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  • Writer's pictureSam

What “The Simpsons” Taught Me About Laughter

A Tiny Life Moment About How Humor Connects Us All


I used to watch The Simpsons a lot. While I was growing up, it was on every weekday evening. I grew up with a cohort all watching them every day, and as a result, we can now recite many of the lines word—for—word.

Living with one of my friends, we used to have The Simpsons on in the background a lot. I began to realize that while watching alone, the anticipation of a joke was mildly amusing, but while watching with a friend it was utterly hysterical! We’d watch episodes together that we’d seen a million times, but for whatever reason, watching together just made us laugh with uncontrolled glee!


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Laughter is something very special to us, humans. As far as we can tell we’re the only creatures that engage in humor (though the cheekiness of dolphins makes me question that), and whereas I’m sure other gregarious animals have their own ways of bonding, one of our deepest ways to bond has to be the sharing of laughter.

I used to wonder why I can watch an episode of The Simpsons on my own and only smile at the jokes, but when I watch the exact same episode with a friend, we are both literally shaking with laughter? But the answer is pretty obvious to me now. We just get more out of laughing with each other.

We all know how healing laughter can be; it can diffuse any situation, if you can laugh on a bad day, you’ll feel better, if you can laugh during an argument, none of those things seem to matter quite as much, if you can laugh when you’re sad you’ll cheer up.

Your best memories are likely ones where you just can’t stop laughing, and usually, when you try and recite them to friends it’s a “you had to be there,” moment, but even if you don’t find something funny you’ll just laugh at your friend trying, and failing, to recount the tale because they themselves are laughing so hard. Laughing is contagious.

It’s a beautiful thing: laughter, and it makes me think about how we evolved as humans; it’s something that transcends all cultural barriers, language barriers, and even time barriers. I believe that if we were to time travel back to the stone age then we’d be able to sit down with our ancestors and probably all fall apart laughing in our attempts to communicate.

So next time you have a good laugh, just remember that you’re doing something that links us to every human on the planet, past and present, and likely well into the future as well.


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Lessons Learned:

  • Laughter is a dish best shared

  • Shared laughter is 10x the fun

  • Laughter is a rare thing that connects every human on the planet, past, present, and future


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