Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious

By Sigmund Freud


The main themes in the terms of this work, are the various sub-divisions of jokes and joke- techniques that Freud identifies.

Joke types are 'innocent' and 'tendentious'.

Joke-techniques are:


a) Condensation with modification
b) Concise use of words (brevity)
c) Multiple use of the same material


a) 'plays on words'
b) Diversion of a reply from the meaning of the reproach
c) The use of the absurd and nonsensical
d) Faulty reasoning
e) 'Unification' with allusions
f) Representation by opposites
g) Allusions (and with modification)
h) Analogy

The fundamental theme of the how these techniques produce pleasure (and in the cases of the comic and humour) can be found to be via an economy psychical expenditure, and also possibly via a comparison with expected expenditures.