Jokes in English for the ESL/EFL Classroom
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Teachers often use jokes in the ESL/EFL classroom to teach culture, grammar and vocabulary.
If you know a joke that works well with ESL/EFL students, please submit the joke.
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Long Jokes

(This is guaranteed laughs in the Chinese classroom. It was originally a bit in a Pink Panther movie).

A man walks into a shop and sees a cute little dog. He asks the shopkeeper, "Does your dog bite?"
The shopkeeper says, "No, my dog does not bite."
The man tries to pet the dog and the dog bites him.
"Ouch!" He says, "I thought you said your dog does not bite!"
The shopkeeper replies, "That is not my dog!"
Submitted by Rick Bell

There were three restauraunts on the same block. One day one of them put up a sign which said "The Best Restaurant in the City."

The next day, the largest restaurant on the block put up a larger sign which said "The Best Restaurant in the World."

On the third day, the smallest restaurant put up a small sign which said "The Best Restaurant on this Block."
Submitted by Jim J. Johnson

A lorry driver is driving 200 penguins to London Zoo when his lorry breaks down on the motorway. The driver gets out of the cab and is looking at the engine when a second lorry driver stops in front of him and asks if he needs help. The penguins' driver explains that he is taking the penguins to the zoo and asks if the other man would
take the penguins there. He agrees.
Some hours later, the 2nd lorry driver drives past the first one, who is still waiting on the motorway. The penguins are still on the lorry, and look happy.
"I thought I asked you to take those penguins to the zoo," shouted the first driver.
The second replied, "I did, but I had some money left, so we're going to the cinema now."
(Present continuous / just for fun)
Submitted by Jeremy Hookway
One day a student was taking a very difficult essay exam. At the end of the test, the prof asked all the students to put their pencils down and immediately hand in their tests. The young man kept writing furioulsy, although he was warned that if he did not stop immediately he would be disqualified. He ignored the warning, finished the test 10
minutes later, and went to hand the test to his instructor. The instructor told him he would not take the test.

The student asked, "Do you know who I am?"

The prof said, "No and I don't care."

The student asked again, "Are you sure you don't know who I am?"

The prof again said no. So the student walked over to the pile of tests, placed his in
the middle, then threw the papers in the air.

"Good" the student said, and walked out. He passed.
Submitted by Mary Cobb Neighbors

A woman got on a bus, holding a baby.

The bus driver said, "That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen."

In a huff, the woman slammed her fare into the fare box and took an aisle
seat near the rear of the bus.

The man seated next to her sensed that she was agitated and asked her what
was wrong.

"The bus driver insulted me," she fumed.

The man sympathized and said, "Why, he's a public servant and shouldn't say
things to insult passengers."

"You're right," she said. "I think I'll go back up there and give him a piece of my mind."

"That's a good idea," the man said. "Here, let me hold your monkey."
Submitted by Abu Abdulaziz (Kuwait)

James was walking down the road one morning when he met his friend Danny.

"Morning, Danny. Er ... Danny, you're wearing a glove on one hand and none on the other. Did you know?"

"Yes, well I heard the weather forecast this morning, you see."

"The Weather forecast?"

"Yes, the weather forecast. the forecaster said on the one hand it might be fine but on the other hand there might be some rain."

(Cantonese students have problems with "on the other hand" because there is a similar expression in Cantonese that means "in addition". This joke helps highlight the contrast implied.)
Submitted by Dick Tibbetts, Macau

This worked fine with my level 200a on up.

A man got a parrot which could already talk. It had belonged to a sailor and had a big vocabulary. However, the man soon discovered that the parrot mostly know bad words. At first he thought it was funny, but then it became tiresome, and finally, when the man had important guests, the bird's bad words embarrassed him very much.

As soon as the guests left, the man angrily shouted at the parrot,"That language must stop!". But the bird answered him with curses. He shook the bird and shouted again, "Don't use those ugly words!" Again the bird cursed him.

Now the man was really angry. He grabbed the parrot and threw him into the refrigerator. But it had no effect. From inside the refrigerator,the parrot was still swearing. He opened the door and took him out, and again the bird spoke in dirty words and curses. This time, the man opened the door of the freezer , threw the bird into it, and closed the door.

This time there was silence. After two minutes, the man opened the door and removed the very cold parrot. Slowly the shivering parrot walked up the man's arm, sat on his shoulder and spoke into his ear, sounding very frightened:

"I'll be good, I promise...Those chickens in there.. what did they say?"
Submitted by Peggy Datz

I think this joke is funny and so far, all of my intermediate to advanced ESL classes have agreed with me.

A duck walks into a bar and goes up to the bartender.
The bartender says "What can I get you?"
Duck: Umm. Do you have any grapes?
Bartender (looking surprised and finding the question odd):
No, I'm afraid we don't.
And the duck waddles slowly out of the bar.

The next day at the same time, the duck waddles into the bar, hops up on a bar stool.
Bartender: Hi. What can I get for you?
Duck: Umm. Do you have any grapes?
Bartender (a little annoyed): Hey! Weren't you in here yesterday. Look buddy, we don't have any grapes. OK?

The duck hops off the stool and waddles out the door.

The next day, at the same time, the bartender is cleaning some glasses when he hears a familiar voice
Duck: Umm.. Do you have any grapes?
The bartender is really ticked off.
Bartender: Look. What's your problem? You came in here yesterday asking for grapes, I TOLD you, WE DON'T HAVE ANY GRAPES!! Next time I see your little ducktail waddle in here I'm going to nail those little webbed feet of yours to the floor. GOT me pal?

And the duck hops off the bar stool and waddles out.

The NEXT day at the same time, the duck waddles into the bar, walks up to the bartender and the bartender says,
"What the heck do YOU want?"
Umm. do you have any nails?
What!? OF course not.
Oh. Well, do you have any grapes?

I taught my students waddle, webbed feet but you could teach What the heck do you want, pal, barkeep, bartender, etc

It is also good to review "any"

A man's dog has a problem so he takes him to the vet's. The vet looks at the dog and says that he'll have to take him to the examining room. In the examining room, he takes a cat out of a cage and lets the cat walk all over the dog, but the dog doesn't do anything.

The doctor say "Your dog is dead."

The man goes out to the receptionist and asks for his bill.

"That'll be $325" says the receptionist.

"What! $325? How's that possible?"

"It's $25 for the consultation, and $300 for the Cat scan."

NOTE: The students might not recognise the word CAT scan.
Submitted by Christine MacBrien (as told to her by her brother Dave in Toronto

The two beginning ESL students went to Honolulu on holiday. Soon they began to argue about the correct way to pronounce the word "Hawaii." One student insisted that it's Hawaii, with a "w" sound. The other student said it was pronounced like "Havaii," with a "v" sound.

Finally, they saw an old native on the beach, and asked him which was correct. The old man said it's "Havaii." The student who was right was very happy, and thanked the old man.

The old man said "you're velcome."
Submitted by: Brian Madden

Every day, an ESL teacher was seen coming out of the rest room with a marker, used for writing. In the rest room were expressions and graffitti written on the walls. It was very bad. Finally, the Director of the school called the teacher into the office and told the teacher that it was terrible of him to write those things on the walls. The teacher said that he was not the one writing those things. All that the teacher did was to correct the grammar.
Submitted by: Brian Madden
"Dad, I don't want to go to school today." said the boy.

"Why not, son?"

"Well, one of the chickens on the school farm died last week and we had chicken soup for lunch the next day. Then three days ago one of the pigs died and we had roast pork the next day."

"But why don't you want to go today?"

"Because our English teacher died yesterday!" 

A man was driving at 80 kph one day when he was passed by a 3-legged chicken. He accelerated and passed the chicken. Three minutes later the chicken passed him again as he was driving at 100 kph. The man tried to catch the chicken but it ran down a side road. The man followed it into a farmyard but couldn't find it anywhere. He saw the farmer and told him the story and the man asked for an explanation. The farmer said that he, his wife and his son all liked chicken legs so he bred 3-legged chickens.

"What do they taste like?" asked the man.

"I don't know", replied the farmer, "we haven't caught one yet"
Submitted by: Alastair Rice

This one will perhaps only be good for your more advanced students.

A piece of string walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The barman refuses to serve him saying rudely, 'Sorry but we don't serve the likes of you. Get out!'

The piece of string leaves the bar feeling glum, he walks down the road and then he sees two girls who he asks for help. 'Please,' he says to one of the girls, would you tie a knot in me?' This she does. 'Please,' the piece of string says to the other girl,'would you mind taking your comb and fluffing out the ends of my string?' so the girl obliges.

'Thank you' says the string and he turns around, goes back into the bar and immediately orders a drink again.

The barman looks at him quizzically and says 'aren't you the piece of string that was in here a moment ago?'

'No' came the answer, 'I'm a frayed knot.'
Submitted by: Catherine

Three rich brothers each wanted to do something special for their elderly mother on Mother's Day. The first brother bought her a huge house. The second brother gave her a limousine, with a driver. The third brother remembered that his mother used to love to read the Bible, but couldn't see well anymore, so he got her a specially trained parrot that could recite any verse from the Bible on demand.

Soon, the brothers received thank-you notes from their mother. The first son's note said, "The house you bought me is much too big! I only live in a small part of it, but I have to clean the whole thing!" The second son got a note that said, "I rarely leave the house anymore, so I hardly use the limo you gave me. And when I do use it, the driver is so rude!" The third son's note said, "My darling baby boy, you know just what your mother loves! The chicken was delicious!"

Teaching Notes: We previewed some of the vocabulary, such as limousine, trained, delicious, and gave a printed copy of the joke to the students as part of a reading activity. We knew they were finished when they started chuckling. If the reference to the Bible would be inappropriate for your class, you might adapt the joke by substituting "the classics")
Submitted by: Eve Ross

George was taking care of a parrot for his aunt. This parrot was a very nasty parrot. It cussed and screamed and made fun of George, so he took the parrot and put it in the freezer.

The parrot kept screaming and insulting George until finally it stopped.

George thought to himself, "On no! I froze my aunt's bird to death."

He opened the door and saw the bird alive!

The bird said, "I'm sorry for my behaviour and will never act up again.

George said, "Why the change?"

The bird answered, "Because I saw what you did to the other bird.

(HInt: He saw the frozen chicken.)
Submitted by Erin McCluskey

A preacher was told by his doctor that he had only a few weeks left to live.
He went home feeling very sad, and when his wife heard the sad news she said to him, "Honey, if there's anything I can do to make you happy, tell me."

The preacher answered, "You know, dear, there's that box in the kitchen cabinet with what you always called "your little secret" in it and you said you never would want me to open it as long as you lived. Now that I'm about to go home to be with the Lord, why don't you show me what's in that secret box of yours?"

The preacher's wife got out the box and opened the lid. It contained $100,000 and three eggs.

"What are those eggs doing in the box?" the preacher asked.

"Well, Honey," she replied, "every time your sermon was really bad I put an egg in the box."

Now the preacher had been preaching for over forty years, and seeing only three eggs in that old shoe box, he started to feel very proud about himself and it warmed his soul.

"And what about that $100.000?"" he asked.

"Oh, you see," she whispered softly, "every time there were a dozen eggs in the box, I ..sold them."

Submitted by Tim Allen, Switzerland

A man goes out of prison after twenty years. He decides to go back to the neighbourhood where he lived. When he gets there he cannot recognize the place. Everything has changed a lot. The places he used to visit have all disappeared. Even the pub has disappeared.He is very tired and would like to have something to eat. He goes into a small café and has a coffee and a sandwich.When he takes out his wallet he finds a shoemaker ticket in it. He then remembers that the last thing he had done before being arrested was to take a pair of shoes to the shoemaker's. He decides to go there and try. What a wondeful thing! The shoemaker is still at the same place. He gets into the shop and tells the shoemaker that about twenty years before he had left him a pair of shoes to have them repaired. The shoemaker has a look at the ticket and says: "O.K. Come back tomorrow. They will be ready then." Some things never change.
Submitted by Christine MAZEAU
I was once told by a Japanese student that this is an old story.

One Saturday afternoon the grasshopper, the snail, and the centipede were sitting around the grasshopper's house drinking beer.
They ran out of beer before they were ready to quit drinking, so they decided one of them should go out for more beer.

The snail said, "I'd go, but I'm kind of slow. Besides, Grasshopper, this is your neighborhood so you know where to go."

The grasshopper said, "I don't mind going, but my hopping will shake up the beer and we'll get sprayed every time we open one."

So they decided to send the centipede; and the grasshopper explained how to get to the nearest liquor store.

An hour or so passed and still the centipede hadn't returned, so the snail and the grasshopper decided to go look for him.
They got as far as the the front door and found the centipede sitting there putting on his shoes.
Submitted by Rodney A. Hoiseth - Roth Corporation

This joke never fails to get a laugh.
A man slow witted man walked into a pattent office. He walked up to the patent officer and said, "Hey, I've got a new idea for a mouse trap." (Draw a box on the blackboard.)
"Here's the box." (Draw a hole in the box.) "Here's the hole." (Draw a circle in the bottom of the hole) "Here's the cheese." (Draw a line across the hole in the box.) "Here's the blade. The mouse sticks his head in the holeto get the cheese, the blade drops on his neck and kills him."

The patent officer looks at the diagram. He understands that the man is a little slow so he wants to be kind. He explains to the man that he does not think the design is ready to be patented yet. He tells the man, "Please, work on it some more. Perhaps I will be able to patent it another time." The slow witted man says thank you and leaves the office.

One week later the slow witted man shows up again. (Draw the exact same example on the board in exactly the same way.) The slow witted man says, "This is the box, this is the hole, this is the cheese and this is the wire. The mouse sticks his head in the hole to get the cheese, the wire wraps around his neck and kills him."

The patent officer, still trying to be kind, makes the same excuse as before. The slow witted man leaves.

One week later the slow witted man returns. He approaches the same pattent officer and says, (The exact same things)
"Here's the box. Here's the hole. (This time he draws a zig-zag line across the hole and he does not draw a circle for the cheese.) After completing the zig-zag line, the slow witted man proclaims, "and here's the saw blade."

The patent officer notices the design and the fact that that ther is no cheese. He asks the slow witted man, "Where's the cheese." "Ah-ha," says the slow witted man.
"That's the point. The mouse sticks his head in the hole
and says," "Where did you put the cheese."

(When the mouse speeks you must act like the mouse. Stick your head out as if looking into the trap and swing it back and forth as if looking for the cheese.)

The implication is that the mouse will saw off his own head while looking for the cheese. Remember the saw blade?
Submitted by Karl Hartman

An American lawyer invited a Czechoslovakian friend to stay with him in his mountain cabin. Early in the morning, the lawyer and his Czechoslovakian friend went out to pick berries for their morning breakfast. As they were picking blueberries, along came two big Bears - a male and a female.

The lawyer, seeing the two bears, climbed a tree.

His friend wasn't so lucky and the male bear caught him and swallowed him whole.

The lawyer drove his car to town as fast has he could to get a policeman. The policeman took his gun and ran to the berry patch with the lawyer.

Sure enough, the two bears were still there. "He's in THAT one!" said the lawyer, pointing to the male.

The policeman looked at the bears, took careful aim with his gun, and SHOT THE FEMALE.

"What did you do that for!" shouted the lawyer, "I said he was in the other bear!"

"Exactly," answered the policeman. "Would YOU believe a lawyer who told you that the Czech was in the Male?"

(The check is in the mail.)
Submitted by Bonnie P.

A man wanted to become a monk so he went to the monastery and talked to the head monk.
The head monk said, "You must take a vow of silence and can only say two words every three years."
The man agreed and after the first 3 years, the head monk came to him and said, "What are your two words?"
"Food cold!" the man replied.
Three more years went by and the head monk came to him and said "What are your two words?"
"Robe dirty!" the man exclaimed.
Three more years went by and the head monk came to him and said, "What are your two words?"
"I quit!" said the man.
"Well, the head monk replied, I am not surprised. You have done nothing but complain ever since you got here!"

Submitted by Bonnie P

There was a man who has two dogs, named 'commonsense' and 'trouble'. He always brought his dogs to the park every evening. One day, he only brought 'trouble' to the park, and left 'commonsense' at home. while the man was so happy playing 'frisbee' with his friends, 'commonsense' disappeared. The man was so sad and panicky. He looked for his dog everywhere but could not find it. A lady realised it and asked the man, "What are you looking for?". The man replied "I'm looking for 'trouble'...". "pardon..", said the lady. The man replied in a higher tone "I am looking for 'TROUBLE'". The lady was annoyed and asked "Where's your COMMONSENSE?". The man whose mind was only about his dogs, answered "At home..."
Submitted by iena.
An architect was very famous because he always ordered exactly enough materials for every building he built. He was very popular because he could build buildings at the lowest possible cost.
After ten years of perfect building, one of his men came to him when they had finished a 40 story building. "I have bad news," the man said "because we have one brick left over!" "Oh no!" the architect exclaimed, "My ten year perfection record is broken!"
Do you know what he did with the brick?
He threw it away!
Submitted by Walter Lowe
When a very tired man got on a crowded bus one afternoon, he could not find an empty seat. A small dog was sitting on one seat, so he asked the lady with the dog to put the dog on her lap. The lady refused and they got into a big argument. Finally, the driver stopped the bus and told the lady to put the dog on her lap.
When the man sat down, he took a pickle out of his pocket and began noisly sucking on it. When the lady told him the sound and smell was irritating, he told her she should have thought about being nice when he had asked her to move the dog. They began another argument and the lady threw the pickle out the window. The man then threw the dog out the window. Just then the bus stopped and the dog got in line to get back on. Guess what the dog had in its mouth?
---The brick!
Submitted by Walter Lowe
A panda bear walks into a restaurant. He orders the special and eats it. After eating, he pulls out a pistol, kills the waiter and starts to walk out the door.

The owner of the restaurant says, "Hey, what are you doing? You come in here, you kill my waiter and walk away without saying a word. I don't understand."

The panda says, "Look it up in the dictionary," and walks out the door.

So the owner gets out a dictionary and looks under the heading "Panda". It reads:

panda black and white animal; lives in central China; eats shoots and leaves.

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