Skip to content

Top 5 Conditioned Responses

Conditioned Response

Sometime in the 1890’s, a Russian scientist named Ivan Pavlov figured out that if you ring a bell every time you feed a dog, the dog will salivate every time you ring the bell, whether you feed it or not. Aside from this being the invention of messing with dogs, the principles were applied to human behavior and the theory of Pavlovian Conditioning was born.

Do you want to fit in with conversations and other social interactions? Then you’d better be able to respond quickly when prompted. Responding to the condition correctly earns you a treat in the form of social validation, as opposed to piece of kibble.

Here are the top five conditioned responses you should be able to offer on demand for the sake of your public profile. Plus, it’s a short leap between these responses and dad jokes of the “Rectum? Damn near killed ’em!” type. So if you want to get involved with that, this will help you.

5. Practice


This one is limited almost exclusively to sports references because outside of law or medicine, nobody practices except athletes. But anytime someone mentions the word “practice”, the correct response is to incredulously say, “we talkin’ about practice“, ala Philadelphia 76ers point guard Alan Iverson in 2002. Extra points if you add, “Not a game. Not a game. We talkin’ about practice.” You might be worried that you’re mocking the way some Black people talk but it’s not racist because everybody saw Iverson say it like that on TV.

4. 420


This one is easy. Just giggle like a freshman high school student in the back of a biology class when the teacher says anything about the human reproductive system. Because it means weed (aka marijuana). Hee hee hee! Isn’t that just inherently funny? It is! Hee hee hee

3. Playoffs?!?

This one is even more sports-centric. Because as rarely as the concept of “practice” comes up in real life, playoffs is even rarer. For this one, you’ll need to dial up the incredulity to 10+. Screech, “Playoffs? Playoffs??”, while contorting your face like you’re having a stroke. Sputter and bug out your eyes. Really sell it. Like you can’t even believe someone would use the phrase “playoffs” in front of you, as if playoffs killed your parents.

2. More Cowbell

This one exists outside of the realm of sports. Any time you hear the opening notes of the Blue Öyster Cult song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (which ironically, could very well be at a sporting event), shout, “I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!”, like Christopher Walken playing Bruce Dickinson in the old Saturday Night Live sketch. Even if you’ve never seen the sketch, you know it. Anybody born after 2000 has it ingrained in their DNA.

1. Nice!

This is what you say any time the number 69 is mentioned. A football player’s jersey number, the amount due on a bill or change back from paying it, a bingo number, references to the New York Mets first World Series championship. Regardless of the context, it ALWAYS means mutual oral sex and everyone knows it. You’re just reaffirming that knowledge. And that’s just… nice.

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54