Is it Funny or is it a Superiority Complex?
How laughing makes us feel special.
We continue our journey into the depths of humor with the famous diner scene in When Harry Met Sally. The most widely respected theory of humor — the incongruity resolution theory, which we covered in the previous episode — does not apply here. Instead, in loudly trying to convince Harry that women can fake pleasure, Sally makes people turn in bewilderment while Harry sinks into discomfort. The scene goes on for minutes until the *ahem* climax, and then extends a few moments longer for a fellow diner to chime in: “I’ll have what she’s having!” So why is this scene so funny?
To find out, we turn to the superiority theory to explain why someone’s discomfort can taste oh, so sweet!