And since we’re such charitable people, we figured doing you another favor just like that would be cool. Yeah, we’re cool like that.
Two Peas in an iPod
To get to the bottom of the punchline here, you'll probably have to be a bit of a computer nerd. We all know the old saying "a chip off the old block" is meant to refer to the close similarity between children and their parents.
As microchips are units used in computer memories (and perhaps some other stuff we're not tech-savvy enough to comprehend), it only makes sense for computer-dad to make this much-needed adjustment to have the original expression fit his unique situation with his son.
An Electric Love Story
You know how antennas are responsible for converting voltage from a transmitter into a radio signal and then using radio signals from the air and turning them into voltage? Oh, you didn't know that? So, yep, that's basically what it does. And in other words: it's there so we can get reception on our phone!
But a reception has another meaning: it's the part of the wedding that takes place after the ceremony, where you actually get to the party. That kind of explains why it was better than the ceremony itself!
A Cross to Bear
There are plenty of great smart jokes on this list, but this one is by far one of the most interdisciplinary ones, as it combines math, biology, and English. So, two math concepts you'll need to know here are vectors – objects with direction and size – and scalars – measurement units like temperature or length. A mosquito, for example, is a disease vector.
Now that we got that out of the way: you can't cross vectors with scalars, and "scalar" sounds like "scaler," which is another word for "rock climber." Phew – we thought we'd never be able to explain that one.
A Pain of a Joke
This joke is multifaceted in that it combines medicine with English and plays on the double meaning of the term "contractions." Medically speaking, "contractions" are those uber painful spasms from hell women have to put up with while they're literally pushing a baby out of their bodies.
In English, however, a contraction is the combination of two words in order to shorten them. So, yes, the poor woman was having contractions, in more ways than one.
Logic can be funny! True story. Okay, so to get the funny here, you must consider the fact that logicians always base their answers on pure reasoning. This means that the answer to "three beers?" can only be "yes" if all three men want a beer – otherwise, it's a no.
Judging by the answers of the first two, they both want a beer – otherwise, they would have said "no" – but cannot say yes until they know it's a triple yes. By the time we get to logician no. 3, he's already heard his friends' answers, so he can safely say yes.
For people who know nothing about computer science, this joke is nothing but a non-funny error in simple arithmetic. But you know we're better than that, right?
So obviously, there's a sophisticated punchline behind it. "Off-by-one" is a computer programming error, resulting in an iterative loop that happens either one too many or one too few. Initially, there were meant to be two hard things in computer science – but you can't help it if you have the occasional off-by-one error, you know?
This joke requires some proficiency in the Marxist approach in order for it to get you laughing. Basically, German philosopher Karl Marx was the pure definition of a socialist, which means there weren't a lot of things he objected to as much as social classes.
This joke offers a Marxist take on all the worn-out "your mama" jokes out there, and we think it's awesome.
Trust Me, I'm an Engineer
We consider ourselves to be pretty intelligent (and modest, too), but even we had no way of understanding this smart joke until we looked up the explanation. So, here's what you need to know for it to crack you up: the term "Octal 31" from the Octal number system is identical to the term "Decimal 25" from the Decimal number system.
As seasoned engineers would know, one can write those terms in short as "Oct. 31" and "Dec. 25". Those very abbreviations just happen to represent October 31 st (Halloween) and December 25th (Christmas). We dare you not to laugh now!
A Lethal Combo
We can relate to 2/3 of this joke, so it had to be on the list (because we're writing the list and it's our call, democracy is on the second floor). But personal issues aside –combining dyslexia, agnosticism, and insomnia in one joke is absolute genius.
So, obvs, the guy stays up at night because he has insomnia – a sleep disorder. Because he's agnostic – i.e., thinks humans are unable to determine or disprove the existence of God – he uses his awake time to ponder the question of God: yay or nay? But he's also dyslexic, so "God" turns into "dog."
Right as Rain
As linguistics aficionados, we absolutely adore this joke. Personally, we think anyone should love languages enough to be able to understand them without a guided explanation, but we know not everyone agrees, so we'll explain it anyway (sweet of us, we know). All in all, the teacher's explanation is rather clear.
The missing bit to be able to get this joke, however, is realizing that even though the combo of yes + right is technically a double positive, together – well, in colloquial English, at least – they actually form a negative. Whaddya know? Miracles do happen!
Some Musical Puns
Some people's intelligence doesn't have to do with generic smart-people stuff like science and math. Our list definitely covers jokes only to be understood by music nerds, too, because we're all about diversity.
This classic joke contains not one, but two different puns relating to two of the greatest classical composers in history, Chopin and Bach. To top it off, there's a third musical pun relating to a Minuet, which is a French dance in triple time. Now, go to a bunch of musicians and pretend you’re an expert! We've trained you well.
Fill in the Blanks
This is an extra-sophisticated one that truly requires a particularly large brain (although we're pretty sure brain size isn't the thing here, but just go with it). Extrapolating from a data set is in fact predicting values and trends based on existing data.
So, people who are able to do this should also be able to complete the missing bit of this punchline: "…and those who can't." Top-notch smart humor, if you ask us.
It's Greek to Me
Here's one that requires a level of proficiency in the literary canon. Ready for a crash course in Greek lit, then? This joke is based on the occurrences of the canonical Greek epic "The Odyssey." At one point in this Homerian piece, Odysseus declares his name to be "Nobody."
After Polyphemus is blinded by Odysseus, he is asked who was the one to blind him, to which he replies: "Nobody!" This simple-yet-classy joke simply relies on that turn of events. You're welcome!
Asking for a Friend
This one's a pretty straightforward one if you ask us (pun intended). So, when you ask a rhetorical question, this means you want to make a certain point, but you're not actually looking to get an answer for what you just asked.
So this joke is actually the love child of a rhetorical question and a joke. Got it? Don't answer that.
Obviously, a classics professor is not a regular man like all of us, so puns based on Greek classics are in order even as part of an everyday visit to the tailor.
To get the puns in this fancy joke, you'll have to know the following: first, Euripides was an Athenian playwright from 400 BCE; and second, Eumenides is the name of a Greek tragedy by Aeschylus. And when saying the two of them in an Italian(ish) accent, they kind of sound like "You ripped-a-these" and "You mend-a-these." You're welcome.
Okay, since we're pretty sure most of you have never heard of Boolean logic before, let us explain: In Boolean logic, you only use the words "and" "or" and "not" in order to determine any possible outcome.
So, when you think of it this way, it makes perfect sense for the answer to the question "Is it a boy or a girl?" to be "Yes" (rather than "a boy" or "a girl"). Because, well, it really is either a boy or girl, you know?
Do you know how statisticians are utterly obsessed with averages? Those people are simply incorrigible, we're telling you! You can't REALLY create a sensible average of organs from all humans out there, since roughly half of them are women, while the other half are men, and there are some body parts we simply don't share.
However, theoretically, if you did try doing that, what would have come out is a person with one breast and one testicle. Okay, then.
Just in case you've never heard of the term "Freudian slip," or have heard of it but never quite got what it meant: this term was named after Freud, also known as the father of psychoanalysis; and it refers to a speech error that might look random but is probably caused by one's subconscious.
Now, that was pretty cheesy, um, EASY to understand, wasn't it?
The Power of Words
Well, first things first: to get this smart people joke, you should know that etymology is a field in linguistics studying the source of words. Entomology, on the other hand, is the study of insects, which is something entirely different.
This joke makes fun of the fact that both words are so fancy and so similar to one another, that it would take an etymologist – literally specializing in words – to tell the difference between the two. Don’t know 'bout you, but we definitely laughed.
One of the reasons why we loved this joke is that it's not only smart but also contains a socio-political statement. So, just in case you missed the statement, let us have you know that even in this day and age, women make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes.
We think this piece of information makes this joke pretty damn clever, don't you? Now, excuse us while we go ask out boss for a raise.
Nothing Else Matters
We'd be lying if we claimed ourselves to be math experts, but we think this math joke is more than decent (it's legit funny). Here's the deal: in math, the number zero is also referred to as "nothing."
Now, as negative numbers only exist below zero, it makes sense for the frightened mathematician to stop at zero – i.e., nothing – to avoid them. As "stopping at nothing" means being willing to do literally everything to achieve something, this pun works really well. We gave it a thumbs up.
As quite the language nerds, we really dug this one, but we have to admit one needs some mental health background in order to understand why it's funny.
So, people suffering from kleptomania basically just steal stuff uncontrollably, which is pretty sad, but it's also what drives the pun that's at the base of this joke since kleptomanias always take things – literally. Which means they can't take puns. Because puns are figurative. Yep. That's it.
Consult a Physicist
There aren't many things as nerdy as this joke, and we're willing to bet a good deal of our money on it (but that's not a lot). Even non-scientists would know that Einstein, Newton, and Pascal were all famous physicists.
But how does that explain the punchline here? Well, both Newton and Pascal have pressure measuring units named after them. The rule is: one pascal equals one newton of force over an area of one square meter (please don't ask us to repeat this, because we can't). The funny is clear now, isn't it?
Well, you don't have to be a genius in order to understand the underlying logic of this joke, but we still thought it was rather clever.
You know how, when people thoroughly enjoy a book, they'll often exaggerate and say they're unable to put it down? Well, anti-gravity literally means that things cannot be put down, or at least, stay down. Like, at all. Funny!
Man Plans, and God Laughs
This joke might be the epitome of the old Yiddish saying, "Man plans, and God laughs" – which means that while we mortals make elaborate plans, God rains on our parade, both literally and metaphorically.
But it also makes use of the complex relativity of time, which we absolutely loved; and pokes fun at how genuinely hard it is to get rich in this challenging world. If a minute equals a million years, it kind of makes sense for one to be able to make a million dollars in that kind of time. That God and his crazy humor, right?
Are You Stupid, or Just Indifferent?
Well, once you realize that ignorance means lack of knowledge, and apathy means lack of a sense of caring, it becomes clear why this simple-yet-effective joke is actually pretty damn funny.
We know, it may not be as sophisticated as most of the other jokes on this list, but we think it's more than worthy of a place in this article.
We all know either our Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature measuring systems (even though only Canadians truly understand both – what's that about?); but only the nerdiest of us know the Kelvin temperature scale (which is the one you need to know in order to get to the bottom of this joke).
So, you know the whole "absolute zero" concept in temperatures? Well, unlike in Celsius – where it's -273.15° – or in Farenheir – where it's 459.67° – in the Kelvin scale, it's an actual zero, as in, 0 Kelvin, or, to make a long story short: 0K. Get it?
The Fifth Banana
To get this clever-ish joke, you'll need some acquaintance with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (which you may very well know without even knowing that you know it!).
It's hard to explain it using the limited power of words, but, attaching the right melody to it, "ba-na-na-naaaa" actually does sound exactly like the beginning of Beethoven's Fifth. Just play it on YouTube and see for yourselves. It's genuinely funny.
Isn't It Roman-tic?
If you didn't take Latin in high school or something, this one should be tricky for you to get. The suffix "us" in Latin is used for singular nouns, while the suffix "i" is used for plural nouns.
This should explain why the Roman in this joke thought that by correcting him to the modern English word "martini," the bartender was making him order more drinks than he had asked for. We would be angry, too!
Don't judge us when we say this joke cracked us up, okay? We have a spiritual side! Hey, we entertained the thought of paying a visit to the meditation center downtown. A basic concept in Buddhism is a general desire to become one with all things in the universe.
The dude in this joke wants the hot dog guy to make him "one (hot dog) with everything," as in, with all the delicious toppings and stuff; but he also wishes to be one with everything (i.e., the entire universe). We're totally on board with that, random Buddhist dude.
Telling the Time
You know how just one word can make a huge difference? That's what this joke is all about. Well, that, and some simple math. When someone wants to say they'll be in by 11:45, they can also say they'll be in by a quarter to twelve.
The mathematician's wife probably heard what she wanted to hear, but her party animal of a husband actually said he'd be home by a quarter OF twelve, which is – divide 12 by four in your heads for a sec – three. We'll try this trick on our significant others next time we get home late.
A Missed Match
Geometry 101: parallel lines are two lines that are located on the same plane and will never intersect. In romantic terms, it would be a true shame for two individuals with so many common properties not to be able to meet.
Tragic, even. Good thing we're only talking about math here, otherwise we would've started to tear up, and that could have been awkward. Phew.
There aren't many deserts as dry as this joke, but it fits perfectly with our odd sense of humor, so. You can look at it and go "NOT another 'walk into a bar' joke" – but then you'd just be missing out on everything it has to offer.
Normally, "no joke" would mean "seriously," but here, it has a double meaning: a pun, a play on words (which is different from a pun, how? We're not sure, different discussion), and a limerick walked into the bar; but a joke, literally, did not. See? It's funny.
Is This Rorschach Dude Psychic, or What?
This smart joke is brought to you by projective psychology! Just in case you've never heard of Hermann Rorschach, he was the one to invent the well-known Rorschach test – you know, the one where they show you inkblots and ask you to say what you see? – in 1921.
The whole point is, supposedly, that what you see in the inkblots represents a bunch of stuff in your subconscious. So, we can only assume the speaker here did not have the happiest childhood. Our condolences, man.
Don't Drink and Derive
We're no mathematicians, so here's our explanation for dummies on the meaning of "derive" in math: if we gather correctly, it means doing some kind of calculation to get from one result to another (sorry, that's the best we've got).
So, basically, it is something mathematicians often do; and it also sounds a lot like "drive" – which is definitely something you shouldn't do after drinking. This should explain the joke to you!
You might know the phrase "I think, therefore I am," (because it's super famous, duh) but unless you're a philosophy buff, you probably didn't know it was said by 16th -century French philosopher René Descartes.
When you consider this famous quote by Descartes, you can easily realize why the man instantly disappeared upon admitting that "he thinks not." We think that's pretty darn clever.
It's Funny in German
Not many non-Germans know how to count in German, so if you didn't get this joke on the first read, don't worry – you're not a lot dumber than the average English native speaker.
But if you feel like upping your game a bit, here's why it's funny: the German word for "three" – "Drei" – is pronounced just like the word "dry" in English. Also, "nein" is the German word for "no." Now, go impress some Germans with that knowledge!
You'll need an ear (or an eye?) for puns and some world geography knowledge to understand this smart joke, so pay attention: the Seine River runs through Paris, and while it looks breathtakingly beautiful, and can also literally take your breath away if you happen to drown it.
Simply put, jumping off a bridge into this river would be insane! This joke plays on the fact that "in Seine" (i.e., inside the Seine) and "insane" (as in, completely bonkers) sound exactly the same.
Just Keep Moving. Or Not
The term "inertia" in physics refers to the notion of objects tending to stay in their current situation, i.e., if they're currently still – they'd remain still.
So, if the new theory complies with inertia, it only makes sense for it not to be going anywhere. Or something. For the sake of the joke, we'll ignore the fact that the other part of inertia means that moving objects will aspire to remain in motion.
We genuinely laughed reading this joke, but we do have some criticism. So, first things first: why is it actually funny? The biologist and chemist didn't actually manage to get the deer, but as the average of +5 and -5 is zero, to a statistician – being a fan of averages – that's nailing it precisely.
Now, to the criticism bit: there's no real point in the two other hunters being a biologist and a chemist since the pun has nothing to do with neither biology nor chemistry. They could have just as well been a tailor and a painter. Just saying.
A Comma-tose Cat
This joke might not sound that sophisticated, but you'll still need a sharper-than-average mind in order to get it: "claws" are those sharp little things cats have at the end of their paws, but they sound just like "clause" – which is basically a part of a sentence.
A comma at the end of a clause represents a pause, which sounds just like "paws." Hey, if it's confusing when you read it too fast, that means you need to be smart to get it.
If you have any linguist friends who are constantly patronizing you with their language knowledge, we highly recommend you try this joke on them. Here's why it's clever: being subordinate to someone means working under them, and "clause," other than being spelled almost identically to Santa's last name, also refers to a part of a sentence.
In linguistics, a "subordinate clause" refers to a phrase that cannot work as a standalone, but rather, is there in order to complement the larger sentence, or "main clause." We thought the use of double meaning here was pretty genius!
This joke relies on a basic scientific truth: atoms are what everything in the universe is made of, which means they literally make up everything.
But "make up" has a second meaning – fabricating things. Obviously, if atoms keep making up everything, it only makes sense that one should find it hard to trust them. We're not sure there's much we can do about that, though.
Not Another Knock Knock Joke
For this smart joke, what you'll really need is proper English grammar, but nothing too fancy. As Ross Geller would be more than happy to passive-aggressively remind you, the correct grammatical object of "to" is "whom" – not "who" (even though SO many people make the tragic mistake of mixing those two up).
So, this joke may start as just another knock-knock joke, but it quickly morphs into a clever grammar joke. We're totally into that.
This is the chemists' time to shine since the pun in this joke is brought to you by the Periodic table. So, every layman knows that the formula for water is H2O, right? Well, most laymen, at least (and laywomen, too, we're not being sexist).
But what non-chemists wouldn't know is that by adding only a single 2 to this formula – i.e., H2O2 – you're turning into hydrogen peroxide, which is legit poison. Here, chemist 1 was actually trying to get chemist 2 to ask for "H2O, too" – but chemist 2 used the word "water" instead. Best failed murder attempt.
Call Me on My Cell
Biology 101, listen up: as part of the cell cycle, when replicated chromosomes are divided into two new nuclei, this whole process is called mitosis. And, in a way, one can also think of those two chromosomes as a type of siblings.
Since 'mitosis' kind of sounds like a British kid saying 'my toe, sis' – this joke is actually pretty funny. Or, so we think.
Chemists will automatically get why this sentence is funny, but we commonfolk might need a hand figuring it out. In chemistry, a precipitate is a solid created out of a liquid solution.
This joke plays on the double meaning of the word "solution" and relies on the well-known phrase, replacing the original "problem" bit with the word "precipitate." Pretty, clever, huh?
If you've never heard of Pavlovian conditioning, it's about time to get smart and fill in the knowledge gaps: Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist famous for conducting behavioral psychology studies on dogs.
As part of his studies, he'd ring a bell to notify dogs of their awaiting food, which ultimately made them associate the sounds of the bell with their treats. Here, the joke is on him: the dogs have beaten Pavlov at his own game.
Knocking on Philip's Door
Okay, so, this is a real niche one, so you better pay close attention, since we're willing to bet you just read it and thought "say what now."
So, Philip Glass is actually an American composer who's responsible for the score of quite a lot of films like "The Truman Show," "The Illusionist" and "Secret Window." Other than being super talented, dear old Philip is also known for his tendency for minimalism and repetitiveness while composing. And four times of "knock-knock" is quite repetitive, isn't it?
As linguistics enthusiasts, this sophisticated joke is right up our alley. Here's some must-have background in order for you common folk to be able to find it funny, too: onomatopoeia, other than being an extraordinarily tricky word to spell, is the phenomenon of naming something after what it sounds like.
Common examples are "buzzing," "hissing" and "murmuring." This joke plays on the fact that onomatopoeia sounds a lot like the name of an exotic disease, combined with what this word actually means.
At the Speed of Light
We loved this pun, and once you learn what a photon is, so will you. So, a photon is just a particle of light – as simple as that. When someone says they're "traveling light" they normally mean that they don't have a lot of luggage with them (honestly, we don't really get how that's possible, but that's a different discussion).
However, in the case of our dear photon here, it also refers to him literally being made of light. We thought this pun deserved at least 8/10.
It's Not You, It's Me
We're not sure about you, but we're quite the existentialist type, so this joke is one of our favorites on this super exclusive list! It's based on the philosophical notion of solipsism, which says that the only thing we can really ever be sure of is our own personal mind.
We have to admit that just thinking of this idea for too long kind of trips us out, but at least the joke is funny. Even if what we perceive to be the outside world only exists in our thoughts. Right? Ha-ha!
2+1 = … 0?
This smart joke is especially cool since it combines biology, physics, and math. So, naturally, a biologist tries to explain the mismatch in the number of people walking in and out of the house using biology, and a physicist tries to justify it using physics.
Only the mathematician loses sight of the question and turns the whole thing into an arithmetic problem: if 2 people walked into the house, and 3 people walked out, the number of people inside the house is now -1. So, if one more person walks in, we get 0.
The Corner of Schrodinger and Pavlov
The creator of this joke has been showing off with not one, but two different smart people references! The first one has to do with Pavlov, the behavioral psychologist who got dogs to associate their food with the sound of a ringing bell.
The second one has to do with Schrodinger, the physicist who put a cat inside a closed box and theorized that until he opens it, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time (don't ask us how or why we're not that smart). When you know all that, the joke suddenly makes sense!
Sick of Chemistry
Turns out that chemistry provides quite a lot of material, not only literally, but also figuratively – since there are quite a lot of chemistry-based jokes on this fine list. This joke includes three different chemical elements, each sounding like a different English word.
"Helium" sounds a lot like "heal 'em," "curium" sounds a lot like "cure 'em," and "barium" sounds a lot like "bury 'em." We assume you get why it's funny now.
Keira or Scarlett?
We have a special affection for this clever pun since understanding it requires a few layers of cinematic, literary, and linguistic knowledge. Let's break it down for you: "Pride and Prejudice" is a novel written by Jane Austen and adapted into a film (more than once, but the well-known version is the one with Keira Knightly as the lead).
This film has nothing to do with the 2003 drama "Lost in Translation" starring Scarlett Johansson, but when you combine "the Austen" in French (L'Austen) with "translation" (i.e., subtitles), and say the whole phrase out loud, it sounds exactly the same.
As aspiring gold diggers (hey, don't judge), this chem-based joke is one of our favorites. Let us enlighten you: in the periodic table, AU stands for gold. And… what does "Ey you" sound like? That's right.
Now, read the joke once more. Get it? The real tragedy is, that the bartender was probably just calling some inebriated dude out on their behavior, and poor goldy left because of a simple misunderstanding. Hey, we're always willing to have you, old friend!
We like smart people's jokes that also rely on mundane things like playing poker. So, for anyone who's not a poker expert, a "straight" is a hand containing five sequential cards of different suits.
Now that we're all on the same page poker-wise, let's move on to the smart bit. All the folks in this super exclusive poker night are uber-famous explorers, but only one of them, Ferdinand Magellan, was the one to discover the strait next to the Pacific, now known as the Magellan Strait. Not many explorers can beat that, now, can they?
On a Different Note
This one takes some musical theory knowledge to get to the bottom of, so, if you don’t have it, you probably won't laugh. C, E-flat, and G are the notes comprising the chord C-minor.
So naturally, when they all go into a bar together, no bartender in their right mind would offer them service. Hey, why should he risk getting a fine? It's totally not worth it.
We've all had our parents say this to us at one point in our childhood (okay, maybe more): "I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times." Basically, this means something along the lines of, you spoiled brat, why can't you just do as I say for once in your life?
Anyways, this joke offers a mathematical variation of this good old saying. This probably isn't the most hilarious joke on this list, but we think it's pretty cool.
Words of Comfort
A logophile is a person who's really into words. And as proud logophiles ourselves, we laughed out loud reading it. So, you know that common phrase people use to comfort someone, "there, there, there?"
Well, that's a fun linguistically-diverse take on it, with three different words that sound exactly like the original "there" but are spelled differently. Naturally, a logophile would have a field day with this and feel better in a heartbeat.
Not So Pro-verbial
Roman scholar Marcus Tullius Cicero was famous for his, well, let's just call it 'unique' style of oratory.
Since Cicero had a thing for long and complex sentences, he'd often delay the verbs to emphasize a point, which makes it clear why in the current situation, pretty much no one understands what the heck he's talking about. No disrespect for Cicero. Well, maybe just a tiny bit of disrespect.
So, a quick recap on quantum physics so you could understand this one: Famous physicist Werner Heisenberg – who is a major celebrity among physics students, by the way – was the one to come up with the "Uncertainty Principle" back in the day.
Basically, this principle says that we have the ability to know either the speed of a quantum particle or its location, but we can never be aware of both at the same time. Hence Heisenberg's answer to the cop. If you ask us, he should be fined. For being too funny.
To get this joke you need to know a little bit of chemistry, but don't worry, it's not too fancy.
The funny-ness of it is based on hydrogen atoms comprising of a (positive) proton in their nucleus, which is surrounded by a (negative) electron, making them neutral. Now, what happens once you remove the electron? That's right. You only stay with the positive bit!
So Long, and Thanks for the Fish
Here's a smart joke for the artsy people! Just so you won't say that we're being discriminative of the arts here. So, we all know the light bulb screwing genre of jokes, and honestly, we're not really sure if anyone finds those funny anymore.
But this surrealist take on the worn-out versions is bound to get you smiling at the least. Well, once you get why it's actually funny, that is. So, you know how surrealism is all about pieces of art that don't really make sense to anyone? So, that's why we have a fish.
Normally, to get this joke, you'd need a B.A. in Film Studies. But we're here to help you bypass all the extra time and brain real-estate spent on classes and exams. So, Sociology of Film 101, take notes: There's been a lot of criticism from sociologists over the years about female characters never talking about anything other than men, which resulted in the emergence of the Bechdel test.
If in an all-female scene, the conversation revolves around anything other than guys, it means it has passed the Bechdel test successfully. Okay, now you're allowed to re-read the joke.
Dusting It Off
This pun may not require any unique world knowledge or supreme intelligence, but we still think it makes the cut thanks to its smart pun.
It cleverly plays on the figurative meaning of something "gathering dust" – i.e., just lying there with no use or purpose – and the literal meaning of it. In this case, the aforementioned vacuum cleaner embodies both meanings.
Laughing in Reverse
Okay, as "Back to the Future" fanatics we absolutely fell in love with this joke, and we're not joking. So, you know how, when it comes to time travel, events tend to lose their initial chronological structure? Well, that's exactly what happens in this joke.
The punchline comes first! Now, our only (very minor) issue with this is – isn't it the time traveler who's supposed to know what's about to happen before it actually happens? Because here, it seems like the bartender is the one to predict the future.
Leaves a Marx
Well, in order to get this joke, you need a certain level of familiarity with the original commy, Karl Marx. But you also just kind of need to know what's the name of those bamboo chairs you always find by the pool.
So, we'd say you're probably halfway there, but just to complete the other half: sociologist no. 1 was referring to reading Marx, the philosopher; while sociologist no. 2 was referring to having red marks, as in, what you get after sitting in a wicker chair for too long.
Here's a clever joke that combines a touch of science with a solid pun – just the way we like it.
The word "genes" – as in, those DNA units that kind of determine everything we are, including how fat or thin – sounds exactly like the word "jeans" – which can magically make us look fat no less than our genetics can. So, you can see where we're going with this, right?
We're really invested in helping you understand all the jokes on this list, so here's a quick recap for anyone who's not a certified chemist, just so you won't accidentally take this to be another "walks into a bar" snoozefest: Noble gases, such as Helium, are known for not reacting – chemically, that is – while being mixed with other elements.
The pun in this smart joke plays on the double meaning of "react" to explain why Helium was so chill about the bartender's refusal to serve him.
Who's That Chick?
Classical music nerds, this is your time to shine! Even though we'd be pretty disappointed if our non-music-expert readers wouldn't understand this joke. Oh well, we'll explain it anyway.
Okay, so: Beethoven and Bach are two of THE most genius classical music composers of, like, all times. Now, you know how a chicken's cluck sounds like "baq, baq?" Well, that's also what saying "Bach, Bach" sounds like. That should explain why Beethoven was so jealous he had to get rid of those traitorous chickens of his.
When in Rome
Something you'll need to know in order to find this smart joke funny: in Roman numerals, the number five is represented by the V symbol. Now, hold two fingers up and have a look at what they form together.
That's right, it looks like a V! But we wouldn't recommend doing this next time you order beers, your bartender probably won't get it. Or, they will, but then they'll just think you're pretty annoying.
One Side of the Same Strip
This is the smart-people-take on the well-known "why did the chicken" joke, and in order to get it, you'll need some math knowledge.
Let us help you with that: In math, the Mobius strip is a two-dimensional shape with one side only. So naturally, if the chicken in this joke crosses the Mobius strip, it would only end up getting to the same side.
How Do You Say 'Snobbery' in French?
Here's a smart people joke that requires channeling your inner linguist, snob, or both. So, here's the underlying logic behind the "Pretentious? Moi?" thing: speaking French when you're anything other than a French native speaker and/or are currently in actual France is, well, pretentious.
Therefore, using the French term for "me" while asking if one is pretentious is rather ironic. And it's the funny kind of ironic. So, feel free to laugh now!
You might need some linguistics or English lit background to understand this one, but just a tiny bit of it. Let us help you look smart (that's what we're here for, after all): A hyperbole is a rhetorical exaggeration.
For example, we might be feeling a bit tired today, but if we wanted to use hyperbole, we'd say "OMG this is the most exhausted we've been in like, a decade." Here, the hyperbole stormed into the bar and ruined it entirely, but saying that it ruined it entirely is the hyperbole itself. It probably just broke a glass or something.
Spelling Bee Humor
This just barely made it into the smart people jokes list, since all it requires is some basic spelling skills and a pinch of common sense. The first error in this sentence is the added E in the word "three."
The second one is the missing R in the words "errors." And the third one? Oh, the third one is the fact that there isn't a third one. Yep, this sentence doesn't actually have three errors in it – it has two.
Can You Repeat That?
We're aware this doesn't sound funny (like, at all) on the first read, but just wait until we thoroughly explain the punchline to you! Benoit B. Mandelbrot (OMG, even typing this guy's name is strictly for smart people) was the one to discover fractal geometry.
In short, this type of geometry deals with shapes made out of neverending similar patterns inside itself. This is why, in the current joke, the "B" in "Benoit B. Mandelbrot" stands for… yep, Benoit B. Mandelbrot. Believe da hype.
A Matter of Optics
The funny in this joke is a matter of optics, literally. In optics, a prism is a piece of glass or another transparent material that's cut in a specific angular way and used to analyze and reflect light.
But, what do you know – it also sounds a lot like the word "prison!" So it only makes sense for delinquent light to end up in there, doesn't it?
A Mega Successful Band?
We all know that good old band-naming method of combining arguably random digits and letters together. That should've totally been the case with 1023 MB, had this band not been made up for the sake of a joke.
All you non-computer nerds out there, listen up: it turns out that a single gigabyte – get this – doesn't comprise of a round number of 1000 megabytes like us commoners always thought! It's actually made up of exactly 1024 MB, and… well, you get the joke now, don't you?