- succeed or win despite ridicule or mistrust from others.
- to have the last laugh is to turn the tables on those who have mocked or put you down in some way and come out on top.
- be proven correct, disproving skeptics’ initial assumptions.
- to achieve a favorable outcome in a dispute or fight after it seemed you would not be able to do so.
- She was terminated from the company a year ago, but she had the last laugh when she was employed by the company’s main competitor at double the wage.
- No one believed I could attain fame when I was in high school, but I had the last laugh.
- When you become successful, you will get the last laugh.
- My parents continually tell me that I will never become a doctor, but I will have the last laugh.
The term “last laugh” is originally derived from the proverb “He who laughs last best.” It was first used in a 1608 English drama at Oxford College titled “The Christmas Prince.”
“Laugh it up, my friend! Whoever laughs the longest laughs the best.”
As a result, it highlights imbalances of power and mocks the disadvantaged party.
Someone who gets off to a big lead in a sports game may mock the opposing team’s players as they continue to lose. The opposite team “has the last laugh” when they stage a miraculous comeback and win the game in the final seconds.
This group is victorious in the end, so they get the last laugh—the best, most pleasurable laugh of all. The only thing that matters is whether or not a player wins or loses, regardless of how well they play.