Weird
1.1k voters

Weird Laws in Tennessee

Updated January 2, 2018 5.4k votes 1.1k voters 38.4k views30 items

List of strange state laws on the books in Tennessee. These rules and regulations were passed by the Tennessee state legislature, or in an individual in Tennessee city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case, that then set a common law precedent from that point on.

Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor, online and more generally in popular culture. TV shows like "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with the notion of small towns having peculiar regulations on the books. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)

Often, "dumb laws" as reported on websites and in humor books have been shown to be inaccurate. This sometimes happens because a real, sensible law has been exaggerated or misunderstood, turning into something that sounds silly or ridiculous. Other times, it is simply the result of a hoax being repeated enough times to gain some kind of credibility. If you think any of the laws on this page are not accurate or do not remain active in Tennessee, let me know in the comments below.
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  • 1
    234
    136

    Stealing a horse

    Stealing a horse is punishible by hanging.
  • 2
    210
    122

    Crimes against nature

    “Crimes against nature” are prohibited.
  • 3
    189
    118

    Lasso for fishing

    It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
  • 4
    124
    91

    Roadkill

    It is legal to gather and consume roadkill.
  • 5
    125
    95

    Picking up trash on Easter day

    No Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.
  • 6
    92
    70

    Participating in a duel

    Any person who participates in a duel may not hold any public office in the state.
  • 7
    160
    143

    Netflix password

    It is a crime to share your Netflix password in Tennessee.
  • 8
    82
    62

    Posting images online

    In Tennessee it is illegal to to post images online that cause “emotional distress” “without legitimate purpose”.
  • 9
    71
    56

    Riding a scooter

    All persons riding scooters must ride in single file. (Nashville)
  • 10
    123
    115

    Frogs

    It’s illegal for frogs to croak after 11 PM. (Memphis)
  • 11
    64
    57

    Hollow logs

    Hollow logs may not be sold.
  • 12
    67
    61

    It Ain’t Goin’ To Rain No Mo

    An ordinance forbids anyone to sing the song “It Ain’t Goin’ To Rain No Mo’". (Oneida)
  • 13
    72
    70

    Hitching post

    In front of their buildings, all businesses must have a “hitching post. (Knoxville)
  • 14
    91
    109

    Live in the same house

    More than 8 women may not live in the same house because that would constitute a brothel.
  • 15
    51
    59

    Skunks

    Skunks may not be carried into the state.
  • 16
    65
    79

    Ice cream cone

    It is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket. (Lexington)
  • 17
    52
    62

    Throwing stones

    Throwing stones is prohibited as it might break a window. (Nashville)
  • 18
    57
    71

    Ministers

    Ministers are to be dedicated to God and therefore are not eligible to hold a seat in either House of the Legislature.
  • 19
    115
    156

    Woman driving a car

    Illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians. (Memphis)
  • 20
    48
    63

    Dumb animal

    The definition of “dumb animal” includes every living creature.
  • 21
    98
    139

    Oral sex

    Giving and receiving oral sex is still prohibited by law.
  • 22
    47
    67

    Throwing bottles

    One may not throw bottles at a tree. (Bell Buckle)
  • 23
    64
    93

    Call a man for a date

    It is illegal for a woman to call a man for a date. (Dyersburg)
  • 24
    61
    98

    Sober

  • 25
    30
    56

    Permit before begging

    Panhandlers must first obtain a $10 permit before begging on the streets of downtown Memphis. (Memphis)