The Funniest Jokes, Lines and Moments from ‘The Menu’
Among all of the recent “bad things happening to rich people” satires — Glass Onion, Triangle of Sadness, White Lotus, Babylon, etc. — The Menu is definitely the most biting (pun unavoidable). Not just a commentary on the elite, it also skewers every aspect of foodie culture. While it may not put the eat in “eat the rich,” it definitely gives new definition to “just desserts.”
When a group of rich patrons gather for a themed dinner at eccentric celebrity chef Julian Slowik’s remote island restaurant, none of them know what to expect. As each course is unveiled, so are Slowik’s demented intentions — and his reasons for inviting everyone there in the first place. All of which leaves you on the edge of your seat.
But despite the heavy dose of suspense, there are also a lot of laughs along the way. So many that we’ve rounded up the funniest lines and moments from The Menu below. Fair warning, though: Some of them do contain spoilers — especially as you make your way toward the end.
For context purposes, the characters cited here are as follows: From the kitchen, there is Chef Slowik, sous-chef Katherine, the restaurant’s nameless sommelier and hostess Elsa. The patrons are the main protagonist Margot, her arrogant foodie/fanboy date Tyler, obnoxious food critic Lillian, a not-so-happy couple “celebrating” their anniversary, a movie star who has become so irrelevant that he also remains nameless, his long-suffering assistant Felicity and a trio of entitled finance bros (Bryce, Soren and Dave). Oh, and Doug Verrick is the owner of the island/restaurant.
Margot: Mmm. It’s good. I think I prefer just the oyster, though. I love oysters.
Tyler: No, no, it’s the balance of the products. You need the mouthfeel of the mignonette.
Margot: Please don’t say “mouthfeel.”
Tyler: Too late — mouthfeel.
The Most Cutting Line of All
When Bryce, Soren and Dave try to pull the “Don’t you know who I am?” card, hostess Elsa is having none of it. She leans in close to one of their ears and whispers this line, which every server in America wishes they could say when dealing with customers like them: “You will eat less than you desire and more than you deserve.”
How Much Travel-Food Shows Have Jumped the Shark
Felicity: How is it?
Movie Star: Mmm. It’s good.
Felicity: You can’t just say “good” for the show. You have to embellish.
Movie Star: Oh, my God! For crying out loud. It’s not brain surgery, okay? It’s a goddamn travel-food show.
Felicity: I know. So pitch it to me.
Movie Star: Okay, so we go to Italy, right? We shoot me in capri pants on a pastel green Vespa, driving around to get to some Giuseppe’s farm with cheese. I eat the cheese, and then there’s a close-up of me. And I close my eyes, I fake an orgasm and then off to South Africa. Then, I maybe… I talk about how racism is not so cool, and bingo bongo, Emmy time. Can I eat now?
Felicity: That’s what you’re gonna pitch to three streaming services on Monday?
Movie Star: Yeah. Pretty much. That’s that. Yeah.
Felicity: Jesus fucking Christ. That’s a disaster. (sudden realization) I don’t think you can go to South Africa with a DUI.
Eat Your Rock
The first course is served on rocks gathered from the island’s shore.
Tyler: You don’t think Chef’s mad at me, right? For the scallop thing?
Margot: You don’t have to call him “Chef,” Tyler. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know about your existence.
Tyler: I kind of want him to—
Margot: Like you?
Tyler: Yeah. Kinda.
Margot: Tyler, you’re the customer. You’re paying him to serve you. It doesn’t really matter whether he likes you or not.
Tyler: Right. Wait. What does that mean?
Margot: Mmm. Nothing. Relax. Just eat your rock.
The Joy of Smoking
Tyler: Babe, please don’t smoke. It’ll kill your palate.
Margot: Then my palate will die happy.
The Pretension of Wine-Tasting Notes
Sommelier: That’s a 2013 Pinot Noir from Ross Cobb. We hyper-decanted it with an immersion blender to awaken it from its slumber. Slavonian oak, rich cherry and tobacco notes, and a faint sense of longing and regret. Enjoy.
Margot: Longing and regret. My favorite.
A Name-Dropping Whore
Felicity: Go talk to him! Because you know him, right?
Movie Star: I made that up.
Movie Star: Because I’m a name-dropping whore. That’s why, okay?
The film has a running gag of showing a title card with a hero shot of the dish with its description. But when Tyler is given a chance to show his skills in the kitchen, the description is hilariously spot on: “TYLER’S BULLSHIT — Under-cooked lamb, inedible shallot-leek butter sauce, utter lack of cohesion”
Lousy Movies and Student Loans
Chef Slowik: Do you wanna know why you’re being punished?
Movie Star: Sure.
Chef Slowik: I saw the film Calling Doctor Sunshine, and I did not enjoy it.
Movie Star: Wait, sorry?
Chef Slowik: It was a Sunday. My one day off in months. The most precious day. The day where I was allowed to live. And I saw the film Calling Doctor Sunshine alone in the cinema.
Movie Star: But look, I didn’t direct it. I just acted in it.
Chef Slowik: The memory of your face in that film, and seeing you again now haunts me. Drives me. What happens to an artist when he loses his purpose? It’s pitiful.
Movie Star: No, you’re right. And what about (Felicity)?
Chef Slowik: Where did you go to school?
Chef Slowik: Student loans?
Chef Slowik: Sorry, you’re dying.
Margot Turns The Tables
Margot: Come on, Chef. I thought tonight was a night of hard home truths. This is one of them. You cook with obsession, not love. Even your hot dishes are cold. You’re a chef. Your single purpose on this Earth is to serve people food that they might actually like, and you have failed. You’ve failed. And you’ve bored me. And the worst part is, I’m still fucking hungry.
Food Critic Lillian Tries to Bargain with Sous-Chef Katherine
While the men are given a chance to escape, the women sit with Katherine to eat the seventh course.
Lillian: I mean, really, you should have your own place. Right? And I could help you with that.
Katherine: I’m sure you could, Ms. Bloom.
Lillian: I could. I could. We would just have to talk about… the dying thing.
Katherine: Oh, everyone dying was my pitch, actually. I’m super proud of it.
Lillian: (“Well, I tried” look) Anybody want any wine?
All: Yes, please.
A Parting Gift
Chef Slowik: Before our final course, there is the matter of the bill. We’re on a no-tip system, so gratuity is included. And please enjoy your gift bags. Some goodies in there — a booklet of our local suppliers, some housemade granola, one of Doug Verrick’s fingers and a copy of tonight’s menu.
In the middle of this madness, the staff brings out a cake and sings “Happy Birthday” to Bryce.
Bryce: You told them it was my birthday?
Soren: Seemed funny about three hours ago.
After the men are all caught and returned to the restaurant, the movie star and Felicity share this moment of honesty…
Felicity: How’d you do out there?
Movie Star: I did great. I killed it. I’m the only one who got away. I’m sorry. I’m a fuckin’ failure.
Felicity: It’s okay. I’ve been stealing money from you.
Movie Star: I know.
Felicity: I know you know.
Movie Star: I wrote a negative recommendation to Sony.
Felicity: I know. You CC’d me on it.
Famous Last Words
While not really meant to be funny in the film, Chef Slowik’s final speech will be hilarious when you recite it word-for-word next time you’re around a campfire: “Our final dessert course is a playful twist on a comfort food classic: the s’more. The most offensive assault on the human palate ever contrived. Unethically sourced chocolate and gelatinized sugar water imprisoned by industrial-grade graham cracker. It’s everything wrong with us, and yet we associate it with innocence. With childhood. Mom and dad. But what transforms this fucking monstrosity is fire. Oh, God, the purifying flame. It nourishes us, warms us, re-invents us, forges and destroys us. We must embrace the flame.”