Did you ever hear this riddle when you were growing up?

A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exclaims, “I can’t operate on this boy.” “Why not?” the nurse asks. “Because he’s my son,” the doctor responds. How is this possible?

Here’s the answer, below…

The doctor is the boy’s mother.

When I was growing up in the eighties, the riddle stumped almost everyone. I remember spending ages mulling it over. It really seemed like a riddle. Now it seems so obvious!

Interestingly, in 2010, Good Morning America told the riddle to adults on the streets of New York—and the majority of them didn’t get the right answer. But then the producers asked 17 fifth graders, and the majority of them got it right. Plus, the kids who got it “wrong” guessed that the surgeon was either the boy’s stepdad or that the boy’s parents were both dads.

Thoughts? Did you get it?

P.S. On a similar note: This is What a Scientist Looks Like.

(Photo by Kerry Murray)