What Are Terrible Dad Jokes?
When it comes to “dad jokes,” one thing is for certain: No one can deny that terrible dad jokes abound. But what makes a dad joke particularly bad? Is it the punny punchline? The lack of originality? Or is it the groan-worthy delivery? Drawing the line between clever humor and lame dad jokes isn’t always easy, but one thing is for sure: if you’re not already groaning after hearing a dad joke, you can bet that you will be soon enough.
The Origins of Terrible Dad Jokes
Dads everywhere have been telling horrendously bad jokes since the dawn of time, it seems. A dad joke is the type of joke that elicits a groan even after only hearing the setup. It is usually cheesy, generic, and found in the wilds of dads’ joke books everywhere.
A great example of a dad joke is one concerning chickens and eggs. “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!” Though this joke may be all too familiar, it is still able to elicit a groan from many people.
Many books and articles attribute terrible dad jokes to“dad humor.” Once again, however, it is hard to define exactly what it is about a dad joke that makes it so bad. It could have something to do with the fact that the jokes are seen as crass and are about topics that are normally considered taboo for humor, such as politics or religion.
The Art of Telling Terrible Dad Jokes
Though the content of a dad joke is important, it is the delivery that really makes the joke. The key to a good dad joke is in his timing and delivery. There is a certain cadence to a dad joke and the teller needs to know when to pause and deliver each punch line. This is often harder than telling a regular joke because the rhythm of the joke is almost as important as the content of the joke itself.
Types of Terrible Dad Jokes
Though all dad jokes are terrible in varying levels of quality, there are still some easily identifiable types of jokes that all fall under the umbrella of dad jokes, such as:
• Puns: Dad jokes often revolve around puns and other wordplays. Examples could include jokes that involve the names of various celebrities or other public figures.
• Knockknock Jokes: This is a classic form of dad joke, involving a series of repetitive phrases that often circle around a fairly basic premise.
• Non-Sequiturs: Dad jokes often involve non sequiturs, which are essentially random, unrelated comments that are meant to be humorous.
• Overdone Jokes: These are jokes that are so overdone, that they have essentially become clichéd and generally aren’t seen as very funny.
• Corny Jokes: These jokes often contain a lot of cheese or corny humor. Examples could be jokes about the weather or marriage.
Why People Tell Terrible Dad Jokes
The answer to this question may never be fully known, but it is safe to say that a lot of it has to do with trying to get a laugh or an eye roll or just generally lightening the mood. Perhaps it’s a form of escapism or a coping mechanism of sorts. Perhaps people tell terrible dad jokes as a way of trying to bond with their peers. Whatever the reason may be, it’s clear that dad jokes are here to stay.
What Makes a Terrible Dad Joke So Terrible?
The real question may be: What makes a bad dad joke so bad? After all, not all dad jokes are created equally. The jokes that make people groan the loudest tend to have a few things in common. For example, dad jokes are often groan-worthy because they are recycled and overused, contain a lot of cheesy puns, or have too many non sequiturs.
How to Avoid Telling Terrible Dad Jokes
At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to decide how to navigate the dangerous sea of dad jokes. The key is to know your audience and be aware of the line between funny and cringe-worthy. For those that still want to get in on the dad joke action, here are some ways to make the experience less painful:
• Be Original: It’s easy to default to the same old jokes that everyone has heard a million times. Try writing your own jokes or finding some new material.
• Don’t Overdo It: It’s easy to get carried away with dad jokes if you are one. Try not to go overboard and mix up your repertoire with other types of jokes.
• Know Your Audience: Not everyone will be in on the same joke. Take into account who you’re telling to and make sure they’ll be able to appreciate it.
• Quality Over Quantity: Sometimes, less is more when it comes to dad jokes. A well-timed, clever joke will always be better than a long string of lame directives.
Why We Love Terrible Dad Jokes
Like it or not, dad jokes are here to stay. There is something oddly comforting about these cringey jokes. Perhaps this is because dad jokes have become so intertwined with the idea of fatherhood, and familiarity can often breed comfort.
For many, dad jokes are seen as a sign of endearment. When a dad jokes to his family, it’s as if he is saying: “I know I’m embarrassing, but I still love you.” For better or for worse, terrible dad jokes have become a ubiquitous part of fatherhood and, for better or for worse, we love them for it.
Terrible dad jokes may not be the most sophisticated form of humor, but they are certainly entertaining nonetheless. Whether they’re a sign of endearment or a way of lightening the mood, there is no denying that terrible dad jokes are here to stay. So, when you find yourself in the presence of a dad joke, don’t groan too loudly—just laugh and enjoy the ride.