In English, there are "classic" knock-knock jokes (1) based on puns, and two-line question-answer jokes (2) with witty punchlines:


xxx: Knock knock!

yyy: Who's there?

xxx: Lego!

yyy: Lego who?

xxx: Lego to the movies!


Q: Where do astronauts hang out?

A: Spacebar.

There are more varieties, of course, but I'm only interested in these two, as they both are concise and don't require a setting or a backstory.

Question: Are there similar jokes in the Russian language that are short, based exclusively on puns and wordplay, and that are currently popular? Some examples would be great. Thanks!

  • It is not a question about language, it's too broad and by definition can not have one answer.
    – shabunc
    Feb 16, 2016 at 3:23
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    @shabunc The question certainly is about Russian language, and it certainly can have one answer ("Is there a similar phenomenon?" "Yes, there is".)
    – mustaccio
    Feb 16, 2016 at 4:10
  • 3
    I think many Stierlitz jokes fall under that type.
    – Shady_arc
    Feb 18, 2016 at 8:02
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    Why someone tries closing it and downvotes? I don't see a problem here. Where else are you supposed to make a question about culture and language? Forums are bad idea and work badly nowadays, you need to register, invent a password, etc, and deal with people expressing themselves but giving little value. Here instead are people willing to help. It's broad, yet it's not a discussive question like "post your jokes here". I don't see why this SE section should limit itself to grammar peculiarities (given that all word questions are directed to dictionaries).
    – user1514
    Feb 18, 2016 at 12:41
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    BTW, the reason SO/SE appeared was that forums degraded and gave poor answers with a lot of useless opinionated discussion. I think the answers here maintain the intent of SO/SE, of giving value and refraining from empty discussions.
    – user1514
    Feb 18, 2016 at 12:47

6 Answers 6


I am not quite sure but the following jokes should correspond to the "question -answer "type.

– Ты высыпаешься по ночам? – Куда высыпаюсь?

– Сколько бы вы дали мне лет? – Вам своих мало?

– До меня не доходят смс! – Спокойно, прочтите еще раз.

– Этот поезд куда следует? – Куда следует.

– Это курица? – Нет, кушается.

  • 1
    спасибо поржал!
    – user1514
    Feb 14, 2016 at 15:15
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    I would like to mention another type: a statement (or rather an action ) – a comment. Почтальон Печкин разнес почту. Здание восстановлению не подлежит.
    – V.V.
    Feb 18, 2016 at 15:55
  • Of course, Schtirlitz jokes come to mind :) Feb 18, 2016 at 22:02

I doubt there is such thing, but here you can find the list of the most popular anecdote topics:

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Анекдот#Распространённые темы русских анекдотов

  • 1
    Спасибо за ссылку, повеселилась.
    – V.V.
    Feb 12, 2016 at 14:58
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    Link-only answers are discouraged on this site. Could you please cite the relevant part of the linked resource in your post? Thanks!
    – Quassnoi
    Feb 12, 2016 at 15:43
  • A bit too general I'd say, as in this article on British homour: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_humor Would like to see something more to the point.
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 12, 2016 at 20:05

Somehow popular is the genre of пирожки, poems in iamb but without rhyme. Appeared in 2003 in the internets.

These are several random (not interconnected) examples of pirozhki:

олег на утреннике в школе
глядит на пляшущих детей
и понимает что для счастья
порой достаточно кота

вчера я продал душу черту
причем по выгодной цене
но он заметил в ней дефекты
и по гарантии вернул

я сзади подойду прикрою
ладонями твои глаза
и буду слушать грустно виктор
иван василий константин 

когда мы встретились глазами
мы оба поняли что нам
необходимо повстречаться
друг с другом чем нибудь ещё


"а где тут руль?" — спросил гагарин
"деревня!" — буркнул королёв
"ещё спроси «а где тут вожжи»"
"ещё «поехали» скажи"

(punctuation is mine)

  • 1
    Pirozhki are cool, but have absolutely nothing to do with knock-knock jokes. Feb 17, 2016 at 15:50
  • The initial question title was about classical types of jokes, so pirozhki fit that question well. Now I see it's a bit different.
    – user1514
    Feb 17, 2016 at 17:46
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    @culebrón, I find your input very interesting and useful nonetheless. Please be so kind and don't delete it. I haven't yet had time to sit and ponder on the answers, and some of them are already missing. Moderators's been acting a bit uncooperative and counterproductive.
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:38
  • @biggvsdiccvs as I see the question now, pirozhki are what is asked about. There's lot of wordplay in them. Might be not as popular as Shtirlitz jokes, but worth mentioning.
    – user1514
    Feb 18, 2016 at 12:45
  • @culebrón Well, the question was about a particular type of joke. There is a lot of humor and wordplay in many different forms of poetry, including pirozhki, poroshki, and limericks, to use an English-language example. Do you really think they correspond to knock-knock jokes? Feb 18, 2016 at 22:08

There's nothing similar to knock-knock jokes in Russian (fortunately, I would say). There are plenty of jokes involving puns, and based exclusively on puns and wordplay, but not in a recognizable form with a rigid structure like that.

  • Are there any tendencies or patterns within the entirety of that pun/wordplay category? Do they gravitate more towards aphorisms/storytelling, or are they more like improvised/staged dialogues?
    – H. Zeta
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:47
  • 1
    I would say dialogues. There are some nice examples in V.V.'s answer, and they are all dialogues. There are also some jokes about people from Georgia and Armenia who don't understand some intricacies of the Russian language and make funny mistakes. These jokes can be obscene or innocent, stupid or smart, but there's often a pun. Feb 18, 2016 at 8:45
  • P.S. but dialogues within a story, not the astronauts hanging out at the spacebar kind. I thought of a few not involving any dialogue at all, just a pun in a story. Besides the ethnic jokes, there are quite a few with recurring characters, that's where you will often hear a pun. Feb 18, 2016 at 22:17

Not sure about popularity, but I personally find those funny:

xxx: - У нее иссяк запал.
yyy: - Что запало?
xxx: - Иссяк.


Q: Кулич будешь?

A: Я бросил. Мне бы выпечь.

Tell me if you need explanation.


Joke based on wordplay: maybe, "прибаутка" (see here)

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