On Air

Andy Goulding

The Return of Dad Jokes

Get ready to cringe, because dad jokes are officially back in fashion - and they're absolutely everywhere on social media.

Loved and hated in equal measures, experts think we've turned to the wince-worthy gags as an antidote to a "new age of nastiness" at the moment.

They may make you roll your eyes, but everybody 'gets' a dad joke and you know the harmless gag isn't going to offend anyone.

No, your old man isn't the only one who finds his jokes funny - and the internet has the proof.

A Reddit thread dedicated to " jokes that make you laugh and cringe in equal measure" has 1.2 million subscribers.

And All Def's Dad Jokes series on YouTube, where contestants get points for making their opponent laugh has 6.8m views.

Our Top 10 Dad Jokes

  • My earliest childhood memory is visiting the eye doctor and getting my glasses. Life before that was a blur.
  • My son used to swallow coins pretty regularly when he was a child. I’ve definitely seen some change in him.
  • What makes a good tongue twister? Well, it’s hard to say.
  • My friend begged me to stop singing wonderwall. I said maybe.
  • My wife suggested I wash the car with our son. I told her a sponge would be better.
  • 'At a restaurant with food still on my plate' Server: "You wanna box for that?" Me: 'It's not worth fighting over'.
  • What did the drummer call his daughters? Anna 1, Anna 2, Anna 3.
  • How many beers does it take to get an exotic bird drunk? Toucans.
  • At work we have a printer we've nicknamed Bob Marley. It's always Jammin'.
  • I've just burned my Hawaiian pizza. I should have put it on aloha temperature.

Everyone knows a dad joke. The term can be traced back to 1987, when a writer in the Gettysburg Times defended the phenomenon.

So where do they come from, and why do we associate them with our dads?

Dad jokes like to play on double entendres and unsophisticated wordplay - where the ambiguity is "crushingly obvious", linguist and dad Professor Stanley Dubinsky told The Atlantic.

“Your kids are embarrassed by you anyway, so the next best thing (to them actually finding your jokes funny) is to level with that.”

Heard your dad's 'best' joke 100 times? It's all to do with nostalgia.

Stanley added: “One way to get back to that time (your kid's childhood) is to go back to the stupid old jokes they used to think were funny.”

Writer McKay Coppins said dad jokes originate from a "combination of exhaustion and your kids laughing at anything when you're very young, which... endows you with a false confidence".