Q. What do you get when you cross a parrot and a caterpillar?
A. A walkie talkie.

What feature of caterpillars was chosen to create this joke?

As far as I know a walkie talkie is a device with headphones for listening to music. And a caterpillar is a stage of a butterfly development. I agree, a parrot talks, but does a caterpillar walk?

@oerkelens corrected me, a walkie-talkie is some kind of radio, but what does it have similar to caterpillars?

  • 2
    I don't know about the caterpillar, but isn't a walkie talkie a device to talk to someone else (like a telephone), rather than what you describe? That sounds more like a walkman.
    – oerkelens
    May 14, 2016 at 10:44
  • @oerkelens may be, I'm not a native speakes, perhaps I mixed those together. but the meaning of 'some kind of radio" makes the joke more strange for me.
    – Andorian
    May 14, 2016 at 10:49
  • 4
    I guess caterpillars walk (they're walkies), and parrots talk (they're talkies), so combined you get a walkie talkie. If that's all there is to it, I don't think it's an extremely funny joke.
    – oerkelens
    May 14, 2016 at 10:50
  • 2
    A walkie-talkie is a hand-held radio, the sort of things police officers use or you'd perhaps take skiing. Partly superseded by mobile 'phones. I think the joke then hinges on parrots == talk, caterpillar == walk (except caterpillars crawl through a series of compressions and rarefactions {if that's applicable to a biological system!}, as they don't actually have legs...) May 14, 2016 at 10:51
  • 4
    Yeah, it's a pretty lame joke, but it's simply that parrots talk and caterpillars walk.
    – Hot Licks
    May 14, 2016 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


Just by way of confirming the consensus among commenters above that the "walkie" refers to the many legs a caterpillar is supposed to have, I note that a common version of this joke involves crossing a parrot with a centipede (for example, here, here, and here). Since the name centipede derives from the equivalent of "hundred foot," it probably makes a better animal choice than caterpillar. One online source ups the foot quotient by using a millipede instead of a centipede.

But a lot of sites go with caterpillar, maybe because more people know what a caterpillar is than know what a centipede or millipede is. Other parrot jokes on sites that tell this joke include "What's orange and rhymes with parrot?" and "What do you call a parrot that flew away?" and "What do you get if you cross a parrot with a shark?"—so the level of wit here isn't exactly Shakespearean.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.