“A Plane has 500 Bricks. 1 Falls Out. How Many Are Left?” — Long Joke

Context :

W is my 17 year-old brother. He was born and raised in Utah, like me. Since I was the oldest, W always tried to find ways to one-up me. He still does so, and when I called him the other day, he told me he wanted to share a new joke he heard from a friend (so of course I asked if I could transcribe our call).

Text :

W : “Okay, so there’s a plane and it’s carrying 500 bricks. 1 of the bricks falls out of the plane. How many bricks are left?”

Me : “499?”

W : “Correct.”

Me : “That wasn’t a joke.”

W : “Just listen. Okay. You have a fridge and you need to put an elephant inside. What three steps do you take to put it in the fridge?”

Me : “Um. Open the fridge. Put the elephant inside. Shut the door?”

W : “Correct again. Now what four steps do you take to put a giraffe in the fridge?”

Me : “Open the fridge. Put the body of the giraffe in, then his neck. Shut the fridge door?”

W : “You forgot to take out the elephant.”

Me : “Oh my God.”

W : “So now, the lion king is having a birthday party and all the animals in the jungle are invited. Who didn’t show up?”

Me : “I don’t know.”

W : “The giraffe. Because it was in the fridge.”

Me : “Wow.”

W : “Sally is adventuring through the jungle. She comes across a crocodile infested lake. She gets across without getting eaten by crocodiles. How did she do it?”

Me : “She walked around the lake.”

W : “No. She just walked right through the lake because the crocodiles were all at the lion king’s party.”

Me : “I am so confused.”

W : “Last question. Once Sally gets across the lake, something falls from the sky and hits her on the head, and she dies. What hit her on the head?”


W : “A brick.”

Me : “From the plane……?”

W : “Yes!”

Analysis :

This is a great example of a narrative joke, in my opinion. The way that its told is intended to throw the listener off so they don’t see what’s coming next while simultaneously using specific jokes to make the listener assume they know the answers. The long joke is circular, ending right where it began with the brick falling out of the plane. Jokes are used to make the listener laugh. Some jokes, however, are used to make people think and then laugh at the fact that the joke went right over their head. With the long joke my brother told me, he worded it in a way that would make me feel confused the entire time while also feeling like I outsmarted him, just for him to completely make me feel stupid at the end. He once again succeeded at one-uping me.