Magnus Bane has been through so much and never lost his sense of humor. In fact, it is quite the opposite – he is one of the most cheerful characters on the show, even though he has lived through centuries of war and misery.
None of this would have been possible without a big amount of sarcasm. His snarky comments have made us laugh so often that we suppose it’s only fair to put the spotlight on some of our favorites.

When he knew Malec was endgame before everyone else (and had a blast teasing Alec about it)

1×04: “Pretty boy. Get your team ready.”

The world is round, 1+1 equals 2, and Alec and Magnus are perfect for each other. Simple as that. By now, even people who don’t watch the show know this – and Magnus did from the very start. He was in too deep for Alec from the moment they met – at least that is the only explanation we have for the entire “pretty boy” confusion in episode 1×04. That, and maybe Magnus having some fun offending Jace along the way. The Herondale ego is probably still licking its wounds.

1×05: “Playing hard to get. I love a challenge.”

Unfortunately, Magnus’ advances at winning Alec over were rejected by their target, no matter what Magnus tried. Not even calling Alec and unceremoniously asking him out on a date seemed to convince our (previously) stone cold Shadowhunter. At least the tiny little smirk at the end of their phone call, when Magnus hangs up and says “I love a challenge” did the trick for most of the fandom. We will leave it to Magnus Bane to get rejected and still react so fabulously nonchalant to it. But then again, when is Magnus not fabulous?

1×08: “Speaking of which, how is Alexander?”

Magnus Bane is probably also the only person on this planet who can smoothly turn an autopsy into a conversation about the gift preferences of his future boyfriend – without even batting an eye. And land the smoothest comeback in the history of comebacks while he’s at it – cue “I wanna get my hands on that thing.” – “Speaking of which, how is Alexander?”
The time when Alec was determined to marry a woman in order to save his family’s reputation sure was one of the darkest the Malec fandom ever had to go through. But at least Magnus made sure we had a couple of good laughs here and there.

When he was one of the most powerful warlocks alive and he knew it

1×12: “Why is Ragnor Fell up there? He’s not more powerful than I am.”

Magnus may be one of the sweetest, most caring people on the show most of the time – but he certainly does not like it when people deem other warlocks more powerful than himself. Especially not when those other warlocks are among his closest friends. Such as Ragnor Fell, who as Hodge found out, once made the potion that put Jocelyn in a magically induced coma.
Magnus getting offended when Hodge proposed searching for Ragnor was one of our highlights of that episode. The both of them interacting was fun to witness – it was such a shame that Ragnor died right after we met him. Seeing Magnus bicker some more with his old British friend would have been so much fun.

2×13: “My powers are vastly beyond your imagination. And I saw you crossing the street outside.”

There’s this saying that light can be found even in the darkest moments – well, the same applies to funny Magnus moments and emotional Shadowhunters episodes. In this particular case, the previous episodes had been so tough for Magnus that we loved to see him loosen up and joke around when Dot came over – even if it is just pretend and to keep up the façade. However, what was certainly not just pretend was that epic dance battle that came after that conversation – if any of the Shadowhunters showrunners ever read this, can we have more scenes like that please?

When he roasted the Clave in front of everyone... several times.

1×11: “The law is the law”

Some Shadowhunters may like to deny this but let’s face it: the Clave is as far from a transparent organization as you can get, and then some. Those prejudiced Shadowhunters seeing themselves as the rulers of the entire Shadow World is nothing but unfair at times, and the Downworlders have every reason to be mad at them. And Magnus certainly is. However, with Magnus being Magnus, he decided to express his anger the classy way and throw the Clave’s dusty old motto right into their – well, Alec’s – face. Listening to him going on and on about the flaws of the Nephilim was music to our ears. Apart from that, this moment served as an intro for another one of our favorites: The “I’ll do you pro bono” line. It certainly doesn’t get better than a sassy and flirty Magnus, right?

1×11: “Put the cup on trial!”

Admittedly, this is more of an angry Magnus moment than a sassy one, but it had us smirking nonetheless. During Izzy’s trial in season one, when everyone was oh-so-serious about convicting her for treason, Magnus couldn’t save the day but he at least made being at the trial worth the while. Magnus may not be a trained attorney (Actually, he just might be. Who knows what he was up to during the past 400+ years?), but that didn’t keep him from going up there and owning the moment. It was so much fun to watch him confront the Inquisitor about her own close-mindedness. Also, we now know exactly who we need to call if we ever get into a law dispute with a bunch of prejudiced Shadowhunters.

2×01: “The Clave being unhelpful… who’s shocked, show of hands?”

Another episode, another Lightwood sibling in trouble – what else is new? Well, pretty much only that this time, Magnus is part of the task force trying to find Jace.
Other than that, it is pretty much business as usual – things at the Institute are tense, Alec is worried, and the current Head of the Institute, in this case Lydia Branwell, is not really helping. Add that to the Clave not cooperating with the New York Institute in the search of Jace, and you got yourself a perfect opportunity for Magnus Bane to drop one of his snarky comments.
In hindsight, mocking the Clave in front of his boyfriend – who was working towards taking a lead position in that very same organization – might not have been the best idea. It only added to the tension between Alec and him. But it also contributed to us getting that beautiful makeup scene at the end of the episode. So, as Magnus would say: it’s quite alright.

When he just had enough of Shadowhunter stupidity

2×03: “Oh, Clary is back. We can all go home now.”

Again, this is a moment originating more from anger than joy, but it was, however, still funny. For one, because Magnus was so gloriously sarcastic, but also because he was 100% right. This might be slightly biased as the author of this article was never really a fan of Jocelyn (and had a blast watching first Alec and then Magnus give her a piece of their mind) – but it was funny anyway.
We have to admit that Jocelyn had good intentions, but as it seems to be standard in the Fray family, the best intentions lead to the absolute worst ideas. Someone confronting Jocelyn about the consequences of her poor decisions was long overdue. And that Magnus did all of it with his usual class (and then slammed the door shut right in front of her face), was just the cherry on top. Touché, Mr. Bane.

1×07: “It would be like Beyoncé riding on a dinosaur through Times Square. People would notice.”

It’s rare that we see Magnus being really sarcastic on the show. But when he is, his comments are on point. Like that one time Luke was injured and Clary panicked about being unable to locate the Mortal Cup. And the setting made it even funnier: How he was just casually relaxing on his living room couch, not at all worried by what was happening, and only got up to deliver that snarky, yet so fitting reference to modern-day pop culture. Priceless.

1×12: “Oh it’s happy hour somewhere, my dear.”

Granted, Magnus had every reason to be salty in episode 1×12: The Clave was in need of his powers once again, he got called to the Institute at 9am and, oh yeah, the guy he was in love with was getting married to someone else. Good thing he has always had a soft spot for Clary Fray – she is probably the only person who can question Magnus’ craving for alcohol at 9am and get away with it. And even better that the episode ended on such a good note for Magnus – who knows what a drinks-deprived, grieving and heartbroken High Warlock of Awesome might have been capable of?

When he was done watching his kids act like...well, kids.

2×02: “Honestly, it’s time to man up.”

To be honest, this paragraph is just an excuse to include Simon and Magnus’ trip to India somewhere in this article. The two of them searching for Camille was so unique and amusing, and we could probably write an entire article about the blast we had watching these scenes. What happened in Camille’s home in Agra was easily one of the comedic highlights of season 2 (not that there are that many to choose from). From Simon wandering the endless halls of Camille’s winter residence, over Magnus casually stealing his stuff back and him cooing at a vicious cobra as if it were a cute little puppy – this episode included unusually many reasons to laugh. One of our favorite things was still a bit of a more serious one: when Magnus gave Simon a little pep talk to stop him from freaking out about Camille. In hindsight, it was more of a shovel talk than a pep talk, but all that matters is that it worked…well, kind of.

2×14: “I applaud Mr. Lightwood for his progressive thinking” – “Cause you’re totally unbiased.”

As Magnus said himself, many of his downworlder friends are like his own children to him. Unfortunately for him, they sometimes like to behave just like that – even though they are immortal and hundreds of years old. And just like any other parent on this planet, Magnus does not like to see that happen. Even more so when it’s in front of other people. But since Magnus is a warlock with class, he won’t shout at his kids but goes for a more subtle way of scolding them – in this case, through a very pointed look. What a shame we couldn’t listen in to that silent conversation Magnus and Raphael had at the Downworld cabinet meeting – we sure would have loved to hear the Magnus Bane Downworld version of “Watch your tone, young man!”

2×08: “This is an elegant affair. Not an episode of ‘The Real Housewives of Idris’.”

Magnus’ opinion of the Clave might not be too good but there is one Shadowhunter (besides Alec) that has always been his weakness: Clary Fray. He’s seen her grow up, has grown very fond of her along the way, and can hardly say no to anything she proposes. And, let’s be real, he has a heart of gold. Hence why he doesn’t unceremoniously kick her out the second she starts throwing a tantrum at Max’s rune party. Instead, he tries to calm her down and investigate what happened. Though, he is still Magnus Bane and does not like to have his parties disturbed like that – so that tiny bit of sarcasm is just fine, we suppose. Even if it’s Clary.

And let’s face it… when he just enjoyed being a bit of a drama queen.

2×13: “I wouldn’t want to be overdramatic.”

Another perfect example of the “good intentions that create bad ideas” pattern we’ve gotten to know so well in season 2A. Alec shows up at Magnus’ apartment, his only plan being to clear Magnus of any future allegations the Clave might come up with and asks him for a strand of hair. And Magnus does not react well to it – at all. And he’s right to. We loved how his voice dripped of sarcasm when he told Alec that he wouldn’t want to cause extra drama, his cold look while he pulls out that single strand of hair. All that would have been missing was small orchestra playing a sad music in the background. Frankly, Magnus kicking Alec out a few seconds later was not really one of our favorites, but since they made up at the end of the episode and this proved to be only a bump in the road, we’re fine with it.

2×20: “Duh.”

If Magnus premiered his drama queen qualities in episode 2×15, the season finale was where he really showed what he could do. He obviously had every right to be mad at Alec, but there was no way we could have hold back our laughter at Magnus’ reaction when Alec came to ask him for help. Cold shoulder would be the understatement of the year – and although watching that scene hurt our Malec shipping hearts like crazy, we also couldn’t help but find it funny. How Magnus just turned to look right and left before even acknowledging Alec was there, how he let him know without words that he would prefer being literally anywhere but with Alec that moment – and, the cherry on top, his reaction to Alec saying that they needed a warlock to keep the demons at bay: “Duh.”
Well played, Harry. Well played.


Journalism student with a soft spot for fantasy novels and dark chocolate. I’ve always loved to write and hope to make a living from it one day. On ShumDario News, I write articles for the website and help with updating and projects.