Humorous Narrative Essay Topics

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Sometimes, the best way to get students writing is to encourage them to be funny. This lesson offers some prompts and topics for students to use when writing humorous narrative essays.

The Benefits of the Humorous Narrative Essay

Do you teach any students who are reluctant writers? Or maybe your students love to write, but you want to help them become braver and more creative about expressing their ideas and opinions fully? One genre you might consider is the humorous narrative essay. Humorous narrative essays are written like stories and are filled with humor; a good humorous narrative essay will keep its readers amused and even laughing. What makes this essay a narrative is that it tells a story, whether about a student's own life or about somebody else. What makes it an essay, however, it that the story includes reflection, structure, and a bigger purpose than only the story. Humorous essays can be challenging for some students to write, even while they are engaging, so it is helpful to start with narrative essay topics that students can understand. This lesson gives you some topics that are likely to get your students going as writers, and get you laughing as their audience!

Autobiographical Essay Topics

  • Write an essay about a time when you could not stop laughing. Describe the story from beginning to end, showing in detail exactly what happened that seemed so funny to you. Reflect on what it was like to have such a funny experience.
  • Tell a story of a time that you felt really embarrassed, and then describe what happened as a result of the embarrassment. Choose a time that you no longer feel embarrassed about, so that you can willingly laugh at yourself and let others kindly laugh with you through your writing.
  • Describe a time that something turned out very differently from how you thought it would, showing what was funny about the disruption of your expectation and allowing readers to laugh alongside you as you demonstrate surprise through your narrative.

Essay Topics About Others

  • In this essay, write about the funniest person you know. Zero in on a particular story of how this person shows how humorous they are, demonstrating exactly what they say and do to make others laugh.
  • Write an essay about a time you saw someone else making a fool of themselves. Try to use your essay to express humor but without meanness; in other words, laugh along with the person but not at the person through your writing. Tell the episode like a story and make sure you reflect on what you learned or what happened as a result of what you witnessed.
  • Describe a time that you saw someone or a group of people use humor as a way of resolving a sad, tense, or otherwise difficult situation. As you describe the story, include elements that will make your reader laugh and see the utility of humor.

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