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Funny / The Martian

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Funny moments abound, largely due to Mark Watney's flair for narration.

  • "Fuck you, Mars."
  • Watney's unyielding hatred for seventies television and disco music. Particularly Lewis's choices in seventies TV and disco music.
  • One particular point stands out, due to the jarring contrast:
    "He's stuck out there. He thinks he's totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man's psychology?" He turned back to Venkat. "I wonder what he's thinking right now."

    • The film has a nearly identical joke that's almost as funny. After the same setup, we cut to Mark in the Hab listening to "Turn the Beat Around". "I am definitely going to die out here. (Beat) If I have to listen to any more godawful disco music."
      • "No, I am not going to turn the beat around. I refuse to."
  • Watney has made contact with NASA, and is very pissed off to learn that they have decided to let his crewmates think he is dead, so as not to distract them from their mission of returning home to Earth;
    JPL: ...please watch your language. Everything you type is being broadcast live all over the world.
    WATNEY: Look! A pair of boobs! -> (.Y.)
    • The movie replaces the "pair of boobs" with some unseen profanity, for which Teddy is forced to apologise directly to the President. In the extended cut Mitch admits he had to look up the word on Google, and clearly wishes he hadn't. (The word is revealed further down the page for those curious).
    • Andy Weir admitted on Facebook that he was so proud of the "pair of boobs" joke that when the publisher printed a special student's edition of The Martian with the profanity removed, he fought to have that joke retained for said edition.
  • Watney is having a text conversation with Johannsen a few days before Hermes arrives to rescue him:
    JOHANNSEN: When we pick you up, I will make wild, passionate love to you. Prepare your body.
    JOHANNSEN: I didn't type that! That was Martinez! I stepped away from the console for like 10 seconds!
    WATNEY: I've really missed you guys.
  • Watney is asked to pose for a photo via remote camera, as per a request by NASA's Director of Media Relations. What does Watney do? He stands in front of the camera, gives a thumbs up, and holds up a card that reads "Ayyyyyyyyy!"
    • Watney is trying to decide on a pose for the picture, and whether a particular pose would look good in a space suit:
      Watney: High school senior picture...or coquettish ingénue?
  • Annie complains because she needs a photo with Watney's face.
    Kapoor: I could tell him to take off his helmet... but then he'd, you know, die, so... [chuckles all around]
  • Annie from NASA PR is just an everyday barrel of sunshine. And she really, really needs that photo.
    Annie: I need something, Venkat. You've been in contact for twenty-four hours and the media is going ape shit ... The press is crawling down my throat for this. And up my ass. Both directions, Venkat! They're gonna meet in the middle!
  • From the trailer, Watney's video log where he states that he is still alive.
    Watney: (obviously tired and in pain) Surprise!
  • After waking up alone on Mars, staggering in pain back to the habitat, then performing gruelling self-surgery, Watney is finally able to take a moment to think, and then says his very first words since getting stranded on Mars.
    Watney: Fuck.
  • Watney nearly blowing himself up when attempting to convert leftover rocket fuel into water. He whoops in joy when the flame catches only to get blown backwards and slammed into a wall.
    • The first video log entry after the unfortunate hydrazine mishap, during which Mark's clothing is visibly smouldering. Not to mention the subtle tinnitus sound effect, that fades after he cracks his jaw.
      "So, I blew myself up. Because I'm stupid..."
    • Followed by him attempting the experiment again... In full protective gear, including a space helmet, thick gloves, and a poncho made from a thermal blanket.
  • The film gets every last bit of horrific mileage out of the soundtrack, which contains nothing but 1970's music due to the captain's horrible taste. Watney complains about it constantly, and every last song ends up hilariously appropriate to his situation. Of particular note; having picked up the RTG, which is a big box of Plutonium that is so radioactive that it can be used as a space heater (if you're incredibly desperate and/or foolish), Mark plays Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff". And might possibly be doing the dance from The Full Monty while he listens to it, grinning all the while.
    Mark: Sure, I could choose to think about the fact that I'm warm because I have a decaying radioactive isotope riding right behind me, but right now, I have bigger problems on my hands. I have scoured every single data file on Commander Lewis' personal drive. This is officially the least disco song she owns. (plays 'Hot Stuff', turns back to the camera with the most FML look on his face, and then begins to dance)
    • The one that takes the cake, however, is the end credits song, none other than Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" itself!
      And so you're back from outer space
      I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face...
    • Also incredibly appropriate? Starman by David Bowie, played when Earth is mobilizing its efforts to launch a proper rescue for Watney:
      There's a starman waiting in the sky
      He'd like to come and meet us
      But he thinks he'd blow our minds
      There's a starman waiting in the sky
      He's told us not to blow it
      'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile...
  • Though it's a really tense situation, a lot of the final rescue is hilarious due to the sheer nuttiness of the plans. From Watney rocketing into space on what is basically a tent with rocket boosters on the bottom, Captain Lewis blowing a hole in her own ship, and Watney puncturing a hole in his suit in the vacuum of space so he can fly "like Iron Man" (and instantly and predictably throwing himself straight into a wall), they all duly lampshade how none of these ideas sound even remotely sane. At one point, they actually switch off their broadcast to Earth so they can discuss their latest desperate act without causing unnecessary panic for NASA.
  • In the book, Watney comes to the conclusion that being stuck on Mars has given him one amazing opportunity:
    Watney: I can't wait till I have grandchildren. "When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!"
  • When he's told by NASA that the rest of the crew wasn't informed that he's still alive, Watney responds with a very rude word. When NASA warns him that his messages can be seen by the entire world, Watney presumably responds with a Cluster F-Bomb. The NASA Director has to personally apologize to the President of the United States afterwards.
    • Even better is the fact that all we see is Mark raising his eyebrows and saying "Oh, really?" before starting to type, followed by everyone at NASA cringing and/or laughing. It could have been a stream of swearing, or the book's 'Look! A pair of boobs!' line. All we know is, the President really didn't like it. What's even better, is the look of one of the JPL guys who's next to Kapoor as he's telling Mark to watch his language. He knows what's going to happen next. He knows.
      • Thanks to the miracle of deleted scenes, we know what was sent. Decorum forbids repeating, but it was so, so far over the line that it was enough to mentally scar a Sean Bean character and land that half a scene on the cutting room floor.
  • Watney repurposing the Pathfinder rover as a robotic pet.
  • "I am the greatest botanist on this planet."
  • Watney describes Johanssen's personal effects, which include a copy of Leather Goddesses of Phobos, as "the Smithsonian of loneliness."
    • This is also amusing in retrospect, given that the Where Are They Now epilogue shows that Johanssen and Chris Beck have gotten married and had a baby.
    • In the book (and in a deleted scene from the film, easily found on Youtube), on the trip back to Mars, Martinez is having trouble with his compartment and has to sleep in the corridors outside. Lewis comes up with a simple but blunt solution: she tells Johanssen and Beck to share Johanssen's bunk so Martinez can move into Beck's. Johanssen is mortifyingly embarrassed that their supposedly secret relationship got out.
  • Purnell names his plan to rescue Watney by near-illegally collaborating with the Chinese Space Program "Project Elrond", in reference to the secret meeting to decide what to do with the One Ring. Montrose is the only person who doesn't get the reference, and is relentlessly teased by her colleagues, who are all apparently huge Tolkien nerds. It's not every day when you hear the director of NASA say he wants his codename to be "Glorfindel"!
    • Even better: the one to attempt to explain it to her is none other than one-time Council of Elrond attendee Sean Bean.
    • Once the Lord of the Rings seal has been breached, Teddy insists that his code-name be Glorfindel. Delivered in the same deadpan serious tone as all of his other lines in the film.
      • Even better when you know about the lore behind the name, because while Glorfindel is essentially removed from the movies, he has a larger role in the books, and the backstory has him as a major leader among the elves - a perfect character for the director of NASA to associate himself with (which also shows just how One of Us Teddy is to even know his name, much less understand the parallels between the character and himself).
  • Jeff Daniels keeps his trademark snarky face throughout the movie. You can tell Teddy is dying to make wisecracks with the situation, but given he has to maintain some composure, he lets the jokes remain implied with Facial Dialogue.
  • Watney figuring that since Mars is treated like international waters, and since he is basically taking a US-flagged spacecraft without explicit permission, he has effectively become humanity's first space pirate. He tells NASA to call him "Blondbeard".
  • A meta-CMOF:
    • In the final scenes of the book, Mark notes that, if this was a movie, the entire crew would gather in the airlock to hug him and welcome him back. Sure enough, in the movie, that's exactly what happened.
    • This film is one of the seemingly few where Sean Bean's character lives to the end... until you realize by sneaking Rich Purnell's maneuver to Hermes in direct defiance of the director of NASA's orders, he's killed his career. He still can't catch a break!
    • This is the third time that America put together an expensive and extremely dangerous rescue mission to bring Matt Damon home.
    • The fact that this movie won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical.
  • Everything in "The Right Stuff" promo video, where every crew member gives a humorous response to the NASA psychologist after their mandatory 10 day isolation test.
  • When Teddy, the director of NASA is finally forced to reveal Mark's survival to the public, he is stormed by hundreds of reporters:
    • One asks him whether or not he will resign. His response is a blunt 'No'.
    • He gives completely deadpan, and obvious non-answers to all the other questions, too, with undissimulated indolence:
      • "What attempts have been made to make contact with Mark Watney?" "We're working on it."
      • "Does he have enough food to survive?" "We're looking into it."
      • "Is there a rescue plan?" "We're exploring options."
    • All utterly true, and all utterly uninformative.
  • Anything and everything that involves Rich Purnell, really. That guy is a crowning person of funny, even in the scenes where he doesn't appear. Especially the scene where he attempts to explain his calculations in the Project Elrond meeting and...volunteers Annie and Teddy to represent Mars and Earth, respectively.
    • During the Elrond meeting, he ask Teddy, the Director of NASA, for his name. Teddy replies with a wonderful, non-nonplussed "Teddy. I'm the Director of NASA." Rich clearly couldn't care less, and steals his pen a few seconds later.
      • Kapoor steps in to help Rich explain by clicking a pen right on Annie's forehead and clipping it to the stapler Rich is using. Annie is not amused.
      • While using a stapler to represent the Hermes, Rich makes shoom shoom rocket noises like he's a kid playing with his toys. Teddy and Annie are not amused.
      • Teddy's completely deadpan "Rich. Get out." At this point, it's all he can say in the face of such ridiculousness.
      • Rich leaves as told, but keeps Teddy's fancy pen while sticking the cheap ballpoint one back in Teddy's pocket. He also keeps the stapler. Odds are good neither was done intentionally.
    • In his Establishing Character Moment Purnell is crashed out on a cot in his office, having evidently worked to the point of being too exhausted to go home to sleep. He ends up doing a Spit Take soon after getting up, having the presence of mind to grab a waste basket to catch the ejected fluid with. But not the presence of mind to make sure there was a liner first, dejectedly watching coffee drip through his mesh waste basket.
    • Purnell runs off to get more coffee after his "Eureka!" Moment, tripping and falling on the way. Funnier once you realize that bit wasn't scripted.
    • And above the cot that he's passed out on, there's a blackboard covered in complex calculations, to show that he's a mathematician. In the bottom corner of this blackboard? The word "SCIENCE!", taking up a considerable amount of space. Sometimes you gotta make your own forms of motivation.
  • Fairly early on, it is shown that engineers on Earth are attempting all of the same modifications that they are telling Watney to do, to ensure that their solutions are feasible. This culminates in a scene intercutting between Watney and a NASA engineer drilling holes in the roof of a Mars Rover, beating on it with a hammer to try and break the cut-out loose, and finally jumping up and down on the roof when the hammer fails. The scene ends with both Watney and the engineer falling straight through the roof when they succeed.
    Mark: (logging the plans) Luckily, I have the greatest minds on planet Earth - really, all the brainpower on the entire planet - helping me with this endeavour, and so far, they've come up with, "Hey, why don't you drill a hole in the roof of your rover and hit it as hard as you can with a rock?"
  • Mark opening sealed packets of his crew's biowaste isn't very funny. Mark cursing Johannsen for how smelly her waste is? A bit funny.
    • Even funnier considering he plugged up his nostrils, and still nearly threw up when he opened her packet.
  • Survival mathematics:
    "Right, let's do the math. Our surface mission here was supposed to last 31 sols. For redundancy they sent 68 sols worth of food, that's for six people. So for just me, that's going to last 300 sols, which I figure I can stretch to 400 if I ration. So, I have to figure out a way to grow 3 years worth of food here, on a planet where nothing grows. Luckily...(holds up his operation manual) I'm a botanist. Mars will come to fear my botany powers."
  • When Mark is preparing to leave the module for the last time, he steps into the airlock... and only then realizes he forgot his helmet on the table. Made even more hilarious by the reason that he forgot it: he was too distracted by the prospect of being an actual space pirate!
  • "I've colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong."
  • Mark's heartfelt despair when he runs out of ketchup and is informed that he has to reduce his food intake to 1/3 of his normal consumption.
    Mark: I am going to dip this potato in crushed Vicodin and there's no one who can stop me. (Beat as Mark eats the potato, staring at the screen with an expression of abject misery) It has been seven days since I ran out of ketchup.
  • Bruce, about to explain to Vincent about the plan to get Watney off Mars using the MAV, starts his presentation by going:
    • As Bruce continues to explain how they need to lighten the load of the MAV so drastically that they need to remove the chairs, control consoles, windows, and the nose of the MAV, he shoves the model components to a junior engineer standing behind him, who is forced to stand, in full view of the camera, holding a bunch of cardboard models in his hands like an idiot.
    • The final exchange between Bruce and Vincent.
      Vincent: You want to send him into space under a tarp?
      Bruce: (in a tone that suggests he has had this argument too many times already) Yes.
    • Watney's first reaction, sent as a text from the rover, is "Are you f***ing kidding me?" And Kapoor spends a scene discussing what tone he meant it with, excitedly surprised, or grudging incredulity, with Mindy innocently guessing it might be the first.
    • The best encouragement NASA can give Watney is that it will be a totally awesome stunt to pull off. Watney immediately lampshades just how shallow that reassurance is... and allows himself to fall for it anyway.
      Watney: Yeah, I get to go faster than any man in the history of space travel, (Beat) because you're launching me in a convertible! So they're only doing that in the hopes that I won't raise any objections to this lunacy, because I like the way "fastest man in the history of space travel" sounds. (Beat) I do like the way it sounds. But I'm not going to tell them that.
  • "I admit it's fatally dangerous, but consider: I'd get to fly around like Iron Man." This is even funnier in the film, where several of the main cast have appeared in both the MCU and other Marvel productions: Beck is played by Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rick Martinez is played by Michael Peña, who played Luis in Ant-Man. And Vincent Kapoor and Bruce Ng are played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong respectively, both of whom appeared in Doctor Strange (2016). Beth Johanssen is played by Kate Mara, who played Sue Storm in the (not MCU) 2015 production of Fantastic Four and a US Marshall in Iron Man 2. Then, finally, in 2017, Matt Damon joined the MCU as well, playing an Asgardian actor, who in turn plays Loki, in Thor: Ragnarok.
    • And while technically not MCU, Jessica Chastain played Vuk in Dark Phoenix.
  • The NASA crew figuring Mark's inflatable side room during his trip to Schiaparelli is a workshop for all the tinkering he'll have to do, when it's actually just a way to keep him from going crazy from spending a month in the cramped rover.
  • In the Extended Edition DVD, there is a scene of Mark camping out in an inflatable tent on his way to Schiaparelli, and then burying a small packet under a rock, along with a note saying 'SORRY!'. For those who just watched the movie, this may not make much sense. For readers of the book, it is instantly obvious what the packet contains: Mark's poop.
    • Also in the extended version, while Mark is doing the rest of the crew's experiments.
      Mark: Also, Johanssen, I know how much you don't like me touching the Chem-Cam. But... (starts rubbing his hand on the Chem-Cam) I'm touching the Chem-Cam. (continues rubbing the Chem-Cam) A lot.
  • From the outtakes, referencing Mark's unrevealed, profanity-laced message:
    Annie: I'm sorry, what's a f(bleep)?
    [beat, distant laughter]
    Teddy: It's when someone, su- uh, with or without a straw, sucks the (bleep) out of a (bleep) or an (bleep) after a (bleep) or *clears throat* (bleep) (bleep) (bleep).
    Annie: Oh. *cracks up*
    • The word is revealed in the Extended DVD to be 'felcher'. And that's a pretty good definition, thanks Teddy!
  • In the book, Mark's detached airlock ordeal is a lot more difficult. The faceplate for his spacesuit didn't just crack, it shattered. So, after fixing a small leak in the airlock with duct tape, he uses a super-strong resin from his suit's patch kit to seal the faceplate, spreading it with his fingers and using material he cut off the suit's left arm.
    It seemed to work well. The seal looked strong and the resin was rock-hard. I did, however, glue my hand to the helmet.
    Stop laughing.
  • In the book, when Watney gets to send emails to the crew, he says he always suspected Vogel was a supervillain because he has a German accent, he's a chemist, and he has a base on Mars. Later on, when told that Vogel is building a bomb on Hermes as part of the insane plan to slow down, Watney declares he knew Vogel was a mad scientist.
    • While Vogel is building his bomb in the book, the narration highlights that NASA actually went through quite a bit of trouble specifically to ensure that very few things aboard the ship could be combined to explode.
    • And then Vogel still manages to build a bomb anyways... using nothing but liquid oxygen, sugar, and a glass container.
  • Venkat ends up spending a portion of the book working at the JPL campus, where they have nowhere for him to set up an office, so he ends up working in the breakroom, where as the Director of Mars Operations, he ends up becoming an authority on what food or drinks are in stock for any random worker who asks.
    • Further, he can't help but to snark at the lack of people skills that some of the JPL engineers have. As a rule, the JPL engineers usually couldn't care less.
    • Rich Purnell, while dumping a stack of his papers all over Venkat's desk and taking forever to get to the point of why he wanted to talk to him, mentions off-hand that he's been told by others that he has a tendency to be difficult, and goes off on a tangent to complain about how he wishes people would just tell him when he's doing that. Venkat interrupts him to inform him that he's being difficult, and gets a thanks in response.
  • Mitch Henderson, meanwhile, ends up working in China with the CNSA folks planning the resupply launch for Hermes. Evidently the Chinese engineers, much like more than a few of the NASA staff, think Henderson is an asshole, and he suspects the food they are getting him to eat is a form of payback.
  • Audiobook recordings include some additional short stories, collectively titled "From the Files of Mark Watney" taking place before and after the book.
    • In "Car Trouble," Mark tells his mom about how he ended up stranded alone in a barren wasteland when his car breaks down while driving through rural Texas. He jury-rigs a phone charger using his car's internal wiring and calls for a tow truck, and then has to deal with the mechanic giving him crap for the hack job he did on the car's electronics.
    • In "The Earthling", Watney is pretty much done with space travel, but Lewis is trying to get him to join her at a company doing space tourism. When she tells him her salary is five million dollars a year, he replies by pointing out that as literally the most famous man on the planet, he could make that much doing product endorsements, before improvising a commercial for hemorrhoid cream.