If Teresa’s Daughter Is My Mother: Answer to the Viral Riddle

Just what is this family dynamic? See if you can figure it out.

Who doesn’t love a good riddle (especially a good love riddle?) (Or a “Can you find the…” puzzle like this turtle one.) Well, this head-scratching riddle has gone viral. It’s now making the rounds on sites such as Reddit and Twitter. But can you solve it? While you’re at it, try to solve this riddle about Mr. Smith having four daughters

Teresa’s daughter riddle

First, if you haven’t heard it, here is the Teresa’s daughter riddle:

“If Teresa’s daughter…” riddle answer

Let’s start by examining the second part of the Teresa riddle setup: “my daughter’s mother.” Hey ladies, imagine you have a daughter. (Perhaps you do.) Who is your daughter’s mother? You, of course!

Now, let’s substitute yourself in for that part of the question. So, it becomes, “If Teresa’s daughter is me, what am I to Teresa?” And now the answer is quite simple to parse out—you’re Teresa’s daughter.

Another way to think about it

What about for all the fellas out there? Let’s go through the same process. Who is your daughter’s mother? It’s likely your wife (although it could also be your ex, your girlfriend, or your partner).

For now, let’s use “wife” and make the same substitution as we did before. The question now becomes, “If Teresa’s daughter is my wife, what am I to Teresa.” And now the answer is that you’re Teresa’s son-in-law. (Although ex-son-in-law, daughter’s boyfriend, daughter’s ex-boyfriend, etc. work as well.)

It’s worth mentioning that these (albeit valid) answers are usually not included in the answer choices the way “Teresa’s daughter” is. So, that is the most popular and widely accepted answer.

Did you enjoy this riddle? If so, you’ll love our other viral riddles and brain teasers. And if you really want to give your brain a workout, try solving these math riddles.

Emily Goodman
Emily is a writer, editor and puzzle creator who primarily contributes to the Reader's Digest print magazine, handling our "How To" and "13 Things" columns as well as the Brain Games section and our annual “America the Tasty” cover story. A former French teacher and all-around language lover, she speaks English and French fluently, gets by in Italian and Spanish, and knows just enough Norwegian and Greek to make native speakers laugh.