- Broken Ace: Boerst from "The Test" can bee seen like this. He excels at everything the Institute throws at him, seemingly effortlessly being the top of his class... but loses it when facing an unexpected emergency during the test simulation he thought was real.
- Funny Moment: Almost the entirety of "Pirx's Tale". The mission consists of hauling junk for a ludicrously frugal company, the hired crew is a ragtag bunch of misfits: most of them get stricken down with mumps for the entirety of the story, the radio operator is a passive-aggressive, alcoholic Mexican, and the engineer, quite a decent guy, really... is a highway engineer who signed up by mistake. The ship is in better shape than the cargo, but not by much. Pirx, completely exhausted, resigns himself to reading sci-fi pulp novels in his bunk, hunting the radio operator's booze stashes, and snarking about it all.
"Every takeoff and landing took place in infringement of all laws - not only those of physics."
- Hilarious in Hindsight: For the readers. Albatross was written in 1959. It begins with Pirx sitting on a deck of an enormous, luxurious (space)ship called the Titan which is uncrashable, musing on the ridicules of high society and admiring a beautiful lady who's traveling first-class. Sounds familiar? The plot shifts to entirely different things in a few pages, though… And the Titan DOESN'T crash.