A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down, and orders a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun, and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the manager shouts, “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter, and you didn’t even pay for your sandwich!”

“Hey, man, I’m a PANDA!” the panda shouts back. “Look it up!”

The manager opens his dictionary and reads:

Panda: A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterized by distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves.

(Red?!) Panda joke by Anil Dash. Red panda by Curt.



  1. Tony James says:

    Pandas? Marsupials? Teh wha’?

  2. MadGastronomer says:

    No, no, it’s, “eats, shoots and leave.” It’s a punctuation joke, if you leave out that comma, it makes less sense and less funny.

  3. Um, it’s “eats, shoots and leaves.” That’s the whole point of the joke. The misplaced comma.

  4. Sorry, MadGostronomer; your comment wasn’t displaying when I wrote mine. You get dibs on the credit for this one.

  5. I think Meg’s has it right.

  6. Ha! What do I know? I can’t even type a six word sentence correctly. LOL.

    I loves me some fluffity red panda. Slurpy slurp!

  7. AuntieMame says:

    Meg is right. If you put the punctuation in, you’re making it clear that the panda is a homicidal maniac.

    The joke is that without the punctuation, you don’t know whether the comment is about his eating habits or his violent proclivities.

  8. Adorable. (And Eats, Shoots and Leaves is also an excellent book.)

  9. That’s a really OLD dictionary if it says the giant panda is a marsupial…

    Also, red panda tongue!!!!!!!

  10. Oh, I’ve heard that before, only it was a lot more naughty and involved a koala.

  11. Martha in Washington says:

    Love that book! It should be required reading for every high-schooler in the country!
    The red panda is very cute, BTW.

  12. Hahaha. A poorly punctuated joke about poor punctuation. Oh, the irony.

  13. Gristle McNerd says:

    wait, marsupial? those only exist in australia. did you perchance mean mammal?

  14. ear floof!
    I want him!

  15. Red pandas (and koalas) can’t be real – they’re probably a fabrication by Gundt…

  16. The red panda! It is the people’s panda! 🙂

  17. Marsupials exist on other continents. Opossums are marsupials.

  18. Is there a PBLBLT! tongue action CO rule? And why not?
    BTW, the Australian version of the joke involves a wombat which eats roots. And leaves.

  19. soxfan413 says:

    Yep, Meg has it right. Good job on the explanation, AuntieMame. 🙂

  20. Hee hee, I have that book on my desk this very minute! A friend just returned it to me tonight.

  21. Actually, the punchline really is “eats, shoots and leaves.” Go look up Lyn Truss’ book. (And the grammar nazis will tell ya that the correct punctuation is “eats, shoots, and leaves. 😀 )

  22. How about an “I shall leeck you” tag?

  23. One, two, three, four. I declare a tongue war.

  24. Red pandas are some of the most adorabuhls creatures in the world.

    Once, when I was about to have surgery, I was so nervous that I started babbling on about red pandas as they set up the anesthesia. I passed out while describing them to the surgeon.

  25. Sorry, misspelt Thhhhhhfffffbbbbt as PBLBLT.

  26. squees coos and bleens

  27. I would like to be in his face, getting a little kiss right now. *sigh*

  28. Dang cute!

  29. “Yeh yeh, I’m a relative of those black and white bozos, were endangered to you know”.

  30. muttluver says:

    I’ve never heard the joke before–love it! And the panda is adorabuhls of course.

  31. @Nikki, excellent suggestion. Done!

  32. warrior rabbit says:

    Also known as the lesser panda, which I always thought was unnecessarily mean. Give him a complex, whydontcha.

  33. This partic one should be known as the raspberry panda!

  34. Kane Taylor says:

    This joke is actually part of a book about punctuation, and how much difference it can make.
    …so there……..ppppffffftttthhhhh!

  35. Neither ordinary, nor red pandas are marsupials. They are both mammals.

    Sorry, I’m a stickler for details.

  36. While we’re being stickler-y, about grammar and taxonomy, marsupials are all mammals, too. The non-marsupial mammals, i.e., those that don’t have pouches, are placental mammals. But pandas, like marsupials, give birth to relatively undeveloped, teeny tiny babies, after relatively brief gestation.

  37. BatBlaster says:

    Yes but they are not taxonomically marsupials, but the joke IS funny

  38. Emmberrann says:

    And the sandwich was good, too.

  39. Mammals, Marsupials, blah blah blah… Look at the tongue, people!! THAT’s where it’s at!!

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled argument… 🙂

  40. Red velvet panda, that should be this animal’s name!

  41. tongue!!!!! I have a kitteh (Molly) who, when I scratch her back/hips area, will do a reflex licking action, and if I put my nose right in front of her, will then give me keeses on my nose. Hee!

  42. Kentucky Kitty says:

    * RIM SHOT * for Meggie! that was a hoot!

  43. cambridge_rat_mom says:

    Lynne Truss’, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”–a book well worth reading.

  44. @dub1

    >>Sorry, misspelt Thhhhhhfffffbbbbt as PBLBLT.

    i thought that looked a little funny.

  45. Auntie Mame’s got it right. And the joke was around long before the book. As was the other version I believe Faye is referring to, involving a prostitute and a koala that eats bushes and leaves.

  46. @blair

    >>squees coos and bleens


  47. OMG!!! I want one sooooo bad now! I adore the black & white ones, but the red ones are so freakin’ adorable too!!

  48. The Cat Foundation says:

    This is soooooooooooo funny: eats shoots and leaves…. couldn’t stop smirking, laughing for hours…. shoots and leaves…… ha ha ha ha …… 🙂

  49. Hee! Cute tongue!

    Also, as a side note, there’s a wonderful audio series on a website called decoderringtheatre about a masked superhero named ‘The Red Panda’. (With his trusty companion, the Flying Squirrel.) I suggest it to all pulp superhero fans out there.

  50. Monique in TX says:

    We need a law that this must immediately become the image displayed when a Firefox browser encounters an Error 404.

    (the Firefox logo is based on a red panda)

  51. Reminds me of a passage in “Anne of Avonlea” where Davy, quoting the catechism, was really sure to find jams in heaven: “It was in that question Marilla taught me last Sunday. ‘Why should we love God?’ It says, ‘Because He makes preserves, and redeems us.’ ” Anne had to explain that a comma makes ‘ a great deal of difference in the meaning”.
    I also hope He makes preserves as well as he makes cute red pandas.

  52. @Monique in TX: looks more like a fox to me.

  53. The joke doesn’t make any sense without the extra punctuation. With no comma, the sentence’s intention — the panda eats “shoots (as in bamboo) and leaves” — is clear. The ambiguity comes from the inserted, grammatically incorrect comma, which leads to the mistaken understanding that “shoots” is intended as a verb, not a noun. Otherwise, cute post; you just need to not quote mistaken blogs in the future. :p

  54. Oh my goodness what a cutie pie. That tongue!! Bronx cheer…Thhhhhhfffffbbbbt as Archie Bunker use to call it.

    Auntie Mame..thanks, love your explaination.

    He can touch his nose with his tongue…like me!

  55. @Monique in TX – Why would it be a red panda when it’s called Fire FOX?

  56. My daughter gave me the book as a present;
    (which was a perfect gift for a card-carrying member of the Grammar Police…..!)

  57. fatgrammafinn says:

    just finished rereading Lynne Truss’ masterpiece- it’s a small club, but we Lynne’s With An “E” have to stick together- i make it a point never to read fiction during the summer, and am now re-reading “Talk to the Hand”, “The Ancestor’s Tale” and “The Selfish Gene”, yes, all at once. *takes a bow, flourishes three musketeer hat*

  58. He is cute.

  59. This joke just made my evening.

  60. i’m sorry, i can’t hear your joke over the raspberry teh ikkle fier foks is making.

  61. “I helped my uncle, Jack, off his horse.”

    That sentence means something *completely* different without the correct punctuation and capitalization. 🙂 I heart grammar.

  62. Add me to the camp that says the joke is right the way it is written. It’s just not that funny if the dictionary is the one with the incorrect grammar and much funnier if the panda is the one that made the incorrect interpretation of the dictionary.

  63. Was that a floofernutter sammie? Because if it was, then no commas should be included in “Eats shoots and leaves.” So now you know.

  64. Theresa @36 said: “The non-marsupial mammals, i.e., those that don’t have pouches, are placental mammals”

    Not quite. There’s a 3rd order of mammals: the monotremes, which includes the platypus and echidna.