13 things pretentious people do that are actually pretty funny

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Pretentiousness. Everyone knows those types who love to pontificate about something we normies couldn’t possibly grasp.

So, you couldn’t imagine that they’d be funny, right?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, pretentiousness is: “trying to appear or sound more important or clever than you are, especially in matters of art and literature.”

And it’s that definition that can lead to endless heaps of hilarity. Here are some of the meme-worthy behaviors of pretentious people.

1) They claim to be foodies

Whether it’s food, drink, or (heaven help us) wine, pretentious people love to claim their superior knowledge in the culinary arts.

With just under 650 million gallons of wine produced domestically yearly, there’s nothing like asking a so-called foodie to string some superlatives together.

It’s even better when the winemaker subsequently says the exact opposite.

2) They are the ultimate cinephiles

Some people love to get snobby when it comes to movies. The pretentious types are most often fans of movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood and moody French noir flicks.

If you don’t like a movie, then you just didn’t get it. While this can get old fast, leaning into it can make for a great time-eater.

I once got into a discussion with a passionate yet pretentious fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He gave me a long lecture about the movie following the arc of human life and blah blah blah. I then asked him what he thought of Le Petit Luncheon from France as a contrast.

It wasn’t eye-opening, but it was fun to watch him give me an explanation of a movie I’d just made up.

Here’s some more fun that you can have with pretentious people.

3) They become easily annoyed by their rival college

Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, or Yale. These are just some of the colleges that pretentious people cannot help but mention if they went there.

The funny side is that while they believe they were educated in the Garden of Eden, their traditional college rival is the equivalent of the Seventh Circle of Hell.

If someone has dropped the H-bomb, then drop the Y-bomb and sit back for an epic rant for the ages. And, no, it doesn’t matter if they haven’t stepped foot in their college of choice for 30 years. The fire still burns.

Read on for another way to send a pretentious person into overdrive.

4) They can’t handle music that isn’t “in”

Pretentious people have their trends and fashions like everyone else. After all, with up to 5% of the population suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, there are millions of like-minded pretentious characters to connect with.

Music is one way the pretentious assert their cultural and academic superiority over mere mortals. But unlike people with a shred of tolerance, pretentious people can’t stand music that doesn’t fit their checklists.

Take the classical music Chad to a rock bar. Grab the heavy metal Kevin and take them to a jazz joint. Either way, you’re sure to have a lot of fun.

5) They always dress in the highest fashions

Here’s the thing about high fashion. It works on the catwalks of Paris and Milan. It also works at glitzy award shows. But in the real world, you tend to come off as ridiculous.

And that’s often a treasure trove of amusement by itself.

Take Bjork, the Icelandic singer-songwriter. Her swan dress worn at the 2001 Oscars remains one of the most mocked outfit choices to this day. Why? Because she’d dressed up like a swan. Of course, it looks stupid.

Hang around with a pretentious person long enough, and you’ll be in for plenty of fashion flops.

But this legacy of failure isn’t confined to “stunning” outfit choices or feigned knowledge. Many pretentious people make their own entertainment for those around them. Read on to learn more.

6) They regularly fall flat on their faces

A pretentious person isn’t someone who understands academic or cultural concepts. They’re someone who pretends to. And the thought process goes that if they know a little about a highly niche subject, it’s improbable that anybody can prove them otherwise.

Or they’re so far gone that they genuinely believe they are right.

In contrast, perhaps the best part of being around pretentious people is that they’re usually the tripwires to their own downfalls.

Take Ricky Gervais’ David Brent from the UK version of The Office. Brent attempts to impress his former work colleagues during the Christmas special with his door-to-door salesperson job. Without giving away spoilers, this storyline gave the world an entire Christmas episode.

Remember, truth and reality are the 100% efficacy antidotes to the pretentious personality. Let’s go into some of the things pretentious people say that can raise a smile.

7) They use big words for no apparent reason

There’s nothing a pretentious person loves more than a subscription to an old-world word-of-the-day newsletter.

Complex and obscure vocabulary is a power play to assert their own intelligence. But it’s pretty funny to hear them peppering their speech and bystanders looking at them with bewilderment.

However, the main fun comes from the fact that most pretentious people don’t know how to use these words correctly. Moreover, the only reason it works is because nobody else knows how to use them either.

8) They like to name-drop

Name-dropping is as old as the hills. Mentioning important people is another hobby involved in chatting to a pretentious person.

If you’re dealing with someone trying to boost their social standing, don’t let them drop the name and walk away.

I remember meeting a young New Yorker in Sarajevo, Bosnia. She enthusiastically shared with the group that Ethan Hawke lives in her neighborhood. But the part that tickled me was five people looking at each other confusedly and asking, “Who’s Ethan Hawke?”

9) They like to exaggerate their accomplishments

Braggy McBraggerson is someone most people don’t want to spend time with. But there’s a big difference between arrogance and pretentiousness.

The former probably did do what they said they did. The latter definitely didn’t do what they said they did.

Exaggerating minor accomplishments and turning them into world-beating examples of human achievement is part of the playbook. But the fun part is that they’re not even good lies. Everyone is in on the joke, providing endless opportunities to pop their pretentious bubbles.

Sometimes, though, you might even catch a pretentious person out completely. Here’s what to watch out for.

10) They will make completely unfounded claims

“And then everybody clapped.” – The Internet

Normal pretensions can be fun, but some go even further into making completely outlandish claims. Do they have the uncanny sense of smell of Hannibal Lecter? Are they both right and left-handed? Did they once try out for the Olympics?

Making unfounded claims without proof can lead to no end of humorous situations when you question them further.

It is even better if you have concrete proof to refute their claims.

11) They are not above going in over their heads

Some pretentious people aren’t just into talking and self-delusion. Some genuinely believe what they say. And that’s where the party really begins.

Did you ever watch Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? In one scene, Will Ferrell’s Burgundy brags about playing the jazz flute and then actually attempts it. It’s one of the most comically terrible attempts ever seen.

But don’t worry because this scene is repeated every minute somewhere in the world in some context by somebody.

12) They are amateur philosophers

Dark, mysterious, and enigmatic are what pretentious people like to think of themselves as. That’s why one of the most common behaviors of the pretentious person is speaking in strange and oddly cryptic philosophical statements.

Maybe they’ve invented the quote themselves. Or perhaps they’re misquoting an actual philosopher.

I’ve got a Facebook friend who regularly posts photos with his own philosophical quotes plastered across them. It’s entirely up to you whether you see it as bizarre or amusing.

Now, let’s look at the ultimate source of fun when you’ve got a pretentious friend or family member.

13) They can’t keep their stories straight

Pretentious people are many things, and blindly confident is one of them. You can vanquish this personality, but like a demon from the Warp (Warhammer reference!), it’ll reform and return in good order.

These characters don’t let a silly thing like the truth get in the way of a good story.

Hang out with a pretentious person long enough, and you’ll soon start to see the holes and contradictions in their wild claims and outlandish stories.

Congratulations, now you’ve got an endless number of good-natured ways to make them squirm!

Pretty fly for a pretentious guy

Even though pretentious people can come off as arrogant or annoying, this isn’t always the case. They’re not necessarily emotional manipulators, abusers, or even full-blown narcissists.

If you recognize these signs in yourself or someone else, maybe it’s time to broach the subject and make positive changes in your life.

Do you think that being pretentious is a problem in your life?

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