This thread in GQ discusses the “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law” tag found on mattresses. For a long time, it wasn’t clear that the tag applied only to merchants, not consumers. As several posters noted, this provided grist for many a joke.
My favorite was when Mr. Carlson, the nebbishy boss on WKRP in Cincinnati, was explaining how law abiding and fearful of authority he was.
"You know those mattress tags that say, ‘Do not remove under penalty of law’?
I get nervous just having those in the house!"
Can anyone remember any others?