# 150 Trick Questions That Make You Stop and Think

Things that make you go hmmm.

Trick questions (brain teasers, puzzles, or riddles) are great for warm-ups, cool-downs, or turn-and-talks in the classroom. They encourage students to think creatively and explain their thinking. Trick questions also encourage students to bring all their knowledge, even silly facts they know, to the solution.

While teaching trick questions, encourage students to:

• Slow down and think through what the question is asking and how to answer it.
• Use their background knowledge. A lot of trick questions require knowledge about something—geography, days of the week, math—to answer. Encourage students to think about what they already know about a topic to try to figure out the answer.
• Practice vocabulary. Trick questions often depend on knowing what words mean and how they can mean multiple things. Help students define words in questions and how they influence each answer.
• Listen and pay attention to the details and what’s being asked, literally and figuratively.
• Think about what inferences they can make in the question. What is the question not asking them? Or what information is implied in the question?
• Think creatively and think about the question or problem from multiple perspectives.

Here are 150 trick questions for do-nows, turn-and-talks, and more, starting with “easy” trick questions (and answers) and graduating to “the hardest” trick questions.

## Easy Trick Questions

### What are two things you can never eat for breakfast?

Lunch and dinner.

Tomorrow.

A towel.

Incorrectly.

### How many wings does a flea have?

None. Fleas don’t have wings.

A cold.

A secret.

An envelope.

### What two keys can’t open any door?

A monkey and a donkey.

### Which U.S. president is on the \$100 bill?

None. Benjamin Franklin is on the \$100 bill and he wasn’t a president.

The letter “w.”

A clock.

A river.

A window.

### Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?

Neither. They both weigh exactly one pound.

Seven.

### How can the pocket of your pants be empty but still have something in it?

When the something is a hole.

A glove.

A coin.

### I am an odd number. Take away one letter and I become even. What number am I?

Seven. Take away the “s” and it becomes “even.”

Short.

A sponge.

Post office.

A stamp.

A bed.

### How many letters are in the alphabet?

Eleven. T-h-e a-l-p-h-a-b-e-t.

Nine.

Second place.

The minister.

Foe.

The dictionary.

A clock.

### How many animals did Moses take onto the ark?

None. It was Noah who built and loaded the ark.

A yardstick.

### Name four days of the week that start with the letter “T.”

Tuesday, Thursday, today, and tomorrow.

A mushroom.

Mississippi.

When it’s ajar.

Island.

A bottle.

Chili.

### What moves faster, heat or cold?

Heat, because you can always catch cold.

A ton.

A piano.

A needle.

A telephone.

## Hard Trick Questions

A promise.

Fire.

### What word would you use to describe a man who does not have all his fingers on one hand?

Normal, because people normally only have half their fingers on one hand.

A candle.

### Acting on an anonymous tip, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don’t know what he looks like, but they know his name is John. The police burst in on a carpenter, a cab driver, a mechanic, and a firefighter, all playing poker. Without hesitating, they immediately arrest the firefighter. How do they know they’ve got their man?

The firefighter is the only man in the room. The rest of the poker players are women.

The letter “q.”

### How many seconds are there in a year?

Twelve. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd, etc.

### What breaks and never falls, and what falls and never breaks?

Day breaks and night falls.

All 12.

Stairs.

### Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday?

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Noise.

### Why are 1968 pennies worth more than 1967 pennies?

Because there is one more penny in 1968 pennies than in 1967 pennies.

### Eight men are sitting on a couch. Three legs break and six men leave. How many legs are remaining?

Five; the legs of the two remaining men and the remaining couch leg.

The letter “m.”

Once.

Silence.

### If a rooster lays an egg on top of the barn roof, which way will it roll?

Roosters don’t lay eggs.

A belly button.

The library.

A hole.

A map.

Is.

### What peels like an onion but remains whole?

A snake or lizard.

### When is it bad luck to meet a white cat?

When you’re a mouse.

### MT_TF_S What are the missing letters? Why?

W and S for the days of the week.

Baby pandas.

A wall.

### How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor and not crack it?

Concrete floors are very hard to crack.

### If a monkey, a squirrel, and a bird are racing to the coconut tree, who will get the banana first?

Coconut trees don’t grow bananas.

A comb.

### Ten birds are sitting in a tree. A hunter shoots one. How many birds are left in the tree?

None. All the birds flew away.

A kite.

History.

A parking lot.

Queue.

A plate.

A horse.

A syllable.

## Harder Trick Questions

### How far can a dog run into the woods?

Only halfway. After that, he’s running out of the woods.

### A girl fell off a 50-foot ladder but didn’t get hurt. Why?

She fell off the bottom step.

### In which country would the survivors be buried if a plane crashed on the border between the United States and Canada?

Survivors wouldn’t be buried because they’re still alive!

### How can a girl go 25 days without sleep?

She sleeps at night.

### If it takes eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long will it take four men?

No time because the wall is already built.

### I was 10 years old the day before yesterday. Next year, I will be 13 years old. How is that possible?

I am making this statement on January 1 and my birthday is on December 31.

### If you have a bowl with six apples and you take away four, how many do you have?

The four you took.

### How do you make the number one disappear?

Add a “g” and it’s gone.

### How did the boy kick his soccer ball 10 feet, and then have it come back to him on its own?

He kicked it straight up.

A conversation.

### Who is bigger, Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, or their baby?

The baby, since he is a little Bigger.

Breath.

On a map.

### What happens if you throw a white hat into the Black Sea?

The hat gets wet.

### How much dirt is there in a hole 3 feet deep, 6 feet long, and 4 feet wide?

None. There’s no dirt in a hole.

A coffin.

A wet one.

An anchor.

A keyboard.

My reflection.

A tongue.

A crane.

An umbrella.

Footprints.

A palm tree.

A daughter.

Arson.

A beetle.

A fence.

It sinks.

The future.

## The Hardest Trick Questions!

### You spot a boat full of people but there isn’t a single person onboard. How is that possible?

Everyone onboard is married.

The match.

Nothing.

### A cowboy rode into town on Friday. He stayed in town for three days and rode out on Friday. How is that possible?

His horse is named Friday.

### Is it legal for a man to marry his widow’s sister?

Yes, but since he is dead, it wouldn’t be possible.

### If Mrs. John’s one-story house is decorated completely in pink, with the walls, carpet, and furniture all shades of pink, what color are the stairs?

There are no stairs because it’s a one-story house.

### A young boy was rushed to the hospital, but the ER doctor saw the boy and refused to operate. “This boy is my son,” the doctor said. But the doctor wasn’t the boy’s father. How could this be?

The doctor was the boy’s mom.

He is bald.

### If an electric train is moving north at 100 mph and a wind is blowing to the west at 10 mph, which way does the smoke blow?

An electric train has no smoke.

### How is it possible that every single person in an airplane crash died, but two people survived?

The two survivors were married, not single.

### “The attorney is my brother,” testified the accountant. But the attorney testified he did not have a brother. Who is lying?

Neither one, because the accountant was his sister.

Stop imagining.

### If you sit a cup on the table facing south while you are on the north side of the table, on which side is the cup’s handle?

No matter which way the cup is turned, the handle is always on the outside.

### A man lives on the 100th floor of an apartment building. On rainy days he rides the elevator all the way up. But on sunny days, he goes halfway and takes the stairs the rest of the way. Why?

The man is short and can only reach the button for the 50th floor on the elevator. On rainy days, he uses his umbrella handle to press the button.

It was daytime.

Iron.

### There are three important rooms in a house. The first one is filled with money. The second one is filled with important papers. The third one is filled with jewelry. One day all of these rooms burst into fire. Which room did the police put out the fire in first?

None. Police do not put out fires, firefighters do.

It’s you!

### On a Sunday morning, the oldest girl in a family was murdered. The father was reading the paper, the mother was in the kitchen cooking breakfast, and the girl’s brother was playing video games. Uncle George was visiting and was out getting the mail. Who murdered the girl?

Uncle George. Mail isn’t delivered on Sunday.

### If a giraffe has two eyes, a monkey has two eyes, and an elephant has two eyes, how many eyes do we have?

Four eyes. Assuming the person asking the question has two eyes and the person being asked has two eyes, the total is four.

### You see a truck driver going the wrong way down a one-way street. He passes at least 10 police officers but doesn’t get stopped. Why?

The truck driver was walking, not driving.

### You see two girls on the street who look identical. You ask them the following questions: Do you come from the same family? Do you share the same parents? Are your birthdays on the same day? Both girls answer yes to all your questions, but they say no when you ask if they were twins. How is that possible?

They aren’t twins, they are triplets.

### Two security guards arrive for work at the same time in the morning. They have both guarded the same bank vault for the past 10 years. Neither of them ever takes a sick day, but they have never once laid eyes on each other. How is this possible?

They guard the vault on different days.

### There are only two barbers in town. One of them has a nice, neatly trimmed head of hair. The other one’s hair is a complete mess. Which of the two barbers should you go to and why?

The one with messy hair because they cut the neat barber’s hair.

### Two fathers took their sons to a fruit stall. Each man and son bought an apple, but when they returned home, they had only three apples. They did not eat any, lose any, or throw any away. How could this be possible?

There were only three people—son, father, and grandfather.

### A woman pushes her car to a hotel and then proceeds to tell the owner that she is bankrupt. What happened?

She is playing Monopoly and her playing piece/token is the car.

### If Mr. Smith’s peacock lays an egg in Mr. Jones’ yard, who owns the egg?

Neither. Peacocks don’t lay eggs, peahens do.

### A 10-foot rope ladder hangs over the side of a boat with the bottom rung on the surface of the water. The rungs are 1 foot apart, and the tide goes up at the rate of 6 inches per hour. How long will it be until three rungs are covered?

Never. The boat rises as the tide goes up.

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