- During the introductory scene:
- We see different people immersed in the OASIS, including one mom trying to sneak up on another player while her child keeps distracting her. Note that in the background, you can see that whatever is on the stove is catching fire.
- During the same scene, we see one player, an Asian businessman, get zeroed out, and his reaction is to take a sprint for the nearest window before being tackled by a coworker. Yes, he was playing at work. Naturally, this is an Ironic Echo to the opening song, Van Halen's "Jump".
- As Wade extols the virtues of the OASIS, he mentions the Casino planet, and how you can "lose all your money, get married, get divorced... [the camera lingers on a giant neon sign reading "motel" in flashing letters above a pair of shushing lips] ...you can go in there."
- In the opening prologue introducing us to Halliday, he instructs that if the board members look under their chairs, they will find ...nothing.
- For the racing challenge, Aech has saved Parzival a spot at the front of the line. Parzival, being broke, decides to take a spot at the back so he can collect coins from players who get zeroed out in the dangerous race. Aech remarks on how unbelievably tacky this is.
- During the race, as the Batmobile spins out of control trying to avoid Kong, the skid noises are to the tune of the Batman (1966) theme.
- Parzival meets Art3mis, a famous female gunter whom he clearly is infatuated with. When her bike is wrecked (and she is nearly zeroed out), he volunteers Aech to help fix it.
- The following scene is Parzival trying to impress Art3mis by showing off all of the cool stuff in Aech's workshop. Aech, very annoyed, demands that Parzival stop showing off Aech's stuff, and tells Art3mis that Parzival gets nervous around "pretty girls". Aech's scanner later shows that Parzival's heart is racing like he's in the middle of a fight, while Art3mis, clearly not impressed, has her heart running at a very sedate pace.
- Art3mis undoing Parzival's special effects on his hair that makes it inexplicably move like it's being wind-blown.
- In the flashback where Halliday is telling Morrow about his date, the former says his date wanted to go dancing. "So we went to a movie." (Beat) Morrow asks him "..And?" As though expecting that his friend really did take the girl dancing afterwards.
- During the montage of the rest of the High Five winning the Copper Key, Parzival mentions that Sho had a little trouble...and we are treated to the ninja being on fire, as is his car. And then the car explodes. Which is all even funnier since it's left to our imagination how Sho managed to catch his car on fire when we had seen from Parzival's run that the backwards route had absolutely no obstacles.
- Also, Aech's little victory dance before he claims the clue to the next key.
- Part of Sorrento's Establishing Character Moment is him giving a presentation on his plans for the OASIS once IOI takes control of it. His cheerful declaration that testing has shown that they can utilize up to eighty percent of the user's field of vision for advertisements before inducing seizures Crosses the Line Twice.
- When another board member points out that investors won't be happy because a non-Sixer won the Copper Key first, Sorrento responds, "It's not our job to make them happy, it's our job to make them money."
- Parzival becomes instantly famous after completing the first challenge. While being mobbed by fans, he is grabbed and dragged off by Goro, who pulls him into a secluded hidden area before a Chest Burster suddenly busts out of his chest in Parzival's face. Cue Goro, Chest Burster and all, transforming into Art3mis with a Chest Burster sock puppet making silly chomping noises. Arty thinks its hilarious. Parzival, less so.
- When she offers Parzival a suit to help his "Clark Kent" appearance and avoid detection, he adamantly refuses. No prizes for guessing what he's wearing in the next scene. Arty's smirk as he looks back at her walking entirely unconcerned right behind him is just icing.
- After Art3mis asks Parzival out on a date, the latter holds out his hand to the Curator for a hi-five. The Curator just walks away, stating, "I don't do that."
- While preparing for his date with Art3mis, Parzival goes through a Costume-Test Montage while Aech snarks at him the entire time.Aech: Buckaroo Banzai?? You're gonna wear the outfit from your favorite movie? Don't be that guy!
Parzival: I am that guy!
- Also in the same scene, when Parzival mentions how much he's in love with Art3mis, Aech warns that it's not a good idea to crush on someone over the internet. "She could be a 300-pound dude who lives in his momma's basement in suburban Detroit. (Beat) ...And her name is Chuck."
- The entire The Shining challenge.
Aech: You think Art3mis is pissed at me?!Parzival: I'M pissed at you! You've never seen The Shining?!Aech: You KNOW I hate scary movies!
- Aech never saw the movie, and nervously asks if it's scary. The next few minutes are prime Black Comedy as Aech stumbles blindly through a terrifying VR version of the film.
- This is especially funny for those who are familiar with "The Shining" and all its iconic references. For instance, Aech wanders off to follow a tennis ball aimlessly rolling off somewhere. Then, Aech sees the twin girls down the hall. ...and innocently asks them if they know where to find the key.
- When Aech asks Sho if "The Shining" is scary, Sho's response is "I have to watch the movie through my fingers."
- Icing on the cake: we later learn Sho's an 11-years-old kid.
- The exchange between Parzival and Aech after they rescue him from the frozen hedge maze is brilliant.
- When the High Five find the Gold Room, they enter, take in the new surroundings...and a cut shows Aech is still outside. Parzival has to yank him inside the room.
- Art3mis figures out how to solve the challenge, by asking Kira to dance. The adorkable face Art3mis makes while doing so sells the scene. Not to mention that she had to jump on the floating dancing zombies like a platform jumping game to get to Kira.
- A later scene shows the Sixers' War Room as they go through the same challenge, and we see all of the players in their VR harnesses spazzing out and screaming in response to every conceivable horror inside the hotel. They're dropping like flies just trying to survive in the game, in comparison to Aech who survived on luck. This could also count as a hilarious real-life look at how players react when they play a horror virtual reality game.
- Not to mention Sorrento's reaction to the whole thing.
- I-R0k is a very dangerous and skilled individual inside the OASIS. He is also the token comic relief among the villains, constantly complaining about a neck injury and trading snarks with Sorrento, who clearly doesn't fit in with the OASIS gamer culture. The juxtaposition of having the imposing I-R0k be voiced by comedian T.J. Miller further compounds this.
I-R0k: Here he is, the Steampunk Pirate King. I knew him well, Sorrento. There are only three things in this world I hate: steampunk, pirates, and tabbouleh. I mean, why do we even have it?
- The very first scene, Sorrento asks I-R0k how he's doing, to be polite. I-R0k answers honestly that he has a pain in the neck, so if Sorrento could walk just a bit to the right...
- Then he shows the skull of the "Steampunk Pirate".
I-Rock: Three times my normal fee.
- While hiding behind the Orb of Osuvox's shield, I-R0k is asked how long it should last. He pretends to count it up and answers 10,000,000 years. "So, yeah, I think we're good." Then it fails.
- When the entire OASIS community arrives to fight IOI, I-R0k pats Sorrento's shoulder and says with genuine comfort "No man is a failure who has friends." It's simply ironic that I-R0k is using a good guy's quote when they're the bad guys. There's also how Sorrento angrily shrugs it off, as though either thinking "I am not a failure!" or "I hardly think Clarence was talking about facing a virtual army when he said that!"
- When Sorrento hires I-R0k to hunt Parzival, I-R0k gives a ridiculously large price. Sorrento immediately agrees. I-R0k realizes that he could have asked for more and ineffectually tries to haggle for more money as Sorrento walks away.
I-R0k (as Sorrento walks away): Wait, really? I should have asked for five. Is four still on the table?
- Sorrento has a very high-end OASIS rig, complete with his password written on a sticky note left in plain sight. The password? B055man69. He doesn't even think to hide it when he invites Wade for a virtual conference in his office.
- Later, Samantha tries to use it to find the magic words to undo the Orb of Osuvox. While looking for it, she finds a setting for yoga exercises for.. something. Samantha quickly swipes it away with a disgusted/annoyed expression.
- After Sorrento figures out that the High Five have hacked his rig, he logs out and looks around his office, his head popping up from behind his rig like a wary prairie dog.
- The film takes a moment during the final battle to cut to F'Nale observing the public in the real world, who are all in the streets making fighting motions and such at thin air while wearing VR goggles.
- Helen (Aech) recognizing Art3mis as Samantha when she spots a girl with "red hair, IOI uniform, looks like she doesn't know what planet she's on. Yup. That's her."
- During the final battle, Parzival super-kicks Sorrento in the groin. When Sorrento exits the OASIS, we see that he's still affected by it as indicated by a large red glow on his suit codpiece, which is the very first part of the suit Sorrento removes.
- Later, when he sees that Parzival got an extra life, he gets a call from F'Nale and responds in a joyless, deadpan voice "Tell me something good."
- There's something funny about how several times during the melee, whenever Sixers are killed en masse, they cut to the War Room floor where you can see them in the real world getting logged out, turning red and going limp, in the exact same patterns they were wiped out in.
- The High Five team utilizes Chucky during the epic battle on Planet Doom, and tosses him at an unfortunate Sixer:
- When Parzival finally finishes the last challenge, he has a hard time grabbing the key because he's using a VR rig inside of a van in the middle of a high-speed chase. Anorak begins snarking at him when he takes too long to grab the key. Once he finally has the key, he's having a hard time getting it into the lock for the same reason, unknown to the millions of people watching him live. One IOI employee can be seen yelling at him in frustration for taking too long to just turn the key.
- And then to top it all off, all the thrashing within the van nearly causes Parzival to press the button that would shut the entire system down. Anorak snarkily advises him to try to not accidentally delete the OASIS on his first day.
- This exchange between Wade and Samantha:Samantha: How come you're still playing?Wade: (zoned out) Extralife, longstory, sorryIshotyou.
- When Samantha meets Sho in person:Xo: What? Do I have to wear a sign saying "I am eleven years old. Shoot me first"? No, thanks.
Samantha: Dude, give me a hug!
Xo: Ninjas don't hug!
Wade: "You're the world's most badass eleven-year-old."
- The exchange with Wade was golden too:
Toshiro: "He knows"
Xo: "Shut up! Let him tell me!"
- Art3mis takes down Mechagodzilla with an exploding Madball. And when Sorrento's avatar explodes, it's Black Comedy in the highest form.
- The comically massive amount of loot I-R0k drops when he's zeroed out by Sorrento activating the Cataclyst, which includes the sound of a piano hitting the ground. As well as the visual of coins spewing out of his body when his arm is cut off. He wasn't lying.
I-R0k: Wait, I thought you were bluffing. You know that kills all of us, right? I've got ten years worth of shit inside me!
- Even better, when Sorrento threatens to use the weapon and then arms it...
I-R0k: I'm not going out like this, that is a camper move! You don't even know how to activate an Orb!
- During the speed chase between Sorrento's IOI van and Helen's van, Wade (who is being shaken around in the OASIS by the happenings of the real world) asks if they're in trouble. Helen's response? "Just practicing my Mario Kart. What do you think?! IOI's trying to kill us!"
- As the shaking keeps throwing Wade and his avatar off his feet, Halliday's avatar snarkily asks him if he wants the key or not.
- During Wade and Samantha's Big Damn Kiss, young Sho watches with curiosity, before Toshiro turns the boy around to avert his gaze.
- When Sorrento is arrested, F'Nale happens to be in the patrol car as well, also handcuffed. When Sorrento starts talking to her about their next move, she just socks him.
- In a meta sense, the fact that after its cameo, the Field Repair E-Frame starts pulling double duty as a "stock" Humongous Mecha in large battle scenes. It brings up some interesting Fridge Logic as to why that particular Exoframe has gotten so prolific.
Funny / Ready Player One (2018)