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Funny / The Far Side

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There’s a good reason The Far Side is considered a classic of the newspaper strip genre.

  • Many of the "In Hell" comics
    • "Welcome to Heaven, here's your harp." "Welcome to Hell, here's your accordion."
    • "OK sir, would you like inferno or non-inferno? Ha! Just kidding! It's all inferno, of course! I just get a kick out of saying that."
    • A man cheerfully whistles as he pushes a wheelbarrow of coal in Hell, glumly observed by two devils:
      Devil: You know, we're just not reaching that guy...
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    • Two men sitting on a bench, surrounded by fire, brimstone and a couple devils torturing damned souls. One man leans in and whispers to the other...
      Man: I hate this place.
    • "Tell me, Margaret... Am I a butthead?"
    • A video store in Hell: The only movie for sale is Ishtar.
    • A similar strip titled "Hell's Library". All the books are collections of story problems.
    • "Oh, man! The coffee's cold! They thought of everything!"
    • Satan shouts, "Mom! No!" to an old devil lady passing snacks around to a group of people. The caption explains that "despite his efforts to dissuade her, Satan could never stop his mother from offering milk and cookies to the accursed!"
    • Two men in Hell observe the dog sleeping beside them.
      Man 1: "His story? I dunno, I always assumed he was just a bad dog."
  • One strip features a kid peering down a missile silo. The caption? "Never, ever, do this."
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  • As a bunch of trenchcoated mobsters are moving around pieces of furniture in a room, their leader is telling the homeowner: "The boss wants his money, see? Or next time it won't just be your living room we'll rearrange." The gangster with his hands out in front of him as if to judge whether the sofa works in its new location really sells this one.
  • Similarly, the gangsters threaten a man with a wiffle bat.
  • In a different strip, they have a normal bat, but the target has "kneecaps from hell" - as in the size of hubcaps.
  • A guy is showing his buddy his pet Tyrannosaurus rex, which he keeps in a pit with a trap door over it. The buddy is saying "Eat anything, huh? I bet a dollar he won't eat my pocket knife!" The caption: "Mitch loses a dollar."
  • Similarly, a man in an orchestra is holding only one cymbal - his other hand is empty. The man thinks, "This time I won't screw up! I won't, I won't, I won't, I won't..." The caption: "Roger screws up."
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  • Similarly, one singer in a chorus takes that fraction-of-a-second between the choir finishing a song and the audience starting to applaud to belch out the phrase "That's all, folks!"
  • Two policemen are confronting a man dressed in a chicken suit with a bird cage on his head holding a mallet surrounded by several unconscious people. The caption: "Well, I'll be darned! He really DOES have a license to do that!"'
  • At a butler's convention, two cops are examining the corpse of a murdered butler, surrounded by men in butler uniforms. Caption: "Rawlings, I hate starting a week like this."
  • "So this sailor dude whips out a can of spinach, this crazy music starts playing, and well... Just look at this place!"
  • Frankenstein's Monster, Frankenstein himself, and Igor are all eating at a diner when the monster, having had enough of Igor, jumps up from the table and gives Igor an earful, all the while Frankenstein is looking genuinely embarrassed and having a very painful looking Luminescent Blush by the whole thing as everyone in the diner is staring at the table with Oh, Crap! expressions.
    The Monster: All right, that's it! I may be a reanimated corpse put together from dismembered body parts, but at least I'm not a hunchbacked little grave robber like you!
    • In another strip, the Doctor is checking his watch and complaining about how much time Igor is taking to simply get a brain - with Igor standing at the doorway with an Oh, Crap! expression and dragging a train.
    • Yet another has a furious Dr. Frankenstein holds in his hands an itty-bitty version of the monster's head while yelling at Igor for his latest screwup.
    "For crying out loud, Igor! First there was that whole business with the wrong brain, and now you've let his head go through the wash in your pants' pocket!"
    "Sorry, I've already used my last brain and heart. Try the guy up the road."
    • Yet another panel has Henry Morton Stanley coming across Dr. Frankenstein in the middle of Africa with the Monster, prompting Stanley to say, "Excuse me, but may I assume you're not Dr. Livingstone?"
  • A dog pulls a gun on his owner while said owner is eating dinner. The dog says, "Alright, bucko, I'm through with begging."
  • At the Midvale School for the Gifted, a student strains trying to push open the door, clearly labeled "Pull." What really makes this funny is that this is likely a situation we've all been in at some point or another. Too easy to relate to.
  • Two explorers find their colleague's journal, surrounded by torn clothes showing that he was ripped to pieces. The journal's last entry says that he's now won the confidence of a group of "giant but gentle" gorillas, and tomorrow will test their sense of humor with a joy buzzer.
  • The (in)famous "Jane Goodall" comic: both the strip itself and the story behind it.
    Female Chimp: (Grooming her husband) "Well, well, well; another blonde hair. Conducting a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?"
    • Readers complained vehemently at the perceived insult and a lawyer for The Jane Goodall Institute even drafted a letter calling the cartoon an "atrocity". Goodall herself thought the cartoon was Actually Pretty Funny and hushed the lawyer up. She later wrote the preface for The Far Side Gallery 5.
  • A man sits in a jail cell with a chicken, listening to the chicken's story, which ends on "-and then, when Old MacDonald turned his back, I took that axe, and with a whack-whack here and a whack-whack there, I finished him off."
  • A mother is in her son's bedroom and saying, "Now go to sleep, Kevin! Or once again I'll have to knock three times and summon the floating head of death!" Below, the father is holding a balloon with a scary face painted on it that floats just outside the window.
  • A terrified crying woman is at the police station talking to a detective, while one of the officers is slowly reaching behind her.
    Detective: Try to relax, ma'am. You say it was dark, you were alone in your house, when suddenly you felt a hand reach from behind and... JOHNSON! Knock it off!
  • A man is at a woman's house pointing to a purple blobish creature sitting in the corner.
    Woman: Whoa, Mr. Lewis! We don't know what that thing is, or where is came from, but after what happened to the dog last week, we advise people not to touch it.
  • A dog carrying a smoking BFG and wearing a bandolier and bandanna stands in front of a smoking hole next to a mailbox.
    Caption: Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail, they said, would stop the mail. But they didn't count on Rexbo.
  • A rejected cartoon from the Prehistory of the Far Side, with two bears standing in the woods:
    Bear: Is it true? Is it true? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear... well, I know you do, Angelo."
  • A flying saucer has landed with alien invaders made of bricks whose limbs are planks of wood. Outside of a martial arts dojo.
  • "They just waltzed in, grabbed the cat, and waltzed out!" - The caption for a pair of dogs dancing together into a dance studio toward a cat calmly sitting in the middle of the floor.
  • A creepy man has a table set up on the sidewalk of a city with various glass bottles set out with labels like "The Willies" and "The Heebie Jeebies".
  • A fat woman is holding desperately onto a parking meter so as not to get sucked into a candy store.
  • "Now let me get this straight... We hired you to babysit the kids, and instead you cooked and ate them both?" An obvious Wicked Witch eating the kids she was supposed to watch over is darkly funny enough on its own, but what really seals it is the emphasis on the word "both", implying that's what's got the parents so ticked off. Another funny bit is the witch is rolling her eyes as if to say, "What did you expect me to do?"
  • In the Prehistory collection, Gary Larson explains that some papers would occasionally switch around captions by mistake between The Far Side and other single-panel comics. Most of the time, they were just confusing and odd, but one example he shows accidentally struck comedy gold:
    The Far Side: (A family of snakes sits down to dinner, with the child snake complaining) "It's a good thing I learned how to make peanut butter sandwiches or we'd have starved to death by now!"
    Dennis the Menace (US): (Dennis and a friend are eating sandwiches) "Oh brother, not hamsters again!"
    • Another one made The Far Side simply meaningless, but the effect on Dennis the Menace more than makes up for it.
    The Far Side: (A caveman fortune teller looks into a crystal ball for a customer) "If I get as big as dad, won't my skin be too tight?"
    Dennis the Menace: (Dennis talks to his parents as they share a very uncomfortable look) "I see your little petrified skull, labeled and resting on a shelf somewhere."
    • Finally, there was the time the captions for two Far Side strips got mixed up, resulting in a "kid exterminator" pointing up into a tree full of tire swings and treehouses and saying:
    Eeeny-ooony-wanah! Eeeny-ooony-wanah!
  • 'Tensions rise on the Lewis and Clark Expedition' has the two travelling in the wild country. One of the two is loudly singing and ''The Happy Wanderer'', much to his partner's annoyance.
    Lewis: And as I go, I love to sing, my knapsack on my baaack. Valderi... Valderah... Valderi... Valderha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...
    Clark: (Thinking) God, I hate him.
    • Another "Lewis and Clark" cartoon depicts Clark's mother berating him for always being placed behind Lewis in the expedition's name.
  • One of the Founding Fathers is placing his order for The Liberty Bell, from "Bernie the Bellmaker": every bell in the shop is cracked, and so are Bernie's eyeglasses.
  • In the foreground of a pet store is a piranha in a fishbowl. In the background is a cat with peg legs replacing its forearms.
    Gary Larson: (In A Prehistory of The Far Side) I thought for a long time about what caption to put on this one, then realized it didn't need a caption at all.
  • A police officer yells "Hey!... You!" at a man who has failed to follow a sign that reads "Please Do Not Give The Birds Dutch Rubs".
  • Caveman scientists travel to the present with their newly invented "time log".
  • A homeless man stands in front of a castle as armed guards prepare to throw spears at him. He shouts to them, "I'm afraid you've misunderstood. I'm Al Tilley... the bum."
  • A disappointed-looking gorilla speaks to hotel management. The guy at the desk says, "Look, I'm sorry... If you weighed 500 pounds, we'd certainly accommodate you — but it's simply a fact that a 400-pound gorilla does not sleep anywhere he wants to."
  • "Roberta takes on a dust rhino."
  • Conjoined Twins - one covered in scars and bandages, the other totally fine - speak to a doctor.
    Doctor: Wait, wait, wait... I'm confused. Bob, you're the one who's claiming your Siamese twin, Frank, changes into a werewolf every full moon?
  • An old man prepares a noose that he places over the hole in his pegleg. His wife (with another lady watching them) yells, "Good heavens, Bernie! We've got company! You're never going to catch that stupid squirrel anyway!"
  • Cavemen flee from a burning research facility in a cartoon titled "Fire is Invented".
  • A nest of hornets tossing rocks at a man's house.
  • Two tourists are carried up a volcano's slope by a group of tribal natives to be sacrificed. One says to the other, "And you thought they wouldn't like Americans! Why, these people just lit up the moment I told them we were Virginians."
  • "Classic Conversation Stoppers"
    Panel 1: "'Contagious? Contagious?' I asked the doctor. 'Really contagious' he tells me."
    Panel 2: "So that's it! As of this morning, I quit my medication!... Homicidal tendencies be damned!"
    Panel 3: "And then I realized the guy was actually a ventriloquist, and it was his dummy who was giving me the exam!"
    Panel 4: You're sitting in it now.
  • One strip features two ancient Chinese soldiers standing on guard at the Great Wall. One says to the other, "Now we'll see if that dog can get in here!"
  • Prehistoric microbiologists squint at petri dishes in an attempt to see the contents.
  • A shipwreck survivor clutching onto a piece of driftwood arrives at a "Far Side" Island that's sole occupant is a dog... with a "Beware of Dog" sign beside it.
  • A strip titled "Medieval Chicken Coops" depicts chickens with tubs of hot oil ready to be dumped upon the upcoming peasant, who only thinks to himself "Here we go again."
  • Two wolves figure out why they haven't had any success hunting sheep lately.
    "Hey! I think you've hit on something there! Sheep's clothing! Sheep's clothing!... Let's get out of these gorilla suits!"
  • A strip depicts an ant asking its parents if they can keep the giant anteater that followed it home as a pet. The caption reads "Childhood Innocence".
  • A couple comes downstairs to investigate a noise and discover a huge and hideous monster helping himself to a midnight snack. The husband tells the wife to relax because "-it's just Kevin."
  • An old lady and her grandson visit the pet store. In a tank full of black tropical fish, the kid glares intently on the one albino specimen amongst them.
    Grandmother: Well, little Ahab... Which one is it going to be?
    • Another Moby-Dick cartoon features the white whale driving a car and having the misfortune to rear-end Ahab's (who in the panel is getting out of his car with a harpoon ready).
    Moby-Dick: (Thinking) Criminy! Millions of people in this city, and look who I rear end.
  • A man runs to the ocean with a surfboard to catch some waves, the Creature from the Black Lagoon runs from the ocean with a wagon to catch some hills.
  • Two vultures spot a man dying of thirst in the desert crawling up to an oasis. One vulture bemoans that he's gonna make it. The other vulture intent on stopping him carries a grand piano in its talons.
  • A group of Native Americans prepare to ambush a cowboy in the Wild West. Their target is looking around anxiously, having heard something suspicious. Behind a rock, one Native American says to another, "Bird calls! Bird calls, you fool! Not mountain lions!"
  • Two women discuss how to deal with the human-sized bug scratching at their door as they speak.
    "Calm down, Edna... Yes, it's some giant, hideous insect... but it could be some giant, hideous insect in need of help."
  • An excited dog boasts to his friend from his owner's car that "-after the dentist and the post office, I'm going to the vet to get 'tutored!'"
  • A shark makes beachgoers flee for the ocean by shouting, "Bear! Bear!"
  • The Flock of Wolves cartoon.
    One wolf in a sheep costume to another: Wait a minute. Isn't anyone here a real sheep?
  • A cowboy loses a quick-draw... to a sloth.
    Bystander: "Well, the sloth nailed him... Y'know ol' Hank wasn't exactly a quick-draw."
  • At a caveman party, one neanderthal says to the other, "A word of advice, Durk: It's the Mesolithic. We're using stone tools, we've domesticated the dog, and no one's naked anymore!"
  • In Ancient Rome, Christians and lions line up to put their names down on a sign-up sheet for an arena fight.
  • An American general leads his troops to war only to flounder his battle cry.
    "Remember the... uh... Remember the... Remember that place in Texas!"
  • A lady leaves the theater with a horse-headed man whose been scared witless. She shouts, "Get a hold of yourself!... It was only a movie, for crying out loud!" The theater sign behind them reads, "Now showing: The Godfather".
  • An exterminator realizes he's bitten off way more than he can chew when he finds out the butcher's meat storage has an infestation of Tyrannosaurus rex.
    Butcher: There's one of 'em!... And I think there are at least three or four more runnin' around in here!
  • A cowboy and his horse go splat right into a cardboard cutout of a sunset, whilst people wave farewell to them. The caption reads 'The embarrassment of riding into a fake sunset'.
  • One strip titled "Semi-desperadoes" features a stagecoach in the Wild West being held at gunpoint by a very ineffectual outlaw.
    "Throw down that strong box or I'll blow your head off!... Well, I'll wing you for sure!... Okay, maybe I'll just climb up there and give you a good Dutch rub."
  • "For crying out loud, Warren! Can't you just beat your chest like everyone else?", shouts a gorilla to another performing armpit farts.
  • A caveman tells his friend that he's trained his pet pterosaur to sit on his finger. Given that said caveman has an eyepatch and has replaced most of his limbs with wood prosthetics, his friend is understandably nervous as he approaches the pterosaur.
  • One strip has a pregnant woman getting an ultrasound, and the monitor shows the foetus running on its side in circles and shouting "Woop woop woop!" The caption reads "The Prenatal Development of Curly".
  • A family of Tyrannosaurus rex sit around the dinner table. The father holds a plate of mashed potatoes in his hands and says to his wife, "Hey! I'm trying to pass the potatoes!... Remember, my arms are just as useless as yours!"
  • A bear emerges from a coffin in front of a group of mourning bears.
    "For crying out loud, I was hibernating! Don't you guys ever take a pulse?"
  • Hannibal and his army make their first attempt to cross the Alps by taking Kangaroo Pouch Rides.
  • Two elephants attempt to locate an Elephant Graveyard.
    Elephant 1: According to the map, this should be the place — but it sure don't look right to me... Well, we're supposed to die around here somewhere.
  • "The Birth of Headhunting", which has a group of cavemen standing around a basketball court. One says, "Great! No one brought ball. Now what we do?" One of the cavemen has a large, perfectly spherical head...
  • A dog returns home from work on a rainy day soaking wet. He stands right in the living room where his wife and her friends are. His wife says, "Hold it right there, Frank! If you're going to shake, you do it in another room."
  • Elmer Fudd gets a talking-to from his boss about the subliminal effect he's been having on everyone at the "skwoo dwivuh" factory.
  • An elephant gets ready to fight a human in a bar. His friend pushes him back while saying, "Relax, Jerry!... He probably didn't know you were an elephant when he told that last joke."
  • An African tribal warrior makes a call in a phone booth while a child with a bindle waits next to him looking very cross.
    "Mrs. Harriet Schwartz? This is Zathu Nananga of the Masai. Are you missing a little boy?"
  • Two bow-wielding cavemen stare at the body of a huge mammoth they felled with a single tiny arrow to its rump. "Maybe we should write that spot down", remarks one to another.
  • "You're darn lucky, Saunders. If that rhino had really respected you as an enemy, he would have done a heck of a lot more than just slap you in the face."
  • A group of dinosaurs stand around sharing cigarettes. The caption reads "The Real Reason Dinosaurs Became Extinct".
  • An old couple observes a cow, a snake, and a giant squid walking past their house together.
    Wife: Looks like another one of those stupid 'Incredible Journey' things."
  • Vikings charge at a castle door with a battering ram. They immediately notice the door has a sticky note telling them to use the other door. They obey the note and charge at the adjacent door.
  • A similar cartoon has a group of Viking raiders waiting outside a "small defenseless village" and waiting for its "plundering hours" to begin.
  • "In the Days Before Soap" depicts a T-Rex chasing and devouring a trio of cavemen, only to immediately spit them all back out upon realizing how foul-tasting they are.
  • "The Four Basic Personality Types" depicts four different people being presented with a glass of water.
    Panel 1: The glass is half full!
    Panel 2: The glass is half empty.
    Panel 3: Half full... No! Wait! Half empty!... No, half... What was the question?
    Panel 4: Hey! I ordered a cheeseburger!
  • The Big Bad Wolf comes across a huge city composed entirely of straw and populated by countless pigs. All he can think to himself is "Oh, man. I've been away for too long."
  • A group of cowboys sit around a campfire, and one of them asks another named Will to pull "that thing out and play us a tune". Instead of a harmonica however, Will keeps a grand piano in the back of his pants.
  • A deer shows the birthmark on his chest to another... and it's in the exact shape of a shooting target. Bummer of a birthmark, indeed.
  • In the Wild West, a cowboy standing in front of a disorganized pile of other cowboys, horses, saddles, and weapons receives a talking-to from the sheriff.
    Sheriff: And so you just threw everything together?... Matthews, a posse is something you have to organize.
  • In a circus performance, a lion tamer fires his gun into the air as he fends off a lion with his chair. The other lions watch, with one whispering to another, "He's using blanks. Pass it on."
  • A man arrives at a "Far Side" Island and finds there's another castaway already there. He asks the castaway how long he's been waiting for help to arrive. Behind the castaway is a gigantic sand castle that takes up almost the entire island.
  • The "Thagomizer" cartoon. The thing that makes it even funnier is how the term really has been adopted by the palaeontology community as the official term for the spikes on a Stegosaurus' tail. It's hard not to snicker whenever works like Planet Dinosaur use the word in such a serious manner.
  • Two men in labcoats staring at a badly assembled missile that's missing parts and bent in right angles.
    "We're gonna have to face it. We're not exactly rocket scientists."
  • A mailman covered with dachshunds asks his wife for help, saying he ran into "a nest of wiener dogs" on his rounds.
  • A duck covered in casts and bandages talks to his friend at a bar, explaining his current predicament.
    "Well, hell no! I can't tell Harriet! The first she's going to ask is what I was doing checking out a decoy!"
  • A cartoon is interrupted when two bystanders step into the frame. The caption claims they ruined one of Larson's funniest cartoons, but it's hard to see how when all we see behind them are a farmer sitting down with a chicken in his arms and his wife talking to him.
  • Two mantises discuss the whereabouts of one of the pair's husband.
    "I don't know what you're insinuating, Jane. I haven't seen Harold all day. Besides, surely you know I would only devour my own husband."
  • Two giant aliens chuck rocks at a city, with fighter jets buzzing around the buildings like angry hornets.
    Alien 1: Ooo! That one got 'em stirred up, Zangorn! Let's blow!
  • A mother dismisses her son's claims to have seen a monster due to the fact he cannot describe it... because the monster is wearing a paper bag over its head.
  • Two men discover a caveman in an outhouse frozen inside a glacier.
    "This is it Jenkins — indisputable proof that the Ice Age caught these people completely off guard."
  • One insect says to another at a party, "Think about it, Ed... The class Insecta contains 26 orders, almost 1000 families, and over 750 000 described species — but I can't shake the feeling we're all just a bunch of bugs."
  • A mosquito biting into skin begins rapidly swelling, while her friend watches in alarm.
    "Pull out, Betty! Pull out!... You've hit an artery!"
  • A student driver and his teacher have crashed into a tree... on a "Far Side" Island in the middle of the ocean.
    • A similar strip depicts a couple whose car has somehow ended up on the Moon.
    Wife: For heaven's sake, Elroy!... NOW look where the Earth is!... Move over and let me drive!
  • A lookout on a whaling vessel receives a Hand Gagging from a huge fin.
    "Thar she—mmmph!"
  • A woman talks to her friend while her husband (who is a half-fly, half-human monster) quietly reads the paper nearby. Outside their home's window is the entrance to a gothic castle.
    "So George says 'I'm going over there and telling that guy to shut that equipment off!' So I said: 'George, that guy's a mad scientist. Call the cops. Don't go over there alone.' Well, you know what George did."
  • A Black Comedy example: A huge python lies on the floor of a pet store with a massive bulge in its stomach and a pair of eyeglasses beside it while a parrot repeats the last words of the python's meal.
    Parrot: Aaaaaaaaaaaa! Get it off me! Get it off me!... Hello... my name is Joey!... Hello... Aaaaaaaaaaaa! Get it off me!...
    • A similar cartoon has a parrot perched on a vine above a pit of quicksand that has two hats floating on the surface.
    Parrot: "Let go, Morty! You're pulling me in!... Let go, Morty! You're pulling me in!"
  • "Practical Jokes of the Paleolithic" depicts a caveman being eaten by a giant snake that's tail has been strung up to that of a mammoth to drag the snake around while two other cavemen laugh at the situation. One has to wonder what on earth goes into setting up and pulling off a prank that ends as absurdly as this.
  • "Like frozen sentries of the Serengeti, the century-old termite mounds had withstood all tests of time and foe — all tests that is, except the one involving drunken aardvarks and a stolen wrecking ball."
  • Two leopards (jaguars?) prepare to pounce on a stock Far Side jungle explorer. One says to the other:
    "Now remember — roar just as you leap... These things have some of the greatest expressions."
  • A cowboy yelling at his opponents in a game of cards that they're "cheatin' varmints". Which they are. Because they're gophers (and they are cheating).
  • On Noah's Ark, Noah finds that some animal has crudely scrawled out "TELL THE CICADAS TO SHUT UP" on the side of the ark.
  • "Hunting Techniques of the Modern Anteater" depicts two anteaters in paper-thin human disguises setting up a fake picnic.
    Anteater 1: Oh, what a great day for a PICNIC!... Yesiree, and look at how much POTATO SALAD we have!... Oops I DROPPED some POTATO SALAD at this, our PICNIC!
  • Two cowboys herd an enormous flock of chickens. One says to the other, "And I tell ya ... the next trail drive I sign onto, I'm readin' the fine print!"
  • An elephant speaks to another one that is standing right on top of his trunk.
    Elephant 1: Two questions, Mitch: How much do you weigh, and what's the most sensitive part of any elephant's anatomy?
  • A chicken vacationing in Hawaii explains what he's doing there to a random woman.
    Chicken: Fools! They made me into a free-range chicken ... and man, I never looked back.
  • A never-before-seen cartoon from the official website's sketchbook collections has a man in a body cast tied up in court with Santa Claus over a vehicle accident.
    Man: Me and Vinnie wuz on Cherry Street up around the 124th avenue, and we wuz stopped at the light waitin' for the left green arrow. The light changes, I pull out, and Vinnie suddenly starts screamin' "HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS, HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS, RIGHT DOWN SANTA CLAUS LANE!"


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