A lot of the names in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends are puns, especially when combined with other characters' names. For instance: Blooregard Q. Kazoo, thus Bloo Q. Kazoo kukukachu.
Warpath from Transformers Generation 1 is an Autobot who is best known for his Verbal Tic of adding onomatopoeia to his dialog... to the point where he might have Tourette's. The kicker? He turns into a tank and his upper body is made from the TURRET.
In the third season, the Decepticon leader Galvatron, who turns into a gun emplacement, is crazy and unpredictable, as likely to attack his allies as he is the Autobots. He's quite the loose cannon.
And in the Japanese dub, the Cassetteicons often call Soundwave aniki. In addition to being what gang members call their leader, it also translates to 'big brother.' So, since Soundwave is the Decepticon communications officer who reports treachery to their leader that means that Big Brother Is Watching you.
In Filmations Ghostbusters, the Team Pet of the group is a little pink bat named Belfry. His name is based on the saying "To have bats in the belfry", meaning "To be a bit crazy".
Also, Hot Scoop Jessica Wray is the fiancée of ghostbuster Jake Kong. Wray... Kong... does it ring a bell?
In Kim Possible, when we are first introduced to Team Go, Ron asks why Mego wears a purple costume. Team leader Hego replies, "He's a shrinker" and drops the subject. He's a shrinking violet (but not a Shrinking Violet, mind you); Warner/DC would not be amused.
Mego's power is to shrink to the size of an action figure. He shares his name with a popular line of action figures from the 70s and 80s, including the unintuitive pronunciation.
When we are originally introduced to Team Go, they are introduced as "Hego, Shego, Mego, and The Twins." The implication is that the twins are collectively, "Wego."
In "Big Bother", Ron is conflicted between his school assignment bag of flour and his new sister Hana (which is Japanese for Flower.)
Was Mrs Possible channeling Jill Valentine in "Day of the Snowmen"?
Wanda: Egad, (Tom Sawyer) turned The Three Musketeers into the three Mouse— (Timmy then swiftly covers her mouth and teleports them out)
And later in the same episode:
Cosmo: So he gets into a physics book, what's the worst that could happen? Timmy: Cosmo, don't you understand? He could turn gravity into gravy! He could turn the planets into plants!— Wanda: He could turn Uranus into... Oh no! We have to stop him! Cosmo: What? I don't get it! What's the big threat!
The segment "Dread and Breakfast" has a cameo by two Shaggy and Scooby-Doo lookalikes. Not-Shaggy refers to Not-Scooby as "Doob", which would probably make "Doob"'s name Doobie.
In one episode, where Jay Leno is interviewing pop star Britney Britney, he says that he feels the same way about her as he does asparagus. As in, both of them being spears.
George Frankly, of Math Net on Square One TV, also visited the island of Nomanissan. (Back when Kate Monday was still his partner, and he was still with the LAPD.) He explained the name as being of Native American origin.
Surprisingly, The Snorks was full of this. Allstar's pet octopus, Occy, goes berserk when he's called icky. As in the skin parasite.
The Simpsons did it a couple times with the limerick about the man from Nantucket. For the record, "There once was a man from Nantucket/Whose cock was so long he could suck it/And he said, with a grin/As he wiped off his chin/"If my ear were a cunt I would fuck it!."
Homer: You know, I once knew a man from Nantucket. Bart: And? Homer: Let's just say the stories about him are greatly exaggerated.
Homer: There once was this guy from an island off the coast of Massachusetts... Nantucket, I think it was. Anyway, he had the most unusual personal characteristic, which was, um...
Another instance not using the man from Nantucket limerick, maybe even being a parody of its usage, comes in an episode where Krusty the Clown is giving Homer an old trampoline of his and talks about dirty limericks ("There once was a man named Enis...").
So WHO had the most limericks written about them — was it the man named Enis, or the woman from Regina?
The traffic guy for Channel Six News, Arnie Pie, who very deliberately avoids the painfully obvious pun on his name; his segment, live from the traffic chopper, is called "Arnie in the Sky".
Still another: Krusty the Clown once mentioned that he and Bette Midler once owned a horse together, and named it "Krudler". For those who didn't get it, the more appropriate name is revealed in the DVD Commentary of the episode: Misty
Alternatively, the far less appropriate Busty
"Sneed's Feed & Seed (Formerly Chuck's)"
In the episode "'Sideshow Bob Roberts", the character playing the role of "Deep Throat" is Mr. Smithers.
The "Flaming Moe" drink, formerly known as the "Flaming Homer". The names bear similarities to "'mo" and "homo" respectively, both contractions of "homosexual".
Apu attended the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology.
"I'm Dick Tracy! Take that, Pruneface! Now I'm Pruneface. Take that, Dick Tracy! Now I'm Prune Tracy. Take that—" (is physically subdued)
In another episode, Homer gets lost in a corn field, and the family sends the dog to help. The music that plays is "Freak on a Leash" by Korn.
In "Wedding for Disaster," Homer is kidnapped and chained up in a cell. When his kidnappers return him back home out of guilt, he still has a chain on him. Marge tells him that they should take that chain off him, to which he responds, "Won't it just dry up after a while and fall off in the bath?" Such is what typically happens to a bandage, not bondage.
In the first season episode "The Crepes of Wrath":
Bart (watching his pet frog): Ah, the life of a frog. That's the life for me.
Marge enters the room and asks if Bart would like to go to France.
"I don't know whether to peck you on your kisser or kiss you on your-"
In The Tick, there is a running gag where several villains are never actually named, but they are very obvious visual puns. So we have an evil boy genius with a see-through plastic cranium, but never actually called "Brain Child". Or the man dressed as someone's granny, obsessed with stealing inventions is never called "The mother of invention".
The Tick is pretty famous with this trope for villain names like Chairface Chippendale, a chair faced in a tuxedo (Chippendale is also the name of a furniture) and Milton Roe. Milt means fish sperm and Roe means fish eggs.
Surprisingly, The Powerpuff Girls does this at one point: despite the series' tendency towards the incredibly lame pun, the Mayor's secretary is referred to only as "Miss Bellum." Given her brain capacity relative to that of the Mayor, it's not hard to guess what her first name is... Sarah.
They have stated her name at least once. However, it was in fact Sarah.
The Mayor is so old his first secretary must have been Antebellum.
Also, Him looks like Satan and dresses like Santa Claus. He also has claws. This is never commented on directly.
The Central Bureaucracy of Futurama has a giant Rubik's cube made out of Rubik's cubes made out of offices. I call it the Rubik's Cubicle.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "Deep Cover for Batman": Batman thinks he may have found an ally in The Scarlet Scarab based on a conversation he heard, but it turns out to just provide misdirection, meaning that the Scarlet Scarab was a Red Herring.
In the Justice League episode "The Terror Beyond", Hawkgirl taunts Icthultu when he wishes to speak to her: "Nothing to say! I have a gesture for you, but my hands are tied." That's right, Hawkgirl wants to flip him the bird.
In the episode "The Balance" Wonder Woman receives a message from Zeus saying "By Decree of Zeus Father of Olympus it is so ordered: Diana of Themyscira will travel to Tartarus and set right that which has been disturbed." She starts to respond with "He's telling me to go to..." but is interrupted by Hermes saying "Basically".
The "fire at will" pun is used when Terry (voiced by Will Friedle) showed up in "The Once and Future Thing".
And in "Epilogue", the team is up against another team called the Royal Flush Gang, who Ace gave powers to. One of them is wearing kabuki make-up, with a top knot and swinging a katana. By process of elimination, he's the Jack, and when depowered happens to look like Phil LaMarr. Ten looks like Bo Derek did in the film Ten, Queen is a transformed guy (drag queen), and King looks like Jack "King" Kirby.
In the Unlimited episode "Panic In The Sky", there's a stealth pun allusion to Galatea being the DCAU expy of Power Girl when Supergirl defeats her by (fatally?) electrocuting her with a power cable.
In the episode "Hawk and Dove" Wonder Woman teams up with the titular duo to defeat Ares from instigating a war between two countries. They are only able to defeat him by convincing both sides not to fight. So in other words, Wonder Woman made a Hawk and Dove stop a war with love.
Hayley: You have anginanote This is a real disease. Francine: Which according to Dr. Natterson sounds like vagina... I don't know about that, but he's the doctor.
Another episode has a secondary story revolving around bees. What's another term for "secondary story"?
Another episode has an extremely stealth one. When Francine takes an elevator down a shaft Stan built in his house to find Oliver North's gold, Francine comes across a donkey. Stan later says that he was all alone in the hole with only the donkey. A shaft, and a donkey. Whats another name for a donkey in a shaft? An ass in a hole, hence an asshole.
In an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the scene after greeting Suki in a robe, under candlelight, a rose in his mouth, Sokka is seen wearing a flower necklace — he got lei'd.
And Suki got deflowered.
In "The Ember Island Players", a bad in-universe reenactment of the series thus far, the audience starts falling asleep during the sequence with the drill. It's boring.
An episode of The Legend of Korra, the Waterbender twins Desna and Eska cover their boots in frozen water to slide down a mountainside. That's right, they made ice skates.
In an episode of Family Guy where Stewie and Brian go to a Disney universe, this universe's Joe is a coffee pot. Joe. Coffee.
Of course, that's a spoof of Beauty and the Beast, where the teapot is Mrs. Potts and her grandson is a teacup with a chip in it... named Chip.
In "Model Misbehavior", Lois becomes a model and walks into the Drunken Clam dressed up. After all the guys make (incredibly lame) puns about her, Joe tells her to take her jacket off. Eventually, all the guys in the bar are shouting a chorus of "jacket off, jacket off". Or, if you listen to it correctly, jack it off.
Teen Titans has one of the first type in the episode "Can I Keep Him?" While fighting Johnny Rancid's new "pet", Rancid remarks that the beast is "kicking [Robin's]—", and is then interrupted by two green hooves to the gut. One shot later, it is revealed that Beast Boy has, indeed, turned into an ass.
Cyborg is incredibly good at video games. Why wouldn't he be? He's a computer player.
In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Karate Island", one of the enemies is named "The Tickler". He also happens to be French. Making him... a French Tickler.
Late in the third season of Ben 10, Ben's antagonists consisted largely of aliens that resembled Universal/Hammer horror monsters, and he gained the ability to become each of them. First was a werewolf, which he cleverly named Benwolf. (Insert Gwendel joke here.) Next, a mummy, which was called Benmummy in the credits. The third villain, Dr. Vicktor, turned out to be a Frankenstein's Monster pastiche. The credits called the resulting transformation Benvicktor, avoiding the more obvious choice: Benstein.
In the third season of Ben 10: Alien Force, Kevin ends up stuck in a composite form, with various body parts made out of various materials, from metal to crystal. In particular, everything from his groin down is made of wood.
For years, the opening sequence of Animaniacs got away with showing Yakko getting lunchmeat shoved down the front of his trousers, while all three Warners sang "there's bologna in our slacks". Yep, they played "Hide the Sausage" in full view on a kid's show...
The head editor of the dictionary in "The F Word" is Emmanuel Lewis.note "Webster's" is the name of a highly popular dictionary, and Emmanuel Lewis was famous for starring in a 1980s sitcom named Webster.
In "Tsst", Eric's egotistical behavior becomes too much for Mrs. Cartman to handle. When reality TV shows like Nanny 911 and Super Nanny fail to subdue him, it is Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer who shows Cartman that not everyone is willing to put up with his crap. That's right, the episode implied that Cartman is a "son of a bitch".
The character Butters' last name is "Stotch" making his name Butters Stotch (Butterscotch) but he is rarely, if ever, called by both (his real full name "Leopold Stotch" even moreso). Usually, it's either first or last name only.
During the last minute of "Butterballs", you can see a very brief shot of a penguin that looks suspiciously like the one from the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, which just so happens to be the Trope Codifier for Gainax Ending, a trope in which the ending of "Butterballs" is a not-so-subtle attempt at.
In the Pinky and the Brain episode "It's Only a Paper World," the title characters attempt to Take Over the World by building a life-sized replica of the planet Earth out of paper-mâché and luring the population onto it so they can rule the real Earth without interference. All the music in the episode is based on themes from Dvorak's Symphony No. 9: otherwise known as the New World symphony.
Similarly, an episode dealing with the art world used themes from Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition.
In one episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Peter hears a radio informing everyone about an attack by Sandman at the harbor. Then it says: "Now for an oldie but a goodie by the Chordettes" before the next scene. One of the Chordettes' most famous songs? Mr. Sandman.
Also, Sandman is trying to steal The Urn of Morpheus.
In the Looney Tunes cartoon "A Gruesome Twosome", two alley cats try to fool Tweety by wearing a horse costume. The one in front reveals himself and tells us "I'm the horse's head!" The one in back says nothing.
"Buckaroo Bugs" has Bugs as a messenger asking which of the two characters lying dazed on the ground is Red Hot Ryder. Red points to his horse's ass before pointing to himself. "Scrap Happy Daffy" does a similar gag, with Daffy pointing at a horse's ass and exclaiming "How do ya like that, Schickelgrüber?"
Beavis And Butthead actually subverted this once. They find an injured bird, nurse it back to health, and Butthead sends it on its way by flipping it into the air. Beavis then takes the stealth out of the pun by telling him "Hey, Butthead. You flipped the bird."
In "Horror of the Hodag", Shaggy feels neglected because Scooby found a girl dog named Nova that he likes—much the same as he had done to Scooby when he was dating Velma. When he tells Velma this, she comments that "Payback, thy name is Nova." In other words, payback is a bitch.
And let's not forget "Mr. E".
A French stealth pun for Wakfu: the Havresac. It's a real word (haversack in English), but Ruel's is also a bag (sac) which provides a haven (havre) for the heroes.
There's a Polish cartoon called Generał Italia. Abbreviated to the title and it's Gen. Italia.
In the first episode, "The Mare in the Moon", we can see that Twilight Sparkle (who is more interested in her studies than in making friends) makes her home in a tall, off-white structure (i.e. an ivory tower).
When Nightmare Moon was imprisoned in the moon, she appeared as a large dark spot on the moon's surface, and is referred to as The Mare in the Moon. A dark spot on the moon is known as a sea, or in Latin, mare.note Yes, everypony knows it's pronounced differently, but still.
There's also the more obvious pun behind her name where she's a mare who controls the night, making her literally a Nightmare.
In the second episode, "The Elements of Harmony", the mane cast overcome Nightmare Moon and put an end to The Night That Never Ends. One could say they... save the day.
The Wonderbolts are heavily based off of the Blue Angels (and other aerobatics teams), and utilize a winged thunderbolt as their logo. The dark-mirror Shadowbolts used, as their uniform Cutie Mark, a winged skull. A winged skull logo was also used, at one time, by the Hell's Angels. Subtle, but very clever.
In "The Ticket Master", when Rarity is ranting about how her fashion will allow her and Twilight to impress all the Canterlot elite at the Grand Galloping Gala, she has literal stars in her eyes.
The two male ponies, Snips and Snails, are a pun based on the old adage that girls are made of "sugar and spice and everything nice," while boys are made of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails." Given this show's status as a kids' show, it's probably unlikely that we'll see a boy pony named "Puppy Dog Tails," but the other two can work as names in a fictitious environment.
Ironically, the very next colt introduced is the British Pipsqueak... who looks very much like a dog.
Not very stealthy, but Twilight Sparkle really hopes the legend of Nightmare Moon is just an old 'pony tale'.
In the beginning of "Boast Busters", Twilight's magic abilities are referred to as "tricks," and Spike mentions that most unicorns can only do a small amount of magic related to their profession. Which, one might say, makes them "one-trick ponies."
And the other magically skilled pony in the episode is named Trixie. Tricks-y.
The name "Trixie" is a diminutive of 'Beatrix', meaning 'voyager, traveller', and Trixie is a travelling performer.
In "Green Isn't Your Color", when Fluttershy is being chased around by paparazzi, one of them is a pegasus with a dollar sign as his cutie mark. Given pony naming conventions, this means his name is probably Money Shot.
Applejack's story in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" details her attempt to move to the city to live with her Aunt and Uncle Orange. The City Mouse/Country Mouse plot is played completely straight, revealing to Applejack that she's nothing like the city folk. It's like comparing Apples and Oranges.
Similarly, she says "I'm so hungry, I could eat..."
In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash pulls off the Sonic Rainboom and wins the Young Fliers' Competition with it. One might say she passed with flying colors.
"The book said when the five are present, a spark will cause the sixth element to be revealed." Spark or Sparkle?
Nightmare Moon: The spark didn't work! Twilight Sparkle: But it did. A different kind of spark.
When defeating Discord, the mane six literally form a "double rainbow".
Rarity is a pony who designs clothes. She's a clotheshorse.
Rarity owns a female cat named Opal, which is a type of gemstone. In "Return of Harmony", Rarity brings home a large "diamond" named Tom.
In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight stops to stand on a crate and lecture Pinkie about why she has a hard time believing in the latter's "Pinkie Sense". Said crate originally had some bars and bottles of soap on it, which means Twilight literally got on a soap box.
In "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle shows the Cutie Mark Crusaders her toy, Smarty Pants, who comes with accessories such as homework. It also appears to be some kind of donkey, making it a smart ass.
In "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight Sparkle's Nightmare Night costume is Star Swirl the Bearded, "father of the amniomorphic spell." "Amniomorphic" means "bowl-shaped", which makes Star Swirl a long-bearded bowl-maker or, in other words, a hairy potter.
"Luna Eclipsed" had quite a couple of these, actually. Another, more obvious one would be Pinkie as a Chicken Pie.
In "Over a Barrel", we see a train pulled by several ponies. We just saw the pony express.
In "A Friend In Deed," Pinkie parodies a few lines from the song "Yankee Doodle Boy" (a.k.a. "Yankee Doodle Dandy"). In the musical that popularized the song, the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was a horse jockey.
The song also borrows lyrics from the folk song that inspired it, "Yankee Doodle." What did Yankee Doodle come to town riding on, again?
In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Pinkie and friends hold a Ticket Line Campout to be the first to get that season's Sweet Apple Acres cider...in other words, camping in line waiting for the yearly new Apple products.
From the same episode, who ever makes the most cider wins Sweet Apple Acres. Meaning that the Apple family bet the farm that they would win.
The marriage of Shining Armor to Princess Cadance is a Getting Crap Past the Radar example: he's captain of the guard and he's... got Cadance's back covered.
In "Sweet and Elite", when talking to Fancypants, after having mentioned staying at the princess' castle, she places Opalescence into one of her carrier-bags. Why? Because she let the cat out of the bag. (Admittedly not the same bag, but still).
In "Secret of My Excess", Spike goes on a greedy rampage through Ponyville. Part of that includes going to Sugarcube Corner and stealing all the cakes. Pinkie Pie immediately calls out, "How dare you take the cake!" This is a subtle reference to the phrase "taking the cake."
In the same episode, Spike's gigantic pile of wildly assorted presents includes a kitchen sink.
In "Read It and Weep", a hospitalized pony with a crazed expression and strait-jacket vocalizes like a dog - making her barking mad. Also, the fact that her cutie mark is a screw makes much more sense when you consider that she's literally screw loose.
The day after "A Canterlot Wedding" — in which Princess Cadance (sic) is revealed to be a villain in disguise — aired, a music geek discovered that one of the songs* (Namely, "BBBFF", not the Villain Song as is often circulated) contains a chord progression known as a deceptive cadence. And then the song's composer confirmed via Twitter that it was totally intentional.
A bit of a Fridge Brilliance pun involving the princesses: Prior to the Season 2 finale, a lot of people wondered what Cadence's purpose was. Celestia and Luna basically run the sun and moon, respectively, but Cadence doesn't have any duty of that nature. Then the episode revealed that she was Twilight's foalsitter...◊
In "Magical Mystery Cure," the song "What My Cutie Mark Is Telling Me" details results of the cutie mark swap. There's very distinctive transitions between stanzas, which appear in jazz and musicals. It's known as a turnaround, which can also mean 'the reversal of a situation or circumstances'.
In the same episode, Pinkie Pie ends up with Applejack's cutie mark and works the apple farm. Or tries, anyway. The fact that this means she could be described as an Apple Pie goes entirely without comment.
In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", she may not have been expecting it, but of course it was by a fashion designer that she was taken in.
And of course, waaaay back in G1, every female pony wore a bow on the base of their tail. In other words, every pony tail was also a ponytail.
In Real Life, early computers had names like ENIAC, EDVAC, and UNIVAC. In the Rocky and Bullwinkle side feature, "Peabody's Improbable History", the time machine is called the WABAC ('cause they go "way back" in time).
Speaking of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris Badenov's name was an allusion to Pushkin's play Boris Godunov. The name is lampshaded in one story arc's next-episode titles: "Don't Make It Worse, It's Badenov."
"Ex Marks the Spot," the penultimate episode of Time Squad, opens with Larry behaving unusually happily, as if basking in the afterglow of...something. He stuffs a turkey full of gravy until it overflows, then tops the dish with a cherry...which sinks into the gravy never to be seen again. In other words, Larry has just lost his cherry.
At the end of the episode "Out of the Groove" there's a debate about Sciencevs Magic, and Kowalski firmly believes in science. He also spends the first five minutes of the episode with his head stuck in a glass beaker.
There were two instances of a Griffin named Merv who had a talk show in cartoons:
In Phineas and Ferb: Summer Belongs To You, it's revealed that Baljeet has a relative who runs a factory in the Himalayas that makes rubber bands and balls. It's never said outright, but he's literally making India rubber.
Done ever so discreetly in Ed, Edd n Eddy during the episode "The Eds Are Coming". Once Ed emerges from the radiant goo, Kevin has a soapbox moment upon a soap box—as is the origin of the phrase.
The Regular Show episode "Access Denied" has Mordecai and Rigby trying to get into a club called "The Box". They get into the club by thinking outside The Box.
In the Gravity Falls episode "Headhunters", at one point Dipper and Mabel pass by a man with a cat drawn on one palm◊. Said fellow is hitting it with his other hand, so you could say that he's pounding pussy.
On Bob's Burgers, Linda and Gale help Gene write a song about gravy — "It's a gravy boat, not a navy boat..." They end up rolling with the latter idea and singing about "sailors in your mouth." (Why, what were you expecting?)
In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Camera Shy", Rocko is shown literally nude descending a staircase. The only hint that this is a pun on the abstract painting Nude Descending A Staircase is when Heffer uses the word "descending" in a sentence.
In an episode of Transformers Rescue Bots, the bots and Cody are discussing what to watch for movie night. Chase's preference? "I vote for an action film. Preferably with high-speed pursuits." Meaning he enjoys a good Chase Scene.
One that requires a little bit of backstory occurs in Eek! the Cat. Eek's girlfriend was a pink cat named Annabelle. A running gag in the show was that she was the largest character in the show, and everyone but Eek noticed. This was a bit unlike her original voice actress, who had at one time been an actress, music video girl, and general sex symbol. So there's some irony there, sure, but plenty of people play characters that they have nothing in common with. Only people who read the credits get this joke's punchline: simply put, Annabelle was a fat cat, but her voice actress was played by a TawnyKitaen.