Follow TV Tropes


Funny / Top Secret!

Go To

As typical for a ZAZ! production, if you're not laughing every 30 seconds, it's because you're watching Top Secret! on cable and there's a commercial break.

But if you want examples of Funny Moments:

  • Omar Sharif doing everything in his power to play the spy tropes serious, which only makes the movie funnier.
    • How Sharif survives the car compacter. At least the windshield wipers still work...
  • Nick's torture at the hands of the Germans. He passes out and imagines himself back in high school, the day of the big exam, but he is late for the exam and haven't studied. Then he wakes up and realizes he's still being tortured.
    Nick: (relieved) Oh, thank God.
  • The entire scene of entering the Swedish used book store (with Peter Cushing!). Filmed backward, but executed flawlessly to appear going forward (well, except for them going upward a sliding pole and the dog).
    • Here's the scene played forward. So deep is ZAZ's commitment they stuck in jokes that no one would hear!
  • When Nick and Hilary make love, they roll passionately on the floor and the camera tries to discreetly turn to a nearby fireplace. But the couple rolls into view again, forcing the camera to discreetly turn again to yet another fireplace, then the two roll into view once again. This time the camera moves up to a fireplace on top of the previous fireplace.
    • And when they parachute with the French Resistance to rescue Hilary's father, they embrace yet again in mid-air... with yet another fireplace floating on its own parachute.
  • Skeet surfing.
  • The national anthem of East Germany.
    Hail, hail, East Germany
    land of fruit and grape
    land where you'll regret
    if you try to escape
    no matter if you tunnel under
    or take a running jump at the wall
    forget it, the guards will kill you
    if the electrified fence doesn't first
  • Getting introduced to the French Resistance fighters.
    Du Quois: This is Chevalier, Montage, Detente, Avant Garde, and Deja Vu.
    Deja Vu: Haven't we met before?
    Nick: I don't think so.
    (Deja Vu nods, but then glares at Nick like he remembered something)
    Du Quois: Over there, Croissant, Souffle, Escargot, and Chocolate Mousse.
  • "How ironic! Another day and I would have completed my tunnel!"
    • And you have to see the tunnel...
    • But why would he want to escape to Joisey (according to the sign in the tunnel)...
  • "This is not Mel Tormé."
  • Nick: Listen to me Hillary. I'm not the first guy who fell in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island who then turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground.
    Hillary: I know. It all sounds like some bad movie.
    (Beat, as the two turn slowly toward the camera.)
    • For added hilarity, watch the movie with someone who has never seen it before. Shout "IT IS!" After Hilary's line right before the beat. See the look on your friend's face. Priceless.
  • When La Résistance is attacked in their shed, there are closeups of feet running in one direction, and then the other direction, and then breaking into a synchronized dance routine.
  • Nick and Hilary's ridiculously complex dance routine. A ZAZ trademark. For the record: What begins as a regular waltz, evolves into a parody of a traditional Bavarian folk dance (which of course never would have been used in a classy restaurant — and Bavaria was a part of West Germany at the time, while Berlin is a part of Prussia).
  • Advertisement:
  • The ad-lib for the song "Spend This Night With Me".
    "Oh, dumpling, I promise I'll even be nice to your momma..."
  • When Nigel reveals he is a traitor, he picks up a rifle leaning on a tree and the tree falls over.
  • The dead carrier pigeon, that Deja Vu thinks is the actual traitor in the resistance.
    • For that matter, the flock of pigeons that escape Nigel's coat when Hillary discovers he's the mole.
  • "And I will miss you most of all, Scarecrow!"
  • The Travel Montage which turns into a game of Pac-Man.
  • Nick and Hillary are riding in a hay wagon on their way to see The Torch; we hear a German drinking song being sung, and assume it's the driver. But the close-up shows us that it's the horse pulling the wagon who's doing the singing. As Nick and Hillary get down from the wagon, the horse lets loose with a hacking cough.
    Nick: (to the driver) Is he all right?
    Wagon Driver: Oh, yes. He caught a cold the other day, and he's just a little hoarse.
    Horse: (as they're pulling away) It's been a hard day's night, und I'fe been verking like a dog...
    • Everybody now: "YAH, yah, YAH! YAAAAH!"
  • Nick's over the top performance of a love song (of the "slow" variety) complete with a doo-wop backing chorus. When he goes into speaking in the middle sequence (parodying Neil Sedaka), he stresses how he cannot live without "her", constantly trying to kill himself. Cue a gallows noose, a set of railroad tracks, and a gas oven suddenly appearing on stage; the backing singers have to drag him out of each of them.
    • For that matter, how he "seduces" a young girl, who faints in his arms, only for him to literally dump her (with an audible "thud") moments later. And the girls in the audience, reacting from the classical screaming to fainting, to getting visibly off on him...
      • And then there's that noticeably unenthusiastic boy sitting in the front row.
  • Chocolate Mousse's ridiculous skill with a Thompson submachine gun.
    • Earlier in the film, he's seen loading the gun with a powder horn and ramrod like a musket.
    • Oh god, the safehouse shootout in general. From the impromptu tap dancing to one resistance fighter "heroically" saving them from a grenade, it's all just hilarious and awesome at the same time. And to think that 12 years later, Val Kilmer would star in Heat which is also famed for its epic shootout scene.
  • Nick mistakenly performs "Tutti Frutti". The house band, who are all old men, get so worked up afterwards that they trash their instruments like Pete Townshend.
  • In the Der Pizza Haus scene, the locals start to dance to Nick's song, parodying swing dancing. One man is swinging what is clearly a ragdoll over his head in a circle, while Nick does a backspin so epic he saws through the floor.
  • Ordering in the classy restaurant:
    Hillary: Don't worry, I know a little German. He's sitting over there!
    (Cut to a midget in lederhosen tipping his hat to the couple)


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: