Wash: Everything looks good from here. **Zoom out, revealing Wash is playing with plastic dinosaurs** [As Stegosaurus]: "Yes... Yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We shall rule over all this land, and we shall call it... 'This Land'". [As Allosaurus]: "I think we should call it YOUR GRAVE!" [Stegosaurus]: "Aaaah! Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!" [Allosaurus]: "Ha ha ha! Mine is an evil laugh! Now DIE!" [Stegosaurus]: "OH GOD! OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!"
Every other episode or so they show Wash flying the plane and a plastic dinosaur just happens to be in front of the camera.
Mal: I realize certain words were exchanged. Also, certain... bullets.
When Jayne makes his desire to torture Dobson clear:
Mal: The problem is we don't know how much info got passed to your Alliance friends before we killed the signal, so we've assigned Jayne here the task of finding that out.
Jayne: (Draws a really big knife from his belt) He was non-specific as to how.
Mal: You know you only gotta scare him.
Jayne: (Innocently) Pain is scary.
Mal had told Simon that if Kaylee died from the gunshot wound that he'd refused to treat in order to force him to get away from the Feds, he'd throw Simon out the airlock. Well, Mal tells Simon that Kaylee's dead. Dramatic violin music plays as Simon bolts to the infirmary and finds... Kaylee, who innocently smiles and waves at him.
Simon: That man's psychotic!
(cut to Mal, Zoe, Jayne & Wash laughing hysterically on the bridge.)
Wash: You are psychotic!
Mal: No, you should've seen his face. Oh, I'm a bad man.
This is, without a doubt, the funniest moment in the entire series. Why? Because Joss Whedon is parodying himself. According to the commentary, even the Fox executives took note: "This pilot isn't very funny — except that one time Mal was really mean to Simon!"
Jayne's "Lemme do the math; nothin' inta nothin', carry the nothin'..."
Or Mal's "Jayne, your mouth's talkin', you should look to that."
And what's Jayne's job? Public relations.
When Mal decks Simon for comparing him to the Alliance, Jayne's casual "Saw that comin'" is amusing, but the real icing is Wash in the background shaking his head at Simon's stupidity and Book's quiet "Son, you are dumb" expression.
River and Simon's introduction. Who's the genius here?
Simon: River? River, it's me. You know who I am? River:(looks at him with a 'well, duh' expression, speaking with an even more annoyed tone) Simon.
"The Train Job"
[Mal and Zoe walk through a wagon full of armed alliance troops]
Zoe: You don't think this changes the situation a bit? Mal: I surely do. Makes it more fun. Zoe: Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.
Mal's...pragmatic approach to diplomacy:
Mal: (to Crow) This is all the money Niska gave us in advance. You bring it back to him. Tell him the job didn't work out. We're not thieves. Well, wearethieves— point is, we're not taking what's his. We'll stay out of his way as best we can from here on in. You explain that's best for everyone. Okay?
Jayne: You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in ruttin' command here. Now we're finishing this deal, and then maybe, maybe we'll come back for those morons got themselves caught, and you can't change that by getting all... bendy.
Wash: ...All what?
Jayne: You got the light, from the console to keep you... lifting you up... they shine like... (starts grabbing at the air) little angels...
And how about the interrogation scene? Especially Wash musing on the all the good sides of being with a "warrior woman" and Jayne... just sitting there, looking at the officer with an expression that more or less defines "amused contempt."
The best part: immediately before that, Zoe had been asked a question about her sex life with her husband, and refusing to answer. We immediately cut to Wash being asked a similar question, and going into explicit detail.
Wash: Her legs. And her back. And especially where her legs and her back meet.
Kaylee: Six gerstlers crammed right under every cooling drive so that you strain your primary artery function and you end up having to recycle secondary exhaust through a bypass system... just so's you don't end up pumping it through the main atmofeed and asphyxiating the entire crew. Now that's junk!
The sheepish look the Alliance interrogator has while Kaylee is ranting gives the impression that she's talking about Alliance ships.
What a vision you are in your fine dress — it must have taken a dozen slaves a dozen days to get you into that getup. 'Course, your daddy tells me it takes the space of a schoolboy's wink to get you out of it again.
Wash: (to Zoe) I can get you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money to buy her a slinky dress?
Jayne: I'll chip in.
Zoe: (smiling) I can hurt you.
At the beginning:
Jayne: Hee-ya! (whips a cow)
Mal: You know, they walk just as easy if you lead 'em.
Jayne: I like smackin' 'em!
Don't forget about River's rant from the same episode.
Mal's reaction to River's explanation about the cows.
River: They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky and they remember what they are.
Mal: (To Jayne, slightly freaked out) Is it bad that what she just said made perfect sense to me?
After Mal complains about River's yelling upsetting the cattle:
River: The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.
Mal: ...See, morbid and creepifying, I got no problem with. As long as she does it quiet like.
Jayne goes through Simon's things:
Jayne: (flipping through Simon's diary and mimicking Simon) Dear Diary, Today I was pompous and my sister was crazy. Today we were kidnapped by hillfolk, never to be seen again. It was the best day ever!"
River convincing Simon she'd just poisoned him.
"Our Mrs. Reynolds"
Pretty much all of "Our Mrs. Reynolds" is like this, if you were to watch that episode in isolation, you'd be forgiven for assuming that Firefly is a straight-up comedy. And a damn fine one at that: Wash's stuff about juggling geese, all the exchanges regarding the "special hell" and drugged-up Inara are the parts that stand out.
At the very start of the episode:
Thug: You gonna give us what do us, and every damn thing else on that boat. And I think maybe you gonna give me a little one on one time with the missis.
Jayne: I think you might wanna reconsider that last part, see I married me a powerful ugly creature.
Mal: How can you say that? How can you shame me in front of new people?
Shepherd Book: If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters... and people whotalkat the theater. Mal: *walks away* Shepherd Book: *leans out the door* The special hell.
"Ohh, I'm going to go to the special hell..."
Later when it's revealed that Mal did fall for Saffron's seduction, Book's comment? "Isn't that... special."
Mal: But she was naked! And all...articulate!
Wash: OKAY! Everybody not talking about sex, in here. Everybody else, elsewhere.
Not to mention the deleted scene where River pulls a Mind Screw on Simon by demanding he marry her to prove he loves her, and then stuffs a pillow under her shirt and says that they're already expecting a baby. The absolutely straight way River delivers the entire scene just makes it even funnier.
She's in the family way...
"...you know that's not something brothers and sisters do. I mean, on some planets, but only pretty bad ones!"
Jayne's take on the paralyzing lipstick and everyone's speechless reaction:
Jayne: That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth.
The funniest thing about it is that everyone else looks shocked, but Kaylee just closes her eyes and looks really exasperated.
Jayne is on top of his game in this one.
Jayne: I got a dumb-ass stick that sounds like it's raining, how come you got a wife?
Zoe: Sir, everyone should congratulate you on your day of bliss!
Saffron: If you're done eating, would you like me to wash your feet?
Mal:(Several seconds of deadpan silence as he looks to Zoe and Wash, then leaves without saying a word.)
It's the look on his face that sells it.
Then later on when Inara mentions that washing her clients' feet is her specialty.
It's even funnier for biblical scholars. "Wash your feet" is sometimes an Unusual Euphemism for oral sex. Which sends the joke straight into Parental Bonus territory...
The end of the episode, where Inara is about to resolve the unresolved sexual tension between Mal and her by admitting she kissed him while he was knocked out, which knocked her out as a consequence. Mal instead takes it as an admission that she kisses Saffron and giddily, smugly walks out. The look on Inara's face is priceless.
The way he said it was pretty damned funny, too...
The casual way she says it makes it absolutely brilliant.
Better than that, Book's original reaction. It can be boiled down to, "That's nice. Wait, what?!"
Even better, the process of fixing it:
River: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's Ark is a problem.
River: We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit five thousand species of mammal on the same boat.
River and Book subsequently fighting over the "edited" Bible, and then the pages being ripped out. River's surprised, then sheepish expression, followed by Book saying "You can keep those..." sells it.
Jayne talking about his hero status:
Jayne: They had a riot on account of me! Me, Jayne Cobb!
Mal: I know your name, jackass!
Inara hearing about the "Hero Of Canton," and thinking it's Mal, starting off into a UST-fueled monologue about him, and then hearing it's Jayne. The look on her face as her brain tries to reboot is absolutely priceless.
Wash's classic line, "We gotta go to the crappy town where I'm a hero."
Funniest part about that scene? Wash is sporting a big, dorky porn moustache. Which, as we all know, he got rid of for the remainder of the show, much to Zoe's approval.
And another, towards the beginning, when the crew discovers it's Simon's birthday and throws a surprise party:
Simon: This is, uh... how - how did you know? River - ?
River: Day is a vestigial mode of time measurement based on solar cycles. It's not applicable. (beat) I didn't get you anything.
"Not as deceivin' as a low-down, dirty... deceiver."
"Well said. Wasn't that well-said, Zoe?"
"Had a kind of poetry to it, sir."
As usual, Jayne:
Jayne: Hell, if I wanted schooling, I'd have gone to school!
Jayne, of all people, reciting a long description of their patients' "symptoms" at the hospital, which he memorized just for that specific reason...precisely after they discover they needn't have bothered. 'Cause Jayne'd memorized them words, gorramit, and he weren't lettin' 'em go to waste.
It felt wrong, "War Stories" having a somewhat realistic torture scene and making it funny.
And then there's the look on Niska's face as Wash and Mal are arguing. He all but says, "This isn't what's supposed to happen. They should be begging for mercy right about now."
When Wash gets uppity:
Wash: Well here's a funny twist: No. Mal: No? Wash: No, sir.
Kaylee and River are playing together, fighting over an apple. Lots of laughter and whoops. Very sweet and heartwarming (partly because it's one of the most lucid and happiest scenes River has). And our captain?
Mal: Ah, the pitter-patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots... SHUT UP!
One or two lines later he cements his role as Team Dad in the most hilarious way possible:
Mal: One of you is gonna fall and die and I'm not cleaning it up!
The end. The man is sitting naked and alone in a vast desert, and yet he feels the day's gone pretty much according to plan. For once.
And the rest of "Trash," particularly this exchange, especially Wash's delivery:
Mal: Saffron has a notion we can walk right in there, take the Lassiter right off his shelf. Wash: I'm confused. Saffron: You're asking yourself if I've got the security codes, why don't I go in, grab it for myself? Wash: No. Actually, I was wondering... what's she doing on this ship? ... We're in space! How'd she get here? Mal: She hitched. Wash: I don't recall pulling over!
Then Jayne tries to steer it back:
Jayne: I got a question. If you've got the security codes, why don't you go in and grab it for yourself?
Saffron: (beat)Good question.
When Wash sees Mal's junk.
Wash:...so he's Jewish?
Also more towards the beginning of the episode, when Inara is complaining to Mal that she can't get any work because of how "under the radar" the crew needs to be:
Inara: What was the last cargo we snuck by the Alliance to transport?
Mal: ...That was a —
Inara: What was the cargo?!
Mal: ...They were dolls.
Inara: They were little geisha dolls with big heads that wobbled!
Simon: I'm trying to find a way you could be cruder. It's just...it's not coming.
Then the part where Jayne leaves. He reaches into his pocket one more time and reveals...a deck of cards. That he takes a perverse pleasure in telling them he was going to leave the cards, but is now taking them. Just because.
That whole scene, as Jayne painstakingly read the whole letter aloud, then pulled the hat out and excitedly plopped it on his head like a little kid, not even bothering to set it straight or pull the packing straw off of it.
Jayne: (Reading slowly)" 'I have sent you the enclosed'- Ooh, enclosed!"
River and The Ice Planet.
River: My food is problematic.
River's statement about Simon's (yet another) failure to woo Kaylee.
River: You are such a boob.
Also, for some reason, this exchange while Jayne is ripping apart the coffin box:
Mal: You find anything?
Jayne: Not unless its made of magical wish-granting planks.
River: I'm very comfortable.
Mal: Using corpses for smuggling is a time-honored repulsive custom.
Jayne: Maybe it's gold.
Zoe: And maybe he was a friend of ours and you need to show a little respect.
Jayne: I got respect. I'm just saying...(points at body) gold!
Wash enters a room containing Simon and an "alien":
"Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony."
And still more: In a deleted scene on the DVD extras from that episode, the revolving shot as the recorded message is playing. With Nathan Fillion (Mal) running counter to the camera rotation to be every second person in the rotating shot. Smiles, grins, chuckles, and outright laughter ensues among the cast. The two best parts: Nathan is completely straight faced and solemn the whole time, and the last bit is him snuggling with Tracy in the coffin. Found here.
Kaylee: (sigh) Everyone's got somebody... Wash, tell me I'm pretty.
Wash: Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
Kaylee: 'Cause I'm pretty?
Wash: 'Cause you're pretty.
" Objects In Space"
This gem from Jayne: "If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak!"
While Simon and Early are struggling, Jayne finally wakes up. He looks up at the noise, scowls, reaches up to pull the blanket off his wall of weapons, and rousing heroic battle music begins to play... and then Jayne rolls over, pulls the blanket over himself, and falls asleep.
An understated classic, where Jayne complains that he was attacked by River.
Jayne: Anyone else remember that time she came at me with a butcher's knife?
Zoe:(to Mal) Sir, I know she's unpredictable, but I don't think she'd hurt anyone.
Simon: I've spent so much time on Serenity ignoring everything that I wanted for myself. My one regret in all of this... is never being with you. Kaylee: With me? You mean to say, as in... sex? Simon: I mean to say. Kaylee: Well, to hell with this. I'm going to live!
Simon and Kaylee, taking the "U" out of their UST. A Crowning Moment of Heartwarming that rapidly turns hilarious when the camera pans up to show River peeking down at them from an overhead vent with a curious-wide-eyed-kid look on her face.
From the same scene, after the crew has crash-landed back in the ship, Kaylee rushes to Simon, who was only there to open the door and says, with obvious concern, "Are you okay?" Mal, who was thrown off the Mule during said crash-landing stands up and with the most indignant look on his face, exclaims, "Is he okay?!"
When Mal leaves Zoe in charge of the ship in the Big Damn Movie, and for a second you think he's going for the Heroic Sacrifice.
Mal: I'll take the shuttle in closer. Zoe, ship is yours. Remember, if anything happens to me, or you don't hear from me within the hour, you take this ship and you come and you rescue me.
Zoe: What? And risk my ship?
Mal: I mean it. It's cold out there. I don't wanna get left.
And then later, after the Operative shoots Mal in the back:
Mal: I haven't made you angry, have I?
"Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket."
In the scene before featuring Mal's first fight with the Operative, said Operative compares River Tam to an albatross that will doom the ship. Mal then answers that an albatross is a help to a ship until an idiot kills him. He then turns to Inara and says this:
Mal: Yes, I read a poem. Try not to faint.
Another outtake: an alternate version of the "gather up these bodies and tie them to our ship" scene.
Mal: Put Book on the front; he's our friend, we should honor him. Kaylee, find that kid taking a dirtnap with Baby Jesus, we need a hood ornament.
The crowning bit is the finish: "Jayne, try not to to steal too much of their shit!" Complete with Adam Baldwin's look of "What? I wasn't gonna."
The Book Ends. When we first see Serenity, she's entering atmo, and a piece of equipment that is apparently rather important to the reentry sequence breaks clean off. Mal goes, "What was that?" Fast forward to the end of the movie. Serenity powers her way through a raging thunderstorm to a dramatic "down but not out" soundtrack, reaches the edge of space, makes like she's about to accelerate to relativistic speed ... and then a piece of the main engine's cowling breaks off and flies at the camera, and the screen goes black. Mal says "What was that?" in the exact same tone and inflection as at the beginning of the movie.
Operative: Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! Somebody fire!
Huge explosion rocks the Serenity.
Wash: (sputtering in fright) It's okay, I-I'm a leaf on the wind.
Mal: What does that even mean!?
Big Damn Comics
From Those Left Behind, when Wash and Zoe make love on the bridge and then suddenly have to call all the crew up to the cockpit. They're calmly and unobtrusively buttoning up their clothes, and everyone is pointedly not looking their way, when...
River: It stinks like sex in here.
In the Better Days comic, the crew are describing what they'd do with all the money they've made. Jayne's fantasy future is an impossibly awesome starship captain with Amazonian Bridge Bunnies who call him "Your Manliness." Book's "fantasy" shows him as a crime kingpin with two scantily-clad hookers hanging off him which is him just kidding. River's is...odd. It apparently involves a really nice dress, a giant fish in a tuxedo, imps flying around on balloons, a Chinese-style dragon, a llama, and a rainbow castle.
Somebody better remind her that imps doing weird shit is Yahtzee's thing. Actually, don't, that would be too epic a battle to miss.
Jayne trying to get a lesson in Companion etiquette... from Simon.
Though Float Out is about people remembering Wash, there's still this gem from Leland's story:
Leland:(narrating) Yeah, I met Wash when he and I were runners for PonyMacro. "System to system, pole to pole, PonyMacro's how you roll."
Wash: ...just saying they should change their slogan. They discontinued ground transport before I was born, so the "rolling" thing makes no sense. And all the money's in system to system, so even the "pole to pole" thing doesn't really apply.
Leland:(in flashback) People remember things that rhyme.
Wash: All the time?
(Later, when they're being chased and shot at:)
Leland: Can you make a rhyme now...?
(Their ship speeds clear of the blasts)
Wash: Wow! That was close! And how!
From Better Days when Jayne hands some cash to a monk:
Jayne: Buy some shoes.
Monk: The Hero of Canton... He's real!
Firefly is pretty much made of Awesome, Funny, and Aww. Sometimes simultaneously. We'd better stop before we quote the entire script.