Follow TV Tropes


Funny / Knives Out

Go To

This page contains unmarked spoilers. You Have Been Warned!
Ignorance truly is bliss.
  • Fran enters Harlan's room and finds him dead while carrying a tray with tea. One expects a Dramatic Drop with her dropping the tray and tea instantly out of shock... except not. It does almost fall, but Harlan's dead body doesn't take her attention away from the tray for too long and she clumsily prevents said fall with a muttered curse.
  • Before the interviews Marta is brooding at home. Meanwhile her sister is watching a murder mystery which, by the sounds of it, is ludicrously over-the-top.
    Detective Hardrock: You slashed his face open and you left him bleeding in the street, like a stuck pig! Then you crushed his skull with a forklift and burnt his hands off to erase the fingerprints!
    Killer: You'll never prove it.
    Detective Hardrock: We have the nanny cam footage!
    • This gets a minor Call-Back when, upon returning home from the first day of questioning, Marta's mother is watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote dubbed into Spanish.
  • During the interviews:
    • The police try to establish a rapport.
      Elliott: How was it?
      Linda: The party? Pre my dad’s death? [scathing] Oh, it was great.
    • The police try to determine if Walt has any authority running his father’s publishing company.
      Linda: If you think I'm dumb enough to trash talk my little brother in front of a police detective and a state trooper—
      Cut to her husband's interview
      Richard: Walt doesn't do shit!
  • Advertisement:
  • Once Marta starts beating Harlan at Go, he says "Only an earthquake can help me". Cue him shaking the table until the board falls, making Marta call him out on being a Sore Loser.
  • Marta explains her condition of compulsively regurgitating to any attempt she makes at lying. Blanc and the police believe she's exaggerating, until she lies and seconds later rushes to a potted plant to puke into.
  • Daniel Craig giving Blanc a Kentucky accent which is just short of over-the-top.
  • During the Flashback to Harlan's death, he gets to play Lemony Narrator as he explains The Plan to her, complete with interaction with Marta as she executes it.
    Harlan (voice-over): Drive out the gate. Then, to avoid the security cameras, turn off the road before the carved elephant.
    Marta: "Wait. Was it before or after?"
    Harlan (voice-over): After the carved elephant.
    Marta: "No, he said before. Was it?"
    Harlan (voice-over): Beafterfore the carved elephant.
    Marta: "Oh shit!" (swerves off the road)
    Harlan (voice-over): Park, and come on foot up to the house. ... You've got to get up to the third floor without being seen! And the only way is to climb the side trellis and come in through the trick hall window.
    Marta (camera overhead, looking straight down at her as she contemplates the climb): "You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!"
    Harlan (voice-over): I am not.
  • Advertisement:
  • Blanc and Marta's conversation on the porch at night.
    Blanc: Harlan's detectives dig. Truffle pigs. I anticipate the terminus of Gravity's Rainbow. [Beat] It's a novel.
    Marta: I know. I've never read it though.
    Blanc: Neither have I. Nobody has.
  • Blanc to Marta on the way to Harlan's will reading.
    Blanc: You’d think it was like a game show, but think of it as a community theater production of a tax return.
    • And once the gathering of the Thrombeys leads to shouting and later fistfights:
      Marta: I thought you said will readings were boring.
      Blanc: That was the exception that proves the rule.
    • An amused Ransom points out they should do that kind of gathering more often.
  • Harlan Thrombey's groundskeeper says that he used to have to patrol the estate with a gun but now he doesn't have to thanks to "modern technology": an analog security camera that's about 25 years out of date at the very least and records just eight hours at a time onto an old video cassette that's battered and worn from being recorded and wiped ad nauseam.
  • Blanc going on a brief tangent, indulging in some wordplay about Ransom's home street, Kenoke Drive.
    Blanc: "Kenoke." That's fun to say, isn't it? "I awoke, amid Kenoke."
  • While feigning to help Blanc with his investigation, Marta realizes she left incriminating footprints, and so deliberately tramples over them as Blanc and police ineffectually try to stop her. And then the family's two dogs go cheerfully charging back and forth over the muddy patch as well.
  • Benoit is pondering the side of the house when a dog runs up to Marta carrying the piece of the trellis that broke off when she was climbing to the hidden window. Having no place to hide it, she hurriedly throws it away before Benoit turns around... only for the dog to happily play fetch and bring it to Benoit.
  • After Alan reads out Harlan's "not complicated at all" will, revealing Harlan left his money and his books to Marta Cabrera, the rest of the family is in an uproar. Linda demands that Alan and the police leave.
    Linda: We are the Thrombeys, goddamnit! This is still our house!
    the rest of the family realizes what she just said, fall silent, and turn to look at Alan
    Alan: What? Oh, right. (His assistant, the QUEEN OF LAWSTUFF, points to a line, which he reads) "The house, and all possessions therein, I leave in their entirety to Marta Cabrera."
    • Alan spends the entire evening explaining to the Thrombeys why the will is legal. Eventually, they hit on the idea that if Marta is guilty of murdering Harlan, she'll be legally barred from inheriting anything. The family eagerly quiz Blanc about this, only for Blanc to give a non-committal reply. Frustrated, Richard throws a tantrum that ends with him yelling about how useless Alan is and ordering him out. Alan just reacts in a quietly frustrated "Yeah, whatever dickhead" fashion, gets up and leaves.
      • Alan's already limited patience running out as the family brainstorm ways to get Martha disinherited, leading to an epic Stealth Insult:
        Alan: Your honor, she wormed her way into his affections with hard work and good humor!
      • Also, his assistant is asleep during the whole thing.
    • Made even funnier when you realise that Alan is potrayed by Frank Oz. Thats right, Yoda just insulted Sonny Crockett of all people.
  • Walt's Lame Comeback to Ransom's "eat shit" (a Throw It In! by Michael Shannon):
    Walt: I will not eat ONE IOTA of shit!
    • Also, his extremely weak objection to learning that the family has been cut out of the will. "Uh... no."
  • Ransom's insults stir a huge and colorful shouting match. This is funny in itself, but trooper Wagner and his reaction make it absolutely priceless. The poor man has the blank stare of someone watching a horrendously written play.
    • Also, the fact that Ransom remains completely silent once said shouting match really gets going - despite the fact that most of the people shouting are doing so at him - and instead just sits back and watches the whole thing play out with a huge grin on his face is really quite subtly amusing.
    • Not to mention this little two-word gem:
    Richard (reaching for parental authority): Son.
    Ransom (not having it at all): Father.
  • Just after Marta and Ransom speed away in Ransom's car, escaping the enraged family:
    Linda: Richard, why didn't you stop them?
    Richard: What was I supposed to do, grab the bumper with my teeth?!
  • The other adults casually referring to Jacob as a Nazi.
    Blanc: What about the little Nazi boy, masturbating in the bathroom?
  • "Maybe Harlan left you a cold glass of milk in his will, asshole!"
  • How does Ransom force Marta to tell him the truth about Harlan's death? He lets her eat a full plate of sausage and beans and then asks her, knowing she'll puke if she lies.
    Marta: You asshole.
  • Richard handing Marta his plate as he asks for her input on the family's conversation about immigration.
  • Lieutenant Elliot referring to the hilariously slow (60 mph, max) car chase as the "dumbest car chase" he has ever seen.
    • The camera focuses on the speedometer of the cop car which is approaching 80 MPH before abruptly jumping to Marta's which is pegging out at 55.
    • At one point Blanc's car has pulled up alongside Marta. Blanc leans out the window and points to his phone, making it clear he just wants her to pick up her phone already.
    • Also, at another point Marta manages to weaponise her car's hilarious shittiness by coming to a sudden stop and letting the much faster police vehicles speed right past her, meaning that she gets to do a sudden turn while they have to stop some distance away and turn around.
    • This part of the original score (track 15) is named "The Dumbest Car Chase of All Time."
  • Blanc sitting in Marta's car singing "Losing my Mind" to himself as the ambulance Marta called pulls up behind him. As well as his muttered "Oh, hell" and his scramble to get out of the car when he finally notices it.
  • In the climax, Blanc explains to Marta that there is someone who's been orchestrating everything. He then calls out for Trooper Wagner (so he could bring Ransom in). Cue Marta looking dumbfounded and asking Blanc in disbelief if Wagner was behind it all, and Blanc just rolled his eyes at her in annoyance.
  • Ransom calling Harlan's mansion his "ancestral home" and his "birthright", with heavy racial overtones, only for Blanc to burst into laughter and tell him that the house was sold to Harlan in the 1980s by a Pakistani real estate billionaire.
  • Marta vomiting chunkily all over Ransom's face, revealing that she lied about Fran's death. It's Nausea Fuel because the vomit is horrifyingly realistic, but also hilarious.
    Wagner: That means she's lying!
    Elliot: Yeah, we know, man.
    • Also, Marta accepted the call from the hospital and was no doubt informed that Fran died. She responds with "Doctor, that's good news." After the reveal, it's not hard to imagine what the doctor's response was. "Uh, that's good news? What's wrong with you? Hello? Hello?"
    • When Marta mentions that Fran was rambling about a Hallmark movie with Danica McKellar, Wagner, the mystery junkie, immediately recognizes it as Deadly by Surprise due to its secret-poisoning plotline. Elliot gives him a side glance as if to say "really?", then rolls his eyes and lets Blanc continue without interruption.
    • During The Summation, Elliot tries to interrupt Blanc to maybe get him to get to the point a bit quicker, only for Wagner to loudly hush him because he's fanboying hard over a real-life murder mystery playing out in front of him. For context, Elliot is Wagner's superior officer.
  • Blanc's Ice-Cream Koan monologues on how the case doesn't make sense, where he compares it to a donut with a donut hole in the middle, a tangled slinky, and a donut with a smaller donut in the middle of it with its own tiny hole.
  • Most scenes involving Nana:
    • Her age:
      Lieutenant Elliot: How old is she?
      Linda: We have no idea.
    • This exchange during Harlan's birthday party:
      Walt: Do you want dinner, Nana? Dinner to eat?
      Linda: She's fine, Walt, she's eaten all of the salmon spread already.
    • After Blanc loudly announces that Marta won't be giving up the inheritance and leading her out of the room, the heirs begin arguing again. Meanwhile, Nana lets out a satisfied chuckle and leans back in amusement.
  • Joni Thrombey, Total Lifestyle advocate, demonstrates her (lack of) depth by mentioning that she read a tweet about the New Yorker profile of Benoit Blanc that two other characters actually read.
    • During her interview with the police, she describes how the Thrombeys are her family. Then the flashback shows her attempting to pull Linda into a dance and is rebuffed.
  • When Ransom realizes he stabbed Marta with a fake knife, he stabs her a few more times just as ineffectually, exactly like someone trying to operate a defective switch. Then there's his reaction to realizing how screwed he is (maybe a good lawyer could've gotten him a slap on the wrist for what he'd confessed to so far, but he's just committed attempted murder in full view of two state police detectives...)
    Ransom: ...shit.
    • It becomes doubly funny when you remember Harlan mentioning earlier in the film that Ransom was so used to gaming his way through life that he couldn't tell the difference between the fake prop knives and the real ones.
  • Linda finds out about the affair from the note Harlan wrote, and Richard turns to find her reading the letter he dismissed earlier in the film. The next shot of Richard shows him with a fresh bruising black eye.
  • Marta casually taking some time during The Summation to let Ransom know how she feels.
    "She wasn't saying 'you did it.' She was saying 'Hugh did it.' 'Cause you made the help call you Hugh. 'Cause you're an asshole."
    • Also, the way that Marta calls him an asshole. It's not exactly delivered in a biting fashion, but more in a dawning realisation way, as if Marta is both working out the events of the film at the same time and thinking to herself "Oh yeah, this guy's an absolute asshole, how did I forget that and trust him all this time?"
  • Meta funny: Rian Johnson, of Brick fame, inserts quite a few 'Brick Jokes' in this film.
  • In a Funny Background Event, Walt strikes a classic Victory Pose after Ransom admits Harlan cut him out of the will. As with the “one iota of shit” line, it’s another Throw It In! by Michael Shannon.
  • Members of the family mention where Marta is from, except it's a different Central/South American country every time, even when it's the same character. We never do find out which country it is.
    • It's particularly funny when one character guesses that she's from Brazil despite Marta and her mother clearly speaking Spanish at one point.
    • In Richard's case, he gives out multiple completely different countries which is an extra level of insensitive stupidity.
    • Word of God says Marta and her family were intended to be Cuban, hence why Ana de Armas was cast. She had to explain to Rian Johnson, however, that Cubans are allowed to become naturalized citizens in the US after a year, so that's the one Spanish-speaking country that wouldn't work in context. In the end, Rian Johnson decided the gag worked well enough without confirming the country of origin.
  • The ending shot. With how badly the family treat Marta, the shot of her standing on the house with the "My House, My Rules, My Coffee" mug calmly taking a sip is both satisfying and funny.
  • The deleted scenes showing Blanc trying out Joni's skin lotion and getting a rash from it, which leads to him discovering that her company is barely able to stay afloat as a result of many customers being afflicted by this, with Blanc telling Joni he hopes she hasn't done anything rash in order to get the money.
  • A very quick one near the end: when Ransom is being led away by the police, Richard instantly comes running up waving a huge wad of cash and clearly trying to bribe them to (predictably) absolutely no effect. What makes it funny is Ransom's reaction to this which is simply to roll his eyes and heave a huge sigh before glaring at his father like an embarrassed teenager.
  • Blanc's donut monologue.
  • Ransom at one point dismisses The Summation as being "stupid with two 'o's". If you watch the film with subtitles, they literally spell the word as "stoopid" at that point.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: