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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 5 min2023-09-19 00:00

100+ Humorous and Funny Character Traits

funny character trait

To engage your reader, it's important to always show, not tell, the traits of your characters.

The character trait "funny" refers to someone who has a sense of humor and can make others laugh or smile. This type of character often has a quick wit and is able to see the humor in situations that others may not. A funny character can add levity and entertainment to a story, but it's important to ensure that their humor is appropriate for the tone and themes of the work.

Possible Causes of Being Funny

You might want to weave these into your character's backstory to build a more believable character:

  • Enjoying making others laugh or feel happy

  • Being observant and able to find humor in the quirks and idiosyncrasies of people and situations

  • Having a positive outlook on life and finding the humor in everyday situations

  • Being around funny or comedic people regularly

  • Growing up in an environment where humor was encouraged or valued

  • A natural sense of humor or wit

  • Using humor as a coping mechanism to deal with stress or difficult situations

  • Being naturally outgoing and extroverted

Attitudes Linked to Being Funny

You may be able to show a funny character through their attitudes:

  • Spontaneity

  • Creativity

  • Playfulness

  • Self-confidence

  • Wit

  • Adaptability

  • Not taking things too seriously

  • Ability to laugh at oneself

  • A sense of humor

  • Positive outlook

  • Quick thinking

  • Empathy

  • Ability to find joy in everyday situations

Thoughts and Struggles Associated With Being Funny

Here are some ideas for things your funny character may think or struggle with:

  • Insecurity about their own sense of humor or ability to make others laugh

  • Constant need to make others laugh or feel happy

  • Using humor as a defense mechanism to avoid confronting problems or difficult situations

  • Difficulty expressing deeper emotions or vulnerabilities

  • Struggling with the balance between being funny and crossing boundaries or offending others

  • Feeling pressure to always be "on" and entertaining

  • Feeling like they have to hide their true self behind a funny persona

  • Difficulty forming genuine connections with others because they are always performing

  • Fear of not being taken seriously or seen as a joke

Emotions Associated With Being Funny

Here are some ideas for emotions your funny character may experience.

  • Joyful

  • Witty

  • Clever

  • Entertained

  • Delighted

  • Jovial

  • Playful

  • Cheerful

  • Amused

Facial Expressions Related to Being Funny

Here are some facial expressions your funny character may exhibit:

  • Rolling eyes

  • Raising one corner of the mouth

  • Scrunching up nose

  • Laughing with mouth open

  • Raising eyebrows

  • Smiling broadly

  • Winking

  • Tilting head to one side

  • Squinting eyes

  • Pulling a funny face

  • Making exaggerated facial expressions

  • Sticking out tongue

  • Blinking rapidly

Body Language Associated With Being Funny

Here is some body language your funny character may exhibit:

  • Raised eyebrows

  • Animated facial expressions

  • Tilted head or leaning forward

  • Mimicking or imitating others

  • Open and relaxed posture

  • Playful gestures such as winking or nudging

  • Quick movements or sudden changes in direction

  • Using exaggerated gestures or movements

  • Smiling or laughing

Behaviors Linked to Being Funny

Here are some behaviors your funny character may exhibit:

  • Mimicking or imitating people or things in a comical way

  • Creating humorous situations or pranks

  • Being able to laugh at oneself and take things lightly

  • Making witty remarks or puns

  • Being quick with comebacks or retorts in a humorous way

  • Using sarcasm or irony in conversation

  • Telling jokes or humorous stories

  • Using physical humor, such as slapstick or clowning

  • Teasing or playfully teasing others

Growth and Evolution of Funny Characters

Here are some ways that your funny character may grow and evolve over time:

  • Learn to use humor as a coping mechanism in difficult situations

  • Develop a greater sense of empathy and compassion, allowing them to use humor to lift others up rather than tear them down

  • Learn to balance humor with sincerity and vulnerability, allowing for deeper connections with others

  • Learn to appreciate the humor in situations they previously found frustrating or challenging

  • Become more aware of how their humor affects others and adjust their behavior accordingly

  • Learn to use humor in a more strategic way, to achieve their goals or influence others

  • Overcome their fear of vulnerability and share their true selves with others through humor

  • Discover the power of humor to diffuse tension and bring people together

  • Develop a deeper understanding of their own sense of humor and what makes them laugh

Stereotypes of Funny Characters to Avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical funny characters like these examples:

  • The clumsy character who constantly falls or trips over things.

  • The bumbling sidekick who is always getting in the way or causing problems.

  • The overly confident character who always thinks they're the best but constantly fails or embarrasses themselves.

  • The character who is always doing something gross or inappropriate for shock value.

  • The character who uses puns or jokes in every sentence, even when it's not appropriate.

  • The overly talkative character who never stops talking, even when it's inappropriate or annoying.

  • The comic relief character who is only there to make jokes and doesn't have any depth or development.

  • The ditzy character who always misunderstands things or forgets important details.

  • The character who constantly breaks the fourth wall or references pop culture without any real reason.

Negatives of Being Funny

Here are some potential negatives of being funny. Note: These are subjective, and some might also be seen as positives depending on the context.

  • Being misunderstood or not taken seriously

  • Being perceived as inappropriate or offensive

  • Alienating others who don't share the same sense of humor

  • Being seen as unprofessional in certain settings

  • Being seen as a "class clown" or not being taken seriously

  • Using humor as a defense mechanism to avoid addressing deeper issues

  • Making light of serious situations

Positives of Being Funny

Here are some potential positives of being funny. Note: These are subjective, and some might also be seen as negatives depending on the context.

  • Funny people often have a positive outlook on life and can lift the mood of those around them.

  • Being funny can help you connect with others and build relationships.

  • Humor can defuse tense or awkward situations and make people feel more comfortable.

  • Humor can be a coping mechanism for dealing with stress and difficult situations.

Common Actions for Funny Characters

Here are some common actions for funny characters:

  • Telling amusing anecdotes or stories

  • Using sarcasm or irony

  • Making witty remarks or clever comebacks

  • Mimicking or impersonating others

  • Breaking social conventions or norms in a humorous way

  • Telling jokes or puns

  • Using wordplay or clever word choice

  • Using self-deprecating humor

  • Using hyperbole or exaggeration for comedic effect

Relationships of Funny Characters

Here are some ways that being funny could affect your character's relationships:

  • Tend to have a lot of friends due to their ability to make people laugh and feel good

  • May struggle with serious conversations and be perceived as insensitive or not taking things seriously

  • May use humor to cope with stress or difficult situations

  • Can be the center of attention and may feel uncomfortable when not in the spotlight

  • May be perceived as not being genuine or hiding behind a facade of humor

  • May have a tendency to deflect criticism with humor

  • May struggle with expressing their emotions and rely on humor to mask their true feelings

  • Use humor as a defense mechanism to avoid being vulnerable with others

  • Can be great at defusing tense situations with a well-timed joke

Examples From Books of Characters Who Are Funny

  • Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

  • Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

  • Don Quixote from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

  • Pippi Longstocking from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

  • Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

  • Hagrid from Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

  • Falstaff from Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

Writing Exercises for Writing Funny Characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write funny characters.

  • Write scenes where your character uses humor to diffuse tension or lighten the mood.

  • Focus on your character's sense of humor and what makes them tick. Are they sarcastic, witty, or slapstick? Do they use humor to deflect from serious situations or to connect with others?

  • Use dialogue to showcase your character's humor. Have them tell jokes or make witty comebacks.

  • Practice writing jokes or humorous situations in your spare time. You can use writing prompts or improvise your own scenarios.

  • Experiment with different comedic styles, such as puns, irony, or parody.

  • Start by observing people who are naturally funny, either in real life or on TV/movies. Take note of their mannerisms, speech patterns, and comedic timing.

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