One-line joke

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A one-liner is a joke that is delivered in a single line. A good one-liner is said to be pithy – concise and meaningful.[1] Comedians and actors use this comedic method as part of their act, e.g. Jimmy Carr, Tommy Cooper, Rodney Dangerfield, Norm Macdonald, Ken Dodd, Stewart Francis, Zach Galifianakis, Mitch Hedberg, Anthony Jeselnik, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi, Jay London, Mark Linn-Baker, Demetri Martin, Groucho Marx, Gary Delaney, Emo Philips, Tim Vine, Steven Wright, Gilbert Gottfried and Henny Youngman.

Many fictional characters are also known to deliver one-liners, including James Bond, who usually includes pithy and laconic quips after disposing of a villain.[2]


  • "A baby seal walks into a club."
  • "A dyslexic man walks into a bra."
  • "There are three types of people, those who can count and those who can't."
  • "The flat-earth society has members all around the globe."
  • "Jokes about communism have no class."
  • "An escalator cannot break, it can only become stairs." (Mitch Hedberg)
  • "My movies were the kind they show in prisons and airplanes, because nobody can leave." (Burt Reynolds)
  • "I'm on a whiskey diet… I've lost three days already." (Tommy Cooper)
  • "What Iran needs now is a more modern leader—a mullah lite." (Shappi Khorsandi)
  • "I have nothing to declare except my genius." (Oscar Wilde, upon arriving at US customs, 1882)[3]
  • "Take my wife ... please." (Henny Youngman)
  • "They hired a 3-piece band that was so lousy, every time the waiter dropped a tray, we all got up and danced!" (Les Dawson)
  • "What a magnificent show this is going to be when it starts!" (Ken Dodd)
  • "I have a girlfriend! I've been going out with my girlfriend for… sex!" (Stewart Francis)
  • "I have an L-shaped sofa... Lowercase." (Demetri Martin)
  • "Crime in multi-story car parks is wrong on so many different levels." (Tim Vine[4])
  • "My wife – it's difficult to say what she does. She sells seashells on the seashore." (Milton Jones)
  • "I've wanted to have a baby for about five years, but she wants one forever." (Lee Mack)
  • "In Scotland the forbidden fruit is fruit." (Gary Delaney)
  • "I lost a buttonhole." (Steven Wright)
  • "There's no beer, no prostitutes and people are shooting at us, it's more like Portsmouth" (Retort of a British soldier after British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon had somewhat unadvisedly compared Umm Qasr to the southern English city of Southampton during a debate on the opening hours of the Iraq War in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in late March 2003)[5]
  • "Velcro - What a rip off!" (Tim Vine)


  1. ^ Miller, K.E.L. (3 December 2009). "The Unuttered Punch Line: Pragmatic Incongruity and the Parsing of 'What's the Difference' Jokes" (PDF). Truman State University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ For James Bond, one line says it all - Christopher Bahn, Today, 10 November 2008
  3. ^ "Number 64300". The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  4. ^ "100 of the best ever jokes and one-liners from the Edinburgh Fringe". iNews. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  5. ^ Glanz, James (1 July 2006). "Iraq's Big Port Has Commerce, Crime — Even Camels". New York Times.

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