People without kids don’t realize what they’re missing. Yes, childrens’ books can be corny and condescending, especially if you’re an adult. But they also have some of the best one-liners in literature. Maybe it’s because you don’t expect it; in a book written for and about grown-ups, a little saucy humor isn’t completely out of left field. But when a witty rejoinder sneaks into a book intended for readers still required by law to sit in a car seat, it’s more surprising. It’s like if someone handed you a beer in church. Should I really be drinking this? It’s so much more satisfying because you’re not entirely sure if it’s allowed.
Here are 20 of our favorite jokes from kids’ books, which are funny whether you’re reading them to a child or enjoying them alone. For more childish humor, check out these 50 Jokes From Children That Are Actually Funny.
Maybe you should read the label first
“If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’ it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.”
—Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
— Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Have a laugh with your friends, and share these 50 Amazing Jokes You Can Text to Friends.
Don’t be an early worm
“Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you’re a bird, be an early bird—
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.”
—Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Who’s responsible for this?
“George and Harold were usually responsible kids. Whenever anything bad happened, George and Harold were usually responsible.”
—The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Lighten the mood with these 40 Corny Jokes You Can’t Help But Laugh At.
Poached eggs are always stolen
“Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all if it hasn’t been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn’t poached eggs unless it’s been stolen in the dead of the night.”
―Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Optimists vs pessimists
“If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say in a pleasant and hopeful voice, ‘Well this isn’t too bad, I don’t have a left arm anymore but at least nobody will ever ask me if I’m left-handed or right-handed,’ but most of us would say something more along the lines of, ‘Aaaaaa! My arm! My arm!’”
—Horseradish by Lemony Snicket
For more laughter at the expense of your furry friends, check out these 40 Funniest Jokes About Animals.
Do these pants make me look sarcastic?
“Dear Aunt Loretta,
Thank you so much for the awesome pants!
How did you know I wanted that for Christmas?
I love the way the pants look on my legs!
All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own pants.
Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever!
―Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Except for cough drops
“True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that.”
―The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Humor can be found anywhere. Case and point: these 30 Hilarious Jokes Found in Non-Comedy Movies.
On growing old
“When at last we are sure, You’ve been properly pilled,
Then a few paper forms, Must be properly filled.
So that you and your heirs, May be properly billed.”
–You’re Only Old Once! by Dr. Seuss
Once you’re older, you’ll appreciate these 40 Best Jokes About Turning 40.
Why spoons are better than forks
“Spoons are excellent. Sort of like forks, only not as stabby.”
―Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
The lowdown on naked mole rats
“Here are three useful things to know about naked mole rats: 1. They are a little bit rat. 2. They are a little bit mole. 3. They are all naked.”
―Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Even in Australia
“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.”
―Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
How to operate a boat
“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident. It all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on the top of it or underneath it.”
—Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
You just got served
“My dear young lady,” said the professor… “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”
“What’s that?” said Susan.
“We might all try minding our own business.”
―The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
It’s funny because it’s true
“Everybody is so terribly sensitive about the things they know best.”
―The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
What to do with good things
“Good things come to those who find it and shove it in their mouth!”
―Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Some constructive criticism for rattlesnakes
“Rattlesnakes would be a lot more dangerous if they didn’t have the rattle.”
—Holes by Louis Sachar
My only friend
“My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt.”
―The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
It’s chocolate pudding
“The first bowl of chocolate pudding was too hot, but Goldilocks ate it all anyway because, hey, it’s chocolate pudding, right?”
―Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
The Happy Screams
“SECRET PIZZA PARTY! Oops, I said that kind of loud. Sorry, pizza smell gives me the happy screams.”
―Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin
For even more silliness found in print, check out these 25 Funniest Newspaper Headlines of All Time.
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