Crime fiction's generally pretty serious business, but life isn't always about being serious. While watching the last episode of season three of The Wire, I heard a line that had me rolling on the floor. I won't go into the details of it because I don't want to spoil it, but it went like this:

"I can't wait to go to jail."

Anyone have any other lines like this to share?

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I don't quite follow. There were, I think, a number of instances in assorted police procedurals, and possibly also in Mortimer's Rumpole series, where the odd small-time crook or someone mentally deranged begged to be arrested.
Elmore Leonard said he wanted to write like Hemingway but Hemingway had no sense of humour. It was only when he realized he was actually writing comedy that Elmore Leonard really found his voice (or so he says). It was only when I realized how funny Elmore Leonard was that I started to really appreciate his writing. But it's not funny lines, really, not punchline stuff, it's just that sometimes the people are funny.

And, The Sopranos had some very funny stuff.
McFetridge had some pretty funny stuff in DIRTY SWEET. Funny enough that EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE is near the top of my TBR mountain. And no, he didn't pay me to say that; with the Candian dollar to USD conversion, it wouldn't cost him all that much, though.

And both of the collaborations between Jason Starr and Ken Bruen are hilarious. Swierczynski and Huston also crack me up. And somebody who doesn't get enough recognition, but is funny as hell, is Charlie Stella. But like John pointed out, I can't point out one individual funny line.
Hey thanks, Don, I really appreciate it. I'm never sure if the comedy comes through. Crime can seem like a strange place for laughs, but I think it was Richard Pryor who said that even the most down and out heroin addict finds some things funny.

Before he wrote the thriller, No Time for Goodbye, Linwood Barclay wrote a series of comic mysteries about a sci-fi writer living in the suburbs who gets involved in crimes; Bad Move, Bad Guys, Lone Wolf and Stone Rain. They're all very funny and have plenty of good one-liners (but I don't have them in front of me right now).
I can only think of specific lines that sort of give away plot points, or can't think of specific ones but know they make me laugh out loud but ... Bill Fitzhugh, Steve Brewer, Donald Westlake, Ken Bruen, Charles Willeford, Charlie Stella, Daniel Woodrell, Joe Lansdale (squirrels anyone?), Jim Thompson (I may be very warped), Duane Swierczynski, Al Guthrie (I'm definitely warped), Peter Guttridge, Mark Haskell Smith, Victor Gischler, Christopher Moore.

A lot of the funny lines wouldn't sound particularly funny out of context.
There's dozens of funny lines in Toni McGee Causey's BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (very, very, very) BAD DAY.

And how could I forget Victor Gischler. I'm reading GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE right now, and it's truly zany. Not that his prior books aren't funny, too, cause they are.
I am super late to the conversation, but thank you, Don! What an incredibly nice thing to see on the boards.
Okay, it was late and I was tired. This was one of those times where it all worked in my head but didn't translate well to the outside world.

What I was really looking for were crime fiction one-liners, the kind that make you laugh out loud even without the context supporting them. I picked a bad example because the humour was based on knowing the characters well. I can think of a few from Chandler, but then so can everyone.

And now I'm at work and it's Monday and nothing's funny. Oh well, poor me. :)
Well, but you see that it made for a very nice discussion. So it worked.
Poor you! It's not Monday here, yet. I don't have a particular line to cite (too lazy to look it up) but there's a great gag in Elmore Leonard's City Primeval in which the detective, Cruz, sees a photograph depicting Jesus hanging on the wall of an apartment. Later, he brings a colleague to the apartment (baffling its occupants). He says something like "Look at that."
"What?"
"It's a photograph."
"So?"
"It's a photograph of Jesus."
"So?"

It totally cracked me up. Maybe you had to be there.
No, that worked for me. :)
Worked for me, too, Barb. And nice talking with you at LCC.

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