Funny / Law & Order

  • Any and all instances of Lennie Briscoe's one liners and dry wit. It's revealed by Rey in a final season episode that he was still cracking jokes even in his final days.
  • Season 13 Episode 23—Couples—- is a marching band of black comedy moments:
    • While investigating a murder, Briscoe and Green find a woman running over her cheating husband with her car. The woman's wild explanation involves quoting an obscure author, driving Green from the room.
    • When Briscoe makes a crack about how the guy should have bought a smaller car, his girlfriend sobs "you think this is funny?"
    • A man is accused of murdering his brother's wife but it turns out that the woman was his former wife who he was imprisoned for killing.
    Serena: Who's on first?
    • When the woman who ran over her husband is brought into court for arraignment, we get this gem of an exchange.
    Defense attorney: She ran him over four times with her car.
    Judge: I admire her restraint.
    Woman: He's dead and I did it. I knew exactly what I was doing.
    Judge: I'm not supposed to give out personal opinions in the courtroom but I have to say, you make me proud to be an American.
    • And then there's the reason she did it:
    Woman: I'm not going under the knife for nobody! These were good enough for him when we got married!
    • Having dealt with three murders, a kidnapping and a woman giving birth, Briscoe and Green are about to go home when the phone on their desk rings.
    Briscoe: There's no law that says you have to answer that.
    • Finding out a jogger died of poison, they check in on his husband who acts shocked for five seconds before confessing to the murder, assuming the detectives already knew. They didn't and are surprised as the guy groans over how the state won't recognize their gay marriage so he loses everything, dragged off as Lenny moans "You have the right to remain silent. Please."
    • And the final lines:
    Green: We have a jumper.
    Briscoe: I may join him.
  • Season 1 Episode 21 - Sonata For a Solo Organ has this gold-nugget dropped from Max: "The Garbage has constitutional rights?"
  • Season 2 Episode 8 has a good one from a college student. Mike Logan asks a question which is quite offensive and the rebuttal of the student is simple brilliant. "Does they give you guys insensitivity-seminars?" Before she continues to explain.
  • Season 3, episode 10, "Consultation": Briscoe and Logan are questioning a Nigerian immigrant, who begs them not to "flog" him. Briscoe can see the guy is terrified and will tell them whatever they want to know, so he threateningly says, "Okay, we won't flog you... this time."
  • Season 6, Episode 11, "Corpus Delicti": Jack deliberately disobeys a judge so as to provoke a mistrial. The case was highly circumstantial and he didn't want the suspect to walk. A few weeks later, physical evidence turns up, allowing Jack to try the case successfully. Of course, if the defense can prove he deliberately provoked a mistrial for this purpose, he could be disbarred. Deadpan, Jack says, "It wasn't like that at all. You know how emotional I get."
    • From the same episode: Lennie's inspired impersonation of Mister Ed.
  • Season 11, Episode 13, "Phobia": A man has been murdered, his baby kidnapped, a ransom demand phoned in. The cops follow a bike messenger and then rush in, grabbing the messenger and the man he's giving the ransom to. Turns out the ransomer had already left and it was just a random guy. His wife comes out of the coffee shop holding a pair of lattes and sees him handcuffed and surrounded by cops, guns drawn. "I told you not to double park."
  • Season 18. Episode 11, "Betrayed": Fueled by a dose of Mood Whiplash. Ed 'reads' a suspect her medical record, causing her to freak out and confess to the murder. When confronted by Lt. Van Buren that reading her medical file was illegal, Ed reveals the 'file' to be a signup sheet for a blood drive, a sketch for the suspect of a peeping case and take-out menus.
  • In one later season episode, the cops find that a victim's body has been cremated and his ashes have been incorporated into an artificial gem. Desperately, they go to The Coroner and ask if there is anything she can tell from it. At that, she holds the gem and wryly notes, "Well, he has many facets."
  • Season 10. Briscoe. "If I was kidding you, I'd be wearing a fez and no pants."
  • Season 7, Episode 7 ("Deadbeat"): Lennie getting hit on by an old woman. Curtis points out the woman's attraction as they leave. Lennie states that he should play his cards right.
  • One scene where Briscoe's watching a bunch of crime-scene techs dumpster-dive in order to find some evidence.
    Tech: You know, last time we had to go through the trash, the investigating officers helped out.
    Briscoe: [Clearly with no intention of helping out] That's fascinating. I think you missed a spot.
  • 14x09 "Compassion": During a discussion with a laboratory doctor, he picks up a test rabbit and moves it to another cage. Ed Green then sticks his finger through the bars to try and pet the rabbit and the doctor slaps his hand to stop him while continuing to talk as though nothing is happening.
  • Season 14, Episode 1 ("Bodies"): a legal aid defense attorney takes on a serial killer, and DA Branch has a... less than favorable opinion of him.
    DA Arthur Branch: Who is that stupid SOB anyway?
    ADA Serena Southerland: Ken Schwimmer, Legal Aid, and he isn't exactly stupid.
    Arthur: He listened when his client told him about fifteen other murders?
    Serena: Yes.
    Serena: ...Yes.
    Arthur: Ok, what's dumber than stupid?
  • 7x19: "Double Down": A defendant tries to hide behind a deal he forced McCoy to take, but when McCoy found the deal was a trick the whole time, he tries to circumvent the deal while keeping the information the defendant gave him. During an evidentiary hearing, Curtis was asked why McCoy didn't realize that the defendant's partner was killed by the defendant, despite it being the logical explanation for a district attorney to come up with. Curtis's reply was "For a cop? Sure. For a DA? I've found sometimes they're not all that bright." Even McCoy was amused at this backhanded reply. When the hearing leads to allowing the defendant to be tried, Curtis asks McCoy, "What would have happened if I had told them you told us to shut up?" McCoy's reply: "It would have hurt. Hey, look at it this way. At least you got to duck the question by calling me an idiot." Curtis grinned. "Yeah. There is that."
  • A slightly morbid example in "Cradle to Grave" 2x18. A horrid landlady blames the rent laws for her pushing out tenants, leading to the death of a 10-month-old baby. She then starts heavily implying that an important witness will soon change his mind, to Stone's utter disbelief... with her lawyer trying to get her out of the room and shut her up while saying none of it counts. It's better watched.
    • When getting evidence with Robinette, the undercover cop gets stuck in traffic. With time running short, Logan gets Robinette to change jackets with him (the man had already seen the cops and would recognize them). After Robinette gets the evidence, Logan immediately demands his jacket back.
  • After dealing with nearly a whole episode's worth of witnesses completely unable to describe the suspect, Lennie and Mike Logan are questioning an old black couple. The wife can't describe the suspect either and both detectives are nearly at wit's end...when she reveals she did neighborhood watch training and instead has the suspect's license plate number, which is much more useful.
    Mike, to the husband: Can I hug her?
  • 4x17, Mayhem, has a scene where Mike Logan and Lennie Briscoe run from their current crime scene to the basement, following a woman's screams. In the basement laundry room they meet the very high Omar Cabases, who is brandishing an indeterminate object at them.
    Lennie: What the hell is that?
    Mike: Put the burrito down, señor.
    Omar: You, you, you dying!
    Mike: Only if I eat that thing.
    • The arraignment sequence in this episode is something that must be seen to be believed as it stacks multiple defendants in sequence, with the judge's reactions and two of them staging their own hijinks.
  • From Season 10, Episode 9 "Sundown":
    Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Right now, I've got to get a javelin out of somebody's chest.
    Lennie Briscoe: What made you go into this line of work?
    Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Free javelins.
  • From Season 20, episode 4, "Reality Bites":
    Connie Rubirosa: What?
    Mike Cutter: Having fun?
    Connie Rubirosa: I am going to kill you, and then, I'm gonna kill McCoy.
    Mike Cutter: On camera?
    Connie Rubirosa: I don't care, I'd be better off in prison!
  • From Season 1, Episode 17, "The Secret Sharers"
    Shambala Green: I'm going for temporary insanity.
    Ben Stone: Yours or your client's?
  • In Season 14, Episode 19, "Nowhere Man", A DA who was being blackmailed into clearing a pair of mobsters because he wasn't who he claimed to be was murdered, but left a work permit in the file. The permit was a clue to the murderers, whose alibi was that they were on a construction jobsite. A blend of Refuge in Audacity and Too Dumb to Live, because they hid the body of the victim the DA was investigating inside the concrete they were pouring for the job.
    Det. Green: Biscuits and Books. Those dumb bastards.
  • Season 1, Episode 6, "Everybody's Favorite Bagman": A suspect is fleeing down an alleyway, with Greevey in pursuit. Logan is lying in wait around the corner, gun drawn, but reconsiders. He holsters the gun and clotheslines the suspect with a trash can lid instead.
  • Season 8, Episode 1, "Thrill": A pair of teenagers kill a delivery driver, yet are covering themselves by pointing the finger at one another. The law seems to be protecting them, to Adam Schiff's frustration.
    DA Adam Schiff: Clarence Darrow had Leopold and Loeb. Who do we have?
    ADA Jack McCoy: Beavis And Butthead.
  • One episode involves Ben Stone attempting to negotiate a favourable plea agreement for a witness who is facing a lengthy federal prison term for serious drug smuggling charges, and the federal prosecutor is reluctant to allow a plea agreement. He eventually concedes to three years on each charge for a total of nine years, which Stone thinks the witness would never go for. Next scene is a meeting between Stone, the witness and his lawyer, where the witness smugly says he'll testify, but only if Stone gets him a deal of... three years for each charge, nine years total. Stone somehow manages to keep a straight face.
    • It gets better; in order to make it look convincing, Stone claims that he'll have to talk to the federal prosecutor and it won't be easy. Cut to Stone and Robinette... enjoying a coffee break and letting the witness sweat a bit. And then when they're done Stone walks back into his office with the most hilariously convincing and serious "I've just had to bust my balls and you better be grateful" look on his face.
  • Season 8, Episode 8 "Shadows": When it appears that a random guy is about to make a call on a pay phone he and Curtis are staking out, Briscoe gets him off it by pretending to be a drunk who misidentifies and manhandles him.
  • In "Corruption", where Jamie Ross and a few other detectives investigate a cop's locker, Jamie finds a lingerie catalog, and correctly deduces that a certain code on the catalog means that the cop has ordered from the company multiple times. When the detective suspiciously remarks that Jamie knows so much about the catalog, she points to a certain page - presumably with a scantily dressed model - and says, "I'm wearing this right now." Cue detective's shocked expression.
  • "Prisoner of Love" involves BDSM group. At one point in the episode, Ben Stone searches a suspect's home to find evidence she was involved, and comes across a chest at the foot of her bed.
    Elizabeth Hendrick: It's my hope chest.
    Stone opens it up and pulls out an assortment of kink gear.
    Stone: (deadpan) What were you hoping for?
    Fade to black.
  • In "Shadow", the detectives are waiting for someone to contact the suspect via a pay phone, and when it looks like somebody else might use it first Lennie poses as an obnoxious drunk in order to keep him away.
  • Season 6 episode "Hot Pursuit" has Briscoe and Curtis searching for a man and woman who killed several people in a short time frame. Upon being called to a corner store with two individuals resembling the couple, they find a couple...of frightened, Catholic school uniform-clad preteens who were detained by the cashier for stealing disposable cameras. The detectives were not pleased:
    Briscoe: The report clearly said two suspects post-puberty.
    *They turn to leave*
    Cashier: Well, are you going to take 'em in or what?
    Briscoe: (disgusted) Or what.
  • In "Big Bang" (Season 4, episode 16), the murder has to do with theories in physics. When Schiff asks what they're talking about, Kincaid tells him it has to do with the idea that "protons eventually fall apart." Schiff looks at her and asks, "Is this something I need to be worried about?"
  • In "Ain't No Love" (Season 15, episode 13), a CD is one of the early pieces of evidence. Fontana and Green give it to CSU and CSU officer Beck classifies the music before playing it for them. The only thing funnier than Fontana's reaction to gangster rap is Green's reaction to his partner's obvious disdain.
  • In "True North" (Season 9, episode 9), Briscoe and Curtis confront a guy in his apartment and find about a half-kilo of coke. Later on, talking Carmichael and McCoy, the guy denies he's a drug dealer. Carmichael says, "Right, you just collect rare cocaine."