Accidental Pun
aka: No Pun Intended

"That wasn't a joke. That was an unfortunate coincidental pairing of words."
Angry factory lady, Drake & Josh

A humorous play on words not intended by the speaker.

The accidental pun is exactly what it sounds like. While it has to be unintentional by the speaker in-story, it can be, and generally is, intended by the author. If the original speaker notices their pun after the fact, they will generally respond with "No pun intended," or something similar. If a Pungeon Master is nearby, they will almost always be pointed out. Oops, no pun intended.

Often the closest The Comically Serious will ever come to telling a joke.

Compare Innocent Innuendo, where a double-meaning is invoked by observers but not the speakers and Accidental Innuendo.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The name of the medium Anime itself. One kanji that can be pronounced "me" means female, another means eye. Both, incidentally, things anime is known for overseas.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami Tomoe's name "Mami" means Mommy in Spanish and other languages like German. Considering her mentor role, it fits her.
  • In Hidamari Sketch, Sae gives Hiro a poetry collection covered with an embroidered book cover. Shishuu is a homonym for both "poetry collection" and "embroidery," but when Miyako asks if it was a pun, Sae claims it was accidental.
  • In episode 24 of Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Mr. Daidoji sees into Hel kidnapping his daughter, but has no idea who she is. Their first exchange:
    Mr. Daidoji: Who the Hell are you?!
    Hel: [chuckles]
  • The title of Neko Kissa is either this or a Bilingual Stealth 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).
  • In Little Witch Academia, when a minotaur is approaching antagonist Diana, her friends Hannah and Barbera try to hell her it's behind her (ushiro) but only manage to stammer out ushi (cow.)

    Comic Book 
  • During the Justice League of America event JLApe, Batman is briefing Nightwing on a Gorilla City crimelord who acts like he's in a '30s gangster film:
    Batman: Grimm wouldn't be the first hood to ape old movies.
    Nightwing: "Ape".
    Batman: Sorry. Unintentional.

    Fan Work 

  • The Hudsucker Proxy has the hero surrounded by reporters, excited about his invention of the hula hoop. When he comments on all of the hoopla surrounding it, the reporters laugh at his cleverness and he winds up very confused. After it's explained to him, he uses it all the time in future press conferences with far less stellar results.
  • Sort of a meta-example in A Knight's Tale: When William notices the trademark (an upside-down Nike logo) on the armor that Kate made for him, Kate mentions that she had put it on the armor "in case some other knight should admire (her) work." Neither the script-writers nor the cast were aware at the time that one of Nike's co-founders was named Phil Knight.
  • In the french Les Combinards, a character is trying to seduce a widow whose husband died at sea recently. She starts crying as she thinks about it. The Widow:" Booh… Booh … "The character: "Ooh… Your eyes are as blue as forget-me-nots… The forget-me-nots are flowers that mustn't be drowned !" The Widow: "DROWNED ! Booh-hoohohooo…
  • Sausage Party has Douche keep making accidental references to items that you'd find in a grocery store through the use of everyday sayings (Ex. "How do ya like them apples" or "Spill the beans"), causing whatever item he's referencing to show up and ask if they're talking about them. He gets progressively angrier and angrier as this goes on.
    Douche: Okay, so-
    Queso: Did someone say Queso?

  • In Doom: Hell on Earth, Arlene and Albert are out trying to find computer connectors for their hacker Jill. Arlene tells Albert that they shouldn't have any problems finding the jacks for Jill. She starts giggling when she catches it and Albert takes longer to figure it out.
  • A meta example snuck in Dora Wilk Series. In-universe, "pyr" is a powerful fire demon, and as Polish grammar rules go, female pyr is "pyra"... Which in Poland is also a regional name for potato.
  • In Brothers of the Snake, a Chaos cult called Children of Khorne bases itself on a planet whose main produce is... yes, corn. The local Inquisitor even lampshades it, but the pun goes over the heads of everyone else present.
  • In Hogfather, Ridcully asks the Chair of Indefinite Studies "Lares and Penates? What are they when they're at home?" The Chair interprets "at home" as a play on the fact they're household gods, but Ridcully's genuinely clueless.
    Chair: I thought you were making a rather good joke, Archchancellor.
    Ridcully: Was I? I didn't mean to.
    Dean: Nothing new there.

    Live Action Television 
  • One episode of Drake & Josh features the following exchange:
    Angry factory lady: Let the sushi roll!
    Josh: Haha, I get it. Sushi roll.
    Angry factory lady: That wasn't a joke. That was an unfortunate coincidental pairing of words.
  • In the QI segment about lobster-hypnosis, Stephen Fry commits some accidental mussel/muscle punnage, which is immediately jumped on by Phil Jupitus.
  • Blackadder: After the Prince seduces both nieces of the Duke of Wellington (played by Stephen Fry), he receives this letter:
    Sir, prince or pauper, when a man soils a Wellington, he puts his foot in it. [open brackets] This is not a joke. I do not find my name remotely funny and people who do end up dead. [close brackets]
  • An early episode of Have I Got News for You, with an Odd One Out round featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
    Ian Hislop: Didn't Tutu train in Hull?
    Angus Deayton: Tutu train? No, I don't think so...
  • A Super-Match posit on Match Game was "_______ Duty." The cast and crew were looking for other possibilities to fill in the blank ("Do Your Duty," "Civic Duty,") when someone offstage cracked "Howdy Duty." Gene Rayburn bought it and then discovered how hard he bit.

    Video Game 
  • The tutorial in LEGO Chess on getting in and out of check features this line:
    King: So can you check out — 'scuse me, that wasn't a joke — the spaces I can move to?
  • The way Hwoarang's name is pronounced in Tekken 6 and Street Fighter X Tekken is literally "how wrong" and strangely enough, that's exactly the case. The first syllable "Hwoa-" is supposed to be pronounced as "hwah" (which rhymes with "bwah," as in "BWAHahaha!") The second syllable "-rang" is pronounced just like the English word "rung."
  • In Dragon Age II, a potions shop in the Gallows is low on stock and the owner is looking for Hawke to "remedy that." Snarky!Hawke can point out the pun, at which the owner says it wasn't meant as a pun, but that he should remember it for future use.
  • In the Saints Row: The Third mission "Nyte Blayde's Return," Viola objects to having to dress as the Bloody Cannonness as part of a scheme to kidnap Josh Birk, star of a Show Within a Show and spokesman for S.T.A.G.
    Viola: I'm not making going out like this a habit!
    The Boss (Male Voice 1): See, you're already making nun jokes, I knew you'd get into this.
    Viola: I hate you.
  • In Ultima V Gazers are one of the many enemies borrowed from Dungeons & Dragons; resembling beholders. Starting this game, if you kill one, they release a swarm of insects. In other words, they're Bee-Holders. Word of God very strongly states that this was not intentional.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender admit they didn't really know that "Momo" means peach in Japanese until after they made the scene in which said lemur is named while holding a peach.
  • In the first episode of Gravity Falls, Mabel is propositioned by a bunch of gnomes that want to make her their queen.
    Jeff: So what d'ya say? Will you join us in holy matri-gnomey? Matri—matrimony! Blah, I can't talk today.
  • In The Legend of the Titanic, Smiley belongs to an Andalusian prince, making him an Andalusian dog. Considering the creators didn't even care enough to write a decent story, it's very unlikely they bothered to think up such a subtle reference.
  • In DC Showcase: Green Arrow, Perdita comments that "every queen needs a consort," unaware that Green Arrow's real name is Oliver Queen.
  • Dan Vs.: In "Canada", Chris expresses disbelief that a Mountie "lifted [his car] with his bare hands!" We find out later that in-universe, Canadians are half-bear.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Happens in the Halloween Episode when Mr. Cat criticizes Stumpy's ridiculous zombie impression.
    Mr. Cat (to Stumpy): We already told you, your zombie impression bites!
    • In the episode "Let's Play at Reading Books", Quack Quack slams a book in Mr. Cat's face by accident. When Mr. Cat tries to say his Catch-Phrase "Meow", it comes out as "Me..... OW".

    On This Very Wiki 
  • The word "straight" can come off as this on the Playing With pages for sexuality tropes. Occasionally, it's lampshaded with a link to this page. For example, the Straight Man does not need to be heterosexual nor male.
  • In a crossover with Accidental Innuendo, this can also happen on pages relating to anatomy as well, making the page sound far filthier than it really is.
  • Any time Jacob Black from Twilight is referred to as a "Dogged Nice Guy".
  • Every page for an individual Saints Row game begins with "The [number] of the Saints Row series". E.G., the page for Saints Row 2 begins with "The second of the Saints Row series". The accidental pun occurred when the third game was revealed to be titled Saints Row: The Third (which nominally represents the fact that the gang is called "The Third Street Saints", thus being an intentional pun that led to an accidental one).
  • The entry for "Brick Joke" on the page for The LEGO Movie is linked to this page before the trope explanation occurs.
  • On the page Esoteric Happy Ending, there is a pothole to Blue and Orange Morality that refers to Atlas and P-body from Portal 2, who are referred to as "Blue" and "Orange" respectively by GLaDOS.
  • The Soul Series features Nightmare, and one of their tropes involves the wielding of that sword going from a young man leading a band of thieves to the greatet evil in the world. That trope? From Nobody to Nightmare.
  • Light Yagami is the Villain Protagonist of Death Note and usually dresses in bright colors, to put on a trustworthy appearance. The result? Light Is Not Good.
  • On the flip-side to the above, Dr. Thomas Light is the Big Good of the classic Mega Man series, notable for his long and bushy white beard and white labcoat. You can pretty much say that Light Is Good.
  • Similarly, Princess Luna from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an Ensemble Darkhorse both in the sense that she's a popular secondary character and a dark-colored horse who's part of an ensemble.
  • The anime Code Geass contains an instance of a character attempting a Zero-Approval Gambit, which also coincidentally includes making the masked persona known as "Zero" approved by the populace. So it's a Zero-Approval Gambit in more ways than one.

Alternative Title(s): No Pun Intended, Pun Not Intended, Unintentional Pun