- In a peak of Mood Whiplash, during the climactic urban battle, Sgt. Horvath and a German mook meet, only for the German to hurl his helmet at Horvath, enticing Horvath to throw his, then shoot him with his pistol, just as the German does the same.
- Similarly, when a mortally wounded Captain Miller starts shooting his .45 at the Tiger before it explodes, he has a quick dumbfounded look before the fighter buzzes overhead.
- Some more Mood Whiplash combined with a dose of black comedy occurs in the D-Day scene. A soldier's helmet is struck by a bullet. He takes it off, looking at it like he can't believe he wasn't hit... only to be shot in the head a moment later.
Squadmate: Oh you lucky bastard! [BOOM!]
What did he say?
- Also in the D-Day, two soldiers after shooting surrendering enemies:
"Look, I washed for supper!"
- Reiben's constant wisecracking, even in the heat of battle.
Horvath: Reiben! Where's your BAR* ?!
Reiben: Bottom of the Channel, Sarge. Bitch tried ta' drown me!
- Capt. Miller trying to find out where Ryan is from a guy who had a grenade hit his head.
Random Soldier: You're gonna have to speak up sir. His hearing isn't so good. It comes and goes. A German grenade went off right by his head.
Hard of hearing soldier: YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO SPEAK UP SIR! MY HEARING ISN'T SO GOOD! IT COMES AND GOES! A GERMAN GRENADE WENT OFF RIGHT NEAR MY HEAD!
- A great deal of the (authentic) soldiers' banter:
Pvt. Caparzo: What are we gonna do?
Sgt. Horvath: You're goin' home wrapped in an American flag with a hunk of cheese in your ass, Caparzo, you smart-ass! Now listen up...
Pvt. Reiben: I thought you liked it in the ass?Pvt. Reiben: You know what that song reminds me of? It reminds me of Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz and what she said to me the day I left for basic.
Pvt. Mellish: What, 'don't touch me'?Pvt. Jackson: Sir... I have an opinion on this matter.
Cpt. Miller: Well, by all means, share it with the squad.
Pvt. Jackson: Well, from my way of thinking, sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.
Cpt. Miller: Yeah. Go on.
Pvt. Jackson: Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.
Cpt. Miller: Reiben, pay attention. Now, this is the way to gripe. Continue, Jackson.
Pvt. Jackson: Well, what I mean by that, sir, is... if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile of Adolf Hitler with a clear line of sight, sir... pack your bags, fellas, war's over. Amen.
Pvt. Reiben: Oh, that's brilliant, bumpkin. Hey, so, Captain, what about you? I mean, you don't gripe at all?
Cpt. Miller: I don't gripe to *you*, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on. I don't gripe to you. I don't gripe in front of you. You should know that as a Ranger.
Pvt. Reiben: I'm sorry, sir, but uh... let's say you weren't a captain, or maybe I was a major. What would you say then?
Cpt. Miller: Well, in that case... I'd say, "This is an excellent mission, sir, with an extremely valuable objective, sir, worthy of my best efforts, sir. Moreover... I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and am willing to lay down my life and the lives of my men - especially you, Reiben - to ease her suffering."
Mellish: [chuckles] He's good.
Pvt. Caparzo: I love him.
[they make mocking kissy-faces at each other]
- The Running Gag of "FUBAR" and Upham's struggle to figure out what it means.
- Mellish also tells Upham that FUBAR is German. Coincidentally, it happens to be similar in sound and meaning to the German word "furchtbar", meaning "terrible".
- The American troops are stumbling about a small French village looking for their CO, who might know where Ryan is. They rest for a minute in a bombed-out building, where Mellish accidentally knocks over a wooden beam. It hits a brick wall, collapsing it to reveal the adjacent room is filled with German soldiers. It's only funny for about two seconds before both sides grab their rifles for a tense standoff. And then it goes right back to funny when both sides start yelling at the other to surrender, with neither one of them backing down. It's exactly as hilarious as you think.
- Reiben sitting on top of Ryan to ensure he doesn't get hit by a tank shell.
Cpt. Miller: (running over to them) RYAN! Ryan!
Pvt. Ryan: Get offa' me!
Cpt. Miller: (to Ryan) Are you all right?
Pvt. Ryan: Get offa' me!
Pvt. Reiben: Yeah, I'm fine too, Captain. Thanks.
- Pvt. Ryan telling the story of the last time he and his brothers were together. Specially the description of his brother's lady friend: "Picture a girl who took a nosedive from the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down."
- After a bunch of German soldiers are captured and led off, Mellish repeatedly says "Juden!" or "I'm a Juden!" to them while brandishing a Star of David pendant he's wearing.
- Reiben telling the story of when he tried to sell a too-small bra to a well-endowed lady. She caught on when he had a...physical reaction, and, according to him, told him to think of her "gifts" when he needed comforting.
- Right before, Upham translates an Édith Piaf song. "To be honest, I find myself curiously aroused by you".
- When a captured German soldier, fearing execution, tries sucking up to the Americans by talking about American pop culture, mangling the national anthem, and saying "Fuck Hitler!"
- A very dark moment of funny is when Tom Hanks tells the wrong Private James Ryan (played by Nathan Fillion) that his brothers died, causing him to break down crying even though it was just a mistake.
- The part where the German propaganda starts blasting out in a town being attacked by Americans, telling the soldiers that the Statue of Liberty "ist kaput". Made even funnier by Miller's response:
" 'The Statue of Liberty is kaput' - that's disconcerting."
- This incident:
Miller: Hey stupid!
[Every soldier in his immediate vicinity runs toward him]
- This exchange:
Horvath: Maybe I should go up the middle, sir.
Miller: The way you run? I don't think so.
Horvath: Maybe I should go left, sir.
Miller: Maybe you should SHUT UP!
- The Running Gag on Miller's Mysterious Past.
Upham: Reiben, so you even know where he went to school?
Reiben: Cap'n didn't go to school, they assembled him at O.S.C.* outta spare body parts of dead G.I.s.