Manta joke

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Opel Manta A

In German humour, a Manta joke (German: Mantawitz) is a joke cycle about the Mantafahrer ("Manta driver"), the male driver of an Opel Manta, who is an aggressive driver, dull, lower class, macho, and infatuated with both his car and his blonde hairdresser girlfriend.[1]

The joke pokes fun at a stereotype of working class owner of a second-tier muscle car, typified by the Opel Manta.[2] Mantas were targeted at buyers who yearned for a sports car but could not afford a status car such as a BMW or Mercedes. Proud Manta owners often decorated them with chrome, G-T stripes, muscle tyre, high-beam, etc., to mimic the exclusiveness of race cars.[3][1][4]

The jokes poke fun at his vanity, dullness, etc.

  • What was left after a fatal Manta accident? - A golden chain and a hairdresser in mourning.[2]
  • What is the shortest Manta joke ever? - Ein Manta steht vor der Uni (A Manta is parked in front of the university).[2]
  • What does a Manta driver say after crashing into a tree? – Komisch--hab doch gehupt! ("Odd. I did honk!")[4]

The popularity of such jokes spawned two successful movies (Manta – Der Film (de) and Manta, Manta, the latter starring Til Schweiger as the Mantafahrer).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Metonymy in Language and Thought, 1999, ISBN 9027223564, p. 325
  2. ^ a b c Breakdown, Breakup, Breakthrough: Germany's Difficult Passage to Modernity, 1999, ISBN 1571812113, pp.172-173
  3. ^ a b That was the Wild East: Film Culture, Unification, and the "new" Germany, p. 167
  4. ^ a b Adorno-Ampel und Schwebebahnelefant: 222 kleine Verkehrsanekdoten zu allem, was uns bewegt, 2010, ISBN 3833495847, p. 7