usage of charientismus. The stewardess does not seem amused by his comment and rolls her eyes.


Charientismus: Interview with Charlie Sheen

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Interview with Charlie Sheen

            The next example I found of charientismus was an interview with Charlie Sheen. Throughout the interview, the reporter has a very serious tone and asked Sheen solemn questions. Sheen, for the most part, does not fully answer the questions or he responds back with a funny comment. One of these examples is when the reporter says, “your behavior is coming off to be erratic.” Sheen responds, “You borrow my brain for 5 minutes and be like ‘dude can’t handle it–unplug me”, then moves his hands rapidly. Sheen is making this serious situation humorous by his response. It is obvious that he is trying to make somewhat of a joke out of the interview. Then, later on in the interview the reporter says that some people are saying he is bipolar. Sheen responds with, “Wow, what does that mean?” This is turning  the serious statement into a joke by Sheen’s witty response. Additionally, in the same conversation he says he’s “Bi-Winning”. Here, he is making a joke out of the serious term Bipolar. Then, the reporter asks Sheen when the last time he “used” was (obviously referring to using drugs). Sheen says in response, “I use a blender, I use a vacuum cleaner.. I use household items..” It’s clear that Sheen knows the context of the situation, but that he is trying to make something funny out of the serious question about his drug use. The reporter asks, “Tell me about the last time you used drugs.” Sheen says, “I probably took more drugs than anybody could survive… I was bangin’ 7 gram rocks.” Again, Sheen is saying a witty comment in response to a serious question. Later on in the interview, the reporter asks, “You don’t worry that you’ll die when you  take that many drugs?” Sheen says, “Dying’s for fools.” It seems that Sheen has a witty comment to say for every serious question or comment the reporter. This interview is a prime example of charientismus and how a serious situation can be made into a funny one by a simple comment.


Categories: charientismus, humor, news

Charientismus in The Office

December 8, 2011 2 comments

The Office: Michael Scott makes stress relief session comedic

The first example of charientismus I am choosing to analyze is a segment from The Office. This show is known its funny characters and ironic situations. In this episode, all of the people that work at Dunder Mifflin are participating in a stress relief session. This session is supposed to be very serious and is being used to help the employees relieve some of their work related stress. Michael Scott, the regional manager, is leading the session and tells everyone to come in and sit down. Meredith, one of the employees, then sits in front of Michael. She sits Indian style in front of him with a dress on. Michael then says, “My God if you’re wearing a dress please keep your knees together nobody wants to see that.” Michael is turning this serious situation into a funny one by saying that comment to Meredith. After he says the statement, it is obvious that the mood of the room changes. Meredith began walking in very serious, and once she sat down and heard the comment, she looked very uncomfortable. The use of charientismus is evident here by Michael’s funny comment in a serious situation.


Charientismus Overview

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Charientismus is defined by Lanham as: “Type of irony; clothing a disagreeable sense with agreeable expressions; soothing over a difficulty, or turning aside antagonism with a joke.” Charientismus is very prevalent in many different types of texts. When looking for examples, I mainly found humorous examples that the “funny” character in a particular text said. The Daily Trope defines charientismus as, “Mollifying harsh words by answering them with a smooth and appeasing mock”  Once I read that definition, I realized that charientismus is literally present in almost all sitcoms and comedies.

A one sentence example that I found is: “Don’t have a cow.”  This expression is usually used when people are interacting with each other and one is very mad or upset, the other person in the situation could respond with, “Don’t have a cow” This shows charientismus because while one person in the situation is very serious and mad, the other is almost making a joke about it by comparing someone’s emotions with a cow.

Charientismus is seen in modern texts and in texts from long ago. In my project, I am mainly going to focus on charientismus in movies and television shows. The use of charientismus is important to understand because its use affects the texts and the content of each individual text.

Lanham, Richard A. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms. Berkeley: University of California, 1991. Print.

“Charientismus | The Daily Trope.” The Daily Trope | Figures of Speech with Examples–visitors Can Post Their Own Examples. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. <;.

Categories: charientismus, overview