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Visual Pun
aka: Sight Gag

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"We were told to comb the desert, so we're combing it!"

"Don't worry, bro, none of this is canon. But this is!" (pulls out an actual cannon)
Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe ("Say Uncle")
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When a phrase which is usually used as a metaphor is instead 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.

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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. Metaphoric Metamorphosis falls under this trope too. See also Literal Metaphor which is often a Sister Trope.


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    Advertising 
  • 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 heavy and metallic right foot—a stealth pun of the term "lead foot".
  • 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.
  • Mountain Dew has a taste that will knock your socks off.
  • The poster for the eponymous The Runaways biopic features a cherry with a lit fuse instead of a stem - a reference to the band's hit "Cherry Bomb".
  • Blockers, a comedy film about parents trying to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night, consistently places a rooster silhouette above the title in ads... It's a movie about a bunch of "cock blockers".
  • A site called careerbuilder.com ran an ad campaign about an exasperated office man literally working with a bunch of monkeys. For their Super Bowl XL ad, said man is on the phone with a woman friend of his who sympathizes with him...as she has to work (literally) with a bunch of jackasses.
  • In a commercial for Chunky Chips Ahoy!, a bunch of punks and an anthropomorphic cookie are sing a rock song about "Punky Chips Ahoy!", until a British monkey cop comes along and corrects them.
  • The logo for GIT (the versioning software) is "GIT" written 90° sideways. Or a plus, a minus and a rotate arrow. Whatever you noticed first.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Several works, including Sailor Moon and Here is Greenwood, have used the joke of showing or referencing a type of carp known as koi when matters of love are being discussed because another koi (in a different kana) refers to love.
  • Cells at Work!, which features an abstract depiction of life for cells in the human body, features a number of puns.
    • Virii are depicted as various inanimate objects that attatch to Ordinary Cells and turn them into Plague Zombies; the virus that causes dengue fever is depicted as tengu masks.
    • Purine compounds are depicted as stacks of pudding cups, a play on the Japanese word for pudding, purin.
    • The Boot Camp Episode shows the Macrophages and Dendritic Cells helping train thymocytes (developing T cells) by holding up cardboard cut-outs, representing their role as antigen-presenting cells.
  • 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.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Near the end, 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 Adventures 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 in it being nigh-incomprehensible when translated.
  • 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".
    • There is actually a Yu-Gi-Oh! card named "Gyoh!" in Japan; its effect involves Fish-Type monsters and its art depicts a shark bearing down on a surprised monster. The US name, which skirts Getting Crap Past the Radar, is "Oh F!sh!"
  • 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. That would make her 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:
    • Among 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.
    • Katyusha of the Pravda team travels to meet the leader of the Ōarai team in a BM-13 "Katyusha".
  • 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, this title card is seen.
  • 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, allowing for 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.
  • Shirokuma Cafe, at least the anime version, combines visual puns and Chain of Corrections into a Once per Episode gag. Polar Bear will misunderstand a word another character says, then rapidly appear in different costumes and scenery that suggest similar-sounding words. The extreme reliance on the Japanese language for these jokes probably means the series will never be dubbed.
    Penguin: Seconds, please. [Okawari]
    Polar Bear brings sunflowers.
    Penguin: Those would be sunflowers (himawari).
    Polar Bear returns as a chef with a labeled three-course meal.
    Penguin: That would be the daily special (higawari).
    Polar Bear returns with an axe and firewood.
    Penguin: That would be splitting logs (makiwari).
    Blindfolded Polar Bear menaces a watermelon with a stick.
    Penguin: That's splitting a watermelon (suika wari). Seconds, please.
  • In episode 12 of Interviews with Monster Girls, Takahashi sees a photo of Hikari at night, noticing that her eyes flash like animals' ones, and explains her why they do this. Several animals have a membrane in the back of their eyes that reflects back the light, and this is shown with an animation of super-deformed smiling Hikari faces bouncing against said membrane. Hikari means "light" in Japanese.
  • From One Piece, we have Donquixote Doflamingo who ate the Ito Ito no Mi (String-String Fruit). It allows him to create lethal Razor Floss which can cleave through most materials, do Building Swing using the clouds, and more. He also controls a massive Underworld empire, with moles in the Marine and involved in various weapons trafficking while maintaining a public persona of a benevolent king of Dressrosa. He's the man pulling the strings, figuratively and literally.

    Asian Animation 
  • In one episode of Happy Heroes, Big and Little M. use a Trojan horse in Doctor H.'s internet router. The Trojan horse is literally a giant rocking horse.
  • The Simple Samosa episode "Sabse Sweetest Kaun?" depicts Mayor Royal Falooda as a medieval king - in other words, a literal "royal" falooda.

    Card Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • The reason why Górsky & 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 vignette 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),...
  • The Uglydolls comic has the story "Climb, Wage, Climb!", where Wage gets groomed into being the replacement manager...by getting his head shampooed and getting a facial.
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Dredd never being seen without his helmet. "Justice is blind", anyone?
  • In "Capt. Sprocket Meets His Greatest Foe Dr. Neutron" in Mad House Comic Digest #5 Captain Sprocket remarks that with simple types like him, everything goes in one ear and out the other. When Super Sally asks how he can be sure, he shines a flashlight into one ear and the beam comes out the other one.
  • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Phobos and Demios are minor war gods and the children of Ares who often manifest as monstrous dogs with skeletal heads or a pair of doberman pinschers. They're war gods pretending to be war dogs.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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 he'd like to complain to the manager because it's "too literal" the clerk points to a door labeled "Head Office" which is shaped like a person's head.

    Fan Works 
  • 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 casts a disarming spell on a Polish thug with a rather literal result.
  • A Different Professor:
    Sirius: That was beautiful, Madam Bones. I don't think I have ever seen anyone cut a politician off at the knees with that amount of skill and so little bloodshed. In fact the last time I saw anyone cut off at the knees I actually saw my cousin Bellatrix cut someone's legs off at the knees.
  • In A Collection of Harmonious OneShots Hermione gets annoyed at Ron dating Lavender to try to make her jealous and Harry comments that a ton of shit is going to drop on Ron if he keeps up this sort of thing. Hermione then decides to get revenge by conjuring a brown cloud which drops a literal ton of shit on Ron immediately after the Gryffindor/Hufflepuff Quidditch game.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the ending of Aardman Animations' Stage Fright (included on the Chicken Run DVD), just as the villain is killed, he kicks a bucket.
  • Wallace & Gromit:
    • 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.
      Wallace: Well done, lad! (pause) Very well done.
    • In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Wallace is the one who transforms into the title 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."
  • Toy Story:
    • In the first movie, 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.
  • Cars:
    • One scene in the film 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 populate the same area, such as Bread-and-Butterflies, Dog-and-Caterpillars, Rocking-Horseflies, and Copper-Centipedes.
    • The Unbirthday Party is chock full of them.
      March Hare: (after cutting a tea cup in half) Just half a cup, if you don't mind?
    • The Queen of Hearts holds court in a garden. It's a court-yard.
  • 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 break them over King Candy's head.
    King Candy: You hit a guy... with glasses... that's, that's well played.
  • 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 (due to the servants having the day off), and they're not happy about it (even if he is using blunt training arrows). What results is a Hurricane of Visual Puns, including "This masquerade is more than I can bear!", "I've got the lion's share [of humiliation]," and multiple calls of "Duck!!" only for the duck to ask "What?" and get shot.
  • 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 "Tonight, imagine me 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.
  • Each of the personified emotions of Inside Out is shaped like a humanoid representation of something that evokes that emotion. Joy is a star, Sadness is a teardrop, Disgust a stalk of broccoli, and the purple, spindly Fear? He's a raw nerve. Meanwhile, all of them are taller than Anger: Riley has a short temper.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: During the song "Awesome as I Want to Be", a spotlight shines on each of the Rainbooms one by one, which is normal since they're performing on scene. It becomes significant when, in the middle of the song, all the rays of light focus on Rainbow Dash, who is literally stealing the spotlight with her showboating.
  • Near the end of Zootopia, three officers are assigned to undercover; the wolf of the group puts on a very convincing sheep costume, making him a literal wolf in sheep's clothing.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, after a bomb blows up the foundations of Gotham, the minifigures have to use their heads and stick together to save the city. I.E., by sticking the studs on their heads into the holes in other minifigs' feet, they form chains across the cracks in the ground, and pull both halves of Gotham back together.
  • The "Brothers and Sisters" song from Franklin and the Green Knight has the lyrics "Hey, Franklin, if you get a sister, she'll do the things you do / But when you teach her painting, she'll end up painting you!" and Franklin being covered by the imagined sister in paint. She painted him.
  • A rare sad example from Coco: to symbolize his broken past, the animators decided to make Hector the skeleton literally broken. Some of his bones are cracked and held together with duct tape, he walks with a heavy limp, his clothing is in tatters, and he comes apart far more readily than the other skeletons. But in the epilogue, after Miguel heals the family rift and hatred of music, Hector has mended clothes and a straight gait. Now that he is remembered fondly, he's a much healthier skeleton.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mel Brooks is a shameless user of visual puns:
  • Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker as well (particularly David Zucker):
    • Airplane!:
      • "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
      • Ted Striker's "drinking problem" (he can't put the glass to his mouth and ends up splashing the drink in his face
    • Airplane II: The Sequel did a fine job continuing the tradition, even though the ZAZ trio was not involved:
      • "Simon's turned to jelly!" Cut to a literal man-shaped, wobbling pile of jelly in Simon's clothes.
      • "Sir, I pulled Ted Striker's record. I don't think you're going to like it." (shows a vinyl LP with the title "Ted Striker's 400 Polka Favorites")
    • In Naked Gun 2½:
      Waiter: Sir?
      Frank: Give me the strongest thing you got.
      [The waiter waves over an oiled body builder]
      Frank: On second thought how 'bout a Black Russian?
      [The waiter looks at the camera and shakes his head.]
  • Popeye:
    • At one point, Bluto sees red.
    • At the end, the defeated Bluto turns yellow and swims away.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Marvin's arm is taken and pointed like it's a firearm.
  • 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.
    • Mrs. Rittenhouse tells Harpo he has his choice of seats in a Bridge game. He promptly sits down in the lap of another woman.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • While walking through the Maroon Studios, Eddie sees a group of Toon cows waiting in line for an audition; a literal "cattle call".
    • Shortly thereafter, he sees two movers accidentally drop a crate, from which springs a bunch of Toon chairs playing instruments; literally "musical chairs."
    • Eddie 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 plot kicks off when one of the characters kicks 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.
  • As an Affectionate Parody, Down with Love does a similar cut on the words "bosom buddies."
  • 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.
  • In his opening narration for Love And Death, Woody Allen's character mentions the "valuable piece of land" owned by his father. An old man pulling a hunk of sod from inside his coat is seen.
    "This land is not for sale! Someday, I hope to build on it."
  • 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 it's revealed 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. The top book is 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 Video Game 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.
  • 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 its 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 Beetlejuice protrudes spikes out of his body to stop being picked up while miniature, he starts feeling a little "anxious" and saunters towards a brothel that conveniently shows up nearby.note 
  • 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 (2009), James T. Kirk literally walks into a bar.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse:
    • Quicksilver is in a Rush T-shirt as he's rushing through the mansion. Later, the words I LOVE RUSH are written on his cast just above the knee.
    • There are stylized horsemen on Jean Grey's pillow case, and she later has to face the Four Horsemen in battle.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger in Zombeavers presents the movie's Sequel Hook as one: One of the infected animals lying in a pool of its own blood is seen, as are various insects buzzing around. The camera then pans up to a beehive. ZOMBEES!
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-800 conceals a shotgun in a bouquet of roses, which is appropriate given that the movie featured Guns N' Roses in its soundtrack.
  • Slow West: During a gunfight, a shot breaks a jar of salt, which pours into a character's wound, underscoring a figurative 'insult to injury' moment with a literal one.
  • In Dancer in the Dark, Selma is seen lying on birch logs (during the musical number "Scatterheart"). Selma is played by Icelandic singer Björk, and in Swedish, Icelandic, and Faroese, "Björk" means "birch".
  • In Bedknobs and Broomsticks, King Leonidas' secretary is is a literal Secretarybird.
  • The movie City of the Living Dead plays this trope for horror in an infamous scene where a girl literally pukes her guts out while weeping blood. Both her intestines and her stomach get vomited out as the ghost of the evil priest that is doing this to her and the girl's horrified friend look on.
  • At one point in Crocodile Dundee 2, Mick uses Sue's bra as bait for a Booby Trap.
  • In The Playhouse, Buster Keaton plays a stage crew member at a theatre. Early in the film, as he is clocking in for the day, he looks at the sign reading "punch clock". So he does. Right in the face, too...
  • In Loaded Weapon 1, a "Basic Instinct" Legs-Crossing Parody scene leads into a "gratuitous beaver shot" showing an actual beaver.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Later, in Feet of Clay, Vimes is introduced to the tradition of canting arms mentioned under the Real Life section. The Heralds, in creating arms and mottos for newly-rich tradesman, use boxing gloves for a man named Sock and so on, which Vimes is duly unimpressed by. However, one coat-of-arms proves to be a confession Hidden in Plain Sight: Arthur Carry the candlemaker is given a traditional lampe au poisson, and his family motto "Art Brought Forth the Candle" is Ars Enixa Et Candldeabrum... though in true Discworld fashion, the Eureka Moment doesn't hit Vimes until after he's worked that out already, and it only serves to further enrage him as he's apprehending the perpetrators.
  • 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 here and here) 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.
  • In The King's Avatar, after Excellent Era forcefully retires Ye Xiu against his will, they literally throw him out into the cold as it starts snowing as soon as he leaves the building.
  • In Monday Begins on Saturday, the protagonist is sent to a world of fantastic literature and is surprised to see Technobabble-speaking engineers... reinventing the wheel.

    Music 
  • 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.
  • Queensrÿche'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 R.E.M.'s Lifes Rich Pageant is a picture of drummer 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, various stylized images of a battle field including the Bird!Tommy carrying a Thompson Submachine gun in its feet are seen. 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 Öyster 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.
  • The music video for Styx's "Too Much Time On My Hands" involves a watch salesman with a Coat Full of Contraband trying to sell his wares to one of the band members, only for him to roll back his sleeve and reveal he already has over half a dozen watches on his arm.
  • The album cover for Sparks' No. 1 in Heaven includes a picture of a spark plug in the top right corner.
  • In the video for Poets of the Fall's "Lift," during his psych screening, Mad Dreamer Mark sometimes retreats to a Happy Place which takes the form of rooms in a mental house, one of which seems to be an attic filled with toys.
  • The original, more well-known cover for The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers (a close-up of jeans with a noticeable bulge and an unzippable fly) was evidently deemed too risque to market in Spain - Spanish listeners got a cover featuring severed fingers inside a can of treacle instead.
  • The cover to Donna Summer's single "On The Radio" (as well as a similarly named Greatest Hits Album) depicts her sitting on top of a large, old-fashioned radio receiver.
  • The cover of Meet The Bloody Stools by hard rock group The Bloody Stools spared the listener an actual depiction of what their band name implies, going with a drawing of bloody bar stools instead.
  • Phish's Hoist has an image of a horse hanging from a pulley on the cover because a Working Title for the album was Hung Like A Horse.
  • Methods Of Mayhem's "Get Naked" includes the lyric "ride the cock" - in the music video Lil' Kim is seen riding a man in a giant rooster costume, as though he were a bucking bronco. This helped with Getting Crap Past the Radar - MTV censored the lyric but still showed her riding on a literal "cock".
  • The Soul Asylum song "Misery" features references to "making misery." The song's video includes footage of a manufacturing plant where the CD single of "Misery" is being manufactured and packaged — in other words, it's making "Misery."
  • The Cantonese pop song "Tsim Sha Tsui Suzie" is a bouncy song about a wild party girl in Hong Kong. The lyrics mentions her father "sells salted eggs", which may be an euphemism for being dead; and on top of that the video shows her father being a white man, which won't make sense until you know "ghost" is slang for a white person.
  • The cover of the Paul McCartney album New is a stylised version of the album name, in neon. The name of neon means "new".

    Pinballs 
  • 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."

    Pro Wrestling 

    Roleplay 

    Software 
  • 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.

    Theater 
  • Spamalot has one during this musical number at around 4:31.
    • What's the... oh, "Hay". Duh.
  • In The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged), two of these are thrown in near the end: Pontius Pilot and the Axe of the Apostles.
  • The Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening has an actor-specific example during "The Bitch of Living":
    • The line referencing a girl named Marianna Wheelan has Anna - played by wheelchair-using actress Ali Stroker - wheel by with a bit of a sassy flourish.

    Theme Parks 
  • 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 has 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?"
  • A hidden detail on the pathway surrounding Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges at Universal's Islands of Adventure shows a different kind of "school of fish" - a small schoolhouse sitting on top of water.
  • Mickey's Philharmagic used to have a smell pun. During the "A Whole New World" sequence they would pump in the scent of Jasmine's perfume, which, naturally, smelled like jasmine. Unfortunately, too many people were allergic to the scent, and so the scene is now odorless.

    Video Games 
  • In the Worms franchise, the animation for skipping a turn is skipping rope.
  • 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 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 rooster!
  • 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).
    • The bubble blower makes Sims float after being used for a while. See, they're getting high!
  • 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 failednote .
  • 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.
  • Jet Set Radio:
    • In 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.
    • 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.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • After Thancred is found in the Dravanian Forelands, he regales us with the story of how he escaped the events of ARR's ending. Turns out it was due to rare forbidden teleport spell cast by an ally... Which left him lost in the wilds hundreds of malms away, naked and without equipment. During the telling, the player is given a series of still images of his actions, which are only leave the T rating intact due to a well placed squirrel-like creature blocking their view of any naughty bits. Or as the creatures are known in universe: A Nutkin
      • The trailer for the Shadowbringers expansion features a brief shot of rich and overweight miqo'te lounging around. Literal fat cats.
  • 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 their 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, they jumped the shark.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Mistral uses a polearm called L'Etranger. Said polearm is a pole made of robotic arms linked together, with an arm holding a combat knife at either end.
  • Team Fortress 2 features two characters that are responsible for continuing the war between RED and BLU, The Administrator and Miss Pauling. Guess what color they wear?
    • In the Capture the Flag mode, players have to steal briefcases of sensitive documents from each other's base. When a player has a briefcase, some documents will fall off and hang on the floor for a few seconds, letting the enemy team track him down through a very literal "paper trail".
  • The Kirby series has Tacs, small feline enemies dressed like bandits who try to steal your copy ability. They're "cat burglars".
    • They also possess the Copy ability. They're Copy-cats.
  • In Mega Man Cut Man's weakness is Guts Man's weapon, which lets Mega Man throw stone blocks, in a literal case of rock beating scissors.
  • Haunting Starring Polterguy: One of the fright 'ems is the family's computer. It's mouse will turn into a huge real mouse.
  • This Google Doodle web game has crickets playing Cricket (in addition to the usual duck pun).

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • This video, "Appalling Visual Puns #1", one of four. Did you get it before the caption?
  • 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.
  • In Doom House, the dying terrorist declares, "I'm so bored", while clutching a wooded board.
  • In the CollegeHumor 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."
  • Vaguely Recalling JoJo: When a Star Platinum gets a Strike in Telence's baseball video game, a Scyther note  appears.
  • 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.
  • Dad: In "Dad Is The Best YouTuber," Dad sets up a pie with a figure of Felix the Cat on top, before proceeding to smash it all with a hammer. This is a pun on him wanting to smash PewDiePie, also known as Felix, to take his place as the best YouTuber.

    Real Life 
  • Sign language allows for this quite literally. For example, signing the word 'milk' in front of your face is 'past-your-eyes' (pasteurized) milk.
  • In heraldry, this is known as "canting arms" where the design references its owner's name in some way. For instance, the arms of the Spanish region/historical kingdom of Castilla y León (whose name, in Spanish, means "Castle and Lion") are a castle and a lion. Similarly, the arms of the Bowes-Lyon family (the family of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) features bows and lions. This has also led to a saying in the Society for Creative Anachronism, that "Heralds don't pun, they cant."
  • This is one of the traditional reasons given for why fish became an early Christian symbol. In Greek the acronym for "Jesus Christ, God's son the Saviour" was coincidentally also the word for fish. It was just obscure enough (you had to know the phrase was a thing) to use fish symbolism as a secret sign during times of persecution.
  • Some people has did this with the literal meaning of their own names :
    • Japanese voice actress Sakura Nogawa took a photo of her watching the cherry blossoms (Sakura) at the side of the No River (No-gawa in Japanese) in Tokyo.
    • Another voice actress, Tara Strong, also pulls a similar one, when she is seen in a photo with boxing gear and punching a sandbag. You know, Tara is... strong.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Sight Gag, Visual Gag

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