- The original film gained a reputation of being the funniest Disney film of all time. Here's why:
- The very beginning of the movie has a rather meta one with the song "Circle of Life". If one knows their Zulu and listen to the famous African choruses that start the song, it translates that someone was pointing out to his father that a lion is coming. The father confirms that it is, indeed, a lion.
- Simba is Swahili for lion. Simba is a lion named lion.
- The part where Zazu has essentially been reduced to Scar's court jester, and starts off singing "Nobody Knows":
Scar: Oh Zazu, do lighten up. Sing something with a little... bounce in it.
Zazu: It's a small world after all...
Scar: NO! No... Anything but that!
- And afterwards, when the hyenas complain about there not being any food, Scar dismissively suggests that they eat Zazu.
- Early on the film, Mufasa giving Simba a pouncing lesson with Zazu as the target, especially when Zazu keeps blabbing on when asked to turn around before realizing what is happening...
- "What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?"
- (drum beats) LUAU!
- Aaaaaare ya achin'? Yup yup yup. Fooooor some bacon? Yup yup yup.
- This scene had people falling out of their chairs during the premiere showing.
- Helps that that line was Adlibbed by Nathan Lane.
- Rafiki smacking Simba upside the head with his stick, - "OW! Jeez, what was that for?!" Again it is Simba's priceless expression (and head-rub) that sells it. Even funnier after watching the DVD Commentary. That was just a Throw It In.
"So I said, why doesn't he just hit him over the head?"
Rafiki: So, what are you going to do?
- Then there's Rafiki's response: "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!" And when he finally gets through to Simba...
Simba: [mischievously] First...I'm gonna take your stick! [grabs and throws it]
Rafiki: No no no, not the stick! [chases after it]
- And when Simba finally tells him he's going back home, we have: "Good! Go on, get out of here!"
- Even better when Timon's Mother whacks Rafiki upside the head with his own staff in the sequel.
- Speaking of Rafiki:
Rafiki: Come here. [pulls Simba close to whisper in his ear] It's a secret.
Rafiki: [whispering and getting louder] Asante sana, squash banana! We we nugu! Mi mi apana!
- And when asked what the song means, Rafiki says, "It means you are a baboon...and I'm not."
- It's even funnier when 'Asante sana' means 'Thank you very much,' so put it together like this:
"Thank you very much, squash banana!
You are a baboon and I'm not!"
- "...Be prepared for sen-sa-tional news..."
- At the elephant graveyard:
"We could have whatever's...lion around!"
"Make mine a cub sandwich!"
"It's not funny, Ed." [bursts into hyena laughter]
Banzai: Hey, did we order this dinner to go?
Shenzi: [expecting another pun] No, why?
Banzai: 'Cause there it goes!
- Which is also a pun, come to think of it.
- The Three Hyenas piling up one after the other at the edge of a cliff, eventually pushing Banzai into a thorny bush.
- "What, you want me to come out looking like you, cactus butt?"
- Rafiki going kung fu on the hyenas could qualify both as this and a Moment of Awesome.
- This easy-to-miss exchange:
Simba: (in the background) Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad...
Sarabi: (half asleep) Your son is awake.
Mufasa: (half asleep) Before sunrise, he's your son.
- Made even funnier because someone on Tumblr realized that Mufasa is king of all that the light touches...which before sunrise doesn't include Simba.
- Another easy-to-miss one:
Simba: Will you cut it out?
Rafiki: Can't cut it out, it will grow right back!
- Zazu getting crushed by a rhino at the end of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King".
Zazu: I beg your pardon, madam, but... GET OFF!!
- Earlier in the same song sequence, when Simba and Nala walk through an honor guard-style arrangement of zebras... who then promptly reverse face (literally) and have tails erect, to Zazu when he tries to follow them.
- Scar's use of the phrase "practically gift-wrapped" to describe how easy killing Simba and Nala was supposed to be for the hyenas.
- "No king! No king! La la la la la la~!"
Banzai: Yeah, be prepared! Heheh, we'll be prepared! Heh. ...For what?
- Just before that, this exchange:
Scar: For the death of the king!
Banzai: What, is he sick?
Scar: (candidly) No, fool, we're gonna kill him, and Simba, too.
- When Timon, Pumbaa and Simba lie in the grass looking at the stars.
- Timon's absolute confusion when Nala and Simba reunite. After they were at each other's throats. And after she tried to eat Pumbaa, who, after pleasantries, seems to have completely forgotten about it. Which only confuses Timon more!
Simba: Nala, I'd like you to meet Pumbaa. Pumbaa, Nala.
Pumbaa: Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Nala: The pleasure's all mine!
Timon: How do you do.. Whoa! Whoa. Time out.. Lemme get this straight. You know her. She knows you. But she wants to eat him. And everybody's... okay with this? DID I MISS SOMETHING?!
- This little aside from "Hakuna Matata":
Timon: When he was a young warthog...
Pumbaa: When I was a young WARTHOOOG...
Timon: (while cleaning his ear out) Very nice.
- And this one:
- The Hilarious Outtakes made for the 3D version. See them here.
- Mufasa is definitely smoking something.
- "Well, Simba, now's your chance to grow up, and tell them - tell them who's...blu-blu-blu-blu- I don't know what I'm doing."
- The scene of Shenzi laughing hysterically while Ed is looking serious, as if he's quietly saying, "Hey, That's My Line!".
- Simba messing up his lines. "I don't speak this African stuff."
- Rafiki falls asleep while meditating.
Timon: Goodnight, Pumbaa.
Pumbaa: Goodnight, Timon. [farts]
Timon: I think I'm gonna go for a walk.
- But the Crowning Moment has to be when climbing Pride Rock, Rafiki trips and drops Simba over the edge. Rafiki then crawls over to the edge in cartoon style and looks down, saying "Simba?"
- Timon practicing his hula scene in different poses. At one point, he doesn't do it because he's busy sipping his drink. But then he opens his eyes, looks at the audience, and apologizes for the delay.
- This exchange:
Banzai: Now that's power.
Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.
Shenzi: Oooh. Do it again!
Banzai: MUFASA MUFASA MUFASA!
Ed: [cracks up laughing]
Shenzi: It tingles!
Scar: [massages his forehead softly] I'm Surrounded by Idiots.
Banzai: Oh, Scar! It's just you!
- And the exchange right before it, when Scar first shows up and surprises them. Even funnier, as Shenzi and Banzai don't even seem to be trying to insult him.
Shenzi: We were afraid it was someone important.
Banzai: Yeah, like Mufasa.
Scar: [As dryly as possible] "I see..."
- And earlier in the film:
Banzai: Hippity-hop all the way to the birdie boiler.Zazu: Oh, NO! NOT THE BIRDY BOILER!
- Even better, the dialogue from both Zazu and the hyenas imply that this has happened before.
- It's easy to miss, but the look on Nala's face the second time Simba "roars" in the elephant graveyard, just before Mufasa shows up to save them.
- Scar being Deadpan Snarker at his best to hide the fact he cannot stand Simba's enthusiasm for being destined to the throne.
Scar: Yes, well forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know.
Simba: Hey Uncle Scar, when I'm King, what'll that make you?
Scar: A monkey's uncle.
- After Timon and Pumbaa meet Rafiki for the first time:
Timon: Hey, what's going on here? Who's the monkey?
Nala: Simba's gone back to challenge Scar!
Pumbaa: Who's got a scar?
Nala: No, no, no. It's his uncle.
Timon: The monkey's his uncle?
Nala: No! Simba's gone back to challenge his uncle to take his place as King!
Timon and Pumbaa: Ohhhhhh...
- Timon and Pumbaa singing and bawling about how their pal is supposedly doomed.
- The start of movie after the "Circle of Life" number which introduces Scar. After Zazu reprimands him for missing Simba's ceremony, he tries to eat him.
Mufasa: [shows up] Scar!
Scar: [with his mouth full] Yes, Mufasa?
Mufasa: Drop him.
Zazu: [his beak pops out of Scar's mouth] Impeccable timing, your majesty. [Scar spits him out]
- In the very same scene above, we get this little dialogue after Scar walks out on Mufasa:
Zazu: There's one in every family, sire. Two in mine, actually. And they always manage to ruin special occasions.
Mufasa: What am I going to do with him? (meaning Scar)
Zazu: He'd make a very handsome throw rug.
Zazu: And just think, Whenever he gets dirty you can take him out and beat him.
- Timon and Pumbaa's verse at the end of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight". Their genuine-looking grief, and bursting into tears afterwards, for...nothing.
- Their verse can easily speak to any circle of friends, male or female, who have 'lost' a member to romance.
- Just about all of the Virtual Safaris in this, but highlights are:
- Timon and Pumbaa discovering that THEY are on the menu in the Jeep tour.
- Pumbaa mistaking Timon's tail for his blanket in the same tour.
- Followed by Timon and Pumbaa getting attacked by bats.
- In the Boat tour, Timon jumps out of the boat after getting scared by thunder.
- One of the two endings of the above tour, which involves Timon and Pumbaa getting caught in a whirlpool.
- The other ending is also funny, but replace "whirlpool" with "waterfall".
- When Sima, Nala and Zazu are cornered by the Hyenas in the Elephant Graveyard:
- On the meta level, "Be Prepared" getting mangled beyond all recognition by Google Translate. It starts with "But thick as you are, pay attention!" somehow being reduced to "Fat! Focus!" and just goes downhill from there.
Banzai: Better prepared for survival! We will remember! ... Why?Scar: DISEASE CONTROL CODE!Banzai: Why? She was infected?Scar: No, you moron! Cereal!Banzai: F*bleep*k! Ode Russian King?
- Scar's dialogue with the hyenas is a particular standout:
- One comparison between the Lion King and Hamlet gives the role of "something rotten in the kingdom of Denmark" to Puumba's gas.
The stage musical
- Before "I Just Can't Wait To Be King," Zazu says, "This wasn't in the cartoon!"
- "Huh, it looks like an oversized shower curtain from Zellersnote ..."
- In the 2011 Montreal performance of the show, Zazu switches 'It's a small world' for 'Vive L'Allouetes!'. It makes sense if you're from Montreal.
- In the 2011 Las Vegas show, Zazu belts out another song that starts with a form of "Vive." Three guesses which.
- In the 2013 Dallas show Zazu sang the first two lines to "Deep in the Heart of Texas", what makes it even funnier the audience sang along once they knew what the song was.
- During the UK Tour, Zazu waits a beat before singing, "And I will walk five hundred miles!...".
- The Australia Tour has him singing "Let It Go" which, considering Frozen and the song were all the craze when the show first opened in December 2013, makes Scar shouting "Anything but that!" even more hilarious.
- Zazu still sang "Let It Go" during the recent stop in Chicago! ("The cold never bothered me anyway!")
- Like with Zazu's song, the dance Timon and Pumbaa perform in order to distract the hyenas varies from place to place. In the UK, they did the River Dance. Cue hysterical laughter from the audience.
- Rafiki says 'Tu'as Compris?' at the end of one of her rants, and the subtitles on the screens to the side SHOW IT IN ENGLISH.
- One thing which always seems to gain the biggest laugh from the audience is Rafiki swinging in on a vine, telling Nala, Timon and Pumbaa that Simba has returned. What gains the laugh is the fact that after the first swing, she suddenly swings in again, completely unexpectedly, babbling some nonsense. And to top it all off, the priceless "WTF?!" expressions on the trio's faces.
- Mufasa (seemingly) fires Zazu. The hornbill's response:
Zazu: ...In this economy?!
- Another response seen in the early touring days
Zazu: Don't send me back to Glasgow!
- And when he was played by a Scottish actor...
- The puppet then attacks its operator ("This is all your fault!"), and Mufasa has to go over to pull him off.
Mufasa: Zazu, it's a joke! *laughs heartily while the puppet and the operator go limp in disbelief*
- At some point in "I Just Can't Wait to be King," Simba snatches Zazu (the puppet) away from its puppeteer. The puppeteer shoots an Oh Crap! face at the audience and covers himself as if he is naked.
- Zazu gets a lot more snark in this version than he does in the film. In particular, we have this exchange:
Scar: Here I am at the pinnacle and yet the view is bleak. What is wrong with this picture?Zazu: You're in it, sire?
- Another Zazu gem that soars right over the kids' heads:
Scar: Zazu, be serious! I'm in need of some bucking up!Zazu: Oh, sire, you seem to be bucking up just fine without me!
- Rafiki gives what appears to be a very long speech in Swahili. When she's done, she turns to the audience and asks "Do you understand?" After the resounding "no" she rolls her eyes and continues what she was doing.
- Even funnier is that since said rant takes place during the making of Simba's portrait and right after the presentation on Pride Rock, it seems very clear Rafiki is talking about Simba and his birth. From some of the expressions and tones she uses, it's very possible part of this rant was about how Simba was conceived (complete with praise of Mufasa's prowess).
- During one performance in London, Timon exits to the wrong side. Pumbaa just stands there staring for a few moments, before Timon hurries back on saying, "It's the other way." The entire audience cracked up laughing.
- In Manchester, after Simba leaves Timon and Pumbaa upset about his father, Timon asks Pumbaa "was it something I said?" A child in the audience shouted out "Yeah!", causing all of the audience to start laughing.