Vik Chandra

Verbal Irony

It is the use of vocabulary to describe something in a way that is other than it seems. Often, but not always, verbal irony is used with a sarcastic tone or nature. Verbal irony is often a comment that conveys a different meaning than what it may seem to be.

When can it be used/Examples

Verbal irony is used in a variety of circumstances. It may be used in general conversation or also in media. Television sitcoms and movies often use verbal irony, as do many political pundits.

  • Soft like a brick
  • Hard as putty
  • Clear like dirt
  • As pleasant as surgery

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Situational Irony

Situational Irony occurs when the expected outcome does not happen. This is also called an irony of events. The outcome can be serious or humorous.


  • A pilot had a fear of heights
  • A fire station burns down
  • The marriage counselor files for divorce
  • The police station gets robbed
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - Romeo finds Juliet drugged and assumes she is dead. He kills himself then she awakens, see that he is dead and kills herself.
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Dramatic Irony

Dramatic Irony occurs when the audience knows something the characters do not. Because of this understanding, the words of the characters take on a different meaning. This can create intense suspense or humor.


  • In a scary movie, the character walks into a house and the audience knows the killer is in the house.
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo thinks Juliet is dead and the audience knows she is not.
  • In Toy Story, the toys move when the people are not there. Also, Buzz thinks he is a real space ranger.
  • Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad is a DEA agent looking for crystal-meth producer "Heisenberg”. We know that "Heisenberg" is Schrader’s brother-in-law, Walter White.

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Your Turn!

Come up with an example for either verbal, dramatic , or situational Irony

Work Cited

  • "Examples of Verbal Irony." YourDictionary. Dictionary.Com, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
  • "Examples of Situational Irony." YourDictionary., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
  • "Dramatic Irony Examples." YourDictionary., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.