Give Your Noggin a Workout with These Fun Brain Teasers

Give Your Noggin a Workout with These Fun Brain Teasers

Whether you're stuck in the car during a long road trip, waiting for the popcorn to pop before kicking off movie night, or are just looking to keep your mind occupied while you're puttering in the garden, brain teasers are a great way to boost your cognitive abilities. Like the old saying goes, "use it or lose it," and studies show that games that specifically engage your noggin can help improve your memory and problem-solving skills, promote creativity, and increase your attention span.

But brain teasers are more than just a workout for your gray matter. They're seriously fun—especially when they're super clever or funny, like the ones we've gathered below. They'll make you think for sure, but they're also pretty much guaranteed to get you giggling as hard as your favorite Dad wisecrack or knock-knock joke does.

And as you'll see, we've included not just more difficult brain teasers that are great for grown-ups, but also plenty of easier, kid-friendly thought puzzles and math riddles. That way, the whole family can work them out together at the dinner table. Because the only thing better than training your brain is bonding with your loved ones while you do it!

Let the Brain Teasers Begin!

light bulb illustration on 4 piece jigsaw puzzle
Nora Carol Photography - Getty Images

Funny Brain Teasers

  • Q: What can you put in a bucket to make it weigh less?
    A: A hole.

  • Q: What is faster, hot or cold?
    A: You can catch a cold, so hot is definitely faster.

  • Q: What kind of running also means walking?
    A: Running out of gas.

  • Q: Who is bigger: Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, or their baby?
    A: Their baby, because he is a little bigger.

  • Q: What has a lot of teeth but can't bite?
    A: A comb.

  • Q: Imagine you're in the forest, surrounded by ravenous, man-eating wolves. How do you put an end this terrible situation?
    A: Stop imagining it.

  • Q: What has a bottom at the top?
    A: Your legs.

  • Q: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
    A: Short.

  • Q: Why did the woman push her car to a hotel and tell its owner she’s bankrupt?
    A: Because she's playing Monopoly.

  • Q: How can a man who shaves many times a day still have a long beard?
    A: He’s a barber.

  • Q: Which tire doesn’t move when your car turns left?
    A: The spare tire.

  • Q: What kind of tree can you carry in your hand?
    A: A palm tree.

  • Q: How far can a bear run into the woods?
    A: Halfway. After that, he’s running out of the woods.

  • Q: When two snakes get married, what do their towels say?
    A: Hiss and hers.

  • Q: Which side of a chicken has more feathers?
    A: The outside.

Easy Brain Teasers

  • Q: You live in a one-story house made of redwood. What color are the stairs?
    A: There aren't any stairs. It's a one-story house!

  • Q: If an electric train is heading north, which way is the smoke going?
    A: There is no smoke. It's an electric train.

  • Q: I have two newly minted coins in my pocket. One isn't a nickel, but they total 30 cents. What are the coins?
    A: A quarter and a nickel—one isn’t a nickel but the other is.

  • Q: What kind of band doesn’t play music?
    A: A rubber band.

  • Q: I'm not psychic, but I can always predict the score of any baseball game before it starts. How do I do this?
    A: The score is always zero to zero before the game starts!

  • Q: A man is taking a walk when it starts to rain. He's not wearing a hat, and he doesn't have an umbrella, or anything else to cover his head. How does he manage to not get a single hair wet?
    A: He's bald.

  • Q: Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
    A: Mt. Everest was still the highest mountain the world—it just hadn't been discovered yet.

  • Q: What has a lot of keys but can’t open a lock?
    A: A piano.

  • Q: A plane crashes on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Where are the survivors buried?
    A: You don't bury survivors!

  • Q: There are 12 months in a year, and seven months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?
    A: All of them.

  • Q: I'm a six-letter word. My first three letters refer to an automobile and my last three letters refer to a household animal. My first four letters are the name of a fish, but I'm found in your house. What am I?
    A: Carpet.

  • Q: What can you hold without ever touching it?
    A: Your breath.

  • Q: I won't cry if you cut me, but you will! What am I?
    A: An onion.

  • Q: What 2 things can you never eat for breakfast?
    A: Lunch and dinner.

  • Q: There's a power outage and the lights go out. It's pitch black, but you have one match on you. Do you light the candle, the oil lamp or the fire first?
    A: You light the match first.

Difficult Brain Teasers

  • Q: What is special about these words: job, polish, herb?
    A: They are pronounced differently when the first letter is capitalized.

  • Q: Turn me on my side and I'm everything. Cut me in half and I'm nothing. What am I?
    A: The number 8.

  • Q: Can you name the three playing cards that have been place in a row using the following clues? There is a two to the right of a king. A diamond will be found to the left of a spade. An ace is to the left of a heart. A heart is to the left of a spade.
    A: Ace of diamonds, king of hearts and two of spades.

  • Q: What word has three double letters in a row?
    A: Bookkeeper.

  • Q: What is unique about the number 8,549,176,320?
    A: Each number, zero through nine, is listed in alphabetical order.

  • Q: What is made and bought by people who have no use for it, while the person who uses it can't see it or feel it?
    A: A coffin.

  • Q: What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?
    A: If you put the first letter of each word at the end instead, it will spell the same word backward.

  • Q: What is yours, but everyone else you know uses it?
    A: You name.

  • Q: If I am holding a bee, what do I have in my eye?
    A: Beauty. (It's a play on the famous proverb, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.")

  • Q: What can go up a chimney when down but can't go down a chimney when up?
    A: An umbrella.

  • Q: What word's first two letters signify a man, first three letters signify a woman, first four letters signify a great man, while the whole word signifies a great woman?
    A: Heroine.

  • Q: What runs but never walks, has a bed but never sleeps, a mouth that never speaks, and a head that never weeps?
    A: A river.

  • Q: A cowboy rides into town on Friday, stays for two nights, and leaves on Friday. How is this possible?
    A: His horse is named Friday.

  • Q: Two men wearing backpacks are in a desert. One is dead. The man who is alive has his backpack open, and the guy who is dead has his backpack closed. What's in the dead man’s backpack?
    A: A parachute.

  • Q: What can fill an entire room without taking up any space?
    A: Light.

Math Brain Teasers

triangle with 2 lines from top point to bottom side and 2 lines cutting across creating 9 sections but 18 possible triangles
Hearst Owned
  • Q: How many triangles are in the image above?
    A: 18. See the explanation.

  • Q: Using only addition, how can you add eight 8s to get the number 1,000?
    A: 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1,000.

  • Q: Mr. and Mrs. Smith have six sons, who each have one sister. How many people are in the Smith family?
    A: Nine. Each brother shares the same sister, so there are six boys and one girl, plus Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

  • Q: The ages of a mother and his daughter add up to 55. If you reverse the digits of the mother's age, you get the daughter's age. How old are they?
    A: The mother is 41, and the daughter is 14.

  • Q: How do you make the number 7 even without using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?
    A: Drop the "s" and "seven" becomes "even."

  • Q: How can you use the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 and the symbols + and = to make a true math equation?
    A: 2 + 5 = 3 + 4.

  • Q: A farmer has 24 cows. All but seven of them ran away. How many does he have left?
    A: Seven.

  • Q: What 4-digit number multiplied by 4 gives the same number in reverse?
    A: When multiplied by 4, the number 2178 is 8712.

  • Q: Which weighs more: 16 ounces of gold or a pound of feathers?
    A: They weigh the same. 16 ounces = 1 pound, no matter what's being weighed.

  • Q: How can 6 + 12 = 6?
    A: When you think in terms of time. 6 a.m. + 12 hours = 6 p.m.

  • Chet purchased a pair of pants and a shirt for $150. The pants were $100 more than the shirt. How did each item cost?
    A: Answer: The pants cost $125, the shirt $25.

  • What three numbers give the same result whether they're added or multiplied together?
    A: 1, 2 and 3 (1 + 2 + 3 = 6 and 1 x 2 x 3 = 6).

  • Q: What can you place between 5 and 6 to make the outcome greater than 5 but less than 6?
    A: A decimal point.

  • Q: If three bears can catch three fish in three minutes, how long will it take 100 bears to catch 100 fish?
    A: Three minutes. If one bear can catch one fish in three minutes, 100 bears catch can catch 100 fish in three minutes.

  • Q: What three-digit number has a second digit that is four times greater than the third digit, and a first digit that is three less than the second digit?
    A: 141.

  • Q: In your head, take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?
    A: 4100. But most people get tripped up at the end of the equation, when adding 10 to 4,090, and come up with 5,000.

Clever Brain Teasers

  • Q: If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a grin and I’ll always grin back. What am I?
    A: A mirror.

  • Q: What begins and ends with an E but only has one letter?
    A: An envelope.

  • Q: A man is standing on one side of a river, and his dog is on the other. The man calls his dog, who crosses the river without swimming and without using a boat or a bridge. How did the dog get across?
    A: The river was frozen.

  • Q: What building has the most stories?
    A: The library.

  • Q: Give me food, and I will live. Give me water, and I will die. What am I?
    A: Fire.

  • Q: In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?
    A: They were born in 2005 BC.

  • Q: If a sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece, what has the most?
    A: An hourglass. It has thousands of grains of sand.

  • Q: I'm always in you, sometimes on you, but if I surround you, I can kill you. What am I?
    A: Water.

  • Q: Two fathers and two sons are in a car, yet there are only three people in the car. How is this possible?
    A: They are grandfather, father, and son.

  • Q: What can you hold in your right hand but not in your left?
    A: Your left elbow.

  • Q: Where does today come before yesterday?
    A: The dictionary.

  • Q: Sometimes they're green, sometimes they're brown, and both of these times make me frown. But in between, for a little while, they're perfect and yellow and make me smile. What are they?
    A: Bananas.

  • Q: What runs though cities and towns, forest and fields, but never moves?
    A: A road.

  • Q: First, I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?
    A: Corn on the cob.

  • Q: If there are seven boys, and seven peaches in a basket, how do you give each boy a peach, but keep a peach in the basket?
    A: Give the last boy his peach in the basket.

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