The dad joke exists inside of an interesting duality. Some people enjoy them and other despise them, but the majority of the population will both laugh and cringe in equal measures. What is a dad joke? Why does it elicit such a mixed reaction? Today we will attempt to dive in and dissect the anatomy of dad jokes.
But first, let me be clear that no matter how much your jokes stink your feet shouldn't. Silly Feet can provide a bubble gum scented shoe deodorizer powder or grape scented foot spray that will definitely please both you and your child! No matter how many people groan at your dad jokes, rest assured that you aren't a Karen. Check out how to avoid being a Karen.
Probably not the most humorous way to go about it, but it's much easier than listing thousands of examples. I will list some examples of course, because I simply can't help myself! Dad jokes come in many shapes and sizes, and almost anyone can make one... Or borrow a few from a funny joke book. So let's take a look at what makes a dad joke tick...
The heart of the vast majority of dad jokes is the pun. Take a word that sounds similar to another work and tweak its meaning to fit the context to your whimsy. Sounds like a good time, doesn't it? Great! Now we're having pun. Did that make you groan? A surprising amount of people have no appreciation for puns. Have you ever wondered why that might be? Given the amount of dad jokes I spill in the average week, I'll be honest with you that it keeps my up at night. So let's explore why people dislike puns.
No Pun Allowed
You don't need to look very far to find people who dislike puns. The real reason that people groan when they hear puns is the subject of some debate, but I've found a few answers that I like enough to parrot them here when the subject arises. The main source of disdain for people that dislike puns and other dad jokes is that puns and wordplay demonstrate the nebulous nature of the spoken word. People that truly dislike puns generally have a yearning for a degree of control that simply isn't possible.
Another big aspect of dad humor is anti-humor. Denial of a punchline is a fairly obvious reason for a joke to bring the groans instead of the guffaws. Anti-humor is one of the earliest forms of what might be considered a joke, and it seems like dads out there refuse to let it die. Why did the chicken cross the road? To give you the most obvious answer possible. Anti-humor can work, but generally only when delivered among other jokes with functional punchlines. The basis of all humor comes from the surprise factor.
The last piece of the unholy dad joke trifecta is wordplay. Preferably unsophisticated wordplay. This is the type of dad joke that is encountered most often. Purposeful confusion of words or letters in words is the basis for all wordplay humor. You've probably heard the classic "Hi hungry, I'm dad." and that is almost the pinnacle of dad-jokes. Some play on words can fall into the category of double entendre, but that is a line drawn in the sand. To call something a dad joke it needs to be squeaky clean enough for children to hear and repeat.
Why Are They "Dad Jokes" Though?
We've answered the question of 'what is a dad joke' so the next thing to clear up is 'why is a dad joke'? Either gender can tell a dad joke. Whichever parent is the more humorous one will generally take up the mantle. When your children are young they're liable to laugh at just about anything. This will create a sense of confidence that allows the joker to go out on a limb more often, and the joke teller will also be rewarded with the laughter of their children.
This sets up a cycle that will repeat itself ad nauseum until the kids begin to grow up and become 'too cool' for their dear old dad and his corny jokes. You'd think it would stop at this point, but the dad joke never dies. At this point it's driven out of a love for embarrassing kids who find the existence of their parents shameful. This humiliation leads parents to yearn for a simpler time. Dad jokes assist in holding onto the past.
The best dad jokes:
Road work ahead? Well, I sure hope it does!
I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don't know what he laced them with, but I was tripping all day!
Did you know the first French fries weren't actually cooked in France? They were cooked in Greece.
If a child refuses to sleep during nap time, are they guilty of resisting a rest?
What do you call someone with no body and no nose? Nobody knows.
What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino? Ell-if-I-no.
A slice of apple pie is $2.50 in Jamaica and $3.00 in the Bahamas. These are the pie rates of the Caribbean.
When a dad drives past a graveyard: Did you know that's a popular cemetery? Yep, people are just dying to get in there!
The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
MOM: "How do I look?" DAD: "With your eyes."
Why can't you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the pee is silent.
What does a zombie vegetarian eat? “GRRRAAAAAIIIINNNNS!”
Spring is here! I got so excited I wet my plants! Glad I didn't soil them...
KID: "Dad, make me a sandwich!" DAD: "Poof, you’re a sandwich!”
What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? AYE MATEY
What's the best part about living in Switzerland? I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.
When an ambulance zips past with its siren blaring: "They won’t sell much ice cream driving that fast.”
SERVER: "Sorry about your wait." DAD: "Are you saying I’m fat?”
What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea!