Why do humans find something bad happening to others funny?


Why do humans find something bad happening to others funny?

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Check out this Wikipedia article on the phenomenon. I think it essentially boils down to having low self esteem.


Funny isn’t a positive feeling; we find something funny when it makes us uncomfortable but we can’t sort out why.

Bad things happening to other people makes us feel uncomfortable, and some people aren’t in touch with their empathy, so the body reverts to funny.

If someone trips or falls, it’s most likely an unexpected surprise, which is funny to most people, just like stand up comedy hinges on saying something that is unexpected.

If it’s like the lost their house in a fire, it’s “Schadenfreude”, where a someone elses bad luck makes you feel better about yourself

If it’s someone you hate that loses their lifesavings or something, it’s just a very nice surprise, and may feel justified

It can be a form of empathy and simultaneously “glad it isn’t me” that forms the funny. Your brain registers that it’s shitty, but you’re not the one going through it. It’s also highly dependent on severity and circumstances. I’ve laughed me ass off at someone and then apologized profusely when I realized they’re genuinely hurt