->''"How many members of a specified ethnic demographic does it take to change a light bulb?"''
->''"Ten-- one to screw in the light bulb and nine to [[TropeName act in a manner stereotypical of their ethnicity]]."''

A StockJoke about poking fun at groups with the ridiculous ways they would change a light bulb.

The common format is "How many (group of people) does it take to change a light bulb? X+1. 1 to change the bulb, and X to (humorous caricature of group)."

Another is a means to accuse them of {{Pride}}: "How many (people) does it take to change a lightbulb? One. He holds it up, and the universe revolves about him to screw it in."

This can sometimes be mocking other groups, but it can also be SelfDeprecation of one's own group.

Take ourselves as tropers:
::'''Q''' How many tropers does it take to change a light bulb?\\
'''A''' One, but someone will put the old bulb back with a JustifyingEdit.

Another example:
::'''Q''' How many tropers does it take to change a light bulb?\\
'''A''' One screws in the lightbulb, while nine others mark the ways he was similar to other [[UnEntendre lightbulb screwers]].

It also has many variations (including noting the pun of "screw").

The original joke is in some danger of being a ForgottenTrope:
::'''Q''' How many (insert FunnyForeigner of choice here) does it take to screw in a lightbulb?\\
'''A''' Two, one to hold the bulb, and one to turn the ladder.

Of course this joke shows up in fiction as well, and examples here should be limited to such. It's generally acknowledged as being a StockShtick, and thus usually a sign that the character doesn't know any better jokes. It's also a good candidate for an [[OrphanedPunchline Orphaned Feed Line]].

In SpeculativeFiction, the exact format of the joke may be altered slightly to allow for the [[HoldYourHippogriffs lack of light bulbs]].

Compare KnockKnockJoke.
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!!Examples in fiction:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* There was an ad for fluorescent bulbs, bragging about lasting seven years. There's a kid who was newborn when the bulb was put in, and near the end of those seven years, he doesn't get a light bulb joke, saying "Change a light bulb? Why would anybody need to change a light bulb?"
* A series of Volkswagen ads once featured a terrible German-accented comedian. The gag is to imply that while [[GermanicDepressives Germans are bad comedians]], they're [[GermanicEfficiency great engineers]]:
-->'''Q:''' How many German engineers duz it take to change a light bulb?
-->'''A:''' None, if it haz ben manufactured properly.
-->::{{beat}}::
-->Zank you, I'll be here all ze week.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** In one strip, [[MoeAnthropomorphism Poland]] asks Lithuania for help changing a lightbulb. When Lithuania asks why Poland isn't able to do so on his own, he tells Lithuania that he needs to turn the table while he holds the lightbulb in place. Most likely a ShoutOut to the original joke.
** The series also does this with [[http://www.hetarchive.net/scanlations/comicdiary.php?sfn Greece.]]
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' does this when Rock tries to entertain Revy while they're running errand around town. [[HairTriggerTemper Unfortunately, Revy knows all his jokes, which almost results in a car crash.]]
-->'''Rock:''' Okay, how many Polacks does it take to change a lightbulb?
-->'''Revy:''' I'm guessing one to hold the lightbulb, and 99 to turn the house, isn't that it?
-->'''Rock:''' Um... er... let's see. So, the Pope says to the guy who dressed like he's homeless...
-->'''Revy:''' Yeah, "I thought I told you to get out of here yesterday". Yeah, good one. Do me a favor and just shut up and drive, will ya?!
* Played with in ''DragonBallZ''
-->'''King Kai:''' Hey Goku, how many Super Saiyans does it take to change a lightbulb?
-->'''Goku:''' How many?
-->'''King Kai:''' There's no telling, but it only takes one to beat Frieza!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comedy]]
* Comedian Marcus Brigstocke on the subject of a news headline "EU Switches Off Our Lightbulbs" reporting the introduction of fluorescent bulbs:
-->'''How many [[BritishNewspapers Daily Mail]] readers does it take to change a lightbulb?'''
-->What was wrong with the old one, eh? Remember the good old days, when bulbs were round and not curly! Where is the Britain of our past? It's PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad!
* Roy Zimmerman, from his song "Socialist!"
--> How many socialists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Too many! 4 to requisition the light bulb, 4 more to process the requisition in triplicate, 8 to manufacture the light bulb, 3 to subsidize the manufacturing, 3 to procure the light bulb, 2 to supervise the manufacturing and procurement process, 7 to warehouse the light bulb for an indeterminate length of time, 4 to deliver the light bulb to the wrong address, 4 more to re-deliver the light bulb, 6 to receive the light bulb and 1 to screw it up! 47.[[note]]This actually only adds up to 46.[[/note]]
--> How many capitalists does it take to screw in a light bulb? 2. One impoverished nation willing to exploit its malnourished population and rape its natural resources to manufacture, package and deliver the light bulb to Wal-Mart... and me.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/604808/1/How-many-Hufflepuffs How many Hufflepuffs]] (and everyone else) does it take to light up a wand?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* From ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'': "How many roaches does it take to screw in a light bulb? Can't tell. As soon as the light goes on, they scatter."
* A rather dark example of playing with this trope occurs in Disney's ''Disney/{{Mulan}}.'' Shan Yu dispatches two captured enemy scouts to deliver his warning to the emperor. After the two have already started to run away, Shan Yu casually asks an archer, "How many men does it take to deliver a message?" The answer the archer gives us is "one" and a drawn bowstring, implying that one of the scouts was murdered because he was unnecessary.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Earthgirl by Janet Edwards, lightbulb jokes are a bit of a rediscovered fad among archaeologists ever since one dug up a book of them in an old city.
* The Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' has [[HoldYourHippogriffs lamp-wick jokes]] (no [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio relation]]):
-->'Do you know any lamp-wick jokes?' he said, settling himself comfortably on the sand.\\
'I don't think so,' said Nijel politely, tapping a slab.\\
'I know hundreds. They are very droll. For example, do you know how many trolls it takes to change a lamp-wick?'\\
'This slab moves,' said Nijel. 'Look, it's a sort of door. Give me a hand.'
* ''[[Literature/TheNeanderthalParallax Hominids]]'' by Robert Sawyer is about a Neanderthal scientist from a parallel universe who falls into our universe as the result of a lab accident. A news dump at the beginning of one of its chapters has:
-->'''Q''': How many Neanderthals does it take to change a light bulb? \\
'''A''': All of them.
* From Creator/LarryNiven's Literature/KnownSpace stories:
-->'''Q''' How many [[HeavyWorlder Jinxians]] does it take to paint a skyscraper?
-->'''A''' Five, one to hold the can of spray paint and four to shake the building up and down.
** For those who don't know, Jinxians are fairly short and freakishly strong, having come from a high-gravity world.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** Jacen Solo, in his humor-loving young Jedi apprentice days, attempted to piss off some Imperial captors with the question "How many stormtroopers does it take to [[HoldYourHippogriffs change a glowpanel]]?"
---> Two, one to change it and the other to shoot him and take the credit.
** One from ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' (Said by [[SelfDeprecation Corran Horn]]):
---> How many Corellians does it take to change a glowpanel?
---> None, it's easier to cheat at Sabacc in the dark.
** To say nothing of one devised by one of the "Star Wars Kids" magazines:
--->How many Wookiees does it take to change a lightbulb?\\
Ten. One to hold the bulb, and nine to turn the house around.
* ''Yendi'', one of the books in Steven Brust's Literature/{{Dragaera}} series, has "How many X does it take to sharpen a sword?" jokes, where X is one of the Dragaeran Houses.
-->How many [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Dzur]] does it take to sharpen a sword?\\
Four: one to sharpen the sword and three to put up enough of a fight to make it worthwhile.
-->How many Yendi does it take to sharpen a sword? \\
Three: one to sharpen the sword and one to confuse the issue.
** [[http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/Cracks-and-Shards/swordjokes.txt This]] has a bunch more Dragaeran sword-sharpening jokes written by fans. The PlanetOfHats setting really lends to them.
-->How many [[NoSenseOfHumor Dragonlords]] does it take to sharpen a sword?\\
One. This is not a joke.
** Vlad also pulls one about [[strike:humans]] Easterners that probably counts as the FantasticRacism form of NWordPrivileges:
-->How many Easterners does it take to sharpen a sword?\\
Four: three to turn the grindstone and one to hold the sword.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' even gets in on the act, with "shoe a horse" instead of "change a lightbulb." For example, Q: "How many Dornishmen does it take to shoe a horse?" A: "Five, one to do the shoeing, and four to lift the horse". This becomes an IronicEcho when The Red Viper, the most notorious Dornishman of them all, comes on the scene.
-->''How many Dornishman does it take to start a war?'' Tyrion thought. ''One.''
* The book [[http://www.michaeldemeritt.com/ "Poetry and Prose from the Director's Ass."]] ends with multiple Light bulb jokes about workers (such as Production Assistants, teamsters, stunt people, etc) in television based upon the author's experience as an Assistant Director on ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
* In Creator/JohnMFord's ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novels, it's transtator jokes.
** ''Literature/TheFinalReflection'': How many Romulans does it take to change a transtator coil? Answer: 1 to change the coil, 150 to blow the ship up out of shame.
** ''Literature/HowMuchForJustThePlanet'': How many Vulcans does it take to change a transtator? Answer: One to change the transtator and one to ask what's so funny.
* Brazilian comedy group ''Casseta & Planeta'' had this: "How many gorillas are needed to change a light bulb?" "One. But you'll need something about seventy light bulbs."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** One told by Sheridan, with a somewhat [[BlackComedy black]] undercurrent to it given Earth's initial interactions with the Minbari:
-->'''John Sheridan''': How many Minbari does it take to screw in a light bulb? None. They surrender right before they finish the task and they never tell you why.
** Another one, in which a Centauri pokes semi-bitter fun at [[VestigialEmpire his people's]] nostalgia for their past:
-->'''Londo Mollari''': How many [[VestigialEmpire Centauri]] does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one. But, in the [[GloryDays grand old days of the Republic]], hundreds of servants would change thousands of light bulbs at our slightest whim!
* From ''Series/{{V}}'':
-->'''Q:''' How many Visitors does it take to change a light bulb?\\
'''A:''' None, they ''like'' the dark!
* The ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Masterpiece" had Reid telling a joke to a college psychology class when he mentions he was studying philosophy. "How many existentialists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Two; one to change the lightbulb, and one to observe how it symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of cosmic nothingness." Of course, nobody gets it. (The episode's unsub comes up to him a few minutes later and points out that an existentialist would allow the darkness to exist rather than change the light bulb.)
* From the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode "The Final Sacrifice".
-->'''Crow''': How many geeks does it take to change a lightbulb?\\
'''Tom''': How many?\\
'''Crow''': I don't know, that's why I'm asking.
* ''ThePretender'': In "Hazards", psychiatrist Sydney, in an unusually good mood, tells the standard psychiatrist light bulb joke. ("One. But the light bulb has to want to change.")
* The ''Series/{{Wings}}'' episode "Gone But Not Faygotten" has Fay retire and the Hackett brothers hiring Casey to replace her as Sandpiper's ticket agent. When Fay wants to come back, neither Joe nor Brian has the heart to tell her no, but they can't bring themselves to fire Casey either, so they let them both run the counter, even though the job can easily be handled by one person. Roy comments on the situation.
-->'''Roy''': Hey, I got one for you. How many Sandpiper employees does it take to change a light bulb? Four. Two to change the bulb, and two other idiots to pay them for doing it.
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', Kryten is a little unclear on the concept:
-->How many mechanoids does it take to change a lightbulb? ... Twelve! ... Do you know why? ... Because they're so stupid!
* In an episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Ted has been given the job of choosing the brand of lightbulbs to be used for the GNB headquarters, and worries about what will happen if the one he chooses poorly.
-->'''Ted''': Do you know how many people it takes to change fifty thousand lightbulbs?!
-->'''Barney''': Are these people Irish? Polish? Blondes? What are we dealing with here?
** Also from the episode "Little Minnesota"...."How many Canadians does it take to change a lightbulb?" "Oh, no a light went out!"

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The second movement of Music/PDQBach's choral cantata "Knock, Knock":
-->'''Recitative''': How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?\\
'''Chorus''': One, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'': "How many left-handed Elbonians does it take to screw in a light bulb? None! Left-handed Elbonians don't have light bulbs!" However, few Elbonians even know what light bulbs are.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' does this too at a dog hating club.
-->'''Garfield:''' How many dogs does it take to screw in a light bulb? One...if you screw him in real tight!
** Another strip also has this exchange:
--->'''Garfield:''' Here's a joke, how many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb?
--->'''Mouse:''' [[DeconstructedTrope Mice don't screw in light bulbs. Light bulbs are much too big and cumbersome, and not to mention that it's much safer for us to pilfer food in the dark]].
--->'''Garfield:''' [[LampshadeHanging That joke took a sobering turn]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The card game ''TabletopGame/ApplesToApples'' has these as flavor text on all of its nationality cards:
**
--->"How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb?"\\
"Hey! That's not funny! WE'RE SUING!"
**
--->"How many Canadians does it take to change a lightbulb?"\\
"10. 9 to chip it out of the ice and one to change the lightbulb."
**
--->"How many Japanese does it take to change a lightbulb?"\\
"Who needs lightbulbs when you've got ''our'' technology?"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'': "How many Asuras does it take to screw in a power core? None, they force a human to do it for them!"
* ''VideoGame/TheSimsMedieval'', unlike previous Sims games, has text pop up on screen when your Sims Gossip. Two of the messages are jokes along the lines of Lightbulb Jokes poking fun at the game's two religions.
-->How many Jacobans does it take to empty a chamberpot?
-->It depends on the current proclamation.
** There's another one, and it does say lightbulb rather than 'light a lamp' or something:
--> How many Peterans does it take to change a lightbulb?
--> Why use a lightbulb when there's a Jacoban Cathedral nearby?
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_in_Time_Is_Carmen_Sandiego Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?]] video game had Good Guide Renée Santz try to tell Mona Lisa a joke ("How many ACME agents does it take to screw in a light bulb?"), to which Mona Lisa replies "What's a light bulb?"
** Dee Cryption derisively asks the same question in Thomas Edison's lab when the player has to change one in order to complete a circuit.
*** The question is never answered in canon, though it looks like the VILE perspective is [[http://carmensandiego.info/blogs/entry/How-many-ACME-agents-does-it-take-to-screw-in-a-light-bulb- "ALL OF THEM. Because that's what it would take for them to get the bulb back from Carmen after she's stolen it."]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' has its own variation:
--> '''Garrus''': How many humans does it take to activate a dormant [[AppliedPhlebotinum mass relay]]?
--> '''Joker''': 602. [[VastBureaucracy 600 to vote on it]], one to ask [[SpaceElves the asari]] for technical help, and one to request a seat on [[TheFederation the Council]] afterwards.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'' had "Inverse light bulb jokes" to reveal his friends' prejudices. The strip is [[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001145.html number 1145]].
* Lampwick jokes are also featured in the ''[[http://web.archive.org/web/20071009213558/http://www.cheerycomic.co.uk/ch33.html Adventures of Cheery Littlebottom]]'' webcomic.
* ''WebComic/DominicDeegan'' has Donovan crack one off to the orc shaman Thuen Gor: "How many Callanians does it take to install a lamp post? One - he sticks it in the ground and waits for the world to revolve around him."
* ''WebComic/IrregularWebcomic'' gives us the formulaic [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1087.html lightbulb joke]].
* Mitch Clem of ''WebComic/NothingNiceToSay'' [[http://www.mitchclem.com/mystupidlife/97/ went self-referential]] in his journal comic.
* ''WebComic/CyanideAndHappiness'' has [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/1416/ its own]] variation.
* ''WebComic/{{XKCD}}'' [[http://xkcd.com/841/ #841]]: How many audiophiles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had a pair about [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-08-13 recalibrating transponders and getting beaten up in a tavern]].
* ''Webcomic/{{mezzacotta}}'' [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/archive.php?date=2012-08-31 manages to randomly generate a light bulb joke]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Machinima/SmashTasm'': "How many blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, because gender stereotypes based on hair color are totally unfair and sexist." ...Trust me, [[ItMakesSenseInContext it's funnier in context.]]
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' - Frieza, after wiping out most of the Namekian species except for Nail, Dende and Guru.
--> '''Frieza:''' How many Namekians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Their whole race! One to screw in the lightbulb, and the rest to ''die''... and then the other one dies too.
** Later, when Piccolo shows up:
--> '''Frieza:''' Well, well, well! I'm legitimately surprised I missed one of you. But that's just fine, because I've been working on some jokes. Now tell me if you've heard this one. How many Namekians does it take to -
--> '''Piccolo:''' ([[TalkToTheFist punches him across the sky]]) ''Just one.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Reckoning", Fang uses this joke "How many gargoyles does it take to ''screw'' in a light bulb?" The question is never answered, and the creator, GregWeisman, eventually turned it into a contest on his "Ask Greg" website.
** "Two, but it has to be a BIG light bulb."
** He gets another in the ''ComicBook/BadGuys'' sequel in comic form. "How many mutants does it take to change a lightbulb? Three to sit there and one to hang [around]." [[spoiler:Cue him nearly getting his head cut off because [[DudeNotFunny Yama considers making a joke about traumatised victims, one of whom hanged themselves, of a mad scientist seriously]] ''[[DudeNotFunny not cool]]''.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'': One of [=SpongeBob=]'s racist jokes in "Squirrel Jokes": "How come it takes more than one squirrel to screw in a lightbulb? Because they're SO. DARN. STUPID!"
** Presumably a ShoutOut to ''Film/RaisingArizona''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' - Brian mentions that Peter doesn't have a great history when it comes to telling jokes. CutawayGag to Peter on the Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes, surrounded and held at gunpoint.
--> '''Peter:''' How many dirty, stinkin' apes does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three. One dirty, stinkin' ape to screw it in, and two dirty, stinkin' apes to throw feces at each other!
--> ''(the apes cock their guns)''
* Rather than asking the question or giving a straight answer, the intro to ''[[WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory Justice Friends]]'' demonstrates us that at the very least, three [[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avengers]] expies are either not enough or too many to change a lightbulb.
* ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'': Eric asked how many dwarves were needed. His answer was that they weren't needed because they couldn't reach it.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstoneKids'': Captain Caveman asked how many of him were needed to change a light bulb. He said none of him because the light bulb hasn't been invented yet.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wunschpunsch}}'': Jacob asked Meathead (Bubonic's carnivorous plant) how many carnivorous plants were needed to change a light bulb. Jacob said there were needed two: one to hold the light bulb and the other to turn around.
* ''WesternAnimation/LloydInSpace'': Douglas' father (of a race of walking talking brains) tells one about the Blobbulons, and says it takes 78 and a Half of them to change a lightbulb. Cut to Kurt and his parents (three Blobbulons) that just got done changing a lightbulb, the father remarking it would have been much easier if there were 75 and a half more of them.
* ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'': Spider-Man makes such a joke in "The Sinister Six".
-->'''Spider-Man:''' How many Sinister Sixters does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer: Six! Four to hold down Electro. One to screw the lightbulb into his mouth.
-->'''[[ComicallyMissingThePoint Electro:]]''' (To the rest of the Sinister Six) Heh, you guys want to see that? It actually does work!
-->'''Electro:''' (After the rest of the Sinister Six glare at him) Maybe later.
* In one episode of WesternAnimation/TeenTitans, where Cyborg learns Tamaranian from Starfire, they exchange a joke about "how many does it take". All the rest of the words, as well as the pun, are left untranslated, so we can only wonder.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Rainforest Schmainforest", the president of Costa Rica attempts to amuse a restless audience with such jokes as: "How many Polaks does it take to change a light bulb? [[CannotTellAJoke Two.]]"
[[/folder]]

%% This trope is about the use of light bulb jokes in fiction. It therefore does not have any real life examples.
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