Readers Say readers shared 100 of their favorite dad jokes, and they’re gloriously terrible

“How can you tell a joke is a dad joke? It is fully groan."

Chevy Chase had a fondness for dad jokes in the "National Lampoon's Vacation" series. Warner Bros.

We believe it was Friedrich Nietzsche who said, “A joke is an epigram on the death of a feeling.” But we’re more prone to subscribe to the philosophy of Dave B. of Columbia, South Carolina, formerly of Marshfield, who said, “Dad jokes: It’s how eyeroll.”

Apologies to old Friedrich, but Dave B.’s knowing pun seems to perfectly encapsulate the raison dêtre of the entire “dad joke” concept: to elicit a roll of the eyes, a groan, or a frustrated “Daaaaad!!” from our easily embarrassed children. (Or, on a good day, all three.)


Which is probably why readers like Dave — responding to our story about the recent study that proved telling dad jokes is just good parenting — were more than willing to share their favorite groaners. In fact, we had to narrow them down just to get to the list of the 100 best (worst) ones below.

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Even better than the jokes, though, in some cases were the stories that came with them. “Every time my dad was driving and saw someone pulled over by a cop, he said, ‘Looks like someone is getting a good driving award!,’” shared mandygirl0923 via Instagram. “Now I say it too.”

And jmmcg1959 recalls, “My dad accosted every young man I brought home and said, ‘I have to go to an event, should I wear a henway?’ ‘Um, what’s a henway sir?’ ‘Oh, about 3 or 4 pounds.’”  

From Emily M. of Needham’s dad, who would admonish her to “pee well” every time she said she had to pee badly — “I can’t even say how many times we had this exchange throughout my childhood,” she wrote — to Keith N. of Grafton, who admits to yelling “Hey!” every time he drives with his daughter past a bail of hay, we enjoyed the stories of dad jokes past and present.


But even more enjoyable were the jokes themselves, at least in an embarrassing, so-bad-they’re-good kind of way. Below, you’ll find 100 of our favorite examples, from all genres: The “did you hear about” jokes, the “what do you call” jokes, the “why did” jokes — all are well represented. 

And there were surprisingly few repeats, with one exception. Of the hundreds of readers who responded, many couldn’t resist this classic: 

“How can you tell when something is a dad joke? It’s always apparent.”

100 dad jokes from readers

(Some have been edited for length, clarity, or comedy reasons.)

  1. “A horse walks into a bar, the bartender says, ‘Why such a long face?’” — Scott H. via Facebook
  2. “At school today I told a joke in science class and I didn’t get a reaction.” — Michelle B., Georgetown
  3. “Being a cheesemonger is a career that never a curd to me.” — Maynard B.
  4. “ … Now that’s a site for sore eyes!” — Derek T., Plymouth
  5. Dad: “What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?” Kid: “RRRggh?” Dad: “No matey, it’s the C!” — Davin
  6. “Despite defacing buildings being a crime, graffiti artists who place their works on tall buildings usually have the mural high ground.” — Jonathan A., Swampscott
  7. “Did you hear about the explosion down at the cheese factory? It was really bad, there was nothing left but da-brie.” — lambert.c via Instagram
  8. “Did you hear about the guy who got caught stealing calendars? He got 12 months.” — maguire1454 via Instagram
  9. “Did you hear about the guy who got his coffee stolen? He was mugged.” — emquach123 via Instagram
  10. “Did you hear about the Italian chef that died? He pasta way.” — Mike B. via Facebook
  11. “Did you hear about the pregnant bedbug? She’s due in the spring.” (“I’m a mail carrier and one of my customers has fabulous dad jokes. That’s my favorite.”) — Cape Cod
  12. “Did you hear about the new mind-controlled air freshener? It makes scents when you think about it.” — Charlie K., Sunapee, New Hampshire
  13. “Did you hear about the new shovel? It’s really groundbreaking!” — Gary L., Worcester
  14. “Did you know that new roofs are free? Yeah, they’re always on the house.” — Marty, Plainville
  15. “Do you know why chicken coops always have two doors? Because if they had four doors, they’d be a chicken sedan.” — Jim T., Georgetown
  16. “Do you know why scallops don’t share? Because they’re shellfish.” — rowrow11 via Instagram
  17. “Do you know why they call it a latte? Because it costs a lot, eh?” — Newbie, Winchester
  18. Driving by a cemetery: “Do you know why cemeteries have walls? People are just dying to get in there.” Follow-up: “How many dead people do you think are in there? All of them!” (“Passed down to a 3rd generation!”) — Brian, Dorchester
  19. “Every time we have Chinese food I open my fortune cookie and my kids say ‘What does it say?’ and I say ‘Help! I’m trapped in a Chinese fortune cookie factory!'” — David C., Winchester
  20. “Here in the South we enjoy a good Himalayan deer stew. That where you find him-a-layin’ there in the road, you take him home, and you cook him into a stew.” — Dave C., Lebanon, Missouri
  21. “Hey kids, I had quite the experience getting ready for my business trip. I was at the airport and not feeling well, which really concerned me — I thought it could be a ‘terminal’ illness … And then when I boarded the plane, I learned the pilot had JUST passed his pilots exam. He apparently had to fly through a rainbow as part of it! But it’s all good, he passed with flying colors.” (“I always tell these jokes to my kids when I’m getting ready to go on a business trip.”) — Doug A., Andover
  22. “Honey, have you seen the dog bowl?” “I didn’t know he could.” — doctorbrit via Instagram
  23. “How can you tell a joke is a dad joke? It is fully groan.” — funflynns via Instagram
  24. “How do you get a duck dinner? Jump in a lake.” (“My next door neighbor, also a dad, used to run this one constantly. He’d laugh every time. We wouldn’t. I’d always think, but ducks are on TOP of the water, and what do I do once I’m IN this lake? Nowadays, none of that logic stops me from regularly unleashing this groaner on my kids! The circle of life …”) — Brendyn, Arlington
  25. “I don’t like going through corn mazes … I feel like I’m being stalked.” — psboynh via Instagram
  26. “I don’t have a dad bod … this is a father figure!” — Mark K., Chilmark
  27. “I got a bunch of jokes about unemployed people … but unfortunately none of them work.” — Mike L. via Facebook
  28. “I hate elevator music. It’s bad on so many levels.” (“My husband told me this one.”) — honeyb1024 via Instagram
  29. “I hate my job — all I do is crush cans all day. It’s soda pressing.” — Matt L., Newburyport
  30. “I just got over a cold and my girlfriend asked me how I feel. I said, ‘With my fingers of course.’” — Vincent C., Malden
  31. “I tried to catch the rain … Mist.” — cmnaquarius via Instagram
  32. “I used to be addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.” — A Lake, Westwood
  33. “I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger … Then it hit me.” — Beth G.
  34. “I bought a pair of shoes from a drug dealer the other day. I don’t know what he laced them with but I was tripping.” (“I tell this joke out in public to every cashier I come across.”) — Jeremy G., Pennsylvania
  35. “I did a pun contest, they had us enter 10 with the hopes that one might win. Unfortunately for me, no-pun-in-ten did.” — Josh D., Hanover
  36. “I spotted an albino dalmatian. It was the least I could do for him.” (“Told to me by my dad.”) — Joe K., Andover
  37. “I went camping and saw a sign that said, ‘No running, you have to ran.’ I was confused until I realized it was because it’s past tents.” (“HAHAHAAHAHAHA!”) — Kevin C., Jamaica Plain
  38. “I went to the doctor, he said, ‘You have a week to live!’ I said I can’t pay the bill, doctor replies, ‘OK, you have two weeks!’” (“My dad was the king of corny dad jokes. Now I find myself recycling them!”) — Peter Z., Rockport
  39. “I’ve had this old recliner since college. We both go way back.” — hashtagbentarr via Instagram
  40. “I’ve got a great one about a couch, but I’m sitting on it for now…” — kayfergiee via Instagram
  41. “Is that a rose on your nose? No, it’s (s)not.” — Michael L., Mansfield
  42. “It’s inappropriate to make a ‘dad joke’ if you’re not a dad. It’s a faux pa.” — Steve R., Bridgewater
  43. “It’s too bad that the inventor of the carousel and the inventor of the ferris wheel never met. They ran in different circles.” (“I was told this joke.”) — Josh P., Woburn Highlands
  44. “My brother Jay always wanted to name kids after him. So when he had twin girls, he named them Kay and Elle.” — Paul P. via Facebook
  45. “My dad always preached road safety to me as a kid. He would tell me, ‘One who runs behind car get exhausted. One who runs in front of car gets two-tired.’” — Nick R., Longmeadow
  46. “My dad’s sisters aren’t worried about COVID. They have auntie-bodies.” — Joe, Natick
  47. “On the way to work today I stopped by a fast food place and had a kid’s meal. You wouldn’t believe how mad his mom was!” — Joseph P.
  48. “One snowman said to the other, ‘Is it just me, or do you smell carrots?’” — Richard P., West Boylston
  49. “Put out the dog, please.” “Why? Is he on fire?” — Ben P., Williamsburg
  50. “The difference between a numerator and a denominator is a short line. Only a fraction of people will understand this.” — George, Boston
  51. “The guy that invented the umbrella wanted to call it the ‘brella,’ but he hesitated.” — Jelani-Dia K.M. via Facebook
  52. “The sun went down and I waited all night to see where it went. Then … it dawned on me.” — Darryl P., North Andover
  53. “The Zamboni guy has gone missing, they hope he will resurface soon.” — Michael B. via Facebook
  54. “There are three types of lamas. A one-L lama is a holy man. A two-L llama is an animal. A three-L lama is a fire in East Boston.”  — David C., Winchester
  55. “Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.” — Scott P., Peabody
  56. “Two cannibals are eating a clown. One cannibal says to the other, ‘Does this taste funny to you?’” — Ashland Mom
  57. “Two satellite dishes got married. The ceremony was alright but the reception was phenomenal.” — Anonymous
  58. “What did the mama buffalo say to the baby buffalo before he left for school? ‘Bi-son.’” — kellycarneyus via Instagram
  59. “What do you call a chicken staring at a bowl of lettuce? Chicken sees a salad.” — Hazel C.M. via Facebook
  60. “What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.” — Mark F., Ohio
  61. “What do you call a fly without wings? A walk.” — johnnysonchann via Instagram
  62. “What do you call a sleepwalking nun?? A roamin’ Catholic.” — a.west24 via Instagram
  63. “What do you call it when Batman skips church? A Christian bail.” — e_liftfit via Instagram
  64. “What do you call the knight that likes to scare people? Sir Prise!” — Christopher N. via Facebook
  65. “What do you can an alligator detective? An investi-gator.” — caetano_desa via Instagram
  66. “What do you do when you break your toe? Call a toe truck!” — Chris, North End
  67. “What does Fozzie Bear order at the bar? Johnnie Wocka Wocka Wocka.” — theemilyrussell via Instagram
  68. “What are the pronouns of a candy bar? Her/She.” — David S., Waltham
  69. “What are the strongest days of the week? Saturday and Sunday — the rest are weakdays.” — Brett C., Braintree
  70. “What did the fish say when he swam face-first into a concrete wall? Dam!” — Evan, Auburndale
  71. “What did the mustard say to the hot dog? Geez, I relish the time when we get to ketchup.” — Brian M., Swampscott
  72. “What do Mermaids wash their clothes in? Tide.” — PJ, Hingham
  73. “What do you call a kangaroo that has a second bowl of chowder? A more-soup-ial.” (“Made this one up for my daughter to roll her eyes at when she was about 9 years old. To give credit where it’s due, I was trained by the master (my dad).”) — Matt S., Tacoma, Washington
  74. “What do you call a man with no shins? Toe Knee.” — Benny F., Waltham
  75. “What’s brown and sticky? A stick.” (“I still chuckle any time I tell it.”) — Paul, Milton
  76. “What’s the best time to go to the dentist? Tooth hurty.” — Myles R., Quincy
  77. “What’s the difference between a dad joke and a bad joke? Just the first letter.” — JDW, Newton
  78. “What’s blue and smells like red paint? Blue paint.” — tos72 via Instagram
  79. “What’s blue but not heavy? Light blue.” — Paul, Tewksbury
  80. “What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is extremely heavy … The other is a little lighter.” — Kevin A. via Facebook
  81. “What’s the difference between a well-dressed man on a bicycle and a poorly dressed man on a unicycle? Attire.” — Lizthenerd via Instagram
  82. “What’s a vampire’s favorite fruit? Neck-tarines.” — cheflaurawhalen via Instagram
  83. “What’s a word that becomes shorter when you add letters to it? Short.” — Jason Lu via Facebook
  84. “What’s Irish and gets wet when it rains? Paddy O’Furniture.” — muttmom310 via Instagram
  85. “What do they do when a chemist dies? They barium.” — joshinhd via Instagram
  86. “Where do baby cats learn to swim? The kitty pool.” — bostonbychloe via Instagram
  87. “Where do boats go when they get sick? To the dock!” — smsparr via Instagram
  88. “Where do pirates get their hooks? At the second hand store!” — Chris, Marshfield
  89. “Where do I keep all my dad jokes? In a joke dadabank.” — Mike G.., Wayland
  90. “Which dog breed does magic? A ‘Labracadabrador.’” (“Saw this in a Bad Dad Joke of the Day book.”) — Brian G., Methuen
  91. “Why did the golfer always bring two pairs of socks to the game? In case he got a hole in one.” — Diane C. via Facebook
  92. “Why did the guy get fired from the orange juice factory? He couldn’t concentrate.” — therealmarcusshawkey via Instagram
  93. “Why did they lock up the Energizer Bunny? He was charged with battery.” — instrumentally_ill via Instagram
  94. “Why didn’t the skeleton want to go to the prom? Because he had no body to dance with.” — kellycarneyus via Instagram
  95. “Why don’t seagulls fly by the bay? If they did, they would be bagels.” — Mike, Westborough
  96. “Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the ‘p’ is silent.” — Cory B., Plymouth
  97. “Why can’t you tell a joke to an egg? It might crack up.” (“I am a teacher at Wellesley High School. I have run a program for students returning from hospitalizations for the past 17 years. I have told these types of jokes every year … They don’t get old … Ever. Too many good ones to count — I have books and books of them. Students sometimes buy me books as year-end presents. I’ve had alumni pop by and ask for a joke when they visit. This one sticks out.”) — Adam D., Wellesley High School
  98. “Why did Norway put barcodes on their ships? So when the return they can scan-da-navy-in.” — Brendan, Millis
  99. “Why did the scarecrow win an award? He was outstanding in his field!” — Rob S., Hopkinton
  100. “You didn’t get my joke about ceilings? Well I guess it must have been over your head.” — Steve R., Weymouth