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Funny / The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

The Disney film
  • After Quasimodo convinces the baby bird to fly off and be free, Hugo becomes animate. What makes this funny is that the baby bird had its nest in his mouth.
    Hugo: (Loudly spits) Oh, MAN! I thought he'd never leave! I'll be spittin' feathers for a week! (Continues spitting)
    Victor: (Becomes animate) Well, that's what you get for sleeping with your mouth open.
    Hugo: (Laughs mirthlessly) Go scare a nun.
  • "Oh, look! A mime! [prepares to spit onto the ground]"
  • Very dark funny, but immediately after the Hellfire sequence, there is this exchange:
    Phoebus: Good morning, sir.
    Frollo: [groans, rubbing his eyes]
    Phoebus: Are you feeling all right?
    Frollo: I had a little... trouble with the fireplace.
    • Further selling it is how quickly Phoebus just brushes that response off, shooting an Aside Glance before continuing.
  • Esmeralda: You sneaky son of a--
    Phoebus: Ah ah it. [looks around as if God is watching] We're in a church.
    • And right before that scene? when Phoebus tried to approach Esmeralda, she immediately knocks Phoebus down on his rear end, takes his sword, and starts pointing it at him, and they have this gem of an exchange:
      Esmeralda: you....
      Phoebus: Easy! easy! I-I just shaved this morning.
      Esmeralda: [points Phoebus' sword at his goatee] Oh really? You missed a spot.
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  • Not to mention during Esmeralda's dance routine:
    Frollo: Look at that disgusting display!
    Phoebus: [with obvious delight] Yes, sir!
  • Another very dark example, in the Palace of Justice:
    Frollo: You know, my last Captain of the Guard was, um... a bit of a disappointment to me.
    (a lash and a particularly loud scream of pain; Phoebus' expression is a mix of 'What the hell was that???' and 'Dear God, was that the guy who came before me??????')
    Frollo: Well, no matter. I'm sure you'll... whip my men into shape? [grins]
    Phoebus: Umm... That's a... a... tre-tremendous honor, sir.
    • From the way Frollo is grinning, he clearly thinks he's made a wonderful joke.
  • "Achilles, sit!"
  • Several moments involving the gargoyles are quite funny.
    • Most of "A Guy Like You" (Hugo cross-dresses as Esmeralda, gets his horns stuck in the ceiling, and the gargoyles say Quasi is shaped "like a croissant is"), when they mishear a conversation and come to the conclusion that "Frollo's nose is long and he wears a truss" and when they all appear to be sketching Esmeralda, except Hugo who sketches Djali the goat instead.
    • Laverne to the pigeons: "Fly, my pretties! Fly! Fly! AHAHAHAHAhahahaha!!!" *cue Leitmotif*
    • In the song "A Guy Like You", there's a brief scene showing the statues of Jesus in Notre Dame snapping their fingers to the beat. That's right.
      • Speaking of "A Guy Like You", just as the song begins, Hugo holds a sausage on a fork out of one of the bell tower's windows. A few seconds later, when he brings it back in, the sausage is shown to be on fire, and he then begins smoking it like a cigar. Keep in mind, this is because Frollo has set the entire city of Paris on fire in his search for Esmeralda.
      • "Ah, Paris. The city of lovers is glowing this evening. (blissful sigh) True, that's because it's on fire ... but still there's l'amour."
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  • This is going on while Esmeralda is saying that Frollo's wrong about her and Quasi:
    Hugo: What's she saying?
    Hugo: (to Victor) HA! Told ya! Pay up!
    Victor: Oh dear. (Begrudgingly hands Hugo a coin.)
    Hugo: (Smugly) Chump.
  • The epic exchange after Phoebus and Quasimodo decide to go find the Court of Miracles:
    Phoebus: Truce? [he pats Quasi on the back encouragingly]
    Quasimodo: Well...okay. [he hits Phoebus in the spot where the arrow hit him, causing him to groan in pain] Sorry.
    Phoebus: ...No, you're not.
    • A lot of Quasimodo and Phoebus' interactions during this period of the movie are hilarious.
      • Quasimodo: "I've lived in a bell tower for 20 years, I think I'd know what the city looks like from above, and this is it!"
      • Phoebus: "I've done battle over four continents, and I have a pretty good idea what a map looks like, and this is not it!"
      • Both are said at exactly the same time.
  • Once Phoebus and Quasimodo are in the entrance to the Court of Miracles, Phoebus remarks on how easy this is. He turns out to be right, as they're jumped by a horde of gypsies immediately after.
    Quasimodo: I just want to warn Esmerelda and get back to the bell tower before I get in any more trouble.
    (Unseen by Phoebus and Quasimodo, the skeletons on the wall turn their heads towards them)
    Phoebus: Speaking of trouble, we should have run into some by now.
    Quasimodo: What do you mean?
    Phoebus: You know.... A guard. A booby trap. (Phoebus' torch goes out, leaving them in total darkness) Or an ambush.
  • Then there's Clopin, indulging in a bit of literal Gallows Humor:
    Clopin: Any last words?
    [Quasimodo and Phoebus, being Bound and Gagged, can only make some indecipherable noises]
    Clopin: [rolling his eyes at the Fourth Wall] That's what they all say.
    • Immediately followed by:
      Clopin: Now that we've seen all the evidence— [interrupting himself with a hand puppet] Wait, I object! [as himself] Overruled! [as puppet] I object! [as himself] Quiet! [as puppet] ...Dang.
    • In turn followed by:
      Clopin: We find you totally innocent... which is the worst crime of all... (Beat) So you're going to hang!
    • Then Esmeralda interrupts the "trial" and explains that they are friends, Clopin exclaims in the most innocently bemused voice: "Why didn't they say so!?"
      "WE DID SAY SO!"
  • During Esmeralda's chase at the festival, she knocks over large cage which contains an old prisoner in it to the ground, eventually causing it to land on top of the soldiers and knock them out, destroying the cage in the process.
    Old Prisoner: I'm free! I'm free! Oof! (hits his foot on the cage, causing him to trip and fall into a stockade, which closes and locks) Dang it!
    • Then during the climax, he's freed again, only to fall into the sewers and shout "Dang it!"
  • The entire Esmeralda/Phoebus scene in the cathedral, but especially:
    Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man.
    Esmeralda: Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you!
    Phoebus: That's hitting a little below the belt, don't you think?
    Esmeralda: No. This is.
  • The part when it emerges that Frollo taught Quasimodo his alphabet using words like abomination, blasphemy, contrition, damnation, eternal damnation, and forgiveness. It's both a blessing and a shame that they stopped at f; one wonders what the rest of the alphabet would have been like...
  • Absolutely everything in Esmeralda's chase/escape sequence; the best parts would have to be the aforementioned "I'm free!" bit, and Phoebus, after ducking a ricocheting helmet, in dazed admiration: "What a woman!"
  • The gargoyles building a fully functional catapult from assorted items found in the cathedral and then... shoving the catapult itself off the roof. It lands face-down on the ground.
    Victor: Are you sure that's how it works?
    (The catapult deploys, flipping over and hitting the guards, crushing them like a mousetrap)
    Hugo: Works for me!
  • Clopin spends most of the "Topsy-Turvy" number trolling Quasimodo. At one point he takes part in a chorus line, skirt included!
  • A piece of Mood Whiplash while Paris is burning.
    Victor: It's hopeless. Absolutely hopeless!
    Hugo: You're telling me! I'm losing to a bird!
    [cut to Hugo playing poker with a pigeon]
  • Although it crosses with Nightmare Fuel, there's some room for morbid humor in regards of how Frollo died. It was like when Frollo exclaimed "And He shall smite the wicked and plunge them into the fiery pit!", God casually replies "All right. Have it your way." and then sends Frollo to the fiery pit.
  • Early in the film, Frollo is drilling Quasimodo on the alphabet. Most of these words wouldn't fly in a child's alphabet (Abomination, Blasphemy, Contrition, Damnation, Eternal Damnation). Then, we get this gem.
    Frollo: Good. F? (takes a sip of his drink)
    Quasimodo:(Off-handed) Festival.
    (Frollo does a Spit Take)
    Frollo: Excuse me?
  • When a guard suddenly interrupts Frollo's Villain Song to inform him of Esmerelda's escape.
    Frollo: DESTROY Esmeralda, and let her taste the fires of Hell! Or else let her be mine and mine alone!
    (Suddenly, a pounding on the door interrupts Frollo's song and the smoke visage of Esmeralda instantly dissipates. Frollo turns to see the door open and one of his soldiers standing by the doorway.)
    Guard: Minister Frollo, the Gypsy has escaped.
    Frollo: What?!
    Guard: She's nowhere in the cathedral. She's gone.
    Frollo: But how?! I... never mind! Get out, you idiot! I'll find her! I'll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris!
  • Blink and you miss it, but Frollo's chagrined expression right after Quasimodo tosses a beam off the cathedral tower and shatters Frollo's coach. He looks exactly like a dad whose kid has just wrecked the sports car. You can practically hear him scowling "That boy is so grounded!"
    • Earlier, but related as it deals with something of Frollo's: when Phoebus escapes being executed (with Esmeralda's help) for saving the miller and his family, he does so by riding away on Frollo's ominous black horse. (Whom the directors joke is named Snowball.) What does Frollo tell his soldiers? "Hit him! And don't hit my horse!" (Counts as Even Evil Has Loved Ones, but it's still funny.)
  • And earlier in the film when Quasimodo is crowned the King of Fools, he gives him a hard glare complete with crossed arms and a raised eyebrow.
  • During Esmeralda's escape from the guards at the Festival of Fools, one of the clowns on stilts kicked four of the guards with one of the long legs in their crotches at the same time, causing them to yell out operatically.

The DVD Commentary

  • "We were told that the computers could not crash, that it could handle so much information, and we crashed it twice, and we're damn proud of it."
  • How can you tell Frollo is the villain? His black horse, black hat, black cape, and "voice from the tomb."
    • "If you haven't guessed yet, here's the villain."
  • The directors getting scared by the Jump Scare of Beata Maria's statue snapping her eyes open in the intro song.
  • The commenters keep remarking how Frollo's hat is big, big enough to count as a flotation device.
    • Their later rejoicing when Frollo loses his hat.
  • How did Frollo get from Quasimodo's loft to ground floor so quickly? The Animators think he took the express elevator.
  • According to the directors, Tony Jay tried to do his own Spit Take, but apparently, it's not something they teach at the "Shakespeare Academy".
  • The directors point out a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment during "Out There": When we get a bird's eye view of Paris, there's a satellite dish on one of the roofs.
  • During "Topsy Turvy Day", the directors appropriately nickname Frollo's carriage, "The Frollomobile", "The Carriage of Justice", then the "Mis-Carriage of Justice".
  • They refer to the scene where Frollo interrupts Esmeralda and Phoebus in Notre Dame as, "frollus interruptus".
  • When Quasimodo and Esmeralda are sneaking out of Notre Dame, the animators mention a thrown-away concept where the Gargoyles commentated on the act like sports announcers watching a bob-sledding competition.
  • "Here's some more of our ham-fisted symbolism, Frollo falls down in the shape of a crucifix!"
  • The directors make the previously heartbreaking scene where Quasimodo discovers Esmeralda's love of Phoebus hilarious, with the filmmakers almost MSTing their own movie at some points:
    Gary Trousdale: [as Esmeralda] Quasimodo, this is my boyfriend Phoebus. He wrecked his dad's car, can he stay at your apartment for a few days?
    • During Esmeralda and Phoebus's kiss, "The world's longest kiss going on in the background too, but they are French after all."
    • Quasi's "cool loft apartment" is a Running Gag through the commentary.
  • "That is one crispy gypsy."
  • During the scene with Quasimodo having dinner with Frollo: "Careful, it's the world's most deadly grape! Don't touch it!"
  • Originally, when Phoebus declared "Will we allow it?", Laverne was going to relay to the other gargoyles "He says someone stole his wallet".

The Stage Musical

  • In the American adaptation of the musical, Frollo and Captain Phoebus meet during the Festival of Fools. Frollo holds his hand out to Phoebus, and Phoebus, not sure if he wants him to kiss it or shake it, alternates between moving his head down to his hand and lifting his own hand to it. He ends up kissing his hand.
  • When Esmeralda chases Quasimodo up into the bell tower, he panics and looks for a place to hide. Where does he hide? In plain sight, pretending to be a gargoyle.
  • Like the film, Quasi and Phoebus have a bit of snarky love-hate relationship with each other, leading to some amusing exchanges.
    Phoebus: I have to find Esmeralda, I have to warn her and the others!
    Quasimodo: You? No, I!
    Phoebus: You? How can you possibly? You can hardly speak!
    Quasimodo: You can barely walk.
    • In the Paper Mills Production, Quasimodo is later handed his red cloak by a member of the chorus. Phoebus has to resort to snatching one off of a passing chorus member - the exact same one who offered Quasi his cloak.
  • Near the beginning of the part where Frollo and the guards search the brothel for Esmeralda, the brothel owner notes "Ah! Captain Phoebus. Nice to see you again". Cue an embarrassed Phoebus turning a 180 on his heel and walking stage left.
  • Its definitely dark, but that part in "Rhythm of the Tambourine" where Esmeralda says "it's just a dance- hey, what can it hurt?" is kind of funny in hindsight once you realize that dance set off a major part of the conflict of the show.
  • In the White Plains Performing Arts Center production, when Quasi tells Esmeralda about how he talks to the gargoyles, the congregants, portraying said gargoyles, feign ignorance and whistle innocently.



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