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The Dresden Files are what happen when a badass nerd with a stupid sense of humor narrates an Urban Fantasy/horror series. Or, to put it another way, Hilarity Ensues.

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  • Any conversation between Harry and Bob. Especially when Bob comes into line of sight with any attractive women.
    • There's also Harry's neverending bewilderment over Bob's skull performing things it shouldn't be able to, like whistle, clear the throat he doesn't have, and so on.
  • There's also pretty much anything involving Toot-toot.
    • When Harry promises to promote Toot-toot to Major-General of the Guard:
      If a glowing exclamation point had appeared above his head, it wouldn't have surprised me.
  • Whenever Harry tries to say something in Latin. Stupid Correspondence Course.
  • Whenever Harry knows he's about to get in trouble with sex, he uses ice water to kill the mood. The first time, he poured a cup of ice water directly onto his crotch to avert some bad decisions. The second time he managed to pour it on the woman in question and turn it into a Heartwarming Moment in their relationship.
  • Harry consistently wonders if some of his enemies have read the Evil Overlord List.
    • According to Word of Jim "Gentleman" John Marcone would roll his eyes if he read the list.
  • In one of the short stories Harry watches Consummate Professional Gard go all berserkergang on a grendelkin with the words "enough talk!". This becomes the battlecry of his RPG barbarian character.
  • Jim's 2015 April Fool's prank, which justifies the following sentence:
    Brandon Sanderson was kind enough to hook me up with the xenobiologists who grew his hybrid army of alien writer clones, but until these pupae mature, I'm just one man.
    • Said prank involved very rationally explaining that he would be taking a hiatus to write all the remaining books at once and then releasing them one after another once he was done, six months apart. Oh, and the hiatus was going to take about twelve years. Fans were screaming "EEEEEVIIIIILLLL!!!" before and after they figured it out.
  • The official trailer for Peace Talks is first released in mid-March 2020. On April 1st, an alternate cut is released showing Harry now wearing a hat. This refers to the continual joke that Harry is given a classic Private Investigator hat on all the covers but doesn't usually wear one in the story. However it's not just one hat. Every scene it changes to a different hat. A partial list includes Indiana Jone's famous hat, a sombrero, the Sorting Hat, a deerstalker, the Cat in the Hat's tall red-and-white striped hat, a fez, and lastly, one of the only hats he has worn in the books, a Burger King crown. The trailer ends with how "Peace Toques" and then "Hattle Ground" will be released later this year.

    Short Stories 
B is for Bigfoot
  • Harry's reaction when he discovers that his client is, in fact, a bigfoot.

I Was a Teenage Bigfoot

Something Borrowed

  • Harry making it clear he's not going to be talked down to and insulted by Billy's stepmother-in-law:
    "Though you obviously aren't Georgia's mother. Howsabout I call you trophy wife? (...) Bed warmer? Mistress made good? Mid-life crisis byproduct? When in doubt, go with the classics. Gold digger."
  • Also:
    Murphy: What happens if he marries a faerie?
    Harry: Conservatives get real upset.
  • And the part where Murphy and Bob finally meet, while looking at Billy and Georgia's trashed apartment.
    Bob: Hey, the cute blonde! Did you do her, Harry? *looks around at the destroyed apartment* Wow. You did! Way to go, stud!
    • Later, Bob finds a naked Georgia in Murphy's car.
      Bob: First you get demolition-level sex with the cop chick, and now a threesome, all in the same day! Harry, you have to write Penthouse about this!
  • At the end of the story:
    Murphy: Not exactly a fairy-tale wedding.
    Harry: Sure it was. It had an evil stepmother and everything.


  • Thomas provides the best description of Harry, ever.
    He's Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull.
  • When Harry's complaining about how his latest case went to hell. Thomas, who actually knows what happened and was partially responsible for said case going to hell, somehow manages to keep a straight face.
    Harry: You know, Thomas, sometimes I feel completely unappreciated.
    Thomas: Wow. What's it like?
    • Less from actually knowing and causing the case to go to hell and more being told his little brother feels unappreciated when he just disguised himself as hammy villain, took a rather painful blow from said brother and killed the true villain before she hurts Harry, all in order to protect him from harm and possibly deadly knowledge.
  • After Thomas almost gets himself killed, and he reflects on how close he was to death:
    Harry had occasionally accused me of being reckless and overconfident—which is, believe me, hypocrisy of a staggering magnitude.
  • While visiting Harry's apartment, Thomas notes that for some reason, Harry turned into a major neat freak several years ago but won't talk about why. Those who have read Summer Knight cracked up.

Day Off

  • Two words: Darth Wannabe.
  • Harry is trying to deal with two werewolves with psychic parasites flirting with/attacking him and Molly keeps distracting him by yelling increasingly alarming questions from the lab about fire extinguishers and acid while smoke billows out.
  • Anastasia walks in while Harry is trying to give CPR to Molly—who is topless at the time—and Harry starts stammering that it is NOT what it looks like. She looks around and laughs, before saying she has no clue what this looks like and simply must know how it happened.
  • "But it's my day off!" - Which doubles as a shout out to Clerks.
  • Courtesy early in the morning:
    "Molly," I said politely, "I can't stand the sight of you. Please go away."

The Warrior


  • Harry has spent too much time with the Fey:
    Donovan: My clients have authorized me to commission your services on this matter, if it can be done quickly—and with the utmost discretion.
    Harry: Mr. Donovan, no one does discretion like me.
  • "Weregoats."

Last Call

Bigfoot On Campus

  • Thanks to the narrative style, this story opens with Harry under arrest, shivering with cold, sipping a cup of coffee and being interrogated by a no-nonsense university police officer.
    Harry: Am I under arrest?
    Officer Dean: That's what we're going to talk about.
    Harry: Uh-huh.
    Officer Dean: Maybe you could explain to me why I found you in the middle of an orgy.
    Harry: Well, if you're going to be in an orgy, the middle is the best spot, isn't it.
    Officer Dean: Maybe you could explain why there was a car on the fourth floor of the dorm.
    Harry: Classic college prank.
    Officer Dean: Usually when that happens, it hasn't made big holes in the exterior wall.
    Harry: Someone was avoiding the cliché?
    Officer Dean: What about all the blood?
    Harry: There were no injuries, were there?
    Officer Dean: No.
    Harry: Then who cares? Some film student probably watched Carrie too many times.
    Officer Dean: Six separate calls in the past three hours with a Bigfoot sighting on campus. Bigfoot. What do you know about that?
    Harry: Well, kids these days, with their Internets and their video games and their iPods. Who knows what they thought they saw.
  • The very first lines of dialogue, where Harry finds a kindred spirit:
    Officer Dean: Coffee?
    Harry: What flavor is it?
    Officer Dean: It's coffee-flavored coffee.
    Harry: No mocha?
    Officer Dean: Fuck mocha.
    Harry: Thank God. Black.
  • Harry's take on football fans:
    the Midwest, if you show up to a college town on a weekend, you risk running into a football game. In my experience, that resulted in universal problems with traffic, available hotel rooms, and drunken football hooligans.
    Or wait: Soccer is the one with hooligans. Drunken American football fans are just… drunks, I guess.
  • Computer illiteracy and Wizards:
    Harry: Uh. How [do you know about the supernatural]?
    Irwin: Wasn't hard. There's an Internet. And this organization called the 'Paranet' of all the cockamamie things, that got started a few years ago. Took me like ten minutes to find it online and start reading through their message boards. I can't believe everyone in the world doesn't see this stuff. It's not like anyone is trying very hard to keep it secret.
    Harry: People don't want to know the truth. That makes it simple to hide. Wow, ten minutes? Really? I guess I'm not really an Internetty person.
    Irwin: Internetty. I guess you aren't.
  • Yet another baddie fails to keep up with the times:
    Barrowill: I'll give you until midnight to leave the state. After that, you're gone. One way or another.
    Harry: [deadpan] Hang on, I'm terrified. Let me catch my breath.
    Barrowill: I react poorly to those who threaten my family's well-being, Dresden.
    Harry: Yeah. You're a regular Ozzie Nelson. John Walton. Ben Cartwright.
    Barrowill: Excuse me?
    Harry: Mr. Drummond? Charles... in Charge? No?
    Barrowill: What are you blabbering about?
    Harry: Hell's bells, man. Don't any of you White Court bozos ever watch television? I'm giving you pop reference gold, here. Gold.
  • Dresden trying to be un-Dresden-like:
    Harry: [to himself] Don't be a moron, Harry. You came for the kid. He's safe. That's all you were obligated to do. Let it g— oh who am I kidding. There's a girl.
  • A young White Court vampire is told what she is:
    Connie: Wait. A… what? Am I going to sparkle or something?
    Harry/Irwin: [in unison] God, no.

Even Hand

  • Pretty much all of Gentleman Johnnie Marcone's narration, due to the man being an absolute Deadpan Snarker. However, there are a few highlights:
    • Marcone's explanation for his choice in door materials.
      After a few visits from Dresden and his ilk, I had invested in cheap, light doors at dramatic (as opposed to tactical) entry points.
    • Preceded directly by this gem of a reaction to the destruction of said cheap door:
    • Marcone's reaction to being told, essentially, to shut up or else:
      Is it so much to ask for civility?
    • Not to mention the sly references to Hendricks being much smarter than he looks, the suggestion that someone who works for a vampire should have "a bit more fortitude"...Marcone is just a fountain of CMoAs and CMoFs.
    • For that matter, how he implies that Hendricks, who barely ever says a word in Harry's presence, actually talks on and on to a tiresome degree when he and his boss are in private ... yet, Cujo still has very few lines in the short story.


  • Murphy explaining the basics of 'Martian' (It Makes Sense in Context).
    He grunted in Martian. Fuck off and die.
    It's an expressive language, Martian.
    • A minor bit, when Murphy goes to visit John Marcone. After Murphy correctly deduces that the person that suggested she talk to Marcone is actually one of his informants, Hendricks looks at Gard, who gives him an annoyed look before passing him a $20 bill. The fact that they were betting on whether or not Murphy would figure it out just made this troper laugh his ass off for some reason.


  • Molly's prayer to God when faced with a Wire Dilemma.
    ...but if you could just do me this one solid, it would be really awesome for a lot of people.
  • And shortly earlier, this immortal exchange that shows how much Molly takes after her mentor.
    Justine: This isn't going to work.
    Molly: It is going to work. We'll breeze right in. The Rack will be with us.
    Justine: The Rack?
    Molly: The Rack is more than just boobs, Justine. It's an energy field created by all living boobs. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.
    Andi: You're insane.
    Molly: But functionally so.
    Molly: Just let go your conscious self and act on instinct.
    Justine: The Rack will be with us?
    Molly: Always.
  • Early on, Lea asks Molly what she knows of the Svartalvs, and Molly recites a Broad Strokes version of a Norse myth where Freya, to get her necklace back, had to kiss every Svartalf. Lea notes that the myths were Bowdlerised throughout the year, saying the Svartalves didn't settle for "a society-wide trip to first base." Molly then balks at the suggestion that she rescue Thomas by offering to schtup every one of them.
    • Of course, this is all a set-up for the resolution of that plot. When Molly demands Thomas's release, she learns it's unnecessary because he did offer to schtupp all of the females for the night.

Jury Duty

  • The US government somehow finding Harry and summoning him for jury duty, even after his death and resurrection. It turns out that it was actually Marcone's doing, which somehow makes it even funnier.
    Harry: Summons. It's a freaking command. They want to see what a real summoning is, I could show them.
  • Harry is less than pleased of getting summoned for jury duty.
    Will: [The government] aren't the mob, Harry.
    Harry: Aren't they? Pay them money every year to protect you, and God help you if you don't.
  • His description of the jury selection procedure:
    Then a guy in a black muumuu showed up and recounted the plot of My Cousin Vinny.
    Okay, it was a robe, and the guy was a judge, and he gave us a brief outline of the format of the trial system, but it's not nearly as entertaining to say it that way.
  • Harry and Will need to watch over a busy Chicago street while the latter is in his large and intimidating wolf form. What does Harry do? He puts a service dog's jacket on the werewolf while he pretends to be a street performer playing his acoustic guitar for change.
  • The bad guys retreat to a small nightclub closed for remodeling and Harry realizes that they just have set themselves up for a Dynamic Entry.
    The door was locked.
    It was also made of glass.
    I smiled.
  • The villain of the week mocks Harry by saying that his speech about justice sounds like something right out of a cheesy comic book. He responds by cleaning the floor up with her highly trained Mooks while shouting "BAM!" and "POW!" after every other blow.
  • Harry is a consummate Combat Pragmatist, but there are some lines he doesn't cross on purpose:
    I hit him in the dark, somewhere more or less near his belly. His gun went off randomly as he was lifted off the floor and thrown ten feet back into a wall. He was trying to scream, breathlessly. I winced. I hadn't meant to hit him there, but those are the breaks.
  • The fact that Lara Raith sent the young succubus Tania on a mission that would make cross paths with Harry while expecting her to lose the confrontation and be taken down a peg or two by him is pretty amusing in its own Genre Savv-iry way.

Cold Case

  • Molly gets her first opportunity to kick in a door, and realizes why Harry does it so much- it feels awesome.
    • Not to mention that she does so while attacking a death cult by firing her One-Woman Rave the tune of “Everybody Dance Now”.

Day One

  • Butters gets his first Call as a Knight of The Cross... in the form of a glowing yellow exclamation point floating over the head of someone he needs to talk to, just like a questgiver in a MMORPG.

Zoo Day

  • Maggie, being young, makes hilarious metaphors:
    And then my dad's head shot up like Mouse's when he smells lighter fluid at the Carpenters' house...
  • The final section of the narrative, from Mouse's POV. Under the one paw, he's a supernaturally intelligent, quasi-divine entity and the only one who knows the whole of what's going on... but under the other, he's still a Big Friendly Dog.
    • Dresden drops him and Maggie off in a cafe while he goes to check out something. Mouse wants to help Dresden, but is resolute that he must protect Maggie. And then the french fries arrive and Mouse is staring at them — just in case some evil creature is hiding in them, of course.
    • At one point, Mouse doesn't quite make a leap he tried for while pursuing one of his littermates. He then somewhat defensively points out that he's a Good Dog ("Everyone says so") and that means treats. He then somewhat sheepishly admits that maybe he should work out a little more after sorting out the current mess.
    • Then during his confrontation with his brother, Mouse tries to sway him to join the good guys because he has great power, he could do a lot of good and there will be French fries.
  • Harry's mental hiccup when he sees Maggie eating her fries with mustard. Not ketchup. What?
  • There's a few times where it becomes extremely clear how much Harry has rubbed off on his dog and daughter. You have the 7-year-old's narration about how a minor-league nasty "learned the hard way" not to mess with her and Mouse, then her answering a haunt's taunts by telling it to go bother someone else or "things will get ugly." And Mouse saying he has no idea where he picked up a bad habit of snark.
    • Mouse also references The Dark Knight Rises at one point. Because of course Harry's dog knows the Batman movies.

Christmas Eve

  • Harry is trying to put Maggie's bike together based on a diagram...and Mouse has to show him which parts go together.
  • Mouse gets more respect from Mab than Harry does when she visits them.
  • Mab's gift to Maggie is a beautiful ring that, until noon, would grant Maggie powers like that of Elsa from Frozen. It will also play Elsa's signature song "Let it Go" to Harry's suffering.
  • The wrapping paper to Harry's gift from Kringle has Mouse's grinning face on it as part of the pattern.
  • Harry doesn't believe that he's on the Nice list. Kringle's response is golden. He winks and says:
    • For once, Harry is wise enough to shut up.


  • Marcone said why he won't go to a certain other contractor:
    There’s another person I could go to. But even if he believed me and agreed to the job, he would complicate it unbearably. We’d be at war with Canada within the week. Somehow.
  • Even someone as deadpan as Goodman Grey can bring the hilarious one liners:
    Hey, you know how a nine-hundred-pound Bengal Tiger gets into a locked room? Any damned way it wants to.

    The RPG 
  • Many, many of the margin comments written by Harry, Billy and Bob from the rulebooks. For the uninitiated: the RPG is presented as a project by one of the characters in-universe which he has sent to Harry Dresden for reviewing. Harry enlists Bob's help, and since Bob has an equally stupid sense of humor the margins are full of notes containing random commentary, bad puns, Shout Outs, and bickering between the people involved in the project. It's a lot of fun to read.
    How come most of the pictures of me show me beat to crap, Billy?
    Are you on a case right now, Harry?
    Then you're beat to crap?
    Oh. Right.
    • Except for the more somber ones.
      • Even some of those. For example, there's a section dealing with the idea that having Harry around could potentially interfere with storylines, and that in that case it might be easier to run the game if you kill him off in the background, with a list of ways this could have happened. Harry, naturally, is not amused, and his comments on the subject are likely to induce slightly nervous, uncomfortable giggling. Crowning Moment of Mood Whiplash?
  • Murphy very first margin note in the Paranet Papers:
    Murphy: Seriously? The Dresden Files?
    Will: Also known as the Dresdenverse.
    Murphy: Because Harry needs a bigger head and all.
  • Also from Paranet Papers, under "The Philosophy of the Elements" is explained that the kind of evocation magic a wizard is good at is directly related to their personalities — the kind of emotions they more easily feel and how they experience them. For fire magic, well...
    TEXT: Wizards good at fire magic will tend to be emotional themselves, getting very easily invested in people and things, and experiencing every kind of emotion intensely and without restrain. Some might consider them constantly surrounded by personal drama or hopelessly irrational.
    Murphy: Yeah, I don't know anyone who fits that description at all...
    Butters: I have no idea what you're talking about.
    Will: Can't imagine why you'd even bring it up.
  • But especially "Someone needs to explain to this guy that if you simultaneously carry a katana and wear a trenchcoat, you're a dork..." Hah. Take That! Sephiroth/ Connor McLeod of the Clan McLeod/ cliche World of Darkness and Shadowrun characters and also, the first time Harry met Sanya, he was wearing an overcoat, and wields a saber. It would be pretty easy to mistake it for a trenchcoat-katana combo.
  • Or when Harry complains that if "Jim B." is his player in real life, he needs to roll better.
    • And in the start of the second book, when it credits Jim Butcher as the author, Harry has a minor freak out and asks who the hell this guy thinks he is.
  • "Do not fight Happy Fun Merlin. Back away slowly."
    • Hell, the files for pretty much every powerful entity. Among other things, Billy leads off the notes on Nicodemus with "You lose.", lists the Erlking's Refresh Rate as "Ha!", and laughs at the idea of writing up definite stats for Satan.
  • Harry complaining about the capricious dick of a GM he's got.
    I demand 23 retroactive Fate points.
  • "I hate when you reduce my insecurities to game mechanics."
  • Harry swearing he would needle Peabody about his grammatically incorrect German, and following through in the novels.
  • One section concerning the Knights of the Cross and other people who use their Faith for power has a handful of passages blacked out entirely by Dresden, with the note that Billy should take them out because some people may not like them speculating on the nature of the big guy. If you copy and paste these lines, you find they are, in fact, Jim Butcher breaking character to tell you he's not going to open that can of worms just yet.
  • Harry starts to notice that a lot of the illustrations (based on events from the book) involve half-naked villainesses attacking him, and wonders what this says about him. Bob approves of the pictures with some enthusiasm.
  • During Arturo, the porn director's profile, Bob starts pestering Harry about getting him some videos for "research." later on, in Lara's profile, near where it mentions she acted in porn, Bob starts asking Harry again why he never picked up the videos.
  • In the description for "wolfweres", animals that can transform into humans:
    Powers: Thumbs!
  • Harry, Billy, and Bob have awesome banter throughout both books. At one point, the text refers to "keep it simple, silly."
    Bob: Isn't it "Keep it simple, stupid?"
    Billy: Georgia... encouraged me not to address the reader as "stupid."
    Bob: Did she encourage you in the sack?
    Harry: Aaaaaaand you're done.
  • Bob's opinions on what Skills scores Harry should have.
    Bob: (Regarding Burglary) William, Harry should have a decent score in this.
    Harry: Shut up, Bob.

    Bob: (Regarding Deceit) Harry should have a low score in this.
    Harry: Shut UP, Bob.

    Bob: (Regarding Intimidation) Also a skill for creepy PI wizards.
    Harry: Bob! Shut up!
    • The fact the first book actually has an index entry for "Shut up, Bob" is pretty hilarious in and of itself. And then you realize it's the longest listing in the index.
      • Another index entry with a surprising amount of listed pages? "Jerks". Lampshaded after Harry calls yet another person a jerk.
        Harry: Rudy's a jerk.
        Bob: You keep saying that about people.
        Harry: Well, I've met a lot of jerks.
    • Speaking of index jokes:
    Help! I’m Trapped in an Indexing Factory!: see: Recursion
    Recursion: see: Recursion
    Lenny’s “Boxers” Story: see: THE PAAAAIN!!!
  • One picture of Murphy facepalming has Harry commenting, "I make her do this way too much."
  • Harry's Comments on Mouse (in the Temple Dog section)
    As much as I complain about my Dogasaurus Rex, I'm glad Mouse stowed away in the Beetle. He's saved my life a bunch of times. And all he asks for in return is a little kibble
    Okay, a lot of kibble.
    Fine, a HUUUUGE amount of kibble.
  • At one point when the text says "Life can't be all puppies and rainbows," Harry highlights it and margin-notes, "Why not?"
  • On the page detailing the Supernatural Sense power, Harry's sidenote mentions that there's a guy in Pennsylvania who can see through drywall. JUST drywall.
  • In the Paranet Papers supplement, Butters is surprised that a particular insane NPC isn't a conspiracy theorist.
    Murphy: There are several kinds of crazy in the world. He can't be all of them, right?
  • An example of sponsored magic (magic provided by a powerful entity such as a god or mighty fae) affecting the spells empowered with it involves Harry calling on Hellfire to boost an earth-element evocation.
    The spell manifests as hellish pits opening up in the earth and swallowing the zombies, rather than the simple tremor he was aiming for.
    His friends look at him funny.
  • On the subject of Leylines in the Dresden Files Accelerated splatbook:


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