- The first line:
Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, Monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, has unique ideas on physical therapy.
- And there is the video montage Dresden suggests for said therapy. To the Foo Fighters' "Walk" — which is very appropriate on top of it.
- The most hilarious part of the whole thing is how Mab tops the physical therapy process: she just flat out unloads a drum-fed, automatic Russian shotgun into his face at point-blank range. Something about the image of this literal queen with epic, eye-watering beauty and grace blasting away with a giant shotgun is freaking hilarious.
- Much of Cat Sith's dialogue is darkly hilarious.
Harry: Just trying to brighten the conversation with humor, Sithy. You need to cheer up.
Cat Sith: Slicing your spine into coasters would cheer me. May I?
Harry: Gotta go with 'no' on that one.
Harry: Kind of a big event, huh? Think there'll be a problem with the paparazzi?
Cat Sith: One may hope. Dispatching the perpetrators of such an intrusion would be gratifying.
- Harry and Sarissa walk into a dark ice cavern. Suddenly, all manner of light and sound blaze forth from nowhere and Harry prepares to fling fire at whatever is in his way. It's his birthday party. Complete with all the fae you could imagine, including the trolls and goblins and other monsters, singing "Happy Birthday" while sprites form a floating HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY DRESDEN banner over him.
- When Maeve shows up at the Winter party wearing diamonds and nothing else, Harry has a field day, beginning with observing that she's been "Vajazzled" and making an "I almost showed up wearing the same thing!" joke. And then there's his new nickname for her: Little Miss Spanglecrotch.
- Kris Kringle putting his foot down on Holiday Creep.
Kris: Not until after Halloween. Enough is enough, I'm drawing the line.
- The Tao of Pratchett: Build a man a fire and you warm him for a day. Set a man on fire and you warm him for the rest of his life.
- "Wait. Your job is... you're BFFs with Mab?" (It Makes Sense in Context)
- Toot-Toot's knowledge of mortal slang is a little... limited at times.
Harry: I'm on a case. I'll need someone to watch my back.
Toot-Toot: Lean forward a little, my lord. Hey, Kernel Purpleweed! Come watch the Za Winter Lord Knight's back!
Harry: No, that's a metaphor.
Toot-Toot: I don't know what it's for.
- There's Harry's line as he's breaking into Butters' apartment to get Bob back.
Harry: One day, one brave and magnificent day, I will actually be cool.
- Harry's completely justified reaction to being informed that, on top of everything else on his plate already, the island Demonreach is getting ready to explode and take out half the Midwest.
Harry: Of course it is. I swear, this stupid town. Why does every hideous supernatural thing that happens happen here? I'm gone for a few months and augh. Be right back. Grrssll frrrsl rassle mrrrfl.
- Harry wonders why Mab doesn't simply tell him what to do, somehow forgetting all the times he has tried — and sometimes succeeded — to go against or around her mandates in the past.
Thomas: If your new boss wanted you on the island, wouldn't she just have told you to go there?
Harry: Seems like. Taking her orders is pretty much my job now.
Molly: [snorts softly]
Harry: Maybe I'll grow into it. You don't know.
Thomas: [snorts softly]
- "My brother the...Geosexual?"
- Bob and Demonreach. They have synergy when snarking together.
Demonreach: LESSER BEINGS ONCE KNEW TO RESPECT THEIR ELDERS.
Bob: I respect the crap out of you. You want me to help, and I'm telling you how.
Bob: You see what I'm working with here? I had to simplify [an incredibly complicated magical situation] down to throwing a rock.
- And later...
Demonreach: HIS UNDERSTANDING IS LIMITED.
- Bob explaining Harry the nature of the island, by projecting a movie, complete with the 20th Century Fox logo, Star Wars-ish opening, Sir Alec Guiness as Merlin, a romantic subplot (involving pornstar Jenna Jameson, of course), obvious subtitles, rifftrax from Harry, and fast-forwarding it when Dresden asks him to cut the crap.
- Harry also lampshades the Lawyer-Friendly Cameo, and then fails to get Bob's special hell reference, and is really irritated by it.
- This retroactively makes a funny moment from Dead Beat even funnier. Remember when Harry argued that Thomas was "too pretty to die"? note Since it's now clear that he's never seen Firefly, it looks like he was just (very accurately) stating the facts, rather than lightening the mood with reference humor.
- The fact that Demonreach referred to Molly also as "Grasshopper" was rather amusing.
- Thomas is talking about the gear he has for his boat:
Thomas: I even have a sextant.
Harry: Any tent you own is a sex-tent.
- Most of Harry's conversations with Thomas.
Harry: [thinking] Totally not fair.
- In regards to dealing with the growing threat that is Lara.
Harry: I'll stick her on my to-do list, then.
Harry: Not like that, pervert.
- Another example is Harry's reaction to Thomas telling him that Justine is no longer screwing one woman in front of him so that they can safely be together... she's bringing him a steady stream of gorgeous girls so that he can be sufficiently well-fed not to harm her.
- Harry recalls naming the dock they built the Whatsup Dock, a pun so terrible that Thomas reacts by throwing him twenty feet into the lake. After getting out, he then blasts Thomas forty feet into the lake, because hey, what else can a brother do in that situation?
- In regards to dealing with the growing threat that is Lara.
- When Harry is visiting Mac's:
In Chicago, you can't swing a cat without hitting an Irish pub (and angering the cat), but McAnally's place stands out from the crowd.
- Later in that scene, he calmly turns to Thomas and asks where that expression came from. When Thomas is confused, Harry clarifies that he's talking about the "swinging a cat" metaphor, which was just part of his internal monologue. Thomas more or less just rolls his eyes.
- Harry and Molly right outside Mac's, where Donnar Vadderrung is waiting.
Molly: I sense...
Dresden: Say it. You know you want to say it.
Molly: [exasperated] There is not a disturbance in the Force.
- Molly's "Oh, my God...we're his flunkies!"
- Thomas responds to this by claiming that he's Harry's thug, which is a higher rank.
- Harry summons the CEO of Monoc securities (also known as Odin) in hopes of procuring information. Their conversation is amazing:
"What do you need?" Vadderung asked."Advice," I said. "If the price is right.""And what do you think a sufficient price would be?""Lucy charges a nickel.""Ah," Vadderung said. "But Lucy is a psychiatrist. You realize that you've just cast yourself as Charlie Brown.""Augh," I said.
"I will accept your offer of one favor-and a nickel.""I told you. I don't have a nickel."He nodded gravely. "What do you have?"I rummaged in my pockets and came out with the jeweled cuff links from my tux. I showed them to him."Those aren't a nickel," he said soberly. He leaned forward again, as he had a moment before, and spoke slowly. "What do you have?"I stared at him for a second. Then I said, "Friends."He sat back, his blue eye all but throwing off sparks, it was so bright."Thomas," I called. "I need a nickel.""What?" Thomas asked. "In cash?""Yeah."Thomas reached into a pocket and produced a bunch of plastic cards. He fanned them out and showed them to me. "What about these?""Those aren't a nickel," I said."Oh, for goodness' sake." Molly sighed. She reached into a pocket and produced what looked like a little old lady's coin purse. Then she flicked a nickel toward me.I caught it. "Thanks. You're promoted to lackey."She rolled her eyes. "Hail, Ming."
- Their negotiation of price leads us to this:
- Discussing the classic Grandfather Paradox — and recall Harry's grandfather is Ebenezer McCoy:
Dresden: So if I go back in time and kill my grandfather, what happens?
Vadderung: He beats you senseless, I suspect.
- Harry's Incredibly Lame Pun: Calling Huginn and Muninn, who are traditionally seen in the form of ravens, "birdbrains."
- Harry and Thomas' joint snark in the face of an Eldritch Abomination:
"Look, Spanky," I said to Sharkface. "I'm a little busy to be tussling with every random weirdo who is insecure about his junk. Otherwise I would just love to smash you with a beer bottle, kick you in the balls, throw you out through the saloon doors, the whole bit. Why don't you have your people contact my people, and we can do this maybe next week?""Next week is your self-deprecation awareness seminar," Thomas said.I snapped my fingers. "What about the week after?""Apartment hunting.""Bother," I said. "Well, no one can say we didn't try. See you later."
- "Hey, weren't there seven of you guys a minute ago?"
- "Hey, weren't there six of you guys a minute ago?"
- The whole exchange with Harry and Thomas arguing over which television doctor makes a better snarky nickname for Butters:
- For the first half of the book, Harry has been menaced by Captain Hook, a faerie who rivals Toot-Toot in the Badass department. The kicker. She's a girl. Toot-Toot couldn't say more than Wow for some time.
- Bob has a field day with that one:
Harry I'm getting my ass kicked by tiny faeries! [fumbles to start the Caddy] They've got my freaking number!
Bob: [laughs hysterically]
Harry: [starts the engine, drives away]
Bob: [giggles as he rolls on the seat] Tiny faeries! Tiny faeries!
- Bob has a field day with that one:
- Toot-Toot's attempt to court Lacuna and her response to it, which consists of punching him in the face and calmly going back to eating celery.
Harry: How random.
- Also Toot-Toot and Harry's shock that Lacuna hates pizza. She likes celery.
- It's right smack dab in the middle of a Nightmare Fuel moment, but Mother Winter is almost Batman-esque in her ability to be so unfunny that she's funny.
Mother Winter: [as she's sharpening her cleaver] Mab is too much the romantic.
Harry: [narrating] Which tells you everything you need to know about Mother Winter.
- Harry gets a little fed up with Mother Summer being cryptic:
I kept a straight face while my inner Neanderthal spluttered and then went on a mental rampage through a hypothetical produce sections, knocking over shelves and splattering fruit everywhere in sheer frustration, screaming, "JUST TELL ME WHOSE SKULL TO CRACK WITH MY CLUB, DAMNIT!"
Flippin' faeries. They will be the death of me.
- Harry realizing the Gatekeeper's job description is more literal than he thought. He's brought to see the Gatekeeper at The Outer Gates, and it goes something like, "Rashid the Gatekeeper? What is he doing here?" [stops, looks at the stupidly big gate he's standing right next to, realization sets in] "...Oh."
Harry: Those are supposed to be a metaphor.
- While still reeling from the above reveal, Harry is sent back to the cemetery and lands precisely at the bottom of his still-open grave from the previous books. A Goth kid hanging out in the graveyard for Halloween peeks down at him and states that "it's pretty hard-core down there." Then more Goths appear and all agree that Harry is indeed pretty hard-core down there. Harry wonders if he hurt their self-esteem or something.
- All of Harry's dialogue with his new fairy vassal, Lacuna. Just all of it. Made even funnier by Marsters' performance for her.
Harry: [gets out of the shower] [begins to put on his underwear]
Lacuna: Why do you wear those?
Harry: Gah! [lands on his naked ass] Don't do that!
Lacuna: Don't ask questions?
Harry: Don't come in here all quiet and spooky and scare me like that!
Lacuna: You're six times my height, and fifty times my weight. And I've agreed to be your captive. You don't have any reason to be afraid.
Harry: Not afraid. Startled. It isn't wise to startle a wizard!
Lacuna: Why not?
Harry: Because of what could happen!
Lacuna: Because they might fall down on the floor?
Lacuna: You aren't very good at answering questions.
Harry: [puts on some clothes] I'm starting to agree with you.
Lacuna: So why do you wear those?
Lacuna: Yes. You don't need them unless it's cold or raining.
Harry: You're wearing clothes.
Lacuna: I am wearing armor. For when it is raining arrows. Your T-shirt will not stop arrows.
Harry: No, it won't.
Lacuna: [peers at the shirt] Aer-O-Smith. Arrowsmith. Does the shirt belong to your weapon dealer?
Lacuna: Then why do you wear the shirt of someone else's weapon dealer?
Harry: Lacuna, humans wear clothes. It's one of the things we do. And as long as you are in my service, I expect you to do it as well."
Harry: Because if you don't, I… I… might pull your arms out of your sockets.
Lacuna: [frowns] Why?
Harry: Because I have to maintain discipline, don't I?
Lacuna: True. But I have no clothes.
Harry: [counts mentally to ten] I'll… find something for you. Until then, no desocketing. Just wear the armor. Fair enough?
Lacuna: I understand, my lord.
Harry: [sighs] Good. How do I look?
Lacuna: Mostly human.
Harry: That's what I was going for.
Lacuna: You have a visitor, my lord.
Lacuna: That is why I came in here. You have a visitor waiting for you.
Harry: [exasperated] Why didn't you say so?
Lacuna: I did. Just now. You were there. Perhaps you have brain damage.
Harry: It would not shock me in the least.
Lacuna: Would you like me to cut open your skull and check, my lord?
Harry: I… No. No, but thank you for the offer.
Lacuna: It is my duty to serve.
- Harry has been loaned Cat Sith, a very powerful Fey of the Winter Court, as his Battle Butler. Harry, being the Winter Knight and knowing that no subject of the Court can kill him without Mab's say-so, enjoys taunting Cat Sith despite knowing just how powerful the fey cat actually is. The clincher comes at his final attempt to summon him: "Cat Sith! Kittykittykitty!"
- Upon learning that Andi has been kidnapped yet again Mouse opines (via empathy with Molly) that she should be locked in the garage until she learns to take care of herself.
- When they join the Wild Hunt Murphy's Harley morphs into a big black jungle cat but she still hesitates when Harry tells her to take them out onto the lake.
Harry:: It's not the craziest thing I've ever asked you to do. It's not even the craziest thing I've asked you do today.
Murphy: [drives onto Lake Michigan]
- The Erlking doing, what can only be described as... well, the "Bitch Please"-face, with appropriate line:
Erlking: Wizard, please.
- Harry sends the Wild Hunt away to help the battle elsewhere... and then Murphy reminds him they're still on a motorcycle over Lake Michigan, and he just sent away the thing keeping the obvious from happening.
- Words are used by wizards as a safe way to channel their magic. They can mean anything or nothing. The words Harry used to set an iceberg up and keep a barge from running aground? "Rexus Mundus", which translates literally into "I'm the king of the world."
- Harry's completely naked, for perfectly good reasons, and under a bad veil. He ends up standing in-front of some people who can easily tell there is a veil. He knows that it is useless to keep the veil up for stealth purposes but instead drops it down to his own homemade censor blur.
- Harry using his own less than elegant plans as proof he's telling the truth:
Harry: Maybe you're giving me way more credit for cunning than I'm due. You know how I work. How often do I get to a neat, elegant solution that ties everything up? Can you look at me right now and honestly say to yourself, 'Dresden, that wily genius! This must be a part of his master plan'?
I spread my hands and looked up at him expectantly. Fix looked at me, dirty, naked, shivering, burned, bruised, covered in soot and ash.
- In a very tragic-yet-funny moment, Sarissa and Maeve's argument when Maeve claims that Sarissa's dress at the Court party at the beginning of the book was a ploy to get into bed with Harry.
- The tail end of Harry and Murphy's big conversation about their relationship and where it could be heading. It zig-zags between heartwarming, hilarious, and tear-jerking all at once.
Harry: And the sex, it will be frequent. Possibly violent. You'll be screaming. Neighbors will make phone calls. [after Murphy starts laughing] Those are my conditions. Take them or leave them.
Murphy: You're such a pig, Dresden. Maybe you'll be the one screaming.
- Toot-Toot not understanding the word "Ransom":
Dresden: Ah. Medieval-style ransom.Toot-Toot: He did run some, but I stopped him, my lord. Like, just now. In front of you. Right over there.
- Raschid's words of wisdom intended to help Harry adjust to his new knowledge of how precarious the condition of all Reality is and his own major role in maintaining said Reality: "You get used to it."
- Doubles as a CMoA, but Harry casually flying the bird to the One Who Walks Before. That's right: He almost literally flipped out Cthulhu.
- Sarissa mentions taking Mab to Disney World. Just imagine that for a second. Freaking Mab, who terrifies Harry into not even being able to snark, going to Disney World with her daughter.