Sarcasm is sort of like the oddball of the humor family. It is such a straightforward and direct blow to the other person that sometimes it can be quite difficult detecting it. It’s a pill hard to swallow. Down below are the examples of sarcasm to explore this ironical form.
The situation maybe humorous but mostly, not everyone gets out of it laughing. There are always layers to it and the effect varies when you change situations. So how does sarcasm look from different windows, let’s check through these examples of wit—
Aiming for the looks
“I’m trying to imagine you with a personality”
Here, the speaker is trying to make fun of the dullness in the other person. He clearly does not think that the other person has any spark and is trying to show it through the sarcastic commenting.
Like this, sarcasm is sometimes used to make fun of another’s look. Some other similar examples are –
“Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.”
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad make an exception.”
“You have an inferiority complex and its fully justified.”
Aiming for the smarts
Sometimes, we are in the position of making a mistake and sometimes we do make it. Sarcasm is the crown jewel you will be presented with by someone sarcastic who knows you and does not like to restrain his/her emotions. If you read the examples listed below, you’ll get an idea what I’m talking about –
“Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today.”
“If you were twice as smart as you are today, you’d be absolutely stupid.”
“I don’t know what makes you so dumb but it really works.”
“He always finds himself lost in thought; it’s an unfamiliar territory.”
Dismissing and ignoring
Sometimes we are just not in the mood for a talk. Sometimes we are in the company of people who we don’t want to be talking to. In these scenarios, sarcasm comes out in very dismissive form. You don’t want to listen to something and still if you have to, you snap and sarcasm is unleashed. Here are some examples-
“Would you mind not speaking for some time, like forever?”
“I wish I was not here right now but you go ahead and speak.”
Speaker is trying to crush the enthusiasm of the other person by sarcasm.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all sat quietly for the entire time?”
“Please keep talking. I always yawn when I’m interested”
“I like long walks, especially when they are taken by the people who annoy me.”
Making fun of situations
Sometimes sarcasm can be bigger. From the very way how sarcasm works, It can go political and global. Depending on speaker’s intention, sarcasm can discuss a lot. Here are some examples-
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself”
This quote by Mark Twain raises questions on the intellectual expertise of political figures.
“Honesty is the best policy, when there is money in it”
Another quote by the great Mark Twain makes fun of the fact how truth can be exploited for financial gains.
“The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech”
In this category, there can also be a few subcategories. For example-
In case where something bad has happened-
“This is just what I need, perfect .Terrific!”
When you know something is about to go wrong and it really does-
“Well what a surprise”
In situations, it’s basically saying stuff that is opposite of what should be said. You tone says a lot.
When someone says something obvious-
“Oh my god Sherlock Holmes is here ladies and gentlemen!”
Example of Sarcasm in literature-
Sometimes writers also make use of sarcasm to create a humorous or cynical situation. It adds variety to the literary creation. Here are some of the famous sarcastic quotes by famous writers-
“Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
Use of sarcasm has been in literature since long. There are passages in the bible that make use of sarcasm to illustrate a point. For example when God asks Cain about the whereabouts of Abel he replies “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Similarly, sarcasm has also been used by many other great writers such as Shakespeare in his play “Julius Caesar” – “Mark Antony- The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-
For Brutus is an honorable man; so are they all, all honorable men –
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.”
This whole speech is filled with sarcasm. Brutus and the rest of his company have murdered Julius Cesar, the dear friend of Mark Antony and the king of Rome. Mark Antony cannot just simply say that the king was murdered. So he masterly points out to the people, the injustice that has been done to their king.
Sarcasm Illustration in TV
Today, television has become big and there are numerous shows on so many channels. There are a few characters who eat, sleep, speak, and breath in sarcasm. Here are some of the popular quotes by TV’s most sarcastic characters-
“It’s not easy being drunk all the time. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Who doesn’t know Friends, the sitcom? There is a scene where Ross enters with a REALLY tanned face and down below is the conversation that ensues-
“Chandler- Oh dear God. Hold on, there’s something different.
Ross- I went to the tanning place your wide suggested.
Chandler- Was that place THE SUN?”
“Good God, Lemon, your breath! When did you find the time to eat a diaper you found in the beach?”- Jack Donaghy (40 Rock)
These are some of the examples of sarcasm. If you have some other examples you think are worth mentioning, please leave them in the comment section.[Image source: Hugh Laurie]