Start of Darkness may be Darker and Edgier than the rest of the series, but the funny moments stand out because they're in line with the more serious parts. Such as Xykon after he beats Dorukan...
Xykon: Ding dong, the wizard's dead! We'll have to be careful disabling his magical toys in the castle, but I think we can— [Xykon comes upon the MitD, a sombrero on its box, a taco in hand/claw/whatever] Xykon:[wide-eyed] ... MitD: Fiesta? Xykon: Ooooookay.
Why Xykon needs henchmen when he meets Redcloak;
Xykon: I ran out of toadies a few months ago due to... let's call it, "creative differences." And it sucks. I mean, just last week, the Good Guys burst into my throne room, right? And I shouted, "Get them, you fools!" just purely by reflex. Well, I bet you can imagine how embarrassing it was when I realized that I had to "get them" myself. I mean, talk about awkward.
One of the "gate" leads that Redcloak follows up on has him run into SG-1.
Smokey the Bear yelling "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES" after Redcloak lights a forest on fire.
Eugene's tombstone, which lists all the times he died and been resurrected, as well as commenting on his parenting skills.
Also, another tombstone, this one for 'Bloodmark the Unholy': Not coming back as a vampire. Honest
The Order of the Stick
The Monster in the Darkness IS crowning moment of funny incarnate. From his very first appearance, when he's at least trying to be the beast of untold horror Xykon wants him to be, he proves to be an endless source of comic gold. Gold such as...
Xykon: One for all and all for one, right? Redcloak: I can't help but notice that your sense of team spirit is inversely proportional to your number of functioning appendages, sir. Demon-Roach: He shoots, he scores! Xykon: Cute. Did you actually grow a spine there, Redcloak? Redcloak: Perhaps I just got hit with a piece of yours when you exploded, sir.
Miko's rant on how the Order may have killed a Good-aligned dragon.
Miko: Without proper training, it is nigh impossible to tell the good dragons from the evil ones. In your ignorance, you may have slain a powerful force for Good in this world! What proof do you have that you did not vanquish a stalwart defender of the weak in your mad lust for treasure? Roy: Umm...its scales weren't all shiny? Miko: Ah. Then its destruction was just and necessary.
Belkar: Look, if they can't get actual buffalo wings, why the heck are they on the menu? I'm doing them a service. It's not my fault my mouth waters at the thought of biting into juicy, delicious, nonexistent appendages of an endangered species. Winged Buffalo: Oh, that is IT! I am going over there! Other Winged Buffalo: Calm down, Harold. We're supposed to be having a nice dinner.
The Mental Projection spell having a strict 25-word limit.
Roy: Holy crap, Nale! Nale: Long time no see. Roy: Damn, he's just some sort of mental projection into my brain! Nale: As you can no doubt tell, I am mentally projecting these words into your brain. So just sit there— Roy: [beat] Roy: ...hello? Nale: Ah, sorry. I forgot the spell has a limit of 25 words per spell casting. Never mind, where was I? Oh right, I was saying— Roy: [beat] Nale: Sorry, ran out of words again. Anyway, I was contacting you so that we might find a way, as fellow strategists, to come to an— Roy: [facepalm] Nale: —DAMN STUPID SPELL! I mean, who can get anything really meaningful said in 25 frickin' words?! I'm going to find whoever designed this spell and—
Thog attempts to explain the situation to the jailer. After he gives that unbearably awesome homophones speech, he crowns it with "What is offal?" Just hair-pullingly brilliant. "Oh my god!" you say, pulling your hair. "That's brilliant!"
The jailer refers to Thog as human offal at the start of that strip. Thog replies, "thog only HALF-human offal."
At the end of that strip, as Elan is crying for help:
Elan: Can anyone hear me?! Thog: thog hears you. Elan: Can anyone ELSE hear me?!
"While singing the complete score to 'Meet Me in St. Louis'." Okay, maybe just for the musical-theatre geeks. The best part? According to the limitations of the Charm Person spell, singing showtunes while killing people is something that's perfectly compatible with Belkar's nature.
Vaarsuvius: While I enjoy the work of Judy Garland as much as does the next elf, I think perhaps we should see Miss Starshine for some well-tied restraints. A gag, in particular.
Belkar: I sense a great disturbance... as if a thousand double entendres cried out, and were suddenly silenced...
In this strip, Sabine tries to convince Miko, a now-fallen Paladin into a Blackguard (she even trots out the Honest John-style sleaze: "Plus, for a limited time, we're offering 5000 gp cash back on qualified level trade-ins!"). That, in itself, is pretty funny, but the real side-splitter (or maybe that's just me, since I like Black Comedy) is when Miko looks like she's going to accept,...but then reaches around and snaps Sabine's neck. What makes this funny is that, due to Sabine being a demon, this doesn't kill her, it's not even a major injury, but it is annoying, since now but now her head is turned in the opposite direction.
Sabine: Fine, be that way. But if you decide to sell your soul later, I can't guarantee I'll pay full market-value!
Belkar and the two devils on his shoulder; "the angel... doesn't work here anymore". Then the scene cuts to an angel in a straitjacket crying (paraphrased slightly): "[halflings are] supposed to be jolly, but he just kept stabbing them... WHY ISN'T HE JOLLY?!"
Wight 1: Did—did that halfling just hit me in the face with a pineapple?? Wight 2: I think he did. Also, I think no one has ever asked that exact question in the history of civilization, so bonus points there.
Ghost!Roy trying to get the Oracle's attention... with D&D-themed yo mama jokes.
Yo mama's so fat, they use a grapefruit for her miniature. Yo mama's so fat, she can't even see her feats. Yo mama's so fat, her Speed is listed as "Hell no!"
Made even better when the Oracle casually reveals that he has been able to hear Roy the entire time by commenting on Roy's mom.
After Belkar sets off his Mark Of Justice:
The Giant Illusory Head Of Lord Shojo:Hello, this is the giant illusory head of Lord Shojo speaking. If you're seeing this implanted message, you have violated the terms of your Greater Mark of Justice because you inflicted lethal damage within the bounds of a city, town, or village, strayed more than one mile from Roy, or cheesed Roy off enough for him to say the magic command word. Roy's Ghost: Well, I guess I can finally stop worrying about accidentally saying the word "squiddleydoodlefluffer" in casual conversation. Giant Illusory Head of Lord Shojo: The designated curse will now take effect. Sucks to be you, I guess.
The billboard for the town that was built by the Oracle: "Lickmyorangeballshalfling".
No, seriously, give 'em a good once-over!
The above, as well as everything out of the Oracle's mouth, becomes much funnier if, like me, you read him as having the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.
Durkon: But...but thar na real gods! Thar puppets! Cannae ya see tha thar just puppets?!? Elan: The only way to settle this dispute between two gods is with a pie-eating contest! Orcs:hooray! Durkon: PUPPETS CANNAE EVEN EAT PIE!!!
Elan is trying to have a secret meeting with Therkla, only to get interrupted by Qarr, and then by talking trees
Lord Shojo: Look, I'm sorry he needs his teeth filled, but it's not my fault! You said it was OK to feed him table scraps when you were gone! Hinjo: A 20-lb. tub of strawberry frosting does not qualify as a "table scrap"! Lord Shojo: Then you obviously haven't been eating at the right tables!
"A word of advice: If you're going to do business with criminals, don't pick a nickname based on any body part you can't afford to lose. *sigh* I shoulda listened to Appendix Steve when he tried to warn me."
Haley acquires the necessary diamond to resurrect Roy by stealing it from the cast page. After that, the cast page is revised so that Haley is now holding a card saying "I.O.Me One big-ass diamond" instead.
When the Order's first lead on Girard's Gate turns out to be a false lead, Vaarsuvius plans on leaving a message in case Girard scrys the area. To help, Elan writes into the sand 'HELP! THERE'S A EPIC SORESIRER LITCH COMMING 2 TAKE YOU'RE GATE!!1! LUV, ELAN"
Roy: ...So, are you planning on— Vaarsuvius: There will be a proofing stage, yes.
Gannji: Get your blue ass up. Enor: But the elf said to sit on my hands. Gannji: You don't have hands, you moron! You have claws! Enor: Oh yeah. Gannji: For the record, you'll also be safe if it tells you to sit on your brain.
To make three - Blackwing dramatically enters the scene as Gannji and Enor are about to run off with having captured Haley and Vaarsuvius.
Blackwing: STOP! Blackwing: Before you take my wizard away, I just have one question. Blackwing: (turns to the prostrate Vaarsuvius) So you're saying thatpurple lizard was you? Vaarsuvius: *sigh*
Most of Tarquin and Elan's first meeting, especially on Tarquin's end - given that this is an evil overlord acting just as mnuch like a giddy ten year old as Elan does. In addition to the above line, when Tarquin and Elan are gushing about how awesome the Dramatic Reveal was, Malack and V are wearing matching "you have got to be kidding me: another one?" scowls. In the next strip - which is even better if you imagine them with long suffering sighs.
Malack: Is yours always like this? V: Yes. Yours? Malack: Sadly.
And it goes on - from Elan and Tarquin shouting "hooray!" in unison when Haley agrees to stay, to the two of them being giddy over having juggling clowns (which juggle tinier clowns) at their festival. It's funny then, and given what we learn about Tarquin later it's even funnier in retrospect.
The Gilligan Cut between Tarquin's conquest and Tarquin running for his life with a young Nale (blowing a raspberry) in tow.
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The Empress of Blood flying despite an enormous round and bloated body, and disproportionately small wings.
Empress: I am here! I am your ruler! Look at me! I am cool, but I am also very warm! Woooo! Elan: She can FLY??? Tarquin: Quite the stumper, isn't it? Vaarsuvius: I should avoid casting any spells tonight, if only to give the laws of physics time to cry alone in the corner. Empress: If anyone needs me, I will be up here on my throne, being awesome!
There's a certain sadistic hilarity to Tarquin's irritation when his plan to impress Elan goes wrong. Said plan involved Elan's name being set up in gigantic flaming letters on the mountainside, which does impress Elan until Tarquin reveals that the letters are made of escaped slaves being burned at the stake. While Elan continues to stare in horror, Tarquin grumbles to himself, "Crap, the three prisoners at the bottom of the E burned out early. Now it looks like I just really like custard."
Roy: Actually, your daughter works for me, Mr. Starshine, not the other way around. I'm the leader of the Order of the Stick. Ian: Oh, I see. (sotto voce, to Haley) Good work, Kitten. Always let the stuffed shirts think they're in charge. This way, you can subtly manipulate them into doing what you need without them realizing that you arranged it all from the shadows. Haley: No, Dad— Roy: And for that matter, we didn't come here to rescue you. We're here in this region on a totally unrelated mission. It's just sheer coincidence that we happened to get thrown in the same cell block as you. Ian:[sotto voce, to Haley] Wow. You've gotten good at this.
Roy: ...OK. Yeah, OK, I'll do it. You're his daughter. I guess at his age, you have a right to determine where he lives for his own good. It's sort of like putting him in a nursing home, only you're taking him AWAY from the abusive staff and daily loss of human dignity.
Roy: I guess the question is, where is Vaarsuvius now if not out here? Blackwing: Banished to another plane. Also, Elan took Haley to the palace to warn Durkon. Belkar:(slightly freaked out) Who said that? Roy: That bird. I think it's the one who's been on V's shoulder these past two weeks. Belkar: It can talk? Roy: No, probably not. I think it's some sort of magical message that was triggered when I asked were V was, like a Magic Mouth spell. Those were V's words, just coming out of the bird's beak. Blackwing: You are both ignorant cretins. Roy: See? Belkar: Yeah, I guess you're right.
The last 2 panels of 812. The title is "And Yet, the Canned Meat Merchant Still Gets Through"
Tarquin: Think nothing of it, Elan. We've all had that one adventure that suddenly turned into a race. Adventurer:[in flashback] If Tarquin and his party get their hands on the Lost Treasure of Sdigiji, they'll have enough money to raise an army of ten thousand men! For the sake of everyone on the continent, we cannot fail! Tarquin:[present] Spoiler alert: They failed.
Tarquin knew the entire time that there was a drow spy in his court disguised as a high elf, but didn't realize he worked for Nale. He assumed the dark elf hierarchy was scouting him for an alliance... so he sent them fruit baskets. Just the idea of the drow's reaction to a bunch of random fruit baskets showing up on their doorstep is hilarious.
And two strips later, Nale complaining that his dad's Genre Savvy didn't work in regards to Elan:
Another example of Black Comedy from our favorite goblin, there's his nonchalant admission to killing Tsukiko. What really sells it is how confused he looks at everyone else's shocked reactions.
Xykon: OK, then, let's cast off, ye evil mateys! Where's what's-her-name, the chick with the pigtails? Jirix: Tsukiko? She was here when the sewer team reported in... Xykon: Anyone seen her since? Jirix: No. Monster in the Darkness: No. Redcloak: Not since I brutally murdered her ten minutes ago, no. (next panel) Redcloak: What? Does that count? I guess that counts.
That whole page is a good example of the classic Team Evil comedy we've come to love (especially the Demon-Roach comments in panels 4 and 8).
Xykon: Hmmm, don't think this change of heart means I'm letting you grow your eye back. Redcloak: It never crossed my mind. Xykon: Good! I like you this way. It's like we have a grumpy pirate on the team. Demon-Roach: And thus began the Legend of Arrrghcloak!
Roy: So, let's see... divinations aren't working and flight is being blocked by the wind, which we can't fix in any way. Do any of you have any magic that will actually HELP us find Girard at all? (next panel) Elan:(singing) Search, search, search, search the canyon for Girard's Gate!
The conversation between Roy and Haley in the last three panels. Now, bear in mind the page's title while reading that.
There's also V and Durkon's list of the ways human senses are inferior to the other player races.
The Order is trying to find Girard's gate, but the Draketooths are dead and unwilling to be resurrected by a Lawful Good person. So they try to use Speak With Dead on one of the Draketooths to find out where the gate is. The problem is, the spell allows the use of Literal Genie for answers.
Roy: Where in Windy Canyon is Girard's Gate? Corpse: Around... the rift... Roy: OK, then, where is Girard's rift? Corpse: It lay... between... Girard's... buttcheeks. Elan: The tragic loss to the field of ass comedy diminishes us all.
Roy figures out that the Thog they're fighting isn't Thog and tries to take off the enemy's helmet; only to find a person wearing a mask with the wordNOPE!printed on it.
Tarquin: Totally worth wearing a mask under my helmet for two days.
Elan insisting on turning the strip into a Recap Episodebecause of the three-month delay caused by the Giant's hand injury, only to ultimately lose track of what he was saying and going into a story about a thumb knight fighting glass (basically the cause of said injury).
Belkar, who's just had his hearing restored, begging Durkon to re-deafen him so he doesn't have to listen.
Malack: Frankly, I assumed my lack of body heat would have given it away before this point. Durkon: I just thought yer cold 'cause reptiles're coldblooded. Malack: Actually, when active, exothermic organisms like reptiles have comparable body temperatures to— Durkon: I DINNAE WANT A SCIENCE LESSON RIGHT NOW!!!
When Malack casts Poison on Durkon, he smirks and says it tastes like "my mum's crabapple cobbler".note Dwarves have a high resistance to poison.
Tarquin treating the newly vampirized Durkon like a newborn baby.
Tarquin's giant army... is solely there for dramatic tension, and they are specially trained for ominous, plot-critical reveals.
Random Soldier: General Tarquin has been in control of the empire the whole time! Tarquin: Yes, yes, we did that one already.
"Don't worry. You'll protect me."
Tarquin announcing his test to Haley is really funny, in a Black Comedy sort of way.
Tarquin: Now that I know you come from such lowly stock, I need to make sure you're worthy of dating Elan. A father can't be too careful. He is my only son, you know. Haley:Startingtwo minutes ago! Tarquin: Right, which is why I need to be more careful going forward. Try to keep up.
Tarquin decides to kill Roy and the others so Elan can be the sole hero. While about to be hit by a rain of arrows, Belkar says this gem to Roy.
Belkar: Can't we go back to dealing with your daddy issues?
918 is full of 'em. From Sabine being punished for breaking the TV with cleaning duty, to Elan rubbing the fact that he's in a support role in his father's face, to the souls of the Empire's mooks piling up in Lee's inbox, what's not to love?
Elan:(singing) Rub, rub, rub, rub my father's face in my uselessness!
V casually disposes of a squadron of pterodactyl riders, cutting off Haley's battle plan for dealing with them.
Haley: Oh, right. Wizard. Blackwing: And THAT'S what you get for oppressing my clade brothers and sisters! BAM!
Tarquin's interactions with his other two teammates, who have even less respect for his narrative-structure views on things than Malack did. Laurin even calls him out on his parenting and Miron says that he's really not seeing the profit in Tarquin's current actions. Both admit they're not helping his army because they see that as enabling him.
Elan:[to a confused Roy] Don't look at me like that, there were like a ton of hints on this one.
It's rather hilarious that Elan's plan hinged on the Order somehow screwing up protecting the Gate and blowing it up just like the other two Gates they tried to protect. Roy admits that Elan had a point.
Roy tells Elan to stop retroactively justifying his plot twists.
Durkon in bat form(Panel 6). Still has his beard! In the same page, Julio Scoundrel makes 3 carpet-related puns in one strip. Witness the power of a Dashing Swordsman!
Blackwing telling a polymorphed Bloodfeast how much of a fan he is of his work.
"Order of the Stick: Order Stickier"? Try again, Elan.
Belkar's fears of Vampire Durkon in #939. You get the feeling he's just being contrary because with a vampire on the team, his position as Token Evil Teammate is being threatened.
And his comment about him now being a hipster because he gave blood before it was cool.
Ian Starshine finally warming up to Elan:
Ian: Maybe you're not a diabolical sleeper agent out to infiltrate my family and destroy everything I've worked for. Elan: Truly, that's all any man can hope to hear from his girlfriend's father.
The major Brick Joke about the shop keeper from #136 that's revealed in #942. Turns out he's Haley's cousin.
Julio Scoundrél decides to leave the ship in Elan's hands, for his adventure, while he takes a holiday away, which Elan reads about in a letter. Turns out Julio is right behind him, doing the voiceover through a can. Elan goes with it anyway.
Made even funnier when you realize that Elan was upset about Julio leaving without him saying goodbye-the overwrought "Farewell dear Captain" is him rectifying that while still playing along!
Another Brick Joke — Haley reveals that she was only kidding when she acted like she didn't remember Blackwing, just to "bust V's chops", which Blackwing congratulates her on. Elan, on the other hand, seems to honestly not recognize him.
Elan: Wow! A talking bird! Blackwing: So is he also just— Haley: Probably not, no.
This is immediately followed by him turning to something completely unrelated without skipping a beat.