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as in:  situational irony

She didn’t see the irony in acting like the mother she detested.
  when what happens is very different than what might be expected; or when things seem incongruous together — especially when amusing or an entertaining coincidence
 Mark word for later review on this computer
irony ironic ironies ironical
This is sometimes referred to as "situational irony".  The term is especially appropriate when actions have consequences opposite to those intended.

The expression ironic smile, generally references someone who is smiling (or often smiles) at this kind of situational irony.

All forms of irony involve the perception that things are not what they are said to be or what they might seem.
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  • She didn’t see the irony in acting like the mother she detested.
  • Ironically, he did not do as well when he concentrated on not making mistakes.
  • Ironically, her strongest supporters undermined her popularity through their extremism.
  • That would be the crowning irony, if it turns out that girls emerge stronger somehow from having the game rigged against them.
    Affirmative Action for Boys, Time Magazine (4/3/08)  --  Nancy Gibbs  --,9171,1727693,00.html(retrieved 04/15/08)

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  • Ironically, those who give up on beating the market and buy an index fund generally outperform those who try to pick the winning stocks.
  • Plus I hate my English teacher, Mrs. Harbor. ... Even though she’s probably only in her fifties, I’m pretty sure she’s losing it. That’s how it started with my grandmother: ... When my grandmother was still alive we would visit her, and even though I was no more than six, I remember thinking: I hope I die young. There’s a definition of irony for you, Mrs. Harbor. Or maybe foreshadowing?
    Lauren Oliver  --  Before I Fall
  • I attempt to look back up at him, lifting my hand over my eyes to shield the sun that’s glowing over his head like a halo. How ironic.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Hopeless
  • That’s the irony of it. She’s looking at me like I’m the crazy one, the dangerous one. Meanwhile, the guy downstairs who nearly fractured my skull and bled my brains all over the pavement is the savior.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Delirium
  • That’s the irony of Josh and me, and it shames me every time I think about it. He has no family. No one to love him. I’m surrounded by love and I don’t want any of it.
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility
  • And it was ironic to note that one of my most voluble supporters at the meeting was Iris Glover, the alleged root doctor and mistress of darkness whom I once had identified as the greatest threat to my survival on the island.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide

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  • Ironically, the proportion of Union soldiers who wrote about the slavery question was much greater, as we shall see.
    James M. McPherson  --  What They Fought For - 1861-1865
  • I could see it in their faces, and the irony stung more than I expected it to.  They’d taken in a monster, thinking it was a mouse.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • Yet there was something ironical about the whole thing. The action which had drawn that softness from Ferdinand was the simple gesture of a man from the coast whose family had lived close, too close, to their servants, once their slaves, descendants of people snatched from this part of Africa. Ferdinand would have been outraged if he knew.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • Yes, such an irony that a man like that, a man like my father, risk his life for Jews and die, and the Jew-killers live, so many of them, right now.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • They sit and smoke their cigarettes and talk casually and with amused, semi-contemptuous irony about their friends, who have names like Mickie and Bobbie and Poochie and Robin.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • She did her best to clean up, but she found it ironic that she was in an actual Roman city and couldn’t enjoy a nice hot Roman bath.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • The great irony is that we told him the truth. And now we’ll be punished for it.
    Libba Bray  --  A Great and Terrible Beauty
  • I’d noticed the irony in what all the girls were wearing, which was basically expensive clothes made to look cheap.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • would be too ironical to get killed at the portals of safety.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • The third and related irony is that it’s the most complex and neurotic and difficult women that I am invariably drawn to.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • This was Easy Company—a stinging irony, given its fate.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • Here she was thinking about razor blades while her mother and Welsh were toasting life. There was irony.
    Ted Dekker  --  BoneMan’s Daughters
  • McCandless’s apparent salvation, in other words, seemed to be only a three-hour walk upriver. This sad irony was widely noted in the aftermath of his death.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • it struck her now with a peculiar irony that the money she had used had been Gus Trenor’s.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • Edmund suddenly cannot hold back a burst of strained, ironical laughter. ... "It’s so damned crazy."
    Eugene O’Neill  --  Long Day’s Journey into Night
  • ’What shall it be this time?’ he said, still with the same faint suggestion of irony.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • I wait for her to catch the irony of this, that she’ll send money to colored people overseas, but not across town.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • How ironic. This was the first time she’d ever been flirty with a boy in Rosewood—especially Noel—and she didn’t even care.
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars
  • Looking back, I find it ironic that she chose to read the letter at the exact moment that question popped into my head.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Notebook
  • His name was Wolfe. Wolfe! And the irony of it was that he was as gentle as a lamb.
    Jane Yolen  --  The Devils Arithmetic
  • [his legs] he could still feel pain, even though he could not move them, another one of ALS’s cruel little ironies.
    Mitch Albom  --  Tuesdays with Morrie
  • here was one of life’s giant ironies,
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • In an ironic turn, I was now one of the ones in charge of them.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • "Wasted in the waste," he said. "... You got to admit, it’s pure world-class irony."
    Tim O’Brien  --  The Things They Carried
  • Ironic to be saved by a mortal, yet we owe her a debt.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Battle of the Labyrinth
  • It’s really ironic. I look great on the outside, but the tumors are on the inside.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • Napoleon turned to him with a pleasant, though slightly ironic, smile. "They tell me this is the room the Emperor Alexander occupied? Strange, isn’t it, General?"
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • Now it struck me as ironic that our family’s seven-month trial began with an injury that occurred in the last game of our last tournament of the 2002 season.
    Todd Burpo  --  Heaven Is for Real
  • There was a yell of ironical applause.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • Those lively feathers don’t really match her personality, but ... she seems unaware that her outfit is ironic.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • I thought how ironic it was that Jake’s telescope could see stars a million light-years away, but not the town it was in.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • He tried to sound composed, ironic, like a man amused at some childish prank,
    Cornelia Funke  --  Inkheart
  • I especially love Count Chocula—yet another vampyre irony.
    P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast  --  Marked
  • ...and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen. It’s really ironical, because I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair.
    J.D. Salinger  --  The Catcher in the Rye
  • The ironic part was that he warned himself each time he climbed onto the roof to keep an eye out for nests;
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • He wondered, briefly, if she was a doctor. He thought about the irony of that: First, do no harm.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • Vittoria found it ironic that she felt more apprehensive in this unlit church than she would swimming at night with barracuda.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • ...rather ironical ... sitting at my own desk in my own home with nothing better to do than to write a letter to ... a woman I disliked...
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • ...all evidence of understanding between them is coincidence and irony.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • Only Hades kept his word, a fact that I find ironic.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Titan’s Curse
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Associated words [difficulty]:   irony [1]
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