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Funny / Penny Dreadful

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • As Dr. Frankenstein says in the pilot, "Well, it appears you have an Egyptian man of no particular age who, at some point in his indeterminate lifespan, decided to sharpen his teeth, cover himself in hieroglyphics and grow an exo-skeleton...or you have something else altogether."
  • Just about everything the delightfully camp and eccentric Professor Lyle says in his first scenes.
    • Especially his way of getting the guests of his party to listen to his announcement.
    Lyle: Look at me now! Look at me!"
  • While Vanessa's possession is pretty freaky during the seance, Dorian's reactions are pretty hilarious. He is extremely confused and dumbfounded by what's going on, and considering the kind of story he's from, he really shouldn't be.
    • More like he'd dumbfounded that he'd been so completely wrong in sizing her up earlier, as he'd totally failed to pick up on Vanessa's having something way, way bizarre going on inside.
    • Consider also how this must look to some of the partygoers who don't quite buy the whole "seance" idea. To their eyes, Vanessa has just straight-up flipped her shit for no good reason in front of everyone. You can almost hear them whispering, "Awkwaaaaard."
  • Bit of Fridge Funny: Vanessa tells Ethan to ask a policeman if he can't find the address where he's to meet her for "night work." Said address just happens to be an opium den, which Ethan's going to be asking a cop how to find.
  • Victor walking in on Malcolm torturing Fenton for information on his master, to which he comments, "It seems I'm late to the party."
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  • Caliban is something of a Deadpan Snarker: when he asks Victor to name what people desire most of all, and the reply is 'love', he smiles sourly and quips, "Top marks."
  • Episode 4 features one of the darkest bits of Black Comedy ever: Malcolm and Victor are unsure what to feed their vampire/ghoul prisoner, Fenton. At that moment, Sembene walks between them carrying and petting a cat. He then snaps the cat's neck and gives it to Fenton before turning and walking away, completely unfazed the whole time. Victor and Malcolm just stare silently with "Well, I guess that solves that" faces.
  • Ethan and Victor are squabbling like children, calling each other arrogant (Victor) and thin-skinned (Ethan) until Malcolm steps between them and says, "Gentlemen, is there not enough tension in this house?"
  • Ethan's surprisingly lucid analysis of Vanessa's condition in "Possession":
    Ethan: What's wrong with her?
    Sir Malcolm: She's been possessed by the Devil.
    Ethan: ...Oh, fuck me.
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  • Ethan and Victor getting carried away by excitement during Victor's lesson in firearms, and Ethan's quip when Sembene comes down to chide them about the noise that "Dad" (Sir Malcolm) isn't pleased about it.
  • Days of stress about Vanessa's condition wear on everyone's nerves so much that even courteous, soul-of-a-poet Victor starts to swear, including at the priest brought in to offer her last rites. Even as Sir Malcolm grimly escorts the Father in to see her, Victor can be seen grinning in the background, as if realizing for the first time in his life that cussing someone out can be satisfying.
    • In general, hearing Victor swear is incredibly funny — he clearly takes a lot of pleasure in it, but his crisp enunciation gives the vibe that he hasn't done it much before and the effect is like a well-behaved schoolboy dropping an F-bomb for the first time and wanting to be sure he used it right.
  • While most of Vanessa's supernatural episodes in "Possession" are terrifying, the final one features Victor getting telekinetically flung from the room, accompanied by a comical door slam.
  • This exchange in "Grand Guignol" when Vanessa offers Ethan a smoke:
    Ethan: "I don't take tobacco."
    Vanessa: "Neither do I."
  • Ethan's face after Vanessa scares off the witches simply by speaking in tongues at them. Perhaps the most perfect expression of WTF ever put to screen.
  • Evelyn's perfectly bitchy "Did she mumble?" after her minion tells her Vanessa spoke in Verbis Diablo, but she didn't know what Vanessa said.
  • All of Lyle flirting with Ethan (and Ethan's good-natured flirting back) in "Verbis Diablo".
    Lyle: Will you bring your gun belt?
    Ethan: Both guns.

    Lyle: My heart is fluttering like mad - feel my pulse.
    Ethan: Now don't swoon on me.
    Lyle: Oh, Mr. Chandler, how you talk!
  • The entirety of Victor going clothes shopping with Vanessa. Victor's awkwardness and Vanessa's good-natured teasing make this scene hysterical.
    • From the same episode ("Above the Vaulted Sky"), there's the button on the interrogation scene in Inspector Rusk's office — having been smoking a cigarette and blowing the smoke every which way between questions (itself rather funny), Rusk offers to show his prime suspect outside, noting that he hardly gets any fresh air in his office...
  • Vanessa explains that after the Cut-Wife incident she hates trees. All trees. Ethan responds by chopping down every tree in sight.
  • In "And Hell Itself My Only Foe", upon the discovery that Vanessa has gone by herself to battle the witches:
    Sembene: She's gone.
    Ethan: Oh, for fuck's sake!
    • Lyle gets a fantastically snarky "Oh, surely you jest" to Ethan when handed a gun.
    • Then Ethan hands him a much smaller gun.
    • Lavinia Putney reveals her true colors to Caliban/John Clare by quipping, "Not everyone shares your mania for poetry."
  • Lyle to one of the witches (after shooting her):
    "Never underestimate the power of a queen with lovely hair, my dear."
  • Darkly funny, but Dorian seemingly channeling Jay Gatsby after Victor tries to shoot him and Lily:
    "You'll have to do better than that, old sport."
  • Lyle, when he recommends psychotherapy for Vanessa's depression, from his own personal experience.
    "The proof is in the pudding... and here I am."
    • Also his reaction when he see how trashed the house has become. While the line itself is fairly predictable, his delivery completely sells it.
    "I love what you've done with the place!"
  • Werewolf Ethan meeting naked witch Hecate for the first time. She looks ready to jumps his bones and he seems to be considering whether or not to eat her.
  • Kaetenay's reply of "yes" to Malcolm's query as to whether all of his people speak enigmatically becomes Fridge Funny, when you realize that it rates as a bit of a Logic Bomb (because it's not enigmatic at all).
  • Patti LuPone's Doctor Seward and her fabulously dry response to Vanessa's ranting that she's exactly like Joan:
    Vanessa: Only without the kindness!
    Seward: And the abortions.
  • Everything about Renfield in general after he becomes, well, The Renfield. He couldn't be more twitchy and over the top if he tried.
    • His brief look of nervous consideration right before he catches and eats a fly is gold.
    • Along with the gleeful look on his face as he listens to all of Vanessa's darkest secrets on Dr. Seward's cylinders. Especially when Vanessa confesses that she had sex with Mina's fiancé.
  • Dr. Seward is back at it, with her reasoning of why Vanessa should go out with Dr. Sweet:
    Vanessa: He'll think I'm mad!
    Seward: I'll write you a note.
  • Malcolm's reaction to Kaetenay saving him from one of Ethan's father's Mooks, after having previously been left for dead:
    "I knew you were too mean to die!"
  • The tired-looking, barely-tolerating-your-shit expression on Dracula's face as he pries more information out of Renfield in "No Beast So Fierce."
    • His blank expression as Vanessa tells him, the creature who is hunting her (unbeknownst to her), about himself.
    • His look of irritation when Vanessa's gaze lingers for a little too long on a taxidermy wolf.
  • Renfield gets another one in the penultimate episode when he "hands in his resignation" to Dr. Seward.
  • Dracula coldly gives the heroes a final ultimatum. As they quietly debate whether to fight against the vampire horde or submit, Dr. Seward sums it up perfectly: "Fuck him!"


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