riddles

130+ Riddles for Kids and Adults (With Answers)

Riddles have been around for centuries with the word “riddle” meaning a statement or question that presents a puzzle that must be solved in order to achieve the answer. The word originates from the same word as “read”; stemming from the Old English word “ræ̅dan” which means “to interpret or guess.” Over many years, it developed into Middle English redel, evolving into the meaning of “to understand or interpret symbols.” However, as the word has changed throughout the years, the meaning has remained the same.

If you’re looking for a good riddle, you’ve come to the right place. Riddles are fun for kids and adults of all ages who are looking to test their genius and are trying to challenge their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There are tons of fun brain teasers and riddles out there; ones that are simple and easy for a child to solve, ones that require a detailed explanation in order for the answer to make sense, and ones that are so tricky that they might be nearly impossible to solve.

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Riddles and Answers Printable PDF

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Here is a full list of easy, tricky, challenging, and funny riddles that kids, math students, teens, and adults will enjoy:

Easy Riddles for Kids

Easy, simple riddles are great for kids both in and out of the classroom. By incorporating easy riddles in the lesson plans or adding a math riddle to the end of a math quiz, or playing a math-related guessing game with your child, they can learn and elevate their thinking in a fun, untraditional way. Kids can challenge themselves and strengthen their problem-solving abilities without even realizing it! 

Here are some riddles that a child will find easy to answer

Riddle: Which word is least like the others? Third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth?
Answer: Third, it is the only one not ending in “th”.

Riddle: What is the last thing you take off before bed?
Answer: Your feet from the floor! 

Riddle: 1 rabbit saw 9 elephants while going to the river.  Every elephant saw 3 monkeys going toward the river. Each monkey had 1 parrot in each hand. How many animals are going towards the river?
Answer: 10 animals are going towards the river. (1 rabbit + 3 monkeys + 6 parrots)

Riddle: You bought me for dinner but never eat me. What am I?
Solution: Silverware.

Riddle: What word in the English language has three consecutive double letters? (Clue: it’s a compound word.)
Answer: Bookkeeper.

Riddle: How many letters are in the alphabet?
Answer: There are 11 letters in “the alphabet.”

riddles

Riddle: What kind of room has no windows or doors?
Answer: A mushroom!

Riddle: What has to be broken before you can use it?
Answer: An egg.

Riddle: I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
Answer: A candle.

Riddle: Which month of the year has 28 days?
Answer: All of them.

Riddle: What is full of holes but still can hold water?
Answer: A sponge.

Riddle: What question can you never answer yes to?
Answer: Are you asleep yet?

Riddle: What is always in front of you but can’t be seen?
Answer: The future.

Riddle: There’s a one-story house in which everything is yellow. Yellow walls, yellow doors, yellow furniture. What color are the stairs?
Answer: There aren’t any because it’s a one-story house.

Riddle: What can you break, even if you never pick it up or touch it?
Answer: A promise.

Riddle: What goes up but never comes down?
Answer: Your age.

Riddle: A man walks outside into the pouring rain yet not a hair on his head gets wet. How is this possible?
Answer: He’s bald.

Riddle: What gets wet as it continues to dry?
Answer: A towel.

Riddle: What can you keep after giving it to someone?
Answer: Your word.

Riddle: I shave every day but my beard never changes. What am I?
Answer: A barber.

Riddle: You see a boat full of people yet there is not a single person on board. How is this possible?
Answer: All of those onboard are married.

Riddle: You walk into a dark room holding a match and find a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. Which do you light first?
Answer: The match.

Riddle: A man dies of old age on his 25th birthday. How is this possible?
Answer: He was born on leap day, February 29th.

Riddle: I have branches but no fruit, trunk, or leaves. What am I?
Answer:  A bank.

Riddle: What can’t talk but will reply when spoken to?
Answer: An echo.

Riddle: The more of this there is, the less you see. What is it?
Answer: Darkness.

Riddle: What has many keys but can never open a lock?
Answer: A piano.

Riddle: What can you hold in your left hand but not in your right?
Answer: Your right elbow. 

Riddle: What is black when it’s clean and white when it’s dirty?
Answer: A chalkboard.

Riddle: What gets bigger when more of it is taken away?
Answer: A hole.

Riddle: I’m lighter than a feather yet the strongest person can’t hold me for more than six minutes. What am I?
Answer: Your breath.

Riddle: Where does today come before yesterday?
Answer: In the dictionary.

Riddle: What invention allows people to look right through a wall?
Answer: A window.

Riddle: If you’ve got it, you’ll want to share it but once you’ve shared it, you haven’t kept it. What is it?
Answer: A secret.

Riddle: What can’t be put in a saucepan?
Answer: Its lid.

Riddle: What continues to go up and down without moving?
Answer: Stairs.

Riddle: If you’re running in a race and you pass the person in second place, what place are you now in?
Answer: Second place.

Riddle: It belongs to you but others use it more than you do. What is it?
Answer: Your name.

Riddle: What would you find in the middle of Toronto?
Answer: The letter “o”.

Riddle: Which word is always spelled incorrectly in the dictionary?
Answer: Incorrectly.

Tricky Riddles (Best Riddles)

Here are some examples of riddles that are quite tricky for kids and easier for teens and adults to answer

Riddle: There is a single-story yellow and pink house and everything is yellow and pink: yellow bricks, yellow doors, yellow windows, yellow walls, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower. What color is the staircase?
Answer: There are no stairs. It’s a one-story house.

Riddle: You walk into a creepy house by yourself. There is no electricity, plumbing, or ventilation. Inside you notice 3 doors with numbers on them. Once you open the doors you will die a particular way. Door #1 You’ll be eaten by a lion who is hungry. Door #2 You’ll be stabbed to death. Door #3 There is an electric chair waiting for you. Which door do you pick?
Answer: Door #3, since there is no electricity to harm you. 

Riddle: All 5 sisters are busy. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, and Mary is doing the laundry. What is the 5th sister doing?
Answer: She’s playing chess, of course! 

Riddle: Three doctors said that Robert is their brother. Robert says he has no brothers. Who’s lying?
Answer: No one is lying– Robert has 3 sisters who all happen to be doctors. 

Riddle: Mom and dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family?
Answer: 7– each daughter has the same brother.

Riddle: A man was found murdered on Sunday morning. His wife immediately called the police. The police went to the crime scene and question the wife and staff and got these alibis: The wife said she was sleeping, the cook was eating breakfast, the gardener was picking vegetables, the maid was getting the mail, the butler was cleaning the closet. The police instantly arrested the murderer. Who did it and how did they know?
Answer: It was the Maid. She said she was getting the mail but there’s no mail on Sundays!

Riddle: I am an odd number but once you take away a letter, I become even. What number am I?
Answer: Seven.

Riddle: If two’s a company and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?
Answer: Nine.

Riddle: What three numbers, none of which are zero, give the same result whether they’re added or multiplied?
Answer: One, two, and three.

Riddle: Which is heavier: a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?
Answer: Neither because they both weigh a ton.

riddles with answers

Riddle: Two fathers and two sons are in a car yet there are only three people in the car. How is this possible?
Answer: They are a grandfather, father, and son.

Riddle: A girl goes to the store and buys one dozen eggs. As she walks home, all but three break. How many eggs are left unbroken?
Answer: Three.

Riddle: If there are five apples and you take away three, how many apples do you have?
Answer: Three.

Riddle: Which five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
Answer: Short.

riddles with answers

Riddle: What begins with “e” and only contains one letter?
Answer: An envelope.

Riddle: There is a word I know, six letters it contains but, remove one letter, and twelve remains. What is the word?
Answer: Dozens.

Riddle: You see me once in June, twice in November, and not at all in May. What am I?
Answer: The letter “e”.

Riddle: There is a word that could be written forward, backward, or upsidedown and can still be read left to right. What is the word?
Answer: NOON.

Riddle: Forward I am heavy but backward I am not. What am I?
Answer: The word “ton”.

Riddle: What five-letter word has one left when two are removed?
Answer: Stone.

riddles with answers

Riddle: What is at the end of everything?
Answer: The letter “g”.

Riddle: What word is pronounced the same if you remove four of its five letters?
Answer: Queue.

Riddle: There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?
Answer: A school.

Riddle: 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?”
Answer: One.

Funny Riddles

Find a fun riddle in this group to stir up laughter with friends and family:

Riddle: What has many eyes but is unable to see?
Answer: A potato.

Riddle: What has many needles but doesn’t sew?
Answer: A Christmas tree.

Riddle: I have hands but I can’t clap. What am I?
Answer: A clock.

Riddle: I have legs but I am unable to walk. What am I?
Answer: A table.

Riddle: I have one head, one foot, and four legs. What am I?
Answer: A bed.

Riddle: I have one eye but am unable to see. What am I?
Answer: A needle.

Riddle: What is 3/7 chicken, 2/3 cat, and 2/4 goat?
Answer: Chicago.

Riddle: What can you catch but never throw?
Answer: A cold.

Riddle: Which band never plays music?
Answer: A rubber band.

riddles with answers

Riddle: I have many teeth but will never bite. What am I?
Answer: A comb.

Riddle: What has many words but is never able to speak?
Answer: A book.

Riddle: What runs in the backyard but never actually moves?
Answer: A fence.

Riddle: What is able to travel the world without leaving its place?
Answer: A stamp.

Riddle: I have a thumb and four fingers but am not a hand. What am I?
Answer: A glove.

Riddle: I have a head and a tail but no body. What am I?
Answer: A coin.

riddles with answers

Riddle: What building has the most stories?
Answer: The library.

Riddle: What tastes better than it smells?
Answer: Your tongue.

Riddle: What has 13 hearts but no other organs?
Answer: A deck of cards.

Riddle: I have many ears but am unable to hear. What am I?
Answer: A cornfield.

Riddle: Which coat goes on best when wet?
Answer: A coat of paint.

Riddle: What has a bottom at the top?
Answer: Your legs.

Riddle: What has four wheels and flies?
Answer: A garbage truck.

Challenging/Hard Riddles

Here are a few great riddles to try out if you’re looking to really elevate your thinking:

Riddle: The person who makes it has no need of it; the person who buys it has no use for it. The person who uses it can neither see nor feel it. What is it?
Answer: A coffin. 

Riddle: A man is looking at a picture of a man on the wall and states, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is the man in the picture in relation to the man looking at the picture?
Answer: The man in the picture is his son (the man’s son). Since he doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, the statement my father’s son is himself. A shortened version would be this man’s father is myself, so he is the father of the man in the picture.

Riddle: Four hang, four sprang, two point the way, two to ward off dogs, one dangles after, always rather dirty. What am I?
Answer: A cow.

Riddle: A man is found hanging dead from the ceiling of a room. The room’s dimensions are 15 x 15 x 15. The man is only 6ft tall and the rope was only 2ft long. There are no windows and only one door into the room. The door is bolted shut from the inside and there is a puddle of water under the man. How did he kill himself?
Answer: The man stood on a block of ice.

Riddle: The answer I give is yes, but what I mean is no. What was the question?
Answer: “Do you mind?”

Riddle: What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?
Answer: Silence.

riddles with answers

Riddle: What can run but never walk, have a mouth that never speaks, have a head that never weeps, and have a bed but never sleeps?
Answer: A river.

Riddle: What we caught, we threw away. We kept what we didn’t catch. What was it that we kept?
Answer: Lice.

Riddle: A man calls his dog from the opposite side of a river. The dog crosses the river without a bridge or a boat and manages to not get wet. How is this possible?
Answer: The river was frozen.

Riddle: What fills a room without taking up any space?
Answer: Light.

Riddle: Drop me and I’m sure to crack but lend me a smile and I’ll certainly smile back. What am I?
Answer: A mirror.

Riddle: The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?
Answer: Footsteps.

Riddle: People make me, save me, change me, and raise me. What am I?
Answer: Money.

Riddle: What breaks but never falls and falls but never breaks?
Answer: Day and night.

Riddle: What runs through cities and fields but never moves?
Answer: A road.

Riddle: I am always hungry and will die if not fed but whatever I touch will turn to red. What am I?
Answer: Fire.

Riddle: With pointed fangs, I sit and wait. With piercing force, I crunch out fate. Over bloodless victims proclaiming my might, eternally joining in a single bite. What am I?
Answer: Stapler.

Riddle: I have mountains with no stone, lakes with no water, cities with no buildings, and towns with no people. What am I?
Answer: A map.

Riddle: I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body but come alive with the wind. What am I?
Answer: An echo.

Riddle: You measure my life in hours and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin but slow when I’m fat and the wind is my mortal enemy. What am I?
Answer: Candle.

Riddle: A woman shoots her husband then holds him underwater for five minutes. Next, she hangs him. Right after, they enjoy dinner together. How is this possible?
Answer: She took a picture of him and developed it in a dark room prior to dinner.

Riddle: I come from a mine but always get surrounded by wood. Everyone uses me. What am I?
Answer: Pencil lead.

Riddle: I have keys but no locks and space with no rooms. You can enter but you can’t go outside. What am I?
Answer: A keyboard.

Riddle: A is the brother of B. B is the brother of C. C is the father of D. So, how is D related to A?
Answer: A is D’s uncle.

Riddle: What are the next three letters in this combination: OTTFFSS?
Answer: E N T (eight, nine, and ten).

Riddle: First, think of the color of clouds. Next, think of the color of snow. Now, think of the color of a full bright moon. What do cows drink?
Answer: Water.

Riddle: First you eat me, and then you get eaten. What am I?
Answer: A fishhook.

Riddle: What can you hold in your right hand but never in your left hand?
Answer: Your left hand.

Riddle: How can you physically stand behind your father if he is standing behind you?
Answer: You and your father are back-to-back.

Riddle: I have a neck with no head and two arms with no hands. What am I?
Answer: A shirt.

Riddle: If eleven plus two equals one, what does nine plus five equal?
Answer: Two.

Riddle: Once you are given one, you either have two or none?
Answer: A choice.

Riddle: There was a man who was born before his father, killed his mother, and married his sister. There was nothing wrong with what he had done, why?
Answer: His father was in front of him when he was born, therefore he was born before him. His mother died while giving birth to him. Finally, he grew up to be a minister and married his sister at her ceremony.

Riddle: Which English verb becomes past tense just by rearranging the letters?
Answer: “Eat” which can turn into “ate”.

Riddle: I am never scared but became petrified and can’t live in a house but would die to make one. What am I?
Answer: A tree.

Riddle: It has five wheels though often thought of as four but you cannot use it without that one more. What is it?
Answer: A car.

Riddle: Different lights make me strange by changing me into different sizes. What am I?
Answer: I am the pupil of an eye.

Riddle: My thunder comes before the lightning; my lightning comes before clouds; my rain dries all the land it touches. What am I?
Answer: A volcano.

Riddle: How high do you have to count before you use the letter “a” in the English spelling of the whole number?
Answer: One thousand.

Love Riddles

Riddle: What’s mine that only you can have?
Answer: My heart.

Riddle: What did the fish say to the bait on Valentine’s Day?
Answer: We should totally hook up!

Riddle: What do you call two birds that are in love?
Answer: “Tweet” hearts.

Riddle: What did the left eyebrow say to the right?
Answer: You surprised to see me?

Famous Riddles & Brain Teasers

The following riddles have gone viral for how complicated they are. They’re not the best for any child (unless they have a super high IQ), but more so adults who are looking for a good brain teaser. 

Einstein’s Hard Riddle

Now, if you’re really up for a challenge, here is Albert Einstein’s riddle, a logic puzzle that is believed to be developed when he was young. The best way to find the answer to this riddle is through logic and deductive reasoning. 

Think you can solve it? 

Riddle: Five houses painted five different colors stand in a row. One person of a different nationality lives in each house. The five homeowners all drink some type of beverage, smoke a certain cigar brand, and have a certain kind of pet. But none of the owners drink the same beverage, smoke the same type of cigar, or have the same pet.

Here are the clues:

  1. The Brit lives in the red house.
    2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
    3. The Dane drinks tea.
    4. The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
    5. The green house’s owner drinks coffee.
    6. The owner who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
    7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
    8. The owner living in the center house drinks milk.
    9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
    10. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
    11. The owner who keeps the horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhill.
    12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
    13. The German smokes Prince.
    14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
    15. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who drinks water.

Now, the question is…Who owns the fish?
Answer: The German in house #4 owns the fish.

The Sphinx Riddle

There is a mythological story of a Sphinx, a monster with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. Apparently, the Sphinx sat on top of a rock along the road to the city of Thebes, stopping travelers and proposing to them a riddle. The Sphinx claimed that whoever failed the riddle would be killed, and evidently, not pass through to the city. 

Riddle: What animal walks on four legs in the morning, two legs during the day, and three legs in the evening?

Oedipus, the king of Thebes, figured out the answer to the riddle:

Answer: Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff. (Morning, day, and night are representative of the stages of life.)

Gollum’s Final Riddle in The Hobbit

Riddle: This thing all things devours; birds, beasts, trees, flowers; gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal; slays kings, ruins towns, and beats mountain down. What is it?
Answer: Time.

The Other Sphinx’s Riddle in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Riddle: First think of the person who lives in disguise, who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies. Next, tell me what’s always the last thing to mend, the middle of the middle and end of the end? And finally, give me the sound often heard during the search for a hard-to-find word. Now string them together, and answer me this, which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?
Answer: A spider.

Another Riddle from The Hobbit

Riddle: Voiceless it cries, wingless it flies, toothless bites, and mouthless mutters. What is it?
Answer: The wind.

The Rumored Favorite of Theodore Roosevelt

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.
Answer: An actor.

Here is the full list of easy, tricky, challenging, and funny riddles that kids, teens, and adults will enjoy:

More Riddles

Favorite Riddle Resources

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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