Funny / This Is Spın̈al Tap

The humor in this film goes to eleven.

  • "... these go to eleven."
    • The film's current score on IMDB is 8.0/11.
  • Nigel writhing around on his back playing a shredder of a solo...and then unable to get up.
  • The Black Comedy of all the ridiculous ways the band's various drummers have died, including bizarre gardening accidents, spontaneous combustion, and choking on vomit (but not their OWN vomit).
    Nigel: You can't really dust for vomit.
  • Bruno Kirby as a chauffeur holding up a sign looking for "SPINAL PAP".
    • Fred Willard as an air-force lieutenant welcoming "SPINAL TARP."
  • Nigel plays a beautiful classical piece on the piano:
    Marty: What do you call this?
    Nigel: Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump."
  • The band discusses with manager Ian their disastrous performance of "Stonehenge":
    David: I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.
    Ian: I really think you're just making much too big a thing out of it.
    Derek: Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.
    • And after the manager has quit:
    Derek: [Sober] Can I raise a practical question at this point?
    David: What?
    Derek: [Innocently] Are we gonna do "Stonehenge" tomorrow?
    David: No, we're not going to fucking do "Stonehenge".
    • And for that matter, the actual "Stonehenge" performance. Even though the scene before pretty much announces what's coming in huge neon letters, the actual payoff (complete with dwarfs earnestly dancing around it) somehow manages to be the funniest visual gag you've ever seen.
  • Epitaph: "Here Lies David St. Hubbins. And Why Not?".
  • "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."
  • Derek trying to get through airport security with a foil-wrapped cucumber in his pants.
  • The band getting lost trying to find the stage (while already in the arena).
    • They meet a maintenance man who gives them extremely convoluted directions to the stage. Not 30 seconds after they set off following his directions, they double back and end up exactly where they started.
    "Rock and roll!"
  • At Elvis's grave:
    Nigel: Well, it really puts a perspective on things, though doesn't it?
    David: Too much! There's too much fucking perspective now!
  • At the air force base
    If I could just ask you to play some slow songs so I can dance?
    David: Working on a SEX FARM!
    • Made all the funnier by the fact that this was a fairly slow song- by their standards, anyway!
    • And then their audio equipment somehow manages to pick up on random radio transmissions from the base's aircraft control tower and a radio broadcast. This causes Nigel to quit the performance right then and there.
  • A meta-example: All of the stories from bands who claim that the film is way too close to reality.
  • Another meta-example: Tony Hendra (Ian) once told a story about getting into a cab with a drugged-out driver who claimed that he used to be into "Tap" until they made the documentary and sold out. Just think about how much drugs you have to be on to genuinely believe that.
  • The DVD commentary is arguably funnier than the movie. The bands most pointed barbs are at Marty, Ian, and poor Viv.
    David: (when Viv grotesquely mugs at the camera) That was Viv's passport photo.
    Derek: (laughing) That's cruel! (beat) You know he couldn't afford a passport.
    • Earlier:
      David: Did Viv ever know his microphone wasn't plugged in?
      Derek: If you ever start a sentence "Did Viv ever know", the answer is always...
      All: (ad libbing) No.
    • All of the snarking Nigel makes at Jeanine's expense on the commentary.
      Nigel: She should have never left Chiswick.
      Nigel: What are you talking about? She had an agenda before she was born.
      Nigel: I think she was setting herself up, to say, "Highest bidder."
      Nigel: I heard she was writing a children's book... it's called "A Stretch Mark Named Mischa".
      • Later, Nigel admits he did get along with her for 10 minutes.
        David: She said it was more like 6.
    • The various wardrobes, such as Nigel wearing yellow jeans.
      David: (on Derek in the final scene) I just want you all to know that Derek is wearing the same top that Leslie Caron wore in Lili!
    • During the scene with Mick taking a bath:
      David: This was Mick's only recorded bath.
    • When Mick takes a violent tumble into his drum set:
  • When Nigel complains about the miniature sandwich bread.
    Nigel: It's a complete catastrophe.
  • The two word review of their album Shark Sandwich: "Shit Sandwich."
    • What sells it is David and Nigel's laughing reaction, disputing magazines aren't allowed to say that.note 
  • The band manager accidentally guessing correctly that the hotel concierge is gay.
    "I am what God made me, sir."
    • In the MGM DVD Commentary, the band claimed the manager was a Stalker with a Crush, visiting their rooms late at night.
  • The deaths of Tap's drummers.
  • One of the concerts has the band members coming out of giant plastic blue clamshells in the beginning of the song, but Derek's shell malfunctions and fails to open. After numerous attempts by the technicians to unlock it (including loudly banging it with a hammer in time with the song), it eventually opens and Derek emerges... but by that time the song has already ended, and the other musicians are retreating back into their shells which close up again. Derek tries quickly retreating back into his shell and ends up with his arm caught inside.
  • David's claim there really was a St. Hubbins - he was apparently "the saint of quality footwear".