: a formulaic joke that begins with the words "Knock knock" in imitation of someone knocking on a door
The standard pattern of a knock-knock joke calls for a response of "Who's there?", a cryptic reply identifying the knocker, a further response repeating the name of the knocker followed by "who?", and a final joking reply typically featuring a pun or play on words.
William Cole … is a perpetrator of, and authority on, the knock-knock joke. "Knock-knock jokes are basically puns, that's all, and you've got to have a feel for the ludicrous," he says. …. he considers the following to be his best creation: "Knock knock." Who's there? "Amaryllis." Amaryllis who? "Amaryllis state agent. Wanna buy a house?"—Glenn Collins
Big Bird to audience: "You're having fun, right? Okay, let's do a knock-knock joke. Knock knock." Audience: "Who's there?" BB: "Ya." Audience: "Ya who?" BB: "See, I told you you were having fun." Groan if you like, but it's a hoot to a 4-year-old.—Steve Parks
Examples of knock-knock joke in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the WebFunny One-Liners for Kids Whoever invented knock-knock jokes deserves a no-bell prize.—Kelly O'Sullivan, Country Living, 29 Aug. 2023 Unlike knock-knock jokes and other jokes for kids, whose purpose is primarily laughter, riddles are designed to get the mental cogs moving, which can help teach your kids to become deeper thinkers.—Rebecca Norris, Country Living, 28 July 2023 The beach softball tournament is most noted for its first weekend ribald atmosphere, complete with team names not fit for a family newspaper and a Miss Emerson contest named after risqué knock-knock joke.—Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2023 Why are there not any knock-knock jokes about America?—Kelly O'Sullivan, Country Living, 1 June 2023 Woodpecker riddles inspire great knock-knock jokes.—San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2023
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'knock-knock joke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.