21-pun salute – headlines that will make you cringe

John Cleese’s three rules of comedy might be ‘No puns, no puns, no puns’, but let’s face it, the Austin 1100 thrashing Monty Python is no bored sub-editor.

Here’s our selection of 21 fantastic puns. Why 21? Look up and read the headline.

1. Swan Bake

Year: 2003
Title: The Sun
Back story: East Europeans are eating the Queen’s favourite Anatidae. Or not

2. Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious

Year: 2000
Title: The Sun
Back story: Celtic 1 – 3 Caledonian Thistle

3. Sheikh ‘N Not Stirred

Year: 2015
Back story: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini not afraid of getting the sack from Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

4. Aard cash

Year: 2004
Title: Real Finance
Back story: Animation studio of Wallace & Gromet fame, Aardman, do some book-keeping

5. From Hitler Youth to Papa Ratzi

Year: 2005
Title: The Sun
Back story: Pope Joseph Ratzinger steps out on to the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica

6. Multi-porpoise weapons

Year: Unknown
Title: The Guardian
Back story: Review of a programme on the military use of dolphins

7. Spruce foresight

Year: Unknown
Title: Checkout Fresh
Back story: The supply and demand for Christmas trees

8. Ahead early, a head late

Year: 2014
Title: The Washington Post
Back story: The US beats Ghana in the 2014 World Cup, by two goals to one: they led from early on, and won the match near the final whistle (via a header). Works better in print than online

9. Germans wurst at penalties

Year: 2010
Title: The Sun
Back story: Evidence suggests that England are better at penalties than their teutonic rivals

10. It’s Paddy pantsdown

Year: 1992
Title: The Sun
Back story: News breaks of an affair between MP Paddy Ashdown and his secretary

11. Howard’s way

Year: 1993
Title: Any tabloid
Back story: MP Michael Howard becomes leader of the Tories

12. Zip me up before you go go

Year: 1998
Title: The Sun
Back story: Singer George Michael is arrested for a ‘lewd act’ in a public toilet

13. A Wayne in a manger

Year: 2009
Title: Liverpool Echo
Back story: Footballer Wayne Rooney becomes a father

14. Two jabs

Year: 2001
Title: Various
Back story: MP John Prescott punches a man who assaulted him with an egg

15. Frog legs it

Year: 2011
Title: New York Post
Back story: Like an innocent man, economist and former IMF top man Dominique Strauss-Kahn promptly leaves New York following his arrest for sex abuse

16. Putter fingers

Year: 2010
Title: The Sun
Back Story: Hapless one-time England goalie Robert Green plays golf

17. Ship ship hooray

Year: 2004
Title: The Sun
Serial killer Harold Shipman hangs himself in the clink. Tasteful

18. Bop gear

Year: 2015
Title: The Sun
Back story: Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has a dust up with one of the show’s producers. Not as catchy as ‘Fracas gear’

19. Chip tator

Year: 2003
Title: New York Post
Back story: Former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein is captured. With crisps

20. Two sh*gs

Year: 2006
Title: The Mirror
Back story: MP John Prescott has an affair with… his secretary

21. Gord help us now

Year: 2007
Title: Daily Express
Back story: Gordon Brown becomes PM

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