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25 Clever Jokes That Make You Sound Smart

Updated: Jun. 27, 2024

You don't have to be a genius to tell (or enjoy) these clever jokes.

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Clever jokes for the smarty-pants in the room

Looking for some laughs today? You know we always have the funniest jokes up our sleeve, whether you’re searching for short jokes, corny jokes, or even bad jokes you can’t help but chuckle at. But these clever jokes offer something special: In addition to making others laugh, they make you sound smart. It’s a win-win!

Confused by some of these clever jokes? Don’t worry—we’ve explained each one, so you can still wow ’em with your humor and smarts.

Rhetorical Clever Jokes

What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

Explanation: A rhetorical question is one that’s asked in order to make a point but doesn’t require an answer. Following that logic, this rhetorical joke doesn’t have an answer either. Check out these funny one-liners that will give you the biggest laughs from the fewest words.

Limerick Clever Jokes

A pun, a play on words, and a limerick walk into a bar.

No joke.

Explanation: “No joke” has a double meaning here. You could read it as “seriously” or as “a joke didn’t walk into the bar.” If this made you roll your eyes, just wait until you read some of these dad jokes.

Hyperbole Limerick Joke

Oh, man! A hyperbole totally ripped into this bar and destroyed everything!

Explanation: A hyperbole is an exaggerated claim—kinda like this joke. Even if you love these clever jokes, you’ll still get a kick out of these anti-jokes

This Sentence Clever Joke

This sentence contains exactly threee erors.

Explanation: The first two errors? The extra E in “three” and the missing R in “error.” The third error? The fact that there are only two errors.

Knock Knock Clever Joke

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


To who?

No, to whom.

Explanation: The setup of the joke calls for a “To who?” response, in which “To” is standing in for a person. But grammatically speaking, “whom” is the object of the verb “to.”

Mathematicians Clever Joke

How do mathematicians scold their children?

“If I’ve told you n times, I’ve told you n+1 times…”

Explanation: You’ve probably heard the saying “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.” Well, consider this the math joke version—you know, because math equations use letters in place of unsolved numbers.

Quarter Of 12 Clever Jokes

A mathematician wanders back home at 3 a.m. and proceeds to get an earful from his wife.

“You’re late!” she yells. “You said you’d be home by 11:45!”

“Actually,” the mathematician replies coolly, “I said I’d be home by a quarter of 12.”

Explanation: Divide 12 by four, or a quarter. Now do you get it? (It’s three.)

Negative Numbers Clever Jokes

Did you hear about the mathematician who’s afraid of negative numbers?

He will stop at nothing to avoid them.

Explanation: Once he hits zero in the countdown, it’s all negative numbers from there. If you’re loving these clever jokes, you’ll get a kick out of these St. Patrick’s Day jokes you’ll want to share all year round.

On Average Clever Jokes

A recent finding by statisticians shows the average human has one breast and one testicle.

Explanation: The world’s population is split sort of evenly between men and women, making the average human part male, part female, and a complete pain to shop for.

Beethoven Chickens Clever Jokes

Why did Beethoven get rid of his chickens?

All they said was “Bach, Bach, Bach…”

Explanation: Bach was, of course, another famous composer, so Beethoven’s chickens were pecking away at his ego. Don’t forget to bookmark these hilarious “what do you call” jokes for future laughs!

Minor Notes Clever Joke

C, E-flat, and G walk into a bar.

The bartender shows them the door and says, “Sorry, we don’t serve minors.”

Explanation: By themselves, the musical notes C, E-flat, and G are simply tones, neither major nor minor. But when played all at once, they form a C-minor chord. This had the gang in the orchestra pit howling. Read up on more bar jokes that are hilariously funny.

Buddhist Copy Clever Jokes

A sign at a music shop:

“Gone chopin. Bach in a minuet.”

Explanation: This one’s full of nods to music: Chopin and Bach were composers, and a minuet is a type of dance (and the music that goes along with it). Want more laughs? Check out these hilarious “what’s the difference between” jokes.

Beethoven Clever Jokes

What was Beethoven’s favorite fruit?


Explanation: Say it to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and you’ll get the joke. If this made you giggle, you’ll love these food jokes.

Photon Tsa Clever Joke

A photon is going through airport security. The TSA agent asks if he has any luggage.

The photon says, “No, I’m traveling light.”

Explanation: Photons are particles representing an amount of light.

Dna Clever Jokes

What did the DNA say to the other DNA?

Do these genes make me look fat?

Explanation: This works on a couple of levels: as wordplay (genes vs. jeans) and as scientific fact (genes can determine body shape). Don’t forget to browse these biology jokes that really cell themselves.

Time Traveler Clever Jokes

The bartender says, “We don’t serve time travelers in here.”

A time traveler walks into a bar.

Explanation: Wait, did our copy editor fall into some cosmic wormhole? No, the punchline comes before the setup when time travel is involved.

Kleptomania Clever Joke

It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs. They always take things literally.

Explanation: Kleptomaniacs (people with the impulse to steal) take things literally because they literally take things.

Ship Sailing Clever Jokes

A ship sailing past a remote island spots a man who has been stranded there for several years. The captain goes ashore to rescue the man and notices three huts…

“What’s the first hut for?” he asks.

“That’s my house,” says the castaway.

“What’s the second hut for?”

“That’s my church.”

“And the third hut?”

“Oh, that?” sniffs the castaway. “That’s the church I used to go to.”

Explanation: Even on an island of one, religion can be a tricky issue. This joke makes light of changing churches.

Buddhist Clever Jokes

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?

“Make me one with everything.”

Explanation: A Buddhist who’s one with everything is connected to the universe. By making him one with everything, the hot dog vendor is connecting him to a spicy dog, mustard, and sauerkraut.

Million Dollars Clever Jokes

“God, how long is a million years?”

“To me, it’s about a minute.”

“God, how much is a million dollars?”

“To me, it’s a penny.”

“God, may I have a penny?”

“Wait a minute.”

Explanation: Time is relative, especially to the entity that invented it.

Paris Seine Clever Joke

If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.

Explanation: You’d have to be insane to jump off a bridge and into the Seine, the river that runs through Paris.

Marxist Clever Jokes

Your mama is so classless, she could be a Marxist utopia.

Explanation: Marxists oppose class structures. That’s because when Marx was a little boy, he hated school.

German Martini Clever Jokes

A German walks into a bar and asks for a martini. The bartender asks, “Dry?”

The German replies, “Nein, just one.”

Explanation: “Drei”—pronounced “dry”—is German for “three.” “Nein”—pronounced “nine”—is German for “No.” “Dieser witz stinkt” is German for “This joke stinks.”

Descartes Clever Joke

René Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Would you like a beer?”

Descartes replies, “I think not” and promptly disappears.

Explanation: The French philosopher’s most famous line is “I think, therefore I am.” His least famous line: “Is this seat taken?”

Vaccuum Clever Joke

I finally decided to sell my vacuum cleaner.

All it was doing was gathering dust!

Explanation: Gathering dust (and other dirt) is a vacuum cleaner’s sole purpose. Now that you’ve cackled your way through these clever jokes, get your little ones in on the fun with these short jokes for kids.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest