- The beginning of the film when Gramma Tala is telling the village children the story of Te Fiti, Maui, and all the monsters out there. When she said "OF INESCAPABLE DEATH!", one child starts crying and another child faints, but baby Moana is fully invested and excited.
- Then Moana's dad comes in and tells them not to worry as there are no such things as monsters...and accidentally unrolls a bunch of tapestries depicting horrible monsters that cover the entire hut and thus plunging it into darkness. The children then flip their collective shits.
Kid #1: (while the children are running around in terror) Monsters, monsters!
Kid #2: It's the darkness!
Tui: There's no monsters, no monsters—
Kid #3: I'm gonna throw up!
- Moana tries some pork that a villager offers her. She comments that it's delicious...right in front of an upset little Pua the piglet.
- The word "pua" means "pork". She's essentially calling him delicious to his face.
- Moana gets an extremely underage admirer trying to flirt with her during her dance class. It's also the only time anybody tries anything romantic with her during the movie.
- Moana's incredibly awkward facial expression in response to the kid's behaviour makes it even better.
- Heihei. Nothing more needs to be said.
Moana: [Removes coconut from Heihei's head then puts it back] Heihei?!?!?
- Heihei the stowaway. Looks right, water. Looks left, water. Twitchy Eye. Camera pulls back.
- When Moana puts the coconut shell back on his head, Heihei stops screaming. Only to continue when she takes it off, twice, and higher pitched each time.
- Within the first few seconds of him being on the boat, he walks directly off and almost drowns, leading Moana to dive in after him.
- When they get back to the boat, Heihei almost immediately does the exact same thing. When Moana realizes this, she drops him in the storage compartment for safe keeping. Unfazed, Heihei continues to pace back and forth, bouncing off the edges like some kind of malfunctioning robot.
- When the waves start to get rough at night, Moana starts reciting her Survival Mantra. Cut to Heihei sliding from side to side in the storage compartment, still with the same dumb look on his face.
- Even better is when even the Ocean has had enough of Heihei falling off the boat and picks him up, stuffs him into a basket, puts the lid on, puts that into the storage compartment of the boat, and then for emphasis slams down the storage cover to make sure it's staying there. It even gives a satisfied "There!" kind of nod afterwards.
- And then he still tries to walk into the Ocean at the end of the movie. In response, the Ocean (presumably because it's simply grown tired of the chicken's stupidity) simply picks him up, spins him on his heels, and sends him off in the opposite direction.
- As he's stealing Moana's boat, Maui sets out some food for Heihei. Heihei starts pecking the empty deck next to the food, and has to have his head turned in the right direction. Maui's expression really sells it.
- Maui tries to feed Heihei again, only for the chicken not to eat. Maui has to push Heihei's head down into the food twice, like a drinkie bird, before the chicken starts eating on his own.
- Maui gets back into practice with his hook by starting small, shapeshifting into a beetle—which Heihei promptly swallows.
- The AV Club's review summed Heihei up pretty well: not only is he Too Dumb to Live, he's too dumb to die.
- Same goes for the Double Toasted review, where Korey Coleman more or less seconds the old man's motion.
Korey: Y'all shouldn't [set him up for CMOFs]. Y'all should just make a Chick-Fil-A sandwich out of him, put him out of his misery.
- Though Grandma Tala's death scene is a sad affair, she tells Moana to "grab him by the ear" when she meets Maui. She does. One problem, however: Maui has Super Strength and isn't fazed in the least.
- After getting washed up on Maui's island, Moana gets outright pissed off because the Ocean ignored her pleas during a storm. This is after it "pulls the rug" out from under her foot as she tries to angrily kick the water, sending her flailing to the ground again.
Moana: Fish pee in you! All day! So... [scowls]
- Maui freaks out when he first sees Moana and Heihei, complete with terrified scream.
- Moana tries to introduce herself to Maui, who keeps interrupting and talking over her. She finally wallops him in the stomach with her oar and grabs him by the ear to make him shut up. It's even funnier because that's exactly what her grandmother told her to do.
- During this, Maui assumes she came for an autograph and uses Heihei to sign her oar, telling her, "When you use a bird to write with, it's called 'tweeting.'"
- Without even watching the scene, listening to Maui's song "You're Welcome" becomes hilarious as towards of the end, Maui suddenly changes from singing about his divine creations to how the only thing he can't do is "float" and he plans to steal Moana's boat. The best part of this is that Moana is so distracted by his song she remains blissfully unaware of it, even as Maui sings about how he's going to steal her boat and sail away.
- As "You're Welcome" ends and Moana snaps back to reality, she realizes that all of the gifts he gave her were actually random bits of flotsam and jetsam.
- "And thank you!" before trapping her in a cave.
- Moana's almost Precision F-Strike:
- And how does Moana escape? By climbing a statue of Maui that Maui himself carved. Think about that; he spent one thousand years aggrandizing himself.
- She then charges at Maui, leaping off a cliff at him in a rage (Battle Cry included)... only to come a few inches short in her jump, and belly flop into the water.
Maui: I could watch that all day.
- When Maui talks about bringing humans fire, the goddess in his tattoos looks so offended when Mini Maui grabs the fire from her.
- The Running Gag of Maui trying to throw Moana off the boat. Emphasis on trying, as the ocean just puts her back whenever she hits the water.
- It starts with Moana being placed on the boat after missing her leap and falling into the water. The Ocean sticks her on the boat, much to Maui's surprise.
- Then as Moana begins to recite her speech, Maui interrupts her mid-sentence by tossing her overboard. She is promptly returned. At this point Maui's more annoyed than surprised.
Maui: Aaaand she's back.
- Then Maui jerks the boat, causing Moana to topple off. We cut to Maui's satisfied expression...which falls the minute he hears the familiar splash-thud.
Maui: It was Moana, right?
- When Moana reveals The Heart of Te Fiti, Maui grabs it and throws it as far as he can. The ocean throws it back into his face. Then Maui tries to leave the boat and the Ocean sticks him back on the boat.
Maui: "OH COME ON!" (Ocean squirts his face with water)
- It's then repeated after the Kakamora battle. Moana makes a deal with Maui and he shakes her hand...only to flip her overboard. And the ocean puts her back.
Maui: (a soaking wet Moana glares at him and he shrugs) Worth a shot.
- Actual hair logic in a Disney movie, as when Moana whips around to be dramatic, her soaked hair slaps across her face and she has to lift it up to speak.
- This little bit as Moana is trying to persuade Maui to join her, which could make him a hero:
(zoom in on Maui's tattoo of a crowd cheering)
Whispering Voice: Maui, Maui, Maui, Mauiiii...
(zoom out to reveal Moana behind Maui)
Moana: (still whispering) You're so amazing!
- When Moana asks if Maui is afraid of The Heart of Te Fiti, Maui denies it. Mini Maui then starts chewing his nails and running around in mock terror. Maui then threatens to make it sleep in his armpit if it doesn't stop.
- The Kakamora, as an homage to the War Boys in Mad Max: Fury Road, play their own chase music. This includes strapping themselves to bungee cords and bouncing up and down on a giant drum to produce drumbeat.
- When Moana goes on the Kakamora's ship to rescue Heihei, one of them tries to shoot her with a dart. The dart ends up hitting the leader, who turns around and gives the Kakamora the best Death Glare one can muster without any actual facial expression. The Kakamora hides the blowgun behind its back as the leader drops like lead.
- Being coconuts with legs, the Kakamora are kind of cute and don't really have faces to move. So they draw their scary faces on with chalk. It's a little like this.◊
- When Maui and Moana are arguing, Mini Maui keeps score with Moana in the lead.
- He later adds another score to Moana after Maui jumps into Lalotai. Maui is confused...only for Mini Maui to gesture upwards and Moana ends up landing on Maui's face.
- Topped by his reaction after she falls screaming into the Realm of Monsters:
- The argument over whether or not Moana is a princess, which Leans On The Fourth Wall in a big way.
Maui: If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.
- Maui grabs Heihei and gives the camera a cheery grin, saying, "Boat snack!"
Maui: (To Heihei) I am gonna love you...in mah belly!
- In a bit of Black Comedy, Maui pretends for a moment that a human sacrifice is needed to enter Lalotai. Moana believes him
Maui: (laughs) Kidding! So serious!
- When Moana asks Maui to teach her to sail, Maui adamantly refuses. The ocean interjects by plucking a Kakamora dart out from the boat and stabbing him in the butt. He's really unimpressed.
Maui: Really? Blow dart in my butt cheek? You are a bad person.
- Maui, immobilized with a Kakamora dart, instructs Moana to search for a warm current. She reports the current is cold, then suddenly it gets warmer...because Maui just pulled a Urine Trouble. Moana's reaction is just priceless.
Moana: EWW! That is disgusting! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!
- The giant shit-eating grin on Maui's face just adds to the hilarity.
- When Moana and Maui are about to enter Lalotai,
Don't worry, it's a lot farther down than it looks. CHE-HOOOOOO! (jumps in. Beat)
I am still falliiiiiiiiing!
- When they're infiltrating Tamatoa's lair, Maui startles Moana by accident and she punches him in the mouth. He looks so shocked and then picks her up by the head, unamused, as she tries to frantically apologize and change the subject.
- Moana being sent in to act as bait for Tamatoa.
Moana: (banging on a drum, deadpan) Wow. A shiny, glittery cave. And just like me, it is covered in sparkly treasure. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.
- And, of course, Maui lampshades the Bad "Bad Acting" and tells Moana she needs to sell it more.
- While plenty intimidating, Tamatoa is hilarious thanks in large part to Jemaine Clement's conversational Kiwinote accent.
- During the battle with Tamatoa, he claims that Moana can't run from him. She starts to run.
Tamatoa: (somehow simultaneously confused and deadpan) Oh, you can. You keep surprising me.
Moana: (after Tamatoa shows interest in her pendant) NO! That's my grandma's!
Tamatoa: (mocking Moana and suddenly growing pretty eyelashes to complete the mockery) "That's my grandma's!" (normal again) I ATE MY GRANDMA! And it took a week because she was absolutely humongous WHY ARE YOU HERE!?
- "Are you just trying to get me to talk about myself? Because if you are...I WILL GLADLY DO SO! In song form!" Even funnier is that this is EXACTLY what Maui's Plan B was, if the first distraction didn't work. Maui and Tamatoa know each other REALLY well.
- When "Shiny" starts, we get a reaction shot of Moana making a "wtf" face as if she can't believe he just started singing.
- After Tamatoa finds out he's been tricked by Moana, he begins verbally breaking down her clever plan step by step before crushing the decoy Heart of Te Fiti in sudden frustration. Mere typing doesn't do it justice.
Tamatoa: (grabs the "heart", looking at it with glee as theatrical music is swelling) Yes! I have the-wait a minute... (the music halts, and time doesn't seem to move as Tamatoa talks) Augh! Oh, I see. She's taken a barnacle, and she's covered it in bioluminescent algae. As a diversion. (crushes the barnacle and time starts moving again) GRAAHH!
- His non-American pronunciation of "algae" (with a hard G) is the icing on the cake.
- Tamatoa's reaction after Moana and Maui escape and he's knocked onto his back is to half-heartedly shout "Hey!" two times, then to ask "Did you like the song?"
- Though the beat down Tamatoa gives Maui is definitely sad, there's something darkly humorous about Tamatoa shaking Maui off his hook by strumming him like a guitar.
- Similarly, once Tamatoa has Moana in his grasp, he starts using her as a human microphone as he sings.
- The blink-and-you miss it appearance of Sven as one of the animals Maui turns into as he tries shape-shifting again after re-acquiring his hook.
- After barely escaping Tamatoa, Maui tries to have a genuine heartfelt conversation with Moana, who can't concentrate because his shapeshifting messed up, leaving him with a shark head.
- After realizing he has a shark head, Hilarity Ensues as Maui tries to turn back into his normal self. At one point, he even winds up morphing into Heihei. Upon seeing who he is, Maui lets out a scream and immediately transforms again.
- At one point during this, Maui manages to a get stuck in a half-human, half-shark form again — except this time, he has a shark tail instead, basically turning him into a merman.
- Te Ka's facial reaction to seeing Maui in Shark Head form during the final battle.
- Moana asks Maui what one of his tattoos depicts. He says that it shows some people discovering "Nunya". When asked what "Nunya" means, he replies with "Nunya business".
- Maui, when practicing using his hook again, turns into a whale to soak Moana, but not in a mean-spirited way like his previous tricks.
- The unamused look Te Fiti gives Maui after she becomes herself again. It's kind of a mid-way point between "Yeah...no" and "Are you serious right now?" She doesn't even have to say anything for Maui to become nervous.
Maui: Te Fiti! [nervous laugh] Hey, I mean... how ya been?
Te Fiti: [gives a look that says 'I've been a raging lava monster for a thousand years. How do you think I've been?']
- In fact, even after he is rewarded for his efforts, first thing he does after a quick thanks is fly the hell out of there, as if saying "Yeeeah I'mma leave before you change your mind and smite me..."
- The Stinger: Tamatoa is still overturned and complains to the audience that they'd help him up "if [his] name was Sebastian and he had a cool Jamaican accent."
- When Moana tries to hide the fact that she just had set out with a boat into the sea only to nearly drown, her cool grandma reassures her with "Whatever just happened... blame it on the pig." and that it will be their secret with "I'm [Tui's] mother. I don't have to tell him anything!"
- Moana finds her grandmother dancing with manta ray in the shallows;
I want to come back as one of these...
or I chose the wrong tattoo. (Turns her back showing a manta ray-shaped drawing) Moana:
Why are you acting weird? Tala:
I'm the village crazy lady. That's my job.
- Moana gives a big explanatory speech to Heihei about her plan to confront Te Ka with just her canoe, and then she stows Heihei away in the storage compartment as she ends it with:
Moana: ...none of which you understand, because you are a chicken.
- As they're sailing to Te Fiti after Maui discovers just how out of practice he is with his hook, Maui is laying on the raft, despondently singing his song with different lyrics, "We're dead soon. Hey, it's okay, it's okay, we're dead soon."
- When Maui is doing the chant before he opens the entrance to Lalotai, his shouting sounds almost exactly like, "I'm nuts! I'm nuts! I'm nuts!"