21 jokes Obama made in office that had his daughters cringing

  • Former president Barack Obama made some definite dad jokes during his time in office.
  • Often, he found them hilarious, but his daughters did not.
  • His Thanksgiving turkey pardons were exceptionally punny.

Former POTUS Barack Obama is a dedicated father and great with kids – but he’s made his share of dad jokes, often embarrassing his daughters Sasha and Malia with his puns.

But every time he made a corny joke, he committed to it, and for that we applaud him.

Take a look at some of Obama’s “best” jokes over the years.


“For the past seven years I’ve established another tradition: Embarrassing my daughters with a corny-copia of dad jokes about turkeys.”

Obama had plenty of puns lined up for his last turkey pardoning in 2016.


“What I haven’t told them yet is we are going to do this every year from now on. No cameras, just us, every year. No way I’m cutting this habit cold turkey.”

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He loves a good pun.
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Reuters/Jason Reed

This was another one of Obama’s many zingers at the 2016 turkey pardoning.


“Sasha and Malia aren’t here tonight because they’re grounded. You can’t just take Air Force One on a joy ride to Manhattan. I don’t care whose kids you are.”

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Obama always took the right occasion to make jokes.
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Courtesy of the White House

This joke – delivered at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2009 – referred to a recent publicity disaster regarding a White House official approving a publicity shoot that had Air Force One flying very low over ­Manhattan, causing panic.


“It is hard to believe this is my seventh year of pardoning a turkey. Time flies, even if turkeys don’t.”

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Sasha was seven and Malia was 10 when they first began living at the White House.
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Gary Cameron/Reuters

Obama made this joke at his 2015 turkey pardoning.


“When somebody at your table tells you that you’ve been hogging all of the side dishes, you can’t have any more, I hope that you respond with a creed that sums up the spirit of a hungry people: ‘Yes, we cran.’”

Obama went out the only way he knew how, with a pun-filled bang at his last turkey pardon.


“Somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.”

Obama delivered this joke during his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech in 2016. He famously admitted to having smoked weed in 2006.


“The most powerful position in the world brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities. This is not one of them.”

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Obama laughed at his own jokes as he went.
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REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama made this joke at the White House during his 2013 turkey pardoning.


“She’s even begun to bridge the differences that have divided us for so long, because no matter which party you belong to, we can all agree that Michelle has the right to bare arms.”

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Obama particularly loved telling jokes that involved his family.
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Obama naturally had to make a pun about his wife Michelle’s famously toned arms at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.


“This is our second Hanukkah party today, but in the spirit of the holiday, the White House kitchen has not run out of oil.”

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No matter what the reaction, Obama powered through his corny jokes, and we applaud him for it.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Obama delivered this joke during the White House’s 2016 Hanukkah reception.

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“This year my daughters had a scheduling conflict, actually, they just couldn’t take my jokes anymore.”

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When people didn’t get his jokes, he would double down.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Obama made this quip at the start of his 2016 turkey pardoning.


“I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom, who met their fate with courage and sacrifice, and proved that they weren’t chicken.”

This joke delivered by Obama at his 2016 turkey pardoning actually made a child cry, to which he replied, “Ah, it’s not that bad now, c’mon.”


“It’s kind of like a turkey version of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ except the stakes for the contestants was much higher. Only one pair would survive and win the big prize: life.”

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Obama always came up with puns during his turkey pardons at the White House.
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Wikipedia

This joke was delivered by Obama about the judging of the turkeys to be pardoned during his 2010 turkey pardoning at the White House. He was referring to the fact that 25 turkeys had been selected for the pardon out of around 20,000, and claimed that they had to “strut their stuff before a panel of judges.”


“[The turkey pardon] is one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey.”

Obama said this during his 2011 turkey pardoning.


“Let’s face it, if you’re a turkey, and you’re named after a side dish, your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner are pretty low. So these guys are well ahead of the curve. They really beat the odds.”

The turkeys to be pardoned at the 2014 turkey pardon were named Mac and Cheese, prompting this joke.


“Abe is now a free bird. He is TOTUS, the Turkey of the United States.”

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Obama and his daughters.
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Pool/Getty Images

Obama coined the term TOTUS at his 2015 turkey pardoning.


“Look, I know there are some bad ones in here, but this is the last time I’m doing this, so we’re not leaving any room for leftovers.”

This joke was delivered at Obama’s 2016 turkey pardoning.


“The deficit is a serious issue. That’s why Paul Ryan couldn’t be here tonight. His budget has no room for laughter.”

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Obama delivered his jokes whether they were good or bad.
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REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Obama said this at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.


“All this change hasn’t been easy; change never is. So I’ve cut the tension by bringing a new friend to the White House. He’s warm, he’s cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic; you just have to keep him on a tight leash. Every once in a while he goes charging off in the wrong direction and gets himself into trouble but, enough about Joe Biden.”

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Vice President Joe Biden (L) points to U.S. President Barack Obama.
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Reuters

This playful rib at former VP and bro Joe Biden took place at the White House correspondents dinner in 2009.


“Tater is here in a backup role just in case Tot can’t fulfill his duties. So he’s sort of like the vice turkey. We’re working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses.”

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Obama’s sense of humor was truly something.
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Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Referring to Joe Biden’s infamous sunglasses, this joke was delivered at Obama’s last turkey pardoning in 2016.


“We should also make sure everyone has something to eat on Thanksgiving. Of course, except the turkeys, because they’re already stuffed.”

Obama was on a roll for his last turkey pardoning at the White House.


“Eight years ago, I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor, and look at me now. I am gray and grizzled, just counting down the days ’til my death panel.”

Obama delivered this joke during his 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech.