The Funny Death: The night before the tournament final, the Average Joe's Irish trainer, 'Patches' O'Houlihan (Rip Torn) is killed by a falling "Luck of the Irish" sign. Oh, the irony.
If It Had Been Played Straight: A serious movie about Dodgeball would surely have ended up becoming a lecture on Health & Safety in the sporting world.
The Funny Death: Gang member Emil (Paul McCrane) accidentally drives into a vat of toxic waste. Seeking help, his hideously disfigured body is hit by his colleagues' car and breaks apart in a bloody, oozing mess.
If It Had Been Played Straight: Emil would have died instantly from exposure to the poison. It's the coup de grace with the car that transforms the moment into cartoonish splat-stick.
Live And Let Die (1973)
The Funny Death: New 007 Roger Moore raises the bar for great James Bond death scenes by taking out Dr Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) with a compressed air pellet. "He always did have an inflated opinion of himself," quips Bond.
If It Had Been Played Straight: Notwithstanding the one-liner, the director would have needed a bigger FX budget to replace Kotto's stunt dummy with something more realistic.
The Funny Death: The Joker (Jack Nicholson) makes a deal with mob boss Rotelli (Edwin Craig), but his handshake conceals a lethal buzzer that electrocutes the gangster. "I've got a live one here!" the Joker cackles.
If It Had Been Played Straight: Dark-edged humour is the Joker's stock-in-trade but Nicholson's ad-lib pushes the scene into the realms of funny ha ha as well as funny peculiar.
Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985)
The Funny Death: John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) unlooses an arrow in the direction of the Vietnamese soldier who is trying to kill him. But not just any arrow - it's an EXPLODING arrow.
If It Had Been Played Straight: It'd just be a normal arrow and the poor guy would keel over with all of his body parts in situ.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
The Funny Death: In a film full of inventive kill scenes, it takes something special to stand out. Namely, Smith (Clive Owen) shoving a carrot into a henchman's gob and then punching it through the back of his head.
If It Had Been Played Straight: They'd ditch the vegetarian diet and stick to good old-fashioned fighting methods.
Dumb And Dumber (1994)
The Funny Death: In a dream sequence, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) plucks out the still-beating heart of a crazed chef and drops it into a doggy bag.
If It Had Been Played Straight: Remember Indiana Jones And the Temple Of Doom ?
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
The Funny Death: South African diplomat and racist bastard Arjen Rudd (Joss Ackland) tries to hide behind his diplomatic immunity. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) shoots him and declares, "It's just been revoked!"
If It Had Been Played Straight: The final scene of the film would involve Murtaugh hauled before the authorities for breaking protocol.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
The Funny Death: Champion boxer Julius (V.C. Dupree) spends two minutes trying to fight Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) to no avail. When he stops, exhausted, Jason decapitates Julius with a single punch and his head is sent flying off a building.
If It Had Been Played Straight: A little more tension wouldn't have gone amiss. As it stands, two minutes of a badly-choreographed Julius scampering around an unmoving Jason doesn't really cut it.
Burn After Reading (2008)
The Funny Death: Two stars collide, as Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) finds Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) hiding in a closet and is so shocked his unloads his gun into Chad's head.
If It Had Been Played Straight: Chad would have lived long enough to allow the film's plotlines to join together. Instead, his shock departure maintains the tone of manic farce that keeps Harry in the dark about what's going on.