Possibly the most endearing pun of all time comes from the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction when Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, brings to the baker he's infatuated with the gift of flours. Ten different types, each in its own bag, all bundled together into a small box.
The word flour was, in previous centuries, nothing more than an alternative spelling for the word flower, which back then had the additional meaning of 'the finest part.' It was the logical name for the powder created by grinding the finest part, the flower, of the wheat. This makes Harold Crick's gift a rare example of wordplay non-coincidental in origin. Most puns form by simple accident. Take for instance the words sole and soul. The former coming from the Latin word for bottom and the latter derived from the German word Seele. The richness of English lies in these frequent collisions between its diverse influences, allowing for puns as transcendently great as the one that occurs early on in the film Joe vs the Volcano when the titular Joe finishes trudging into an office so dehumanizing it would make Kafka shudder, sits at his desk, and takes off his shoe for examination. A coworker spots him and asks what he's doing. He responds simply, "I'm losing my sole."
In these two examples we see the secret power of punnery. Oft dismissed as nothing more than groan inducing faux cleverness, a pun can be so much more. It can be a stealth bomber, blasting into a stock phrase a hole through which an entire cavalcade of additional meaning can march through. Joe turns his examination of a shoe into a meditation on the entire, dreary monotony of his life. Harold Crick turns a cliche gift idea into a virtuoso performance of personalized romanticism. Puns enable us to unlock the full power inherent in the multifaceted nature of words.