Your Mother Goes to College

I don’t understand the humor in the Napoleon Dynamite line, “Your mother goes to college”.
I just resubscribed to the SDMB, and if anyone can explain this to me, I’ll consider myself to have already gotten my years’ worth of information. Please?

I admit I don’t really get it either, but my 13yo says it is a popular phrase-construct at his school now. Apparently you take the subject of the previous speaker’s sentence and replace it with “your mother”, and the predicate follows with hilarious results. :confused:

Thus… “*Your mother * doesn’t understand the humor in the Napoleon Dynamite line, ‘Your mother goes to college’.”

It’s funny because it’s a stupid insult that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, yet Kip seems incredibly proud of it.

look@hergo!: My son thinks your response is pretty darned funny.
(So do I.) Thanks!

And, BabaBooey – ah, the “Kip seems proud” part – yes. That does make it.

Thanks! $7.50 well spent.

Exactly. Right after Kip say it (and it’s “mom”, not “mother”) he has the smuggest look in the world on his face.

It’s great.

And I think part of the joke has to do with the fact that the whole “your mom” deal is/was pretty passé at that point. I hadn’t heard anyone say it for several years (although my roommate does it and she still thinks it’s hilarious so…) But since look@hergo! says it’s popular with 13-year-olds, then maybe the humor is derived from “your mom” jokes being popular with kids half Kip’s age.

Kip’s expression afterward is the best.

On the bus a few weeks ago, one kid ranted against this line, and how it’s so ubiquitous. He didn’t know where it came from… “Probably a movie or something, 'cause everyone knows it,” he said. One of his friends replied, “Yeah, and it’s probably a terrible movie cause it’s so popular.” It was weird that a group of college-age guys hadn’t seen Napoleon Dynamite. And it was depressing that they were so quick to dismiss the merit of something just because it’s a part of pop culture. Way to be snobs. And the best part? Was that he totally intoned the “your mom goes to college” wrong. Kip says it quietly, and emphasizes “mom”. This guy repeated it like, “Yeah? Well, your mom goes to college!” It was so corny, the way he repeated it, like if you asked a total non-actor to read that line and they would read it in a manner all trite and not funny.

It’s whities version of ‘yo mama’. It’s dorky and obvious that the person saying it doesn’t really get it… laughter ensues.

I thought it was one of the funniest lines in a movie filled with funny lines.

Let’s not overlook the reaction of the girl as she ran away leaving all her stuff, another added component of the scene which adds to the humor of the line. As has already been eluded to, the extreme ease of repeated mimicry of the line also makes it fun. “I don’t understand the humor of that movie.” “Your mom doesn’t understand the humor of the movie.”

Of course, to complete the “diss” most appropriately, one would need to make the vertical forearm, fist closed toward yourself, dip bend at knees, nod head, and softly speak, “yessssss.”

This is a more encompassing homage to the humor of the film and the character of Kip himself.

I had a friend…in college!..who specialized in this kind of ironic mock insult years before Napoleon Dynamite. As look@hergo! explains, you basically just take any old phrase and stick “your mom” into it to make it a parody of the long-overdone “yo mama” type insults.

An alternate version uses “your face” instead of “your mom”.

This kind of joke became so popular in my social circle that we occasionally stumbled upon a real insult by mistake. Once I got some crumbs on myself eating, and as I was wiping them off I said “Gosh, how did I get this all over myself? What was I doing?” My friend started saying “What were you do-ing? What were you do-ing?” in a singsong way, and I automatically responded “I was doing your mom!” :eek:

This reminds me of another one of our favorite repetitive jokes. It was inspired by The Simpsons. You just take any word, but preferably some longer word that Homer Simpson would be unlikely to know, and turn it into a threat. “You little brat, I’ll ubiquitous you!”

Well, Another Primate, all I can say is your mom goes to college.

It might not be funny, but I think it is. In fact, I can’t even type it without laughing a little. And now I want to watch Nap. Dyn. later today.

Oddly enough, my mom (who is 74) expresses her disdain by adding “Your ass…” as a prefix to the relevant part of whatever has just been asserted.

Example: “Your mom goes to college.”

Mom: “Your ASS goes to college.”

Gotta love mom. No, really. You have to.

We used to say, “Your mother wears army boots.” And I never knew what was insulting about that… so that must be the reason for my misquote. “Your mom wears army boots” just doesn’t quite have the right ring to it.

Indygrrl, I watch Napoleon’s dance every morning before I take my shower. I’m determined to learn it. My daughter-in-law, after witnessing my first performance attempt (for my grandsons and whatever-relation-you-call-her-siblings-to-me), has started practicing it, too… which has inspired me to figure out whether I have the guts to do the somersault. So I tried this morning, and, guess what – so far, I don’t. Which means I’d better start working on my neck flexibility. I mean, what if I have some TV host approach me on the street and offer me $1,000 if I’ll do a somersault with only one sock on while crossing my eyes and hollering “Go Ducks” – and I can’t do it? I’ll be mortified.
Oh. My. Thank you for preview. What I meant by “only one sock on” was “one bare foot” – not “nothing on except for one sock”.

I think it’s one of the funniest lines in the movie – especially combined with Kip’s “proud” reaction – the smirk on his face after he says it is so perfect, for the character.

And no, the actual ‘insult’ doesn’t make sense, and yet, Kip used it correctly in the sense that one would insert the “your mom” line back to someone in reply to their original sentence (for purposes of making an insult).

I thought the “your mom” insult was fairly common. Even before the movie, ‘your mom’ insults were something we’d pass on, usually after an innocent statement could be made “dirty” or sexual by tacking the mom statement along with it… for example:

Person 1: “that is HUGE”
Person 2 “that’s what your mom told me last night”

Or Person 1: “it’s kind of rough”
Person 2" “just like the way your mom likes it?”

So, Kip’s, “your MOM goes to college” makes me laugh just thinking about it, and like I said, his bad-ass demeanor while watching tv on the couch is what makes it especially funny.