A good one-liner will make you smirk. A great one will make you laugh out loud. There are many elements to good comedy—the context, the way the actor delivers the line, the responses of other characters in the scene—and ultimately, whether or not you laugh depends on your personal tastes. But there’s no doubt that the hilarious quotes on this list are some of the most iconic of all time:
Caught in a Web of Lies: “I have nipples, Greg. Would you milk me?”—Meet the Parents
Poor Gaylord Focker just doesn’t possess natural charm—and his series of little white lies only serve to lessen his likeability with his fiancé’s parents. At dinner one night, he tries to cover the lie he told Mr. Byrnes about growing up on a farm by suggesting that he milked a cat once. The lie hits a snag when Mrs. Byrnes muses that she didn’t know cats could be milked, to which Gaylord replies: “You can milk anything with nipples.” Instead of letting the remark slide, Mr. Byrnes traps Gaylord in his lie with his cheeky remark: “I have nipples, Greg. Would you milk me?”
The Good Intention: “Fat guy in a little coat”—Tommy Boy
Immature but sweet-hearted Tommy Callahan III hopes to ease the growing tension between him and his father’s former assistant, Richard Hayden, by poking fun of himself. Tommy is considerably larger than his petite business partner, so he puts on Richard’s elfin jacket and starts singing the now-famous line: “Fat guy in a little coat.” The hilarity kicks up a notch when his good intentions go awry: the coat splits down the back mid-song.
The Follow-Up: “I’ll have what she’s having”—When Harry Met Sally
Sally’s believable fake orgasm in the midst of a packed delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally gets the attention of all her fellow diners. After she’s finishes, the waitress approaches the table next to hers to take an older woman’s order. She calmly responds, “I’ll have what she’s having.” The comedy helps ease the awkwardness of the moment, and earns extra points for the woman’s age.
The Insult: “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”—Monty Python and the Holy Grail
It’s hard to pick just one hilarious moment from this iconic parody, but the Taunting Frenchman scene is one that has managed to stand out from all the rest. When King Arthur comes across a French castle, he asks the French solider standing guard for lodging and food; in return, he will invite them to join his God-given quest to find the Holy Grail. Rather than being accommodating, the French solider directs a slew of ridiculous low-brow insults at the King and tells him to “go away or I’ll taunt you a second time.”
Michael Edmondstone works closely with musicMagpie.com – a company that lets you easily sell unwanted disks, electronics and clothing online