Dixie Riddle Cups


During those hots days of summer, youngsters had the opportunity to quench their kid-sized thirst – AND learn a new joke at the same time, something sure to make their friends giggle. Dixie Riddle Cups were there whenever you needed a few gulps of water or Kool-Aid to wet your whistle.

The story starts with a man named Lawrence Luellen. Shortly after the turn of the century, it was common to share a common drinking source, and often the same cup. He found all that germ sharing a bit unsanitary, so he went and invented a water vending machine, complete with a stack of disposable paper cups.

His invention was quite popular, especially on passenger trains, where he charged a penny per cup of water. That company eventually morphed into the Dixie Cup Corporation. Advertisements in the decades ahead reminded the public of how many uses there were for a Dixie Cup, and also the fact that they were unbreakable and disposable, perking up the ears of parents everywhere.


In the early 1970s, the company decided to appeal to the youngest of consumers by printing simple riddles on brightly colored paper cups. You know, something like: “Where do cows go on Saturday Night? To the mooo-vies!” or “What kind of dog has no tail? A hot dog!” Perhaps it wasn’t exactly gut-busting humor, but that didn’t stop these cups from becoming enormously popular.

So much so that Dixie eventually introduced Riddle Plates and Riddle Bowl to complete the paper dinnerware line. They also introduced Dixie “Knock-Knock” cups, which specialized in that particular type of joke. Another line that readers might remember were the Dixie “Guinness World Record Cup,” each adorned with facts about an amazing world record.


Sadly, when 1978 arrived, Dixie did away with the riddle cups, much to the disappointment of kids everywhere who had grown accustomed to the humorous cups waiting for them besides the bathroom sink when they brushed their teeth, or next to the fridge when they needed to quench their thirst. It was like having a friend suddenly yanked from your life.

It took Dixie (a company that has passed hands many times over the years) two decades before they realized that people might still hold a bit of fondness for Dixie Riddle Cups. The company held a contest in 1997, looking for joke writers under the age of 12 to help them develop a line of Dixie Riddle Cups for a new generation. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long and soon, the world was once again without these special cups.

I suspect that we have a few readers around these parts that remember drinking from, and laughing with, Dixie Riddle Cups back in the day. Maybe you even remember one of the jokes that you would like to share with the class. If you have fond recollections of these little funny cups, I’d love to hear what you remember in our comments section below.

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21 Responses

  1. Ed Obluck says:

    Of all things a 46 yr old has on his mind, Dixie Riddle Cups just happened to pop in there. Havent even thought of them in decades. I Googled it and got your site. How cool to see some nice pics and to learn what happened to them.

    • Bigwavedave says:

      I’m a 56 yr old man, I grew up in Dallas, Every refrigerator has sweet tea in it, especially the summer months. So my break time from playing football all day in the neighborhood was always a little bit sweeter because the Dixie riddle cups in the dispenser on the side of the refrigerator. And of course all the kids would come over too because of the cup, we would sit around and read the riddles to each other. I don’t know why it just dawned on me, the last time was46years ago. When I’d ask my Mom did you get new cups? Good memories, it’s a shame that today’s kids don’t get that type of experience. Modern technology keeps them indoors looking @ a screen all day. My generation wins with the Dixie riddle cup!

  2. Cleo waring says:

    Where can i buy some

  3. Lisa sanches says:

    Memories awesome thanks guys.

  4. Ruthie says:

    I want to buy some too for my grandchildren

  5. Thomas Dickensheets says:

    Bring them back!

  6. Ray says:

    How do you catch a squirrel?
    Climb up a tree and act like a nut!

    Pretty much the only joke I’ve remembered all my life. Was hoping to find some on Amazon but it appears they don’t make them anymore.

  7. Frank says:

    What’s the best time to go to the dentist? Two thirty.

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Kimberly says:

    Omg started to read your first comment and I tune just had Dixie riddle cups pop in my head for no reason at all. I am 54 years old and I still remember one of the Dixie riddles from when I was 9. The riddle was .Why did the onion make the cook cry? Answer, because he beat the eggs. Too bad like so many things from our childhood Dixie riddle cups are gone to.

  10. Brian says:

    What’s green and sings?
    Elvis Parsley!
    Loved those cups.

  11. Yvette says:

    Too bad I cannot get the dixie cups with jokes any longer because I would like to pass on some of these jokes to my kid. I still remember this one: “What did the Beetles say during the avalanche?”

  12. Yvette says:

    Answer: “Watch out for the Rolling Stones”

  13. Werner says:

    Answer: “Watch out for the Rolling Stones”

  14. Werner says:

    Answer: “Watch out for the Rolling Stones”

  15. Anonymous says:

    I use them at work I have 6 people tell the same joke to 1 person like why the house call the doctor
    It has a window pain

  16. Stacey says:

    I need to know the answer to: why is a bald man so happy? You picture the question, but not the answer! I’ll never sleep again.

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