Friends: making audiences laugh by embracing the unexpected in conversation - Deepstash
The Startup Collection

Learn more about communication with this collection

How to secure funding

How to market and sell your product or service

How to scale and grow your business

The Startup Collection

Discover 95 similar ideas in

It takes just

14 mins to read

Friends: The humour of the sitcom

Friends: The humour of the sitcom

Over the ten series, the sitcom about a group of 20- and 30-somethings in New York attracted scholarly analysis.

One of the striking things about Friends was the humour that depended on clever conversational devices. The scriptwriters used the unexpected in conversation.


285 reads

Breaking conversational rules causes laughter

The conversational rules for a successful invitation depend on:

  • who we're asking,
  • what kind of relationship we have
  • what's at stake
  • how important an acceptance is.

The preferred response to a request is acceptance, and the best way to ensure a positive result is to pose a leading question like, "What are you up to this evening?" This helps those we're talking to avoid having to give negative responses.

Friends' scriptwriters breached these rules, which cause audiences to laugh.


89 reads

Generating the big laughs

Friends scriptwriters methods for creating laughter make the often hidden conventions of language-use visible.

In one episode, an invitation is turned down, but without giving an expected reason. Joey asks Phoebe if she'd like to help build furniture. Phoebe opens with a negative reply but then does the surprising. "Ohh! I wish I could, but I don't want to." And the audience erupts in laughter.

Creating humour this way, as well as through misunderstandings, can keep us laughing.


82 reads



Deep thinker. Like talking about the world, religion and politics.


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates