Favorite math-related jokes

These can get a bit stale, I’ll admit. However, for math lovers young and old, we know a good joke when we hear it, especially if it has a math tie-in.

My user-name is an old joke. As in:

[bad joke alert]

Did you hear about the constipated mathematician?

He worked it out with a pencil.

[/bad joke alert]
Believe it or not I have a few of these. Please share your favorites!

Related Computer Science, ah… joke?

“There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don’t.”

My favorite math joke was actually a one-panel cartoon. Wish I had a copy of it, or could post a link. Instead, I’ll have to describe what it looked like:

The picture was of a little boy, at a table with a piece of paper with a huge elementary math problem filling up the page, something like:


  • 4

= 7

He’s yelling to his mom, “Mom! I’m finished, can I go out and play?”

Also on the paper, in the margin, it says something like:
“I have marvelous solutions to the other 19 problems, but this margin is too small to contain them.”

The caption was “Fermat’s First Homework”

Inspired by this OP, I just went googling math jokes. Here’s a pretty good one:

Q: What is non-orientable and lives in the ocean?
A: Möbius Dick…

Yeah, but what did he do when he was really constipated?

He used logs.

On another note entirely, did you hear about the three statisticians who went hunting? The first one fired, and missed - five feet to the left. The second one fired and missed - five feet to the right.

The third one jumped up and down yelling “We got him! We got him!”

I have a math-related pick-up line.

Are you the square root of 2? Because I feel irrational when I’m around you.


There is a long one, which I am not going to try to remember enough to post, involving Indians and the hides their sons get when born. The punchline is

The sons of the squaw of the hippopotamus hides are equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

When I was at MIT, many bathroom walls had integral joke grafitti, which only made sense if you knew calculus.

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
The interrupting co-efficient of friction.
The interrupting co-efficient of friction w–

Not a joke but “There’s no place like”

A biologist, a statistician, and a mathematician see two people go into a room. Soon, three people emerge from the room.

“They must have cloned one of them!” says the biologist. “No, we must have counted wrong,” says the statistician. The mathematician thinks and says, “If one of us goes into the room, it will be empty.”

People who can remember Pythagoras’s Theorem correctly prefer “The squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides.” It’s about a Native American with three wives and no children, who goes on a world tour to fetch three exotic animal skins and commits the marital act with each wife when he returns, each upon a different skin. And so on.

I’ve quoted this limerick before, but:

Integral t-squared dt
From one to the cube root of three
All times the cosine
Of three p upon nine
Equals log of the cube root of e
A mathematician and an engineer are walking along the street when they see a house on fire. Outside the house, fortunately, is a fire hydrant with a coiled hose next to it. So the engineer uncoils the hose, attaches it to the hydrant, turns on the water and puts out the fire.

A little later they reach another house. Outside it there is a hose attached to a fire hydrant, with water running from it. So the mathematician turns off the water, detaches and coils up the hose, and sets the house on fire. Beaming, he turns to the engineer and says “And now we have reduced the problem to one where the answer is already known!”.

What’s the square root of 69?

“8 something”

My favourite was something I heard, not as a joke but, as an admonishment in a business analysis course. Talking about documenting business software the lecturer said you should never try to be funny - it just doesn’t work; for example

Pi has been declared as an assigned variable so that it can be easily changed in one place if the value of Pi changes in the future.

I laughed out loud and made a futile attempt to argue that this was an admirable joke. Everyone else attending looked at me like an idiot.

What’s purple and commutes?

An Abelian Grape.

Why was 6 agraid of 7?

Because 7 8 9! (“seven ate nine” ha!)

There is also this link that appeared on Fark a few days ago. Not exactly math jokes, but still math-related and entertaining.

Why didn’t Newton discover commutative groups?
Because he wasn’t Abel!

Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?
To get to the other … :smack:

A mathematician confided
A Möbius strip is one-sided
And you’ll get quite a laugh
If you cut one in half
For it stays in one piece when divided

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Answering machine message:

“We’re sorry. The number you have reached is imaginary. Please hang up, rotate your phone ninety degrees, and dial again.”