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What makes a photo funny?

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Quick Answer

Many photographs are funny because they portray unusual or remarkable occurrences, such as a person failing spectacularly at doing his job or performing a stunt, an animal caught in an the act of mischief or making a face, or business signage that is misspelled or uses a bad pun. Users may also manipulate photos to make them funny by superimposing a person in an unusual location, morphing facial features or adding a clever caption.

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Websites such as College Humor and Break often group funny photos into categories, such as "40 Weird Pictures That Really Hate Dinosaurs" or "10 GIFs of Technology That Nobody Asked for." Typically, each photo in the set is funny on its own, but the set grows increasingly funny as it displays variations on the theme.

Internet memes are passed on in people's social media feeds or in emails to friends. One popular meme is the "Lolcat," which adds a grammatically incorrect caption to a cute cat photo such as "I can haz cheezburger?" or "I are crying because I are out of focuss." Another meme is "You had one job," which shows the results of incompetent workmanship, such as a stairway going to nowhere or an unintentionally obscene sign in a grocery store.

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