Interpretation: This joke is a play on the cliche of wanting to die peacefully in your sleep. This familiar statement takes an unexpected twist when we learn that grandpa was, in fact, driving a car full of passengers when he died “peacefully in his sleep.” As a result, those passengers did not die so peacefully! This type of joke, in which the second half of the statement is shocking or unexpected (usually making you see the first part of the statement in a different light), is also called a “paraprosdokian.”
Interpretation: This funny quote presents a clever idea that might possibly work: if you have multiple locks on your door and only lock some of them, someone who tries to pick the lock and assumes that all the locks are engaged will not be able to unpick them all (until, that is, they figure out that not all of the locks were initially locked).
Interpretation: Someone who expects bad things to happen (a pessimist) will expect a negative outcome when they lend you money, which is that you won’t return the money. Wilde is saying that this make pessimists good people to borrow money from — because you would never be expected to pay back the money you owe them! The quote is funny because it pokes fun at pessimists (in reality, most people expect you to return money they lend you, pessimist or not) and assumes the reader is a dishonest person who does not want to pay their debts.
Interpretation: Most people are aware that the planet Saturn is surrounded by rings (you may or may not know that these rings are composed of ice and rocky material). Most people also know that airline luggage often gets lost. While the rings of Saturn are of course not literally composed of lost luggage, this quote is humorous because it makes fun of a frustrating experience many people can relate to — the airline losing your luggage.
Interpretation: This joke is of the bathroom humor variety. While many quotes about friendship are meant to be taken very seriously, this funny analogy takes a lighthearted (yet not inaccurate!) twist when it compares friendship to peeing your pants.
Interpretation: Here’s a classic “good news, bad news” joke quote from a master comic. It’s darkly funny because the “good” news is really pretty terrible, and the bad news is implied: once we hear the good news (that the patient is going to have a disease named after him), we already know the bad news (that the patient has a never-bef0re-seen disease). Disease is usually a serious topic, but tasteful jokes on this subject can be especially funny because they make us laugh at our fear of death, rendering it less terrifying.
Interpretation: Quotes that laugh at the perceived differences between the genders (or gender stereotypes) are funny to those who enjoy this kind of humor. The joke here is that men are considered successful if they make a lot of money, but women don’t need to make money to be considered successful; they just need to marry a man who makes a lot of money.
Interpretation: The joke this quote makes is that elderly women are often crazy about the game bingo, so much so that an otherwise nice old lady might utter an obscene word if she loses at bingo. (Plus, most people find it funny to think of a “sweet little 80-year-old lady” saying the “F” word.)
Interpretation: Taking a metaphor or analogy seriously — in this case, thinking a motivational statement like “finish what you start” applies to eating junk food — makes for a classic joke. This quote also makes fun of the vague and sometimes impractical advice one might receive from a therapist.
Interpretation: People often joke about the haughty, stuck-up nature of cats. This quote literally means that dogs are obedient to their owners, while cats think they are the owner, or master, and that you work for them.