101 Riddles for Adults: Funny, Challenging, and Weird!

Enjoy everything from classic brain teasers to riddles about love and life.

While we're no longer in school, it's good to entertain the occasional brain teaser to stay sharp. Studies even suggest that these puzzles can speed up cognitive processing and improve short-term memory. If nothing else, they provide a welcome escape from our daily chores and routines. Below, we've collected 101 riddles for adults to help stump your friends, impress your coworkers, and start flexing those cognitive muscles!

RELATED: 85 Riddles for Kids (With Answers!).

Riddles for Adults Guaranteed to Break Your Brain

From riddles about love to more challenging teasers, these questions are sure to keep you on your toes.

Easy Riddles for Adults

woman figuring out riddles for adults
Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi
  1. Riddle: What do you have to break before you can use it?
    An egg
  2. Riddle: What is full of holes but still holds water?
    A sponge
  3. Riddle: What is always in front of you but can't be seen?
     The future
  4. Riddle: Where is the only place where today comes before yesterday?
    Answer: The dictionary
  5. Riddle: What kind of band never plays music?
    Answer: A rubber band
  6. Riddle: Sam and Sally have four daughters. Each of their daughters has one brother. How many children do Sam and Sally have in total?
    Answer: Five
  7. Riddle: What has 13 hearts but no other organs?
    Answer: A deck of cards
  8. Riddle: If an electric train is traveling south, which way is the smoke going?
    Answer: There is no smoke; it is an electric train
  9. Riddle: What has one head, one foot, and four legs?
    Answer: A bed
  10. Riddle: What has many teeth but can't bite?
    Answer: A comb
  11. Riddle: What do the letter "T" and an island have in common?
    Answer: They are both found in the middle of water
  12. Riddle: David's father has three sons: Peanut, Butter, and _____?
  13. Riddle: Some say I put doctors out of business. Sometimes I am sour. Other times, I am sweet. You can eat me, and you can drink me. What am I?
    Answer: An apple
  14. Riddle: Sam's dad has three daughters. Two are named Stephanie and Amanda. What's the name of the third daughter?
    Answer: Sam
  15. Riddle: If your uncle's sister is not your aunt, then who is she to you?
    Answer: Your mother
  16. Riddle: If two snakes marry, what will their towels say?
    Answer: "Hiss and hers"
  17. Riddle: What has four fingers and a thumb but isn't alive?
    Answer: A glove
  18. Riddle: Two fathers and two sons are in a car, but there are only three people in the vehicle. How?
    Answer: The group consists of a grandfather, a father, and his son

READ THIS NEXT: 15 Logic Puzzles That Will Help You Stay Sharp (All Ages!)

Funny Riddles

man smirking over funny riddles for adults
Shutterstock / fizkes
  1. Riddle: When is a door no longer a door?
    Answer: When it's left ajar
  2. Riddle: I have four wheels and flies. What am I?
    Answer: A garbage truck
  3. Riddle: What can you put in a bucket to make it weigh less?
    Answer: A hole
  4. Riddle: You can hold me in your right hand, but never in your left hand. What am I?
    Answer: Your left hand
  5. Riddle: How can you drop a raw egg on the concrete floor without cracking it?
    Answer: Pretty easily, there's no way an egg will crack a concrete floor
  6. Riddle: A bus driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street. He passes the cops, but they don't stop him. Why?
    Answer: He was walking
  7. Riddle: What can you catch, but not throw?
    Answer: A cold
  8. Riddle: What type of cheese is made backward?
    Answer: Edam
  9. Riddle: What type of building contains the most stories?
    Answer: A library
  10. Riddle: People knead me to buy things. What am I?
    Answer: Dough
  11. Riddle: How many bananas can you eat if your stomach is empty?
    Answer: Just one—after that, your stomach is no longer empty
  12. Riddle: How can kids drink beer and not get drunk?
    Answer: By sticking to root beer
  13. Riddle: What gets wet while drying?
    Answer: A towel

Hard Riddles for Adults

woman looking confused when trying to figure out riddles for adults
Shutterstock / Cast Of Thousands
  1. Riddle: There are two in a corner, one in a room, zero in a house, but one in a shelter. What is it?
    Answer: The letter "R"
  2. Riddle: A plane crashed on the border of Spain and Portugal. Where were the survivors buried?
    Answer: They weren't—you're not supposed to bury survivors
  3. Riddle: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it, you will die. What is it?
    Answer: Nothing
  4. Riddle: There are five sisters in a room. Simone is reading a book, Clara is cooking, Alexis is playing chess, and Helena is doing the laundry. What's the fifth sister doing?
    Answer: Playing chess with Alexis
  5. Riddle: A man looks at a painting in a museum and says,"Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man's father is my father's son." Who is in the painting?
    The man's son
  6. Riddle: You walk into a room that contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What should you light first?
    Answer: The match
  7. Riddle: I have branches, but no fruit, trunk, or leaves. What am I?
    Answer: A bank
  8. Riddle: What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?
    Answer: Silence
  9. Riddle: The more of them you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?
    Answer: Footsteps
  10. Riddle: How do you know that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are about to get married?
    Answer: They all have rings
  11. Riddle: What goes all around the world but stays in a corner?
    Answer: A stamp
  12. Riddle: A man rode into town on Tuesday and left a few days later on Tuesday. How is that possible?
    Answer: Tuesday was his horse's name
  13. Riddle: What cuts across cities and fields, but never moves?
    Answer: A road

READ THIS NEXT: Tongue Twisters So Good, Your Mouth May Never Be the Same.

Riddles About Work

man in business attire crossing his arms over purple background
Shutterstock / Damir Khabirov
  1. Riddle: A man and his boss have the same parents, but they are not siblings. How is this possible?
    Answer: He's self-employed
  2. Riddle: What does nobody want, yet nobody wants to lose?
    Answer: Work
  3. Riddle: Why did the invisible man turn down a job offer?
    Answer: He just couldn't see himself doing it
  4. Riddle: Why did the spider get a job in I.T.?
    Answer: Because he excels at web design
  5. Riddle: Why is it so easy for elephants to get jobs?
    Answer: Because they'll work for peanuts
  6. Riddle: What do you tell yourself when you wake up late for work and realize you have a fever?
    Answer: "
    Self, I-so-late"
  7. Riddle: A man was just doing his job when his suit was torn. He died a few minutes later. Why?
    Answer: He was an astronaut
  8. Riddle: What happened to the beans when they showed up late to work?
    Answer: They got canned
  9. Riddle: A man is preparing for a business trip. He stops by his office on the way to the airport. The night watchman stops him before he leaves and asks him not to get on the flight. He explains he had a dream that the plane crashed and everyone on board died. The man does cancel his trip. And sure enough, the plane does crash, killing everyone on board. He gave the watchman a few thousand dollars for saving his life and then fired him. Why?
    Answer: A night watchman isn't supposed to sleep on the job
  10.  Riddle: People make me, save me, change me, raise me. What am I?
    Answer: Money
  11. Riddle: What is the difference between a jeweler and a jailer?
    Answer: A jeweler sells watches while a jailer watches cells

Math Riddles for Adults

Colorful wooden numbers on blank background
Shutterstock / bohemama
  1. Riddle: When my dad was 31, I was just 8 years old. Now his age is twice as old as my age. What is my current age?
    Answer: 23 years old
  2. Riddle: The day before yesterday I was 21, and next year I will be 24. When is my birthday?
    Answer: December 31; today is January 1
  3. Riddle: It is 9 a.m. now. Josephine studies for two hours, takes a bath for one hour, and then has lunch for 1 hour. How many hours are left before 9 a.m. tomorrow?
    Answer: 20 hours
  4. Riddle: There is an empty basket that is one foot in diameter. What is the total number of eggs that you can put in this empty basket?
    Answer: Just one—after that, it doesn't count as an empty basket
  5. Riddle: Which is heavier: a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?
    Answer: Neither; they both weigh a ton
  6. Riddle: If a zookeeper had 100 pairs of animals in her zoo, and two pairs of babies are born for each one of the original animals, but sadly, 23 animals don't survive, how many animals do you have left in total?
    Answer: 977 animals (100 x 2 = 200; 200 + 800 = 1000; 1000 – 23 = 977)
  7. Riddle: Four cars come to a four-way stop, each coming from a different direction. They can't decide who got there first, so they all go forward at the same time. All four cars go, but none crash into each other. How is this possible?
    Answer: They all made right-hand turns
  8. Riddle: How much dirt is there in a hole that is three feet wide, four feet long, and five feet deep?
    Answer: There is no dirt in it—it's a hole
  9. Riddle: What is the smallest number that increases by 12 when it is flipped and turned upside-down?
    Answer: 86. When turned upside-down and flipped, it becomes 98
  10. Riddle: I am a three-digit number. My tens digit is five more than my ones digit. My hundreds digit is eight less than my tens digit. What number am I?
    Answer: 194
  11. Riddle: When someone asks Michael how old he is, he replies, "In two years I will be twice as old as I used to be five years ago." How old is he?
    Answer: 12
  12. Riddle: Turn me on my side, and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?
    Answer: The number eight
  13. Riddle: I am an odd number. Take away just one letter and I become even. What number am I?
    Answer: Seven
  14. Riddle: If two's company and three's a crowd, what are four and five?
    Answer: Nine
  15. Riddle: A hen and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half. How many eggs does one hen lay in one day?
    Answer: 2/3 an egg

READ THIS NEXT: Trick Questions (With Answers!) That Will Completely Bend Your Mind.

Fun Riddles About Love

woman hugging herself over pink background
Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi
  1. Riddle: I can break, I can get clogged, I can be attacked, I can be given, I can be kept, I can be crushed, yet I can be whole at the same time. What am I?
    Answer: A heart
  2. Riddle: What do you call two Italian ants in love?
    Answer: Rome-ants
  3. Riddle: How come it's so easy to fall in love with a French chef?
    Answer: They know how to butter you up
  4. Riddle: You see a boat filled with people, yet there isn't a single person on board. How is that possible?
    Answer: Everyone is married
  5. Riddle: Why did the banker break up with his girlfriend?
    Answer: He was losing interest
  6. Riddle: What did the paper clip say to the magnet?
    Answer: "I find you very attractive"
  7. Riddle: What do snakes give each other when they say goodbye?
    Answer: A tiny hiss on the cheek
  8. Riddle: I am present at the beginning of love; the start of life and I am the end of evil. What am I?
    Answer: The letter "L"
  9. Riddle: Most of the time, my color is red, I am beautiful, and everyone loves me, especially ladies. Sometimes I can hurt you. I don't mean it, I am sorry. What am I?
    Answer: A rose
  10. Riddle: I am a nine-lettered word and rhyme with "perfection." People use me as another name for love. What am I?
    Answer: Affection
  11. Riddle: What can fill a room but takes up no space?
    Answer: Love

Word Riddles for Adults

Assorted Wood Letters Isolated on White Bckground
Shutterstock / Heero22
  1. Riddle: Lovely and round, I'm shimmery white, grown in the darkness, a lady's delight. What am I?
    Answer: A pearl
  2. Riddle: I have a head and a tail but no body. What am I?
    Answer: A coin
  3. Riddle: I have words, but I never speak. What am I?
    Answer: A book
  4. Riddle: I have legs, but I do not walk. What am I?
    Answer: A chair
  5. Riddle: I am harder to catch the faster you run. What am I?
    Answer: Your breath
  6. Riddle: I taste better than I smell. What am I?
    Answer: A tongue.
  7. Riddle: What starts with T, ends with T, and has T in it?
    Answer: A teapot
  8. Riddle: I have many keys, but I can't open a single lock. What am I?
    Answer: A piano
  9. Riddle: What word is five letters long and actually becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
    Answer: "Short"
  10. Riddle: A word I know, six letters it contains, remove one letter, and 12 remain. What is it?
    Answer: "Dozens"
  11. Riddle: What English word has three consecutive double letters?
    Answer: "Bookkeeper"
  12. Riddle: What 5-letter word typed in all capital letters can be read the same upside down?
    : "SWIMS"
  13. Riddle: What common English verb becomes its own past tense by rearranging its letters?
  14. Riddle: This thing, all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers. Gnaws iron. Bites steel. Grinds stone to dust. Slays king. Ruins town. Pushes tall mountains into the Earth. What is it?
    Answer: Time
  15. Riddle: Where do you take a sick boat?
    Answer: To the dock-tor
  16. Riddle: How do you spell COW in thirteen letters?
    Answer: "SEE O DOUBLE YOU"
  17. Riddle: I have a neck but no head. What am I?
    Answer: A guitar
  18. Riddle: What word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly?
    Answer: "Incorrectly"
  19. Riddle: I begin with an "E" and contain just one letter. What am I?
    Answer: An envelope
  20. Riddle: What five-letter word is pronounced the same even if you take away four of its letters?
    Answer: "Queue"

Why Is It Important for Adults to Do Riddles?

As mentioned above, regularly engaging in brain teasers is a great way to boost your critical thinking skills and creative abilities. Researchers have gone so far as to suggest that puzzles can actually preserve cognitive function among individuals suffering from cognitive decline.

And that's not even the best part. Besides keeping our brains sharp, riddles can make us incredibly joyful. Seriously.

Do you know that "aha!" moment you experience when you finally get to the bottom of whatever brain teaser you're working on? Well, fMRI machines have actually been able to capture what happens in the brain during this time.

According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Human Brain Mapping, finally finding a solution to whatever you're working on results in a rush of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain responsible for rewards and reinforcement.

With that, we can determine that the best riddles out there don't just keep you sharp—they also leave you extremely satisfied.

Wrapping Up

That's it for our list of riddles for adults! Be sure to check back with us soon for more ways to keep your brain happy and healthy. You can also sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on what's next!

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