Poe's law is a humorous law formulated by Nathan Poe, which states that:
- "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a fundamentalist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article."
It is a comment on the wide range of extreme and, many might say, insane opinions expressed by religious fundamentalists, especially on the Internet.
Parody often works by exaggerating the salient features of a person or situation beyond reasonable bounds. Poe's law says that there are no bounds to what fundamentalists will say, and therefore they are impossible to parody.
Although this law is typically applied to religious fundamentalists, it is also sometimes applied to conspiracy theorists and fringe political groups.