Follow TV Tropes


Funny / Cells at Work!

Go To

In General

  • In the official English opening theme, near the end of the song, Macrophage's (Laura Post) asks "Are you working?" with T-Cell (Robbie Daymond) angrily replies "Course I'm working!"
  • AE 3803's screaming in the anime. Particularly noteworthy is the unique visual gag only she has, in that her tongue is oftentimes screaming along with her, and also has an Idiot Hair. Alternatively, she has another face inside her mouth.
  • In the intro, one shot shows Red Blood Cell pushing a CO2 cart while Ordinary Cells are cheerfully dancing around her. Suddenly a bunch of Influenza zombies show up...and the oblivious Ordinary Cells are still dancing!
  • Crosses with Heartwarming, but the scene in the intro of Neutrophil brandishing a knife, ready to fight...and Platelet Leader sitting on his shoulders, waving a cute little toy rake in the same manner. Later gets shown for real near the end of Episode 9.
  • Advertisement:
  • The manga needing to have a disclaimer on rather obvious things that "these are depictions created for this comic, and differ from scientific fact." Y'know, just in case someone ends up thinking that white blood cells actually wield knives in real life?
  • U-4989's numerous background shenanigans, such as his improvised arms and armour, and some of the bizarre situations he's found himself in, like swimming in a water canal as Red Blood Cell, her kouhai, and U-1146 are cleaning themselves up.
  • Whenever a germ has been killed, they'll always be depicted with cartoony X's for eyes. This can veer into Narm Charm on occasion, especially in the case of Cancer Cell.

Chapter 1/Episode 1

  • Red Blood Cell opens a door to ask for directions in Chapter 1, only to come face to face with a lone Pneumococcus. The two stare at each other in shocked silence for a moment, before Red Blood Cell quietly closes the door as if to say "I'll pretend I didn't see that." (Then the Pneumococcus breaks through the wall a la the Kool-Aid Man.)
  • Advertisement:
  • Later, when Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell run into each other for the second time, Red Blood Cell mentions she's trying to get to the lungs to make her delivery, only for White Blood Cell to point out they're currently in the kidneys.
  • Red Blood Cell gets lost and ends up in a lymphatic vessel, where she gets yelled at by Killer T-Cell, and she runs off, screaming.
  • Red Blood Cell commenting about the design of Neutrophil's receptor, which admittedly looks rather silly (it's a lollipop-shaped antenna that pops out the back of his hat).
  • Their plan to defeat the Pneumococcus? LAUNCH SNEEZE ONE!
  • When Neutrophil triggers the capture of the Pneumococcus:
    Pneumococcus: (trapped in an energy bubble) HEY! AREN'T YOU ASHAMED OF USING TACTICS LIKE THIS?
    Neutrophil: (casually sipping tea) Not really.
  • The scene ends with a sweet moment between Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell... interrupted by the sudden appearance of more bacteria, instantly snapping White Blood Cell back into his wide-eyed murder mode.
    White Blood Cells: (slaughtering the bacteria) DIE YOU GERM!!!
    AE 3803: (nervously) All right then, please take it easy!
  • At the end, Red Blood Cell asks Neutrophil if they will ever meet again. Neutrophil replies that this might be unlikely as he is far from the only neutrophil in the body - to which Red Blood Cell sheepishly answers that for their part, red blood cells actually vastly outnumber white ones.

Chapter 3/Episode 3

  • The fact that the manly Memory T-Cell jots down information on a girlish pink notebook. Nobody actually acknowledges it in any way, which somehow makes it even funnier.
  • Neutrophil enters the scene by slipping through a narrow space. His squadmates follow suit in a similar manner, which looks even more surreal than Neutrophil's initial entrance. One even gets stuck.
    • One of U-1146's boots actually gets stuck when he slips through, and he has to retrieve it after killing the infected cell.
  • Naive T Cell and Neutrophil are surrounded by Influenza zombies, when Macrophage shows up to save the day. She is completely calm and cheerful as she happily saunters along, dragging an enormous butcher knife, as she gently mutters "My, my..." Then the zombies proceed to Zerg Rush her, and without losing her poise and still smiling cheerfully, swings her knife in a circle and kills all the zombies in a single stroke! Also doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
  • The Naive T-Cell is being attacked by Influenza zombies, to be saved by Neutrophil. Naive begs Neutrophil not to tell his fellow T-Cells that he failed...and then they suddenly show up. Cue Naive sneakily trying to crawl away while the T-Cells are preoccupied talking to Neutrophil. It doesn't work.
    • Later in the episode, when the wimpy teen Naive T-Cell is activated by Dendritic Cell, he turns into a hulking badass who makes his entrance by punching through a wall!
    • Also how Effector T-Cell is a clear parody of the various heroes of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, with his design in a completely different art style, and even yells the famous "ORAORAORAORA!!!" as he rapidly punches out the Influenza zombies. Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you remember that the animation company working on Cells at Work was also the same one behind JoJo!
  • After the activated Effector T Cell arrives to turn the tides, B Cell also shows up with a fresh batch of antibodies. However, the cast is too focused on the one-man cavalry to pay him any attention, and he continues pouting through the subsequent fighting montage.
  • One of the pretty Macrophage maids uses a suitcase as an Improvised Weapon against the zombies.
  • At the end of the episode, the newly-invading type A Influenza slaps away an oncoming attack from Effector T in a way that just screams "Bitch, please."

Chapter 4/Episode 2

  • In Chapter 4/Episode 2, Staphylococcus is evilly gloating about how she knew the Neutrophils are of little threat against her horde, with White Blood Cell retorting that she failed to consider their most powerful allies, who can turn the tide in their favor...which are the cute little Platelets. Cue Staphylococcus's expression being a Flat "What".
  • While Staphylococcus tells the Neutrophils about how she knows better how to fight them, she brings up the fate of the Pneumococcus of the last episode who "perished because he didn't do his homework". A Pneumococcus in the germ crowd asks another, "Hey, wasn't that your little brother?" to which the second Pneumococcus just groans.
  • Neutrophil No.4989 falls into the scrape wound, and the main Neutrophil (U-1146) screams at him to "keep your L-selectin on!" Later, as Neutrophil 1146 safely lands on the fibrin net, he is surprised to see No. 4989 desperately clinging onto a ledge for dear life.
    Neutrophil 1146: Hey, No. 4989, you survived.
    Neutrophil 4989: Yeah. That was scary.
  • The ending, which starts with a heartwarming moment of AE 3803 thanking U-1146 for his bravery and work, before she realizes that she's stuck on the fibrin net. Cue several shots of adorable Platelets rounding up MORE RBCs in fibrin nets like lassos, effortlessly dragging them, and making a giant mountain of them over the abrasion to form a scab.
  • The Red Blood Cells, trapped in the scab, are moaning about how uncomfortable it is, with one asking for water ("Or tea!") while they're tied together into a massive heap.
    • Also the Platelets so innocently oblivious to their plight, with Leader-chan even addressing the camera with an adorable smile!

Chapter 5/Episode 4

  • Neutrophil and Red Blood Cell, seemingly having a the stomach of all places, gazing at the boiling gastric acid like tourists at a scenic view!
  • The Vibrio bacterium, insulted by Neutrophil's arrogance, decides to swallow him whole, to Eosinophil's horror. Bad move for the germ, however, because Neutrophil slices him apart from the inside, then rips his way out of the dead germ's mouth, screaming in rage and covered in cytoplasm (depicted as red blood, which makes for some epic Ludicrous Gibs). Cue the shocked expressions of all the other cells...
    • As Neutrophil kneels on the ground, exhausted and covered in bacterial cytoplasm, another white blood cell randomly shows up with a water hose and sprays him down until he's clean.
  • At the Helper Cells' headquarters, the stomach status is stated as "Queasy". Then later, emesis is detected, meaning the human they're in definitely threw up.
  • Red Blood Cell panics when Eosinophil volunteers to fight the monstrous worm. She tries to run to her aid, while Neutrophil tries to hold her back!
  • After killing the giant Anisakis worm, Eosinophil is surprised to see the rest of the cells cheering on her like a hero...causing her to awkwardly blush in front of everyone, and then freak out about having blushed in front of everyone!

Chapter 2/Episode 5

  • Having been saved by Neutrophil from a Cedar Allergen, Red Blood Cell muses about what kind of threat it may be. Neutrophil replies that he'll find out, once he eats it. Red Blood Cell's horrified reaction really sells it.
  • Mast Cell, seeing an invasion of allergens, is unsure how much histamine she should deploy. She goes for 'a little bit'...which, to the other cells' horror, is a massive flood of it from a gigantic nozzle!
    • The first man-sized (well, cell-sized) nozzle deploys and then retracts. It is then replaced by what appears to be a rocket engine that's almost as wide as the screen.
  • B Cell angrily calls Mast Cell "Fat Cell" (in real life, an actual other name for mast cells). She angrily retorts, "WELL, DOESN'T THE B STAND FOR BONEHEAD?" This gets B Cell royally pissed, and the two start yelling at each other, which escalates to a full-on brawl as Neutrophil and Memory B Cell watch solemnly.
  • Neutrophil and Memory B Cell getting knocked over like bowling pins by the rolling Steroid being pushed by Red Blood Cell, which replays three times from different angles! Both white blood cells faceplant after getting hit by the large spheroidal shell, and Red Blood Cell duly freaks out and repeatedly apologizes nervously.
    • The build-up makes it even funnier - White Blood Cell and Memory B Cell are talking solemnly about their roles as cells and how the disaster they're in was always inevitable, while in the background, Red Blood Cell's hilarious shrieks of "WHITE BLOOD CELL!!" as she tries to warn him of the oncoming collision get closer and closer until... WHAM!
  • Once the mysterious sphere unpacks itself to reveal a Steroid (represented here as a robot), what does it do to stop the allergic reaction? Blow up everything in sight, of course!
  • Once the Steroid robot starts running amok, it interrupts the fight between Mast Cell and B Cell, just as she is about to whack him on the head with one of her manuals.
    • And later, as the Steroid targets both of them, they frantically start apologizing to each other as they run away, with the other fleeing cells joining in the apologies!
    Ordinary Cell: We're sorry! You two are more civilized compared to that thing!
  • After the Steroid robot levels the entire town, it runs out of power...and then pops out a small flag with confetti, saying "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE."

Chapter 6/ Episode 11

  • As U-1146 finally succumbs to fatigue while pursuing the Bacillus Cereus, the latter takes advantage by beating him while delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech...which he interrupts when he notices a pair of Red Blood Cells with a cold drink, which he grabs and pours out right in front of U-1146 to spite him.
  • The commander of the thermoregulation center realizes he cannot do anything more to attempt cooling the body down. His response is to dress up as a priest (read: "Native American Shaman") and start screaming prayers for rain.
    Secretion Cell: Help! The commander's lost it!
    • And when fluid actually gets injected and cures the heat stroke, he and his assistants believe it was all thanks to the prayer. They then get swept away by the fluid with big, dopey smiles still plastered on their faces.
  • After the reanimation, we get several shots of cells splashing and frolicking in the water, turning the blood vessel into a big pool party.
  • Just after the fluid transfusion restores hydration to the body, the Bacillus Cereus looks around in a panic...and we then get a "Jaws" First-Person Perspective of U-1146 sneaking up on him in the water, with the poor germ realizing all too late he's in trouble.

Chapter 7/Episode 6

  • Part of Red Blood Cell's flashback to her childhood involves lessons about escaping from bacteria, with a friendly Neutrophil lending a hand. He's nice enough - until it's time for him to get in-character... as the bacterium. Cue the screaming children.
  • While running away from the teacher pretending to be a Pseudomonas bacterium, Red Blood Cell runs into a real Pseudomonas...who she doesn't realize is an actual germ for a good few moments, thinking he's just the aforementioned teacher in disguise!
  • Red Blood Cell wonders about the Myelocyte who saved her life...and then bumps into Neutrophil, hurting his foot. As he leads her to her destination, she wonders if Neutrophil is actually the same Myelocyte boy... but dismisses the idea as "too much of a coincidence." Even though it OBVIOUSLY is him.
  • While her directional skills are hilariously awful, even at this young age, AE 3803 could run, defying the laws of physics by running up and across walls and the ceiling when terrified.

Chapter 8/Episode 6

  • Neutrophil is just about to enjoy a rare moment of peace and a cup of tea when a Cancer Cell attacks. Poor Neutrophil doesn't even get to finish his tea...
  • How does NK Cell make her introduction? By intentionally using Killer T Cell to break her fall.
    • NK punches Killer T, saying that her "hand slipped". Killer T retaliates by asking for a bucket of water from a pair of Platelets, which he nonchalantly dumps over NK's head, sarcastically musing that his "hand slipped". Which quickly escalates into a brutal fight with lots of "oops, my hand slipped", "oops, my foot slipped", and "oops, my elbow slipped"...
      • Bonus points for the sassy, effeminate pose Killer T has after dousing NK, and NK's Death Glare at him in return!
    • NK and Killer T Cell getting into a fight, with them zipping around like Superman and General Zod as they beat each other up in mid-air. After a lengthy talk between Neutrophil and the disguised Cancer Cell, NK is shown standing triumphantly over a prone Killer T...who groans that he "hasn't lost yet"! (Atop a stack of wooden crates, mind you, that mysteriously appeared. The whole scene is reminiscent of Atop a Mountain of Corpses without the dead bodies.)

Chapter 9/Episode 7

  • When Neutrophil finally loses his temper for the first time, after putting up with NK and Killer T's bickering. Note that they are bickering in the middle of a fight against a massive mass of cancer cells.
  • The bad luck omen montage at the beginning of the episode, complete with AA5100's facial expression. The crowning moment is Red Blood Cell's lock of hair wiggling, which she takes as a bad omen!
  • Red Blood Cell poking Platelet Leader's cheeks and making her giggle.
  • AE3803, AA5100 and another Red Blood Cell screaming when they see cancer cells consuming nutrients.
    AE3803: (drops all her cargo and runs in fright, screaming in chorus with the others) WE'LL JUST LEAVE THIS OUTSIDE!!!
  • NK tricking Killer T into running in front of B Cell as the former was firing his antibody. Killer T gets sprayed, and the sight is seemingly completely hilarious to NK who absolutely flips out and is literally rolling around on the floor in laughter!
    • The Cancer Cell attacking NK even pauses momentarily, as if confused!
  • Even when faced with an apocalyptic mutant like Cancer Cell, the Macrophagii are still smiling and happy, with one even going "My, my, looks like I missed!"
  • A moment of Narm, but after Cancer Cell's despairing last words, we are then treated to the comical sight of the dead Cancer Cell with cartoonish X's over his eyes being carried away on a stretcher.

Chapter 10/Episode 8

  • Throughout the whole episode, Neutrophil acts as some sort of guardian angel to Red Blood Cell, hiding just out of sight and guiding her path, without her noticing!
    • At one point, in the heart, he was hiding behind a sign which reads "beware of suspicious-looking cells/life forms.", unaware of two red blood cells looking at him warily.
  • A pair of Streptococcus try to ambush Red Blood Cell, but Neutrophil tells them to be quiet. The two germs are surprised, and somehow Neutrophil manages to fight and kill them, and carry away their corpses, before Red Blood Cell even sees them! And then he leaves them with No.4989, who is just as confused.
    • The Anime dub makes the exchange even funnier:
  • Apparently the Platelets are huge fans of Neutrophil, even asking him to say his catchphrase, "Die, you germ!" like a bunch of kids meeting their favorite movie star!
  • Red Blood Cell, determined to finish her circulation without help, goes full-on super Saiyan mode and glows with flames!
  • Red Blood Cell struggling to squeeze into the tiny capillary to deliver oxygen (Truth in Television, as capillaries really are tight squeezes for only one blood cell at a time!)
  • When Neutrophil gets punched in the face after going on a long and touching speech about getting to know the other cells in the body by Killer T Squad Leader. His stunned silence adds to the comedic effect.
    • Afterwards, when you realize that Killer T Squad Leader punched him out of jealousy, more than any particular aversion to fraternization.
  • Red Blood Cell eagerly telling her story to Neutrophil, with her Idiot Hair adorably bouncing up and down as she speaks!

Chapter 12/Episode 9

Chapter 15/Episode 10

  • The last scene before the opening is RBC reassuring her senpai she will take it easy, saying: "It's not like I can be getting in trouble all the time!" The first thing shown after the OP is her running for her life from a germ. She ends up cornered by the germ, but gets saved by Monocyte in the nick of time.
    • The dub makes it funnier by having RBC protesting that she isn't genetically disposed to get into trouble.
  • Neutrophil jumps into the scene by crashing through a sewer grate, only to find the germ is already taken care of...and as he assesses the situation, the grate comes back down and clonks him in the head.
  • Monocyte is seen doing various goofy things while patrolling the bloodstream, like swinging their sprayer like a golf club, and nodding off at the foot bath in the nasal cavity.
  • When making an entrance at the nasal cavity, U-4989 has one of the steamed buns in the anime.
  • The Staphylococci trying to "avenge their cousin" from Episode 2, complete with a ridiculously massive family tree of them just dividing without parents.
  • Staphylococcus getting mad at U-1146 for interrupting her Infodump. "Don't steal my thunder!"
  • The merged Mega-Staphylococcus gloating at the defeated Neutrophils.
    "Looks like your hands and feet are tied! Well, not your feet at least!" (cuts to the buried Neutrophils' legs sticking out of the rubble)
  • The Monocytes realize that they've gone beyond the blood vessel's boundaries and must change. Cue scene showing the ill-defined boundary (specifically, an arbitrary line down the middle of the destroyed city just in between the Mega-Staphylococcus and where Red Blood Cell is standing) and Mega-Staphylococcus looking confused.
  • Upon realizing just who they're facing, each of the individual Staphylococcus de-fuses from the main one and flees in terror.
  • Red Blood Cell's baffled reaction to learning that Monocytes are the same type of cell as Macrophages. Especially when she wonders how they fit those elaborate dresses under the bulky yellow suits, and Macrophage cryptically replies "A maiden has to have her secrets."
  • For Team Fortress 2 fans, the fact that Monocytes look like The Pyro and is in fact a woman in a frilly dress should get many a chuckle.

Chapters 17-18/Episodes 12-13

  • AE 3803 gets in a montage of embarrassing incidents in front of her kohai, of which is stopping to play with a group of Platelets and accidentally following them in the wrong direction. She almost walks into their fibrin net. Leader even says "Thank you for your cooperation".
  • Later on, as she's introducing her to the immune cells, the two meet Eosinophil. She calls Eosinophil pretty, shocking her. The more AE 3803 talks about her victory against the Anisakis, the more she gets flustered and embarassed, by the point she's reduced to a red-faced, teary-eyed squeaking lump. NT4201 then points out: "Senpai, you're embarrassing her".
  • Anime only. While the two Red Blood Cells are having a break, they come across B-Cell and Mast Cell having an argument about Histamine. Both then try to get Memory Cell weigh in, only to have the latter start hitting his head on the wall because he has forgotten something. NT-4201 is visibly disturbed by this, while AE-3803, either totally oblivious to the whole incident or already being used to seeing such shenanigans, continues to cheerfully eat her ice cream.
  • AE3803's introducing of the then-preoccupied U1146 to her kohai. She tries so hard to convince her that he's a sweet guy, but it's a little difficult when he's busy wrestling a germ like a barbarian, complete with him taking a huge bite out of it. Talk about a bad first impression.
  • After AE 3803 is rescued by the foreign red blood cells, there's a two-page crowd shot of the area, with a text box challenging the reader to find her a la Where's Wally?.
    • During her reaction, some of the foreign red blood cells make snowmen and an igloo as the body recovers from hypovolemic shock, out of the snow that very nearly took AE3803's life only minutes before. It's such a huge turnaround that it almost feels like an insult, which just makes it even funnier.
    • Then the neutrophils show up with marshmallows to roast around the campfires, complete with long wobbly cooking sticks, because why not?
  • The bureaucrats running the body's autonomous functions decide that the best way to deal with a lack of oxygen distribution (caused by a hemorrhage) is to increase blood pressure... which of course sends even more red blood cells to their deaths as the only way to get past the wound is to crawl sideways along a sheer cliff face. And one cell emits what sounds suspiciously like a Wilhelm Scream as he goes down.

Chapter 20-25

  • During the Lactic Acid arc, the immune cells face a Flu Virus that has already evolved, and is therefore immune or capable of countering all of their attacks. With the help of a lactic acid bacteria that Dendritic Cell ran into, he proceeds to activate and empower all of them by producing cytokines, represented in the manga as excruciatingly embarrassing photos that the immune cells will do anything to destroy, and keep anyone else from seeing them. He has an entire box of them (and an entire page is dedicated to the contents), and he won't hesitate to set it to the winds if the situation gets so bad that he himself needs to be activated.
    • Even before this point, in the Anime, Dendritic Cell uses them to motivate Naive T Cells... Often with amusing reactions from the Killer and Helper T Cells that the photos depict in the most embarrassing moments of their lives, especially during their school days as thymocytes.
    • Among some of the blackmail in question: Natural Killer Cell in a maid outfit like the macrophages, photos of Memory T Cell (formerly Killer T Cell) during his days in the Thymus, and White Blood Cell awkwardly kneeling and holding his arms out... for a Platelet that was actually running to hug the Macrophage behind him.
      • The reactions of the aforementioned cells after coming face-to-face with those photos rounds out how funny the scene is. NK eating the photo probably tops it all.

Chapter 26

  • The body suffers internal hemorrhaging, a closed wound that gives the germs no means of entry. U-1146 and U-4989 have a dramatic exchange, talking about how they've been waiting and are prepared for this moment, as they, the Neutrophils, "HAVE NOTHING TO DO!" They then proceed to spend the rest of the chapter tied to a construction site by fibrin nets, commenting on the Platelets doing their jobs. The JoJo-esque poses they take certainly help.

Chapter 27

  • As they lie wounded, U-1146 & Eosinophil start reminiscing about their childhood as myeloblasts, and the senpai they admire and how he inspired them. They have a freak-out when they realize the senpai was Basophil, and that he had written down everything they said in his book of poetry.
    • Even better is the foreshadowing, and the moment of realization for the both of them, when the instructors wonder if there's any Basophilic Band Cells, and the two of them realizing they never did find out which of the three types senpai was.
  • And before that, teary-eyed U-4989 slapping the wounded U-1146 repeatedly, while spouting typical tsundere lines. The way he says them makes him look like he is U-1146's lover.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: