Life in progress

A Huge Resource for Writers!


I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! Here I’ve had this amazing, fantastic way of studying the human condition for years without realizing it.

I’m always going on about body language and facial expressions, and the importance of them in writing not only to fill out a story with what is believable, but in finding characters in the first place. It’s by observing people that we get our ideas, and if we can read people’s body language, we can often see what they’re thinking. Scenarios abound!

There’s a good reason that this is one of my Deaf son, Alex’s favourite shows on TV. People in it are genuine and there is no speaking. The language is universal. What is it?

Just for Laughs Gags.

Here you can find any range of spontaneous emotion: surprise, outrage, confusion, bewilderment, joy, disappointment, fear… the list is almost endless, and every single bit of it is spontaneous.

For example, a young guy in a car pulls up to a stop sign and a pretty girl crossing the street waves to him. She proceeds to write her phone number on his windshield with a lipstick and does the international sign for “Call me!” While he’s still sitting there, a guy comes up to the car and squeegees the number off. The guy in the car has gone from happy and flirtatious to panicked in a matter of seconds.

Or in this, a young boy lays down a “hole” on the sidewalk and a man falls into it. The looks on the observers’ faces are priceless.

You can find hundreds of them online at Just for Laughs Gags own Youtube channel. They are each under two minutes long and not only can you watch them with the sound off, I recommend it.

This is truly a wonderful resource for anyone studying body language and many of them are hilarious; even if you’re not looking to observe human behaviour, watch them just for laughs!

I encourage everyone to go to Youtube and watch a few. Share the titles of your favourites in the comments. I’d love to see what you think!

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

25 thoughts on “A Huge Resource for Writers!

  1. Haha I love it! This speaks to my inner 12 year old because I don’t think I will ever stop thinking pranks are hilarious!


    • These ones are great just because the faces of the people are priceless. I never really got into “Candid Camera” and all those. Too much explaining going on. πŸ˜›
      Glad you enjoyed these!


  2. What a wonderful suggestion. Thank you. Analyzing emotion without the aid of dialogue is great. I’m glad to be a new follower of your blog.


  3. I will watch them as is something my son and I can do together and we will watch them without the sound. Thanks for sharing them with us.


  4. I know this site, and yes! it is great.


  5. I cannot go on youtube now as I’m in work. I just watched the two you posted and I was laughing…I think too much! But I will! I agree with you..this is why I love to look around when I’m at the station or the airport!


  6. This is so timely for me. I’ve been on a lifelong study of body language, most recently of Psychological Gestures (PG). It is used in acting and also how to write it into the script. I will be watching these. Thank you! πŸ˜€


  7. You can also look at the old silent movies to see how emotions were registered. Granted, the actors were a bit hammy at times and overdid some of the gestures, but there are some wonderful moments to observe. For instance, look at Chaplins’s reactions in his more sensitive films.


    • I agree there are some great actors out there, and that silent films can be a good resource. But acting is still someone’s interpretation. I don’t think anything can beat real spontaneity.


  8. LOL #Love It
    I’m laying in bed right now, almost 1am and trying really hard not to giggle. The kids have taken over my bed, even though it’s a king size, they like to sleep sideways and usually kick me out!

    These are hilarious, something I might try to find through the Apple TV tomorrow night for the family to watch. πŸ™‚



Don't hesitate - jump right in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.