Dad joke

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Dad joke
Type of jokePun

A dad joke is a joke, typically a pun, often presented as a one-liner or a question and answer, but less often a narrative.[citation needed] Generally inoffensive, dad jokes are stereotypically told with sincere humorous intent or to intentionally provoke a negative "groaning" reaction to their overly simplistic humor.

Dad jokes sent via text message

An example of a dad joke would be for a child to say, "I'm hungry," to which the dad might reply, "Hi, Hungry, I'm Dad."[1] According to a 2023 survey of 1,500 American fathers and their partners, this particular gag was the most heard of the genre in nine U.S. states and the most common nationwide. Of the states, Pennsylvania and Delaware report the highest frequency of dad jokes heard.[2]

Some dad jokes may be considered anti-jokes, deriving humor from a punchline that is intentionally not funny,[3] such as non sequiturs like: "Q: Why did the plane crash into the mountain? A: Because the pilot was a loaf of bread."[4]

While the exact origin of the term dad joke is unknown, the term was first published by Jim Kalbaugh,[4] who wrote an impassioned defense of the genre in The Gettysburg Times in June 1987 under the headline "Don't ban the 'Dad' jokes; preserve and revere them".[5]

The term "dad jokes" received mentions in the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother in 2008[6] and the Australian quiz show Spicks and Specks in 2009.[7]

The genre began to thrive on social media platforms; in 2017, #dadjokes was one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter.[4] The U.S. Administration for Children and Families and the Ad Council launched the #dadjokesrule campaign in August 2017 to use the increasing popularity of the humor form to encourage positive father-child communication. Ad Council president and chief executive officer Lisa Sherman said, "Dad jokes represent more than just a trend; these jokes are smiles, moments, and memories made with one of the most important people in a child's life."[8]

In September 2019, Merriam-Webster added the phrase "dad joke" to the dictionary.[9]

In October 2021, Men's Health compiled 200 of "the best dad jokes of all time", sorting them into topical categories of punny, "groaners", sick, parenting, and "my wife".[10]

In May 2022, Today published a list of 225 in the humor genre, categorizing some as being better suited for adults than for children.[11]


  • Q: What does a lemon say when it answers the phone? A: Yellow!
  • Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot? A: A carrot.
  • Q: What's brown and sticky? A: A stick.
  • Q: Where does a sick fish go? A: The dock.
  • Q: What do a bed bug and the Eiffel Tower have in common? A: They're both Paris sites.
  • Q: What's the difference between a pun and a Dad joke? A: It will become apparent.
  • Q: What did the fish say when he swam into the wall? A: Dam!
  • Q: How do pickles make the best use of their time? A: They relish every moment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fetters, Ashley (September 25, 2018). "The Dad-Joke Doctrine". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  2. ^ Robertson, Justin (June 15, 2023). "For Father's Day: Celebrate with state's favorite dad jokes, beer". Delaware News Journal. p. B3. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  3. ^ Luu, Chi (12 June 2019). "The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke". JSTOR Daily. New York City: Ithaka. Retrieved 15 June 2019. Dad jokes are a kind of anti-joke, different from other ways of joking in their performance, even formulaic jokes. Like self-deprecatingly joking about a personal flaw before your bullies do, dad jokes seem to court failure, presenting themselves as deliberately bad, deliberately uncool, deliberately anti-humor.
  4. ^ a b c Desai, Devika (June 15, 2019). "Father Knows Jest". National Post. p. WP2. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  5. ^ "Don't ban the "Dad" jokes; preserve and revere them". Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Sample News Group. June 20, 1987. p. 5. Retrieved February 9, 2019 – via NewspaperArchive.
  6. ^ Fryman, Pamela (November 10, 2008). "Not a Father's Day". How I Met Your Mother. Season 4. Episode 7. CBS. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  7. ^ zombieshoes76 (August 30, 2009). "Spicks & Specks- Dad Jokes". Retrieved March 2, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Fatherhood Ad Campaign Uses Cherished "Dad Jokes" as Focus". The Ad Council. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  9. ^ "We Added New Words to the Dictionary for September 2019". Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  10. ^ Spitznagel, Eric (2021-10-22). "200 Dad Jokes So Bad They're Actually Perfect". Men's Health. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  11. ^ Lemire, Sarah (2023-08-10). "These dad jokes are so bad, they're good". Retrieved 2023-08-21.

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