- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex isn't exactly played for laughs, but it has its moments.
Official: It's been seventeen minutes since geisha robots took all of them hostage.
Batou: (after he and Kusanagi have mown down Gouda with machine-guns): Gee, what a cryin' shame.
Batou (a moment later, spotting one of Gouda's American allies) Hey, you're that prick!
- This is a pretty good Brick Joke to the CIA agent who hadn't appeared since "JUNGLE CRUISE," an episode in the previous season.
- In an early episode, the Major and Batou snark about their current job being so easy they might as well not have showed up. Aramaki remarks that easy job or not, he'll work them like dogs. Batou's response is to give out an enthusiastic hound dog bark.
- Any scene with a Jamison Robot (considered the crudest and simplest cyborg body in existence). The head of an artificial organ company chose to use such a body and then augmented his voice with a fake Texas or Kansai accent (depends on the language you hear). Either way, it's ridiculously over-the-top.
- Tachikomatic Days. Starring the most hilarious and adorable machines in the history of fiction. Notable examples include:
- The end credits alone. The one for the first season has a Tachikoma chasing a Jamison-type cyborg, and then being chased back by a huge, oversized Jamison (looks like a Pac-Man Shout-Out). The second season has a Dig Dug parody where a Tachikoma is trying to inflate a Jamison, only to somehow inflate itself before explosively deflating.
- One Tachikoma turning on the lights, witnessing the others performing a synchronized dance as a tribute to the Major's "bountiful bust and hips," and then turning the lights back off without a word.
- Every so often, a Jameson appears in the sessions. The one for season 1, episode 16 (where the Tachikomas were sent back to the lab) stars the Jameson. Though signs, it explains that due to their departure, Tachikomatic Days was cancelled and that it was taking over (not true—Tachikomatic Days continues next episode).
- While in Tachikoma Paradise, the Tachikomas spy on Batou during his off-time and see that he takes his cybernetic eyes out before going to bed; cue one Tachikoma rolling by after stealing them from the nightstand. The next episode has them spying on Ishikawa in the same fashion, except Ishikawa takes off his beard. They steal that, too.
- The "reveal" that there will be a "Tachikoma Special" is made with a lot of spinning. Later, the Tachikomas exercise to get ready for their auditions.
- Tachikoman, tachikoman, does whatever a tachikoma can! Complete with a Spider-Man parody trailer.
- There are many occasions when the childlike AI of the Tachikomas leads to some amusing moments. In the series proper, we have:
- The Major forces a Tachikoma through a very narrow alley (so narrow it's bending the corrugated steel walls on either side of it as it passes) so as to chase (and scare straight) an organ thief. Thing is, she then left it behind to pursue the perp. Once he's captured, we see the Tachikoma still stuck where the Major left it… and crying for help.
- When the squad went up against an anti-tank helicopter resembling a kind of wasp that eats spiders, the Tachikomas - being spider-shaped "think tanks" - recognize it as their "natural enemy." One of them is apparently scared enough to say "Mr. Batou, we all have stomach aches can we go home now?"
Batou You don't HAVE stomachs!
Tachikoma 1: Oh, now I get your drift. If we just act a little more robotic...
Tachikoma 2: We might stand a chance of the Major liking us!
Tachikoma 4: Exactly!
Tachikoma 3: It's the ultimate robot strategy plan!
All four Tachikomas, in unison: [monotone] We are robots. We are robots. We are robots.
Tachikoma 3: Aaaaaah I can't do this anymore!
- In addition, most of the scenes where the Tachikomas discuss complex philosophical issues are funny because of the incongruity between the depth of erudition being expressed, and their little kiddie voices.
- "Folks who can't handle a self-referential paradox are real suckers." (This was after they used a Logic Bomb to frazzle an Operator android).
- Forms a Brick Joke when later in the same episode, that same android can be seen sitting still pondering on the paradox.
- After recovering a Tachikoma who had wandered off, Togusa chides Batou about his treatment of Tachikomas. Here's the reaction to a Tachikoma being insulted.
Togusa: Batou, you pamper your Tachikoma like it's a pet cat. They're simply machines…
Tachikoma 1: That's a discriminatory remark!
Tachikoma 2: We demand a retraction!
Tachikoma 3: Togusa's a bigot!
Tachikoma 4: Robots need love too!
- The first season episode where one of the Tachikomas wanders off on its own. First it agrees to help a little girl find her missing dog. First it finds a stray dog that it casually grabs and hoists into the air, asking the girl if it's her dog. When she says no, the Tachikoma tosses the dog over its back. Then, a pair of cops confront them and the Tachikoma launches into a long speech (using Aramaki's voice) about how insulting it is for a "war veteran" to be referred to as a "pet."
- The Major being forced to wear an even more stripperiffic outfit after getting thrown in a pile of trash. Aramaki even takes note.
Aramaki: By the way, that's some getup. Are you trying to attract my attention with your wardrobe?
- In the seconds leading up to (and for a little bit after) that, you may notice Batou has a gigantic, shit-eating grin. The Major doesn't, of course. Neither does Togusa, since he had to drive the garbage-soaked and very-peeved Major back to Section 9. When Batou told him, "Good luck, guy," Togusa knew the drive back wasn't going to be pleasant.
- After a short discussion on the advantages of male over female cybernetic bodies, Batou gets up, seemingly intent on having a fight with the Major. He strikes a fighting stance and she... smiles at him◊. He then proceeds to punch... himself in the face.
Kusanagi: So long as you can turn your opponent's over-amped aggression against him, the female model is just fine. Batou, I look forward to reading your report for today, in which you state that you properly utilized all of the muscles in your head.
- A gag so funny, that when they did a reboot for Ghost in the Shell: Arise, the Major did this to him twice as retaliation for various smartass remarks.
- Episode seven of the first series: Batou + Window + Toilet + Guy using Toilet = instant comedy.
- Batou's outside when he opens the window into the bathroom. Guy using toilet gets to see Batou's sheepish grin before Batou grabs him through the window, drags him outside, and knocks him out.
Toilet Guy: It's all over for me, now.
Batou: *Grins* ... Hi!
Batou: Why don't you dream about something else for a while? *Knocks guy out*
(Batou climbs through the window without another word)
- And you can easily tell that Batou wasn't expecting the guy to be there.
- This scene provides the page image for Losing a Shoe in the Struggle, incidentally.
- The same episode has the Major crashing into a hotel room to spook the suspect and his compatriots into bugging out. While she's clearly ready to take on a gang of baddies, she evidently wasn't expecting a pair of fanservicy chicks to be first in line to take her on. Her reaction is made only more amusing by the fact that both girls appear to be Expies of the Major.
- Another silly scene with Batou in season 1, episode 14. Within the compound of an eccentric millionaire, he happens to get cornered by a bunch of android dogs. For a while, all we see of him is him on the roof looking down at the dogs. But later, we get a second punchline as he shows up later with the dogs in tow; he had figured out how to hack them so they recognize him as their master.
- One Tachikoma uses Aramaki's voice to impersonate a war veteran to chew out a cop who thinks it's a little girl's "pet". Crosses over with Crowning Moment Of Awesome when you realize it basically just passed a Turing test.
- Episode nine of the first season involves the Major taking part in an extremely long, serious and involved discussion taking place on the internet. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that she was driving the entire time she was online. Batou was understandably freaked out when he realized it, as one can imagine the Public Service Announcement: "Don't Dive and Drive!"
- One truly hilarious scene is early in 2nd Gig where Gouda is joining them and has to parachute. Because Gouda is actually too afraid to parachute himself, he's strapped to Batou, who's made it absolutely clear that he hates Gouda, and seemed to take great pleasure in tormenting him that way. It's quite funny that one minute, Gouda looked confident before he turns scared the next.
Batou: "I guess we ought to get going too."
Gouda: "I'm not very keen on this."
Batou: (With grin on his face) "Well that's something I'm happy to hear."
- Meanwhile, Gouda keeps screaming scared of parachuting until he gets on the ground. Even then, he's a bit panicky over the incident.
- In "MAKE UP," a seemingly nameless character is explaining newly acquired information on Kuze. He throws the big screen to a profile of Kuze's face and remarks "Pretty handsome, isn't he?"
Batou: What the hell does that have to do with anything?
- During the first episode, while chasing down a crook, Batou tackles him, and puts him in a choke hold. Then some device attached to his neck fries his cyber brain. Batou's reaction? To turn to the others with a big goofy grin and say...
- In the final episode, a guy in a car holds Ishikawa at gunpoint, demanding that he hand over the nuclear..thing he has. He replies with "What, this?" and then pauses for several seconds before just punching the guy out.
- Season 2 Episode 1: during the setup for the raid on the Chinese Embassy, After checking roll so to speak, we get this gem:
"Good. Everyone else be ready for the raid and standby, we'll wait for orders from the Chief. However, if the chief doesn't have any luck convincing the top brass, we'll just pull out of this surveillance gig, and go drown our sorrows
at a nudie bar." Cue Smirk.
- At the end of the above episode, the Major introduces Section 9 to its "new recruit" once they're back at HQ. A door opens, and in steps a Tachikoma. Everyone looks happy (especially Batou) until it steps forward and says "How do you do? I am a Tachikoma" in the flattest, most mechanical voice possible. Beat. Beat. Then it charges forward and cries "Mr Batou! Did I fool you? Did I? Did I?" in its normal voice, revealing it had just pulled a joke on them.
- Season 2, Episode 17, where the Major is in Taiwan and ends up taking a boy named Chai under her protection. Specifically a few scenes:
- Checking in at the hotel, when the woman at the front desk is wondering who Chai is, Kusanagi begrudgingly mutters, "This is my son, but I don't allow him to call me mother in public."
- Later, she strolls right into a bathhouse with a mutter of, "Don't mind me, gentlemen."
- And a bit later, she rings a doorbell to go save Chai:
Doorman: I don't remember anyone ordering a hooker.
Kusanagi: (grabs him and puts a gun to his eye) Funny, I don't remember anyone calling for me either.
- Chai asking Kusanagi if full cyborgs can have sex. The fact that she's practically nude cinches it.
Kusanagi: Why don't you come and find out?
- Season 2 Episode 3 ends with the Major and Batou relaxing by a pool with a tropical view outside the window. Then the view changes to the Toyko skyline and Aramaki yells at them to get back to work.