The Brief: Pranksters will sometimes trick people into asking "who is Joe?" so that they can respond "Joe mama!" as in "yo mama."


A popular pastime of adolescents (usually boys) is to make fun of each other’s mothers. The “yo mama” joke is a way of insulting someone’s mother, going straight to an insult that’s off-limits in polite conversation. It even inspired the MTV show “Yo Momma” which ran from 2006-2007. One way in which this joke has taken off is in the form of “Joe Mama” jokes in which one person will trick another into saying “who is Joe?” so that they can smugly respond “Joe mama!” This joke functions similarly to “ligma” and “bofa.”

To clarify, the joke here is that “Joe mama” sounds like “yo mama,” which is shorthand for “your mother,” a ubiquitous phrase that makes someone’s mom the butt of any joke.

Recently, Joe mama memes have been going viral online with people sharing instances in which they fooled someone with a Joe mama joke or were almost fooled themselves.


Chad: Hey, have you seen Joe?

Aiden: Who’s Joe?


Don’t Ask Who Joe Is

On Reddit meme pages, a popular variation of these memes emphasizes the importance of not being fooled by this trick and asking who “Joe is.” One of the possible secrets hidden at Area 51: 

never ask who joe is…
byu/realistiq inmemes

don’t ask who joe is
by inwoooosh

Don’t ask who joe is 😳.
byu/_Kevin_Malone inteenagers

Darth Updog of Joe Momma
byu/matthewcurley32 indankmemes


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