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20 Chemistry Jokes Every Science Nerd Will Appreciate

He He He. (Helium Helium Helium)

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barMatthew Cohen/

Two chemists walk into a bar.

One says, “I’ll have an ‎H2O.” The other says, “I’ll have an ‎H2O, too.” The second chemist dies.

‎H2Ois the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide, which you can’t drink at a bar without grievous consequence. Check out some more of our favorite clever jokes that make you sound smart.

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chemistry drinksMatthew Cohen/

Oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, sodium, and phosphorous walk into a bar.

“OH SNaP!” says the bartender.

If you combine the chemical symbols for Oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), sulfur (S), sodium (Na), and phosphorous (P), it spells “Oh snap.” Here are some more of our favorite jokes about people and things walking into bars.

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chemical reactionMatthew Cohen/

What should you do if no one laughs at your chemistry jokes?

Keep telling them until you get a reaction.

Get it?! Like a chemical reaction. Chemistry jokes are funny. Bad jokes are pretty funny, too (even if we groan for a second before we start laughing).

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chemistry booksMatthew Cohen/, shutterstock

I tried writing jokes about the periodic table…

…but I realized I wasn’t quite in my element.

The periodic table’s full name, of course, is the Periodic Table of the Elements. Need a refresher on your chemistry? This periodic table shows how we use every element in our lives.

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cornyMatthew Cohen/, shutterstock

Did you hear the one about cobalt, radon, and yttrium?

It was CoRnY.

Another chemical symbol-based chemistry joke: cobalt (Co), radon (Rn), and yttrium (Y—yes, it’s a real element). Don’t miss these space puns—they’re really out of this world.

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na broMatthew Cohen/, shutterstock

Want to hear a joke about sodium, bromine, and oxygen?


Sure enough, the chemical symbols of sodium (Na), bromine (Br), and oxygen (O) combine to form a casual way to tell someone you’re not interested in hearing a joke. Need more laughs? Check out these rock puns you won’t take for granite.

7 / 20
OKMatthew Cohen/, shutterstock

Did you hear about oxygen’s date with potassium?

It went OK.

Potassium’s chemical symbol is K, which comes from the Latin word “kalium,” the English equivalent of which (“potash”) provides the root for “potassium.” (Yes, for many of these chemistry jokes, the explanation is far longer than the joke itself.) Here are some more short jokes anyone can easily remember.

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waterMatthew Cohen/

If H2O is water and H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide, what is H2O4?

Drinking, bathing, and lots of other daily activities.

Get it? What’s it 4? Don’t miss these egg puns that are definitely all they’re cracked up to be.

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ammoniaMatthew Cohen/

Why do chemists find working with ammonia easy?

Because it’s pretty basic stuff.

Ammonia is a base, a chemical that ranks higher than 7 on the pH scale. Chemicals on the scale can be acidic, neutral, or “basic.”

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saltMatthew Cohen/

Someone threw sodium chloride at me.

I yelled, “That’s a salt!”

You’re correct. Sodium chloride is indeed the scientific name for salt. Check out some more of our all-time favorite bad puns.

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beakerMatthew Cohen/

How did the hipster chemist burn his hand?

He picked up his beaker before it was cool.

Lab safety is important, even for hipsters.

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labradory retreiverMatthew Cohen/

What’s a chemist’s favorite type of dog?

A Laboratory retriever.

Chemists sure love their Labs. Here are some more hilarious dog puns for the canine lover.

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ferrous wheelMatthew Cohen/, shutterstock

What’s Iron Man’s favorite amusement park ride?

The ferrous wheel.

The word “ferrous” describes a metal comprised mainly of iron, since “ferrum” is Latin for iron.

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physics chemistryMatthew Cohen/

What’s the difference between chemistry jokes and physics jokes?

Chemistry jokes can be funny periodically, but physics jokes have more potential.

This one riffs off of the alternate meanings of a major concept from each science: the periodic table and potential energy.

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armyMatthew Cohen/

Why did the attacking army use acid?

To neutralize the enemy’s base.

Acidic and basic chemicals on the pH scale can cancel each other out. Check out some more of our favorite funny jokes about the military.

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thermometerMatthew Cohen/

What did the thermometer say to the measuring cylinder?

“You may be graduated, but I have several degrees.”

Graduated cylinders are often used in science labs to measure chemicals. In this context, “graduated” means “marked with divisions or units of measurement.” And, of course, the word “degrees” has multiple meanings too.

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cole's lawMatthew Cohen/

What is Cole’s Law?

Thinly sliced cabbage.

There’s no real scientific law called Cole’s Law. This one mixes chemistry jokes with good ol’ food puns. Check out some more delightfully corny food puns here.

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polar bearMatthew Cohen/

Why did the bear dissolve in water?

It was a polar bear.

Molecules that are “polar” have nothing to do with the Arctic. Instead, they have an unequal distribution of electrons. Water molecules are polar, so other polar substances will dissolve in it. Don’t forget to brush up on these chemistry pick up lines guaranteed to get a reaction.

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thermometerMatthew Cohen/

I dare you to lower your body temperature to absolute zero.

I promise you’ll be 0K.

Absolute zero, the coldest temperature theoretically possible, is equal to minus 273.15 degrees Celsius and zero degrees Kelvin (written out as 0K). These are the crazy, often funny things that happen when scientists experiment on themselves.

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argonMatthew Cohen/

I would tell another chemistry joke…

…but all the good ones Argon.

Argon is element number 18 on the periodic table. Keep the nerdiness going with some more of our favorite science jokes.

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 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.