Tag Archives: knock knock joke

Boo Who Knock Knock Joke

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Performance Date: 02/20/2024


Person 1: Knock knock

Person 2: Who’s there?

Person 1: Boo

Person 2: Boo who?

Person 1: No need to cry it was just a knock knock joke!


This is a knock knock joke the informant learned from her older sister, when she was 7. She rememberers being confused, and not understanding the joke until a few weeks later, when her mom explained it to her. At this point in her elementary experience, knock knock jokes were quite popular, and the informant remembers telling the kids in her class the day after the joke was explained to her. While knock knock jokes are less popular in the informants day-to-day college life, she still uses it when called for.


This knock knock joke is one that I heard in my childhood, and one that I have seen on social media as well. While it was more common around Halloween, I heard it year round. Knock knock jokes are a common and diverse form of joke because they are quick, easy, and easily adaptable. This speaks to a popular function of jokes – for a quick laugh. To the same extent, knock knock jokes quickly travel and spread as they are normally told in bursts (ie. children competing to see who has a better joke). This joke is particularly funny because it does not require a deep level of intelligence to understand, and is a quick and easy joke.

Lithuanian Knock Knock Joke (Pun)


Speaker 1: Tuk Tuk

Speaker 2: Kas ten?

Speaker 1: Česnakas 


Speaker 1: Knock Knock 

Speaker 2: Who’s there?

Speaker 1: Garlic


IZ is a 20 year-old college student from Lisle, Illinois, living in Los Angeles, California. Both her parents’ families immigrated to the United States during World War II and remain connected to their Lithuanian roots through strong immigrant communities in the US.

IZ described this joke as a “Lithuanian take on American knock-knock jokes.” The punchline comes as a pun that requires an understanding of Lithuanian. “The ‘who’ is omitted because it’s part of the word for garlic,” IZ explained. “See how ‘kas’ and the end of ‘česnakas’ are the same?”

IZ first encountered this joke at Camp Dainava, a Lithuanian camp in Manchester, Michigan, which she has been attending “ever since I was in my mom’s stomach.” They would often sit around a bonfire — here IZ emphasized the importance of bonfires in Lithuanian culture — and share jokes and skits. For IZ, the camp provided a way to bond with other people of Lithuanian background, and share language, culture, and folklore.

IZ added that the camp was founded by an organization with the aim of helping Lithuania declare independence by getting American international recognition.


This is a classic example of a knock knock joke as it is found in many cultures and languages around the world. It is interesting that IZ sees it as a take on American culture, since, in true folklore fashion, determining the origin of a joke style is more complicated.

It is notable that this joke was shared in a multilingual setting at IZ’s Lithuanian Camp, since it requires knowledge of the language to understand its pun. This type of folklore, as it is shared around the bonfire, would be the most difficult to understand if someone had limited knowledge of the language. Skits and other more performative jokes could be grasped through context, but this one is purely linguistic. Thus it may have served an interesting function of encouraging fluency and establishing a measure of belonging to the cultural group.

Lastly, the context of IZ’s Lithuanian camp and its history provides an interesting example of how institutions can preserve folklore and culture in the interest of nationalism — even outside of the country itself. Further study could examine which immigrant cultures within the United States have the strongest folklore preservation and why.

Knock-Knock Joke with a twist

Background: A traditional American Joke with a prequel to build up the punchline.

Person1: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Person2: “I don’t know, why did the chicken cross the road?”
Person1: “To get to the idiot’s house”

Person1: “Knock-Knock!”
Person2: “Who’s there?”
Person1: “The chicken”

Informant: This is a cruel joke that I was the unfortunate victim of in my youth.

Analysis: As a non-American, this is the first knock-knock joke that I found funny. Knock-knock jokes are usually meant for children and the informant confirmed that they heard about this from their elementary school friend when they were young

Interrupting Cow


Interviewee: Knock Knock

Me: Who’s there?

Interviewee: Interrupting cow.

Me: Interrupting cow-

Interviewee: Moo!

Relationship to Subject:

The subject learned this joke when they were young from their uncle Larry. This was the first knock knock joke they ever learned and because it was from their funny uncle Larry, they thought it was very cool. After she heard it, she introduced it to their middle school and the joke became popular. She thinks its funny because the person hearing the joke does not expect to be interrupted. It is also interactive and lets the person telling the joke and the one hearing it take part in the process.


This joke is tailored more for a young audience and yet I couldn’t help but giggle. The subject seemed very happy and joyful when telling the background of their experience with the joke and how it relates to their family and childhood. The joke is obviously very simple, but it still made both me and the subject laugh. After the joke was told, the subject just told me about their childhood and it was a fun time.

The reason this joke works is obviously because it adds a new layer to the conventional knock knock joke and surprises the person hearing it because they are unable to complete the process they expected to be taking part in. They get interrupted by none other than the “interrupting cow” introduced earlier.

“Interrupting Cow”: Knock Knock joke

Original text:

Informant: “Knock knock.”

Collector: “Who’s there?”

Informant: “Interrupting cow.”

Collector: “Interrupting cow who–”

Informant: “MOOOO!”

Context: The informant is 18 and a freshman at USC studying Theater and Anthropology. They learned this joke while on the bus in elementary school. They exchanged this joke with their friends at school, getting laughs on either side with this unconventional delivery of the classic “Knock Knock” joke. They state that “recess, lunch, or in between class time” was the perfect stage for this joke. 

Analysis: The informant is a white American that went to public school in Barrington, Illinois. Among jokes that are popular with young American children, “Knock Knock” jokes are definitely one of the top choices. The format is one that almost every kid knows, and it goes a little something like this: the joke teller says “Knock knock”, the listener responds “Who’s there”, the teller says “x” (any word or phrase), in response the listener says “x who?”, and the teller tells the punch line. This variation of the “knock knock” joke is interesting because it doesn’t follow the typical pattern: the teller interrupts the listener mid-sentence as the punchline. The phrase “interrupting cow” is already humorous and familiar to young children because of the emphasis placed on learning the names of animals in elementary schools. Children also memorize the sounds that each animal makes very early on, making the punchline of “MOOOOO!” relatable and funny. Many families in the rural American Midwest own farms with cows, which also might bring an extra sense of familiarity to the children in the general semi-rural area of Barrington, Illinois.