25 Hilarious Paraprosdokian Phrases You’ll Never See Coming

Posted by , Updated on November 16, 2023

Paraprosdokian phrases. That sounds pretty intimidating right? All it means is basically a phrase in which the second part is completely unexpected. To be more specific, this refers to any phrase where the second part forces the reader to reinterpret the meaning of the first part. These sorts of phrases are often used by satirists or comedians due to the fact that paraprosdokians are very effective at creating a dramatic or humorous effect. Moreover, they are also very effective at creating an anticlimax, something that is quite useful in satire. This typically happens by changing the way you interpret the first part of the phrase. To be more specific, this can be done via several methods but most often it is accomplished when the speaker plays on the double meaning of a word.

The word paraprosdokian itself comes from Greek and roughly breaks down to “against expectation.” To give you an example, we can quote Homer from the Simpsons, “If I could just say a few words…I’d be a better public speaker.”

So, now that you have a better example of what they are, let’s jump right in. These are 25 Hilarious Paraprosdokian Phrases You’ll Never See Coming.

Featured Image: pexels


"I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night." - Bill Hicks

polar bears sleepingImage: wikipedia

"On the other hand, you have different fingers." - Steven Wright

handImage: pixabay

"My wife - it's difficult to say what she does - she sells sea shells on the sea shore." - Milton Jones

sea shellsImage: pixabay

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

dogImage: pixabay

"I've been missing my ex constantly...but my aim is getting better..." - unknown

target shooting signImage: wikipedia

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

Groucho MarxImage: wikipedia

"You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice." - unknown

parachuteImage: pixabay

"I'd like to see a world without plagiarism. You may say I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one..." - Milton Jones

plagiarism meme

"I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." - Will Rogers

democratic donkeyImage: wikipedia

"Standing in the park today, I was wondering why a frisbee looks larger the closer it gets...then it hit me." - Stewart Francis

dog with frisbeeImage: wikipedia

"I think elephants are over-protected, but that's easy to say from my Ivory Tower..." - Milton Jones

elephantImage: wikipedia

I saw a sign that said "watch for children" and I thought, "That sounds like a fair trade" - Demetri Martin

watchImage: pexels

"I have the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the Toronto zoo." - unknown

lionImage: wikipedia

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

kleptomaniac meme

"I was asked to name all the presidents…I thought they already had names." - Demetri Martin

presidentsImage: wikipedia

"I ate a clock yesterday, it was very time consuming." - unknown

clockImage: pixabay

"How long is a Chinese name." - unknown

"How long is a Chinese name." meme

I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn't complain."

korean meme

"I hate Russian dolls, they're so full of themselves." - unknown

matryoshka dollImage: pixabay

“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

MonopolyImage: wikipedia

“I did a gig in the U.S. once for the homeless. I said ‘It’s nice to see so many bums on seats.’” – Jimmy Carr

Jimmy CarrImage: wikipedia

“The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.” – Demetri Martin

Demetri MartinImage: wikipedia

“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” – George Carlin

George CarlinImage: wikipedia

“I can’t wait till Sunday, I’m gonna see my favorite niece and my other niece…” – Sarah Silverman

Sarah SilvermanImage: wikipedia

“I have a lot of growing up to do. I realized that the other day inside my fort.” – Zach Galifianakis

Zach GalifianakisImage: wikipedia