Funny / Hell on Wheels

  • The Swede agrees to give the McGinnes brothers a little more time to make the payment on their tent, then tears it down an hour or so later, saying that he did give them "a little more time."
    • The Swede letting loose his flair for the dramatic in the boxing episode also counts as this. Pretty much any time the Swede isn't being creepy as hell, he's fulfilling this trope.
  • On Bohannon's first day as foreman, the crews have gathered outside his tent for orders. He steps outside, bumps his head on the saber hanging over his door, then freezes at the sight of the crowd with the best wide-eyed look on his face.
  • There's a good bit of Black Comedy in Season 2, when The Swede and the Reverend attempt to give a proper burial to a Hooker, but neither can think of anything good to say about her, and so move on with such gems as "She was a good hooker. Amen."
  • Bit of a meta example but the actor that plays The Swede called the relationship between Cullen and the Swede a "bromance' and they had "manlove".
  • When they're about to execute Hawkins.
    Hawkins: You can't just shoot a man without trialing him first. We still got laws! WE STILL GOT LAWS!
    Bohannon: The President Of the United States has Spoken.
    • Also a bit of Black Comedy when Elam shoots Hawkins in the middle of a racist rant. After a bit Cullen just says "Damn it Elam, the man wasn't finished with his last words!"
      • That particular bit returns in the third season. Cullen and Elam have hunted down some cattle rustlers, and have taken one alive so he can testify against the person who hired them (it's Durant). Cullen says that if he runs, he'll shoot him, and leaves him with Elam as he polices some evidence. He runs as soon as Cullen has turned away, and Elam, with a completely disinterested look on his face, draws and shoots him. Cullen turns around, and sounding completely annoyed, goes "Dammit, Elam!"
  • Season three premiere, after a lengthy, operatic "Break Them by Talking" lecture of Durant exploring the darkest depths of Bohannon's character and why he isn't fit to lead the railroad, Durant seemingly out of the nowhere finishes with:
    • Same episode, also involving Durant in his full, Brutal Honesty filled glory:
    Man: Weren't you in jail this month?
    Durant: Yes.
    Man: And you're broke.
    Durant: Flat-broke.
  • Bohannon and Fergurson have a Curb-Stomp Battle against some horse thieves, and Bohannon seems to be picking out the best attire from the assorted corpses lying on the ground, meanwhile the last surviving horse thief tries to run and is promptly shot to death by Fergurson. The result is a pretty hilarious "DAMN IT, ELAM!" from Bohannon, who sounds like he's scolding someone for breaking a vase, not murdering someone.
  • Bohannon walks in Durant carrying a corpse and says Durant has been robbing his railroad. He's later questioned that he has no proof. He points towards the corpse and says:
    Bohannon: This man here be my witness!
    • Then the sheriff gets his own snark in:
    Sheriff: The judge in this town prefers his witnesses to be of the breathin' kind.
  • Jimmy Two Squaws entire screen-time in "The Game".
    Jimmy: You give up or lose, you die! I warned you that!
    (beat, Bohannon and Fergurson stare at him silently)
    • The way Jimmy gets Bohannon and Ferguson out of being burned to death is a real knee-slapper. To make up for the dishonor Bohannon inadvertently caused the Chief and his tribe, Jimmy agrees to marry Chief Red Bear's last daughter, Buffalo Face (so named because of her spectacular mutton-chops). For a brief, terrifying moment, Bohannon and Ferguson think one of them has to marry her, but it turns out Jimmy has agreed to do it instead.
    Jimmy: I suppose they're gonna have to call me Jimmy Three Squaws now.
  • Bohannon explaining to Elam what it means when the tailor asks him "Which side do you dress on?"
  • Bohannon's look of absolute joy when Ulysses S. Grant tells him he surreptitiously renamed Durant's town to "Cheyenne".
    Bohannon: Does [Durant] know yet?
    Grant: No.
    Bohannon: Can I tell him?
  • Psalms and Bohannon have a conversation about the railroad that takes a unexpected turn to the hilarious:
    Psalms: A woman like that good with the scissors and the bible? Gotta marry her up, Mr. Bohannon, before Mrs.Ruth finds herself some other low-life, boot-wearing rancher that come along.
    Bohannon: You calling me a low-life boot-wearing rancher, Psalms?
    (''Bohannon glares him)
    Psalms: Uh, no sir, Mr.Bohannon.
    (Psalms looks away and Bohannon smiles while he isn't looking)
  • Durant grows annoyed with a lone tuba player outside and mutters a rhetorical "Will someone please shoot him?" Major Bendix calmly draws his revolver, aims out the window and shoots the tuba player.
  • In "One Less Mule" Bohannon drags Louise out on the dance floor and kisses her full on the mouth.
    Louise: What was that?
    Bohannon: I don't know but I liked it.
    Louise: I ruin you and you kiss me?
    Bohannon: I'm drunk.
  • In "Fathers and Sins" Elam is gambling in a bar, extremely drunk. Bohannon has need of Elam's services so he breaks up the card game and starts scooping the winnings into Elam's hat. Elam is stumbling around drunkenly, then suddenly turns around and vomits right into his own hat, all over his own money.
  • In the fourth season, Durant and Bohannon have a chat. The childish ridiculousness of it a sight to behold.
    Durant: What's the matter, Bohannon, the local deninzery didn't take to your rough charm?
    Bohannon: Deninzery ain't a word.
    Durant: Yes it is!
    Bohannon: No it ain't.
    Durant: Yes it (realizes the utter stupidity of this conversation) Anyway I can have you arrested!
    • Keep in mind those are two of the smartest men in Hell on Wheels
  • A bit of Black Comedy when Sidney Snow tries to make a run for it, grabs a gun, the music tenses up...and then he discovers the gun is unloaded (and the music dies down). Bohannon just gives him a "bitch, please" stare and says "Come on, Sid, you know me better than that."
  • Campbell and Durant fist-fighting in the mud, in all its childish glory.
  • Durant idly watches a brawl going on outside his window before turning away and remarking:
    "Durant": Nice to see them using their fists. Time was, they'd have brought out their guns by now.
    Gunshot sounds from behind him.
  • Bohannan, in a righteous rage, confronts Snow in his room at the brothel. Snow, to distract him, directs his whore to go 'relax him some'. As she approaches, Bohannan silently switches his attention from Snow to give her The Stare. She rapidly backs up. This troper couldn't blame her.
  • This exchange:
    Lilly: Has anyone ever told you what an insufferable arse you are?
    Bohannon: Yeah.