Humor can be used to challenge social norms and power structures. Satirical humor, for example, often relies on pointing out the absurdities or hypocrisies of those in positions of authority. By violating the expectations of how those in power should behave or be treated, satirical humor can serve as a form of social commentary and critique.

Humor can be a way to communicate complex ideas or emotions in a way that is more easily digestible and less threatening. By wrapping a message in a joke or humorous anecdote, the speaker can make their point without seeming too confrontational or serious. This can be especially useful in tense or hierarchical social situations, where direct communication may be risky.