There are all kinds of funny jokes out there: one-liners, puns, knock-knock jokes, etc. But there’s something special about dad jokes. Whether it’s because they’re so cheesy or because of how obviously obvious and trite they are, dad jokes have a distinct flavor. Unlike other types of humor, the best dad jokes don’t require an advanced level of intelligence or clever word play to understand or enjoy. Instead, these jokes have a natural groan factor that can be understood even by the youngest of kids.
The stereotypical image associated with dad jokes is a father telling a pun and his kids rolling their eyes in annoyance or cringing from embarrassment. In fact, this type of teasing may be a key component in how many dads connect with their children. It teaches kids to be okay with being embarrassed, which is important as they transition into the image-conscious and sensitive adolescent years.
However, researchers have found that when dad jokes aren’t delivered with the intention of being funny (i.e., they are meant to teasingly annoy someone for fun), they can actually be harmful. Specifically, repeated exposure to eye-rolling humor can teach kids that it’s normal and acceptable to be awkward or embarrassed, which can negatively impact how they feel about themselves. So if you’re a dad who wants to be a good role model for your kids, you might want to reconsider the number of puns and other trite jokes you tell.