In Jimmy Carr: Live (2004):

A dog is for life and not just for Christmas; so do be careful at the office party.

I didn't get the above joke either because I'm not British or I'm dumb.

Googling it seems like "A dog is for life and not just for Christmas" was some sort of slogan in the UK. Could someone explain the joke? Thanks!

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because although funny this is about explainng a joke. The fact that it was heard on a TV show is not really relevant here.
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:25
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    @Paulie_D Not sure I agree with that. If a joke was made in a classic movie would that be off-topic too? I would say no as it is part of the movie.
    – camden_kid
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:49
  • The fact the something was in a show or movie doesn't automatically make it on-topic. Explaining humor is not really Movie or TV related It's more for explaining English and there are SE sites for that.
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:51
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    If I see a plane fly in a movie...does that mean I have to explain how a plane can fly? No, that's what Aviation.SE is for.
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:53
  • @Paulie_D: No, but if you're asking how that particular plane was able to fly, that is on topic.
    – Flater
    Oct 18, 2017 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


A fairly popular charity in the UK is the Dog's Trust - who run a lot of adverts around winter with the slogan "a dog is for life, not just for Christmas".

"Dog" is also a British slang for an ugly woman - At Christmas parties, people tend to get drunk and "hooking up" is fairly common.

It's basically saying be careful that you don't get too drunk at the party, or your beer goggles may mean you get lumped with a 'dog' at the party, and then may struggle to get rid of them. ;)


I have never seen the program, but it seems a fairly straigt forward joke to me:

A dog is for life and not just for Christmas;

Children often want animals for Christmas, but get bored with them by New Years, because they have the attention span of, well, children. So the first part is often said to make it clear to the child, that if you actually do give them a dog, they will have to care for it for a very long time, take them for a walk in any weather and even if they want to play an online game with their friends.

so do be careful at the office party.

Around Christmas time their are usually office parties to celebrate the season, often accompanied by the consummation of... alcoholic beverages, like eggnog. Sometimes in this inebriated state people get promiscuous, which could result in them also getting a christmas 'gift' they'll have to care for life for.

Basically the joke is about the alleged fact that around christmas time the probability of cheating goes up and if you're too drunk - not careful that is - to think about contraceptives, you may end up pregnant and be burdened with a life long commitment you didn't want nor had thought through.

  • Ah I see. I think that's the correct interpretation. I guess I didn't even really get the slogan because I wasn't even familiar with the idea of giving dogs to children as presents for Christmas.
    – user9668
    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:31
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    Just to elaborate: I'm pretty sure the main point here is that when he's saying 'dog' he disparagingly also alludes to the slang term which means an ugly person (likely a woman). That is, be careful when you get drunk at the party because you might end up with a 'dog' for life.
    – Walt
    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:12
  • @Walt I think that is the true meaning. You should post that as an answer.
    – camden_kid
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:23
  • Not sure this warrants a 2nd answer. Just an observation that the answerer can possibly add in, if they want.
    – Walt
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:38
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    @Walt: Ah yes. I think that is the more correct interpretation.
    – user9668
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:39