At Indy100, we appreciate the components of a good joke. Don’t get us wrong, while we’re suckers for a good pun - as any peek at our homepage will show - there’s a certain kind of satisfaction that comes with understanding a complex witticism.
You’re either left with an immediate sense of accomplishment or... you’re left scratching your head. We prefer to be among the former.
From art to literature to music, we compiled a list of the most clever quips only the most intelligent individuals would appreciate. Feel free to take credit for them. We won’t judge you.
1. Three logicians walk into a bar. The barman asks: “Three beers?”. The first logician says “I don’t know”. The second logician says “I don’t know”. The third logician says “Yes”.
Being that the three men are logicians, their entire mentality is based off solid reasoning and truth. You can say yes to the bartender only if you’re certain all three individuals want a beer. You can say no if either of them do not want a beer. The first man wants a beer. However, since he’e uncertain if the others want a beer he says, “I don’t know.” Same reasoning for the second man.
The third guy knows he wants a beer and that his friends want one as well, or, they would have said ‘no’ (i.e - no we don’t want 3 beers.)
2. Eb, and G walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, no minors.”
Those who study music, will appreciate this one. C, Eb, and G are the musical notes that constitute a C-minor chord.
3. What did the cell say to his sister cell after stepping on his foot? Mitosis
This one is for all the bio nerds out there. To understand this joke, you first have to understand what mitosis is. Mitosis is the cell division that results in two daughter cells each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus.
4. What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.
Look up the definition of ignorance and apathy and you’ll immediately understand the crux of the joke.
5. How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A fish.
Similar to the elephant joke, this joke centers around the Surrealism art movement, which focused heavily around creating weird, illogical art. If this joke makes no sense to you, that’s intentional. In itself, the joke can be considered surrealist.
6. Two hydrogen atoms are walking down the street together, when suddenly one shouts, “Damnit! I lost my electron!” The other atom asks, “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m positive!”
This one is for all the chemists out there. Hydrogen atoms are positive ions that consist of a proton in the nucleus surrounded by one electron.
7. A biologist, a physicist, and a mathematician are standing in front of an empty house. They all observe two people walk in, and three people walk out. The biologist tries to explain the phenomenon by stating, “Well, they must have reproduced.” The physicist offers a different explanation; “There must have been an error in measurement.” Then, the mathematician says, “If one more person walks in, then the house will be empty again.”
This one takes a bit of math to figure out. Let’s say the house = 0.
2 people walk in....2+0=2
3 people walk out.
Since there were only 2 people in the house, and 3 walked out, that means the house now equals minus one. So if one more person walks in the house.... -1+1=0. The house is now empty again.
8. Heard about that new band called 1023 MB? They haven’t had any gigs yet.
A gigabyte is a measure of data equal to 1,024 MB. Because the band is only 1,023 MB, they haven’t had any “gigs” yet. Get it?
9. Heisenberg was speeding down the highway. A cop pulls him over and says, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going back there?” Heisenberg says, “No, but I knew where I was.”
This joke centers Werner Heisenberg, who was a German physicist. He was among the key figures in quantum theory -- a theory of matter and energy based on the concept of quanta. His famous “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle” argues that while we can know where a quantum particle is or how fast it’s moving, yet it’s impossible to know both at the same time.
10. What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
This one doesn’t require and answer because a rhetorical question doesn’t require a direct answer. He-he.
11. Two sociologists are sitting by the pool. One turns to the other and asks, “Have you read Marx?” to which he replies, “Yes, it’s these damn wicker chairs.”
Individuals well-acquainted with Karl Marx’s theories about economics, politics, and society will appreciate the humor in this one. The sociologist was clearly asking the other, “Have you read Marx?” The other sociologist perceived it as, “Have you red marks?”
When you put into consideration how wicker chairs are the most uncomfortable pieces of furniture, it makes total sense.
12. A Roman senator comes into the senate fifteen minutes late one day. Cicero is up front making a speech, so he creeps into his seat as quietly as possible and whispers to the guy next to him, “what’s he talking about?” The guy replies, “I don’t know, he hasn’t gotten to the verb.”
Cicero was known for his ornate style of oratory which involved long periodical sentences. Cicero’s long sentences and fondness for delaying the verb for emphasis takes him longer to come up with a reply.
13. A linguistics professor says during a lecture that, “In English, a double negative forms a positive. But in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, in no language in the world can a double positive form a negative.” But then a voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
When separated, “yeah” and “right” are considered words of confirmation. However, placed side by side, the two instantly take on a sarcastic connotation.
14. A photon checks into a hotel. The bellhop asks, “Can I help you with your luggage?” It replies, “I don’t have any. I’m traveling light.”
In chemistry, a photon is a particle of light. Get it?
15. While walking into work, a man noticed a homeless man sitting on a curb near his office. He handed him a dollar. While leaving work, the same man noticed a homeless woman sitting on the same curb. He handed her 82 cents.
If you immediately understood this joke upon reading it -- kudos -- you understand the gender pay gap and the sexist representation behind it. It’s 2021 and women STILL make 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. While there’s nothing comical about the subject matter, you have to admire the intellect of the joke.
16. Never tell a pun to a kleptomaniac. They are always taking things literally.
Kleptomaniacs have an impulse control disorder that results in an irresistible urge to steal. If you tell a joke to them, they’ll take it...literally. Get it?
17. Question: What do you say to comfort a logophile? A: Their, there, they’re.
This one is for all the grammar lovers out there. A logophile is an individual who loves words. The customary way to comfort someone is to pat their back while saying, “there, there, there.” This joke makes a pun out of the commonly misspelled “their, there, and they’re.” Any logophile would be comforted at the proper use and spelling of each.
18. A biologist, a chemist, and a statistician are out hunting. The biologist shoots at a deer and misses 5 feet to the left. The chemist takes a shot and misses 5 feet to the right. The statistician yells, “We got ‘em!”
A statisticians is a person who works with theoretical or applied statistics. They often spend their time calculating averages. In math, +5 and -5 averages out to zero. The crux of the joke is the statistician took the average of both shots and assumed they hit the target.
19. Question: Why do engineers confuse Halloween and Christmas? A: Because Oct. 31 = Dec. 25.
Skilled engineers will definitely rejoice at the punchline of this one. This joke involves two number systems known as Octal and Decimal. Octal 31 (often abbreviated to Oct. 31) is equal to Decimal 25 (or Dec. 25), and vice versa. Because they can resemble month abbreviations, it often looks like this Oct. 31 = Dec. 25.
20. Question: Who does Polyphemus hate more than Odysseus? A: Nobody
This is a side-splitter for the classicists among us. Anyone who’s read Homer’s The Odyssey will know that, when asked his name by the monstrous cyclops Polyphemus, our hero Odysseus responds: “Outis”, which in Greek means “nobody” (the Latin translation “Nemo” is also commonly referenced in the telling of the story). Later, when Odysseus blinds his giant foe with a wooden stake, a fellow asks Polyphemus to name the culprit. He cries repeatedly: “Nobody!” So yeah, he’s not a fan.