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128

Pretend like you didn't understand that it was a joke and take him seriously. It could go like this: "Hey do you know that random Indian person I met on the train last weekend?" Stare at him for ~5 seconds with poker face and then ask: What? or: What do you mean? or: I don't think I understand. or: What makes you think I should know that ...


56

If you find it funny, laugh. If you don't, it would be polite to smile. I think it could be helpful to understand something about why a joke like this is funny, at least to a certain audience. When minorities make jokes targeted at their own minority group, it is typically done as a way to express frustration towards negative stereotypes about that group, ...


50

As long as the jokes aren't offensive I think an indirect approach would work better than a straight confrontation as it would seem like you can't take a joke if you directly call him out on it. If I was in your shoes I would respond to vaguely racial remarks by taking them a bit overboard. For example: "Hey do you know the random Indian person I met on ...


34

Communication is key here -- I don't think he actually realises that you are annoyed by his remarks. Just sit down with him and tell him how you feel and take it from there. Or rag on him jokingly for not having any other material besides your ethnicity. EDIT: I have personally taken to using more blunt techniques in both personal and professional ...


24

I too am from the Netherlands and have made (jokey) comments about a friend's origin in the past. Others thought it was really funny, but he didn't like it at all. One day he told me: Can you stop making jokes about my origin? I don't think it's funny. I said I'm sorry and I didn't mean to hurt or disrespect him in any way. I've never made a joke about ...


18

Many of the responses you got so far seem to be quite tone deaf in regards to your question... Since it seems like both of you are fine with making fun of each other, I would suggest a couple of approaches. Mirror or modify his jokes, make fun of his inability to make funny jokes or simply show disappointment. If you mirror his joke with an even worse ...


18

You can always simply ask. I have had very good luck with, "Wait, I can't tell if you're being serious right now." Most people will immediately let you know, problem solved. If the person systematically continues to give sarcastic answers to this question, usually there is something else going on. There may be anger issues, avoidance issues, or social ...


15

Laughing...? Racist jokes are hideous only because there are actually people with racist views, who tell these jokes to mock minorities. However, jokes are meant to make people laugh. Since you ruled out racism as the reason why he told that joke, I assume you can safely laugh from the joke your colleague made if you found it funny, as I assume it was his ...


14

In the Netherlands, there are a few witty responses, but some can turn out really awkward. I've had to make a few of them and heard a lot of them, I've listed them below. I would really advise you to adhere to the disclaimer on the first, and never use it in the presence of people that you know of that can't have a kid of their own. USE THIS ONE WITH CARE: ...


14

One that has been a running joke in my family is: Relationships smack of effort. Which is painfully true, and anyone who's ever been in a long term relationship will kind of have to admit it. After seeing how well marriage has worked for you I've been having my doubts. I throw this one at my older brother occasionally. His wife has taken to breeding ...


13

Be Direct I don't think this situation requires a particularly careful response. The next time your friend makes an unfunny joke about your ethnicity (while you two are alone!), simply respond with something like: Hey, man, your Indian jokes are never funny, could you {just stop with them / work on them}*? I'm not really offended, they're just not funny ...


12

From personal experience, I think the best April Fools jokes are ones where a) you’re not targeting a single person and b) are not cause of any (even unintentional) physical harm. The best one that was ever played on me was a colleague making us believe he had won the lottery and he was inviting us all to dinner to celebrate. It worked very well because he ...


9

TL;DR To give your joke a higher chance at success you want to Involve multiple people if possible Cause a "mishap" as opposed to a "tragedy" Ensure that you're in a non-threatening, relaxed environment But at the end of the day, you need to use your own judgement and social/emotional acumen to determine whether your joke will be well-received. I'm going ...


8

A few comebacks I found and found them funny and would give as answers myself: So I don’t have to cheat on my left hand! Because I haven’t found a partner who can make me as happy as I make myself! Liked, but not as funny: I’m not willing to give up on love just yet. What I have actually said in the past: How come you aren't divorced yet? (after ...


7

I like to consider myself a funny person. Telling jokes and 'humorizing' situations is one of my favorite things to do. One big thing I've realized though, is that not all of my jokes are going to be found funny. This can be for a variety of reasons: The joke was far too oriented to my own sense of humor. It might have been only me able to understand it. ...


7

I'm Dutch, so perhaps I have some cultural sensitivity on the other side of this question. This guy is obviously not racist in the hard sense: he doesn't mind you being Indian (or the other guy being from Suriname) enough to stay away from you. Instead you are friends. As you suggest yourself, I think that you should team up with your friend from ...


6

What I would do in your case is say, with a smile, When you make jokes about my Indian heritage, I feel kind of hurt and irritated. I was born in this country and I'm just as Dutch as you are. I need you to respect that. Please don't make that kind of joke around me again. If he continues to make those remarks you can repeat the above a couple of ...


5

I tell jokes about part of my background, and against myself, which includes a minority. I do so because I don't believe anything should be sacrosanct against humour, and I like to walk my own talk. Also because if I can't, what does that say about who can? As regards racism, I'm sensitive to others feelings, or try to be. That's their choice, as mine is ...


5

Something that none of the other answers have addressed is the emotional and psychological harm that can be caused by one of these pranks. These are going to vary between different people, so it is important to know that the person on whom you are pulling the prank will be able to take the prank you have decided on well. As Astralbee pointed out, it is also ...


4

I think you are being much too nice about this. While I am not a minority per se, I am an Australian who lives in North America and tend to get asked idiotic questions or have stupid jokes/questions/accents. After being polite the first year or so I got fed up and I'll make it obvious the person asked an idiotic question or made a stupid joke that isn't ...


4

I imagine that I'm doing a standup. So I have some recoveries ready. Wow, that joke was so bad I would hear a cricket if this was a movie. Nevertheless, my grandma thinks I'm funny Strange, last time I told this joke it was so well received they told me not to come again to comedy club... WAAAIIIDAAA MINUTE. I will shut-up now. Just show that you ...


3

If you find it funny, laugh. If not, smile, or ignore it. I think it's a self-deprecating joke. Not the kind where it targets a different race or culture. If I'm an Indian and I make a quick funny remark about us Indians' accent when speaking in English, it's only a joke. Nobody is being targeted. If it makes you uncomfortable, you can just ignore that you ...


3

In Nepal most people have arrange marriage so I would go with (Single myself): My parents are searching and they haven't found anyone as good as me. This may sound weird in case of Western European culture. But may cause them to stop asking further question. If not you could ask a question about their life. or you could go with, I am very good at ...


3

'Still looking' is the laconic reply. It is perfectly true and not necessarily humorous but can be funny if the person 'still looking' is very young or quite old. 'Still looking' is certainly designed to discourage further discussion, though some busybodies I know in this town will ask me why I am 'still looking' -- in which case I don't mind giving them the ...


2

This is not really my set of answers, but I found them hilarious. Taken from here. Response to family members and friends: Just lucky, I guess. Name one married superhero. Exactly. Response to friends only (maybe from "gender of interest", but not needed for it to be a joke): Because you haven’t proposed yet.


2

The best route that works for me is to confuse them, I like the setup They ask a question You answer with a another question which is confusing and they don't know the answer to They answer something like "I don't know" You say "exactly" This is a parody on the setup where they ask you a question and you answer with something like Is pope a catholic? ...


2

What is suggested to keep in mind, to make proper April Fools' jokes that are both harmless towards the other person and at the same time make them look a bit foolish by having them believe or fall for a prank? "Practical" jokes would at one time have nearly always involved some kind of physical consequence upon a person - a bucket of water falling on their ...


1

There are a couple of things to consider here. The biggest is: why did the joke fall flat? First of all, and this is something I learned a while ago: people who try to be funny all the time are considered funny almost NONE of the time. No one takes you seriously after getting to know you, and the constant jokes wear thin. Did the joke not make sense to ...


1

If you're quick-witted enough, responding with a joke is one way of signalling that you got the other person's joke. You could pretend to misunderstand his point for humorous effect: You have people to clean the whiteboards? We have to make do with graduate students! Or you could lampshade the situation: Isn't it great how you can get away with ...


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