As surely as a carton of milk couldn’t play soccer because it lacked toes and as definite as an outcast tub of butter lives a life in the margarines; dad jokes are the epitome of humor so dry and indifferent to whether or not anyone actually laughs they’ve become a cultural meme through sheer force of will. And no dad on this planet is above them.
So what even makes a good dad joke? Corniness helps. And the snappier the joke the better. Which is what we had in mind when we put this ultimate list of the 50 best dad jokes ever crafted. But really, above anything else, it’s all about the attitude. An attitude that’s almost indescribable, but when you see it, you’ll know exactly what it is that makes something a good dad joke. It’ll be apparent.
50. The Mollusk Joke
Marlin is asked to tell a joke for the other school parents because he’s clownfish and he completely botches it.
Marlin: Alright, I know one joke, there’s a mollusk see and he walks up to a sea..well he doesn’t walk up he swims up, well actually the mollusk isn’t moving he’s in one place and the sea cucumber they…I mixed up. There was a mollusk and a sea cucumber none of them were walking so forget that I said that….and so just then the sea cucumber looks over at the mollusk and says ‘With fronds like these who needs anemones!?’
Why it’s the best: It’s meandering, barely has a punchline, and lets us know right away exactly who Marlon is.
49. God of Mischief
The joke: I’m the Norse god of mischief but I don’t like to talk about it, I guess you can say I’m low key.
Why it’s the best: It’s not everyday someone is going to throw down a dad joke with norse mythology references.
48. Brown and Sticky
The joke: What’s brown and sticky? A stick.
Why it’s the best: It’s a poop joke without being a poop a joke.
47. Restaraunt on the Moon
The joke: Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
Why it’s the best: It’s a straightforward dad joke set in space.
46. The Flamingo
The joke: When my wife told me to stop impersonating a flamingo, I had to put my foot down.
Why it’s the best: Misdirection at its best. Plus, the image of a dad standing like a flamingo in his living room.
The joke: Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Why it’s the best: Seven words of corny bliss.
44. The Smart Third
The joke: Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
Why it’s the best: It starts like a normal joke, then turns into a dad joke. Everyone is sad, yet begrudgingly amused.
43. The Invisible Man
The joke: Why did the Invisible Man turn down the job offer? He couldn’t see himself doing it.
Why it’s the best: A reference to an HG Wells book, with an anti-climatic punchline.
42. The Aim
The joke: My ex misses me but her aim is improving.
Why it’s the best: Like a magic trick, it’s all about that misdirection.
41. The Recliner
The joke: My recliner and I go way back.
Why it’s the best: Brevity. Plus extra dad points for including a recliner.
40. The Wedding Cake
The joke: Our wedding was so beautiful, even the cake was in tiers.
Why it’s the best: Because the setting is a wedding, you can imagine this as the first of a long life of dad jokes to come from a newlywed.
The joke: It was easy for me to master braille once I got a feel for it.
Why it’s the best: The weird, dry humor the best dad jokes are made of.
38. Mitch Hedberg’s Target Joke
The joke: I tried to walk into Target, but I missed.
Why it’s the best: Mitch Hedberg wasn’t writing dad jokes specifically, but his surreal one-liners follow the same form and are cut from the same cloth. Case in point, this joke.
37. Calendar Factory
The joke: I used to have a job at a calendar factory. But I got fired because I took a couple of days off.
Why it’s the best: Always a great joke of the day candidate.
The Joke: What’s Elsa’s favorite type of party? A snowball.
Why it’s best: Because it’s cooler than cool.
35. The History of Glue
The joke: I read a history about glue, and just couldn’t seem to put it down.
Why it’s the best: It’s short, it’s sweet, and it really stuck with us.
34. The Beaver Joke
The joke: I just watched a show about beavers. It was the best dam program I’ve ever seen.
Why it’s the best: Cursing without cursing is very dad.
33. Star Wars Joke
The joke: Why did Yoda refuse to believe that Obi Wan had a twin? Because there can only be Wan Kenobi.
Why it’s the best: The force is strong with this one.
32. Illegally Parked Amphibians
The joke: What if a frog parks illegally? They get toad.
Why it’s the best: Another pun you didn’t think you wanted to hear, and yet, it completes you.
31. The Paper Joke
The joke: Have you heard the joke about paper? It’s Tearable.
Why it’s the best: We’d go really in-depth about why we like this joke, but then you’d think we had tissues.
30. The Dogs
The joke: My uncle named his dogs Rolex and Timex. They’re his watchdogs.
Why it’s the best: You add animals into the mix of a joke, you up its corny factor thereby giving it higher dad joke credibility.
The joke: Did you know they aren’t making shortbread any longer?
Why it’s the best: It’s a welcomed culinary spin on the dad joke.
28. Quick Meal
The joke: Ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time-consuming.
Why it’s the best: The premise – eating a clock- is already ridiculous, then the punchline is just throwing absurdity on top of the absurdity.
27. Jack Handy’s Laugh Medicine
The joke: Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us got of tuberculosis.
Why it’s the best: Jack Handy, the author and former SNL-writer, is a treasure chest of ridiculous, and childlike jokes that could easily pass as dad joke material, and this is only a start.
26. Beauty in the Beast’s Dad Joke
Cogsworth: And as I always say, if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it. *laughs to self, wiping tear from eye*
Why it’s the best: It’s the laugh at his joke at the end that really sells it.
25. The Broom
The joke: The invention of the broom really swept the nation
Why it’s the best: It’s smart-assy and kept under a 10 word count.
24. Dad Joke Sans Kids
The joke: I tell dad jokes but I have no kids. I’m a faux pa.
Why it’s the best: Adding the word ‘faux’, gives the joke a kind of class and dignity it doesn’t really deserve.
23. Soap Addict
The joke: I used to be addicted to soap. But then I got clean.
Thy it’s the best: It’s funny, which is great, but it’s pretty innocent and expletive-free. Guess you could say, it’s squeaky clean.
22. Spring is Here
The joke: Spring is here. I was so excited I wet my plants.
Why it’s the best: Nothing like a good old joke about peeing yourself to get the knee-slapping going.
The joke: Thought about going on an all almond diet, but that’s just nuts!
Why it’s the best: A play on fad diets that’s actually kind of funny.
The joke: Knock, knock.
Yoda the one for me!
Thy it’s the best: It’s very uplifting, much like Yoda after Luke’s X-Wing sinks in a swamp.
19. This Airplane Moment
Dr. Rumack: Can you fly this plane and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely, you can’t be serious.
Dr. Rumack: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
Why it’s the best: It’s a deadpan play on words that’s endured decades.
18. 10 puns
The joke: I thought of all these puns at least one in 10 would make them laugh. But no pun in 10 did.
Why it’s the best: It’s a pun, that actually uses the word ‘pun’.
17. The Condiments
The joke: I don’t fear condiments on my food. I relish it.
Why it’s the best: Who doesn’t relish a good food joke?
16. Mitch Hedberg’s Banana Joke
The joke: My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said no, but I want a regular banana later, so..yeah.
Why it’s the best: The second Hedberg joke in this list almost isn’t even a joke, which with some bizarre mental jiu-jitsu, is what makes it work so well. Well played Hedberg, well played.
15. Breakfast with Steven Wright
The joke: I went to a place to eat. It said ‘breakfast at any time.’ So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
Why it’s the best: Like Hedberg, Steven Wright wasn’t specifically writing dad jokes, but because his one liners were clean and oh so very dry, they deserve a place in the dad joke rankings.
14. Phil Dunphy’s Existence
Phil enters laughing with Luke.
Luke Dunphy: Oh my god that is so freaking funny!
Phil Dunphy: I know right!?
Claire Dunphy: What?
Luke Dunphy: Dad just wrote another classic one. Tell her.
Phil Dunphy: *fake modesty* I don’t know about classic – If you’re looking for a two story house, I’m your man. I’ll tell you one story before you buy the house, and then another story after.
Luke: Oh no you didn’t! *they high-five*
Phil: Tonight is the SCARB.
Claire Dunphy: Southern California’s Annual Realtor’s Banquet.
Phil Dunphy: I think they know what it is. It’s the mother of all residential real estate banquets. Now for the last five years Gilthorp has hosted but, as luck would have it he’s having a sketchy looking pollop removed so they’ve asked me to Phil-in. See what I did? Phil, think I should open with that?
Claire Dunphy: You betcha you should.
Claire Dunphy: [Aside] Phil is going to bomb. It’s not that he’s not fun, he is so fun, it’s just that he’s not funny. It’s probably my fault because I laugh at all of his jokes, with my mouth – not with my eyes.
Phil: I see the great realtor Margaret Wilson is here. Looking more curvaceous than ever, talk about your balloon payments.
Claire Dunphy: *laughs with dead eyes*
Thy it’s the best: The man is a walking talking dad joke come to life.
13. The Long Con
Dad: This magic trick. Basically what you have to do is, I point at something and you call it out. Okay?
Daughter: Yeah. When?
Dad: When I point to it like that. *Points to the head of chicken drawing* Like, that’s what?
Daughter: It’s head.
Dad: Okay. So it’s one word. So are you ready? Are you taking part or what?
Daughter: Yeah, yeah I’m listening.
Dad: Okay, let’s go. *points to different parts of the duck*
Daughter: Beak. Wing. Feet. Beak. Wing. Feet. Beak. Wing. Feet.
Dad: Very good. So what I’m going to do now is point at two of them. Remember the one I have left out but don’t say it out until I tell you to. Okay, so I’m going to put a point…
Daughter: So I’ve to say it when you point at them?
Dad: No, just remember the one I don’t point to. But the ones I do point to say them out loud.
Daughter: Beak, feet, beak, feet, beak, feet, beak, feet.
Dad: Okay, so remember the one I had left out and say nothing okay?
Dad: And what I want you to do now is, I want you to keep remembering the one I left out.
*he folds the paper into a U-shape, then sticks both of his thumbs up.*
Dad: Put your thumbs like that. No, like that. That’s grand. So What I’m going to do is, this is the magic part.
*He puts the U-shaped paper over both her thumbs*
Daughter: Bird shit better not come out of my fingers.
Dad: No, it won’t. And remembering all the time the one I left out but don’t say it out loud until I tell you.
*makes sure the paper is snug on her thumbs*
Dad: Okay, what I want you to do is concentrate but remember the word I left out – and say it out loud, not shouting but loud, six times.
Daughter: Wing, wing, wing, wing, wing, wing.
Dad: *pulls the paper off her thumbs and puts it against his ear like a telephone* Hello!
Agony is experienced by all.
Why it’s the best: A dad joke that’s so convoluted with such a dud of a punchline is impossible not to love.
Kid: I’ll see you later.
Dad: Don’t call me later, call me dad.
Why it’s the best: It’s simple, it’s dumb, and resembles another famous dad joke on this list.
The joke: To whoever stole my copy of Microsoft office I will find you. You have my Word!
Why it’s the best: Complaining about someone stealing software is one thing, using the opportunity to spin it into a play on words is a whole, deliciously dad joke-y other.
10. The Porsche
Dad: I got a little surprise for you son.
Sam: What kind of surp–
Dad: *driving up to porsche dealership* A little surprise.
Sam: No, no, no dad! You gotta be kidding me.
Dad: Yeah, I am, you’re not getting a porsche. *laughs*
Why it’s the best: It’s the perfect troll.
9. The Quarter Pounder
The joke: The double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonald’s holds a special place in my heart. Mainly in the Coronary artery.
Why it’s the best: It’s a heartfelt PSA.
8. Ryan Reynolds Trolls his Daughter
Why it’s the best: We appreciate that even a celebrity like Reynolds knows when to throw down a solid dad joke.
Count De Monet: Oh! But with this long trip and this exhausting conversation, I’m famished!
Count De Monet: Bernaise?
Count De Monet: Do we have any of those delicious raisins left?
Bernaise: You ate yours, these are mine.
Count de Monet: Au contraire, they are mine! I paid for them! Hand them over!
Bernaise: [mimicking] Au contraire, I paid for them! There – they’re mine! [blows a raspberry]
Count De Monet: Don’t be saucy with me, Bernaise. Hmm-mm.
Why it’s the best: That legendary delivery, and the fact that bernaise is a kind of sauce.
6. Cry Wolf from Kings of Summer
Rookie Cop: Uh, Mr. Troy are you familiar with the boy who cried wolf?
Frank: Yes, I experienced a childhood on the planet Earth so, yes I’ve heard of that one. Do you think you can apply it to my situation in an allegorical fashion?
Rookie Cop: Okay it’s a story that involves a boy who constantly cries wolf, and when the wolf finally comes he doesn’t know it.
Frank: I’m sorry the boy who cried what?
Rookie Cop: Wolf.
Frank: Fuck you. The boy who cried what?
Rookie Cop: Wolf.
Frank: Get the fuck off my porch before I knock your dick in the dirt.
Why it’s the best: Nick Offerman’s intimidating dad presence, mixed with actual hilarity.
5. The Show Down
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg sit down at a table and lay down some of their best/worst jokes.
Will: What do mermaids wash their fins with? Tide.
Mark: Did you know in King Arthur’s time, one of the knights was in charge of collecting taxes? His name was Sir Charge.
Will: What did the fried rice say to the shrimp? Don’t wok away from me!
Mark: Did you hear Steve Harvey and his wife got into a fight? It was a family feud.
Will: Did you hear about the superhero with the lisp that always worked out? He’s Thor.
Mark: What kind of car does an egg drive? A yolkswagen.
Will: What do you call someone who gets mad when they don’t have any bread? Lack toast intolerant.
Will: What do you call the syrup with a speech impediment? Mrs. Stuttersworth.
Mark: What airline did jesus and mary take? Virgin.
Will: What’s the most crunk place to go to the bathroom? The lil Jon.
Mark: What was the foot’s favorite type of chips? Dori-toes.
Will: If Steven Seagall removed all animal products from his diet what would we call him? Vegan Seagall.
Mark: What did the plumber say to the singer? Nice pipes.
Will: If spaghetti made an action movie, what would it be called? Mission: Im–pasta-ble.
Mark: What kind of shoes to gophers wear? Woodchucks.
Will: What do you call a lazy doctor? Dr. Dolittle.
Mark: Did you know on average people want three covers on their beds at all times? That’s just a blanket statement.
Will: What did the pot eat on its birthday? Pancakes.
Mark: Where would you grow a chef? Bakersfield.
Will: What do you call a camel in a drought? A dry humper.
Mark: What do you call a person who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus? Eggnog-stic.
Will: What is Starbucks’ favorite city? Ft. Latte-dale.
Mark: Why did the salad go to the studio? To get some beets!
Will: How do you get a squirrel down from a tree? Pull down your pants and show him your nuts.
Why they’re the best: This video is just a series of corny jokes as read by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferell, which makes it a gift to our world.
4. The Cut
Kid: Did you just get a hair cut?
Dad: No, I got them all cut!
Why it’s the best: You hear it, and immediately want to face palm.
Kid: I’m hungry.
Dad: Hi Hungry, I’m Dad.
Why it’s the best: This is probably the most famous dad joke out there and has reached the ultimate level of dad joke-y-ness.
2. National Lampoon’s Family Christmas
Ellen Griswold: Isn’t it a little big?
Clark Griswold: It’s not big it’s just – full.
Rusty Griswold: Dad, that thing wouldn’t fit in our yard.
Clark Griswold: *through quiet anger* It’s not going in our yard Rus, it’s going in our living room.
why it’s the best: The strained desperation in Griswold’s voice.
1. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park
Alan Grant throws a stick against an electric fence.
Alan Grant: I guess that means the power’s out.
Slowly approaches the fence, grabs on with both hands and —
Alan Grant: aaaaaaaah!
Alan stops screaming, slowly turns around and smiles.
Lex: That’s not funny.
Tim: That was great.
Why it’s the best: Even though Dr. Alan Grant doesn’t want kids, he sure knows how to prank on them.
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