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Jokes That Are Ready to Retire

Consider this their two-week notice.

Jokes That Are Ready to Retire

Some jokes are tried and true–knock knock, who’s on third, three friends walk into a bar. Classic. But as our sensibilities evolve, so, too, should overused punchlines. As someone who consumes an exorbitant amount of content (TV, live theater, movies, internet), I find myself running into the same premises and punchlines over and over again…and not because they’re that excellent. Whether the result of oversaturation, insensitivity, or just CCing, there are several areas I beg you to metaphorically retire to the history of comedy museum.

NOTE before we dive in: I, personally, find very little to be “off-limits,” the darker the better, but you have to come correct. Don’t just say out-of-pocket things for the sake of it. Make a point. And, you know, be funny.

Anyway, below are six of the jokes we need to put out to pasture:

Pronoun Jokes

These fall into two categories: straight cis people making fun of the need to identify your gender (see Dave Chapelle or Ricky Gervais) or straight cis people using the framework of pronouns to identify themselves as something other than a gender at all (high, sad, a parent). I cannot sit through one more of these bits that are not only no longer original, but also are virtually never funny enough to justify the insensitivity.

Spirit Airlines

We get it. We’ve flown it. We all know those planes are piloted by a child on the ground with a remote control. The one thing worse than flying Spirit is listening to someone talk about having to fly Spirit. And what’s the deal with plane food, amiright?

Vibrators turning themselves on

The number of scenes in movies or TV shows where the entire joke is based around a vibrator turning itself on in an otherwise non-vibrator-safe location is so confusing. Vibrators require a twist or a significant push of a button to turn on (the number of times I’ve wanted mine to turn up or off and I’ve had to try twice to succeed); they don’t just randomly go off in your nightstand while your mom is in town or fall out of your suitcase at the airport and start bouncing around. Not to mention, aren’t we finished being embarrassed about sexuality? Name a woman you know who doesn’t have a sex toy…and if you can, send her one. Maybe it’ll go off in the package on the way to her and you can write a sketch about it.

“You’re on fire…no literally”

Please no more.

“I love you.” “Thank you.”

The amount this appears in pop culture would lead me to believe that there is actually no other response to being told someone loves you. It is a storyline in nearly every TV series that features dating, and yet, I’ve never once heard of this happening in real life. It simply is not funny enough to warrant its ubiquitousness. There are millions of writers on this earth, and I feel certain at least one or two of them could find a new way to show misaligned romantic interest.


This might be a bit too improv-scene specific, and I’m sorry for that, but we are finished making the punchline simply the fact that two men on stage have to kiss. If the scene calls for a kiss, kiss. If you are uncomfortable kissing your friends, hang out with people you like more. If thecharacters don’t want to kiss because, let’s say, the characters just found out they’re related and nobody else knows yet, then yes watching two actors hesitate the kiss would be funny. But the laugh shouldn’t come from the actors making a todo about having to touch lips on stage with other actors. It’s lame and boring and cheap.

I recognize this rant is going to open me up to a range of feedback from people who will now go consume my online content to challenge or confirm whether my opinions are even valid. And I respect that. Unless you’re either of the two men who commented on the same TikTok video that they wished my mom had aborted me. Because honestly, how unoriginal.

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