Humor is an essential part of Mexican culture. Mexicans have found a way to laugh in the face of tragic historic events, natural disasters and even death itself!
From a witty play on words to a fun wisecrack, it’s always possible to see life from a fun perspective … because if everything´s going wrong, you may as well face life with a smile, right?
So, here’s a list of different kinds of Mexican jokes for you to laugh at and enjoy!
What is a “Mexican joke”
A big part of what Mexican humor is today can be traced back to the Spanish conquest.
After realizing that their pockets weren´t going to be filled with the promised gold and riches, some of Hernan Cortés’s men set out to paint the streets of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) with witty remarks about their leader.
Since then, political satire has always been an important part of Mexican culture, from the twentieth century newspaper ‘el Hijo del Ahuizote’ (‘The Son of Ahuizote’) that criticized Porfirio Diaz’s dictatorship to Chumel Torres’s YouTube channel that parodies the presidents of today, no decade has been exempt from this form of humor.
The colonial era left such a mark on Mexican culture that many Mexican jokes are extremely similar to their Spanish counterparts. The Spanish ‘Jaimito‘ jokes are almost identical to the Mexican ‘Pepito jokes’, for example. The central themes being word play and double entendre … the wittier the better, of course.
Pepito is usually a very curious – and at times, obnoxious – kid that stars in a seemingly infinite number of jokes –
Maestra – Pepito, si no dejas de hablar en clase, le voy a llamar a tu mamá.
Pepito – Allá usted, que mi mamá habla más que yo.
Teacher – Pepito, if you don’t stop talking in class, I’m going to call your mother.
Pepito – Call her if you want, but my mom talks even more that I do.
Ok, for the next one, just keep in mind that in Spanish the word ‘pegar’ means both ‘to hit’ and ‘to glue together’ –
Mamá – Pepito, no tenemos pegamento. Ve por uno a la tienda.
Pepito – No quiero, mamá, estoy jugando.
Mamá – ¿Cómo que no quieres? ¡A que te pego!
Pepito – No puedes, mamá, no tenemos pegamento.
Mom – Pepito, we’re out of glue. Go buy some at the store.
Pepito – I don’t want to, mom, I’m playing!
Mom – What do you mean you don’t want to? How about I spank you?
Pepito – You can’t, mom, we don’t have any glue!
“Un colmo“, which roughly translates to “the worst thing that can happen”, is the theme of an infinite number of jokes about things that are utterly outrageous and absurd!
¿Cuál es el colmo de un pastor?
¡Contar a sus ovejas y quedarse dormido!
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a shepherd?
Falling asleep while counting his sheep!
¿Cuál es el colmo de un gallo?
¡Que se le ponga la piel de gallina!
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a rooster?
(in Spanish goosebumps are called ‘piel de gallina’ or ‘chicken skin’)
¿Cuál es el colmo de una escoba?
¡Ser alérgica al polvo!
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a broom?
Being allergic to dust!
As I said before, political satire is an extremely important part of Mexican culture, and no president has been exempt from having a few jokes thrown around at their expense.
Here’s an example –
¿Por qué le dicen al Presidente Fox el “misión imposible”?
Porque cada vez que habla, se autodestruye.
Why’s President Fox called “mission impossible”?
Because every time he talks, he self-destructs.
To provide you with some context, back in the 2000s, President Fox was known for going off-script at public rallies and even at formal or diplomatic events. Some of his speeches were downright outrageous.
Fun fact: during his wife’s birthday celebration he decided to tweet the then-candidate Donald Trump that he was missing out on the party, and that he would miss out on a lot more if he built a wall!
A popular joke after the “reign” (sorry, tenure) of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz goes as follows –
Cuando llegó al cielo, Dios no se levantó a recibirlo por miedo a que ocupara su trono.
When he got to Heaven, God didn’t get up to receive him for fear that he’d steal his throne.
Puns about the English language
There are many jokes that take advantage of similar sounding English and Spanish words –
Papá, si ‘car’ en inglés es ‘coche’, y ‘men’ significa ‘hombres’, ¿mi compañera Carmen es un Transformer?
Dad, if my classmate’s name is Carmen (car – men), does that mean she’s a Transformer?
Alumno – Maestra, ¿qué quiere decir ‘nothing’?
Maestra – Nada
Alumno – Algo tendrá que significar, ¿no?
Student – Teacher, what does the English word ‘nothing’ mean?
Teacher – Nada (nothing)
Student – But it must mean something, right?
Alumno – Profesor, ¿qué significa ‘get out of here’?
Profesor – Vete de aquí.
Alumno – Bueno, me voy. Pero primero, ¿me dice qué significa?
Student – Hey, teacher, what does ‘get out of here’ mean?
Teacher – Get out of here. (in Spanish)
Student – Ok, I’ll go! But can you tell me what it means before I leave?
Ring, ring jokes
In Mexico, “ring ring” jokes are the equivalent of prank phone calls.
With this next one just bear in mind that “Rosado” is both a family name and a synonym of ‘chafed’ or ‘sore’ –
Hola, ¿se encuentra el Sr. Rosado?
¡Pues dígale que se ponga talco!
Hello! Is Mr. Rosado home?
Well, you’d better go get him some talcum powder!
Erika’s top tip – these are kinda similar to Spanish “toc toc” jokes (knock knock jokes in English) which we´ve actually devoted an entire article to.
Definitely check them out … they’re sure to have you cracking up in no time!
Qué le dijo / Qué le dice jokes
In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, jokes that begin with the question ‘what did ‘a’ tell ‘b’?’ are extremely popular, just as they are in English –
¿Qué le dice el 1 al 10?
Para ser como yo debes ser sin-cero.
What does number 1 say to number 10?
To be like me you have to be ‘without zero’.
The above joke doesn’t make much sense in English because it’s a play on words.
The phrase ‘sin cero’ (‘without zero’) is spelled exactly the same as the word ‘sincero’, or ‘sincere’ in English, so number 1 is both telling number 10 to lose the zero and to be sincere.
¿Qué le dijo un gusano a otro?
Me voy a dar la vuelta a la manzana.
What did one worm say to the other?
I’m gonna take a walk around the block
(In Spanish ‘manzana‘ means both ‘apple‘ and ‘street block‘)
So, there you have it!
A list of very popular Mexican jokes that you can try out on your Spanish-speaking friends; they’ll surely be impressed and they might just throw in a couple of their own for you to add to your repertoire.
Oh, and make sure to check out our article on all the different ways to say ‘funny‘ in Spanish if you wanna be able to tell your pals exactly how good (or bad!) their gags are!
¡Hasta la próxima!