Faster, higher, stronger...and funnier!
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- During a dinner honoring the winners, the Crown Prince of Greece, Constantine I, asked Alfréd Hajós, who won two gold medals in swimmingnote , where he had learned to swim so well. Hajós answered "In the water."
- When Australian Edwin Flack won the gold medal in running for the 1500m, since Australia was still a British colony at the time, there was no Australian flag, and officials didn't have any of the colonial flags. So at the medal ceremony, they ended up raising the Austrian flag.
St. Louis 1904
- The Men's Marathon is a glorious hot mess courtesy of poor officiating and bad luck. The race was ran mostly over dirt roads, with the only "water stop" being a well eleven miles into the race. Officials and team staff had to go along the route by car, kicking up dust in the competitors' faces; William Garcia nearly died from inhaling the dust. Fred Lorz crossed the finish line first, and almost got gold, but officials soon discovered that he had given up the race at mile nine and had been riding in a car for about ten miles before re-joining the race at mile nineteen (because the car broke down), and duly disqualified him for cheating; Lorz's defense was that he was only joking, though the Amateur Athletic Union didn't find it nearly as funny and banned him for life (though he was reinstated the following year). Cuban competitor Andarín Carvajal showed up late, having lost all of his cash and belongings en route and having to cut the legs of the pants he was wearing into something approximating shorts; furthermore, while running the course, he picked some apples from a nearby orchard—which turned out to be rotten, assailing him with food poisoning; despite all of that, he finished fourth. A couple of runners were chased by dogs along the way. Finally, the winner of this blessed event, Thomas Hicks, had to be carried across the finish line and was strung out on strychnine and brandy, given by team staff to pep him up after he almost collapsed during the race. Officials allowed him through because he was still making running motions with his legs while being carried.
- In a Winter Olympics where it seemed like hardly any figure skater could get through their routine without falling—People Magazine actually ranked "Olympic Figure Skating" on it's year-end "Worst Of Tube" list—this performance by France's Laetitia Hubert really takes the cake. Kudos to her for not giving up and finishing, although she looked exhausted by the end.
- American commentator Scott Hamilton, the 1984 gold medalist in men's figure skating, later admitted that the reason he stopped talking about halfway through is because he was laughing so much.
- This Saturday Night Live skit, which seemed to foreshadow Hubert's performance—Hamilton outright said it was the first thing he thought of.
- At the start of the second run of the four-man Bobsleigh, Unified Team member Alexandre Bortiuk slipped on the ice and dived in - and found himself going down the track the wrong way, facing one of his team mates.
- The opening ceremony had pickup trucks enter the stadium while people spelled out "How Y'all Doin?" Seriously.
- One gymnast on the Chinese men's team paused halfway through his routine to wave to the audience, by using his foot. Doubly funny considering the reputation the Chinese have for being very straitlaced and serious.
- The guy who ran amok on a ride-on lawnmower during the opening ceremony. Briefly a national hero! Followed by this were floats that had drag queens.
- The drag queens reappeared during the closing ceremony, re-enacting scenes from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The famous bus made an appearance too. This was the first open involvement of LGBT people in an Olympic event and the first time the Games accepted and promoted them. Naturally, NBC completely ignored the significance of this event.
- Somewhere between Funny and Awesome, during the introduction last leg of the Tin Symphony, we have what looks like a giant metal dragon entering the stadium.
- "Fixing" the last leg of the indoor cauldron for the closing ceremony and allowing Catriona Le May Doan, the last torch bearer, to light it.
- A number of Canadian comedians expressing the country's appreciation towards their guests, including Michael J. Fox heartwarmingly declaring everybody as honorary Canadians—which he then claims means that Canada won every gold medal of the Games.
- William Shatner's speech, as shown here. Really, that entire closing ceremony was a cavalcade of hilarious self-parody.
- Most of Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, which was called "wacky," "off-the-wall," and "bonkers" in many quarters.
- Rowan Atkinson's quasi-Mr. Bean segment. The Chariots of Fire theme starts with all the drama and seriousness one would expect from the situation...and then the camera pans over to him sitting at the keyboard, clearly bored that his part only involves hitting the same "pulse" note over and over. He manages to take out his phone to take a picture, sneeze and play the keyboard with an umbrella so he can get a tissue out of his backpack, and then falls asleep, dreaming himself into the movie's "running on the beach" opening sequence. After cheating to win the foot-racenote , he wakes up to find that the rest of the orchestra has finished the song and everyone is staring at him. The conductor—highly respected conductor Sir Simon Rattle—scrunches a displeased expression and signals for the final notes. So he does so, only to hit one messed-up note at the end.
- The Queen parachuting out a helicopter with James Bond. American viewers got the bonus of Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer apparently being convinced it was real!
- The Queen's corgis being filmed in the Shaky Cam method of the modern Bond films.
- Daniel Craig looking bemused at the Winston Churchill statue waving at him, especially the part where he follows the Queen after being escorted to her office.
- There's something just so cracktactic about 20x Mary Poppins defeating a giant Voldemort...especially since, if the music was any indication, we were supposed to take it dead seriously. British humor is like that. They're sure, but you're never quite sure...
- In the 2012 fencing event, one of the Italians complained his hits were not registering his Korean opponent and tested the connection with a self-inflicted◊ Ass Shove.
- Upon winning the 2012 discus throw, German Robert Harting cranks a Hulk Hogan before doing a victory lap by clearing the hurdles. It's just as hilarious as it sounds. He then went in to London to celebrate...and had to spend the night in a unnamed railway station after he had his accreditation nicked.
- "Games Maker" Rachel Onasanwo decided to do her job entirely in Deadpan Snarker mode, becoming an Internet and TV star in the process.
- The Chinese figured out that if they lost their first badminton match, they would have easier competition and make sure only the Chinese teams would make it to the finals. The South Koreans figured this out and decided to do the same, causing some hilariously bad matches. This was quickly found out—as it turns out, highly competitive athletes tend to be pretty bad at, and quite obvious about, trying to lose—and it led to one Chinese team and two South Korean teams being disqualified, which gave everyone else some cause for Schadenfreude.
- This commentary on a sailing race by someone who has no idea what's going on. He just makes sarcastic remarks about everything, until he realizes the race was not ending, but starting.
- Eric Idle performing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian in the closing ceremony. In the middle of the performance, Bollywood dancers crash in and do a performance, all the while dousing Idle with colored dust. It has to be seen to be believed. Of course, the audience even joins in.
- There is a Chilean Memetic Mutation about La Princesa CaballoTranslation , born from a sort-of prank by soccer fansnote . When a local TV station was covering the equestrian events and Princess Anne's daughter Lady Zara Phillips showed up, guess what one of the commentators started shouting?
- In the 10m platform event in diving, Qiu Bo reacted to winning silver by wailing and banging his fist against a wall. Tom Daley's reaction to winning bronze? He—and his friends—jumped into the pool.
- The Parade of Nations in the opening ceremony was carried out to a backing of iconic British music. What starts playing when Fiji comes out? Staying Alive...by The Bee Gees.
- Not concerning the Games themselves, but rather the promoters. When trying to decide which famous British celebrities should appear in the opening ceremony, they actually considered having Keith Moon of The Who to perform. The problem is, Keith Moon has been dead since 1978!
- The men's hockey semi-finals between the U.S. and Canada inspired a billboard in Chicagonote . It was a very simple bet—the loser keeps Justin Bieber.
- Updated the next day after the U.S. lost: An eagle wearing a gold chain saying "Belieber." The caption? "Worst bet ever."
- A technical malfunction prevented the fifth Olympic ring from opening out of its snowflake during the opening ceremony, as seen here. This was what the media chose to focus on, and it was all over Twitter as #ringfail, frustrating the organizers who had done splendidly on everything else. The rings' first appearance in the ceremony is an extremely important, glorious moment—just imagine if the forged rings at London hadn't worked out! Since everyone else was making fun of them, the organizers figured they'd make fun of themselves as well: In the closing ceremony, groups of ballerinas portrayed the five snowflakes, and amid thunderous applause and laughter, the last snowflake finally deployed.
- Furthermore, it's the image on the IOC website's 404 page.
- Canadian sports talk show hosts Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro of "Tim & Sid" reacted appropriately when the Canadian women scored the overtime goal in ice hockey for the gold medal. For additional hilarity, British television show "The Last Leg" picked up on their reaction.
Rio de Janeiro 2016
- The opening ceremony had cyclists before every delegation. A few were hilariously chill about it.
- Hope Solo posted some◊ Comical Overreacting about the Zika virus. In response, the Brazilians not only jeered her—as expected for the U.S. team—but they also made sure that every free kick of hers had a chant of "ZIKA!".
- In the basketball match between the U.S. and China, the Dream Team decides on who will execute free shoots...via a game of rock-paper-scissors.
- ESPN Brazil chose resident Large Ham Romulo Mendonça to broadcast volleyball. Hilarity ensued.
- Michael Phelps' Game Face◊.
- Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui twice had the third best time in the 100m backstroke, in the semi-finals and finals...only knowing it when a reporter told her so, as she is near-sighted and unable to read the scoreboard from the pool. She also gives Adorkable post-swim interviews and makes funny faces at her podium ceremonies.
- The members of Team Fiji's men's rugby sevens team are very tall, and they're on the top podium. So what do they do? They get on their knees to get the medals put on their necks—by Princess Anne, no less!
- During the men's 200m butterfly final in swimming, Canadian commentator Elliotte Friedman got Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte's lanes mixed up and consequently narrated the entire final as if Lochte was having the swim of his life. Whoops!
- Everywhere it was noted how the Brazilian crowds were rowdy, cheering loudly in every sport like it was a football game—especially when their own teams were competing—and eventually finding some underdogs to support. One particularly funny example involves Ecuatorian boxer Carlos Mina, whose surname led to an old hit becoming a Crowd Song—and probably helping Mina win two fights.
- For some reason, fencing loves using The Imperial March to bring the fencers in. Volleyball used the song to score challenges against referee decisions.
- After Joseph Schooling won the men's 100m butterfly final in swimming, many more people around the worldnote started punning on his surname with statements like "Michael Phelps got schooled." Singapore's Ministry of Education also jumped on the pun bandwagon when responding to Singaporeans asking for a public holiday to celebrate the country's first-ever gold medalnote .
- Usain Bolt finds time to smile to the camera◊ in the middle of his 100m semi-finals race. And to prank a reporter after winning the 200m.
- Andy Murray, after winning the gold medal, accidentally breaks his Rio ornament during the medal ceremony and tries to hide the evidence behind his back.
- Similarly, one of the presenters at the gold medal ceremony for men's basketball dropped and broke one of the trophies, with hilarious reactions from the players. Carmelo Anthony ended up being the man without.
- After winning the gold medal for Women's Freestyle 63k in wrestling, Risako Kawai flips her coach onto the mat twice, then carries him on her shoulders in a lap around the ring.
- The Brazil vs. Australia Women's Soccer knockout match was a tense game that was only decided in the shootouts. Just see what it did to Aussie captain Lisa De Vanna.
- Japanese supporters making their flag out of a department store bag◊.
- Mongolian wrestler Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran losing out on the bronze medal because of an early celebration causing him to get penalized for evading the grapple was not very funny. His coaches reacting to the judges' denial of their protests by flying into a rage and stripping off their clothes, in one case all the way down to the skivvies, on the other hand? Hilarious.
- Also, considering there was no way to throw contest flags, the coaches were tossing plushies of mascot Vinicius to argue with the referees!
- Spanish weight-lifter Lidia Valentín won the bronze medal in the 75kg category...and did this◊.
- At one point, Brazil was 13th on the medal table, with 6 golds, 6 silvers and 6 bronzes.
- Tokyo's promotional video for the 2020 Olympics in the closing ceremony has a skit where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is stuck in traffic and realizes he won't be able to get to Rio in time. So he turns himself into Marionote and gets assisted by Doraemon who builds, in the middle of the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, a Warp Pipe with a drilling component similar to the Spin Drill to burrow through the earth's core so he can get to Maracanã Stadiumnote . Then Prime Minister Abe makes his entrance through the Warp Pipe exit installed in the middle of the stadium, still wearing Mario's hat and clothes. The video also includes appearances from Captain Tsubasa, Pac-Mannote , and Hello Kitty.
- Nintendo later admitted that they chose to use Mario over any other franchise, partly because he's still the most recognizable face of Nintendo, and partly because they couldn't resist the 'MaRIO' pun.
- The tweets that resulted from Team GB athletes being given identical red bags and having difficulty finding their own bag after touching down at Heathrow.
- The actual medal ceremonies are held in front of the Olympic stadium in the evening. So what happens at the victory celebrations at the events themselves? They get adorable dolls of the Pyeongchang mascot Soohorang!
- The Norwegian team's catering staff accidentally ordered 15,000 eggs instead of 1,500.
- It was completely unsurprising but absolutely hilarious that the United States walked into the stadium to "Gangnam Style"
- As an added bonus, the kids dancing in the background had been doing fairly generic dance moves up until this point. What do they do when the chorus hits? Why, they start doing the horse galloping move of course!
- Red Gerard won the US its first gold of the games, but getting there was hilarious, according to this article. He overslept, and then had to borrow his roommate's jacket because he couldn't find his own. Oh, and he said 'shit' on international television.
- What are some of the athletes doing during their down time at Pyeonchang?
- Swiss skier Fabian Bösch shows everyone they've been taking the escalator wrong. Later, along with Swiss team head coach J.P. Furrer, Bösch invents an entirely new sport.
- American luger Chris Mazdzer, who won the silver medal at these games, displays his pizza-eating skills.
- Not wanting to interrupt Shoma Uno's press talk, countryman and fellow figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu decided the appropriate action was to crawl behind him.
- When you take out the painkillers part, everything Yuzuru Hanyu and his fellow Figure skaters did during the Gala Practice should count as that.
- After Australian aerial skier David Morris qualifies for the finals, the Australian reporter and colour commentator are standing in front talking about the upcoming finals. Just as the color commentator mentions David's name, he skis past them and gives a "whoop" as he does so!
- Norway's men's curling team-already well known for their outlandish and memetic pants-upped their game by wearing special Valentine's Day themed pants for the first day of round-robins...which was on February 14.
- Throughout the Canada vs. United States women's ice hockey gold medal match, Canadian ice dance gold medallist Scott Moir kept women's hockey fans smiling. For bonus funny, look at the reactions of fellow Canadian figure skaters Patrick Chan and Keegan Messing who are sitting on either side of Scott.
- Doping is a very serious violation and abuser should be punished. Nevertheless, many people couldn't help cracking jokes when someone in curling-not a very physically demanding sport-was caught doping.
- Speaking of curling, Niklaus Edin, knowing that there was no way Sweden could beat the United States, gives a little twirl as he launches his final stone before conceding.