Questions tagged [humor]

A form of creativity that is designed to invoke laughter and amusement in the reader/viewer.

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22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Funny teleporter invention story

I remember this short story as very funny. It was told in retrospect in the first person by a member of a fairly slap-happy team of inventors developing a new teleportation device. Initially, there ...
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26 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story concerning a dangerous ink blot

Can anyone identify this story? I read it years ago (about 1984-86?) when I had access to a small public library containing mainly old tatty books no longer fit for circulation. This story was in a ...
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  • 4,482
31 votes
1 answer
3k views

Poem about aliens observing cars on highway?

I read a poem way back in elementary school in the 70's that described the observations of aliens watching cars on a highway and concluding that cars were the inhabitants of earth. They described the &...
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10 votes
2 answers
218 views

A short story about (not) reading Shakespeare in class [duplicate]

I read this short story maybe 15-20 years ago, but it might be older than that. With hindsight, it is pretty prophetic. Even for France, now.... It is about an english teacher (in an english-speaking ...
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11 votes
2 answers
232 views

How often have Vulcans appeared on comedy television shows as themselves?

In the skit "Mrs. Invisible Man" Carol Burnett's character laments: With my luck it had to look like it's father. She receives a delivery from the pharmacy of a drug that may render the ...
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Science fiction story where Asimov like writer is actually clones

This question: How many books did Isaac Asimov write? reminds me of a short story I read in a science fiction magazine once, probably late in the previous millennium. The title was something like &...
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7 votes
2 answers
240 views

TV series or movie about intern or new employee in a lab with monsters or mutants

I have a very vague recollection of a story involving a new female employee or intern in a lab setting. She seemed inexperienced and somewhat overwhelmed. The lab is performing experiments or possibly ...
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  • 123
25 votes
1 answer
7k views

Are self-sealing stem bolts a Star Trek in-joke?

During a scene in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 episode 6 "Scavengers", Burnham mentions self-sealing stem bolts. This item has had a few mentions in earlier Star Trek series, beginning with ...
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  • 9,616
17 votes
6 answers
3k views

What is the earliest sci-fi story about humour and AI?

The "humourless robot" is a fairly standard trope in modern-day science fiction. Many writers take the view that the sense of humour is a uniquely human property, and so make a point of ...
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  • 2,118
4 votes
0 answers
106 views

I'm trying to find a sound track quote from a British Scifi Comedy (Movie? TV?) [closed]

The specific spoken words are "This is an emergency broadcast. Nuclear missile inbound detected. Seek shelter, duck and cover, and brace for impact". I heard this on a recent tech ...
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  • 149
4 votes
1 answer
274 views

Satan/Devil Short Humorous Story

Short story about some guy in an audience that starts shouting at the devil and gesticulating at him and giving him "the fig" , which I guess is something like the finger or some other sort of gesture....
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  • 49
5 votes
0 answers
111 views

identify humorous short story about spicy pizza defeating a dragon

I recall reading this in a collection of short fantasy (possibly sci-fi and fantasy) in a library circa 1990. In the story a man goes off to fight a dragon. I don't recall the exact details but I ...
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11 votes
1 answer
311 views

Funny, Jewish sci-fi novel

I read it mid 80's and found it a few years ago, but with the publication of a new Jewish sci-fi novel, it's harder to find it again. The story is about an investigator working for a government ...
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25 votes
3 answers
10k views

Is Kirk’s comment about “LDS” intended to be a religious joke?

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), the crew find themselves in 1980’s San Francisco, and promptly realize that they are perceived as socially awkward. Kirk, in an apparent effort to explain the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
263 views

Short story about a child who is a miniature, living Earth

I saw this short story in an anthology years ago. At least 20 years old, probably more. This was a humorous short story about a child of human parents who was born as a tiny earth, complete with ...
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  • 53
3 votes
1 answer
107 views

E-book set in fantasy world with trolls and pirates

Looking for the title of an e-book I read a couple of years back. I can't recall the main storyline just that there was some war going on the the heroines village. Her love interest was some kind of ...
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  • 33
10 votes
1 answer
289 views

Old comedy routine about the evolutionary race to become Homo Sapiens

A friend told me about this once. I think he later allowed me to listen to his audiotape copy of it. Maybe. But this was in the late 1980s -- call it "thirty years ago" -- and my memory is far from ...
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14 votes
1 answer
559 views

Comedic short story about a man wanting to be "one with the elves" and getting his wish with a twist

I believe I read this in a fantasy humor anthology, in English, probably 10-15 years ago although that's a total spitball of an attempt to date it. I don't remember any stories being in the same ...
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  • 191k
6 votes
1 answer
160 views

Name of a book - Genius Space Squid Defeats bad guy, I *think* the word "Emperor" is in the title

The "squid" was emperor of a planet and had, at one time, been a "super villain". It's all set in space and has many references to gadgetry. Humorous sci-fi book and I can't recall the name.
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  • 61
12 votes
2 answers
547 views

Identify weird Sci Fi movie from 70s/80s

Things I remember (vaguely, maybe incorrectly) about this movie: the setting is overcrowded and we never see "outside", so it may be in space or just a dystopian future it's weird, like Brazil-level ...
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15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Looking for a humorous short story about the ultimate secret agent

I'm sure I read this in an anthology collecting science fiction stories from various authors. English language. I don't remember the common theme (if there really was one). I think I checked this book ...
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24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Humorous short story about alien manufacturing ship accidentally dumping defective products on earth

I am looking for a rather humorous short story that I believe I read in an anthology within the last 10-15 years (possibly originally published in an SF magazine in that same timeframe). It was about ...
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7 votes
1 answer
499 views

Humorous short story where human lives with aliens as one of their own

I'm looking for a humorous short story where a human lives with aliens as one of their own, as part of a cultural exchange. He and his host have to pretend he is one of them. Against all odds, he is ...
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4 votes
0 answers
444 views

Looking for a humorous sci-fi story about puns

I'm thinking of a very short story that ran in one of the big science fiction magazines--Asimov's or Analog, probably--maybe a decade or so ago, about a disease epidemic that created puns. Anybody ...
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23 votes
1 answer
3k views

Humorous story in which future archaeologists find a motel room and they believe to have found a great tomb similar to that of Tutankhamun

I read it in Reader's Digest in the seventies. Archaeologists interpreted everyday objects as the TV set and the toilet seat to be sacred and precious.
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  • 7,864
-5 votes
1 answer
448 views

Dr. Phlox's gag on Captain Archer?

In the episode, "A Night in Sickbay" of Star Trek: Enterprise, Captain Archer and others, including the dog Porthos, return to the ship and have to go through decon because of a pathogen. The decon ...
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  • 9
12 votes
1 answer
582 views

90s fantasy novel about a girl on quest with talking pig (I think)

I'm looking for a fantasy novel I read in the 90s. Heroine begins the story overweight and has to go on a long quest (don't remember why). Along the way she acquires a group of animal/spirit? ...
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  • 121
7 votes
1 answer
204 views

Is Gesar a joker?

I was recently trying to come up with a short description of the character Gesar (or Boris Ignatievich), head of the Moscow Night Watch in Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch cycle: powerful, been ...
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  • 131k
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Looking for a short story: robot making other robots

A friend of mine is trying to track down a short story that her dad enjoyed decades ago, with a view to buying the book for his birthday. It's a comedy, and the plot follows a guy who assembles a ...
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  • 201
10 votes
1 answer
190 views

Man convicted of being anti-social sentenced to share apartment with simulacrum of himself

In the future, man is convicted of being anti-social. Sentenced to share an apartment with another man, who turns out to the most obnoxious person ever. At the end, protagonist figures out that ...
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7 votes
1 answer
261 views

What book had a robot going around the galaxy, making other robots?

I remember getting recommended a book about a robot travelling around the galaxy making other robots. However, I never had a chance to read and have now forgotten its title. My recollection is ...
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  • 173
13 votes
1 answer
741 views

SF Short Story: alien apes invade during nuclear war

Trying to identify a science fiction short story from an anthology likely published before 1991. Aliens invade during a nuclear war (which would be World War III, WWIII, WW3). The warring nations ...
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6 votes
0 answers
165 views

80s Short story or novella written from a cat's point of view as they cross a parking lot

Short story or Novella from a pulp magazine in the 80's written from a cat's point of view, involved crossing a dead expanse (a parking lot) and a fear of castration by a human (My human would NEVER ...
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4 votes
1 answer
216 views

Looking for a SF story about robotic explorers who discover intelligent organic life on a planet

I read a humorous science fiction story some ten to twenty years ago about robotic explorers who discover a planet, perhaps Earth, with intelligent organic lifeforms and can't quite believe it. They ...
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6 votes
1 answer
307 views

Short story on a blog which makes fun of plot armour

I once read a short SF/F story on the blog of a Stack Exchange member, which I'd like to find again. (If you are the person with that blog, please do answer this question!) It was basically a big ...
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43 votes
3 answers
9k views

Snotty made a joke I don't understand

I have always had a nagging question about the transporter scene in SpaceBalls. After Skroob has been "transported", to his then asinine state, we see Snotty "try and reverse the beam&...
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  • 706
4 votes
0 answers
307 views

Short s.f. Story, can't remember title, satirical riff on Teenagers Who Saved the Earth (all grown up now)

This is not a particularly famous or widely-published story, but it may have been anthologized once in one of the popular "Year's Best"-type antho's (or "Best of "If", etc.) -- probably where I read ...
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18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Identify this spoof Tolkien book review

Ten or fifteen years ago I read a hilarious parody review of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The piece was written with the conceit that the reviewer was completely unfamiliar with Tolkien ...
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  • 2,118
3 votes
1 answer
639 views

Humorous story about toilet paper perforations leading to the creation "Nothing" - an unbreakable, invisible material

In this short story, a scientist/engineer discovers that the perforations on toilet paper are the strongest part. He reasons that more perforations will make it even stronger. He makes a material ...
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9 votes
1 answer
617 views

Was the 1998 John Glenn Planet of the Apes prank executed?

In 1998 there was an internet joke going around that proposed: "Pssssst. This is a secret. When John Glenn returns from space, everybody dress in Ape Suits. Pass it on." Did this Planet of the ...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Trying to identify a very old short story about aliens colonizing human bodies

Don't remember the exact start to the story, but it went something like "walking along a path" or something, and when he hears what sounds like a shotgun blast behind him, he then feels something ...
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Short story: temporal paradox caused by experiment ends world

This might be one of Fredric Brown's short-short stories, but I've tried and could not find a reasonably quick way to look up summaries of all his stories. A group of scientists in a lab decide to ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Fantasy/urban novel about Greek-Roman gods

I am looking for a fantasy novel about the Greek-Roman gods in the modern day. They go about their lives, which are diminished, due to failing worship. The Greek-Roman gods have become one and go by ...
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  • 1,134
67 votes
13 answers
8k views

Were there any jokes in the Lord of the Rings?

I saw this Q&A from J.K. Rowling interview: Q: Hello, I was wondering how much Tolkien inspired and influenced your writing? J.K. Rowling responds: Hard to say. I didn't read The Hobbit until ...
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