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- Poirot and Japp's Snark-to-Snark Combat often falls into this.
The Adventure of the Clapham Cook
- Hastings reads various cases in the newspaper. Poirot is more concerned about a grease spot on his suit.
- "Merely because a man does not offer you a drink, Hastings, does not mean that he is necessarily guilty of other crimes."
Murder in the Mews
- Poirot is very annoyed by his uncomfortable shirt collar.Poirot: Why do we not do something constructive about my collars, Miss Lemon? That laundry is in the pay of my enemies.
Miss Lemon: The trouble is, Mr. Poirot, they just don't understand the letters.Poirot: Why not?Miss Lemon: They're Chinese, Mr. Poirot.
- Later Poirot wants to send the launderers a letter of complaint. His remarks to Miss Lemon indicate this is just one of many letters he's sent them about the same thing. Then Miss Lemon tells him why his shirts are still uncomfortable.
Poirot: A turndown collar is the first symptom of decay of the grey cells!
- Miss Lemon explains why she can't tell the launderers what the problem is: she doesn't speak Chinese. And they can't understand her awful attempt at explaining it to them.
- Hastings suggests Poirot start wearing turndown collars. Poirot is appalled.
- Japp gives Freddie sixpence for his information. Freddie asks if he could give him a shilling instead, to Japp's exasperation.
The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly
- Miss Lemon has a new filing system for the records of Poirot's cases. She explains which cases are kept in which cabinets to a less-than-impressed Poirot.Miss Lemon: Abduction. Addiction. Adultery, see also under "marriage". Bigamy, see also under "marriage". Bombs.Poirot: See also under "marriage"?
- "We must not try to walk before we can jump."
- Hastings brings torches for himself and Poirot. Unfortunately the torch he gives Poirot stops working while they're in the tunnel. Poirot looks very annoyed about it.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
- Poirot's views on cricket. "I know not of any other game where even the players are unsure of the rules."
- Bonnington, about Henry Gascoigne: "I'd say he'd been here since the Queen died."
Poirot: I think not. Unless of course he thinks the old man would benefit from indigestion.
- Bonnington suggests a doctor told Gascoigne to change his diet.
- Hastings is not impressed by the pictures at the art display. When told one is called "Man Throwing a Stone at a Bird" he snarks, "Which is which?"
The Third Floor Flat
- In an attempt to cure his cold Poirot leans over a bowl of steaming water. He grumbles that it's an undignified method of curing anything, and now he has the backache too.
- As he's about to leave Poirot feels he's going to sneeze. So he takes out his hankie... and then he doesn't sneeze. He shrugs and walks away. Then, off-screen, he sneezes loudly.
- Poirot and Hastings are at a murder mystery play and Poirot bets Hastings that he knows who committed the crime during intermission, writing the name of the murderer of a piece of paper for Hastings to read later. During the reveal, Poirot suddenly becomes agitated as he realises he was mistaken and calls the writer of the play an imbecile. Confused, Hastings pulls out the paper.Chivers-The Butler
- Japp lampshades how close the murder was to Poirot's rooms.Japp: They'll be having murders in your back bedroom next, Poirot.
- The murderer steals Hastings' car then crashes it in his getaway attempt. The policeman who arrests him is worried about his injuries. Hastings is much more worried about his car.
Triangle at Rhodes
- Poirot is not happy with how the hotel maid packs his suitcase. He interrupts her, takes some things out of the suitcase, and then puts them back in himself.
Problem at Sea
- General Forbes tells Miss Henderson she should get some exercise. She sarcastically replies it's against her religion at this time of year.
- Hastings' obsession with clay pigeon shooting gets on Poirot's nerves.Poirot: Whatever is the use of me introducing you to nice young ladies if all you do is talk about the shooting of clay pigeons?
The Incredible Theft
- Hastings tries to study architecture and Bernini to impress a girl he's interested in. Unfortunately he can't make heads or tails of Bernini, and Poirot would rather talk about the proper care of leather shoes than discuss architecture.
- This episode has one of the funniest uses of There Is Only One Bed ever...and it's never even shown!
- To elaborate, Poirot is schmoozing with clients as part of a case, and has left Hastings in the local village to poke around. The local inn is so booked up that Hastings is left sharing a room/bed with Japp, who's also there. The next morning, Hastings relates that Japp talks in his sleep. Loudly. For added hilarity, the things he says include a warning that a criminal has a blancmange.
- Poirot needs a car to chase the criminal. Hastings' car is being repaired. So Poirot "borrows" a policeman's car.
The King of Clubs
- The episode starts on a film set with two actors woodenly reciting their lines, to Reedburn's dismay.Reedburn: Will someone please tell me what these actors are meant to be doing?
- Japp's reaction to seeing Poirot and Hastings at the scene of the crime.Japp: Dear oh dear. Here we go again.
- Miss Lemon is having trouble with the typewriter while Hastings talks about an advert for made-to-measure shoes.Miss Lemon: I don't suppose they've any made-to-measure typewriters in there, have they?
- "Hastings, to say that Benedict Farley makes pies is like saying that Wagner wrote semiquavers."
Poirot: No, horrible. But there are a great many of them.
- Hastings then asks if the pies are good.
- Miss Lemon helps Poirot solve the mystery by leaning out a window.. She's baffled when he exclaims, "Miss Lemon, you are beautiful!" and kisses her on the cheek.
Peril at End House
- During the flight Poirot has his eyes tightly shut and is clinging to the armrest for dear life. He's very annoyed when Hastings comments on the scenery, and refuses to open his eyes even when Hastings asks him what he thinks about it.Hastings: I don't think you've got any imagination at all, Poirot.Poirot: [opens his eyes and glares at him] That is true, mon ami. But fortunately you have enough for both of us.
- On arriving at the hotel Poirot says it'll be the perfect place for a restful vacation... then adds, "The food will be inedible."
- Poirot isn't happy when Hastings introduces him as a detective. He insists he's a great detective; the best in the world, in fact.
- A woman at the café feeds her dog from her own plate. Poirot stares in horror when he sees her.
- Hastings says Commander Challenger is the only person who can't be involved in the case.Poirot: You know, Hastings, you have the most extraordinary effect on me.Hastings: Really?Poirot: You have so strongly the flair in the wrong direction that I am almost tempted to doubt the commander.
- Hastings is scandalised to see Poirot searching for the will in a drawer of underwear. Women's underwear.Poirot: My poor Hastings, I've decided you belong to the Victorian era.
- Poirot's reaction to his breakfast.Poirot: I cannot eat these eggs. They are totally different sizes.
- Miss Lemon and Hastings discuss names that have many possible diminutives, like Elizabeth and Margaret. Japp arrives in the middle of the conversation. They ask what his first name is, and when he says it's James they start thinking of nicknames for him — nicknames like "Jimmy Japp" and "Jamie Japp". Poirot decides he's had enough and gets up to leave. After he and Japp have gone Hastings suggests "Herc" as a possible nickname for "Hercule".
- The best part? That seeming-pointless conversation helped Poirot solve the case!
- Miss Lemon and Hastings go to get ice cream. Miss Lemon brings one back for Japp, but not for Poirot.Miss Lemon: None for Mr. Poirot, because I read an article on the train about how ice cream is extremely bad for the little grey cells.Hastings: [holding two ice creams] And two for me because mine are dead already.
- Just before the above, the shot of Japp and Poirot sitting next to each other in beach chairs...wearing full three-piece suits.
The Veiled Lady
- The titular veiled lady asks Poirot to visit her at a hotel. She doesn't leave her name or room number, to Poirot's exasperation.Poirot: Is it any wonder that my business, it is crumbling about my eyes?
- The Humiliation Conga Poirot goes through after his failed attempt at burglary. First he's caught, and Hastings wisely smashes a window and runs, leaving Poirot to deal with the cop alone. Then the landlady reveals not only was she not fooled by Poirot's locksmith disguise, but she insists he's Chinese. Finally, after spending the night in lockup, Japp has to bail him out. Japp, used to Poirot getting the better of him over the years, has a little fun with the situation, telling the officer on duty that they've been trying to catch Poirot for years, and they don't know his real name, only his alias "Mad Dog".
- Earlier Poirot boasted that he would make a great criminal and the police would never be able to catch him. Naturally that just makes his humiliation even funnier.
- Poirot breaks the news about Lavington's death to Hastings, then adds the man was already dead when he came to visit them. After a while Hastings says their visitor must have been someone else.Poirot: Good, Hastings. Very good.
The Lost Mine
- The episode has two funny subplots, one of Poirot and Hastings playing Monopoly (with Poirot insisting that the rule prohibiting him from building a hotel at a railway station is wrong because plenty of real railway stations have hotels) and Poirot's bank account being overdrawn (with Poirot thinking the bank president has come to his flat to apologise for the obvious error in his accounts, when in fact it is to solicit Poirot's help in a missing-persons case). They end up coming together at the end, as the envelope Poirot had been using to tally his money in the game contains a cheque for £500 that should've been deposited ten days earlier.
- During the Monopoly game Poirot wins £10 in a beauty contest. He raises his eyebrows incredulously when Hastings tells him.
- Poirot pulls an I Never Said It Was Poison on the murderer with a sheet of paper. The murderer jumps to the conclusion it's the victim's passport. Poirot tells him it's actually the rules of Monopoly.
The Cornish Mystery
- Hastings goes through a bit of a phase where he's interested in various Asian cultures. This includes attempting meditation during a train ride... which leads to him falling asleep.
- Mrs. Pengelli comes to Poirot for help when she believes she's being poisoned. She says she's been suffering from gastritis as part of the poisoning. Hastings, who's been having indigestion, puts a hand on his stomach and looks briefly alarmed.
- Japp, who had been looking forward to a simple case, sees Poirot and Hastings are in the village.Japp: Oh no. Can't I have just one little murder case to myself?
- At the end of the episode Japp discovers Poirot has already solved the case and he now has to chase the real culprit. Poirot and Hastings wisely made themselves scarce just before a policeman gave Japp the news. Japp can only shout "Poirot!" and shake his fist at them as they drive away.
The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
- Hastings and Japp are enthralled by the magician's act. Poirot... isn't. And he gives the other two exasperated looks when they applaud.
- Poirot tries to teach himself magic tricks. He succeeds in making a playing card disappear and spends a few seconds puzzled at how he did it before managing to bring it back out again.
- Poirot gets a parrot while he's staying indoors to solve the case due to a bet with Japp. Hastings comes back to report and get information for Poirot, and during then, he pokes into the parrot's cage. This exchange then happens:
- Poirot: Please, do not fraternise with that creature. I am still training him.Hastings: It's just a parrot.Poirot: I was talking to the parrot.
- Japp mistakes Hastings for a suspect and attempts to question him. When he realises who he's speaking to the look on his face is priceless.
- Poirot says the suspect sounds unbearably vain, while carefully brushing his own moustache.
- Hastings attempts to deduce what happened to Mr. Davenheim. Poirot congratulates him on finally using his little grey cells, then adds his reasoning is "fallacious in every respect".
- Poirot is building a house out of cards when the phone rings. He answers, and the house promptly collapses.Japp: Ah, Poirot. Haven't caught you at a bad moment, I hope.Poirot: Believe me, my dear chief inspector Japp, if you had caught me at a bad moment I should certainly have told you. [Picks up the cards, revealing they're stuck together in the shape of a house]
- Poirot attempts a magic trick: making the parrot disappear. He drapes fabric over the cage, waves a magic wand, pulls the fabric off... and the parrot's still there.
- Poirot threatens to retire, to Hastings' alarm.Hastings: I'm worried about Poirot, Miss Lemon. He's talking about retirement.Miss Lemon: That's because he hasn't had an interesting case for five minutes. [...] That, and the fact someone said he was middle-aged.Hastings: Well, he's always been middle-aged. Have you seen that photo of him at his christening? He looks as though he's about to address a board meeting.Poirot: [opens the window behind Hastings] Who looks as if he's about to address a board meeting?Hastings: Oh— Ah— This fellow I know. Funny chap. Well, not funny, quite serious really. A company director.
- Japp gives a lecture on cases he's solved, with one shilling as the admission fee. Poirot snarks that a shilling is a lot of money to hear Japp talk.
- Hastings discovers Poirot has a newspaper clipping about Japp's tour. Poirot claims he was only interested in the other side. Hastings turns it over and reads the other side: "Learn to speak French like a Frenchman". Poirot looks awkwardly at the camera.
The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
- Japp, Hastings and Poirot go to the cinema to see a crime film. (A real film, incidentally.) Poirot closes his eyes during the climactic gunfight and keeps them closed after the film ends.Hastings: It's all over, Poirot. You can open your eyes now.
- As they leave Hastings says the FBI are second to none in criminal investigation. He quickly adds, "Except for Scotland Yard" when Japp glares at him.
- Burt's reaction to hearing Poirot is a distinguished detective: "And I suppose Al Capone's running for President."
- Japp complains Burt isn't what he expected of an FBI agent.Japp: He's taken over my office, my secretary, and my car.
The Kidnapped Prime Minister
- As soon as Poirot gets home Miss Lemon tells him a politician wants to see him at twelve. Poirot checks his watch and realises he has to leave immediately for the meeting. He sighs wearily as he puts his coat on again minutes after taking it off.
- Poirot reflects on the number of disappearances.Poirot: The prime minister disappears. Commander Daniels disappears. Monsieur Egan disappears. At any moment I fully expect the entire Cabinet to disappear.
The Adventure of the Western Star
- Poirot invites a famous Belgian film star to dinner. Hastings has never heard of her, to Poirot's disgust.Hastings: I didn't even know they made films in Belgium.Poirot: Why is it the fate of Hercule Poirot to live among such Philistines?
- Poirot complains that the last time he went to the barber he got an uneven haircut — one side was three millimetres longer than the other.
- Chief Inspector Japp's line to a local police officer:Chief Inspector Japp: (pulls out his warrant card) Scotland Yard. Twigez-vous?
- Hastings says the stories about the robberies are true. Japp retorts they're "as true as I'm riding this bicycle". While standing in a hotel lobby. Without a bicycle in sight.
- Hastings complains Poirot's investigation has cost Marie her husband.Poirot: A blackmailing, adulterous husband who is also the thief? That is such a great loss, Hastings.
Poirot: I have worked hard, Hastings, to prepare for you the delicious dinner. I have searched the shops for the exotic herbs. I have argued with the butcher who is a fool. I have beaten the escallops with the little mallet until my arm, he aches. And you sit there shovelling food in your mouth and writing in your little book!
- Then Poirot complains Hastings doesn't appreciate his dinner.
- After explaining the case Poirot ends with "Now close your little book and eat your dinner." He sounds exactly like an exasperated parent.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
- When he hears Cynthia works in a dispensary Hastings asks, "How many people have you poisoned?" Cynthia replies, "Hundreds."
- Poirot talks about scarlet pimpernels.Poirot: It is believed that when this flower is open, it is a sign of a prolonged spell of the fine weather. [Beat] It is seldom seen open in this country.
- Poirot and his compatriots make a truly terrible attempt to sing "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". At different speeds, in different keys, and possibly even to different tunes.
- A soldier, about the war games: "It's the second time I've been killed in a month."
- Poirot says Lawrence and Cynthia are in love. Hastings says he's sure Poirot's wrong. Cynthia and Lawrence announce their engagement immediately afterwards.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Miss Lemon wonders if Poirot is dyeing his hair. A bemused Hastings replies, "But he's a man!" Miss Lemon stares at him incredulously.
- Japp, to two of his policemen: "If there wasn't a lady present your ears would be burning so badly they'd boil what's left of your brains."
- The murderess attempts to kill herself by drinking weedkiller. She takes a huge swig, but nothing happens.Murderess: WHISKEY?!
Accomplice: (shrugging sheepishly) Sorry.
- The denouement of that episode is quite funny, as the eventual culprit, who has thus far acted quite normal in the episode, snaps as soon as Poirot reveals her guilt. The actress truly hams it up as it almost turns into a parody of the typical culprit's behaviour, screaming out the details of her murder and why she went through with it as she runs through the garden to attempt to escape the police officers who are stationed around her, with more appearing whenever she attempts an escape, until she's cornered and brandishes a pitchfork at them to threaten them. Then the bungled attempt at suicide detailed above happens. And it is a delight to watch.
- Hastings spends the entire episode sneezing. At first he thinks he has hay-fever. Towards the end he realises he's actually allergic to perfume. Poirot's perfume.
The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
- Poirot is horrified at the thought of going on a boat.Poirot: Hastings, it is twenty years ago that I came to this country in a boat across the Channel. Still I am not recovered.
- Hastings makes the mistake of asking what the food is.[Beat]Hastings: I think perhaps I'll go and have another lie-down.
The Plymouth Express
- Poirot isn't surprised to hear Hastings' news about the stock market — specifically, about shares in a mine.Poirot: Monsieur Hackett is what we call a congenital optimist. The only occasion on which we met, he assured me with the utmost certainty that it would not rain that afternoon because he was going to the garden party.Hastings: [rolling his eyes] Yes, I remember. It bucketed down.
- When Japp sees Poirot and Hastings with a pile of newspapers his first reaction is, "Looking for a job?"
- Japp, about Poirot: "About the only thing that'll cheer him up today is the discovery of a body in the lucky dip."
- Poirot struggles to move a box while Miss Lemon tells him he needs to exercise more. Then Hastings comes along and moves the box easily.
- Hastings asks if Poirot will need to use the bathroom in the next half-hour.
- Japp is in the hospital with some appendix trouble. While Poirot and Hastings visit him, the latter talks about his own appendectomy, noting how painful it was. Japp's face says it all.
- Poirot wants to distract the chemist, so he tells Hastings to talk to her. Hastings asks, "What about?"
- Poirot walks into the photo negatives Hastings has hung up.Poirot: I can't even walk into my own bathroom without walking into the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor
- A hotel owner calls on Poirot for help solving a murder. When Poirot and Hastings arrive they discover there hasn't been a murder at all. The hotel owner is an author writing a murder mystery and wants a detective's opinion. Poirot is not amused.
- Poirot describes the waxworks as "glorified scarecrows". Then he complains he hasn't seen one truly accurate likeness, immediately before seeing a waxwork of himself.
The Double Clue
- Hastings and Poirot go for a drive.Poirot: One can always tell when the summer, it is arrived.Hastings: It's in the air, eh?Poirot: No, Hastings, it is in the speed of your driving.
- Hastings and Miss Lemon tell Poirot about the results of their investigating. Poirot listens with an unimpressed expression.
- There's something funny about how Hastings of all people is the only one (except for Poirot, who already knows the truth) to spot the flaw in Vera Rossakoff's story.
The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
- Poirot praises the murder plot in Rigoletto. Hastings is more interested in the music.
- Hastings accuses Poirot of taking the case only because Lady Chatterton "buttered him up".Poirot: Do you think it is wrong, Hastings, to enjoy the compliments of the buttering, as you say?Hastings: No, but do you have to show it quite so much?
- Japp's doing his paperwork when Poirot comes to see him.Japp: Take a seat. I'll be with you— [makes a mistake in his typing] Oh, damn and blast it!
- Japp crumples up the paper and tosses it on his desk, next to several other crumpled sheets of paper.
- Japp's resigned reaction when Poirot asks for his help.Japp: I don't know why I bother sometimes. I might as well stay at home and do my garden. Who do you want me to arrest now?
- Poirot angrily corrects a man who calls him "a bloody little frog"... because "I am a bloody little Belgian".
The Theft of the Royal Ruby
- Poirot isn't happy to be dragged into the case. He doesn't hesitate to say what he thinks of the prince, pointing out how foolish he was to let the girl wear the ruby, unaware the prince himself has just walked in. He finishes with, "This is a matter, I think, not for Hercule Poirot. This is a matter, I think, for the commissioners in lunacy!" The prince's reaction? "I like this fellow. He's funny."
The Affair at the Victory Ball
- Poirot doesn't want to go to the Victory Ball... because he's busy rearranging his stamp collection in order of size.
- Hastings dresses up as The Scarlet Pimpernel, then asks Poirot how he looks.Poirot: Hastings, you look... [very long pause] incomparable.
- When he does go to the ball, Poirot doesn't wear a costume. Hastings protests he should wear one because everyone's supposed to go as someone famous.Poirot: Precisely.
- After the murder Japp grumbles so many people were near the scene of the crime that it'll take the Albert Hall to hold all the suspects.
- Poirot solves the crime during a radio broadcast. Shortly afterwards a BBC worker says they've got complaints about his accent "lowering the standard of spoken English". Poirot says he isn't surprised, then blames it on Japp's elocution.Poirot: I shall lend to the Chief Inspector my personal copy of "The English as She Should be Spoken".
The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge
- "Call yourself a gamekeeper? You can't even pass muster as a nursery-maid!"
- Poirot's over-dramatic reaction to catching a cold: "I am a corpse waiting to die!"
- Japp asks about Poirot's cold.Poirot: It is not a cold. It is a deadly fever.
The ABC Murders
- Poirot talks about his hopes for his next case and says it must be something "delicate" and "fine".Hastings: Anyone would think you were ordering dinner at the Ritz.
- Hastings brings home a stuffed crocodile as a present for Poirot. Poirot compliments it and says he doesn't mind the smell, while the look on his face says the exact opposite.
- Japp discovers the problem with asking neighbours if they saw anything.Japp: I've been trying to get a list of people who were seen coming in here.Hastings: No one's seen anybody?Japp: Oh, they've seen people, all right. Three tall men with furtive walks, four short men with black moustaches, two men with beards, three fat men, one man with a peculiar hat, and if I'm to believe what they say every one of them had a sinister expression.
- For added hilarity Poirot looks offended at the "short men with black moustaches" part.
- Poirot says self-importance is a characteristic he dislikes "more than any other". Hastings silently stares at him.
Death in the Clouds
- Poirot's fear of heights pops up again. He wraps himself up in a blanket, keeps his eyes closed as the plane takes off, and clings to the armrest when it's in the air. When the steward asks him if he's alright, he grumbles, "How can I be alright?"
- Japp's reaction to Poirot being at the scene of the crime. "Well, well. Seems you can't even fly on an airplane now without somebody getting murdered."
- Poirot pokes holes in Japp's theory.Poirot: To be able to blow the poisoned dart from one end of the cabin to the other? First, [Lady Horbury] must have a lot of puff. Secondly, her aim must be as good as that of Fred Berry himself. And finally, she must have been able to become invisible so that no one on the plan saw her do it.
- Poirot isn't impressed with Norman's fake moustache.Norman: [adjusting his moustache] That alright?Poirot: No. It is terrible.Norman: No one will recognise me. That's what you wanted, wasn't it?Poirot: Yes, but I did not intend that you should look like Santa Claus.
- Minutes later Poirot snarks, "Do not worry. Hercule Poirot will make you look like a human being again."
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
- In his first appearance in this episode Poirot walks slowly and sombrely into a building. Turns out he's just going to the dentist. Then the dentist tells him to sit down. Poirot slowly approaches the chair with more reluctance than he usually shows when examining a murder scene.
- After questioning Mabelle, Japp has only one thing to say: "Blimey!"
- Poirot ordering lunch on a train:
- Japp isn't too excited about his Christmas since he will be spending it with his wife's family in Wales and dreads the notion of all of them breaking into song. Sure enough, the next time we see him they are all cheerily singing "Ding Dong Merrily on High" while he sits in a corner looking so done with it all. Then Poirot comes by to recruit him for help with the ongoing case:Japp: What are you doing here, Poirot?
Poirot: I've come to rescue you, mon ami.
Evil Under the Sun
- The episode begins with Poirot being rushed to the hospital. The diagnosis is that he's fine but medically obese. Later it's revealed that he also had a touch of food poisoning from Hastings' restaurant.Poirot: I demand a second opinion!
- "She was murdered, but not by these disgusting sandwiches." Extended later during the Summation Gathering with Dr. Lord and Mr. Winters, when Poirot makes a big show of tasting the sandwiches... only to twist his face and blurt out "It was bad enough the first time!" afterwards.
- Poirot's match-making at the end of "The Clocks":[After Sheila has bid Poirot farewell with only a longing look at Colin]
Poirot: [with a sigh of exasperation] Do I have to tell you to go after her?
Colin: [sounding like a teenager being nagged by his dad] No...
Poirot: Good. So go after her.