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Funny / Pride and Prejudice

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  • The very opening lines of the novel are quite funny and rather snarky, being a Take That! towards the general population of England at the time.
    "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
    However little known the feelings of views of such a man may be on his first entering the neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some or one of their daughters."
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  • The part in the book (and the movies) when Mrs Bennet asks Mr Bennet to force Elizabeth to marry Mr Collins, only to have him turn around with this line:
    "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. —Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."
  • When Elizabeth relates Mr Wickham's tale of woe to Jane, Jane will not believe that Mr Bingley's dear friend Mr Darcy would be as cruel as described, and attributes the whole thing to a misunderstanding between the two men. Jane suggests that "interested people" have misrepresented Wickham and Darcy to each other, prompting a teasing reply from Elizabeth.
    "Very true, indeed; and now, my dear Jane, what have you got to say on behalf of the interested people who have probably been concerned in the business? Do clear them too, or we shall be obliged to think ill of somebody."
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  • After the whole mess with Lydia is settled, Mr. Bennet declares that Wickham is going to be his favorite of the husbands just for the entertainment value.
    "I defy even Sir William Lucas to produce such a son-in-law."
  • The scene at Netherfield where Mr Darcy is trying to write a letter to his sister and his Clingy Jealous Girl Caroline Bingley constantly interrupts him to compliment his handwriting, the evenness of his lines, observe how fast he writes, or add her own message to his sister... while remaining completely oblivious to her target's determination to ignore her as best as he can!
    • It's even funnier when you know that when she offers to "mend his pen", she's essentially offering to give him a hand job, "mending one's pen" being common slang for a hand job at the time. Which, in turn, makes Darcy's reply of "I always mend my own [pen]" downright hysterical.
  • There's also the scene where Mr Collins proposes and accepts Elizabeth's answers without her responding. She tries to turn him down gently, but he's not worried. He's heard that some women turn down proposals they plan on accepting. Sometimes even three times. It takes quite a while for her to convince him she's not going to marry him.
    • In fact, he still doesn't get it until she actually gets up and walks out of the room.
    • After leaving, she thinks that, if Mr. Collins still doesn't get it, she'll apply to her father "whose behavior, at least, could not be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of an elegant female."
  • While we're on the subject of Pride and Prejudice, there is a parody called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...
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  • Elizabeth is relieved when the militia leaves town and begins to hope "by the following Christmas, [Kitty] might be so tolerably reasonable as not to mention an officer above once a day, unless, by some cruel and malicious arrangement at the War-office, another regiment should be quartered in Meryton."
  • The book's best piece of Lemony Narration comes when Elizabeth runs into her least favorite person, Mr Darcy, during her walk through Rosings Park: "She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought; and to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him at first, that it was a favourite haunt of hers. How it could occur a second time, therefore, was very odd!" Cluelessness, thy name is Elizabeth.
  • Mr Darcy's first proposal, in its way, is hilarious. The fact that he went in there, laid down a laundry list of highly insulting reasons why proposing to Elizabeth would be a terrible mistake and a disgrace, and then still fully expects that she's going to say yes! Not only that, he accuses her of being uncivil when she is consequently quite chilly in declining. (He, of course, is just being honest.)
  • While discussing the sad affair of Bingley and Jane, Aunt Gardiner suggests that young men like Bingley are flighty in attraction. Elizabeth assures her that Bingley's feelings were most sincere, because he was starting to offend people by ignoring them in favor of Jane. "Is not general incivility the very essence of love?"
    • Elizabeth's views on love in general are often hilarious:
    Elizabeth: (regarding Wickham after he'd started courting someone else): "I am now convinced that I have never been much in love, for had I really experienced that pure and elevating passion, I should at present detest his very name and wish him all manner of evil."
  • After obtaining Mr Bennet's consent for the marriage, Elizabeth informs him that it was Darcy and not Mr Gardiner who saved Lydia. In his typical flippant fashion he is delighted with this news:
    "Had it been your uncle's doing, I must and would have paid him; but these violent young lovers carry everything in their own way. I shall offer to pay him to-morrow; he will rant and storm about his love for you, and there will be an end of the matter."
    • Then he concludes by sitting down and saying "If any young men call for Mary or Kitty, send them right in."
  • Lydia and Wickham's imposition on the rest of their family. First, she has the brass nerve to ask Elizabeth (the new Mrs Darcy) for money. Though of course Mr Wickham could never call on Pemberly, they did stay often at Netherfield whenever they had to find new lodgings (which was often) and so outstayed their welcome that Bingley would actually talk of, maybe, giving them a hint to leave.
  • Georgiana, though she quickly came to love Elizabeth as a sister, was at first astonished to hear the "lively, sportive" way that she spoke to Darcy — wives can take liberties with their husbands that their little sisters cannot.
  • All of Elizabeth's responses to Lady Catherine are as hilarious as they are awesome. The girl is the queen of Deadpan Snarkery:
    Lady Catherine: I was told, that not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married, but that you, that Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would, in all likelihood, be soon afterwards united to my nephew, my own nephew, Mr Darcy. Though I know it must be a scandalous falsehood; though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the truth of it possible, I instantly resolved on setting off for this place, that I might make my sentiments known to you.
    Elizabeth: If you believed it impossible to be true, I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. What could your ladyship propose by it?
    Lady Catherine: At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted.
    Elizabeth: Your coming to Longbourn, to see me and my family, will be rather a confirmation of it...

    Lady Catherine: Has he, has my nephew, made you an offer of marriage?
    Elizabeth: Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible.
    Lady Catherine: It ought to be so; it must be so, while he retains the use of his reason. But your arts and allurements may, in a moment of infatuation, have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. You may have drawn him in.
    Elizabeth: If I have, I shall be the last person to confess it.

    Lady Catherine: Do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends, if you wilfully act against the inclinations of all. You will be censured, slighted, and despised, by every one connected with him. Your alliance will be a disgrace; your name will never even be mentioned by any of us.
    Elizabeth: These are heavy misfortunes. But the wife of Mr Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine.

    Lady Catherine: You are to understand, Miss Bennet, that I came here with the determined resolution of carrying my purpose; nor will I be dissuaded from it. I have not been used to submit to any person's whims. I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment.
    Elizabeth: That will make your ladyship's situation at present more pitiable; but it will have no effect on me.
    • The best part? Lady Catherine went right to Darcy and told him everything Elizabeth said. And Darcy is overjoyed. It "taught me to hope," he says, because if Elizabeth didn't want to marry him, she would have had no problem just saying "No, we're not engaged, and I wouldn't marry him if he were the last man on Earth." The fact that Elizabeth took the time to snark Lady Catherine into submission over how she would, in theory, have every right to marry Mr Darcy if she wanted, is what gives Darcy the courage to try proposing to her again.
  • When Mr Collins first writes to Mr Bennet, he admits that he was unsure about it for a long time— Mr Bennet and Mr Collins' father had quarreled in the past, and while Mr Collins was sorry about that, he was afraid that it might be disloyal of him to extend an olive-branch to someone it had always "pleased [his father] to be at odds with."
  • At the Netherfield ball, while dancing with Darcy and talking animatedly, Elizabeth comments that they're both of "an unsocial taciturn disposition."
  • When Mrs. Bennet is lamenting the entail for the umpteenth time, and predicting that she and the girls will be turned out of the house the moment Mr. Bennet is dead, Mr. Bennet offers her this (unappreciated) consolation:
    Mr. Bennet: "Let us flatter ourselves that I may be the survivor."
  • The second best Lemony Narration in Chapter 28's descriptions of Hunsford:
    After sitting long enough to admire every article of furniture in the room, from the sideboard to the fender, to give an account of their journey, and of all that had happened in London, Mr. Collins invited them to take a stroll in the garden,...
    Here, leading the way through every walk and cross walk, and scarcely allowing them an interval to utter the praises he asked for, every view was pointed out with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind.
    ...Charlotte took her sister and friend over the house, extremely well pleased, probably, to have the opportunity of showing it without her husband's help.
    When Mr. Collins could be forgotten, there was really a great air of comfort throughout, and by Charlotte's evident enjoyment of it, Elizabeth supposed he must be often forgotten.
  • When Jane discovers that Elizabeth is now engaged to Mr. Darcy, she can't believe it, asking for reassurance that they are truly in love. Elizabeth delivers this gem:
    Elizabeth: Why, I must confess that I love him better than I do Bingley. I am afraid you will be angry.

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