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Do you know any German jokes? Do they even exist? Well, despite what many of us might think, there are quite a number of them. And in fact, some pretty funny ones.
There is a common stereotype that Germans are serious people and thus don’t have time for a good joke. But this cannot be further from the truth. Jokes, referred to as ‘Witz’ in German, are a staple of German conversations and culture. German jokes derive their humor from wordplay, sentence construction, and pronunciations of certain words.
Below are several witty German jokes that will crack you up. Most of them require a bit of context to fully appreciate if you aren’t wholly familiar with German culture. Translations and (or) explanations have been provided. They will hopefully help you understand the jokes better and even learn how to tell some German jokes on your own.
Funny & Best German Jokes
German jokes can be categorized depending on their content and to whom they are addressed. Below are a few categories with examples.
1. Bauernregeln Witze
This is a classic type of German joke. It can be translated to mean farmer jokes. As such, these were often used to make fun of farmers. Usually, they have a bit of rhyme and express certain facts.
They are sometimes disguised as wise sayings but are primarily silly and meant to ridicule people and elicit laughter.
- “Wenn der Hahn kräht auf dem Mist, dann ändert sich das Wetter, oder es bleibt wie es ist.” – If the rooster crows on a heap of dung, the weather will either change or remain the same.
- “April und Weiberwill ändern sich schnell und viel.” – April and women’s whims change quickly and often. This is meant to make fun of a moody girl or lady.
- “Wenn noch im November steht das Korn, dann isses wohl vergesse worn.” – If the corn in the farm still stands or is not harvested by November, there is something the farmer forgot to do.
- “Liegt der Bauer tot im Zimmer, lebt er nimmer.” – If a farmer lies down dead in a room, he can’t live anymore.
- “Trinkt der Bauer und fährt Traktor, wird er zum Gefahrenfaktor.” – If a farmer is drinking while riding his tractor, he becomes a danger factor.
- “Willst Du Dir den Tag versauen, musst Du in den Spiegel schauen.” – If you want to ruin your day, just look in the mirror.
These German jokes make fun of government officers or civil servants (beamter) for their laziness and inefficiency. These jokes usually have some stock characters that are the butt of the marks.
- “Drei in einem Büro und einer arbeitet? Zwei Beamte und ein Ventilator!“
Translation: Three in the office, and one working? Two state officials and a fan!
This joke makes fun of state officials who just sit in the office all day and do nothing.
- “Zwei Jungen streiten sich darüber, wessen Vater der schnellste ist. Der erste sagt: “Mein Vater ist Rennfahrer, er ist der Schnellste.” “Das ist nichts”, sagt der andere. “Mein Vater ist ein Beamter, er ist so schnell, dass er, wenn die Arbeit um 17 Uhr endet, bereits um 13 Uhr zu Hause ist.”
Translation: Two boys argue about whose father is the fastest. The first one says: “My father is a racing driver. He is the fastest.” “That’s nothing,” says the other one. “My father is a Beamter. He is so fast that when work ends at 5 pm, he’s already home at 1 pm.”
This German joke again pokes fun at state officials who always leave work early.
- Besucher: “Sie haben viele Fliegen in diesem Büro.” Beamter: “Ja, 24/7.”
Translation: Visitor: “You have many flies in this office.” Beamter: “Yes, 24/7.”
Here, the Beamter is being made because his office is always full of flies, and he is too lazy to even swat flies out of his office.
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These are German jokes that ridicule Manta drivers. A Manta is a German sports car whose owners are considered dumb or obnoxious.
- Ein Mantafahrer hat auf seinem Beifahrersitz einen Papagei sitzen und das Fenster offen. Er hält an der roten Ampel neben einem Mercedes. Der Fahrer des Mercedes kurbelt sein Fenster ebenfalls runter und fragt: “Kann der auch sprechen?” Darauf der Papagei: “Weiß ich doch nicht!”
Translation: A Manta driver had a parrot in the passenger’s seat and his window open. He idled near a Mercedes at a red light. The driver of the Mercedes lowered his window and asked, “Can it talk?” Responded the parrot: “I don’t know!”
The implication here is that the Manta driver can’t even talk. The parrot is more alert than the driver.
- What does a Manta driver say to a tree after a crash? – “Why didn’t you get out of my way? I used the horn!”
Here the Manta driver is depicted as stupid enough to crash into a tree knowingly.
- A Manta driver at a garage: “Could you repair my horn?” Mechanic: “Your brakes aren’t working either.” Manta driver: “I know. That’s why I need to honk all the time.”
Again, this joke just pokes fun at the Manta drivers.
This literally translates to anti-joke. These are funny jokes in German that make no sense or don’t have a punch line. The absence of logic or humor is what makes them funny. These not-so-smart German jokes are meant to surprise or stump the listener with their stupidity.
- “Nachts ist es kälter als draußen.”
Translation: At night it’s colder than outside.
- “Zu Fuß ist es kürzer als über’n Berg.”
Translation: It’s shorter on foot than over a mountain.
- “Zwei Männer gehen über eine Brücke. Der eine fällt ins Wasser, der andere heißt Helmut.”
Translation: Two men are crossing a bridge. One falls into the water. The other is called Helmut.
- “Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einem Storch? Beide Beine sind gleich lang, besonders aber das linke.”
Translation: What’s the difference between a stork? Both legs are the same length, especially the left one.
- “Zwei Männer gehen durch die Wüste. Sagt der eine: “Lass mich mal in die Mitte.”
Translation: Two men are walking through the desert. One says: “Let me be in the middle.”
- “Was passiert mit einem roten Stein der ins Schwarze Meer fällt? Er wird nass.”
Translation: What happens if a red stone falls into the Black Sea? It’ll get wet.
Jokes About Germans
Below are a few hilarious jokes about Germans. Some of them make reference to their character, reputation, or language.
- How many Germans are required to change a light bulb? – One. They are efficient and don’t have humor.
The reference here is to the stereotype of Germans as efficient yet serious people.
- What tea do German football players drink? A PenalTea!
‘PenalTea’ has the word tea in it, but it also refers to penalties in the sport of football.
- What’s a German’s favorite number? Nein!
Nein means none in German, although it sounds like the word ‘nine’ in English. So, in other words, Germans don’t have a favorite number.
- A German and an American decide to build houses. They compete on who will finish first. A week later, the American announces, “Only seven days, and I’m done!” His German friend also announces excitedly, “Only seven more forms to fill out, and then I can get started!”
The joke alludes to the Germans’ love for bureaucracy hence why the German is still filling out forms for approval of the construction.
- Hans said his prayers: “God bless Mom, and God bless Dad, and please make Hamburg the capital of Germany.” Hans’ Father: “Why do you want Hamburg to be the capital of Germany?” Hans: “Because that’s what I wrote in my geography test.”
This one is self-explanatory, hopefully.
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Jokes About Germany
Regarding the country itself, here are a few short Germany jokes.
- After Germany was beaten 6 – 0 by Spain at the World Cup, Germans knew they had hit a new Löw.
Joachim Löw is the name of the longest-serving coach of the German football team. So this joke is a wordplay on his name, and it also highlights the magnitude of the loss.
- Have you heard about the new electric car from Germany? It’s called a Voltswagon.
The wordplay here involves the German automaker Volkswagen and the word ‘volt,’ which symbolizes electric power.
- In Germany, is it okay to say 21:00 or nein?
The time indicated is 9 p.m., while the word ‘nein’ sounds similar. ‘Nein’ also means ‘no’ in German, so the speaker could be playing with the two in this German joke.
- I’m not a big fan of tea in Germany. Over there, it’s “Der Tee.”
The words ‘Der Tee’ could be misconstrued to mean dirty.
- How do you know if a product is made in Germany? If it has the Guten Tag.
This is a wordplay on the word ‘tag.’ Guten tag is the German way of saying good day, and the word ‘tag’ means something different in English.
- Why is it that Germany has the lowest rate of Covid-19 infection in the world? They wash their Hans regularly.
Hans is a common name in Germany. The pronunciation is also similar to the word ‘hands.’
- Which snake are you most likely to see in Germany? The Vindscreen (or Vindow) Viper!
In German, the letter ‘w’ is pronounced as ‘v.’
There are German puns, too, just as in any other language. Puns are called ‘Wortspiele’ in German, which loosely translates to “Word games.”
- “Wenn es heute häute regnet, wird leder billig.”
Translation: If it rains skins today, leather will be cheap.
This pun plays on the similar pronunciation of the words heute, which means”today,” and häute, which means “skin.”
- “Warum sind seeräuber so schlecht in mathe? Weil sie Pi raten. “
Translation: Why were the pirates so bad at math? Because they guess Pi.
The wordplay uses the words seeräuber and piraten, both of which refer to pirates. The word raten also means ‘guess,’ which also adds to the wordplay.
- “Treffen sich zwei Jäger. Beide tot.”
Translation:Meet two hunters. Both dead.
The word treffen can either mean “to meet” or “to hit,” which explains the ending.
- “Wie nennt man eine gruppe von wolfen? Wolfgang “
Translation: What do you call a group of wolves? Wolfgang.
This one is a bit obvious. The name Wolfgang is a combination of the words ‘wolf’ and ‘gang’ to mean a gang of wolves. It is also a common name in Germany.
- “Arme haben beine. Beine haben keine arme; arme beine!”
Translation: Arms have legs. Legs don’t have arms; poor legs!
This is a nonsensical pun that focuses on the exact pronunciation of the words die arme and arme. Arme means “arms,” but it also means “poor” or “pitiful.”
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German Jokes in English
- “Hello, Bastien. Did you enjoy your vacation?” “No, I didn’t. I was given room number 100 at my hotel. Then the one fell off the sign on the door!”
In Germany, public restrooms are labeled ’00.’ In light of this, it shows that Bastien was assigned a restroom during his vacation.
- What do hand grenades and women have in common? When you pull the ring off, your house goes away.
This is a little divorce humor that pokes fun at what happens during divorces in Germany. In most cases, it is the woman who gets the marital home.
- A group of athletes meets at the Olympic village. One of them says to a German athlete, “Are you a pole vaulter?” The other says, “No, I’m German, and stop calling me Walter!”
The wordplay is in the word Pole – to mean someone from Poland, and Germans pronounce ‘W’ as ‘V,’ hence why the German thought he was being called Walter.
- A teenage boy called Hans had never spoken a single word since birth. One time, his Mom served him some soup. “The soup is cold,” he said. The mother was shocked to hear him speak, “Son, you’ve never said a thing since I gave birth to you. Today is the first time I have heard a word from you. Why?” Hans replied, “Because, until today, there was nothing to complain about.”
This is a joke that ridicules the culture of complaining in Germany.
- A German is on holiday in the US and starts working out shirtless at a beach. An American woman walks by, looks at his muscular but very hairy chest, and says, “Ugh, gross.” With a big smile, the German man says, “Danke.”
The wordplay is on the meaning of the word gross. In English, it means disgusting, but in German, it means big or large. So the German thought the American woman was complimenting his big chest, which wasn’t the case.
- Why do German children always look so serious? Because they’re Kinder-garten!
The German word “Kinder” means children, and “garten” means garden. When combined, the term “Kinder-garten” translates to “children’s garden” or “kindergarten” in English.
- Why did the German beauty contest judges choose a man as the winner? Because they wanted to think outside the bun!
The joke is a play on the stereotype of German women always wearing their hair in buns, with a little bit about a popular food chain.
- A German walks into a bar in London.
- German: “Two martinis, bitte.”
- Bartender: “Dry?”
- German: “Nein, I said TWO!”
This contains wordplay on the word dry. The English pronunciation of dry sounds like ‘three’ in Germany. So the German thought the English bartender meant three.
We all know the history of World War II, but did you know there’s a joke about how Germans conquered Poland?
- Why did the Germans cross the road? To get to Poland before the Russians!
The joke plays on the historical fact that during the early stages of World War II, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, which led to the outbreak of the war. The joke’s punchline, “To get to Poland before the Russians!” implies that the Germans were in a hurry to invade Poland before the Russians could.
The German language is known for its long and complex words, but this joke shows that even Germans can be confused by their terminology.
- Why did the German man break up with his girlfriend? Because she kept saying “Ich lebe dich” (I live you) instead of “Ich liebe dich” (I love you).
The German word “liebe” and “lebe” are homophones, meaning they sound the same but have different meanings.
The German Shepherd is a beloved dog breed, but this joke adds a little twist to the classic “why did the chicken cross the road?” joke.
- Why did the German Shepherd cross the road? To get to the barking lot!
The joke is a play on words that relies on the sound similarity between two words, “barking” and “parking.” The setup is similar to the classic “why did the chicken cross the road?” joke, but the punchline has a twist that involves a pun.
Finally, here’s a German joke start that plays off of the stereotype that Germans are always efficient.
- Did you hear about the new German microwave? It can defrost a frozen turkey in five seconds…but it also doubles as a bomb!
The joke plays on the stereotype that Germans are always efficient, even to the point of being overly efficient. The setup implies that the new German microwave is incredibly powerful and efficient. However, the punchline adds a twist by stating that the microwave doubles as a bomb.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.
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