A paraprosdokian (from Greek, meaning "beyond" and "expectation") 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. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.
Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a syllepsis.
The company accountant is shy and retiring. He's shy a quarter of a million dollars. That's why he's retiring. - Milton Berle
The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread. - Unknown
The husband who doesn't tell his wife everything probably reasons that what she doesn't know won't hurt him. - Leo J. Burke
The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you. - Brendan Behan
The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents. - Nathaniel Borenstein
The older generation thought nothing of getting up at five every morning - and the younger generation doesn’t think much of it either. - John J. Welsh
The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces. - Maureen Murphy
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is the fact that it has never tried to contact us. - Unknown
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas! - Unknown
The wise never marry, and when they marry they become otherwise. - Unknown
There are no favourites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration. - Lyndon B. Johnson
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away. - Unknown
There’s only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I’ll get married again. - Clint Eastwood