A Definitive Ranking of the Best Laughs in Pop Songs
01.09.18

Someone somewhere once said “laughter is the best medicine,” and they must be right, because that’s the only possible explanation as to why so many popular artists weave laughs into their hits: to benefit not only themselves, but (w0)mankind. I often muse over the myriad ad libs and noises rappers turn into their catchphrases, but when our social media editor Ashley had the brilliant beyond brilliant idea to zero in on musical laughs, both natural sounding to completely canned, it brought not one, but two tears to my eyes, as demonstrated by my most-frequently used emoji: 😂

If you Google “benefits of laughter,” you’ll get like, 28,700,000 results that say laughter does everything from reducing pain and increasing job performance, to kind of counting as a workout and emotionally connecting you to other people. So whatever you’re suffering from, consider this ranking of laughs my Rx to you, free of charge. I’ve also included instructions on how to use each laugh in your everyday life so you can reap the maximum benefits. As far as side effects go, I’m warning you now: listening to some of the below isolated laughs in succession without the context of the entire song may cause you to laugh out loud/spiral, just in case you’re in a public place.


13. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West

Who laughs: Jay Wayne Jenkins
When: 1:13
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Haterrrrrrrrs
Believability: 2
Best use case for this laugh: Anytime you need to do a mic drop but you find yourself without a mic.

12. “My Dad’s Gone Crazy” by Eminem

Who laughs: Hailie Jade Mathers
When: 4:18
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Most things are funny when you’re a kid and her dad has the same name as a popular chocolate candy and he was probably doing something crazy!
Believability: 6.5
Best use case for this laugh: Post-saying something precocious.

11. “Beep” ft. will.i.am by The Pussycat Dolls

Who laughs: Nicole Scherzinger
When: 0:30
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Every boy being the same since the seventh grade.
Believability: 3 (but that’s the point)
Best use case for this laugh: Any time you want to use the Antoine Dodson “you are so dumb, for real” gif but are without a laptop or phone.

10. “Jenny From the Block” by Jennifer Lopez

Who laughs: Jennifer Lynn Lopez
When: 1:57
What’s so gosh darn funny?: All the rumors people be spreading about Jenny.
Believability: 4
Best use case for this laugh: When someone tells an unfunny joke and is too into themselves/isn’t self-aware enough to realize it isn’t that funny.

9. “Señorita” by Justin Timberlake

Who laughs: Justin Randall Timberlake
4:24
What’s so gosh darn funny?: His own joke, believe it or not.
Believability: 6
Best use case for this laugh: When you tell an unfunny joke that you realize isn’t that funny.

8. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” by Taylor Swift

Who laughs: Taylor Alison Swift
When: 2:32
What’s so gosh darn funny?: The mere thought of forgiving Katy Perry/Kanye West (my colleagues just got in a fight debating which one).
Believability: 2
Best use case for this laugh: Any time you’re in a very public and probably pointless feud.

7. “Woman” by Kesha

Who laughs: Kesha Rose Sebert
When: 0:00
What’s so gosh darn funny?: I’m not entirely sure but I really, really want to know.
Believability: 10
Best use case for this laugh: At the tail end of your chortle to cue that it’s coming to an end.

6. “Drunk in Love” ft. JAY Z by Beyoncé

Who laughs: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter
When: 3:28
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Sexual things.
Believability: 8
Best use case for this laugh: When you’re wearing a scary clown mask.

5. “If You Seek Amy” by Britney Spears

Who laughs: Britney Jean Spears
When: 0:48
What’s so gosh darn funny?: The double entendre in the song title!
Believability: 1
Best use case for this laugh: I’ve already programmed my phone to auto-correct both “lol” and “haha” to “ha-ha-hee-hee-ha-ha-ho” and I suggest you do the same.

4. “The Macarena” by Los Del Rio

Who laughs: The woman with the fuchsia lipstick and the most beautifully ’90s hairdo I ever did see.
When: 1:09
What’s so gosh darn funny?: She has a boyfriend named Vitorino, she doesn’t want him, she “can’t stand him,” and he was no good.
Believability: 2.5
Best use case for this laugh: When someone comes at you with a preposterous proposal like “you should just go to bed at a decent time instead of watching TV late into the night.”

3. “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa

Who laughs: Cameron Jibril Thomaz
When: 2:57
What’s so gosh darn funny?: To quote Wiz: “You already know what it is, man, and if you don’t, you should by now!”
Believability: 9
Best use case for this laugh: Any time you’re in a comedy club or watching stand up and want to make sure your laugh breaks through all the other noise, like the comic’s performance, per se.

2. “Wannabe” by Spice Girls

Who laughs: Mel B
When: 0:48
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Shenanigans with your best gal pals.
Believability: 9
Best use case for this laugh: As a rallying cry for every GNO going forward.

1. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

Who laughs: Vincent Price
When: 11:57
What’s so gosh darn funny?: Ola Ray is on a date with a werewolf that’s really good at dancing and she doesn’t even know it!
Believability: 10
Best use-case for this laugh: Leaving a room full of people after letting out a fart.

Please add your favorite/least favorite mid-song laughs below!

Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage via Getty Images. 

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