Why Is It Funny When People Fall?

Admit it, you’ve laughed before when you’ve seen somebody fall. There are countless shows on television that show bloopers of people falling and bumping their heads, and doing all sorts of other funny physical stuff that entices you to laugh and enjoy the time as you chuckle at their misfortune.

funny photo of falling over

Plus, there have been countless comedians who have lived and made successful careers based on physical gags and ensuring that people laugh at them as they do dumb, funny, clumsy and accidental stuff to their own bodies and others around them.

But why is it so funny when people fall, anyways? And what makes us laugh when people fall down and do different physical actions that they weren’t meant to, or weren’t supposed to do? What makes us laugh when this happens, anyways, and why do we take so much joy in this process?

Humans aren’t meant to be clumsy

tennis player falling over hilarious photo

You have to recognize that the human body and human movements weren’t initially meant to be funny. After all, thousands of years ago, our bodies were that of finely tuned athletes who could put in a great deal of work when it came to getting the most out of the body during athletic competitions, or even just foraging for food and more. So when the body does something goofy and falls, trips, or stumbles, it is funny to see something that wasn’t supposed to happen to another person.

Unintended consequences!

Unintended reactions, and unplanned consequences tend to be funny and humorous, whether it’s a fall or not. After all, it is the unexpected that often makes us laugh, and that’s why laughing at somebody who falls down is a fairly common occurrence and reaction for a good deal of people. You don’t expect to see somebody trip, after all, so when you do, it can actually be quite humorous like in the funny photos on this page.

Laughing at ourselves

bear falling out a tree photoWhen we laugh at somebody else falling, what we are really doing is laughing at ourselves, in a way. See, it’s funny to think of ourselves falling, and we have all surely been at that point where you have to try and do everything you can just to keep from falling, but you still slip and fall. So seeing somebody else doing it allows us to put ourselves in his or her shoes, remembering how embarrassing and funny it can be to take a fall in a public place or on camera. As such, when we laugh at other people falling down, we are often really only laughing at ourselves and our own clumsiness from times past!

All in all, it’s funny when somebody falls, without a doubt. Because it is such a physical gag, and a physical component to humor, comics and comedians have become very popular and famous for being able to use physical and slapstick humor to gain a laugh. Plus, even ordinary people falling down is a funny occurrence that most everyone can take pleasure in, regardless of your background.