Follow TV Tropes


Funny / The Little Mermaid (1989)

Go To
Ariel using a "dinglehopper" to comb her hair. In front of Eric and Grimsby. Hilarity Ensues.

  • Ariel fails to arrive at her musical debut. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The part where Scuttle and the other marine animals crashed the wedding and proceeded to beat up the disguised Ursula. Especially when Eric's dog Max bit her in the butt (probably as payback for her Kick the Dog moment), and she screamed the loudest of all. Pure hilarity.
    • And a bit of Laser-Guided Karma, as thanks to the spell she put him under, Eric stands stock-still and does nothing to help her.
  • Scuttle thinks Ariel is in love with Max the dog at first.
    Ariel: He's really handsome, isn't he?
    Scuttle: Gee, I dunno. He looks kinda hairy and slobbery to me.
    Ariel: No, not that one. The one playin' the snarfblatt.
  • Eric's expression when he sees the overly fancy statue of himself; doubled with Max snarling at the statue in extreme disapproval. Amplified by the "wah-wah-wah" music sting.
    Eric: Uh, gee, Grim. It's''s really something.
  • The part where Sebastian drove Chef Louis out of his skull.
    • The whole scene starts when he stops singing as Sebastian had nearly gotten away again and despite having been looking at him a second ago he brings Sebastian right up to his face asking "What is this?" Sebastian's response? To honk his nose with both claws and suddenly The Cancan Song starts up as Louis burns his hand on a hot stove trying to grab him, has a bowl of sauce dumped on his head and ends with Louis throwing assorted cutlery at Sebastian who has retreated to a china cabinet!
    • Advertisement:
    • "Le poisson, le poisson, hee hee hee, hon hon hon!!"
    • The race car sound effect when Sebastian is running away from Louis until Louis flings a cleaver into his path before Sebastian changes directions and runs toward a shelf of dishes, wine glasses, and porcelain.
    • And Carlotta's reaction is hilarious.
      (A loud crash and shattering is heard)
      Carlotta: I think I'd better go see what Louis is up to.
      (Back to kitchen. Louis is trashing the place.)
      Louis: Come out, you little pipsqueak, and FIGHT LIKE A MAN!
      Carlotta: LOUIS!
      Louis: (looks up and bumps his head; causing a butcher knife to nearly fall on him)
      Carlotta: What are you doing?!
      Louis: Well, I was just... uh, I was just... um... I'm sorry, Madame. (sheepish grin while putting out a little fire on his whisker)
      Carlotta: Hmmph! (grabs the tray and stomps out of the kitchen)
    • Advertisement:
    • The fish's severed head lands in front of Sebastian, staring at him.
  • Early in the film, Ursula bemoans her exile from the kingdom, and moans that she's wasted away to nothing, despite still being quite fat. A book called Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files made it clear that as a young adult, she went from wispy to her current size due to overindulging on the gourmet meals at the palace. The musical also makes it clear that the lavish meals are what she misses most about her old life.
  • When Grimsby lifts the cover from his dish of stuffed crab... and it's Sebastian. Cue Ariel hastily gesturing Sebastian onto her own dish while Grimsby and Eric are distracted talking to one another. Grimsby unwittingly provides the punch line:
    Grimsby: Wonderful! Now, let's eat, before this crab wanders off my plate.
    [fork tinks against an empty plate with a little trail of stuffing marking Sebastian's escape]
  • Ursula hamming it up during her Villain Song was hilarious, in a skankily horrifying way.
    • "And never underestimate the importance of...BODY LANGUAGE!"
  • Ariel striking a sexy pose when Scuttle dresses her up in a boat sail and rope.
    • Bonus points for the sexy saxophone riff that plays.
  • Ariel drives like crazy. Bonus points for her expression, which shows she's thoroughly enjoying it. Extra bonus points for Eric's scared reaction, as well as his little slow popping up near the end, with an expression that said 'We're still alive?'
  • When Max sniffs Ariel out at the side of Eric's ship, she hides for a moment, then turns back and ends up face to face with Max. The expression on her face (right before Max licks it) is adorably funny.
    • Later, after Ariel becomes human, Max chases after her. Ariel climbs onto a rock, Max starts jumping and barking until he got another lick of her.
  • Scuttle looks through the wrong end of the telescope at Ariel and Flounder at the beginning of the first film.
    • Then when he lowers it and sees Ariel close to his face, he says "Whoa, what a swim."
  • Also, Scuttle's attempt to play the "Snarfblatt" (actually a smoking pipe) that Ariel found.
  • Ariel brushing her hair with a "dinglehopper" with absolute glee in the middle of dinner, right in front of Eric and Grimsley. The latter two's expressions are just priceless, especially Eric's Fascinating Eyebrow. The way Ariel freezes except for her eyes darting between them in an "Oh boy, I really screwed up, didn't I?" way is what really sells it.
    • Ariel taking Grimsley's smoking pipe and blowing smoke into his face. His expression with smoke all over his face is hilarious as is the fact that Eric and Carlotta both laugh upon seeing this.
    • After combing her hair, Ariel quickly puts it down with a bashful expression on her face. It was oddly adorable and funny seeing her look like a kid who got caught doing something bad.
      • A worry that ultimately proves baseless, as we see later when Ariel's preparing for bed; somebody in that castle decided to indulge her little quirk and got her another fork.
  • Eric puts forth "Mildred" as a possible name for Ariel. She makes the most wonderful face to show her disapproval. It really points out how much you can communicate without using words.
  • Chef Louie chasing Sebastian on the Wedding boat.
    • Ending with Sebastian snapping the rope to let a mast swing down and knock out Louie's teeth.
  • The beginning of the movie, where Sebastian pulls a huge book of music from a tiny shell.
    • Earlier than that, after Triton makes his grand entrance, Sebastian enters to the same epic music—played on a kazoo. And a few claps for him.
      • What makes it funnier is the herald's announcement, involving Sebastian's Overly Long Name: Horatio Thelonious Ignatius Crustaceous Sebastian.
  • Scuttle's attempt at serenading to get Ariel and Eric to kiss, which makes Ariel Face Palm. Eric mistook the noise for the death wails of a dying animal.
    Eric: Wow! Somebody should find that poor thing, put him out of his misery.
    • During "Kiss The Girl" when he tries to sing and the flamingos stop him from continuing.
  • When Ariel tries to explain to Eric by "playing charades" ("What is it? You're hurt? No, no... You need help").
    Sebastian: She traded her voice to the sea witch and she got legs! JEEZ, mon!
    Scuttle: I knew that.
  • Sebastian's entire freak-out over Ariel gaining legs, really.
    • "Do you know what her father say? I tell you what her father say. He says he's gonna kill himself A CRAB, that's what her father say!"
    • "And DON'T you shake your head at me, young lady!"
  • "You pucker your lips... like DIS."
  • Sebastian after Ariel's whole shipwreck adventure: "We're just gonna forget this whole thing ever happened. The sea king will never know. You won't tell him, I won't tell him. I will stay in one piece!" And earlier his Jaw Drop at Ariel lovingly serenading the unconscious Eric.
  • When Scuttle sees Ursula's reflection in Vanessa's mirror right before he goes to warn Ariel...
    Scuttle: The Sea Witch! Oh no... She's gonna... I gotta... (in his haste, flies right into window with a loud CLANG!) ARIEL!!!!!
    • Then when Scuttle arrives and tries to explain with Ariel and Sebastian looking at him in utter confusion. So to get to the point, he grabs Sebastian and slams him down the dock with every word.
      Scuttle: (out of breath) Ariel! I was flyin'...Well, of course I was flyin'...And I saw... that the watch—The witch was watchin' the mirror! And she was singin' with a stolen set of pipes! [grabs Sebastian] DO YOU HEAR WHAT I'M TELLIN' YOU?! THE PRINCE! IS MARRYIN'! THE SEA WITCH! IN DISGUISE!
  • Scuttle is ordered to stop the wedding and rounds up the entire sea and the entire scene afterwards is both awesome and hilarious. In order:
    • Scuttle and the birds dive-bomb Ursula twicenote , then pelicans drop water and seaweed on her head from their beaks, a lobster catches her nose in its claw and nine starfish throw themselves at Vanessa and stick to her with an audible "shlup" noise. While all this is going on, the priest fails to notice anything is going on and continues as normal even though birds are landing on his head. A seal bounces Vanessa upside down and then throws her to a second seal, who plays hot potato with a third seal which culminates with Vanessa ending up in the cake. Three dolphins soak her in the face with water as soon as she gets out of the cake and then, just to add insult to injury, Scuttle screams in her face - she tries to choke him as he grabs at her necklace and repeatedly kicks her in the face in the process; Max breaks free and bites her on the arse, making her scream in pain and release Scuttle, who sends the necklace flying...
  • Although the scene immediately after, where Ursula reveals herself and kidnaps Ariel, is pretty scary, she still gets a funny moment, with the epic trollface she gives Eric as she leaves with Ariel.
    Ursula: So long, lover boy!
  • Sebastian's reaction to the Seahorse Herald notifying him that Triton wanted to speak to him about Ariel.
    Sebastian: (gasps) HE KNOWS!
    • Then when Sebastian approaches Triton's throne and is pressured so much by the king, that he spills the beans.
      Triton: Let's see, now. . . . Oh, who could the lucky merman be? (notices Sebastian just outside the door) Uh, come in, Sebastian.
      Sebastian: (inhales deeply) I mustn't overreact. I must remain calm. (slowly walks over to Triton's throne; squeaky voice) Yes? (clears throat) Uh, yes, Your Majesty?
      Triton: Sebastian, I'm concerned about Ariel. Have you noticed she's been acting peculiar lately?
      Sebastian: Peculiar?
      Triton: You know, mooning about, daydreaming, singing to herself... You haven't noticed, hmm?
      Sebastian: W-well, I-I-I—
      Triton: Sebastian...
      Sebastian: Hmm? (Triton gestures for Sebastian to come closer; the crab nervously obeys)
      Triton: I know you've been keeping something from me...
      Sebastian: (Big Gulp) Keeping... something?
      Triton: About Ariel?
      Sebastian: (trembling) Ariel?
      Triton: In love, hmm?
      Sebastian: I TRIED TO STOP HER, SIR! SHE WOULDN'T LISTEN! I told her to stay away from humans! They are bad! They are trouble! They are...
      Triton: Humans? WHAT ABOUT HUMANS?!
      Sebastian: Humans? (chuckles nervously) Who said anything about humans?
  • Sebastian's "whatever" expression when Ariel (unaware of Sebastian's presence) begins singing "Part of Your World" (when talking about feet)
  • Grimsby last sees Eric on board a ship that explodes in the middle of a storm. He's got to think Eric's dead, right? But then he finds the prince on the beach, and instead of an overjoyed "You're alive!", we get this line.
    Grimsby: Eric! Oh, Eric. You really delight in these sadistic strains on my blood pressure, don't you?
  • Scuttle listening to Eric's foot in an attempt to check for his pulse
    Scuttle: Oh, I - I can't make out a heartbeat.
  • When Ursula accidentally kills Flotsam and Jetsam, her initial reaction is pretty funny... that is until she flies into an Unstoppable Rage.
    Ursula: (gasps) BABIES! My poor little poopsies!
  • In the deleted alternate version of "Poor Unfortunate Souls", the scene where Ursula talks to Ariel about payment plays out differently. Instead of simply bringing it up while taking a break from singing, Ursula seemingly forgets about it until she's just about to launch into another refrain:
    Ursula: (singing) So I think you ought to take my little bargain
    Yes, I think you ought to make my little deal,
    Sure, it's hard to leave your life, but you can be a prince's wife!
    Why don't you let me take that dream and make it real?
    (the music swells as normal) Oh, oh, oh, (speaking, the music changes) Ohohohohoho! My dear, I almost forgot.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: