I bought some batteries, but they weren't included.   -- Steven Wright

What does this quote mean?

1 Answer 1


It's a joke. In the US, it used to be common to find products that require batteries but (to save costs) the companies didn't include the batteries in the box. Because of this, if you didn't see the note, you'd be ready to use the item (often a toy) but wouldn't be able to do so because there weren't any batteries with it and you may not have them at home.

I find this is significantly less common with modern items but, any item that doesn't have batteries included generally has a label on it somewhere that reads "batteries not included".

This tends to get joked about:

Batteries not included Toy not included

So, the joke here is the absurdity of a box of batteries not including batteries.

  • 3
    Toy Not Included. Laugh? - I nearly shat! At least as good a Christmas present as Expert Jigsaw Puzzle (which to the non-expert jigsaw puzzler looks just like a bag of sawdust! :) Jan 12, 2016 at 16:51
  • @FumbleFingers Nice one. I considered including a note about the correlated "some assembly required" notice but chose not to in the end.
    – Catija
    Jan 12, 2016 at 20:51

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