Egg Riddle: If I Had 4 Eggs: Try to Solve the Viral Riddle

The Internet is stumped by this tricky viral math puzzle! Can you solve the "If I had 4 eggs" riddle?

Social media nowadays isn’t just for catching up on your friends’ lives, liking every single photo of your cousin’s new puppy, or casually seeing what your ex is up to this year. It’s also a place where tricky brain games, difficult puzzles, and positively head-scratching riddles go viral! Like thousands of other people, you may have seen the “If I had 4 eggs” riddle come up on your screen during your scrolling downtime, and been totally stumped. But ponder no more! We’ve found the answer to this deceptively challenging viral riddle and laid it out below, along with a clear explanation. You’ll still have to figure it out yourself, but you can see if you’ve solved this egg riddle for the right answer. The next time you see the “If I had 4 eggs” riddle come up on your social media feed, you can challenge your friends and family to solve it as well.

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The riddle reads as follows:

If I had four eggs-
and a thief gave me three-
and my rooster laid five more-
how many eggs do I have?

This viral riddle requires careful reading! Your first thought may be that this is a simple math problem: Just add four, plus three, plus five, and you have 12 eggs! Wait, is that it? That seems too easy. Reading the riddle again, you might get stuck on the third line. Whoops! Roosters can’t lay eggs, so those five eggs are impossible. So is the answer seven eggs?

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Another popular answer to this riddle is one egg, but that answer is incorrect. We get to one egg by starting with four and then getting confused about the thief. Why would a thief give you three eggs? But that detail—that they’re a thief—is only there to throw you off: They don’t steal three of your eggs (giving the answer of one), they give them to you. So how do we get to the correct answer to this egg riddle?

The answer to the “If I had 4 eggs” riddle

The answer to this riddle is… three! I have three eggs. It all hinges on one very important word: If. If I had 4 eggs… implying that I don’t actually have them! That’s right, those first four eggs that we all took for granted are actually just an eggcellent fantasy. (Sorry). You have four imaginary eggs, but then a kindly thief happens by and gives you three. (Maybe the eggs came from their own chickens, rather than off the back of a truck?). Roosters can’t lay eggs, so those five are impossible, which leaves you with a total of three eggs! Sometimes, egg dreams do come true. Or close enough. Thanks, thief! Honestly, this whole thing casts some suspicion on your moral fiber. Maybe you should find some new friends who aren’t thieves. Or get some chickens of your own to keep your rooster company. Then, you can have all the eggs you want!

Chloë Nannestad
Chloë Nannestad is a lifestyle writer covering crafts, holidays, beauty and amazing products for When she's not scouring the internet or reading product reviews, she's planning her next backpacking trip and thinking about getting a dog.