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Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Funniest Moments Ranked

We can hear you asking from here. How can we possibly have picked just 15 of the funniest moments from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," a show that, since it inception in 2013, has provided literally hundreds of funny moments? 

It's a good question, but we've got to plead the Fifth. The formula we used is top-secret and in no way involved us just thinking about the bits that made us laugh the most. Nope. It was entirely scientific. There was math and everything. Honest. And there were absolutely no fights when we were deciding the order. None. Because we all totally agree on what makes this show one of the funniest ever to grace our screens. 

Of course, this list is in no way definitive, so if your fave didn't make the cut, it's only because there's tons of stiff competition. But isn't that the genius of the show? There are just so many hilarious sequences. Enjoy!

15. Holt or No(l)t - Beach House (S2, E12)

Captain Holt is at his funniest when he lets his oh-so-classy veneer slip ever so slightly. And "Beach House" contains perhaps the definitive case of veneer-slippage. Having crashed the detectives' sandy getaway, a two-party solution simply fails to work. Six-drink Amy can't be trusted, and eventually, Holt discovers where the real soiree is. Instead of sulking, though, he does the decent thing and stoops to the team's much less classy level. He even drinks beer. From the bottle. 

And during the game Real Ray or Fake Ray, the assorted partygoers must discern whether their gatecrasher actually said some choice phrases to real human beings. Quoth Jake, "Any smile that lasts longer than a second and a half is a con-man's ruse." Did he say it? The squad thinks not. The Captain, though, knows the hilarious answer. "I said it ... And I meant it!" The glee with which Andre Braugher delivers that line will live in TV history forever.

14. Detective history - The Party (S1, E16)

In "Detective Story," Peralta, stunned by Kevin's rejection of him, decides it's time to get to know Captain Holt and his partner better, and he does that by snooping around their classy townhouse during Ray's birthday party. During his perusal, he spots an old photo, secreted on a bookcase. It features an era-appropriate Holt and Kevin, looking as miserable (or perhaps happy) as they've ever been. But it also shows the pair standing alone, despite being at a party full of happily drunk detectives. 

This discovery leads to one of the funniest, smartest one-liners of the show's entire run. Taking in the glory of the picture, Peralta exclaims, "Oh man, it's Black Tom Selleck and white Sidney Poitier." And with one fell swoop, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" makes pop culture reference history, as well as beautifully setting up the solution to Kevin's dislike of cops. Because they're cops. It's actual genius. And hilarious.

13. Emotional breakthroughs - Into the Woods (S3, E6)

While Jake, Terry, and Boyle are off nearly dying in the woods, Rosa and the Captain cover some rough, albeit hilarious, terrain of their own. Diaz and Holt's relationship, already a fantastic thing to witness, kicks up a gear in Season 3. It later becomes a thing of beauty, and this hilarious laughter-through-tears moment is definitely the jumping-off point for that incredible growth. During a private conversation about Rosa's breakup with Marcus, both she and Holt sobbingly confess to having actual feelings. Yup, actual feelings — or at least as close as either of them are able to get. 

This, in and of itself, is a major breakthrough. Rosa and Holt have way more in common than either of them likes to admit, and the simultaneous tears are beautiful underlining of that. Never forgetting that Kevin had earlier accused them both of being emotionless excuses for human beings, Holt declares, "We're both great at this!" It's breathtakingly funny and the perfect antidote to watching Rosa cry.

12. We want it that way - DFW (S5,E17)

Because there may never be a better cold open on TV ever. Ever. This is the standout '90s pop culture reference of the decade, and we will fight anyone who says otherwise, for real. It's also one of the funniest things "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has ever done. 

Who cares that getting suspects in a lineup to sing lines — a cappella — from "I Want It That Way" sounds like the cheesiest thing you've heard in a long time? In practice, it's so good that even Peralta thinks he's joined a rockin' boy band. "Oh my God, I forgot about that part," he utters when the victim's sister identifies the guilty party, bursting his ballad bubble. Admit it, you never loved the Backstreet Boys more than when you heard one of their biggest hits sung by a bunch of potential murderers. We get it.

11. Baddy driver - Greg and Larry (S3, E23)

Hitchcock is without a doubt one of the show's secret weapons. His character is by turns goofy, innocent, and, at times, downright creepy. But then there are moments like this, when Hitchcock's comedy value is clear and frickin' hilarious. 

Racing to save Captain Holt, the team are clearly desperate to reach him at the hospital. He's been taken hostage by his carbon-copy, fallen FBI agent Bob, and is in danger of a sudden bird-watching catastrophe, which can be the only reason why the team would ever even consider taking up Hitchcock's terrifying offer. And we know it was terrifying because it made Rosa scream. Rosa. Screamed. 

Offering his services getting them to the hospital, Hitchcock utters the immortal sentence, "I've got nothing to live for and I drive like it." Smash-cut to a car full of screaming detectives, driver included. No further explanation needed.

10. Meal for One - The Big House: Part 2 (S5,E2)

Jake's stint in prison gave us so many hilarious moments, but few are better than this frightening glimpse into his psyche. Having been sent to solitary confinement, the former detective loses his mind in what might be world-record time. Part of that breakdown appears to be hoarding enough mashed potatoes to create a 3D-leftover version of Amy, stuck to the wall. Fully committed to the illusion, he even uses his best sexy-time voice to charm his potato-wife. 

When the deep rumble of his dulcet tones (possibly) causes part of her anatomy to fall off, he at first seems totally cool with that. "No matter. I'll just build another one," he calmly says to the wall ... and then immediately screams "More mashed potatoes!" through the door. It's a fantastic gear change and all the funnier for it. We do have one question, though: Did potato-Amy ever get her new boob?

9. One-bund-manship - Cinco De Mayo (S6, E16)

When is Halloween not Halloween? When it's Cinco de Mayo! Yes, even moving networks can't stop the Nine-Nine from holding its annual search for the best human being-slash-genius. Despite there having been various winners over the years, Holt is still clinging to the notion that he is the last official winner of the Halloween Heist. His competitive edge clearly overwhelming his more usual refinements, the Captain near-screams at Jake when his victory tally is questioned. 

Proudly sporting his championship belt a la the Rock, Holt's trash talk is straight out of the WWE playbook, via Brooklyn. "How many cummerbunds are you holding right now?" he asks of Peralta, before forcefully answering his own question: "Zero! It's one bund to none, son! Tell 'em Kevin!" To which Kevin pithily responds, "I'm leaving." And in one fell swoop, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" sums up relationships in two sentences ... and leaves us wondering exactly what happened to Holt as child.

8. Intoxication Explanation - A Tale of Two Bandits (S6, E5)

Now, it may surprise you to learn that while this is a Doug Judy episode, this moment features neither the Pontiac Bandit nor Jake. Admittedly, we could have picked so many Doug Judy moments, but this scene was just so ... unexpected, so beautifully delivered, and so expertly set up that there's no way it wasn't going to feature.

As we mentioned earlier, Holt is often at his best when he allows the baser influences of the squad to infiltrate his operating system, and this moment is an absolute belter. When his level of intoxication is questioned, drunk Holt answers in the most drunk Holt way possible. Here it is, in all its glory: "My equilibrium is askew, my vision is partially impaired, and I'm currently slurring my words. To put a fine point on it... Ya boys' turnt." Drink it in. You're welcome.

7. A totally reasonable reaction - Skyfire Cycle (S4, E8)

And then there are those times when Captain Holt needs no intoxicating substances whatsoever to be the funniest human being you'll see all week. When he's in a continually bad mood in "Skyfire Cycle," Rosa makes the sort of suggestion that she and she alone could ever make to the uptight captain. She bluntly points out that perhaps he and Kevin would maybe, perhaps, benefit from some, ahem, alone time. We're paraphrasing, but you get the idea. 

Holt's Southern-belle levels of offense at the mere suggestion leads to some of the funniest single-word comedy you will ever see. Screaming "Bone!" has never been used to such incredible effect, but the genius doesn't end there. If you're able to pull your eyes from Andre Braugher for even a fraction of a second, please make sure you're watching Melissa Fumero's master class in reaction hilarity. Amy is absolutely horrified, and it's incredible. Sublime work.

6. Squeally good call - Mr. Santiago (S4, E7)

In yet another cold open master class, Peralta sets the squad to a deceptively simple challenge. The task? To correctly predict Captain Holt's reaction upon ingesting his first-ever marshmallow. Aside from the idea that Holt has apparently never had hot chocolate or, God forbid, a smore, we'd love to have heard the conversation leading to that particular revelation. What could they possibly have been talking about? Obviously, Jake must have started it, but we feel we were kinda robbed of a very strange, or possibly disturbing, exchange.

Anyhoops, for the most part, the team each does their very best Holt impression: deep voice, strangely distanced tone, flowery descriptions, you get it. And then there's Charles Boyle, who decides that the Captain will definitely squeal like a four-year-old girl seeing a pony for the first time. And would you believe it? He does! Beautiful.

5. Holiday Games - Thanksgiving (S1,E10)

All together now: "Boyle says Boom!" Yes, easily making the top five, Boyle Bingo is the game that just keeps giving. Stepping over the fact that Boyle has way, way, way too many catchphrases for a normal human being, this moment from the first season has always been one of our favorites, and not just because it's super-sweet that the squad uses those catchphrases for good and not just as an excuse to throw shade at his often annoying being. 

The highlight of these very specific Bingo cards is definitely young Boyle playing Pocahontas in third grade because the girls were too big. But then there's the gullible sidekick believing an obvious lie, the ocean bugs that were served at the very first thanksgiving and, of course, the now legendary "Gobble, gobble... gobble." It just sounds right. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without it. But there's no way they didn't put "Boyle falls on the floor" on their cards. C'mon, guys. He literally falls over every week.

4. Peralt-Iago mixup - Operation Broken Feather (S1, E15)

When Santiago decides to interview for a job working with the squad's nemesis, the Vulture, Jake is literally beside himself. He cannot even begin to understand wanting to further one's career, never mind having to do it while being harassed by said living dinosaur. And while we agree with the latter point, Amy was never going to stay put just 'cos she loves Peralta. 

Thankfully, Jake's juvenile streak pays off in spades while they're staking out a hotel looking for a thief. And it's got nothing to do with Adam Sandler's weirdly sock-obsessed cameo. During a discussion about the interview, Jake compares Amy to Iago, a two-faced character from "Othello," Shakespeare's classic tale of betrayal. She's pleasantly surprised that he's read it, because, you know, it's Jake. And Shakespeare. All of this leads to an absolute beauty from her partner: "What the hell is 'Othello?' I'm calling you the parrot from 'Aladdin!'"

3. Rocks and roll - The Wednesday Incident (S2, E16)

We all know that Holt is absolute rock star. He's an all-out boss, and not just when he's the actual boss. He's so much more than compstat reports, anger articulation, and era-appropriate facial hair. And as "The Wednesday Incident" proves, he's also a social butterfly, going from diners to fencing and art class long before 9 a.m. He's also a badass who can walk off a stab wound like it's nothing. But none of those amazing character traits made the list. At least, not directly anyway. 

This moment belongs to Peralta, and it's a stunner. Having solved the case of Holt's bad mood, brought on not by Jake, for once, but by being violently mugged, the Captain shows his appreciation in the only way he knows how. By gifting Peralta and Gina their very own rock paintings, two of a series of hundreds of pictures of rocks. Just rocks, nothing else. Jake speaks for us all when he exclaims "367 paintings of one rock? This guy partieeees!" Yes, Peralta, he very much does. But in his own ways.

2. Triple Damn-y! - The Box (S5, E14)

"The Box," featuring the always brilliant Sterling K. Brown, is IMDb's highest-rated "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" episode, and it's easy to see why. A detailed look at the way Holt and Peralta interact and perceive each other, stirred up by Brown's smug but ultimately needy dentist killer, it's got some fantastic moments. But none tops Holt's unprecedented shock at Jake's cracking of the killer. The show had barely scratched the surface of how much approval Peralta needs from Holt, but this moment covers all of it.

After Jake sets out his stall, "That's right, I'm about to monologue, son!" it's only a matter of time before the dentist slips up. And when he does, Holt melts. Or at least, as much as Holt can. The surprise confession elicits Jake's Disneyland of a Holt response: "Oh damn... Oh damn... Oh ... Damn!" Was there ever a prouder Holt/Peralta moment? We think not.

1. Pimento's Limit - The Bank Job (S4, E21)

There have been some amazing recurring characters on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," but none can match the hilarity of one Adrian Pimento. And there's perhaps no Pimento moment more Pimento than this. As such, this is the current holder of the Funniest Moment Cummerbund. Called in to help Diaz and Peralta infiltrate a squad of dirty detectives, Pimento is given the role of faux-punching bag. He decides to lay down the rules, to make sure no one gets hurt ... except him.

Basically, there are no rules, and when a clearly distressed Peralta asks what's not on the menu, violence-wise, Pimento gives the most Pimento answer ever. He replies, with a smile, "You've got something really sick you wanna do, huh? ... All right. I like it. Don't tell me. Surprise me." Because even mentally unstable but hilarious former cops will do anything to help the Nine-Nine. God bless you, Adrian. And all who land punches on you.