Quotes: Understatement

The war has developed, not necessarily to Japan's advantage. ... In the event of a sustained atomic bombing, the protection of the Japanese nation would be difficult.
Emperor Hirohito's 'Jewel Voice Broadcast', August 1945

Major-General Robert H Soule, US Army: How are the Glosters doing?
Brigadier Thomas Brodie, British Army: A bit sticky, things are pretty sticky down there.
(Said whilst 650 British soldiers from the 1st Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment were deployed on a crossing on the Imjin River during the Korean war and fighting over 10,000 Chinese troops.)

Xykon: What happened?
Redcloak: Yeah, uh we had a small problem with the Gate.
Xykon: The forest is on fire.
Redcloak: I just said we had a small problem! Geez!
The Order of the Stick

"You know, there are certain flaws in this movie."

"To call it an understatement would be an understatement."
Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowell

[A] District Attorney in Texas is on trial for building himself a sweet rig on the county dime. The machine in question sports "two hard drives, seven fans, high-end video and audio cards, a wireless Internet connection and cables that glow under ultraviolet light."... "I would not configure a backup computer in that way," says Mr. Gregg, FBI senior forensic examiner and reigning Understatement King.
-Tycho, commentary on The Case of Texas vs. KryoLord

Not even Spock had stayed aboard for that — he found breathing vacuum for any length of time to be aesthetically unpleasent.

The Joker is a tricky foe. His jokes are never funny. Sometimes they hurt people.
I Am Batman, Catherine Hapka

Ford: I rescued you from the Earth.
Arthur: And what's happened to the Earth?
Ford: It's been demolished.
Arthur: Has it.
Ford: Yes. It just boiled away into space.
Arthur: Look, I'm a bit upset about that.

I am supposed to call for help, if I run into trouble I can't handle on my own.
Being captured by the Volturi and likely to be Chelseaed at any moment seemed like it might be that sort of trouble.
Elspeth, Luminosity

Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops.
General Buck Turgidson, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Enemy Agent: You killed two of my men
Hetty: It was an overreaction

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.

Adolf Hitler was a very naughty man.
Educational Video, South Park

Collecting customs duties in America had not been one of Britain's glorious successes in the eighteenth century
Robert Middlekauf, The Glorious Cause: the American Revolution 1763-1789

The above proposition is occasionally useful.
A.N. Whitehead and Bertrand Russell, Principia Mathematica, on their proof that 1 + 1 = 2.

Stalin's policies, including the murder of millions of his fellow countrymen, were not universally beloved.
Gurps, Cliffhangers

loud explosion is faintly heard over background static
Lovell: [as if reporting an odd sensor reading] Okay, uh, Houston?...I believe we've had a problem here.
Lovell: Houston, we've had a problem.
James A. Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13note