Difference Between Joke and Riddle

Joke vs Riddle

Jokes and riddles are a great time pass and also a source of learning and fun. Both have been around since time immemorial and used to kill boredom at a gathering or to break ice when there is nothing else to do or say. Jokes are told to evoke laughter while riddles can also be at times funny. However, with riddles there is an element of puzzle involved which is not there in jokes. Despite similarities, there are differences between a joke and riddle that will be talked about in this article.


Joke is an ancient way of making people laugh. It is a short story or conversation between two people told in such a manner that it evokes a smile. Jokes contain humor and wit and are typically meant to entertain other people. The purpose of telling a joke in an audience is to make people laugh, and when a joke fails to elicit laughter, it is deemed to have failed or bombed. Most jokes, when one hears them repeatedly, lose their humor and fail to evoke laughter. There are jokes that are funny from start to finish and there are jokes that seem to have nothing in them even to smile till one hears the punch line that is at the end of such jokes.


A riddle is a puzzle or a brain teaser that is made of words with double meanings so as to create confusion in the minds of the listener. The listener, or the reader, has to solve the riddle and tell the answer. Riddles often require out of the box thinking to getting to the answer. In some cases, the person who asks a riddle also gives clues to the audience to get to the answer. There are riddles especially made for kids to help in their thinking power.

What is the difference between Joke and Riddle?

• A joke is meant to elicit laughter, whereas a riddle is thrown as a challenge to get to the answer.

• A joke has a punch line at the last, whereas a riddle has a veiled meaning that has to be deciphered.

• Jokes are always funny, whereas some riddle can be funny.

• A riddle is always tricky.

• Both jokes and riddles are a great way to time pass.

• A riddle may be accompanied by clues.

• Riddles come in rhymes, whereas jokes can be in the form of short stories or as a conversation between two people.