Even a show as serious as Deadliest Catch can bring the funny. Here's some of the best moments:
- All the practical jokes. For example:
- The infamous "flour bomb": Put a bag of flour on the line by the buoy so it explodes when it hits the block.
- Phil putting a length of pipe on a line belonging to the Northwestern.
- The Wizard attaching a porta-potty to a pot belonging to the North American.
- And the immediate response (after laughter): "Are there any crabs in it?"
- The Time Bandit once replaced a pot from the Cornelia Marie with a junked truck.
- Deckhand Dave Millman makes the comment, "Now I know we can pull a truck with the block," which makes Phil burst out laughing.
- Northwestern deckhand Jake Anderson stealing Jonathan Hillstrand's USA Jacket, then wearing it with a hat on deck and impersonating him. The Hillstrands responded by hanging him in effigy. Later they burned his effigy ostensibly because the presence of the dummy's Northwestern sweatshirt was offending the Crab God(s).
- And that was after what they did to Jake after he came back to return the jacket so that they wouldn't seek retribution on the entire Northwestern crew: taped him to the crane and then lowered him waist deep into the water.
- During the "Jake swap" in Season 6, Northwestern emptied one of Cornelia Marie's pots, replaced the contents with an IOU, and made sure Jake Harris was implicated in the prank.
- Near the end of King Crab 2009 the Time Bandit crew pulled one of the Northwestern's pots and stuck an alligator skull in the webbing, hoping that the crew of the Northwestern would think it came from some prehistoric sea monster. It worked.Northwestern deckhand Matt Bradley: I don't know what it is, but it's prehistoric and it's MINE!
- While down in New Orleans Andy Hillstrand and Wild Bill went crawdad fishing, but while Andy pulled up full "pots" Wild Bill pulled up almost all blanks. The truth didn't come out until they were filming After The Catch IV: Andy had gone back and emptied nearly all of Wild Bill's crawdad traps into his own.
- At the end of king crab season 2010, Johnathan Hillstrand launched a set of 40 Chinese lanterns into the air near the Northwestern. He also disabled his GPS and killed his boat lights to keep anyone on the Northwestern from seeing him. As Johnathan hoped, Sig Hansen freaked out at seeing over three dozen unidentified flying lights near his ship. And it was hilarious.
- Sig's response was to fight fire with fireworks — seemingly all of the fireworks in Alaska aimed directly at the Time Bandit, which promptly returned fire. And it was GLORIOUS.
- And the war continues: The crew of the Northwestern decided to kick off the 2011 king crab season by sneaking aboard the Time Bandit in the middle of the night and inflating a life raft in the middle of their bunk area while the crew was alseep. Then to top it off Josh Harris, now a Time Bandit deckhand, got a bucketful of flour tossed in his face courtesy of his brother Jake, now working aboard the Northwestern.
- The Hillstrands finally got their revenge after the 2012 opilio season: on the day of Jake Anderson's wedding (at which Sig was officiating) they TP'ed Sig's house (Johnathan's excuse was that season was too stressful to think of something good). Watching Sig and (presumably) his wife trying to figure out who that weirdo was on their security cameras followed by Johnathan zooming off in his pickup was pretty amazing.
- The night before opening day of the 2011 opilio season, the crew of the Seabrooke go out and spray paint the crane of the Time Bandit with a lightning bolt and the Seabrooke's initials. Jonathan's response is to take a couple crew members to the grocery store and buy over 1000 eggs, and to call in help from Sig and the Northwestern (which had also been tagged by the Seabrooke). The two crews then proceed to egg the ever-loving shit out of the Seabrooke and her crew. As Sig Hansen observed, "Don't mess with the Hillstrands!"
- Jonathan's reaction is almost immediate: "We need to buy every egg in town."
- The Time Bandit crew's version of a birthday cake? Egg, water, milk, and cake mix tossed into the face of the unsuspecting birthday boy.
- The beginning of the 2013 King Crab season, and Nik "Sunshine" Tokman transferred from the Northwestern to the Time Bandit. The Hillstrands got him to pull a prank on Sig by spray-painting "TB" on his boat's front windows. Then they ratted him out to Sig. Cue Sunshine, in full ninja gear, getting hung in a net on the Northwestern and soaked down.
- Once news of greenhorn Kelly's outstanding weapons charge comes out, the other crew members on the Cape Caution redecorate his rain gear with black stripes and a prisoner's number. Amusing enough, but then Captain Wild Bill points out that a stereotypical prisoner's outfit uses horizontal stripes—and according to him, the vertical stripes they used make it look more like a pimp suit.
- Edgar loads a cigarette that Mandy gives to her dad. And yes, Mandy was in on it.
- While the Hilstrand crew celebrates the impending 2014 king crab season with an entire truckload of fireworks with Wild Bill in tow, the crew of the Northwestern stole Bill's boat the Cape Caution and moved it across the harbor. Bill was not amused.
- Extras reveal that Bill's son Zach helped the Northwestern crew by showing them how to start it. Bill retaliated by calling Zach and telling him that the Coast Guard was after him ("Make him sweat for a few minutes").
- "Sunshine" learns the hard way not to be the only one asleep between strings aboard the Northwestern: in order to wake him up the rest of the crew lights the sleeve of his rain gear on fire.
- The captains seeing their show dubbed in different languages. The funny comes in when you realize all the clips are of arguments.
- Phil's method for hunting opilio? Sniffing out crab farts. (He's probably just messing with his sons, as crabs don't actually fart, but there's a hypothesis among some fans that opilio do put out a gaseous mixture that, in large concentrations, someone with experience might be able to sniff out, or that opilio prefer waters that for whatever reason are putting out such gases themselves.)
- It gets even funnier when, on the Time Bandit, there's a bet going on between the deckhands about who can find the crab, and fish the most in five pots. Josh uses the "crab farts" method to determine where to set his gear...and he wins the bet. After his win, Josh won't shut up about it, so the other deckhands decide to teach him a lesson by duct taping him to the ladder and putting a duct tape gag over his mouth.
- The various times Edgar sets stuff/his crewmembers/himself and the boat on fire. And if he ever decides he wants to light the candles on your birthday cake, keep well clear of it.
- On Time Bandit during 2009 King Crab, Scott Hillstrand was feeling down about an impending divorce, so Captain Jonathan let his son take the wheel for a bit. The crew took that opportunity to put on a show, and by "show" I mean deckhand Mike Fourtner stripping to his boxers (which got ripped when he fell on his rear end), spraying him with water, and blowing up a watermelon (they love their firecrackers). Needless to say, the show was greatly appreciated.
- "You're gonna set this string, then you're gonna set another, then you're gonna make dinner, then you're gonna take a watch, then you're gonna do it all - over - again."
- Keith bet the camera crew on the Wizard that they couldn't stay up for a 36-hour pot run, filming every pot as it came up. He lost the bet...and had to spend 15 minutes in the crow's nest in his skivvies.
- When Johnathan decided to spend some time on the deck, he was going to toss the hook under handed rather than over handed like everyone else. He ended up whacking himself in the face, with blood, bruises and all.Johnathan: (to the camera immediately afterward) A face only a mother could love! (laughs)
- Young Phil showing up at his disapproving guidance counselor's house with his first $100,000 in a sack and offering to buy it from her (she declined).
- During a really bad run where several pots were completely empty or nearly so, the Time Bandit's crew started razzing Capt. Andy; he responded by having bottle rockets shot at them.
- Andy had another one along these lines on the July 19, 2011 episode - after calling in the deckhands for a few minutes and having them fall asleep inside (thanks to being up an insane number of hours in a row), Andy woke them up by tossing a lit firecracker out of the wheelhouse window and onto the deck.
- In the July 17, 2012 episode, when Johnathan Hillstrand got frustrated with low numbers while the Time Bandit was fishing in the ice pack, he went outside with a shotgun and shot at the ice to vent.
- Jake Harris' recounting a phone call he had with Phil after buying his first motorcycle. Keep in mind that as far as Phil was concerned, motorcycles were Harleys, and that was it.Jake: Hey, I got a bike.
Phil: Oh, that's cool. What'd you get?
Jake: An R1.
Phil: You're fired. (hangs up phone)
- Actually, Phil pretty much lived with these, along with Crowning Moments of Awesome. The following conversation was related in the fourth season of After The Catch.Mike Rowe: We were up in Seattle, and I was outside the bar, and Phil rides up on this new Titan. I say "Hey Phil, how you doing?" He goes "I got nothing to say to you."*all the captains laugh uproariously*Mike: I'm like, "Why?", and he says, "Well, I just bought this new bike, and it's all I wanna talk about." So I say, "Okay, how's the bike?" And he says "Mike, how can you talk about a bike if you haven't ridden it?" And he hands me the keys, and heads into the bar.
- The entire montage of "Bering Sea dementia" antics.
- Edgar's apology to Jake for making fun of him:Edgar's sign: "I'm sorry and I love you"Edgar's hidden, second sign: probably something like "Now get your ass back to work or you're fired."
- John Hillstrand and the crew of the Time Bandit throwing around Cluster F Bombs on deck in an effort to get Eddie Jr. (whom Andy Hillstrand said "talks like a choir boy") to follow their lead and utter ONE bleepable word on camera. Then John and Eddie Sr. talk about how the boy's mother would kill him if he did swear.
- After a long night of fishing Edgar fixes coffee for the rest of the crew, handing it out to the guys on deck through an open window in the galley like he's in a restaurant drive-thru. Matt Bradley comes up to the window and jokingly asks for soy milk; Edgar's response is to shut the window in his face.
- During some downtime aboard the Northwestern the deckhands are standing around talking, asking the "If you were any piece of equipment aboard the ship, what would you be" question (because you run out of things to talk about, shut up aboard a fairly small and not-particularly-well-appointed ship at sea for weeks at a time) Matt cheerfully declares that he would be a shovel - then comes out with two shovels tied to his arms and another tied to his back, flapping his arms like wings. Jake Anderson declares that he has literally pissed himself laughing.
- At the start of season 4 Jake Harris buys an $800 television with the intent of just screwing with his father. Cue Captain Phil saying "now I know why some lions eat their young."
- On The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Capt. Keith revealed that before he was a crab fisherman he was a saucier at a French restaurant. Some weeks later Keith is shown making "dinner" for his crew: power bars and chips.
- After The Catch VI: "Deadliest Drive".Narrator: "Wild Bill" is— finally in a location where his name makes sense!
- Edgar asks the crew if they want Sig to throw the traditional flaming hook at the end of opies - and they say yes. Sig...well.. To quote Jake Anderson, "You missed! You scream at us when we miss and look at you!".
- Sig's response is hella funny on its own—"I didn't miss!"
- At Jake's wedding:Sig: For those of you who don't know who I am—
Heckler: Consider yourselves lucky!
- Once Sig Hansen gave his crew one hell of act of compassion that should put this page on the heartwarming section...he allowed his crew to sleep a full 45 more than was necessary. That's right, the old sea dog let his crew sleep for 45 more minutes when they could be working, letting them recharge their batteries just that little bit more. The moment the crew is out the door and onto the deck Sig starts snickering...and sets the clock back forty- five minutes. It's an old captain's trick.
- Sig Hansen, whether it's on After The Catch or at Catch*Con, talking about the housekeeper coming over to clean Phil's trailer.
- John Hilstrand recounted calling Phil once and getting his voice mail, the message of which was:Phil: Hey, this is Phil. If it's important, I'll call you back; if I don't call you back, then you know why.
- In the June 25, 2013 episode, the Time Bandit crew has to grind for two days straight because of an impending off-load date and bad numbers (and they'd apparently been up for at least a full day before that). With only a few hours to go before offload, Mike Fourtner reveals how the lack of sleep has gone to his head:Mike Fourtner: For the last three minutes, I've been contemplating inside my head whether unicorns are real or not.
- On a run between strings during the 2013 king crab season, Edgar challenges his brother Norman (normally He Who Must Not Be Seen) to a skeet-shooting contest. Norman curb-stomps him 3-0; Edgar can't even hit a paper plate at close range. One of his attempts to claim a point (by shooting a target that was already in the water) was pretty funny in and of itself, as he attempted Loophole Abuse.
- During the 2014 opilio season the crew of the Northwestern faces a water shortage meaning the men can't shower. Matt Bradley gets a lot of grief from the other guys over his body odor so he finally deals with it the only way he can think of: he strips down to his boxer shorts and his galoshes, grabs a bottle of soap and takes a quick dip in the open hole of the crab tank.
- Later Edgar faces the dilemma of having coffee or obeying his wife and brushing his teeth. He does both...by brushing his teeth with his coffee. And then drinking the coffee.
- Back at the start of the 2014 opilio season, Captain Sig has the entire crew of the Northwestern join in on their "bite the head off a herring" good-luck ritual. This promptly results in a Spit Take by basically everyone aboard ... except for Norman, who just stands there continuing to chew with a "What?" look on his face.
- Sig has his daughter Mandy set a string. Mandy allows the crew to name the string for her...so they name it My Little Pony.
- Sig sets up a Swear Jar for the crew during the Super Bowl, so that whoever swears the most in that time has to clean the galley and do the dishes, ostensibly so that his daughter Mandy won't pick up the crew's swearing. A lot of names go into the jar, and even Mandy ends up contributing. Who's cleaning the galley at the end of the episode, swearing up a storm as the cleaning is done? Sig.
- The sequence includes a gem by Mike Rowe, as the crew is contributing to the jar, and he asks a rhetorical question about who's in the lead:
- Hearing the harshest captain in the fleet Keith being chewed up by his 11 year old daughter for using snuff (despite promising to quit) is very funny to hear and also very heart-warming.
- Nick Mavar going nuts and graffiting the Northwestern's deck in support of the Seattle Seahawks for the 2014 Super Bowl. He's such a bundle of nerves that he spends most of the game on deck while everyone else is listening on the radio in the wheelhouse.
- Monte calling Keith about a near-catastrophic situation where Wizard almost was beached. And referring to the conversation where Keith chewed him out with Cluster F-Bombs as pleasant.
- Being a skipper-in-training like Josh Harris is scary. Getting chewed out by Wild Bill is scary. Getting chewed out by Wild Bill (after admitting fault and apologizing!) over the radio with the "senior" captains listening is hilarious.
- For 2018, during one episode of "The Bait" pre-show, the captains have a little cook-off between each boat, with Keith acting as judge. Reminder, this is the same Keith who used to previously work as a saucier in a French-style restaurant prior to becoming a crab fisherman and latter captain. Some highlights:
Jake:(pleasantly surprised, quietly) I'm still in? How the hell am I still in?
- Josh Harris and Casey Mc Manus (Cornelia Marie) makes a steak dinner. As Keith mentions he's going to take some notes about the meal, Casey pulls out some cash, suggesting Keith take some extra "notes".
- Jake Anderson and Ole Helgevold of the Saga decides to make steak stroganoff. Keith mentions in the studio segment that two had apparently been working on making the dish for over two-hours by the time he arrived there, and still hadn't finished the dish yet. To top it all off, he notes the canned corn on the counter top and mentions he's probably going to dock them several points for that, which Ole quickly opened threw it into a bowl, and microwaved it. Still, Keith gives the Saga Stroganoff high marks, including the corn.
- Sig, Edgar, and Matt of the Northwestern just plain go all out, after a few discussions about whether they spelling "dessert/desert" and if its spelled chocolate mousse or moose. Tablecloth, candles (one of which used to hide a stain when they accidentally spilled some dipping sauce), an actual menu(!), fancy presentation, an emphasis on fresh, local food that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. A Norwegian style fish and crab dinner, including cold crab dip (thanks to the fact that they're able to serve fresh King crab which hadn't been frozen as part of the shipping process to the rest of the world outside of Alaska), with Edgar acting as waiter and coatcheck (by taking Keith's coat and just tossing it into a closed room connected to the galley). Keith is stuck between laughing and being extremely impressed at how far the Northwestern went.
- During the judging itself, Jake and the Saga makes it to the final three still being considered, along with Wild Bill of the Summer Bay, and the Hansen brothers of the North Western. Jake's reaction and Keith's follow up is hysterical.
Keith: Congratulations, you're still in! Now get the hell out of here!
Jake: Oh...wait was it because of the canned corn?
Keith: Of course it was for the canned corn!
Jake: I thought you said you liked it!
Keith: Yes, but you opened it up right in front of me, you should never admit that you're using canned corn to the judge!
- Another "The Bait" segment has the Captains receive cards with the name of another captain. They're tasked to do their best impersonation of whichever name is written on the cards, with everyone else at the table having to guess who they're mimicking. Keith does an exaggerated, slightly feminine hair brushing motion, which everyone immediately calls out as being Wild Bill, causing the table to break up into laughter except Bill who looks stone-faced about it. Jake's charade involves launching into an angry outburst, shouting for others to get things done, which immediately has every hand in the room pointing at Sig. Sig ends up laughing as much as everyone else at the table.