Let’s break the social script with a few funny ways to respond to “how are you?” that make people laugh!
“Better inside than outside.”
This is a fun answer to “How are you?” when you feel good. This response comes from an interview by Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock. At the time, Sandra was named “The most beautiful woman… on the inside”.
”I still haven’t figured it out.”
Not sure how you feel? Don’t want to get into it? This is a nicer (and funnier) way to say, “Don’t ask.”
“Amazingggggggggg” [Sung like a Disney Princess]
People will be so blown away by your performance that they will laugh and ask, “what’s good!?” if you are having a great day, something is going right, own it! Take it all the way. What makes something funny is when it is extreme. We like when things are bad (better inside than outside) or perfect…not just good, greatttttttt. If Disney Princess is not your style, try a Tony the Tiger “I’m Greatttttt.”
“I’m 75, and I feel like 105.”
Looking for something to respond to “How are you” when you don’t feel that good? Nobody feels good every day! But instead of saying “I’m ok” or “Not good,” let’s bring some specificity (therefore wit). David Letterman provided this line when asked how he’d been feeling.
Feel free to change the numbers for your situation! The formula is: “I’m [insert your actual age], and I feel like [insert an insanely BIG number]. When you get a giggle out of the person asking you the question, you may feel better.
Sandra Bullock didn’t say “Better inside than outside” during the interview, but she inspired a versatile formula to answer “How are you?” for us. You can also switch the words around to say “Better outside than inside” if you’re not feeling great.
Funny Responses to Compliments Like “I Heard You’re Amazing!”
Is it hard for you to take a compliment? Not sure what to say? Here are a few ways to respond to compliments in a creative way!
“I paid them.”
Tired of saying “Thank you” all the time? Emilia Clarke provided this witty and humble response for us:
Here’s another similar response for when people tell you they’ve heard great things about you: “Good, they followed the script.” For example, if a new employee just joined your company, here’s how the conversation may go:
New employee: “Your colleagues have sung many praises for you! They said you’re a super boss. I knew you were good – maybe 8 out of 10. But after hearing what they said, you sound like a 10 out of 10!”
You: “Good, they followed the script.”
You are already unique to whoever compliments you. This playful line will take it to the next level!
“Please keep going.”
If someone compliments you once…then twice…make a joke of their sucking up and tell them to keep going. This gently calls out that they are doing it and makes fun of yourself that you like it…because we all like it!
Funny Response to “What Are You Doing?”
Humor is about creating surprises. For example, when people expect you to say yes, you say no; when people wish you to say a big number, you give a tiny number. Here’s a 13-second video explaining how Jennifer Lawrence uses this Surprise Theory:
The same principle applies to creating funny responses to “What are you doing?” too. Amy Schumer used the tactic when Ellen asked what she was up to.
Most people asking you, “what are you doing?” expect you to describe a normal to positive-ish activity, so if you can give an artificially “sad” response first, you would have surprised them and made them laugh. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer did it this way – they gave a surprising (fake) answer first, then they gave the honest answer after they surprised the audience.
To heighten the effect, you can exaggerate your expression like the boss baby when you say, “I cry.” Once you’ve surprised them, immediately relax your facial muscles and smile to share what you are doing. Comedians often play a character entirely – with the corresponding facial expression, voice, and tone, which will make it funnier.
Funny Response to “Sorry!”
People say “Sorry” all the time. “Sorry, I’m late.” “Sorry to interrupt.” “Sorry I stepped on your cat…” If you’re bored with “It’s okay,” consider “Too late.” Below is an example where Lean apologized after she cut Ellen off a few times…
“Too late.” is a versatile response to “Sorry.” More examples:
“Sorry, I’m late!”
“I’m sorry you didn’t like the dish.”
But don’t say it to traumatic events, please. Funny responses work best when everyone is in a light-hearted and relaxed setting.
Delivery is vital here. Best to act cool as Ellen did in the example. If you want to be safe, so everyone knows you’re just joking, test it out with your friends first. If you’re going to be extra safe, laugh after you say it —people will surely know that you were joking.
Funny Response to “Who’s your favorite?”
“It depends on the day.”
Were you asked “who’s your favorite parent?” since you were 5? People then ask you, “who’s your favorite boss?” Who’s your favorite child…” Speaking of “who’s your favorite child,” perhaps no one gets that question more than Kris Jenner. Therefore, she offers one of the most brilliant answers to this question…
What we like about this answer is that she’s probably not lying! At the same time, she didn’t give a particular name either, which could have implications since the family is all public features.
This answer has the perfect blend of smartness, wit, and appropriateness. Next time, if you feel unsure about answering this question because you don’t want to name a specific person, this can be your golden line.
Funny Responses to Tease / Awkward Questions
“What are you talking about?”
Don’t feel like answering a question directly? Then don’t answer it. Throw this question back at them as Adam Levine did.
This line helps you “play dumb” when you don’t feel like answering a question or feel uncomfortable about a tease. It diffuses attention. Those pushing you for an answer will usually stop. But what’s interesting is that you can also use this line when you don’t mind answering the question to be funny. In the above example, Adam Levine answered Ellen’s question later.
Surprisingly, playing dumb makes your look smart!
Blame it jokingly on someone else
When Jimmy Fallon asked Sophie Turner if she knew whose Starbucks coffee cup was in Game of Thrones, Sophie jokingly blamed it on Emilia Clarke.
David Letterman used a similar tactic when Julia Roberts “complained” (jokingly) to him about a mistake the show made introducing her new film. David Letterman turned to the production team and said, “Look, those people over there. They’re the people that made a mistake. Why would you all do that to Julia?” That was a funny moment.
We’re not encouraging you to shift blame if someone’s telling you seriously what you did wrong. The tip – Blame it on someone else – is to be used in a joking fashion where no one is blaming/criticizing anyone.
Funny Things to Say to Compliment People
“Did you make a deal with Satan?”
This line is excellent for complimenting someone’s look, especially when they look younger than their age. Instead of saying, “wow, you look so young!” Ryan Reynolds has provided an alternative.
Interestingly, Ellen DeGeneres used a similar line in her monologue:
“People often ask me, ‘what’s the secret to looking good, Ellen?’ I tell them it’s very simple. I get to sleep. I eat healthily. And 20 years ago, I made a deal with a witch.”
To make it extra clear that you’re complimenting a person’s youthful look with this line, you can give them the usual compliment first and then add this line. For example: “Wow, how did you manage to look so good! Did you make a deal with Satan 20 years ago?”
“I’m gonna borrow money from her.”
This line is great for complimenting someone’s capabilities or accomplishments. When Sinbad saw Ellen’s first performance, he was impressed. Instead of saying, “you’re great!” He said this:
What a memorable compliment! Same as before, you can give the usual praise first and then add this line: “Wow, your achievement is amazing! You’re going places. [pause] And I’m going to borrow money from you.”
Funny Things to Say to Tease
“We’re gonna take a break.”
Here comes the fun part! We’ve talked about how to respond when someone teases you. Now is the time to tease others! Teasing others in the right way will immediately make you interesting. In the example below, Lily Tomlin talks about her strange love for rubber.
Although “taking a break” is common during interviews, it’s also applicable in daily conversations – you do take breaks. Alternatively, you can also say something like, “Ok, we’re gonna go get some food now.” We want to change the subject rather abruptly – so abruptly that the audience knows you’re teasing subtly.
There are two good situations for teasing: 1) when someone talks about something unusual like Lily did; 2) when someone is not very good at something, such as singing out of tune. For example, when Sean Hayes started to sing “beautifully” on the show, Ellen said, “Ok, we have to take a break.” In both situations, “We’re gonna take a break” works well. This line is usually not perceived as offensive, just funny.
Meanwhile, humor is very personal. If you think the person may be sensitive about it, use your judgment.
If you’re interested in getting more exact lines and actionable formulas that anyone can use to be funny and witty, check out this How To Be Funny article.