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21 Anti-Jokes You Can’t Help but Laugh at Anyway

Trading traditional humor for groan-inducing literal punch lines, these anti-jokes challenge the idea of what a joke can be—and we bet they'll still make you laugh.

smiling dog covers face with paw in embarassment laying on a bed
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Anti-jokes guaranteed to make you chuckle

Anti-jokes are in a league of their own when it comes to humor. Short jokes, bad jokes, and even corny jokes play on words, puns, one-liners, and situations to be funny. The person on the other end of the joke could see the punchline coming from a mile away. Anti-jokes, on the other hand, are humorous because the person on the other end doesn’t expect its punchline. Instead of it being funny or predictable, it could be dry, logical, or even dark. The humor then comes from the literalness of the joke.

Make no mistake, though: Good anti-jokes can be some of the funniest jokes you’ve ever heard; the humor’s just a little different. Ready to laugh in a very literal sense? If so, read on to get your fill of funny anti-jokes.

Young asian couple toasting with beer at rooftop party
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A man walks into a bar. “Ouch.”

Some of our favorite anti-jokes are funny by accident. These “what do you call” jokes are funny on purpose, though.

Group Of Friends Drinking In Craft Beer Bar
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What did one Frenchman say to the other?

I have no idea; I don’t speak French. But if you’re an English nerd, you’ll love these grammar jokes.

muffins in oven
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Two muffins are sitting in the oven.

One says, “Wow, it’s hot in here.” The other one says, “Sure is. Probably about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.”  Were you expecting another punch line from this anti-joke? If you’re looking for a good punchline, these “why did the chicken cross the road” jokes will do the trick.

Curly-haired brunette with bottled beer talking and smiling at unfocused bartender
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Knock knock.

Who’s there?


To who?

No, “to whom.”

Loving these anti-jokes? Here are some more knock-knock jokes everyone will appreciate.

Laughing brown horse
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A horse walks into a bar.

Several of the patrons quickly get up and leave, realizing the potential danger in the situation. Love animals? You won’t stop laughing at these animal memes.

Farmer with hat standing in a coffee plantation field and looks into the distance. Concept image
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What did the farmer say after he lost his tractor?

“Where’s my tractor?” Need more farm-related jokes? These cow jokes will make you spit up your milk.

Six colored numbered books in a row
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Why is 6 afraid of 7?

It’s not. Numbers aren’t sentient and are therefore incapable of feeling fear. Learn the secrets to telling a great joke, straight from stand-up comedians.

A group of young and energetic Chinese Asian coworkers sit around a table and have a light hearted business discussion. They are smiling and laughing as they talk and have a conversation.

Want to hear something that’ll make you smile?

Your face muscles. Check out some of our favorite science jokes.

Toy Story , Buzz Lightyear (Character) Woody (Character)

What did Buzz Lightyear say to Woody?

A lot. There were three movies, and a couple of short films too. For more laughs, don’t miss these bad puns.

Rabbi holds kiddish cup with wine in front of Groom and Bride
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A priest, a rabbi, and a monk walk into a bar.

They all get a drink because bars in America are legally required to serve people of all religions. Check out some more of our favorite “walks into a bar” jokes.

Dracula - 1931

What’s a vampire’s favorite food?

Vampires aren’t real. But these Halloween jokes will give you real laughs!

Hand of the buyer with a piece of cheese in the store
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What do you call cheese that isn’t yours?

Stolen. Stealing is bad and you should return it. Here are some of our favorite food jokes.

African American Senior Couple On the Town with Ice Cream
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What do you call a cross between…

…a joke and a rhetorical question?   —Reddit user Jesus_The_Super_Jew. These clever jokes will instantly make you sound smart.

Girl holding bowl colorful variety game indoor.
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What’s the difference between a blonde and a bowling ball?

A blonde is a living person with a specific hair color, and a bowling ball is an inanimate object used in the sport of bowling.

Psst! These hysterically bad ideas that actually worked out well are sure to get you chuckling, too.

Red white black through tissue samples textiles for making clothes
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What’s black and white and red all over?

Due to the expansive nature of the universe, many items both natural and manufactured could be described in this manner. Move over, anti-jokes. If you laugh at these dark jokes, you might just be a genius!

Flag of a Pirate skull and crossbones
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What’s a pirate’s favorite letter of the alphabet?

None. Historians believe that most pirates were most likely illiterate.   —@AntiJokeCat. If you want more funny pirate jokes, here they arrrrr. 

Chuck Norris attends event of beer company in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia - 27 Feb 2018
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Chuck Norris walks into a bar.

He gets treated with great respect since he’s such a talented actor.

Two young scientists holding chemical sample in test tube
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Two chemists walk into a bar. The first says “I’ll take a glass of H2O.” The second says “I’ll take a glass of H2O too.”

Since the bartender is not a chemist, he has no idea that H2O2 is the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide, and gives both chemists a glass of water. Expecting that one to end a little differently, too? If you’re unfamiliar, this is the (rather dark) way that joke usually ends, plus more chemistry jokes.

The side of policeman with gun.

What do you call a cop with a wooden leg?

Officer. Here are our favorite jokes from A to Z.

African man wearing hipster black hat and glasses and pretty girl with ginger hair talking to their common female friend in red checkered shirt, having nice time together during breakfast at cafe
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Helium walks into a bar.

He orders a drink and wonders why his parents decided to give him such an unusual name, as he can never find it on personalized souvenirs. Plus, baristas never, ever get it right. Check out these physics jokes that’ll make you wish you paid more attention in science class.

Rose market all roses colors
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Roses are red, violets are blue…

…but roses can also be many other colors, including yellow, pink, and white; and violets actually look more purple than blue, hence their name. Next, read these dumb jokes that are actually pretty good.

Submit your best joke here and get $25 if Reader’s Digest runs it.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.