Created By: Nocturna on April 10, 2012 Last Edited By: Nocturna on July 2, 2012
Troped

World of Pun

A work which is full of puns.

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This trope is being created per the A Worldwide Punomenon TRS thread. Please go there for the name discussion.


This work is drowning in puns. The characters are dropping them left and right, and often the narrator (if there is one) will get in on the action, too. Worlds of Pun generally capitalize on a quirky brand of humor, with the puns as an integral feature of its appeal.

See also World of Ham and World of Snark. Often includes Punny Names. See also Hurricane of Puns. For a character who frequently uses puns, see Pungeon Master.


Anime and Manga
  • Rumiko Takahashi's first breakaway success, Urusei Yatsura, is filled to the brim with puns -- its name, for example, can be read half a dozen ways depending on Kanji, Kana, and the use of spaces, each one of them a pun or joke.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei basically everyone's name is a pun, sometimes complicated ones. This is ONLY pointed out in the case of the titular teacher and his family. Fansubs are kind enough to explain the name puns for characters introduced that episode.
  • One Piece lives and breathes puns. Attack names (most of Zoro's sword moves, notably, also resemble types of sushi when written), character names, and in the seventh movie over half the lines of the plot-central prophecy were puns.
  • The Rave Master dub is overflowing with puns.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico has a lot of puns. Izumi Maki, in particularly, uses so many puns that she barely speaks at all without a translator's note appearing.

Card Games
  • Show up regularly in Magic: The Gathering. Such as ''He exercises his right to bear arms''.
    • There are also the cards "Crashing Boars" and "Apes of Rath".
    • "Over-Soul'd Cemetery".
    • "Wheel and Deal". See, it makes your opponents get the effects of "Wheel of Fortune" and gives you a card draw...
    • Unglued and Unhinged are about 50% puns (the other half is a mixture of cardpaper and in-jokes that only players of the game will get).
      • Unhinged had Donkey Folk, which only existed to make puns on "ass". There was Smart Ass, Dumb Ass, Fat Ass, Cheap Ass and Bad Ass.
      • There are also the Clay Pigeon (a 1/1 flying bird that had an effect when thrown), the Rock Lobster (it wasn't a rock, and many take it for granite), the Paper Tiger (who burns bright and folds easily), and the Scissors Lizard (who has a lot of shear power).
      • Fowl Play turns things into chickens.
    • The Man of Measure is better at offense or defense depending on whether you're measured as taller or shorter than an opponent.
    • The Standing Army doesn't tap when it attacks, because they're always standing... but only as long as you are too.
  • The Spoils has got quite a few, too. Pick five cards at random, and there's a pretty high chance that at least one involves at least one pun.
  • Munchkin, in all of its incarnations. Meet monsters such as Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide, Tequila Mockingbird and Cowthulhu... and that's only the beginning.

Comic Books
  • The Flemish series De Kiekeboes (a few English translations exist as Jo and co) has over 100 issues and in almost all of them at least one of the one-time characters, the companies or even the title itself is a pun.
  • A lot of Orient Men comics are based around puns, especially the last few ones.
  • The Astérix comic books are full of this, in both the original French and the English translations.

Film
  • Airplane!: loads of them -- "Surely you can't be serious", Ted's drinking problem, smoking tickets.
  • Practically all the lines in Batman & Robin are "plant" or "ice" puns.
    "Allow me to break the ice."
    "I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy!"
    "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!"
    "Freeze well!"
    "What killed the Dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"
  • Wild Wild West. Particularly the scenes where James West (black) and Arliss Loveless (has no legs) throw double entendre insults on each other's conditions.
    Arliss: How nice of you to join us and add color to these monochromatic proceedings.
    --> James: Well when a man comes back from the dead I find that occasion to stand up and be counted.
    --> Arliss: Miss East tells me you're looking for General McGrath. I haven't seen him in a coon's age.
    --> James: Well I can see how it'd be hard for a man of your stature to keep track of... half the people he knows.
    --> Arliss: Perhaps the lovely Miss East can keep you from becoming a slave to your disappointment.
    --> James: You know beautiful women: support you one minute, cut the legs out from under you the next.
  • The Marx Brothers build a lot of their humor from puns. For instance, Chico combines this with "Fauxreigner":
    "Taxes? My uncle's from Taxes."
    "No, not Texas, taxes. Dollars, Taxes!"
    "That's where he's from! Dollas, Taxes!"
  • The whole movie Una Película de Huevos (even the title itself).
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is full of puns:
    Scott: You once were a ve-gone, and now you will be gone.
  • Spaceballs. The radar gets jammed, they comb the desert, and of course there's the Druish princess.

Literature
  • Piers Anthony's Xanth books: There's been a steady increase in puns throughout the series. The first two books had only a handful of puns. After that, Piers Anthony started making the series more comedic, and adding more puns as part of the process. Then he started accepting reader-submitted puns and it and got completely out of control. Naturally, a great many Xanth fans were thrilled by this opportunity to actually be a part of their favorite series, even if only in a small way, so the puns flooded in ever-greater numbers, to the point that Anthony frequently has several books' worth of pun backlog.
  • Isaac Asimov was passing fond of puns and wrote quite a number of Shaggy Dog Stories around them. One of these stories is actually named "Shah Guido G." (Because it sounds like Shagg- Oh, never mind.)
  • Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series has puns everywhere, including the titles of all the books and of the series itself. The various dimensions have Punny Names: Klahds are from Klah, Deveels are from Deva, Cupys (small, doll-like people) are from Cupid...
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
    • There's the "Oh God of Hangovers" in Hogfather -- not a god, or the god, but Oh, GOD of Hangovers.
    • Night Watch
      • The book contains a sequence describing the ornamental armour Sam Vimes has to wear, and how it makes him feel like a class traitor. The pune-chline: "It was gilt by association."
      • And the Fat Mines contained BCBs (Burnt Crusty Bits) that Vimes said died because they were battered to death.
      • There's also an example of him being entirely unable to stop himself with the story of Fingers Mazda, who stole the secret of fire from the gods. He was unable to fence it, it was too hot. He really got burned on that deal.
      • Granny Weatherwax's lodgings in the Shades are made are all the better for being next door to a notorious reseller of stolen items. Because good fences make good neighbours.
      • Magrat believes that broomsticks are sexual metaphors when witches ride them. But this is a phallusy.
    • The name of the countries Djelibeybi and Hersheba. Terry Pratchett's realization that American audiences weren't getting the Djelibeybi pun inspired the creation of nearby Hersheba, which most audiences in general aren't getting. (If you've heard of the candy, the Djelibeybi pun is criminally easy to get, due to it being mentally pronounced the same way, and lampshaded when we're told Djelibeybi literally means "Child of the Djel." Hersheba is not as easy -- this is due to variation in pronunciation, the fact that it doesn't have a lampshade, and it doesn't have a book focused on it.)
  • The Wayside School books are full of puns, both stealth and otherwise.
  • Finnegans Wake. Every sentence.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth is one of these. There's a "watchdog" called Tock who is a dog with a clock in his abdomen. In the city of Dictionopolis people literally "eat their words" off plates. People literally jump to an island called Conclusions. It goes on and on like this.
  • Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There are both famous for their wordplay and allusions.

Music
  • The band Alkaline Trio lives in one of these. Their albums have titles like Good Mourning and From Here To Infirmary. [1]
  • There's a band called the "Misfats" who cover Misfits songs and change the lyrics so they're about food. So they play songs like "Mommy, Can I Go Out And Grill Tonight".

Newspaper Comics
  • Too many to go into, but during the early years of Dilbert, Scott Adams was REALLY REALLY into puns (very little office humor was involved, Dilbert was ostensibly an engineer just to provide a context for nerd-jokes and nerdy jokes).

Live-Action TV
  • Power Rangers. It's actually quite impressive to see how they can keep the pun ball in the air for long stretches.

Music

Theatre

Video Games
  • AdventureQuest is infamous for this, and they tend to be so spectacularly lame that they end up So Bad, It's Good. Or, as Artix described it:
    Arch Knight Style Humor (adj) -- A savory blend of caffeinated epic failure served with with a side of cheese. This also probably means Artix wrote it himself... it is sort of like a train wreck. You really want to look away, but for some reason, you just... have to watch.
  • When Kingdom of Loathing isn't making random references to song lyrics, it's hitting you over the head with puns of varying quality.
    "You're fighting a bread golem. You find him crusty, and his wit stale. For having thought of the previous sentence you almost hope he manages to kick your ass."
    "This is a bat with the body of a baseball. And the heart of a bad pun."
  • Pretty much every Sierra adventure game ever. The King's Quest series is probably better known for the puns in its death messages than anything.
  • Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars: technically found in Warcraft but in Defense of the Ancients the hero responses are heard constantly. Nearly every hero with a voice says some sort of pun. Nearly every response by the Pandaren Brewmaster is a pun.
  • There's a stage in Namco × Capcom, where every character is making lame puns. All of the puns are highlighted in red, to boot.

Webcomics

Web Original
  • Hybrid webcomic/browser game Demon Thesis does this constantly when in game mode, as virtually any action you have the characters take is accompanied by a pun or reference. For example, give Clady the spear and let her attack with it, and the attack is called "Clad the Impaler". Give Val, the sole American, the axe, and it's called "American Chopper" when she uses it. If Alain, a french-Canadian, goes into a defensive mode to take less damage, it's Dominic Deegan falls under this, especially during the early strips before Cerebus Syndrome set in. For example: Seer's catalog, bookmarking sites...

Western Animation
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic loves puns, especially horse-related ones, both noticeable and stealthy.
  • Almost every episode of House of Mouse used puns, especially in the cartoon shorts but often in the main story as well. Like Mickey saying he had to stop at the bank because he was "overdrawn" and two sketches saying "He's lucky! We're not done yet!"
  • Kim Possible is notorious for this, as Kim herself has noted once or twice.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold is laden with puns.
    "Mad men like you come in many forms. But liquid, gas or solid, they always wind up in the same state: inert."
  • Any Jay Ward cartoon was this in spades. Rocky and Bullwinkle, Underdog, George of the Jungle, all of them were just rife with puns. The narrator was especially fond of the "Tune in next time, when we hear Bullwinkle say..." variety.

Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • April 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    [nevermind, I fail reading comprehension]
  • April 13, 2012
    zarpaulus
  • April 14, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    See also Hurricane Of Puns. Kim Possible is notorious for this, as Kim herself has noted once or twice.
  • April 14, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Is this not just A Worldwide Punomenon?
  • April 14, 2012
    Nocturna
    It's one of the things A Worldwide Punomenon has been being used for, but that trope has no clear definition.
  • April 14, 2012
    azul120
  • April 14, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ More detail, please. I'm not going to include a Zero Context Example.
  • April 15, 2012
    azul120
    The show is just laden with them.

    "Mad men like you come in many forms. But liquid, gas or solid, they always wind up in the same state: inert."
  • April 15, 2012
    robinjohnson
    The Asterix comic books are full of this, in both the original French and the English translations.
  • April 17, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    The Phantom Tollbooth is one of these. There's a "watchdog" called Tock who is a dog with a clock in his abdomen. In the city of Dictionopolis people literally "eat their words" off plates. People literally jump to an island called Conclusions. It goes on and on like this.
  • April 17, 2012
    tvtroper98
  • April 18, 2012
    Nocturna
    Any comments on the description?
  • April 18, 2012
    stickmeister0
    Webcomics
    • When Hejibits isn't doing a comic about Video Games, it's almost always a comic about a terrible pun of some sort.
  • April 19, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    I don't know if musical examples are any good but the band Alkaline Trio may live in one of these. Their albums have titles like Good Mourning and From Here To Infirmary. http://www.mitchclem.com/nothingnice/214/

    In addition, there's a band called the "Misfats" who cover Misfits songs and change the lyrics so they're about food. So they play songs like "Mommy, Can I Go Out And Grill Tonight"
  • April 19, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^Music counts.
  • April 20, 2012
    peccantis
    Card games:
    • Munchkin, in all of its incarnations. Meet monsters such as Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide, Tequila Mockingbird and Cowthulhu... and that's only the beginning.
  • April 20, 2012
    TooBah
    Any Jay Ward cartoon was this in spades. Rocky And Bullwinkle, Underdog, George Of The Jungle, all of them were just rife with bad puns. The narrator was especially fond of the "Tune in next time, when we hear Bullwinkle say..." variety.
  • April 20, 2012
    Statalyzer
    "but that trope has no clear definition"

    Therefore that page should be clarified and edited rather than creating a new one from scratch. tvtropes is baffling sometimes.
  • April 20, 2012
    Statalyzer
    "but that trope has no clear definition"

    Therefore that page should be clarified and edited rather than creating a new one from scratch. tvtropes is baffling sometimes.
  • April 20, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ That's what we're doing. We're creating this trope (which might be going onto the A Worldwide Punomenon page--see the crowner attached to the TRS thread) and probably a "Pun" supertrope.
  • April 23, 2012
    DunDun
    • Alice In Wonderland: And its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Both are famous for their wordplay and allusions.
  • April 24, 2012
    DroKulix
    • Ace Attorney has a penchant for wordplay with character names. Witnesses include April May and Sal Manella.
    • Carmen Sandiego as well, with its villains, including Justin Case, Nosmo King, and Rosa Sarrosas-Arroz.

    I think it's a trope. It describes a universe/world in which puns teeter toward the "rule" side of the exception/rule continuum.
  • April 24, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ Pun-based names go under Punny Name, not here.
  • May 3, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City seems to live in one of these. The only (really horrible) example that springs to mind is what she tells Big when he wants to move across the country: "you take a nap-pa, you don't move to Nappa!"
  • May 3, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ A single character who uses a lot of puns is a Pungeon Master.
  • May 6, 2012
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
  • May 6, 2012
    Faranda
    Achille Talon (Walter Melon in the english translation) runs on this for all its characters and locations names - and on Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness for the rest.
  • May 6, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    Should more Comic Strips examples be added? Pearls Before Swine and Mother Goose And Grimm would qualify.
  • May 7, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    bump? This look almost finished.
  • May 7, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^^ You can add them, or, if you don't want to edit directly, provide writeup for the examples in the comments.

    ^^^ If it's just names, that's Punny Names.
  • May 7, 2012
    IlGreven
    Peter David's Sir Apropos Of Nothing series. Each of the books has a map in the front of it; this qualifies as a World of Puns on just that alone. But then you get to some of the names in the book...
  • May 7, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ To reiterate, if it's just the names that are puns, then it's Punny Names. If it's not just the names, that information should be included in the example.
  • May 7, 2012
    peccantis
  • May 16, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bumping, since the crowner for this was just called.
  • May 16, 2012
    Nocturna
    I haven't forgotten about it. It's ready for launch; I just don't have time to actually launch it.

    Index suggestions (aside from Punny Stuff) would be appreciated, though.
  • May 16, 2012
    peccantis
    Wasn't a "World" index just launched? Or is it still stuck in YKTTW?
  • June 9, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Settings?

    Also, bumping again, since Pun was just created.
  • June 11, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    One last bump here, to get the TRS thread resolved (hopefully).
  • June 11, 2012
    Nocturna
    I haven't forgotten about it, I just haven't had time to launch it. My troping time is mostly in snatches, not long enough to let me launch the trope. If you have time, you could launch it yourself.
  • June 12, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^I do have the time, but I preferred not to rogue launching other people's YKTTWs
  • June 12, 2012
    AgProv
    Any British RADIO comedy series from the period 1950-1960 is one massive wave of unstoppable groanworthy puns. Take Im Sorry Ill Readthat Again as an example: while this show made John Cleese a household name ("just like your lavatory cleaner") and gave him an early fanbase, listen to re-runs, where he ostensibly steps back from the mike, puts down his script, and refuses to participate, as he's pissed off with the low quality of the humour. you can hear Cleese in the background, as the other cast members whip up a pun-storm, derisorily saying Easy. Easy. too easy. Not playing!
  • June 12, 2012
    HotelCalifornia
    ''Yakitate Japan' is full of puns, mostly bread-related.
  • June 20, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Too general example. Stick to specific works.

    ^A bit undetailed. Care to expand?

    @Nocturna, do you mind if someone else launches this? From what I can tell it seems to be ready to launch.
  • June 20, 2012
    darkclaw
    Skullgirls is full of puns. Even character names are puns: Ms.Fortune, Parasoul, Bloody Marie...
  • June 20, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^^ No, I don't mind. And I agree; it's been ready for a while.
  • June 20, 2012
    surgoshan
    We can't consider Its A Punderful World?
  • June 20, 2012
    Xzenu
    [up] sounds good!

    Oh, and a Tabletop Game example:

  • June 21, 2012
    Nocturna
    Launching relatively soon. (I actually have time.) If there's objections, please speak now.
  • July 2, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Is that Punny Name?
  • July 2, 2012
    Nocturna
    ^ Yes.
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