Whenever you make a really good joke, you think that people will get it because you know–sometimes you have faith in humanity. Other times, the joke goes so far over their head, it makes the joke seem less funny because…wow people are dumb. These unfortunate people took things too literally and completely missed a joke – with hilarious results.
Missing the joke is something that has happened to the best of us. The thing is that, for a large part of our existence, this type of situation only happened in real life – you’re with a small group of friends in school, someone tells a quip, you miss it, people laugh, end of the story. During the age of the internet, however, life basically happens online, not in person. This means that an embarrassing moment has the potential to be eternalized faster than you can say “screenshot.”
And we’re talking about majorly obvious things. Things that make a giant Woooosh sound when they fly over our heads at Mach 3, several miles above sea level.
To show you that having jokes go over our heads is a universal thing, we’ve collected some of the funniest such examples from the aptly named Woooosh subreddit. Grab some popcorn and get ready to laugh and cringe.
The subreddit has grown a lot since its creation on November 1, 2016. Now, it has over 890,000 members and is steadily approaching the 1 million mark. Not to mention all the similar subreddits, like r/woosh.
Interestingly, humor is found in all cultures and at all ages, and in recent decades experimental psychology started viewing it as an essential, fundamental human behavior.
Historically, psychologists framed humor negatively, saying it demonstrated superiority, vulgarity, Freudian id conflict, or a defense mechanism to hide one’s true feelings.
But research on humor has evolved, viewing it as a character strength. Positive psychology, a field that is dedicated to what people do well, states that humor can be used to make others feel good, to gain intimacy, or to help buffer stress. Together with gratitude, hope, and spirituality, a sense of humor belongs to the set of strengths positive psychologists call transcendence; they help us connect to the world and provide meaning to life. Appreciation of humor correlates with other strengths, such as wisdom and love of learning.
So remember, it’s perfectly normal if we don’t get a joke or two. However, it’s a whole other story if we don’t find anything funny.