Millennials have a reputation for many things. There are lists of things that they are said to have "killed" simply by living. Lists include things like romance, Generation X's retirement, banks, 9-to-5 work days, marriage, and the list goes on. As a generation being blamed for the downfall of nearly everything, one has to wonder how they cope with all of this being placed on them. The one thing that is prevalent is their use of dark humor.

Millennial humor is weird

The Gallup Daily Analysis and Religious Landscape Study have shown that the traditional sources of meaning like religion and family formation are not as relevant to the lives of Young Adults as they were to their parents.

Millennials go to college and rack up large amounts of debt and then they get to try and land their dream job that will pay their debt off. When in reality, they will job-hop with the hope of paying off at least a little bit. Part of the humor seen in Millennials is how they create memes to convey their emotions. For example, when the gorilla Harambe was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo, it was turned into a meme filled with jokes. This seems to be the common pattern when something bad happens -- Millennials turn it into a joke so that they can easily cope with it. The prevalence of memes has led to a company called Know Your Meme. Millennials have begun to use surrealism to relieve their stress and sadness.

What is Millennial humor?

Never mind the fact that Millennials have developed their own online language to speak to each other, they also have their own specific type of humor. The humor is rooted in sarcasm, irony, and cynicism. There is a distinct way in which this humor is delivered as well. It can very well be dark and morbid, but that doesn't mean that the person making the joke or statement actually feels that way.

It is a learned behavior that if you expect the worst, you will be delighted if you get the best. These young adults also happen to be living in a time where the diagnosis of mental disorders is at its highest. As a generation, they have a high level of skepticism when it comes to nearly everything. They have watched the rise of technology and have become so used to catastrophe happening around them that they are almost desensitized to it.

Thinking back to 2016 when the Brock Turner trial occurred and he was given a sentence that many didn't agree with, the first thing that Millennials did was make it into a hashtag. The hashtag "things longer than brock turners sentence" took Twitter by storm and everyone was contributing to it. Though everyone knows that rape is not funny, the fact that the person who admitted to raping someone got a light sentence because he had a promising future, became something that outraged people so greatly that they had to make it into a joke. They did this to show how much of a joke they thought his sentence was. This isn't to troll people and to be annoying, it is to point out what is so wrong about a situation and make it funny.

Many people have said that the way they cope with their problems is by laughing. They laugh about things so that they don't cry about them. This is the key to understanding Millennial humor.