How to Make Your Friends Laugh

Enjoying a laugh can bring friends closer together. It always feels good when you are the one in your group of friends who can spark the laughter. Since you know your friends personally, you understand their interests and you might even share the same sense of humor. You don’t need to be a stand-up comedian. Just be yourself and work on finding humor in you and your friend’s everyday lives.


[Edit]Telling Jokes

  1. Use sarcasm. Most humor involves a reaction to something that bothers us in our lives.[1] It can be politics, romance, money, or even something as trivial as the weather. What makes these topics funny is how you uniquely express your frustration with them.
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    • Many funny jokes come from sarcasm. Make a statement that might not seem funny if you take it literally, but use your tone of voice to let your audience know you don’t really mean it. For example, you could pepper a conversation with some sarcastic comments like, “You’re totally unique and special… just like everyone else in the world.”
  2. Relate to the real world. Things that we find funny tend to reflect some kind of truth about the world. What makes them relatable is often what makes them funny. If your jokes aren’t grounded in reality, there is a good chance you won’t be able to connect with your friends and the joke will fall flat.[2]
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  3. Exaggerate your stories. Contrast realistic topics by blowing them out of proportion and using ridiculous metaphors. For example, if you say “I ate too much pizza,” you’re not likely to get a laugh. However, it will probably be funny if you say, “I ate like 17 pizzas. I was like a bear getting ready to hibernate. When I was done I stacked the pizza boxes to make myself a cave and went to sleep.” By exaggerating a simple idea, you can easily make it into something comical.[3]
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  4. Create an emotional connection. A big part of making anyone laugh is performance. You need to be able to use your words to engage the emotions of your audience and create a bond with them.[4] If you can build up tension, anxiety or sympathy with your words, then you will get a bigger laugh when they finally hear the punchline.
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  5. Surprise your audience. Humor is best when it comes unexpectedly. Don’t telegraph your jokes or they will fall flat. To get a laugh, you need to create some incongruity between the setup and the joke by creating an unexpected twist.[5]
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  6. Practice your delivery. The funniest jokes usually seem spontaneous.[6] If you can make it seem like the jokes are just coming to you it will make your friends laugh even harder. Once you immerse yourself in comedy, you will find it becomes easier to tell jokes. Try reciting your joke in a room by yourself and see how it sounds.
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    • Work on your timing. Pace yourself. Don’t get nervous if it takes awhile before you get a laugh. [7] Keep your tone at a natural conversation pace. Allow your audience a moment to laugh before hitting them with another line.
    • Tweak your phrasing. Be blunt and concise. If you can’t think of the best words to express and idea, let it marinade awhile longer.
  7. Make fun of yourself. Sometimes it is better to make yourself the target so your friends don’t feel like you are constantly ridiculing everyone else. You don’t want to seem like a jerk. Let them know you don’t think you’re better than everyone else by being self-deprecating every once in a while.
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    • For example, “I love my life, but it thinks of me more like a friend.”
  8. Do an impression of someone. You can mimic someone famous, or just someone that all your friends are familiar with. The key is to study the person you want to impersonate and be impressive with how you replicate their voice, expressions and use of language.
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    • Work on your impression by assessing yourself in a mirror. Only do an impression if you can really pull it off.
    • Your friends should be able to know who you are impersonating without being told. If they don’t see it without being told, it isn’t going to make them laugh.

[Edit]Playing Pranks

  1. Use the element of surprise. The key to a hilarious prank is the element of surprise. Regardless of what kind of prank you set up, be sure your friend does not see it coming.
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    • Try to keep a straight face. Avoid giggling. Just try to look entirely emotionless so they have no reason to suspect anything is up.
  2. Scare one of your friends. The best part about pranking a friend is that you can use your knowledge about them to your advantage when coming up with a potential prank. For example, if you have a friend that is afraid of snakes, putting a rubber snake in their car or in their bed is a sure fire way to get a reaction.[8]
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  3. Call a friend. A prank call is one of the easiest ways to make your friends laugh. Be sure to use a public phone or borrow another friend’s phone so your target won’t recognize the number. Work on different accents so that your friend won’t recognize your voice. You can pretend to be a bill collector, secret admirer or tell them they won a ridiculous prize contest.
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  4. Prank a friend online. The internet can help to play some amazing pranks. They take very little effort and you can keep them going for a long time.
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    • Sign up your friend for a bunch of email subscriptions from strange websites so they get tons of annoying marketing emails.[9]
    • You can order strange objects online and have them shipped to your friend. Pick anything that is funny, disturbing or strange. Imagine their confusion when they open up a package and find a giant inflatable zebra and some nylon medical gloves that they didn’t order.
  5. Be good-natured. Don’t do anything that could cause physical harm to your friends. You always want to be sure not hurt your friend emotionally. Pranks should be harmless enough that even your target can laugh along with you. You don’t want to ever ruin a friendship just because you wanted to be funny.
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  6. Get your other friends involved in your pranks. The more people that are in on a joke, the funnier it will be. If you let your other friends in on your pranks ahead of time, they can also play along and help you pull it off.
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    • Be selective about which friend you decide to prank. Some of your friends are more sensitive than others. Pick one of your friends that has a good sense of humor and will be amused by the joke. It will be much funnier if everyone is able to laugh about it, even the person being pranked.

[Edit]Making Friends Laugh Indirectly

  1. Laugh. Sometimes laughter can be infectious.[10] If your friend says something funny laugh. Try to lighten the mood by infecting everyone else with laughter. At the very least they might crack a smile.
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    • If you find you’re the only one laughing, just go with it. Laugh obnoxiously. Cackle like a witch, or laugh like a hyena. Maybe they will find that funny.
  2. Put on a funny movie or television sitcom. It could be the Simpsons or a Will Ferrell movie. Sometimes you might not feel like being funny and turning on the television or a movie is an easy way to keep the good times going. You can use the opportunity to share something that brings you enjoyment with your friends.
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  3. Have a lip sync battle. Challenge your friends to put on a better performance than you. Pick some hilarious music and have fun with it. Videotape your performances, then you can play them back and laugh all over again later.
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    • You can also challenge them to a karaoke battle.
  4. Post a funny meme on social media. Just because you didn’t think of it, doesn’t mean your friends won’t see the humorous post as a connection to you. Even if you aren’t that creative, friends may still consider you funny because you share things that are funny. If it makes you laugh, as least some of your friends are likely to find it funny too.
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  • Don’t try to be funny all the time. Pick your spots so you don’t seem obnoxious.


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