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SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to have any details ruined, please bookmark this page and return after your screening.
In the past, Spider-Man movies have approached the element of humor in ways that haven't quite pleased fans. That changed this weekend, when Spider-Man: Homecoming brought us what's arguably the funniest film in the Spider-Man canon. Quips and thwips are in equal measure, as Peter Parker's awkward teenage years only make his burgeoning career as a friendly neighborhood super-hero all the more exciting, dangerous, and yes, hysterical.
Particularly, there are 15 moments we're about to list that are the best of the best punchlines in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and they are all moments that really made the movie work on a whole. After all, how much fun is a Spider-Man movie without a good sense of humor? Not as fun as the following list of sight gags, one-liners, and running gags that tied Spidey's latest spin perfectly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ned's Porn Alibi
Towards the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter's best friend Ned gets his big "man in the chair" moment that enables him to help in tracking The Vulture on his friend's behalf. So when Ms. Warren spots Ned in the school library, just as his efforts have wrapped and the Homecoming Dance is still going strong in the gym, Ned delivers the only alibi he could think of: he says he was looking at porn. A comedically awkward deliver of a standard punchline from actor Jacob Batalon sells this moment so perfectly.
Aunt May's Final Freak Out
Usually, Peter Parker's secret identity as Spider-Man is kept from his patient and loving Aunt May. And yet, Spider-Man: Homecoming decided that this tradition would be broken by letting May find out he's a superhero at the very end of the film. And we say very end, because you kind of have to cut away from a character yelling, "What the fuck?" if you want to keep your PG-13 rating. A practical necessity nails the moment that much more effectively.
Marvel Studios became the grand master of post-credits sequence when Iron Man started to tease the formation of The Avengers back in 2008. This has lead to what just might be the perfect final sequence, as Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Captain America return to the screen to deliver a PSA on something every Marvel fan has: patience.
The World's Got A Crush On Aunt May
Tony Stark isn't the only person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that recognizes Marisa Tomei's May as a beautiful woman, as two other instances create a meta-joke in the Spider-Man: Homecoming universe. Thanks to all of the questions about how the new Aunt May could not be only young, but extremely attractive, we get a scene where a waiter tries to hit on Peter's aunt through some complementary sticky rice pudding. And on top of that, we get a minor moment where he overhears the owner of his local bodega compliment her in only the most glowing of terms. Thank you, internet.
Cap Is A War Criminal
If there was someone we'd have loved to see more of in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it's Hannibal Burress's Coach Wilson. One of the reasons why is because he gets one of the best subtle gags in the movie, executed in that trademark glibness that Burress has made a name for himself with. That gag is his offhanded remark about Captain America being a war criminal during the state mandated "Captain America Fitness Challenge." Any kid who went to school in the 80's / 90's remembers celebrity endorsed challenges such as these, so Coach Wilson's remarks turn a nostalgic dig into an MCU in-joke following Captain America: Civil War.
Ned and Peter Discuss How Jobs Work
Bringing Peter Parker back to his teenage years means that his understanding of the world is going to be a bit different than his previous incarnations. Gone is the Peter Parker who constantly worries about covering rent, and in his place is a Peter that backs his best friend Ned when he says he gets a gold coin each time he aces a spreadsheet. While it's not exactly what we know about the pay structure of normal jobs, a fair argument could be constructed that on some days, Tony Stark does exactly that.
Vulture's Warning/Kill Shot
You'd expect someone like Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes/The Vulture to take out a henchman when he's threatening to talk to the authorities, and that's exactly what you got in Spider-Man: Homecoming. What makes it a hilarious trope cutting moment in the movie, however, is that it was a mistake. Toomes was really looking for an anti-gravity gun, which turns the typically chilling moment that proves the villain's dedication into proof that he's not really that bad of a guy. Most importantly, it's a scene played so deadpan that it just sneaks into an unexpected gag, rather than playing to a predictable punchline.
Stan Lee's Cameo
Sometimes a Stan Lee cameo is just a cute little moment that's added as a gag, but it almost always gets a good laugh. Spider-Man: Homecoming nails it with Lee's limited screen time, and gets a chuckle as he not only threatens Spider-Man, but also gets hit on by one of his neighbors. It's not a cameo that requires any special make-up or set up, but it works solely on a fast chain of quick hit gags that just happen to include some Stan Lee.
Peter's Spider-Man "Accent"
During the opening of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker makes a home movie of the events of Captain America: Civil War. And what cell phone video would be complete without a fake New York accent voice-over? But rather than just use this accent as a simple intro gag, Peter later adapts his version of a New York accent in order to keep his identity secret from his Academic Decathlon friends, as he safes them from danger. Tom Holland naturally nails an actual American accent, despite being British, but having him put together a really funny fake accent as a means of disguise is icing on the cake.
Peter's Spanish Skills In The Bodega
Back to the fact that the world thinks May is bae, there's a quick moment where Peter almost has to pay $10 for a $5 sandwich. Who'd have thought that understanding the local bodega owner crushing on your aunt, and then asking how his daughter is doing, all in Spanish mind you, would lead to such a chain of events? In a big summer blockbuster, it's nice to see Peter's neighborhood fleshed out, as well as his interactions with the people in it. It only helps the friendly, neighborhood aspect of the Spider-Man character.
Ned Plays 20 (Spider) Questions
If your best friend was a super-hero, you'd be asking millions of questions too. So when Ned starts going into a fit of questioning Peter's abilities, it's not a moment that comes off as annoying. In fact, we can't help but identify with the future "man in a chair," as he asks so many hot button queries that we can't help but want to throw some in ourselves. We may not have seen the spider bite, but the moment lives on through this run of Q&A between the two high school friends.
Peter Interrogates The Prowler
Most people will probably remember Donald Glover's part in Spider-Man: Homecoming for the fact that he's revealed as The Prowler a.k.a. uncle to future superhero Miles Morales. But the movie also gave him a scene that reflected his natural comedic timing, as he's interrogated by an amateurish Peter - courtesy of an interrogation mode with which his suit is equipped. It tries to make Spider-Man intimidating, in the vein of a certain DC Comics hero who had a penchant for deep voiced threats, but Glover's character isn't buying it. Neither did we, but we weren't going to be the ones to tell Pete that.
Spidey's Golf Course Run
Admit it, you've been asking the same set of questions regarding Spider-Man for decades, and one of them has always been, "What happens when he has no buildings to shoot his web at?" Well,Spider-Man: Homecoming gave the obvious answer, as Peter finds himself running through a golf course looking for any object that will help him start quickly swinging towards the baddies once more. Of course, this is after he manages to run through each sprinkler on the course, only embarrassing our green hero even more.
Michelle's One Finger Salute
Zendaya needs some serious congratulations for her role as Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Her low-key humor helps anchor the antics of the Academic Decathlon crew, as well as leads up to some surprising developments involving her and Peter. But, of course, the best part of their interactions throughout this entire movie is a gag that helps diffuse some tension from Peter's big confrontation with Adrian Toomes right before the homecoming dance. Rest assured, if you need a quick tone reset, Zendaya flashing her middle finger is a good way to recalibrate your film's events.
Time Flies In The Damage Control Warehouse
Ultimately, what makes Spider-Man: Homecoming so funny is the fact that it knows how humor works. It's a superhero psuedo-origin story, with a compelling villain, and a comedic flare that never gets in the way of its story. A good example is the sequence where Peter is trapped in the Damage Control warehouse, trying out various web shooting methods to pass the time. You'd think it would take a while to cycle through tons of webbing methods, but ultimately it only took 37 minutes. A joke that, once again, sneaks into the tropes and operations of a typical super-hero movie. Gotta love it.