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Dry Sense of Humor: What It Is & 20 Signs You’re Deadpan Dry and Funny

Mastering a dry sense of humor takes a whole other level of smarts. Do you think you’re deadpan funny? Find out what dry humor is and the signs to see it.

dry sense of humor

Nothing is better than having a sense of humor, but is yours positive or a bit different? Are you just sarcastic and dry? If you’re wondering what a dry sense of humor is and what the signs are to recognize your specific deadpan type of funny, you’ve come to the right place!

Have you ever told a joke that you found hilarious only to be met with dead stares or shocked expressions? Does your humor tend to divide people into those that do and don’t find you funny? Do you have a slightly skewed, more cynical approach to life? Chances are you have a dry sense of humor. If you still don’t quite get it, read further to help you understand what dry humor is and what it means to have a dry sense of humor.

What is a dry sense of humor?

A dry sense of humor, often referred to as deadpan humor, is when you find things funny that others may not, and you say it without any emotion, facial expression, or in a serious tone of voice.

The jokes you deliver are not always based on what others would typically consider funny material. People with a dry sense of humor often tend to not draw much attention to how funny they’re being. [Read: Types of humor and how it affects your relationships]

Your humor has the tendency to divide opinions. In front of the right kind of audience, however, you’d go down a storm. There’s even some research that suggests that people with a better sense of humor are more intelligent because they see the world in a different light and have higher IQs.

People with a dry sense of humor can come across as pessimistic, suspicious, or paranoid. It all comes from a place of curiosity and trying to determine what the limits of comedy are.

The world isn’t always a cheerful place, so having a dry sense of humor is a great tool. It means you can take the negativity of the world and turn it into something funny. There’s nothing better than someone who has a lot of determination to laugh at themselves or the absurdity of the modern world.

[Read: 134 smart and very funny would you rather questions to leave anyone ROFL]

How to tell if you have a dry sense of humor

Do you think it’s hilarious to say something funny as though it’s a matter of fact – without a smile or any hint you’re making a joke?

When a person has a dry sense of humor, they usually say jokes as a statement and wait for the joke to dawn on the other person!

They don’t drop any hints that they’re trying to be funny. They don’t even smirk, and this is precisely why they call this kind of humor deadpan – the expressionless kind of humor.

The best example of someone who mastered the art of a dry sense of humor is the OG deadpan comedian, Steven Wright, who is known for his deadpan delivery. Another person who does deadpan comedy that you might want to check out is Nick Thune.

Is a dry sense of humor a good or bad kind of humor?

Honestly, dry wit is an art. It’s easy to use it to make fun of someone who may not get the joke, unfortunately. If a few friends are all hanging out together and you pass a dry remark, and all but one person seems to get it, it’ll inevitably make the person who didn’t get it feel inferior or insulted.

As smart as using dry wit can make you feel, the same dry wit can sometimes make you appear standoffish and snobbish to others. They may assume that you’re trying to appear smarter than others, or worse, that you’re trying to put someone else down.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a dry sense of humor and using it, but try to be empathetic. Take special care to make sure that you’re not making someone feel insulted just to show off your funny bone.

Remember, it is the responsibility of the person cracking the joke to ensure that their words do not take a toll on someone when dry jokes are thrown their way.

[Read: The types of humor and how it affects your relationship with others]

Is dry humor a form of sarcasm?

It could be, and it almost always does border sarcasm. In fact, as much as someone tells you that their dry wit is nothing like sarcasm, you need to realize that dry wit is the very definition of sarcasm. 

What is sarcasm? It’s when someone uses irony to get a message across. What’s irony? It’s when the person cracking the joke says the opposite of what they intend to say, usually just to be perceived as funny by others.

Saying something like, “Oh wow, you look so fit!” when they’re clearly overweight is an example. It’s meant to be funny, but sarcasm is often received as offensive or hurtful if not done well. Speaking of sarcasm, it’s hard to avoid thinking of Oscar Wilde when it comes to humor with sarcasm.

How to develop a dry sense of humor

There are different types of humor, but a dry sense of humor is one of the most difficult ways of making people laugh because it’s a double-edged sword.

On one hand, the people who know you could understand your sarcastic sense of humor and find it hilarious or even relate to it. On the other hand, you could end up offending a lot of people who assume that you’re just trying to act aloof. 

If you do want to develop a dry sense of humor, use the list of signs of dry humor below. Not only does it tell you if you have a dry sense of humor, but also all the right ways to develop it and hone it to make you a lot funnier!

How to tell if you have a dry sense of humor – the signs to look out for

Here are all the ways to test whether or not your outlook on life is super sunny and positive or if you have a dark, sarcastic, and dry sense of humor.

1. Sarcasm is your weapon of choice

People often tell you that you’re the most sarcastic person they know, and you tend to make odd first impressions if people don’t understand your personality quirks. That’s because someone with a dry sense of humor can deliver their jokes in a sarcastic way.

Once they learn to take most of the things you say with a pinch of salt, they might really warm up to you and your sarcasm. [Read: 33 creative insults to intellectually insult someone with sarcasm]

2. Only you understand it

Because of the outrageous and cleverly implied manner in which your dry sense of humor jokes are delivered, you’re not understood by many people.

Thus, you often find yourself laughing at things that other people don’t get. It’s not because you have a bad sense of humor. It’s just that you see the world in a different way than them. Embrace it.

3. Your humor is very dark

You find things that are morbid, twisted, or messed up quite funny at times, or have the ability to see the light in bad situations at the very least. You have a unique take on what “funny” actually is and know how to walk the line between hilarious and disrespectful.

4. Nothing phases you

There’s not much that flusters you or ruffles your feathers. You’ve taken a pretty laid-back approach to life, and your chilled-out vibe has filtered into your sense of humor. Life is so much sweeter when little things don’t really bug you. [Read: How to be chill and learn to live a happier life as a result]

5. Disastrous situations are a goldmine for you

When someone fails spectacularly, says something awkward, or does something stupid, you’re generally there to give fast quips about the situation. You can find the funny in most uncomfortable situations, even when you shouldn’t. [Read: How to be funny and make people love your company]

6. Your wit always saves the day

When you find yourself in a tricky situation, you can generally talk your way out of it. Your wit has become so refined over the years that you’ve learned to outwit nearly anyone you come across. No one is a match for your sharp tongue.

7. You have a great poker face

You may come across as almost robotic when you’re telling a joke, but it’s only because you deliver dry jokes with a straight face. Your humor pours out of you in a relaxed manner with no display of emotions, much to the entertainment of like-minded people.

8. Traditional humor isn’t for you

You tend to get bored with bog-standard knock-knock jokes, and you don’t like the same mainstream comedians that other people do. You prefer edgier jokes and comedians that really push the boundaries of comedy.

9. Some people don’t get you

Your great dry sense of humor is not well understood by many.

At times, some people think your jokes are slightly tasteless, but it’s just because they’re not on the same page as you. You don’t set out to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you also really enjoy seeing how far you can push the envelope with dry comedy.

Sometimes people may take offense when dry jokes are thrown their way, especially if you delivered these facts in a blatantly honest manner. [Read: Why don’t some people like you? The 20 most common reasons]

10. It’s easy for people to be fooled by you

Although you like to laugh at the bleak, the awkward, and the melancholic, you’re actually quite a caring person. Sometimes it’s just easier to laugh at darker themes than it is to confront how awful they actually are.

11. You’re actually very intelligent

Some may think that deadpan humor is simplistic. It actually requires plenty of practice and a lot of brainpower to construct a decent joke that isn’t obvious and has an obscure structure to it.

Deadpan humor takes not only a deadpan style of emotionless delivery but also a quick and intelligent mind.

Your intellect makes it easier for you to dissect unfunny situations and make them funny. [Read: How to be an intelligent intellectual – learn to fake it ’til you make it]

12. Cynicism is part of who you are

You’re super cynical, but you’re happy to be that way. You’re not necessarily distrusting of everything, but you know how easy it is for people to be unreliable or incapable, so you always have a bit of a guard up.

This translates into your humor, where you always like to question others and what others find to be truly funny.

13. You sometimes make people a little uncomfortable

Your bolder humor can make people feel a little uneasy. Not always in a bad way – they just sometimes get confused as to whether they should be laughing at you or with you. Pushing people out of their comfort zones makes you tick, so this only makes you want to do it more.

14. You’re quick on your feet

Your mind works a little differently than the norm, which means that you have a lot of one-liners up your sleeve for when things turn kind of dark. You’re very rarely lost for words in a hilariously difficult situation. [Read: Ready to charm? How to be quick-witted and win over anyone]

15. It’s not always obvious how funny you’re being

Your jokes aren’t always funny straightaway. Some of them can be slow burners. You like jokes that have layers so that they tend to unfold a little slower, giving the joke more time to take hold of the listener.

16. Most of your close friends understand what you’re like

You find that you tend to gravitate more toward people who have a similar sense of humor. You just click with them better and don’t have to worry about potentially rubbing them the wrong way.

17. You’re hard to assess

It’s often difficult for people to tell if you’re being serious or telling a joke. Your delivery of jokes, your resoundingly dry charm, and your deadpan expressions all make you slightly tough to read.

18. All the small things

You’re a very observant person and tend to pick up on little details that others don’t often notice. Your razor-sharp attention to detail makes it a lot easier for you to construct dry jokes, and you like to assess other people before you get to know them.

19. You’re an amateur psychologist

Although people may sometimes find it hard to read you, you have the ability to read other people like a book. The imaginative interpretations and cynicism in you allows you to figure people out and makes you savvy to their motives pretty quickly. [Read: How to read people – secrets to figure anyone out instantly]

20. You don’t care

When it comes to what other people think of you, you’re not too worried. You know who you are and where you stand, and you’re not seeking anyone’s approval. In the grand scheme of things, what other people think of you is entirely up to them and doesn’t really make a dent in your self-worth.

[Read: 101 awesomely good comebacks for every occasion]

Hopefully, you now have all the tools you need to figure out if you have a dry sense of humor and how it affects your outlook on life. Next time life brings you down, just get out there and keep on laughing!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...