A ___ walks into a bar.

On-Camera Joke  

A grasshopper walks into a bar and hops up on a barstool.  

The bartender looks up and says, “Hey, did you know we have a drink named after you?”  

“What?” says the grasshopper.  “You have a drink named Fred?”


Bars, taverns, and pubs have long been places where people go to meet friends, socialize over alcoholic drinks, and forget about their troubles.  If you stay there long enough, you will see all kinds of people walk in.  This makes the bar a perfect setting for strange encounters and funny stories.  Below are some of my favorites, along with explanations.

What’s So Funny?  

The bartender was referring to a minty-sweet, green alcoholic drink (crème de menthe and white crème de cacao) called a “grasshopper.”

More Bar Jokes

A three-legged dog walks into a saloon and says, “I’m looking for the man that shot my paw.”

Explanation: A common theme in cowboy movies is revenge hunting: looking for justice after one’s relative was killed.  In Western and Southern U.S. dialects, the word for father is Pa (or Paw).  A three-legged dog is obviously missing one leg; the word for a dog’s foot is “paw.”

A regular walks into a bar, sits down, and pulls out a piece of asphalt.  He says to the bartender, "I'll have the usual and one for the road."

Explanation: Someone who regularly drinks at the same bar is called a “regular.”  Because he comes so often, all the employees know his “usual” drink.  Someone orders a drink “for the road” to signal this will be the last drink before traveling home.

A guy walks into a bar and sits down on a stool.  While he's waiting for the bartender, he hears a little voice saying, "Hey, you look really good today; is that a new suit?" 

He looks around but doesn’t see anybody nearby.  Then, the little voice says, "You look really great.  Are you a model?" 

At this point, the bartender comes up and takes the guy’s order.  While his drink is being made, the guy hears the voice again, "I really like your haircut!" and then realizes the voice is coming from the dish of bar nuts nearby. 

When the bartender returns with the drink, the guy asks him, "What's the deal with these nuts?" 

The bartender responds, "Oh, the nuts are complimentary."

Explanation:  “Complimentary” has two meanings: 1) free for the guests to enjoy, 2) giving compliments (saying nice things about you).

A termite walks into a bar and says, “Where’s the bar tender?”

Explanation:  Termites are insects that like to eat wood.  The softest part of the bar is the most tender.  (Note: there is a difference in pronunciation here.  The person who serves drinks is a bartender.  The termite asks, “Where is the bar tender?”)

A man walks into a bar with a salamander on his shoulder.  He says “Gimme a vodka and lime…and a cola for my pet, Tiny. 

The bartender asks, "Why do you call him Tiny?"  

The man replies, "Because he’s my newt.” 

Explanation:  Newts and salamanders are small lizard-like animals.  Another word for “small” is “minute” (pronounced like my-newt).  Pronunciation note: When you say “give me” in fast, conversational English, it sounds like “gimme.”

A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew walked into a bar. The bartender says, "What is this, some kind of joke?"

Explanation:  This is a meta-joke, that is, a joke about a joke.  One type of joke has three people from different religious or ethnic backgrounds and then makes fun of their stereotypes.  In this case, the listener thinks he or she will hear a joke about religious stereotypes but then is surprised when the bartender makes a comment about this type of joke instead of actually continuing the joke.  Additionally, the expression, “Is this some kind of joke?” means “Are you teasing me?”

A horse walks into a bar.  The bartender looks up and says, “Hey, why the long face?”

Explanation:  The expression “long face” means “sad look,” which is a frequent situation for many who go to the bar to drink and forget their troubles.  In this case, the bartender asks this question to a horse, whose face is naturally long.

Three men are walking down the street.  One of them walks into a bar.  The other two duck and go around it.

Explanation:  Another meaning for the word “bar” is a metal rod.  If you are walking down the street without paying attention to where you are going, you might walk into something and hurt yourself.

A skeleton walks into a bar and says, “I'd like a beer and a mop.”

Explanation:  Since a skeleton is all bones, the beer will go in his mouth and run down all over the floor.

A man walks into a bar with a dog.  The bartender says, “Hey, no dogs in here!  Go on, get out!”

The man tells the bartender that his dog is special and can talk.  The bartender doesn’t believe him, so the man says, “If I can prove it, can we stay and drink?”

The bartender agrees, so the owner says, “Dog, what's on the top of the house?"

The dog barks, “Roof!" 

“That’s not talking,” says the bartender.  “Get out of here!”

"Wait!” says the dog owner.  “Dog, what does sandpaper feel like?” 

"Rough!" barks the dog. 

All right, I’ve heard enough!  Get out of here!” shouts the bartender.

“No, no, he really talks,” says the dog owner.  “Quick, dog, who is the best baseball player of all time?” 

"Ruth!” barks the dog.

The bartender grabs the dog and his owner and throws them out onto the street.

"Get out of here and don't come back," says the bartender.

The man and the dog are sitting on the curb. 

The dog looks at the owner and says, "Maybe I should have said Joe di Maggio.”

Explanation:  The words “roof, rough, and Ruth” all sound like a dog’s bark, so the bartender doesn’t believe the dog can really talk.  Two famous New York baseball players are Babe Ruth and Joe di Maggio.

Why You Need to Know This

The next time you are in a group of Americans and one of them says, “A __ walks into a bar,” get ready for a joke.  If you don’t get the joke, ask a friend privately afterwards.

Have you heard a joke where someone (or something) walks into a bar?  What is your favorite one?

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.