There are some highly anticipated live-action remakes from Disney on the horizon. With the teaser trailer of Pinocchio not long ago released and further developments of The Little Mermaid, it only makes it all the more exciting for other Disney movies due to be reimagined. One such movie is the mythological Hercules.
The original animated story of a demigod’s quest to become a true hero celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year and is still fondly remembered today as one of Disney’s funniest movies. From snappy one-liners to hidden jokes about Ancient Greece, some of the funniest quotes from Hercules can still split the sides of even the most serious viewers.
10 Hades’ Wrath
“I’ve Got Twenty-Four Hours To Get Rid Of This Bozo, Before The Entire Scheme I’ve Been Setting Up For Eighteen Years Goes Up In Smoke… And You… Are Wearing… HIS MERCHANDISE?!”
The villain of Hercules is the silver-tongued Lord of the Underworld, Hades, who is not only one of the funniest characters in the movie but one of Disney’s funniest villains overall. This is down to both his slick-talking ways (provided in a legendary performance by James Woods) and his flaming hot temper.
One excellent example is his discovery that one of his minions, Pain, has bought a pair of Hercules sandals of his own accord. Hades’ angry exclamation combines both his sharp wit and temper perfectly in a way that is brilliantly funny. The moment is made even funnier when he sees Panic drinking Hercules-branded lemonade and he explodes in a fireball of fury.
9 Why Phil Doesn’t Train Anymore
“Two Words: I Am Retired.”
Another memorable character from Hercules is Phil, the grumpy satyr hired to train Hercules to become a hero. Part of why Phil is such a great character is due to a funny performance from Danny DeVito, in one of his most memorable roles to date.
One of Phil’s notable habits is going “Two words” and speaking any number of words but two. The most notable is when he first does this, explaining why he refuses to train Hercules. What makes this moment all the more amusing is according to The List, “I am retired” is in fact two words when spoken in Greek.
8 Pain And Panic Are Doomed
“Wasn’t Hercules The Name Of The Guy We Were Supposed To… OH MY GODS!”
Pain and Panic are the bumbling imp henchmen of Hades. They are tasked with killing the baby Hercules when he is turned mortal but having failed that, they lie to Hades and keep it up for eighteen years until Hades learns from Meg that Hercules is still alive.
The moment when Pain and Panic realize Hades has figured out their deception, the horror in their expressions is evident. As two comic relief sidekicks, the delivery of the line is extremely funny (especially with the nod to the multiple gods in Greek mythology) yet it is hard not to sympathize with them when a very irate Hades unleashes his signature fiery temper on them both.
7 Hermes Observes
“You Know, I Haven’t Seen This Much Love In A Room Since Narcissus Discovered Himself.”
The movie begins on Mount Olympus, where the gods are celebrating the birth of Zeus and Hera’s son, Hercules. There are a number of Greek gods present, and that includes the sassy messenger god, Hermes.
After presenting Hera with flowers, he comments how he hasn’t seen this much love “since Narcissus discovered himself.” The alludes to the tragic mythological figure who was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection are turned into a somewhat hilarious burn remark, and it is made all the funnier with the brief shot of Narcissus making kissy faces at his reflection.
6 Hercules The Hero
“I’ve Defeated Every Monster I’ve Come Up Against! I’m The Most Famous Man In All Of Greece… I’m An Action Figure!”
With his good looks and amicability, Hercules is one of the best animated himbo characters out there. After his energetic montage during ‘Zero to Hero’, Hercules feels that he is ready to rejoin the gods after becoming a beloved celebrity in Greece, but Zeus has to tell him otherwise.
Hercules’ initial protests to this are upset without being arrogant, but what really makes this moment unforgettable is when Hercules pulls out a toy version of himself and exclaims “I’m an action figure!” whilst squeaking the toy. While this is an undeniably funny quote, it is a fundamental part of Hercules’ character arc and his journey to becoming a true hero.
5 Phil’s Very Clear Directions
“Will You Forget The Head-Slicing Thing?!”
Hercules’ first formidable challenge is battling the fearsome Hydra. The large reptilian creature seems to have been defeated when Hercules slices its head off, only for three more heads to grow back in its place.
Hercules slices the heads off again and again until only a mass of large writhing heads can be seen. Just after this shot, Phil angrily screams “Will you forget the head-slicing thing?!” It is perhaps something Hercules should have figured out sooner so Phil’s frustration is not only funny but also understandable.
4 Hades’ After Credits Complaint
“What Am I, An Echo Or Something? Hello? Hello?! Am I Talking To, What, Hyperspace? Hello, It’s Me! Nobody Listens.”
Post-credit scenes in the movies are always an unexpected surprise and Hercules contains a brief one after the credits have rolled. Hades had been pushed into the River Styx with his fate unknown but he can be heard at the end complaining about how he didn’t get a happy ending and how everyone is ignoring him.
Hades’ sudden rant at the very end of the movie is unanticipated but it is never the less welcomed and a very laughable moment to round off the movie nicely. In fact, in a way, this moment could almost put Hades in a somewhat relatable and sympathetic light, especially when he grumbles “Nobody listens.”
3 Hades And The Titans
“Uh, Guys? Olympus Would Be That Way.”
Hades’ grand scheme is to unleash the gargantuan Titans in order to take over Olympus. He ultimately succeeds, and the Titans release their monstrous powers on the world before heading on to defeat Zeus.
This awe-inspiring introduction as the Titans make their way towards Olympus is briefly yet notably undercut when Hades interrupts them and promptly points them in the correct direction. The funny interjection is a perfect quip fitting within Hades’ character, the humor, and the tone of the movie. It’s a small moment in Hercules but has proven to be one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, showcasing Hades as an intentionally funny Disney villain.
2 Hades Doesn’t See It
“He’s A Guy!”
In a turn of events, the jaded Meg had fallen in love with Hercules and decides to no longer work for Hades in his scheme to take out Hercules. Hades does not understand why Meg would sacrifice her freedom for Hercules, exclaiming “He’s a guy!”
It’s a moment that is not only delivered well (complete with a confused facial expression from Hades) but can be considered a very relatable line in some ways. In fact, the line and Hades’ expression are so brilliant that the scene has found its way onto the Internet to be used as memes.
1 Meg Is No Damsel
“I’m A Damsel. I’m In Distress. I Can Handle This. Have A Nice Day.”
Meg may not be a typical Disney princess but she is definitely one of their best heroines to date. What makes her so lovable is her grounded look at life and her hilariously sarcastic sharp wit.
She also has not only one of the funniest lines of the movie but one of the greatest. Captured by the centaur Nessus, Meg briskly tells Hercules to go away and how she “can handle this.” So much self-awareness and sass oozes from her words and leaves Hercules momentarily unsure how to respond. It is perhaps this moment that instantly makes Meg one of Disney’s best female leads ever.
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