The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls is not what anyone would call a happy book, being that it is equal parts the autobiography of a womans time in a monstrously incompetent and unpleasant psyche ward and the fictional story of a poor victorian girls time in a Bedlam House that would put Arkham to shame. That said, there are still genuinely funny moments throughout. Emilie ranting about the injustice of only having a crayon to write with in her arly diary entries, ending with the glorious "A pox on crayons" always makes this troper giggle.
Bi-Polar Bear. That is all.
John Moore's Heroics For Beginniners has a scene where the protagonist, Kevin is talking to a soothsayer. She starts giving him an ominous, cryptic warning about danger and to 'beware of the man in black,' to which Kevin scornfully lampshades how useless the supposed prophetess is being. The ensuing conversation is funnier than it sounds.
Soothsayer: 'Goodness, you're a picky one. What is it? You want quatrains? I'll give you quatrains. Pay attention. "You shall not defeat the man in black/That which you seek, you won't bring back/The guards will falter when they attack/And you will...you'll...um..."what's another word that rhymes with black?'
Danny Wallace's book Join Me had me rolling around on the bed laughing at one stage. I can't actually remember what part caused that, but I think it was the dreadfully badly written (or possibly badly translated) Belgian newspaper article. Or possibly the 'sorry. My leg hurts' scene.
On meeting some Belgians he had planned ahead to avoid looking stupid and had asked a Belgian what the Flemish is for 'cheers!' Unfortunately the Belgian misheard him and gave him the word for 'cheese'. Hilarity Ensues.
The sequel Yes Man is pretty much a Crowning Book Of Funny, but possibly the best bit is Danny repeatedly poking a monk in the ribs. The fact that the books are actually autobiographical is probably what makes parts like that, which would only be mildly amusing otherwise, into pure hilarity.
Dave Gorman's book Are you Dave Gorman? (the result of a drunken bet between himself and the aforementioned Danny Wallace about how many people share the name 'David Gorman') has many laugh out loud moments. Do not read this book on public transport! Its genius, however, is at the end of the book, they hold a party for all the David Gormans they have met on their travels... and make them all wear name tags.
After Danny has gotten into trouble with his girlfriend Hanne for going on too many Dave Gorman-meeting trips with Dave, Dave hatches a Zany Scheme to placate Hanne by having her come along to one of their live shows and have the whole audience sing 'Happy Birthday' to her. It works. Then he carries on with his routine and carelessly mentions the part where Danny chatted up a Miss USA contestant while they were in New York. Ooooops...
The Incredible Disappearing Albanians in New York.
After going through endless security checks to get into Israel to meet the country's five Dave Gormans, they find out that in fact it has one Dave Gorman with five phone numbers.
At one point Danny falls out with Dave after finding that he brought them to the Isle of Wight on false pretences to meet another Dave Gorman. Dave tries to repair their friendship by buying him a gift. A brightly-coloured children's kite.
17822 was a very interesting year on Ferenginar. In that year alone, over twenty thousand Grand Nagi held office; the Ferengi Financial Exchange crashed 3152 times, while setting 12322 record highs; there were 41098 civil wars; an unknown number of Ferengi-incited interstellar wars (estimates are in the millions); and the Ferengi sun went nova at least one a week.
In other words, 17822 was the year Ferenginar discovered time travel.
A particularly wonderful bit occurs at the end of the second short story in Last Watch. Anton has been locked in a particularly fast-paced and deadly duel with Edgar, and the old and not-very-powerful magician Afandi hid behind Anton's shields to recite a rather complicated spell. After his foe escapes, Anton asks Afandi precisely what he did, and is informed (in a tone more fitting to a gleeful six-year-old) that Afandi put an irreversible spell of impotence on Edgar.
Any scene where Cao Cao escapes is guaranteed to produce some laughs, even if it turns him into the resident Butt Monkey and Crosses the Line Twice in doing so. We have, to wit:
Cao Cao's abortive first attempt to assassinate Dong Zhuo ends in an overly-contrived excuse to present the (borrowed) sword as a gift. Then he flees the scene (after Lu Bu of all people saw through this!) and kills his uncle's family in a fatal case of (literal) Chinese Whispers, then his uncle lest he find the bodies. Distracting his uncle with "Look Over There!" sure was great practice for the next example...
Cao Cao's escape from Lu Bu's ambush: just as Cao Cao is heading towards his escape route, Lu Bu arrives on the scene... and, not recognising him at all, taps him on the helmet with his halberd and asks, "Where is Cao Cao?" Cao Cao's response? "Look Over There!" It works.
Cao Cao fleeing the Battle of Chi Bi: He gets ambushed by Lu Meng, Ling Tong, Gan Ning and Taishi Ci and Lu Xun (all of Wu), and barely manages to escape. Then he laughs at Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang for not setting up ambushes there... and gets attacked by Zhao Yun. Following their escape, he laughs again... and when his troops docall him out on it, Zhang Fei charges them. And then, just when he thinks he's escaped for good, he does a third time... and lo and behold, Guan Yu shows up. And somehow, the Chinese proverb still goes, "Speak of Cao Cao, and he appears."
Cao Cao's defeat against Ma Chao:
They came close. Cao Cao heard one of his pursuers shout to another, "Cao Cao is he in the red dress!"
So he hastily tore off his red robe and threw it away. He also heard one say "Cao Cao is he with the long beard!"
Liu Bei's marriage to Lady Sun (Sun Quan's sister, a.k.a. Sun Shang Xiang in Dynasty Warriors and the operas). It's almost one big Reverse Funny Aneurysm when considered in today's context, from Zhuge Liang's counter-plan to save Liu Bei (from the planned capture by Sun Quan and Zhou Yu's henchmen) by publicizing the wedding (predating the paparazzi/tabloids by centuries), to Lady Sun and her entourage (practically an Amazon Brigade) scaring the crap out of Liu Bei in the nuptial chambers - and scolding the Wu generals into submission when they elope. And all this while, Sun Quan and Zhou Yu are put through the Humiliation Conga by everyone else involved (except Liu Bei, who's too nice - and a hostage for the most part). At the end when Zhou Yu is retreating after a failed final attempt to salvage the whole ordeal, the soldiers of Liu Bei stick around just to taunt him.
And for Unfortunate Names, we have "HeMan, the devil who shoots across the sky" ... and gets owned in the next line by a minor character. At least it was several centuries too early to be intentional.
Mi Heng, for his sheer ability to diss Cao Cao and all of his officers in Chapter 23 (where he both enters and exits), and his final line (before he's executed) in the novel: "You are like a god in a temple: You sit still and receive sacrifice, but the lack of intelligence is pitiful."
Near the beginning, a cabal of Eunuchs dominates the court of the Han Empire. One courtier tries to have them executed as part of an attempted coup. The book comments, "The Eunuchs strongly objected to that plan."
The Canterbury Tales has many extended funny moments, but the first would have to be the Miller's Tale. All of it. Including the fight with the Reeve and his response story. Second would have to be the tale of Sir Thopas, especially at the point where the host cuts Chaucer off and yells at him to stop telling it.
Ogden Nash's retort to the famous Dorothy Parker couplet "Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses," is as follows:
A gal who is bespectacled
May never get her nectacled,
But safety pins and bassinets
Await the girl who fassinets.
In The Wise Man's Fear, Elodin's explanation of how to learn Naming, after he becomes frustrated with Kvothe pestering him to teach him more (and Kvothe being frustrated by Elodin's Cloudcuckoolander teaching style, which is actually the only way you can learn naming). He brings Fela and Kvothe up in front of the class, and describes it as akin to catching a pretty girl's eye, and realizing there is a slight spark between you, and what to do? He lists A. trying to express what they feel directly, which will fail, B. carefully coaxing the spark into greater life through dating and conversation, and C. Kvothe's way - taking the simplest and most direct route and grabbing her breasts. And then, just as you (and the class, in-story) are coming down from laughing at this, Elodin follows up with "I am trying to seduce you into understanding. I am trying to teach you. Quit grabbing my tits.''
Because of his wicked sarcasm and sardonic humor, a great deal of David Eddings' fantasy books are laugh-out loud funny. The Belgariad/Malloreon books have their own page.
In The Elenium, while Kurik and Sparhawk are leaving the Elenian consulate in Cippria (and have built an unnecessary bridge and seen a naked lady under the moon):
After a moment, he heard Kurik's hoarse whisper coming from the kitchen door. "Is that you?"
For an instant, he was tempted to whisper back, "No," but then he got himself under control again.
Last but certainly not least, Captain Sorgi's reaction in the Tamuli when he gets to meet the beautiful Queen Ehlana, whom Sparhawk ("Master Cluff") has been passing off as an ugly heiress he's been fleeing and 'forced' to wed, is absolutely priceless.
Sparhawk, as Sorgi stares in shock and disbelief at Ehlana: Horrible, isn't it?
Two moments come to mind from Terry Brooks' Landover books, both of them from Book Three, Wizard at Large: the battle between Questor and Strabo which makes more than a few Homages to the one between Merlin and Madame Mim from The Sword in the Stone, ending when he gives Strabo an incurable itch; and what Strabo says to Ben when he first comes through the portal to Earth:
Strabo: What an ugly world you come from, Holiday!
In Sterne's Tristram Shandy, prim Uncle Toby deals with his wartime groin-wound by admitting he was wounded, but leaving the anatomical details vague. But when the seductive Widow Wadman asks him where he was hurt, glancing at his crotch as she does, he replies without hesitation. He gently puts her finger on the place where he was shot... on a map.
In Finder's BaneAthar guide preached his doctrine to Finder. Recently ascended and temporarily depoweredgod traveling incognito with his priest (though in the place normally off-limits for deities). Naturally, that made them both quite happy even despite troubles they were in.
Adenu: On this tour, I'll be showing you all the darks uncovered by our leaders, darks which prove the wisdom of the Athar's teachings — the gods are charlatans, beings of false power and false promises.
Jedidiah began to chuckle. Adenu shot the older man a chill look.
Jedidiah: I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at your philosophy. It's just that the irony is killing me.
Jedidiah: It's not important...
In Philip Roth's Plot Against America, when FDR is told his opponent in the election will be Charles Lindbergh, he comments:
By the time this is over, the young man will be sorry not only that he entered politics but that he ever learned to fly.
The scene in The Phoenix Guards where Khaavren and Pel explain to Tazendra that wondering about a lot of things means you're intelligent.
Every single one of Loiosh's lines in the Vlad Taltos books. Plus every one of Vlad's (as the narrator) lines and most of his in-character lines. Especially because no Dragaeran he ever encounters has a sense of humor.
Any of the Alex Barnaby or Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. That woman is a GENIUS. There's a classic moment in "Lean Mean Thirteen" when Stephanie and Lula are trying to find a guy in his house. The house is one giant marijuana plantation, and they can't find the guy. They open a cupboard and find him. Lula squeezes off a shot that hits an ethyl bottle, which then hits the stove and they narrowly make it to the back door. Next minute... boom. And they're lying behind the house while marijuana ash is falling around them like snow. Take it from me, they are as high as kites.
One warning, however. Start from the beginning of the series, or at least read an earlier book before trying Lean Mean Thirteen, because otherwise it's hard to get the characters.
The fact that Stephanie always gets a car blown up in every book.
All the Plum books are funny (especially when Grandma's involved in the action), but Carl's antics in Plum Spooky have me gasping for air between bursts of laughter. Even non-human characters (Carl's a monkey) are hilarious in this series.
Most Neal Stephenson books contain at least one of these every few chapters.
Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse's off topic musings on subjects such as the mathematics of horniness or the Great Ejaculation Control conspiracy come to mind.
His explanation for how electricity works from Dave Barry in Cyberspace is brilliant, along with the rest of the book.
In particular, his list of emoticons. They included such gems as "Person vomiting a series of Slim Jims", "Person who can't figure out why nobody wishes to speak with him, little suspecting that there is an alligator on his head", and "Person who is none to pleased to be giving birth to a squirrel."
His book The Taming of the Screw about home repair, especially the chapter on painting. His explanation for the many names of off-white, and the accompanying chart... I won't spoil the surprise, but seriously go pee before reading it, or at least sit on a chair that's washable.
In "Dave Barry's Money Secrets," the whole exchange in the fake infomercial.
Man: (makes reference to an old prison friend)
Wife: "Friend?" Is that what we're calling it now?
Wife: (Later, after the man calls his wife a bitch.) Oh, so now I'M the bitch?
Rose the Nose: As far as you're concerned, Dink Meeker is God.
Ender What does that make you?
Rose the Nose: The personnel officer that hired God.
And later, in Shadow of the Giant, Fly Molo snarks at Bean long after most of the world has learned to take Bean very, very seriously:
Bean: I'm here because I have a child in Manila. A boy. They tell me his name is Ramon.
Fly Molo: And yet this is your first time here? Who was the mother, a flight attendant?
Bean: The baby was stolen from me, Fly. As an embryo. In vitro fertilization. The child is mine and Petra's. It's especially important to us, because it's the first we know of that definitely does not have my condition.
Fly Molo: You mean it isn't ugly?
In The Salvation War: Armageddon, words fail to describe the sheer hilarity of the scene in chapter 78 where Michael speaks with Yahweh regarding the events that have been unfolding. Two Words: Stoner Jesus. And for that matter, Stoner Michael.
Zedd defusing the mob to back off first by saying that he's insulted for them calling him a woman, and then making them think he'd made their * cough* manoods disappear.
The end of Stone Of Tears, when Richard is in Aydindril, and Zedd and Kahlan are on the run after faking Kahlan's execution in front of thousands of people. Her head has also been shaved. Then Denna's spirit enables them to make it in a pocket dimension...long story. The best part is when Kahlan comes back. I can only hope that this happens in the TV show, too...or some variation of it.
Zedd: * after a bit of sputtering* You're all in a lather girl. Why are you sweating? And your hair is all tangled! What kind of wizard would grow hair back all tangled? That boy has a lot to learn. I'll have to show him how to do things right.
Kahlan:[distant look in her eyes] Oh no, he did it right believe me.
Zedd: You've been gone the whole night. What have you two been doing?
Kahlan: Oh, I don't know. What do you and Adie do when you're together alone all night?
Zedd: Uh, well . . . well we . . . we talk. That's what we do. We talk.
Kahlan: That's what we did too. We talked. All night. My hair got tangled while we were talking. It was . . . quite hot in the other world.
Annalina's description of Zedd's reaction to some of Nathan's antics:
"Zedd has succumbed to a bout of loud cursing and arm flailing, he is swearing oaths about what he intends to do to Nathan, I am sure he will find most of his intentions physically impossible."
The description of Ann and Zedd's antics in Temple of the Winds when they're trying to convince their captors that they're insane.
Closely followed by Ann and Zedd's 'it's your fault' bickering/description of their utterly brilliant failure as useful slaves.
Nicci, Death's Mistress, former lieutenant to the Keeper, wielder of the magic of the Underworld, who never wears any color other than black, falls unconscious . . . and when she wakes up, discovers that one of the Mord-Sith has dressed her in a satiny, pale pink nightdress. Nicci, undaunted, then proceeds to tell everyone about The End of the World as We Know It and then confronts and intimidates Shota, all the while still wearing the same nightdress. Nicci's Comically Serious attitude about the whole thing just makes it all the more hilarious.
And then, in the final book, Confessor, the same thing happens again, with Nicci ending up in the same pink nightdress. Her response is basically, "WTF? Again?" And then she uses magic to delete the dye from the nightdress. And afterward turns it pink again and gives it to one of the Mord-Sith.
The skating scene in The Pickwick Papers. Also the chapter where Sam Weller writes a "walentine":
"[...] So I take the privilidge of the day, Mary, my dear - as the gen'lem'n in difficulties did ven he valked out of a Sunday - to tell you that the first and only time I see you your likeness was took on my hart in much quicker time and brighter colours than ever a likeness was took by the profeel macheen (wich p'raps you may have heerd on Mary my dear) altho it does finish a portrait and put the frame and glass on complete with a hook at the end to hang it up by and all in two minutes and a quarter."
"I am afeerd that werges on the poetical, Sammy," said [Sam's father], dubiously.
Simultaneously a Crowning Moment of Awesome, when Han shuts down the arrogant Imperial commander early on in Destiny's Way. She brags about how The Empire would never have had the kind of problems with the Yuuzan Vong that the New Republic was having, as they would have swiftly and mercilessly crushed the opposition. Han fires back by pointing out that The Empire would have done nothing of the sort and instead would have wasted god knows how much on a massively impractical superweapon that would have either not worked or would have had some design flaw that an enemy ace could exploit and destroy.
Pretty much any part of A Confederacy of Dunces involving Ignatius. It's remarkable how accurately Toole nailed the sort of overblown, hyperbolic behaviour the internet brings out in people with Ignatius.
"I had a rather apocalyptic battle with a starving prostitute..."
Crespley: WHAT IS THAT?! (See Gavner's pants, a yellow pants with pink elephants motive)
Gavner:...(embarassed)It's a gift.
Crespley: From a human woman who had relationship with you, I presume.
Gavner: She's indeed a beautiful woman.... It's just that her choice in underwear was rather poor....
Darren: Choice in boyfriend, also.
Crespley: (Burst out laughing)
The Airborn series has one with the book Starclimber: A park attendant is asking the main characters if they have any "chits", otherwise tokens or tickets or so. The attendant refuses to let them sit at the park benches unless they all have "chits". This becomes a whole sequence of Does This Remind You of Anything?, leading up to this great bit:
Kate de Vries: Well...I poo-poo the chit.
Park Attendant: No! You cannot poo-poo the chit!
Kate: I do. I do poo-poo.
Matt Cruse: ...We'll walk.
And afterwards, after an old woman and her dog are electrocuted and nearly killed, the park attendant walks up to the woman.
Park Attendant: Excuse me, ma'am, but may I see your dog's chit?
From the first Airborn book came this little gem, when Matt and Baz and Bruce are out trying to find a river, and Kate has already located one:
Matt: Miss de Vries, please don't tell the captain what useless clods we are, or we'll all be out of work.
Kate: Your secret's safe with me.
Baz: We'd better go take a look at this stream and report back to the captain. Everyone's agreed that I found it, right, and I had to fight a crocodile and piranhas on the way? Good. Thank you very much, Miss de Vries. You're a font of wisdom.
The Princess 99 series is hilarious because it pokes fun at the many conventions of the Wizarding School genre, as well as the character, mainly the quotes - especially when Prof. Wilde tries to tell her students to not ride brooms. Possibly the funniest scene involves the main characters all hatching a scheme...to get Prof. Marius a girlfriend.
Jacq: It's obvious she (Prof. Colette) likes him. Professeur Marius seems to notice but doesn't do anything about it.
Skye: Professeur Marius is a miserable, grumpy, slightly wrinkled, old guy with a giant scar on his face! Who is attracted to that?!
Axel: Maybe we can do something to help them? Listen: if Professeur Marius is lonely, then maybe Professeur Colette can do something about it. And if he's less lonely, he won't be such a miserable person.
Jacq: So, we get the Professeur a girlfriend and we get him off our backs? Attagirl! That's the best idea I've heard all day!
The Culture novel The Player of Games has a pretty funny one with the character Yay. She's a landscape designer but often has trouble getting commissions. The reason for this, is that she isn't a landscaper or designing gardens, she actually designs the ecosystem of planets. Yay doesn't understand why so many people are concerned with liveable areas and don't like her doing things like creating floating volcanos everywhere. Basically, Yay's hobby is playing SimCity with actual locations.
The Culture novels have Minds, godlike intelligences that exist in hyperspace and control spaceships, orbitals, and most other large machines. They run quite efficiently a civilisation with trillions of inhabitants. In Excession , some of the minds working for the elite secret service Special Circumstances are communicating across the galaxy about the fate of the Culture, when another Mind, not involved with this, comes on and starts to TROLL them.
The scene with Chip, Pex, and Mulch in Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code is the funniest moment of the series.
In The Atlantis Complex, pretty much every scene featuring Orion Fowl. And it just gets better and better as he becomes more deluded.
It takes about three books to set up, but 'Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.' is a brilliant joke.
Tyrion Lannister introduces his new savage allies to his father:
Tyrion: They followed me home. Can I keep them?
There's a line in book 3 about the then-leader of the guardians of the Wall, Jora Mormont maybe? (sorry, don't have the book with me, and haven't read it in years) about how the hair which had retreated from the top of his head had regrouped under his chin.
Jon Snow, when he first starts training, is a bit of a Jerkass. When one of his fellow trainees points out "you've just broken my arm," Jon replies: "If you ask nicely, I'll break the other one for you."
The Gentle Earth has plenty of these, mostly revolving around the invader's issues with accepting certain facets of the Earth's environment. They also have trouble separating myths from facts:
Bade: How many of these 'myths' have we come across?
Runckel: Cyclone, winter, spring, summer, hurricane, Easter bunny, autumn, blizzard, cold wave, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, lightning, Santa Claus, typhoon, mental telepathy, earthquake, levitation, volcano [...]Hallowe'en, icebergs, typhoons—this planet must be a mass of mythology from one end to the other!
While the scene of Edward Rochester almost being burned to death by the Bertha In The Attic in Jane Eyre is rather serious, you can't help but chuckle at the dialogue:
Edward Rochester: (after being doused by water) Is there a flood?
Jane Eyre: No sir, but there has been a fire.
The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series has elements of this peppered within each book (you know, before it Jumped the Shark) but the one that stands out most is in Blue Moon where Niley, the mustache-twirling bad guy, is trying to convince Anita and her werewolf ex-boyfriend Richard to leave town. Niley promises not to harm the local wildlife and this little exchange happens:
Richard: * leans over to whisper in Anita's ear* Are you running your foot up and down my leg?
Richard: * scoots his chair away from Niley*
Niley: Aw, such a shame. I thought after that little tete-a-tete in the men's bathroom we were friends.
Richard: * turns purple from blushing*
If you think The Bible can't be funny, you're reading the wrong parts!
Elijah's brutal, brutal mocking of the Baal worshipers in the "My God is Bigger Than Your God" showdown.
But not as funny as Moses trying to talk his way out becoming God's Prophet to His People.
The Seventh Tower has quite a few, and most of them involve Ebbitt and the wacky things he's always saying. However, this conversation between Crow and Milla is priceless:
Crow: "I tried to kill your friend, Tal."
Milla: * shrugs* "I've tried to kill him myself, but he survived."
Crow: "I'm serious! [...] I hit him on the head and then I threw my knife at him."
Milla: "Did you hit him?"
Crow: "No, I only got his coat."
Milla: "Then you should practice harder."
The Pilo Family Circus likes to mix horror with humour. For instance, Jamie, driven half insane by stress, tries to audition for a role in the Circus Clown Division... by first setting off a lot of fireworks in Queen Street Mall, then running down the street completely naked with a pillowcase over his head, a swastika painted on his chest and a smiley face on his back, all the while screaming "THERE'S A BOMB!!!"
Mugabo's the Magician's dreaded bunny trick, which is dedicated to "that fuckpig of a clown," and involves the controlled detonation of a fluffy white rabbit all over the audience.
Goshy the Clown's marriage to a potted plant and the aftermath, in which JJ punishes Jamie for wasting half his pay by leaving his body in the newlywed's wardrobe. Long story short, Jamie awakes to find himself subjected to the sights and sounds of Goshy having sex with a fern.
Gonko's rant beginning with "IF I EVER FIND THE MOTHERFUCKER WHO STOLE MY PANTS..."
Gonko's full of these moments when he isn't being terrifying. "STOP BUMPING THE FUCKING TABLE!" Which is uttered right after said person under table JUST got his hand smashed in by a hatchet, by none other then...Gonko.
And you were so scared! I told you and told you there was nothing to be afraid of.
Oh, I'm so embarrassed...
The Evil Genius Trilogy has several hilarious moments; in the first book of the series, for example, Phineas Darkkon is in jail, and communicates with Thaddeus and Cadel via a transmitter concealed in his arthritis bangle. However, the prison guards realise that Phineas doesn't need the bangle and confiscate it, so Phineas tries again with a pair of glasses with transmitters concealed in the lenses. Eventually, the guards get suspicious and confiscate those too, so Phineas resorts to speaking to Cadel through a transmitter concealed in his toilet. This works well, though he does have to feign illness a lot.
In chapter 19, Cadel is settling into the Axis Institute's coursework, and has by now gotten used to the occasional explosions, the muffled screams, the invasions of classrooms by sniffer dogs, the holes punched in the wall, and so on.
Then Clive Slaughter combusted- and Cadel began to experience a faint sense of unease.
Close to the end of the second book in the series, Cadel and Sonja have just been rescued from Prosper English, and are being driven home by Saul. However, Sonja appears to be frightened of something, but without her Dynavox, she can't communicate what the problem is. Eventually, she tries communicating using the age-old "one blink for no and twice for yes" system; normally, this would be a very serious moment, but the unexpected punchline makes it absolutely hilarious.
Saul: Did you see Prosper English?
(Sonja blinks twice.)
Saul: Where, in the hangar?
Cadel: Did you see him running from the police?
Cadel: Did you see him hiding?
Cadel: Where? Not in the other plane?
Cadel: Was he near the office?
Cadel: Was he in the bush?
Cadel: What about the second hangar?
Prosper English: Oh, for heaven's sake, I'm in this car, you fools.
Prosper English has a knack for these. In the final book, Cadel and the police are thinking of random facts about Prosper in a effort to find where he is, what kind of food he likes, what aftershave does he use, etc. About a chapter later, when Cadel is once again been kidnapped by Prosper, he remarks:
Craptastic romance/women-in-misery paperback The Raging Hearts is very [unintentionally] funny. But the best part? When Kitty says her husband's "swollen member," is staring at her. Honestly, how is anyone supposed to picture anything but this◊?
Josh: I am a Viking warrior! Cower before my might! Cower! The strength of Thor and all his mighty hosts flows through me! And I fucked your mother! I... fucked... your... motherrrrrrr!
Later in the book, Eliot gets into a drunken argument with another magician who firmly believes that their magical powers are "the tools of God." Nobody in the room takes it very seriously, and the argument finally ends with Eliot making this little speech:
"I am the mighty Maker, and I now bequeath to you My Holy Power Tools, because I am too fucking drunk to use them anymore, and good luck to you, because when I get up tomorrow, they had better be exactly where I left them, exactly, even My... no, especially My belt sander, because I am going to be so fucking hung-over tomorrow, anyone who fucks with My belt sander is going to get a taste of My belt. And it won't taste good. At all."
I would always laugh when Fizban shows up in the Dragon Lance book, "Dragons of Autumn Twilight", particularly the line, "Did you see that? That tree tried to trip me!"
"Guards! Arrest those trees! The charge is obstructing sunlight!"
His apparent death and the events leading up to it near the end of the first book was a combination of this and a Tear Jerker. He and Tas are on a balcony in an immensely tall room listening in on Verminaard and The Dragon (yes, a literal one this time), when Fizban drops his hat (which has been a Running Gag since the beginning of the book), it floats gently down and lands on Verminaard's desk. After a brief pause, Verminaard sends his dragon to eat the spies, who run away back into a room with a mechanism involving gears and a very, very long chain; Fizban and Tas are holding on to the chain on the other side of the last gear, the dragon melts the chain through and they start to fall. Fizban starts casting "Featherfall" to slow their descent, gets as far as "feather..." before going splat, and Tas lands in the middle of a gigantic pile of chicken feathers that breaks his fall.
The "Asylum" battle in Samuel R. Delaney's Babel-17 is one extended Crowning Moment of Funny. The pirate commander Tarik has an ... interesting sense of humor.
"Inmates gather to face Caesar. Psychotics ready at the K-ward gate. Neurotics gather before R-ward gate. Criminally insane prepare for discharge at the T-ward gate. All right, drop your straitjackets." "Neurotics advance. Maintain contact to avoid separation anxiety." "Let the criminally-insane schiz-out." "Neurotics proceed with delusions of grandeur. Napolean Bonaparte take the lead. Jesus Christ bring up the rear." "Stimulate severe depression, noncommunicative, with repressed hostility." "Commence the first psychotic episode." "The life goal has become dispersed. Do not become despondent." "All right. Administer medication!" "Administer active therapy to the right. Be as directive as you can. Let the center enjoy the pleasure principle. And the left go hang." "Advance for group therapy!"
Keep in mind, all these euphemisms are describing a pitched space battle.
The Circle Opens: The scene where the Bancanor household discovers Frostpine meditating naked in the kitchen fire. After they calm down, some of the ladies seem very...admiring.
In the first book, "Headmaster Boggin" begins to start an As You Know speech—and is instantly headed off by his audience.
Quentin's reaction to the "school patron's" identities:
"We're in a school run by Greek gods. Now keep quiet. We don't want to get turned into trees."
In the second book, Amelia and Vanity must perform an emergency strip-tease to restore a transformed comrade back to his natural form. Vanity is perfectly comfortable, but Amelia isn't giving it her all...
Vanity: "Tell him you want him to rip all your clothes off!"
Amelia: "Colin, could you transform back and rip all my clothes off, please..."
Iskaral Pust: Turn right, proceed thirty-four paces, turn right again, twelve paces, then through door on the right, thirty-five paces, through archway on right another eleven paces, turn right one last time, fifteen paces, enter the door on the right.
Iskaral Pust: ...
Mappo: Or, turn left, nineteen paces.
Iskaral Pust: Aye.
Mappo: I shall take the short route then.
Iskaral Pust: If you must.
Would you believe The Grapes Of Wrath? Despite being an otherwise unhappy story, you have to crack up at Tom's account of Ma attacking a peddler with a live chicken she was about to slaughter because she forgot which hand she had the axe in. It's even an in-universe example, since Grampa is mentioned to have thrown out his hip laughing at it.
Shadow: Hey, Huginn or Munin, or whoever you are. Say "nevermore".
Raven: Fuck you.
In Stranger in a Strange Land, Jubal Hershaw throws a rather unorthodox press conference with the Man from Mars at his estate. The narration notes that they're all chummy and getting drunk, but the reporters are all instructed not to badger the Man from Mars with questions. The next line notes that any dissenters are unceremoniously thrown into the pool.
Not sure if I can include this, but in his book The Writer's Tale, Russell T Davies tells of how he wishes Steven Moffat would write a script for The Doctor's Son...and provides a cartoon of same.
"When it comes to peeling potatoes, I don't fuck around."
This paragraph in Daisy Miller, shortly after Winterbourne meets Daisy's little brother Randolph:
" 'My father's name is Ezra B. Miller,' Randolph announced. 'My father ain't in Europe; my father's in a better place than Europe.' Winterbourne imagined for a moment that this was the manner in which the child had been taught to intimate that Mr. Miller had been removed to the sphere of celestial reward. But Randolph immediately added, 'My father's in Schenectady. He's got a big business.' "
And when Winterbourne finds out that Daisy is "surrounded by half a dozen wonderful mustaches".
In Chuck Klosterman's essay compilation Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs, he delineates how the Celtics vs. Lakers rivalry explains every decision you will ever make, and then follows that up with a list of ten examples— "who should I marry", "what drugs should I take", etc. This is number 9:
"Is Adam Sandler funny?"
In the book The Strange Case Of The Origami Yoda, from the file "Origami Yoda and the Unsatisfactory Answers":
Yoda: Hairdo like Yoda you must have. *I can't remember the question*
Person: You mean bald?
Person: Have you seen that hilarious YouTube video where Chewbacca dances with a Jawa?
Yoda: What a Jawa is?
Person: You know, one of those little guys from the first movie.
Yoda: What this movie is?
Person: Star Wars!
Person: Episode Four! A New Hope! Star Wars, dude!
Yoda: In that movie I was not.
Person: Why does Dwight pick his nose so much?
Yoda: Picks it he never does.
Person: Ha! That's a lie.
Yoda: At least he eats it not, like you do.
Michael Parenti in his nonfiction book The Assassination of Julius Caesar can be pretty hilarious at times. For instance, when he discusses the story that Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, dreamed of his assassination the night before, he notes that her warning "gave [Caesar] pause since she ordinarily was a composed and levelheaded individual, not given to 'womanish superstitions,' as Plutarch puts it." In the next line, Parenti observes: "Plutarch himself was richly freighted with superstitions, presumably male gendered."
Like many of Caesar's followers, the legionaries guarding his body after it was removed to the forum did not take his assassination well:
Some of these veteran warriors doubtless were ready to march up to the Senate House and lay waste to every toga in sight.
The end of Ben Elton's Dead Famous, when embittered anarchist Woggle blows up the expy of the Big Brother house in revenge for the producer leaking earlier misdeeds to the police...but since he forgot to correct for daylight savings time while he was digging a tunnel under it, when he blasts the house into pieces there's nobody inside. Made better by the inspector who's been the viewpoint character for about half the book judging it a good effort even as he arrests Woggle.
In Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast, when the Under Secretary Mr. Kiku — who had faced threats of the annihilation of the entire Earth with equanimity — finds himself needing to explain to seventeen-year-old Betty Sorensen that the Lummox has taken up as a hobby breeding John Thomas Stuarts, and, well ...
Kiku: Um. Pardon me if I was unduly personal. You see, there are requirements in any endeavor and Lummox, it appears, is aware of one of the requirements ... uh, let me put it this way. If we have here a rabbit ... or a cat... Betty: Mr. Kiku, are you trying to say that it takes two rabbits to have more rabbits?
In Half Magic, Martha, the youngest of four siblings, accidentally bewitches the family cat, Carrie, making her able to talk...partially.
Miss Bick (the housekeeper): Where are you taking that cat?
Carrie: Idjwit! Foo! Fitzouta thewayfitz!
In Patricia C. Wrede's The Seven Towers, after the sword-games, when Eltiron tries to compliment Crystalorn after noticing how well her hairstyle complements her face.
Eltiron: You look very nice. Crystalorn: Oh, do you really like my dress? I wasn't sure it was quite right. Eltiron: What dress?