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Stealth Pun / Live-Action Films

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Stealth Puns in live-action movies.

  • In The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, the title character's vintage car is in fact a 1957 Ford Fairlane.
  • In Æon Flux, when breaking into Trevor's estate, Aeon's partner shows off her new genetically modified feet, altered into hands for added utility. When Aeon asks how they're working out, she replies, "Useful". In other words, "Handy".
  • Annie (2014): Daddy Warbucks' Adaptation Name Change is William Stacks, which means that he's informally known as Bill Stacks.
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  • In Back to the Future Part II Doc Brown warns about meeting yourself from another time, thus creating a paradox. Near the end, you actually have Doc Brown meeting up with himself; thus creating a "pair o' Docs". For those observant enough, the joke is explained (sorta) in the soundtrack, where the name of the track that plays during this scene has the punch line as its name.
  • In Big Game, one of Oskari's neighbors is shown reading a newspaper article about president Moore's impending visit to Helsinki. The text is in Finnish apart from the headline, which reads "We Want Moore". Cross out one "o".
  • The Blues Brothers has a stealth pun in the White Supremacist Rally scene. The Rally speaker refers to their party as the American Socialist White People's Party, or, if you were to initialize it, ASWPP. The Neo-Nazis are ASsWiP(P)es.
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  • The title character of Bubba Ho Tep yells vulgarities in hieroglyphics during the final confrontation. The mummy's curse.
  • Cheaper by the Dozen 2: Nora, the family's eldest daughter, is pregnant all throughout the film. She ends up having her baby at the tail end of her family's summer vacation - specifically on Labor Day.
  • In Clue, Professor Plum: "I work for U.N.O., the United Nations Organization. I work for a special branch, the World Health Organization." (I.e., he works for UNO [you know] WHO.)
  • In The Dark Knight, the police convoy is diverted by a large vehicle that had been set ablaze. When you see the vehicle up close, you realize what it is and the stealth pun indicates it as one of the Joker's jokes: iIt's a fire engine.
    • And by the end of the second act, the Batmobile has lost a wheel (well, two, but whatever) and the Joker got away.
    • And Two-Face's accident happens on 250 52nd street. The street is a palindrome.
  • DC Extended Universe:
  • In Justice League (2017), Wonder Woman first appears standing on the statue of "Lady Justice".
  • In Man of Steel Zod attacks Superman with an I-beam. Supes parries with an Eye Beam.
    • Since Krypton's codex (which contains the genetics for all to be created Kryptonians) is encoded in Kal-El's cells, he is literally an everyman.
    • Wonder Woman (2017):
      • The first person to cross No Man's Land is a woman.
      • This is a non-sequel Wonder Woman film set during World War I. Thus, it's a WWI film in two different ways.
  • The climactic moment of Dead Poets Society has the students supporting John Keating by rising from their desks to quote "O Captain, My Captain" against their teacher's orders. Talk about your student uprising.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000) has the villain knock the hero to the ground and shout "not so talented now, are you Mister Ridley?.
  • In Evan Almighty, Evan's wife is Joan. And the movie is about building an ark.
    • This one may also count as a Genius Bonus. When God shows up in the back of Evan's car and scares the pants off him, God replies "Let it out, son. It's the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7 states "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"
    • Noah had a son named Ham. Evan has a son named Ryan, or Ry. Ham and Rye.
    • You can barely see it, but when God appears before Joan as a server at the restaurant, his name-tag reads "Al Mighty".
  • In the original Flash Gordon the aliens have ray guns that fire gauntlets/armored gloves which strangle and throw people. That's right, the aliens have HAND-guns.
  • In Gifted, when Frank rhetorically asks, "Do I look gifted to you?" with reference to his intellectual ability, Bonnie looks down at him with probably a different idea of "gifted" in mind.
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, after the film's antagonists steal a parking space from Harold (played by John Cho) they yell, "Better luck, tomorrow!" While working as a line in the film, it's also a pun on the name of the indie film that introduced John Cho as an actor.
  • Home Alone has Kevin getting in deep trouble with his family for spilling milk all over their plane tickets. So they're all "crying over spilled milk".
  • In the middle of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Nick asks Russ where he learned artificial respiration after he delivers it to Amy. Russ replies, "In French class". Nick doesn't get it and the build-up is left unfinished... then, at the very end of the movie, right after the Fade to Black, Nick suddenly gets it and laughs hysterically.
  • Riddled throughout Hot Fuzz, normally in the form of a Stealth Bond One-Liner. For example, Simon Pegg and Timothy Dalton have a stand down in a small model town. The pun? This town isn't big enough for the both of us.
    • Also lampshaded when a swan causes the villain to crash his car during his escape. with this exchange:
      Nicholas Angel: I feel like I should say something smart.
      Danny Butterman: You don't have to say anything at all.
    • I guess you could say it was his swan song.
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux has the rescue action take place in a Qurac country (albeit one with a sufficient enough jungle backdrop to allow parodies of the Vietnam set Rambo: First Blood: Part 2). They actually show it on a map by fashioning it out of the Iranian side of the Iran/Iraq border. Presumably due to the upheavals which lead to this split, Iran is labelled simply as A Hard Place. In other words, it was placed between Iraq and A Hard Place.
    • Same movie has Topper Harley reading Great Expectations. When he asked what he thought about it, he replied that it's not what he hoped for.
  • Similarly, the point in Hot to Trot when Don's father dies is marked by the sound of a bucket being kicked. It's a little easier to miss this one because the scene occurs in a barn: a natural place for metal buckets to be located.
  • In Inception, during Yusuf's dream, in the first level, Cobb accidentally creates a locomotive in the middle of the street. He was probably thinking about his dead wife, Mal. In other words, it was his train of thought.
    • And also the moment their plan goes off the rails.
      • It also tells us that the relationship turned into a real trainwreck.
      • Seems like his reason for doing that is he's going crazy, or that he has a loco motive.
  • Indiana Jones:
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: The guy at the beginning of the movie, who tells the four drivers about the treasure buried under a big W, kicks a bucket with his foot as he dies.
  • In Jeepers Creepers, the two main characters are nearly run off the road by a truck with a Vanity License Plate which says "BEATNGU". Darry guesses it just meant "beating you", but it's never stated what it really meant: "be eating you", as the driver is really the man-eating monster.
  • In Jumpin' Jack Flash, Whoopi Goldberg's character is told that a spy's computer code key can be found in the eponymous The Rolling Stones song. She tries inputting every lyric she can think of, but nothing seems to work until she tries entering the key of the song itself: B-Flat.
  • Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legendary Riders has people being infected with a virus spread by tiny creatures that resemble Pac-Man. They all literally have Pac Man Fever.
  • The Bride's exchange with O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill Vol. 1 could count, since (unless you were able to get a good look at her passport when she flew to Japan) we don't learn until Vol. 2 that her name is Beatrix Kiddo:
    O-Ren Ishii: You didn't think it was gonna be that easy, did you?
    The Bride: You know, for a second there, yeah, I kinda did.
    O-Ren Ishii: Silly rabbit.
    The Bride: Trix are...
    O-Ren Ishii: ...for kids.
    • A possible double bonus: So you're saying that they called a woman named Beatrix a "rabbit"?
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, the code (2625) to get into the princess' cell? On a numeric keypad (phone) it can alternately spell ANAL or COCK. Well... she DID offer...
  • In Land of the Lost (2009) it's telling that the place with an above average tachyon flow is one decidedly lacking in taste.
  • In Man with the Screaming Brain, William Cole (Bruce Campbell) suffers severe trauma and has the damaged tissue repaired with the brain tissue of a former KGB agent. The Cole and the agent are able to hear each other's thoughts, when this first started happening Cole immediately asked where the KGB agent was, his response? "Where do you think?"
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man 2:
      • If you are acquainted with some of the more advanced notions in physics and have a quick eye, you'll notice that on the last page of Howard Stark's notebook there's a reference to an "Abnormal Zeeman Effect", which any nerd can tell you is a magnetic equivalent of the Stark effect.
      • And, Rhodey and Stark fight in Iron Man armour in a wrestling ring. Remind anyone of This?
    • The Avengers
      • In Black Widow's first appearance, she defeats her "kidnappers" with technically eight limbs - four of her own and four of the chair's legs she was tied to.
      • Also, Tony Stark (Iron Man) spends much of the film wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt.
    • Iron Man 3: How would you describe Tony Stark's official girlfriend when she's wearing the Iron Man armor? Iron Potts. Also, how would you describe her when she is infected with Extremis? A hot pepper.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy:
      • During the prison escape scene, the Pina Colada song plays. The song's real title? "Escape".
      • Yondu opens a capsule expecting the Infinity Stone but instead got a troll doll. In other words, he got Trolled.
  • The Matrix. After capturing Neo, the Agents implant an insect-looking robot that acts as a Tracking Device into his body. Later on, Morpheus's team prepares to extract it.
    Trinity: We think you're bugged.
  • In Mean Girls, Janis Ian (named for a lesbian folk singer) has been hounded throughout high school by rumors that she's gay. While hating her former best friend for starting the rumors and causing her to be ostracized, she never actually denies liking girls, and at times it seems the movie is teasing us with the question. Then at the end, she winds up in a relationship with Kevin, after he comes up to her to find out if she fits his policy of "only dating women of color":
    Kevin: You Puerto Rican?
    Janis: Lebanese.
    Kevin: I feel that.
  • This may or may not be a stretch, but after the makers of Monty Python and the Holy Grail ran out of money, they just had the film end with everyone being arrested by the police for the death of a historian earlier in the film. In other words, the ending is a cop-out.
  • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, a segment where a married couple in their forties visit a Medieval dungeon-themed restaurant is appropriately named "Middle Age".
  • In the film The Muppets, Camilla and her fellow hens cluck out Cee Lo Green's "Forget You", or as it's better known in its uncensored version, "F**k You". It's never spelled out anywhere, but put that all together and you realize the chickens are saying.... "Cluck You".
  • For the first shot of the villain in The Neverending Story II, she has no face until she takes a swipe of some mystical glowing gunk on her hands and swipes it over her face. Guess she just had to put her face on.
    • Either that or it's Face creme.
  • The title characters of The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure hang around with a sentient vacuum cleaner named J. Edgar. He's named after J. Edgar Hoover - "Hoover" also being the name of a popular vacuum cleaner manufacturer.
  • In Pacific Rim, there is the scene where Raleigh and Mako see and talk about the newly rebuilt Gipsy Danger and there is construction work causing sparks behind them. You could say sparks are literally flying between them.
  • In The Parent Trap, when Hallie, impersonating Annie, meets Martin at the airport, the song that plays is Soulful Strut, which is an instrumental version of "Am I The Same Girl?".
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has this. Davy Jones' heart was locked in a locker…which can also be called a chest—his chest.
    • Also, one of his crew is a very short man who's mutating into a crustacean. In other words, the guy's a shrimp.
  • In The Prestige, Tesla's assistant is named Alley. Who owns a black cat. An alley cat.
  • The film Raazi appears to have a Non-Indicative Title...until you figure out that the title and the protagonist's name (Sehmat) both mean "willing" in Hindi.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the meal the characters have been eating is suddenly revealed to be the remains of Eddie, played by the singer Meat Loaf. The audience traditionally fills in the joke: "Not Meatloaf again!"
    • "That's a rather tender subject."
      • "That's a rather tasteless joke."
    • And don't forget the well-hung speakers.
    • Meat Loaf also made an appearance on Tales from the Crypt. Take a wild guess at what happened to his character.
  • The title of the excellent German short film Schwarzfahrer means fare dodger, though it could literally be interpreted (with some license) as "black rider". It features a black man sitting on a tram next to a Racist Grandma who puts him through racial abuse, including saying all black people had AIDS. When the conductor comes round to collect the tickets, the black man eats her ticket, making her a lawbreaking type of schwarzfahrer. For added irony, a biker onlooker who never had a ticket gets let off.
  • The theme song of the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie was performed by... Shaggy. It was called "Shaggy, Where Are You?"
  • In Scotland, PA, an adaptation of Macbeth, it is casually mentioned that Donald (Donalbain in Macbeth) and Malcolm's father, Duncan, made most of his money through donut sales. Duncan Donuts. Later, Donald takes over the restaurant, which had been renamed to McBeth's, and calls it, well, guess what... McDonald's, of course.
  • At the end of The Silence of the Lambs, a cake decorated like the FBI logo is served at a celebratory dinner, with the first slice containing the word "justice." In other words, Justice is Served.
  • When Larry finds what he needs to place in the action figures in Small Soldiers, he triumphantly exclaims, "Hello, Mr. Chips!"
  • There was a blue moon in The Smurfs that the Smurfs conjured up in order to get home, and there would have been one in The Smurfs 2 if Grouchy was allowed to flash his butt.
  • The nature of the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs means there are plenty of Stealth Puns, and not always due to Double Entendre:
    • One instance where the joke gets explained. Spaceball One's radar dish is literally jammed (as in a huge jar of jam is launched at it). It eventually oozes onto the radar screen and Dark Helmet takes a taste and identifies it as raspberry jam. This makes him realize Lone Starr is behind this because only he would dare "give him the raspberry".
    • At one point a Spaceball guard yells at the character Barf, "That son of a..." after Barf flips the bird at him. Since Barf is a Mawg (half man, half dog) we can only assume that the canine genes come from his mother: an actual bitch. Although since we learn he may be of royal lineage, at the end, his father might be a Sire, so the guard might have stopped short for not being sure.
      • Pretty sure it was Lone Starr who turned out to be royalty, not Barf.
  • In Star Trek (2009), the alien in the bar that sits between Uhura and Kirk has elongated features. So why didn't the bartender say "Why the long face?"
    • RiffTrax did it.
      • The character was credited as "Long Face".
  • In yet another Star Trek film, the commanders of a Klingon vessel give the order of "Fire at will." There is an immediate cut to the bridge of their target, the Enterprise, currently commanded by Commander Riker. Will Riker.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Empire Strikes Back taught us all that the internal temperature of a Tauntaun is... lukewarm.
    • Rogue One has a profoundly annoyed Darth Vader Force-choke the ambitious Director Krennic, telling him, "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations". Given the medical definition of aspiration...
    • Vader enjoyed these even when he was still Anakin. In Revenge of the Sith, he cuts off Count Dooku's arms and calls him an "unarmed" prisoner not three seconds later.
  • The end credits for Stranger Than Fiction include a few visual puns. For instance, the credit for the casting director has a couch underneath it.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 chases John Connor through a mall carrying a box of flowers with a shotgun inside. The Guns 'N Roses song "You Could Be Mine" appeared in the movie, and was also played over the credits.
  • In Theatre of Blood, in which a Theme Serial Killer murders the critics who panned his performances with methods lifted from the plays of William Shakespeare, Inspector Boot mentions that one of the plays, Titus Andronicus, involves "an old queen" being forced to eat her children baked in a pie. A few scenes later, when the killer reenacts that particular murder, his victim of choice is the Camp Gay critic.
  • In The Ward, Iris is killed off via a deliberately fatal lobotomy — there's an unspoken pun when you connect her name and the fact that her eye is punctured by an ice pick, since the iris is a part of the eye.
  • The soundtrack to The Wicker Man (1973) is primarily in the style of European folk music, so "Cave Chase", a Psychedelic Rock instrumental heard during a chase scene through a cave, definitely sticks out. As it turns out, it was meant as a pun about "rock" music.
  • In The World's End when Peter is surrounded by Blanks, Andy threatens to "punch their lights out". At this point the Blanks are emitting light from their eyes and mouths.
  • X-Men Film Series
  • In Zombieland, twice Tallahassee guns down zombies whilst riding a rollercoaster. In other words, it's an on-rail shooter.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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