Chemistry Jokes and Puns - With Explanations

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Chemistry Jokes and Puns - With Explanations

Chemistry Cat: Lab closed...Gone fission.
Chemistry Cat is a popular meme used for chemistry jokes. In this particular Chemistry Cat, the cat has gone fission, which is surely much cooler than "gone fishin'". Public Domain

Chemists have a terrific sense of humor, but some chemistry jokes and puns might be confusing to a non-scientist. Here are some of the top chemistry jokes, riddles, and puns with explanations.

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What Do You Call a Fish Made of Two Sodium Atoms?

This yellowfin tuna does contain some sodium, Na.
This yellowfin tuna does contain some sodium, Na. Tancredi J. Bavosi, Getty Images

Chemistry Riddle: What do you call a fish made of two sodium atoms?

Answer: 2Na

When you say "2Na" it sounds like two-na or tuna, the fish. Na is the symbol for sodium, so two sodium atoms would be 2Na.

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Why Are Chemists Great at Solving Problems?

Chemical Solutions
Chemical Solutions. Siede Preis, Getty Images

Chemistry Riddle: What are chemists great at solving problems?

Answer: Because they have all the solutions.

Chemists make chemical solutions. Solutions are answers to problems.

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Why Can't You Trust Atoms?

Atoms link together to form molecules. All matter consists of atoms.
Atoms link together to form molecules. All matter consists of atoms. David Freund, Getty Images

Chemistry Riddle: Why can't you trust atoms?

Answer: Because they make up everything!

Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter. Literally everything you can touch, taste, and smell is made from atoms. People who make things up (lie) can't be trusted.

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Why Did the White Bear Dissolve in Water?

If a polar bear was chemically polar it would dissolve in water.
If a polar bear was chemically polar rather than originating near the North Pole, it would dissolve in water. Art Wolfe, Getty Images

Chemistry Riddle: Why did the white bear dissolve in water?

Answer: Because it was a polar bear.

Alternate Form: What kind of bear dissolves in water? A polar bear!

Polar bears are white bears. Polar compounds dissolve in water because water is a polar molecule (like dissolves like), while nonpolar compounds do not.

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If Silver Surfer and Iron Man Teamed Up...

A costumed Iron Man poses with a wax Iron Man at Madame Tussauds in New York City.
A costumed Iron Man poses with a wax Iron Man at Madame Tussauds in New York City. Astrid Stawiarz/Stringer, Getty Images

Chemistry Joke: If Silver Surfer and Iron Man teamed up, they'd be alloys.

If Silver Surfer and Iron Man teamed up, that would make them allies. They would also be alloys because that's what you get when you combine two or more metals (silver and iron).

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Ferrous Wheel

The ferrous wheel structure is a benzene ring with iron atoms in place of hydrogen.
The ferrous wheel structure is a benzene ring with iron atoms in place of hydrogen. It's a ferrous wheel because this is the 2+ oxidation state (ferrous) of iron. Todd Helmenstine

The ferrous wheel is C6Fe6. The molecular structure resembles a Ferris wheel carnival ride. This funny molecule does not exist in nature but was presented for laughs at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 1893.

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Organic Chemistry Is Hard

This is the chemical structure of 1-pentyne, one of the alkynes.
This is the chemical structure of 1-pentyne, one of the alkynes. Todd Helmenstine

Chemistry Joke: Organic chemistry is hard. People who study it have alkynes of trouble.

Organic chemistry is one of the most difficult chemistry courses. People who study it often do have all kinds of trouble. Alkynes are molecules studied in organic chemistry. Alkynes is pronounced like "all kines" and sounds a lot like "all kinds."

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Organic Exams Are Difficult

Chemical structures of an organic chemistry student before and after an exam.
Chemical structures of an organic chemistry student before and after an exam. Todd Helmenstine

Organic chemistry exams are known for being difficult for students. Some may even feel they or their chances of a chemistry degree are dying when they finish.

A diene (pronounced die - een) is a hydrocarbon containing two carbon double bonds. Just like the arms and legs of the 'after' student.

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If You're not Part of the Solution...

The precipitate is the solid that falls out of a chemical solution.
The precipitate is the solid that falls out of a chemical solution. ZabMilenko, Wikipedia

Chemistry One-Liner: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

This comes from the saying, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

A precipitate is a solid that settles out of a liquid solution during a chemical reaction. It's definitely not a part of the solution any longer.

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What Do You Do With a Sick Chemist?

You don't want a sick, possibly hallucinating chemist, working in the lab with chemicals and fire.
You don't want a sick, possibly hallucinating chemist, working in the lab with chemicals and fire. Steve Allen, Getty Images

Chemistry Joke: What do you do with a sick chemist?

Answer: You try to helium, and then you try to curium, but if all else fails, you gotta barium.

Other forms of the joke:

What should do you do with a dead chemist? Barium!

Why do chemists call helium, curium, and barium the medical elements? Because if you can't helium or curium, you barium!

The joke implies you try to heal, cure, or bury the chemist, depending on the situation. Chemists study chemical elements, which include helium, curium, and barium.

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Billy Was a Chemist's Son, Now Billy Is no More

Water and sulfuric acid look the same in a container.
Water and sulfuric acid look the same in a container. W. Oelen, Creative Commons License

Chemistry Rhyme: Billy was a chemist's son. Now Billy is no more. What Billy thought was H2O was H2SO4.

You'll find this rhyme with just about every name. The rhyme teaches the importance of labeling chemicals and keeping dangerous ones out of reach. Water is H2O, while sulfuric acid is H2SO4. You can drink water, but you'll die if you drink sulfuric acid.

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All the Good Chemistry Jokes Argon

Argon is the current carrier in this discharge tube, while mercury produces the glow.
Argon is the current carrier in this discharge tube, while mercury produces the glow. pslawinski, wikipedia.org

Chemistry Joke: I would tell you a chemistry joke, but all the good ones argon.

Chemists study elements, such as argon. The joke implies all the good jokes are gone (argon).

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Formula for Ice Chemistry Joke

Cubed water?
Cubed water?. Pieter Kuiper, Creative Commons License

Chemistry Riddle: If H2O is the formula for water, what is the formula for ice?

Answer: H2O cubed

The chemical formula for water is H2O. Ice is simply the solid form of water, so its chemical formula is the same. However, you can think of water in terms of ice cubes or cubed water.

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Ether Bunny

This is the structure of Bunny-O-Bunny, otherwise known as 'ether bunny'.
This is the structure of Bunny-O-Bunny, otherwise known as 'ether bunny'. Todd Helmenstine

Funny Chemical Structure: ether bunny or bunny-o-bunny

An ether is an organic molecule containing an oxygen atom bonded to two hydrocarbon groups, such as an aryl or alkyl group.