Exaggeration

Exaggeration occupies a critical role in all humor techniques and is one of the most effective ways to make women laugh.

Overstatement and understatement are the two sides of this coin.

Overstatement

An overstatement simply talks about things that are impossible or unlikely to happen. For example:

“My house is so big that you have to spend 3 days walking from the front door to my bedroom… Wanna come to take a look?”

“The scarecrow scared the crows so badly that they brought back the corn they had stolen two years before.”

For most guys, overstatement shouldn’t be a tough task. We are dealing with it on a daily basis. It’s everywhere. You just have to pay attention.

With overstatement you can claim any of your achievements in the most absurd scenario. For example, if you want to be described as very “heterosexual”, you can simply say:

“I am so heterosexual that if you look up the dictionary you’ll find my name in the small print under that word.”

I used the word “heterosexual” as an example because it describes a state (like the word “dead”) which doesn’t have a comparative. (There’re no “more heterosexual” or “more dead”). This creates a funny effect since the woman you’re talking to cannot picture how much more “heterosexual” you can be than normal.

The rule of thumb is to construct an impossible world where animals talk and people do all kinds of bizarre things. You can claim that your dog talks or you have $1 billion in the bank. For example:

“When you were young you have nobody to take blame. One day my father came into the room and asked me who had been smoking his cigarettes, so I had to tell him the truth. It was the dog.”

What is the easiest thing to exaggerate? Numbers! When you want to say “a lot”, “many”, be more “specific”—pick an actual number that almost sounds real (you can even add a “roughly” or “about” in front just to make it sound more “convincing”)—that’s how the comical effects come about.

Overstatements work especially well with surprises. Have you ever heard someone say something like, “A is a lot more than B, C, and D… combined”? The last word is usually where the surprise as well as exaggeration is. So always be on the lookout at the end of your statement for an “additional tag” that serves as both an exaggeration as well as a surprise. More examples:

“Vatican is so small that if you compare Europe to a building, it would be the male toilet on the 3rd floor… the 2nd cubicle… under the toilet seat”

“500 people immediately signed up—and those are only their wives.”

Understatement

On the other hand, understatement might require a bit more finesse. An understatement works by deliberately reducing the actual impact of truth and thereby creating a funny conflict. For example:

“The result was released and I got a D. That wasn’t exactly what I had hoped to see. ”

“He jumped out of the window. As the room was on the sixth floor, you can imagine his surprise.”

The British comedian Ali G addressed a group of Harvard students in a graduations speech: “For those of you who don’t know… UK is a country more than a hundred miles from here.”

Interestingly, the British believe that the underclass overstates and the upper class understates. In other words, after seeing a good movie a lower class English guy would say, “My God, the movie was fantastic! I totally loved it!” whereas the upper class English guy would say, “The movie wasn’t bad… No, not bad at all.”

And you can make understatements in reply to women’s question to produce some comical effects. For example, next time when a woman says to you, “Hey, your hairstyle/shirt/report is not bad.” Instead of saying, “Thank you!” you could say, “Well, it wasn’t meant to be.”

You can also use understatements to make fun of her or flirt with her in a reserved way:

“If I could only see one miracle, just one miracle. Like a burning bush, or the seas part, or your invitation to dinner…”