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Knock Knock Joke
A common joke, told in the following format:
Person 1: Knock, knock
Person 2: Who's there?
Person 1: X.
Person 2: X who?
Person 1: Terrible pun based on X.

The format does tend to make it annoying, as the second person usually wants to hear a joke, rather than be forced to participate. But it is possible to make them funny in the right situation. Because this trope is so well-known, it's subverted more often than not, by replacing the punchline with an unexpected insult instead.

A second subversion is when person 1 isn't actually trying to set up a joke, but person 2 acts like it is. Generally this leaves out the 'knock knock' being said, with person 1 knocking on an actual door.

The Other Wiki has an article on this plus examples, even prototypical ones from Shakespeare's time.

Compare Light Bulb Joke, What's a Henway?.

Examples in media:

  • In Pauly Shore is Dead:
    Pauly: Knock, knock.
    Person 2: Who's there?
    Pauly: Pauly Shore.
    Person 2: Pauly Shore who?
    Pauly: Exactly.
  • In Police Academy 6, Hightower was fighting a thug, and the thug was getting the upper hand enough to tell one of these jokes. It was so bad, it ticked Hightower off enough to punch the guy out.
  • Father Ted:
    Dougal: Knock, knock.
    Ted: Who's there?
    Dougal: Father Dougal McGuire.
    Ted: (Wearily) Goodnight, Dougal.
  • Catch Me If You Can combined a subversion of this with a Precision F-Strike, to good effect.
  • From MirrorMask:
    Valentine: I'm sorry I don't have any books, puss, but I can tell you a knock-knock joke. I know the best one in the world.
    Ravenous griffin: The best?
    Valentine: You start.
    Griffin: Knock knock.
    Valentine: Who's there?
    Griffin: ...
    [Valentine escapes]
  • There is a book that claimed that this is the greatest knock-knock joke ever:
    Knock-knock.
    Who's there?
    Interrupting cow.
    Interrupting—
    MOOOOOOOOO!
    • Dominic Deegan introduces a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for physics students with a variant:
      Knock-knock.
      Who's there?
      Interrupting static coefficient of friction.
      Interrupting—
      Mu!!! Joke Explanation 
    • Then there's this one.
    • Also turned into a crowning moment of either heartwarming or heartbreaking in the movie Half Nelson.
    Dan: Knock knock.
    Drey: Who's there?
    Dan: The interrupting cow.
    Drey: The interrupting cow who?
    Dan: [has to think about it] ...Mooooo.
    • And shows up in Ozy and Millie, but with an interrupting space alien.
  • Courtesy of asdfmovie6:
    Door: Knock Knock!
    Guy: Who's there?
    *whack*!
    Door: The door!
  • Dave Barry referenced this when writing about the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney;
    Everything's backwards in Australia. They have summer when we have winter, all their teenagers idolize accordion players, and the punchline of all their jokes is "Knock-knock!"
    • Dave Barry Slept Here asks readers to finish this one as an "Extra-Credit Project":
      "Knock knock."
      "Who's there?"
      "Lithuania."
      (Hint: this joke could involve lisping.)
  • From Family Guy. Stewie becomes unbearably nice once he has a near-death experience, so much that he tells Brian a knock-knock joke that ends with "your friend, Stewie, and he'll always be there for you." Brian retaliates:
    Stewie: "What's that you got there?"
    Brian: "This is... THE most perfectly destroyed spider web."
    Stewie: "What happened to the spider?"
    Brian: "Knock knock."
    Stewie: "Who's there—
    Brian: "I ATE HIM!"
  • In NewsRadio, Bill tries out his new knock-knock joke on Dave:
    Bill: Knock, Knock.
    Dave: Who's there?
    Bill: Bill.
    Dave: Bill who?
    Bill: That's all I really have so far.
  • In Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas & Electric, in the afterlife, Abbie Hoffman is telling Ayn Rand a Knock Knock Joke, trying to teach her about humor. .
  • This gem from Animaniacs:
    Wakko: Knock knock.
    Scratchensniff: Who's there?
    Wakko: Max.
    Scratchensniff: Max who?
    Wakko: Max wants to come in and go crazy!
    Scratchensniff: See, that doesn't make any sense.
    Wakko: It does if you know Max.
    Scratchensniff: But I don't know Max.
    Wakko: If you did, you'd be laughin'!
    • And now for a little subverting. First, "Windsor Hassle":
    Queen Elizabeth: (knocks on door) Knock knock.
    Wakko: Who's there?
    Queen: The Queen.
    Wakko: The Queen who?
    Queen: The Queen of England!
    Wakko: It's not a very funny knock-knock joke ...
    Snowball: Here's a little joke for you, Pinky. 'Knock knock.'
    Pinky: Well, that's not a very funny joke, is it?
    • Once Snowball finds someone more receptive?
    The Brain: Who?
    Snowball: The Brain.
    The Brain: The Brain who?
    Snowball: Exactly.
  • This Order of the Stick.
    Haley: "Knock knock!"
    Crystal: "Who's there?"
    Haley: "Roland."
    Crystal: "Roland who?"
    Haley: "Roland 'Itiative and his four friends Sneak Attack, Sneak Attack, Sneak Attack, and Sneak Attack."
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:
    Harriet: Knock-knock rook.
    Dylan: Who's there?
    Harriet: Orange.
    Samantha: Banana!
    Harriet: Orange.
    Samantha: Banana! It's banana! Banana, banana, banana! Then you say orange. "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?" Four-year-olds are telling this joke!
  • This dialogue from a Secret Invasion tie-in of Deadpool:
    Deadpool: Knock, knock.
    Deadpool's Clone: Who's there?
    Deadpool shoots the clone
    Deadpool: And voilà!
    • Another example with Deadpool. After telling his life story to a movie-maker, Wade knocks on the door of his long-lost father.
    Deadpool's Father: Who's there?
    Deadpool: Wade.
    Deadpool's Father: Wade... Wade who?
    Deadpool: (pulling off his mask, revealing his scarred face) Wade until you see what happened to me, dad.
  • Played with in Bill Bailey's Tinselworm tour:
    Knock knock.
    Don't say "knock knock", just knock! What's all this "knock knock" business?
    I'm just trying to leaven the mundanity of your day.
    Well, don't try to leaven the mundanity of my day! If I want my mundanity leavened I'll do what I always do.
    What's that?
    I will draw a moustache on the TV at random with a marker pen and wait for that glorious yet fleeting moment during the day when Jeremy Paxman becomes General Kitchener.
  • Subverted in the Discworld novel The Wee Free Men when Tiffany first visits Miss Tick, who is currently working out of a tent that has no actual door:
    Tiffany: Knock knock.
    Miss Tick: Who's there?
    Tiffany: Tiffany.
    Miss Tick: Tiffany who?
    Tiffany: Tiffany who isn't trying to make a joke.
    Miss Tick: Ah. That sounds promising. Come in.
  • Depending on your tastes, the following is either a case of Dude, Not Funny! or Gallows Humor:
    Person 1: Knock knock!
    Person 2: Who's there?
    Person 1: Amy Fisher.
    Person 2: Amy Fis-
    Person 1: BANG!
  • Ernie Steele of Backyard Sports does not use puns in his Knock Knock Jokes, but instead stops them in the middle. For example:
    Knock-knock!
    Who's there?
    Heh heh! Nobody's here.
  • The children's book Camp Knock-Knock is about a kid having a knock-knock joke challenge involving names, and getting stuck with the name Frederick Ornat. Freddie Ornat, here it comes!
  • A Prairie Home Companion did a whole song based on knock knock jokes which is surprisingly catchy, and can be heard here with the jokes starting at 0:40.
  • The Buffybot tries for an epic one:
    WILLOW: I got her head back on, didn't I? And I got her off those knock-knock jokes.
    BUFFYBOT: Ooh, who's there?
    XANDER: You know, if we want her to be exactly-
    SPIKE: She'll never be exactly.
    XANDER: I know.
    TARA: The only really real Buffy is really Buffy.
    GILES: And she's gone.
    BUFFYBOT: "If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone" who?
  • Saturday Night Live, a 1991 Wayne's World sketch from the first Gulf War. Wayne and Garth are geeking out over the new US smart-bombs and the novel first-person Night Vision footage on CNN.
    Wayne: They're so accurate they can just fly in through the door. It's like, "Knock Knock!"
    Garth: "Who's There?"
    Wayne: "Ka!"
    Garth: "Ka who?"
    Both: "KA-BOOM!"
    • A more classic SNL example is a public service announcement parody regarding the uvula. One exchange goes:
    Chevy Chase: Reminds me of an old joke... Knock knock!
    Gilda Radner (as Babs): Who's there?
    Chevy Chase: Babs's Uvula!
    Gilda Radner: Babs's Uvula who?
    Chevy Chase: I don't know, Babs... but I do know this, you really let your uvula go to the dogs.
  • During one of Mitch Hedberg's stand-up routines, where he talks about hotels, he says he likes to wear Do Not Disturb signs around his neck "so little kids can't tell [him] knock-knock jokes. 'Hey, how you doing, nephew?' 'Knock-knock...' 'Read the sign, punk!'"
  • A King of the Hill episode when the gang are at the alley after Hank cried in a romance film.
    Dale: Knock knock.
    Bill: Who's there?
    Dale: Boo
    Bill: Boo who?
    Dale: Boohoo Hank.
  • In Planescape: Torment, with Morte trying to get Nordom to play the Straight Man:
    Morte: Hey, Nordom... Knock-Knock.
    Nordom: Why do you persist in addressing me as a door?
    Morte: It's a joke, you stupid polygon. You're supposed to answer 'who's there?'
    Nordom: I know who is there. It is you. Why would I ask a question when I know the answer?
    Morte: You know what, just forget it.
  • The first movement of P.D.Q Bach's "Knock, Knock" cantata ("Ida who?" / "Ida-ream of Jeannie with the light brown hair"), and its alternate version, "Sam and Janet" (which plays on a certain South Pacific song).
  • An episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show had Ted Baxter write his own knock-knock joke, but getting stuck on the punchline:
    Knock knock.
    Who's there?
    Anna Maria Alberghetti who?
    ...
    • He eventually comes up with one at the end of the episode:
      Anna Maria Alberghetti in a taxi, honey, better be ready 'bout half past eight....
    • Mary thinks it was Actually Pretty Funny, and the group starts singing Darktown Strutters Ball.
  • In the Community episode "The Science of Illusion" Britta delivers this Knock Knock Joke in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming after being called a Buzz Kill several times in the episode:
    Knock knock.
    Who's there?
    Cancer!
    Oh, good, come on in, I thought it was Britta.
    • Done again in Geothermal Escapism, For context, they're playing a game of The Floor is Lava that's got way out of hand, and are dueling to knock each other of their chairs.
    Jeff: Knock knock Britta.
    Britta: I'm not gonna to say "who's there" because someone on the floor's knocking.
    Jeff: Well that's lame you have to say who's there!
    Britta: FLOOR!
    Jeff: What?
    Britta: That's who's there!
    Jeff: Yeah, but it's for you!
    At which point the scene cuts away. When it comes back...
    Jeff: But the door I'm knocking on is your home so if I'm the floor that means you're dead!
    Britta: But if you're the floor that means you're already dead.
    Jeff: Just do it right! Knock knock!
    Britta: Knock knock!
    They fight, and Britta knocks Jeff off his chair.
    Britta: Who's there bitch? Floor! Flooooorrrr!
  • In the Philippines, a popular variation is to replace a line in a song with a knock-knock joke. Popularized in a noontime show named Eat Bulaga! An example:
    Person 1: Knock knock.
    Person 2: Who's there?
    Person 1: Riverboat.
    Person 2: Riverboat who?
  • A really bad Harry Potter related one:
    Person 1: Knock knock.
    Person 2: Who's there?
    Person 1: You know...
    Person 2: You know who?
  • A subversion from Kickassia, when N. Bison has Dr. Insano cornered:
    N. Bison: Knock knock!
    Dr. Insano: Who's there?
    N. Bison: GUN!!! {points a gun at Dr. Insano}
  • Played with in The Office (US) episode "Golden Ticket":
    Michael: Knock Knock
    Pam: Who's there?
    Michael: Buddha
    Pam: Buddha who?
    Michael: Buddha this bread for me (produces bread and butter)
    • Later
    Dwight: Knock knock!
    Michael: Who's there?
    Dwight: KGB
    Michael: KGB who?
    Dwight: (interrupts Michael by slapping him) We will ask the questions!
    • Laterer, as Michael begins to yell at Dwight for slapping him:
    Jim: Knock knock!
    Michael: Who's there?
    Jim: KGB
    Michael: [suddenly excited again] Dwight, get the door.
    Dwight: I'm not getting the door—you get the door.
    Jim: [more impatiently] Knock knock!
    Michael and Dwight continue to arge until Jim slaps Dwight.
    Jim: Ze KGB vaits for no von!
    Dwight: [to camera] He's right.

  • From Beavis And Butthead:
    Beavis: Knock knock.
    Butthead: Who's there?
    Beavis: Ura.
    Butthead: Ura who?
    Beavis: You're a buttmunch, dillhole, dumbass, and a turd!
    • Later
    Butthead: Knock knock.
    Beavis: Who's there?
    Butthead: Ura.
    Beavis: Ura who?
    Butthead: Ura-ine. Urine.
  • No actual examples, but in Angels of Light and Darkness, Suzie tells a stupid joke that isn't one, and John comments that her sense of humor is declining to the point where she'll be invoking this trope, next.
  • Dennis Miller in his 1993 HBO special, after a joke bombs early on:
    "I like to float that one early to see how literate I can get with the audience...so I think I'll try some knock-knock jokes! Knock-knock!"
    "Who's there?"
    "Nobody, I just like to wield that level of power over the audience. I say 'knock-knock', thousands of people say 'Who's there?'. It's the closest I'll ever come to Jonestown."
  • The "Knock-Knock Joke Of The Day" is a recurring segment on Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • One time in The Wonder Years, after an awkward silence between her and Kevin following a serious spat, Winnie signals her willingness to reconcile with a knock-knock joke:
    "Who's there?"
    "Sam and Janet."
    "Sam and Janet who?"
    (sings)"Sam and Janet evening..."
  • Regularly featured as a segment on Lamb Chop's Play-Along, and honored with a song to boot.
    Give me a Knock Knock Joke
    Don't knock a Knock Knock Joke
    They're always dumb
    So tell me how come
    After one I laugh and bubble up
    After four I always double up?
    Don't be an old slowpoke
    Give me a Knock Knock Joke
    Please!
    *knock knock jokes ensue*
    That was a Knock Knock Joke
    I love a Knock Knock Joke!
    They can be awful, it's true
    Still I'm telling you
    I love a Knock Knock Joke
    Yeah!
  • An absolute classic from an episode of Home Movies, while Linda is giving birth.
    Brendon: KNOCK KNOCK!!!!!
    Linda: WHO'S THERE?!?!?!
    Brendon: FUCK YOUUUUU!!!!!!!
    Zorak: Alright, here we go. Er, uh, um... Knock knock?
    Space Ghost: Um, who's there?
    Zorak: (beat) F*ck you.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, this is your cue that you should NOT open a coffin, unless you have a ton of HP.
    Knock knock.
    Who's this?
    Yorg.
    Yorg who?
    Yorg Onnaregretitifyouopenthiscoffin!
  • One episode of Hello Cheeky subverted this delightfully.
    Tim: Knock knock.
    John: Who's there?
    Tim: Oh, you've heard it...
  • A Mind Screw version from Dolan
    Dolan 1: Knock Knock.
    Dolan 1: Come in.
    Dolan 1: I was in all along.
  • Hiking on the moors, David from An American Werewolf in London tries to tell an inverted version, but Jack doesn't seem to get it:
    David: Say "Knock knock".
    Jack: Knock knock.
    David: Who's there?
    Jack {baffled}: Who?
  • A variation was once used by a popular Italian trio of comics, involving a seer.
    Guy: Knock knock.
    Seer:" Who's there?
    Guy:".... nice start..."
  • From a Mash episode:
    Hawkeye: Knock knock.
    Trapper: Who's there?
    Hawkeye: Abe Lincoln.
    Trapper: Abe Lincoln who?
    Hawkeye: Don't you know me? (laughs hysterically)
    Trapper: (facepalm) That's awful.
    Hawkeye: All right, can I do another one?
    Trapper: No!
    Hawkeye: Knock knock.
    Trapper: Who's there?
    Hawkeye: Thomas Jefferson.
    Trapper: Thomas Jefferson who?
    Hawkeye: Was Abe Lincoln just here? (laughs even more hysterically)
    Trapper: Hawkeye, I never liked you.
  • A joke going around the League of Legends community involves a pun on the champion Nocturne and his borderline Memetic darkness inducing skill.
    Noc noc.
    Who's there?
    DARKNESSSS!
  • In an early episode of Mork and Mindy, Mork is still trying to get Earth humor:
    Mork in the apartment with his buddy Eugene
    Susan Taylor (outside the front door): Knock Knock
    Mork: Who's there?
    Susan: Susan
    Mork: Susan Who?
    Susan: Susan Taylor!
    Mork (to Eugene): Ooo, what a terrible knock-knock joke! (Eugene nods in agreement).
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks featured an Actually Pretty Funny example from two actors in a well-known sci-fi show:
    David Tennant: Knock knock.
    Bernard Cribbins: Who's there?
    David Tennant: Doctor.
    Bernard Cribbins: Doctor who?
    David Tennant: Correct!
  • Then there's Shel Silverstein's love letter to knock knock jokes and being literal in general:
    The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt by Shel Silverstein
    Knock knock!
    Who's there?
    Me!
    Me who?

    That's right!
    What's right?
    Meehoo!
    That's what I want to know!

    What's what you want to know?
    Me, WHO?
    Yes, exactly!
    Exactly what?
    Yes, I have an Exactlywatt on a chain!

    Exactly what on a chain?
    Yes!
    Yes what?
    No, Exactlywatt!

    That's what I want to know!
    I told you - Exactlywatt!
    Exactly WHAT?
    Yes!
    Yes what?

    Yes, it's with me!
    What's with you?
    Exactlywatt - that's what's with me.
    Me who?
    Yes!

    GO AWAY!

    Knock knock...
  • The English dub of Dragon Ball Z included one when Vegeta and Goku were absorbed into Majin Buu's body. It's a bit out of place, but you have to admire Buu's enthusiasm.
    Majin Buu: Knock Knock. KNOOOOCK KNOOOOOOCK!
    Vegeta: Who's there?
    Majin Buu: Buu.
    Vegeta: Buu who?
    Majin Buu: Ahhh, what're you crying about?

  • Babylon5:
    Sheridan: Knock, knock.
    Ivanova: Who's there?
    Sheridan: Kosh.
    Ivanova: Kosh who?
    Sheridan: Gesundheit.

  • The Simpsons, "Last Exit to Springfield":
    [doorbell rings]
    Homer: Who is it?
    Goon: Goons.
    Homer: Who?
    Goon: Hired goons.
    Homer: Hired Goons? [opens door]

  • An Israeli example of Black Comedy that featured on a televised Israeli comedy competition (and makes more sense in context):
    ‘Knock knock.’
    ‘Who’s there?’
    GESTAPO!!May be continued "Gestapo who?" *smack* "Ve vill ask ze qvestions, not you..."
    • Of course, the appropriate response is,
    ‘Knock knock.’
    ‘Who’s there?’

  • Bob Dylan's song "Po' Boy":
    Knockin’ on the door, I say, “Who is it and where are you from?”
    Man says, “Freddy!” I say, “Freddy who?” He says, “Freddy or not here I come”

  • The faux-Japanese gameshow spoof Banzai had a challenge based on the classic Doctor Who knock knock joke. Viewers had to guess which of the Doctors was telling the joke. It was Colin Baker.

  • In Red vs. Blue, Gamma was fond of telling these. His partner Agent Wyoming picked up the habit from him.


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