Things Not To Do Or Say At Or For Your Thesis Defense

Article: 4580 of rec.humor.funny
Date Received: Tue, 1 Feb 94

Written by Master Peter Dutton. Contributions by Jim Lalopoulos, Alison Berube, and Jeff Cohen, Patricia Whitson, Chris Bovitz and a few others

Mime Hide Rimshot Explode Implode Tap dance Firewalk Mosh pit Food fight Vaudeville Puppet show
Group prayer Fashion show Halftime show Black tie only 3-ring defense Shadow puppets
Instant replay Offer a toast Incite a revolt Defense by proxy Laugh maniacally Two-drink minimum
Interpretive dance "Tag - you're it!" Have a sing-a-long Use a TelePromTer Bring your pet boa Tell ghost stories
Talk in Klingonese "Everybody rhumba!" Stand on the table Imitate Groucho Marx
Do a "show and tell" Invite the homeless Spontaneously combust Hand out 3-D glasses
Play Thesis Mad Libs Do a soft-shoe routine Hold a Tupperware party Claim political asylum
"Take my wife - please!" Door prizes and a raffle Release a flock of doves Talk with your mouth full
Start speaking in tongues Pass the collection basket Dress in top hat and tails Advertise it as "pot luck"
Dress in a Wild West style Whine piteously, beg, cry... Stage your own death/suicide Call your advisor "sweetie"
Live radio and TV coverage "I'm rubber, you're glue..." Pass out souvenir matchbooks Lead the spectators in a Wave
"OK - which one of you farted?" "By the power of Greyskull..." Charge a cover and check for ID
"Anybody else as drunk as I am?" Charge 25 cents a cup for coffee Minstrel show (blackface, etc)
"I'd like to thank the Academy..." "Duck, duck, duck, duck... GOOSE!" Have a make-your-own-sundae table
Show slides of your last vacation Provide party favors. Noisy ones. Go into labor (especially for men)
Preface with the story of your life Suddenly develop the China Syndrome "And now, a word from our sponsor..."
Musical accompaniment provided by.. Flex and show off those massive pecs Have everyone pose for a group photo
Do your entire defense operatically "I don't know - I didn't write this"
Have cheerleaders. ("Gimme an 'A'!!") Wear a trenchcoat. And nothing else.
Suddenly develop Tourrett's Syndrome Use a Super Soaker to point at people
Table dance (you or an exotic dancer) Answer every question with a question
Mention your professor as "my helper" Previews, cartoons, and the Jimmy Fund
Make committee members wear silly hats Flash "APPLAUSE" and "LAUGHTER" signs
Same as #145, except use real bullets "Yo, a smooth shout out to my homies..."
"Professor Robinson, will you marry me?" Rearrange the chairs into a peace symbol
"I say Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!" Traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 1's
Moon everyone in the room after you are done Animal sacrifice to the god of the Underworld
Present your entire talk in iambic pentameter "And now a reading from the Book of Mormon..."
Hire the Goodyear Blimp to circle the building Go dressed in scuba gear. Use the oxygen tank.
Surreptitiously fill the room with laughing gas Frequently ask if anyone has to go to the potty
Use a Greek Chorus to highlight important points Start giving your presentation 15 minutes early
Swoop in with a cape and tights, Superman style Swing in through the window, yelling a la Tarzan
Smoke machines, dramatic lighting, pyrotechnics... Leave Jehovah's Witness pamphlets scattered about
Sell those big foam "We're number #1 (sic)" hands Dress like your favorite character from "Star Trek"
Talk in Canadianese - add "eh" after every sentence "There will be a short quiz after my presentation..."
Secede from the US. Give yourself political asylum. "I could answer that, but then I'd have to kill you"
Give your entire speech in a "Marvin Martian" accent "Please phrase your question in the form of an answer..."
Sell T-shirts to recoup the cost of copying, binding, etc "I'm sorry, I can't hear you - there's a banana in my ear!"
Hang a sign that says "Thank you for not asking questions" Try to use normal printed paper on the overhead projector
Detonate a small nuclear device in the room. Or threaten to.
Bring Howard Cosell out of retirement to do color commentary.
Use any past or present Saturday Night Live catchphrase. Not.
Before your defense, build trapdoors underneath all the seats.
Use the words "marginalized", "empowerment", and "patriarchy".
Refer to yourself in the third person, like Julius Caesar did.
Have a bikini-clad model be in charge of changing the overheads.
The Emperor's New Slides ("only fools can't see the writing...")
Hang a pinata over the table and have a strolling mariachi band.
"The responsorial psalm can be found on page 124 of the thesis..."
Bring a microphone. Point it at the questioner, talk-show style.
Roll credits at the end. Include a "key grip", and a "best boy".
"And it would have worked if it weren't for those meddling kids..."
Switch halfway through your talk to Pig Latin. Or Finnish Pig Latin.
Have someone wheel in a big cake with you in it. Jump out and begin.
"You call THAT a question? How the hell did they make you a professor?"
"Charge the mound" when a professor beans you with a high fast question.
Challenge a professor to a duel. Slapping him with a glove is optional.
Mention that you have to hurry because TV show xxx is on in 15 minutes.
Make each professor remove an item of clothing for each question he asks.
Simulate your experiment with a virtual reality system for the spectators.
"OK, everybody - heads down on the desk until you show me you can behave."
"Well, I saw it on the Internet, so I figured it might be a good idea..."
Refuse to answer questions unless they phrase the question as a limerick.
Hang a disco ball in the center of the room. John Travolta pose optional.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the singing of our National Anthem..."
"Laugh, will you? Well, they laughed at Galileo, they laughed at Einstein..."
Wear a swimsuit from the opposite sex: man - wear a bikini, woman - wear trunks.
"In protest of our government's systematic and brutal oppression of minorities..."
Hold a pre-defense pep rally, complete with cheerleaders, pep band, and a bonfire.
Wear clown makeup, a clown wig, clown shoes, and a clown nose. And nothing else.
"I'm sorry Professor Smith, I didn't say 'SIMON SAYS any questions?'. You're out."
Ask imaginary helpers to change transparencies; fly off the handle when they don't.
Have bodyguards outside the room to "discourage" certain professors from sitting in.
Say that you'd like to thank a few people. Pull out the White Pages. Start reading.
Perform your defense as a Greek tragedy, and kill yourself offstage when you're done.
"This defense has been sponsored by the fine people at (your favorite corporation)..."
"Which reminds me of a story - A Black guy, a Chinese guy, and a Jew walked into a bar..."
When a professor asks you a question, argue with your imaginary twin over the final answer.
Throw a masquerade defense, complete with bobbing for apples and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
"You think this defense was bad? Let me read this list to show you what I COULD have done..."
Have bodyguards on your sides as you talk. The bigger, the better. Have a questioner thrown out "as an example."
Introduce the "Eyewitness Thesis Team". Near the end of your talk, cut to Jim with sports and Alison with the weather.
Invite your parents. Especially if they are fond of fawning over you. ("We always knew he was such an intelligent child")
Have everyone bring wine glasses. When they clink the glasses with a spoon, you have to kiss your thesis. Or your advisor.
Rent a billboard on the highway proclaiming "Thanks for passing me Professors X, Y, and Z" - BEFORE your defense happens.
Put your overheads on a film strip. Designate a professor to be in charge of turning the strip when the tape recording beeps.
Half way through, break down. Go to your professor, curl up on his or her lap and call him or her "Mommy". Suck your thumb.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, as I dim the lights, please hold hands and concentrate so that we may channel the spirit of Lord Kelvin..."
Same as #88, but instead of a tape recorder, go around the room making a different person read the pre-written text for each picture.
Videotape it ahead of time, and get someone set it up to show. Come in the back and sit there. When your tape is done, ask for questions.
Circulate a vicious rumor that the Dead will be opening, making sure that it gets on the radio stations, and escape during all the commotion.
Play thesis drinking games. Drink for each overhead. Drink for each question. Chug for each awkward pause. This goes for the audience as well.
Have every person pick a CB handle. Enforce their usage. Talk in CB lingo. End every statement with "good buddy." End every question with "over."
Post signs: "Due to a computer error at the Registrar's Office, the original room is not available, and the defense has been relocated to (Made-up non-existent room number)"
Get a friend to ask the first question. Draw a blank-loaded gun and "shoot" him. Have him make a great scene of dying (fake blood helps). Turn to the stunned audience and ask "any other wise-ass remarks?"
Lock the department head and his secretary out of the defense room. And the coffee lounge, the department office, the copy room, and the mail room. Heck, lock them out of the building. And refuse to sell them stamps.


Date Received: Fri, 20 Aug 1993.

Include either (or both) of the following quotes (I may have some words wrong) on the first overhead slide:

"If a man does not keep step with his companions, perhaps he hears a different drummer." Henry David Thoreau

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein

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