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The SeriesYes, even in a show as dark and disturbing as Hannibal, there's still the odd moment of twisted humor here and there. Examples are divided by season to minimize spoilers, but some can and will be unmarked; proceed at your own risk.
- "Apéritif": Will's explanation for why he's in the bathroom:
Will: I enjoy the smell of urinal cake.
- Followed by Jack's reply: "Me too." Then some hapless agent comes in, only to scurry right back out again when Jack bellows "USE THE LADIES ROOM!"
- Will's disdain for therapy in "Amuse-Bouche".
Hannibal: How does that make you feel?
- Abigail has an idea to recreate the phone call that tipped her father off; she suggests that Will play her father, Alana her mother, and says to Hannibal, "And you be the man on the phone!"
- When Abigail has a horrified realization that her father very likely fed parts of the girls he killed to her and her mother, Hannibal only calmly replies, "It's very likely."
- After Alana finds out about Hannibal stealing Abigail from the hospital in "Œuf":
Hannibal: You were right.Alana: Often am. Have to be more specific.
- "Did you just smell me?"
- Hannibal brings Abigail over to his house for dinner, and asks her about her plans for the future.
Hannibal: Have you thought about applying to schools?Abigail: My dad killed girls at all the schools I applied to.Hannibal: (beat) Perhaps later, then.
- "He should have hopped faster." Cue a Scare Chord and a brief cut to the "rabbit" running for his life, stumbling and taking on a distinctly hopping sort of gait as he tries to get away. Then cut back to Hannibal and Jack.
Hannibal: Yes, he should have. Fortunately for us, he did not.
- The forensic team's reaction to Will's outburst at Jack in "Coquilles". After Jack's "I did not hear that," they quickly scamper off into the background. Although they're probably just trying to save Will the embarrassment of getting chewed out by the boss in front of colleagues, it's reminiscent of siblings getting the hell out of dodge when one of them is about to be scolded by a parent.
- Will and Alana taking a subtle dig at Dr. Chilton and his smugness in "Entrée":
Chilton: I've read your notes, of course. They were more or less helpful, as I conducted my own interviews with Dr. Gideon over the years.Alana: (very dryly) Well, I'm glad I was helpful.Will: More or less.
- Quite a lot of "Sorbet" is pretty funny, when it isn't being harrowing.
- One moment being Hannibal's clear discomfort with being the subject of Franklyn's attention.
- A shot of Franklyn's used tissue on Hannibal's coffee table cuts to a shot of Hannibal with a priceless expression of disgust.
- Hannibal's obvious disappointment when Will doesn't show up for their appointment. He sits all alone in a dark room, stares at his appointment book, stares at his phone, and plays woeful classical music.
- Hannibal's "grocery shopping". He picks a certain business card from his Rolodex, goes to his box of recipes to choose a suitable course, brings the respective organ back, prepares it to cook and puts it in his fridge. And then he does it again. And again. This is cut together with the forensic team examining the bodies and noting the missing organs... and then just how the missing organs are being prepared...
- Particularly the bit where Will mentions the missing intestines and Zeller says, "Either someone's got short bowels or someone's making sausages". Cut to Hannibal doing exactly that.
- And there is this bit.
Jimmy: We were looking at donor lists for a heart or kidneys. Now we're looking for hearts, kidneys, livers, stomachs, pancreases, lungs... this guy is missing a spleen. A spleen! Who the hell gets a spleen transplant?!
- In "Fromage", Franklyn is trying to talk Tobias down, rather aping Hannibal — and then Hannibal gets fed up and snaps Franklyn's neck.
Tobias: I was looking forward to that!
- Followed by a shot of Hannibal, clearly thinking, not half as much as I was.
- From "Fromage":
Tobias: Then why did you invite me here for dinner? Was it just to restring your harpsichord?Hannibal: I was going to kill you. (Tobias glances at the meal he just ate) I didn't poison you, Tobias. I wouldn't do that to the food.
- Another from "Fromage". After Will kisses Alana, he rushes to Hannibal's house to talk about it, unwittingly interrupting Hannibal's extremely tense dinner date with Tobias. The scene that follows is absolutely hilarious, what with Hannibal going to answer the door only to find Will already in his foyer, throwing his jacket on the floor with only a "I kissed Alana Bloom!" by way of explanation before rushing into the house proper, leaving Hannibal to mutter "Well... come in," to the space Will previously occupied. Then Will wanders into the dining room, only to find the place empty, with the door to the snowy backyard, Tobias having fled. Hannibal gives some bullshit story about an urgent call, and Will doesn't question it. Then, while fixing bread pudding for himself and Will, Hannibal rather bitchily complains about Will coming to his house to talk about the kiss, and actually stops and stares at Will for a moment when Will responds to a question about the kiss with the phrase "I heard an animal in my chimney."
- In "Trou Normand", the killer of the week is informed that his entire life's work was ass-backwards. His entire reaction? Hitting his hand against the armchair as though to say, "Darnit."
- This gem from Jack in "Buffet Froid".
Will: He knew her. Someone who cared about her, or thought he did.Beverly: He cared too much.Jack: So, we're looking for boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, coworkers, the guy who bags her groceries.
- From "Rôti":
Hannibal: He had a mild seizure.Dr. Abel Gideon: That... doesn't seem to bother you.Hannibal: I said it was mild.
He even tied little bows on some of them!
- Earlier, when the killer had hung victims' organs from the trees with their own veins.
- At the beginning of "Relevés". Hannibal brings Will this really fancy meal made of rare, exotic ingredients.
Will: You made me chicken soup?
- And Hannibal looked so irritated. ("— yes.")
- The way that Franklyn, who is by far the most nervous and neurotic character in the show so far, is absolutely oblivious when there are not one but two lions in the room.
- In "Kaiseki", Will's mental landscape/Happy Place is a lovely, quiet river. The first time we see him emerging from it, it turns out he's been using it the way any of us would: to ignore the hell out of Chilton. And Chilton is so wrapped up in whatever it is he's going on about that he hasn't noticed. A+ psychiatry, Frederick.
- Don't forget Chilton's silent sassy gestures we see while Will blanks him.
- He also returns to the river during Chilton's testimony in court. And only Chilton's testimony.
- Most of Chilton and Will's interactions are funny when they're not being horribly sad, like when Chilton tells Will his diagnosis of Will being an intelligent psychopath, though in his opinion, Will lacks the charm associated with the diagnosis.
- In "Sakizuki", when Lecter visits Will in the mental hospital:
Hannibal: I've been advised to stay on this side of the line.
Will: Select patients have taken to urinating on the therapists.
Hannibal: I would argue that drawing a line might encourage a pissing contest.
Hannibal: Hello. I love your work.
- Hannibal's surprise greeting to the killer in the same episode, right before a cut to commercial:
Killer: There is no God.Hannibal: Certainly not with that attitude.
- Later on in the same conversation:
- Jack wonders why there's a leg missing from the eye mural, at which point the scene switches to Hannibal's kitchen, where NBC brazenly shows Hannibal slicing the man's foot off the leg in his culinary preparation, all while an energetic classical piece plays.
- Will's reaction to deducing Bedelia's profession. There are no words that give justice to Hugh Dancy's delivery.
Will: You're Hannibal Lecter's therapist. (very long beat) What's that like?
- Jimmy really wanted to get a stool sample from Will. Which then started trending on Twitter.
- In "Hassun", when Will's lawyer cross-examines Freddie Lounds, he emphasizes the six libel suits against her. He and Freddie repeat the word "six" several times, as if to remind viewers of Freddie's devilish nature. And that's all he does, he doesn't feel the need to even mention her testimony. That Liar Lies was his entire cross.
- In "Takiawase", when Price starts going on about the explosive nature of bee orgasms — "It's audible to the human ear!" — all Zeller can say is "All right," with an 'I am so done' look on his face.note
- When Katherine starts dreamily explaining why it's more beautiful for her patients to die in a meadow, lobotomized and swarming with bees, she explains that she considered eating the honey they'd made, but found the notion too morbid. Price, at a loss for words, just gives her a helpless "uh-huh, keep talking" nod.
Matthew: Did you know the phrase to 'kick the bucket' came from exactly this situation? You could kick it out right now yourself and it'd all be over. Quicker than bleeding out.Hannibal: You're a nurse at the hospital... Are you setting a new standard of care?
- When Will is taken to the observatory where Beverly's body is found, the look on Matthew Brown's face is pretty amusing. Hell, any scene when he is engaging in his Obfuscating Stupidity as one of the asylum security guards counts as a Funny Background Event.
- Hannibal's Casual Danger Dialogue after being tranquilized, his wrists slit, strung up with a noose around his neck, and effectively crucified; all while being left at the tender mercy of Matthew Brown.
Gideon: You can come closer, Dr. Lecter. I'm a cutter, not a pisser.
- Gideon's line:
Hannibal: What brings you to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane?Freddie: I am interviewing Will Graham, at his request. Imagine that.Hannibal: (Beat) I'm trying.
- When Freddie Lounds bumps into Hannibal as he leaves the asylum:
- Chilton's reaction in "Futamono" to Hannibal's dinner party: his expression while holding the weird-looking squab's claw hors d'oeuvre has been described, by multiple posts on tumblr, simply as "The hell is this?"
- Also his visible relief at the fact that, thanks to his inability to digest animal proteins, Hannibal's only been able to give him salad for their last few dinners.
- Chilton also acts as a viewer stand-in and the only sane person to notice the ridiculousness of Hannibal Lecter. Chilton brings up one of Hannibal's not particularly subtle jokes about cannibalism, and notes the irony of someone called Hannibal being a cannibal.
- Chilton and Hannibal both knowing that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, that Chilton knows this, and that Hannibal knows he knows this leads to another funny moment at the dinner party where Chilton is staring at Hannibal in abject wide-eyed terror, and Hannibal notices and winks at him, giving Chilton all the reason he needs to haul ass out of there. It felt like Anthony Hopkins took over Mads Mikkelsen's body for that one little moment, just to have Hannibal screw with Chilton in the series like he did in the books and movies.
- In the same episode, the entire exchange with Gideon, upon feeding him his own leg.
Chilton: May I use your shower, please?
- The first thing a traumatized, blood soaked Chilton says to Will after showing up on his porch?:
Chilton: Abel Gideon is half eaten in my guest room. I have corpses on my property. You just threw up an ear!
- It's Black Comedy, but Hannibal calling out "One moment, please!" in the most non-nonchalant way possible to FBI agents at the door while drugging and choking Chilton is somewhat hysterical.
- Chilton's rant about how the odds are stacked against him, as compared to the evidence against Will:
- You've just got to pity Chilton a tiny little bit when he pulls a gun on Will and gets rewarded with a hilariously disdainful non-reaction — in part because Will's almost certainly thinking, "Hannibal's really scraping the barrel if he expects anybody to believe you're the Ripper," and especially with Chilton yelling commands like Will's a naughty puppy.
Hannibal: You might want to crawl back in there if you know what's good for you.
- Hannibal watches (with a face that is pure gold) as a serial killer laboriously crawls out of a dead horse, then delivers the most hilarious line of the episode.
Will: Peter, is your social worker inside that horse?
- Some of the funniest moments are when Hannibal's thoughts peek through his impassive mask. In this case, he's clearly thinking, "this is fucked up even for me."
- Close competition for most hilarious line of the episode, made Crazy Awesome by the fact that Hugh Dancy manages to deliver the line completely straight:
- Made even better by Hannibal's reactionary shot, a stoic version of "WTF?"//
Margot: (completely deadpan) That's one of my suits.Mason: I'll buy you a new one.
- While Mason Verger revealing the pig maze has its share of horrifying moments, there are bits that are hilarious in their outlandishness. Like when the meat dummy is first debuted for demonstration.
- Four words:
- In "Kō no Mono", after Mason emotionally destroys an orphan child just so he can have a tear in his martini, Mason cheerfully says "Have a chocolate!" before walking away.
- Hannibal desperately trying to restrain himself from showing his sheer contempt for Mason, as Mason does such annoying feats as ignoring his instruction and leaving his jacket on the couch.
- Taken even further in the next episode "Tome-wan", where Hannibal just stares open-mouthed as Mason puts his feet on his desk and stabs a penknife into his chair. Seeing the normally unflappable Hannibal simply dazed with the intent to kill one of the rudest people he's ever met is quite amusing.
- Will's Imagine Spot of feeding Hannibal to pigs being scored with the same music as the cutesy scenes with his dogs.
- Hannibal demonstrates his medical training after being tazed, calmly noting that a man bleeding to death should not have removed the weapon acting as a stopper on a wound, only to be tazed again.
- Mason's dialogue when he holds Hannibal hostage.
Mason: The swine may be shy, with starting with the toes, so we need to encourage them (In ridiculous Italian accent to Carlo) with a little-a sauce, eh?
(Carlo looks on in silence.)
Mason: So we're gonna cut your throat.
- Really, all of Mason's attempts at Italian count, with him at one point slipping into Spanish.
- Funny may not be quite the right word, but Mason's attitude leading up to being talked into slicing his face off is disarmingly chipper. "I am enchanted and terrified," indeed.
- The entire sequence with Mason's drugging and cutting of his own face, especially when we see the hallucianations from his point of view, does a very good job straddling the line between Crowning Moment of Funny and Nightmare Fuel, with a dash of what can be seen as either Narm or Narm Charm. It's probably the very height of Hannibal's Black Comedy — the actual events make it on one hand extremely disturbing, but at the same time it's an oddly hilarious sequence because of the atmosphere that Michael Pitt's performance and the background music give.
- Of special note is Mason hallucinating Hannibal grinning and flipping him off with both hands. Apparently, the crew pulled a Throw It In.
Hannibal: Dante wrote that fear is almost as bitter as death.
- When a provincial Prof. Sogliato doubts that Hannibal, a foreigner, has any real fluency in Italian or the works of Dante, Hannibal perfectly recites the entire first sonnet of La Vita Nuova. Sogliato, angry and embarrassed, can only respond that impromptu discussions, not recitations, are what count in the lecture hall.
- The dinner with Anthony has some hilarious lines:
Bedelia: Dante wasn't dead when he wrote it.
- Bedelia drops an oblique hint about Hannibal eating her to their guest Anthony Dimmond:
- "Secondo": Hannibal admitting to Bedelia that his abruptly stabbing his guest in the head "may have been impulsive."
- Then guilttripping her that she "technically" killed him, after pulling out a knife Hannibal stuck in his brain.
- Mason whining over Cordell massaging his face. "I said ow!"
- Frederick Chilton has apparently copyrighted the phrase "Hannibal the Cannibal", intending to make some cha-ching out of the ensuing media circus that will surround Hannibal.
- He also continues to be a complete Butt Monkey as none of Hannibal's other victims want to play revenge fantasy with him.
Mason: [Hannibal] likes music, he likes wine, he likes food and he likes you. How did you taste? Sweet, I bet. I'm sure you got a taste of him, too. Spitters are quitters, and you don't strike me as a quitter, Dr. Bloom.
- One must wonder how Bryan Fuller got away with Mason Verger's constant references to Alana's former sexual relationship with Hannibal. Fuller was cracking up when he wrote that line:
- Hannibal reveals that he called the hotline Verger made to track him down, "just for fun".
- While Jack's beatdown of Hannibal isn't necessarily funny, the scene's use of Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie" as background music makes for some dark whimsy.
- In the midst of a very intimate conversation, Hannibal asks how Chiyoh is. When Will tells him that she pushed him off a train, Hannibal gives a small grin and says "Atta girl" like a proud father.
- Hannibal's proud father expression when Will takes a bite off Cordell's cheek.
- Mason's gleeful recounting of a news story about a German cannibal who cooked and ate a friend's penis, then complained it was overcooked.note
- This exchange from "The Great Red Dragon", about Hannibal’s sanguinaccio dolce:
Chilton: You’ve made this dessert for me before.
Hannibal: One of my favourite desserts. Traditionally made with pig’s blood, in this case, a local cow.
Chilton: And when you last made it for me?
Hannibal: The blood was from a cow, only in a derogatory sense.
- "And the Woman Clothed with the Sun": Freddie officially dubbed Hannibal and Will "murder husbands."
Freddie: You did run off to Europe together.
- "The Number of the Beast Is 666":
- Hannibal barely suppressing his laughter when Chilton asks him if he thinks he's his nemesis.
- Hannibal slurping down◊ Chilton's ripped off lip. He justifies himself to Jack, as the latter only needs one for forensics. He then casually talks to Jack and Alana about what a good day he's having.
- As if being kidnapped by the Red Dragon wasn't bad enough, Chilton also has to endure him having a soapy conversation with his girlfriend.
- Dolarhyde blindfolding Chilton with what looks to be a pantyliner.
- "The Wrath of the Lamb":
- Zeller and Price mock-imitating Dolarhyde, and being excited about finding out who the body belonged to, apparently not caring that they are talking about a terrible, traumatic event.
- Hannibal casually escaping, pushing dead cops out of a car and then asking if Will is "going [his] way".
- Will casually sipping wine while watching Hannibal bleed out from a gunshot.
- The Season 1 Gag Reel. 'Nuff said. Especially whenever the actors break character when they realize someone's screwed up, which leads to scenes like Hugh Dancy high-fiving the forensics team, the Scary Music continuing as Hugh Dancy does the Robot, Mads Mikkelsen repeatedly failing to catch a potato with his knife, and Laurence Fishburne pronouncing Dumfries as "dumb fries".
Lara Jean Chorostecki (playing Freddie Lounds): This is possibly the finest salad I've ever eaten in my life. Shame to ruin it with all that meat.Mikkelsen: Shut up, bitch.(entire cast cracks up)
- The smooth, refined, classy Hannibal Lecter transmogrifying into Mads Mikkelsen with three words:
- The Season 2 Gag Reel. Highlights include:
...cash, one hard candy covered in murderer's lint, one silver cockring, one rusted cockring...
- Gillian Anderson losing her microphone in her cleavage.
- Mikkelsen completely forgetting how to knot a tie, and fumbling with his waistcoat.
- The processing of Chilton's belongings.
- Whoever writes the hashtags for posts on the nbchannibal tumblr is a comic genius; nearly all of them are pure gold. Don't just take our word for it; have a look.
- Hannibal In 5 Seconds
Hannibal: "Will is my friend."(Montage of Hannibal hurting Will)Will: "You're not my friend."
- The scene when Starling is listening to tapes being recorded of her sessions with Hannibal. Krendler decides to be a jerk and ogle a nude sketch Hannibal drew of Starling in the letter he sent her, not knowing Starling is in the room with her with the lights barely on. Just to troll him, she yanks her headphones out of the recorder, causing Hannibal's Voice to echo in the loud speakers scaring the living crap out of Krendler.
- In the film adaptation, a lobotomized Krendler comments that the piece of his brain that Hannibal is sautéing smells good, and Hannibal allows him to try it. He likes it.
- Hannibal suffering a trip in an airplane's coach section, between a mother and baby and her bratty older son.