25 Good, Bad, and Cringe Worthy Puns, and the Science Behind What Makes Them So Funny

A penchant for telling Dad jokesmay be a symptom of having kids, but studies suggest it might also signal everything from intelligence tobrain damage. If theres one common denominator among dad jokes, other than their ability to elicit eye rolls, its the presence of puns.Researchers agree thattheres a science to why good puns, bad puns, and the occasional funny puns work. Turns out, puns are much more complex than the low-hanging fruit that annoyed family members take them for. In fact, this wordplay is actually ripe with logic (and humor). Fortunately, punny fathers can prove their comedy chops with these puns and explain to their family members the science behind why theyre funny.

25 of the best puns out there:

I was wondering why the ball was getting bigger. Then it hit me

Im reading a book about anti-gravity. Its impossible to put down!

How did the picture end up in jail? It was framed!

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? Hes all right now

What do you call a bee that cant make up its mind? A maybe

You really shouldnt be intimidated by advanced mathits easy as pi!

My new girlfriend works at the zoo. I think shes a keeper.

What was the one thing the cross-eyed teacher couldnt control? His pupils.

What did one blade of grass say to another about the lack of rain? I guess well just have to make dew.

I couldnt remember how to throw a boomerang but then it came back to me.

I asked a Frenchman if he played video games. He said Wii!

What should a lawyer always wear to a court? A good lawsuit!

Dont interrupt someone working intently on a puzzle. Chances are, youll hear some crosswords.

I cant believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.

I was addicted to the hokey pokey but thankfully, I turned myself around.

Just burned 2,000 calories. Thats the last time I leave brownies in the oven while I nap.

We dressed up as almonds for Halloween. Everyone thought we were nuts.

I was hoping to steal some leftovers from the party but my plans were foiled.

I lost my mood ring the other day. Im not sure how I feel about it.

I dont trust staircases. Theyre always up to something.

Im super friendly with 25 letters of the alphabet. I just dont know Y.

My leaf blower doesnt work. It just sucks!

What kind of cats love bowling? Alley cats.

Who invented King Arthurs round table? Sir Cumference.

Is your iPad making you sleepy? Theres a nap for that.

The Science Behind What Makes Puns Funny

Puns Can Be a Sign of Intelligence

As difficult as it might be to accept that some puns arent stupid, researchers found that they were liked with mental and mating aptitude in a 2011 studypublished in the journal Intelligence. Other experts contend that puns help people communicate more economically and effectively.

For most of Western history, puns were a sign of high intellect, John Pollack, author of The Pun Also Rises, told The Atlantic. They were a tool, and they remain a tool, to pack more meaning into fewer words.

But Sometimes Theyre a Sign of Brain Damage

For every 10 embarrassing dads who demand to know whether you can go to the bathroom or not, theres one who is punning due to a frontal lobe injury. In a 2016 study, researchers followed two patients with Witzelsucht, a neuropsychiatric disease that compels people to make puns. One of the subjects reported that it was ruining his marriage, because he couldnt stop telling groan-worthy jokes to his wife in the middle of the night. Examples of jokes spurred by the brain disease varied from standard fare, such as How do you cure hunger? Step away from the buffet table, to indecipherable nonsense, such as Went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get my drivers license. They gave me an eye exam, and here is what they said: ABCDEFG, HIJKMNLOP, QRS, TUV, WXY, and Z; now I know my ABCs, can I have my license please?

Puns Require the Use Of Both Sides of Your Brain

While it may seem like punny people arent using their brains at all, it actually takes both the right and left hemispheres of the brain to tell a joke, research suggests. The left side, or the linguistic hemisphere, processes the basic language of the pun, and then the right side kicks in right after to reveal the surprise double-meaning the punchline.

Computers Can Pun With the Best

Machine learning technology has enabled computers to join the pun game for some time now. In 2011, scientists from the University of Washington wrote a program that could add thats what she said to appropriate sentences with 72 percent accuracy. One winning example: Dont you think these buns are a little too big for this meat? Thats what she said.

Another comparably crass studyfrom the University of Edinburgh showed that a computer can be programmed to riff off the basic model of I like my women (or men) like I like my coffee. Some results were more problematic than others, such as I like my men like I like my court superior, and I like my women like I like my camera ready to flash. (Come on, computers). But its not all blush-worthy humor. Another software program calledSTANDUP uses computerized puns to help children with non-verbal cerebral palsy practice communication and socializing skills. Almost makes up for it.

Hate Puns? Thats Science, Too

Its unclear why your family hates even your best material, but some researchers suggest its because your puns waste precious time. Theres a conversation going on here, and you keep interrupting the flow of discussion with groan-worthy one-liners. A pun sidetracks you, Charlie Hopper writes in aMcSweeneys article about why people hate puns. Its your friend who wont let you get anything done. Another theory,put forth by Pollack in his bookis that people who dont like puns have controlling personalities.If you have an approach to the world that is rules-based, driven by hierarchy and threatened by irreverence, then youre not going to like puns, he writes.

In other words, haters gonna hate. Just remember: Its not you, its them. Oh and get that frontal lobe checked out.

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