There is a joke:

Q: What is grey and comes in quarts?
A: An elephant.

Why? Why does it come in quarts? What is funny here?

  • 2
    @GuntramBlohm, it could be, but it's not. The given answer is correct.
    – JPhi1618
    May 10, 2016 at 15:37
  • 21
    Why is it funny? Meh, it's not. May 10, 2016 at 16:42
  • 12
    I totally don't get the "The ocean is deep... bones!" joke... should I ask about that too? I feel it's not a rabbit hole I want to go down.
    – Nelson
    May 11, 2016 at 1:51
  • 4
    The joke is incomprehensible without explanation, and with an explanation it comes stupid.
    – Farside
    May 11, 2016 at 9:59
  • 5
    I didn't get it at all, but now that I read the answer explaining it to me...I'm gonna go ahead and give this joke an A, high-brow haters be damned
    – coburne
    May 11, 2016 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


I feel like I'm walking into some kind of trolling here, but I believe the joke is based around the definition of "comes" which is synomymous with "ejaculates".

In other words, the joke is implying that volume of the elephant's ejaculate is rather large: a "quart" of course being another word for a quarter of a gallon, aka two pints.

The first-glance reading of "comes in quarts" would be "is available in quarts" (like milk), and the reversal of the understood meaning of "comes" is where the humour arises (if it does arise).


It seems it's some kind of "penis joke", as explained above, and it seems it doesn't have much sense anyways, as outlined by @march-ho:

According to this paper (SFW), elephants ejaculate 5-75 ml depending on the type of ejaculate, or less than 10% of a quart.

Based on other opinions, those elephant jokes had a lot of symbolism.

Based on Wikipedia:

Elephant jokes are seen by many commentators as symbolic of the culture of the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1960s ... Abrahams and Dundes, in their paper On elephantasy and elephanticide, consider elephant jokes to be convenient disguises for racism, and symbolised the nervousness of white people about the civil rights movement. Whilst blatantly racialist jokes became less acceptable, elephant jokes were a useful proxy. Abrahams and Dundes take the joke

Q: What is big and grey and comes in quarts?
A: An elephant.

and state that the "big and grey and comes in quarts" is in fact a reference "to the supposed mammoth nature of black sexuality." Similarly, the joke about an elephant in the bathtub is argued to be a reference to the increased intrusion of black people into "the most intimate areas of white life."

  • 3
    what the hell is the "the joke about an elephant in the bathtub" ... !?!!?
    – Fattie
    May 11, 2016 at 19:26
  • 3
    The elephant asks the penguin to pass the soap. And the penguin says not soap, radio. May 11, 2016 at 19:51
  • 1
    This is a very interesting theory, that elephant jokes are disguised racism. I wonder if there's any truth in it. There's something inherently funny about elephants, possibly just because they are so large and exotic, but perhaps it's our subconscious anxieties acting out. Paging Dr Freud! Perhaps we could look at jokes made up by people of african heritage and see what the incidence of elephants is - if they tend to use some other animal then there might be something in the theory. May 12, 2016 at 10:41
  • 1
    @AaronMcMillin care to explain this joke?
    – marsh
    May 12, 2016 at 17:36
  • 4
    @marsh: probably, no: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_soap_radio
    – herisson
    May 15, 2016 at 21:45

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