Thinking of Chinese internet humor, it is often Sina Weibo and various memes that spring to mind. However, Sina Weibo is not the only major outlet for quality online humor. Although Weibo is indeed an arena for satirists and is usually at the forefront of the internet language evolution, China’s fast-changing digital landscape has transformed a Q&A website 知乎 (zhihu.com) into the newest online community where educated Chinese gather to, in Zhihu’s words, share their knowledge, experience and views with the world.
With a similar model to Quora, Zhihu started out as invite-only in the beginning of 2011, and only opened sign-ups in March this year. As of July, there are already 600,000 daily active users and 10 million monthly active users. A platform where people can ask serious questions and get well-educated answers from people from that area of expertise, it also features some smart and hilarious Q&As that make not only Chinese laugh, but also get a few chuckles from people across cultures. Some of the best “legendary replies” 神回复 collected are:
Why do some say “women are always right”?
To explain with Darwin’s evolution theory: one type of people think that women are always right, the other doesn’t. No women married the second type, so they became extinct.
How do you pick up a girl that you don’t know but like at first sight?
Walk over and lie on the ground: hey, you dropped your boyfriend.
Why is it that when a guy and a girl earn similar salary, the girl’s standard of living always seems better?
Because guys are earning bread money (面包钱 miànbāo qián), women are earning pocket money (零花钱 línghuā qián).
What’s the difference between loneliness (寂寞 jìmò) and solitude (孤独 gūdú)?
Loneliness is when others don’t want to talk to you, solitude is when you don’t want to talk to others.
Why don’t the single high-quality no-longer-young people you know get married?
I have asked all kinds of 高富帅 “tall rich and handsome”, green card holders, literary people, gold-collar workers who are my friends why they haven’t married. Each one’s answer is detailed, has reasons, tears and emotions, such as how being from a single-parent family has cause psychological difficulties; their career is not successful enough to provide a life for a wife; and the wrong place at the wrong time, etc., all kinds of excuses that may very well also include “for the good of the people”. Upon close inspection, I found there is only one: haven’t had enough fun yet. Please never underestimate these so-called unmarried high-quality single men’s love life.
What word or sentence have you misunderstood since you were little?
人不为己，天诛地灭 (rén bù wèi jǐ, tiānzhūdìmiè.) This idiom is most commonly understood to mean “every man for himself, otherwise heaven and earth will combine to destroy you”). I didn’t know until later that it meant “if a man doesn’t train his virtues, then heaven won’t allow it” (for this explanation, the 为 would be pronounced wéi).
The girl I like has seven or eight “spare tires” (备胎 bèi tāi, slang for the type of person who keeps you as bit on the side, as back up in case their current love interest does not work out), how do I solve it?
That only means the girl you like is a broken car, why would a good car needs so many spare tires.
What can a guy say to make a girl think he is manly?
买 (mǎi, buy it).
What kind of jobs do philosophy majors end up doing?
A politics teacher in my high school studied philosophy. She said she was a bad philosophy student, the best students in their department all went mad.
Can someone with an annual salary of around ¥150,000 buy a place to live?
A good buddy of mine went to Beijing after he quit university, his annual salary is around 100,000 yuan. Because his long-term girlfriend had to go to college and get a masters degree; he went to Beijing to accompany her. Without an apartment in Beijing, everything was inconvenient. So he decided to manage his earnings. Before, they were 月光族 (moonlight group). After they decided to buy a place, they barely went clubbing at all, and cooked at home, which deepened their relationship. This saved a lot every month. Six months later his father gave him 6,080,000 yuan; he bought a place in Beijing.
How do I persuade my wife not to shoot wedding pictures?
You are just a prop. What right do you have to complain? Just go along with it.