Funny Things To Say That Will Lighten The Mood (Without Being Too Weird)

Examples Of Funny Things To Say That Will Lighten The Mood Without Being Awkward
Quotes, Self

Life is hard, and humor helps to soften it. People of all ages and cultures respond to humor, although they likely differ in what they consider humorous.

Poorly timed humor can backfire, especially if it is perceived to be dismissive of another’s feelings or is considered offensive.

For some people, those very forms of humor are considered the gold standard. That is part of what can be tricky about using humor.

As an experiment, for one full week I asked every single one of my psychotherapy patients what they think are funny things to say to lighten the mood. I clarified that my question is for an article and not a reference in any way to the content of our session!

Some laughed at my clarification. Others thought my question was supposed to be funny. Still others thought I was suggesting the mood in the room needed to be lightened up.

I gathered 45 comments from the week. I put on my Nerdette cap and categorized the responses.

The five basic categories include:

1. Silly puns that are so silly they are almost too silly to repeat

Here are a few examples:

“Don’t spell part backwards. It is a trap."

“I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me."

"Research shows 6 out of 7 dwarves are not Happy.”

2. Randomly citing a favorite line from a movie or stand-up comedian.

Movie sources from people aged 35 and above: The Naked Gun; Airplane; Anchorman and Anchorman 2; Forrest Gump; and Mean Girls.

Quotes include such lines as:

“We are not in Kansas anymore ...” — The Wizard of Oz

“You can’t handle the truth!” — A Few Good Men

“Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” — Forrest Gump

Funny lines of well-known comedians, such as George Carlin, Steve Martin, and Dave Chapelle are also part of this category.


“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night” — Steve Martin

“Why do they call it rush hour when no one moves?” — Robin Williams

3. Stating a random word or name (e.g. “Norman”) that in context means “Ok, this is awkward so let’s lighten the mood.”

Those who use this practice say it usually causes laughter, once the confusion re the relevance of the word is cleared up.

4. Using sarcasm, Chandler from Friends style, with lots of caution, that is unlikely to offend.

Be careful. This is tricky!)

A Chandler-style quip example is “I am not great at giving advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

Or Joey’s comment, “I discovered I can count all my teeth using my tongue”

5. The most common response was that it depends on the audience and context.

Many people suggested sexual jokes, but only in the right company. The examples I was given are not fit for print!

Now that you are at the end of this article, here are a couple of my contributions:

“The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room!” and “I prefer my puns intended”.

As a tween and adolescent, I remember getting so annoyed at the corny jokes my grandfather often made.

The joke is on me ... I use those some jokes now!

But I am not a grandparent.

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Dr Elayne Daniels is a clinical psychologist who specializes in issues related to body image, eating disorders and sexuality. She is dedicated to empowering people of all ages through individually tailored treatment plans fusing knowledge, humor, compassion, and practical content to create a life that aligns with their vision.