A Worldwide Punomenon

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"[Name] was savagely beaten to death with their own shoulder-blades shortly after making that pun."
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Everything's better with puns. They're pun-tastic! Bee careful in using them however, or you could get stung by the lowest form of humor that isn't very honey.

Feel free to groan, but the fact is that people like to put puns in their work, whether or not the puns are any good. If done right, they can be funny or intriguing, and they stretch out minds, possibly in several directions. Done wrong, or overused, they aren't even good enough for a cheap laugh. Wordplay at your own risk. See Punny Stuff for an index of all pun related tropes.

Examples of A Worldwide Punomenon include:

Meta[edit | hide | hide all]


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Japanese in general is an awesome language for making puns in. Several dialects, four different writing systems, and complex naming schemes provide rich soil for wordplay, and then you also get a very limited system in which sounds can be combined into words. Much is due to the influence of Chinese. Since Japanese lacks the rich[1] Chinese system of intonation, many Chinese words become indistinguishable when imported into Japanese.
  • Rumiko Takahashi's first breakaway success, Urusei Yatsura, is filled to the brim with puns—its name, for example, can be read half a dozen ways depending on Kanji, Kana, and the use of spaces, each one of them a pun or joke.
  • Gravitation
  • Yakitate!! Japan thrives on puns, especially in the various over-the-top "reactions" to Azuma's bread.
  • Kodomo no Omocha.
  • Excel Saga.
  • High School Girls and Azumanga Daioh both use Japanese idiom-related puns.
    • In particular, when Sakaki finally found a cat who liked her, Yomi's exclamation of wonder punned on a cat's cry ("Nyanten!" in the original; "Meowvelous!" in the manga translation. The translator said he was waiting for bricks through his window).
  • Dragon Ball combines this trope with Theme Naming, then takes it Up to Eleven.
    • the names of Saiyans are all puns on vegetables. Vegeta = vegetable, Raditz = Radish, Nappa = a type of cabbage, Kakarotto = carrot, and Broly = broccoli. Saiya itself is yasai (野菜 やさい, "vegetable") backwards. I'm just saiyan.
      • I'm Gohan to kill you for that.
      • Double that with Vegeta and Tarble, which makes up Vegetable.
      • Also: the Tsufuru, the race Baby belongs to, are a pun on "furutsu" or the Japanese pronunciation for "fruits".
      • GOHAN (to eat or rice), since his father loves eating more than anything else (especially rice).
    • Namekian names are based on snails (e.g. Nails, Dende) or musical instruments (Piccolo Daimao and every one of his children).
    • Every single member of the Briefs family is named after a type of undergarment; Bulma (bloomers), Bra, Briefs, and Trunks.
    • The Ginyu Force are all dairy-based (e.g. BUTTAH! JEEZE!)
    • Frieza's family has a cold motif; Frieza = Freezer, Coola = Cooler, Chiller, and King Cold
      • Additionally, all of Frieza's minions (the Saiyans as vegetables, other aliens as fruits, and the Ginyu force as milk products) are named after things you would keep in a refrigerator, or perhaps freezer.
    • The Non Human Sidekicks are varieties of tea (Puar/Pu-erh, Oolong).
    • There are several dimsum-related puns in the original Dragonball series (e.g. Yamcha/Yamucha, Shao and Mai).
    • Chow, Mein, and Pilaf from the original Dragonball series.
      • The English translation managed to take the pun further, by saying their goal was to bring about the "Reich Pilaf".
    • The tiny character Jiao Zi or Chow Tsu- is Chinese for Gyouza which are Pot-Stickers.
      • A DBZ magazine once wrote an article stating that the creator admitted that this had more to do with his being uncreative with names than trying to be funny.
    • The Makyans are named after condiments: Garlic, Garlic Junior, his original three minions Ginger, Nicky (cinnamon) & Sansho (pepper), plus his minons later on; Spice, Vinegar, Mustard and Salt, known together as the Spice Boys
    • Bibidi, Babidy and Buu!
    • Best of all, however, is Pan. Her name is a pun on pan, the Japanese word for bread (fitting, since almost every character has a food reference in their names), but also on the Greek god Pan, whose devilish appearance fits with the demonic theme naming of her family (grandfather Mr. Satan and mother Videl, which is an anagram of "devil"). Phew!
    • The most startling name of all is Chi-Chi. It's not the Japanese meaning that makes this one stand out, but the Spanish translation: it means "BOOBS."
  • Detective Mouri from Detective Conan loves these.
  • In episode 20 of Death Note, L lets one of these slip out in a conversation with Misa, making a pun out of the name of the protagonist, Light.

Misa: I would never dream about living in a world without Light!
L: Yes, that would be dark.

  • In Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei everyone's name is a pun, sometimes complicated ones. This is ONLY pointed out in the case of the titular teacher and his family. Fansubs are kind enough to explain the name puns for characters introduced that episode.
  • This is apparently the mindset of 4Kids! Entertainment whenever they Macekre an anime, most notably Yu-Gi-Oh, One Piece, and Pokémon.
    • To be fair, though, One Piece lives and breathes puns regardless. Attack names (most of Zoro's sword moves, notably, also resemble types of sushi when written), character names, and in the seventh movie over half the lines of the plot-central prophecy were puns.
    • Yes, One Piece has a lot of puns, but A) They tend to be better, and B) they tend to fall to the wayside, or disappear all together when things get dark or serious. 4Kids, however decided that dark and serious times were a good time to make MORE puns, so instead of Mr. 3 begging and pleading for his life, he's attempting to find a good pun and being shot down.
    • Pokémon is a prime offender for using "punny" titles for every episode. Some, like "Nice Pryce Baby" and "Pace -- The Final Frontier", make you wonder why 4Kids hasn't been sued yet (although the second title listed was created by TPCI, not 4Kids).
    • The line "You don't stand a ghost of a chance" is sure to be said any time anything relating to ghosts or (un)death comes up in a series they dub.
  • Sailor Moon. All the main characters' names are puns (e.g. "Tsukino Usagi" = "tsuki no usagi" = "rabbit of the moon", Japan's version of "man in the moon").
  • From the Ranma ½ movie "Nihao, My Concubine" (after Kuno has finished repairing a huge hole in his yacht, Happi gets thrown into it, causing it to fall down):

Kuno: What's that, Pig-Tailed Girl? Something about the mast?
sees the mast has fallen over
Kuno: It mast be broken...

  • The Rave Master dub is overflowing with puns. It's a miracle Plue hasn't drowned in them yet.
  • Hellsing gets in on the act when Alucard challenges Alexander of the Iscariot Organization, calling him a "Judas Priest." This one works well enough that it was used in both the Japanese and English dubs.
    • Interestingly, even without the pun the sentence still makes sense. The Iscariot is the 13th division of the Vatican, and their patron is Judas, symbolizing their militaristic nature for the sake of religion. For extra pun, the reason Judas is their patron is because his nickname was "Iscariot." What does that name mean? That he carries a concealed dagger. Rather appropriate for Anderson, isn't it?
  • Martian Successor Nadesico has a lot of puns.
    • Izumi Maki is particularly guilty of this, to the point that she barely speaks at all without a translator's note appearing.
  • Spice and Wolf's first season OVA episode is titled "Wolf and the Tail of Happiness". The pun is actually reversed, since Holo speaks of 'snatching the tail of happiness' as a metaphor in the story.


Card Games[edit | hide]

  • Show up regularly in Magic the Gathering. Such as He exercises his right to bear arms.
    • If you attached equipment to it, would that mean you're exercising your right to arm bears?
      • If you are the master of ursine infantry, then it is within your power to make sure that they stick to a vigorous physical training regiment to ensure their battle readiness. Don't let anybody tell you different, you have the right to exercise armed bears.
        • I'm pretty sure bears exercise their right arms regularly.
      • In that case, if your second-in-command became possessed by a malicious entity, would you have to exorcise your right-arm bear?
      • In addition, it can get unbearably hot in the summer, and if a bear could shave, it might. If possible, it should be a right for a bear to be bare, arms and all. The fur does make the bear look more menacing, so it will have to bear that in mind.
      • All of this is moot if you aren't prepared to fight as well. In which case, you can go to the weight room, make sure you're wearing a tanktop, find one of your republican-minded soldiers to work with, and perform some ursine slapping motions against one another- thereby exercising your right to exercise your bare right arm with bear exercises and a right bear. Bonus points if you find the correct kodiak- his name would be Wright.
    • There are also the cards "Crashing Boars" and "Apes of Rath"
    • "Over-Soul'd Cemetery"
    • "Wheel and Deal". See, it makes your opponents get the effects of "Wheel of Fortune" and gives you a card draw...
    • Unhinged had Donkey Folk, which only existed to make puns on "ass". There was Smart Ass, Dumb Ass, Fat Ass, Cheap Ass and Bad Ass.
    • To say nothing of the rest of the puns in Unglued and Unhinged, such as the Clay Pigeon (a 1/1 flying bird that had an effect when thrown), the Rock Lobster (it wasn't a rock, and many take it for granite), the Paper Tiger (who burns bright and folds easily), and the Scissors Lizard (who has a lot of shear power).
    • Fowl Play (also Unglued) turns things into chickens.
    • The Man of Measure is better at offense or defense depending on whether you're measured as taller or shorter than an opponent.
    • The Standing Army doesn't tap when it attacks, because they're always standing.... but only as long as you are too.
    • Really, Unglued and Unhinged are about 50% puns (the other half is a mixture of cardpaper and in-jokes that only players of the game will get). The more notable ones are from the -other-, much more serious sets.
  • The Spoils has got quite a few, too. Pick five cards at random, and there's a pretty high chance that at least one involves at least one pun.
  • Munchkin has more than a few - "Faun and Games", "Unnatural Axe", and "Pants Macabre" are all titles of supplement packs, and there are others in the cards themselves.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Asterix is made of this. Nearly every single character, regardless of translation, is named with a self-referential pun - for example, Cacaphonix the inept bard and Getafix the wise man (and creator of the Gaulish strength potion) to name only two of the English translation.
    • There's also:
      • Unhygenix the fishmonger and Bacteria his wife
      • Vitalstatistix the chief
  • The Flemish series De Kiekeboes (a few English translations exist as Jo and co) has over 100 issues and I can't remember a single one in which none of the one-time characters, companies or even the title itself isn't a pun.
  • In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, when Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Barda mount their rescue of Supergirl, we get this gem of a thought bubble after they exit the Boom Tube:

Batman: "Apokolips. Now."

  • A lot of Orient Men comics are based around puns, especially the last few ones.
  • Peter David, especially with name puns. It gets really bad when you find out that he's used the same pun twice: one in the third Sir Apropos book, one in the Marvel Mangaverse Punisher story.
    • Some are really good, though, like the criminally underused Mighty Endowed. In fact, every issue of Young Justice has about 2 or 3.
    • Done with a minor character in his run on Captain Mar-Vell; a "rather clever fellow" named Plaht creates a device that allows Marv to break previously unbreakable rules regarding his interactions with dimensional travel. He couldn't even keep it as a Stealth Pun, as characters repeatedly call it "the Plaht Device."
    • In the issue of Incredible Hulk with Rick Jones marrying Marlo Chandler, there is a cross company example. Marlo had been killed at one point and brought back by technology used by the Leader. At her wedding, Marlo sees a pale goth woman who comes up as if she knows Marlo and gives her a gift. It's a brush. With death...


Film[edit | hide]

  • Airplane!: loads of them -- "Surely you can't be serious", Ted's drinking problem, smoking tickets.
    • The other films of Zucker, Abrams and Zucker and most movies of the parody genre boast this as well. In The Kentucky Fried Movie, the "Catholic High School Girls In Trouble segment has the following gems: a woman seductively asks a man to "show me your nuts", and in response the man makes silly faces and hand puppets, demonstrating his lack of mental stability. "Marilyn Chambers" is to recreate her classic role - she does a pencil roll across the grass. Two pornographic actresses are said to be introduced in the film in the credits - and a third has them both greet and shake hands with each other while in the nude.
  • Practically all the lines in Batman and Robin are "plant" or "ice" puns.

Allow me to break the ice.
I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy!
FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!
Freeze well!
What killed the Dinosaurs? The Ice Age!

  • Wild Wild West. Particularly the scenes where James West (black) and Arliss Loveless (has no legs) throw double entendre insults on each other's conditions.

"How nice of you to join us and add color to these monochromatic proceedings."
"Well when a man comes back from the dead I find that occasion to stand up and be counted."
"Miss East tells me you're looking for General McGrath. I haven't seen him in a coon's age."
"Well I can see how it'd be hard for a man of your stature to keep track of... half the people he knows."
"Perhaps the lovely Miss East can keep you from becoming a slave to your disappointment."
"You know beautiful women: support you one minute, cut the legs out from under you the next."

  • Scary Movie 2. Dwight (who is in a wheelchair) and the caretaker (with a malformed hand) throw a barrage of hands and feet-related expressions towards each other.

"Let me give you a big hand."
"How about a standing ovation?"

"Taxes? My uncle's from Taxes."
"No, not Texas, taxes. Dollars, Taxes!"
"That's where he's from! Dollas, Taxes!"

  • National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation: while visiting the Hoover Dam.

"Welcome everyone, I'm your Dam tour guide, Arnie. I'm about to take you through a fully functional power plant. So please no one wander off the Dam tour, and feel free to take all the DAM pictures you want... now... are there any DAM questions?? "
"Yeah! Where can I get some DAM bait?"

  • Captain Jack Aubrey was guilty of punning (in large part to alleviate the tension while on a dangerous mission). In Master and Commander, his fondness for puns is lampshaded to a degree in the following exchange;

Aubrey: Do you see those two weevils doctor?
Dr. Maturin: I do.
Aubrey: Which would you choose?
Dr. Maturin: Neither; there is not a scrap a difference between them. They are the same species of Curculio.
Aubrey: If you had to choose. If you were forced to make a choice. If there was no other response...
Dr. Maturin: Well then if you are going to push me...I would choose the right hand weevil; it has... significant advantage in both length and breadth.
Aubrey: There, I have you! You're completely dished! Do you not know that in the service... one must always choose the lesser of two weevils.
Dr. Maturin: (after an embarrassed pause) He who would pun would pick a pocket!

Scott: You once were a ve-gone, and now you will be gone.

  • Spaceballs. The radar gets jammed, they comb the desert, and of course there's the Druish princess.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Bible has a number of puns, though the fact that they're puns in the first place is often Lost in Translation. No, I'm not just talking about the naming of children; it's more pervasive than that. So this is Older Than Feudalism.
    • The most famous pun is probably where Christ puns on the meaning of Peter's name: "You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my church." ("Peter" means "rock".)
    • Also, the pun on the Greek word anothen, which can mean "from above" as well as "again" in John 3:1-17. The irony here is that it couldn't have been said by Jesus because the pun obviously doesn't work in Aramaic.
      • Then again, Aramaic was almost obsolete at that time, while most Jews spoke at least basic Greek to communicate with their Roman occupants (yes, that does make sense).
    • Not so in modern study Bibles, which will tell you the puns and word play.
      • These almost cannot be considered puns at all, since Hebrew/Greek/"Biblical" names often had meanings and purposes beyond mere aesthetic quality. Many Scriptural examples such as the above seem to be more along the lines of "semantic fulfillment" than actual plays on words.
    • Why the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden is traditionally thought of as an apple - malum is Latin for evil and apple.
  • Ancient puns also appear in Plutarch's Parallel Lives, for example: "one of the sons of Crassus who was thought to resemble a certain Axius, and on this account had brought his mother's name into scandalous connection with that of Axius, once made a successful speech in the senate, and when Cicero was asked what he thought of him, he answered with the Greek words "Axios Krassou" (meaning "Worthy of Crassus").
  • Piers Anthony's recent Xanth books are a good example of overdosing on this trope. The worst part is a lot of the puns are explained in recent books.
    • Take the Hippo-crite. Instead of actually being hypocritical, he just said, "I never mean what I say."
    • There's been a steady increase in puns throughout the series. The first two books had only a handful of puns. After that, Piers Anthony started making the series more comedic, and adding more puns as part of the process. Then he started accepting reader-submitted puns and it and got completely out of control. Naturally, a great many Xanth fans were thrilled by this opportunity to actually be a part of their favorite series, even if only in a small way, so the puns flooded in ever-greater numbers, to the point that Anthony frequently has several books' worth of pun backlog. In-universe, Xanth is even described as being made of puns.
  • Isaac Asimov was passing fond of puns and wrote quite a number of Shaggy Dog Stories around them.
    • One of these stories is actually named "Shah Guido G." (Because it sounds like Shagg- Oh, never mind.)
  • Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series has these in the names of various dimensions. Klahds are from Klah, Deveels are from Deva, Cupys (small, doll-like people) are from Cupid...
    • And Aahz (pronounced Oz, "no relation") is from Perv. He is a Pervect, not a Pervert!
    • Men from the dimension of Trollia are trolls. The women are Trollops...
    • "I never turn down a fifth."
    • Really, the series has puns everywhere, including the titles of all the books and of the series itself.
  • Ian Watson is another author who has an inordinate fondness for bad puns.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has the "Oh God of Hangovers" in Hogfather—not a god, or the god, but Oh, GOD of Hangovers. And that's just the start.
    • Night Watch contains a sequence describing the ornamental armour Sam Vimes has to wear, and how it makes him feel like a class traitor. The pune-chline: "It was gilt by association."
      • And the Fat Mines contained BCBs (Burnt Crusty Bits) that Vimes said died because they were battered to death.
      • There's also an example of him being entirely unable to stop himself with the story of Fingers Mazda, who stole the secret of fire from the gods. He was unable to fence it, it was too hot. He really got burned on that deal.
      • Granny Weatherwax's lodgings in the Shades are made are all the better for being next door to a notorious reseller of stolen items. Because good fences make good neighbours.
      • Magrat believes that broomsticks are sexual metaphors when witches ride them. But this is a phallusy.
    • The name of the countries Djelibeybi and Hersheba. Terry Pratchett's realization that American audiences weren't getting the Djelibeybi pun inspired the creation of nearby Hersheba, which most audiences in general aren't getting. (If you've heard of the candy, the Djelibeybi pun is criminally easy to get, due to it being mentally pronounced the same way, and lampshaded when we're told Djelibeybi means "Child of the Djel." Hersheba is not as easy—this is due to variation in pronunciation, the fact that it doesn't have a lampshade, and it doesn't have a book focused on it.)
  • Peter David loves puns, especially name puns. This includes naming people just for the pun: Sir Umbridge in Sir Apropos of Nothing is offered to him as the knight he squires under, and refusing would be a horrible offense, so "in order to not cause offense, I had to take Umbridge".
  • In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, the name of every character (except for fictional characters from other works) is a pun.
    • As an example, two random policeman assigned to protect our hero go by the names of "Deadman" and "Walken". After their absolutely surprising demise, they are replaced by "Cannon" and "Phodder".
  • Timothy Zahn's Star Wars Expanded Universe novels give ships that belong to Talon Karrde's organization quietly Punny Names, including the Starry Ice, Etherway, and his flagship the Wild Karrde. Unfortunately, other writers using Karrde don't always pick up on this and give him ships with a card theme, like Idiot's Array.
    • Talon Karrde is known in-universe for his love of puns. When they met, Mara guessed who he was because his ship was the Uwana Buyer, and he and his lieutenant were traveling under the names "Hart" and "Seoul."
  • Roger Zelazny told George R. R. Martin that he wrote Lord Of Light solely so that he could use 'the pun'. It's one of the great puns; it can pass right by you the first time, but it's an absolute stinker once you spot it.
    • LOL?
    • There is a character in the book whose title is "The Shan". After having his mind transferred to a defective body, he suffers a bout of epilepsy. (You should be able to figure it out from there. If not: "The fit hit the Shan".)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, anyone? With the exception of Milo, every single character's name is a pun.
  • Punday Night and Tall Tale Tuesdays over at Callahan's.
  • Another Pratchett example, this one from Good Omens: One character is remembering a scenic riverside where he often went with his wife when they were first dating. "They had often gone there to spoon ... and, on one memorable occasion, fork."
    • Newton Pulsifer. If Lucifer means "Bringer of Light", Pulsifer (pulse-bringer) means "Bringer of Peas."
    • Newt named his alleged car Dick Turpin. If anyone asked him why, he was going to say "Because wherever I go, I hold up traffic."
  • In the story Snow Mountain Syndrome of Haruhi Suzumiya, Koizumi has begun to notice that Kyon's paying more attention to Yuki after the events of Disappearance, where she Retcon reality because she thought Kyon preferred a world without Haruhi. Being... Koizumi, he asks

"Which yuki would you be looking at? The one drifting down from the sky, or-"

  • Neal Stephenson actually shares the following with the protagonist in Snow Crash:
    • "Didn't anyone tell you," [Hiro] says... "that I was a hacker?" Then he hacks the guy's head off.
      • The protagonist, the hero, is named... Hiro Protagonist.
  • One time Oscar Wilde said, about another author of its time, that "Immanuel doesn't pun, he kant".
    • Immanuel Kant had been dead for 50 years when Wilde was born. Though, strictly speaking, Wilde's use of the present tense was still warranted: dead men don't pun.
  • The Wayside School books are full of puns, both Stealth Pun and otherwise.
  • Many mystery series base all, or at least some of the titles of their books around puns. For example, there's the Evan series, which includes Evan Only Knows and Evanly Bodies and the Bubbles series: Bubbles A Broad, etc.
  • Bennett Cerf was a real life Pungeon Master and one of his books was titled Bennett Cerf's Treasury of Atrocious Puns.
  • Too many to go into, but during the early years of Dilbert, Scott Adams was REALLY REALLY into puns (very little office humor was involved, Dilbert was ostensibly an engineer just to provide a context for nerd-jokes and nerdy jokes).
  • Finnegans Wake. Every sentence.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Power Rangers. It's actually quite impressive to see how they can keep the pun ball in the air for long stretches.
  • The title of every episode of Hannah Montana is a pun on the title of a well-known song. The character Robbie Ray constantly makes puns.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer loves this trope.
  • The 'Hipsters' of Community, so called because they all have had hip replacement surgery. You may now groan.
  • How It's Made, every single item featured.
  • The villain of the day in Black Scorpion revolves around puns of their theme.

Music[edit | hide]


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • TNA wrestler Shark Boy's entire gimmick at this point is based around borrowing Stone Cold Steve Austin's old catchphrases and mixing them with nautical puns, e.g. "Gimme a shell yeah!" and "And that's the fishin' line, 'cuz Shark Boy said so!"


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The Toon expansion Toon Tales (in the Way-Out West section) includes an optional rule for Punslingers, whose puns actually do damage.


Theater[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Persona 3 has Shuji Ikutsuki, who more or less embodies this trope. Nearly everything he says to SEES outside of serious situations is one pun after another. Yukari says after you meet him that 'you'll get used to his lame jokes.'
  • The name of Okami is a pun. Depending on which kanji are used, "okami" means both "great god" and "wolf." Guess what two characteristics describe the protagonist.
  • The villain names in the Carmen Sandiego games.
    • The guides' names in Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? Guides had names like Anne Tickwitee or Renee Santz.
  • Afterlife, most also entering Exactly What It Says on the Tin area, specially the disasters (Disco Inferno brings... a Tony Manero demon).
  • Adventure Quest is infamous for this, and they tend to be so spectacularly lame that they end up So Bad It's Good. Or, as Artix described it:

Arch Knight Style Humor (adj) -- A savory blend of caffeinated epic failure served with with a side of cheese. This also probably means Artix wrote it himself... it is sort of like a train wreck. You really want to look away, but for some reason, you just... have to watch.

  • When Kingdom of Loathing isn't making random references to song lyrics, it's hitting you over the head with puns or varying quality.
    • "You're fighting a bread golem. You find him crusty, and his wit stale. For having thought of the previous sentence you almost hope he manages to kick your ass."
    • "This is a bat with the body of a baseball. And the heart of a bad pun."
  • Dragon Quest V. It'd be easier to list the names in the DS English localization that aren't a pun of some kind.
    • In fact, every Dragon Quest game after the Dragon Quest VIII localization is this trope.
      • And as the series grew older, the number of puns about words like Slime and its synonims increased with each new installment. In fact, NPC Slime monsters tend to deliver a Hurricane of Puns with every dialogue.
  • Every Sierra adventure game ever. The King's Quest series is probably better known for the puns in its death messages than anything.
  • In the later Backyard Sports games, all the teams had pun names (such as Lime Backers). And don't get me started on the announcers...
  • Ms. Fortune from Skullgirls loves her some puns. Just to name a few:
  • Monkey Island, especially in Insult Sword Fighting. "I've got a TIP for you get the POINT?!"
  • Defense of the Ancients: technically found in Warcraft but in DotA the hero responses are heard constantly. Nearly every hero with a voice says some sort of pun. Nearly every response by the Pandaren Brewmaster is a pun.
  • In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the first boss is none other than Bowser. However, he's a Puzzle Boss— you have to attack the chain of the chandelier he's standing on. When he realizes that Mario's cracked it, out comes the line, "Oh, no! It's a chain reaction!"
  • Knights of the Old Republic: When the Player Character asks Jolee Bindo why he spent so much time on Kashyyk, we get this dialogue:

Jolee:I guess you could say I did it all for the Wookies.
PC: The Wookies?
Jolee: The Wookies

"You're my ticket back to the Empire, Sagi. And every good ticket has to get punched!"

  • In The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask we have Tatl and Tael. Just put those two together.
  • Freshly-Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland just loves these, most of them doubling as Punny Names.
    • Loveya being the worst offender. The "ya" in context means "dealer", and he's a personification of cupid that gives Tingle love advice.
    • There's the tin robot woman, Buriki. Blik is Dutch for "tin".
    • Barkle, the dog with the Tingle suit. The "kle" at the end of its name happens to come from Tingle's Japanese name.
      • In Japanese, his name is Wankle. Wan is the Japanese onomatopoeia for barking.
    • The monkey Masaru. Masaru is a common name meaning victory, but saru also means monkey.
    • Pinkle.
  • Earthworm Jim is fond of these. The level where you fight Major Mucus is called "Snot A Problem!", the 8th level is called "Level Ate", and so on.
  • Subverted in The World Ends With You. Whenever Minamimoto says "SOHCAHTOA", he's making a pun on "Sou ka?" or "Is that so?" It just so happens that his lines are perfectly appropriate for the situation.
  • In Dragon Age 2, we have this anachronistic gem from Isabella, when she is bribed to abandon the main character with the offer of a ship of her own:

"What can I say. I love big boats and I cannot lie."

  • In Nethack if you see a pit viper fall into a pit trap you get the message "How pitiful! Isn't that the pits?"
  • Before the fight against Captain Hook in Epic Mickey, Hook cracks this exchange as he's popping out of barrels:

Hook: I hope you're GEARED up for this...because it's going to be...BARRELS...of fun!

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Devil Bear uses puns frequently. The characters Bearalzebub and Lucy Fur in particular make puns the most in the series. Ursa, the Daiva of Wrath, however, indicates that she hates puns.
  • Sluggy Freelance puns get their CMoA early, when Torg and Riff use them to pain an otherwise nigh-invulnerable demon. Torg at least is fully aware that his puns are terrible, but makes them anyway.

Torg: See? You can tell I'm making puns when somebody screams like that.

  • And Dominic Deegan ran puns into the ground.
  • Irregular Webcomic made something of a hobbit of making bad hobbit puns... HABIT! I said habit.
    • "Made a hobbit of it" is literal—Lambert the hobbit has punning as one of his defining traits, so you could say the puns make his character.
  • Many characters' names in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob are puns: Dr. Jean Poule, Hibachi the Dragon, Agent Ben and Agent Jerry, Officer Baskin and Officer Robbin, Cestus Poule of the River City Poules, the P.E.P.S.I. Monster (People-Eating Poly-Sorbate Insectoid), etc.
  • Like the above Monkey Island example, Order of the Stick has Insult Sword Fighting filled with puns. It's Elan's "Dashing Swordsman" prestige class.
  • In Looking for Group, the brother of Krunch Bloodrage is named Ray'd Bool. Wait for it...
    • The occasional pun on Richard's nickname.
  • Evil Inc can barely go a strip without some horrific example or other cropping up. It's as if Brad Guigar enjoys punishing his readers.
  • Narbonic once devoted a Sunday strip to a pun, including several paragraphs of set-up. (This built on elements introduced earlier in the story, but works just as well in isolation.) Unfortunately, it appears the song that is the object of the pun isn't widely known outside the US, so here's a recording.
  • Plus EV is full of them, mostly Poker-related. Big Blind, Pocket Pear...
  • Nepeta Leijon, Feferi Peixes, Eridan Ampora, and Meenah Peixes from Homestuck. The former uses cat-related puns, while the latter three use fish-related puns.


Web Original[edit | hide]

"Let me guess. Werewolf?"
"There wolf."

  • PunNames.
  • Hybrid webcomic/browser game Demon Thesis does this constantly when in game mode, as virtually any action you have the characters take is accompanied by a pun or reference. For example, give Clady the spear and let her attack with it, and the attack is called "Clad the Impaler". Give Val, the sole American, the axe, and it's called "American Chopper" when she uses it. If Alain, a french-Canadian, goes into a defensive mode to take less damage, it's Block Quebecois, and so on and so forth.
  • This Very Wiki. We love puns. Just look at the Just for Pun trope list.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

Bullwinkle: I like violence because they smell so nice!

    • And this gem, from Mr. Know-It-All:

Mr. Know-It-All: But if you really want to open a jar of pickles...
Rocky: Wait, Mr. Know-It-All...that's not a jar of pickles. That's a jar of jelly.
Mr. Know-It-All: No wonder I couldn't open it. It's jammed!

    • Every single episode of "Peabody's Improbable Histories" ended in a terrible pun.
  • American cartoons also love a good pun: anything said by Genie in the Aladdin movie or series, the names in DuckTales and Tale Spin, and Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures made heavy use of them as well.
  • In Kim Possible everyone's name is a pun.
  • Sheep in The Big City not only used excessive numbers of puns in naming characters and places, every episode and every chapter of every episode (of which there were 3 per episode) carried a sheep-themed pun. 'Wool you believe it?' 'On the lamb' etc.
    • And then they went and one-upped themselves for the third part of season one's finale. They actually called it "Some Pun on the word 'Sheep'."
  • Yellow Submarine features several prime examples:

John: Maybe we should call a road service?
Paul: Can't, no road!
Ringo: And we're not sub... scribers?
John/Paul/George: ugh.. "Subscribers.."

    • Also "Born lever-puller," and this:

John: There's a school of whales.
Ringo: They look a little bit old for school.
Paul: University, then.
Ringo: University of whales?

    • As well as this exchange as Ringo and Old Fred walk down a corridor of visual displays:

Old Fred: Say, what would your friends be doing here?
Ringo: Displayin'.
Old Fred: Displaying what?
Ringo: Displayin' around.

    • In Pepperland as the Beatles discover Sgt. Pepper's Band imprisoned in the big glass ball:

George: It's just a big glass ball.
Paul: Yeah, it's blue glass.
Ringo: Must be from Kentucky.

    • The Beatles in general were very fond of these, John especially. It's been overshadowed by the whole "redefining rock music" and "consuming small mountains of LSD" things, but there's a lot of puns hiding in plain sight. Nobody even notices these days just how terrible a joke the band's name is, to name the most obvious example.
      • This overlaps with "Music" and "Literature" but John Lennon wrote two books. Their titles? In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works.
  • American Dad has a great one.

Avery Bullock: Thank you for flying out here, Smith.
Stan: Of course, sir, but why are we dressed up like this?
Avery Bullock: Because I thought we could be Secret Asians.
Stan: A 16-hour flight for a bad pun? (nods head) Yes. Yes.

  • Cows with Guns
  • If you thought Batman and Robin was bad about ice puns, try to dig up a Mr. Freeze episode from the 60s Batman animated series. Incredibly lame puns are expected, but by the end of the episode the writers run out of them and become increasingly desperate, culminating in Mr. Freeze declaring "you really frost me!" upon capture.
    • Given that they were sending him to the cooler, the above is an obvious implication.
    • The Batman's debut of the character, to a lesser extent.

Freeze: Revenge is a dish best... served... cold.

Timmy: CHIMPSDALE? That's it. When this is over I'm wishing for a world without puns.

Narrator: Mojo Jojo is turning Townsville into Swiss cheese!
Man: Look sharp, everyone! It’s the Powerpuff Girls, here to save us!
Narrator: You said it, Jack! It’ll be a Brie-ze for our girls to cream that Muenster Mojo!
(As Mojo is blasting a man whose shirt reads “PROV.”)
Narrator: Things aren’t looking too Gouda for you, Mojo! So leave that Prov alone and prepare to be shredded!

Ghostwriter: And now, face the wrath of my monster nutcracker!
Danny: Aw, nuts!
Ghostwriter: (narrating) Danny cried as he started to run...Must we end every scene with a terrible pun?

    • Danny "Phantom" is even a play on his real name "Danny Fenton"

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The entire point of Knock-Knock Jokes. Think about it.
    • Orange you glad you thought about it?
    • Knock-Knock Jokes aren't the only jokes that are punishing. For instance, one classic one goes like this:

One day, a man "lets one rip", and out comes this strange sound - "HONDA". Confused, he initially shrugs it off. However, over the next few days, every time he farted, it would do the same thing - "HONDA". Becoming concerned, he visited his family doctor. The doctor couldn't explain it, and gave him a referral to another doctor, who also was at a loss. From one doctor to another he went, seeking an explanation for the strange sound being made by his wind. Eventually, he visits a doctor who happened to be Chinese. The man explained to the doctor that whenever he let one off, it made that strange sound. The doctor asked for a demonstration, and sure enough - "HONDA". The Chinese doctor nodded understanding, and asked the man to drop his trousers and bend over. He did so, and then heard the sound of scissors snipping something. The doctor said "try again now". The man once more passed wind, and was elated to find that it was back to its normal sound. He turned to the doctor, saw the abscess that had been cut off, and asked "That's amazing, doc. Why was it happening?" The doctor shrugged and said "Everybody knows Abscess makes the fart go Honda".

      • This is also a Spoonerism
    • Also, The Longest Joke in the World, Better Nate than Lever
  • In post-war Europe, America ran various covert operations to gather intelligence from Soviet soldiers. One particularly successful campaign in Italy hinged on the fact that getting gonorrhea was a serious matter for a Soviet soldier; it guaranteed a recall back to the Soviet Union (where none of them wanted to go back to) and perhaps harsher punishment. So, the Americans got in touch with a doctor who ran a clinic that secretly treated gonorrhea and recruited the doctor, in exchange for money and free medicine. Then, the doctor would pick up anything he could from casual conversation and see if there were any likely defectors in the group. What did the Americans call this endeavor? Operation Claptrap. For those that don't get it, "claptrap" was slang for "nonsense conversation". Meanwhile, "the clap" is slang for gonorrhea.
  • In a similar vein to the above, American soldiers in World War 2 referred to the Good Conduct Medal as the "no clap award" for 2 reasons: 1) all you had to do to get it was not get in trouble for 3 years so it wasn't really worthy of applause and 2) getting an STD disqualified you.
  • Mexican politicians get this trope very often.
    • Mexican president Felipe Calderón, called by whiny youths who oppose his government as Fecal.
    • "Dale un Madrazo al dedazo" was PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo's slogan in the 2000 primaries. "Madrazo" is Mexican somewhat vulgar slang for a beating. The dedazo is a Mexican idiom referring to how presidential successors were handpicked by the sitting president.
    • Mexico City's former regente (governor appointed by the president) Carlos Hank González. He built ejes viales (amplified streets made for better road traffic) and pissed the City off so much he got the nickname of "Henghis Hank".
    • Another former regente, Alfonso Martínez Domínguez. During his government, a student massacre took place when a shock group called "Los Halcones" attacked a student demonstration. As a result he got the nickname of "Halconzo".
    • A verse for the presidential campaign of José Vasconcelos against Pascual Ortiz Rubio: "Si es usted un animal / vote usted por don Pascual/ si son puros sus anhelos / vote usted por Vasconcelos" ("If you are an animal / vote for Don Pascual / if your desires are pure / vote for Vasconcelos").
    • Gustavo Díaz-Ordaz was president of Mexico during the Tlatelolco Massacre. As a result, many people ended up hating him. In 1976 he was appointed to be the first Mexican ambassador to Spain since the Spanish Civil War. The youth, still angry for the massacre, created a verse: "Al pueblo de España no le manden esa araña" ("Don't send the people of Spain that spider").
  • Lion Cereal in France bears the slogan: "La faim justifie les moyens" - "The hunger justifies the means". The pun comes from the fact that "faim" is an exact homophone of "fin", the French for 'end'
  • Related to the Biblical puns above, certain traditional foods eaten on the Jewish holiday Rosh Ha-Shanah have to do with puns on their names. For example, before eating a leek (Rabbinic Hebrew name: kartee), someone might ask God to cut off (yee-kartoo) those who hate God and seek (the eater's) downfall. A similar pun on the beetroot works in both Hebrew and English, essentially asking that those "who seek our downfall" be beaten away

Notes

  1. and frustrating