Questions tagged [humor]

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

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60
votes
13answers
6k 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 ...
41
votes
3answers
6k 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". Snotty: ...
23
votes
1answer
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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.
14
votes
2answers
651 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
975 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
294 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? ...
11
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
509 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
534 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Sci fi humor/adventure book I read forever ago [duplicate]

I read this sci-fi book quite some time ago, it was an old paperback, and I can only remember parts of it. Most of the story takes place on some sort of intergalactic cruise ship and for some reason ...
6
votes
1answer
343 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
126 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.
6
votes
0answers
158 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
397 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
298 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
530 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
350 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 ...