Product management can get very boring at times, especially if your product isn’t something that you’re personally invested in. At times, even a product manager’s job needs to be toned down using product manager jokes.
You might go for them in your professional setting or need them for your opening speech at an event. Regardless of the occasion, you have to make sure that you have some good material to go on with.
However, product management jokes can very easily be a hit or a miss. You need to know what kind of jokes your audience is interested in.
In this article, we’ll go over some hilarious product management jokes and memes that you can use in various settings.
Let’s check them out
8 Awesome Product Manager Jokes
If you’re looking to lighten up the mood during your weekly scrum meeting, you can always crack a joke or two. However, you need some solid material to get on with.
Remembering a joke word by word can be relatively hard for most product managers. Not everyone has a perfect memory for remembering jokes word for word.
That’s why you’re better off understand the humor behind product manager jokes. That way, you can create your own PM jokes on the fly. Alternatively, you can create custom versions of common jokes and adjust them according to your setting; your setting being your organization, industry, and team.
In any case, we’ve gathered some of the best product manager jokes from all around the internet. There’s a small analysis of each joke to help you get a better idea about it so you can remember it more easily.
You can also use the descriptions to create your own personal product manager jokes.
Whatever the case, here are some awesome product manager jokes that you can use in the project management world:
“A product manager walks into a bar
It isn’t what he expected so they immediately blames the product development team for no reason.”
Bar jokes never seem to miss the spot, regardless of the context. However, the reason why this one hits the spot is because of the age-old stereotype, that product managers always blame a lack of a proper final product on the product development team.
However, it doesn’t just have to be the product development team. You can also include a product owner, project manager, programmer, product marketing manager, content marketing manager, social media manager, or any other person who’s associated with the product.
After that, you can adjust the rest of the joke according to whomever you choose. Therefore, you don’t have to limit yourself to the exact joke. Utilize your imagination and creativity to mix and match your jokes.
“What’s the hardest part of being a product manager?
Explaining what you do to your parents and friends.”
This is another example of a typical joke being used in a product management setting. The idea is that a lot of people know that there’s someone called a product manager, but no one knows what they actually do.
Since most people wonder what is a product manager, there’s a good chance that your friends and family do too, even if you’re a product manager yourself.
That’s not relevant, but the real question is: Can you explain what you do as a product manager? Probably not. At least not without being boring or confusing.
“What do you call an engineer who’s not meeting expectations?
A product manager, of course.”
The old ‘blame it on the product manager’ always works because the PM has to manage everything related to the product.
All roads lead to the product manager because they have to ensure that the product development team, engineering team, programming team, product marketing team, project management team, and every other stakeholder is on the same page.
If at any point, any team messes up, misses their deadline, doesn’t reach milestones, it’s considered to be the product manager’s fault.
Another take on the joke is that a product manager tries to do everything themselves to truly bring their vision to life. That, at times, includes micromanaging all the product people.
“What’s the best way to pay a product manager?
They love taking credit for everything.”
Since product managers are overseeing all product-related matters, they’re involved with all the teams, processes, and goals. That means they have a stake in every deadline, milestone, goal, and KPI.
Therefore, when a product is successful, a product manager is directly or indirectly responsible for it and can take credit for the success of the product.
That’s how ‘product managers take credit for everything’ became a thing. Since American Express allows credit payments for practically everything, it ties in with the joke.
“What happened to the product manager who could only write 3 lines of code?
He got promoted.”
It’s said that in the product industry, programmers and engineers usually stay at the production level and don’t really move into the management side of things. Therefore, anyone who becomes a product manager isn’t good at coding, developing, or engineering.
While that’s a stereotype, a lot of startups and Silicon Valley giants follow this to an extent. Even large organizations like Amazon and LinkedIn do it. Companies always look for managers who can understand basic coding and development rather than developers and coders who can manage.
In real life, management skills always trump other skills when it comes to the idea of a promotion.
“A product manager tries to walk into a bar but can't because the door isn't scheduled until next release.”
Product managers are excellent project managers. That means they need excellent scheduling skills. Everything about a product works on a prioritization basis, and that’s used to schedule different activities.
That may include product maintenance, product updates, new feature introduction, user stories implementation, or anything for better product management.
Whatever it is, a product manager creates a schedule and makes sure that everyone follows it.
This particular joke banks on replacing the product elements with a bar’s elements. You can do the same by just changing the setting from a bar to another place.
“A product manager asks an SEO expert to make a joke.
An SEO expert walks into a bar, bars, pub, tavern, public house, Irish pub, drinks, beer, alcohol place.
The product manager doesn’t understand the joke.”
Using two different elements in a joke always works if you understand both perspectives. There are two sides to this joke: one is about how SEO works and the other is about how product managers don’t know everything.
Combining those two things together makes it a pretty decent two-part joke. You can do this with practically any two elements such as product managers and marketers, product managers and upper management, or any other group.
However, keep in mind that you need to understand both elements. For example, the SEO part of the joke is only understandable if you have a basic understanding of how SEO works (using similar keywords to cover search intent).
“A product manager is very much like a marriage counselor.
They both just get people in the room and force them to talk to each other and listen to each other until the problem disappears.”
Making unique comparisons with product manager jobs always leads to an interesting analysis. For example, in this case, the comparison implies that both sides have to talk everything out.
Furthermore, it’s about addressing an issue hands-on to make it disappear with the relevant stakeholders present. Since product managers play the role of overseeing everything, they have to ensure that any problem is resolved as quickly as possible. And to do that, they have to get the relevant parties in one place.
5 Hilarious Product Management Memes
Similar to typical product manager jokes, you can also share product manager memes.
You’re not always going to be in a room with tons of product people and managers. And you won’t always be attending or hosting a conference or podcast.
Sometimes, you might want to share a joke on your Slack group or any other communication channel. It’s the age of memes, and most of the time, you’re better off sharing a meme than a written joke online.
While you may not find a lot of product manager memes on the internet, you can occasionally come across some good ones. Here are a few to help you get going.
Product managers are typically associated with being cranky and demanding. Meanwhile, their demands are often seen as unachievable or nonsensible goals. For example, in this meme, the PM is tired of waiting around for customers to place orders.
The character doesn’t understand that in order to get more orders, they need to work more on the product, work with the sales department, employ marketers, and do much more. Customers won’t just come to you to place a big order.
A good product manager tries to meet deadlines, but a great product manager understands that reaching deadlines is much more complicated. You can’t just rush a person or a team to get something done.
However, bad project management can lead to delays, and that usually falls on the product manager. In any case, it’s the PM’s job to ensure that all the teams are aware of deadlines and meeting them.
The ‘almost’ factor always leads to more delays, and it’s often heard of in the product management world.
Cyanide and Happiness have managed to practically develop memes and joke about everything, including product managers. This particular meme banks on the ruthlessness and straightforwardness of product managers.
It’s an accurate representation of what product managers have to do daily. They listen to multiple ideas from various people and provide their views on whether an idea would work or not.
PMs are also known to be blunt. Therefore, if it’s a bad idea, they will tell you it’s a bad idea even before explaining why it’s bad.
Dilbert cartoons have been around for a while and have transitioned into memes. It’s usually a quick cartoon with a few panels and some text.
This particular meme focuses on a lack of accountability and the fact that companies focus on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. For example, when an organization doesn’t listen to the product manager and the product ends up failing, other stakeholders would rarely take the blame.
In case of failed product, stakeholders will try to mention things like ‘Teamwork’ to account for the massive blunder they’ve made, and try to focus on relatively unnecessary things and considering them wins in the face of failure.
Product managers often joke about how other people believe they know more about the product than the PM. That’s because internal and external stakeholders along with customers often give their suggestions for improvements, and most of them are not feasible.
That’s where the idea of a product backlog was born as a way of escaping such conversations. If anyone provides a suggestion for an improvement or feature, just tell them you’ll put it in the backlog.
All product managers know that the idea isn’t going to go in the backlog. Product managers have to follow a strict product roadmap and product strategy, and random improvement suggestions don’t help.
Even if it’s a good suggestion that improves user experience, PMs still have to follow the process.
Wrapping It Up
You don’t have to be a standup comedian to make product manager jokes. All you need is a ‘lol’ from others to know that you’ve landed it.
You don’t always need unique jokes or memes; you can use existing ones and use them at the right time or derive your own versions of them.
Whatever the case, use product manager jokes and memes mentioned above to get some inspiration and lighten the mood at your next meeting.