- The hotline telephone conversation. What makes all the better is that Peter Sellers ad-libbed the whole thing:
President Muffley: Hello?... Er, hello, Di—er, hello, Dimitri?... Listen, er, I can't hear too well, do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh, that's much better!... yeah — yeah — Fine, I can hear you now, Dimitri. Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh? Good — then — Well, then, as you say we're both coming through fine — Good — Well, it's good that you're fine and, and I'm fine — I agree with you, it's great to be fine. [laughs nervously] Now then, Dimitri — you know about how — we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb... The bomb, Dimitri, the hydrogen bomb... Well, now, what happened is — um — one of our base commanders, he had a sort of — well, he went a little funny in the head — you know, just a little — funny, and uh, he went and did a silly thing — Well, I'll tell you what he did, he ordered his planes — to attack your country. Ah — well, let me finish, Dimitri — let me finish, Dimitri — well, listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dimitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... Of course I like to speak to you! Of course I like to say hello!... Not now, but any time, Dimitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened. It's a friendly call, of course, it's a friendly call — Listen, if it wasn't friendly you probably wouldn't have even got it!... They will not reach their targets for at least another hour — I am — I am positive, Dimitri — listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador, it is not a trick... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your Air Staff a complete rundown on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes... Yes, I mean if we're unable to recall the planes and — I'd say that, uh — well, uh — we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dimitri — I know they're our boys... Alright, well, listen, now who should we call?... Who should we call, Dimitri?... What "The People"? — What? Sorry, you faded away there — "The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters," where is that, Dimitri?... In Omsk. Right?... Yes — Oh, you'll call them first, will you?... Uh huh — Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dimitri?... What? I see, just ask for Omsk Information — How — ah, um, hmmm... I'm sorry too, Dimitri. I'm very sorry — Alright, you're sorrier than I am, but I am sorry as well — I am as sorry as you are, Dimitri. Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are — So we're both sorry, alright? Alright... Yes, he's right here. He wants to talk to you, just a second —
- Notice Ambassador de Sadesky's face during the conversation. Not only does he look like a small part of his soul died, it never changes; like he's entirely used to this sort of thing.
- "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
- General Turgidson's enthusiastic description of how low one of the bombers can fly. Even imitating a plane, with his arms like wings◊.
- The "Oh, Crap!" look on General Turgidson's face when he realizes that the bombers might succeed in ending the world.
- Also, when he trips and falls and afterward acts like it never happened. Apparently, it actually was an accident, and like a lot of the other improvisations, Stanley Kubrick kept it in.
- Major Kong becoming the trope originator for Riding the Bomb.
- Dr. Strangelove's attempt to describe how humanity will survive After the End, frequently interrupted by his Evil Hand.
- Strangelove accidentally addressing the president as Mein Führer.
- Strangelove pointing out the inherent flaw in the Russians' Doomsday Machine.
Dr. Strangelove: Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost if you KEEP IT A SECRET! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?
Ambassador de Sadesky: [Sheepishly] It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.
- Mandrake's incredulous reaction upon hearing Bat Guano's name, he hesitantly pronounces it and adds "...if that is your real name."
- Mandrake needs some change for the phone...
Mandrake: (to Guano) Colonel, that Coca-Cola machine, I want you to shoot the lock off it. There may be some change in there.
Guano: That's private property.
Mandrake: (exasperated) Colonel, can you possibly imagine what is going to happen to you, your frame, outlook, way of life and everything, when they learn that you have obstructed a telephone call to the President of the United States? Can you imagine? Shoot it off! Shoot! With the gun! That's what the bullets are for, you twit!
Guano: Okay, I'm gonna get your money for you. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's going to happen to you?
Guano: You're going to have to answer to the Coca-Cola Company.
- The Survival Kit:
Kong: Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one .45-caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings — shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff....
- When discussing the doomsday device:
Ambassador de Sadesky: The deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.
President Muffley: This is preposterous! I never approved of anything like that!
Ambassador de Sadesky: Our source was The New York Times.
- Meta-example in Kubrick's deception of George C. Scott. Turning a subtle (but presumably dull) role into a Large Ham with over-the-top takes "for practice" and "amusement of the crew". Scott had reasons to be very upset, but the sneaky move is hilarious too, very in line with the absurdism of the whole film. The movie benefits immensely from his exaggerated performance.
- The final line of the movie, "MEIN FÜHRER!!! I can WALK!!!" is quickly followed by the nukes hitting and the credits.
- And before that: "Mr. President, we must not alloooooww... A MINE SHAFT GAP!"
- Think about it. General Ripper is a completely paranoid general who acts surprisingly calm, while Turgidson, despite making a lot of rational points, acts like a complete lunatic.
- General Ripper pulling a .30 calibre machine gun from his golf bag.
Ripper: Mandrake, come over here, the Redcoats are coming!note
- Followed shortly by Ripper trying to rally Mandrake to help him operate the gun. His choice of metaphor could have been more inspiring:
- The "Keep off the grass" and "Peace is Our Profession" signs are visible when the soldiers are storming the base, lending another examples of Black Comedy. Especially since "Peace is Our Profession" was the Real Life slogan of the Strategic Air Command.
- The BLAND Corporation. A parody of the Real Life RAND Corporation. Talk about a Bland-Name Product.
- Turgidson loudly declares that their studies on fallout show the Doomsday Device is impossible. Ambassador de Sadesky says he obviously hasn't heard of Cobalt-Thorium G, leaving Turgidson to lamely ask what that is.
- Mandrake mocks Ripper's A Father to His Men delusion and makes a pun without really trying.
Mandrake: I'm sure they all died thinking of you, every man jack of them... Jack.
- The Russian ambassador's voice wavers in fear quite exaggeratedly when he first describes the Doomsday Machine. It fits the Black Comedy tone of the film very well.
- Ripper's obsession with bodily fluids, and his explanation that fluoride in water is a communist plot.