Muffins and Grapefruit

After all of our hard work last week, let us begin with something a bit lighter.

Via Larry Moran I came across this post, at Cosmic Variance, regarding the great muffin joke debate.

I reprint the joke below the fold. I find it very amusing indeed, but, incredibly, there seem to be others who disagree. Let me know what you think:

So there are these two muffins baking in an oven. One of them yells, “Wow, it’s hot in here!”

And the other muffin replies: “Holy cow! A talking muffin!”

Actually, this joke reminded me of another one I heard when I was in college. Finding it funny or not is said to be revealing of your personality. Once again, I found it very funny. Here goes:

A man wants to buy a horse. So he goes to the horse store, and after browsing for a while, he finds one that he likes. “I’ll take that one,” he says to the owner.

The owner frowns. “Well, I’m afraid that horse has a problem. You see, he likes to sit on grapefruit.”

The man gives him a funny look. “Grapefruit?”

“Afraid so. Anytime he sees a grapefruit he goes crazy and just sits down right on it. It’s impossible to move him when he gets like that.”

The man thinks for a minute and says, “I really don’t think that will be a problem. I don’t eat grapefruit myself and I never have it around the farm. So I think I’ll just take that horse anyway.”

The man pays for the horse and rides out of the store. On the ride home he comes across a shallow river. Halfway across, the horse lets out a terrific whinny and sits down right in the water. The horse won’t budge. Finally, in desperation, the man levaes the horse and returns to the store.

Furious, the man says to the owner, “That horse you sold me has a problem!”

“I told you! He likes to sit on grapefruit!”

“But he sat down in the middle of the river! There wasn’t a grapefruit in sight!”

The owner slapped his forehead. “Oh, right!” he said. “I forgot to tell you. He likes to sit on fish too.”


  1. #1 steve s
    March 19, 2007

    You are a retard.

  2. #2 df
    March 19, 2007

    Apparently steve s is humor challenged. I thought they were both funny, particularly the muffin joke.

  3. #3 Warren
    March 19, 2007

    The horse joke, meh. The muffin joke is much funnier because brevity is, naturally, the soul of wit.

    Another thing to consider is that it’s possible for the second scenario, with the horse, to be at least plausibly true — so the seller’s forgetfulness in mentioning fish isn’t a surreal disconnect. Needless to say I don’t find it particularly funny.

    The muffin joke, OTOH, begins with an absurd premise and then produces a logical reaction to that premise, which is itself absurd.

  4. #4 Scott Belyea
    March 19, 2007

    Both definitely funny.

    Mind you, the “fish” sort of punchline also goes with a very much shorter one …

    Q: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: A fish

    Oh, and speaking of lightbulbs … well, no, better not …

  5. #5 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    March 19, 2007

    I enjoyed the muffin joke. The funny part is that the character exclaiming about a talking muffin is a talking muffin. I don’t see any similar comical twist to the horse story. The only link between grapefruit and fish is that the horse likes to sit on both.

  6. #6 Rieux
    March 19, 2007

    I’m with Warren. Muffin joke good, horse joke dumb.

  7. #7 argystokes
    March 19, 2007

    Not funny.

    Though I’ve heard a variation of the muffin joke before. The person telling the joke tells this 10 minute story about two horses, so it’s this huge build-up to what you will expect will be a hilarious punchline. But the end of it is just a flower exclaiming, “AHHHH, a talking horse!” Much more funny for the person telling the joke than the person listening. Which is funny in its own way.

  8. #8 Shelley Batts
    March 19, 2007

    I have had a similar hot/cold response with this joke I like:

    “Two cows are chewing cud in a field. One says to the other, ‘Hey, have you heard about that new Mad Cow Disease? Do you think we should be worried?’

    The other cow replies, “Well, obviously not. I’m a helicopter!”

    Which *I* think is funny, but 1/2 the time….blank stares.

  9. #9 Another Jason
    March 19, 2007

    Garrison Keillor’s penguin joke is in the same vein:

    Two penguins are standing on an ice floe.
    One says to the other, “You look like you’re wearing a tuxedo.”
    The first penguin replies, “What makes you think I’m not?”

  10. #10 argystokes
    March 19, 2007

    Two penguins are standing on an ice floe.
    One says to the other, “You look like you’re wearing a tuxedo.”
    The first penguin replies, “What makes you think I’m not?”

    Now that is funny. I don’t know why I think that is, but the other two aren’t.

  11. #11 Torbjrn Larsson
    March 19, 2007

    I find the muffin/horse jokes funny, but only mildly so.

    But Shelley’s cow joke was totally crazy. 🙂 (Rises up to find something to wipe coffee from keyboard with.)

  12. #12 Michael Kremer
    March 19, 2007

    The muffin joke is a family favorite. Especially of my daughter. I don’t find the horse joke as funny, though I suspect it probably can be funny if delivered properly out loud. But then again my sense of humor runs to jokes like these:

    Three french cats got into a boat big enough to hold two. What happened?

    For the answer, read this in French: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    Along the same lines: According to Sigmund Freud, what comes between fear and sex? Funf.

  13. #13 Brett
    March 19, 2007

    Both are funny, but the horse one was the funnier of the two. Why? I don’t know, it made me laugh.

  14. #14 Roy
    March 19, 2007

    I loved the Freud joke!

    Of course, it’s funnier aloud, especially if you resonate in your chest on the ‘funf’.

  15. #15 Mark Whybird
    March 19, 2007

    Muffin joke: Funny.
    Horse joke: Not funny
    Cow joke: Hilarious!

    For everything else, there’s Mastercard.

  16. #16 David D.G.
    March 20, 2007

    Oh, great. As usual, when I come across a jokefest, I can’t think of a single joke to contribute.

    Jason, I like the muffin joke okay (though the long, drawn-out version Mustafa Mond mentions is the first variation I encountered and was much funnier, if somewhat crueler on its audience), but frankly I really don’t see the funny side of that horse joke; it just doesn’t work for me.

    I think that the mad cow joke is a riot, and the penguin joke is cute. But of those submitted here so far, the Freud joke is my favorite, just edging out the mad cow joke. I love bilingual humor!

    ~David D.G.

  17. #17 Bob C
    March 20, 2007

    I wonder if, with a carefully selected set of diagnostic jokes, it would be possible to map out an individual’s humor structure. Are there a limited number of humor types? I found the grapefruit joke unfunny, the cow one just a bit funny, others more so, and the Freud joke leading the list.


  18. #18 Blake Stacey, OM
    March 20, 2007

    Political humor:

    Q. What’s the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg?

    A. One is a flaming Nazi gasbag, and the other is a dirigible.

  19. #19 Blake Stacey, OM
    March 20, 2007

    Interdisciplinary science humor:

    Q. What do you get if you cross a mosquito with a mountain climber?

    A. Nothing, you dope! You can’t cross a vector with a scalar.

  20. #20 Pieter B
    March 20, 2007

    Riffing off the surrealist joke, how many performance artists does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with bright-colored power tools.

  21. #21 Jason Rosenhouse
    March 20, 2007

    I guess I’m just a mellow guy. I’ve liked all the jokes people have posted here, except the cat one which I don’t get. I see the “cat sank” part, but I’m not sure what the 1,2,3 are supposed to contribute. And I’m only pretty sure I get the Freud joke.

    Concerning the horse joke, how can you not think that’s funny? The humor is that the store owner informed the customer that the horse likes to sit on a relatively uncommon object, but it slipped his mind to mention the horse has the same problem with another object, and one the customer was likely to encounter on his way home. Ha!

  22. #22 Leni
    March 20, 2007

    Blake stole my flaming Nazi gasbag joke =( Oh well. In the same vein, here’s one for you lawyers out there:

    What’s the difference between a lawyer and a carp?

    One’s a scum sucking bottom feeder and the other’s just a fish.


    I loved the Freud joke (Jason, Funf = Five in German. Likewise fear and sex sound very, very similar to 4 and 6: vier und sechs. Explaining jokes just sucks all the funny right out of them though, don’t it?)

    The muffin joke was cute. The horse one wasn’t so bad but it was a lot of work for very little payoff 🙂

    Here’s a pretty lame you’ve all no doubt all heard already:)

    A priest, a rabbi and a lawyer are on the Titanic. When it hits the iceburg, a terrible panic ensues, but the 3 find themselves together near the lifeboats.

    The kindly old rabbi, holding a crying child, yells “Oy Vey!!! Save the children first!”

    The lawyer, in true form, unceremoniously shoves the rabbi out of way and yells “Fuck the Children!” while jumping into the nearest lifeboat.

    The priest, (being the optimist of the three) hopefully checks his watch and asks the rabbi “Do you think we have time?”


    Those are my 3 standard jokes. Which I think need replacing because I swear I’ve posted them here before. I’m having a total deja vu moment. Or however you spell it.

  23. #23 Michael Kremer
    March 20, 2007


    There are THREE cats, you mathematician, you. The boat only holds TWO.

    Un, deux, trois cats sank.

    One, two, three cats sank. (One is OK, two is OK, three cats sank.)

    One more — maybe this is funnier:

    A priest, a rabbi, and a penguin walk into a bar. The bartender says: “what is this, a joke?”

  24. #24 Alex
    March 21, 2007

    Excellent stuff. Both jokes, Muffin and Horse, very funny. For some reason, I’ve always been partial to this surreal offering from The Two Ronnies, I believe:

    Q: What’s the difference between a duck?
    A: One of its legs are both the same.

    Perhaps not as good as their four candles sketch but there you go!

  25. #25 les
    March 21, 2007

    Wow. I never knew that “what’s the difference between a duck?” had an answer…the question was always enough to crack me up.

  26. #26 RM1(SS) (ret)
    March 24, 2007

    The horse joke made me laugh, though I’m not sure it’s funny enough to repeat to people.

    I think the muffin, Freud and mosquito/mountain-climber jokes are the funniest ones here so far.

    The answer I always heard to the duck question was “Both right hind feet are the same.”

    And along the same lines:

    Q. If a hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long will it take a grasshopper with a wooden leg to kick all the seeds out of a dill pickle?
    A. Tomato, because a vest has no sleeves.

  27. #27 MK
    March 27, 2007

    “Thirty days has Semptember April and no wonder everyone eats peanutbutter except for Grandma she drives a buick!”

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