The timeworn and pedestrian answer is simply "to get to the other side."
Here are some creative and original answers:
The chicken crossed the road. This fact is rarely disputed. But why did the chicken cross the road? No entirely satisfactory explanation has ever been agreed upon. The most popular reason is purely that the chicken crossed to get to the other side. If this is correct then many jokes have been spoiled or ruined.
The most interesting question is who originally came up with the answer. If it were the writer, then the question would be solved.
However, at the Fourth Chicken Crossing Conference, held in the Poultry World Hall of Fame on May 10-12, 2000, a team of distinguished scholars met once again to consider this poultry matter in depth. Unfortunately once again, no consensus was reached. Here are some points considered and some possibilities based on observations using chicken psychology tests, media reports, forensic evidence, public and private investigations and human intuition, put forward to explain the behavior of the chicken. It is hoped that at the next conference further progress toward a definitive answer will be made:
- The chicken wanted to learn about its family history (i.e. which came first the chicken or the egg) so it crossed the road to get to the library on the other side.
- The chicken was feeling confident, it was a nice spring day, traffic was light, visibility was good, all the other chickens crossed the road so naturally this one didn't want to appear anti-social, contrary, and oddly different.
- It was just a matter of time before it happened because, just as every chicken loves some chicken sometime, every chicken will cross some sort of road sometime.
- Because it felt like it.
- Because it needed the exercise.
- Because it wished to avoid meeting the chicken it saw approaching.
- God ordained from the time of Creation that this chicken should come into the world and should cross the road exactly when it did.
- Having spent days and nights searching its soul the chicken finally decided that it had to cross the road and did so.
- It all depends on what is meant by "why," "chicken," "road" and "cross."
- It got bored.
- It had a death wish.
- It had already crossed the road 999 times that day and wanted to make it 1000.
- It had always been intending to and finally decided today was the day.
- It saw the rooster on the other side and wanted to get laid.
- It wanted a change of scenery.
- It wanted to be famous.
- It wanted to catch the bus into town.
- It wanted to show it was not a chicken.
- It wanted to show it was a mean chicken.
- It was a very confused chicken.
- It was caught by a freak gust of wind.
- It was collecting experiences for its next book.
- It was part of a chicken conga line which happened to be crossing the road.
- It was trying out its new pair of roller blades on the asphalt.
- It was trying to find its roots.
- None of the other chickens crossed the road and this chicken wanted to be different.
- The chicken crossed the road because it was daydreaming and did not notice it.
- The chicken had just had its head chopped off.
- The chicken had prayed fervently all night and at dawn Jehovah had told it to cross the road, and the chicken crossed the road, and Jehovah saw, and saw that it was good, and saith unto the chicken, Verily, thou art a rock of Chickrael.
- The chicken was looking for love.
- The chicken was running late and took a short cut.
- The chicken was trying to make a difference.
- The light turned green.
- The Moon became conjunct with the chicken's natal Mars in its fourth house.
- The other chickens dared it to.
- The other chickens told it to go away.
- The Spirit moved it.
- The time had arrived for this chicken to cross this road.
- This chicken inherited genes predisposing it to cross roads.
- This was a Mormon chicken and it was setting out on its mission.
- It got caught up in a scam offering free grain deliveries in exchange for a nude road streak.
- All events in the chicken's entire life are fixed in 4-dimensional space time and the chicken could not have done anything else at that time (as we see things from within ordinary experience) than what it did; the chicken crossed the road because the chicken's crossing the road has been part of the eternally fixed micro structure of the 4-d block universe from the moment of its creation.
- It was helping to stamp out bugs.
- It was bearing the white chicken's burden.
- It was fulfilling its Manifest Destiny.
- It was doing God's work.
- It was helping to make the world safe for chickocracy.
- It was just following orders.
- It wanted to prove to the squirrel that it could be done.
- It wanted to prove to the opossum that it could be done.
- It wanted to prove to the armadillo that it could be done.
- What chicken?
- Because it wanted to be hit by a car.
- Because it saw the chicken crossing sign.
- It was blackmailed by a bully goose.
- Because if it didn't, there would be no question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and many road-crossing-chicken scholars would not be able to answer their calling in life and would be unsatisfied for their entire lives.
- It knew something the other chickens didn't.
- Because of the rupture in the space-time continuum.
- I think the real question here is why did the road cross the chicken's path?
- The road crossed the chicken first. Retaliation baby.
- To go home. He had previously crossed the road to get to the other side, and now he was returning to where he originally came from.
- To get his pension. You don't get it? Neither did the chicken, he wasn't old enough!
- Because he thought if a zebra could do it, so could he.
- Because some turkey said he was too chicken to do it.
- Because all members of the Road Chickens Cult have to do it.
- Just because he could!
- To give everybody this silly joke to ask a zillion times...... over and over, for the next 50 years!
- He crossed "the road" because "the road" was a dirty, low down, loud mouth punk, and "the chicken" doesn't take orders from a punk!
- It was a stunt being filmed by Peter Jackson for the movie "To Cross or Not to Cross."
- Because the chicken was going to McDonald's.
- The chicken crossed the road because it was a suicidal chicken that wanted to die.
- This chicken was in college and had to cross the road in order to become a part of the sorority.
- The chicken was tired of the side it was on therefore it crossed over.
- The chicken was on the reality TV show for poultry called "Cooked Goose" which is a poultry version of "Fear Factor" and the next challenge was to cross the road.
- If it crossed the road it would win a free car (and driving lessons.)
- It was running away from the people who wanted to eat it.
- The chicken is a Rhode Island Red, of course it's going to cross the road.
- It was only doing what the little voices in its head told it to do.
- To get away from the Colonel.
- Because it wanted to show off its guts.
- Because it needed to. Why else would a chicken cross a road?
- Because philosophically, is a road truly a road if it was not to be crossed? And is a chicken truly a chicken if it were chicken? (No, wait a minute...)
- Because a sorcerer told the chicken that he can no longer cross roads after an incident when his chicken-wife got ran over. However, he wanted to prove the sorcerer wrong, so he summoned up enough courage to do so. And when he was crossing the road, some American saw the chicken cross the road. He asked himself "Why did the chicken cross the road?" The rest they say... was history.
- Because the referee shouted 'fowl'.
- To get to the other side!
- Because it was the pig's day off.
- Well, I don't know why the chicken crossed the road, but, there once was a chicken who stole a crucifix, and, while being chased by the crowds, ran over to a river, rested the crucifix on it, and then rowed it to the other side. That's why the chicken rowed the cross, in any case.
- Because if the chicken didn't cross the road none of this would have been typed and a so-called "joke" that has been around forever would not exist. But really, what's so funny about a chicken crossing the road? How would you like it if someone made a "joke" about YOU every-time you crossed the road?
- So it could cause global warming on the other side of the road.
- So it could spread global warming alarmism on the other side of the road.
- To vote. Yes, it is illegal for chickens to vote, and especially for chickens to vote 17 times, like this one did. But she was a Democrat, so it's ok. Just like it's ok for illegal aliens, convicted felons, dead people, and fictional characters to vote. Unless they vote Republican.
- because a farmer chased it with a knife.
- Because its mom was behind it with a list of chores.
- It wanted a job as a translator.
- It wanted a job as a suicide assistant.
- It wanted a job as a poultry-seller, it didn't like itself.
- Someone had done an egg fart on the other side.
- It wished to set up an egg market on the other side.
- Its psychic had said that, some time that day, it would cross the road.
- Because it had this really funny joke it wanted to write down but it had to go to the dollar store to buy a pencil.
- There was a Bureau de Change on the other side he wanted to sue for not being in Russian, Filipino, and Zulu.
- All the other chickens were doing it, and it just wanted to fit in.
- Because he had just killed his friend Paul, Paul was a member of the chicken triad and the triad boss Alan has put a price on the chicken's head. The next day the chicken woke up and he decided that he would go out to the shops to buy some milk and cheese to make an omelet for his dinner. On the way to the shops he decided to take a shortcut through Westborough Ave. suddenly a black VW van pulled up beside him and two armed chickens jumped out and chicken-napped the chicken (the chickens called Neil). The van drove to a secret location and Neil woke up hanging upside down by his feet? Alan was there and he told Neil what he would do to him. Neil was scared and he remembered that he had secretly hidden a desert eagle in a secret compartment in his feathers. So he pistol whipped Alan and cut himself free. He escaped the secret location (which turned out to be a SPAR) and ran to the main highway. That was where he crossed the road.
- Because it wanted to warn everybody that the sky was falling.
- It was stapled to the punk rocker!
- Because it had lost its comb. Because everyone knows that chicken, when it goes on vacation, only packs its comb; whereas an elephant packs its whole trunk.
- There was a guy on the other side, holding a magnet. Hell, that chicken did have a heart of steel.
- It was a Supervisor, so it decided to show it off by displaying his amazing talent.
- The poultry, in perspective, did not transport himself across any road at all, in fact. That is merely a matter of perspective. You see, a fluctuation in the space-time continuum alters the transiting rate of air molecules, and differentiates the particles of discoloration in air to form a color projection of the poultry, the corresponding light patterns specialized to be perceived by only the pupils of your eyes, as your pupils have a chemical alteration which allows them to perceive a level of light on a scale of 1000 Watts.
- There's some philosophy behind this, I guarantee it. OK, so *snore*
- The chicken didn't cross the road, it tried to run away from me.
- The chicken didn't cross the road, I carried it across.
- The chicken didn't cross the road, it ran across.
- The chicken didn't cross the road, it got blasted to the over side by bagpipes.
- The chicken didn't cross the road, that's just what it looks like.
- It was heading to the local jail to turn itself in for Murder.
- Because the monkey was on the other side and the chicken wanted to give the banana to the monkey.
- It was senile, I mean, why else would a kitten gloss the toad?
- Perhaps he had galloping confustikitus, which basically means he could not stop running. He could turn, but never stop.
- Because the road was there.
- Because it had restless leg syndrome and its therapist told it to walk whenever possible.
- Because a Pickle Exploded in Japan.
- Because a monkey was starving next to a gas station, and the gas station was out of barbeque potato chips, and the monkey didn't like the color green. This upset the chicken, and so it crossed the road.
- Well, here is an interesting fact... You see, my uncle was sitting at home one day, watching TV, when an ostrich popped out of his refrigerator and threw a rock shaped like the state of Kentucky, at my uncle's lamp. It missed the lamp and hit his pet raccoon. The raccoon got very scared and peed all over my uncle's stereo. This caused an electrical shock-wave, and fried his TV circuit. My uncle got furious and ran outside, got on his unicycle and rode away to my house. He walked in the front door, hit my brother in the head with a Pocahontas doll, and knocked him out. He grabbed my TV and headed for the door. I was eating my noodles when this all happened so I threw my fork at my uncle. It hit his ear and he dropped the TV. The TV landed on a rake. The rake flew into the air and hit a telephone wire, which made all the birds sitting atop the wire, fly away. There just so happened to be a hunter sitting nearby, and seeing all these birds made him "get ideas" he shot one of the birds which fell out of the air and landed in a bald man's ice cream. The man started to scream and burst into flames! This man's pet chicken got scared of the man, who was now on fire, and ran across the road. The chicken then got hit by a semi.
- Because it wanted to state the obvious.
- Because it wanted to cause a controversy as to why it crossed the road
- It understood the "Butcher" sign as a "Free Chicken Feed" sign.
- In all honesty, this was a mob chicken. A rival mob was pursuing it and had it backed up against a road. Gathering all his courage (not very much, I mean he's a chicken) he ran across the road, and thus saved his life.
- Because the chicken was part of Team Edward and he was running from Team Jacob.
- Because it wanted to prove it wasn't one. (wasn't a "chicken")
- For some fowl purpose.
- To become poultry in motion.
- It was suicidal and wanted to get hit by a car ...
- Because it had won 3rd prize in a raffle which was a free trip across the road
- To get to McDonald's
- KFC was on the same side he was on
- Because he/she was going to a rally
- She couldn't read, and thought that the sign that said 'Butcher Shop' said 'Chicken beauty parlor.'
- To create an existential quandary in a quantum universe?
- Because it felt motivated to do so
- It was just going that way
- Because it was running from new chicken-killing technology.
- To watch the community T.V.
- Because the Farmer wanted to sell it, so the chicken smelled a conspiracy and decided to "wing it"
- To get away from the demon cockroaches!!! (they're everywhere)
- To see the duck on the roof...
- Because the aliens implanted a metal plate in its head that made it cross the road
- Because the sky was falling!
- Because the chicken wanted to go on a vacation to visit his family at KFC.
The great wolf chased the small animal through the deserted, barren, grassy park, it lunged for it, and missed by just a few inches. It ran into a bush, and into the other side, it found itself in a street all of a sudden. Turning around, it backed closer to the road, away from the mighty wolf. Trembling, it made a decision, all or nothing. He turned around, and ran across the tarmac. And that, is why the chicken crossed the road.
1. Chicken is near a road, chicken is not near a road: 50/50 chance.
2. Chicken considers road, chicken considers something other than road: 50/50 chance.
3. Chicken considers that road can be crossed, chicken considers other aspects of road: 50/50 chance.
4. Chicken considers crossing road, chicken considers not crossing road 50/50 chance
5. Chicken crosses road, chicken does not cross road. 50/50 chance.
So, a chicken only has a 3.125% chance of actually crossing the road. In crossing the road, the chicken has beaten the overwhelming odds that it would not cross the road. Because the odds were beaten not out of intention, but rather by statistical necessity, it would appear that the chicken followed the black swan across road after talking to Schrödinger's cat.
Motivations and philosophy:
For all intents and purposes, the chicken probably crossed the road to get to the other side. But then, perhaps we should look at the deeper significance of this action.
- Plato: For the greater good.
- Captain James T Kirk: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
- Mr Spock: It is not logical for the chicken to have crossed the road as it would mean expending more effort than would be worth the energy value of the food he would find on the other side. If he crossed the road, it could only mean that Colonel Sanders was close behind and closing in on him. Captain - if we can approach Colonel Sanders from the correct approaching angle, we may stop him from strangling the chicken and avert this impending tragedy.
- Richard Nixon: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did NOT cross the road.
- Jerry Seinfeld: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?
- Sigmund Freud: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying insecurity.
- Bill Gates: I have just released the new Chicken Office 2010, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, balance your checkbook and eat your neighbor.
- Charles Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads.
- Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
- Hillary Clinton: That's what I'd like to know. Why DID the chicken cross the road?! But this administration is operating in secrecy, withholding important information from the American people, about how many chickens crossed the road and why they crossed it.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream! I have a dream of a day, when ALL chickens can cross ALL roads without having their motives called into question!
- Ernest Hemingway: To die. Alone. In the rain.
- Official Chicken Representative: Because he wanted to. Do you not think that maybe chickens have rights too? If youcrossed the road no one would question you.
To cross, or not to cross, that is the question: -
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous side;
Or to take arms against a road of troubles,
And by crossing end them?
- Foghorn Leghorn: That chick, ah say, that chicken crossed the road on account of I was after her tail feathers.
- Jules Verne: Much knowledge of our world, and the worlds beyond, has been achieved through scientific curiosity. Under a 125 F.At 36 degree North and 115 degree East, and at 03:00 GMT, Professor Chicken entered history as his Cannon propelled him through the road.
- Ronald Reagan: I forget.
- Homer Simpson: There was free beer on the other side of the road.
- Morpheus (from Matrix): Neo. There is no chicken.
- Grandpa: In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road and, by gosh, that was good enough for us!
- Dr Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road. Why he crossed, I've not been told!
- From the cast of 'Lost': Jack Sheppard: I don't know, maybe the chicken was just moving in that direction. Why does it have to mean anything that it crossed the road?
- John Locke: The Island demanded that the chicken cross at that moment.
- Sawyer: Why are you so interested in the damn chicken, Colonel Sanders? Tired of mangoes?
- Sayid: I know more about chickens and the use of them crossing roads than I care to remember. I know more about how to extract information from the chicken than any of you. Allow me to practice my methods. I will find out what you need to know.
- Hugo "Hurley" Reyes: Dude, did you see a chicken come this way?
- Colonel Sanders: I missed one?
He was running away from Popeyes-