50+ Clever Riddles: Examples & Types for Everyone (With Answers)

Playing Cards Illustration With Clever Riddles Example
    Cards With Clever Riddles Example
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A riddle is a statement, question or phrase that has a double meaning. When someone uses a riddle, it can be a thought-provoking challenge to figure it out on your own, or it can be a funny comment that makes you laugh. They require critical thinking — and a sense of humor — to solve correctly. Keep reading for examples of riddles for kids, adults and anyone who loves solving puzzles!

Simple Riddles for Kids

Riddles for kids are a great way to practice communication skills. They are a bit more complex than jokes but are less complicated than analogies. Examples of simple riddles for kids (and their solutions) include:

  1. Three eyes have I, all in a row; when the red one opens, all freeze like the snow. (Answer: Traffic light)

  2. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? (Answer: A towel)

  3. If you speak its name, you break it. What is it? (Answer: Silence)

  4. I have a tail, and I have a head, but I have no body. I am NOT a snake. What am I? (Answer: A coin)

  5. How many months have 28 days? (Answer: All of them)

  6. What word becomes shorter when you add letters to it? (Answer: "Short")

  7. What word begins with a T, ends with a T, and has a T in it? (Answer: A teapot)

  8. What word begins with an E, ends with an E, but has only one letter? (Answer: An envelope)

  9. If a rooster sits on a roof facing north, which way will the egg roll? (Answer: Roosters don't lay eggs.)

  10. A cowboy arrived in town on Friday, stayed one night, then left on Friday. How is this possible? (Answer: The horse's name is Friday)

  11. I give you two coins worth 15 cents. One of the coins is not a nickel. What coins did I give you? (Answer: A dime and a nickel; one of the coins isn't a nickel, but the other one is)

  12. The more there is, the less you see. What is it? (Answer: Darkness)

  13. What belongs to you, but is used by everyone else? (Answer: Your name)

  14. What building has the most stories in the world? (Answer: The library)

  15. You see it once in June, three times in September and never in May. What is it? (Answer: The letter E)

  16. What can fill a room but doesn't take up space? (Answer: Light)

  17. Where does Thursday come after Friday? (Answer: The dictionary)

  18. Kira's mother has three children. Their names are Huey, Dewey, and ... ? (Answer: Kira)

  19. What word is spelled wrong in the dictionary? (Answer: "Wrong")

  20. What can you hold in your right hand, but not in your left hand? (Answer: Your left hand)

  21. What has thirteen hearts, but no other organs? (Answer: A deck of cards)

Difficult Riddles for Adults

If those riddles were a little easy, check out these difficult examples of riddles! Try them out on your friends and see if they can guess the answers.

  1. What animal walks on all fours in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening? (Answer: A person during the course of their life; they crawl as a child, walk as an adult, and use a cane as an elder)

  2. I am weightless, but you can see me. Put me in a bucket, and I'll make it lighter. What am I? (Answer: A hole)

  3. What falls, but does not break, and what breaks but does not fall? (Answer: Night falls and day breaks)

  4. You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat? (Answer: An ear of corn)

  5. What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps? (Answer: A river)

  6. I never was, am always to be; everyone's looking, but no one sees me. What am I? (Answer: Tomorrow.)

  7. Pronounced as one letter, and written with three. Two letters there are, and two only in me. I'm double, I'm single, I'm black, blue, and gray; I'm read from both ends, and the same either way. What am I? (Answer: An eye)

  8. The man who built it doesn't want it. The man who bought it doesn't want it. The man who's using it doesn't know he's using it. What is it? (Answer: A coffin)

  9. Two mothers and two daughters bought three cars. They all drove home in their own car. How is that possible? (Answer: There were only three women total; a mother, her daughter — who is also a mother — and her daughter's daughter)

  10. A boat sinks and every single person drowns. Who survives? (Answer: The married people)

  11. Kelly has three daughters, and each daughter has a brother. How many children does Kelly have? (Answer: Four)

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

  13. I am always hungry and never stop eating, but water will kill me. What am I? (Answer: Fire)

  14. Where are the lakes always empty, the mountains always flat and the rivers always still? (Answer: A map)

  15. Rich people want it, poor people have it, and if you eat it, you die. What is it? (Answer: Nothing)

  16. What is the only English word with three sets of double letters? (Answer: Bookkeeper)

  17. When is four half of five? (Answer: When it's in Roman numerals — the letters IV are half of the word "five")

  18. What color is snow? What color are clouds? What color is a polar bear? What do cows drink? (Answer: Water, not milk, which may be on your mind after answering "white" to the previous questions)

  19. A man looks at a painting and says, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting? (Answer: His son)

  20. Steve, Elizabeth and George are drinking coffee. Paul, Lewis and Melissa are drinking tea. Which will Helen drink? (Answer: Coffee — she has two E's in her name, just like all the coffee drinkers)

  21. The healthier you are, the bigger I get. The bigger I get, the more I'm hated. What am I? (Answer: Age)

Tricky Riddles for Riddle Lovers

If you're looking for the perfect tricky riddle to stump your friends, you may find it here. Check out these riddles that take an extra few moments to solve.

  1. A man is on a trip with a fox, a goose and a sack of corn. He comes upon a stream which he has to cross and finds a tiny boat which he can use for the same. The problem is that he can only take himself and either the fox, the goose or the corn across at a time. It is not possible for him to leave the fox alone with the goose or the goose alone with the corn. How can he get all safely over the stream? (Answer: 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!)
  2. A boy was at a carnival and went to a booth where a man said to the boy, "If I write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you have to give me $50, but if I cannot, I will pay you $50." The boy looked around and saw no scale so he agrees, thinking no matter what the carny writes he'll just say he weighs more or less. In the end, the boy ended up paying the man $50. How did the man win the bet? (Answer: The man did exactly as he said he would and wrote "your exact weight" on the paper.)
  3. I am the black child of a white father, a wingless bird, flying even to the clouds of heaven. I give birth to tears of mourning in pupils that meet me, even though there is no cause for grief, and at once on my birth I am dissolved into air. What am I? (Answer: Smoke)
  4. You walk into your kitchen. On the table are two kids, three dogs, four cats, a bird, and two spiders. How many legs are on the floor? (Answer: Six — the table's four legs, plus yours)
  5. Five men arrive at church together. As they head into the church, it starts to rain. Four of the men run into the church and the other stays still. The men who ran got soaking wet; the man who didn't run stayed dry. How is the possible? (Answer: The four men were carrying the coffin of the fifth man — they were at his funeral)
  6. Saturday, Owen and Peter go to a restaurant. They order lunch and pay the bill. But Owen and Peter forgot their wallets. How did they pay the bill? (Answer: They didn't — their friend, Saturday, did)
  7. A man receives a phone call telling him that his best friend is dead. The police tell him to come down to the crime scene immediately. When the man arrives ten minutes later, the police arrest him. How do they know he committed the crime? (Answer: They never told him where the crime scene was)
  8. I can be flipped, broken, opened, closed, and removed. However, I can never move. I am sealed by hands. What am I? (Answer: A deal)
  9. A prisoner has three choices for his punishment. He can enter a room full of fire, a tank full of sharks, or a cave full of lions who haven't eaten in three years. Which should he choose? (Answer: The lions — they would have died long ago without eating for so long)
  10. You walk into a room and push something. People scream, glass breaks, and someone dies. What happened? (Answer: You pushed a fishbowl off the table)
  11. Five brothers are busy at home. Adam is studying, Brian is playing chess, Carl is reading, and David is writing. What is Elliot doing? (Answer: Playing chess with Brian)

Different Types of Riddles

A riddle is a statement, question or phrase that has a double meaning. A riddle can also be described as a puzzle to be solved. There are two types of riddles: enigmas and conundra.

  • An enigma is a problem in which the solution is expressed metaphorically. You have to carefully think about the riddle to come up with the solution.
  • A conundrum is a question that opens either the question or the answer.

A riddle, however, doesn’t need to be classified as one of these types. As long as it is difficult to figure out and has an answer or a meaning to it, it can be classified as a riddle. Today, riddles aren’t used as much as they were in ancient times, but they remain a definite way to get your mind working.

Riddle Me This

Riddles can be great brain busters or conversation starters to get you to think. The answer can be right in front of your nose and even in the riddle itself, or it can be difficult and hard to comprehend. For more practice with word puzzles, check out these examples of rebus puzzles.