Who doesn't love getting a laugh out of a funny slogan printed on the shirt of a random passerby? Funny t-shirts not only make a great addition to any wardrobe but also really fun gifts for friends and family members.
If you love to laugh, then starting a funny t-shirt business could prove an awesome way to turn your sense of humor into a profitable source of income. We'll help you get started with a brief overview of what you can print on funny tees and give you some great ideas to help get your creative gears going.
Print on demand partners like Gelato make it easy to turn your humor into profit by starting your own online funny t-shirt store.
When you integrate Gelato with your eCommerce store, we'll take care of creating and delivering your tees every time a customer places an order.
While you should avoid using copyrighted or trademarked quotes on your funny t-shirts, quotes now in the public domain are considered fair game.
Catering to a specific niche or brand of humor that you relate to can make it easier to come up with great slogans your target audience will love.
When selecting hilarious sayings to grace your t-shirts, it's important to make sure you stay within the bounds of copyright and trademark laws. Beware of famous humorous sayings that come from copyrighted works or pop culture, such as:
Recently published books or eBooks
Popular song lyrics
Memes or NFTs
Basically, if someone else wrote it, it's best to err on the side of caution with a few major exceptions. Parodies are a major loophole in copyright law, so putting your own funny spin on a popular phrase is permissible.
It's technically even possible to trademark a slogan (though not everyone does), so it's generally safest to either stick to your own work or quotes that are considered public domain. In the United States, anything published before 1924 is considered public domain and most other copyrights expire 70 years after the author's death.
So while you wouldn't want to publish a quote like "Show me the money," a fun Shakespeare quote like "I do desire we may be better strangers" is fair game. When in doubt, you can check to see if a quote is currently considered the intellectual property of someone else by searching for it at the following sites:
Copyrights: US Copyright Office Public Search
Trademarks: US Patent and Trademark Office Search
When you learn to follow the laughter, you'll discover that humor is all around us. If you're looking to create a shop full of funny sayings t-shirts, then it's not a bad idea to carry around a notebook or an app on your phone so you can jot down fun ideas wherever you go.
From hilarious jokes that make your friends explode with laughter to witty social media posts that generated lots of likes, jot down sayings you think might work well on your tees. If you've ever had an idea you thought would make a great meme, then the odds are it will also make for an awesome t-shirt idea.
While many funny sayings can stand alone, you may come up with others that would be even funnier with an accompanying image. For this reason, it's never a bad idea to start a collection of creative commons images that you can use on your products for free.
You'll find plenty of fun images and vectors you can use on commercial products at sites like:
Now let's delve into several humor categories ripe with opportunities for hilarity. The funniest t-shirts tend to cater to the wearer's personality, so try and spot which categories would best help your audience express their collective style and humor.
Pretty much everyone can relate to the hope of getting into shape, only to succumb instead to the lure of a tasty morsel. Give your audience the chance to express their love of all things fattening by designing a line of funny food-related tees.
Eating stupid food has been one of humanity's favorite pastimes throughout the ages. That's why you'll find plenty of great public-domain quotes in this category right alongside modern quips.
"Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken” - Jonathan Swift
"No, I'm not vegan because I love animals. I just really hate plants."
"I keep trying to lose weight. But it always ends up finding me."
"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." - George Bernard Shaw
"If we shouldn't eat at night, why is there a light in the fridge?"
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not." - Mark Twain
“Destiny may ride with us today, but there is no reason for it to interfere with lunch.” — Peter the Great
"Ice cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal." - Voltaire
Have you ever experienced the horror of waking up wondering what drunk-you got up to last night? If so, then you too can relate to a boozing right of passage as old as wine itself.
Rest assured that this is another category where you won't have any problems finding fair-use quotes from throughout history. Whether the wearer is headed out for a night with friends or simply running errands to Target, they're sure to draw a few knowing grins with one of these alcohol-themed gems.
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, and in water, there is bacteria.” - Benjamin Franklin
"There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking." - Benjamin Franklin
"Wine is bottled poetry" - Robert Louis Stevenson
"There's too much blood in my alcohol system."
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk: That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” - Ernest Hemingway
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water." —Galileo
"I'm not as look as I drunk."
"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” - W.C. Fields
"I drink to make other people more interesting." - Ernest Hemingway
If you enjoy a finely honed sarcastic personality, then this niche is the perfect way to cash in on your gift. As we all know, sometimes situations present themselves in which it's probably best to bite your tongue.
But that doesn't mean you can't let your t-shirt do the talking. Deck out your shop's tees with your best zingers or check out these fair-use sarcastic sayings.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln
"I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed." - William Shakespeare
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
“I can resist anything except temptation.” - Oscar Wilde
“Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.”
"Sarcasm: Because physical violence is frowned upon."
"Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire
"The secret of being a bore... is to tell everything." - Voltaire
"True friends stab you in the front." - Oscar Wilde
Let's face it, few people can resist a good eye roll. If you're skilled in the art of the pun, then create your own funny slogan or one-liner, slap it on a shirt, and wait for the fun to begin.
The great thing about puns is that most of them can easily be reused to create a new but equally funny quote. Browse a few memes, make a list of words that lend themselves to funny puns, and let your creativity run wild.
"Hokey Pokey Rehab: It's never too late to turn yourself around."
"Never trust a ladder. They're always up to something."
"I got mugged at (insert the name of your favorite coffee shop).
"Thespians do it on stage."
Over a picture of an artist: "Sketchiness is underrated."
With a picture of a mummy: "Wrap artist."
With a picture of an owl: "Owl think about it."
Above a picture of (you guessed it) an emu: "Are you not emu-sed?"
Many athletes love to wear clothes that announce a love of their favorite sport. So why not give them a way to do it while spreading a little laughter?
If you or a family member play a certain sport, then be on the lookout for words, phrases, or terms that you could transform into funny sayings. From popular sports to working out in general, there's a huge market for hysterical sports and fitness t-shirts out there.
"It's not sweat. It's victory drops."
"Lift long and prosper."
"Token enthusiastic sports shirt."
"Team snack stand"
Baseball: "Pitch, plz."
MMA/Martial Arts: "That's what I do. I punch and I kick things."
Surfing: "Waves before babes."
Football: "I'm bringin' quarterback."
Basketball: "Born to bounce"
Gamers tend to have a language all their own, complete with plenty of cool sayings just begging to be turned into a funny t-shirt. If you speak gamer, then why not turn your insider knowledge into funny t-shirt designs?
Think about what type of funny video game shirts you might like to receive as a gift, then create them yourself and send them out into the world. Here are some fun examples of funny gamer slogans:
"I went AFK for this."
"Gamers gonna game."
"Gamer girls push all the right buttons."
"A lag on both your houses."
"Pew first, ask questions later."
"Hey, girl. Wanna check out my K/D ratio?"
"Perpetual poggers pursuer."
"Do you even MMORPG, Bro?"
From the sentimental to the sarcastic, there are plenty of t-shirts out there that play to the family t-shirt niche. Look no further than your own family for inspiration and think of what type of t-shirt design might make a funny gift for each of them.
The great thing about creating t-shirts for different types of family members is that you can expand your store to include tees for adults, kids, and even babies. Here are some fun slogans for different family members to help get your creative gears turning.
Dads: "Free dad jokes."
Moms: "Mom voice initiating...."
Moms: "You see Legos. I see mom landmines."
For Babies: "My snooze button is broken."
Aunts: "The cool aunt."
Uncles: "Don't look at me. I'm just the questionable uncle."
Siblings: "World's most tolerable brother/sister."
Grandparents: "Ask me anything. My grandkids taught me how to use the YouTube."
Funny work shirts can make a great gift for anyone who knows the struggles of the daily grind. This niche lends itself to plenty of unique approaches, whether it be featuring a quote about work in general or a phrase that everyone in a specific profession will relate to.
While playing to a specific niche is great, beware of inside jokes that may only make sense in your own office. Remember, the goal is to create a shirt that a large group of people will relate to.
"To hold a pen is to be at war." - Voltaire
"Have you tried turning it off and back on again?"
"This is my pleasant customer service face."
"Work is the curse of the drinking classes." - Oscar Wilde
"They ran out of months to make me the employee of."
"WFH be like: Pants? Where we're going, you don't need pants."
"Work from home hair don't care."
"This is why I make the medium to average bucks."
Seriously, who can't relate to secretly loving their pet more than most humans? Share the love with fellow pet owners by releasing a line of funny pet-themed tees.
Animal-themed t-shirts are great because they can feature cool sayings alone or be accompanied by a cute or funny image of the type of pet in question. Here are some ideas to get you started.
"It's not stray fur. It's purr glitter."
"Can I make adoring cooing sounds at your dog?"
"Hell hath no fury like a hungry dog/cat at 6 am."
"Cat/Dog/Fur mom AF"
"The more I see of men the more I like dogs." - Madame de Stael
"No Shih-Tzu, Sherlock."
"The cat is the best anarchist.” - Ernest Hemingway
"My cat can fit into impossibly smaller spaces than your cat."
"Corgis: The Original Lowriders"
Shirts with funny slogans are one of the few fashion accessories that bring as much joy to others as they do to the wearer. One of the major perks for independent artists is that funny slogan shirts are also very easy to make and require very few design skills.
If you're ready to put your wit to work, then browse the great selection of high-quality shirts at Gelato today! You supply the hilarity and we'll take care of everything else.