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.”

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.”

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

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.”

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.”

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.”

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

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.”

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesNo matter what the reaction, Obama powered through his corny jokes, and we applaud him for it.

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.”

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

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


“I want to take a moment to recognise 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.”

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

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.”

Pool/Getty ImagesObama and his daughters.

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.”

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.”

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 fulfil his duties. So he’s sort of like the vice turkey. We’re working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses.”

Lintao Zhang/Getty ImagesObama’s sense of humour was truly something.

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 vigour, and look at me now. I am grey and grizzled, just counting down the days ’til my death panel.”

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

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