Crowning Moment Of Funny in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
The Fellowship of the Ring
Bilbo at his 111st birthday party: "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve", followed by the audience pausing as they try to work out whether this comes out to a compliment or not.
Among the numerous pointedly ironic gifts for his family and neighbors, Bilbo leaves a package of spoons for Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, after she stole a bunch of his when everyone thought he was dead.
She took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.
Then she tries to get more things off of Frodo after she is furious that he inherited Bag End. Before she left, Frodo checked her and discovered that she was hiding "several small but valuable" items in her umbrella. After she leaves, he tells Merry to lock the door and not let anyone in "even if they bring a battering ram." Later, Frodo assumes that she's returned and is knocking at the door and ignores it, only for Gandalf to shout to be let in or he'll knock the door in so hard it going fly though the entire house and crash out the other end.
Another Lobelia moment: after taking the spoons and being caught trying to take other items, she's terribly fed up with Frodo and is trying to come up with a sufficiently devastating insult to leave on. The best she can do is tell Frodo "You're not a Baggins at all you're a... Brandybuck!" Frodo turns to Merry (Brandybuck) and asks Merry what he thought of that insult. Merry's response is "It was a compliment. And so, of course, not true."
Frodo and his friends eat one last meal before leaving Bag-End... then leave the dirty dishes for Lobelia.
On that note, Sam 'saying goodbye' to the beer barrel in the cellar.
Pippin's song "Sing hey for the bath at the end of the day", and him proceeding to flood the bathroom at Crickhollow.
There was a terrific splash, and a shout of "Whoa" from Frodo. It appeared that a lot of Pippin's bath had imitated a fountain and leaped on high.
Merry went to the door. "What about supper and beer in the throat?" he called. A minute later, Frodo came out of the bathroom drying his hair. "There's so much water in the air that I'm coming into the kitchen to finish."
Frodo: And now leave me in peace for a bit! I don't want to answer a string of questions while I am eating. I want to think!
Pippin: Good heavens! At breakfast?
The Gaffer mentions that a creepy man in a black cloak came to Bag End looking for "Baggins" and that he sent him off just before Frodo and Sam came back. Unfinished Tales reveals that the cloaked man was Khamûl of the Nazgul, the Witch King of Angmar's right hand. An elderly Hobbit got away with telling one of the most powerful evil supernatural beings in Middle Earth to go screw himself.
The chapter in which the conspiracy for the other hobbits to follow Frodo was revealed has several.
Frodo: I shall never believe you are sleeping again, even if you snore, and I shall kick you hard to make sure.
Frodo expects a "masked and sinister figure," and it turns out to be Sam. (He looks around expecting the "masked and sinister figure" to appear out of a cupboard, no less.)
Frodo asks Gildor (an elf) about Gandalf's lateness:
Gildor: "I do not like this news. That Gandalf should be late, it does not bode well. But it is said: Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. The choice is yours: to go or to wait."
Frodo: "It is also said: Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes."
Gildor: (laughing) "Is it indeed?"
At the "Prancing Pony," Frodo's attempts to go incognito quickly go awry. First, his chosen pseudonym of a "Mr. Underhill" researching for a book on Bree-hobbits attracts lots of attention as the actual Underhill family has many members in Bree and want to discuss genealogy, so that if Frodo actually wanted to write a book he had more material than he could ever possibly use. Then Pippin starts getting overtalkative at the bar, so Frodo diverts everyone's attention... by pretending to be drunk and dancing on a table with a proto-version of "The Cat and the Fiddle".
"You have put your foot in it. Or, should I say, your finger!"
Aragorn demonstrates his rather wicked sense of humor for the first time when, after Sam says he might have just killed the real "Strider" and stolen the letter by Gandalf telling the hobbits to trust him, Strider agrees that it's quite plausible. And that if he killed the real Strider, he could kill them, and might have done already rather than all this talking. "If I was after the Ring, I could have it—NOW!"
Bill Ferny's a real jerk. First he rats on the hobbits to the Black Riders, then he capitalizes on the subsequent loss of transportation by selling them a near-useless pony for three times its worth. And then, when Frodo & Co. are leaving town, he's got the gall to insult them all in public. Bad move, buddy. When he gets to Sam, Sam insults him right back, and then beans him with an apple.
"Waste of a good apple," said Sam, and strode on.
And in Ferny's final appearance, when his abused former pony gets his revenge.
"Good job, Bill," said Sam (meaning the pony).
When Saruman is boasting about having become more powerful, he claims that he is no longer Saruman the White; he is Saruman of many colours. Gandalf replies, in typical blunt fashion,
After reaching Rivendell and telling Bilbo all about his adventures, Bilbo is singularly unimpressed to learn that Bag End is now in the hands of the Sackville-Bagginses. And that Frodo closed the sale on their birthday, no less. Bilbo rather frostily says that it wasn't the way he would have chosen to have the date celebrated.
Rather Hilarious in Hindsight (most read The Silmarillion after the trilogy), but Bilbo is composing a song about Earandil to perform in Rivendell and asks for Aragorn's help. Aragorn obliges, but comments that it's rather cheeky to write verses about Earandil in the House of Elrond. Earandil happens to be Elrond's father, a fact stated later, but knowing the whole story about him and his family just makes Aragorn's warning funnier.
During the Council, Legolas explains how Gollum escaped the Mirkwood elves when they took pity on his wretchedness and gave him a little parole outside. Gloin is quite indignant; that little courtesy was not extended to himduring his own stay there.
Gimli objects to the Lórien elves' insistence on having him blindfolded, and Legolas says "A plague on dwarves and their stiff necks!" When Aragorn suggests they all go blindfold, so Gimli won't feel so singled out, Legolas complains, at which point Aragorn demonstrates that Can't Argue with Elves was thankfully not a trope yet:
"Now may we cry 'A plague on the stiff necks of elves!"
To be fair, Legolas's complaint was actually from Gimli's alternative suggestion, that only Legolas share his fate (which would be a case of being singled out). Aragorn quietly insists on his original suggestion, in order to keep peace in the fellowship.
"The Stone Troll" and "The Man in the Moon Stayed up too Late"
Gandalf recounting his visit to the innkeeper of the Prancing Pony, Barliman Butterbur, after Frodo and crew left, Gandalf saying Strider's name in joy and Butterbur mistaking his joy for fear, and Gandalf's response:
"Ass! Fool! Thrice worthy and beloved Barliman! It's the best news I have had since midsummer: it's worth a gold piece at the least. May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!"
Not to mention Barliman Butterbur's call back, saying to Gandalf:
"[My beer] has been uncommon good, since you ... put a good word on it"
The Fellowship tries repeatedly and without much success to start a fire on Caradhras, until Gandalf gets impatient and starts one by magic. He then says: "Well, now I at least am revealed to the enemy. I have written 'Gandalf is here!' in signs that all can read from Rivendell to the mouths of Anduin."
Gandalf putting up with Pippin, abusively funny or dismissive.
-[I'll]] Knock on the doors with your head, and if that doesn't shatter them and I am allowed a little peace from foolish questions, I will seek for the opening words.
-Merry, of all people, was on the right track.
-Fool of a Took! This is not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and trouble us no more!
When the Company must carry their boats round some falls, Gimli boasts that Dwarves can outlast men. Afterwards as they're sitting around a fire Boromir observes that they are all to tired to continue today 'Except no doubt for our sturdy Dwarf.' Gimli did not answer; he was nodding as he sat.
The Two Towers
Gandalf after his reincarnation- he gets a bit... Spaced out: "I have remembered much I had forgotten and forgotten much I had remembered."
Gandalf's deadpan understatement after being insulted at Edoras.
The courtesy of your hall is somewhat lessened of late, Théoden son of Thengel.
When Gandalf meets up again with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, he gives the first two an ominous prophecy from Galadriel apiece. Gimli is sad that Galadriel sent no word to him. Legolas points out that these messages weren't exactly comforting or easy to understand; Gimli doesn't care. Legolas asks, "What then? Would you have her speak openly to you of your death?" and Gimli's response is, essentially, "Well, yeah, if there was nothing else."
However, it turns out that Galadriel did give Gandalf a message for Gimli (and less ominous than the other two). This makes Gimli so happy that, upon hearing it, this stern gruff dwarf breaks into song and capers.
Bregalad/Quickbeam the Ent, who said yes to an elder before he had finished his question. The closest thing to a "hasty" Ent in existence.
When Gimli is puzzled by Gandalf calling Treebeard a friend and also dangerous, Gandalf ripostes that he, Gandalf, is probably the most dangerous person Gimli will ever meet apart from Sauron, and Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. "You are beset with danger, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion."
Pippin indignantly tells Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli about the reunion he and Merry had with Gandalf—the first time, indeed, that they had seen Gandalf since he fell in Moria. Naturally, Pippin was too stunned to say anything more than "Gandalf!" Perhaps equally as naturally, Gandalf's reply was "Get up, you tom-fool of a Took!"
After the Sack of Isengard, the Three Hunters encounter Merry and Pippin at the gates of Isengard (Pippin being asleep). Good-natured outrage at how they come to be happily sitting there with all earthly comforts instead of being prisoners ensues:
'And what about your companions? What about Legolas and me?' cried Gimli, unable to contain himself longer. 'You rascals, you woolly-footed and wool-pated truants! A fine hunt you have led us! Two hundred leagues, through fen and forest, battle and death, to rescue you! And here we find you feasting and idling-and smoking! Smoking! Where did you come by the weed, you villains? Hammer and tongs! I am so torn between rage and joy, that if I do not burst. it will be a marvel!'
'You speak for me, Gimli,' laughed Legolas. 'Though I would sooner learn how they came by the wine.'
'One thing you have not found in your hunting, and that's brighter wits,' said Pippin, opening an eye. 'Here you find us sitting on a field of victory, amid the plunder of armies, and you wonder how we came by a few well-earned comforts!' (LotR III ch. 8)
After Merry and Pippin tell their story over a quiet smoke amid the wreck of Isengard, we get this gem from Legolas, the only non-smoker in the group:
'I think the mist is clearing, or it would be if you strange people didn't keep wreathing yourself in smoke.'
Théoden is astonished to see hobbits guarding Isengard and comments that his folk do have stories about the "Holbytla" who live in holes dug in sand, but none of them say that they smoke. Merry instantly begins telling the history of pipeweed cultivation, which only started a few generations ago, and how Old Toby came by the plant... and then Gandalf interrupts.
"You do not know your danger, Théoden. These hobbits will sit on the edge of ruin and discuss the pleasures of the table or the small-doings of their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, lesser cousins of the ninth degree, if you encourage them without due caution."
After greeting (and nearly trapping in talk of herblore) Théoden, Pippin comments "So that is the King of Rohan! A fine old fellow. Very polite." As though Théoden King is someone he's just met at a party and not a war leader at the head of a company of cavalry riding into the ruined fortress of his enemy.
Gandalf says that if they searched Orthanc, they wouldn't find anything more valuable than what Gríma threw out the window (the palantír).
A shrill shriek, suddenly cut off, came from an open window high above.
"It seems that Saruman thinks so too," said Gandalf.
Sméagol and Samwise discuss the fine art of cooking:
Sam: "...Fish and chips, served by S. Gamgee. You couldn't say no to that."
Sméagol: "Yes we could! Spoiling nice fissh, burning it! Give us fissh now, and keep nassty chips!"
Sam: "You're hopeless!"
Gollum and Sam getting progressively snarkier at each other in The Two Towers. The peak comes in the moment when Gollum wakes Sam suddenly and Sam tell him off for "sneaking off". Gollum gets indignant and basically does the "after all I've done for you!" routine. Sam apologises, asks what Gollum was up to, Gollum says "sneaking". Later Frodo asks Gollum if he's managed to find any food to his taste, Gollum's reply being "No, no food for poor Sméagol. He's a sneak." Cue Sam giving Frodo the most embarrassed look.
Minas Morgul Orcs have captured Frodo. Not funny. Sam has had to put the Ring on so as to not be found himself. Really not funny. Shagrat and Gorbag, minions with personality, discuss the fact that there's clearly a mighty elven warrior on the loose. Hilarious.
Then, out on the Morgai, Frodo and Sam overhear the conversation between an uruk captain and a lower caste tracker orc.
Return of the King
Merry is lying awake in the Rohirrim camp, worrying about Pippin. Then:
A tall figure loomed up and stumbled over him, cursing the tree-roots. He recognized the voice of Elfhelm the marshal.
"I am not a tree-root, Sir," he said, "nor a bag, but a bruised hobbit. The least you can do in amends is to tell me what is afoot."
"Anything that can keep so in this devil's mirk," said Elfhelm. "But my lord sends word that we must set ourselves in readiness: orders may come for a sudden move. [more conversation, then, as he leaves:] "Pack yourself up, Master Bag!"
The scene in the Houses of Healing, with Gandalf steadily getting more and more frustrated with Ioreth.
When Merry asks him for pipeweed, Aragorn says he will need to ask the Herb Master at the Houses of Healing, saying "he will tell you that he did not know that the herb you desire had any virtues, but it is called westmansweed by the vulgar, and galenas by the noble, and other names in other tongues more learned, and after adding a few half-forgotten rhymes that he does not understand, he will regretfully inform you that there is none in the House, and he will leave you to reflect on the history of tongues." (The Herb Master had of course just done this to Aragorn, who needed kingsfoil to save dying patients.) The entire scene is made even funnier when Aragorn leaves and Pippin laughingly reveals that Merry's pack, containing his stack of pipeweed, was right by the bed the entire time, and Aragorn knew perfectly well where it was even when ranting about the Herb Master.
Twice funny if you see it as a bit of a Take That, Us given Tolkien's own love of languages and alternate names in different tongues and the tendency to cram them in at every oppurtunity. Better yet, when you think about it, he did just that in this scene as well.
Aragorn decides that he wants to keep the name "Strider" among his numerous other titles and figures that it'll sound all right if he puts it in Quenya (Telcontar).
Éomer trying to explain to Gimli how he doesn't think Galadriel is the best (because he now believes Arwen is) - while trying to apologize for calling her a name.
Gandalf tells Butterbur that there is once again a king in Gondor, and that he knows and loves Bree.
Butterbur: Does he now? Though I'm sure I don't know why he should, sitting in his big chair up in his great castle, hundreds of miles away. And drinking wine out of a golden cup, I shouldn't wonder. What's The Pony to him, or mugs o' beer?
When Sam reveals that the king is the guy he knows as Strider, who says the beer is always good,
Butterbur: Strider! Him with a crown and all and a golden cup! Well, what are we coming to?
After Middle-Earth is saved and our heroes, now some of the most famous and respected people in the world, get back to the Shire, a gang of shirriffs (the closest thing the Shire has to police) tries to arrest them:
'You're arrested for Gate-breaking, and Tearing up of Rules, and Assaulting Gate-Keepers, and Trespassing, and Sleeping in Shire-buildings without Leave, and Bribing Guards with Food.'
'And what else?' said Frodo.
'That'll do to go on with.' said the Shirriff-leader.
'I can add some more, if you'd like it,' said Sam, 'Calling your Chief Names, Wishing to punch his Pimply Face, and Thinking you Shirriffs look a lot of Tom-fools.'
'There now, Mister, that’ll do. It’s the Chief’s orders that you’re to come along quiet. We’re going to take you to Bywater and hand you over to the Chief’s Men; and when he deals with your case you can have your say. But if you don’t want to stay in the Lockholes any longer than you need, I should cut the say short, if I was you.'
To the discomfiture of the Shirriffs Frodo and his companions all roared with laughter. 'Don’t be absurd!' said Frodo. 'I am going where I please, and in my own time. I happen to be going to Bag End on business, but if you insist on going too, well that is your affair.'
'Very well, Mr. Baggins,' said the leader, pushing the barrier aside. 'But don’t forget I’ve arrested you.'
'I won’t,' said Frodo. 'Never. But I may forgive you. Now I am not going any further today, so if you’ll kindly escort me to The Floating Log, I’ll be obliged.'
Later the Shirriffs are unable to go on but Frodo and his three friends keep walking in spite of being "under arrest".
'You’re breaking arrest, that’s what you’re doing,' said the leader ruefully, 'and I can’t be answerable.'
'We shall break a good many things yet, and not ask you to answer' said Pippin. 'Good luck to you!'
The whole Scouring of the Shire is brilliant! The bit where Rosie calls out Sam for following Mr. Frodo all around the world then "leaving just as things get dangerous." Sam just leaves rather than try to explain.
After the heroes have returned home and the Shire has been reclaimed:
And no one was ill, and everyone was pleased, except those who had to mow the grass.
Crowning Moment Of Funny in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films
Fellowship of the Ring
Early on in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf drives by a small crowd of children begging for a display of fireworks. He complies; the children cheer, and an old hobbit who was watching indulges in a chuckle, but on seeing his wife, hastily adopts a face of disapproval to match hers.
'It's the Sackville Bagginses! They've never forgiven me for living this long!'
The extended cut has Bilbo giving Frodo a heartfelt speech about how he considers the boy his only true family. In the middle of this touching moment:
Frodo: Bilbo, have you been at the Gaffer's home brew? Bilbo: No! *Beat* Well, yes, but that's not the point!
How have we missed Merry and Pippin's first scene, the one with the firework! "You were supposed to stick it in the ground!" "It is in the ground!" "OUTSIDE!" "This was your idea!" ...And then it explodes.
Remember, kids: When all else fails? Blame the other guy.
Made even more hilarious by the fact that Billy Boyd really did scream when the firework goes off. Yes, the scream in the movie really is Billy.
Also, while he's a little hard to understand when he says it, he also claims to have pissed himself, earning the nickname "Pissylegs" from Dominic. Also:
"And that is Billy shrieking like a girl."
Just after Merry and Pippin's firework mishap, the dragon firework is soaring down and scaring the hell out of the whole congregation. Frodo warns a drunk Bilbo, who brushes him off like a drunk old man would.
Frodo: Bilbo! Bilbo, watch out for the dragon!
Bilbo:[not looking] Dragon? Nonsense, there hasn't been dragon in these parts for a thousand years!
"I ain't been droppin' no eaves Sir, honest! I was just the cutting grass under the window there! That is, I heard a good deal about a Ring and Dark Lord and something about the end of the world, but... Please, Mr. Gandalf sir, don't hurt me! Don't turn me into anything...unnatural!"
When Bilbo hosts the party, he greets a fellow hobbit woman and asks "are those all of your kids". When she says yes he whispers "My, you've been productive".
"My point is, he's clearly overreacting."
Pippin: "What's that?" Merry: "This, my friend, is a pint." Pippin: "It comes in pints?! I'm getting one!" Sam:(as Pippin leaves) "You've had a whole half already!"
In that same scene, when Pippin is blabbing about Frodo's real identity, he's going into lavish detail about exactly how he's related to Frodo, taking his listeners through the finer points of hobbit genealogy. It's very very short, but a Genius Bonus as well, because hobbits adore studying family trees.
"What about second breakfast?"
From the first film, when Elrond declares, "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!" and the music swells heroically...
Pippin: Great! Where are we going?
The moment is even better on the original DVD release: the first segment of the movie cuts right there.
Also the look on Elrond's face when Merry and Pippin crash the council. You half expect him to call for a hobbit-wrangler...or an exterminator.
Just before that, this dialogue, when Sam crashes it himself.
Sam: Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me! Elrond: No, indeed, it is hardly possible to separate you, even when he is summoned to a secret Council and you are not.
Elrond during the entire scene, really. Poor guy isn't having the best day. He calls a meeting that he quickly loses control of (to the point where you can see him doing a literal Face Palm at some points). When Sam jumps in he takes it in stride—his amused reaction seems as though he knew Sam was eavesdropping. But when Merry and Pippin come in as well, he's taken completely aback. You know he's got to be wondering just who was assigned to stand guard over the "secret council" to keep out the riffraff. Elrond comes off as a bit of a beleaguered boss throughout the whole thing, though he holds it together rather well.
And then when the Fellowship makes its Heroic Exit, Frodo has to desperately whisper to Gandalf, asking which way he's supposed to turn after passing through the gate.
And Pippin possibly introducing Middle-Earth to Buffy Speak:
Frodo's "WTF?" face during that exchange is also golden.
And Gandalf's look of disbelief. It must be seen to be believed.
"I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox..." (turns to come face to face with a bow with arrow drawn)
"The dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark."
The scene where the whole party is struggling through waist-deep snow while Legolas just calmly walks along the top of it.
The scene were Boromir has kindly taken it upon himself to teach Merry and Pippin how to swordfight, only for Boromir to accidentally cut Pippin's hand when sparring. This earns the easily-6ft Captain of the White Tower a hilarious tackle to the ground from both 4ft-halflings.
It gets better when Aragorn tries to lend Boromir a hand but is easily overpowered by the Hobbits' tactics also earning himself a spot on the floor
Pippin & Merry: (in unison) "For the Shire!"
A rare exchange between Legolas, Merry, and Pippin:
Legolas: Lembas! Elvish waybread! One bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man!
In Fellowship, when the orcs are coming for them in the Mines of Moria, Boromir's irritated, utterly deadpan mutter of "They have a cave-troll". It's not an Oh, Crap moment, it's more like "Well, dammit."
In the extended version, Gimli utters a Dwarfish insult to Haldir and Aragorn beside him exasperatedly closes his eyes thinking "just what we needed".
This little gem from an otherwise very serious moment in the first film when Pippin and Merry distract the orcs from Frodo by acting as live bait:
Pippin: (happily) It's working!
Merry: I know it's working. Run.
One from the end of the first movie.
Frodo: I'm going to Mordor alone!
Sam: 'Course you are! And I'm coming with you!
Heck, even Frodo and Gandalf's first scene together is marvelous. After Gandalf claims a wizard "arrives precisely when he means to," and then how they start laughing, you can see the look on Frodo's face that pretty much says, "You are so full of B.S.", and Gandalf is only too happy to agree.
Gandalf's response when Frodo tells him that before he came to the Shire, the Bagginses "were very well thought of — never had any adventures or did anything unexpected."
There's the scene with Gandalf stalking up to Théoden, while in the background, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli bat guards out of the way.
The highlight of that part is, while Legolas and Aragorn are punching and tripping the guards, Gimli seems to be just ramming head first into people.
Just before that, when they're disarming to enter the Golden Hall and Gandalf convinces Hama to let him keep his staff and then gives Aragorn (and the audience by extension) a little knowing look with a slight twitch of the eye- literally blink and you'll miss it but delightfully devious... In the nicest possible way.
Also, the way he leans on Legolas as they enter to make himself appear frail.
I'm surprised no one mentioned this part in the second movie:
Gimli: What's happening out there?
Legolas: Shall I describe it to you, or would you like me to find you a box?
There's then a pause, and Gimli actually laughs instead of getting angry, making this also something of a CMOH.
The discussion of Dwarf women.
"That doesn't make much sense to me. But then you are very small."
What happens beforehand between Pippin and Treebeard doubles as both a CMOF and a CMOA. Treebeard is taking Merry and Pippin home after the Entmoot results in no response to Saruman's treachery. Then Pippin realizes that getting Treebeard to take them to Isengard will set him off and finally get him to go to war. How does he do this? Through the most laughably transparent bullshitting Middle-Earth has ever seen. The best part is that it actually works:
Pippin: The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm. It's the last thing he'll expect!
At the beginning of the Battle of Helm's Deep, an old Rohirrim archer loses his grip on his arrow before the order is given. His shot nails an Uruk-hai right in the throat, and the Orc unceremoniously falls face-first into the mud. The rest of the Uruk-hai, who had been stomping and roaring throughout the whole thing, immediately stop what they're doing and stare at him in utter shock. It's like they're all thinking, "No fair! We weren't done yet!"
Also darkly hilarious is the long tortured moan that Orc lets out as he falls. You can almost hear his final thoughts. "Ten thousand of us, and you hit me? Oy..."
One anonymous orc's single line 'We ain't going no furva, 'till we've 'ad a breeva!'
Encountering Treebeard, Pippin telling Merry "Don't talk to it. Don't encourage it."
Then there is the moment in the second movie where Aragorn kicks an orc helmet and screams loud after being led to believe Merry and Pippin was dead. A serious moment under normal circumstances, if you don't take in account that Viggo Mortensen actually broke his foot during that shot. The scream is so realistic because he screamed out of actual physical pain rather than the emotional response of the character.
"It's a bit tight across the chest!"
"If it's luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night." "Your friends are with you, Aragorn." "Let's hope they last the night."
And who could forget PO-TAY-TOES!
"Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew!"
Éomer telling Gimli "I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground." This is undercut, though, by Legolas' immediate CMOA response ("You would die before your stroke fell!")
The "Nice to meet you too, asshole"-like look on Gimli's face when he hears this is also quite humorous.
As is his look of shock immediately after, when tensions reach the breaking point. He clearly didn't expect things to escalate so quickly.
After several hours of deliberation amongst the Ents when presented with news of war:
Treebeard: "The entmoot has decided that you (Merry & Pippin)... are not orcs". (smiles proudly while the other Ents nod very cheerfully)
Pippin: "Well, that's good news."
Note that when Treebeard first tried to relay this news, he actually fell asleep mid-sentence.
Also note Merry, who is getting increasingly frustrated by how much time is being wasted.
Saruman reaching over to keep Wormtongue from holding a candle over a pot of gunpowder.
Gimli versus Wargs. Kills one and it falls on top of him. While trying to lift the warg off an orc pokes its head up and he kills it, adding to the pile. Cue the second warg, a look of absolute Oh, Crap from Gimli... and Aragorn kills it, plunging another massive heavy body on top of Gimli.
During the Battle of Isengard when the water is dousing the fires, there is a wide shot of the scene. Look in the bottom left corner of the shot. There is an Ent dousing the fire on his head.
Gollum shrieking and wailing over Sam making a stew out of the rabbit he caught, complete with the immortal line, "Stupid fat hobbit!"
"Manflesh!" Then, the other Uruk-Hai looks upward. Does he think Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are flying after them?
Gollum is, in general, either extremely creepy or hilariously drama-queen-y. His reaction to Sam cooking the rabbits is incredible.
After the Battle of Isengard, a famished Merry and Pippin find a storeroom full of food ... and miracle of miracles, a couple of barrels of Longbottom Leaf (aka the Shire's most popular pipe-weed). It gets even better when fridge hilarity kicks in and you realize that they're smoking Saruman's stash.
During the fight at Helm's Deep, Gimli and Legolas start up their contest again. Gimli has two, Legolas seventeen (helps that he was one of the archers before the orcs got ladders up.) Gimli's pissed that he's so far behind and his next attack puts his ax right into a climbing orc's family jewels.
Gimli: Legolas! Two already!
Legolas: I'm on seventeen!
Gimli: Huh? I'll have no pointy ear outscoring me! *cue Groin Attack*
Then the next time we see him, he's standing on the wall between two ladders, and racking up a pretty impressive body count by knocking the Uruk-Hai off each one methodically. Becomes much funnier when you realize that this is how he obviously caught up to Legolas - by being a Combat Pragmatist. His very audible count sells it, echoing into the next shot.
After Gandalf has purged him of Saruman's influence, Theoden glares at Grima Wormtongue, his treacherous advisor. Then we cut to Grima literally being thrown out of the building.
Return of the King
Gandalf's reaction to the armored trolls after commanding the Gondorian troops to stand their ground.
The funniest scene in Lord of the Rings is when Gandalf gets absolutely fed up with Denethor and cuts his Doom and Gloom rant short by beating the guy up with his staff.
They both had copious amounts of tankards in front of them, Legolas just hadn't piled his as high, choosing to set them on the table instead of in a stack.
Indeed, Legolas drank at least 9 tankards. However, from the pile in front of him, Gimli seems to have drunk at least half again that. Still manages to go against your expectations from an elf, though.
Gimli: Here's ta dwarves that go swimmin'... with little hairy women! Heh heh heh!
And Éomer's reaction to Legolas's 'I think it's affecting me'; a look that screams 'You people are just weird.'
It is somewhat justified. In The Hobbit, it is explained that the Wood Elven royalty drink wine that is so high in alcohol content, more than a small cup will knock you unconscious.
Mere mortal beverages cannot be expected to take down the son of Randy Thrandy.
Being with knowledge of the books, Denethor's death scene was Narm to the 10th power. A very old man, on fire, sprinting the length of a football field to just drop off like a flaming meteor... Hilarious. And it also managed to turn Gandalf's reaction—verbatim from the book—into a pun.
Gandalf: (as Denethor runs by) So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion.
The French dub missed a massive occasion for an Incredibly Lame Pun there, considering that one of the ways to announce that someone's just died is to say that they went out (like a fire).
Aragorn tells Legolas to fire a warning shot to Sauron's pirate reinforcements, Gimli then nudges the bow so he nails one of them dead center in the chest. Made better by a Casting Gag: the pirates were all played by the production staff, and Peter Jackson was the one who got killed.
"The salted pork is particularly good."
And of course Gimli's reaction to that line: he immediately stops being angry at the Hobbits when he realizes that there's bacon nearby.
Gimli's quote during the planning for the Battle of the Black Gates:
"Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?"
At the end of ROTK after Frodo has destroyed the ring, Sam's crying about how he would have married Rosie is hilarious. The moment is meant to be quite tragic but the one detail he puts emphasis on is that she was wearing ribbons in her hair the last time he saw her.
Gandalf warns Pippin about all the things he shouldn't bring up in front of Denethor...and finally decides that it would be best if he just didn't say anything.
And then it turns out Denethor already KNOWS about the things Pippin was told not to bring up!
There is a Funny Background Event during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (that could also count as a CMOA): The ghost army attacks one of those enormous and very tough oliphaunts like a swarm of ants - and brings it down within one second!
Aragorn making a 'bitch, please' face at Mouth of Sauron. Made funnier by the fact that it's a very serious scene.
When he rides up to the Mouth and casually slices his head off. Crowning Moment of Awesome, but the somewhat narmy scream of the Mouth and Gimli's deadpan "I suppose that concludes negotiations" make it funnier.
The orcs and uruks brawl over Frodo's mithril shirt in Return of the King. One of them got drop-kicked out a window.
In the battle outside Minas Tirith, Éowyn's arm is shattered by the Witch-King, but the Orc commander is chasing her to finish her. There editing and the music build up this climactic battle between the two of them ... only for the orc to get randomly cacked by Aragorn as he runs by.
Sam wakes up shortly after Gollum throws away what's left of Sam and Frodo's food, and accuses Gollum of sneaking. Gollum acts offended "Sneaking? Sneaking?! Fat Hobbit is always so polite. Smeagol shows them secret ways that nobody else could find, and they say 'sneak!' Sneak! Very nice friend, oh yes my Precious...very nice". Sam essentially says "fine, I'm sorry. What were you doing then?" Gollum grins sheepishly and says "Sssneaking!"
Gollum's "Sméagol wouldn't hurt a fly" thing where he smacks his palm against his hand, accidentally killing a fly, and making a hilarious cry.
The Last March of the Ents, while incredibly awesome, has one incredibly funny background moment: The Ents so far have had no casualties in the fight. One of the trees catches on fire then. Naturally, Treebeard commands his kin to break the dam and let the water flood. Cue flaming treedude randomly running into the water to douse the flames.
The cast commentaries have Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan snarking at everything:
Their account of a game of "Tig" that they got Elijah Wood involved in during Fellowship, and not telling him it was a made-up game until years later.
A long string of mocking directed at the Orc helmets that Frodo and Sam wear in Return of the King.
"Those were the only helmets available because the orcs all said " 'I'm not wearing that! I'll look like an idiot!'
Explaining that Orlando Bloom trained to perform the leaping-up-a-Mûmakil stunt by climbing on cows, ponies. But he started on tinier things, like gerbils.
"We're just standing by...standerbys? Stand-by-ees?"
Billy Boyd does try to be serious at one point during the "Two Towers" commentary, but is cut off by Dominic Monaghan loudly chewing in the background.
In the second movie during the pan shot over ranks of orcs marching over a bridge, they remark at how difficult it was for Peter Jackson to train the thousands of tiny ants he needed for that shot.
From the first movie, there's a great story about Dominic getting a splinter and acting like his foot got cut off. There's also the account of how the Buckleberry Ferry sank between takes.
This is made even funnier because its intercut with commentaries by John Rhys-Davies and Christopher Lee, recorded separately and sounding like distinguished elder statesmen, talking about how wonderful it was to nurture these young actors and how deep and affecting Tolkien's mythology is, respectively.
However, it's also a sort of "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. One of the locations (where Sam swims out to accompany Frodo in the boat) they had divers going into the river to pick up anything that might hurt the actors. They missed a shard of glass, causing Sam's actor to get impaled through the foot.
At the end of Return of the King, where Billy Boyd suggests things Pippin could have whispered to Frodo as they said goodbye.
"One of your hairs is in my mouth."
"Who's moving into Bag End?"
"Does this mean I can have your bike?"
When Arwen first appears glowing. They comment that Liv Tyler had been doing that since she got off the plane in New Zealand and admired her commitment to the character. All completely deadpan.
On filming with the Treebeard puppet:
Billy Boyd: We were sitting in backwards bicycle seats, and for this Weta decided to find the most uncomfortable bicycle seats in New Zealand. Dom Monaghan: Yes, I don't think the people at Weta had any idea about men having testicles, and by the end of that I didn't either.
The director/writer commentaries have the Running Gag of the 20th Anniversary Edition, in which Peter Jackson intends to go back and reinsert everything that he couldn't originally get into the movies, as well as an account of his plan to give Treebeard his own spinoff detective show.
"He solves crimes........very slowly."
"Remind me to orchestrate some 'lost' footage that can be miraculously 'found' in time for the 20th Anniversary..."
Bernard Hill gets his own bits of funny on the commentary, especially during the Pellenor Fields battle.
(As Théoden watches the approaching oliphaunts in shock) Oh, now, what's this? What...the f'...are these?
(As Aragorn charges into battle with the Army of the Dead) Oh, you're full of confidence, aren't you, Aragorn? An army of invincible dead guys right behind you...
In their commentary, a member of the design team says his personal CMOF is the line "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!", due to the Fridge Logic that it implies the Uruk-Hai go to restaurants, if they know what a menu is.
"So...apparently, the Uruk-Hai have been to a restaurant, that restaurant had a menu, and that menu was exclusive enough to have had meat taken off of it at one point..."
Not too sure who said this one, but it was in the cast commentary, when Gimli was being angry at Haldir in Rivendell:
"That moment was so funny, 'cause John couldn't remember his line, and he couldn't pronounce it: Well you know what this dwarf says to that? Ish kar... what does he say?"
Anything involving "tossing the Dwarf".
"NOT THE BEARD!"
"...Don't tell the elf."
Similarly, "Well, this is a thing unheard of! An elf will go underground, where a dwarf dare not? Oh. Oh, I'd never hear the end of it!"
Doubles as a CMOA for Legolas who, as an elf, hates caves like this more than anything, but does not hesitate at all.
The behind the scenes footage also contains some real gems. For example, during the filming of the Siege of Minas Tirith, Ian McKellen in-between takes lectures one of the extras on the importance of shooting the trolls pushing the siege-towers, rather than the siege-towers themselves. The deadpan delivery of the lines is just hysterical. Shortly thereafter, we get another humorous moment where Ian messes up his lines:
Gandalf: Stand to your terror! No, stand to your post! Oh, dear, oh, dear.
Phillipa Boyens brings up an outtake where Ian McKellen botched his line "Spies of Saruman" as "Spies of Star Wars," presumably said in the same dead serious tone.
The backstage occurrence with Sam and at his wedding, but Sean Astin can't quite get it right when it comes to kissing the bride. Viggo Mortensen and Billy Boyd watch nearby to cheer them on, and to motivate them, Viggo plants one on Billy.
Did you mean when he catches the bouquet and then grins goofily at the attractive girl next to him?
That was shot in a different take. In the take where we see Sam and Rosie they weren't in front of a crowd of hobbit actors, but a camera crew and few actors with free time in their hands, including Viggo and Billy.
Samwise: I haven't been dropping no eaves sir, honest! I just wanted to come in and try to get a bit of a close-up! You've had one and Frodo's had one and I've been in nothing but group shots!
Gandalf: *pushes his way into view* No, no no no! We cannot have that! It's too late! *pushes Sam off the table*
The fact that Ian McKellen isn't wearing the mustache just adds to it.
The look on Sean Bean's face when he's interrupted during his lines by a freaking helicopter.
During the filming of the last stand at the Black Gate(s), which was on a New Zealand army bombing range:
Viggo Mortensen imitating an ANZAC soldier: "This is a bomb, this is a rocket. All these things, you might find out here. Don't touch them." Viggo Mortensen: They had some tape cordoning off a certain area, but I said: "Does that mean that inside this tape, we're fine?" "No, but there's less bombs where you are than on the other side of that tape."
The discussion of how Peter Jackson loves how boring Treebeard is and wanted to play it up as much as possible, only for veteran editor Mike Hornton to have to keep reining him in, reminding him that they shouldn't want the audience to be bored.
There's one blooper clip where the camera crew is on the Bag End set, and after being spoken to by one guy, they all stand up in unison and bump their heads on the ceiling, all falling to the floor afterwards.
The computer software used to animate tens of thousands of soldiers and run complex strategies with them... made an entire army run away. For some reason, this is freaking hysterical.
This goes double for nearly the entire making of Gollum section. From Sean Austin describing Serkis as playing a "weird guy in a suit" to all the technical goofs with rendering Gollum's appearance (one prime example was him having purple spiky hair).
The cast's way of greeting each other. According to Orlando Bloom, it was like this: 1) Grasp their head. 2) Tell them something nice. 3) Smash your head against theirs.
Elijah Wood: It's spontaneous, violent love...
Watching the behind the scenes, it's kind of hilarious to see one of the hobbit actors standing next to Aragorn's actor and they're the same height.
As an extension to the "What about second breakfast" line in the Fellowship Of The Ring, Aragorn just walks them onward... only to chuck a few apples at them from offscreen. Merry catches his and reassuringly pats Pippin on the shoulder, but the second apple bounces off Pippin's skull with an audible THUNK. And he looks with up a 'Is it raining apples?' expression.
Which is given a Call Back in the extended version of the Two Towers: the two hobbits are wondering if there's any food after the sacking of Isegard, only for Pippin to see an apple floating in the water. He picks it up, then looks up in the exact same way.
Crowning Moment Of Funny in The Lord Of The Rings Online
A number of NPC interactions are quite funny. One of them involves a couple of hobbits who were trying to push a wagon down a hill. They lost control of the wagon, and one of the hobbits ended up stuck in a hedgerow, with only his feet visible.
During some of the in-game festivals, there is a maze open with a number of quests inside. One questgiver, an elf, asks you to find her friends who got lost in the maze. That's not the funny part. The funny part is that another questgiver, a dwarf, asks you to set up fake signs, leading the elves in the wrong direction.
One quest allows you to watch as the fellowship departs from Rivendell. Just seconds after they start walking, we get this exchange: