The 50 funniest lines from literature

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Stylist Team
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You may have noticed that here at Stylist HQ, we really do love our quotes. Nothing delights us more, however, than a witty pun or saucy double-entendre. With that in mind, we've dusted off a few classics for a look at some of our favourite (and sometimes unintentionally) funny extracts from literature. Prepare to chortle yourself silly with a look at a few golden gems, below...

Simply click on an image to launch the gallery. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section, below.

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Words: Dipal Acharya

  • Far from the Madding Crowd

    By Thomas Hardy

    "Let us toss as men do"

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  • To the Accuser

    By William Blake

    "Every harlot was a virgin once"

  • Vile Bodies

    By Evelyn Waugh

    "All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I'd sooner go to my dentist any day"

  • The Magic Faraway Tree

    By Enid Blyton

    "Fanny rode on a lion and felt very grand. Dick chose a horse"

  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    By Oscar Wilde

    "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness"

  • Bleak House

    By Charles Dickens

    "Sir Leicester leans back in his chair, and breathlessly ejaculates, "Good heaven!"

  • The Mayor of Casterbridge

    By Thomas Hardy

    "Passing to and fro the Mayor beheld the unattractive exterior of Farfrae's erection in the West Walk, rick-cloths of different sizes and colours being hung up to the arching trees without any regard to appearance."

  • Tipping the Velvet

    By Sarah Waters

    “Oh you exquisite little tart”

  • Eric

    By Terry Pratchett

    "Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind"

  • A Christmas Carol

    By Charles Dickens

    "He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge"

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  • To the Lighthouse

    By Virginia Woolf

    "[Mrs Ramsay] did in her own heart infinitely prefer boobies to clever men who wrote dissertations"

  • Little Women

    By Louisa May Alcott

    “Mothers are the best lovers in the world, but I don't mind whispering to Marmee that I'd like to try all kinds. It's very curious, but the more I try to satisfy myself with all sorts of natural affections, the more I seem to want”

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

    By Edward Albee

    Martha: "You make me puke."

    George: "That wasn’t a very nice thing to say."

  • Pride and Prejudice

    By Jane Austen

    "Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart, and then he will be sorry for what he has done."

  • Hamlet

    By William Shakespeare

    Ophelia: "I think nothing, my lord."

    Hamlet: "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs."

  • War of the Worlds

    By H. G. Wells

    "His landlady came to the door, loosely wrapped in dressing-gown and shawl; her husband followed ejaculating."

  • The Life and Opinons of Tristram Shandy

    By Laurence Sterne

    "My brother Toby, quoth she, is going to be married to Mrs. Wadman. "Then he will never," quoth my father, "be able to lie diagonally in his bed again as long as he lives."

  • The Lord of the Rings

    By J. R. R. Tolkien

    "Bag end is a queer place, and its folks are even queerer"

  • Nicholas Nickleby

    By Charles Dickens

    "Sir Mulberry Hawk was remarkable for his tact in ruining, by himself and his creatures, young gentlemen of fortune—a genteel and elegant profession, of which he had undoubtedly gained the head. ... his custom being, when he had gained the ascendancy over those he took in hand, rather to keep them down than to give them their own way; and to exercise his vivacity upon them openly, and without reserve.”

  • A Dying Tiger - Moaned for a Drink

    By Emily Dickinson

    I hunted all the Sand —

    I caught the Dripping of a Rock

    And bore it in my Hand —

    His Mighty Balls — in death were thick —

    But searching — I could see

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  • A Murder is Announced

    By Agatha Christie

    "... it's my own particular, one and only, four-starred Pussy. The super Pussy of all old Pussies."

  • Saint Francis of Assisi

    By Thomas of Celano

    "Indeed, he was always occupied with Jesus; Jesus he bore in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his ears, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands, Jesus in the rest of his members."

  • Dracula

    By Bram Stoker

    "Holding his candle so that he could read the coffin plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which congealed as they touched the metal"

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    By J.K. Rowling

    "Manners, Potter," said Snape dangerously. "Now, I want you to close your eyes." Harry threw him a filthy look before doing as he was told. He did not like the idea of standing there with his eyes shut while Snape faced him, carrying a wand"

  • Daisy Miller

    By Henry James

    “I’m sorry we can’t dance,” Winterbourne answered; “I don’t dance.”

    “Of course you don’t dance; you’re too stiff,” said Miss Daisy. “I hope you enjoyed your drive with Mrs Walker.”

  • Anna Karenina

    By Leo Tolstoy

    "At his usual time [Alexey Alexandrovitch] got up and made his toilet for the night."

  • Romeo and Juliet

    By William Shakespeare

    "Give me my longsword, ho!"

  • Moby Dick

    By Herman Melville

    "Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.”

  • The Great Gatsby

    By F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "The master's body!" the butler roared into the telephone. "I'm sorry madam but we cannot furnish it. It's too hot to touch this noon!"

  • Letters from a Stoic

    By Seneca

    "Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness"

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  • The Secret Garden

    By Frances Hodgson Burnett

    "There's not a knob on thee."

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    By Victor Hugo

    "With what bitterness did he behold his whole erection of glory and of poetry crumble away bit by bit!"

  • Julius Caeser

    By William Shakespeare

    "Tut, I am in their bosoms."

  • Emma

    By Jane Austen

    "She found her subject cut up – her hand seized – her attention demanded, and Mr Elton actually making violent love to her."

  • The Prince and the Pauper

    By Mark Twain

    "The night was come, the gang had just finished feasting, an orgy was beginning; the can of liquor was passing from mouth to mouth"

  • The Holy Bible

    "And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

  • Tess of the D'urbervilles

    By Thomas Hardy

    "They had proceeded thus gropingly two or three miles further when on a sudden Clare became conscious of some vast erection close in his front, rising sheer from the grass. They had almost struck themselves against it."

  • Barchester Towers

    By Anthony Trollope

    "She well knew the great architectural secret of decorating her constructions, and never condescended to construct a decoration."

  • The Collected Dorothy Parker

    "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."

  • Northanger Abbey

    By Jane Austen

    "Such was Catherine Morland at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending; she began to curl her hair and long for balls"

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  • The Tempest

    By William Shakespeare

    "He receives comfort like cold porridge"

  • A River Runs Through it

    By Norman Maclean

    "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing."

  • Choke

    By Chuck Palahniuk

    "If you're going to read this, dont bother. After a couple pages, you won't want to be here. So forget it. Go away. Get out while you're still in one piece."

  • Eclipse

    By Stephanie Meyer

    "Fall down again, Bella?"

    "No, Emmett, I punched a werewolf in the face."

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    By Oscar Wilde

    “I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.”

  • Water Music

    By T.C. Boyle

    "The year was 1795. George III was dabbing the walls of Windsor Castle with his own spittle, the Notables were botching things in France, Goya was deaf, De Quincey a depraved pre-adolescent."

  • The Complete Short Stories of Saki

    By Hector Hugh Munro

    "The cook was a good cook, as cooks go; and as cooks go she went."

  • The Wisdom of Father Brown

    By G.K. Chesterton

    "I know that journalism largely consists in saying "Lord Jones Dead" to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive."

  • Ulysses

    By James Joyce

    "Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance."

  • The Portrait of a Lady

    By Henry James

    "Money's a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet."

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