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!