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THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIE INDUSTRY A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds. A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of RFK Stadium. All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off. All grocery shopping bags contain at least one loaf of French bread. Although in the 20th century it is possible to fire weapons at an object out of our visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology. An electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child. Any person waking from a nightmare will bolt upright and pant. At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil. Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames. During all police investigations. it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once. Even when driving down a perfectly straight road it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments. Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long. If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick's Day parade - at any time of the year. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear. If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps. If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition - even if you haven't been carrying any before now. If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beasts, the mayor's first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition. Interbreeding is genetically possible with any creature from elsewhere in the universe. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecescessors. It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations. It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down. Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead. Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people--whether they are employed or not. Medieval peasants had perfect teeth. Most dogs are immortal. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization. Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite. Radiation cause interesting mutations--not to your future children, but to you, right then and there. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their archenemies using complicate machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape. Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment. The Chief of Police is always black. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No-one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty. When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish. Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now. You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

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© 2000-2006 Peter R. Sadlon
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