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GenZ and Dark Humor

Where did Joe go after getting lost in a minefield? 



Did you laugh? Did it feel criminal? And are you, by chance, a GenZ?

If the answer to the above is yes, or perhaps you're just a curious cat, your goal may be to ask why. In that case, you're in the right place!


Dark humor is a form of comedy that delves into subjects typically considered grim, macabre, or taboo. It thrives on pushing boundaries, challenging societal norms, and finding humor in situations where one might least expect it. From death and illness to tragedy and taboo topics like politics and religion, nothing is off-limits in the world of dark humor.

Now the million-dollar question is, why does our fam GenZ find humor in such darkness?


Dark humor is an acquired taste. It may not tickle everyone's funny bone, but for GenZs, it's just another way to crack up and make light of the darkness surrounding them. 


1. Sheesh! That tension could be cut with a knife!

Humor, especially dark humor, effectively breaks tension! You'll also see it used in many dystopian fiction works, especially the one famous among GenZs.

Remember when Erwin Smith was just staring as Titans were coming their way, and Levi coolly asked, "What are we waiting for, breakfast?" 

AOT viewers, it did make you crack up amidst all the anxiety and anticipation, did it not?


2. Rebelling against the world, one joke at a time!

Dark humor can challenge social norms and open discussions about uncomfortable topics. Jokes about death, for instance, can help people feel more comfortable talking about mortality. And hey! Did we forget? GenZers are born rebels for a good cause! More aware of social issues than ever, they want to bring these topics to your plate, whether you choose to eat them or not.


3. Only for the Smarties!

Studies suggest that understanding dark humor requires a higher level of cognitive ability. It can also be a way to test boundaries and build connections with people who share your sense of humor. "I made a website for orphans, but it doesn't have a homepage."

Did that crack you up? Welcome to the club!


4. It's all about rewiring your brain

Dark humor can challenge our perceptions of what's funny and what's not and make us think differently about serious topics. And who is more at the forefront of experimentation than Gen Z? They aren't afraid to embrace the unknown.


5. Growing up Grim

Gen Z has come of age during economic recession, climate change anxieties, and constant news of conflict and did we forget? A literal Pandemic! Add being aware of the generational trauma that awaits them, and it's the perfect recipe for chaos. Dark humor becomes a way to laugh in the face of absurdity. It's a way of putting on a brave face and fighting through it all!


6. Self-Deprecation Central 

We are all about self-esteem, but hey, it's good to be the butt of the joke once in a while! Gen Z doesn't shy away from self-deprecating humor. Jokes about mental health struggles, crippling debt, and the ever-present threat of burnout are a way to bond and find humor in shared experiences. 


7. The Meme Royalty

Memes are Gen Z's native language, and dark humor thrives in meme culture. A quick scroll through Reels, TikTok, or Reddit shows how dark humor is used to poke fun at everything from collectively suffering from mental health to the apocalypse. Gen Zs are the CEOs of turning everything into a joke! 


8. How can we forget the 'C' word? 

It's our ultimate Coping Mechanism! The world can be overwhelming and tiring, and the preceding generations sometimes just won't let us live! Just the other day, my Grandpa said, "The current generation relies too much on technology," so I unplugged his life support.

Okay, that was the last one, I promise! Dark humor allows GenZ to process anxieties and frustrations in a relatable, even cathartic way. It helps cope by finding humor and moving on to find peace, even for a moment.


The Ultimate GenZ Mantra: With dark humor, we cope and lose no hope!


So, next time you find yourself chuckling at a dark joke, remember the complex psychology and how GenZ fits those complexities like a glove!

It's a way to cope, challenge norms, and even bond with others, but always be mindful of your audience.

-Rinaaz Nadaf

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