A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 05, 2019
“Dad, can you do my math homework for me?"/"No, son, it wouldn’t be right.”

A homework joke is:

Son: Dad, can you do my math homework for me?
Dad: No. son, it wouldn’t be right.
Son: Well, at least you could try.


The joke is that the father is saying that it wouldn’t be “morally right,” but the son understands that it wouldn’t be “right” (correct). The joke has been cited since at least 1939.


15 December 1939, The Rich County Reaper (Randolph, UT), “Smiles,” pg. 8, col. 5:
Willing to Chance It
“Dad, do my homework for me.”
“Now, son, you know that wouldn’t be right.”
“Pr’aps not, dad; but you might have a go at it.”

Google Books
Heath Handbook of English
By Henry I. Christ
Boston, MA: D.C. Heath
1961
Pg. 13:
In the following anecdote, notice how the pronoun it shifts its meaning when used by the two different speakers.

Danny: Ma, please do my homework for me.
Mother: No, Danny, it just wouldn’t be right.
Danny: Maybe it wouldn’t, but you could try!

Google Books
Modern English in Action:
Manual and Answer Book

By Henry Irving Christ and Jacob Cloyd Tressler
Boston, MA: D. C. Heath
1975
Pg. 256:
Tommy: Ma, please do my homework for me.
Mother: No, Tommy, it just wouldn’t be right.
Tommy: Maybe it wouldn’t, but you could try!

Google Books
5,000 Great One Liners
Compiled by Grant Tucker
London, UK: Biteback Publishing
2012
Pg. ?:
‘Dad, can you do my maths homework for me?’ ‘No son, it wouldn’t be right.’ ‘Well, at least you could try.’

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/madazzahatter November 17, 2017
“Dad, can you do my math homework for me?”
“No son, it wouldn’t be right.”
“Well, at least you could try.”

Twitter
Dad Jokes
@Dadsaysjokes
Son “Dad can you do my maths homework for me?”
Dad: “No son it wouldn’t be right.”
Son: “At least you can try.”
8:28 AM - 5 Mar 2019

Reddit—Cleanjokes
Posted by u/honolulu_oahu_mod July 5, 2019
“Dad, can you do my math homework for me?” “No son, it wouldn’t be right.”
“Well, at least you could try.”
COMMENTS
gradymegalania
Huh?
akaBigmacc
the dad is saying if he did it, he would get the answers wrong
gradymegalania
Oh, now I get it!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Friday, July 05, 2019 • Permalink