headstones with epitaphs in cemetery

33 Creative Epitahs on Cemetery Headstones

Epitaphs for the most part have a loving and serious message.

Some gravestones though have funny epitaphs as a parting thought. Digital headstones have appeared lately. For interesting tidbits see below.

The following is a list of 33 such gems.

I will not be right back
After this message
July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007

I made a lot of deals in my lifetime
But I sure went in the hole on this one!
Grave marker in Covington, Virginia

Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake
He stepped on the gas instead of the brake.
In memory of a car accident as seen in Uniontown, Pennsylvania

Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go
Gravestone found in a Thurmont, Maryland Cemetery

It was a cough
That carried him off
It was a coffin
They carried him off in

Here lies
Filling his last cavity

I told you I was sick
Tombstone in Round Rock, Texas

The defense rests
Written on an attorney’s tombstone

Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More
Lester Moore was a Wells Fargo Co. station agent stationed in Naco, Arizona during the days of the Wild West. He rests in the Boot Hill Cemetery of Tombstone, Arizona.

Born 1828
Going! Going!! Gone!!! 1876

Open’d my eyes
Took a peep
Didn’t like it
Went back to sleep
On a tombstone of a newborn in Ashby de la Zooch, England

She always said her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her
On a grave at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia

On the 22nd of June
Went out of tune
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England

Here lies Ann Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann
Dec. 8, 1767
Headstone found in a London, England Cemetery

Here lies Johnny Yeast
Pardon me for not rising
Its whimsical ending as written on tombstone in a Ruidoso, N.M. Cemetery

Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go
A marker in Enosburg Falls, Vermont

Age 102
The Good Die Young
Funny epitaph on a headstone in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia

Here lies,
All cold and hard
The last damn dog
That pooped in my yard

Born 1903 – Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car
Was on the way down. It was

Here lays Butch
We planted him raw
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw
A last tribute for a gunslinger in Silver City, Nevada

Here lies an honest lawyer
And that is strange
Humorous lawyer’s epitaph in England

Beneath this stone
My wife doth lie
Now she’s at rest
And so am I

Stay high!
A tombstone in Hookstown, Pennsylvania featuring an etching of a marijuana plant

Here lies the body of Arkansas Jim
We made the mistake
But the joke’s on him

I was Carolina-born
And Carolina bred
And here I lay
Carolina dead
On a headstone at a Chapel Cemetery in Carolina

Was hanged by mistake

Here Lies Joyce
She’d rather not
But has no choice

Here lies as silent clay
Miss Arabella Young.
Who on the 21st of May,
Began to hold her tongue
Cemetery in Hatfield, Massachusetts

Grim death took me
Without any warning
I was well at night
And dead in the morning
Funny epitaph on a headstone in Kent, England

He looked
For gold
And died of
Lead poison

Here lies the bones of Private Jones
For whom War held no terrors
A private then, a private now
No runs, No hits, Just errors

Who was fatally burned
March 21, 1870
By the explosion of a lamp
Filled with R.E. Danforth’s
Non-Explosive Burning Fluid
Gravestone in Girard, Pennsylvania

Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4-feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny
Wimborne, England Cemetery funny epitaph

Who writes the epitaphs?

In some cultures, humorous epitaphs reflect the deceased’s personality and are written by family or friends who wish to capture the essence of their loved one’s character. In others, it’s the individual who, perhaps with a lifelong talent for humor, decides to leave the world with one final joke. These epitaphs can be found in cemeteries ranging from the historic graveyards of Europe, with their centuries-old headstones, to the more modern burial sites in North America.

Can epitaphs say anything?

Regulations on what is permissible in terms of epitaph content vary widely. In many Western cultures, there’s a degree of freedom allowed, as long as it doesn’t cross the boundaries of decency or respect for the cemetery. However, in more traditional societies, there’s a strict adherence to solemnity and reverence, leaving little room for humor.

Historically, epitaphs served not just as a farewell but also as a status symbol, with elaborate phrases used for the wealthy and influential. Over time though, the modern era saw more informal epitaphs, reflecting more personal and less formal expressions.

Digital epitaphs appear

The advent of digital technology has introduced new trends in memorials. Digital epitaphs, whether displayed on screens at the gravesite or accessible online, allow for more elaborate farewells, including multimedia presentations. This digital evolution has expanded the possibilities for how one can be remembered, offering a platform for more personalized and even interactive memorials.

modern digital headstone with large screen

Are humorous epitaths appropriate?

These humorous epitaphs, whether traditional or digital, offer insightful glimpses into how the family and society view death and remembrance. They redine the somber norms of mourning, suggesting that laughter and joy can exist alongside grief and loss.

Indeed societies that believe in reincarnation perceive death not as an end or extinction of life, but as a change in existence in which the soul passed to another realm. For epitaths one size doesn’t fit all.

Ahumorsite is supported by its audience. If you make a purchase through an advertisement on this site we may receive a commission at no cost to you.