From the Conan O'Brien era:
- The "schizophrenic reactions" from the audience, whenever Conan told a joke that got a negative reaction...followed by applause.
- "Yay boo, yay boo, it's lots of fun to do; if you like something, you holler "yay!", and if you don't, you holler "boo!""
- In the segment where he tried to beat his ring spinning record, he hyped up the crowd beforehand:
Conan: Hey! Can we do this? YES, WE, CAN!........ That's a new low for me. (audience and Conan both laugh) Oh, I'm a bad guy.
- In the Triumph sketch where Triumph visits Quebec, he and a (real) female dog have dinner at a fancy restaurant. At one point, dinner was served and Triumph took a "bite" of meat, but since a puppet can't eat food, Triumph merely spit it out, exclaimed "Oh my GOD!" in disgust and flung the meat to the floor.
- The "If They Mated" where David Gest and Liza Minnelli were said to be dating. The audience groaned in disgust at the before pictures, which made Conan laugh hysterically. It took him three tries before he could show the punchline.
Conan: People can't handle the "before" picture! That's never happened! That's never happened!
- Speaking of "If They Mated", after hearing the jingle one time, Conan remarked, "That sucks.", and stated they have to change it because he can't hear it anymore.
- The "Late Night Create Your Own Commercial Contest" run in general, but particularly these entries:
- A guy having sex with a blow-up doll: "Watch Late Night: It'll get you laid"
- "I NEED MY CONIE CONE!!!!" "It's almost as much fun as riding a PIG!" (Conan mistook the commercial for a death threat)
- "GO DIZZ, GO!"
- The "Walker, Texas Ranger lever" in general. But particularly these clips:
"Saddam": ...What the hell was that?!
- Clip of Walker beating up some bad guys in a nursing home. Conan comments: "That is my favorite episode of Walker: He goes into a nursing home and beats the crap out of everyone."
- "How 'bout a nice Hawaiian punch?" (slams character's head into a punch bowl)
- A young boy: "Walker told me I have AIDS."
- A woman falls off a building, with repeated shots of Walker, James, and a female policeman reacting to it. Conan is baffled how that's supposed to be a good action sequence, since they just watch her fall for "forty minutes".
- A hoodlum kicks a pigeon in front of a senior citizen. Conan is horrified. "That's a BAD GUY!"
- A villain taunts a hanging Walker by asking him if he wants some water. Walker kicks the thug down, gets free from the rope, grabs the guy's water bottle, and chugs the whole bottle. "Don't mind if I do."
- A woman hijacks a plane, and says they're going to the Cayman Islands. Walker reveals himself from behind a chair, grabbing her wrist. He tells her, "You're goin' to jail first, honey. Then you can go to the Cayman Islands." Then he tells the pilot, "Tie her up and gag her."
- A villain exits a room, and is kicked in the face by Walker. Conan observes: "Wait a minute... the leg was coming from down here! Is Walker in a hole upside down?! I don't think Chuck Norris is around for 50% of the filming of the show; I think they just have a leg on a stick."
- After a fight scene featuring a bunch of beefy villains, Conan observes that Walker only seems to fight fat people.
- A boy is on top of a ladder, and his father tells him to jump and he'll catch him. The boy jumps, but the father steps out of the way and lets the kid hit the ground. This clip horrified Conan, who clutched his head in mock pain and laid down on the couch. "He let that kid hit the ground! That's the most disturbing video I've ever seen. AND I'VE SEEN IT ALL."
- Walker bursts into a bar and quickly asks, "Where's Candy Delight?" The owner asks, "Candy who?" Walker replies, "Candy... (punches the guy in the face) ...Delight." Conan commented, "Wha?? That was completely unreasonable! That guy didn't hear you! "LookinforCandyDelight!" "Who?" "I said BAM!!!" Conan went on to say that's why old people don't watch Walker.
- After a particularly good clip of a character slowly wheeling into a pool, Conan said he was going to stop there for the night. But the audience demanded more, so later in the episode, he pulled the lever again. The next clip was a sports montage of Walker competing in an event while a cheesy rock song played note . After the clip ended, Conan reprimanded the audience: "What did I tell you?! We got greedy, we went back for more, and we got the worst musical montage I've ever seen."
- A thug holding up a store forces a woman to sing "99 Bottles of Beer" with him. Except he's not really "singing" so much as shouting the lyrics while the frightened woman joins him.
- After the clip, Conan asks the director if he can have a looped clip of one of the criminals shooting his gun into the air for his own amusement.
- A character says, "Y'know, there's a lot of people out there that really need the martial arts." Another character replies, "That's not the only thing they need..." and pulls out a Bible. Conan, puzzled, merely says, "....Okay."
- Clip is of a guy invading a class and Walker, who's sitting with the students, saves the day. Conan likes the clips but is always confused about the context: "As near as I can figure it, Walker just happened to be taking a home finance course, (audience laughs) he's just sitting there when a crazed man in a ski mask comes in. BAD classroom to pick, that's what I say."note
- Walker and James are fighting a thug, but a woman comes out of nowhere and takes care of the guy for them, then runs off before they can say anything. James asks, "Who was that?" Walker replies, "I don't know." Conan immediately remarked, "Well go after her!" And added: "Who was that? I don't know, I guess we'll never know." He also thought they'd easily be able to catch her because she was wearing high heels.
- A character is speaking with an Irish accent, and Conan declares that his fake Irish accent is more believable than his. Conan then does his over-the-top leprechaun voice.
- A clip of Walker staring down a wolf in the wilderness; despite the wolf's ferocity, Walker is able to calm it down by channeling the spirit of a wolf through himself. This culminated with an image of a wolf howling superimposed over the footage. After the clip finished, Conan and his "live via satellite" special guest Saddam Hussein both had their mouths hanging wide open.
- After Trivette's car is submerged in water during a mission, Walker, Trivette, and C.D. examine the damage after the fact; C.D. is optimistic: "A little paint here, a little paint there..." Then Walker opens the car door and a bunch of water and fish empty out. Walker says he brought dinner, while he and C.D. have a laugh at Trivette's expense and some cheesy punchline music plays. After the clip, Conan is silent for a few seconds while the audience laughs, and finally Conan speaks up, apologizing for the clip he just showed.
- Alex Cahill tells Walker, "This potato salad is wonderful." Conan remarked that they should've put "TO BE CONTINUED" after that line.
- C.D. is roughed up by some bad guys, but keeps taunting them even as he's beaten up. Conan, who's obviously never seen the show, remarks, "That old chef is pretty tough!......The hell- who's he?? (laughs)"
- Walker and Trivette beat up some goons in a bar, and after they're done, Walker tells them, "All right, get out of here." Conan remarked, ""Get out of here"?! They're dead!"
- Walker shows a man a photo of someone they're looking for. The man doesn't know her but dismissively says, "Good lookin' piece, though." Walker grabs his throat in response. When he lets go, the man says, "That is a clear case of police brutality." Walker ignores him: "Listen, you!"
- Walker tells a villain that he hurt somebody close to him. The villain, completely unsympathetically and sarcastically, says "Golly, that's awful. Isn't that awful?" A mook next to Walker says, "Oh yeah Vince, that's just awful." Walker immediately punches the unsuspecting mook in the face.
- Before Conan even started the segment in one episode, a guy from the audience yelled "Pull the lever!" Conan laughed and commented how, taken out of context, someone yelling "Pull the lever" could be upsetting to home viewers.
- Similarly, in another episode, after showing one clip, a woman from the audience yelled "Pull it again!" Conan asked, "What was that?" She repeated: "Pull it again!" Conan happily obliged.
- Often times the set-up to Conan pulling the lever is just as funny as the clips themselves. Conan will pretend to "move on" to another sketch but he'll interrupt his own sentence and quickly pull the lever for another clip. And in one instance, he said, "Like I said, we got a lot to do, no time to waste." and morosely stared into the camera for a long time, prompting audience applause/cheering. Finally, he pulled the lever again.
- Due to the cold snap in early 2008, Conan wanted to warm everybody up, so he brought Vomiting Kermit in to vomit up hot chocolate. Soon after, he brought out the Masturbating Bear to dispense whip cream, though to the audience's disappointment, he merely sprayed it from a can, not "creaming" in their cups. But the Masturbating Bear soon did what he does best, causing Vomiting Kermit to throw up some more. Even after Conan told the Bear to stop, Kermit spurted a bit of vomit.
Conan: The frog- Kermit just keeps going! There's just a little more left...
(after a brief pause, Kermit spurts a little more vomit, causing Conan to laugh hard)
Conan: Wow, all right! (Beat) Come on, I got twenty bucks-
(Kermit vomits some more)
Conan: It's gotta stop. (...) All right, we gotta get moving. We have other things to accomplish! Dr. Phil is leaving right now. (in Southern accent) "What the hell kind of show is this? I'm outta here!"
- Triumph at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was so funny, he returned two more times.
Triumph: I'm here with Ziegfried, a dachshund, the only dog that's actually shaped like poop.
- In an early 2009 episode, a woman commenting on Barack Obama's first couple weeks in office:
Woman: I still don't have health care; what's he doing? Sitting on his ass?!
- In one of the 2008 "Writer's Strike" episodes, Conan decided to move his desk to the back row of the audience, and poked fun at the guys sitting in front of him. He then wanted to crowdsurf, but NBC wouldn't let him, so he did the next best thing: He got out a dummy replica of himself and let it loose in the crowd. Very quickly, the dummy took some abuse as it surfed through the crowd ("For God's sakes, you're tearing him apart! Someone help Conan, he's being killed!"), eventually being dropped to the floor.
- In October '96, Conan and Andy checked out Bob Dole's campaign website (dolekemp96.org). Every time Conan clicked to a new link, a voice byte saying "Dole!" played. The links on his website included a photo of Dole snowboarding, Dole rating the women of Friends, hemp for sale, Dole body piercings, an animation of his prostate over a psychedelic background, and a chat room with Dole himself. However, soon into the chat, Dole's website was destroyed by the Clinton/Gore computer virus, leaving nothing but a sad "Dole...." sound byte playing over and over.
- Conan was interviewed for the ESPY awards, and said that he spent a good hour with the interviewers, telling story after story about his love of baseball, and cracking everybody up. So he was dismayed that the final broadcast whittled his interview down to merely: "Red Sox."
- Arnold Schwarzenegger in the "Live via Satellite" segments.
Arnold: If we really want to keep America safe, we must build a fence around the future.
- There was one where Arnold weighed in on the immigration issue. Arnold thought the idea of building a fence along the U.S./Mexico border was laughable ("Ha. Ha. Ha."), leading to this run:
Conan: ...Why do we need a fence around the future?
Arnold: That's where the real enemies are! Our future is ruled by an advanced race of unstoppable mechanized immigrants.
Conan: (annoyed) Oh for God's sake.
Arnold: Conan, these "Chinabots" and "Mexiborgs" will come here in time machines, clone our jobs, and beam them back to the third world mothership!
Conan: Would Chinabots and Mexiborgs-
Arnold: YAH! And don't forget about the burden that these uninsured Mexiborgs put on our health care system.
Conan: You're saying cyborgs need health care?
Arnold: Mexiborgs do; they're poorly made. Remember, they're from Mexico.
Conan: (mock offended) Oh for God's sakes, Arnold!
Arnold: But don't worry, Conan, there's still time!
Conan: Time for what?
Arnold: There's still time, ehh... to send me into the future. I will disguise myself as a Mexiborg and go by the name "Raul 5000". I will hang around time machines and say things like, "Hey guys, it's pretty nice here in the future, no need to go back to the present." And then they'll say, "Don't you mean the past?" And then I'll say, "Why? Did I say the "present"? My mistake." And then they'll say, "Hey, he's from the past! Get him!" And then I'll tear off my virtual poncho, take out my twin gatling guns, (Conan looks like he's ready to crack up) blow all the Chinabots and Mexiborgs away in slow motion, take the cigar out of my mouth, turn to the camera and say.... "Now that's a blast from the past!"
Arnold: The press said the stories with ze groping and ze Hitler, they were going to hurt me, but the people of California have spoken, and they said a resounding yes to ze groping and yes to ze Hitler! Then I got a nice call from Cruz Bustamante, and he said, "I will support you as your lieutenant governor and we're going to work together for California."
- When Arnold was first elected as governor in 2003:
Conan: You're gonna work together. Well I've gotta say, that was very classy of him to say that. You must've been very grateful.
Arnold: Yah, I told him he was a fat little chipmunk, and I told him his name should be "Lose Bust-your-pants-ski", and then I had sex with his mother!
Trump: Rock-a-bye baby, on the you're fired, when the bow breaks, The Apprentice is gonna be huuuuge!
- Donald Trump sang a lullaby on one "Live via Satellite":
- Bill Clinton is always good for a laugh. In one of the interviews amidst the Monica Lewinsky scandal, he talked about applying taxes to certain products to raise revenue. But he added: "Cigars, we're gonna leave alone."
- At the end of a sketch where Conan was disappointed that Bill Clinton didn't stop by the studio, despite being at a book signing only a few buildings away, Conan told the cameraman to zoom in really tight on his face. When his face filled the screen, Conan simply said, "...Booby."
- When David Letterman was a guest:
Conan: When I first got this job, I-
Letterman: How did you get this job?? (Conan and audience laugh) Was it a theme-writing contest??
Conan: It was a "What Would I Do With a Talk Show".
- When Don Rickles was a guest in 2006, Conan asked him what he thinks about all the hopping around he does at the beginning of the show:
- One of the most famous Triumph remotes involved the canine going to the NYC premiere of Attack of the Clones, and insulting pretty much everyone there. One fan who was featured in the background recounts his experiences in this sketch.
Triumph: Uh, it's called "reality".
- A man in a Jedi costume espouses the Jedi code. Triumph adds that the Jedi code must include eating a lot of peanut M&Ms.
- Triumph manages to find an actual woman amongst the male geeks and says she has her pick of the litter: She can pick from all kinds of guys who have no idea how to please her. When she admits: "Pretty much", Triumph asks the crowd who will rise to the challenge. A guy steps forward and says, "I will."
- Triumph to a heavily pregnant woman on her soon-to-be-born son: "That's the last time he'll see female genitalia."
- Triumph made numerous jokes about Blackwolf the Dragonmaster, who crashed the get-together.
Triumph: What substance was Han Solo frozen in?
- One guy, who isn't even dressed up in Star Wars garb, does a Darth Vader impression. Triumph critiques it: He wasn't breathing heavily like Vader, and suggests he run ten feet.
- A man is in a Darth Vader costume. Triumph looks at his voice box and says, "Which of these buttons calls your parents to pick you up?"
- Another guy is in a Storm Trooper outfit. Triumph coaxes the guy to take his helmet off, revealing a bearded guy with glasses. The man says, "Hi, I'm Colonel Sanders!" Triumph immediately asks him to put the helmet back on, and adds, "That was a close one."
- Spock also crashed the get-together and gave the finger to everyone.
- Triumph plays a trivia game with the crowd:
Triumph: No, I'm sorry. The correct answer is, "Who gives a shit?"
- At the beginning of Triumph's Christmas special, Triumph introduced his kids, his wife... and some random guy hiding behind the couch (possibly Robert Smigel or an animal wrangler or stage hand who wasn't supposed to appear on camera).
- On the 10th Anniversary Special, Mr. T was a guest and gave Conan a gold chain with "7" on it. Conan accepted the gift but said he's been on for ten years:
Mr. T: I know that, foo', but you only been funny for seven! (walks off the stage)
- Thanks to Archive.org, Conan's hornymanatee.com can still be viewed. Nowadays, if you try putting that address in the web browser, it just redirects to nbc.com.
- There was a news story in 2007 about Keith Richards snorting some of his father's ashes when doing cocaine. Naturally, Conan had to interview him in "Live via Satellite". Keith clarified that the story was only a half-truth; there wasn't any cocaine in there at all.
Keith Richards: It was pure, uncut dad.
- The parody of primetime crime dramas:
Narrator: Last night, on Conan O'Brien.
Woman: You're a bastard.
Conan: (smugly) Yes, I know.
- One of the funniest moments with a guest was when Courtney Thorne-Smith was on in 1997. Norm MacDonald was the guest before her and kept interjecting at random times throughout the interview, as he's wont to do. When it came time for Courtney to promote her new movie, which she was in with Carrot Top, Norm interrupted and said that if Carrot Top's in the movie, it should be called Box Office Poison. Courtney said the name of the movie was Chairman Of The Board. Conan told Norm, "Do something with that, ya freak." After a pause, Norm accepted the challenge: "I bet the "board" is spelled "B-O-R-E-D." Conan, almost expecting that answer, shuffled around in his chair and laughed hard while Courtney looked embarrassed.
- Whenever Conan does an exaggerated impression of John F. Kennedy.
Conan: We're gonna go to the moon at the end of the decade and do the other thing as well! (in normal voice) ...This show is just stupid.
- Before one "Celebrity Survey", the machine that was supposed to play the theme song and display the graphics temporarily broke, which caused Conan to deadpan, "Well folks, this puts me in a very awkward position." After a minute, the machine was fixed but Conan refused to restart the sketch: "We do the sketch when I'm ready, right, folks?" He then reclined in his chair while saying nothing as the audience laughed, only to eventually wheel back to the desk and continue the sketch.
- Similarly, during one "Photo Gallery", the machine broke so Conan wasted time by doing a mock striptease.
- A Running Gag in the Jarod Miller animal segments is how Jarod has a hard time working in animal facts (both due to the craziness that inevitably results from the animal hijinks and Conan repeatedly interrupting him). One time he was actually able to relay some animal facts, and Conan lampshaded after he finished: "I'm gonna edit out all that information, just to spite you."