aka: Sight Gag
When a phrase which is usually used as a metaphor is instead done, and shown as being performed literally. This can be because The Ditz didn't understand the statement, or can just be a simple gag. Often considered one of those "old-fashioned" forms of comedy, so its use nowadays rarely does little more than "produce some smiles." (Unless children are watching; they love this style of humor, and will howl loud and long.) Occasionally this action can be performed literally but without much fanfare, implying what's going on. Can often be combined with a Literal Genie. Common versions include requests to "give me a hand" being met with disembodied hands and quotes of Marc Antony "lend me your ears" ... well ... use your imagination. These can be quite a nightmare for translators: purely textual puns can be rewritten into something else, but when the pun has a visual component (which usually cannot be changed), it becomes much harder or impossible to come up with something that makes sense. B Roll Rebus is when news and documentaries do this with Stock Footage. Compare Stealth Pun, which is sort of like a Visual Pun without the visuals. Of course, sometimes a Visual Pun can be a stealth pun. But, you know, they're stealthy about it. Supertrope to Rules Of The Road in cases where road signs are literal, not figurative, depictions of what's up ahead. See also Literal Metaphor which is often a Sister Trope.
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- Used in combination with Gratuitous English in a Blu-Ray commercial starring Kamen Rider Den-O's Momotaros, who refers to it as "Blu-Ray Disc". Cue a bunch of Blu-Ray boxes disco-dancing.
- Axe's Clean Your Balls campaign.
- The advert for the grand finale (For the Channel 4 series) of Big Brother UK had the text R.I.P. on a black background. Rather than an 'I', the show's logo was used in its place.
- Can switching to GEICO can really save you up 15% on car insurance? Did the caveman invent fire? Do woodchucks chuck wood? Does a 10 pound bag of flour make a really big biscuit? Is a bird in hand worth two in the bush? Did the Piggy go wee wee wee all the way home?
- A commercial for EDS (an informations and technology company since acquired by Hewlett Packard) used the metaphor herding cats to describe their services in an beautifully shot tv ad.
- The USA Network ads for Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe give a Title Drop right as Sam fallsnote . Doubles as a Stealth Pun.
- The A&E Network blitzed all their commercial breaks with multiple promos for the second season of The Glades, most of which showed the mutilation of a blood orange with murder weapons, including a bullet, arrows, and a cleaver.
- One Progressive ad involved a pair of representatives from another insurance company claiming to have one of the same services that Progressive does - as soon as they do so, their pants suddenly burst into flames. Also sort of a Stealth Pun, because no one actually calls out the "liar liar, pants on fire" thing.
- The logo for the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant features a buffalo with wings.
- An advertisement for a phone company had two girls promise a lap dance to two guys for Christmas (complete with a Something Else Also Rises Reaction Shot). Cut to the girls dancing a traditional Finnish dance and saying "This is how they dance in Lapland."
- In the Farmers' Insurance "University Of Farmers" campaign, one class takes place on a collection of roofs. One agent finds a fiddler on the roof.
- In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Farmers' Insurance sponsors Kasey Kahne's #5 Chevrolet. In another University of Farmers commercial, Kahne appears as himself and admires the insurance agents' custom-tailored fire suits. Another guy shows up late.... wearing a black track suit that has flames painted on it. Everyone looks at him with disapproval, and he says, "Ohhh... fire suit." Kahne then sprays him down with the fire extinguisher.
- Taunton Cider's Red Rock Cider was advertised on British television in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a series of spots paying homage to Police Squad!, directed by John Lloyd and featuring Leslie Nielsen reprising his role as Frank Drebin. Among the many stylistic lifts from Police Squad!, the adverts featured many visual puns (some recycled from Police Squad!). For example, upon entering a pub, Drebin passes a sign reading "Pool" and bumps into a man at a pool table - which turns out to be full of water.
- Stan Freberg's advertising agency Freberg, Ltd. had "The Great Seal," which was a seal wearing sunglasses. (This parody of old-fashioned corporate symbols was designed by Saul Bass.)
- One Honda commercial features a Honda Accord Coupe owner having a doctor examine his right foot, which turned as heavy and metallic as lead.
- Sir George Martin has his own coat of arms, with puns on himself, his career as a Record Producer, and rising to fame due to The Beatles: atop it is a house Martin with a recorder flute under his wing, and the shield has three beetles. To top it off, the motto is 'All You Need is Love' in Latin. Also his badge is a zebra bearing a crozier.
Anime and Manga
- In Eureka Seven's soccer episode, Eureka wears number 7.
- The girls from Magical Pokaan realize the girls from the Hot Springs Episode are not biologically so. Cut to a huge phallic rocket taking off.
- Near the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Greed destroys Father from the inside.
- The phrase "paying an arm and a leg" is taken very literally in this show.
- Or a certain big green monster
- The opening of Haruhi Suzumiya has Yuki ("snow") standing in the middle of the snow (though for the record, Yuki is actually written as "hope"). The light novels explain that it had been snowing when Yuki was given permission to have her own name, although this is kinda vague as it's described in really vague poetic symbolic odd prose written by Yuki during the short story.
- Hayate the Combat Butler gives us◊ "Suzumiya Haruhi no U2"note .
- Yotsuba&! does it from time to time, but whether she truly doesn't understand or is making a joke is up in the air:
- In one, she draws a tsukutsukuboshi as a little guy wearing a cap (because in Japanese, "boshi" is a homonym for "cap").
- When Miura identifies the groupings of stars as "seiza", Yotsuba kneels, because it's a homonym for both "constellation" and "kneeling position". In one translation the joke becomes about how the names of constellations sit well.
- Welcome to Lodoss Island, a series of omakes parodying Record of Lodoss War, has explanations underneath some of the comics, because puns in Japanese have a bad habit of turning into nonsensical absurdist gags when translated into English. For example, in one, Slayn tells Ghim that he's looking for his star, whereupon the dwarf produces a small lump on a stick and replies, "Your pickled plum?" Which is funny in English if you're into completely random shit happening because of translation, and funny in Japanese because "hoshi" (star) sounds sort of like "umeboshi" (pickled plum).
- Ninin Ga Shinobuden had truly terrible one involving "a furo" getting filled with an "afro". Even the characters point out how bad the joke is.
- In Code Geass, the Siegfried, the Knightmare that Jeremiah (alias Orange-kun) ends up piloting...is a giant orange.
- Goldfish Warning!: Any time Chitose says "my school" (Watashi no gakuen), cue the school for scrubbing brushes (Tawashi no gakuen), although that may just be Wapiko not being able to hear properly.
- Dia and Pearl's manzai verses from the Pokémon Special manga occasionally incorporate a visual pun for the punchline. This makes things even harder to translate to English in the fan translations.
- One example that does translate, if not incredibly accurately, is in the third episode of Pokémon. Kasumi (Misty), who is afraid of bugs, spots a Caterpie, and screams "MUSHI!" (bug). Satoshi (Ash), mishearing her, pops up in a cow suit, and comments "Ushi?" (cow). The English dialogue opted for, after Misty's scream, having Ash (in the cow suit) comment "Maybe it's a... Cow-terpie!."
- There's a spider in the Thriller Bark arc of One Piece. It had the head of a monkey and a verbal tick of 'Monkey.' Does this pun even make sense without knowledge of English?
- An example of this getting lost in translation, in Osamu Tezuka's Dororo, when Hyakkimaru's fake hand falls off after he grows a real one, he decides to bury it to show the limb respect, to which Dororo says, "hey, it's a hand-grave!" The joke, explained in the English version with an asterisk, is that Tezuka's name can be broken down into "Te," meaning hand, and "zuka," meaning grave.
- This composed a significant portion of the anime Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, resulting it it being nigh-incomprehensible when translated.
- Boku no Pico: In Pico to Chico (The second OVA), Pico and Chico are using a shaped vibrator. That same shape can be seen on CoCo's cellphone keychain, only this time it's a small dialing wand. This is also a kind of Continuity Porn.
- If something startling happens, and the screen is suddenly filled with fish. Understand that the onomatopoeia for surprise is "gyoh", which is also one of the words for "fish".
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai presents us with Maria Takayama who is a child, and a nun, who sees the main character as an older-brother type person in her life. I suppose that would make her... ugh... his little sister. Long way to go for such a groan worthy pun.
- In the first opening for Inazuma Eleven GO, we get a close-up of Matsukaze Tenma both times the line "Ten made todokeyou" occurs in the lyrics.
- In Japan Inc, Ueda admits he likes America, and his female boss comments: "He must be an alien." In this panel, he is drawn as The Alien.
- In episode 13 of Guilty Crown, you see Ayase reaching for a shoe on the floor. It becomes significantly funnier when you remember that the main character's name is Shu.
- Girls und Panzer:
- Amont the tanks of an utterly trashed Japanese-based team, you can briefly see an incredibly anachronic FT-KO.
- In a more noticeable example, Riko "Erwin" Matsumoto from Team Hippo has her hair constantly sticking out from beneath her hat in a manner reminiscent of fox ears, a reference to her namesake's nickname The Desert Fox.
- One Shugo Chara Chan! comic has the Guardian Characters wondering what the prince of flowers ("hana" in Japanese) looks like, and one of the princes is a nose (Also "hana" in Japanese). Ran says "That's not the right "hana" we're talking about!"
- After Kaede wordlessly laments her lack of chest in one end-of-episode short of Sakura Trick, we see this◊ title card.
- Highschool of the Dead: In episode 8, Saeko narrowly avoids two shots from a sniper rifle. The first one passes directly between her legs in Bullet Time, along with a gratuitous close-up of her panty covered crotch as the bullet just misses grazing her. Making it a literal Panty Shot.
- The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure: In the scene where Goering shreds Lupin's hang glider, Lupin saves himself by quickly stripping down to his boxers, then pulls them off just as a parachute deploys from between his ass cheeks.
- Mobile Suit Gundam has the White Base stop at the neutral Side Six. As a condition of entry, its weapons are literally secured with red tape. For those who missed it the first time, Bright complains in the next episode about the abundance of red tape getting in the way of repairs.
- The reason why Gorsky and Butch has a really slim chance of ever being translated to English...
- The delightful comic Pop Gun War had something approaching but not quite being a visual pun. The character Sunshine, a little person, informs another character that he will tell her a story along their trip. Upon being informed it's a short walk, he replies, "It's a short story." Thus, we have a short man on a short walk telling a short story. If nothing else, it was visual wit.
- Zenith Phase II sees a henchman, observing the main character, commenting "Strange...he has his mother's eyes." The Big Bad comments wryly, "Really?...I thought that WE did." Cue shot of a glass jar, with...well, guess what suspended in it.
- In the Anthology Comic The Beano in a Fatty Fudge strip (For a few dollops more) some outlaw cowboys say "we've got prices on our heads" whilst literrally having some prices drawn onto their heads (well hats).
- By Wilhelm Busch: Cousin Franz is drawn blackhanded in the picture with the Chocolate babies and their not-father. "Your wife, my kids" indeed.
- Moose Mason of Archie Comics is a gold mine for these gags. Here are a few:
- Girlfriend Midge is away on vacation, and Moose is depressed because she hasn't written to him yet? Archie tells Moose to make Midge jealous by sending her a picture of him surrounded by chicks. When Midge sees the picture, it's Moose surrounded by...baby chicks.
- When his car was elected for carpool to take to the beach, Moose turns his car into a pool (by filling it up with water).
- In V for Vendetta, at a certain point V is breaking into the television station to have his own recording broadcast. In the background, you see a number of other TV shows playing. One is a sitcom with lots of innuendo, including a woman commenting on her (literal) melons.
- In All-New Marvel NOW! Point One #1, a short vingette shows the Silver Surfer taking Dawn Greenwood to Planet Nautikos to see their centennial Festival of Light. Silver Surfer describes it as an event where the skies are filled with cosmic rays that are "[unlike]] anything on Earth". Indeed, those cosmic rays were quite impressive.
- When Rick Jones marries his girlfriend Marlo in Incredible Hulk shortly after she has come Back from the Dead, a barely-disguised version of DC Comics Death crashes the reception and gives Marlo a silver hairbrush.
- Nero: Also enjoyed making such jokes. Examples are Nero literally rolling up a gang of thieves (in a carpet) or seeing a head on a desk with the caption "head of the police". When Nero went in space he always saw a bunch of milk bottles flying around (the Milky Way) and a great bear floating in space (named after the star sign).
- Suske en Wiske: Wiske literally "burning with curiosity", Suske and Wiske followed by swans ("swans" is a nickname for police on motorcycles in Belgium),...
- AMV Hell 3 has a "MULTI KILL!"... only it's not three players being fragged in quick succession as per Unreal Tournament but rather Multi from To Heart killing.
- In The Return Of Chaos, Discord expresses that he's "Cracking himself up," followed by cracks actually appearing on his body with chips falling off.
- In Altered Histories Harry cast a disarming spell on a Polish thug which had a rather literal result.
Film - Animated
- One scene in the film Cars has twin fangirls Mia and Tia flashing their headlights in front of Lightning McQueen.
- The Cars short toon "El Materdor" actually portrayed bulldozers as acting like actual bulls (in the movie said short was based on, the role of bulls were portrayed by farm equipment).
- Alice in Wonderland: One of the animals living in Tulgey Woods appears to be a bird with an umbrella for a body. In other words, a literal umbrellabird. Also, the various insects that popluate the same area, such as Bread-and-Butterflies, Dog-and-Caterpillars, Rocking-Horseflies, and Copper-Centipedes.
March Hare: (after cutting a tea cup in half) Just half a cup, if you don't mind?
- The Unbirthday scene is chock full of them.
- In Robots, when Rodney's parents are "making" him (out of parts), there's the exchange below. Justified in that they're, well, robots.
Mr. Copperbottom: He's got your mom's eyes and my dad's nose. I knew we were smart to save those parts.
- Before they made the baby, Mr. Copperbottom was unfortunate to miss the delivery (the delivery car had just left) but fortunately for him "making the baby is the fun part"
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shen's nanny is portrayed as an elderly female goat. A female goat is called a nanny.
- In Hoodwinked, the Wolf disguises himself in sheepskin to interview his informant, a sheep named Woolworth, without disturbing the rest of the flock.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, at one point Ralph confronts King Candy, who puts on a pair of glasses he pulls out of Hammerspace and asks "You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?, would you?" Ralph proceeds to pull the glasses off and smack King Candy with the frames.
King Candy: You hit a guy with glasses... that's, that's well played.
- In The Princess and the Frog, the Fenner Brothers (the realtors selling the property Tiana wanted to buy for her restaurant) turn up at a costume party. There, they tell Tiana that she's been outbid, and that "a woman of your... background" probably wouldn't be able to maintain a high-profile restaurant anyway. All while dressed as a donkey, i.e. a jack-ass.
- Other examples occur throughout the movie. In the first musical number, the line "there's some sweetness goin' around" is accompanied by Tiana dusting pastries with powdered sugar while spun on a lazy susan.
- While in the swamp, Prince Naveen states his parents cut him off "for being a... LEECH!", and sure enough there's a leech attached to his arm.
- There was a rather dark one in The Little Mermaid. When Ursula sings the line "It's she who holds her tongue, who gets her man.", she tosses a human-looking tongue into her cauldron.
- In The Swan Princess, Prince Derek orders his musicians to dress up as animals so he can have target practice, and they're not happy about it (even if he is using blunt training arrows). Cue one saying "This masquerade is more than I can bear!" He's dressed up as a bear.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is full of this.
Flint: There's a leek in the boat!!! (Cut to a walking leek sitting in the boat.)
- Frozen: As Anna sings the lines "Imagine me tonight, gown and all- fetchingly draped against the wall!", she approaches a nearby drape, twirls, wrapping herself up in it, and then dramatically leans against the wall.
- In Hercules, during his song, Phil complains about getting "the greenhorn" while his horns are actually covered in green olives.
- In Anastasia, there's a literal Freudian Slip: Freud slips on a banana peel.
Film - Live Action
- Mel Brooks is a shameless user of visual puns:
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights,
- while addressing the assembled villagers, Robin says "lend me your ears". They promptly pelt him with (apparently human) ears.
- Earlier in the film, several slender men of middling stature in horse-racing clothes are seen mounted upon dromedaries. Those who don't get it is should know that camel jockey is a very derogatory term for a Middle Easterner.
- When Lone Starr and Barf try to "jam" the Spaceballs, they launch a giant jar of jam at Spaceball One's radar dish, causing raspberry jam to leak out of the control panels. (And prompting Dark Helmet's line "Raspberry! There's only one man who would dare give me the raspberry: Lone Starr!")
- And later, some mooks are told to "comb the desert" for survivors. They get out actual giant combs. Colonel Sandurz then glances at Dark Helmet:
Sandurz: Are we being too literal?Helmet: (through megaphone) No, you fool, we're following orders - we were told to comb the desert, so we're combing it! (puts down megaphone, turns to searchers) Find anything yet?Mook: Nothing yet, sir!...Helmet: What about you guys?
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights,
- As are Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker:
- "Okay, boys, let's take some pictures." (all the reporters run over to the wall and start pulling down the pictures hanging there)
- "Two more minutes! They could be miles off course." "That's impossible. They're on instruments!" (cut to jam session in plane cockpit)
- "When Kramer finds out about this, the shit's gonna hit the fan!" (SPLORCH! ...sssscHWOop!)
- Jars of mayonnaise line the shelves of the Mayo Clinic
- Among this film's visual puns, we also have a "drinking problem" (he can't put the glass to his mouth and ends up splashing the drink in his face) and an automatic pilot that proves very troublesome to those attempting to fly the plane.
- In Naked Gun 2˝:
- Pirates of the Caribbean:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Jack is attempting to pick a lock with a bone. It's a skeleton key.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Davy Jones' Locker is filled with crustaceans that normally appear as stones, or in other words, "Rock Crabs".
- A similar instance, involving Marvin's arm, was used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He wasn't at all amused, and complained that this made it hard to run the ship. This is one of the rare examples where the literal meaning was actually the desired one (Marvin's arm as a gun to threaten the Vogons).
- Which doesn't work the way they intended. As soon as they enter the building, brandishing the arm, the clerk simply asks if they're looking for the director of robot arm repair.
- Turns up in a lot of Marx Brothers routines. Harpo is usually responsible for the "literal" version.
- One particular instance is when he's trying to get into a secret room whose password is "Swordfish." When asked for the password, he promptly produces a fish and runs it through with a dagger, and is subsequently allowed in.
- And if you're playing poker with Harpo, don't ask him to "cut the cards" unless you're using an inexpensive deck.
- Groucho and Chico are running around trying to find a seal to make a document official. Harpo walks in and drops a live seal on the desk.
- Also, when someone proclaims "Three cheers!" he promptly walks in carrying three chairs.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
- Eddie Valiant orders a "scotch on the rocks" from one of the penguin waiters at the Ink & Paint Club, which is staffed by Toons; seeing this joke coming, he then shouts after the waiter, "And I mean ice!" When the penguin comes back with the order, the glass is full of scotch... and rocks, real ones. "Toons!" Eddie says in disgust.
- Later, in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, as Eddie drives into Toontown he runs over a pie with a cow's face on it: a "cow pie."
- Around the end, one of the weasels puts his hand in Jessica's cleavage, only to get caught in a bear trap. Hence Eddie's comment: "Nice booby trap!"
- And when it's revealed that Judge Doom is a villainous Toon, he literally "stares daggers" at Eddie.
- In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Sheik Amar, after running from a fight, hides behind a chicken coop.
- In one scene in The Muppet Movie, Kermit instructs Fozzie to "turn left at the fork in the road". Kermit is quite surprised to see a literal giant fork stuck in the road at the turn-off.
- In Hot Shots!, people repeatedly tell the main character that he has his father's eyes. He actually does have them and keeps them in a box in his pocket.
- In Hot Shots! Part Deux, one of the not-Iraqi soldiers is wearing a Holiday Inn towel instead of a turban. We have no idea how that one got by.
- In Addams Family Values, when baby Pubert is being admired in his bassinet:
Gomez: He has my father's eyes.
Morticia: Gomez, take those out of his mouth.
- In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the whole plot starts when one of the characters "kicks the bucket" and then knocks over a bucket in his death throes.
- Lover Come Back: "Believe me, the agency that lands this account is the one that shows the most attractive can." The scene then cuts to a certain part of a Chorus Girl's anatomy.
- In the classic Lovecraft-inspired horror-comedy Re-Animator, the Big Bad gets decapitated fairly early on, and then reanimated as a classic shambling carrier-of-one's-own-head. Toward the climax of the film, he abducts the female lead and straps her down to a surgical bench, and... well, the head gives her head. The writer was reportedly so pleased with this that he called the producer and said excitedly, "I've just written my first visual pun!"
- The Jerk - Navin is berating a waiter in an expensive restaurant: "Two boobs! That's what he takes us for!" We get a shot of Marie glancing down at her decolletage.
- At the end, we learn that Navin's family had to tear down their old house, but, happily, they built a bigger house to replace it. It's the exact same hovel as before, only scaled up about 40%, complete with an eight-foot-tall front door.
- In his opening narration for Love and Death, Woody Allen's character mentions the "valuable piece of land" owned by his father. We see an old man pulling a hunk of sod from inside his coat.
"This land is not for sale! Someday, I hope to build on it."
- Ricky I is absolutely remorseless in its use of visual puns. Reviewed by the Angry Video Game Nerd here.
- Speaking of the Angry Video Game Nerd, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie has Death Mwauthzyx kidnap Mandi using a giant magnet. "Chick Magnet!"
- In The Great Dictator, the emblem of Adenoid Hynkel and his followers is the Double Cross. Hilarious in Hindsight, given the even more blatant backstab a year later: Barbarossa.
- French film Coco is entirely made of gags performed by its main actor (a humorist in life), but there's one glaring instance of a visual pun: Coco's teenage son wants to show his firend the house's "porcherie" (pigsty). Viewers start wondering why a jewish man would keep swine in his house, until we see that it was actually a porscherie (a room chock-full of Porsche cars!)
- La cité de la peur (City of Fear) has a lot of this. Examples include: "C'est une vraie boucherie" ("it's like a butcher's shop", meaning that a crime scene is very gory: the policeman enters an actual butcher's shop, looks terribly shaken, and then goes to the actual crime scene), "Jetez-moi ici" ("drop me here"), "la place du mort" ("the dead man's seat", in reference to the front passenger seat. Cue corpse being pulled out of the car's boot.)
- Some elements during the pursuit along the beach also qualifies. And finally, the "tapette géante" (which is the same word for a giant fag and a giant mouse-trap).
- Evil Dead 2. After Ash laughingly cuts off his possessed hand with a chainsaw and sticks it to the floor with a knife, he traps it under a bucket. Thinking it might somehow escape, he places a stack of books on top. Featured prominently on top? A Farewell to Arms.
- A dissolve at the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes a molehill out of the Paramount mountain.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - which is marinaded in Videogame Tropes - has Scott walk off purposefully as a friend asks him what he's doing. He responds, "Getting a life," and snatches a 1-Up out of the air note
- The Dark Knight
- During the car chase on Lower Wacker Drive, the Joker sends Harvey Dent's convoy underground by blocking their path with... a fire truck. That is on fire. A fire truck. More like a visual oxymoron, but still...
- When asking the local mob leaders to contact him, the Joker leaves "his card," a generic Joker playing card.
- The Japanese crime comedy film Adrenaline Drive combines this and Stealth Pun. The hero and heroine end up stealing from a Yakuza money laundering operation. Since the money was covered in blood when they got it, they take it to a laundry mat to clean- thus, they engaged in some literal "money laundering".
- In Licence to Kill, the villain kills one of his own in a decompression chamber also filled with his money. When the guy explodes over the money, the villian, when asked what about the money, says "launder it."
- In Song of the South in it's first musical number, a couple of birds come to hum as backup music. They're "humming" birds.
- In the final segment in the anthology horror-comedy Chillerama, a man gets kicked so hard, he shits. So yes, he had the shit kicked out of him.
- The last shot of The Dark Knight Rises. John Blake is implied to be heir to the mantle of the Dark Knight, and as he stands on the platform in the Batcave... he rises.
- In Beetlejuice, after Betelgeuse protrudes spikes out of his body to stop being picked up while miniature, he starts feeling a little "anxious" and saunters towards a brothel conveniently located nearby.
- One of the driving themes in Skyfall is betrayal. In the end, the main villain is literally stabbed in the back.
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: The Doctor injects McCullen with nanomites to repair severe burns in his face, which turns silver, and right away the nanomites allowed the Doctor to control McCullen's, or Destro's, mind. Hence, the Doctor "regenerated" the Ninth Doctor.
- In Jack the Giant Slayer when the cooking giant is making pigs in a blanket, he uses actual pigs instead of hot dogs.
- Used for horror in Videodrome as Max's handgun becomes overtly literal later on. There's also a literal handgrenade at one point.
- Not really used for laughs, but there is an instance of visual pun in Man of Steel. At one point, Superman collapses onto all-fours due to exhaustion. Zod flies up to him and floats before him to taunt him a little. It took thirty-five years, but they finally had Superman kneel before Zod.
- In Star Trek, James T. Kirk literally walks into a bar.
- In Back to the Future, Biff Tannen and his gang simultaneously yell "SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" before crashing into the back of a manure truck, which is...well, shit.
- Outback Wawa seems borderline obsessed with this trope.
- The Where's Waldo? books have plenty of Visual Puns, which are spelled out in the checklists at the end of each book.
- Paul Jennings, Ted Greenwood and Terry Denton produced a series of Where's Wally type books called Spooner or Later, Duck for Cover and Freeze a Crowd. All of them, especially in Duck for Cover, ran on visual puns. The worst offender is the three-page spread involving gnus, with each one involving a "new" or "news" pun.
- Second place goes to the two pages of kings, each of which was a pun on the gerund form of a verb ending in "k" or "ke".
- When the Watch are arresting a villain in Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards!, Vimes tells Carrot to "throw the book at him". Carrot, who doesn't understand metaphor, lobs The Laws and Ordinances of Ankh-Morpork in the villain's direction, causing the villain to lose his balance and fall five stories to his death.
- The Amelia Bedelia series of illustrated children's books lives and breathes this trope; the titular maid is Literal-Minded, so every request made of her invariably results in an end product constituting a visual pun on the desired result. For example: Dress the chicken. Draw the shades. Dust the furniture (Amelia Bedelia even finds Dusting Powder in the bathroom!).
- In a rare serious example, at one point in Asimov's mystery novel The Naked Sun Baley the detective asks his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw (the "R." means he's a robot) to "give me a hand". This results in Olivaw briefly giving a puzzled look at his own hand, as if being asked to unscrew it and give it to Baley. This proves to be an important clue to solving the murder.
- In John C. Wright's Golden Age, the laws of the Oecumene are carved on the floor of the courtroom—set in stone.
- The books A Little Pigeon-Toadnote , The King that Rainednote , The Sixteen-Hand Horsenote , and A Chocolate Moose for Dinnernote , which are all about visual puns.
- Also, another book called Catbirds and Dogfish, which is supposed to be about animals with portmanteaus for names, actually depicts said animals as Mix-and-Match Critters (for example, the catbirds are all portrayed as cats with wings, and the dogfish are all portrayed as fish with bulldog heads instead of medium-sized gray birds and small, speckled sharks like in real life).
- How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers by Robert Williams Wood (available ) is composed almost entirely of plain puns "illustrated" by visual ones.
- In Wedge's Gamble, there's a bar on the lower levels of Coruscant called the Headquarters. Its marquee features a stormtrooper's helmet being torn into four pieces.
- In the Council Wars series, the teams responsible for infiltrating and securing potentially hostile beaches are primarily composed of Changed Selkies. In other words they are SEAL Teams.
- In the short story "The Cask Of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe , Fortunado asks if Montressor is a Mason, Montressor says he is. Fortunato asks for proof, and Montressor produces a trowel.
Live Action TV
- Wayne and Shuster used the "lend me your ears" gag as well in their famous 'Rinse the Blood Off My Toga' sketch.
"I said 'Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears!'""So what's in the sack?""Ears."
- Susan on Desperate Housewives spilled a bag of beans when she revealed a big secret, but they never said it out loud.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch did this all the time. In one episode, Hilda contracted "Punitis" and any time someone used a metaphorical expression like this, whatever it was would literally happen.
Hilda: I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse. (a horse appears beside her)Salem: Would you like fries with that?
- The animated adaptation had an episode focusing on "Cliche Week", a week where any cliches uttered by a witch would literally happen.
- The inhabitants of the Other Realm seem to LOVE puns - Every metaphor is taken literally for witches. When the Spellmans recieved a chain letter, it was a letter attached to an actual chain.
- Beakman's World
- Beakman praises Lester by saying "Give yourself a hand." Lester has one already in his ratsuit...
- In an episode about earwax, Beakman says "Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears!", and someone pushes a huge ear towards the stage.
- There are a lot of visual puns in this show... but then, there are a lot of puns, period.
- On Small Wonder, Vicki was notorious for misinterpreting idiomatic commands.
- On Get Smart, Max asks Hymie to get him a hand and the robot promptly begins to unscrew its left hand, then screws it in again after Max clarifies the issue. In another scene, he asks Hymie to "kill the light." The robot points his pistol at the lightbulb until Max stops him.
- In one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike is being stalked by a shark-headed demon he owes kittens to. A loan shark. Lampshaded in Angel: After The Fall when he is shown again: "The man's career path is based on a pun." And why kittens? The kitten thing was introduced a few episodes earlier at a demon poker game. Where they played for kittens. Another name for the pot is the kitty.
- In the first season of Strangers with Candy, Jerri finds out she needs braces. As she protests that she doesn't want them, the dentist says, "Nobody wants braces, Jerri, but I'm afraid that's something you're going to have to learn to live with," and stands up, revealing the metal brace on his knee.
- Red Dwarf: the crew is disoriented due to things shifting around them (like the ship becoming transparent) due to passing through a reality-warping minefield. Lister says they'll be alright so long as they "keep their heads"...upon which there's a flash and they all have huge animal heads.
- At the beginning of the eighth season, they're flying a miniature Starbug through the vents of the reconstructed Red Dwarf and end up piloting it up a rat's backside.
Holly: I hope we don't get stopped by the cops: they don't like it when you're rat-arsed.
- At the beginning of the eighth season, they're flying a miniature Starbug through the vents of the reconstructed Red Dwarf and end up piloting it up a rat's backside.
- On 30 Rock, Floyd is griping about missing a promotion. "I'm so sick of New York, I'm sick of the rat race!" Cut to a shot of Floyd's apartment building, where a bunch of guys are racing rats down the hallway.
- On Top Gear, Hammond once used a pie placed next to a key to describe himself.
- Police Squad! (also by Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker) had so many that cataloging them all could be an article in itself.
- In one episode, Frank Drebin sits on a barstool that's too low, then when the bartender asks what he'd like, he says "Screwdriver." The bartender hands him an actual screwdriver from a toolbox; Drebin uses it to raise the barstool, then he orders a drink.
- The police are said to be looking through the records of recently released prisoners - in the background, several cops are examining vinyl LP's.
- Drebin follows a lead to the Club Flamingo, which has a mechanical sign of a man hitting a large pink bird with a cosh.
- The rich family's Japanese Garden consists of Japanese people standing in large pots.
- On the old Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, Carson often did a sketch called "The Teatime Movie" where he played movie host Art Fern, who also did the commercials. Whenever he had a map for direction to the advertiser's store, you could expect the 'fork in the road' visual gag. Either that or the 'Slausen Cutoff' joke.
- In one episode of Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, the Sheriff is collecting taxes. This includes a large carpet (the carpet tax) and a small mint (the Tic Tax).
- In an MTV Movie Awards skit parodying The Da Vinci Code, Andy Dick (playing a wannabe Silas) fails to kill Jimmy Fallon at first attempt, and upon inquiry, muses "Well, I have another plan, but I have yet... to hatch it." Then he pulls out a hatchet, prompting Fallon to quip "May I axe what it is?" It doesn't end well for him.
- In Noah's Arc, at the start of the second season Noah is trying to figure out if Malik is the one. His friends tell him to kiss him, and if the earth moves he knows its love. Noah kisses him, and an actual earthquake occurs.
- Raumschiff GameStar (Spaceship Gamestar), a science-fiction/game parody made by the staff of German PC Gaming magazine Gamestar, has those on every possible occasion. Most consist of Captain Langer ordering his crew around, and when his orders get executed literally, responding "Oh Gott, wir werden alle sterben!" ("Oh god, we're all gonna die!"). This has become a case of Memetic Mutation in the German gaming community.
- In Look Around You, the signs warning about the Helvetica Scenario use the Helvetica font.
- Blackadder II
Baldrick enters holding the front door under his arm
Blackadder: Baldrick, I would advise you to make the explanation you are about to give phenomenally good.
Baldrick: Well, you said "Get the door"...
Blackadder: Not good enough, you're fired!
- In The Monkees episode "Monkees Marooned", one of the boys gets an actual tongue-lashing, beaten with a giant rubber tongue.
- In the second episode of Breaking In, the team steals a safe containing a thumb drive...shaped like a human thumb.
- Doctor Who:
- Autons shoot people with 'handguns' - as in, their hands literally are guns.
- The fourth Doctor deals with one peril by physically hurling a lit lantern while saying "Let's throw some light on the subject."
- The prison that River Song is in is called Stormcage. Outside her "cage," there's a storm going on consistently.
- In "The Girl Who Waited", Amy says she disarmed a robot. Rory asks how, then looks at the robot... it has no arms.
- In "Pond Life", the Doctor is toasting a savoury griddle product when a naked woman approaches him — and he can't take his eyes off the crumpet.
- A multi-layered one in "Day of the Doctor". A future incarnation of the Doctor suggests, without explicitly saying so, to his past self that he should go and search for Gallifrey. When the present Doctor asks him if that's what he's saying he's going to do, the future Doctor taps on his nose (in the gesture indicating 'on the nose'), while repeating "who knows?". This works as a verbal Pun ("'Who' knows") while also confirming his identity ("'Who'-Nose").
- The Saturday Night Live digital short "3-Way" has Andy Samberg singing about meeting a girl who "likes the way I knock on her boots" - Cut to him hitting a pair of hiking boots with a stick.
- On Glee in "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" "She's Not There" by the "Zombies" is performed in full zombie makeup
- A frequent occurrence on The Muppet Show, especially with the Swedish Chef (his "Chicken in a Basket" involves dribbling the chicken and shooting it into a basketball hoop) and the Newsreader (when he announced that the price of beef fell today, a cow landed on him). One of their most notable examples was the "Muppet News International" sketch where British comic Spike Milligan mimed the newsreader's stories, starting with "Things look grim—"(Spike stares sternly at the camera). And when the newsreader mentioned that "eyebrows were raised", Spike removed his eyebrows and replaced them a little higher on his forehead.
- Merv Griffin Enterprises (The Merv Griffin Show, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy) used a griffin◊ in the logo.
- In a chapter of Castle, Beckett and Castle have to go to a male striptease in order to arrest a suspect of the killing of a male stripper. The show at the moment is of strippers dressed as firemen, and one of them is the suspect. Beckett tells the suspect to "cool off", but he doesn't listen, and all the strippers surround Beckett. Then Castle appears with a fire extinguisher and cools them down enough for her.
- Episode 2 has a woman find a body after trying to remove someone else's clothes from a dryer after she becomes tired of waiting to dry her own clothes. One of the detectives makes a joke, saying this is why you don't go poking around in other people's "dirty laundry".
- A visual Stealth Pun (perhaps even an accidental pun); during the Big Damn Kiss in "Always", Castle pushes Beckett against the door, closing it behind them as they continue kissing. As Beckett has been known to say in the past, "Shut the front door!"
- Meta example from Battlestar Galactica here.◊ Yes, they actually did that.
- In the series itself, when Helo and "Boomer" are hiding in an abandoned restaurant, Helo loads a shiny chrome toaster with bread. Then the Cylons come by. They're about to leave, having missed Helo hiding inside, when... *POP* goes the toaster. Combine this with the established derogatory epithet for cylons, "toaster", to complete the visual pun: Helo was betrayed by a toaster.
- In the "A Scandal in Belgravia" episode of Sherlock, Watson at one point refers to Mycroft's "bloody stupid power complex," immediately followed by a shot of the Battersea Power Station.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus made occasional use of this trope. One example was the animated link "One Dozen Communist Revolutions." One of the scenes in "The Bishop" sketch also showed a bishop cdiagonally across a checkered floor.
- The MythBusters are not above this either. To whit, when they were firing automatic weapons into a pool with a cube-shaped ballistics-gel target at the bottom:
Adam: The box jellyfish is one of the most lethal foes you'll encounter in your average swimming pool.
- The MC Bat Commander and Jimmy the Robot play Fantasy Football in The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "Pilgrim Boy!", except the kind they're playing is a sports video game with wizards and dragons.
- In one episode of Grimm, Nick and Monroe have a walk together in the park. Specifically, a park for walking dogs.
- From the Miss Universe 2012 national costume pageant: Miss China◊.
- Pointed out in-universe on Elementary. Sherlock mocks up a map of the city in lockdown due to an oncoming blizzard and inadvertently uses locks to represent certain points in the city. When Joan points it out, he gets indignant.
- From the third episode of The Steam Video Company, we get this exchange.
Waiter: There's a queue outside for the alphabet soup.Chef: Bring them in!(waiter brings gigantic Q over)Chef: Oh, jolly good. (puts it in a saucepan — music starts) Ah! It was a Q for a song!
- El Chapulín Colorado saying that there is nothing wrong with wearing glasses, because even him needs them. He takes out a pair of glasses with a plug and when asked what were those: "My contact lenses."
- Later he was seen reading the paper with them, and actually plugged in.
- Used by Penn & Teller: Bullshit! to get around legal issues. In the episode on multi-level marketing schemes, after describing how these companies operate, the show cuts to Penn and Teller, dressed as pharaohs and standing in front of a picture of the pyramids, angrily asking why they can't call them what they are.
- Warehouse 13 is fond of using visual puns in its title cards (the ones that introduce new locations). One scene set in Boston had the letter S throwing the letter T and throwing it into the harbor.
- In Person of Interest episode "God Mode", Shaw tells Reese that she'll be driving the Ferrari they have just found and hands him a shotgun.
- In 'Allo 'Allo! when the General went on a particularly long and bizarre rant, Bertorelli stood up behind him and waved a bunch of bananas in air in silent commentary of the General's mental state.
- In Salem, George Sibley literally has a frog in his throat
- During the Road So Far portion of the season finales on Supernatural, the clips often produce a Stealth Pun when paired with the lyrics of "Carry on Wayward Son" which plays. For instance, during the words "lay your weary head to rest" scenes of multiple beheadings were played, and during "I flew to high" we saw Sam flying through the air from a punch.
- In the Dexter episode Shrink Wrap, Dexter kills a psychiatrist who enjoys convincing his patients to commit suicide. He does it in his usual manner - by restraining him to a table with thin sheets of plastic while he tortures him. Therapist. Plastic wrap. Shrink wrap! It's even the name of the episode.
- Many album covers are built around visual puns based on their titles. For example, the cover of Moving Pictures, an album by Canadian rock band Rush, features up to three different puns: a group of men carrying paintings from a museum, as in moving the pictures, a group of women crying at the sight of the paintings, being moved by said pictures, and a person filming the whole thing, making a moving picture.
- The cover image of another Rush album, Permanent Waves, also has visual puns related to the title. There is a wave of water, the man is waving his hand, and the fabric of the woman's clothing is waving in the wind; all of these "waves" are permanent because it's a photograph. Also, "permanent wave" is the name for the woman's hairstyle.
- Tom Lehrer's comedy song "Bright College Days" includes the line "To thee we sing with our glasses raised on high". When performing the song live Lehrer would illustrate the line by removing and holding up his spectacles, a joke unfortunately robbed of impact on recordings.
- In the music video to "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Fat", there is a section where Al and friends start running in one direction while yelling "Hoooo!"... at which point one of the backup dancers hands Al a hoe.
- The Michael Jackson video "Leave Me Alone" (originally part of Moonwalker) includes a few scenes that involve dogs wearing business suits. In other words, "corporate dogs".
- Blink182 Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (already a Punny title) has on its cover a traffic light. Red = a plane ("Take off"), Yellow = pair of jeans, Green = jacket.
- Queensr˙che's Hear In The Now Frontier: While the "now" part isn't really represented, the cover features ears in jars spread out across, well, an Old West frontier.
- In Psalty's Singalongathon Maranatha Marathon Hallelujah Jubilee, Psalty's wife trips on a bucket that was left on stage. The bucket's purpose: helping the kids carry a tune.
- The cover of REM's Lifes Rich Pageant is a picture of bassist Bill Berry coupled with a picture of some bison, as a visual pun on "Buffalo Bill". This also qualifies as a Stealth Pun, since the cover art has nothing to do with the album title, and the actual words "Buffalo Bill" don't appear anywhere else either.
- Roger Daltrey's Tommy Reborn Tour is accompanied by an animation projected onto a screen behind the band. We start with an ovum being fertilized by a sperm, which then turns into a red, white and blue ball, which is then dropped into the eye of a bird, representing Tommy Walker's conception. After Captain Walker goes off to war, we see various stylized images of a battle field including the Bird!Tommy carrying a Thompson Submachine gun in it's feet. That is to say, it has a Tommy gun.
- Van Der Graaf Generator's album A Grounding in Numbers has a cover illustration of the circuit diagram symbol for "ground" over a background of 0s and 1s.
- Brad Paisley plays a guitar with a paisley pattern on it.
- The cover of REO Speedwagon's "You Can Tune A Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish" shows a fish with a tuning fork in its mouth.
- The cover of Blue Oyster Cult's Agents Of Fortune depicts a tuxedo-clad man who's probably meant to be a Tuxedo and Martini spy holding up some tarot cards - thus a (secret) agent of fortune (-telling).
- Pavement's video for "Cut Your Hair" involves each of the members waiting in line to get haircuts and having some wacky occurrence happen when they get to the barber's chair. When Mark Ibold approaches the chair, he sneezes out a cat, which he then gives away to the barber - at the time Ibold was also in a band called Free Kitten.
- Erasure's "A Little Respect" video is full of visual puns on the song's lyrics: for instance, whenever Andy Bell sings "I'll be forever blue", his face becomes tinted blue, and the word "soul" is represented with a sign from the 1988 summer Olympics in Seoul, and also with soles (as in bottoms of shoes, as well as fish).
- The cover of Squeeze's East Side Story has the second "e" of the band name in a much smaller font size than the rest of the letters - thus, it looks like that letter is being "squeezed" in the middle of the word.
- The Hipgnosis studio frequently created images that were literal interpretations of figures of speech. Some examples:
- Pink Floyd's A Nice Pair used artwork that consisted entirely of visual puns, beginning with the front cover which depicted a nude woman (with a "nice pair" of breasts) holding up a fruit (a "nice pear")."Frog in the throat", "Laughing all the way to the bank", "Fork in the road", etc. (Not to mention the innuendo-laden "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".)
- Climax Blues Band's Tightly Knit: "Put a sock in it".
- Capability Brown's Voice: "Zip your lip".
- Prototype's self-titled album◊: "A little birdie told me".
- A press ad◊ for Roy Harper's Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion in which the singer praises himself depicts him with a literal swelled head. There's also an illustration of a bull shitting at the bottom of the ad.
- UFO's Force It has a cover illustration of a room containing many faucets.
- Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits had artwork referencing The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, a famous murder of mob associates - thus, it's a play on "hit" as in an assassination.
- Why does Mudhoney's Piece Of Cake cover art include a slice of birthday cake sitting inside a public restroom urinal? Well, one term for a urinal deodorizer block is a "urinal cake".
- AC/DC's Fly On The Wall: not only does the cover depict an actual fly on an outhouse wall, but the title, which is rendered as carved Bathroom Stall Graffiti, has a peephole with someone looking in where the "y" would normally be: So, "Fl(eye) On The Wall".
- Leon Russell's Hank Wilson's Back, Vol. 1, recorded under the pseudonym Hank Wilson: The album cover is a collage depicting the artist performing in front of an audience, facing away from the camera. So, in other words, the cover depicts "Hank Wilson's back".
- Cledus T. Judd parodied Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup" as "Double D Cups". The video for his parody features several extras drinking out of red Solo cups in one scene.
- Here in Dilbert, Phil, The Prince Of Insufficient Light darns a man to Heck with his spoon. No, not his giant spoon. Much worse.
- A The Far Side strip shows a couple driving around with a map of Nowhere, approaching a sign that reads "Now Entering The Middle."
- An early Calvin and Hobbes strip features Calvin showing Hobbes an "antelope"... by taking him over to an anthill, pointing to one, and saying "See, she's climbing down the ladder to her boyfriend's car!" Hobbes is not amused.
- Garfield: This strip featured Frank, a friend of Jon's, meeting Garfield for the first time and rubbing him. Garfield reacted violently and stated "Some people rub me the wrong way".
- Dykes To Watch Out For #346, before the 2000 election:
Ginger: “Vote for Nader and you’ll get what you deserve. Bush.
Which is exactly where the croquet ball ends up.
- An Inside Woody Allen strip features a store which runs on this trope. Suitcases are shaped like hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds; hand mirrors have a thumb and four fingers, etc. When Woody says that he'd like to complain to the manager because it's "too literal" the clerk points to a door marked "Head Office" which is shaped like a person's head.
- Done in Bally's Dr. Dude with the Gift of Gab, which is a gift-wrapped box with a mouth on it.
- In Bally's Capt. Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, one of the triangle bumpers has a large-breasted woman holding a sign that reads "Feel Them Bumpers".
- WhizBang Pinball's Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons has several:
- A horse on the playfield gets its flatulence lit by a match, making it a hot ass.
- On the backglass is a collie dog playing with a melon; maybe he's feeling melon-collie?
- Fish Tales shows a string of six fish, each holding rulers, pencils, and textbooks - in other words, a school of fish.
- The backglass for Earthshaker! shows a yuppie being ejected out of his car; "YUP E" is written on his tie.
- In Scared Stiff, the television set on the backglass has a rabbit on top of it, with its rabbit-ears antenna.
- A fairly obvious one shows up in Guns N' Roses, as the left plunger is shaped like a blooming rose, while the right plunger is a pistol gun grip.
- The various activities of Silverball Mania occur under the watchful eye of a Wizard Classic, shown holding a pair of pinballs in his outstretched hands. This makes him a Pinball Wizard.
- In Capcom's unreleased Kingpin, using an extra ball is accompanied by the display showing a tiny mobster with butterfly wings, a.k.a. a "Fairy Godfather."
- Munchkin is rife with these. For example, the card "Steal A Level", where the card's effect is that you steal a level, as in the gaming term, from an opposing player. The illustration is someone stealing a level, as in the tool.
- In Magic: The Gathering:
- The symbol for Phyrexia sets greatly resembles the Greek letter Phi. As in, Phi-rexian.
- Look at the illustration for Bronze Calendar. It's a bronze colander.
- The Revised Edition game manual included Richard Garfield's account of the creation of the game. He mentions that the pre-release version used placeholder art for the cards, including a few of these. For example, "Heal" was a photograph of someone's foot, while "Power Sink" showed Calvin sitting in a toilet, "because what is a toilet except a power sink?"
- Foresee depicts a four-eyed woman.
- The Haunted Mansion has the opera singers as a visual pun on The Phantom of the Opera, and the Grand Ballroom scene contains a ghost of Caesar, as in "Great Caesar's ghost!"
- Muppet*Vision 3D had Waldo, the new 3D Muppet, allowing his nose to jump off his face, grow legs, and start dashing in circles. "Don't cha just hate it when your nose runs?"
- In Persona 4, Teddie's Persona is named after Kintoki-Douji, a mythological figure who carried a tomahawk. Teddie's Persona carries a Tomahawk missile.
- The Megaten games also have the rather NSFW Mara, whose name translated from its Japanese colloquialism means "Penis." You can guess what it is for yourself.
- It also fits the original depiction too; Mara is the name of a demon that tried to "tempt" to Buddha while the latter was meditating. Kazuma Kaneko's depiction of Mara is a penis (sexual temptation)note drawing a chariot (temptation to do aggressive and violent things) made of gold (greed).
- In the original Persona and Persona 2, Vice-Principal/Principal Hanya's face is based on a Japanese Hannya mask. Luckily enough for the English-language versions, this also gives him an over-the-top Sadist Teacher look.
- The Megaten games also have the rather NSFW Mara, whose name translated from its Japanese colloquialism means "Penis." You can guess what it is for yourself.
- The Left 4 Dead box art is a fine example: a dead left hand with 4 fingers (thumb ripped off). The sequel takes it a step further: two of the fingers are bent.
- At one point in the game, in the DLC "Crash Course", you will walk past some very big fuel-holding tanks. One of the survivors, a biker named Francis, will then exclaim: "Look guys, we're passing gas!".
- In Portal, as GLaDOS says "despite your violent behavior", her randomly flashing screens pause on a picture of a violin, and when you destroy the morality core, they flash to a picture of a couple of screws.
- Prismatology, from Sam and Max alludes to the phrase "technicolor yawn;" the Gastrokenisis talisman, as well as the cover of "Emetics," is depicted as a man vomiting a rainbow, and it makes other character vomit in technicolor as well.
- Record of Agarest War has one enemy named Jumbo Cock. It's a giant chicken!
- In Advanced V.G. II, Satomi's taunt animation has her wipe her forehead with the back of her hand. Then shows off by posing with one hand on her hip, while briefly emitting a miniature flame in the palm of her other hand (i.e. she's literally Playing with Fire).
- Bonus: She's actually mimicking Kyo Kusanagi's taunt pose from The King of Fighters. It's the same pose, except he wags his finger while emitting a miniature flame from the tip of it. So they're both doing it.
- Zone of the Enders gave us cockpits taken a bit too literally.
- Touhou has Parsee Mizuhashi, a Green-Eyed Monster. Take a wild guess as to what her eye color is.
- Parsee also has a visual Stealth Pun going on: She's a Persian (hashihito) bridge princess (hashihime).
- At the end of the Duke Nukem 3D level "Pigsty", after fighting their way through a court room, you find a room containing... wait for it... a hanged jury.
- Olive Specter from The Sims 2 is a literal Black Widow (as in, she's black, not that literally).
- Most levels in the first world of New Super Mario Bros. Wii have rolling hills, yet a couple of levels take this literally.
- In the original Super Mario Bros game, Fire Flowers are known as hi-banas in Japanese, and the Japanese word for "fireworks" is hana-bi.
- The title of VVVVVV doesn't just refer to the six members of Captain Viridian's crew. It also refers to your most common obstacle.
- In Katawa Shoujo, there is one that refers to something that was cut from the final game. In Hanako's good ending, the final images involve the camera zooming out from Hanako kissing Hisao until it is looking at the two from the inside of a bakery, with two muffins inside. This was supposed to imply that Hanako became pregnant (having "a bun in the oven") as a result of their having sex, but the scene was revised so that Hisao uses protection, and there is no indication that it failed.
- The icon representing the passive Shaman ability, "Mental Quickness" in World of Warcraft is a picture of a brain running around on little legs.
- While exploring the insides of people's minds and mentalities in Psychonauts, you will find several hatboxes, duffelbags, and purses that all bear sad, sobbing faces. That's right, Emotional Baggage!
- The Quest for Glory series is made of this trope. There's scarcely a scene that goes by without some sort of sight gag. Gnomes (Keapon Laffin, Punny Bones and Gnome Ann) especially are prone to this, and the gags in general are affectionately nicknamed "Silly Clowns" both by the fandom and within the games themselves. The Clown himself actually cameos in Quest for Glory III.
- In Jet Set Radio Future, Professor K describes Gum as "A real cool lady who leaves a trail of broken hearts wherever she goes". In Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, Gum's All-Star move involves her literally leaving a trail of broken hearts on the track.
- Also, in the PC version of Transformed, Pyro, Heavy, and Spy are playable characters. Spy takes over driving in the plane segments. Notice: Spy Plane.
- In Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Layton's childhood friend Randal Ascot wears an ascot. The Masked Gentleman also has a visual pun, but it's spoilerific: he's Randal Ascot, and he's still wearing an ascot!
- From Guilty Gear Xrd, we have Elphelt Valentine. In keeping with the series' rock-and-roll theme, she wields guns and wears a dress decorated with roses.
- In the Neptunia series, the CPUs' bust sizes are a play on the relative sizes of their consoles, from flat and bitter about it Blanc to XBOX HUEG Vert.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy VII's Sephiroth is THE One-Winged Angel. The problem is, Kingdom Hearts already has enough Disney OWA bosses, and Dissidia would have to stop and load every time he entered EX Mode if they used his Safer form. How do they get around this? Simple: give him a single black angel wing and turn him into That One Boss.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has the Lilties, a race of onion-resembling people who are the greatest knights and fighters in the world with their spears. Some actually fail to notice that it's an entire race making a visual pun on the class of Onion Knights from previous games in the Final Fantasy series.
- Intake is a puzzle/arcade game where the player shoots at multi-colored capsules to make them explode into glitter. Or, to put it more simply, it's about "popping pills".
- The Lego Adaptation Game series has a few examples.
- In Lego Harry Potter, in the Hufflepuff common room, you cast a spell on two pillows and they fight each other.
- In Lego Harry Potter 2, you have to bring a dying Snape a bucket to see his memories. When he actually dies, he kicks it.
- In Lego The Lord of the Rings, when King Theoden says "My body is broken", the legs have literally broken off his minifig.
- In Lego Indiana Jones, there are puzzles you have to solve by getting items from monkeys. Mostly, they're wrenches.
- One of the maps in Cel Damage, Shooting Stars, has a shower spout with meteors pouring out of it.
- Mishap 2: An Intentional Haunting has one which shades heavily into Black Comedy. After Larry Lerpis, aka "The Savage Romeo" fights a wrestling robot built by one of the main characters, he announces that now that he's proven he wasn't just a phony, he can hold his head up high. And since his neck was elongated by the accident which killed him, he proceeds to do exactly that.
- After the abysmal reaction to the original ending of Mass Effect 3, BioWare released the Extended Cut DLC for free, which contained both new and extended cutscenes plus an epilogue to make the ending make a little more sense. In one such cutscene, Shepard is charging to the beam with his/her crew when they are hit by Harbinger's laser, causing a nearby Mako armored-personnel carrier to flip over and injure a crew member. Shepard jumps over the wrecked Mako to save that person. In other words, s/he jumped the shark.
- Combined with a Lame Pun Reaction in Brain POP's Hiccups video, after Moby gets the hiccups.
Tim: They're gone, huh? I didn't even know you had a vagus nerve!(Moby reveals a Las Vegas slot machine in his compartment)
- How to Kill a Mockingbird uses a pickle to represent Dill.
- In the web animation Star Crafts based on Starcraft, the Terrans dress up for Halloween. Guess which unit dresses up as a ghost?
- The Welcome to series has a lot of these. Boobies are represented by the birds, and the user in the Facebook video is a duck named "Duck Fayce".
- Homestuck has one in Act 6 for John and Nanna. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, after all.
- In Irregular Webcomic!, there's a recurring strip with the (literal) Writer's Lego Block.
- In The Heroes of Middlecenter, "Could somebody give me a hand?" while fighting zombie ninjas (sadly apparently Lost Forever like the rest of the site). Was included in the amateur video that spawned the comic.
- In General Protection Fault, a similar example to the Muppet Movie above happens, save that the characters in question come across a fork(); in the road.
- Generally speaking, though, forking a process involves taking both paths—the original process one, the newly spawned offspring another.
- Life And Death has a long, wonderful history of puns, visual and otherwise. Even several characters owe their mere existence to visual puns, like "love is blind," and such. Lampshaded as often as not, but hey. Tropes Are Not Bad.
- Three of these in a single strip of Sandra and Woo, all involving Woo's name in conjunction with movie or TV series titles.
- Dominic Deegan has this splash page
- The Order of the Stick
Redcloak: Just hang it anywhere.
- The strip "The Polearm Shop" has a snake slither in in the last two panels. The entire strip is an homage to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Fox News is an actual fox.
- After Redcloak lampshades the stupidity of the Order of the Scribble having to be ignorant about the protection of each other's gates due to their distrust of each others, a hobgoblin presents a lampshade to him.
- In the Gunnerkrigg Court side-story City-Face 2, the titular pigeon, who believes he is turning into a human businessman, is told "Every human businessman needs one of these" and given a blackberry. Which he eats.
- Gunnerkrigg Court also features a decidedly non-humorous example in the main storyline. Mort's death is depicted with an exploded diagram of a bomb.
- The Author Avatar in DAR describes herself as a "fairly hairy girl" in one strip, then proceeds with six panels involving various ways of shaving . . . a cat. This is returned to in a later strip at a waxing party, where all the girls are drawn as carrying cats and a guy is drawn as carrying a squirrel.
- In Dubious Company, Walter and Tiren get shipwrecked and their primal instincts kick in. Walter builds a house while Tiren hunts for food.
- This Cyanide and Happiness comic; don't slip.
- The Whiteboard: Like many a Time Travel story, a time travel arc in May 2011 contains a pair o' Docs.note
- VG Cats once dropped a very literal F-bomb.
- Diglett and pals is just a series of strips with visual puns on Pokémon attack names. One example would be a Voltorb attempting to flee from a fight with a Diglett who summons an arena in order to trap the Voltorb, this is followed by the text "Diglett's arena trap prevents escape".
- In Rusty and Co. when Gelatinous Cube seizes the Belt of Genre Changing, the result in the next panel is naturally... Cubism.
- Girl Genius brings us, among others, a Battering Ram.
- And in a holiday filler page, Santa Klaus.
- Hello With Cheese consists almost entirely of visual puns.
- In El Goonish Shive, the Writer's Block is a fairly common Running Gag in the Sketchbook section.
- Vampire Cheerleaders at one point has Captain Nemo captaining a submarine in the shape of a giant spiral shell.
- Many occur in X Why, not always math related.
- This Lightning Made of Owls strip has Ambrose on a line that is tangent to a cubic function, while talking to a calculus class about something irrelevant.
- The snarky video game reviews of Zero Punctuation consist of an almost constant string of these.
- During the God of War: Chains of Olympus review, he subverts it. When describing Kratos' behavior as "incongruous" the screen cuts to the text "A word I can't fucking illustrate."
- The previous image for this page illustrated his comment that Super Mario Galaxy had "many interesting levels" with Mario looking at a pile of spirit levels and saying "How interesting." This was such a groaner that Yahtzee lampshaded with a big sign reading "VISUAL PUN".
- Much like Yahtzee, The Game Overthinker often uses this, though he does this in combination with Running Gag, such as using a picture of The Question when he uses the word question, using Shigeru Miyamoto for God, using a picture of a butt for but and others.
- This YouTube video, at around the 1:15 mark.
- Dr. Horrible used a trans-matter ray to steal some gold "in bar form" that got liquefied in transit and ended up in a freezer bag, looking like nothing so much as soup broth. That smells like cumin, no less. (They never say it out loud, but what he's got is a bag of "gold bouillon.")
- The Angry Video Game Nerd does a few from time to time, like in the last part of his Castlevania retrospective:
AVGN: So, you've got the canon of the games, with the canon of the novel - it's like taking two canons and putting them together!
- The last line is accompanied by two cannons put together.
- This game is shitting me.
- You want Genesis? You can have Genesis.
- It's time to start dropping some F-bombs! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
- The Nostalgia Critic once is reminded to bring up the suicide of The NeverEnding Story 2's lead actor by someone who he's been ignoring for a while, who's been in the room for a while, and happens to be an elephant. An elephant in the room, if you will.
Spoony: "Man, this dimension sucks!"Linkara: "Oh, don't be so negative."
- The Nostalgia Chick's Showgirls review has a running gag of censoring the movie's frequent breast shots with, well, boobies.
- In the Crisis Crossover storyline Kickassia, the Critic assures his "army" that "I got you all a hotel room". Cut to the large group of people- in A hotel room.
- In the Nostalgia Chick's Labyrinth review, to point out a Running Gag (namely, Hoggle's name being pronounced incorrectly), the word "Gag" on legs runs across the screen.
- In the review of The Room, a picture of a donkey's face is used to censor a shot of...you guessed it, an ass.
- In Spoony and Linkara's review of the Warrior #1 comic, one scene shows them sitting in their hotel room with all of the on-screen colors inverted, leading to this exchange:
- During Necro Critic's review of the Fanservice anime Call Me Tonight, there is a very suggestive scene of a girl out in the rain with her wet, now-transparent clothes clinging to her body. Cue Necro enjoying a piece of cheesecake.
- This◊ little not-very SFW gem from the Image Boards.
- 5 Second Films: "Drafty".
- There's now a website for these.
- This video.
- This◊ t-shirt design.
- This video, "Appalling Visual Puns #1", one of four. Did you get it before the caption?
- In We Are Our Avatars, Kari's moniker is "Blind Follower"; after her brief Gender Bender moment, she is near-sighted, and needs glasses.
- Songs To Wear Pants To and Hannah Hart's collaboration "Show Me Where Ya Noms At" is already full of food puns to begin with, so when Hannah says "drop that beat", the video cuts to Andrew dropping a beet. And then there's Hannah having a literal chip (of the nacho variety) on her shoulder.
- The Know Your Meme image for Creepy Pasta.
- In Doom House, the dying terrorist declares, "I'm so bored", while clutching a wooded board.
- In the College Humor sketch "The Matrix Runs in Windows XP", which is a spoof of both The Matrix and Windows XP (and thus contains many computer-related jokes), the Oracle welcomes Neo into her kitchen while she's holding a plate of freshly-baked cookies, and tells him that she hopes he has "cookies enabled".
- Several in Return of the Cartoon Man when Peter tries to question Roy and Karen. Among other puns, they produce a literal "elephant in the room."
- From Randall Munroe's science blog What If?, the third image on "The Constant Groundskeeper" shows a cougar chasing a guy riding a John Deere riding mower. Explained by the Alt Text:
"A cougar chasing down a deere."
- SF Debris: the introduction to Star Trek: The Original Series episodes is taken from William Shatner's performance of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", that - where possible - is cut with appropriate images from TOS episodes. When Shatner is proclaiming that the flowers "grow so incredibly high!!!", there's a shot of one of the space hippies from "The Way To Eden".
- Vaguely Recalling JoJo: When a Star Platinum gets a Strike in Telence's baseball video game, a Scyther note appears.
- When not showing examples of Epic Fail, a number of "You're doing it wrong" meme images depict this, like this one.
- Mr. Mendo summed up the absurdities of the backlash against The Lone Ranger by depicting it as an argument between two drinking straws.
- Matthew Santoro:
- In Triumphant Return!, Matt says, "Me being the smart guy I am, I decided to do a little digging." He then picks his nose, and says, "No, not that kind of digging."
- In 40 Fascinating SEX Facts!, Matt says, "That's a cock in the background", and points to a picture of a rooster.
- Visual puns pertaining to characters are a common gag of western cartoons. Common ones include but are not limited to:
- A donkey (Jackass, an idiot)
- A lollipop (Sucker, someone who fell for a trick)
- The bottom of a shoe (Heel, someone who should be ashamed)
- A screw and a ball (Screwball, someone weird)note
- A dripping faucet (Drip, a loser)
- A broken pot (Crackpot, someone crazy)
- A bell and a swarm of bats (Dingbat or having Bats in the Belfry, also someone crazy)
- In the episode "Hide and Seek" of Phineas and Ferb, Baljeet (who is shrunk at the moment) poses for a picture with a dust bunny. Yeah, it's an actual clump of dust in the shape of a bunny.
- "Picture This" begins with the boys having turned the garage upside-down trying to find Ferb's favorite skateboard.
- In "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo" the two travel to the future and see that "The museum finally added that new wing." The museum has a giant angel wing on it.
- During their pre-flight checklist in "De Plane! De Plane!" Phineas mentions "co-pilot's instruments", and they cut to Ferb standing in front of a bunch of musical instruments hanging on the wall.
- In "Mommy, Can You Hear Me?" Doofenshmirtz traps Perry in a giant pickle. He then proceeds to explain that it's funny because he's "in a pickle."
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension his alternate dimension self quips that he has one last ace up his sleeve- and he arrives in a Giant Mecha of himself, where the control section is in the sleeve. He immediately asks if they get it.
- In "Tree to Get Ready", Candace remarks on "all the bells and whistles!" in her new treehouse while she and Stacy pass a wall lined with bells and whistles.
- Danger Mouse: "How was I to know he had a voice-activated bean spiller?"
- And similar to the The Muppet Movie example, Dangermouse is following a series of directions around an underground temple one of which is to take a fork left...after colliding with it he asks "Who left that fork there?"
- There is an old MGM cartoon by Tex Avery, ''Symphony in Slang'', about a just-deceased zoot-suited hipster arriving at the Pearly Gates and explaining to St. Peter his life story... largely in slang from The Fifties, which Peter can't understand at all. St. Peter enlists Noah Webster to sort out the man's speech, but Webster is almost as clueless, and the action is displayed on screen as if these phrases were literally true.
- Another Avery short The Cuckoo Clock also opens with a series of gags of this type.
- Looney Tunes:
Bugs: (out of breath from climbing all that way) I shoulda picked the lower court. I'm bushed.
- "Ballot Box Bunny" has Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam running against each other for mayor of a small town. At the end of the cartoon, they're both defeated...by a literal dark horse ("Our new mare").
- In "The Fair-Hared Hare", after Sam builds a house over Bugs's rabbit hole, Bugs vows to "take this to the highest court in the country"...and so he does (Elevation 6723 ft.).
Daffy: Where does he get that stuff? Where does he get that stuff? He can't do that to me! I've got a sheepskin! (pulls out an actual sheep's skin) I've got a license! (pulls out a license plate reading "2B or not 2B") I'll get a patient of my own! So there!
- "Yankee Doodle Bugs" has Bugs explaining American history to his nephew Clyde. Among other jokes, he says that Manhattan was bought from the Indians "for a song" (Indian being given sheet music) and describes the Boston Tea Party in terms of tea with "tacks" (which is both shown visually and made into a verbal pun).
- And yet another one has Sam saying to Bugs to leave because "This town isn't big enough for both". Bugs then get saw and wood and made the town bigger.
- In "The Daffy Doc", Daffy Duck is a doctor's assistant and gets kicked out for causing trouble in the operating room.
- Both "Hyde and Go Tweet" and "Lighthouse Mouse" have Sylvester, faced with a monstrous bird/mouse, freeze in horror, and then collapse into a pile of cat bits on the floor. The pun is that he's "falling to pieces".
- Another cartoon with Sylvester and Hippity Hopper ends with a dog who refused to believe Sylvester's stories about a "giant mouse" encountering Hippty riding in his mother's pouch. The dog runs off with Sylvester and concludes "When you see mice that big, with two heads, then it's time to get on the water wagon!" Then it zooms out to show the cat and dog are riding on the back bumper of a truck carrying a tank of water (a literal "water wagon").
- In Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century, Daffy instructs his space cadet (Porky Pig) to wipe the smile off his face and to get the lead out. Cue the cadet literally doing both, which is the last straw for Daffy.
- The Animated Adaptation of Beetlejuice saw its title character do this about a dozen times an episode; it's described as a reflex, his powers causing him to transform according to the idioms he uses.
- Similar to the Sabrina example above, in an episode of Bonkers, the title character was infected with a 'toon disease called "Literalitis".
- Adventure Time has a couple:
- The Earl of Lemongrab. He himself is a pun on the term "sourpuss;" he looks like a lemon, is obviously a very angry person and his original name in the storyboards was "Lemonsnatch." All of the clothes he wears are grey, so he's also a pun on "Earl Grey Tea."
- In the Season 5 episode "The Party's Over, Isla de Seńorita", the Ice King tries to impress/seduce Princess Bubblegum by sneaking into her room with a pot of honey and pouring it on her waffles. Clearly, he's misunderstood something important about the Honey Pot.
- Thoroughly exercised over the course of The Fairly OddParents's run with the goofy but godlike Cosmo and Wanda. As Timmy once said, seated inside a solid-ice convertible after wishing for a Cool Car, "Not funny."
- From "What's The Difference?":
Mandie: Prepare to meet your doom! *Holds up a sasauge* MEAT?!Timmy: Thank you, horrible visual pun!
- From "Mother Nature":
Timmy: (to his mom, who is ignoring him) Uh, you're still mad at me and dad for not listening, aren't you?Timmy's Mom: Not very fond of getting the cold shoulder, are you?(Timmy's right shoulder freezes)
- From "What's The Difference?":
- Animaniacs. Every single short featuring the Warner Brothers (and sister). There's actually an episode where their psychiatrist tries to make them stop doing this- like, when he says "plant yourselves on the couch", they turn into flowers.
- "This isn't a joke — it's a visual gag."
- Sheep in the Big City loved this sort of humor. In one episode, the narrator shouts "Hold the phone!", and there's a brief cut to Lisa Rental holding up a telephone.
- In the very first episode, when searching for Sheep, the army guys are told to turn the city upside down. While General Specific is talking to the disguised Sheep in the foreground, we see the army guys turning all of the buildings upside down in the background.
- In an episode of Freakazoid!, after a bit of badly-synced animation, it cuts to Freakazoid saying "Oy, let's watch the lip-sync, okay?", and then cuts to a clip of a disembodied pair of lips sinking into the ocean.
- Done hilariously in an episode of Garfield and Friends. Roy buys a voice-activated weather-summoning robot, which starts interpreting all of Roy's insults ("I said rain, you bucket of bolts!") as requests for the items in question to fall from the sky. Roy finds himself on the receiving end of a bucket of bolts and an overgrown vacuum cleaner before he starts running... and narrating. "It's driving me up a tree! I have to get somewhere safe!"
- On DuckTales Fenton Crackshell (a.k.a. Gizmoduck) had a day job as a literal "bean counter". He would count beans as they fell into jars and tell his assistant how many to add or remove. He could count hundreds of beans accurately in a fraction of a second, so good for him.
- Turns out it's not limited to beans. He tried his darndest to get hired as Scrooge's new accountant, and when Scrooge tried to tell him no with a blunderbuss, Scrooge was amazed to hear, "465!" Turned out Fenton counted all the pellets that had been shot. After a quick check revealed he was just as good with counting money (a real plus when your money bin is so big it's a local landmark), Scrooge hired him.
- Later on, after he'd taken on duties as Gizmoduck, this is a Chekhov's Skill. The money bin is taken to a planet of robots ruled by a malicious supercomputer and its robot army. After trying the Gizmoduck frontal-assault approach, Fenton challenges the computer to a counting contest, winner takes all. And he outpaced the computer easily.
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, as Billy and Mandy are shouting "Mine!" while fighting for possession of Grim, the scene momentarily cuts to show an underwater mine.
- In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, while Flapjack and K'nuckles are traveling wesssssst, Bubbie comments that they're running low on food, water, and overall enthusiasm. K'nuckles reveals that he's wearing his last pair of overalls with the word "ENTHUSIASM" on it, accompanied by some really creepy voices singing OVERALL ENTHUSIASM OVERALL ENTHUSIASM OVERALL ENTHUSIASM YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWW.
- Chowder has quite a few from time to time. In Banned from the Stand, for example, Gazpacho bans Mung from every other fruit stands (apparently he has the power to do that, according to the "code") and keeps saying "Banned! Banned! Banned!". In the last "BANNED!" we then cut to a shot of a marching band looking at Gazpacho.
- When Mung teases his rival, Ms. Endive, that an ugly beast has just escaped the zoo, a bizarre monster appears out of nowhere and says "Oops, gotta go!" and jumps through a window.
- Another scene also counts as a Lampshade Hanging from Truffles; when an extremely hot day comes along, Chowder asks why they don't turn on the Air Conitioner, when Truffles says it's because they have a corn-dish-oner. Cut to a scene of a strange washing-machine like thing dishing out corn. Truffles follows this up with 'stupid visual puns!'
- Family Guy:
Norton: How about now?Andy: No, now you're acute.(cut to Norton in an acute position)
- In a Stephen King The Shawshank Redemption parody, Peter (Andy) accuses Mr. Pewtershmidt (Norton) of being "so obtuse", then Norton is shown to be sitting in a geometrically obtuse position.
- A man in a supermarket walks up to Lois and says "Nice Melons." Peter gets appropriately angry, until we see Lois holding two cantaloupes and says "Peter, I'm holding melons." The man does it again with "Her hooters ain't bad, either." Peter yells again, and we see Lois with two owls on her arm, "Peter, I'm holding hooters." The man finally says "Your wife's hot" and runs off.
- Creature Comforts used these a lot. And I mean a lot.
- In the ending of Aardman Animations' Stage Fright (included on the Chicken Run DVD), just as the villain is killed, he kicks a bucket.
- In A Matter of Loaf and Death, the van has a toaster mounted below the radio and Gromit has set this to do a slice of toast for Wallace's breakfast. It pops out (having been done almost black) and Wallace looks at it.
Well done, lad! (pause)Very well done.
- In "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," Wallace is the one who transforms into the titular creature. When he changes back (losing all of his clothes in the process), Gromit sticks him in a cardboard box with a sticker that says "May contain nuts."
- Spongebob Squarepants:
Plankton Brace yourself, Spongebob, this is my lab! (labrador retriever barks) And this is my LABORATORY!
- "Plankton!" - When Plankton makes SpongeBob walk into his kitchen SpongeBob says "Time for a well-balanced breakfast." before he walks through the wall and out through the fridge with a loaf of bread, a jug of milk and a carton of eggs balanced on his head and he adds "This isn't what I had in mind."
- Also from "Plankton"-
SpongeBob Hey, Sandy! Look! (covered in a mound of sand) I'm Sandy!
- "Squid on Strike" - When instructed to make a picket sign, SpongeBob makes two visual puns: the first being a part of an actual picket fence and the second being the image of someone picking their nose, a "pick-it" sign.
- "No Weenies Allowed" - SpongeBob calls out Sandy for a karate challenge. She appears from the sand and grabs with the lines "Oh, I'm Sandy alright. I'm very Sandy." And SpongeBob gets the joke while flying in the air!
- Another "sandy" example, this time from "Ripped Pants"
Mr. Krabs: Why should I waste money lighting the whole store?
- In the episode "The Algae's Always Greener" where Krabs flicks tiny Plankton back to the Chum Bucket, he yells, "So long, shrimp!" An actual shrimp is then seen exiting the Krusty Krab.
- Combining this with a normal pun, SpongeBob's phone is shaped like a conch; a "shellphone" if you will.
- In the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", Barnacle Boy gets sick of being an unrespected sidekick and decides to become evil. He then announces that he's crossing over to the dark side. Zoom out to show half of the Krusty Krab that's pitch-dark. When everone stares at Mr. Krabs, this is his response:
Mr. Krabs: Plankton's concocting another hair-brained scheme to steal me recipe. So keep your eyes peeled.SpongeBob: Whatever you say, cap'n. (literally peels his eyelids)Mr. Krabs: (Impressed) Now that's an employee who follows orders.
- In the episode "I'm With Stupid", Patrick receives a note (cue paper with a musical note on it). On the other side, there's a letter on it (cue flip; other side has a giant letter "B" on it). He also got a message from his parents.
- In the episode "New Leaf" Mr. Krabs tells his employees to keep their "eyes peeled". You can guess how SpongeBob interprets this.
- Sandy finds Wormsign. Literally. It's a road sign with the word "Worm" written on it.
- In "The Bully", Mrs Puff tells the class to "put on a happy face" for the new student. Cut to the class all wearing smiling masks.
- In "Something Smells", Patrick tells Spongebob he needs to "Get this thing off your chest" in order to feel better. Cut to a pulsating purple creature attached to Spongebob's chest.
- "Plankton!" - When Plankton makes SpongeBob walk into his kitchen SpongeBob says "Time for a well-balanced breakfast." before he walks through the wall and out through the fridge with a loaf of bread, a jug of milk and a carton of eggs balanced on his head and he adds "This isn't what I had in mind."
- In Toy Story, Woody asks Buzz Lightyear to "give me a hand". Buzz throws his (disconnected) arm to him. Woody is not amused.
- And in Toy Story 2, Buzz tells Rex to "use his head" to open a vent. The next scene involves Rex being used to batter the door down.
- Many of the Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios Screen Songs cartoons from the 30's, late 1940s and early 1950s lived off of this trope
- The Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue" used one to do a Shout-Out to another cartoon. Remember the Royal Flush Gang in that episode? Now, remember how one of them was a samurai, complete with Kabuki samurai costume? That's the Jack of the gang. And to make the pun more obvious, when he lost his powers, his real form closely resembled Samurai Jack voice actor, Phil La Marr. Also, Ten had prehensile cornrows and resembled Bo Derek (from the movie 10), Queen reverted to a large man after the group lost their powers (i.e. he was a drag queen), and King resembled M.O.D.O.K. (a character created by Jack "The King Of Comics" Kirby).
- Bump in the Night: In "Penny For Your Thoughts," Squishy uttered the pun, simply made a random thought, and a penny fell on him from out of nowhere. Bumpy put all his effort into producing a random thought, but it took him a while to do so.
- Sometimes happens in classic Popeye shorts. One of the more frequent ones is when Popeye eats his spinach. He is seen appearing to have "muscles on his muscles".
- Try Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 3. Zuko runs into Suki on the way to Sokka's tent. Suki slips away, and Zuko enters Sokka's tent. Sokka was expecting...someone else. Zuko leaves, and Sokka calls for Suki. The next morning, Sokka is playing with a flower necklace (not dissimilar to a Hawaiian flower necklace). He got lei'd. (And if you're assuming that Suki gave it to him, then Suki got de-flowered.)
- In the episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius where Cindy and Libby host a TV show, Nick announces he's going to comb his hair without his hands and asks for a drumroll. Cue an actual drum rolling across the stage.
- In one episode of Aladdin, Genie conjures up a sandwich on his head and says "Hey Al! Lunch is on me!"
- In the Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Cellphone-itis", Beezy, going through cell phone withdrawal, says he's cracking up. His body then breaks like glass and falls, in pieces, on the ground. A similar moment happens in the episode "Scent of a Heinous" where Samy, panicking about Lucius possibly humiliating himself on TV, says he's having a meltdown. He then melts into a pile of green sludge.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- "Call of the Cutie" has a scene with a close-up of Apple Bloom, who is feeling depressed, when Rainbow Dash sticks her head into the audience's view:
Rainbow Dash: Whoa. Looks like somepony's got a dark cloud hanging over her head! Let me do something about that... [The camera pulls back, revealing the dark cloud that was hovering just a couple feet above Apple Bloom]
- During Rarity's first fashion show in "Suited For Success", Hoity Toity says Rarity's designs were "a piled-on mishmash of everything but the kitchen sink." Cut to Rarity kicking a kitchen sink away behind the curtains.
- The kitchen sink makes a return appearance amongst Spike's pile of ill-gotten gains in "Secret of my Excess". And among the stuff Sweetie Belle uses to bar Cheerilee from leaving the dressing room in "Hearts and Hooves Day". It returns yet again, but this time in the Pie family's possession in "Pinkie Apple Pie". During the song, one of Pinkie's lines is "The love I feel here is swim, not sink" Cue Pinkie throwing a sink out of the kart.
- In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight stops to give a speech about the difference between magic and the Pinkie Sense — after literally stepping up onto a soapbox that happens to be nearby.
- During Braeburn's tour of Appleloosa in "Over a Barrel", he points out the horse-drawn carriages, then immediately mentions "horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages" as the camera cuts to several artists sketching out the horse-drawn carriages.
- "MMMystery on the Friendship Express." The griffon chef uses a Dramatic Spotlight to show off his eclairs, but suddenly he is shown holding a lamp, which he throws away. Why a lamp? Why not a flashlight?
- Applejack normally has both her mane and tail tied up in a ponytail.
- In "Magic Duel", Trixie turns Spike into a Dragon Ball.
- In "Keep Calm and Flutter on" Discord sports a second face when telling Fluttershy about how he thinks he's becoming reformed already, implying that he's a two-faced liar.
- In "Rarity takes Manehattan", Applejack stops under a damaged carriage and lifts it off the ground with her back, so that they can repair the broken wheel.
- Invoked by Pinkie Pie in the cold open of Twilights Kingdom Part 1.
Pinkie Pie: (stretching Twilight's lower jaw) Why the loooooong face
- Discord as usual. The best being his "ears burning" listening to gossip.
- Later he shapeshifts into a bird solely for the sake of making a "free as a bird" joke.
- Cadance sings "Soon will come the day it turns around" while the camera orbits around Twilight.
- "Call of the Cutie" has a scene with a close-up of Apple Bloom, who is feeling depressed, when Rainbow Dash sticks her head into the audience's view:
- One challenge in an episode of Total Drama World Tour involves carrying giant apples from the middle of a pond to shore. When Tyler has trouble doing this, Alejandro tells him to "use his head". Cue Tyler headbutting the apple across the pond.
- The Critic has had two great examples:
- From the episode "From Chunk to Hunk":
Penny: (Giving Marty a sheet of paper) Goodbye Marty. I wrote you a letter. (Marty sees only the letter P written on the page) You can read it on the bus.
- From "A Song For Margo":
Hard Copy reporter: Tonight on Hard Copy, O.J. refuses to speak. (Shows a pitcher of orange juice on the witness stand.) Part 2 tomorrow.
- From the episode "From Chunk to Hunk":
- The Futurama movie "Bender's Big Score" ushers in their return with a long line of visual puns, where they take some pretty big jabs at their former network Fox in the form of making fun of the "Box Network". Notable ones include them being "on the air" (flying) and a comment about their many fans (their latest job has them delivering fans).
- Another episode has Leela telling Fry to "cool his jets". Cue a shot of Fry's jetpack burning Benders face.
- In the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Yaarp", at one point Stitch and Gantu are trying to catch an experiment at a electronics store:
Store PA: Attention shoppers! Come see our home theater system...Stitch launches a large television at GantuStore PA: ...a picture so big it hits you like a ton of bricks!Gantu: Oh, blitznak.
- House of Mouse is full of them. In one scene, someone tells Mickey "The crowd's turning ugly" and there's a cut to the Queen from Snow White turning into the old witch disguise and Prince Adam turning back into the beast.
- The Sketch Artist Plastic Man short for the DC Nation ran on these. The Purse snatcher was male? Plas turns into a mail box. Pug nose? Pug dog nose!
- The Joker and Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series. One of the lightest was in Harley's Holiday, when Harley declared she was armed and promptly hit Bruce Wayne with the arm of a mannequin. Also during that episode, a mob boss named Boxy gets his pants torn off by Harley's hyenas, revealing that he's wearing boxer shorts.
- At the very beginning of Almost Got 'Im, as the assembled villains share theories about who Batman is, Two-Face pours some half-and-half into his coffee.
- Teen Titans did one that crosses over with Curse Cut Short: Johnny Rancid is taunting Robin about his dog "kicking your a—", cut off when he's struck from off-screen by a pair of hooves. The camera angle reverses to reveal Beast Boy, who has turned into a donkey.
- Pinky and the Brain: In the episode "The Third Mouse," when Pinky and the Brain are on the Ferris wheel, Pinky says, "One of those dots is waving at us." Cut to Dot Warner (from Animaniacs) waving at them. Even though the cartoon is in black and white, her nose is red.
- Beany And Cecil was loaded with visual gags. An example had the Boo Birds serving a hammerhead shark to Cecil. It was a shark with the top of a hammer on its head.
- This was really prominent when they described their journey at the beginning of many episodes. Example: "Okay, men, we've cut through the Sandwich Islands (cut to a map with islands shaped like sandwiches, one of which their boat bisects) and saw the Thousand Islands dressing (cut to a still picture of a bunch of islands in various states of dressing)". And that particular gag ended with them looking at a map of their destination: a large island in the shape of a woman with jungle for skin, a desert for hair, and mountains in the shape of a bikini top and bottom, named "No Bikini Atoll".
- Many people in Spain remember a series of TV bumpers on TVEnote in the 1960s called "La Familia Telerín" which would inform the (younger) viewers that they were done showing family shows, and that it was time to go to bed. During the song that appears, the family are seen literally "marching off to bed". Also doubles as a Stealth Pun.
- The opening to the Donald Duck educational cartoon, "Donald in Mathmagic Land", shows a forest where trees have square roots.
- In one episode of The Simpsons, a Huell Howser Expy falls off the back of a turnip truck. The saying "I didn't fall off the back of a turnip truck" is roughly the equivalent of "I wasn't born yesterday".
- A Wing Dings installment has Klunk asking the rest of the Vulture Squadron if they're going to the barn dance. He points to a barn with arms and legs dancing.
TV Tropes Wiki
- Accentuate the Negative
- All Drummers Are Animals
- Atomic F-Bomb
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
- Bigger Is Better in Bed (SFW despite its name)
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Brain Bleach
- Brass Balls
- Bottomless Magazines
- Bullying a Dragon
- Camera Tricks
- Chewing the Scenery
- Chicken Walker
- Church Militant
- Cold Sniper
- Cool Sword
- Dead Unicorn Trope
- Death of a Thousand Cuts
- Ear Trumpet
- The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic article for Ensemble Darkhorse
- Go Figure
- Hentai (despite the page's subject, perfectly SFW).
- Heroic BSOD
- Hurricane of Puns
- The Hyena
- I Thought It Meant (S-T section).
- It Tastes Like Feet
- Jumping the Shark
- Just Launch It Already
- Kangaroo Court
- Kick the Dog
- Kitchen Sink Included
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Large Ham
- Lampshade Hanging
- Long Bus Trip
- Media Watchdog
- Necessary Weasel
- Nipple and Dimed
- No True Scotsman
- Permanent Red Link Club
- Pet the Dog
- Polish The Turd
- Punch Clock Villain
- Red Herring
- Rouge Angles of Satin.
- Royal "We"
- Running Gag
- Major Spoiler In This Image!
- Sacred Cow
- Sealed Badass in a Can
- Shaggy Frog Story
- Ship Sinking
- Shrinking Violet
- Smug Snake
- Sock Puppet
- Straw Fan
- The Mole
- Undead Horse Trope
- Vapor Wear (Which formerly had this◊ image.)
- Visual Pun (of course)
- Wagon Train to the Stars
- The War on Straw
- The TV Tropes logo, which has a Lampshade Hanging on it.
- Beta versions of Windows 7 had a wallpaper with a fish (a betta to be exact) blowing 7 bubbles. This is a pun on Windows 7 beta. This wallpaper also sneaked its way into some of the final versions as well.
- This same fish was used for the Consumer Preview edition of Windows 8. The bubbles here form the number 8, as a pun on Windows 8 beta.
- Also in windows, the button to close an open window is a red button with an "X" in the middle. So to close the window, you have to "X"-it.
- One example of a rare cross-cultural visual pun that works is a t-shirt and set of stickers that have the U.S. State of Ohio on them, with the Japanese word "gozaimasu" written on said pictured State. "Ohayo, gozaimasu" is one of the most common greetings taught in most beginner-level Japanese language classes in most English-speaking countries, and essentially means "Good morning".
- Even better, "gozaru" is the polite form of "aru", or "is" for inanimate objects. In other words, the t-shirt is literally saying "This is Ohio."
- One meaning of the word 'clock' is 'a short embroidered or woven ornament on each side or on the outer side of a sock or stocking, extending from the ankle upward."  Many of them look like the usual type of clock.
- A similar thing is with 'pig', which is both the animal and "an earthenware crock, pot, pitcher or jar." , and "piggy banks".
- There is set of shirts at some online stores that has "I love tits", "Great tits" with tits (specific breed of birds) on chest. "great tits" specifically place tits where body's tits would be. There is also boobies version, again, 2 boobies (birds) on chest.