Logical fallacies can be humorous, especially the linguistic ones based on ambiguity or vagueness, which are often the source of puns. This page collects together funny signs and traditional jokes based on logical fallacies.
The main purpose of this page is to have a few laughs, but you can also learn something about fallacies while doing so. After each joke or sign there is a link to the relevant fallacy in the files. You can test your understanding by trying to figure out what fallacy the humor in an example is based on, then clicking on the word "Fallacy" beneath it to see if you are right. The important thing is to understand what went wrong logically in the examples, rather than to be able to identify fallacies by name―though there's nothing wrong with that, either!
For more fallacy-based humor, see the separate page for Humorous Headlines on the Main Menu to your left.
One advantage of being a blind driver is that it doesn't matter whether you're going forward or backward.1
|A doctor examines a patient with an unknown ailment. "I can't figure out what's wrong with you," the doctor tells the patient, "but I think it's due to drinking." "Well, then," the patient replies, "I'll come back when you've sobered up."2|
|A woman and her young daughter visiting a natural history museum are looking at a dinosaur skeleton, when the daughter asks her mother how old it is. The mother turns to a museum guard nearby and asks him. "That there skeleton is 70 million and two years old," the guard replies. "Wow!" the daughter exclaims, but her mother is puzzled: "How can they know that so precisely?" she asks the guard. "Well, I don't know," he replied, "but when I started work here a couple years ago they told me it was 70 million years old."2||
Was that A.M. or P.M.?3
A patient goes to a psychiatrist who shows him a Rorschach ink blot. "What do you see?" the psychiatrist asks the patient. "A naked woman," the patient answers. "Okay, what do you see in this one?" the psychiatrist asks, holding up a second blot. "Two naked women," the patient answers. "Fine, what about this one?" "A couple having sex." "Alright," the psychiatrist says, putting the ink blots aside, "I think I see your problem: you're obsessed with sex." "I'm obsessed with sex?" the patient replies, "you're the one with the pornography collection!"2
A classified newspaper ad3
Two men were waiting on a platform for a train to arrive. The older, middle-aged man was dressed in a conservative business suit and carrying a briefcase. The younger one was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, and was carrying a backpack. The older man glanced at an expensive gold wristwatch. Seeing this, the younger man asked: "What time is it, sir?" The older man didn't answer; in fact, he didn't even seem to notice the question. "Excuse me, sir," the younger man asked again, "Could you please tell me the time?" Again, there was no answer. After a pause, the younger man continued: "Hey, I saw you look at your watch. I don't have one. I asked you politely for the time. Why can't you tell me?" Finally, the older man turned to the younger one. "Look," he said, "if I tell you the time, we'll strike up a conversation. We'll get to know each other and become friends. I'll invite you to my house one evening for dinner. You'll meet my lovely unmarried daughter who is just about your age. You'll ask her out on a date and end up falling in love with her. She'll also return your feelings since you're just her type. You'll ask her to marry you, and she'll accept. The two of you will get married." The older man stopped talking at that point. "Assuming that all that happens as you say," the younger man replied, "what would be so wrong with that?" "I don't want my daughter marrying a man who can't afford a watch!"2
They're vegan as of now.4
No wonder they're hiring.5
|A Gentile man met a nice Jewish girl and fell in love with her. He asked her to marry him, but she told him that she couldn't do so unless he converted to Judaism. The man, who wasn't particularly religious, had only one problem: he was uncircumsized and would have to have the procedure performed in order to convert. He talked to a male Jewish friend:
"Irving, you're circumsized, right?"
"Yes, of course," Irving replied.
"Did it hurt?"
"Well, I was only about a week old when it was done, so I don't really remember any pain," Irving answered. "But I can tell you this: it was nearly a year before I could walk!"2
During World War II, rescue workers digging in the ruins of an apartment house blown up in the London blitz, found an old man lying naked in a bathtub, fully conscious. He said to his rescuers: "You know, that was the most amazing experience I ever had. When I pulled the plug and the water started down the drain, the whole house blew up."6
- Doug Lansky, compiler, Signspotting: Absurd & Amusing Signs from Around the World, (2005).
- The jokes on this page are traditional ones, and their authors unknown, so no sources are given.
- "Headlines", The Tonight Show.
- "Eat Family First?", Funny Signs.
- "Wendy’s Secret Ingredient", Funny Signs.
- Edward R. Tufte, Data Analysis for Politics and Policy (1974), cited in: Leon Gordis, Epidemiology (2nd edition, 2000), pp. 102 & 109.