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View Full Version : Why do some people think a fart is so funny?


clayton_e
02-12-2003, 09:30 PM
Ok, Posted this in IMHO because I doubt there is a truly factual reason, but rather a bunch of opinions.

Why?

It is only gas passing from the body. It isn't like it is unnatural or something. I just wonder why everybody from the average 3rd grade classroom all the way up to (sadly) adults, find it funny.
I don't find it amusing, I simply move away from whoever passed the gas. It isn't like whoever it is got up and said a joke or something, it just seems odd.

Odd post, I know. But what is it about a fart that makes people crack up?

pilot141
02-12-2003, 09:48 PM
Just a guess, but it probably has something to do with what is normally a very private bodily function being shared (purposely or not) with other people (usually your friends).

Do people laugh at their own farts when alone at home? I doubt it.

If you're on an elevator full of strangers and someone lets one go, do you laugh or think "Gross!" and try to hold your breath?

But if you're on your way to (insert location here: ballgame, lake, movie, etc) with your good friends and someone lets loose, hilarity ensues.

Just my perspective. It's probably a guy thing to.

clayton_e
02-12-2003, 09:52 PM
yeah.. But usually the response is "open a window" with a good percentage of the people. But some people just crack up if anyone else is near when they let one go.

Earl of Sandwhich
02-12-2003, 09:56 PM
The social station of those inolved may affect the reaction, too. If it's the Queen of England, for example, in front of a bunch of commoners. They might not laugh directly in front of her, as that would be bad form, but I'll bet they'd be amused.

pizzabrat
02-12-2003, 10:28 PM
Hello!
Brash sound
Weird smell
Comes from your butt!
What's not to get?

Lobsang
02-12-2003, 10:33 PM
In some situations a really hearty fart would be hilarious - such as at a quiet, serious, emotional moment in a film at the cinema.

Evil Captor
02-12-2003, 10:50 PM
I think clayton is talking about people who laugh wildly at all and any farts. I think the hysteria is mostly some sort of byproduct of toilet training. Some people develop some kind of defensive response to bathroom functions that makes them laugh wildly at farts and fartlike sounds. They are more to be pitied than anything else.

elgar
02-12-2003, 10:59 PM
What about women's farts?

Michael Ellis
02-12-2003, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by elgar
What about women's farts?

What about them?

Violet
02-13-2003, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by elgar
What about women's farts?
They can be funny, too! :)

Badtz Maru
02-13-2003, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by elgar
What about women's farts?

I sat next to a very pretty girl at work, very well-spoken and dignified. She frequently cut really loud (though odorless) farts. They were loud enough the first few times I thought she had just made an embarassing noise by sliding across her seat wrong or something like that, but their regularity and their coinciding with her shifting her butt in her seat eventually convinced me otherwise. It was hard not to chuckle sometimes.

skaterboarder87
02-13-2003, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by elgar
What about women's farts?

They're the funniest of all!

Keith Berry
02-13-2003, 02:53 AM
My cousin, when going to the movies, is prone to making loud, wet farting noises by fluttering his lips, particulary during quiet romantic scenes.

I'm generally murderous when it comes to people talking or making noises at the theatre, but when me and him saw "Unfaithful" and he proceeded to let loose with extremely LOUD farting noises (that sounded like diaherra ripping from a sore ass) during every one of the sex scenes, I started laughing so helplessly that I had to get up and hang out in the hallway for a few minutes to get it out of my system.

When I returned, he was still doing it.

domesticatedjunglefowl
02-13-2003, 12:22 PM
By the way, If you wish to have the loudest, longest, and liveliest farts, try roasted soy nuts. If my experience with soy nuts were made into a movie it would be called 'Eight Seconds.' :)

cowgirl
02-13-2003, 01:48 PM
I once had a roommate who was a really hot woman, and she could fart intentionally: loud, long and odorless. Which she would do when she saw men checking her out on the street, just to see what their reaction was.

Bearflag70
02-13-2003, 02:09 PM
I'm lauging just reading about it.

Although they are funnier when shared with others (particularly in public in the presence of Mom), I also laugh when I am alone.

Why is it funny?

pizzabrat said it best.

Bearflag70
02-13-2003, 02:13 PM
Now that I think about it, it's like I have been laughing at the same joke for over 30 years, and I still think it's funny.

I guess farts qualify as the best damn joke in the world.

Gorgon Heap
02-13-2003, 02:21 PM
I'm thinking of the bit in Bill Cosby: Himself now where he describes his father's chair lifting off the ground from his farts. God that's funny.

cichlidiot
02-13-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by pilot141

Do people laugh at their own farts when alone at home? I doubt it.


While I don't find all farts funny, I do occasionally laugh at my own even when I'm alone. What tickles me is when the fart resembles a word. My butt apparently needing to make a statement, "kitty!" will make me laugh every time. lieu started a hilarious thread about this experience.

H8_2_W8
02-13-2003, 02:51 PM
Even my 3 year old son knows that farts are funny.

We call them "pant pops" and this happened the other night just as he was about to step into his bath.

He: <<Brrraaappp!!!>> Grinning - "I just did a pant pop!"

Me: "But you're not wearing pants!?!?!?"

He: A pensive look, then a broad smile "I just did a bottom pop!!!"

Father and son break out laughing.

(End of scene)

lieu
02-13-2003, 03:54 PM
Like a good joke, they're something you can comprehend but weren't really expecting. It's just such a darn cute little sound. Plus, the surprised look on someone's face when that noise just leaps from their butt.

Each has it's own nature and you can tell a lot about from whence it came by the tone. Some people were obviously way too relaxed, some way too uptight, and some were just plain exerting themselves.

ladydisco
02-13-2003, 04:15 PM
I can't believe I have the honour of posting in a fart thread RIGHT AFTER LIEU.

Anyway, I've been wondering the same thing as clayton_e ...why is it so funny? I don't break wind in public or laugh when other people do, but when I get home...

the recent thread Will Somebody Please Stop the Farting (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=149634) put more tears of laughter in my eyes than anything else in the last few months. I think there's a certain innocence at Fart Laughter - nobody get's hurt like they do in other situations where people laugh at one another. It's human. It's a lowest common denominator. Pun Intended, of course.

NurseCarmen
02-13-2003, 04:31 PM
They are not funny. Those who laugh at them have no humor. You've have not seen humor until you've seen me light one. Now That, ladies and gentelmen. That. Is humor.

okay, that, and the really high pitched ones

lieu
02-13-2003, 04:38 PM
Yeah, the squealers are great because you can tell somebody's trying to clench.

Washte
02-13-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by elgar
What about women's farts? How can you tell when a woman farts??

Her pantyhose poof up....

Sorry, just had to.

What gets me about farts is the release method people use. Some people just let them eek out slowly, naturally. Some really scrunch up and force them out. Why not just let things happen naturally? Why push them out? Just weird.

As for laughing at ones own, the hubby does. Quite frequently. I laugh at mine because they tend to catch me off guard (laughing, coughing, sneezing, etc), not for prowess or skill in delivery. I prefer to be silent and ladylike.

Colibri
02-13-2003, 04:49 PM
Why is anything funny? One of the best ways to provoke laughter is the sudden, surprising release of social tension. Farts are one of the most basic - probably the most basic - ways to do this.

Farts are (1) taboo, having to do with bathroom functions; (2) a suprise (usually) to the victims. The startling breaking of the taboo releases tension - those around the farter have less need to maintain their social facade, since by breaking the taboo the farter has downgrader him/herself in social status. (I'm ignoring here the fact that in certain social strata farting ability confers a higher status.)

In Kurt Vonnegut's novel Galapagos, millions of years in the future humans have evolved into furry seal-like beings of minimal intelligence. The one thing they still have in common with us, is that when everybody is lying around on the beach basking in the sun and someone farts, everybody still laughs like hell.

Skelji
02-13-2003, 05:09 PM
Farts are just funny, that's all. The notion that a sound can be produced with your ass is hysterical. No, it has nothing to do with repressed toilet training hysteria, or whatever was proposed earlier in this thread.

Look, everyone farts, so what's the big deal? If you fart as a child and your father, mother, uncle, whoever, indicates that it's funny, then you'll always be amused by farts to some degree or another.

If your parents were very uptight about such things, then you likely will be as well, and that's a shame, because you're missing out on a lifetime of hilarity. Everyone knows that a good laugh is a healthy thing, and it just follows that a healthy fart is a good thing, so why hold either in?

I certainly don't advocate, say, farting on an elevator, but at home, or with friends, it's funny. I've found that many people who are uptight about farts are also uptight about lots of other things, like sex, and stinking up the bathroom, and worrying about what people think of them in general. Liberate yourself today: let one rip!

Bearflag70
02-13-2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by H8_2_W8
Even my 3 year old son knows that farts are funny.

We call them "pant pops" and this happened the other night just as he was about to step into his bath.

He: <<Brrraaappp!!!>> Grinning - "I just did a pant pop!"

Me: "But you're not wearing pants!?!?!?"

He: A pensive look, then a broad smile "I just did a bottom pop!!!"

Father and son break out laughing.

(End of scene)

This sounds like a really bad Mentos commercial.

NurseCarmen
02-13-2003, 05:14 PM
On these boards I once read that someone claimed that their farts smelled like roses and came out heart shaped. Maybe, if that was the case for all mankind, they wouldn't be funny.

Roses, not funny. Paint melter, funny.

cornflakes
02-13-2003, 10:37 PM
He-Gassen (The Fart Battle) (http://www.sfu.ca/~fankbone/r/fartwar.jpg), 1810, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

I have no idea why farts are funny, but there is some sort of universal funniness to them considering that the Japanese were laughing about them two hundred years ago.

Already in Use
02-14-2003, 02:33 AM
I think it's because we humans have this view of ourselves as created in God's image: intellectual, in control of our lives, and totally different from the other animals. When we produce a noise and smell that's usually involuntary and reminds us of the basics of our own biology (and by extension, our own mortality), it makes us crack up. The association with defecation, considered a taboo for hygienic reasons, just adds to it.

Already in Use
02-14-2003, 02:40 AM
Addendum: To summarize, farts are funny for the same reason all jokes are -- they show that we're not always in control of the chaos of the universe, and remind us of the terrifying brevity of existence.

And apparently, "some people" includes Chaucer and Rabelais.