100 Best Idioms About Laughing

Idioms are like the spice in the language soup—they add flavor and fun. And guess what? When it comes to laughter, idioms don’t disappoint. From “laughing your head off” to “cracking up,” idioms about laughing help us share those belly-shaking, tear-inducing moments. Ready to dive into this giggly world of words?

Most Popular Laughing Idioms

1. Burst Out Laughing

When someone “bursts out laughing,” it means they suddenly start laughing really hard, usually because something is very funny. It’s like the laughter just can’t be held in anymore and comes exploding out.

2. Crack Up

This idiom means to start laughing so hard that you can barely control yourself. People usually “crack up” when something is extremely funny or when they find something unexpectedly amusing.

3. Rolling in the Aisles

This phrase is used to describe a situation where something is so funny that people could be rolling on the floor laughing. It’s often used to talk about a really funny movie, joke, or performance.

4. Die Laughing

This is an exaggerated way of saying that something is extremely funny. It’s like saying the situation or joke is so hilarious that you could “die” from laughing so much.

5. Laugh Up Your Sleeve

This means to laugh quietly or secretly about something, usually at someone else’s expense. It’s like hiding your laughter as if it’s up your sleeve so others can’t see it.

6. Laugh Out of the Other Side of Your Mouth

This means that someone who is laughing or gloating now may find themselves in a situation where they won’t be laughing later on. It’s a warning that things can quickly turn around.

7. Laugh All the Way to the Bank

This idiom means that someone is very pleased or happy about making a lot of money, often when others doubted them or in a way that others might disapprove of.

8. Have the Last Laugh

This means that someone succeeds in the end despite being laughed at or doubted in the beginning. It’s like saying, “Who’s laughing now?

9. Laugh Like a Drain

This is a way to describe a loud, unrestrained form of laughter. It’s as if the laughter is flowing out uncontrollably, like water going down a drain.

10. Laugh Your Head Off

This means to laugh extremely hard and for a long time. It’s like saying you’re laughing so much that your head could come off.

11. Laugh in Someone’s Face

This means to openly laugh at someone, usually when they’re being serious or after they’ve failed at something. It’s considered disrespectful.

12. A Laughing Stock

Being a “laughing stock” means you’ve done something so foolish that people can’t help but laugh at you. You’ve become the target of public ridicule.

13. Laugh Off

This means to use humor to make something seem less important or serious than it actually is. People often “laugh off” embarrassing situations to make them feel less awkward.

14. Split Your Sides

This means to laugh extremely hard, to the point where it almost hurts. It’s like saying you’re laughing so much it feels like your sides could split open.

15. Laugh in the Face of Danger

This idiom means to stay cheerful and confident even when things are scary or risky. It’s about keeping a good attitude even when situations are tough.

16. You’re Having a Laugh

This is a British idiom that means you can’t be serious or you must be joking. It’s often used to express disbelief or shock at what someone is saying.

17. No Laughing Matter

This means that something is very serious and should not be joked about. It’s a way of saying that the situation is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

18. Laughing All the Way

This means being extremely happy or satisfied while you are doing something, often because you are gaining something from it, like money or success.

19. Hold One’s Laughter

This means trying really hard not to laugh, even though something is very funny. It’s often used in situations where it would be inappropriate to laugh out loud.

20. Laugh Off the Stage

This means to perform so poorly that the audience laughs at you instead of at you. This idiom is often used to describe failed performances or public speeches.

In Movies and TV Shows

21. Steal the Show

When someone “steals the show,” they are so funny or entertaining that they become the most memorable part of the performance or event. It’s like they take all the attention away from everyone else.

22. A Laugh Riot

This idiom describes a movie, TV show, or situation that is extremely funny. If you say a comedy show was “a laugh riot,” you mean that it was so hilarious it was like an outburst of laughter.

23. Get a Rise Out of Someone

This is often seen in comedy sketches, where one character says or does something just to get a funny reaction from another character. It’s like poking someone just to see them jump.

24. Play for Laughs

When someone is “playing for laughs,” they’re doing things specifically to make people laugh. This often happens in comedic roles in movies or TV shows where the character’s main goal is to be funny.

25. Break the Ice

This phrase is often used in TV shows or movies when a funny comment or joke is used to relieve tension and make people feel more comfortable. The “ice” here symbolizes the awkward or tense atmosphere.

26. Tongue-in-Cheek

When something is said or done “tongue-in-cheek,” it’s meant to be funny but in a clever or sarcastic way. You see this a lot in satirical movies or shows where they’re making fun of something but in a smart way.

27. A Barrel of Laughs

When a movie or TV show is described as “a barrel of laughs,” it means it’s extremely funny from beginning to end. It’s like saying the show is so full of laughs that you could fill a whole barrel with them.

28. Jump on the Bandwagon

This idiom often appears in movies or TV shows where a character joins a popular trend just because everyone else is doing it, often to comedic effect.

29. Gag Reel

A “gag reel” is a series of outtakes, often shown at the end of a movie or TV show, where actors are seen making mistakes, laughing, or doing funny things. Though “gag” can mean a joke, in this context, it often includes any funny mistake or moment.

30. Comic Relief

This term is often used to describe a character or scene in a movie or TV show that provides humor in an otherwise serious or tense situation. It’s like giving the audience a little break to laugh.

31. Ham It Up

To “ham it up” means to overact in a funny or exaggerated way. You often see actors doing this in comedic roles where they’re really laying it on thick to get laughs.

32. The Joke’s on You

This phrase is used when someone tries to make a joke at someone else’s expense, but it backfires on them. It’s often a plot twist in comedies.

33. Laugh Track

A “laugh track” is a pre-recorded laughter added to TV shows to indicate when something is supposed to be funny. While it’s not an idiom in the traditional sense, its presence has become idiomatic in certain types of sitcoms.

34. A Hard Act to Follow

When a performance, often a comedic one, is so good that it seems almost impossible for anyone to be as entertaining, it’s called “a hard act to follow.

35. Take the Mickey

This British idiom means to make fun of someone, and it’s often used in comedic scenes where characters are poking fun at each other.

36. Double Take

A “double take” is a comedic acting technique where a character looks at something, looks away, and then looks back in surprise or disbelief. It’s often used for comedic timing in movies and TV shows.

37. The Peanut Gallery

This refers to people who make unsolicited and often unhelpful or funny comments. In shows or movies, a “peanut gallery” usually provides comic relief by making funny remarks about what’s happening.

38. One-Liner

A “one-liner” is a short joke or witty remark that’s often used in comedies to get a quick laugh. These are especially popular in stand-up comedy segments within shows.

39. Slapstick Humor

While not an idiom in the classic sense, the term “slapstick” has become idiomatic for a style of humor involving exaggerated physical activity. You often see this in comedy movies or cartoons.

40. Upstage Someone

To “upstage” means to draw attention away from someone else, usually to make yourself look better. In movies and TV, this often happens in a funny way, where one character tries to outdo another.

About Laughter and Health

41. Laughter Is the Best Medicine

This classic idiom means that laughing and having a good sense of humor can improve your well-being. Just like medicine helps heal the body, laughter can help heal the mind and soul.

42. Grin and Bear It

This means that if you’re in a tough situation, sometimes putting on a happy face and making the best of it can be good for your mental health. It’s about using a positive outlook to make things easier to handle.

43. Put on a Brave Face

Similar to “grin and bear it,” this idiom means to pretend that you’re okay even when you’re not, often to lift the spirits of those around you. The “brave face” can sometimes include a smile or laughter, even if forced, to help you and others feel better.

44. Keep Your Chin Up

This idiom suggests that staying positive and maybe even finding reasons to smile or laugh can help you through difficult times. It’s about maintaining a positive attitude for your mental health.

45. Belly Laugh

A “belly laugh” is a loud, uninhibited laugh that comes from deep within the belly. It’s often seen as the healthiest kind of laugh, as it can relieve stress and improve mood.

46. Wear a Smile

This phrase suggests that just the act of smiling, even if you don’t feel like it, can improve your mood and, by extension, your health. Sometimes, the simple act of smiling can even lead to genuine laughter.

47. Laugh Away Your Troubles

This means that using humor can make your problems seem less severe. Laughing at your troubles doesn’t make them go away, but it can make them easier to deal with.

48. Tickle Your Funny Bone

This idiom refers to finding something that makes you laugh and taking time to enjoy it. It’s often used to suggest that a little laughter can make you feel better.

49. Laugh Yourself Silly

This means to laugh so hard and for so long that you almost lose your wits. It’s often said that such intense laughter can be good for relieving stress and improving mental health.

50. Get the Giggles

When you “get the giggles,” you start laughing and can’t stop, usually at something minor or even for no reason at all. This uncontrollable laughter can serve as a mental release, which is good for your health.

51. Laugh Off the Years

This idiom suggests that having a good sense of humor and laughing frequently can make you feel younger, both mentally and physically.

52. Lighten Up

This phrase means to take things less seriously and to find humor in situations. It suggests that laughing and not taking life too seriously can be beneficial for your health.

53. Laugh in the Face of Adversity

This means to remain positive and even find reasons to laugh when going through hard times. It’s about using humor as a coping mechanism.

54. Break Into a Smile

This means to suddenly start smiling, often because something has made you happy or amused. It’s like saying that just one smile can be the start of feeling better.

55. Life of the Party

Being the “life of the party” means you’re the most entertaining and lively person in a social setting, often making everyone laugh. This idiom suggests that having a positive, funny demeanor can also have positive health effects for you and those around you.

56. Lighthearted Banter

This phrase describes a playful and funny conversation that usually makes everyone laugh and feel good. It’s often used to suggest that such uplifting conversation is good for one’s emotional well-being.

57. Laugh Till You Cry

This means to laugh so hard that you actually start to cry. It’s often seen as a healthy emotional release, good for relieving stress and tension.

58. Laughter Lines

This refers to the wrinkles around one’s eyes and mouth that come from smiling and laughing a lot. While some might see them as just wrinkles, they’re often viewed as a sign of a life well-lived with lots of laughter.

59. Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

This idiom suggests that sometimes people laugh or appear happy even when they’re not feeling that way deep down. While putting on a brave face can sometimes be good for mental health, this idiom highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing your true feelings.

60. Eyes Twinkling With Laughter

This poetic phrase suggests that one’s eyes can show happiness or amusement even if they’re not laughing out loud. It highlights how even subtle forms of laughter or amusement can be beneficial for your emotional well-being.

Rare or Unusual Laughing Idioms

61. Laugh in the Face of Danger

This means you’re not scared, even when there’s a big risk or danger. Instead of freaking out, you laugh and show that you’re fearless.

62. He Who Laughs Last, Laughs Best

This means that even if someone is making fun of you now, you’ll have the last laugh if things end up going your way in the end.

63. Hold One’s Sides

This is similar to “split one’s sides laughing.” You’re laughing so hard that you have to hold your sides to keep them from “splitting.

64. Roar with Laughter

To “roar with laughter” means to laugh very loudly and heartily, similar to how a lion roars.

65. Laugh Like a Hyena

This means to laugh loudly and uncontrollably. It’s like you’re laughing as noisily as a hyena, an animal known for its unique laugh.

66. In Stitches

To be “in stitches” means to laugh so much that your stomach hurts, as if you’ve been stitched up.

67. Laugh Like No One’s Watching

This means to laugh freely without worrying about what other people think. It’s like you’re so caught up in the moment you don’t care who sees you.

68. Titter on the Brink

This means to be so close to bursting into laughter that you’re right on the edge, almost like you’re on the “brink” of a cliff and could fall into laughter at any moment.

69. Guffaw Like a Jackal

Similar to “laugh like a hyena,” this idiom means to laugh loudly and roughly. It’s like you’re making as much noise as a jackal would.

70. Laugh One’s Socks Off

This idiom means to laugh so hard that it’s as if your socks could fly off. It’s another exaggerated way to say that you find something hilarious.

71. Chuckle in One’s Boots

This means to laugh quietly to oneself, perhaps in a secretive or sneaky way, as if your laughter is hidden down in your boots.

72. Shake Like a Leaf with Laughter

This means to laugh so hard that your body is shaking. It’s as if you’re a leaf trembling in the wind, but it’s laughter that’s making you shake.

73. Laugh in High Feather

To laugh in high feathers means to be in an extremely good mood, so much so that it shows in your hearty laughter.

74. Cackle Like a Hen

This means to laugh in a high-pitched or shrill manner, similar to the sound a hen might make.

75. Howl Like a Banshee

This idiom describes a very loud and unrestrained form of laughter, akin to the wail of a banshee, a mythical creature known for its piercing scream.

76. Laugh One’s Brains Out

This is another way to say you’re laughing extremely hard. It’s so intense that it feels as if your brains might spill out, but not really, of course!

77. Erupt in Laughter

Similar to “crack up” or “break up with laughter,” this idiom describes a sudden outburst of laughter, as sudden and powerful as a volcano erupting.

78. Chortle with Glee

To “chortle with glee” means to laugh in a gleeful, joyful way. It’s a blend of a chuckle and a snort, and it’s a kind of laughter that shows you’re really enjoying yourself.

79. Laugh Until You Drop

This idiom means to laugh so much that you’re completely exhausted. It’s like you could just fall over because you’re so tired from all the laughing.

80. Rumble with Laughter

This means to laugh in a deep, rolling kind of way. It’s as if your laughter is a kind of deep, rumbling sound.

for Small or Quiet Laughs

81. Titter Behind One’s Hand

This idiom means to laugh quietly and nervously, usually behind your hand to hide it. It’s often used when something is funny but maybe a bit inappropriate to laugh at openly.

82. Giggle Under One’s Breath

This means to laugh softly to oneself, almost in a whisper. You’re keeping your laughter low, maybe because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

83. Suppress a Chuckle

This idiom refers to holding back a quiet laugh. You want to laugh, but maybe it’s not the right time or place, so you hold it in.

84. Smirk Like a Cheshire Cat

A smirk is a kind of small, self-satisfied smile or laugh. The idiom comes from the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland,” known for its mysterious, cheeky grin.

85. Snicker Under One’s Nose

To snicker under one’s nose means to laugh quietly and slyly to yourself. It’s almost like you’re hiding your laugh because you don’t want others to know what you find funny.

86. Muffle One’s Laughter

This means to keep your laugh quiet as if you’re covering it up with something. It’s often used when you’re in a situation where loud laughing would be frowned upon.

87. Crack a Smile

This means to let a small smile show on your face. It’s a tiny laugh, shown only by the slight upward curve of your lips.

88. Simper Like a Schoolboy

A simper is a shy or silly smile. The idiom means to smile or laugh in a timid or self-conscious way, like how a schoolboy might act when he’s shy.

89. Snigger in the Shadows

This idiom means to laugh quietly and secretly. It’s like you’re hiding in the “shadows” with your amusement, maybe because it’s a private joke.

90. Chuckle to Oneself

This means to have a quiet, inward laugh. You’re not sharing the joke or the humor with anyone else; it’s a moment of personal amusement.

91. Break Into a Grin

This means to suddenly show a big smile but not a loud laugh. It’s like your face “breaks” into a happy expression, but quietly.

92. Coo with Laughter

This idiom means to laugh softly and gently, almost like the cooing of a bird. It’s a very soft, subtle kind of laugh.

93. Guffaw Under One’s Breath

A guffaw is usually a loud laugh, but when done “under one’s breath,” it’s a way to say you’re keeping that laugh quiet.

94. Smother a Giggle

This means to hold back a small laugh so that it’s barely heard. You’re “smothering” it by keeping it quiet and controlled.

95. Beam with Delight

While beaming is often more about smiling than laughing, “beaming with delight” suggests that you’re so happy you might quietly laugh or giggle from joy.

96. Tee-hee in the Corner

This idiom means to laugh quietly and to yourself while situated away from the main action as if hiding your amusement in a corner.

97. Curl One’s Lips

This is more about smiling than laughing, but it’s close. It means to slightly lift the edges of your mouth as if you’re on the verge of a quiet laugh.

98. Hum with Mirth

This is an idiom that describes a situation where you’re so filled with quiet joy that you hum instead of laugh out loud.

99. Quiver with Laughter

This idiom means you’re laughing gently and subtly, but you’re so amused that you’re shaking or quivering just a little bit.

100. Grin Like a Fox

This idiom describes a sly, pleased kind of small laugh or grin, much like a fox might have if it just figured out how to get into the hen house.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.