Updated May 10, 2007.
Having recently seen several pleas from extremely stressed people for something to cheer them up, I've made a quick first pass at a list of suggestions, for future reference.
I will continue to update the list as I find suitable items, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments. I might not add them, because I'm using my own idiosyncratic sense of what makes me happy to keep it a reasonable length (that is: "funny" is neither necessary nor sufficient), but someone browsing might well enjoy the suggestion.
Note: please say whether a link (1) is work-safe or (2) requires plug-ins.
- I bring this out every time, but: cute bunny pictures! (If you use a browser that easily lets you turn off background images and user colors like Opera, I recommend doing so.) If you run through all of the pictures of Yuebing, the photographer had another bunny, Oolong; just be advised that he passed away in January 2003.
- (Our dog is pretty darn cute, too.)
- Beet Pulp Safety Warning (aka the famous squirrel story). A classic web humor piece.
- Dogs in Elk. Another one.
- On a similar note: I Has a Sweet Potato.
- rec.arts.sf.written spawned a fantasia on fridge bears in 1999; here's the start.
- The Bad Pets List; or the Bad Cat and Bad Ferret highlights at Making Light, and the Bad Dog highlights in this LJ.
- Pygmy mammoths!
- The original Gallery of Smiling Dogs, from The Bark Unleashed; they also appear to be regularly updating another gallery.
- baaaaabyanimals is reliably cheering; I've started putting particularly good posts in my memories.
- A review of juvenile felis catus: "While domestic cats are a common feature of many computing environments, IT review sites have proven oddly unwilling to investigate this popular computer room accessory."
- Lots and lots of puppies and kittens photographed through a wide-angled lens, which is just absurdly cute.
- The Dogblog, charming pictures of dogs tied up outside San Francisco stores, complete with silly captions.
- (new) A blog devoted to cute animal pictures, Cute Overload. Samples: wrestling kittens, a dog looking at the cat who's taken its bed, Boston Terrier puppy, shifty-eyed puppies.
Games (workplace warning: all have sound):
- Poke the Bunny (Shockwave required). It is really strangely addictive. And something eventually happens, honest.
- Paintball Stress Relief (requires Flash).
- Pop some bubble wrap (requires Flash). (Can be found many places; search "bubblewrap.swf".)
- the various whack-a-penguin, etc. Flash games (now requires registration).
- Mr. Picassohead. A well-done Flash time-waster.
- Orisinal has numerous well-done Flash games. I particularly like The Amazing Dare Dozen, in which a dozen fresh eggs attempt to jump up through the forest (warning: non-Newtonian motion); Bauns, a block-destroying game; and Bungee Bear, a jumping game.
- Hamlet (yes, Hamlet gets its own category!):
- The Skinhead Hamlet. "OPHELIA: My Lord! HAMLET: Fuck off to a nunnery!"
- A Night in Elsinore. "Oh, why don't I just kill myself now, and let you folks go home early? Better yet, why don't you folks kill yourselves now, and let me go home early?"
- Scooby Doo Meets Hamlet.
- Hamlet - The Text Adventure. "
talk ghost: 'Hey Dad,' I say cheerily. 'What's up?'" (July 2006: site is down, not sure whether it's coming back up)
- Romeo and Juliet enacted by Peeps.
- Pericles, Prince of Tired Plots. "PERICLES: Oh...the king of Antioch is sleeping with his daughter and now he wants to kill me because he's afraid I'll tell everyone about it or something. (He leans out the window.) OH, IF ONLY I HAD NEVER LEARNED HE WAS SLEEPING WITH HIS DAUGHTER."
- Hamlet (yes, Hamlet gets its own category!):
- The Entire Silmarillion of J.R.R. Tolkien in One Thousand Words, by camwyn. "FEANOR AND SONS: We're gettin' our shinies back. And YOU CAN'T HAVE 'EM, Valar!" (There's also a narrative version in the linked comment thread.)
- "If The Lord of the Rings had been written by . . . " This Making Light thread (and its sequel) pulls out the better ones from the Straight Dope Message Board outbreak, with its own good ones in the comments.
- Tolkien Crackpot Theories. From Ten Rejected Lord of the Rings Plot Twists: "7. In the happy days after the defeat of Sauron, Gimli keeps his promise and visits Mirkwood with Legolas -- where they are eaten by giant spiders, whom everyone had forgotten about."
- Terminators of Endearment, rec.arts.sf.written's imagining the Terminator as a character in a Jane Austen novel.
- And for Brust fans looking for more like "A Night in Elsinore": A Night at the Castle, set in the library of Castle Black.
- More "if X had been written by" at Making Light, this time in the hardboiled vein: Marlowe in action. (I particularly like these two ones for their punch.)
- True Porn Clerk Stories.
- The Geek Hierarchy, by Lore Sjöberg. Make sure to look at the extended version, too.
- The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu. Web comic.
- Automatic flattery generator. For when you really need to hear something nice about yourself.