What are Yo Mama Jokes?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2019
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What started out as playground insults in primarily urban and inner city neighborhoods has evolved into an entire humor category known as yo mama jokes. Yo mama jokes are targeted at a challenger's mother because family insults are widely considered to be the most offensive in urban culture. While the confrontation may start out with personal insults and slurs, it may devolve quickly into a series of crude insults against each other's mothers: "Yo mama's so fat, she needs a map to find her butt." "Well, yo mama's so ugly, she put the boogie man out of business."

Yo mama jokes are urban variants on a tradition of verbal taunts and insults offered in the form of biting or sarcastic humor. The term "Yo mama" itself is short for "your mama," and is considered to be an example of urban slang known as Ebonics or Black English. Although the deliberate use of black slang may seem racist, many humor collections refer specifically to Yo mama jokes as a recognized category. Part of the humor behind yo mama jokes is the delivery of the punchline in an urban or Ebonic dialect.


Some other yo mama jokes target weight, intelligence or age: "Yo mama's so old, she sat in front of Jesus in the first grade!" "Oh yeah, yo mama's so stupid she took the Pepsi challenge and chose Jif!" "Yo mama's so fat she could be the eighth continent!" Few subjects are considered off-limits when crafting and hurling yo mama jokes, from poverty to personal hygiene. Other relatives may also become the target of insults and slurs, but crude or obscene remarks about one's mother tend to trigger the most emotional responses.

Yo mama jokes are not limited to urban or inner city areas of the United States. Many other cultures have their own form of insult humor, most of which is targeted at a rival's family members or community. "Yo mama" could easily be replaced by "Yo boyfriend" or "Yo family" or "Yo wife." The point of the exercise is to come up with a new insult that is so clever or cutting that the rival can no longer respond in kind.


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Post 4

@Chmander - Wow! Those jokes are insulting, and I don't find them funny at all. I'm sure some people do, but I'm just not one of them. I always prefer that "yo mama" sense of humor. Those jokes apply to practically everyone, and it doesn't single out or offend others based on their ethnicity and skin color.

Post 3

@RoyalSpyder - Yep, there's definitely a line that shouldn't be crossed. I have a friend who loves cracking racist jokes, even though they're all in good fun. However, being Hispanic, I do take offense to some of them. Here are some examples of racist jokes he has made, Hispanic and non-Hispanic.

1. Why are black people so fast? Because all the slow ones are in jail

2. What do you call a Mexican baptism? A bean dip.

3. What is a Mexican's favorite sport? Cross country

4. What is a white person's favorite restaurant? Cracker Barrel.

As you can see, these are some of the jokes he has made. While some of them are funny, you have to be careful who use use them around, since people don't always take them lightly.

Post 2

@WaterHopper - In my opinion, "yo mama" jokes, can be pretty funny, but like with most things, they can be taken way too far. It's always good to joke around with someone, but there's also a line that shouldn't be crossed.

On another note, I have seen the show about "yo mama" jokes, and I think it's hilarious trash TV. Sure, some of the jokes may seem like they're insensitive, but it's all in good fun, right? Besides, if the person who is trying to insult you doesn't even know your Mom, then how will it have any "affect" on you? It really shouldn't. That's like someone insulting you on a message board, even though they don't know who you are.

Post 1

At first, I was really offended by "yo mama" jokes. I thought they were cruel and insensitive. Then, the show came out about “yo mama” jokes and I saw that they were really harmless and I learned to accept them. I am going to post a few that I’ve heard and I hope that no one is offended by them.

Yo mama is so fat, people jog around her for exercise. Yo mama is so stupid that she puts lipstick on her heard so that she can make-up her mind. Yo mama is so stupid that when she hears that it’s chilly outside, she goes and gets a bowl.

Again, I had to learn to accept these “jokes” as just that; jokes.

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