When it comes to cringeworthy jokes, no one tells them better than dads. The cheesy puns and riddles that dads around the world can’t help but crack make everyone groan — but in their own special way, they’re actually pretty funny. So in honor of fathers and father figures everywhere, we’ve compiled a list of the best dad jokes.
What makes a joke a dad joke?
Unlike regular jokes, which often contain multiple linguistic violations (e.g., ambiguity or inappropriateness) and violate social norms (e.g., humor), dad jokes are pure puns and violate no linguistic or social norms. As a result, they are often perceived as lame, unfunny, or stupid and are condemned to groans and eye-rolls by people who believe that they aren’t ‘real’ jokes.
However, despite their bad reputation, dad jokes may do more good than you think. Research shows that repeated exposure to dad jokes can lead to their becoming funny over time. The reason that this occurs is that repeated exposure leads to familiarity, which in turn increases the likelihood of laughter.
Interestingly, although fathers are more likely to tell dad jokes, they don’t suffer from the embarrassment that their children experience when hearing them. The truth is that dad jokes are not only a form of comedy, but they also have a pedagogical function: by telling their children jokes that they know will be embarrassing for them, fathers push their kids to see how much embarrassment they can handle. Marc Hye-Knudsen, a humour researcher and lab manager at Aarhus University’s Cognition and Behavior Lab, recently published an article in the British Psychological Society that explains how and why dad jokes work as they do. best dad jokes