Dads are known for being strong and calm, but their humor is what really sets them apart. Dad jokes are those funny puns and one-liners that fathers around the world just can’t help but tell, even if it makes everyone else groan. These cheesy zingers are the family-friendly kind of jokes that make kids laugh and adults roll their eyes (and sometimes laugh out loud).

While dad jokes often use puns, they don’t necessarily have to do so. In fact, many of the best dad jokes are simply tame puns that don’t violate any other norms such as a social or sexual one. This is what differentiates a dad joke from other types of humor such as sexist or racist humor, which also involve using puns.

It is possible that the association between fathers and dad jokes may be a result of the way they play and joke with their children. Studies show that fathers tend to be more playful and aggressive in their joking with their children than mothers are (Bokony & Patrick, 2009). As such, they may be more likely to use dad jokes to tease and embarrass their kids in a playful manner.

As such, dad jokes are a special type of humor that has nothing to do with being funny but is rather derived from intentionally violating the norms of joking. Whether it be the tame puns, the one-liners or the knock-knock jokes, dad jokes are a unique type of humor that deserves to be appreciated by anyone with a sense of humor.

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