If You Don't Know These Gags, You Don't Know Comedy

There’s a strong case to be made that comedy is the best film genre, because everybody loves to laugh. You go to the movies to escape the boringness and the monotony of the real world and disappear into an artificial world that exists on the big screen. Well, what better way to do that than to switch off your brain for an hour and a half or so and laugh your ass off? There have been some really great comedy movies released over the years that have set the benchmark really high for the comedies to come – The Naked Gun, Airplane!, Animal House, Vacation, a whole bunch of them. These movies are all defined by their greatest gags. The gags are what make or break a comedy movie, because a good story and cast of characters is all very important, but the gags are what make a comedy movie a comedy movie. That’s where all the humor comes from. Well, that and quotes. But the most memorable parts are the gags. We’ve had some great comedy movies in the past few years, as the likes of Will Ferrell and Jonah Hill and Steve Carell and Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller and Seth Rogen have risen to prominence – and they’ve given us some really great gags. How well do you know the world of comedy movies? Match these gags to the comedies they’re from!

1An incomplete chest-waxing

For this scene in Judd Apatow’s feature directorial debut movie, the filmmakers pretty much just had Steve Carell genuinely get his chest waxed and then pointed cameras at him. That’s why all of his reactions seem so real – they are! It was scenes like this that changed movie comedy forever by introducing heavy improvisation. In the process, the movie broke a record for the highest amount of film ever used for one production. They used like a million feet of film and the film stock supplier had a party with champagne to celebrate. So, what is the movie?

2Drinking an entire bottle of cola and then burping

“Whoa, did you hear that?” That’s what Will Ferrell’s naive character says after he necks an entire bottle of carbonated soda in a matter of seconds. This, of course, is followed by an eruptive burp that lasts for a good few seconds, right in everybody’s faces at the dinner table. Of course they heard it! This movie is a Christmas classic that demands to be rewatched every year around the holiday season. A sequel has long been mooted, but the first stands so well on its own that it doesn’t need a sequel. So, what Christmas classic is it?

3Singing Bohemian Rhapsody in the car

At the beginning of this comedy movie, which frequently breaks the fourth wall, is filled with wacky and memorable one liners, and was adapted from a series of sketches in Saturday Night Live, the characters played by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey pile into the “Mirth Mobile” with their buddies and sing along to the classic Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody. In the process, they made the forgotten song a memorable hit once again. What movie is this hilarious bit from?

4Jonah Hill getting hit by a car

Joe Lo Truglio, who is now better known as Detective Charles Boyle from the hit Fox comedy series Brooklyn Nine Nine, was relatively unknown when he took on this small role in the first produced screenplay of childhood friends Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who had been writing this teen angst comedy since they were both in their early teens. In one scene, Lo Truglio hits Jonah Hill with his car. Which modern classic high school movie is it from?

5An epic battle between news teams

“No touching of the hair or face.” That’s the main rule of this epic fight that breaks out between a bunch of feuding news teams who are struggling against each other in the ratings. This little absurdist comedy set in the high flying world of broadcast news in the 1970s in San Diego has become a stone cold modern classic that stands alongside the likes of Airplane! and The Naked Gun in the classic comedy lexicon. It was directed by Adam McKay who co-wrote the script with Will Ferrell after they met while working together on Saturday Night Live. What is the name of the movie?

6Throwing a record collection at a pair of zombies

This zombie comedy helped to put British cinema on the map around the same period of time as movies like Trainspotting and Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love, Actually. This one is a romcom in the vein of the latter two, but it has the gritty, cinematic value of the former. As a zombie apocalypse breaks out in London and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost realize it, they dispatch the first couple of undead with Pegg’s record collection. Name the movie.

7The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a harmless character on a box of marshmallows until paranormal forces take over New York City and turn him into a giant, evil monster roaming the streets, trying to destroy everything in sight. This supernatural comedy is often cited as one of the best comedy films ever made. It stars Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts – the list goes on, it’s a hell of a cast. So, what’s the movie?

8Zach Galifianakis’ bag of Fanta

The Hangover made Zach Galifianakis a huge star back in 2009. He was well known as an alternative comedian, but he didn’t break into the mainstream until that monstrous hit came out. In one of his movies since, he’s been in Thailand, drinking Fanta through a straw out of a plastic bag. This gag is so wonderfully random and out there, and yet it is sort of grounded in reality – you can imagine buying something like that on vacation in an exotic country. What movie is this from?

9“The Exorcism of Jonah Hill”

This dark apocalyptic comedy stars a bunch of Hollywood stars as themselves during the end of the world. At one point, Jonah Hill prays to God to kill Jay Baruchel, so in return, a demon is sent to possess him. During the next day, he feels pretty weird, until he starts speaking in tongues and gets knocked out with a frying pan. Cut to a title card: “The Exorcism of Jonah Hill.” The guys strap him to a bed to exorcize the demon. What movie is it?

10Melissa McCarthy taking a number two in a sink

Judd Apatow knows comedy talent when he sees it, and he’s never reluctant to give that talent the opportunities they need to expand their horizons. He saw Kristen Wiig’s potential and offered to produce a screenplay she had written about a down on her luck single woman’s best friend’s wedding. When the gals are all trying on dresses for the wedding, they come down with food poisoning and Melissa McCarthy takes a crap in a sink. What movie is it?

11Destructive sleepwalking

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have reteamed for their third movie as a comedy duo that will be released later this year. They play Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in the movie, which will be a comedic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Their last movie together was this weird little absurdist comedy that director Adam McKay expected to fail but would’ve been fun to make, and it ended up being huge! It’s a dumb movie, but it’s so much fun. One scene sees Ferrell and Reilly’s characters going on a destructive rampage while sleepwalking. What movie is this gag from?

12Car chase through a shopping mall

This movie was based on a series of Saturday Night Live sketches about a musical duo played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The film expanded on the characters quite a bit, including the backstory that they were raised in an orphanage that is now threatened with closure. So, in a bid to make the money, the pair must trick their way into performing a bunch of gigs across the country, but they don’t expect any consequences, because they’re “on a mission from God.” One of their hijinks involves a car chase that takes them through a shopping mall. What is the movie?

13Desk pop

“They were so convincing in their argument!” In this buddy cop action comedy directed by Adam McKay, a pair of hotshot detectives manage to convince pencil pushing fuddy duddy Will Ferrell that he needs to do a “desk pop,” which means to discharge your firearm in a police station. They tell him that everyone’s done it and act surprised that he hasn’t yet, and eventually he does it, getting himself in a lot of trouble. What movie is it from?

14Naked fight in a hotel

This mockumentary movie is special, because the filmmakers did it for real. Everyone got into character and then they shot it like a real documentary with real people. The FBI got tipped off and many people tried to sue, but it was totally worth it, because the critics loved it, it grossed a ton of money, it got nominated for Oscars, and it now remains as a timeless classic. One scene involves a naked fight in a hotel. Name the movie.

15Tarantula bite on the testicles

This movie came out a few years ago and became a surprise monster hit at the box office. It’s about a drug dealer who gets some lowlifes to pretend to be his family in order to head down to Mexico to retrieve a massive stash of weed from across the border. It stars Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston, and in one scene, Will Poulter has his balls bitten by a tarantula and they swell up. What’s the name of the movie?

16Item 9

The stoner comedy is an interesting subgenre of comedy movies, because most of people watching these movies are high anyway, so they decided to make a whole subgenre of comedy that is about people smoking weed or selling weed or getting high. One of these movies – perhaps the very best – begins with a black and white scene in which the first ever person to smoke weed assesses what is then called “Item 9” for the US government. What movie is it?

17Missing swan

“The swan’s escaped.” Sgt. Nicholas Angel, played by Simon Pegg, believes this to be a prank call when a farmer rings in tell him that his swan has gotten away, but it’s all too real. It then becomes a running gag throughout this violent buddy cop action comedy directed by Edgar Wright that the swan keeps popping up and somehow manages to elude the police, no matter how close they get. So, what’s the name of this iconic British film?

18Smoking ticket

This comedy movie is almost a shot for shot, line for line remake of a disaster movie named Zero Hour! The creators saw Zero Hour! on TV one night by accident and saw that the ridiculousness of it could be milked for comedy. So, by getting dramatic actors to play it straight and leaning into the absurdity, they made what is possibly the greatest comedy movie of all time. The film has gags from start to finish. One such gag involves a “smoking” ticket. What movie is it?

19Fighting Bob Barker

This movie is arguably the greatest ever made by Adam Sandler. He stars as an aspiring hockey player who discovers that he has much more natural talent for golf. So, he goes on tour with the aim of winning the prize money and using it to buy back his grandma’s repossessed house. At one point, he’s playing with Price is Right host Bob Barker and ends up getting into a brutal fight with him. What movie is this gag from?

20Tranquilizer dart in Will Ferrell’s neck

Will Ferrell is always dependable for a funny movie. Even if the movie itself is not the great, you know that you’re at least guaranteed to laugh, because he’s in it. Well, this movie, in which he plays a man named Frank the Tank and ends up with a tranquilizer dart in his neck, is a really great movie that he makes even greater by being in it. It was directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips. What movie is it?

21Lie detector test by girlfriend’s dad

In this 2000 comedy movie directed by Jay Roach, Ben Stiller is subjected to a painfully awkward meeting with his girlfriend and soon to be fiancee’s mother and father. The father, played by Robert De Niro, turns out to be a former CIA agent who still has all of his old equipment, including a lie detector. So, he gets Stiller to do a lie detector test. It’s every guy’s worst nightmare, and that’s what makes it great gag. What movie is it?

22Burying a porn-riddled laptop at sea

In a comedy movie that was directed and written by Seth MacFarlane, who also stars in it as a CGI character in a live action film, the character played by Mark Wahlberg has gone on an adult film bender after being left by his girlfriend. When MacFarlane’s character finds the content of the hard drive, they delete it all, smash up the laptop, take the wreckage out into the ocean, and bury it at sea. But what movie is it?

23Furry wall

In this comedy that satirizes the wild nature of the music industry, Jonah Hill is hanging out with a depraved rock star played by Russell Brand. Brand gives Hill a joint to smoke, except it’s not a joint, it’s something called a Geoffrey, and it gets Hill really paranoid and nervous. He is advised by both Brand and P. Diddy to “stroke the furry wall” of the hotel room to calm him down. What’s the name of the movie this is from?

24Parting the tomato soup a la the Red Sea

In a little book called the Bible, there’s a scene in which Moses parts the Red Sea with his magical powers in order for the newly freed Jews to pass through. In this hilarious box office hit about a man played by Jim Carrey who is granted the powers of God, there’s a scene in which he parts a bowl of tomato soup in this manner. It’s just one of many funny little Biblical allusions. So, what movie is it?

25Peeing in the pool exposed by blue chemicals

This movie was so hugely successful that it warranted a sequel a couple of years later. It brought together the comedy greats of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider as a bunch of childhood friends who reunite at a lake house after their old gym teacher dies. In one scene, they’re all peeing in a pool and it gets shown up by the blue chemicals in the water, much to the embarrassment of their kids. What movie is it?

26A baby eats a condom

This comedy movie was special. It started out as just another generic guy comedy, a sort of Old School ripoff about a bunch of older dudes who hang around with some college kids in a frat house, and it wasn’t anything new or good. So, they changed it. Instead, the older people hanging out at the frat house would be a man AND his wife. Suddenly, the movie was giving slightly more representation than usual to women and that was a start. What movie was it?

27Ben Stiller licks blood off a decapitated head

In this meta movie that satirizes Hollywood, Ben Stiller plays a big action movie star named Tug Speedman who is working on a new Vietnam War movie directed by a character played by Steve Coogan. The jungle where they go to shoot the movie turns out to be a real war zone, as Coogan steps on a landmine that blows his head off. But Stiller ain’t buying it, so he licks some blood off the head, thinking it’s corn starch. What movie is it?

28Alien disguised as a cowboy

This movie was conceived by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the set of their beloved zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, since their night shoots were really cold and they wanted to make a movie somewhere hot, so they took a road trip across America. The story revolves around two comic book geeks who stumble across the alien from Area 51 and have to protect him from the US government. In one scene, they disguise him as a cowboy. What movie is it?

29Gopher terrorizes a golf course

This golfing comedy was written and directed by the National Lampoon team, based on their collective experiences working at a country club every summer in their teenage years. Bill Murray is one of the film’s stars, as the country club’s off-kilter and unusual groundskeeper, who spends the whole movie trying to detain, kill, or blow up a pesky gopher that has been terrorizing the golf course. This comedy is one of the most iconic of all time. What movie is it?

30Will Ferrell picks up chicks at a funeral

You can always rely on Will Ferrell for a good cameo appearance in a comedy movie, especially if the movie’s leads are Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. It’s sort of come to be expected from their movies that Ferrell will show up at some point for a dark, out of place, downright hilarious role. It all started with this one, where Ferrell briefly appeared toward the end and yelled at his mom and picked up a chick at a funeral. What movie is it?

31Singing Twist and Shout at a parade

In this movie, Matthew Broderick gets his sick friend out of bed and his girlfriend out of school so they can spend the day in the city of Chicago. They go to the museum, they drive around in a fancy sports car – and they also stop by a parade, where Broderick sings Twist and Shout by the Beatles for all to hear. The script was written by John Hughes in a matter of days and then he directed it and it became a comedy classic. What movie is it?

32Van dressed like a dog

Arguably the Farrelly brothers’ most beloved and iconic movie, this one stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as a pair of idiots driving across the country to get a briefcase back to its rightful owner. Daniels’ character has spent his entire life savings on dressing his van up like a dog for his business, Mutt Cutts, where he grooms dogs for a living (not very successfully, though). This is the vehicle they use to travel the country. What movie is it?

33Dunkin’ Donuts commercial starring Al Pacino

In this critically despised Adam Sandler movie, he plays both a man and his twin sister. The male one is an ad executive who is tasked with getting the brilliant actor Al Pacino to appear in a commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts, and this becomes more likely when Pacino falls for the female one. The movie swept the Razzie Awards, setting a new record for the amount “won” by a single film. So, what movie is this rib-tickling gag taken from?

34The neuralyzer

This science fiction action comedy stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as a pair of government agents who take on otherworldly alien forces that threaten Earth. But if all these aliens keep coming to Earth, how come we can’t remember them? Well, that’s where this little device comes in. The electro bio-mechanical neural transmitting zero synapse repositioner, better known as the neuralyzer, is a device that wipes your short term memory of any alien events. What movie is it?

35Will Ferrell rides Mark Wahlberg’s motorcycle through his house

This movie had a sequel released recently. It’s about a down on his luck guy played by Will Ferrell who is only just starting to forge a connection with his stepkids when their biological dad, played by Mark Wahlberg, shows up with his motorcycle to remind them how awesome he is. There’s a scene where Ferrell is trying to prove his masculinity and hops on Wahlberg’s bike for a spin, then ends up riding it through the house. What’s the movie?

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