The, “Is your refrigerator running?” joke or pun was used years ago when prank calls were more of a thing. It was a way kids could entertain themselves. Or something they imagined doing, and thus entertained themselves.

friends sitting around a living room telling jokes and riddles and puns and laughing - Is your refrigerator running joke

Back then there wasn’t caller id so people answered their phones whenever there was a call. And that’s why and how it worked. A kid might dial a random number or might pick one out of a phone book.

Here are a couple of variations of the joke and some additional responses that you will love. Also, I included some responses if you want to prank the person telling you this joke.

Is Your Refrigerator Running? – Long version

 A random number is selected and called. The unsuspecting person answers their phone.


In the caller’s best “adult” voice… “Hello. This is (name) from (name’s) Appliance Repair. Is your refrigerator running?”

“Yes.” They would say with a bit of hesitation.

At this point, the caller knew they had pulled it off! Trying hard not to laugh too much but not caring too much if they did the caller exclaims, “Well, you’d better go catch it!” and would burst out laughing and hang up the phone.

Is Your Refrigerator Running? – Short version

This joke doesn’t have to be told over the phone though. You could do it in person. And today with people’s calling and answering behaviors, you might launch into the shorter version in the middle of a face-to-face conversation as well. 

Caller: “Is your refrigerator running?”

Answers: “Yes…”

Caller: “Then you had better go catch it!”

Other possible responses

Ok, here are a couple more takes on that joke to consider if you are going to try it out.

After the initial:

Caller: “Is your refrigerator running?”

Answers: “Yes…”

Then try these:

“Good. Mine too.”


Caller: “Great! Mine too! See you at the refrigerator races tomorrow.”


Caller: “So, I’ll see you at the refrigerator races tomorrow?” (wait for a response and then hang up)


Caller: If so, I may vote for it. What’s its platform?


Caller: Because I’m concerned… (pause) Refrigerator obesity is on the rise.

Stump or foil the “refrigerator running” prankster with these responses

You are a quick wit and hear someone say to you, “Is your refrigerator running?” and want to get them before they get you? Here are some responses you can give them to outwit them.

Caller: “Is your refrigerator running?”

Answers: Do you know someone who can fix it?


Answers: No, but the dishwasher is


Answers: Yeah, I’m out for a jog with it right now. You want to talk to her?


Answers: “No, my fridge isn’t running, but it’s okay. I’ve already called the fridge repair guy.”


Answers: No, and I need to get it fixed right away. I have a lot of things that are going to go bad unless I can get it fixed soon. Can you fix it? If you can’t, do you know someone who can? I need it done ASAP! 

Clearly, you could take that last one in any number of directions.

The jokester wants to hear you respond with a “Yes” so they can deliver the punchline. Realy anything that allows you to answer, “No” will work as a way to stump them. 

The Joke’s Explanation

As a pun, the word “running” works as both a verb meaning ‘properly functioning’, and a verb meaning ‘moving fast on foot’. Typically, the person hearing the joke assumes that the person telling it is using the definition, ‘properly functioning’ or ‘working’ when, of course, the person is using the second meaning, or the act of physically running.

It’s kind of funny to use refrigerators because other appliances could be used because they don’t move much at all… unlike a blender, washing machine, or dryer. All of which can actually move during operation.

And typically everyone’s fridge is running or working or they would proactively call to find a repair person. So why would anyone be calling to see IF it is running?

Some might argue it’s kind of a bad joke… but one that is quite popular nonetheless.

Why is the “is your refrigerator running” joke typically associated with prank calling someone?

It seems to work the best if you’re anonymous and not in front of the person or prank-calling them. It doesn’t seem to have the same effect if you’re talking to somebody face to face or in person.

Is Your Fridge Running? – Variation

Obviously, this joke works with the word “fridge” as well. Here are the variations of a few of them with “fridge” in them instead. 

Caller: “Is your fridge running?”

video #1

Answers: “Yes…”

Caller: “Then you had better go catch it!”


Caller: “Is your fridge running?”

Answers: “Yes…”

Caller: “Good. Mine too.”

And There You Have It

It can be fun to gather and tell jokes and riddles when you are traveling. Whether you are making new friends or spending time with your most cherished favorite, it can be fun to bust out some new jokes. From time to time I may share a couple here on the site.

I recently shared a bunch of questions you could ask on a road trip or next adventure. It’s over 850 questions at this point. I will add more as I think of them. I liked to it below.

Hopefully, you this little exploration into that joke. Check out that questions article below. Cheers,

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