The seven types of sarcasm

The seven types of sarcasm

A Lesson by Mike Lamb

You know what's not funny? Generic sarcasm. Constantly saying "Yeah right" and "Oh great" doesn't make you witty. It makes you annoying.


Everyone thinks they can be a smart a*s. Well you know what? It's a f*****g art. So if you want to use sarcasm you'd better learn to wield it like a goddamn straight razor if you want it to make an impact. I've made a list of what I consider to be the seven types of sarcasm based on mood and tone of voice. I don't know if anyone else has ever broken it down into categories. Probably. Look it up if you want. Anyway...


1. Self-deprecating sarcasm: sarcasm that plays off of an exaggerated sense of worthlessness and inferiority. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, I'm gonna need you to work overtime this weekend." "Yeah, that's fine. I mean, I was gonna get married this weekend but, you know, it's not a big deal, I'll just skip it. She would've left me anyway."


2. Brooding sarcasm: the speaker says something polite and/or subserviant in a bitter/irritated tone. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, I'm gonna need you to work overtime this weekend." "Looking forward to it. I live to serve."


3. Deadpan sarcasm: said without laughter or emotion, so that it's hard to tell whether or not the speaker is joking with and/or mocking the other person. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, gonna need you to work overtime this weekend." "Can't make it. Got a cult meeting. It's my turn to kill the goat."


4. Polite sarcasm: subtle, but just a little too nice. This is a kind of sarcasm that sounds genuine at first, but then it slowly dawns on the listener that the speaker was just screwing with him. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, I'm gonna need you to work overtime this weekend." "Ooh, fun! I'll bring the ice cream!" 


5. Obnoxious sarcasm: the kind of sarcasm that makes people want to punch you in the face. It's not really funny or clever, but it gets under your skin. It's usually spoken in a bitchy/whiney tone of voice. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, gonna need you to work overtime." "Oh, well that's just f*****g great. Just what I wanted to do this weekend. Awesome."


6. Manic sarcasm: so unnaturally happy that it's borderline crazy. EXAMPLE: "Hey Bob, I'm gonna need you to work overtime." "God, you are the best boss EVER! Have I ever told you how much I love this job? I wish I could live here! Somebody get me a tent, I never wanna leave!"


7. Raging sarcasm: sarcasm that relies heavily on hyperbole and threats of violence. This is the kind of psychotic screaming rant that you unleash on someone when you're about three steps away from murdering them and you need to vent your rage verbally before doing something horrible involving sharp knives. EXAMPLE: "Bob. Overtime." "Oh, don't worry! I'll be there! Want me to shine your f*****g shoes while I'm at it?! Hell, I'll come to your house tonight and wash your goddamn Ferrari! Actually, you know what? Forget it. I'm just gonna go home and blow my brains out."

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Posted 8 Years Ago

HAHA! I love this! Looks like I really am a sarcastic b***h... I pick and choose from each of these everyday towards different people. Some can handle it and hit me with their own sarcasm and some get pissed because I apparently have detroyed their little fuzzball emotions and I, out of habit, laugh in their faces.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

Crap, I just thought of a new one: condescending sarcasm. Should go between polite and obnoxious. Sarcasm that addresses someone with a smile and an exaggerated level of pity, often with slow speech and small, clearly ennunciated words as if talking to an idiot or child. Without the opposite-meaning elements of sarcasm, however, it simply becomes sardonic humor which is often confused for sarcasm. Here's an easy way to tell the difference: sarcastic is calling an idiot a genius and sardonic is calling an idiot an idiot, but both are done with a smile.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

I love this. Well put.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

um.... Mike? ...... You don't just come here for the writing do you. If I take one sarcasm from column A and two from column B are the rest of the sarcasms included in the fortune cookie?

Great stuff, and I'm pretty sure you are the ONLY one to categorize them so sublimely.

Actually I'm a little bit of 3, a little bit of 6 and a whole lot of 7. I'd probably pee on Bob's shoes, steal the Ferrari AND his wife and then look for a new job with Halliburton or Microsoft ... blowing yer brain's out is over rated.....

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Mike Lamb
Mike Lamb

greenville, NC

Artist, writer, and a drunken lunatic prophet. I am the author of Jack's Inferno, a dark comedy bizarro/horror novel about Hell, previously published through Wordplague (now defunct). I am also a pro..