short riddles

50+ Best Short Riddles (With Answers) That Are Easy to Remember [2020]

These short riddles are great for kids, teens, and adults to answer. A good riddle is one that challenges and elevates your critical thinking and lateral thinking skills. It’s a brain puzzle that can be a fun learning technique for kids. For example, if you’re a math teacher, you could put a math-related riddle, logic puzzle, or even a math pun at the end of a quiz to keep your kids entertained while using their brains at the same time. 

Easy Riddles 

Here are some easy short riddles. Some of these might be trick questions, but your brain will be sure to find the answers no problem!

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?

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

Which will burn longer: the candles on the birthday cake of a boy or the candles on the birthday cake of a girl?

No candles burn longer–they all burn shorter. 

David’s father has three sons: Snap, Crackle and…? 

David. 

A monkey, a squirrel, and a bird are racing to the top of a coconut tree. Who gets to the banana first” the monkey, the squirrel, or the bird?

There are no bananas at the top of a coconut tree!

When does 11+3=2?

On a clock.

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?

She’s playing chess, of course! 

If you multiply me by any other number, the answer will always remain the same. What number am I?

A king, a queen, and two twins all lay in a large room. How are there no adults in the room?

They’re all beds!

Samuel was out for a walk when it started to rain. He did not have an umbrella and he wasn’t wearing a hat. His clothes were soaked, yet not a single hair on his head got wet. How could this happen?

Because Samuel is bald! 

Which is correct: 18 plus 19 is 36. Or 18 plus 19 are 36?

Actually, both are incorrect – 18 plus 19 is 37!

Which word is least like the others? Third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth?

Third, it is the only one not ending in “th”

What goes up and up, but never ever comes back down?

A person’s age

What has two humps and is found at the North Pole?

A lost camel!

During which month do people sleep the least?

February (There are fewer days!)

What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Short.

Tricky Riddles 

These are some tricky brain teasers that will force anyone to really use their brain in search of the answer

You walk into a room that contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What would you light first?

The match. 

I’m the beginning of the end and the end of time and space. I am in everything and surround every place. What am I?

The letter “E”.

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

Bookkeeper.

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?

It was the Maid. She said she was getting the mail but there’s no mail on Sundays!

I am a word of 5 letters and people eat me. If you remove the first letter, I become a form of energy. Remove the first two and I’m needed to live. Scramble the last 3 and you can drink me. What am I?

Wheat, heat, eat, tea

A man is asked what his daughters look like. He answers, “they are all blondes, but two, all brunettes, but two, and all redheads, but two.” How many daughters does he have?

Three. One is blonde, one is brunette, and one is a redhead.

A plane crashed between the border of Canada and America. Where do you bury the survivors?

They are survivors, you don’t bury them.

In a bus, there is a 26-year-old pregnant lady, a 30-year-old policeman, a 52-year-old random woman, and the driver who is 65 years old. Who is the youngest?

The baby of the pregnant lady.

What has thirteen hearts but no other organs?

A deck of cards.

I am a five letter word. I sound the same when you remove my first letter. I sound the same when you remove my 3rd letter. I sound the same when you remove my last letter, and I sound the same when you remove all three. Which word am I?

Empty, mpty, emty, emp-t, m t.

A boy and an engineer were fishing. The boy is the son of the engineer but the engineer is the father of the boy. Then who is the engineer?

The engineer is the boy’s mother. 

You always find me in the past, I can be created in the present, but the future can never taint me. What am I?

History

A woman is sitting in her hotel room when there is a knock at the door. She opened the door to see a man whom she had never seen before. He said, “Oh I’m sorry. I have made a mistake. I thought this was my room.” He then went down the corridor and in the elevator. The woman went back into her room and phoned security. What made the woman so suspicious of this man?

You don’t knock on your own hotel room door! 

How can you drop a raw egg on the concrete floor without cracking it?

The egg won’t crack the concrete floor! 

A man is trapped in a room. The room has only two possible exits: two doors. Through the first door, there is a room constructed from magnifying glasses. The blazing hot sun instantly fries anything or anyone that enters. Through the second door, there is a fire-breathing dragon. How does the man escape?

He waits until night time and then goes through the first door.

Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?

Nothing.

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?

A is D’s aunt.

Jeff is younger than Rodney but older than Debbie. Larry is older than Erica who is older than Jeff. Rodney is older than Larry. Who is the middle child?

Erica.

You are participating in the swimming finals at the Olympics. In the final few seconds of the race, you narrowly pass the swimmer who was in third place. What place did you get?

Third.

Jimmy’s mother had three children. The first was called April, the second was called May. What was the name of the third?

Jimmy.

Challenging Riddles 

Here are some of our favorite riddles, ones that are a lot more fun because of how challenging they are. 

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms: the first is full of raging fires; the second, assassins with loaded guns, and the third, with lions who haven’t eaten in years. Which room is the safest?

The room with the lions because the lions are already dead. 

My buddies and I were inseparable mates
Til one by one were we split
My teacher, she gave me a smack on the pate
And off in the corner I sit.
Admittedly still I’m not hitting the books
Though now I’m hugging a tree
I guess in the end it’s not bad as it looks
I went from a C to a B…

(Hint: it’s an object)

A staple

I occur twice in eternity, and I’m always within sight. What am I?

The letter “T” 

A man is found murdered in his office. The suspects are Peter, Julie, Jason, Molly, and Brian. In the office is a calendar with the numbers 6,4,9,10,11 written in blood. Who is the killer?

Jason is the killer. The numbers indicate months and the first letter of each month spells the name of the murderer, e.g. the 6th month is June and the first letter of June is J, the 4th month is April and the first letter of April is a, and so on.

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. What am I?

An onion.

Which English word is the odd one out – Stun, Ton, Evil, Letter, Mood, Bad, Snap, Straw?

Letter.

Tim and Mel are long-distance lovers. Tim has just purchased an engagement ring for Mel and wants to mail it to her. Unfortunately, the only way to ensure the ring will be received is to place a lock on the package. Tim has locks and Mel has locks but neither have keys for each others’ locks. How can they ensure the ring isn’t stolen?

Tim places a lock on the package and sends it to Mel. Mel places one of her locks on the package and sends it back to Tim. Tim removes his lock and sends the package back to Mel.

The answer I give is yes, but what I mean is no. What was the question?

“Do you mind?”

There are 3 switches outside of a room, all in the ‘off’ setting. One of them controls a lightbulb inside the room, the other two do nothing. You cannot see into the room, and once you open the door to the room, you cannot flip any of the switches any more. Before going into the room, how would you flip the switches in order to be able to tell which switch controls the light bulb?

Flip the first switch and keep it flipped for five minutes. Then unflip it, and flip the second switch. Go into the room. If the lightbulb is off but warm, the first switch controls it. If the light is on, the second switch controls it. If the light is off and cool, the third switch controls it.

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?

A coffin. 

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?

Door #3, Since There Is No Electricity To Harm You.

A spider was given $28, an ant was given $21 and a chicken was given $7. How much money did the dog get?

$14 ($3.50 per leg)

A bag of onions weighs 175 lbs divided by 1/7th of its weight. How much does the bag of onions weigh?

35 lbs (1/7th of 35 is 5; 175 ÷ 5)

Never was, am always to be. No one ever saw me, nor ever will. And yet I am the confidence of all, to live and breathe on this terrestrial ball. What am I?

Future

You throw away the outside, eat the inside, then throw away the inside. What is it?

Corn on the cob.

Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

The number 8. On its side, it looks like the symbol for infinity and when you cut it in half, it looks like two zeroes.

Bonus Logic Riddles

Here are some bonus brainteasers that might be a bit more challenging. Test your knowledge!  

Einstein’s Hard Riddle 

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

Think you can solve it? 

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?

Think you figured out the answer to this difficult riddle? Well, here it is:

The German in house #4 owns the fish.

Hard Mythology 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. 

This is the 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:

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.)

Here are some other fun riddles if you’re up for it: 

More Riddles

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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