- Outlander -10 Times Jamie Fraser Made Us Laugh On ‘Outlander’
Jamie Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is often touted as a singular male specimen. Honorable to a fault, devoted to whom he loves (namely, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser), a polyglot (French, Gaelic, and English?), and a true leader and warrior, whether that’s on the fields of Culloden or in the prison cells of Ardsmuir.
But another attribute of this so-called 18th century god among men is his sense of humor, making jokes which are so subtle they often go under the radar. Whether he’s befuddled by a run-of-the-mill bathing suit typical for the 1960’s (poor Bree) or stumbling back into a bed after a drunken night of Laird duties at Lallybroch, I've got a roundup of some of Red Jamie’s lighter moments on Outlander.
1. Season 1, Episode 1
From the start of his relationship with Claire, we see Jamie’s got a clear playfulness about him. Well, certainly when it comes to her. After Claire travels back in time through the stones at Craigh na Dun and tends to Jamie’s shoulder, she rides with them up until Cocknammon Rock — just as the British stage an ambush on the Scots. Instead of hiding, she attempts to make a break for it and runs away. But Jamie finds her and doesn’t let his Sassenach get away that easily (or be harmed by Black Jack Randall and his comrades).
He would never dare cut her throat, but if she doesn’t come along willingly to Castle Leoch, he sees that she doesn’t look that heavy. Light enough even for him to toss her over his shoulder. When she consents that she’d rather he didn’t, with a smirk in his eye, he supposes that means “yer coming with me.” And we see the sparks of their chemistry-laden relationship ignite, thanks no less to banter on his part.
2. Season 1, Episode 12
When Laird Broch Tuarach takes Claire to his ancestral home of Lallybroch, she and his sister Jenny see that one of the men on the estate, Ronald MacNab, beat his young son and Claire is far from alright with it. She tells Jamie, and later on that evening, he stumbles back on into their bedchamber reeking of whisky and completely buzzed.
He plops onto the bed, with more impact than an elephant, and wakes her up. He regales her with his triumphs of showing MacNab the difference between abuse and discipline...with his fists, tapping her on the tush frequently to make his point. Proud of himself, Jamie tells Claire, “Then I said to him, ‘Ronald, if I ever see any evidence of yer harming you wee laddie, you’ll answer to Laird Broch Tuarach.’ That’s me.” As if she didn’t already know.
He’s amused that Claire has actually seen an elephant before, never mind rode one, and says she’ll have to tell him all about it...just as he passes out into a drunken sleep. Adoring her husband, Claire smiles to herself at Jamie’s spiked giddiness. Just like the rest of us.
3. Season 3, Episode 3
“All Debts Paid”
Three years after Jamie is taken prisoner at Ardsmuir following the Battle of Culloden, a new governor arrives to reign over the inmates — Major John William Grey, whose life Jamie spared years earlier at Prestonpans.
But Jamie canna place Grey, even though he seems familiar. He and Murtagh compare notes on what they’ve learned about the new warden. That Grey fellow.
Even though at this time in the story Jamie is living as a ghost, haunted by the memories of the potential his future with Claire held before she went back through the stones to escape the violence of Culloden (during which he surely thought he would perish), Jamie is still able to find levity in their rat-infested dungeon.
After acknowledging that Grey has square shoulders and carries himself well, he can’t help but throw in that he has “a ramrod up his arse.” Acting the uncle as ever, Murtagh retorts back that “the ramrod is standard issue in the British army.” Even when they’re in the dregs, Murtagh and Jamie can still rely on each other to crack a wee smile.
4. Season 3, Episode 4
“Of Lost Things”
During his time working in the stables at Helwater, Geneva Dunsany takes an undeniable interest in Mac Dubh despite his lack of reciprocation.
One morning, she decides she wants to go riding and he will accompany her, because as she haughtily thrusts in his face, “you have to do my bidding.” Cue the eye roll from two centuries away from Claire.
Anyway, she asks him what he finds most attractive in a woman on their ride, and as he remains steadfastly in love with Claire, he says he doesn’t think of such things (let alone shares them with his boss). She hurries up ahead of him when he says they should head back before dark, and fakes her own fall.
When Jamie gallantly goes to pick her up, she laughs that she knew he would do as she said. Repulsed, Jamie flings her back down into the mud. He is chivalrous, but not to the point of being disrespected.
It’s unfortunate for Geneva’s glorious outfit, but a hilarious moment in a sad season of separation between Jamie and Claire.
5. Season 3, Episode 6
Claire and Jamie’s reunion at his Edinburgh print shop is one of the most anticipated moments of the series — and for good reason. After 20 long years, the series central couple is finally reunited once again. And while the look on both their faces’ is full of disbelief and joy at seeing a lost love they never thought they would see again, it’s what happens next that sticks the landing. Well, maybe not.
Graceful as ever, Jamie faints onto the ground, fearful he might have pissed himself but it was thankfully just an alepot. Albeit not intentionally funny, his loss of control over all his senses is sweet in how dumbfounded he is to see the love of his life once again.
6. Season 3, Episode 6
On her trip back (along with dresses with pockets), Claire brought photos of their daughter to show Jamie. He notices that Brianna has red hair, “like her sister, Faith,” but he is verra taken aback when he sees a photo of Brianna in a bikini on the beach with a male friend.
Claire innocently tells him that “when it’s warm, she likes to swim. This is one from when we were at the coast during the summer with her friends.” But as often happens when he learns from Claire how customs drastically changed 200 years later, he has a hard time coming to terms with 1968 swimwear.
“Christ,” he says. “Don’t tell me she goes swimming in that — that rigging and wi’ a lad?” But Claire insists that all the girls wear bikinis in 1968. “I can assure you, it’s actually quite modest for the time.” Just imagine if Claire had come back from the 21st century.
7. Season 3, Episode 8
When Jamie and Claire return to Lallybroch with Young Ian, they are in for a rude greeting from Jamie’s second wife, Laoghaire. So much so, that she shoots at the reunited couple, mainly aiming for Claire but it hits Jamie in the arm.
As Claire nurses his wounds, he comes to in a punch-drunk manner from all the whisky he drank to numb the pain. To make light of the dreadfully awkward situation they find themselves in, Jamie tries in vain to make Claire laugh when she tells him that Laoghaire made Swiss cheese out of his arm. He acquiesces that he dinna ken what Swiss cheese is, but if it looks like that, I wouldna want it on my bread.”
To wash down his sorrows, Jamie also wants some more whisky. But rightfully angry at all the revelations of the past few days, Claire instantly says he needs liquids of the broth and water variety. But, still a charmer, Jamie finds a loophole - “Whisky’s a liquid, no?” Turns out, according to Dr. Claire, it’s a no indeed. Somehow, she’s able to resist the funny look he gives her when he’s refused his liquid courage.
8. Season 3, Episode 8
Another funny moment in this exchange is Jamie’s understandable fear of needles, as they had not been invented yet. In her handy-dandy bag of medical supplies from the future, Claire brought a needle and penicillin with her to counter the germs of Jamie’s wounds.
Claire instructs Jamie to turn over to his right side, and he can’t contain himself from fretting over how sharp the needle is. “Look, will ye please explain why jamming needles in my arse is going to help my arm?”
She does as she’s asked — after she treats him. “Because germs are no match for penicillin.”
Don’t worry, kids (and adults) who fear shots at the doctor’s office. A warrior who’s stared down Black Jack Randall is scared of needles, too.
9. Season 5, Episode 1
“The Fiery Cross”
Bonding with your in-laws on your wedding day is par for the course. But that doesn’t necessarily include your intimidating father-in-law, who already disapproves of how long it took you to return to his daughter, holding a razor to your throat for a close shave the morning of. And this is the opening scene of how Outlander brings us back into the world, Jamie laying down the law while shaving off Roger’s beard.
It’s very obvious that Jamie is loving how intimidated Roger is during this whole male bonding ritual in the cabin he built for him and Bree, and the humor shines through in the glee he basks in. But overall, he’s naturally pleased to see his daughter happy and marrying a man she loves, even if he thinks Roger has some manning up to do in order to provide a fruitful life for her.
10. Season 5, Episode 11
And last but not least, the moments where Jamie is introduced to concepts from the future do always provide for some earnest confusion, and comedic relief on Outlander.
As Claire, Jamie, Roger, and Bree leave Woolham’s Creek, Jamie sees Claire has some burlap bags he canna recall buying. They’re peanuts, she excitedly tells him. But back in those days, peanuts were reserved for pig chow. Far less appealing than a cool swig of whisky. The only other reason he can think of as to why she’d buy them is to make medicine. Perhaps it’s all the rage amongst doctors in 1968.
But as Jamie comes to find, they’re actually for sandwiches that youngsters munch on for lunch. “Haven’t quite mastered ice cream yet,” Claire humbly jokes, “but I’ll be damned if Jemmy grows up without tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”
And hey, the world would be worse off if we couldn’t eat a good old PB&J from time to time. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts, and for which, I am truly sorry for your loss.
From the outside looking into a period drama, one would think the leading man might not be the funniest sort. But that’s why Jamie has wooed fans of Diana Gabaldon’s books and its TV adaptation the world over. He’s got it all, and a sense of humor to boot.
Seasons 1 through 5 of Outlander are streaming on Starz.