5 Unintentionally Hilarious Moments in Every True Crime Show

Here's an interest you don't include in your dating profile bio: I love watching true crime documentaries. I actually prefer the term "murder shows," which I imagine would sound even less attractive to a prospective mate.

I've been in a relationship for well over a year now, though, so I've been slowly introducing all the weird shit I used to enjoy back into my life over the past few months. To that end, almost all of the television I've watched recently has been nothing but murder shows. I've burned through at least 20 seasons worth of episodes in that time, covering shows from Deadly Women to The Nightmare Next Door and everything in between (provided it's on Netflix). I've seen it all lately as it relates to grisly crime porn, and most of it doesn't make for great comedy material.

That can't be said for the things on this list, though! These are the five funniest moments you'll see in any true crime documentary.

#5. The Part Where Nobody Locks Their Doors

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Here is the opening line from approximately 9 out of 10 murder shows: "It was the kind of small town where nobody locks their doors."

Heads up: If you live in one of those towns, start locking your goddamn door. There are killers coming after you, and you would know it if you watched these shows. You don't, though, and that's why murder shows will never go away. For time eternal, people in towns with populations in the four-to-five digit range will always take the lack of hustle and bustle around them as a sign that they're safe from all of the horrors of "city life."

So people don't lock their doors and what happens? At some point, some random lunatic blows into town, walks through one of those readily available unlocked doors and just murders the shit out of someone, usually a woman. It's so common among the stories featured on these shows that I'm genuinely surprised when I hear a news story about a serial killer terrorizing a major city, even if it went unspeakably well for Jason Voorhees.

Not to mention dozens of satisfied moviegoers.

Why put up with all the extra hassle that comes with trying to kill someone who actually takes steps to protect themselves when you could just go to the nearest one stoplight town and have a veritable buffet of potential victims sleeping cozily behind their unlocked doors?

That's the mentality that the murder show killer takes, and that's why his (or her) crimes get featured on television shows. Not having to expend energy hassling with locked doors or security measures of any sort means more time for cleanup, and that, of course, makes a case way harder to solve. And that, in turn, makes for some fantastic television.

The action isn't always contained to one location, though. Sometimes, the crime happens in one spot and the body is dumped in another. That's when you often encounter the next comedic moment that hides in the shadows of every murder show.

#4. The Mannequin Hypothesis

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When a person finds a dead body somewhere out in the open, what's the first thing they say when they're interviewed about it later? Usually, something along the lines of, "At first, I assumed it was just a mannequin."

Well here's my question: Why in the fuck would it be a mannequin? What kind of fashion hub is this crime happening in that mannequins would outnumber people? Because that's what it would take, right? If we're talking science (and I usually am), for the probability of stumbling upon a mannequin in the middle of nowhere to be higher than stumbling upon a dead body there would have to be significantly more mannequins than people in the area. Right? I'm legitimately asking. I'm not going to read the comments and see if any of you answered, of course. Totally asking, though.

Personally, if I was walking in an open field in some rural area, I'd be way more creeped out if I found a mannequin than if I found a dead body. In fact if I was walking with a friend and they spied a leg or something sticking out from underneath a pile of brush, I'm pretty sure the initial response that would emanate from my gut would be something like, "Yeah, it's probably a dead body. It's not like a mannequin is going to just walk itself out here, right?"

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Dramatic reenactment

I'm especially confident that would be my response now that I've written it down in advance.

Anyway, I expect people to turn up in remote areas. The fact that people stumble upon dead bodies in remote areas proves that people do in fact venture into those areas from time to time. Why would it be so surprising that one of them might drop dead while they're out there?

That said, if by chance you do happen upon a mannequin that's been dumped unceremoniously in the middle of nowhere, just go ahead and treat it like a crime scene anyway. Even if they haven't technically gone afoul of the law yet, the weirdo who drags a life-size doll to the middle of a desolate area isn't too far away from giving it a try. Or at least they're on the verge of trying something society could do without. Best to put an end to those shenanigans before the dry runs turn into actual felonies.

Good luck getting that kind of extra effort out of the law enforcement officials who populate the casts of most murder shows, though. As the next point will show, they've got other shit to take care of besides policing.

#3. The Detective's Trivial Pursuit Montage

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This is a feature exclusive to Investigation Discovery's psychopath documenting juggernaut The Nightmare Next Door, but it's so bizarre it would border on a disservice to you if I didn't mention it.

For some reason, every episode of The Nightmare Next Door takes a break from the murder-y action to deliver a quick vignette about the bullshit hobbies the lead detective who worked the case in question dabbles in to blow off a little steam. If I'm being totally honest, I think just the fact that they drop this into the middle of a television show documenting a real person's real brutal murder at all is kind of weird. It's a problem that's made worse by what I do for a living.

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Get ripped?

No, the other thing. As an employee of the Internet, I do a lot of my work at home from the comfort of my own couch. Unsurprisingly, I often have the television on while I'm working, and it's during these moments that The Nightmare Next Door and its crazy detective montages turn extra hilarious. Few things are quite as jarring as turning on an episode of this show, drinking in the horrifying details of the crime, getting lost in work for 15 minutes or so and then looking back up at the screen to see the lead detective jamming on a Beatles song in his garage.

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"Can we talk about how I'm murdering this cover of 'Yesterday' for a second?"

It's a long and winding road that leads from grisly murder to guitar solo, or at least you'd think that would be the case. So it's even more baffling when you realize that the montage is happening with half the episode still to go, leaving you to wonder exactly what this detective is celebrating. Did the victim come back to life? That's certainly something to rock over, but it has yet to happen a single time.

Nevertheless, these celebratory montages about maxin' and relaxin' show up in every episode. At least they're slightly more flattering than the next law enforcement related point.

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Adam Tod Brown

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