Article image

20 Funny and Cringeworthy Puns

Puns may be seen as cheesy jokes, but they’re almost always sure to deliver some genuine — if reluctant — laughs. Technically speaking, a pun is a play on words that uses similar-sounding words or those with multiple meanings to deliver a punchline that is at once obvious and unexpected. Their simplicity can make us cringe, but not everyone is skilled enough to craft these clever bon mots (or should we say, bon moans).

While even the best puns may make you face-palm, being able to appreciate them or, even better, make a good one yourself, is said to be a sign of creativity and intelligence.

In the book The Pun Also Rises, author John Pollack writes that the ability to appreciate the pithy witticism of a pun means you’re more likely to be an easygoing, kind, and tolerant person. "If you have an approach to the world that is rules-based, driven by hierarchy and threatened by irreverence, then you're not going to like puns," he wrote.

With that validating note, we’re happy to share 20 hand-picked puns that are sure to make you laugh — and probably cringe a little, too.

The Roman emperor's wife hates playing hide and seek because wherever she goes, Julius Caesar.

Share Quote

I like what mechanics wear, overall.

Share Quote

If you are being chased by a pack of taxidermists, do not play dead.

Share Quote

I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn't get pasta.

Share Quote

My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him, “Don't be Sicily.”

Share Quote

I don't know what you call a small spillage from a pen but I have an inkling.

Share Quote

My grandfather invented the cold air balloon but it never really took off.

Share Quote

I hate funerals — I'm not a mourning person.

Share Quote

I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.

Share Quote

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Share Quote

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

Share Quote

Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.

Share Quote

It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

Share Quote

I'm a big fan of whiteboards. I find them quite remarkable.

Share Quote

Yesterday, a clown held the door open for me. It was such a nice jester.

Share Quote

Becoming a vegetarian is a huge missed steak.

Share Quote

The other day she tried to make a chemistry joke, but got no reaction.

Share Quote

It’s funny — England doesn’t have a kidney bank, but has a Liverpool.

Share Quote

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Share Quote

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Share Quote

Featured image credit: Popovo Bros/ Shutterstock

Author image
About the Author
Nicole Villeneuve
Nicole is a writer, thrift store lover, and group-chat meme spammer based in Ontario, Canada.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
Fill in the blank: "Beautify your inner world with love, light, and ___." - Amit Ray

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

All the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love.

separator icon
Eleanor Farjeon
motivation theme icon

Maybe happiness isn’t what you believe, but who you believe.

separator icon
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
hope theme icon

If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.

separator icon
Betty White
love theme icon

'Tis never too late to be wise.

separator icon
Daniel Defoe
wisdom theme icon

The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.

separator icon
Rabindranath Tagore
happiness theme icon

Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.

separator icon
River Phoenix
motivation theme icon

If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?

separator icon
Gloria Steinem
hope theme icon

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

separator icon
eden ahbez
love theme icon

Love is space and time made perceptible to the heart.

separator icon
Marcel Proust
wisdom theme icon

When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.

separator icon
Malala Yousafzai
happiness theme icon

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.

separator icon
Anaïs Nin