It’s like a cheap, tacky festive ice-breaker.

You’re at a yuletide party and you offer the other end of your Christmas cracker to a complete stranger or a family member you last saw when Slade were topping the charts with ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’.

After you make sure it’s separated first time, and both ‘pullers’ have agreed on how underwhelming the ‘snap’ was, it’s one of two things that create excitement…..for all of 30 seconds. 

Not the colourful tissue paper ‘crown’ with the structural integrity of a soufflé. Some go on a hunt for the chunk of plastic that flew off somewhere across the table to find out if it was a novelty moustache, trinket or toy. If you’re lucky it’s a ‘life changing’ item – maybe a mini paper notepad which will replace your smartphone as a memory aid for weeks to come!

We reckon the thing the British people look forward to the most is the slip of paper which is often wedged inside the remnants of the cracker.

Apparently, the two or three lines of groan inducing humour printed on that paper are designed to help bring people together. Cheesiness is a universal language and as long as they are not offensive and everyone can understand them, then you have an air of harmony to go with the mass consensus at how bad the jokes are.

Before we list our favourites, here’s our top five cracker facts:

  • Like the Christmas card, the cracker was invented in the 1840s. Confectioner Tom Smith came up with the idea as a promotional item to sell more sweets. 
  • Brits get through 300 million crackers every year
  • Fortnum & Mason sell a box of six luxurious crackers for £1,000, containing champagne and designer goods
  • The world's longest Christmas cracker measured 63.1m (207ft) long and 4m (13ft) in diameter and was made by the parents of children at Ley Hill School and Pre-School, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, UK on 20 December 2001.
  • The largest Christmas cracker pull was achieved by 1,478 participants for an event organised by Honda R&D KEN-YU-KAI Tochigi (Japan) on 18th October 2009. The record attempt was held at the Honda Festival 2009 in Tochigi, Japan.

Pull the other one

So, having made a new/renewed an acquaintance in your pulling pal, you wait your turn to read out the gag in your possession to the rest of the table.

No nerves, as we all know that you didn’t write it so it’s not your fault if it’s about as funny as Christmas pudding induced heart burn. And it doesn’t matter if it’s as cheesy as the cheeseboard at the end of your meal.

There are 1,000s of them out there.  Some festive themed, some just bad every day jokes that we’ve all heard before. Here’s some of our favourites:

Why was the turkey in the pop group?
Because he was the only one with drumsticks!

Why is a Christmas pudding like the Atlantic Ocean?
Because it is full of currants.

Why was the snowman looking through the carrots?
He was picking his nose

How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?
Deep pan, crisp and even.

What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts?

What do you call a blind reindeer?
No eye deer

What do you get if you eat all the Christmas decorations? Tinselitis

What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

What do you call a fly without wings?
A walk

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A mince spy.

How do cows subtract?
With a cow-culator.

Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?
Because her pupils were too bright.

How do you cook sausages in the jungle?
Under a gorilla.

What lies at the bottom of the sea and shivers?
A nervous wreck.

Customer: "This steak is terrible. I want the manager." Waiter: "Sorry sir, he isn't on the menu."

What do you call a fairy who hasn't had a wash for a week? Stinkerbell

Why did Santa’s helper see the doctor?
He had a low elf-esteem

How did Scrooge win the football game?
The ghost of Christmas passed!

What did Father Christmas do when he went speed dating?
He pulled a cracker!

Why did the pony have to gargle?
Because it was a little horse

What goes "Oh, Oh, Oh"?
Santa walking backwards

What do you do when you see a space man?
Park in it, man!

What’s round and bad tempered?
A vicious circle

Why did the orange take a prune to the Christmas party
Because he couldn’t find a date!

What athlete is warmest in winter?
A long jumper.

Why did the man get the sack from the orange juice factory?
Because he couldn't concentrate.

What's tall and wobbly and stands in the middle of Paris?
The trifle tower!

Why do birds fly south for the winter?
Because it’s too far to walk.

What lies in a pram and wobbles?
A jelly baby

Have you heard the joke about the broken pencil?
There's no point in telling you

How do you hire a horse?
Stand in on four bricks

How do you keep cool at a football match?
You stand next to a fan

What award goes to designers of door knockers?
A no bell prize

What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?
"You’re too young to smoke"

What do you call a one eyed dinosaur?
A Do-you-think-he-saurus?

What do you call an old snowman?

What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?
A Holly Davidson

How does Bob Marley like his doughnuts?
Wi’ Jammin

What’s white, fluffy and swings through a cake shop?
A meringue-utang

Which is your favourite? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!