This is from the transcript of an episode titled Leela and the Genestalk (WARNING: very badly formatted wiki page) of the popular cartoon series Futurama.
(Background: a character named Mom has created a flying laboratory on a fake cloud to perform genetic experiments which are illegal on the ground.)
Mom: Yes, you've discovered my floating genetic engineering facility. Our experiments would be illegal on Earth, but up here, I'm above the law. (Laughs)
Son1: (smirks) Nice pun, Mother.
Mom: (angrily) It's not a pun, it's a play on words! (slaps Son1) [video]
A few minutes later...
Mom: You've got some freaky DNA, and I want to see what's in your genes. [genes ⟷ jeans]
Mom: (angrily slaps Son1) Genes with a "G"! (sudden realisation) Ow! Now, that's a pun.
Is Mom correct in the first scenario? Can the phrase above the law in that context not be considered a pun?
As far as the definition goes:
- a clever and amusing use of a word or phrase with two meanings, or of words with the same sound but different meanings. (Collins)
- a humorous use of a word or phrase that has several meanings or that sounds like another word. (Cambridge)
- the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound. (Merriam-Webster)
I have already asked a (10k only) similar question some time ago which got deleted. There the phrase in question was building a road to bring two (enemy) states closer.