Your Ultimate Guide to Horror Comedy Tropes

Horror comedy tropes

Are you ready to write your own horror comedy? Well, it’s easier said than done. After all, the horror and comedy genre are just two of the hardest genres to write for. So, combining the two difficult genres results in a genre that’s undoubtedly harder to execute.

Again, the keyword is that horror comedies are hard to execute. But that doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to do. After all, there are plenty of shows and films that pulled off this genre quite well. And if you want your creation to be just as successful, here are some tips that’ll help you how to write a fantastic horror comedy below.

Make sure to balance the horror and comedy elements well

Again, you’re writing about a horror comedy. So it’s crucial that you execute the horror parts well and scare your viewers successfully. Even if there’s comedy in your film or show, the eerie aspects should still be taken as a threat by your viewers.

On the other hand, the comedic elements should work and stand out on their own. But don’t go overboard with the comedy elements that your film literally becomes a joke. Overall, it’s all about balancing the two elements, resulting in funny scenes that make the audience laugh and scary scenes that your audiences will be terrified of.

Make sure you know the rules of the genre

Like with any other film or show genre, you should be aware of the rules of your story. For instance, is yours focused on supernatural beings? Or does the story revolve centre on a haunted town?

No matter what the case may be, make sure that you understand your chosen horror genre’s rules. From there, you can utilize these rules to your advantage by exaggerating or breaking them to pull off a comedic scene.

Pick your horror-comedy tropes wisely

The next step is to pick the horror comedy tropes that best suit your story’s settings. And don’t be afraid to pick tropes that are deemed cliché! After all, a handful of movies reuse the same tropes repeatedly. At the end of the day, it’s all about how you execute these tropes into your story.

Different Kinds of Horror Comedy Tropes

As previously mentioned above, you can choose from a wide variety of horror comedy tropes to incorporate into your horror comedy film or show. Many of these elements are present in several popular horror comedies, so there’s a good chance you know some of these tropes below. Here they are:

  1. The classic jump scare

Almost every person who’s watched a single horror movie in their life knows the classic jump scare. In this horror comedy trope, the scene gets awfully quiet. The character (or group of characters) all do their best to go through a haunted area quietly.

The characters then try to enter a room and bam! An ominous being (or sometimes, just another person from the friend group or a harmless cat) suddenly enters the scene, scaring every watcher. Although it’s undoubtedly one of the most used tropes, executing it right will always frighten an audience.

  1. Eerie music that suggests something bad is bound to happen

Opposite to the trope above, this trope doesn’t feature the deafening silence that puts viewers on the edge of their seats. Instead, eerie music accompanies the terrifying scene awaiting a character, suggesting that something bad is bound to happen to them in the next few seconds.

  1. That scary evil clown

Although clowns are known as party entertainers, they’ve also become popular staples of horror comedies. Some people are genuinely scared of clowns that there’s a dedicated phobia for it! When done right, an evil killer clown can surely make your horror-comedy creation amazing.

And besides, the evil clown itself is the perfect combination of horror and comedy. Everyone knows that clowns are funny. However, their exaggerated facial features are enough to make everyone around them on edge. Accompany those with their killer antics, and they become the perfect ingredient to add to a horror comedy.

  1. The monster is back and alive

Success! The monster is finally killed by a person or a group of people. But why does the monster’s death seem too good to be true? It’s because it probably is. Later in the story, the characters get chased by the monster they thought was gone for good.

  1. The old, abandoned place or house

Whether it’s an old abandoned small house in the middle of nowhere or an eerie town miles away from the city, every sane person knows they should steer clear of these places for their safety. But since this is a horror comedy, there should always be a group of individuals who will try to enter grim areas.

  1. I wouldn’t go to “that suspicious spot” if I were you

A character hears strange sounds just outside their house in the middle of the night. Sometimes, the sound could be coming from their attic or bedroom closet. The said character tries to approach the source of the strange sounds, and everyone in the audience is frustrated, knowing that something bad will happen to them once they go to that suspicious spot.

  1. The possessed doll or toy

Everyone knows that any doll or toy starring in a horror movie or show is not just an ordinary plaything. Later in the story, everyone discovers that the doll or toy is possessed and becomes a scary killer toy that your protagonists must find a way to defeat.

  1. Cellphone service becomes unavailable

Picture this: your character is trying to enjoy their vacation in some vacation house (that is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere) when a strange person clad in a full tracksuit and a strange mask appears right in front of their home.

Well, they could always call the police for some help, right? Unfortunately, help is too far away. And it’s even more terrifying when the cellphone service becomes unavailable when the character needs it the most.

  1. A protagonist surrounded by a bunch of non-believers

The main character has seen it all and tries to warn the people around them. Unfortunately, everyone around them believes that the person has gone insane. These characters will even tell them that it’s all in their head. They only believe the main character’s warnings when it’s too late.

  1. The cursed artifact or item

Similar to the possessed doll or toy horror comedy tropes, the cursed ancient artifact is another item that has monstrous forces that will torment your characters throughout the story. Most plots go with ancient dug-up items such as amulets or rings, but you could always resort to modern-day items such as video game discs or cellphones for a neat twist.