A rare moment of candour in a talk: "I don't expect you to be able to read all of this--it's just to impress you."
"People build Rayleigh-Taylor unstable stars all the time--until they're told not to."
A: "This is an anomalous nova."
B: "Every well-studied nova is an anomalous nova."
A: "In this class of novae..."
B: "Wait, that's a class?"
A: (pause) "...well, there's more than one of them."
"Here's the effect of metallicity (showing 2 dense pages of tables): there's no effect."
A: "According to 'theory'..."
B: (in his talk, later that day) "According to 'experiment'..."
"'Prompt' for me is less than a billion years."
A: "It's complicated."
B: (dripping with sarcasm) "Really."
and words of wisdom from Stan Woosley:
"We should all be drinking beer instead of doing numerical calculations."
(plaintively) "Why is everything so hard?"
By the end of the first day of talks, we young 'uns were a bit punchy and were tossing around ideas of how to liven things up. The keeper was to have the speakers don those sumo suits and have full-contact debates.
"I disagree with your rate estimate! RAAAH!"
"You've underestimated the impact of the boundary conditions! GAAAARRR!"
"The theory you're quoting is just gossip! OOOFFF!"