- Opening line for the book: "The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."
- Followed by Thomas and Harry being chased by demon monkeys. Flinging incendiary poo.
- The entropy curse. In the middle of a melee, Harry channels the curse— a very nasty spell that alters probability to cause fatal accidents— away from its intended target and toward a vampire that's currently attacking his side. A moment later, the vamp is crushed. By a twenty-pound frozen turkey falling from the sky. The drumstick tips wrapped in red tinfoil. And then the timer dings.
Everyone stopped to blink at that for a second. I mean, come on. Impaled by a guided frozen turkey missile. Even by the standards of the quasi-immortal creatures of the night, that ain't something you see twice.
"For my next trick," I panted into the startled silence, "anvils."
- Harry sends Bob out for recon. Bob, being Bob, spends all of his time scouting out strip clubs. The exchange that follows is one of Butcher's best gems:
I took off my coat and looked around the lab until I located my clawhammer. I picked it up.
I took a practice swing with the hammer. I took my duster off, folded it, laid it over the table, and tried again. Much better. I fixed a murderous gaze on the skull on the shelf.
"Gee, uh, Harry," Bob said. "I was just doing the breast
job I co-best, best!
The best job I could!"
"Well. Yes, of course, boss. Um, so I noticed that you're holding that hammer. And that your knuckles are turning kind of white there. And that you look sort of tense."
"Ha," Bob said in a nervous false laugh. "Ha-ha. Ha. That's funny, Harry."
"But I'm tired and it's raining and I don't know if-"
I raised the hammer and took a step forward.
"Ack!" Bob choked. The cloud of orange lights spilled out of the skull in a hurried rush and zipped back up the stairs.
- Although it happened off screen, one of the first thing the curse does is cause someone to get hit by a car. While she was water skiing. Another one opened the trunk of a car to get some golf clubs, and twenty thousand bees flew out to sting her.
- Harry explaining to Thomas that his life isn't all "feuding demigods and nations at war"
Thomas: It's also about mold demons and flaming monkey poo?
Harry: What can I say? I put the 'ick' in 'magic.'
- "Ah, yes, the Bolshevik Muppet solution." Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome and Brick Joke when Harry yells "Bolshevik Muppet!" to alert Kincaid just before setting off the land mine.
- Harry looking over Kincaid's vampire-slaying arsenal.
"My dick is bigger than your dick," I said.
- Harry, upon entering The Deeps.
I'd been in a few caves that were the headquarters for dark magic and those who trafficked in it. None of them had been warm. None of them had been pleasant. And none of them had been professionally decorated.
- When Bob is talking about Arturo's "critically-acclaimed" erotic movies.
"Four stars, four boners. What's the difference?"
I wasn't even going to touch that one.
- Harry's completely irrelevant question right before they go up against the Black Court.
Kincaid: Any questions?
Harry: Why are hot dogs sold in packages of ten but hot dog buns are sold in packages of eight?
(Kincaid, Murphy, and Ebenezar glare at him)
- The first meeting of Harry and Lara. After accepting a job for Thomas, he ended so pissed over the con that he decided to have a "talk" with him. Lara decided to intervene, using a pair of miniature guns and her glamour but it failed against Harry and after a second try:
Lara: Empty night. You are Harry Dresden.
Harry: Don't feel bad. I cleverly concealed my identity as Harry the Production Assistant.
- Harry's response to a rude "actor" at the studio:
Bobby: Who the hell are you?
Harry: I the hell am Harry.
- This gem a few minutes after that introduction:
Harry: He thought I was a stunt penis?
- Also from the same conversation:
Bobby: Are you always a smart-ass?
Harry: No. Sometimes I'm asleep.
- Later, after Bobby apologizes and Harry finds out what he's really like:
Now that he wasn't threatening violence, I could see that this kid was a jewel. He could potentially provide some lucky wiseass with straight lines for the rest of his natural life, and you can't put a price on that.
- After Thomas tells Harry they're half-brothers and he refuses to believe him, he and Harry get into a minor fight and the former gets the latter in an armlock and Harry responds by sinking his teeth into the offending arm. That's the point where you stop reading for a second to appreciate the fact that yes, Harry Dresden did just bite a vampire.
- When Harry, Murphy, and Kincaid are sitting down at breakfast to discuss the hit on Mavra's safehouse, Murphy reaches for her chair, and Kincaid stands up politely, like a proper gentleman. After she glares at him for the unwanted chivalry, he sits down, and she reaches for the chair again. Then Harry gets up. She glares at him, and says that "It's not chivalry if you're doing it to be a wiseass." A small scene, but hilarious.
- Murphy mocks Harry's chivalry earlier in the book as well. While talking to her over the phone about Arturo Genosa, Harry is reluctant to say any words related to a certain female body part, rationalizing "A gentleman just doesn't say some words in front of a lady." Murphy is only too happy to disabuse him of this notion.
: He doesn't believe in using surgically altered... uh... You know
Boobs? Jugs? Hooters? Ya-yas? Harry
: I guess. Murphy
: Melons? Torpedoes? Tits? Gazongas? Knockers? Ta-tas? Harry
: Hell's bells, Murph! Murphy
You're cute when you're embarrassed.
- Murphy's reaction to Harry calling Ebenezar 'Sir.'
- To elaborate, this is the same Harry Dresden who snarks off to everything he sees as a matter of course, who once justified being a wise-ass to a Physical God by the fact that he'd snarked at every other supernatural power he's encountered. You can almost hear Murphy thinking, "Who the hell is this guy that can make Harry behave?" and from then and on she treats Ebenezar as if he's on the same level as the Pope.
- Moments before this, Murphy asks incredulously if Ebenezar's Cool Car - an old, old Ford pickup - runs on coal.
Ebenezar: No idea. Mostly I just turn it loose to hunt down dinner for itself.
- Something of a Meta Crowning Moment of Funny, but hearing James Marsters (the voice of all the audiobooks other than the first recording of Ghost Story) do the voice of Trixie Vixen is just plain hilarious, even discounting how funny Trixie's lines are to begin with.
- A Brick Joke about Murphy and her motorcycle made this troper unexpectedly burst out laughing in the middle of english class.
Harry: It's not my fault all women like motorcycles, Murph. They're basically huge vibrators. With wheels.
- Later, After Harry and Murphy survive jousting with a truck on her bike, Murphy is laughing hysterically.
Harry: What? Why are you laughing?
Murphy: I think you were right about the vibrator thing.
- Harry makes another Looney Tunes reference as they're suiting up to fight the Black Court Vampires.
"Spear and magic helmet," I said in my best Elmer Fudd voice. "Be vewy, vewy quiet. We're hunting vampires."
- Harry discovers that despite being found in extremely suspicious circumstances he doesn't need to worry about the police...because the person trying to frame him is so stupid and self-absorbed that she can't remember Harry's name, and tells the police that he was using the alias "Barry" or "Larry".
- "We were dealing with a succubus. Or more than one, which for grammatical reasons I hoped was not the case."
- Harry has just agreed to let Thomas stay with him a bit. In addition, he has spent most of the book accompanied by Mouse, who at this point is a little puppy who has been riding comfortably in Dresden's coat pocket. Harry is musing that sure, it's going to be a little tighter of a fit in his small apartment with Thomas around, but it won't be so bad, ending his monologue with a note that Mouse won't take up much room. Then Thomas gets home with the groceries, cueing this gem.