Stealth Pun

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Information icon4.svg This page needs visual enhancement.
You can help All The Tropes by finding a high-quality image or video to illustrate the topic of this page.


"Not a joke, but an incredible simulation!"

The writers put in a joke (almost always a pun), but never make or put in a punch line or explicit statement, hiding it in the set up of the joke. Some percentage of the audience will "get" the joke, but the rest will know it was there and be going, "What? Why didn't you say it?" There can be several reasons.

  1. It's naughty and not appropriate for this time-slot, in which case this serves the same purpose as a Last-Second Word Swap.
  2. It's an Incredibly Lame Pun and is only remotely funny when realized later; using it in story would grind everything to a halt.
  3. Telling the punch line would keep our lawyers busy for months, so we'll just leave a blank here and let you do the copyright infringement.
  4. The writer thinks they're being clever. Sometimes they even are.
  5. They are trying to set up a moment of Fridge Brilliance.
  6. The pun is in the middle of a song, poem, or other rhythmic verse, where using it fully would break the meter.

The form can range a bit from a "fill in the blank" stand up style jokes to cases where the plot and setting form a pun that you only realise when you try to summarise the situation later. If you're on the Internet, expect someone to respond "I see what you did there".

Also, as this page is about puns that are intentionally obscured in-work, it is one of the few times when it is good form to explain the joke.

Compare Visual Pun, another form of subtle punning.

Examples of Stealth Pun include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • "Charmin" toilet paper commercials featured cartoon bears. Left entirely unsaid is they're all about bears shitting in the woods.
  • An advert airing in the UK has an angry bear in the middle of a cubicle farm, who turns back into a flustered office worker when given a painkiller. Implying, of course, that she's acting like a bear with a sore head.
  • Boost Mobile has a commercial with Danica Patrick racing and going into the pit where her pit crew are a bunch of men dressed in outfits similar to the Dallas cowboy cheerleaders, one even has tan lines for a bikini. So it features drag racing.
  • In the 1980s, noted football/baseball player Bo Jackson appeared in a series of ads under the concept "Bo knows". Inevitably, there would be a sport he didn't know, often leading to the response "Bo don't know diddly!" The stealth was later removed and lampshaded when several ads featured the noted guitarist.
    • In fact, he was trying and failing to play a guitar when the famed performer himself said, "Bo, you don't know Diddly."
    • In another commercial of the same type, Sonny Bono showed up, saying "I thought it was another 'Bo Knows' commercial."
  • There's an advertisement for Sharp Quattron Pixel Technology, which features George Takei promoting the four-color TV in question. It would seem that Takei is only in the commercial for his hammitude, but some careful thought reveals a dastardly hidden pun. Watch:
    • George Takei is very, very gay.
    • He is also very, very Asian.
    • The new Quattron technology adds yellow to the standard RGB array of colors in a TV's pixels.
    • So, what is George Takei describing? He's describing adding YELLOW to the RAINBOW. Now, the reason why the pun in question needed to be made seems to lie in Takei's fondness for all kinds of stupid puns, as evidenced by his facebook wall. It might be hard to understand for many a good folks, but it's a sneaky one regardless.
  • This commercial begins with a driver placing a CD in a car stereo. A familiar song plays. The driver turns up the volume and rocks out, while the passenger is clearly uncomfortable. As they drive along, other drivers sound their horns, give the thumbs up and whatnot. Finally, the vehicle is shown and before they reach the chorus, they cut away. The song is Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" and the car is a hearse leading a funeral procession.
  • A UK advert for children's shoes showed kids the size of tower blocks running around a city. And the music? "Birdhouse In Your Soul". Because they might be...
  • The font used to write the original Cooper Tire logo is actually called Cooper Black. They redesigned the logo in a way so its name is written in a different font all because of this.
    • Similarly, the font used to write the word "Optima" on a Slim Fast Optima bottle is actually called Optima.
    • And the older logo for the University Inn in Seattle, WA was originally written using University Roman.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • The Geneon dub of Lupin III once had Jigen describe a house-fly that turned out to be a listening device as "a flying pun".
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Nanoha is pursuing Jewel Seeds. One such Jewel Seed had possessed a tree that was near a couple's confession of love, and it responded by turning into a massive murdering monster, trapping them inside itself and trying to consume everything. The pun comes when you realise that they pined for each other. (This pun actually works in Japanese, too.)
  • In Chobits, Hideki is searching desperately for the on switch for his new discovery, a female robot, when he says there's only one place left he hadn't checked. Cut outside to a mewing cat.
  • The main character of One Piece is named Monkey D. Luffy, and his first appearance in the anime was breaking out of a small barrel. Perhaps the implication is that the show will be more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
    • Or about Donkey Kong.
    • Another pair are for Mr. 1, his devil fruit is called the Supa-Supa fruit, it gives him super powers and his secret dream is to be a super hero. The obvious one is "super" a play on "Supa", his devil fruit name. The second not quite pun is he is literally a Man of Steel. A "Supaman" if you will..
    • Later in the series, Sanji uses a move called the "Parage Shot" to change people's looks by kicking them in the face. In other words, he can literally "rearrange your face".
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike goes out with a bang.
  • Possibly unintentional, but Edward Elric's attempts at human transmutation in Fullmetal Alchemist literally cost him An Arm and a Leg.
  • A particularly painful one is the Mobile Suit Gundam MSV model MS-07H-4 Gouf Flight Test Type, a prototype Zeon mobile suit adorned with their iconic mono-eye camera and forehead-mounted communications antenna, and painted in outrageous magenta demo-colors. An early, unsuccessful attempt at creating a flight-capable Humongous Mecha, it was scrapped for its unfortunate tendency to kill its test pilots. Long story short, it's a one eyed, one horned, flying purple people-eater.
  • At the end of the first episode of Gankutsuou, Albert is making out with Peppo, the local "Bridget" (although he doesn't know that yet), when she stops him and, points a gun at him, and helps kidnappers take him hostage (thus, she had a pistol in her pocket, but might have been happy to see him as well).
    • Also, it really was a trap.
  • Because of their Make Me Wanna Shout/Magic Music powers, those operating the Dolems (sort of living mecha) in RahXephon are termed instrumentalists. Although the series involves an End of the World Special rather than an Assimilation Plot, there's probably a deliberate allusion to "Instrumentality", given that RahXephon is sort of a Lighter and Softer Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • There's one that's true of both RahXephon and Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin. Both series make reference to the whole "2012 End of the World" idea, and it's probably no coincidence that both also have characters named Maya.
  • In Darker than Black, April has the power to create real hurricanes that make it rain. No one refers to "April Showers" though.
  • The Pokémon episode that introduced Barry is titled "Barry's Busting Out All Over!" Even if you get the reference, it sounds inexplicable, unless you are aware that Barry's Japanese name is Jun.
    • Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker: One of the characters in the movie is Butler. He's a villain. In other words? The Butler Did It.
    • Charles Goodshow is the president of the Pokémon League and appears in the episodes pertaining to the larger tournaments. He is a short elderly man with a large beard, bright-colored shorts and a backwards cap, giving the visible impression that he is still a child at heart. Goodshow, old boy?
      • Alternately, Jolly Goodshow.
    • In Pokémon Special, White has a Sandile actor trained to cry for any sad scene. Crocodile Tears
  • In New Getter Robo, there's a pun in the first episode. When Ryouma is told by Professor Saotome that he is to be one of the pilots of the Getter Robo, Ryoma replies "Getter?" With the scene being shot at floor level, focusing on Saotome's "geta".
  • A flashback in Naruto has someone hearing what Sasuke's name is, and commenting that's also the name of the Third Hokage's father. The Third Hokage's real name is Hiruzen Sarutobi, thus making his father...
    • Another example could be during one of the fillers, Naruto has to sit in during the funeral and has to not laugh the entire time or else the person they're doing the mission for will not get the inheritance which causes for everyone trying to get him to laugh. One of the gags that happened were with a guy having a flower coming out of his nose. In Japanese, the word for nose can also mean flower.
  • Hidamari Sketch: When the residents of the Hidamari Apartments go to a sentō following the cultural festival, they relate things that they did and experienced. For example, during a Cinderella play they put on, Miyako did the voice of a horse; while in the baths, Hiro asks her to replicate it. Miyako refuses, not wanting to sell herself cheap, but an unspoken reason is that horseplay is against bathhouse etiquette. (Probably not intended...)
  • The Tatami Galaxy represents the protagonist's libido via a cowboy with a phallic-looking nose called "Johnny". The intent becomes clearer when you realize that he looks a whole lot like Woody from Toy Story.
  • In the Virtual World arc in Yu-Gi-Oh, Noah, the arc villain chooses Shinnato's Ark for his Deckmaster. It is never mentioned that this would make it Noah's Ark.
  • In Black Butler, demonic butler Sebastian Michaelis' catchphrase is "I'm just one hell of a butler." Has the bonus of working perfectly in its original language as well.
  • The title of Neko Kissa is either a Bilingual Bonus Stealth Pun or a Accidental Pun. In Japanese, "Neko" = "Cat" and "Kissa" = "Cafe". So, "Cat Cafe". The title could also be translated as being the word "cat" in two different languages - Japanese and Finnish: Neko (Japanese), Kissa (Finnish).
  • Osaka of Azumanga Daioh is somehow unable to so much as float when in the water in an episode taking place at the pool. She's dense. In spite of this, she can somehow keep just far enough above the water to speak with Tomo and Nyamo during the same scene. Maybe she's airheaded.
  • In Tiger and Bunny, Nathan's name, when pronounced in Japanese ("Nee-San"), sounds eerily like the role he plays in the series. There's also Kotetsu/Wild Tiger's eye color, which shifts between Brown Eyes, gold, and something in between. There's actually a gemstone with the same sort of coloring. It's called tiger's eye.
  • In the first episode of Medaka Box, Hyuga knocks Zenkichi unconscious and calls him "Ahoge." (Idiot.) The scene abruptly cuts to Shiranui. Just look at her hair!


Comics[edit | hide]

  • During one of Adam Warren's Dirty Pair stories, a villain introduces a clone of "good girl" Yuri into the convention the girls are hosting, to shake things up. We first hear about "clone-Yuri's" antics from one of the con-goers (much to real Yuri's distress). Then we cut to Clone Yuri's room and we can clearly see (though the words are never spoken) that she has been literally "screwed, blued, and tattooed".
  • During a Robin issue during Infinite Crisis, the Teen Titans are in a secret lab looking for a cure for Superboy, after his first beating by Superboy-Prime. Speedy who has HIV asks for everyone to look out for a "Speedy Fix". Notable for making a Black Comedy pun.
  • Two issues of James Robinson's Firearm involved the title character entering a virtual world based on Glasgow, mostly as a gift to Glaswegian artist Gary Erskine. In one panel, Erskine drew a figure that resembled Alex from A Clockwork Orange outside an underground station. The local nickname for Glasgow's underground railway is "the clockwork orange".
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach breaks Nite-Owl's lock to get into his apartment. It gets replaced. Then he does it again. It gets replaced. Then the police break in. The lock holds but the door is destroyed. The pun? The lock company was called Gordian Knot Lock Company.
    • This is less likely to be a pun than an intentional thread in Moore's insanely complicated web of incestuous connections in Watchmen. Ozymandias later refers to Alexander the Great and cutting through the Gordian Knot, which is also, metaphorically, what he himself ends up doing.
    • Rorschach's foe in prison is short, and his two henchmen are, respectively, nasty and brutish. All three of them perceive Rorschach's comments ("small world", "fat chance", etc.) as being snide remarks about them.... Hrm... possibly true. Must look into later.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man updates Peter Parker's status quo; he still works for the Daily Bugle in this version, but he helps manage their internet site instead of taking pictures. That's right, Spider-Man's a webmaster.
  • The second issue of the Great Ten series is called The Tao of Archery. It involves Celestial Archer, whose real name is Xu Tao.
  • One of Brian K. Vaughan's earlier works was a backup story in a Batman special where, among other things, the Joker breaks into a chemical lab to steal bomb ingredients. While he's there, he decides to amuse himself by re-arranging canisters so the abbreviations on the labels spell out funny things. Boron Argon and Flourine spell BArF, which is "Positively tame" compared to what he did with Copper (Cu) and Niton (Nt).
    • That must have been a very old canister -- "Niton" has been officially named Radon for almost eighty years.
  • Where do you practice your Deathstroke? In the Deadpool, of course.
  • In Preacher (Comic Book), two minor villains list their "services" as Sexual Investigators.
    • Or to put it another way, private dicks.
  • Gladiator, the Superboy counterpart in Marvel's Captain Ersatz Legion of Super-Heroes comes from the planet Strontia. While his Kryptonite Factor is actually self-doubt, it's probably not a coincidence that Strontianite is a real mineral.
  • J. Jonah Jameson was mutated in Earth X. It wasn't revealed until the end that he had a head of a donkey. That's right, he became a jackass.
  • At one point, the various Clayfaces (who, as the name suggests, are made of living clay) teamed up to take on Batman. Two of them fell in love, married and had a child. What was his name? Cassius.
  • A stealth pun in Salvation Run (Stealth rhyme? I swear I didn't mean it. Anybody want a peanut?) is explained in the third story here.
  • In The Wizard of Id, a visitor to the untrustworthy King's castle notices that the King's flag consists of a pair of black X's on a white background. The visitor asks for the name of this emblem. The king moves on to another pun before it mentioned the king is represented by Double Crosses.
    • Charlie Chaplin did that joke earlier in The Great Dictator, where Adenoid Hynkel's movement is also referred to as the Sons (and Daughters) of the Double Cross. By the way, a different type of double cross (two horizontal bars) has been used in heraldry centuries before the term "to double-cross" was invented (it comes from horse-racing).
  • This Mallard Fillmore strip. The punchline sounds almost like a parody of his usual Strawman Political rants; eventually someone figured out it's a Stealth Pun. (Because NASCAR fans are "race-ists".)
  • A recent (late 2009) Housebroken strip had DJ Dog mentioning his plans to expand his empire. His plans include a line of handbags called DJ Doggie Bags, a soft drink called DJ Doggie Dew, and a fashion and lifestyle magazine called DJ Doggie...Fashion Magazine. Maya says she can't think of a better name for the last one without them getting cancelled.
  • FoxTrot sometimes has the characters making references to Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity being on TV—which of course means that the Fox family is watching Fox News.
  • Dilbert: Man, does Scott Adams love this.
  • A rare unfunny example that's nonetheless good: an arc in The Sandman spin-off The Dreaming was about the loneliness of Matthew the Raven, entitled "The Unkindness of One".
  • Death from The Sandman made a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo during Peter David's run on Incredible Hulk. She visited Marlo Chandler's wedding and gave her a brush as a wedding present. Marlo had recently died and come back to life. Get it? She had a brush with death.
  • In one issue of Top Ten, a bunch of stretchy heroes gawk at a teleporting accident as they drive by. Yes – those Rubber Men are rubbernecking.
  • Usually, the first words out of an infant's mouth is "Mama" or "Dada/Papa". In Archie Comics, what is the first word of scientific genius Dilton? Pythagoras, the father of Geometry.
    • Moose, a Literal-Minded individual, provides lots of these. In one story, he was selected as an election candidate. When he appears at the pre-meeting, Mr. Weatherbee asks Moose why he was wearing a track outfit, Moose replies that it's because people are telling him that he's going to "run for office". In another, Dilton's advice to Moose is that he should put his money in the bank to make it grow. Moose decides to grow the money himself, and instead goes home, puts the money in a flowerpot and begins to water it.[1]
  • In Alan Moore's Cthulhu Mythos/porn comic Neonomicon, wherein there's a literary allusion to the works of H.P. Lovecraft on practically every page, drug dealer/avatar of Nyarlathotep/screaming queen Johnny Carcosa shows up dressed up like Edward Elric. This seems like kind of a random thing to reference, until you remember that one of Lovecraft's short stories was entitled The Alchemist.
  • The waste disposal robot in The Smurfs comic book story "You Don't Smurf Progress" would eat garbage and turn them into bricks that he would expel from his rear hatch. In essence, he was shitting bricks.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • In South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut, Gregory (the French revolutionary kid), at the beginning of the song montage that got the film nominated for an Oscar, jumps up on a wooden box to sing about freedom and rights etc. On the box in big stenciled letters is the word SOAP.
  • In Shrek, the evil Lord Farquaad is alleged to have been based partially upon then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who had a falling out in the mid-Nineties with Jeffrey Katzenberg, who would go on to found DreamWorks—the company that produced Shrek. "Farquaad" is rumoured to be a cloaked insult aimed at Eisner, calling him a fuckwad.
    • According to Word of God, it's a reference to the "Far Quad" on the campus of the writer's alma mater, Notre Dame—full name Notre Dame du Lac (Dulac is the name given to Farquaad's little kingdom). However, the obvious pronunciation-gag was not missed by FoxTrot, which used the second meaning as a stealth punchline.
    • Also, anyone familiar with ND will recognize a certain building outline (The Golden Dome) on the back of Shrek's vest.
    • In Shrek 2 the potion given to the King to make Fiona fall in love with the first man she kisses is labeled "IX". It is not mentioned then that it must be Love Potion Number 9.
    • In the scene where Shrek and Donkey (in human and horse forms) are in a bar after their plan fails, the barmaid says to Shrek "Why the long face?", while Donkey is standing right next to him.
  • In Coraline, the seats of the theater are filled with small dogs—Scotties. Later, when the world shows its dark side, the dogs become skeletons... Night Terriers?
    • The toy tank in the Otherworld bedroom resembles the British Mark 1, which nickname is... Mother.
  • In Up, there is a scene in which several dogs pilot fighter planes, making them... dogfighters.
    • Also, Dug's name. No, that isn't misspelled.
    • The dogs are introduced in order of the Greek alphabet; Alpha, Beta, Gamma... Epsilon. There is never a Delta shown, there is however Dug. Furthermore, he is the fourth dog named.
  • In Cars, Sally Carrera, the female lawyer car, is a Porsche. The term Portia is a slang term for a female lawyer; it was lifted from the female lead from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, who impersonated a lawyer to defend Antonio against Shylock.
    • In a later scene, Lightning notices Sally (who used to be from Los Angeles) has a decal just above her bumper, the car equivalent of a tattoo on the small of the back, which is sometimes known as a "California license plate".
    • In another scene, Lightning claims Doc Hudson is a famous racing car, the Hudson Hornet, who "won three Piston Cups!", causing Mater to Spit Take and say "He did what in his cup?"
  • In The Incredibles, the name of Syndrome's island is only mentioned once: a passing reference to "current temperature on Nomanisan" during Mr. Incredible's second visit. "No-man-is-an Island". This could also serve as a Meaningful Name, if you consider the way Syndrome became who he is now.
    • This is also the reason for Violet's Meaningful Name (she's painfully shy, i.e., a "Shrinking Violet"). Or it could refer to ultraviolet, referencing her powers (energy shields and invisibility). Same with her brother Dash who is extremely fast.
    • Jack-Jack, as his powers are a "jack of all trades" thing.
    • Their ironic pun of a last name: Parr. As in average.
  • WALL-E: When EVE comes back with a plant, activating the centuries old recolonization protocol, a manual pops out, which the captain orders to relay its information. AUTO shows him that the pages must be turned by himself; i.e., it is Manual.
    • WALL-E's name. It's actually A113 (a common running gag featured in many Pixar films, such as "Directive A113", also from this movie), but written in Leet Speak and with a "W" added to the front.
    • WALL-E (with the E standing for Earth-class) eventually runs into an Axiom-class version of himself named WALL-A. Actually, he runs into two of them. Which of course means that they're... WALL-A WALL-A. *rimshot*
  • In Toy Story 2, Woody has a nightmare about Andy throwing him away. In Toy Story 3, Woody tells the other toys he needs to get to Andy's house, which is on Elm Street. Woody had a nightmare on Elm street.
    • Woody is the leader of Andy's room—in the first movie, we see that Slinky is (or used to be) the second-in-command. A cowboy... and a "long little doggy"...
    • In 3, one of the toys at Sunnyside Daycare is a blue stuffed kitten. Who gets played with by a little girl that tells it "Boo!"
  • At the very beginning of Finding Nemo, just right before the divers take him away, causing his father to go after them, the titular Nemo can be seen attending school with several other young fish. A group of fish is actually called a school.
    • Almost every name in the movie is a reference to fish or something water-related. Gil, Marlin, [Captain] Nemo, Anchor, Chum... Even Deb (Flo and Deb, or, if you prefer, Ebb and Flow).
  • Ratatouille has a few to boast of as well, including Alfredo Linguini, whose name is so dreadfully punny it's almost painful to utter aloud, and Anton Ego. Along with the title of the movie, of course, although that's lampshaded.
  • In Disney's Robin Hood, Maid Marian (a vixen) has a hen as a nursemaid, but nobody references the aphorism about "setting a fox to watch the henhouse".
    • Probably because a hen is watching the foxhouse, which isn't a thing.
    • There is, however, the saying about someone who is constantly anxious and worried being a "mother hen".
    • It could also mean that Maid Marian is "henpecked" by her nursemaid.
    • A scene specifically depicts Friar Tuck, who is portrayed as a badger, cheering during a fight scene, while the music playing in the background is the fight song of the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
  • In Corpse Bride, the bar where Victor first arrives is called the "Ball and Socket", making it the Ball and Socket joint. And the bar is a popular place, or a "hip joint."
  • The first Veggie Tales movie contained—without comment—a bunch of city guards whose weapons were long poles with fish on the ends of them.
  • The writers behind Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs claim they had to turn one of the opening lines into a version of Stealth Pun #2. To wit:

Flint: (narrating) But when all seemed lost, I stared at da feet and found hope.

  • In A Matter of Loaf and Death, Wallace attempts to stop Piella's bicycle by having Gromit throw tea cakes between his knees and the bicycle and squeezing them. He says he should have tried the granary rolls, which makes sense; after all, Let us break bread together on our knees... no?
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Basil and Dr. Dawson walk into a bar to find information on Ratigan, who lures them into his lair and into a gigantic trap. The name of the bar they enter? The Rat Trap.
  • In The Iron Giant, Dean, the artist, directs the Giant to make a mobile, a hanging children's toy, out of cars. Automobile
  • In Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, there is a Training Montage/Good Times Montage which involves various shots of Ga'hoole—a vast city full of owls. (Well, vast if you're an owl, anyway.) Over said montage, there's a cheerful song called "To the Sky." The song itself is not a pun on the action happening... until you realize what band is performing it.
  • Porco Rosso is about when pigs fly.
  • At the end of The Princess and the Frog, the firefly character dies, and a funeral is held for him.
  • Toward the end of the "Pomp and Circumstance" sequence from Fantasia 2000, a female dove actually bursts into tears after Donald Duck throws her mate over the railing of Noah's Ark so that he can find the olive branch.
  • One of the lyrics from the song "Topsy Turvy" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is "...every clown's a king and every king's a clown...". The song is question is actually sung by Clopin, a colorful and enigmatic character who constantly refers himself as the king of the Gypsies, and dresses up in a clown suit.
  • Atlantis the Lost Empire featured giant insects that for some reason caught fire and exploded if they made contact with anything on the ground.
    • At the end of the film, Kida is last seen climbing up a large rock structure wearing a long, flowing dress and a tiara with pink and blue feathers coming out of the back, making her a High Queen.
  • In Antz, the two main characters come across two insects by the name of "Chip" and "Muffy" who talk with Thurston Howell III type accents and act in other ways consistent with the stereotype of a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. While never specifically named, its obvious from their character models that they are in the order hymenoptera, specifically WASPS.
  • This little tidbit shows up at one point in the upcoming film Brave: ACXIII.
  • The Rugrats Movie had Charlotte say towards the beginning of the movie, when referring to the soon-to-be-born Dil, "You know what they say - born under Venus, look for a--" which is then interrupted by her cellphone ringing.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Saved has several blink-and-you'll-miss-it stealth pun moments, including "is he going to come out or not?!" and "your mother's missionary position...." They make no sense out of context and are pretty hard to explain, but in the film they're just a few of many subtle moments of brilliance.
  • In the middle of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Nick asks Russ where he learned artificial respiration after he delivers it to Amy. Russ replies, "In French class". Nick doesn't get it and the build-up is left unfinished... then, at the very end of the movie, right after the Fade to Black, Nick suddenly gets it and laughs hysterically.
  • In Evan Almighty, Evan's wife is Joan. And the movie is about building an ark.
    • This one may also count as a Genius Bonus. When God shows up in the back of Evan's car and scares the pants off him, God replies "Let it out, son. It's the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7 states "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"
    • Noah had a son named Ham. Evan has a son named Ryan, or Ry. Ham and Rye.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the meal the characters have been eating is suddenly revealed to be the remains of Eddie, played by the singer Meat Loaf. The audience traditionally fills in the joke: "Not Meatloaf again!"
    • "That's a rather tender subject."
      • "That's a rather tasteless joke."
    • And don't forget the well-hung speakers.
    • Meat Loaf also made an appearance on Tales from the Crypt. Take a wild guess at what happened to his character.
  • In Scotland, PA, an adaptation of Macbeth, it is casually mentioned that Donald (Donalbain in Macbeth) and Malcolm's father, Duncan, made most of his money through donut sales. Duncan Donuts. Later, Donald takes over the restaurant, which had been renamed to McBeth's, and calls it, well, guess what... McDonald's, of course.
  • In the recent Star Trek movie, the alien in the bar that sits between Uhura and Kirk has elongated features. So why didn't the bartender say "Why the long face?"
    • Riff Trax did it.
      • The character was credited as "Long Face".
  • In yet another Star Trek film, the commanders of a Klingon vessel give the order of "Fire at will." There is an immediate cut to the bridge of their target, the Enterprise, currently commanded by Commander Riker. Will Riker.
  • Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World: The guy at the beginning of the movie, who tells the four drivers about the treasure buried under a big W, as he dies, kicks a bucket with his foot.
    • I used that same visual pun in a production of The Fantasticks when the Indian dies.
  • In The Dark Knight Saga, the police convoy is diverted by a large vehicle that had been set ablaze. When you see the vehicle up close, you realize what it is and the stealth pun indicates it as one of the Joker's jokes. It's a fire engine.
    • And by the end of the second act, the Batmobile has lost a wheel (well, two, but whatever) and the Joker got away.
  • In the original Flash Gordon the aliens have ray guns that fire gauntlets/armored gloves which strangle and throw people. That's right, the aliens have HAND-guns.
    • It's also a case of "throwing down the gauntlet" (ie challenge) to the good guys.
  • In Jeepers Creepers, the two main characters are nearly run off the road by a truck with a Vanity License Plate which says "BEATNGU". Darry guesses it just meant "beating you", but it's never stated what it really meant: "be eating you", as the driver is really the man-eating monster.
  • For the first shot of the villain in The Neverending Story II, she has no face until she takes a swipe of some mystical glowing gunk on her hands and swipes it over her face. Guess she just had to put her face on.
    • Either that or it's Face creme.
  • The title of the excellent German short film Schwarzfahrer means fare dodger, though it could literally be interpreted (with some license) as "black rider". It features a black man sitting on a tram next to a Racist Grandma who puts him through racial abuse, including saying all black people had AIDS. When the conductor comes round to collect the tickets, the black man eats her ticket, making her a lawbreaking type of schwarzfahrer. For added irony, a biker onlooker who never had a ticket gets let off.
  • This may or may not be a stretch, but after the makers of Monty Python and the Holy Grail ran out of money, they just had the film end with everyone being arrested by the police for the death of a historian earlier in the film. In other words, the ending is a cop-out.
  • The Bride's exchange with O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Vol. 1 could count, since (unless you were able to get a good look at her passport when she flew to Japan) we don't learn until Vol. 2 that her name is Beatrix Kiddo:

O-Ren Ishii: You didn't think it was gonna be that easy, did you?
The Bride: You know, for a second there, yeah, I kinda did.
O-Ren Ishii: Silly rabbit.
The Bride: Trix are...
O-Ren Ishii: ...for kids.

    • A possible double bonus: So you're saying that they called a woman named Beatrix a "rabbit"?
  • In Clue, Professor Plum: "I work for U.N.O., the United Nations Organization. I work for a special branch, the World Health Organization." (I.e., he works for UNO [you know] WHO.)
  • In Terminator 2, the T-800 chases John Connor through a mall carrying a box of flowers with a rifle inside. For 50 points, what was the name of the band that had a breakaway hit for the movie?
  • In the Aeon Flux movie, when breaking into Trevor's estate, Aeon's partner shows off her new genetically modified feet, altered into hands for added utility. When Aeon asks how they're working out, she replies, "Useful". In other words, "Handy".
  • In Mean Girls, Janis Ian (named for a lesbian folk singer) has been hounded throughout high school by rumors that she's gay. While hating her former best friend for starting the rumors and causing her to be ostracized, she never actually denies liking girls, and at times it seems the movie is teasing us with the question. Then at the end, she winds up in a relationship with Kevin, after he comes up to her to find out if she fits his policy of "only dating women of color":

Kevin: You Puerto Rican?
Janis: Lebanese.
Kevin: I feel that.

  • The end credits for Stranger Than Fiction include a few visual puns. For instance, the credit for the casting director has a couch underneath it.
  • The title character of Bubba Ho Tep yells vulgarities in hieroglyphics during the final confrontation. The mummy's curse.
  • Hot Shots Part Deux has the rescue action take place in a Qurac country (albeit one with a sufficient enough jungle backdrop to allow parodies of the Vietnam set Rambo: First Blood: Part 2). They actually show it on a map by fashioning it out of the Iranian side of the Iran/Iraq border. Presumably due to the upheavals which lead to this split, Iran is labelled simple as A Hard Place. In other words, it was placed between Iraq and A Hard Place.
  • In Zombieland, twice Tallahassee guns down zombies whilst riding a rollercoaster. In other words it's an on-rail shooter.
  • Dungeons and Dragons has the villain knock the hero to the ground and shout "not so Talented now, are you Mister Ridley?.
  • In Inception, during Yusuf's dream, in the first level, Cobb accidentally creates a locomotive in the middle of the street. He was probably thinking about his dead wife, Mal. In other words, it was his train of thought.
    • And also the moment their plan goes off the rails.
      • It also tells us that the relationship turned into a real trainwreck
  • In Back to The Future Part II Doc Brown warns about meeting yourself from another time, thus creating a paradox. Near the end, you actually have Doc Brown meeting up with himself; thus creating a "pair o' Docs".
  • In Land of the Lost (2009) it's telling that the place with an above average tachyon flow is one decidedly lacking in taste.
  • Riddled throughout Hot Fuzz, normally in the form of a Stealth Bond One-Liner. For example, Simon Pegg and Timothy Dalton have a stand down in a small model town. The pun? This town isn't big enough for the both of us.
    • Also lampshaded when a swan causes the villain to crash his car during his escape. with this exchange:

Nicholas Angel: I feel like I should say something smart.
Danny Butterman: You don't have to say anything at all.

    • I guess you could say it was his swan song.
  • When Larry finds what he needs to place in the action figures inSmall Soldiers, he triumphantly exclaims, "Hello, Mr. Chips!"


Jokes[edit | hide]

  • There are a number of riddles of the form "What's the difference between a X and a Y?" where only the first half of the punchline is ever given, to avoid speaking profanity. Suffice it to say there are many half-punchlines with the word cunning in them, followed by a word that rhymes with hunt and doesn't start with the letter C.
    • What's the difference between (annoying female celebrity) and the Panama Canal? Well, the Panama Canal is a busy ditch ...
    • What's the difference between a smart midget and gonorrhea? A smart midget is a cunning runt ...
    • What's the difference between a tailor and a bad viola player? Well, the tailor tucks up the frills...
    • What's the difference between a chiropodist and a bad drummer? Well, the chiropodist bucks up the feet...
    • What's the difference between a clever spoonerism and a fart? One's a shaft of wit...
    • What's the difference between an epileptic corn farmer and a prostitute with diarrhea? One of them shucks between fits...
    • What's the difference between a rooster and a lawyer? One of them clucks defiance...
    • What's the difference between a baby and a high-school choir director? The baby sucks his fingers...
    • What's the difference between a pickpocket and a peeping tom? The pickpocket snatches watches...
    • What's the difference between Barnum & Bailey's Circus and a line of Playboy bunnies? The circus is a cunning array of stunts...
    • What's the difference between a woman in church and a woman in a bathtub? The woman in church has hope in her soul...
    • What's the difference between a snake and a goose? A snake is an asp in the grass...
    • What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? Well, one's a sick duck... I forget the rest Trebek, but your mother's a whore.
    • What's the difference between the manager of Barclays having a fight and Inspector Fowler having a conversation? Well, one's a warring banker...
    • The Blues Brothers has a stealth pun in the White Suprmeicist Rally scene. The Rally speaker refers to their party as the American Socialist White People's Party, or, if you were to initialize it, ASWPP. The neo nazis are A Ss Wi P(P)es.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • One example in Mistborn, although it might have been accidental. Mistborn, coinshots and people with hemalurgic steel augmentations tend to use metal objects like small-denomination coins as bullets. The smallest denomination of coin in the mistborn verse is known as a clip(also a term for a self-contained unit of ammunition).
    • There's another example which is clearly intentional this time. Aluminum is allomantically inert so wearing aluminum around your head protects you from allomantic abilities that affect emotions.
  • Discworld
    • In The Wee Free Men, a talking toad is introduced as a guide for Tiffany Aching. Although it was explained that said toad's yellow colour was caused by his being unwell, nobody ever actually told her to "follow the yellow sick toad". As the author said:

Terry Pratchett: I just happened to note a toad had a skin which had had unfortunately gone a bit yellow because it had been ill. Far be it from me to make a pun. You did that.

    • This was played as a straight Pun in Moving Pictures, where a man in half a lion suit says "I don't know what it's called, but we're doing one about going to see a wizard. Something about following a yellow sick toad."
    • Similarly, in Jingo!, when Carrot is investigating an attempted political killing with strong similarities to the Kennedy assassination, he interviews a gnoll. In addition to being an informant, the creature has plants growing on it. That's two possible routes to the phrase "grassy gnoll", but it never happens.
    • The worst offender has got to be Soul Music. There's a scene where the main character, Imp Y Celyn, explains his name: imp being a term for new growth at the end of a stalk, and celyn being a member of the holly family. The entire book is full of music puns like that, some more subtle than others. Of course this is made even more obvious when he starts going by the name Buddy.
      • Or possibly his band-mate, Lias Bluestone, who changes his name to Cliff. The fact that one of the band's songs is Sto Helit Lace suggests that he's supposed to represent J. P. Richardson Jr. AKA "the Big Bopper".
      • Later on in the book, the Dean of UU spends several scenes constructing an elaborate coat. Later, Death, knowing that some things have to look right, borrows it before going very quickly to an important place. When he gets there, he kills The Music. None of this is ever spelled out.
      • The Dean also spends a lot of time riveting trousers out of denim. The Archchancellor complains, and the Dean replies that soon everyone will be wearing them, and they certainly won't be called Archchancellors.
      • There was a more obvious pun than that there.
      • One of the bands manages to acquire a leopard, which is a bit hard of hearing.
        • The band names are full of these. Consider, for instance, the opposite to "We're certainly Dwarves"
      • Don't forget Death riding to the rescue on a motorcycle, which turns ghostly as parts break off... meaning that by the end, he's hitting the highway like a battering ram on a silver-black phantom bike. (Like a Bat out of Hell...)
      • Plus, the motorcycle was built in the basement, so Death gets it out of the building via the ceiling... through the ground above.
      • Another scene mentions a great musician, who was a priest that robbed a temple (a felonious monk, if you will).
    • In Witches Abroad, there's a couple of puns where the first two witches give an outright pun or Allusion but Nanny Ogg delivers the stealth pun.
      • The three of them are deliberating on the idea of a transport system built on broomsticks. Their ideas for names are puns on well know real world airlines but Nanny Ogg gets cut off before she says hers. However, note she is looking at Magrat and being rather coquettish. Consider Magrat's role in The Hecate Sisters trio. Virgin.
      • In a later scene, while stuck in a Wizard of Oz parody, Magrat and Granny have a falling out. As they walk along the obligatory yellow brick road, Magrat says "some people" need a little more heart, Granny Weatherwax says "some people" need a lot more brain, and Nanny Ogg, both literally and figuratively stuck between the two, thinks to herself that she needs a drink. i.e., Dutch Courage [2]
      • Followed not long afterwards by a farmhouse falling on Nanny Ogg, and then some rather confused dwarves who want to have Nanny's red boots.
      • There's also a recurrence of Granny trying to tell a joke about an alligator sandwich ("...and make it snappy!"), but she keeps blowing the punchline ("...and do it fast!").
    • In Pyramids, a voting system involving each elector placing round beads into a jar is described as giving rise to a popular saying about politics. Presumably that it's a load of balls.
      • I always thought that was a reference to being blackballed.
      • Or it could just be "-insert party here- has no balls."
      • I always thought that this one was a simple reference to the Athenian practice of doing basically just that.
      • Sybil in Guards Guards "Lord Vetinari seldom had balls. There was a popular song about it, in fact."
    • In Going Postal, John Galt Captain Flint Reacher Gilt dresses up as a pirate and has a parrot sitting on his shoulder that continually shouts "twelve and a half percent!" Twelve and a half is 100 divided by 8, or, in other words, one Piece of Eight, which is the traditional coinage that all pirates are after, and "Pieces Of Eight!" was the Catch Phrase of Long John Silver's parrot in Treasure Island.
    • The Last Hero includes some pages that are excerpts of fictional documents. One of these is a list of "Varieties of the Swamp Dragon". One of the listed varieties is the "Nothingfjord Blue", which is given this description: "Wonderful scales, but a tendency to homesickness." In other words, it's pining for the fjords.
    • In Night Watch, Dr Lawn briefly refers to "the founder of my profession, the philosopher Scepturn." Since this is obviously the Disc version of Hippocrates, the highly cynical Lawn has presumably taken the Sceptic Oath.
    • The Guild of SeamstrWHORESLadies of Negotiable Affection (pre-legalization and renomination) employed Dotsie and Sadie, known as the Agony Aunts since that's what they inflict on badly behaving customers. Now say their names the other way round.
      • In British English, an Agony Aunt is an advice columnist.
      • If you swap Dotsie and Sadie around and drop the "ie" you get Sad-Dots or Sadists.
    • Might be overthinking, but in Thud!, Mr. Shine is a troll made of diamond, making him the troll king by their ancient mythology, spoilered for convenience. It would be surprising if Pterry meant this one, but would that make him King Diamond?
    • Another absolute genius Late to the Punchline turns up in Thief of Time. The whole way through the book it is emphasized that Susan hates Nougat. The book finishes with her eating a chocolate privately in the closet. The chocolate turned out (to her dismay) to be Nougat. She is then interrupted when Lobsang arrives. They kiss and the book closes with "Even with Nougat, you can have a perfect moment." This line doubles in Heartwarming when you remember what Lobsang was called before he joined the History Monks' clan; Newgate Ludd.
    • In Unseen Academicals, a girl calls Glenda "the leftover queen", then thinks it might be taken insultingly and explains she meant that Glenda was very good at cooking with leftovers. Why would someone not like to be called the leftover queen? Because in the card game, the left-over queen is the Old Maid.
      • Also Trev Likely is a "likely lad" and a skilled dribbler (he works in the University candle vats before getting involved in the football). And a teddy bear with a third eye sewn on its forehead is described as "more enlightened than the average bear" an obvious gag on Eastern mysticism and Yogi Bear's catchphrase, but a subtler one when you remember a yogi is an Eastern mystic.
    • There are many in the Latatian mottoes of various families, groups, and guilds: The City Watch motto, "Fabricati Diem Pvnc" is translated as "To Protect and to Serve", but means something else... "Make my day, punk." A favourite is "Non Timetis Messor" (if you like Blue Oyster Cult, at least). That one is translated correctly at one point, though.

Vimes: And that's heraldry, is it? Crossword clues and plays on words?

      • Explanation for non-British readers: have you ever seen one of those "cryptic crosswords" with the multiple-meaning clues and such? That's standard for British crosswords.
    • The dog-latin used in the books is bursting with such gems. When asked what "Sodomy Non Sapiens" means, the reply is "Buggered if I know." Which is, in fact, the literal translation.
    • In Guards Guards, Vimes refers to an unusually weak beverage as "love-in-a-canoe" coffee. The punchline goes unsaid—it's fucking close to water.
    • One from Paul Kidby: his illustration of Leonard of Quirm in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook includes many Leonardo references, including the original sketch of the Mona Ogg. Another picture of the young Gytha, however, shows her lying naked on a divan, which is a reference to a completely different Leonardo.
    • Possible one in Sourcery, when Rincewind points to his hat and says "What does this mean to you?" and someone else says "That you can't spell." Not only is the word Wizard misspelled (there are two Z's) on his hat, Rincewind is also an Inept Mage. He... can't spell.
    • The protagonist of Small Gods is Brutha, a lowly acolyte who ends up reforming the warlike theocracy of Omnia and becoming its leader after a number of hardships. So he's actually a Christ analogue, but Pratchett somehow waited until Unseen Academicals to use the fairly obvious joke about the Discworld equivalent of "Jesus Christ!" being "Oh, Brutha!"
      • The Motto of the Quisition (said warlike theocracy) is Cvivs Testicvlos Habes, Habeas Cardia Et Cerebellvm. The loose translation is apparently "when you have their full attention, you have their hearts and minds", and how loose the translation is.
    • The Grim Reaper's main adversaries in the series are the Auditors of Realities. Which means that Pratchett is pitting against each other the two certainties in life: Death and Taxes.
    • Besides having Death's powers, another Lamarckian inheritance Susan got was a mark on her face mirroring one given to her father, Mort, when Death hit him. This seems to be a Stealth Pun on the idea of "hitting someone so hard their children will feel it".
  • One of the creatures in The Phantom Tollbooth is the Everpresent Wordsnatcher, a bird who comes from a place named Context and likes to take words from other people's mouths and twist them. He comes this close to explaining the pun:

"I'm from a land very far away called Context. But it's such a nasty place I try to spend all my time out of it."

    • The book is really entirely made up of these puns.
  • In The Rock Rats by Ben Bova:

Fuchs: So, Mr. Ripley, will your crew be able to assemble the latest additions on schedule?
Mr. Ripley: Believe it or not, they will.

  • In Godel Escher Bach, the dialogue "Aria with Diverse Variations" (named after a piece by J. S. Bach more commonly known as the Goldberg Variations) mostly concerns the Goldbach Conjecture and variations on it. Near the end of the dialogue, Achilles suddenly offers the Tortoise the gift of a "very gold Asian box." This pun doesn't get to sink in until after the true ending of the dialogue: a fake ending in which a cop arrives and Achilles turns the Tortoise in for the reported theft of a Very Asian Gold Box.
  • In The Dresden Files, there's a supporting character named Virginia, who is a werewolf. No one mentions that they are afraid of Virginia Wolf.
    • Also in The Dresden Files, Harry is asked to guess the name of the wizard who is the newest member of the Senior Council. His guess is "Klaus the Toymaker." It is implied that Harry is not joking, but he's wrong.
    • In Summer Knight, we meet a very small fairy that looks to be nothing more than a spark of light. Her name? Elidee. L. E. D.
    • Norse related characters tend to have names that are Kenning, and if you can figure it out tells you exactly who and what they are.
      • For instance: MonOc Securities. MonOc is a combination of words for "one" and "eye;" it didn't take the fans long to realize it was led by Odin One-Eye. And one of their employees is Ms. Gard: If you read up on your Norse Mythology, you'll know that Asgard is the home of most of the gods and location of Valhalla. She's a Valkyrie.
    • The Archive asks Harry to tell his kitty hello for her. This means that, had she not gone through a third party, she would have said, "Hello, kitty."
  • Swedish children's comic Bamse has an anthropomorphic wolf named Virginia. Note that you'd have to jump languages to make it work too.
  • In War of the Dreaming, there's a brief mention of Parliament as "something owls do when they get together. Boring, but then it's better than what crows do."
  • In the classic Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", Holmes and Watson find a priceless gem inside a stolen Christmas goose, and figuring out how it got there takes them all over London. Somehow, Conan Doyle managed to resist having Watson complain about a wild goose chase.
    • A similar situation occurs in the Dalziel and Pascoe novel A Killing Kindness where the detectives spend most of the novel after a suspect called "Wildgoose" who turns out to be a red herring.
  • Combined with a Shout-Out in Randall Garrett's Too Many Magicians, in which a character named Tia Einzig learns that her uncle Napoleon has escaped to the Isle of Man. Since "Einzig" is German for "solo", this would make him Napoleon Solo, the UNCLE from Man. (For extra Shout-Out points, she learns this from her uncle's friend Colin McDavid; Napoleon's partner, of course, is played by David McCallum.)
  • The last of Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles features a character called Daystar. Guess how he relates to the previous main characters.
  • In the Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) novel Duty Calls, the pilot of Amberley's ship is named Pontius. Also one of the major players in the novel are soldiers from an all-female religious order based in the planet's region of Gavaronne. The fact that they are literally the Nuns of Gavaronne is never explicitly made.
    • In The Traitor's Hand, there is a brief mention of an animal called the nauga, whose hide is particularly useful for "certain hard-wearing applications." The maker of Naugahyde fabric ran with this, selling Nauga dolls.
  • A Civil Campaign introduces Armsman Roic, who battles against the off-planet law enforcement coming to take away Dr. Borgos. It could be said that the Armsman was acting he-Roic-ally. (This only works if you pronounce his name that way; reportedly the author Herself pronounces it differently, thus didn't see the pun coming.)
  • Thursday Next has a ton of these. The best is probably when Thurs has to remove Hamlet from his play, while in the A-plot, recurring villain Yorick is running around. You do the math.
  • In one Star Trek: New Frontier book (all written by Pungeon Master Peter David), a beast is described as cyclopean, with a large horn, wings, and purple fur, hunting crew members for food. Lampshaded later as one of the stalked crew members says, "It sure looked strange to me." "He was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater // Sure looked strange to me"
  • Although almost certainly not deliberate, the scene with Count Ugolino and Archbishop Ruggieri in Dante's The Divine Comedy has one of these. Ugolino only stops gnawing on Ruggieri's head long enough to tell Dante about the horrible way Ruggieri killed him, in effect giving the Archbishop a good chewing out.
  • In Harry Potter, Vernon Dursley works at Grunning Drills—or, in other words, his job is very boring.
    • The names of some locations in the magical world are symbolic puns, which are never mentioned or called out by the characters at all. "Diagon Alley" (Diagonally) was said by JK Rowling to reference Harry's entrance into the magical/adult world, because it was very unusual, or some such. "Knockturn Alley" (Nocturnally) is a dark and frightening underbelly sort of place.
    • There's also Durmstrang, a Spoonerism of the German phrase Sturm [und] Drang (Storm and Stress). Puns honestly seem to actually be a naming convention of the Wizarding world, they come up so much.
        • I think it's just Jo. The extreme "Muggle" community where the Dursleys live is called Little Whinging, which is a pun lost to many American readers who don't know that to whinge means to complain. And all the Dursleys seem to do is complain about their neighbors, Harry, their other relatives, Harry, weirdos, Harry, work, etc. (Especially in the first book.)
    • Well, here's a rather hidden one. The door to Dumbledore's office has the knocker in the shape of a griffin. Any one seeing the Griffin Door puns now?
  • Redwall's seagoing rodent villains are referred to as "corsairs" specifically to avoid an endless string of "pi-rat" puns.
  • In the kids' story Bee-Wigged (about a giant bee who passes himself off as a schoolboy thanks to a Paper-Thin Disguise) the main character Jerry Bee is noted to be extremely good at spelling. Which of course makes him a spelling bee.
  • There's a character in the Codex Alera named Rook. Rook is a watercrafter powerful enough to manage Voluntary Shapeshifting. At one point, she uses this to switch places with a member of the nobility, providing protection for the noble and increased maneuverability for herself. Rook castles.
  • Blood Trail, the second book in Tanya Huff's Blood Books series, features Henry and Vicki protecting a family of werewolves living near London (Ontario). Not one character ever mentions Warren Zevon or his song, "Werewolves of London".
    • Indeed, the working title of the book was A Canadian Werewolf in London, Ontario.
  • One of the Foundation short stories, "...And Now You Don't" / "Search by the Foundation", mentions that students in the Composition and Rhetoric class were required to write their names as initial-of-given-name followed by surname, "except for Olynthus Dam, because the class laughed so when he did it the first time."
  • In Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, boko-maru, the only real ritual of the Bokononists is described as a meeting of souls. It is performed by having the two participants remove their footwear, and then press the soles of their feet together.
  • The dangers of the Stealth Pun are featured in one of the Callahans Crosstime Saloon stories, while the actual Stealth Pun is subverted through explanation; a story on Tall Tales Night is about to bomb because of a Stealth Pun that went over everyone's head, so the narrator steps in to state the pun that the pun-making Star Wars fan was O.B. Juan's kin, Obie.
    • Spider Robinson has what many would regard as an unfortunate tendency to lampshade his Stealth Pun s. Witness the Callahan story "Have You Heard The One ...?", about a time-traveling salesman: the female guest character, Josie Bauer, turns out to be a time-traveler as well and mentions at one point that her father has almost finished "the Riverworld ser -- " The narrator ends by pointedly explaining that he's not going to explain the translation of her surname. (The Stealth Punchline is, "Have you heard the one about the traveling salesman and Philip Jose Farmer's daughter?"
  • In The Day my Bum Went Psycho, it turns out the Kisser is an ass-kisser in more ways then one.
  • In "Nightfall", a short story by Isaac Asimov, an advanced society regresses to barbarism once the light from all six of their planet's suns are blocked. In other words, they enter a literal Dark Age.
  • In the Dragaera books, during the period where Vlad was a gangster, he had two mooks working for him known as Schoen and Sticks. Schoen means stone- thus, they are Sticks and Stones (and will break your bones).
  • The cellular phone implant during the Millennium in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come. It gives new meaning to the term "a ringing in your ears."
    • Recently used as a joke in the comic strip Cow And Boy.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Borrowed Time, Rory has acquired a 51st century camera that speeds up time in a given area. The phrase "time bubble" is repeatedly used to describe this. The main plot involves an extradimensional stock exchange that buys and sells time, and a being who believes that she can manipulate the market by buying more time than her debtors have, as long as she can keep passing the debts on before they're called. Despite this being explicitly compared to both the contemporary financial crisis and 17th century tulipmania, the phrase "time bubble" is not used in this context.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Varys refers to his spies by the nickname "little birds". While the name was probably chosen to reflect the saying "a little bird told me", no one references that in-universe. In another figure-of-speech based example, the Kettleblack brothers (as in "the pot calling the kettle") are scoundrels who accuse others of crimes of which they themselves are guilty. Also, it's been noted that the Kettleblacks seem to be deliberately flat characters and all around mediocre, down to having near-identical appearances and names. Notably, the initials of every Kettleblack are O.K..
  • In Death: Nadine Furst. Why is she always first when it comes to being a reporter?
  • In Who Cut the Cheese? by Stilton Jarlsberg, after Ho almost gets run over by a rat in a sports car, Ho writes a warning on the wall of the maze: "Honk If You Love Cheeses". This alludes to Christian bumper stickers.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Since 2006 Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve has had the west coast portion that airs after midnight on the east coast hosted by Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. In case you do not understand the pun you are traditionally supposed to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day to bring you good luck in the upcoming year.
  • Overlapping with an ILP, in the Firefly episode "Safe", River wanders off and starts dancing—and it's stated in her backstory that she was a ballerina (Real Life Writes the Plot, Summer Glau is one). How is this a pun? Her name is River, and she is dancing. River. Dancing. Riverdance.
    • In the DVD's scene selection for the episode, this scene is actually called "River Dance."
  • The Father Ted episode "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep" is about a sheep who is being driven neurotic. There's a concealed pun implicit in this concept (and [formerly] revealed in The Other Wiki's relevant episode entry) but it is something of a subversion since neither the pun nor the punchline are actually spoken.
  • The famous Nantucket limerick shows up in the pilot of Babylon 5. Delenn has heard it, and thinks it's a typical example of Earth poetry...
    • In the B5 prequel, In The Beginning, one of the few Minbari who advocates giving peace a chance is named Lennon. (Word of God confirms that this was intentional.)
  • And again in this Daily Show/Colbert Report bit, as a shorter alternative to an epic poem.
  • A variant appears in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now". As the Enterprise crew succumb to an inebriation-inducing virus, Data reports picking up numerous disturbances on internal sensors, including a crewman singing a limerick:

Data: There once was a woman from Venus, whose body was shaped like a--
Picard: Security!

Chuck: But where are the real dummies?
(Emerson starts sniggering)
Narrator: Before Emerson Cod could reply with a clever, if slightly insulting remark, something moving caught his eye.

  • The Colbert Report has Gorlock, a Signs-esque alien who advises Stephen on various topics. He was first introduced as Stephen's financial advisor and an excuse to make Scientology jokes, but we later find out that he's also Stephen's attorney. Making him... A legal alien.
    • Was there ever a mention of him taking a sick day? Which would make him an ILL-legal alien.
  • In Veronica Mars, the late Lilly Kane called her younger brother Duncan by the nickname "Donut". One (admittedly cute) Fanfic posited that it was because he wanted to be a cop as a kid. Someone clearly missed the pun.
  • The BBC's series Merlin features King Uther. He keeps used to keep a dragon penned up in the dungeon.
  • Sherlock does not once excrete onscreen.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, Kirk claims to be from the island of Noman at one point.
  • A famous example from Saturday Night Live's "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches:

Sean Connery: What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck... I can't remember how it ends, but your mother's a whore.

    • Presumably, one is a sick duck, and the other a dick-suck. That is, a Precision F-Strike.
  • In Reaper, the Devil gives Sam his phone number. We never see it, but Sam's reaction to the area code makes it pretty obvious it's 666.
  • On Mock the Week, Milton Jones comments that farmers have recently started using heroin but finding the evidence has been difficult. It's like finding a needle in a haystack.
  • In this Scrubs episode an imaginary patient has a kitten in his mouth. Probably he misunderstood the concept of eating pussy. Either that or the cat's got his tongue.
  • For several episodes of Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz wore a sheepskin jacket. As he's a werewolf, you know what that makes him...
    • In the episode "Tabula Rasa", Spike is being pursued by a demon he owes money to. The demon has the head of a shark. Which makes him... a loan shark.
    • In another episode, Spike and others are gambling with baby cats instead of poker chips. In card games the betting pool is often referred to as "the kitty".
  • In Angel, Wesley and Angel are trying to translate a passage from memory, leading to the predictable gibberish. One of the "nonsense" phrases they come up with is "strangling poultry".
  • Stargate SG-1 has the following exchange:

Anis: You may call me Anis. It means "Noble Strength".
Daniel: I am Daniel. It means "God is my judge".
Jack: I'm Jack. It means... what's in the box?

    • Parodied in that this is an actual conversation change because he didn't know the meaning of his name....
      • So when it comes to names, he doesn't know Jack.
  • In The Sopranos, Phil's men is hiding in Vito's motel room, where they ambush and plan to kill him due to the revelation that he's gay. Phil himself is hiding in a closet, and once Vito has been subdued, Phil reveals himself to Vito by coming out of the closet.
  • On Top Gear, there is a joke award for the biggest presenter error called the Golden Cock award (a small figurine of a rooster). In the 2009 Top Gear Awards, the award was given to their "tame racing driver," The Stig, who refused to give it back and got quite violent when Richard Hammond tried to take it away from him. So you could say The Stig really likes the cock.
  • Cheers episode "Little Carla, Happy at Last": Carla finds out she's pregnant by Eddie LeBec. Worse yet, it's twins. She thinks that's bad news but the father disagrees:

Eddie: Twins means we're twice blessed! I can't believe it! This is the happiest night of my life!
Sam: You know, I had twins once. It was the happiest night of my life too.

  • An episode of Malcolm in the Middle has Dewey being menaced by a girl in his class. Reese offers to help him come up with some barbs to throw at her, and suggests finding something that rhymes with her name. Dewey says she's "Regina Tucker", and Reese says that isn't much to work with, but he's sure they'll think of something.
  • Lost has a ridiculous amount, if you stop to think about it. Locke—a man known for thinking out of the box—used to work at a box company. Naomi in 4th season didn't have a Ruth, making her ruthless. And in 6th season, episode "The Substitute", Sawyer dangles for a while between the devil and the deep blue sea.
  • Doctor Who episode "Aliens of London" features a pig being put into a spaceship and fired at Big Ben in order to create a fake alien invasion which will scare the populace. So the entire plan revolves around a flying pig...
    • And in "The Parting of the Ways", the Doctor mentions the planet Barcelona:

Doctor: They've got dogs with no noses. Imagine how many times a day you end up telling that joke, and it's still funny!

    • "The Girl in the Fireplace". The Doctor saves the day and simultaneously foils the bad guys' plans by riding a horse through a mirror. This isn't obvious at first, until he explains and finishes with "I'm not winding you up". Sure, it's a Britishism for "I'm not joking", but he's talking to clockwork, ie. windup, robots.
    • In "The Curse Of The Black Spot", the Siren disappears injured people away to a hospital sickbay. When someone requires medical attention and help is being sent, it's generally heralded by a siren.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Dead Man Walking", after learning how much it sucks to be a zombie, Owen (unsuccessfully) attempts to drown his sorrows in beer.
    • And then he literally tries to drown himself.
  • Chuck's ability to access data on threats to the country is called "flashing". When he temporarily is unable to do so, he tries to practice, and is shown using a series of cards with images of spies on them, which are never actually called :"flash cards".
  • In "The Great British Nightmare" special episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay's attempts to prove a local restaurant is better than a chain restaurant are accompanied by the instrumental opening of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain".
  • Tensou Sentai Goseiger's ending song has a line which mentions Five Star. That's a possible meaning for Gosei, as used in Gosei Sentai Dairanger.
  • In Supernatural, we get a quick scene of the producer of a movie named Jay talking on the phone to a man named Bob. We never hear Bob's side of the conversation.
  • A possibly unintentional one from Coupling: Jeff has brought up the question of what would happen if breasts were given the power of independent thought, suggesting that "similar people in similar jobs, working in the same bra," wouldn't get along. Patrick suddenly comes up with an idea for a new porn film about battling breast-brains and spends the rest of the episode suggesting titles, including Wobble Wars, Two Minds, One Bra, The Girl with Two Brains ("Three brains, Patrick!") and The Girl With Two Breasts which Steve calls the stupidest title yet. At no point does anyone suggest the obvious pun: Bra Wars.
    • Not "Bra Fight"?
  • One episode of Smallville is all about nightmares. Every single song in the episode is by REM Another has a story where Lionel drove his wife insane -- it ends with him listening to Madame Butterfly.
  • Arrested Development at one point had Henry Winkler walking along a dock, and had to take a bit of a leap to get past a cartelagenous fish that was lying there.
    • A Getting Crap Past the Radar example- Lindsay has done a Cheek Copy and shows Michael a picture of that, thinking it's a picture of a car she wants to buy. Michael replies that what she showed him isn't a picture of a Vol-vo (it's a picture of her vulva).
  • How I Met Your Mother had an episode where Ted was lecturing his class about the work of an architect who had died midway through his work, leaving it unfinished, and repeating the word "unfinished" until the word lost all meaning. The background music? Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Might double as a Genius Bonus.
    • One of the main characters is Marshall Erickson, a law student (and later a full-fledged lawyer). Incredibly, in six seasons, this pun-loving show has yet to make a joke about Marshall law.
      • Actually, Marshall himself made that joke in the episode where he found out he had passed the bar. Literally, ten seconds later.
  • Farscape has Rygel, a deposed king who has a tendency to release farts similar in effect to helium. Should I really point out that helium is a noble gas?
  • Glee's episode, "Furt", revolves around Finn's mother and Kurt's father marrying, making them into a family. Finn gives a speech in which he says that, as they're together, they should have a portmanteau name (no); they are now "Furt". Left unsaid is that, as of their families joining, they're Kin(n).
  • The very name of Dexter Morgan is most likely a Stealth Pun, given that it's Latin for "right." The corresponding term for "left"? Sinister.
  • Adrian Monk (notice the last name) is an OCD-ridden detective, making him a Creature of Habit.
  • The Cold Case episode Beautiful Little Fool opens with the 1929 New Year party in a mansion. In the next scene, one of the attendants is dead. It turns out the killer worked as butler in said mansion, meaning The Butler Did It.
  • In the first season of Burn Notice, Michael adopts the persona of good ol' boy Homer to repo a boat. He's working for a man named Virgil.
  • In the Forest Dragon part of Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, there's a confrontation between the dragon and a tiger. While the tiger is crouching around, the dragon is hiding in the forest trees. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • In the fourth-series Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "A Doctor," a doctor hands a questionnaire to a patient bleeding profusely (where his nurse stabbed him) and gives him failing marks for wrong answers (correct answers include "The Merchant of Venice" and "the Treaty of Versailles"). He never says he's giving his patient an exam.
  • In the Degrassi franchise, nobody ever called Mr. Raditch "Radish" until JT and Liberty in his actor's last episode on the show.
  • In an episode of Red Dwarf, Lister suggests a game of squash with Rimmer's light-bee, a device which flies around and projects his holographic image. Squash is a game played with a small hollow ball. Hollow, holo...


Music[edit | hide]

  • In the song "Necessity" from Finian's Rainbow, the lines quoted below provoke the shouted question "Do you mean he's a --?", which is answered in the affirmative (the implied statement being that Necessity is a bastard):

Oh, hell is the father of gin,
And Cupid's the father of love.
Old Satan's the father of sin,
But no one knows the father of
Necessity.

    • It also seems to be a stealth pun on the saying "Necessity is the mother of invention."
  • "Girl Anachronism" by The Dresden Dolls: about a girl who blames her constant sickness on having been born too soon by C-section. Including the line "You can tell (...) that I'm not right now at all."
  • During his polka medley "Polka Face", Weird Al Yankovic breaks into an accordion solo immediately after the "Break Your Heart" section. The obscure song is actually an instrumental version of the "Tick Tock Polka" originally done by polka-meister Frankie Yankovic (no relation). Appropriately enough, this leads directly into his version of Ke$ha's "TiK ToK".
  • The cover of R.E.M.'s Lifes Rich Pageant is a Visual Pun: It's a collage depicting band member Bill Berry and a pair of bison... as in "Buffalo Bill".
  • The textless cover of The Pixies' "Gigantic" single is a photograph of a crying naked baby, while the back cover has a picture of a driving glove laying on the ground. This may seem like a True Art Is Incomprehensible sort of thing, until you realize it's actually a play on a potential Mondegreen of the song: "A baby glove" instead of "A big, big love".
  • The real name of 2D, lead singer of Gorillaz, is Stuart Pot, a.k.a. Stu-Pot. He spent some time in a coma. At least one fanfic, but nobody in the canon, has pointed out that this would make him a vegetable Stu.
  • "Flowers On The Wall" by The Statler Brothers: "Playin' solitaire 'til dawn with a deck of fifty-one." The narrator's missing one card... he's not playing with a full deck.
  • "Mother Superior jumped the gun..." A nun jumps the gun. Well, it's a stealth rhyme, anyway, a sort of wordplay.
  • The Divine Comedy song, "The Complete Banker", which is about the role of the banks in the current recession. From his point of view, he's a complete banker, but we'd rather call him a complete wanker.
  • The main chord sequence for ACDC's "Long Way To The Top" is A, C, D, C.
  • There's a Linkin Park song called "Cure for the Itch," which is instrumental and performed solely by Joe Hahn, who plays turntables. He's scratching.
  • Mac McAnally's "Back Where I Come From":

We learned in the Sunday school
Who made the sun shine through
I know who made the moonshine, too
Back where I come from

  • "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)" by Big & Rich has two. The first is "Charley Pride was the man in black / Rock & roll used to be 'bout Johnny Cash", and the other is "I'm a crazy son of a {{[[[Sound Effect Bleep]] bad word}}] / But I know I'm gonna make it big and rich".
  • The Rush song "Roll the Bones" deals with questions of existence and causation in a funkier style than the band's usual prog-rock fare. In other words, it's existential funk.


Print Media[edit | hide]

  • One issue of Private Eye, covering the scandal after Jacqui Smith's husband used her expense account to buy adult films, ran with the joke "At least he's not a banker!", the unspoken pun being that he is however (literally) a wanker.
    • Private Eye also often refer to themselves as an "organ". On the obvious level, it's a pun on the fact that the eye is an organ, the Stealth Pun comes in with the fact that this then makes them a "Private Organ".
    • Stealth Running Gag—A Private Eye Caption Competition photo showed Chris Woodhead (former Chief School Inspector, who had a relationship with an ex-student) and a teenage girl looking at a large book. The winning caption was "Look, there it is, next to Kenya." - the suggestion being that they really were discussing Uganda.


Puppet Shows[edit | hide]

  • On Eureekas Castle the character Batley wore big glasses and crashed while he landed from flying. Playing on the phrase "blind as a bat"
  • One episode of The Muppet Show opened with the Bug Band, a group of four insects, singing "She Loves You". Backstage after the song, Kermit says that the group needs a name and instead of the obvious suggestion they come up with The Who and The Grateful Dead.
    • In the "Bear on Patrol" segments, Patrolman Fozzie Bear's superior officer is Link Hogthrob, a "pig". Think about that for a second.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol. In order to get both Statler and Waldorf into the movie, they had to invent a brother for Jacob Marley. They called him Robert. Think about that for a second. Get up, stand up...
  • Lampshaded somewhat in a vintage Sesame Street short where Kermit the Frog reports live from the court of Old King Cole, just as he's about to call for his pipe, his bowl, and his fiddlers three.

Old King Cole: Bring me my royal pipe, and step on it!
Kermit: At this point you probably think we're going to make a dumb joke. But we're not.

    • Another episode has Elmo leading the children in a game about who can cry the loudest.


Radio[edit | hide]

...and when we were naughty at school, we used to be sent to this man with no arms and no legs and no body. He was the Head. And if he wasn't in, we used to be sent to this other man with no arms and no legs and no body and a cowboy hat. He was Mr Roberts.

    • The correct punchline is, of course, "the deputy head".


Stand-Up Comedy[edit | hide]

  • David Letterman did something along these lines when he gave a list of the top ten Bill Clinton jokes. He never actually got to the punchline, he just would trail off and look at the audience, who could figure it out for themselves and were hysterical by that point.
  • Dane Cook: Rough Around the Edges gives us this gem: "You know what'd suck? Being the guy who played the flute. That had to blow."
  • A somewhat well-known joke concerns a pair of hikers who die while rock-climbing. As their souls ascend to heaven, they see a pair of eagles and exclaim, "Ah, eagles!" The eagles, to be polite, say nothing.
    • "Ah, souls!" (Say it out loud. Works best with a British accent.)
    • Another variation involves a flounder and a sole who bump into each other on the bottom of the ocean. Same punchline.
  • Conan O'Brien on Late Night, doing one of the 'cat is to kitten, what dog is to puppy' routines:

"The New Orleans Hooker (long pause) had sex with several miners."
"Michael Jackson (an even longer pause, with audience already chuckling) was famous in the 80's! What did you think I was going to say?"

  • In Crazy with a Capital F, Dan Cummins talks about an ant infestation he once had and says he imagines that all ants speak with a British accent. It's because they colonize. Well, it was a stealth pun until he explained it.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Probably unintentional, one would note that the bishop in a game of Chess moves diagonally, or to use another word crosswise.
  • In Warhammer 40000, the Chaos god of anger, rage, and bloodlust has demonic servants called Flesh Hounds. Or, in other words, Khorne dogs.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged):

"He [Joshua] slew the people of Midian, known as Midianites, the people of Girgash, known as Girgashites, and the people of Paris, known as the French."

  • In Of Thee I Sing, in the Senate scene, the Senator from Massachusetts rises to demand a governmental pension for Jenny, Paul Revere's horse. Another Senator points out that Jenny died in 1805, and after an observed minute of silence the matter is declared finished. To put it literally: it's a dead horse.
  • In the English Translation of the French "Tartuffe," which is not a direct translation (the lines rhyme in both versions) we get this after Elmire convinces Orgon, her husband and the head of the household, that Tartuffe is evil, so that he will not entrust him with the family's fortunes. She finally convinces him that Tartuffe is corrupt by seducing him while Tartuffe is under a table, and he must believe her. Later, he tries to convince his mother:

"To be more certain, what more proof would I need?/Should I have waited until he had ewwww...."

    • This changes based on the performance.


Toys[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Half-Life 2, Dr. Kleiner's pet headcrab is named Lamarr, and later confirms the pun when he can't find it.

Alyx: We'll get you a new headcrab.
Dr. Kleiner: There's only one Heddy!

  • In case 2 of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, a valuable jewel is called the "Tear of Emanon". If you don't get it, read it backwards.
    • In the third case, the murder victim was a computer programmer working for a company called Blue Screens. The phrase "blue screen of death" is never used.
      • Maya comments that it "sounds like a really stable company".
    • The final case features two characters using false names with the surname "Deauxnim". Considering the series' love of Punny Names, it's quite surprising that neither is called "Sue".
    • The character's name in Japanese is also a Stealth Pun: her pseudonym is "Elise", but her real name is "Maiko" (one translation of which is "dancer").
    • The Ace Attorney series is famous for giving the characters incredibly punny names. Like Shelly de Killer, the assassin who leaves cards with the images of shells at the scene of the crime to draw suspicion from his clients. The killer with the conches.
    • One potentially obscure pun can be found in the name of Max Galactica, the magician Phoenix defends in the third case of Justice For All. Max is particularly fond of milk, and needs it to calm his nerves before a performance. How many players realize that the word "galactic" is defined as pertaining to milk in the first place?
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations, it's eventually revealed that the Yatagarasu's Key has a handle that opens up to reveal a concealed knife blade. They key part has a bit shaped like a butterfly, and the way the handle opens makes it a literal butterfly knife.
    • The second game's third case introduces us to Acro's pet monkey Money, who has a tendency to steal and stockpile shiny objects. While this causes Phoenix some early grief, the other members of the circus seem to be used to it and regard it as a harmless prank... or monkeyshines.
  • No points for guessing which animal is featured on the coat of arms of Aswan in Crusader Kings by Paradox Interactive. A lion.
    • Not a swan?
      • It's a Stealth Pun that's subverted by a deeper Stealth Pun. Whoa.
  • At the beginning of the second episode of Tales of Monkey Island, Morgan tells Guybrush how much she admires him, and says she even learned how to hold her breath for five minutes. Guybrush informs her he can hold it for ten. "You mean that's true? I thought the stories were exaggerated! Impressive!" So in her opinion, reports of his breath...
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Namine tells Kairi at one point to "Believe in yourself", whilst trying to convince her to step through a dark portal. If you don't get it, remember that Namine is Kairi's Nobody.
  • Almost certainly unintentional, but a large element of the plot of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is Princess Elise's budding romantic feelings for the titular anthropomorphic hero. Thus making her a fur Elise.
  • The head of Pokémon's mafia-esque Team Rocket is named Giovanni, making him Don Giovanni.
    • Also, Spoink and Grumpig are pig-like creatures adorned with pearls. Pearls Before Swine?
    • Pokémon Black and White introduces the ability Big Pecks, found on seven Unova birds and four pre-existing Dream World birds, which makes them immune to defense loss. The "pecks" bird reference is immediately apparent, but you may not know that the original Japanese name for the ability translated to "Pigeon Breast". So it really means they have big pecs. Groan.
    • Speaking of Unova, Zekrom, the Legendary Mascot of White, not only has a domain over electricity and lightning, but also has large thighs. It has thunder thighs, get it?
  • The most powerful axe in most modern Castlevania games is the Golden Axe. In Dawn of Sorrow, Yoko is able to make said weapon even more powerful by combining it with a boss's soul. Specifically, she adds Death.
  • A particularly dark one in Empire: Total War, in which you get different trade resources from different trade ports- sugar from South America, spices from the East Indes, and ivory from Africa. However, that sure is a lot of ivory, considering the profit to be made... and then you realize it's a reference to Black Ivory.
  • In Thief: Deadly Shadows, one mission requires you to break into a clock tower operated by the Hammerites (colloquially, the Hammers) and sabotage the mechanism, causing the clock to stop. In other words, you have to Stop Hammer Time.
  • In Bowser's Inside Story, there is a character named Broque Monsieur who speaks with a heavy French accent and is made out of blocks. If you try saying his name with a fake French accent, it sounds like you're saying "block monster".
    • Or, of course, Mr. Block.
    • That's also a normal Punny Name; it refers to a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. If you add a fried egg to the top, you get a Croque-madame. Hee...
      • Of course there's also a Madame Broque, his ex.
      • Also in that game, the villain Fawful, who is from the Beanbean Kingdom, has a pig henchman named Midbus, making them pork and beans.
      • Midbus also has spikes down his spine so he's also a razorback and when he gets ice powers he can give Bowser a cold. A little coincidence with a recent panic.
  • In Mass Effect, when accessing a computer system in a trashed laboratory, the computers personality asks you: "It looks like you are trying to restore this facility. Would you like help?"
    • One response option is labeled "Crap. A pop-up"
    • If you buy the Collectors' Edition of Mass Effect 2, you get some extra content: namely suit of armour and a rifle modelled after those of the Collectors, the chief enemy in the game. Note the apostrophe.
    • Quarians bear the name of their home ship in their names preceded by the preposition 'vas', which can be somewhat embarrassing if the ship name is ridiculous, as is the case with Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib. If you ignore Tali's advice and ask him about the name, he'll mention that he's considered transferring to the Defrahnz or Iktomi.
  • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, one of your last tasks is to explore the derelict vessel Valhalla to obtain a "pirate code" that will grant access to one of the enemy's leviathans. But the only reason you need it is so that the leviathan can plot a course for you and the Federation fleet to follow to Phaaze, the living Phazon planet. So when you think about it, the pirate code is really more like a guideline...
    • Samus manages to kill a B.O.X. security robot infected by the X parasites in Metroid Fusion. If you've been paying attention to the naming scheme for X victims, this makes it an "X-B.O.X."
      • Not really, since X is always used after the name; Core-X, Serris-X, Yakuza-X, SA-X... It would make the infected robot B.O.X-X.
  • Guilty Gear XX has two characters with connections to each other named Eddie and Venom. Would you believe that one of them is a black shape-changing symbiote who combined with a human and went on to control his body?
    • That's subtle?
      • Considering that the symbiote is the one named Eddie...
        • It's still not the least bit subtle.
      • That Zato-1 is the name shown on the character selection screen for the first games with Eddie in, and that he appears to be more a batwinged demonic figure and Venom is a pool cue wielding Egyptian assassin with long purple hair over his eyes, kinda obfuscates the pun a bit too and makes it more stealthy.
        • Also, the number "1" in Japan is pronounced "Ichi", thus making him Zato-Ichi
  • Brutal Legend features a demon named Fletus who's obsessed with cars and racing. No-one mentions that this makes him a speed demon.
    • Or that if he ever got more than one, he'd have a fleet of cars.
    • Ditto for Glottis from Grim Fandango.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, the protagonist Hisao is hospitalized after a confession of love provokes his arrythmia and gives him a heart attack. The girl in question eventually breaks ties with Hisao, which is one of the many reasons he's depressed at the start of the game. In other words, Hisao's got a broken heart.
    • Lilly Satou, who is blind, says "I don't see why it matters" when asked to make a name for her team in the fishing competition. Keep in mind that people often say things such as "I see" around her, only to sheepishly apologize, and she is amused by their apologies.
  • In Team Fortress 2, one of the Demoman's unlockable weapons is the Eyelander, a big Scottish BFS. Since it's a Scottish BFS, that makes it a claymore. However, there's more than one type of weapon called a claymore. The aforementioned type of sword, and a kind of bomb.
    • He's a black Scotsman. Black Angus.
    • Do not forget the line "DON'T RUN! IS JUST HAM!" when eating the Sandvich (a ham and/or baloney sandwich) as the Heavy, a character who is extremely boisterous and over the top.
    • And the Sniper's camper van. A "camper" in FPS terminology is a guy who rarely moves from one particular spot to kill people. Which is something snipers usually do.
    • The bobble head in "Meet the Sniper" that he pretended to headshot was originally of an old man holding a bottle of apricot jelly, a reference to the part of the brain often called "the apricot" by snipers, but they decided against it because it was so obscure.
      • That didn't stop them from giving him apricot air freshener
    • The Sniper's parents apparently live on "Adelaide St." which is in itself a reasonable name for a street, but Australians joke that the city of Adelaide only has one street anyway.
    • Similarly, the "Meet the Engineer" video has him sitting at a campfire. Guess what one of the main Engineer strategies is.
      • This is actually a double stealth pun. Take a closer look at his 'campfire.' It's the burning corpse of the Sniper. So the camper is using a camper as a campfire.
    • The "Mann-Conomy" update was announced with a letter from Saxton Hale explaining how he discovered the Internet, in which he also notes that "the perverts at AnagramYourName.com should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES." ("Saxton Hale" is an anagram of "hot anal sex".)
      • So...is that the reason his products are known to spontaneously combust at random, and his top customers happen to be ill-tempered assholes that really like big guns?
  • Probably unintentional, but in old Irem arcade game Ninja Spirit you control a ninja named Moonlight. He can create up to three shadow clones which follow his every move. Moonlight Shadow!
  • Either that or He's being followed by a Moonshadow.
  • Nezumi Man has Milky Nezumi, who doesn't attack with dairy products (like Butter Nezumi), but stars. In case you're wondering, he named himself after our resident galaxy.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has two in the gameplay mechanics. The first is Ms. Mowz's standard attack, a slap that ignores enemy defenses, and the second is the fact that machine type enemies are easy to freeze with ice attacks, (one of the hints old Wonkey tells you).
    • When tattling one of the harder enemies in the X-Naut base, the X-Yux, Goombella informs you that its name is properly pronounced "Cross-Yux". This in itself doesn't reveal a pun, but instead results in two when you combine this logic with the rest of the base's denizens. First, the X-Nauts, who would be properly pronounced "Cross-Nauts". Noughts and Crosses. And second, their computer TEC, which is a shortened form of its proper name TEC-XX. Double Cross.
      • Said computer is found in a base on the moon. Considering what game this is, would make it a paper moon.
  • The text-based game Scapeghost has you as detective Alan Chance killed during an undercover drugs operation and coming back from the dead to take revenge. You are literally the Ghost of A. Chance.
  • Backyard Sports: Duksana Pond.
  • The newest Touhou game, Double Spoiler, is another camera-based Gaiden Game starring the reporter Aya Shameimaru. Given how much fans love Aya, one has to wonder why? Well, it's been joked that Aya is ZUN's girlfriend. And ZUN is apparently aware of this, because he's releasing Double Spoiler on White Day, i.e. the day that boys give gifts back to their girlfriends to thank them for the Valentine's Day chocolate.
  • From Viewtiful Joe 2: The Black Film.
  • Sheep Man from Mega Man 10. He's an electric-themed robot master.
    • Some fans, not content with this explanation of Sheep Man's name, have noticed that his stage is set inside a computer, and computers of course have RAM.
    • In the same vein, Mareep, Flaaffy, and Ampharos are Electric-type sheep Pokémon.
  • From Metal Gear Solid:

Meryl: I'm not green!
Snake: Oh yes you are.

    • The joke is, this conversation takes place over codec. Meryl is, in fact, green. Just like everyone else.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater brings us several stealth puns on the subtitle "Snake Eater". "Operation Snake Eater" is the codename of Snake's mission, and codenames tend, by their natures, to be stealth puns on the mission's objective. In this case, it is either that Snake was going to have to eat the native wildlife to survive or that he was sent to assassinate the leader of the Cobra Unit.
      • Snake was also a Green Beret before joining FOX, and "snake eater" is a military slang term for Green Berets.
      • If Snake eats a snake and then calls Para-Medic, she won't call him a "snake eater" but instead a "cannibal".
      • In a later cutscene, Snake cooks a snake over a fire and then eats it.
      • Then there's the stealthiest use of the pun - Ocelot's favorite animal according to the database is a Markhor, which in Persian means "snake eater".
  • The American release date of Blaz Blue: Continuum Shift is July 20, roughly 19 days after the Japanese release. 7/20. As in the 720 degree motion required for Iron Tager's Genesic Emerald Tager Buster distortion drive. REAL SOVIET RELEASE DATE!
  • The main characters of Mega Man ZX start out delivering packages. Consider the pronunciation of the game's name in British English, and think of a famous company name that rhymes with it.
  • While he was reverse-engineering the Wii's architecture, Segher discovered that the Hollywood processor (officially the graphics processor) contains a tiny ARM core in addition to its normal ATI core.[4] Since it wasn't documented anywhere (not even in the developer's guide!) it didn't have a name, so he nicknamed it "Starlet." Because it's a little piece of Hollywood.
  • In the seventh Fire Emblem game, three Pegasus Knight sisters share similar names. The first two, Florina and Fiora, are Latin words for "flower," while third sister Farina's name means "flour."
  • In Red Dead Redemption, a high-stakes poker game in Mexico results in several people pointing their guns at each other. Someone notes that "There must be a name for this."
  • Banjo-Tooie has one that can spawn two stealth puns: One move Banjo learns, Snooze Pack, has him fall asleep inside his backpack to recover health. Thus literally making his pack a Nap Sack or a Sleeping Bag.
  • The general of the Cornerian forces in Star FOX is named Pepper. Which means he had to have been a sergeant at some point in the past.
    • Not really as enlisted men and officers are on separate pay grades, but that just ruins it doesn't it?
    • Long before the N64 version, the Nintendo Power comics (which promoted the then-recently released Super NES game) actually incorporated this pun into one chapter.
  • In EV Nova, there is a ship called the Cambrian. Some historically-inclined gamers like to call it the Prince of Wales.
  • In Mega Man Zero, Zero can divide enemies if you deal the final blow with a bladed weapon.
  • The Fable series has monsters called Hobbes. They're nasty, brutish, and short.
  • Very near the end of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, you discover that the London of the future is actually the London underground. Not phrased like that, so...
  • Ratchet from Ratchet and Clank is a mechanic. Ratchet is also the name of a socket wrench. Furthermore, Ratchet's ears are shaped like the head of a standard wrench.
  • The final level of Mario Zone (where the levels are inside a giant mechanical Mario) in Super Mario Land 2 Six Golden Coins has a lot of (suspiciously Lego-like) bricks. The level apparently takes place in the Mario-bot's head. So the Mario-bot is a blockhead.
    • Another level has a lot of what seem to be rubber balls - and considering this level is set in Mario-bot's crotch...
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Whitaker's gun shop from the first campaign is running a 2-for-1 special for 9mm pistols.
    • In the second campaign, you visit a theme park with a nut theme. The character on the hammer-bell game is named Mustachio. The game never mentions what kind of nut he is. He's a pistachio.
  • In Lunar Knights, Perrault is an antagonist who keeps confronting Aaron and Lucian with her mobile ship Schrodinger. It is only later that the player finds out that Perrault is a cat.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can recruit the cyberdog belonging to The King, leader of the gang, The Kings. The dog's name is Rex. Rex's personal quest involves replacing his aging brain. One of the candidates for the transplant? A dog named Rey. Rex is Latin for "king". Rey is Spanish for . . . you guessed it! "King".
    • Though possibly unintentional, Fallout: New Vegas is often abbreviated as "NV." Much of the game takes place in Nevada. What's the US Postal Code for Nevada? NV.
    • A nice Stealth Pun gives the town of Novac its name. The town is built up around a prominent hotel (of which we are unaware of the real name) and a large, partly working neon sign outside the hotel entrance tells us the hotel has "No Vac ancy"
  • In Minecraft, all monsters of a particular type share the same behavior patterns, often leading to the player being ambushed or chased by several enemies at a time. The common term for an NPC among the Minecraft community is a shortening of "mobile entity": mob.
    • Mobs are actually a generic term for mobile entities for any MMORPG. Sure enough, it's rather easy to get mobbed by mobs in most of them.
    • Creepers have an irritating habit of hiding behind corners, under ledges, and outside doorways to ambush the player.
    • Creepers have a mottled green texture that, at a distance, can cause one to mistake them for cacti or the tops of trees. The word "creeper" can also refer to various plants.
  • Chibi-Robo! features a beautiful princess doll by the name of Princess Pitts. This seems like a curious name for a princess, but consider that this is a Nintendo-published game. What do you find in a Peach but a Pit?
  • Guilty Party has a level set inside of a train. If you play a co-op game in that level, the all-play mini-game involves you catching a bunch of snakes that were released in the luggage compartment. Snakes on a Train, anyone?
  • In Japan Street Fighter II: Champion Edition is known as Street Fighter II Dash, while Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting is known as Street Fighter II Dash Turbo. The word "dash" is not written on the logo of either game, but represented by a prime mark (′) used to indicate derivatives in math, which is sometimes called a "dash". Both games were derivatives of the original Street Fighter II.
  • A bit into the second half of Portal 2: "You're good at murder. Could you murder this bird for me?" Judging by the sound it makes as it flies away, the bird is a crow. A murder of crows?
    • At the very end of the game. Wheatley is stranded in space with another personality core orbiting him. For it to orbit another object of equal volume means that Wheatley must be incredibly dense.
    • Wheatley is a spherical robot who was built to make GLaDOS dumber. Or, in layman's terms, an Idiot Ball.
    • The most obvious one in the game: Throughout the game you get drops that the turrets sing opera and acappella. Some Easter Eggs let you see a very fat turret that stays silent until the ending sequence where it leads an entire symphony of 'singing' turrets in a female Italian's voice. It ain't over 'till the fat lady (turret) sings.
  • Tons of them abound in the platform game Bug!!. Many of the enemies are based off real-life animals, with the names taken literally.
    • The ants in Reptilia wear soldier hats, drop via parachutes, and fire grenades out of their tails. They're Army Ants.
    • Splot has flying insects that fire out a stream of electricity from their rear. They're Lightning Bugs.
    • Quaria has fishes that have the head of a bulldog. They're Dogfishes.
    • Also in Quaria, there are swimming beetles which sport scuba equipment. Diving beetles.
    • The Burr-ubs had annoying white fleas that jumped out of the snow and threw (or rolled) snowballs at Bug. Snow fleas.
    • Arachnia had ants with flamethrower packs and fire breath. Fire Ants. Then again, the manual calls them that.
  • In Mortal Kombat 9, Mileena's second Fatality is called "Rip Off". She tosses her sais at the victim's feet then rips their torso off. More dedicated Mortal Kombat fans will recognize it as a rip-off, in the imitation sense, of one of Kira's Fatalities in Mortal Kombat Deception.
  • Elite Beat Agents has the "September" level, where the target uses fans, planes, and an animal-controlled bonfire to make the sun shine. In other words, she's using Earth, Wind and Fire.
  • Shin Megami Tensei's Mara isn't exactly subtle, being a giant penis demon and all, but Persona 3 has a couple of subtle jokes in his stats: All of his physical attacks are pierce-type (including Primal Force, the strongest single-target pierce attack in the game,) and he's weak against ice.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has a chapter set in Blood Bath Bay, inhabited by "throwbacks" who live as pirates. Since the Sly universe is populated by funny animals, all the Mooks in the entire chapter are canines. Meaning the pirates who inhabit this town are... sea dogs.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, you have a pistol from the start of the game. Early on, you're introduced to Borgia messengers, who you can tackle to steal all of their money. However, if you kill one, you instantly become notorious, and the guards will attack you on sight. The game is basically telling you "don't shoot the messenger".
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, one enemy you encounter is called an Eyepot. the reference to a certain portable audio player is right out in the open, but what you might not realize at first is that, as an Eyepot, it must contain Eye Tea.
    • Also, you defeat them by first stunning them with blasts of pepper... making them pepperpots, perhaps?
    • In one area, you pass through a castle made of playing cards. Well, a man's home is his castle, so this one is a house of cards.[5]
    • In addition, it's a Castle in The Sky or Air.
    • This castle has crenellations, obviously having been made by cutting the cards.[6]
  • Angry Birds is all about flipping birds at evil pigs.
    • The white egg-shaped birds in Angry Birds drop egg bombs at their targets, making them 'egg-layers' (a slang term for bomber planes).
    • Angry Birds in Space featured a Super Mario Bros-themed bonus level. Just think about it.
  • In Kirby's Dream Land 3, Kirby can fling his bird buddy Pitch about by swinging a parasol like a golf club. The parasol is a pitching wedge.
  • In the Super Mario Bros series, all of the background scenery have eyes.
  • In Where's My Water, if all of the water were to flow offscreen, then the alligator you're supposed to have the water go into his bathtub will start crying.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl not only removed all clone characters (Young Link, Dr. Mario, Roy, and Pichu) from Melee, but also Mewtwo (who isn't a clone) as well.
  • The final boss theme of Contra: Hard Corps is called "Last Springsteen." Bruce Springsteen's nickname is "The Boss."
  • In the original Mega Man, Cut Man is weak against Guts Man's Super Arm, which allows you to pick up and throw boulders. That is to say, rock beats scissors.
    • In addition, Cut Man takes more damage from Mega Man's Mega Buster than any of the other original six Robot Masters. Again, Rock beats scissors (Rockman being the Japanese title of the Mega Man series).


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • One of the guests at Donkey's funeral in Weebl and Bob is a giant ape. Chris identifies him as Donkey's father ("He doesn't like to talk about it."), but the character's name is never mentioned.
  • Occasionally done in AMV Hell. For instance, the first clip in the third collection is Grenadier, an anime where women reload pistols with their cleavage, coupled with the instrumental opening to Nightwish's "Dark Chest of Wonders".
  • In this video, which recreates the infamous Faces of Evil! intro, look at what the Soldier is drinking before he says "This peace is what all true warriors strive for!". It's Jarate, Peace and Piss have a very similar sound, so it may or may not have been intentional.
  • One of the Fight Scene episodes animated by Monty Oum in Red vs. Blue: Revelation is named "This One Goes to Eleven". The episode is Chapter 10, showing all the events in the series that lead up to Chapter 11.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • This Irregular Webcomic strip. Also, comparing "hobbit" and "habit" is so common that the author promised to only do it once every 100 strips. Mostly Averted Trope, though... The author is abnormally fond of puns. Somehow, he makes it work.
    • There's also this strip, where he mentions this very article. (What pun Morgan-Mar actually intended there, only he knows for sure.)
    • Another example: in this strip, Lambert's hobbit-pun is ruined by a (rather ominous, but that's not the point) cough.
    • The Quintessential Fifth Elementalist. Consider the literal meaning of the word "quintessential".
  • In this episode of Striptease, in a flashback to high school, Max and Em are squirted with red paint by another student, who is then caught by the teacher... red-handed.
  • In this episode of Adventures in ASCII (a strip where the characters are letters and other printables), Miss B reacts with a stony silence upon learning that Bold H is taking the guest Miss Delta (she's from @hens) down the river to see the estuary.

Miss B: ...
Bold H: What?
Miss B: I didn't say anything.
Bold H: It was the way you didn't say it.

    • Here's another one from the same comic about an injured number. Apparently a three falling in a forest does indeed make a sound.
  • This Xkcd comic doubles the stakes. It's based on another joke with a Stealth Punchline.
    • Even better; it inverts the punchline.
    • Speaking of xkcd, Strip #404. Note the title.
  • Tally HO, a somewhat obscure webcomic, does the Stealth Pun here with a common cry of Windows supporters and creators alike. "It's not a bug, It's a feature." This isn't original; it's an old geek joke.
    • Allegedly someone at Microsoft actually has such a car.
  • You actually named it "Variety"?
    • The guy in white is Bobby, the incarnation of Life.
  • Nerf Now with a classic riddle and a..."modern classic" Dracula. "What is a man?"
  • Chopping Block Here.
  • This Precocious strip, which was actually explained by its creator:

"Et Tu, Brute?" -- Famous line from Julius Caesar.
The Et family really should know better than to go out in pairs.

  • This Nukees. "Duck Orations" would be "Quacks."
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Vaarsuvius's second Evil Counterpart is named Pompey. Vaarsuvius -- sounds like Vesuvius; Pompey -- Pompeii.
    • Leeky Windstaff's hawk is named Kitty. As in kitty hawk.
    • In this strip, fleeing the burning city, Elan stops to break into a music shop and steals a lute. The setup is palpable, but the inevitable pun goes unsaid. He lutes the store.
    • Not to mention here, in which Roy must get familiar with Blackwing.
    • Malack spell-checking Durkon's scroll. Spell-checking. Got it?
    • The three empires on the Western continent are never mentioned together in the same sentence. They're the Empires of Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
    • In this strip, exactly how vicious Belkar is measured on a chart. That would make the part on the left an Axis of Evil.
  • In Triangle and Robert, one of the plotlines involves Triangle fighting things to recover a series of "Dragon Circles," which are lettered A, B, C, etc. When he gets to the 25th one, Dragon Circle Y, he discovers that's the end of them, there are only 25. "Somehow, avoiding the pun makes it even worse."
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Bob's unseen next door neighbor is named Ray, a reference to the old comedy team, Bob and Ray. Even more obscurely, another unseen neighbor is Mrs. Spitoonelli (a play on "spitoon," of course), with a husband named Harold. It is later mentioned her first name is Maude, referring to the Black Comedy movie Harold And Maude. And in Galatea's French adventure, she rides a Vespa with the name "Princess" on the side.
  • In this filler strip of Keychain of Creation, we're treated to the Orphaned Punchline of a (naughty) joke that ends with "What I really meant is that we'd need cunning translators." See, in Exalted, your translation ability is measured by your score in "Linguistics", so apparently the joke began with her telling the king that she needed... I'll leave you to figure out the rest.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja provides you with this image of a train accident to use if your forum discussion gets off topic it has been derailed. Additionally, your train of thought has been broken.
    • Also, there's one bit of alt text that imagines Dr. McNinja being followed on a quest by his refrigerator. A subsequent panel gives alt text of the fridge huffing as it tries to keep up. His refrigerator is running.
    • First Gordito shoots the undead, then the uncola. The alt text informs us that next time, Gordito shoots a dusty old book. He shoots the unread.
    • The McNinja family is provided with holy weapons to defeat a ghost. Dark Smoke Puncher gets nunchucks made from the bones of Mother Theresa.
  • Shortpacked features a character named Leslie Bean, who is, as her name suggests, a lesbian... but the more subtle pun comes from the fact that she joined the main cast around the time Ethan lost his role as Only Sane Man, and now tends to be the voice of reason in Seinfeldian Conversations and hijinks, making her... the straight man.
  • This The Perry Bible Fellowship strip has one as an added bonus joke: Imagine what the hammer is saying in the last panel.
  • VG Cats has the side webcomic Super Effective giving us breaking news of the death of a legend... Elvis. Note which Pokémon is giving us the news.
  • This Arthur, King of Time and Space strip has the stated punchline "Beware of Greek bearins GIFs", but leaves out the obvious "Trojan horse" joke.
  • Sluggy Freelance shows what happens when you try to go through a dungeon designed for several players by yourself in a MMORPG like World of Warcraft. When Torg tries to do it, all the monsters get together and hand him a gift. When he opens it to see what it is, it turns out he is, in fact, getting his ass handed to him.
  • Bloody Urban features a character with blue hair named Pandora.
  • An early El Goonish Shive comic could have easily made a Hammertime joke.
  • The number of examples in Homestuck (see the work page) seems to cement that if we had individual pages for Stealth Pun, Homestuck would be one of the first.
    • Just for a taste: Dave eventually becomes a time traveller, using his power to do more stuff in a relatively small amount of time. His emblem? A broken record.
    • The SORD..... Dave alchemises is so shitty it actually costs negative grist. What do you gain on making it? Artifact grist.[7]</sub>
    • Every player in the game gets a small planet called "The Land of X and Y" where X and Y are themes like wind, rain, or silence, and the planets are often abbreviated into an acronym (ie. LOWAA, LOLAR, LOMAT, etc). Nepeta winds up with the Land of Little Cubes and Tea, otherwise known as Lolcat.
    • Speaking of Nepeta, for a long time the fanbase was unsure whether or not she survived an attack, since we never saw her. In other words, for a while, she could be alive or dead... i.e., Schrodingers Cat.
    • Nepeta dies in what looks like a Too Dumb to Live moment, since Equius had sacrificed his life to protect her, and given her strict orders to remain in the safety of the vent she was hiding in. But she (a Catgirl) was overcome with curiosity, and it killed her.
    • A ridiculously convoluted one - Tavros is introduced trying to 'get Dave's goat' by trolling him, and he performs an extremely bad rap in which he describes being stopped by a policeman who discovers him smuggling Dave's goat as well as a goose, which is apparently 'honktraband'. Later on the word 'honktraband' is used by Gamzee, who is a clown-themed troll, and also associated with goats due to his connection with the star sign Capricorn. And it is eventually revealed that he had been in love with Tavros - in short, Tavros had 'got his goat' and it was 'honktraband'.
    • One of the many, many huge plot developments in "[S] Cascade" was Bec-prototyped Jack Noir killing everyone in Exile Town except PM on his way through to the troll session. PM is very, very angry... and unbeknownst to Jack, WV was carrying the other prototype ring. PM puts it on, and follows Jack to get revenge. This means the epic battle between Physical Gods also comes down to an age-old conflict: dog versus mail lady.
  • This Everyday Heroes strip shows the characters scowling at all the taxes taken out of their paychecks. In addition to the usual federal, state, local, Medicare, and FICA, there are also deductions for "snieca", "hearta", "pollex" (Latin for "thumb") and "Persian 9' X 12'"... in other words, sneak attacks, heart attacks, thumb tacks, and carpet tacks.
    • Also, there seems to be a chain of coffee shops named "Sundo" (with the bar over the "o" indicating a long vowel). Since the Sun is a star, and do ("dough") is another name for money, or bucks ...
    • When Mr. Mighty is working the night shift, he comes home in the morning just as the kids are leaving for school. He and his wife take advantage of the empty house for some "quality time" ... and in the next strip, he shows up to work smiling and singing "A Hard Day's Night". Heheheh ... you said "hard".
    • On this page, Mr. Mighty is thwarting a hold-up at the "Red Rooster Natural Mini-Mart". While some readers might recognize "Red Rooster" as a Brand X version of White Hen Pantry, not everyone will figure out the "Natural" part of the joke. In shooting dice, a "natural" is when you win by rolling a seven or eleven.
  • This Basic Instructions has Scott suggest that his friend get a job driving a rickshaw as a getaway vehicle for criminals. The idea is already so goofy that you might miss the other joke: his friend is named Rick.
  • See if you can spot the stealth Visual Pun in this Penny Arcade when Gabe sneaks into Tycho's room.
    • Tycho has a picture of the actual Tycho Brahe on his wall.
  • This post at Webcomic.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: In the City Face side comic, the fairy Torus convinces the pigeon City Face that he has become a human businessman. She then gives him a berry, which she says every businessman needs. "No! You weren't supposed to eat it!" It was a blackberry.
  • Pv P! has in one strip Brent tell Francis the following joke:
      • Brent: Did you hear the one about the cannibal who dumped his girlfriend?
      • (Beat Panel)
      • Francis: Ewww... gross!
    • Brent at the end even calls it a Stealth Joke.
  • Narbonic has Dave finding a girlfriend online. She's reluctant to meet him in person. He asks her, "Are you afraid I'll turn you off?" Ironic, since she's actually a computer. Later, Dave actually does turn her off when he downloads his mind into her hardware and erases her, leading to a Shout-Out to 2001: A Space Odyssey: "Dave, what are you doing? I'm afraid, Dave ..."
  • The English title of Touhou Nekokayou is "Scarlet Weather Archive in Japanese Red." This is taken from the Touhou canon Gaiden Fighting Game Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and the book Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red. Then someone noticed what the other halves of the names make.
    • Near the end of Create.swf Adventures: Shenanigans in a Magical Forest, it's revealed that all of the "player" characters have their own individual "Hax Sign" spellcard. As Yasora's spellcards begin to wind down, everyone except Marisa uses their respective Hax Sign spellcard, with a fair amount of success. Cue the final sequence, where Marisa's all ready to bust out her long-awaited Hax Sign: Sepiechritude (a shout out to Problem Sleuth's Sepulchritude, which everyone assumes to be a huge beam attack or something of the sort, as per Marisa's trademarks. Then someone noticed the "pie" in "Sepiechritude..."
  • This Tree Lobsters has a clever one. On its, the comic works as a relatively straightforward parody of infomercials. Look closely at the description on panel 3, though, then look up elements 11 and 17 on the periodic table. Sodium and Chloride, respectively. In other words, it's a grain of salt.
  • This Down the Stairs comic shows a growing lightbulb. The pun is that it is growing from a "bulb", like a plant.
  • One example in The Fuzzy Five is the abbreviation of the name of the fictional "Ominous Mountain State University" as "OMSU and U".
  • In this Megatokyo strip, Yuki's brother teases her about calling a large animal vet, and then he starts making cow noises. This doesn't make any sense unless you infer that she was yelling "mou" (used in Japanese as a frustration noise, like "Rrrgh!"), which sounds a lot like "moo."


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • A recurring thread on Something Awful is "Real pictures that look like photoshops". And eventually, someone will post this. It's a photo shop.
  • Fark is enamored of headlines with StealthPuns of its more memorable memes. For example: "Duke upset in NCAA tournament. If only there were some pithy catch phrase to describe their ineptitude."
  • Vista-tan has huge tracts of land.
    • And we all know huge tracts of land are vistas.
      • Plus, we all know Vista was a huge bust.
  • Unforgotten Realms has Professor Strap, who after a memory erasing spell goes by the name of "Jacques". Jacques Strap.
  • Clef and Dimitri Hit the Road: At the very end. "Alas, poor Yoric, I've never seen him before in my life."
  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog: Moist went on a double date with Bait and Switch. He thought he was going to end up with Bait, but...
    • Dr. Horrible is full of this: On his blog, the Doctor mentions transporting several gold bars from a safe. He lifts up a bag of brownish "cumin-smelling" liquid and says that the molecules shifted in the transportation Bouillon/gold bullion
    • Also, in the song "Neil's Turn" on the Commentary, Neil Patrick Harris is stuck alone and in the dark in the studio, and sings, "What's with all these weird cords?" just as the music plays a bunch of "weird chords"
  • Fools Gold: There is a mention of a Giant Panda who drives a truck containing stolen ingots of lanthanide metals. His truck is #71 and his name is Lu. 71 is the atomic number of the lanthanide Lutetium. Its symbol in the periodic table is Lu. Lu is also a common Chinese surname.
  • In The Nostalgia Critic review of Ernest Scared Stupid, there's a scene where Ernest reveals a troll he captured. The Critic splices in an image of Fan Dumb Douchey McNitpick who literally showed up to troll him.
  • PZ Myers is a biologist with a love for octopus and similar creatures. When Paul, the psychic sports predicting octopus died, he went back and forth describing his feelings on the matter, using the phrase 'on the other hand' seven times.
  • On a Furry Fandom Image Boards, someone called for "Rule 34 of NIMH." One of the responses was a picture of batteries.
  • This Youtube video. A steam-powered turntable, playing the Sex Pistols. Steampunk.
  • A Brazilian blog/ Tumblr has made a parody "Squads of The World Cup". The resulting Hurricane of Puns sometimes needs context: the Netherlands include a Brazilian rapper famous for pro-cannabis songs, the smuggling-heavy Paraguay has "Sorny, Mike, BleckBarry and Hi-Phone", and Denmark ends with Scooby Doo (a Great Dane) and two candies sold at the chocolatier Kopenhagen.
  • Bo Burnham, one of the few good musicians and songwriters out there, needs more love. Come on, folks, let's start referencing him. Here's some truly masterful Stealth Puns for ya!
  • This blog post is written by an author who enjoys puns based on the origins of words. "None of the little particles in the universe had gotten the idea that one might turn yet." "Universe" comes from Latin roots uni and vertere--"one" and "turn".
  • In one episode of Sassy Gay Friend, the title character makes his entrance out of a closet.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic's fandom has a "Ponies in Socks" meme, so someone was inspired to create this. It's the Python programming language, using the SOCKS protocol.
  • While many an image on this very wiki falls into this (see the section on Visual Pun), the one in Speed Sex is the most blatant. Who came before, the chicken or the egg?


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • A lot of the names in Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends are puns, especially when combined with other characters' names. For instance: Blooregard Q. Kazoo, thus Bloo Q. Kazoo kukukachu.
  • Warpath from Transformers Generation 1 is an Autobot who is best known for his Verbal Tic of adding onomatopoeia to his dialog... to the point where he might have Tourette's. The kicker? He turns into a tank and his upper body is made from the TURRET.
    • In the third season, the Decepticon leader Galvatron, who turns into a gun emplacement, is crazy and unpredictable, as likely to attack his allies as he is the Autobots. He's quite the loose cannon.
    • And in the Japanese dub, the Cassetteicons often call Soundwave aniki. In addition to being what gang members call their leader, it also translates to 'big brother.' So, since Soundwave is the Decepticon communications officer who reports treachery to their leader that means that Big Brother Is Watching you.
  • In Filmations Ghostbusters, the Team Pet of the group is a little pink bat named Belfry. His name is based on the saying "To have bats in the belfry", meaning "To be a bit crazy".
    • Also, Hot Scoop Jessica Wray is the fiancée of ghostbuster Jake Kong. Wray... Kong... does it ring a bell?
  • In Kim Possible, when we are first introduced to Team Go, Ron asks why Mego wears a purple costume. Team leader Hego replies, "He's a shrinker" and drops the subject. He's a shrinking violet (but not a Shrinking Violet, mind you); Warner/DC would not be amused.
    • Mego's power is to shrink to the size of an action figure. He shares his name with a popular line of action figures from the 70s and 80s, including the unintuitive pronunciation.
  • Austin's fur color in The Backyardigans.
    • Also in The Backyardigans, in the episode "Mission to Mars", Austin controls a Mars Rover named Rover. This Trouper also realized the joke about this also meaning the car Austin Rover.
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents book-jumping episode "Shelf Life":

Wanda: Egad, he turned The Three Musketeers into the three Mouse--
(Timmy then swiftly covers her mouth and teleports them out)

    • And later in the same episode:

Cosmo: So he gets into a physics book, what's the worst that could happen?
Timmy: He could turn gravity into gravy. He could turn the planets into plants.--
Wanda: He could turn Uranus into....Oh my God, we have to stop him!

    • The segment "Dread and Breakfast" has a cameo by two Shaggy and Scooby-Doo lookalikes. Not-Shaggy refers to Not-Scooby as "Doob", which would probably make "Doob"'s name Doobie.
    • Don't forget how Timmy's fairies are usually disguised as goldfish, so Timmy has A Fish Called Wanda
    • In one episode, where Jay Leno is interviewing pop star Britney Britney, he says that he feels the same way about her as he does asparagus. As in, both of them being spears.
  • George Frankly, of Math Net on Square One TV, also visited the island of Noman. (Back when Kate Monday was still his partner, and he was still with the LAPD.) He explained the name as being of Native American origin.
  • Surprisingly, The Snorks was full of this. Allstar's pet octopus, Occy, goes berserk when he's called icky. As in the skin parasite.
  • In The Mysterious Benedict Society, the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened is on Nomansan Island.
  • One episode of Tiny Toon Adventures has a Credits Gag explaining that Plucky Duck was "inadvertently omitted from 'The Name Game'."
    • In fact, Wikipedia warns that using Alice, Dallas, Tucker, Chuck, Buck, Huck, Bart, Art, Mitch, Rich, Richie, Maggie, or Danny will result in "profanity or rude language."
  • Robot Chicken once had a shot of the Fourth Doctor standing on the first base of a baseball diamond. After waiting a second, the Doctor says "Do ya get it?"
    • I thought the joke was the "Senreich-Green University" sign. But when you think about it, that joke make sense.
    • What about it being the Fourth Doctor on a square?
      • I dunno.
        • Third base!
      • Well, diamonds are four-ever...
  • The Simpsons did it a couple times with the limerick about the man from Nantucket. For the record, "There once was a man from Nantucket/Whose cock was so long he could suck it/And he said, with a grin/As he wiped off his chin/"If my ear were a cunt I would fuck it!."

Barney: (doing handsprings) I am the very model of a modern major general!
Homer: That's nothing! (doing cartwheels) There once was a man from Nantucket, who... D'oh! (runs into wall)

    • And again:

Homer: You know, I once knew a man from Nantucket.
Bart: And?
Homer: Let's just say the stories about him are greatly exaggerated.

    • And again:

Homer: There once was this guy from an island off the coast of Massachusetts... Nantucket, I think it was. Anyway, he had the most unusual personal characteristic, which was, um...

      • Another instance not using the man from Nantucket limerick, maybe even being a parody of its usage, comes in an episode where Krusty the Clown is giving Homer an old trampoline of his and talks about dirty limericks ("There once was a man named Enis...").
      • So WHO had the most limericks written about them—was it the man named Enis, or the woman from Regina?
    • Another from The Simpsons is the traffic guy for Channel Six News, Arnie Pie, who very deliberately avoids the painfully obvious pun on his name; his segment, live from the traffic chopper, is called "Arnie in the Sky".
    • Still another: Krusty the Clown once mentioned that he and Bette Midler once owned a horse together, and named it "Krudler". For those who didn't get it, the more appropriate name is revealed in the DVD Commentary of the episode: Misty
    • Alternatively, the far less appropriate Busty
    • The Simpsons also gives us "Sneed's Feed & Seed (Formerly Chuck's)"
    • In the episode "'Sideshow Bob Roberts", the character playing the role of "Deep Throat" is Mr. Smithers.
    • The "Flaming Moe" drink, formerly known as the "Flaming Homer."
    • Apu attended the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology.
    • "I'm Dick Tracy! Take that, Pruneface! Now I'm Pruneface. Take that, Dick Tracy! Now I'm Prune Tracy. Take that--" (is physically subdued)
    • In another episode, Bart gets lost in a corn field, and the family sends the dog to help. The music that plays is "Freak on a Leash" by Korn.
    • In "Wedding for Disaster," Homer is kidnapped and chained up in a cell. When his kidnappers return him back home out of guilt, he still has a chain on him. Marge tells him that they should take that chain off him, to which he responds, "Won't it just dry up after a while and fall off in the bath?" Such is what typically happens to a bandage, not bondage.
    • In the first season episode "The Crepes of Wrath":

Bart(watching his pet frog): Ah, the life of a frog. That's the life for me.
Marge enters the room and asks if Bart would like to go to France.

  • In The Tick (animation), there is a running gag where several villains are never actually named, but they are very obvious visual puns. So we have an evil boy genius with see-through plastic cranium, but never actually called "Brain Child". Or the man dressed as someone's granny, obsessed with stealing inventions is never called "The mother of invention".
    • The Tick (animation) is pretty famous with this trope for villain names like Chairface Chippendale, a chair faced in a tuxedo (Chippendale is also the name of a furniture) and Milton Roe. Milt means fish sperm and Roe means fish eggs.
  • Surprisingly, The Powerpuff Girls does this at one point: despite the series' tendency towards the Incredibly Lame Pun, the Mayor's secretary is referred to only as "Miss Bellum." Given her brain capacity relative to that of the Mayor, it's not hard to guess what her first name is... Sarah.
    • They have stated her name at least once. However, it was in fact Sarah.
    • The Mayor is so old his first secretary must have been Antebellum.
    • Also, Him looks like Satan and dresses like Santa Claus. He also has claws. This is never commented on directly.
    • Him IS Satan...
    • The septic truck in "Down N' Dirty" is full of it.
  • The Central Bureaucracy of Futurama has a giant Rubik's cube made out of Rubik's cubes made out of offices. I call it the Rubik's Cubicle.
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold, "Deep Cover for Batman": Batman thinks he may have found an ally in The Scarlet Scarab based on a conversation he heard, but it turns out to just provide misdirection, meaning that the Scarlet Scarab was a Red Herring.
  • In the Justice League episode "The Terror Beyond", Hawkgirl taunts Icthultu when he wishes to speak to her: "Nothing to say! I have a gesture for you, but my hands are tied." That's right, Hawkgirl wants to flip him the bird.
    • In the episode "The Balance" Wonder Woman receives a message from Zeus saying "By Decree of Zeus Father of Olympus it is so ordered: Diana of Themyscira will travel to Tartarus and set right that which has been disturbed." She starts to respond with "He's telling me to go to..." but is interrupted by Hermes saying "Basically".
    • And in "Epilogue", the team is up against another team called the Royal Flush Gang, who Ace gave powers to. One of them is wearing kabuki make-up, with a top knot and swinging a katana. By process of elimination, he's the Jack, and when depowered happens to look like Phil LaMarr. Ten looks like Bo Derek did in the film Ten, Queen is a transformed guy (drag queen), and King looks like Jack "King" Kirby.
    • In the Unlimited episode "Panic In The Sky", there's a stealth pun allusion to Galatea being the DCAU expy of Power Girl when Supergirl defeats her by (fatally?) electrocuting her with a power cable.
  • Subverted in American Dad!:

Hayley: You have angina.[8]
Francine: Which according to Dr. Natterson sounds like vagina... I don't know about that, but he's the doctor.

    • Another episode has a secondary story revolving around bees. What's another term for "secondary story"?
  • In an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the scene after greeting Suki in a robe, under candlelight, a rose in his mouth, Sokka is seen wearing a flower necklace -- he got lei'd.
    • And Suki got deflowered.
    • In "The Ember Island Players", a bad in-universe reenactment of the series thus far, the audience starts falling asleep during the sequence with the drill. It's boring.
  • In an episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian go to a Disney universe, this universe's Joe is a coffee pot. Joe. Coffee.
    • Of course, that's a spoof of Beauty and the Beast, where the teapot is Mrs. Potts and her grandson is a teacup with a chip in it... named Chip.
  • Teen Titans has one of the first type in the episode "Can I Keep Him?" While fighting Johnny Rancid's new "pet", Rancid remarks that the beast is "kicking [Robin's]--", and is then interrupted by two green hooves to the gut. One shot later, it is revealed that Beast Boy has, indeed, turned into an ass.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Karate Island", one of the enemies is named "The Tickler". He also happens to be French. Making him... a French Tickler.
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, the Team Pet is a fly named Zipper. The fact that this is a pun is never brought up.
  • Late in the third season of Ben 10, Ben's antagonists consisted largely of aliens that resembled Universal/Hammer horror monsters, and he gained the ability to become each of them. First was a werewolf, which he cleverly named Benwolf. (Insert Gwendel joke here.) Next, a mummy, which was called Benmummy in the credits. The third villain, Dr. Vicktor, turned out to be a Frankenstein's Monster pastiche. The credits called the resulting transformation Benvicktor, avoiding the more obvious choice: Benstein.
  • In the third season of Ben 10 Alien Force, Kevin ends up stuck in a composite form, with various body parts made out of various materials, from metal to crystal. In particular, everything from his groin down is made of wood.
  • For years, the opening sequence of Animaniacs got away with showing Yakko getting lunchmeat shoved down the front of his trousers, while all three Warners sang "there's bologna in our slacks". Yep, they played "Hide the Sausage" in full view on a kid's show...
  • In the South Park episode "The F Word", the head editor of the dictionary is Emmanuel Lewis.
    • In "Tsst", Eric's egotistical behavior becomes too much for Mrs. Cartman to handle. When reality TV shows like Nanny 911 and Supernanny fail to subdue him, it is Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer who shows Cartman that not everyone is willing to put up with his crap. That's right, the episode implied that Cartman is a "son of a bitch".
  • In the Pinky and The Brain episode "It's Only a Paper World," the title characters attempt to Take Over the World by building a life-sized replica of the planet Earth out of paper-mâché and luring the population onto it so they can rule the real Earth without interference. All the music in the episode is based on themes from Dvorak's Symphony No. 9: otherwise known as the New World symphony.
    • Similarly, an episode dealing with the art world used themes from Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition.
  • In one episode of The Spectacular Spider Man, Peter hears a radio informing everyone about an attack by Sandman at the harbor. Then it says: "Now for an oldie but a goodie by the Chordettes" before the next scene. One of the Chordettes' most famous songs? Mr. Sandman.
    • Also, Sandman is trying to steal The Urn of Morpheus.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "A Gruesome Twosome", two alley cats try to fool Tweety by wearing a horse costume. The one in front reveals himself and tells us "I'm the horse's head!" The one in back says nothing.
    • "Buckaroo Bugs" has Bugs as a messenger asking which of the two characters lying dazed on the ground is Red Hot Ryder. Red points to his horse's ass before pointing to himself. "Scrap Happy Daffy" does a similar gag, with Daffy pointing at a horse's ass and exclaiming "How do ya like that, Schickelgrüber?"
  • Beavis and Butthead actually subverted this once. They find an injured bird, nurse it back to health, and Butthead sends it on its way by flipping it into the air. Beavis then takes the stealth out of the pun by telling him "Hey, Butthead. You flipped the bird."
  • Maggie the housefly's older brother in The Buzz on Maggie is named Aldrin... for "Buzz" Aldrin.
  • Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated shows that the characters are divided as a result of their relationship issues. This would seem to imply that the gang is splitting up.
  • A French stealth pun for Wakfu: the Havresac. It's a real word (haversack in English), but Ruel's is also a bag (sac) which provides a haven (havre) for the heroes.
  • Similar to the Futurama example above, there's a Polish cartoon called Generał Italia. Hmmm...
  • In Jimmy Two Shoes, Lucius Heinous I-VI have all been frozen alive by their sons. So basically, Hell freezes over.
  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Boast Busters," Spike gushes over how Twilight Sparkle can do 25 tricks, since most unicorns can only use a little magic pertaining to their talent. Making them one-trick ponies.
    • In the first episode, "Mare in the Moon", we can see that Twilight Sparkle (who is more interested in her studies than in making friends) makes her home in a tall, off-white structure (i.e. an ivory tower).
    • In the second episode, "Elements of Harmony", the mane cast overcome Nightmare Moon and put an end to The Night That Never Ends. One could say they... save the day.
    • And in "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight stops to stand on a crate and lecture Pinkie about why she has a hard time believing in the latter's "Pinkie Sense". Said crate originally had some bars and bottles of soap on it, which means Twilight literally got on a soap box.
    • In "Secret of My Excess", Spike goes on a greedy rampage through Ponyville. Part of that includes going to Sugar Cube Corner and taking all the cakes. Pinkie Pie immediately calls out, "How dare you take the cake!" This is a subtle reference to the phrase "taking the cake."
    • In "Swarm of the Century", Pinkie Pie eventually leads the town-destroying Parasprites out of Ponyville by leading them with music. Making her the Pinkie Pied Piper.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle shows the Cutie Mark Crusaders her toy, Smarty Pants, who comes with accessories such as homework. It also appears to be some kind of donkey, making it a smart ass
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash pulls off the titular maneuver and wins the competition with it. One might say she passed with flying colours.
    • In "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight Sparkle's Nightmare Night costume is Star Swirl the Bearded, "father of the amniomorphic spell". "Amniomorphic" means "bowl-shaped", which makes Star Swirl a long-bearded bowl-maker or, in other words, a hairy potter.
      • "Luna Eclipsed" had quite a couple of these actually. Another, more obvious one would be Pinkie as a Chicken Pie.
    • In "Sweet and Elite", when talking to Fancypants, after having mentioned staying at the princess' castle, she places Opalescence into one of her carrier-bags. Why? Because she let the cat out of the bag. Admittedly not the same bag, but still.
    • In "Read It and Weep", a pony with a crazed expression and straitjacket makes dog noises - making her barking mad. Also, the fact that her cutie mark is a screw makes much more sense when you consider that she's literally screw loose.
    • The day after "A Canterlot Wedding"—in which Princess Cadance (sic) is revealed to be a villain in disguise—aired, a music geek discovered that one of the songs contains a chord progression known as a deceptive cadence. And then the composer confirmed via Twitter that it was totally intentional. The song is an alternating duet with the genuine Cadence, and her parts contain an "authentic cadence" chord progression.
    • A bit of a Fridge Brilliance pun involving the princesses: A lot of people wondered what Cadence's purpose was. Celestia and Luna basically run the sun and moon, respectively, but Cadence doesn't have any duty of that nature. Then the season 2 finale revealed that She was Twilight's foalsitter...
  • In Real Life, early computers had names like ENIAC, EDVAC, and UNIVAC. In the Rocky and Bullwinkle side feature, "Peabody's Improbable History", the time machine is called the WABAC ('cause they go "way back" in time).
    • Speaking of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris Badenov's name was an allusion to Pushkin's play Boris Godunov. The name is lampshaded in one story arc's next-episode titles: "Don't Make It Worse, It's Badenov."
  • "Ex Marks the Spot," the penultimate episode of Time Squad, opens with Larry behaving unusually happily, as if basking in the afterglow of...something. He stuffs a turkey full of gravy until it overflows, then tops the dish with a cherry...which sinks into the gravy never to be seen again. In other words, Larry has just lost his cherry.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Jiggles" features a gelatinous cube which only eats fruit. It then proceeds to absorb the Ambiguously Gay King Julien.
  • There were two instances of a Griffin named Merv who had a talk show in cartoons:
  • The Classic Disney Shorts Plutos Judgement Day, which is about Pluto the Pup imagining himself going to hell after being scolded by Mickey Mouse for chasing a cat. Pluto is actually the name of the Roman god of the underworld, as well as the former ninth planet in which the dog got his name from.
  • In Phineas and Ferb: Summer Belongs To You, it's revealed that Baljeet has a relative who runs a factory in the Himalayas that makes rubber bands and balls. It's never said outright, but he's literally making India rubber.
  • Done ever so discreetly in Ed, Edd n Eddy during the episode "The Eds Are Coming". Once Ed emerges from the radiant goo, Kevin has a soapbox moment upon a soap box.
  • In an episode of Birdz, Morty Storkowitz remarks that he went to school with a peacock who went into television.
  • In the Rugrats episode "Vacation", Chuckie can be seen running on a roulette wheel. In other words, it's rushing roulette.
  • One scene in Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire has a singing seal… voiced by singer Seal.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In the famous F.A.O. Schwarz Toy Store, New York City, there are a pair of life-sized stuffed animals over the display case for board games. They don't say, but they are, of course, cheetahs.
  • While certainly not intentional, one of the largest elevator manufacturers in the world is the Schindler group. Schindler's Lift.
  • Arguably the AT-4 disposable rocket launcher. You'd only really get it if you knew a lot about guns, but it fires 84 mm rockets. AT-4. 84. Geddit?
    • Also the Kel-Tec P-3AT. Guess what round it fires?
  • Solaris uses the magic hexidecimal number 0xDEFEC8ED in certain debug outputs... specifically, core dumps.
  • Cockney Rhyming Slang.
  • The local highschool for Papillion, Nebraska, has "The Monarchs" for its mascot. Given that the town's name comes from the French word papillon, or butterfly...
    • The mascot Arkansas School for the Deaf: Leopards.
    • Lanphier High School, in this troper's hometown of Springfield, IL, has students who sport "Lanphier Pride" sweatshirts. The school's mascot? Yep, it's a lion.
  • The Alice and Bob nomenclature, when used in cryptography, has a few of these. Alice is trying to send a message to Bob, without letting the contents be revealed to Eve (an Eavesdropper), or subverted by Mallory (a Malicious active attacker).
  • When a US military weather station experiences an earthquake, it is required to fill out a SEXX bulletin describing the event and any damage that occurs. Yes, you disseminate the SEXX bulletin when the Earth moves.
  • Mensa groups in the Chicago area host an annual "HalloweeM" gathering, in which extremely smart people dress up to embody the pun of their choice. As these costumes are designed by, and intended for the amusement of, Mensa-caliber intellects, the puns are usually coy enough to qualify for this trope.
  • The official Dive Sign used by professional scuba divers to indicate they forgot to bring something along is to point at your eye, then your left nipple, and finally your rump. Eye ... Left Tit ... Behind.
  • This shirt design. "The Batmobile lost a wheel (and the Joker got away)".
    • Threadless.com also sells a T-shirt with Lenin, Mao, Castro, and Stalin, all in little hats and carrying drinks.
    • And one with a fish in a glass military tank. On description it doesn't really sound that stealthy, but you would not believe the amount of people who see it and say "Why is there a fish in a ta-- OH."
    • Many of the shirts from Woot.Com are pun based. Good luck if you get the random pack and then finally get it while in the middle of the street.
  • Actress Jean Harlow was allegedly at dinner with Margot Asquith (wife of Herbert Henry Asquith, the former British Prime Minister), and kept pronouncing Mrs. Asquith's name with the 't' at the end. Eventually Asquith told her "No, Jean, the 'T' is silent, like in 'Harlow'".
  • The University of Connecticut has, as its sports mascot, the Huskies. Huskies are a breed of sled dogs normally found in the Yukon. University of Connecticut = U. Conn.
  • Allegheny College's sports teams are called the Gators. The word "Allegheny" is often abbreviated as "Alle." Thus making the team the "Alle. Gators."
    • San Francisco State University, also the Gators. Hint: they're the Gators, and one of the school colors is gold. Golden Gators=Golden Gaters
  • Subverted with the University of North Texas' college radio station, KNTU.
  • One Seattle transport system was originally set to be called the South Lake Union Transit. It was changed when someone pointed out the acronym issue, but many t-shirts still celebrate the original plan. "I Took a Ride on the South Lake Union Transit"...
  • This Troper's university once nearly dubbed a building, funded by the titular donors, the Christopher Center for Library and Information Technology. After the sign announcing its future location had been up for a few months, it mysteriously became the CCLIR instead. This was, of course, never openly acknowledged.
  • The cafeteria at Rowan University has a circular stove called "360 Degrees." Not only would that be approximately the temperature the food is cooked at (or maybe higher, if calculated in Celsius) but... there are 360 degrees in a circle.
  • In Spanish, "Mano" (hand in English) is feminine. It's a rare exception to the "-o" masculine/"-a" feminine rule. Think about it for a second.
  • Either unintentional, or the powers that be have a strange sense of humor. A troublesome or rowdy samurai is typically depicted as chewing a tooth pick, or else a fish bone for the same reason. So this samurai "has a bone to pick."
  • This Might Be an Index is not part of any index, nor is it listed as an index.
  • Titan, the largest moon of the planet Saturn, and the second-largest overall, is actually one letter short away from the name of its surface color. Hint? Titan is a light yellowish-orange in appearance.
  • One of the on-campus convenience stores at Azusa Pacific University is called the Quicky-mart. Someone's a sneaky Simpsons fan.
  • Kennywood in Pittsburgh has an inverting pendulum ride called the Aero 360. It's shaped like... um, the Kennywood logo. (Hint: Say the name out loud.)
  • Not a conscious pun, but anyways. Danish people are often fond of the slightly sexist joke that when you get a girlfriend or wife, you'll have to use half your money on her. The Danish income tax is one of the highest in the world, about 50%. Coincidentally, the Danish word "skat" can both mean "tax" and be a term of affection, just like the English "honey" and "baby". (It can also mean "treasure", by the way).
  • The University of Tampere, a Finnish university, has three major buildings, which have meaningful names. The main building is named "Päätalo", Finnish for "main building". A castle-like building nearby is named "Linna" (castle). The faculty of sciences, located near a stream is named "Virta" (current). They sound like Incredibly Lame Pun, but they have actually been named of three Tampere cultural icons: writer Kalle Päätalo, writer Väinö Linna and musician Olavi Virta.
  • The musician Blixa Bargeld's name is a pseudonym. Since Blixa is a brand of pen, it's a literal "pen name".

Notes

  1. he's trying to make a money tree
  2. Bonus: The "courage" the Wizard gave the Cowardly Lion was a drink.
  3. Une is French for "one"
  4. It handles apploading and security authentication, though obviously this wasn't known at the time.
  5. The literal meaning of which is a structure made of playing cards and nothing else, and therefore difficult to build without knocking over; this gives rise to the metaphorical meaning, in which an impressive structure is easily destroyable
  6. See here for what that is
  7. Jpeg compression, a staple of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, creates jpeg artifacts.</span> </li>
  8. This is a real disease
  9. </ol>