Jim Kwik Logo

How to Remember Jokes

Has anyone ever asked if you knew any jokes, and you go blank? How many times have you wanted to remember a joke but you just can’t? It goes in one ear and out the other—we can’t remember those great jokes we heard a month or a week ago.

You remember song lyrics, movie scenes, stories, but for a lot of people jokes seem to disappear—it’s like you’ve got this supercomputer of a brain, but it has a glitch. Today’s episode is about helping you change that. I’ll be taking through a simple strategy that will help you to easily remember jokes.

"When you understand how your memory works, you can work your memory."


Subscribe To My Podcast:


  • Join our community on Facebook!
  • jimkwik.com/merch
  • We did a call out to the Kwik community for your jokes and have used 3 in this episode


A couple was having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out. When they arrived at their doctors, they explained they were having problems with their memory. After checking the couple out, the doctor tells them they are physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down and taking notes to remember things better. The couple thanked the doctor and left.Later that night, while watching television, the man gets up from his chair and his wife asks: “where are you going?” He replies: “to the kitchen!” She asks: “will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” He replies: “Sure!” She then asks him: “Don’t you think you should write it down like the doctor recommended so you can remember it?”He says: “No, I can remember that!” She then says: “well, I also would like some strawberries on top, you better write that down, I know you’ll forget that.” He says “I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream, with cherries.” She replies “I would also like whipped cream on top. I know you’re going to forget that, so you better write it down.”With irritation in his voice, he says “I don’t need to write that down. I can remember that.” He then fumes into the kitchen.About twenty minutes later, he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate a moment, and says “you forgot my toast!”


  1. Category: You want to mentally file the joke. You remember information better when it’s organized e.g. men, women, medical, or lawyer jokes. Think about where you would file the joke you want to remember.

If I gave you a list of 30 words and told you those words were going to be cities or fruits, you would remember more because they’re categorized.

  1. Cast: Fill the roles in your joke. You remember that which is both vivid and personal. When you understand how your memory works, you can work your memory.

What characters are part of the joke? Who do you know that you can cast in that role?If the joke includes a bartender, a doctor, a lawyer, it will help to visualize and imagine a particular bartender you know. If you can cast the joke with people you know, you can imagine them going through that joke’s experience and you’ll be unlikely to forget the joke.


You have 2 couples who are enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asks the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”“Outstanding,” Fred replied, “They taught us all the latest psychological, mnemonic techniques, visualization, association—it made a big difference for me!”“That’s great. What was the name of that training?”Fred went blank. He thought, and he thought, but he couldn’t remember.Then a smile broke across his face and he asked: “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”“You mean a rose?”“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife. “Rose, what was the name of that training?”


  1. Context: Set the stage. When you forget someone’s name, the first question you ask yourself is usually “Where do I know them from?” You remember things better when you put it in specific locations. Context gives you the content.

Think about where the joke takes place. The joke might have taken place in a bar or an office—so it will help you to imagine a bar of office you are familiar with.If you do this the joke becomes more of a story and most people remember stories they hear—and jokes are mostly stories with a punchline!


An elephant was drinking out of a river one day when he spotted a turtle fast asleep on a log. He ambled over and kicked it clear across the river. “What did you do that for?” asked a passing giraffe. “Because,” replied the elephant, “I recognized it as the same turtle that took a nip out of my trunk 40 years ago.” “Wow, what a memory!” said the giraffe.


  1. Chain Link: Chain link the keywords in the joke. A chain link is not the joke itself but uses clues to trigger the actual joke. This is a trick some comedians will use to help them remember jokes they’ve already learned. Your memory remembers the joke because you’ve studied it, you just need a trigger to bring up the key parts.

Take the keywords in the joke and link them together in a memorable way. This can be used to remember deeply technical information.For the joke above, you could chain-link elephant, river, sleeping turtle, giraffe.


  1. Category
  2. Cast
  3. Context
  4. Chain Link


  • Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@jimkwik & @kwiklearning) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us!
  • For more memory training check out kwikrecall.com

Similar Episodes