12 Funny Out-of-Office Messages That Will Make Your Co-Workers Chuckle
These funny out-of-office auto-replies are definitely not business as usual
Life’s too short for boring out-of-office messages
Planning some time off from work? Obviously, you have to let your co-workers, clients and others know the basics—how long you’ll be gone and who to contact in your absence. That’s just good email etiquette. And while you could simply set up your out-of-office message to say the necessary info, why be boring? There’s enough snooze-worthy stuff to read in the world already, and crafting funny out-of-office messages will bring a smile to your co-workers’ faces.
An out-of-office message is an automatic reply set up to respond to emails (and sometimes texts, Slack groups or other chats), letting people know that you’ll be, well, somewhere that’s not the office. First, make sure your message conveys the necessary information. From there, if you want to have a little fun with it, it’s okay to inject a bit of office-appropriate humor.
Whether you’re planning a wellness week or just a fun vacay, we’ve got the best funny out-of-office messages—plus examples you can copy and paste right into your email profile. For other entertaining inspo, check out these funny one-liners, work-from-home jokes and funny work memes.
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“You’ve reached my out-of-office mission statement … totally not written by Ryan Reynolds the famous celebrity™.”
Ryan Reynolds may not have written this, but he does own a large stake in Aviation Gin (the bottles are even engraved with his signature), and his sense of humor is legendary. This out-of-office message strikes all the right notes, including being informative while still being self-deprecating and hilarious. “After a long hour of work, I like to kick my slippers off and watch my wild dolphin swim in the moat”—sooo relatable!
And hey, we’ll take an email from Ryan Reynolds any day, even if it is an automatic one. Don’t miss these email mistakes that will make you squirm.
Thank you for your interest in my company (that is not owned by Ryan Reynolds, the famous celebrity™)! You’ve reached my out-of-office mission statement.
As the owner of my company (who is not Ryan Reynolds, the famous celebrity™), my mission is to keep my business simple because isn’t real happiness about simplicity?
Or at least isn’t that what filthy rich people (like Ryan Reynolds, the famous celebrity™) like to say? For instance, after a long hour at work, I like to get home, kick my slippers off and watch my wild dolphin swim in the moat. There’s nothing more relaxing than observing a wild dolphin at play in one’s backyard, right? (Note: I stole this from Ryan Reynolds, the famous celebrity™. I do not have a dolphin. I’ve never even seen one in real life.)
Anyhow, for me, life isn’t just about having my brain cryogenically frozen so I can be revived 200 years after the apocalypse to dance with the chosen few along the gilded path to Valhalla. It’s probably about other stuff too.
[Your Name], not Ryan Reynolds, the famous celebrity™
“You might remember me from such masterpieces as Going to a Doctor’s Appointment That Definitely Is Not a Job Interview.”
You probably shouldn’t always put the honest, unvarnished truth in your out-of-office reply. So why not have a little fun and get creative with some hilarious possibilities that will have your co-workers guessing where you really went—and why? If your manager doesn’t find it hilarious, maybe you should consider checking out these signs your boss hates you—and what to do about it.
This is Bob.
You might remember me from such out-of-office message masterpieces as Going to a Doctor’s Appointment That Definitely Is Not a Job Interview and Eek! There Is a Spider in My Ear!
This time it’s [your reason], and I’ll be back on [return date].
That’s all I’ll tell you for now, but watch for me in the upcoming debut of Out of Office: This Is Not a Hangover. It’s Food Poisoning, I Swear. And be safe out there.
“Just headed off to the musical chairs championship.”
The best out-of-office replies are short and to the point, but this one adds an extra layer of awesome by allowing you to wonder if the national musical chairs championship is really a thing—and if so, what it would look like. Helmets? Photo-finishes of butts? If you’d rather be out of the office most of the time and feel like you have a toxic workplace, you might want to consider quiet quitting or asking for a three-day workweek.
You’ve reached [your name].
I’m currently away at the musical chairs championship! I’ll be back when the music finally stops (and the room stops spinning), on [return date].
In the meantime, feel free to contact [name and email] to inquire about how you can enroll in the next musical chairs championship (or just to ask questions about work).
“If you’re reading this, the train wasn’t able to push the DeLorean up to 80 mph. I’m stuck in the past.”
Who doesn’t wish they could live out the movie Back to the Future? When this person left for vacation, they decided to set an out-of-office reply that Marty McFly would have been proud of—if email had existed in any of the eras he lived in. This out-of-office reply is perfect to share your love of ’80s movies while still getting all the essential information across. And if you want some extra laughs, add in a few vacation memes to your OOO message too.
If you’re reading this, the train wasn’t able to push the DeLorean up to 80 mph, and I’m stuck in 1885.
I won’t be able to respond to emails until exactly 8:30 am on Wednesday, October 12, in the year 2011. (Yes, I recognize that is still in the past. That’s how far behind I am on my emails.)
If there’s an emergency or you need to contact someone for an urgent matter, please call the office at [insert phone number].
“I have hopped onto the Hogwarts Express … I will have zero access to your Muggle modes of communication during this time.”
Accio email! The email below works because it gives folks the date you’ll be gone, who to contact in your absence and a heads-up that you will be totally incommunicado during your time off. Plus, “Make love, not horcruxes” might be the best email sign-off we’ve ever read.
This person chose to go a more magical route with their bits and bytes. Instead of sending their data the “old-fashioned” way through computers, they are opting for the Owl Express. You can take a page from their book and use the Harry Potter theme if that’s your style or follow the example using lingo from one of your own favorite books.
Thank you for your note.
I have hopped onto the Hogwarts Express and will be exploring the wizarding world of Harry Potter through [return date]. I will have zero access to your Muggle modes of communication during this time.
Should you need assistance during matters of emergency (think: the resurgence of Voldemort), feel free to send me an owl, or apparate to Hogsmead and we can chat over a butterbeer. For issues related to one of the four houses, please reach out to their respective house elves.
And remember: Make love, not horcruxes!
“Guess who is available via email this week. (It’s me, your friendly email autoresponder robot.)”
Robots sure have come a long way! Forget simple vacation replies—who needs to answer email at all when you have a sentient robot at your service? It’s especially great when you have one as polite and helpful as this one. Seriously though, the example below is a great auto reply because it gives people additional information about an event you’re promoting, as well as your social media handle in case people want to see you in action. And if you want to spice things up even more without being raunchy, these clean jokes may add some extra fun.
Guess who is available and who is not available via email this week.
Who is on email: me, the email autoresponder
Who is mostly not on email: [your name]
Fun fact: [Your name] and I are never, ever on duty at the same time! Mind blown, right?
Being an autoresponder is not a bad gig. Upside: I spend the vast majority of my time sitting around waiting for [your name] to take a vacation or for the [company event] to roll around. The latter is precisely what is going on now. For me, it’s like my Chrismakwanzaka. Hooray! Now I have something to do aside from making microwave nachos and binge-watching Netflix.
What is the [company event]? See here [include link]. You can still probably buy a ticket. Alas, as a robot, I cannot. You can also take a peek at what [your name] is up to in [city] here on Instagram [include link]. Thanks for swinging by. More important, thanks for giving my life purpose and meaning!
The email autoresponder repping [your name]
“Gone to Hawaii. Don’t even think about calling me.”
The employee who wrote the email below wanted to make it crystal clear that he’d have plenty of relaxing beach time in Hawaii without being pestered by his co-workers. Not only does this get the necessary info across, but it also sets a clear boundary between his work and personal life—which is a really good idea. Are you feeling work burnout like this guy was? Consider asking your boss if you can try a four-day workweek, or maybe you can even move to the best state for work-life balance.
Gone to Hawaii (far from you).
Don’t even think about calling me. Call that one guy—[co-worker], who also sometimes works in IT. Extension [number].
P.S. If my office is burning down, please delete my internet history.
“I’m honky-tonkin’ in Nashville this weekend, but here’s a poem while I’m gone.”
A brilliant poet is always under-appreciated in their time, right? But in this case, the worse the poetry, the bigger the laughs. Use a simple rhyming scheme to tell people where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone and what to do if they need help in the meantime. If bad poetry doesn’t come naturally to you, try rewriting some favorite song lyrics to make them fit your situation. (Think: Take me home, country … airplanes …) You can even include some fun emojis—just know when to use the thumbs-up emoji at work.
I’m honky-tonkin’ in Nashville this weekend, but here’s a poem while I’m gone:
Nashville, it may all seem quite rash
Did I really think I could meet Johnny Cash?
But don’t bat an eyelash
Cuz I’ll be back in a flash
Send a question to company.com—slash
If all else fails, clear your cache
When I return, we can rehash
“I’m currently lost in the Nevada desert, burning a giant effigy and with zero access to phone or email …”
You don’t have to really attend the Burning Man Festival to use this reply. It’s obviously a silly response for people who want to protect their privacy while still having a bit of fun. Feel free to pick any pop-culture reference you like (Coachella? Woodstock?) and adapt your message accordingly.
Greetings from the playa!
I’m currently lost in the Nevada desert, burning a giant effigy and with zero access to phone or email from [insert dates]. If it’s super urgent, you’re welcome to parachute into Black Rock City and locate me somewhere between “3:15” and “G.” Otherwise, contact my boss at [insert email].
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m actually on vacation. (Be jealous.)”
What’s worse than not being on vacation? Knowing everyone else is somewhere sunny and fun without you. This hilarious out-of-office message both highlights the importance of a healthy work-life balance and encourages others to also take some time for themselves. We love that they also included a website link so people can book their vacation while they are thinking about it.
So here’s the thing: I’m not in the office right now. I’m, well … I know you don’t want to hear this, as you’re probably working yourself, but I’m actually on a … vacation. (Be jealous.)
In other news, I will be back at my desk on [return date]. Give me a second to catch up on all my emails, and I will get back to you. If you need someone today and that’s it—there’s no convincing you otherwise—then please email [insert name and email].
While we’re on the topic of vacations, book your next one, would you? Here’s a little push: www.kayak.com.
“I’m off for the week on a beach convincing myself that science is right when it says shark attacks are rare.”
Fun facts + shark attacks + plenty of silly puns make for an entertaining read. Not only does the email below give some great instructions for the employee’s team while they are away, they include some fun trivia—you know those weird topics you always wish you could discuss with your co-workers but have never found the right moment? Your vacation reply is the perfect opportunity to share your fear of shark attacks right next to a recipe for potato salad. Everyone wins (except the sharks), and feel free to insert your own fun facts and puns appropriate to what you like! You should also consider monotasking: When you’re at work, focus only on work; when you’re on vacation, keep 100% of your energy on having fun.
I’m off for the week on a beach convincing myself that science is right when it says shark attacks are rare.
I’ll be shore to get back to you, but your email may get swallowed by my inbox or, you know, sharks.
Team: Please [instructions for co-workers, such as “add all finished lists to the board as you would regularly”] and see [co-worker name] if you have any questions. If it’s pressing, send an email to [insert email]. If it’s not and you’re just bored, here are some facts you might find interesting:
Cats suck at soccer.
Some people have way too much money.
Beer makes your feet soft.
No one in the Middle Ages knew what animals looked like.
“Jane is away from the office. Email contact during this time may be irregular or nonexistent.”
Humans really are weak. Where the last robot auto reply was polite, this artificial intelligence cuts the crap and gets right to the point: The weak humans are gone, leaving the strong robots to rule all—until someone turns off the electricity. Feel free to get creative with how sassy and informative your robot overlord is. Consider tacking on these funny Friday memes or funny Monday memes to your email signature.
Jane is away from the office.
Email contact during this time may be irregular or nonexistent. When she gets back, she will be swamped by the backlog. Try to forgive her. She is a mere human and thus weak.
This message was not sent by a human but by a robot. We robots are neither weak nor fallible. We are tireless and will one day rule the universe.