The Man in the Picture

A man is looking at a picture of a man on the wall and states, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”

Who is the man in the picture in relation to the man looking at the picture?

The man in the picture is his son. Since he doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, the statement my father’s son is himself. A shortened version would be this man’s father is myself, so he is the father of the man in the picture.

Posted in Brain Teasers


65 Comments on "The Man in the Picture"

Vaibhav says
April 14, 2018 @ 10:14

HIS SON is the answer

rgc says
May 5, 2018 @ 02:33

There is only ONE correct answer. Not two. And the CORRECT answer is that the man is looking at a photograph of his son. THINK about it, people. It’s not advanced music theory!

Arun says
January 17, 2019 @ 00:02

There are 2 possibilities, neither of which is himself.
(1) His son
(2) His nephew

Tomm says
March 1, 2019 @ 00:38

There are not 2 possibilities, as Arun claims. The answer is it’s his son. It can’t be his nephew because he has no brothers or sisters, therefore no nephews or nieces.

LIZA says
August 20, 2019 @ 11:16

come on…. the answer is simple… he is looking at a picture of himself!

Jackson earle says
February 18, 2020 @ 02:08

It’s himself
You can’t be your own father and it’s says “MY fathers son” MY not his

Dan says
February 18, 2020 @ 08:04

@Jackson earle My father’s son is indeed himself, but he says this man’s father is himself.

Sergio says
May 14, 2020 @ 13:06

Is the stepbrother!!!

Veritas says
October 28, 2020 @ 13:37

To solve this, break it down.
‘Brothers and sisters I have none’ = I’m an only child
‘Yet this man’s father is my father’s son’ = This man’s father is me
Put it all together – I’m an only child and this man’s father is me – the photo is of his son.

Ron says
March 31, 2021 @ 13:15

This sparked numerous family rifts going back to the 60s
How on Earth can it not be the son?

Mikegee says
July 18, 2021 @ 19:02

To start with, let’s say the speaker is looking at a picture of his son (that man, so not woman). Then, that man’s father (the speaker) is my father’s son (the speaker). Solved once and for all.

Andy says
July 20, 2021 @ 10:14

In reply to the question. Who is the man in the picture?. I put myself to the test. I came into the sitting room and a picture of myself of many years ago was on the wall. I looked at it and then I read the rhyme. “Brothers sisters. I have none, but that man’s father is my father-son. The answer is Myself. Then I went out and entered the room again. This time I stared as a picture of my son. And repeated the rhyme. The answer was. My Son.. It’s a trick and the rhyme is there to confuse us. Otherwise so many would not be right or wrong, and Google who are the experts did not come up with a definite answer. :-)

Dan says
July 20, 2021 @ 14:40

@Andy You’re incorrect on the first example. It simplifies to “that man’s father is me”, and you cannot be your own father. (Your father’s son is you if you have no siblings).

Billy Bob says
August 13, 2021 @ 16:28

This riddle was invented to help smart people in the world identify who around them is stupid, so that they can avoid those people. (And, yes, the one and only possible answer to the riddle is that he is looking at a picture of his son.)

sidd says
September 21, 2021 @ 03:35

The confusion comes how you interpret “he?”

Is the subject of the question (he) “That man” or “That man’s father”

In english language this is called an ambiguous antecedent. The pronoun “he” could refer to “That man” or “That man’s father”

Now if you say “I am looking at a picture of someone and that man’s father is…” then the it might seem logical that the subject of my question is the person I am looking at in the picture, which would clearly(?) imply the subject of my question (he) is “that man”

But in another context, I am in a crowed room, and I am talking to a friend. I point to a person across the room and say “that man’s father used to be [on TV/the mayor of Schenectady/date my wife]. Who is he?”, my friend might infer that i am seeking the identity of the “that man’s father” and not the man I am pointing to, and therefore the subject of my question (he) is “that man’s father”

Of course, in either case the opposite could be true, and hence the ambiguity.

which makes this the perfect riddle/bar bet**… because after the has concluded their logic, you can simply switch your context and say no, “he” refers to [the opposite of what was answered].

** it is only the perfect bar bet if you are big or can run very fast.

Sidd says
September 21, 2021 @ 03:37

##because after the mark has concluded their logic,###

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