In Defense Of Dad Jokes


Yesterday I went out to dinner with my family. I ordered some pasta but didn’t quite finish. When the waiter asked if I wanted the leftovers in a box, my Dad said, “take it home, we’ll fry it up with some eggs in the morning.”  This is my Dad’s favorite joke. I have heard it hundreds of times, and every time he says it, he has the same excited look on his face. It’s a look like he’s been waiting all day for this. Like he wanted to go out to dinner just so he could have the opportunity to say it. Whether or not this was actually a joke is up for debate. The only technically funny part is that we almost never end up frying it with some eggs. It is, however, undeniably a Dad Joke.

Dad Jokes are hard to define. If you go according to their dedicated subreddit, they are mostly just puns and the sort of question/answer jokes you get on the back of a Laffy Taffy wrappers. These certainly can be dad jokes, but only if they’re actually being said by your Dad. They are certainly not all that a Dad Joke can be. A dad joke is really anything that your Dad intends to be funny, but according to your current sense of humor makes want to roll your eyes right out of your head. You get it the joke, but you don’t get why they had to say it.

They said it because while as an adult you may have wished you could erase it from your memory, as a child you would have loved it. To an adult or teen, puns may seem corny, but for a six-year-old they are mindblowing. It’s something you’ve never seen before, and your dad is doing it. It’s a reminder that your Dad isn’t just the guy who makes you clean your room and brush your teeth, your Dad is silly. Your Dad is a fun person to be around, and his jokes make you love him more.

So why do Dad’s keep trying these jokes despite the fact that they don’t work. The reason for this is simple, it’s because they used to.  It’s not their fault your tastes have evolved, they are just looking for the same reaction they used to get. Essentially, every Dad Joke is just a request to be loved. That is why Dad Jokes are great. That is why I suggest you ignore your supposed superior sense of humor and laugh at one every once in awhile. I do for “fry it up with some eggs,” and I have a feeling that’s why my Dad gets that excited look on his face every time a waiter asks if we need a doggy bag.