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A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

Ø   I asked God for a bike, but I know God  doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. 

Ø    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. 

Ø    I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car. 

Ø    Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 

Ø    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list. 

Ø    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 

Ø    If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong. 

Ø    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. 

Ø    War does not determine who is right - only who is left. 

Ø    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting  it in a fruit salad. 

Ø    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Ø    Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't. 

Ø    To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research. 

Ø    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. 

Ø    How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? 

Ø    Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs. 

Ø    Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish. 

Ø   I  thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks. 

Ø    A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it. 

Ø    Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an  emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". 

Ø    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 

Ø    I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on I  said "Implants?" 

Ø    Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet? 

Ø    Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the  street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are  sexy.

Ø    Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ? 

Ø    Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman. 

Ø    A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. 

Ø    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 

Ø    The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas! 

Ø    Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back. 

Ø    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip. 

Ø    Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were. 

Ø    Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with. 

Ø    I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Ø    Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go. 

Ø    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure. 

Ø    I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila. 

Ø    When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. 

Ø    You're never too old to learn something stupid. 

Ø    To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. 

Ø    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. 

Ø    Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever. 

Ø    A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it. 

Ø    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Ø    Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

Ø    I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.


1. He who hesitates is last.

2. When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.

 3. The company accountant is shy and retiring. He's retiring because he's shy half a million dollars.

4. On the other hand, I don't have a wedding ring.

5. I was wondering why the car in the mirror was growing larger. Then it hit me.

6. I only have four drinks a day. The other eight are for night.

7. I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.

8. There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who write numbers in decimal, and those who use binary.

9. I have my scruples. If you don't like them I have others.

10. If at first you don't succeed, trying and trying again is the definition of insanity.

Additional Paraprosdokians


•     If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.

•     I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind you.

•     Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

•     Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

•     I'm great at multi-tasking--I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

•     If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

•     Take my advice — I'm not using it.

•     My wife and I were happy for twenty years; then we met.

•     Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they're at home when you wish they were.

•     Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

•     Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

•     Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

•     He who laughs last thinks slowest.

•     Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

•     I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

•     Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

•     I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn't find it.

•     If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

•     Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep

•     If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

 Even More Paraprosdokians

♦    I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year; not to cause any trouble but shouldn't that be an even number?

♦    Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

♦    I find it ironic that the colors red, white and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

♦    When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body... men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

♦    A recent study has found that woman who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

♦    Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

♦    America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote.

♦    You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone? That's your common sense leaving your body.

♦    Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

♦    My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.

♦    I think my neighbor is stalking me as she's been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

♦    Money talks ..but all mine ever says is good-bye.

♦    You're not fat, you're just... easier to see.

♦    If you think nobody cares whether you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.

♦    I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”

♦    I can’t understand why women are okay that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named, “Sag Harbor.”

♦    My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

♦    My 60 year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

♦    Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.” If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

♦    The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today. I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

♦    The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

♦    I think it's pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

♦    Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!++

Additional comedic paraprosdokian examples:

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

  • He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce I keep the house. –Zsa Zsa Gabor

  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long. –Mitch Hedberg

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

  • When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them. –Rodney Dangerfield

  • My husband can't stand to see trash and garbage lying around the house – he can't stand the competition. –Phyllis Diller

  • Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time. –George Carlin

  • There are three kinds of people in the world – those who can count, and those who can’t. –Unknown

  • I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they'd never expect it. –Jack Handey

  • The company accountant is shy and retiring. He's shy a quarter of a million dollars. That's why he's retiring. –Milton Berle

  • I’m a very tolerant man, except when it comes to holding a grudge. –Robin Williams

  • I saw a bank that said “24 Hour Banking,'”but I don't have that much time. –Stephen Wright

  • Always remember my grandfather’s last words: “A truck!” –Emo Phillips

  • Half of all marriages end in divorce—and then there are the really unhappy ones. –Joan Rivers

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