27+ Hilarious Chinese Jokes to Make You Laugh Like Crazy (For All Levels)

Chinese jokes

Chinese jokes are a great way to practice your Chinese: not only do they provide a lot of useful vocabulary but also allow you to see Chinese grammar rules and sentence structures in action. They’re also excellent for pronunciation practice, especially since sharing the joke with your friends often requires some repetition.

Chinese jokes also offer a glimpse into many different facets of Chinese culture. When you get the jokes in Chinese, you’re a step further in understanding the mindset of Chinese people. In this article, we rounded up the funniest Chinese jokes and puns that’ll leave you and your friends in stitches.

Let’s go.

What's Covered in This Article

What Is a Good Chinese Joke (And What’s Considered Funny to the Chinese)

Many Westerners find Chinese jokes rather hard to understand. Some even speculate that China is totally a humorless society.

Well, contrary to popular belief, Chinese people are every bit as fun as Westerners!

What makes it difficult for the non-Chinese to get is the fact that most Chinese jokes are full of cultural references that can easily get lost in translation. Once you have to explain a joke, it pretty much loses its comedic power. 

The language itself creates a barrier too.

In many languages, jokes are simply based on sarcasm or exaggeration with the help of specific, generally understood intonations. In Chinese, however, jokes are often tied to linguistics. As a tonal language, Chinese has tons of homonyms and homophones. So a lot of funny Chinese jokes are based on puns or plays-on-words.

Also, what’s not so funny in English may become quite funny said in Chinese. For example, “cold jokes” are wildly popular in China, though not so much in the West. A cold joke is like a lame “dad joke” without an ending or punchline that’s intentionally designed to sound dumb. But the dumbness of the joke is what makes it funny.

Want a piece of Chinese humor?

Then you’re going to love what you are about to read. We’ve got the best of Chinese jokes, puns and cold jokes common in Chinese society all in one spot.

But first, let’s take a look at…

How to Tell a Joke in Chinese

The word for “joke” in Mandarin Chinese is 笑话 (xiàohua). If you break down the word into characters, 笑 (xiào) stands for “laugh”, and 话 (huà) means “talk”. You may also use 段子 (duànzi), which is a more colloquial expression for jokes in Chinese, especially those in bad taste.

Having at least a little bit of an understanding of what Chinese people find funny will definitely help win over some potential Mandarin-speaking friends. So, here are a few tips for telling a joke, or a 笑话 (xiàohua) in Chinese.

Chinese Jokes Don’ts

Chinese jokes don'ts

Humor is a tricky thing. A lot of things you can joke about in your culture can be downright offensive to the Chinese. Most guides teach you the Dos, but we think it’s more critical to avoid the Don’ts when you attempt to tell a joke in Chinese.   

1. Don’t make jokes that cause someone to lose face. If you’re unsure what it means, think about why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscar. Being publicly embarrassed or humiliated is the last thing people want in China. Avoid anything that would make a person look bad or appear weak, even if it’s an unintentional joke.

2. Don’t make jokes about someone’s personal life. Romantic relationships are a very private matter in Chinese culture, and jokes about them are considered rude as opposed to funny. Only the closest of friend groups can exchange the kind of jokes you hear in a typical American sitcom. And avoid joking about sex too – it’s a taboo subject. 

3. Don’t make politically sensitive jokes. Making fun of politicians is common in the West, but it’s a big no-no in China. Although Chinese people frequently joke about their government and leaders in private, “outsiders” shouldn’t. Even the JPMorgan CEO Jamie Damin had to apologize for his joke that his bank would outlast China’s Communist Party. Remember, CCP doesn’t want to lose face either.

Chinese Jokes Dos

Now that we’ve covered the don’ts, let’s get to the dos.

1. Start your conversation with: 你想听个笑话/段子吗?(Nǐ xiǎng tīng gè xiàohua/duànzi ma?) – “Do you want to hear a joke?”. Even if people are not in the mood to smile, you can always try to make them laugh.  

2. Choose a simple joke first. Look for jokes with very basic Chinese vocabulary, sentence structure, and punch lines. As you become more comfortable telling simple jokes in Chinese, you can move on to the more intricate ones.

3. Craft your opening sentence. If you are telling a story, you can always start with the cliché 有一天 (yǒu yì tiān) – “Once upon a time”. It’s been used in many Chinese jokes as an introduction and you can do it too.

4. Keep your cool. Funny as it may sound, in China, a lack of facial expressions while delivering witty one-liners is considered more entertaining. If you can make people laugh without showing any facial expression or making your joke or pun seem unintentional, you’ve nailed it!

5. Ask for feedback. Joke or not, you’re going to mess up from time to time and say things in the wrong way. If you can’t make your Chinese-speaking friend laugh (which is totally okay), ask him, “你听懂了吗? (Nǐ tīng dǒng le ma)” – Did you get it?

27 Best (And Worst) Chinese Jokes and Puns

best Chinese jokes

Can’t pull off a joke in Chinese on your own? We’ve got some of the best jokes you can steal to get your Mandarin-speaking friends cracking up, again and again!

These Chinese jokes are organized into five different categories, all complete with characters, Pinyin, and English translations. We also explain the puns where needed.

Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to try them out at your next Chinese gathering!

Simple Chinese Jokes for Beginners

We all have to start somewhere. If you are just getting started on your Chinese learning journey, here are 6 short and easy jokes in Chinese to get your friends giggling.

Since the jokes are a mix of Chinese and English, it helps if you know at least some basic Chinese. If you can’t read Chinese Pinyin, here’s a quick guide for you to learn.

Joke #1: How Are You

Joke #2: Vampires

  • – 吸血鬼喜欢吃辣吗?
    Xīxuèguǐ xǐhuan chī là ma?
    Do vampires like spicy food?

    – 不喜欢。
    Bù xǐhuan。
    No, they don’t.

    – 为什么?

    – 因为他们喜欢blood。
    Yīnwèi tāmen xǐhuan blood.
    Because they like blood.

  • What’s so funny?
    “Blood” sounds a lot like 不辣的 (bú là de) in Chinese – meaning “not spicy”.

Joke #3: Job

  • – 我有一份惊人的工作。
    Wǒ yǒu yí fèn jīngrén de gōngzuò.
    I have an amazing job.

    – 什么工作?
    Shénme gōngzuò?
    What job?

    – 挖藕。
    Wā ǒu.
    Digging lotus roots.

  • What’s so funny?
    挖藕 (wā ǒu) – “digging lotus roots” sounds like “wow” in English.

  • Related reading:
    How to talk about your job in Chinese  

Joke #4: Math Teacher

  • – 你好,我是数学王子秦老师。
    Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì shùxué Wáng Zǐqín lǎoshī.
    Hello, I am Wang Ziqin, the math teacher. 

    – 你好秦老师。
    Nǐhǎo, Qín lǎoshī.
    Hello, Teacher Qin.

    – 我姓王…
    Wǒ xìng Wáng…
    My surname is Wang…

  • What’s so funny?
    The guy thought the teacher called himself the Prince of Mathematics: 我是/数学王子/秦老师 (Wǒ shì / shùxué wángzǐ / Qín lǎoshī) – “I am / math prince / Teacher Qin”, while 王子秦 (Wáng Zǐqín) is actually the teacher’s name (王 Wáng being the family name and 子秦 Zǐqín being the given name).

  • Related reading:
    How to introduce yourself in Chinese

Joke #5: Frogs

  • 青蛙见到一只牛蛙,问它:“你是牛蛙吗?”
    Qīngwā jiàn dào yì zhī niúwā, wèn tā: “Nǐ shì niúwā ma?”
    A frog met a bullfrog, and asked him, “Are you a bullfrog?”

    Niúwā huídá: “Bù, wǒ shì Hàokè.”
    The bullfrog answered, “No, I am Hulk.”

  • Related reading:
    How to say your name in Chinese

Joke #6: Doctor and Patient

  • – 医生,我还能活多久?
    Yīshēng, wǒ hái néng huó duō jiǔ?
    Doctor, how long have I got left?

    – 十…

    – 太好了,是十天,十个月,还是十年?
    Tài hǎo le, shì shí tiān, shí gè yuè, háishì shí nián?
    Great, is it ten days, ten months, or ten years?

    – 九…

  • Related Reading:
    How to count in Chinese

Chinese Puns

In Chinese, puns are called 谐音梗 (xié yīn gěng). Mandarin Chinese is perfectly suited to puns because it has so many homophones. In this section, we put together 7 of the best Chinese puns to knock you down.

Joke #7: Fox

  • – 狐狸为什么站不起来?
    Húli wèishénme zhàn bù qǐlái?
    Why can’t a fox stand up?

    – Yīnwèi tā hěn jiǎohuá.
    Because it’s foxy.

  • What’s so funny?
    The word 狡猾 (jiǎohuá) – “foxy” sounds the same as 脚滑 (jiǎo huá), meaning “feet slippery”. So the answer can be interpreted as “Because it’s got slippery feet.”

Joke #8: Seaside Jokes

  • – 小明和小红在海边讲笑话,然后两个人都死了。
    Xiǎomíng hé Xiǎohóng zài hǎi biān jiǎng xiàohua, ránhòu liǎng gè rén dōu sǐ le.
    Xiaoming and Xiaohong were telling jokes at the seaside, and then they both died.

    – 为什么?
    How come?

    – 因为海啸了。
    Yīnwèi hǎixiào le.
    Because of the tsunami.

  • What’s so funny?
    The word 海啸 (hǎixiào) – “tsunami” sounds the same as 海笑 (hǎi xiào), meaning “sea laughs”. So the answer can be interpreted as “Because the sea laughed.”

Joke #9: Running Bulk

  • 一只公鹿越跑越快, 最后它变成了高速公路。
    Yì zhī gōng lù yuè pǎo yuè kuài, zuìhòu tā biànchéng le gāosù gōnglù.
    A bulk ran faster and faster, and eventually, it became a high-speed road.

  • What’s so funny?
    公鹿 (gōng lù) – “male deer” sounds the same as 公路 (gōng lù) – “highway”.

Joke #10: Dragons

  • 龙妈妈把龙宝宝骂了,因为他偷看了成龙电影。
    Lóng māma bǎ lóng bǎobao mà le, yīnwèi tā tōu kàn le Chéng Lóng diànyǐng.
    Mama dragon scolded baby dragon because he secretly watched Jackie Chan movies.

  • What’s so funny?
    成龙 (Chéng Lóng), which is Jackie Chan’s Chinese name, literally means “become dragon” or “grown-up dragon”. (The word “adult” in Chinese is 成人 chéng rén – literally “become person” or “grown-up person”.)

Joke #11: Moose and Giraffe

  • 从前有只麋鹿,它在森林里玩,不小心走丢了。
    Cóngqián yǒu zhī mílù, tā zài sēnlín lǐ wán, bùxiǎoxīn zǒu diū le. 
    Once upon a time, there was a moose. He was playing in the forest and somehow lost his way.

    于是它给好朋友长颈鹿打电话:“喂, 我迷路啦。”
    Yúshì tā gěi hǎo péngyou chángjǐnglù dǎ diànhuà: “Wèi, wǒ mí lù la.”
    So he called his good friend giraffe, “Hey, I’m lost!” 

    长颈鹿听见了回答说:“喂, 我长颈鹿啦。”
    Chángjǐnglù tīng jiàn le huídá shuō: “Wèi, wǒ chángjǐnglù la.”
    The giraffe heard this and replied, “Hey, I’m giraffe!”

  • What’s so funny?
    The word 麋鹿 (mílù) – “moose” sounds the same as 迷路 (mí lù), meaning “lose one’s way”. The moose meant to say, “Hey, I am (it’s) moose.” 

Joke #12: Crab and Octopus

  • 有天螃蟹出门不小心撞倒了章鱼。
    Yǒu tiān pángxiè chūmén, bùxiǎoxīn zhuàng dǎo le zhāngyú.
    One day, a crab was taking a walk and accidentally knocked over an octopus.

    Zhāngyú hěn shēngqì de shuō: “Nǐ shì búshì xiā a?” 
    The octopus said angrily, “Are you blind?” 

    螃蟹说:“不是, 我是螃蟹。” 
    Pángxiè shuō: “Búshì, wǒ shì pángxiè.”
    The crab said, “No, I am crab.”

  • What’s so funny?
    The word 瞎 (xiā) – “blind” sounds the same as 虾 (xiā) – “prawn”. “Are you prawn?” – that’s what the crab heard.

Cold Jokes in Chinese

cold jokes in Chinese

Cold Jokes or 冷笑话 (lěng xiào huà) in Mandarin Chinese are jokes that are funny by virtue of being not actually funny at all. The name comes from the fact that when someone hears a cold joke, he shivers in terror instead of laughing because the joke is so bad.

Are Chinese cold jokes “cold” enough for you? Read our favorite ones below to find out.

Joke #13: Polar Bear

  • 从前有一只北极熊买了一副墨镜。
    Cóngqián yǒu yì zhī běijí xióng mǎi le yí fù mòjìng. 
    Once upon a time, a polar bear bought a pair of sunglasses.

    Tā dài le mòjìng zhīhòu chénsī le yíhuìr, shuō dào:
    After putting on his sunglasses, he pondered for a while and said,

    “Tūrán hǎo xiǎng chī zhúzi ō!” 
    “I suddenly want to eat bamboo!”

Joke #14: Toothpick and Hedgehog

  • 有根牙签正在路上走着。
    Yǒu gēn yáqiān zhèngzài lù shàng zǒu zhe.
    A toothpick was walking down the street.

    他看到一只刺猬经过, 然后大喊:
    Kàn dào yì zhī cìwei jīngguò, ránhòu dà hǎn: 
    He saw a hedgehog pass by and shouted,

    “Děng děng wǒ! Gōngjiāochē! ”
    “Wait for me, bus!”

Joke #15: Fat Bum

  • 刚才看到个胖流浪汉。
    Gāngcái kàn dào gè pàng liúlànghàn.
    I just saw a fat bum.

    Wǒ wèn tā: “Zuòwéi yí gè liúlànghàn, nǐ wèishénme hái nàme pàng?”
    I asked him, “Why are you still so fat as a homeless man?” 

    Tā shuō: “Yīnwèi wǒ méi qián qù jiànshēnfáng. ”
    He said, “Because I have no money to go to a gym.”

Joke #16: Fish

  • 一条鱼在海里游泳,它越游越深,突然就哭了起来。
    Yì tiáo yú zài hǎi lǐ yóuyǒng, tā yuè yóu yuè shēn, tūrán jiù kū le qǐlái.
    A fish was swimming in the sea. It went deeper and deeper, and suddenly began to cry.

    Lìng yì tiáo yú jīngguò wèn tā: “Nǐ wèishénme kū ya?”.
    Another fish passed by and asked him, “Why are you crying?”

    Nà tiáo yú shuō: “ Wǒ gǎnjué yā lì hǎo dà ó.”
    That fish said, “I feel so much pressure.”

Chinese Character Jokes

The following jokes are linked with Chinese characters. If you know some basic characters, it will be easier to understand the jokes. It can also be fun to mix these into your routine for learning Chinese. If you don’t, no worries! We wrote down the explanation below each one.

Joke #17: Boating

  • 了先生有天去划船,于是…
    Yǒu tiān Le xiānsheng qù huá chuán, yúshì …
    Mr. Le went boating one day, and he…

    Jié jué jié jué jié jué jié jué.
    (Mr.了 is rowing the boat…)

Joke #18. Haircut

  • 王先生剪了个中分, 变成了全先生。
    Wáng xiānsheng jiǎn le gè zhōngfēn, biànchéng le Quán xiānsheng.
    Mr. Wang got a middle part haircut and became Mr. Quan.

  • What’s so funny?
    With a middle part hairstyle, the character 王 looks like 全.

Joke #19. Shampoo

  • – 我最近在学汉字。
    Wǒ zuìjìn zài xué hànzì.
    I am learning Chinese characters lately.

    – 难吗?
    Nán ma?
    Are they difficult?

    – 不难。
    Bù nán.

    – 这(卤)是什么字?
    Zhè (卤) shì shénme zì?
    What’s this character (卤)?

    – 洗发水。
    Xǐfà shuǐ.

    (Actually “卤 lǔ” means “to stew in soy sauce”)

  • Related reading:
    How to express difficult in Chinese with “nan”

Joke #20: Handsome Me

  • -“我好帅”繁体字怎么写?
    “Wǒ hǎo shuài” fántǐ zì zěnme xiě?
    How do you write “I am so handsome” in traditional Chinese characters?

    – 为什么是繁体字?
    Wèishénme shì fántǐ zì?
    Why traditional Chinese?

    – 因为我不是简单的帅。
    Yīnwèi wǒ búshì jiǎndān de shuài.
    Because I am not simply handsome.

  • Related reading:
    Simplified vs traditional Chinese characters

Joke #21: Cup

  • 美国人:你见过木头做的杯子吗?
    Měiguó rén: Nǐ jiàn guò mùtou zuò de bēizi ma?
    American: Have you ever seen a cup made of wood?

    Zhōngguó rén: méiyǒu.
    Chinese: Nope.

    Měiguó rén: Nà wèishénme nǐmen Zhōngguó zì de “bēi ” shì mù zì páng?
    American: Then how come the Chinese character “杯” (cup) has the wood radical (木) in it?  

    Zhōngguó rén: Nǐ méi kàn dào “mù ” pángbiān yǒu gè “bù ” ma? Yě jiù shì shuō tā búshì mùtou zuò de.
    Chinese: Can’t you see there is a “不” (not) next to the “木” (wood)? It says cups are not made of wood.

  • Related reading:
    Most common Chinese radicals

Advanced Chinese Jokes

advanced Chinese jokes

Not a beginner in Chinese? We’ve got you covered. Drop some of these more intricate Chinese jokes to get the crow laughing with you.

Joke #22: Piggy’s Dream

  • 小猪从噩梦中惊醒,哭着对妈妈说:“我梦见自己长大以后做了水手,可是我不想做水手。” 猪妈妈安慰说:“傻孩子,不要怕,梦都是和现实相反的。” 果然,小猪后来做了火腿。

    Xiǎo zhū cóng èmèng zhōng jīng xǐng, kū zhe duì māma shuō: “Wǒ mèng jiàn zìjǐ zhǎngdà yǐhòu zuò le shuǐshǒu, kěshì wǒ bù xiǎng zuò shuǐshǒu. ” Zhū māma ānwèi shuō: “Shǎ háizi, búyào pà, mèng dōu shì hé xiǎnshí xiāngfǎn de.” Guǒrán, xiǎo zhū hòulái zuò le huǒtuǐ.

    Little piggy woke up from a nightmare. He cried and said to his mom, “I dreamed that I became a sailor when I grew up, but I don’t want to be a sailor.” Mama pig comforted him and said, “Silly child, don’t be afraid. Dreams are the opposite of reality.” Sure enough, later the little piggy became a ham.

  • What’s so funny?
    The word 水手 (shuǐshǒu) – “sailor”, literally means “water hand”. And guess what? Ham in Chinese – 火腿 (huǒtuǐ), when broken down into characters, means precisely the opposite – “fire leg”.

Joke #23: Dumplings

  • 两个饺子结婚了,送走客人后新郎回到卧室,发现床上躺着一个肉丸。新郎大惊,问: “你是谁?” “我脱了衣服你就不认识我了?” 肉丸害羞地说。

    Liǎng gè jiǎozi jiéhūn le, sòng zǒu kèrén hòu xīnláng huí dào wòshì, fāxiàn chuáng shàng tǎng zhe yí gè ròuwán. Xīnláng dà jīng, wèn: “Nǐ shì shéi?”. “Wǒ tuō le yīfu nǐ jiù bú rènshi wǒ le?”, ròuwán hàixiū de shuō. 

    Two dumplings got married. After seeing off their guests, the bridegroom returned to the bedroom, only to find a meatball lying on the bed. The bridegroom was shocked, and he asked, “Who are you?” “You don’t recognize me without clothes?”, the meatball said shyly.

Joke #24: Tiger and Ladybug

  • 有只老虎正在睡觉,被苍蝇叮了一下。老虎起身去追,却只发现一只瓢虫,便说道:“小样,你穿个唐装,以为我就不认识你了?”

    Yǒu zhī lǎohǔ zhèngzài shuìjiào, bèi cāngying dīng le yíxià, lǎohǔ qǐ shēn qù zhuī, què zhǐ fāxiàn yì zhī piáochóng, biàn shuō dào: “Xiǎoyàng, nǐ chuān gè tángzhuāng, yǐwéi wǒ jiù bú rènshi nǐ le?”

    A tiger was bitten by a fly while sleeping. He got up to chase the fly, but only found a ladybug. He said, “ Little punk, you think I wouldn’t recognize you in a Tang suit?” 
Tang suit
Tang suit is a type of traditional Chinese jackets.

Joke #25: Daddy and Mommy

  • 小女孩模仿台湾电视剧问:“爸比, 我们去哪里啊?”爸爸没有理她。妈妈笑了笑,小女孩转过头看看妈妈:“妈比,你笑什么?”

    Xiǎo nǚhái mófǎng Táiwān diànshìjù wèn: “Bǎbí, wǒmen qù nǎli a?” Bàba méiyǒu lǐ tā. Māma xiào le xiào, xiǎo nǚhái zhuǎn guò tóu kànkan māma: “Mābí, nǐ xiào shénme?”

    A little girl imitated a Taiwanese TV drama and asked, “Papi, where are we going?” Dad ignored her. Mom laughed, and the little girl turned her head, looked at her mom, and said, “F*ck, what are you laughing at?”

  • What’s so funny?
    爸比 (bǎbí) is a colloquial term for “daddy” in Taiwanese Mandarin, coming from the English word “Papi”. You can’t simply replace the 爸 (bà) in it with 妈 (mā) for “mommy”. And 妈比 (mābí), unfortunately, is just a bad word in Mainland China.

  • Related reading:
    Taiwanese Mandarin vs Mainland Chinese Mandarin

Joke #26: Homework

  • 我儿子的班主任刚跟我打电话, 喊我考虑一下是否把儿子送到智障儿童学校,因为他的作业做得一直非常差。当我听到这个消息的时候我感觉整个天都塌下来了,因为他的作业一直都是我做的。

    Wǒ érzi de bānzhǔrèn gāng gēn wǒ dǎ diànhuà, hǎn wǒ kǎolǜ yíxià shìfǒu bǎ érzi sòng dào zhìzhàng értóng xuéxiào, yīnwèi tā de zuòyè zuò de yìzhí fēicháng chà. Dāng wǒ tīng dào zhè ge xiāoxi de shíhou wǒ gǎnjué zhěng gè tiān dōu tā xiàlái le, yīnwèi tā de zuòyè yìzhí dōu shì wǒ zuò de.

    The headteacher of my son’s class just called me asked if I’d consider sending my son to a school for retarded children, because his homework has been consistently poor. I felt like the sky was falling when I heard the news since I am the one who has been doing all his homework.

Worst Chinese Joke

Got a wicked sense of humor? We have this horrible Chinese joke for you. Cringe and groan all you want, it made my day…

Joke #27: Flies

  • 小苍蝇和苍蝇妈妈在吃饭。小苍蝇问:“妈妈, 我们为什么要吃屎啊?” 苍蝇妈妈给了小苍蝇一巴掌后说:“吃饭的时候不要说那么恶心的话!”

    Xiǎo cāngying hé cāngying māma zài chīfàn. Xiǎo cāngyíng wèn: “Māmā, wǒmen wèishénme yào chī shǐ a?” Cāngying māma gěi le xiǎo cāngying yì bāzhang hòu shuō: “Chī fàn de shíhou búyào shuō nàme ěxīn de huà!”

    The little fly and mama fly are eating. The little fly asked: “Mom, why do we eat poop?” Mama fly slapped the little fly and said: “Don’t say such disgusting words in the middle of a meal!” 

Do You Want to Better Understand Chinese Jokes?

Did you enjoy the Chinese jokes above?

Keep in mind that these were the most translatable ones. Your next step will be to understand jokes directly in Chinese. And this is achievable through a structured online Chinese course. We’ve reviewed the ranked every Chinese course on the internet (yes, we did!), and here are the best ones for 2024.

Scroll to Top