Sarcasm is a great way to get a laugh and make the best of a bad situation.
Being sarcastic is easier than you think. Listen carefully to the way other sarcastic people speak, and look for creative ways to be sarcastic in everyday situations. Just remember, if you are sarcastic at the wrong time or with the wrong person, you may end up hurting someone’s feelings, so tread lightly and don’t overdo it.
EditIn a Hurry?
The funniest way to be sarcastic is to poke fun at obvious comments by saying, “Fascinating, I had no idea!” You can make light of not-so-great situations by commenting, “Perfect, I really wanted an F on that test!” Keep your sarcasm fresh by only using it occasionally and having unique comebacks for every person and situation. For more dry, sarcastic comments to use, read on!
- Use sarcasm in reference to ideas or events. For instance, after seeing a dull film, you might say, “Well that was fun.” Place special emphasis on “that” to give your voice a sarcastic tone.
- After watching a video of a motorcyclist launch themselves and their motorcycle through a ring of fire, you might say, “That looks safe.”
- Avoid directing sarcasm toward a person unless they are a friend or not present. For instance, referring sarcastically to poor decisions by politicians, celebrities, or business leaders can get you easy laughs.
- Criticize obvious comments. When someone says something really obvious, you can draw attention to their unnecessary analysis by saying, “Really?” or “Fascinating, I had no idea!” For instance, if it’s raining heavily and someone says, “It’s raining,” you might say, “Oh, is it? Hadn’t noticed.”
- If you’ve lost the note cards you wrote for your speech and your friend says, “This is bad,” you might reply sarcastically, “No, you think?”
- Draw attention to predictable events. For example, suppose your friend shares details about how an incompetent politician bungled the rollout of an important policy or program. You might reply, “Gee, what a surprise.”
- Imagine your friend is telling you about an acquaintance who wrecked their car. If you know that they are a notoriously bad driver, you might respond, “He wrecked his car? What a shock.”
- Use sarcasm to chide a mistake. For example, imagine you and your friend are at the batting cage and they wind up for a big swing. When they miss the ball, you might say, “Wow, nice one!”
- Similarly, if your friend is walking around looking down at their phone and bumps into a post without injuring themselves, you could make a sarcastic comment like, “Great job.”
- Pretend you’re pleased or thankful. When something unfortunate happens, you could respond sarcastically. For instance, if you get a flat tire, you might say, “Oh, terrific. I really needed this.”
- If you get your test back with a bad grade, you might say, “Wonderful. I really needed this.”
- If you need to get money from the bank and arrive there only to find they’ve already closed for the day, you could exclaim sarcastically, “This is just perfect.”
- Use old-fashioned language. If you’re really subtle about using sarcasm, your conversation partner might not pick up on it. You can clarify that you’re being sarcastic by using unusual words and phrases like “gosh” and “golly” before making a sarcastic comment.
- For instance, if you and your friend are running behind and they say, “We’re going to be late,” you might reply sarcastically, “Gosh, you don’t say?”
EditKnowing When to Use Sarcasm
- Think about who you’re talking to before using sarcasm. Everyone reacts differently to sarcasm. Generally, you should be less sarcastic with those you work with or don’t know well, and more sarcastic with friends and family who know and trust you. Even among friends and family, though, rein your sarcasm in before it starts to grate.
- Refrain from being sarcastic around those who do not like sarcasm.
- Additionally, don’t use sarcasm toward teachers, police officers, or other authority figures.
- Don’t be sarcastic with people who can’t take a joke, people with no sense of humor, or people who just aren’t in the mood.
- Don’t make sarcastic comments about issues that you know your conversation partner is sensitive about.
- Don’t overuse your talent. A little sarcasm will make others smile. But too much sarcasm can quickly wear others out and make people dislike you. Do not use sarcasm so much that people will feel that they cannot say or do anything around you without being ridiculed. People should still feel comfortable coming to you and talking to you.
- There is no way to quantify how much you should use sarcasm. Different people have different sarcasm tolerance levels.
- Substitute wit for sarcasm when you (or your conversation partners) have had enough sarcasm. Wit is less hostile and more easily appreciated than sarcasm.
- For instance, if you and your friend are walking together and they suddenly and inexplicably stumble, you could make a sarcastic comment like, “Real smooth.” But you could also make a witty comment like, “That ground just came out of nowhere!”
- Clarify that you’re being sarcastic if necessary. Some people are not well attuned to sarcasm. If your conversation partner takes your comments literally, you might need to inform them that you were being sarcastic. You can easily do this by simply saying, “I was just kidding,” or “I was being sarcastic.”
EditImproving Your Sarcasm
- Practice your sarcastic comments. If you have a sarcastic comment you can deploy in many different situations, practice it regularly on different people to memorize it. For instance, when someone asks a common question like, “What’s up?” you might reply with “The sky.”
- The frequency with which you should practice your sarcastic comments depends on the strength of your memory. If you can memorize the sarcastic comment after practicing it two or three times daily, there’s no need to practice it more than that.
- If you need to practice your sarcastic comment more often before you can memorize it, do so.
- Take note of the reactions you get when practicing a particular sarcastic comment. If your comment regularly gets eye-rolls, don’t use it anymore or use it less often. If you have a go-to sarcastic comment that seems to be a big hit, work it into regular use.
- Remember, even good sarcasm can be overused.
- Be creative. The best sarcastic answers or comments will draw on your deep knowledge of your audience and their preferences, attitudes, and beliefs. Think carefully about how you can work your immediate situation and the conversation of others into a clever, sarcastic comment.
- For instance, imagine you and your friend Joe are big fans of the Hulk. If Joe accidentally breaks a bunch of fragile dishes, you might say sarcastically, “You saved the day again, Hulk!”
- Talk to sarcastic people. Spending time listening to people who are well-practiced in sarcasm will help you be more sarcastic, too. Pay attention to when and how they utilize sarcasm. Listen to the inflection in their voice and the facial expressions they use when being sarcastic.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Being sarcastic takes time, focus, and experience. As you exercise your sarcasm “muscles,” you will become better at being sarcastic. Keep trying to use sarcasm, even if you tell a few jokes that others think are not very funny.