One-Liner Jokes Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

One-Liner Jokes

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One-liners are very simple jokes1. According to the dictionary, a one-liner is 'a short joke or witticism, usually expressed in a single sentence.'

For example:

A man walked into a bar and said 'Ouch!'

The art of one-liner jokes is that they are over extremely quickly. The joke does not have the traditional setup / punch line structure, and there is no time for the audience to think. Delivery is always an uninterrupted string of words and those listening often don't realise it's a joke until they start laughing. The beauty of the one-liner is that it allows the person telling the joke to release a string of jokes without interruption - rather like a machine gun - and hopefully leave the audience nearly paralysed with laughter. One-liners are great jokes as they can be told at any time in a normal conversation, or to spice up a presentation or speech, without interrupting the flow.

To some people, jokes that follow the format of a question followed by an answer are also considered one-liners. Although not quite according to the dictionary definition, these jokes can be considered as one-liners, even though they technically consist of two connected sentences, as the question is not asked in order for it to be answered (indeed, to do so is considered improper). This looser definition of the one-liner allows for a quick set-up to assist delivery, leading to jokes like:

Q. Why are most Blonde Jokes one-liners?
A. So that brunettes can remember them.

Some people feel very strongly about what is considered a one-liner; but, as these are just jokes, such a debate shouldn't be taken too seriously.


One-liner jokes are a unique genre of joke. To explain them better, several examples follow that have been separated into four different categories:

  • Traditional One-liners
  • Classic One-liners
  • Yo Mamma Jokes
  • Headline Jokes

Traditional One-Liners

Traditional one-liners are simply general one-liners that do not fit into any specialised category.

There was a man who said, 'I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; and then it was too late.'
Did you hear about the duck who asked for a double whisky and told the barman to put it on his bill?
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it's two-tyred (too tired - geddit?).
A Committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.
The fastest way to find something you've lost is to replace it.
Definition of the word 'Adult': A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
Lawyers - 99.9 percent of them give the rest of the profession a bad name.

Classic One-liners

Classic one-liners are ones attributed to famous people.

I used to be Snow White... but I drifted.
- Mae West
Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there!
- Will Rogers
An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.
- Agatha Christie
Take my wife... please.
- Henny Youngman
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
- Groucho Marx
I was going to commit suicide the other day, but I must not have been serious because I brought a beach towel.
- Steven Wright
Droughts are because God didn't pay his water bill.
- Robert Schmidt
I wrote a book on penguins. Paper would have been better.
- Gary Delaney

'Yo Mamma' Jokes

'Yo Mamma' jokes are a special type of one-liner jokes that always begin with 'Yo Mamma's so...'2. It is derived from the insulting of one's mother (or a suitable alternate relative) in an American accent.

Yo Mamma's so fat, when she ran away they had to use all four sides of the milk carton.
Yo Mamma's so fat, when she weighs herself the scale says 'To be continued...'
Yo Mamma's so fat, The National Weather Agency assigns names to her farts.
Yo Mamma's so ugly, that your father takes her to work with him so that he doesn't have to kiss her goodbye.
Yo Mamma's so ugly, even a blind man wouldn't have sex with her.
Yo Mamma's so ugly, I took her to the zoo and the guy at the door said 'Thanks for bringing her back.'
Yo Mamma's so stupid, she took a ruler to bed to see how long she slept.
Yo Mamma's so old, she knew Burger King while he was still a prince.
Yo Mamma's so poor, when I walked into your house smoking a cigar she said 'Clap your hands, stomp your feet, praise the Lord, we've got heat!'

Headline Jokes

Headline jokes are ones in the style of headlines that might appear in newspapers or similar publications. A large number of these jokes are genuine headlines that were misprinted, however many headline jokes are created from scratch for the purpose of amusing the reader.

Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
Steals Clock, Faces Time
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group


All the jokes featured in this entry, and all one-liner jokes are meant to be humorous, and should not be used to cause anyone offence. Remember to be very carefully when telling people these jokes as some people may find them insulting.

1 The origins of the one-liner are somewhat hard to trace, but certainly entertainers, playwrights and authors - like Chaucer and Shakespeare - have been using them for centuries.2 Common variations on this format include 'My Wife...' and 'My Mother-in-Law...'.

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