List of Paraprosdokians, Paraprosdokians List

List of Paraprosdokians, Paraprosdokians List

What are Paraprosdokians?

Paraprosdokian is not an Armenian writer or football coach but a figure of speech characterized by an abrupt change of direction at the end. It is a phrase that intentionally leads us down the garden path, that misleads us into thinking one way, then suddenly ending on an unexpected twist. Stand-up comedians who like one-liners use lots of them because the setup and punchline are all in a single line. Here are some examples that we’ve gathered from various sources.

  • There but for the grace of God goes God. —Sir Winston Churchill, a comment on Sir Stafford Cripps, British socialist philosopher
  • Two wrongs don’t make a right—but three lefts do.
  • Now, you take my wife . . . PLEASE! —Henny Youngman
  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
  • War does not determine who is right—only who is left.
  • The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way, so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Do not argue with an idiot: he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify . . . ,” I put “DOCTOR”.
  • I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” written on it…so I said “Implants?”
  • Americans choose between two people for president but among fifty for Miss America.
  • Behind the rise of every successful man stands a woman and behind the fall of every successful man is another woman.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. —Oscar Wilde
  • I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  • You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  • “If I am reading this graph correctly — I’d be very surprised.” —Stephen Colbert
  • “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing…after they have tried everything else.” —Winston Churchill
  • “On his feet he wore … blisters.” —Aristotle
  • “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” —Groucho Marx
  • In the morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I don’t know. —Groucho Marx
  • One thing you mustn’t miss when you are in Nome—the plane!
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