50 Jokes For 50 States

Why are people laughing at your home state? Find out here—then give some back.

50 jokes for 50 states flagiStock/Lisa Thornberg

Alabama

When a visitor to a town in Alabama spotted a dog attacking a boy, he grabbed the animal and throttled it with his bare hands. An impressed reporter saw the incident and told him the next day’s headline would scream “Valiant Local Man Saves Child by Killing Vicious Animal.”

“I’m not from this town,” said the hero.

“Then,” the reporter said, “it will say ‘Alabama Man Saves Child by Killing Dog.'”

“Actually,” said the man, “I’m from New Hampshire.”

“In that case,” the reporter grumbled, “the headline will be ‘Yankee Kills Family Pet.'”

Alaska

An Alaskan was on trial in Anchorage. The prosecutor leaned menacingly toward him and asked, “Where were you on the night of October to April?”

Arizona

It’s so hot in Arizona, cows are giving evaporated milk and the trees are whistling for dogs.

Arkansas

An Arkansas state trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-40.

He says to the driver, “Got any ID?”

The driver asks, “‘Bout what?”

Most people can’t get these U.S. state facts right. Can you beat the odds? 

California

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the FBI, and the CIA want to see who is best at catching perps. So a rabbit is released into the forest, and each of them has to catch it.

The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After months of extensive investigation, they conclude that rabbits do not exist.

The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads, they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit.

The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later, dragging a bruised mountain lion behind them. The mountain lion’s yelling, “Okay! Okay! I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”

Colorado

How do you know you’re in the presence of a real Coloradan? He carries his $3,000 mountain bike atop his $500 car.

Connecticut

What’s the difference between Massachusetts and Connecticut? The Kennedys don’t own Connecticut.

Delaware

A DuPont chemist walks into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist, “Do you have any acetylsalicylic acid?”

“You mean aspirin?” says the pharmacist.

“That’s it! I can never remember that word.”

Florida

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.—Jerry Seinfeld

Georgia

How do you know you live in Georgia? When all directions start with “Go down Peachtree …” and include the phrase “When you see the Waffle House …”

Hawaii

cartoons hawaiiJohn Caldwell for Reader's Digest

Idaho

Want to join a militia? Idaho’s your state. Here are some terms to learn:

Commander: Whoever starts the unit.

Second in Command: His best friend.

Auxiliary Commander: His wife.

Captain: New guy.

Militia Headquarters: The basement of whoever has the fax machine.

Squad: Guys in the ambulance who come out when a militia member accidentally shoots himself during training.

Illinois

This is how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, “Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough.” —Richard Jeni

Indiana

cartoons indianaThomas Brothers

Iowa

What do they call 100 John Deeres circling a McDonald’s in Iowa? Prom night.

Kansas

What do a jackknifed semi in Ohio, a guy getting a divorce in Alabama, and a tornado in Kansas have in common? They’re all fixin’ to lose a trailer.

Kentucky

How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Kentucky? If it’d been invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush.

Louisiana

What differentiates a zoo in Louisiana from other zoos? The Louisiana zoo has a description of the animal on the front of the cage, along with a recipe. 

Maine

After surveying property along the New Hampshire and Maine border, some engineers decided the boundaries needed to be changed. So they stopped to tell a farmer that he was no longer in Maine but in New Hampshire.

“Good,” said the farmer. “I couldn’t take another one of those Maine winters.”

Maryland

An admiral is standing by a candy machine at the Naval Academy in Annapolis when he stops a plebe walking by. “Sailor, do you have change for a dollar?”

“Sure, buddy,” says the plebe, rooting around his pocket.

“That’s no way to address an officer! Now let’s try it again. Do you have change for a dollar?”

The plebe snaps to attention and barks, “No, sir!”

Massachusetts

Lewis Black on Boston traffic: “The last person to get across that town in under three hours was yelling, ‘The British are coming! The British are coming!'”

Michigan

What do you call 40 guys watching the Super Bowl on television? The Detroit Lions.

Minnesota

What are the four seasons in Minnesota? Almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

Mississippi

How do you know when you’re staying in a Mississippi hotel? When you call the front desk and say, “I’ve gotta leak in my sink,” and the person at the front desk says, “Go ahead.”

Missouri

A man from Kansas City walks into a bar and asks, “Wanna hear a joke about people from St. Louis?”

The bartender says, “Listen, pal, I’m from St. Louis, and I won’t appreciate it. The man sitting next to you is 265 pounds, and he’s from St. Louis too. And the bouncer, that huge guy there, is also from St. Louis. So do you still want to tell that joke?”

“No,” says the guy from Kansas City. “Not if I have to explain it three times.”

Montana

Four women are driving across the country together, each one from a different state: Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, and California. Shortly after the trip begins, the woman from Idaho pulls potatoes from her bag and throws them out the window. “What are you doing?” asks the Nebraskan.

“We have so many of these things in Idaho, I’m sick of looking at them.”

A moment later, the gal from Nebraska pulls ears of corn from her bag and tosses them from the window. “What are you doing?” asks the gal from Montana.

“We have so many of these things in Nebraska, I’m sick of looking at them.”

Inspired, the Montanan opens the car door and kicks the Californian out.

Nebraska

cartoons nebraskaThomas Brothers for Reader's Digest

Nevada

Las Vegas: All the amenities of modern society in a habitat unfit to grow a tomato.—Jason Love

New Hampshire

The state motto is “Live Free or Die,” which appears on license plates made by prisoners.—Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

New Jersey

As you know, the bear hunting season in New Jersey is a little bit different. First they shoot the bear and then they bury it in a construction site. —Late Show with David Letterman

New Mexico

Traveling outside Taos, a man comes upon a Native American lying in the middle of the road with his ear pressed against the blacktop. “What are you doing?” asks the man.

The tribesman replies, “Woman, late 30s, three kids, one barking dog in late model, four-door station wagon, traveling at 65 mph.”

“Amazing! You can tell all of that just by listening to the ground?”

“No,” says the Native American. “They ran over me five minutes ago.”

New York

I moved to New York City for my health. I’m paranoid, and it was the only place where my fears were justified.—Anita Weiss

North Carolina

On his first trip to Boston, the North Carolinian met a girl at a bar and asked her, “Do you go to Harvard?”

The girl responded, “Yale.”

“Okay. DO YOU GO TO HARVARD?!”

North Dakota

What’s a seven-course meal in North Dakota? A hamburger and a six-pack.

Ohio

How do you know you’re from Ohio? You own only three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

Oklahoma

How can you tell if an Oklahoman is married? There’s dried chewing tobacco on both sides of his pickup truck.

Oregon

Howard dies and waits in line for judgment. He notices that some souls go right into heaven, while Satan throws others into a burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, the devil tosses him aside. Curious, Howard asks Satan,”Excuse me, but why are you tossing them aside instead of flinging them into hell with the others?”

“They’re from Oregon,” Satan replies. “They’re too wet to burn.”

Pennsylvania

What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth? A mechanic.

Rhode Island

cartoons rhode island dreamsWarp

South Carolina

While fishing off Myrtle Beach, a Yankee tourist capsized his boat. Petrified, he yelled to an old guy standing on the shore, “Are there any gators around here?!”

“Naw,” the man hollered back, “they ain’t been around for years!”

Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming toward shore.Halfway there, he asked the guy, “How’d you get rid of the gators?”

“We didn’t do anything,” the old guy said. “The sharks got ’em.”

South Dakota

A tough old Badlands rancher once told his grandson that the secret to long life was to sprinkle a little gunpowder on his oatmeal every morning. The grandson did this religiously, and he lived to be 93. When he died, he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren … and a 15-foot hole in the wall of the crematorium.

Tennessee

Do you know what you get when you play a country tune backward? You get your job back, your house back, your wife back, your dog back …

Texas

Kinky Friedman, entertainer and former Texas gubernatorial candidate, explains how to speak Texanese: “Y’all is singular. All y’all is plural. All y’all’s is plural possessive.”

Utah

An elderly Mormon visits his doctor and asks if he’ll live to be a hundred.

“Do you smoke or drink?” asks the doctor.

“Those things have never and will never touch my lips,” says the man.

“Do you gamble, drive fast cars, and fool around with women?”

“Nope, don’t believe in doing any of that, either.”

“Well then,” says the doctor, “what do you want to live to be a hundred for?”

Vermont

What did the guy from Burlington say to the Pillsbury Doughboy? “Hey, nice tan.”

Virginia

cartoons virginiaP.C. Vey

Washington

In Seattle you haven’t had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it’s running.—Jeff Bezos

West Virginia

What is the West Virginia state flower? The satellite dish.

Wisconsin

Sven notices his neighbor has a sign in his yard-“Boat for Sale.”

“Ole,” he says, “you don’t own a boat. All you got is your old tractor and your combine.”

“Yup,” said Ole. “And they’re boat for sale.”

Wyoming

Why are cowboys’ hats turned up on the sides? So that three people can fit in the pickup.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest