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Stock Jokes

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Specific, standalone jokes often become common enough to stand as trope. And this can happen a lot, as the jokes work best when they evolve and don't stay the same among re-tellings. Otherwise they would fall under Other Stock Phrases.

Compare Stock Parodies, Insult Tropes, Practical Joke. See also Stock Shticks for overused stand-up comedy routines.


  • The Aristocrats: A joke about a family going to see a talent agent and doing a very inappropriate act, which they call 'The Aristocrats'.
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  • Chicken Joke: Jokes that either start with "Why did the chicken cross the road?" or reference the aforementioned line by asking "Why did the X cross the road? [Insert reason that has to do with chickens]". (The original was actually intended as an example of Anti-Humor, by the way.)
  • Duck!: A character mistakes a command to duck for someone pointing out a duck.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: A joke about all lawyers being evil.
  • Fly in the Soup: Jokes about flies being in soup.
  • Funny Fan Voice: Breathing/talking into a fan makes a person's voice sound ridiculous.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: A character jokingly remarks that a phrase another said would make a good name for a band, often specifically a rock band.
  • Has Two Thumbs and...: A joke where the person says, "What/who has two thumbs and [self description]?", then points at themselves with both thumbs and says, "This guy/gal!".
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  • If I Had a Nickel...: A joke where someone says, "If I had a nickel/dollar/pound/etc for every time X happened, I'd be rich."
  • If I Wanted X, I Would Y: A character talks trash about something by saying, "If I wanted [something related to the thing they're trashing], I would [do something else, usually quite mundane]."
  • I Know You Are But What Am I: A gag playing off most people's tendency to issue insults without including any subjunctive possessive modifiers.
  • Insult to Rocks: Someone insults somebody else by saying that they would insult them with a noun, but that'd be insulting to the thing (e.g. "I'd call you a pig but that'd be rude to pigs.")
  • "Knock Knock" Joke: A joke with the format "Knock knock?" "Who's there?" "X" "X who?" "[pun about X]".
  • Lightbulb Joke: A joke that starts with "How many X does it take to change a light bulb?"
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  • Marshmallow Dream: A character dreams that they're eating and wakes up chewing on/eating/having eaten their pillow.
  • No Intelligent Life Here: A joke about the idea that aliens don't consider Earthlings to be "intelligent life".
  • Russian Reversal: A joke with the format "Usually/in America/etc, you [verb] [noun]. In Soviet Russia, [noun] [verb]s you!"
  • That's What She Said: When somebody says something that's not meant to be dirty, but another person notices a dirty way it could be interpreted and says, "That's what she said!", sometimes adding "last night" at the end.
  • Thought-Aversion Failure: Trying not to think about something is hard.
  • The Triple: A list of three things where the third is the weirdest.
  • What's a Henway?: A joke about saying a made up word, getting a person to ask what it is, and replying with a pun. (e.g "Have you seen my catdo?" "What's a catdo?" "Mainly sleeps and licks itself.")
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: Calling something old fashioned by jokingly claiming that a time period in the past called and wants it back.
  • Your Mom: Insulting someone's mother.

Other types of jokes:

  • My Other Car Is an X: A joke put on bumper stickers or T-shirt about how your other car is supposedly some other cooler thing.
  • Your X Is Showing: A gag in which one person tells another that an unmentionable part is exposed. Can be substituted for a word that rhymes with that part or a variant (like a slip).
  • Clarification Trap: stealthily insulting someone by saying, "[Obscure insult] says what?", expecting the target to say "What?" in confusion or uncertainty.

Alternative Title(s): Stock Joke