48 Short Riddles That Will Still Stump You
Try out these quick, bite-size riddles—some are easy, and some are still pretty tricky!
Who doesn’t love the satisfaction that comes with solving a good riddle? Riddles are fun for kids and adults alike as you work through plays on words, confusing hypothetical situations and hidden-in-plain-sight solutions. But while we love long riddles, sometimes you want a concise one-liner of a riddle, especially if you’re just looking for a quick mental exercise.
Want to test your skills with a good riddle (or 10) but don’t want to be racking your brain all day? This collection of short riddles provides lots of mind food to test your deduction skills. They vary in difficulty, with short easy riddles, short hard riddles and a few funny riddles, but they won’t overwhelm you! And don’t worry—if you get stuck, the answers to every riddle are included below.
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Short easy riddles
1. Riddle: Mississippi has four S’s and four I’s. Can you spell that without using S or I?
2. Riddle: There’s a one-story house where everything is yellow. The walls are yellow. The doors are yellow. All the furniture is yellow. The house has yellow beds and yellow couches. What color are the stairs?
Answer: There are no stairs—it’s a one-story house!
3. Riddle: A girl fell off a 20-foot ladder. She wasn’t hurt. How?
Answer: She fell off the bottom step.
4. Riddle: Grandpa went out for a walk, and it started to rain. He didn’t bring an umbrella or a hat. His clothes got soaked, but not a hair on his head was wet. How is this possible?
Answer: Grandpa’s bald!
5. Riddle: You’re in a race and you pass the person in second place. What place are you in now?
Answer: Second place.
6. Riddle: What four-letter word can be written forward, backward or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?
7. Riddle: What is at the end of the rainbow?
Answer: The letter W!
8. Riddle: Name three consecutive days without naming any of the seven days of the week.
Answer: Yesterday, today and tomorrow.
9. Riddle: You are in a dark room with a box of matches. On a table are a candle, an oil lamp and a log of firewood. What do you light first?
Answer: The match! Can’t light any of those things without a lit match.
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10. Riddle: Two people were playing chess. They both won. How is this possible?
Answer: They were playing two different games, against other opponents.
11. Riddle: What word is always spelled wrong?
Answer: “Wrong.” Well, if you want to get technical, it’s not always spelled W-R-O-N-G … if you spell it wrong! So then, is it still spelled wrong? Phew! Short riddles can still make you think a whole lot.
12. Riddle: Which letter of the alphabet has the most water?
Answer: The “C.”
Now see if you can solve this tricky “How many letters are in the alphabet?” riddle.
13. Riddle: What invention lets you look right through a wall?
Answer: A window!
14. Riddle: Where does today come before yesterday?
Answer: In the dictionary.
15. Riddle: Three doctors all say Robert is their brother. Robert says he has no brothers. Who is lying?
Answer: No one—the doctors are Robert’s sisters.
16. Riddle: What kind of ship has two mates but no captain?
Answer: A relationship.
That would be a perfect contender for these love riddles for romantics.
17. Riddle: A man is holding exactly $5.25 but only has one coin. How is this possible?
Answer: He has a quarter and a $5 bill.
18. Riddle: I called my dog from the opposite side of the river. The dog crossed the river without getting wet, and without using a bridge, a boat or a raft. How is that possible?
Answer: The river was frozen.
19. What two words, added together, contain the most letters?
Answer: Post office.
Short “What am I?” riddles
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20. Riddle: You can hold me in your left hand but not your right. What am I?
Answer: Your right elbow (or right hand)!
21. Riddle: I go around all the places, cities, towns and villages, but never come inside. What am I?
Answer: A street.
22. Riddle: You go at red and stop at green. What am I?
Answer: A watermelon.
23. Riddle: I have married many times but have always been single. Who am I?
Answer: A priest.
24. Riddle: I am higher without a head. What am I?
Answer: A pillow.
25. I have 13 hearts, but no lungs or stomach. What am I?
Answer: A deck of cards.
26. Riddle: I am easy to lift but hard to throw. What am I?
Answer: A feather. (A piece of paper or a leaf would certainly qualify too!)
27. Riddle: I break but never fall. And I fall but never break. What are we?
Answer: Day and night.
Short hard riddles
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28. Riddle: Bella is outside a shop. She can’t read the signs, but she knows she needs to go in to make a purchase. What store is she at?
Answer: An eyeglass store.
29. Riddle: Wednesday, Bill and Jim went to a restaurant. They ordered and ate their food. Then they paid the bill, but neither Bill nor Jim paid. Who did?
Answer: Wednesday did!
30. Riddle: What are the next three letters in this sequence: O, T, T, F, F, S, S—what comes next?
Answer: E, N, T. The letters are the first letters of the written numbers: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. “Eight, nine, ten” are next.
31. Riddle: How can you physically stand behind your father while he is standing behind you?
Answer: You and your father are standing back-to-back.
32. Riddle: What type of cheese is made backward?
33. Riddle: A girl throws a ball as hard as she can. It comes back to her, even though nothing and nobody touches it. How?
Answer: She throws it straight up in the air!
34. Riddle: An electric train is headed east. Where does the smoke go?
Answer: Electric trains don’t produce any smoke!
35. Riddle: What is the one thing everyone can agree is between heaven and earth?
Answer: The word “and.”
36. Riddle: When is “L” greater than “XL”?
Answer: When you’re using Roman numerals.
37. Riddle: How can the number four be half of five?
Answer: IV, the Roman numeral for four, is half (the middle two letters) of the word “five.”
38. Riddle: A man was driving his truck. His lights weren’t on. The moon was not out. There were no streetlights. Up ahead, a woman was crossing the street. Luckily, the truck driver stopped in time—how did he see her?
Answer: It was daytime!
39. Riddle: A horse attached to a 24-foot chain wants an apple that is 26 feet away. He reaches the apple and munches on it, no problem—how is that possible?
Answer: The other end of the chain isn’t attached to anything.
Funny short riddles
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40. Riddle: What has a bottom at the top?
Answer: Your legs.
41. Riddle: If you drop a yellow hat in the Red Sea, what does it become?
42. Riddle: What color is the wind?
43. Riddle: What tastes better than it smells?
Answer: Your tongue.
44. Riddle: What can jump higher than a building?
Answer: Anything that can jump—buildings can’t jump!
45. Riddle: Which word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
46. Riddle: What has four wheels and flies?
Answer: A garbage truck.
47. Riddle: A monkey, a squirrel and a bird are racing to the top of a coconut tree. Who will get the banana first?
48. Riddle: I can be cracked, I can be made. I can be told, I can be played. What am I?
Answer: A joke.