There’s nothing funny about being in a courtroom. Whether you’re in the jury or on the witness stand or on trial yourself, it’s a tense and nail-biting environment. Which just make the unexpected moments of levity all the more hilarious. Yes, believe it or not, it really does happen. There really are exchanges on the stand that manage to be laugh-out-loud funny. How do we know this? Because most trials have stenographers recording everything being said; they write down the good and the bad, and occasionally the ridiculous.
Here are 20 things that were actually said in a court of law, which are all the more uproarious because it’s the last place anyone would expect to crack a smile. For more laughs, check out these 40 Corny Jokes You Can’t Help But Laugh At.
Death by autopsy
LAWYER: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
LAWYER: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
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At least he’s being honest
LAWYER: Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man—
WITNESS: Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.
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The defense calls… the Bearded Lady!
LAWYER: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
LAWYER: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town, I’m going with male.
First way to identify a murder victim: Are they dead currently?
LAWYER: What happened then?
WITNESS: He told me, he says, “I have to kill you because you can identify me.”
LAWYER: Did he kill you?
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Try to get her name right
LAWYER: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, “Where am I, Cathy?”
LAWYER: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
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All responses must be oral
LAWYER: All your responses must be oral, okay? What school did you go to?
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When witnesses don’t have x-ray vision
LAWYER: Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?
WITNESS: No. He was wearing a mask.
LAWYER: What was he wearing under the mask?
WITNESS: Er…his face.
Can you do the thing you just said you couldn’t do?
LAWYER: You don’t know what it was, and you didn’t know what it looked like, but can you describe it?
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If two people died and one is still alive … well, you do the math
LAWYER: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
LAWYER: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
Are you drunk right now?
LAWYER: Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?
WITNESS: Because he was argumentary, and he couldn’t pronunciate his words.
A lawyer gets burned
LAWYER: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
LAWYER: Could you see him from where you were standing?
WITNESS: I could see his head.
LAWYER: And where was his head?
WITNESS: Just above his shoulders.
There’s a lot of lumber, not lumbar, in the woods
LAWYER: Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
WITNESS: No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.
Why you should never do an autopsy on the living
LAWYER: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
Birthdays have a way of repeating
LAWYER: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
LAWYER: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
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The world’s most difficult SAT question
LAWYER: How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?
How to perform an autopsy
LAWYER: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
LAWYER: Did you check for blood pressure?
LAWYER: Did you check for breathing?
LAWYER: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
LAWYER: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Math is hard
LAWYER: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
LAWYER: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
Dead people tend to know more or less immediately that they’re dead
LAWYER: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
When a murder isn’t a murder
LAWYER: Any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?
WITNESS: The victim lived.
And for some more fascinating criminality, bone up on America’s 30 Most Fascinating Unsolved Mysteries.
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