Sometimes a great joke doesn’t land because of timing.
Other times, people use humor to deflect from an emotional situation.
Either way, before you tell a joke know your audience, and make sure jokes are appropriate.
Redditor Rimbaud-First-Blood encountered this very issue with their wife. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my wife that our dog had run away three years ago and I had replaced it with a look-alike?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My wife and I were watching a movie earlier during which the protagonists had an emotional catharsis after getting things off their chest.”
“My wife turned and asked me if I had any confessions to make so that we could grow closer.”
“I said, ‘yes, 3 years ago our dog ran away and I bought a dog that looked identical to him so that you would never know.'”
“I was joking, of course, but when I revealed this to my wife she didn’t see the humor in it. In fact, she’s not 100% certain it was a joke. I am writing this from the guest room where I will be sleeping for the foreseeable future.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed there are NAH (no a**holes here).
“NAH. It was a funny joke, and an even funnier punishment for telling it.”
“Keep thinking up those dog jokes while you’re in the dog house.” ~ JeepersCreepers74
“Oh, definitely the asshole… Family pets are always a highly sensitive subject. Even if OP was “just joking”, he just told her that the pet she loved so much is gone.”
“Sure, he was lying to her, but she’s grieving over a lost pet. And she’s upset that her partner would go so far to make an insensitive joke like that. He should know her better than to know that that joke definitely wasn’t funny.” ~ StutterMaple
“I have to admit, I don’t really see the funny side of the joke, maybe there was sarcasm involved somewhere that I didn’t pick up. Still agreed NTA/NAH.”
“Edit: because more and more people are pointing out either that I did miss the joke or that you can’t replace a dog:”
“Yes, I can totally see why you can’t replace a dog I’m used to fish and hamsters no need to insult my lack of understanding humor via text. Judging by the 300 upvotes others also agreed.” ~ Timemaster111
“I think tone and prior relationship does a lot of heavy lifting here. When I first read this I was very much ‘that’s not funny, why would you say something like that?'”
“But now I think about this this is exactly the kind of joke my partner would make at me and I’d find it amusing.”
“It’s just when it is in text form the tone is lost, and op is a stranger, so the trust that he wouldn’t do such a thing isn’t there.” ~ EmbarrassedFigure4
“I agree NAH and you were joking, but I am just putting it out there that maybe your wife was trying to connect with you emotionally and you made the (albeit funny) choice to deflect with humor. How would you feel if she did that to you?”
“Sometimes when two people watch something intense like that together it would make sense (especially in a long-term partnership or marriage) to springboard into some emotional intimacy after the fact.”