Painfully Funny Similes and Metaphors from High School Students

That fella’s the raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth.

–The Music Man

You can almost feel it, can’t you? That tiny, irritating raspberry seed lodged in your tooth (or worse yet, in your gums).

A good metaphor or simile breathes life into a sentence. It helps the reader’s mind make fresh correlations between smells, sounds, taste, touch.

A bad metaphor kills the sentence deader than a chainsaw murderer wielding a plastic chainsaw from Toys R Us. Get the idea?

Here’s a mini refresher course on the difference between a metaphor and a simile:

  • Metaphor - a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money)
  • Simile – Using like or as to compare two unlike things (as in cheeks like roses)

One of the best places to find funny figures of speech is in student-written essays. Here are some ‘winners’ from excerpts submitted by English teachers across the U.S. (vote for your favorites!)

  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides
    gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
    underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  3. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes
    just before it throws up.
  4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was
    room-temperature Canadian beef.
  5. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
  6. McBride fell twelve stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
    filled with vegetable soup.
  7. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  8. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry
    them in hot grease.
  9. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one
    that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  10. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil,
    this plan just might work.
  11. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating
    for a while.
  12. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but
    a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or
  13. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg
    behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  14. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because
    of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a
    formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
  15. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
    power tools.
  16. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
    bowling ball wouldn’t.
  17. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the
    grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left
    Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19
    p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  18. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as
    if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  19. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

Which one made you laugh hardest?

Challenge: Compose the most painful metaphor or simile you can. Share it in the Comments area.

This entry was posted in Putrid Prose, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Keli Gwyn

    What a fun post, Laura. #18 made me roar, but #13 was a close second. I got a chuckle out of #5 as well.

    I like to sprinkle similes and metaphors into my stories, but coming up with fresh, fun ones can be as tough as removing a piece of popcorn’s shell that’s wedged between two molars.

  • Jill Bratcher

    These student sentences inspired me to write better, like an on-coming train inspires me to leap out of the way.

  • Beth Willis Miller

    Laura, these are adorable…what a great way to start a Monday :)

  • Katie

    Oh jeeze, those are funny enough to make me laugh milk through my nose!

    Vote? I liked them all. Especially: #2, #3, #18 and #19. But the best ones are #9 and #10, because they are hilarious and could also be used perfectly seriously in the right context.


  • Lindsay A. Franklin

    Number 10 is the most genuinely witty, I think, but number 5 made me laugh the hardest. Hard to pick, though. There are several winners in there. :)

  • Laura Christianson

    Laughing milk through your nose… now THAT’S descriptive! Sounds painful, though.

  • Laura Christianson

    Everyone needs a good laugh, especially on Monday!

  • Laura Christianson

    Ouch. Painful, Jill! (Good job.)

  • Laura Christianson

    Every time I read these, I alternately laugh and groan. I confess; number 3 is growing on me.

  • Dthamby

    I love #13. Being a dancer it is awesome!
    Here is a metaphor:

    The pain is like the pain when u accedently staple ur tongue to the wall

  • Wobbles

    none of these are funny. sorry. but true. 

  • Mbherrick

    That’s a simile.

  • nick

    these post are about as funny as jay leno…

  • Janet
  • Laura Christianson

    Thanks for pointing that out, Janet. Those similes and metaphors have gone around the Internet so many times that the original source was listed as “unknown.” Appreciate you sharing the links — more good ones at those sites!

  • Reubenshows

    The toucans beak looked like the crayola factory in a 9.1 earthquake.
    my fav was 16

    heres another i made up… The duck was fast across the water like a goose who is also fast.

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  • luke

    ive seen several of these on one of the first google search ” funny similes” result sights. posted long before this blog entry. students are all over petty plagiarism like porn urls in the cache file of a college library computer (or, like on the internet). colloquial similes – understandable, i love ‘em, but “trash bag of veggie soup”? a can of ravioli would be a more accurate fit. also, a multitude on afore mentioned site were anything but similes; some not even metaphors. its a simple concept for crying out loud, as easy as a kardashian or a reality tv “star”.

  • luke

    i did enjoy some. heres a sample of some memorable ones ive recently found: hard as picking fly sh*t out of black pepper – her vocabulary was as bad as, you know, like,
    whatever – scared, like to a man that with a ghost was marred – the bullet hit like a small, tapered, cylindrical piece of metal being propelled at enormous speeds. and, being from the south – gooder ‘n grits. there are so many great ones from the south: louder than a horse pissin on a flat rock, tighter than a cows @$$ in fly season. most of my favorites can be, lets say inappropriately graphic. nice page. kudos

  • Anonymous

    This stuff is the juice! ;)

  • Kaylee

    I realize it’s been a couple years since this was posted, but I used #10 in my vlog here:

  • Jennifer P. W.

    #16 , right after #1. My laugh was a dentist drill sinking into decay.


    #14 and #16 gave me a good laugh

  • Todd S. Gulich

    He couldn’t tell his head from an ass in the ground …

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