Love a Good Joke? Here Are Some of the Best Dad Jokes of All Time
Being a dad isn't purely biological. Sure, one prerequisite of fatherhood is to actually have children, but there's also a psychological aspect all true dads share: the love of the dad joke.
Dad jokes are an art, not a science. They’re hard to define but easy to recognize, and they touch on that slightly cheesy, totally endearing part of the soul every father shares. Here are 30 of the best dad jokes of all time.
This one is for the dads who spend all day on the job, hammering nails and sporting hard hats. For those who wake up before the sun comes up, stay on the job until well after the sun goes down and contribute so much to our society, one giant building at a time. You're the foundation of America. You deserve a cold beer, good insurance and a joke to share with coworkers.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and it's undeniably true — even when the disease is fatal. Humor and death have always been connected. There’s a reason people say a joke "killed" or that they were "tickled to death." Gallows humor has a way of making us fear the inevitable a little bit less, and it connects us all. We all know we're on the same path. Might as well laugh along the way.
The only thing better than a joke about death is a joke about saving someone's life. Mix in a little grammar fun, and you're cooking with fire. Jokes about language are always fun because they're meta jokes — puns within puns. You're not just using clever words to get a smile. You're using clever words cleverly. It's renewable joke energy. It's what all good dad jokes run on, and the supply is endless.
The best way to tell this joke is to be like a ninja: Sneak up on your victim. The worst thing you can do is run out in front of someone with this joke and let it fly. They’ll see it coming from a mile away. Instead, plant yourself in a corner, preferably a dark one, and wait for the next unsuspecting person to walk by. They'll never know what hit them, and you'll be gone before the laughter fades.
Cinderella the Photographer
A rite of passage for all fathers who are blessed to be the fathers of daughters is the telling of the bedtime fairy tale. Sure, maybe you didn't grow up dreaming of Prince Charming showing up at your doorstep, but your daughter might. After you tuck in your little princess and read her favorite story to her, throw in this joke for one last laugh before bed. Just get to the punchline before midnight.
Food always has been and always will be funny. Some of our hardest laughs come in the school cafeteria or over the dinner table. Any time you open your mouth to eat a giant bite of whatever you're stuffing your face with that day, there's a good chance a laugh will slip out. Good jokes and good meals pair together like spaghetti and meatballs.
A good joke never gets old. Only the people who tell them get older, but even then, there’s no reason your humor level should decrease as your age increases. In fact, the only thing better than a dad joke is a grandad joke. Who do you think taught dads all the hilariousness we know and love? Not Mom! She never really had a sense of humor. Grandma, on the other hand? She could crack a joke.
The eighth commandment implored God's people not to steal. The fact is, no one likes a thief, especially a joke thief. It's one thing to borrow — to ask nicely beforehand, get permission and use the thing you asked for before returning it to its rightful home. But to take something that doesn't belong to you and claim it as your own? Joke's on you, pal. You won't have the last laugh.
Everybody poops. That's why toilet humor is a staple, a must-have in any dad-joke arsenal. From the moment we learn how to speak and use the bathroom, we realize it's funny because everyone does it. Do not, however, under any circumstances, make a habit of telling jokes while inside the bathroom. It's never worth it, so forget about it. The funnier the joke, the more problematic the cleanup will be.
If a dad could have any superpower, high on the list would be the ability to disappear from plain sight. Left the dishes out overnight and you can barely see your partner’s fury through all the fruit flies? Poof! See ya later! Joke didn't get the laugh you wanted? You're gone in a second, and you can sneak away to plan another. Just remember: The best jokes are the ones you never see coming.
Time is money, but time is also funny. Every good comedian understands the value of timing. Without proper timing, even the funniest puns fall to the wayside, never to elicit a laugh again. The best jokes are the ones that you drop at just the right moment. Other jokes take time to really sink in. Tell a joke too fast, and the audience misses the intention. Tell a joke too slowly, and you lose their attention.
Telling a good dad joke is like riding a bike: Once you learn how to do it, the skill never leaves you. No matter how long you go without telling one, whenever you come back, it's easy to pick up right where you left off. Sure, if you go long enough, you might fall flat on your face and come back up with a bloody nose, but the point is to keep trying. Once you get going, it'll be like you never stopped.
The Eyeless Fish
Fish are universally funny, plain and simple. They look funny with their big, wide eyes and their tiny mouths. They even have funny names. Grouper? Seriously? Bonefish? Who had the wits to come up with that one? Even once they become food, they remain quite hilarious. Go ahead. Try to come up with a funnier edible item than a fish stick. Sure, fish are kind of gross. They're slimy and stinky. But fish jokes never stink, and they never flop.
Who doesn’t love a good pencil? Pens run out of ink or they break and leak everywhere. And typing everything is fine until the electricity goes out. You try to type a letter of complaint to the power company, but you can't turn on the computer. Get a Ticonderoga No. 2 and a yellow legal pad, though, and you can bang out a 10-page manuscript on the utility of the good ol' pencil.
Fears Are Numbered
One task that every dad must take upon himself is teaching his kids how to count. Math is one of life's basic and most important skills, and if your children are going to make it far in life, they must master math. But kids also teach their dads new math skills, like how to fit a $2,000 daycare tuition into the monthly budget, how to calculate time slept during the night versus time spent in the rocking chair and other scary financial stuff.
The Thirsty Sandwich
A man's first encounter with a bar usually comes in college. In those golden days of youth, a bar represents hope: "Maybe, if I drink just enough alcohol, but not too much, I can be secure enough in my emerging identity to talk to that love interest who’s far too attractive for me." Later in life, a bar is a sanctuary: "Ugh, I hope no one talks to me."
Enter the Bar
When men become fathers, they’re often so consumed by their new responsibilities — changing diapers, heating up bottles, walking on eggshells — that they lose contact with their closest friends. That’s why it’s so important to make the effort to stay connected with the fellas, even if your schedule isn't as free as it used to be. One day, the children will grow up and become full-fledged, responsible adults. It's very important that you don't make the same mistake.
Sick and Scary
Professional paternal jokesters know fear and humor are more closely related than meets the eye. Why do you think kids love peek-a-boo so much? The fear that you might never return from behind your hand-mask, abandoning them for all eternity, is real and intense. So when you come back, the overwhelming joy they feel in their tiny hearts results in uproarious laughter. This joke also takes someone scary and, well, mocks him.
Kids love animals, and every good dad-joker has a few animal wisecracks in his back pocket. There are the classics, like the chicken crossing the road, and if you play your cards right, "Old MacDonald" can warm up an otherwise stoic crowd. Alligators are a natural fit, even if they aren't the first creature that comes to mind for material. Remember: They do have giant smiles permanently affixed to their reptilian faces.
The Longest Word
Nothing brings a family closer together than reading together. Reading at least one book a day to your kids not only enriches their learning, but it also serves as a bonding experience. The best part is, until they learn how to read, they have no idea what’s actually on the page. Skip a few words or make some up. Or teach them this funny joke when they finally learn to spell.
The ocean offers a treasure trove of jokes for dads. Scientists estimate that only 5% of the creatures that live in the ocean have actually been discovered, but did you know that only 4% of available ocean jokes have been told? Somewhere, deep on the ocean's floor, where it has rested for hundreds of years, there's a chest full of puns, one-liners and age-appropriate double entendres just waiting to be discovered. You just have to look.
Happy Birthday, Honey
Sure, Dad is funny, but Mom is important, too. She offers a love no one else can provide her children, and she’s the solver of so many problems Dad faces. She’s also the best target for your jokes, because she has no choice but to listen to them or else kick you out of the house, leaving her to fend for herself against the kids.
Coming Down With a Bug
There are a lot of lessons to learn about fatherhood from ants. First of all, they fully understand the concept of teamwork. They realize that, alone, they’re powerless to get most jobs done, but together, they can lift a car. Second, they realize that if you want to survive, you better do everything the queen ant says. Otherwise, you'll spend the night outside, looking for crumbs to eat.
Tickling is the "get out of jail free" card of the dad-joke world. In a traditional comedy setting, touching the audience isn't just discouraged — it's also a good way to get thrown in prison. In your home, though, with your kids subjected to your humor, tickling is always there, behind the glass, waiting to be broken in case of an emergency. Go for the armpit, but don't forget about the holy trinity of tickling: belly, neck and leg.
In our modern culture of participation trophies and second-place awards, it’s important to make sure your children know the value of earning their keep. Society might be growing softer, rewarding failure and encouraging parity. But if you work hard to earn your family’s laughter, you’ll teach them the importance of a hard day's work. Toil in the fields all day, test the soil constantly and reap what you sow — when it comes to jokes, anyway.
Talking about the weather is not merely a conversation starter at a party full of strangers. You can also find quality comedic content in the world of meteorology. Look at the box office successes of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Twister. Weather is funny. Climate change does pose a real threat to every generation, present and future. But if the world's going to end, we might as well have a laugh or two.
When you start putting together your material for dad jokes, don't be afraid to go big. At first, the temptation to try for small, easy laughs will be strong. But you have to take risks if you want to get to the next level and make that waiter at Applebee's spill the drink tray as he doubles over with belly laughter. Just realize no joke is too big to fail.
Education is the foundation for everything your child will do in life. As a father, you must emphasize the importance of learning by setting an example. If you made good grades in school, leave your old report cards lying around. Have your kids use them as coloring paper. If you were a bad student, do what every good father does: lie. The truth hurts, but not as much as your kid living in your guest room until they're 30 does.
Dressing your kids is an essential duty of fatherhood. Left to their own devices, children would run around naked, a bottle in one hand and Mom’s earring in the other. Left to their own devices, so would dads. The key to picking out an ensemble for your kids is to ask yourself four questions. Is it clean? Does it fit? Does it match? Will their mother divorce me if I take them out in public like this?
In the hectic world of parenthood, it’s vital that you find time for yourself and a good book. If you don't carve out an hour here or a few minutes there to sit back, relax and dig into some good reading material — preferably something without pictures — you'll soon go stir crazy. Inside every book is a journey. Every page is a new adventure. And sometimes, you need to escape life for a bit.