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:
Not taking things too seriously
Ability to laugh at oneself
A sense of humor
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.
Facial Expressions Related to Being Funny
Here are some facial expressions your funny character may exhibit:
Raising one corner of the mouth
Scrunching up nose
Laughing with mouth open
Tilting head to one side
Pulling a funny face
Making exaggerated facial expressions
Sticking out tongue
Body Language Associated With Being Funny
Here is some body language your funny character may exhibit:
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.