In The Innocents Abroad, Twain draws comedy from various sources, including his fellow travelers, the people he meets in the countries they visit, and the dichotomy between grandiose narratives he has read and his actual experiences. At the beginning of the book, however, the focus is almost entirely on the other passengers who share the voyage with him. They have not yet experienced Europe or the Holy Land. In Chapter IV, for instance, he laughs at the earnest thoroughness of a young man who is already writing ten pages a day in his journal of a trip which has not started yet. This journal contains:
Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the sermon Sundays (because that’ll tell at home, you know); and the ships we saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don’t ever carry any...
Young Mr. Blucher, who is from the Far West and is on his first voyage, is a particularly frequent target of Twain's satire as a representative of American ignorance and parochialism. A characteristic joke at his expense comes in Chapter V, when Blucher hears that everything is cheap on the Azores islands and invites nine people to dinner. He is appalled to be presented with a bill for 21,700 Portuguese reis and cries out:
The suffering Moses! There ain’t money enough in the ship to pay that bill! Go—leave me to my misery, boys, I am a ruined community.
Blucher has no understanding that money—or anything else—is different overseas, and is soon delighted to discover that there are 1,000 reis to the dollar, meaning that his bill is a mere $21.70.