Looking for something different for your next work meeting or friend meetup? Try these riddles that range from simple to challenging.
Top 10 Riddles to Stump Your Coworkers and Friends
1. Einstein’s Famous House Riddle
There are five houses lined up next to each other along a street. Each house is a different color, and each homeowner is of a different nationality, drinks a different beverage, smokes a different brand of cigar, and owns a different pet.
If these variables can never repeat from house to house, which homeowner has a pet fish?
- The Englishman lives in a house with red walls.
- The Swede keeps dogs.
- The Dane drinks tea.
- The house with green walls is just to the left of the house with white walls.
- The owner of the house with green walls drinks coffee.
- The man who smokes Pall Mall keeps birds.
- The owner of the house with yellow walls smokes Dunhills.
- The man in the center house drinks milk.
- The Norwegian lives in the first house.
- The Blend smoker has a neighbor who keeps cats.
- The man who smokes Blue Masters drinks beer.
- The man who keeps horses lives next to the Dunhill smoker.
- The German smokes Prince.
- The Norwegian lives next to the house with blue walls.
- The Blend smoker has a neighbor who drinks water.
Watch this video to discover the answer!
2. Word Riddle
They look like twin brothers, both sturdy and tall. They work together and go everywhere together. But they only go near solid food and do not care for soup. Who are they?
3. Teddy Roosevelt’s (Possibly) Favorite Riddle
I talk, but I do not speak my mind
I hear words, but I do not listen to thoughts.
When I wake, all see me.
When I sleep, all hear me.
Many heads are on my shoulders.
Many hands are at my feet.
The strongest steel cannot break my visage,
But the softest whisper can destroy me.
The quietest whimper can be heard.
4. The Riddle Of Gestumblindi
“Four hang, four sprang, two-point the way, two to ward off dogs, one dangles after, always rather dirty. What am I?”
5. Which Room Is Safest?
A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in three years. Which room is safest for him?
The third room. If the lions haven’t eaten in three years, they will be dead.
6. How Much Fruit?
A farmer in California owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby grocery store. The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs, and each bough has exactly six twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?
None, a pear tree does not bear plums
7. The Mystery of Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet are found dead on the floor in a bedroom. When they were discovered, there were pieces of glass and some water on the floor. The only furniture in the room is a shelf and a bed. The house is in a remote location, away from everything except for the nearby railroad track. What caused the death of Romeo and Juliet?
Romeo and Juliet are fish. The rumble of the train knocked the tank off the shelf, it broke, and Romeo and Juliet did not survive.
8. Every Answer Is Correct
Ask this question all day long, but always get completely different answers, and yet all the answers will be correct. What is the question?
What time is it?
9. Logic for Coffee or Soda
George, Helen, and Steve are drinking coffee. Bert, Karen, and Dave are drinking soda. Using logic, is Elizabeth drinking coffee or soda?
Elizabeth is drinking coffee. The letter E appears twice in her name, as it does in the names of the others that are drinking coffee.
10. A Man In a Boat
A man went on a trip with a fox, a goose, and a sack of corn. He came upon a stream that he had to cross and found a tiny boat to use to cross the stream. He could only take himself and one other – the fox, the goose, or the corn – one at a time. He could not leave the fox alone with the goose or the goose alone with the corn. How does he get all safely over the stream?
Take the goose over first and come back.
Then take the fox over and bring the goose back.
Now take the corn over and come back alone to get the goose.
Take the goose over, and the job is done!
Learn the science of conversations
Believe it or not, having great conversation can be one of the best icebreakers. Knowing what to say is one element, but knowing how to continue a conversation and end it on a high note is a skill you can take with you for life. Here’s how!
Communicate With Confidence
Do you struggle with small talk? Do you often run out of things to say or feel awkward and self-conscious in social situations?
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Riddles for the Workplace
Riddles are great for work to stump and challenge your coworkers. Have fun solving these riddles together as a team!
11. I have branches, yet I have no leaves, no trunk, and no fruit. What am I?
12. If there are four sheep, two dogs, and one herdsman, how many feet are there?
Two. Sheep have hooves; dogs have paws; only people have feet.
13. Though I should be unique,
You’ve made most of us the same.
I would be stronger,
If my characters were stranger.
14. Although I’m far from the point,
I’m not a mistake. But I do fix yours. What am I?
15. I’m a food, an animal, and a place. What am I?
16. What loses its head in the morning but gets it back at night?
17. Mr. & Mrs. Long have five daughters. Each daughter has one brother. How many people live in the Long home?
18. Forward, I am heavy; backward, I am not. What am I?
19. What do you buy to eat but never consume?
20. What runs all around a backyard yet never moves?
21. A man goes out for a walk during a storm with nothing to protect him from the rain. He doesn’t have a hat, a hood, or an umbrella. But by the end of his walk, there isn’t a single wet hair on his head. How can this be?
22. How many months have 28 days?
Every month has 28 days.
23. Throw away the outside and cook the inside, then eat the outside and throw away the inside.
Corn on the cob
24. When you want it, you throw it out. When you don’t want it, you take it. What is it?
25. Feed me, and I thrive, give me water, and I die. What am I?
26. Bought by the yard, worn by the foot. What am I?
Adult Riddles for Team Building
27. The more you take, the more you leave behind.
28. A man pushes his car to a hotel. He pays the hotel owner money and then pushes his car away. Why does he do this?
He’s playing monopoly.
29. A boy and his father are badly injured in a car accident. An ambulance takes them to the nearest hospital. They arrive in critical condition, and the boy is taken straight to surgery, where the surgeon says, “I cannot operate on this boy because he is my son.” How is this possible?
The surgeon is the boy’s mother.
30. Paul’s height is six feet, he’s an assistant at a butcher’s shop, and wears size nine shoes. What does he weigh?
31. What word in the English language does the following: the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a demi-god, while the entire word signifies a great woman? What is the word?
32. First, I’m dry, then I’m wet. First, I’m light, then I’m heavy. What am I?
33. Imagine you are a bus driver driving Westbound, and you have six passengers on board, then take these steps:
- Drive two blocks West, drop off half of the passengers, pick up five passengers, and then make a right.
- Travel 3 blocks, make a left, travel two more blocks, drop off 1/4 of the passengers, pick up three passengers, and then make two right turns.
- Travel 2 blocks, drop off 2/3 of the passengers, pick up one passenger, and then make a left.
What color are the bus driver’s eyes?
You’re the driver, what color are your eyes?
34. Different lights do make me strange, thus into different sizes, I will change. What am I?
The pupil of an eye
35. 12. An electric train is headed east. Where does the smoke go?
Electric trains don’t produce smoke.
36. What is a Priest’s favorite thing about physics?
37. A blue house has blue bricks.
A yellow house has yellow bricks.
What is a greenhouse made of?
38. What is an alien’s favorite thing on a computer?
39. What four periodic elements, when combined, make up something that terrifies criminals?
Carbon, Oxygen, Phosphorous & Sulfur (C + O + P + S)
40. A doctor and a bus driver are both in love with the same woman, an attractive girl named Sarah. The bus driver had to go on a long bus trip that would last a week. Before he left, he gave Sarah seven apples. Why?
Because an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
41. There are 30 cows in a field. 28 chickens. How many didn’t?
10! (20 ATE chickens)
42. Uncle Bill’s farm had a really bad storm, and all but seven sheep died. How many sheep were left?
Get our ultimate list of 136 funniest work-appropriate jokes.
Brain Teasers for Virtual Icebreakers
43. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
44. When you use it, you throw it away, and when you do not use it, you bring it back.
45. Washing makes it dirtier and dirtier; it is cleaner without washing.
46. When I go out, I am thick and fat. When I come home, I am like a skeleton. Then I am put in a corner against the wall, and my tears flow freely.
47. It works hard all its life, counting numbers day and night, but never gets past 12. What is it?
48. Say my name, and I disappear. What am I?
49. I am a word of meanings three.
Three ways of spelling me there be.
The first is an odor, a smell if you will.
The second is some money, but not in a bill.
The third is past tense, a method of passing things on or around.
What are these words that have the same sound?
Scent, cent, sent
50. What makes a loud noise when changing its jacket, becomes larger but weighs less?
51. How can the number four be half of five
IV, the Roman numeral for four, which is “half” (two letters) of the word five.
52. A man calls his dog from the opposite side of the river. The dog crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How?
The river is frozen
53. If 66=2, 999=3, 8=2, 0=1, 9696=4, 8123=2, 98=3, 88=4, then what does 816982 equal?
6, simply count the number of circles in each set of numbers
54. I have eight to spare and am covered in hair.
55. What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
56. If a chicken says, “All chickens are liars.” Is the chicken telling the truth?
Chickens can’t talk
57. You go at red and stop at green. What am I?
58. Name three consecutive days without naming any of the seven days of the week.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
59. What four-letter word can be written forward, backward, or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?
60. Which tire doesn’t move when a car turns right?
The spare tire
Riddles that Challenge Assumptions
Want to challenge your friend’s assumptions? Check out these four riddles from a study done by Yale.
61. An accountant says: “That attorney is my brother,” and that is true— they really do have the same parents. Yet that attorney denies having any brothers— and that is also true! How is that possible?
The accountant is a woman.
62. A big brown cow is lying down in the middle of a country road. The streetlights are not on, the moon is not out, and the skies are heavily clouded. A truck is driving towards the cow at full speed, its headlights off. Yet the driver sees the cow from afar easily, and avoids hitting it, without even having to brake hard. How is that possible?
63. Individual bus rides cost one dollar each. A card good for five rides costs five dollars. A first-time passenger boards the bus alone and hands the driver five dollars without saying a word. Yet the driver immediately realizes, for sure, that the passenger wants the card rather than a single ride and change. How is that possible?
The passenger hands over five one-dollar bills
64. In a Bangladesh market, a small potato bag costs 5 takas, a medium potato bag costs 7 takas, and a large potato bag costs 9 takas. Yet, a single potato in that market costs 10 takas. How is that possible?
The potato bags are empty.
Famous Riddles from Movies and Books
65. “This thing all things devours;
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats mountain down.”
- The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
66. “My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! Their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!”
- Emma, Jane Austen
67. “As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?”
One (the narrator).
- 18th-century children’s rhyme
68. Tear one off and scratch my head. What once was red is black instead.
- Batman Forever
69. What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
- Hamlet, Shakespeare
70. The noblest name on Allegory’s page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage;
A pleasing moralist whose page refined,
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;
A tender poet of a foreign tongue,
(Indited in the language that he sang.)
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page
At once, the shame and glory of our age,
The prince of harmony and stirling sense,
The ancient dramatist of eminence,
The bard that paints imagination’s powers,
And him whose song revives departed hours,
Once more, an ancient tragic bard recall,
In boldness of design surpassing all.
These names, when rightly read, a name [make] known
Which gathers all its glories on its own.
(Line = Author)
1 = Spenser
2 = Homer
3-4 = Aristotle
5-6 = Kallimachos
7-8 = Shelley
9 = Alexander Pope
10 = Euripides
11 = Mark Akenside
12 = Samuel Rogers
13-14 = Euripides
15-16 = William Shakespeare
- Enigma, Edgar Allen Poe
71. I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.
A riddle about being pregnant
- Metaphors, Sylvia Plath
72. There is a home on the earth that echoes with purling clear. The home itself resounds, but the silent guest makes no sound.Yet both run on together, guest and home.
River and fish
- Enigmatus Riddle #12, Symphosius
73. When I am alive, I do not speak.
Anyone who wants to, takes me captive and cuts off my head.
They bite my bare body
I do no harm to anyone unless they cut me first.
Then I soon make them cry.
- Anglo Saxon Riddle
74. She often walked on her teeth, birch branches. She sank in with a loud squeak and had to be pulled out.
- Icelandic Riddle
75. Four men knead the mud
Two men observe the far-away horizon
One man mows the hay
One man whisks the flies away
Hooves, humps, head, and tail of a camel
- Mongolian Riddle
76. Often, I war with waves, battle the winds,
And strive against both at once, meaning to find
the ground wave-covered.
Home is estranged from me—
I am strong of struggle if stilled.
If I fail, they are stronger than me,
and, tearing me, immediately rout,
wishing to whisk away what I must ward.
I may withstand them, if my tail is tough
and the stones allow me to hold fast
against unrelenting force. Ask what I am called.
- Exeter Book Riddle #16
Spark Romance With Riddles for Dating
77. What shines, bonds, and starts where it ends and so never ends?
78. I hurt the most when lost, yet also when not had at all. I’m sometimes the hardest to express but the easiest to ignore. I can be given to many or just one. What am I?
79. It’s raining, and you pass a bus stop. There are three people there; your trustworthy friend, the love of your life, and a woman about to go into labor. Your smart car only has two seats. What do you do?
You first give your keys to your friend and let them take the woman to a hospital, and then you wait for the bus with your love.
80. A thousand colored folds stretch toward the sky,
Atop a tender strand,
Rising from the land,
‘Til killed by maiden’s hand,
Perhaps a token of love, perhaps to say goodbye.
What am I?
81. Fall without hurting,
Sick without sickness,
Blinded yet seeing.
How can this be?
Love. Fall in love, lovesick, blinded by love
82. I have a heart that never beats, I have a home, but I never sleep. I can take a man’s house and build another’s, And I love to play games with my many brothers. I am a king among fools. Who am I?
The King of Hearts in a deck of cards
83. Lovely and round, I shine with pale light, grown in the darkness, a person’s delight. What am I?
84. How do carbon compounds find romantic partners?
Riddles From Around the World
85. Through the mouth speaking many voices,
I sing in modulations. I frequently exchange
kindred voices — I cry out aloud —
I keep my counsel. I do not conceal my voice.
I bring back the minstrel of bygone evenings to earls —
and bliss to cities when I cry aloud
in the voice of its citizens. Unmoving, they sit
listening in their homes.
Say what I am called, who
so clearly imitates a feasting song—
who loudly proclaims to men
many welcome things by my voice.
- Anglo-Saxon England
86. What wears clothing in its infancy but gets rid of it when reaching maturity?
- Korean Riddle
87. What is it? What is it?
It falls standing upright,
But it runs lying down.
- Brazilian Riddle
88. What beautiful lady sits in a dungeon, but her ponytail is outside?
- Russian Riddle
89. What is it that tears into small pieces
whatever falls in its toothless mouth?
If you put your fingers in its eyes
it will instantly prick up its ears.
- Persian Riddle
90. Pointed at the tip, the base a little big.
Even if it is small in size, its work is very big.
What is it?
- Nepali Riddle
Thought-Provoking Science Riddles
91. I eat iron and never get sick.
92. Nine. What am I?
Nickel and Neon
93. Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?
94. It is impossible for me to be created, and I can never be destroyed. I can only change form. What am I?
95. Give me food, and I will live. Give me water, and I will die. What am I?
96. I build up castles.
I tear down mountains.
I make some men blind,
I help others to see.
What am I?
97. What has only one eye and travels by water?
98. I am six times longer than the Amazon, a fifth of me is dry, and the rest is wet. What am I?
99. It burns to the touch, but burn, it does not. Makes smoke without fire, it’s not even hot. A crystal of white, when our breath is held still. And when it does melt, it won’t even spill. What is it?
100. What can go up and come down without moving?
Riddles for Friend Groups
101. Formed in a marvelous way, born without seed
I loan my sweet breast with treasure from flowers;
By my art, the golden platters of kings grow yellow;
Always I bear the small, sharp spears of cruel war
And though I lack hands, my spear stings more cruelly than weapons forged by smiths.
102. I am a faithful, vigilant guardian, always watching the house; In the deep night, I walk through the unseeing shadows, For I do not lose the sight of my eyes, even in black caverns. Against the hateful thieves who ravage the stores of grain, I ambush, I silently set a snare of death. A roaming huntress, I invade the lairs of wild beasts, But I do not wish to chase fleeing herds alongside dogs who bark and bring cruel war against me.
103. Who would not be amazed by my strange lot?
With my strength, I bear a thousand forest oaks,
But a slender needle at once pierces me, the bearer of such burdens;
Birds flying in the sky and fish swimming in the sea
Once took their first life from me;
A third of the world is held in my power.
104. Burn your mouth, sting your eye, but a kitchen cannot be without me. What am I?
105. I can see what you cannot.
106. I am said to be only one dimension, and as small as can be, some say I am the foundation of all that you see. What am I?
107. What rock group has four men that don’t sing?
108. What is the next number in the sequence?
13112221. Each number describes the previous number. Starting with 1, the second line describes it as 11 (one 1). Then the third line describes 11 as 21 (two 1’s). The fourth line describes 21 as 1211 (one 2, one 1).
109. What has 18 legs and catches flies?
A baseball team.
110. There are three stoves; a glass stove, a brick stove, and a wood stove. You only have 1 match. Which would you light first?
111. What has four letters, occasionally has twelve letters, always has six letters, and never has five letters.
What, occasionally, always, never.
112. A knight rode out of his castle on Friday. Three days later, he returned on Friday. How?
“Friday” is the name of his horse.
113. 10 dead soldiers dressed in white, felled by three eyes black as night. What happened?
114. Winners move backward, and losers move forward.
Tug of war
115. A warning of dangers soon to arrive, and bringer of flavors savory, sublime. In truth, I am a rescuer’s guide, in deceit, a mirror’s closest companion. What am I?
116. Enter me and prepare for a fight,
Wearing me is a woman in white,
Listen for me, I might be a friend,
Or perhaps a warning of an impending end. What am I?
117. Spitting with no mouth, I’ll catch you with no arms.
I cannot be outrun, it’s best to hide until I’m gone.
What am I?
118. To the darkest bark
To the purest snow,
That most never outgrow
Will all retreat
Rectangles and squares
Broken hearts it repairs
What is it?
119. What is missing in the following sequence?
120. First in round, the square is bound, in triangle form is the last shape found. What am I?
121. My tongue does not speak, I’ll protect you outdoors, I smell with no nose, and make you sweat from your pores. I am barred from some houses, it’s sometimes a sin! Plus, I’m an identical twin. What am I?
122. In the wind, I sway, yet hide the light of day.
I am no book, but you may scroll, for I am yours to control. What am I?
123. A woman knocks on a door, and no one answers, but she still enters the room. What room did she enter?
124. I have six enemies that each have six enemies. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. At most, how many friends do I have?
At most, 30
Dinner Party Riddles
125. Walk on the living, they don’t even mumble. Walk on the dead, they mutter and grumble. What are they?
126. What runs but never walks? Murmurs, but never talks? Has a bed but never sleeps? And has a mouth but never eats?
127. You measure my life in hours, and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m fat. The wind is my enemy.
128. What breaks and never falls, and what falls and never breaks?
Day breaks and night falls.
129. What is the only English word with three sets of double letters?
130. There was a green house.
Inside the green house, there was a white house
Inside the white house, there was a red house.
Inside the red house, there were lots of babies.
131. The beginning of eternity
The end of time and space
The beginning of every end,
And the end of every place.
The letter “e.”
132. At night they come without being fetched,
And by day, they are lost without being stolen.
133. If there are three apples, and you take away two, how many do you have?
The two you took
134. I have eyes to see and a heart that beats. I move without walking, and temptation is my usual demise. Some keep me, some consume, and others just watch. What am I?
135. Feel me when I’m low,
Be annoyed when I’m high.
What am I?
136. I surround you, but I’m not clothes.
I am everywhere but don’t take up space. I’m not always here, yet you can use a man-made form of me. I can go through glass. What am I?
137. Six little workers are hired together,
But only start working once they are fired.
What are they?
Bullets in a gun
138. People have stepped on me, but not many. I never stay full for long, and my dark side is sure to emerge. What am I?
139. You breathe out, I breathe in.
You let go, I collapse.
What am I?
140. If a hen and a half lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs will half a dozen hens lay in half a dozen days?
Fun Riddles for Kids
141. Contrary to my name, I am not a queen. Hold me up to things, and their length is seen.
142. This belongs to you, but everyone else uses it more than you do.
143. What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?
144. What can you hold without ever touching or using your hands?
145. Mississippi has four S’s and four I’s. Can you spell that without using S or I?
146. What gets wetter as it dries?
147. Who wears shoes while sleeping?
148. I am an odd number. Take away a letter, and I become even. What number am I?
149. Bobby’s mother has three children: Snap, Crackle, and ___.
150. In a single-story house, there is a green chair, green bed, green computer, green couch, green flowers, green carpet, and green table. What color is the staircase?
There is no staircase, it’s a single-story house.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Riddles FAQ
Using riddles for icebreakers is beneficial because it can get everyone talking to explore the answer. If you have a team that doesn’t like answering questions about themselves, riddles are a great way to encourage team building without getting too personal.
Riddles are good for building problem-solving skills and enhancing brain dexterity. Folk riddles have also been used to preserve and pass down culture through oral tradition.
You can use riddles in language lessons, as an icebreaker in work meetings, as a fun game for friends, and at dinner parties. You can use riddles in much the same way as you would tell jokes.
Riddles are good for the brain because they are puzzles. This causes different parts of your brain to activate and be strengthened. Riddles can help you learn how to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and think abstractly.
Keep the fun going with our mega-list of work-appropriate jokes.