Hooray for Dialogue! No, not that Dialogue

No, we’re not talking about the journal Dialogue—we’re talking about lines of dialogue from film, television, or books that creep their way into our homes and stick around for years, much like food supplies from the cannery. The lines that resonate with us can reveal a lot about ourselves and our families.

This is the argument that Stephen King makes in his article “Lines to Live By,� published in the June 2003 issue of Entertainment Weekly. He explains that families can “develop a whole stock of great lines, a kind of inner slanguage that helps to trace a family’s growth.� He shared the lines that held prominence in his home, and he polled his readers on their favorite lines. Based on the responses he received he published a list of great movie lines, which you can read about here.
We’d like to do the same for the T & S audience. Below are our favorite pieces of dialogue that continue to resonate with us over the years.

“I choo choo choose you.�
—Ralph Wiggam, The Simpson’s
Ralph Wiggam gives Lisa Simpson a valentine with a picture of a train accompanied by this message. We can’t help but be touched by his crush on Lisa—so full of hope and naiveté. It reminds us of when we fell in love. Plus, Shannon is a lot like Lisa (feminist-minded, smart, yellow skin), and Brian is a lot like Ralph (picks nose, plays flute with nose, dreams he is a Viking, etc.).

“Dignity! Always dignity.�
—Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain
Gene Kelly’s character claims this is the motto of his Hollywood career, but the scene reveals that his road to success was actually paved with a series of very undignified jobs. Having checked most of our dignity at the door when we moved to LA eight years ago, this line has always had special meaning for us.

“But as for myself, to me he doth not stink.�
—Alma 19:5
The Queen of the Lamanites, uttered these immortal words when her husband had been in a catatonic state for two days and everyone tried to convince her he was dead and stinking. She waited by his bed faithfully until he awoke. The line represents the unconditional love and loyalty a woman can have for a man—even if he is a bit, well, stinky.

“I saw an old couple bein’ visited by their children – and all their grandchildren too. And the old couple wasn’t screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don’t know, you tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleein’ reality, like I know I’m liable to do?…But me’n Ed, we can be good too…And it seemed real. It seemed like us. And it seemed like well…our home…If not Arizona, then a land, not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved…I dunno, maybe it was Utah.â€?—H.I., Raising Arizona
We have a pet theory that although the filmmakers don’t make it explicitly clear, H.I. and Ed, the main characters of this movie, are actually Mormon. At the very least they’re Mormonesque—throughout the film they struggle with traditional gender roles. H.I. is a crappy provider and can’t hold down a job and Ed is devastated by her infertility. Finally, at the end of the film, H.I. has a personal revelation in a dream and in this closing monologue he sees the glory of their posterity and references Utah. What could be more Mormon than that?

What lines have made their way into your family’s inner “slanguage,� and why does that dialogue hold meaning for you? Feel free to share lines from films, television, literature, scriptures, conference talks, blog threads, nothing is off limits.

201 comments for “Hooray for Dialogue! No, not that Dialogue

  1. Not to quibble, but I don’t really get a sense of dialogue from any of these lines, as there’s only one character speaking each of them.

  2. Bryce, here’s some dialogue for you

    “I’m dying”

    “You’re not dying, you just can’t think of anything fun to do.”

    This is extremely adaptable by swapping out the word “dying” for whatever the moment requires.

  3. Every single line from “It’s a Wonderful Life” is fair game in our family at any given moment.

    Thus, you will often hear random spurts of “I heard it. . .’bout time someone said it!,” Or “Hee Haw, Sam, how ARE you?,” or even “No Gin tonight son.” “Aww, just a little.” “Not one drop.”

    Don’t know why any of this stuff sticks with us. As I read over it, it’s not particularly bracing stuff. I guess it’s all in the context.

    Three Amigos makes a lot of appearances as well, for some reason.

  4. Here’s some more dialogue:

    Why is there a watermelon there?

    I’ll tell you later.

    Can you name the source?

  5. “Where do these [stairs] go?”
    “They go up”

    “The light is green, the trap is clean.” (used every time we are stopped at a red light, when it turns green)
    – Ghostbusters

    “I just love him so much.”
    “I know you do, honey. I know you do.”
    – Raising Arizona

    “I have no response to that.”

    “It’s always going to be something with you, isn’t it Joe”

    “I am not arguing that with you. I am not ARGUING that with you!”
    – Joe versus the Volcano

  6. I am always amazed at how much of our family dialogue comes from _The Simpsons_ (althoug “to me he doth not stink” gets a lot of play whenever we have a bediapered baby in the house, along with the Simpson’s classic “urine monkey”.)

    “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” (OK, that’s not Simpsons, but useful when children are climbing on you.)

    “I can’t even _begin_ to tell you what’s wrong with that!” (Marg Simpson)

    “Well, that’s just _super_.” (Reverend Lovejoy)

    “Eh, what are you going to do about it?” (Homer, useful for when someone has called your attention to children in _really_ dangerous situations.)

    “I do have a life outside of this house, you know.” (Marg)

    “And maybe Emil has a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.” (Homer, useful for when someone makes what might be a good point except that you don’t really understand it.)

    “I’ve been watching women’s volleyball on ESPN.” (Homer, no comment on application ;) )

  7. Whenever one of us asks the other’s approval of something, we always respond,

    *sniff* *sniff* ‘Seems OK.’

  8. Oh yeah- and these classics

    “Why don’t you just make 10 louder and have 10 be the top number?”
    blank stare, pause…
    “This one goes to 11.”

    “The question is, how much more black could this be, and the answer is…none. None more black.”

    -Spinal Tap

  9. “I’ll be back..back with nuclear weapons”
    Tom Hanks–Splash

    “Let us celebrate this moment by the adding of chocolate to milk”

    “Well I didn’t think this was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows”


  10. “Donuts — is there anything they can’t do?” — Homer, after the donut marquee saves the monorail from certain destruction.

    “You don’t win friends with salad! You don’t win friends with salad!”– Bart and Homer to Lisa, in response to her suggestion that they hold a vegetarian barbecue.

    “Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!” — Homer to Lisa, re: her perpetual motion machine.

  11. Bryce-

    “I’m serious Joe. I need those catelogs here by next week.”
    “Then please order them.”

    At one time I could quote the whole moon-coming-up-over-the-ocean-when-Joe-was-about-to-die-from-dehydration scene. I won’t attempt to post it here because I can’t remeber it exactly, and I wouldn’t want to mess it up, because that’s some good dialogue between Joe and God.

  12. Here are a few of the oddest for our family:

    It is amazing how often parts of this exchange from “Time Bandits” comes up:

    Evil: God isn’t interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchip or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time: forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men!
    Robert: Slugs.
    Evil: Slugs! HE created slugs! They can’t hear. They can’t speak. They can’t operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic? If I were creating the world I wouldn’t mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o’clock, Day One!

    Numerous quotes from the film Rubin and Ed frequent our conversations as well:

    Rubin: My cat can eat a whole watermelon!

    Rubin:Why don’t you keep your hands off other people’s refrigerators!
    Ed:Man, it is el warmo out here.
    Ed: Might be pumas out here. Puma can smell a dead cat from forty miles off.
    Ed:Oh, it’s going to get weird now, isn’t it?
    Head of the Organization: Who’s the biggest loser in the room?
    Rubin: [Looks around the room, then slaps his hand down on Ed’s knee] Raise your hand, Ed.
    Head of the Organization: Who are you? Who are you?
    Rubin: I am the king of the echo people.

  13. Bryce, incidentally, I think it’s possible to have a dialogue with only one person speaking. Bob Newhart made a career out of it with his telephone bits. Also, remember this classic Homer Simpson in a phone booth, looking for his “soul mate”:

    “Hello? Is this… [reads newspaper] GBM? Uh, yeah. I read in the personals that you were seeking a soulmate. Well, I also like rainy days and movies. Uh-huh… [apprehensively] Uh, no, I don’t like that… Or that… No, it’s not that I’m afraid. [very quickly] I’m going to hang up now, bye-bye.”

  14. From Shrek:

    “I can talk. I love to talk. I’m the talkingest damn thing you ever saw!”

  15. gst–

    I didn’t actually say that the lines in the post aren’t dialogue, just that I didn’t get a sense of dialogue from them (although the “Dignity, always dignity” line isn’t really dialogue even in context).

    I spend my days modeling natural language dialogues for automated voice dialogue systems, so I think about the word quite a bit.

  16. “#1 oh i hate the colonel with his wee beedy eyes and the smug look on his face: ‘oh you’re gonna buy my chiken ooh!’
    #2 Dad, How can you hate the Colonel.
    #1 Because he puts a secret chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly�


    “#1 Care for some gopher?
    #2 No thank you, Delmar. One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down.�

  17. Raising Arizona is big in my house too. Whenever we are all together doing something very domestic, one of us will say, “What, are you kidding me? We got ourselves a family here!”

  18. It’s not even close, Seinfeld is the most oft-quoted in my home.

    “For fifty bucks I’d stick my head in the soup and blow!”

    “I’m out. I’m outta the contest.”

    “She eats her peas… one at a time.”

    “I bet Moses was a picker.”

    “Adjacent to refuse… is refuse.”

    “My name is George Costanza, I’m unemployed and I live with my parents” “I’m Victoria… Hi”

    etc, etc.

  19. From “Forest Gump”:

         Forest: “I’m sorry I started a fight at your black panther party.”< ?P>

    From “It’s a Wonderful Life”:

         Clarence the Angel: “Oh, we don’t have money in heaven.”

         George Bailey: “Well it comes in pretty handy down here, bub.”

  20. “when there was no meat to be found, we ate fowl. When there was no fowl, we ate crawdad. When there was no crawdad, we ate sand.” “You ate what?” “We ate sand.”

  21. Well, we’re always swordfighting with the kids. And so a line that gets used, rather often, is

    I have something to tell you. I’m not left-handed.

    Also, the Little Mermaid line about sitting and staring at each other. “It got very boring.”

  22. Also, any time that Mardell ends a stern warning to the kids with “and I mean it!”, I tend to add in, “anybody want a peanut?”

  23. More one-liners from The Simpsons, oft heard around my house:

    “I sleep in a drawer!”

    “Everybody’s hugging!”

    More of the same from the finest movie ever made starring Chevy Chase as an investigative reporter:

    “Oh, for dog-dog-don…”

    (upon the entrance of the crooked cop) “Oh… thank God… the police.”

    (shooting baskets in the living room, banging foreheads with his ex-wife’s attorney) “… DRAWS the foul!”

    From Tommy Boy:

    “He Heem Hike Huh Hnice Ghuy…” (He seems like a nice guy…)

    “I turn into Jojo, the Idiot Circus Boy, with his pretty new pet… ‘You’re a naughty pet — you’re naughty!'”

    And, from the Goldie Hawn vehicle, Overboard:

    A tie, either “Goober, Idaho” or “Annie… Annie Goolahee.”

    Say, this is fun!

  24. This probably already was mentioned somewhere but I’ll just throw it in there:

    “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

    My neighbor/friend has been using this a lot lately, adjusting it to whatever we’re talking about somehow and then waving his hand mystically in the air. Of course I’m supposed to follow it up by repeating what he’s said, so it does pass the dialogue test.

  25. Our family is like Ryan S. = Joe all the way!

    “You have a brain cloud” (must pass hand over head to do this right!).

    “I’m not arguing that!”

    Than from A Christmas Story: Frageelay! (Fragile)

    “Mahauna – you ugly.”

    Then last but not least: From the David O McKay story: “Young David was a bright boy.”

    Then we have a line only for the family made up when my bro and his wife & me and my husband we attending BYU as transplanted Californians. Everything we noticed had become “Special” said in that airy almost ethereal voice. Came our answer: “I’d rather be dead than special”, we were rebels!

  26. Of course if you want a real argument clinic you should simply post a comment at T&S. None of that “Yes it is”/”No it isn’t” bullsh** here.

  27. The phrases from Rubin & Ed that I often use (Ebenezer: thanks for reminding me oof others that I could put to good use!)

    “Success! Success! I am keeping my head up to turn all of my obstacles into opportunities! Thats right, I am on a colision course with the brick wall of success!”

    [I deploy this both for sincere motivational purposes and to mock the attempts of others to motivate me, as the case may be]

    Rubin: Andy Warhol was a fraud
    Ed: Andy Warhol was famous!
    Rubin: So? You can be famous and fraud … a famous fraud!

    [I deploy this in conversations about modern art both with those who would agree with Rubin and those who would agree with Ed]

    A great memory from my boy scout days involving movie quoting: me and my buddies were always on the lookout for things to hold in our hands that would permit us to say: “look, I’m Edward [Fishing Pole] Hands.” On cue, one of would say: “Hold me.” The scout playing Edward would respond with great pathos: “I can’t.” Those were the days.

  28. I was trying to bait Steve Evans or maybe Kaimi with my asterisked profanity (since I’ve murmured against it in the past). Neither is biting. (Sigh)

  29. Homer Simpson to daughter Lisa:
    “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I’m not listening”

    Bart Simpson: “Wow, that’s craptastic”

    OK, I don’t use these often with my family. It does brighten up many meetings at work though.

  30. From a children’s tape about the lives of the prophets:

    “They [some Plains Indians] are riding like tornadoes on their fierce ponies!”

    Also, after watching the PBS documentary on the Civil War for hours and hours, we have found a *special* delight in doing Star Wars and Jane Austen quotes in a Shelby Foote/Robert E. Lee voice:

    -“Luke, Ah am yoh fathuh”
    -“Much moh rational, mah deah Caroline, but much layss lahk a bahll”

  31. Bryce I, my favorite Teen Girls Squad line, among many,
    “I’m totally crushing.” or maybe, “ARROWED!” But just using the Teen Girl Squad voice gets a laugh between my husband and I.

  32. “I could easily kill you now, but I’m determined to have your brain!”

    “That’s why I put it in the notebook! So I wouldn’t HAVE to remember!”

    (Whenever anyone asks me where I’m from, in my best Euromongrel accent:)
    “Lots of different places.”

    And the ultimate, primo, best quote of all time:
    “We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.”

  33. I can’t believe no one else has mentioned the PB line I have to use all the time: “I’m not a witch; I’m your wife!”

  34. LOL Kristine. I love the part where that old man (Billy Crystal) rhapsodizes about the wonders of just the right kind of mutton-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich. There’s so many great lines that I never get around to memorizing or using in real life. But how would I bring that up? :)

  35. I didn’t grow up in an environment of quote lines. My wife did, however. Miserably, they all seem to be from “Star Wars” (“Let the wookie win”), “The Princess Bride” (“No, there is no time; let me sum up”) and “The Last Starfighter” (“It’ll be a slaughter!” “That’s the spirit!”) and other such films. Lately her family has latched on to “The Mummy” (“I’m a librarian!”). Drives me nuts.

    Also, please note: “The Simpsons” has jumped the shark. Just so you all know.

  36. “mutton-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich”

    It’s mud-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich, Daniel. I know; my in-laws have gang-pressed me into watching that at-best-moderately-entertaining movie about a hundred times.

  37. Russell:

    Surely you jest…

    It is definitely a _mutton_ sandwich — the movie was just on TV the other week.

    Come on, man, mud sandwich makes no sense, even for Princess Bride.

  38. “Surely there must be something we can do!”

    “Well there isn’t. And stop calling me Shirley.”


  39. That whole thing just cracks me up. Anytime a man is expressing his deep love and abiding affection for a sandwich, I’m probably going to be in stitches.

  40. Often when one of us (my wife and I) says ‘How you doin’?’ …. the other replies like Joey from Friends with <deep voice/accent>”How YOU doin’?”</voice & accent>

    Other than that, I’m a conniseur (sp?) of Fletch lines. Of course Holy Grail lines such as …

    “African or European?” and “With Big Pointy Teeth” may also show up at random moments.

    And there’s the ever-wise Han Solo’s “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” (usually when I’m about to be informed of some grand event upcoming)

  41. My favorite line from Han Solo is the “It’s not my fault!” line that he throws around so much. And it seems that any Star Wars character who spends substantial time with Han Solo ends up using that line as well when the womp rat hits the fan.

  42. David King Landrith: Alright you two Pixies, out you go, through the door or out the window.

    Listen Bub, we serve hard drinks here, for people who want to get drunk fast.

    And of course (yelled in deranged, strained, cracking voice) : “Merry Christmas you beautiful old savings and loan!!”

  43. For a long time my best friend and I had a thing where any time either of us was going to have to do something we didn’t want to, or were just generally not looking forward to something that was going to happen soon, I’d have to say “I will diminish, and go into the West…” Which was fun.

    What’s scary to me is that my sisters and I all say “yes” the way Mr. Burns does (on The Simpsons). The younger one and I sound like we’re plotting something, and our middle sister sounds like she’s enjoying the sounds of someone being tortured to death. We say “yes” this way anytime “yes” occurs as a stand-alone statement. And, whenever we have occasion (maybe 3-4 times a day for me) to say “yes, indeed.”

    Oh, and the usual outburst-quoting (“Inconceivable!”) is pretty common, too.

    But we tend to avoid longer quotes, because I have a good memory for them and usually reenact the entire scene. E.g. last night at dinner I started out with “What you want is irrelevant — what you have CHOSEN is at hand” and couldn’t sit still until I’d gotten through “A lie? — A choice.” (all of which is part of a climactic exchange in Star Trek VI).

    Our parents think we’re all insane.

  44. Anything from What’s Up Doc?. For example:

    Judy: “It all started when we passed the point of no return. . . .”

    Howard: “I think we just passed it.” OR

    Judy: “From now on I’m going to be the same.”

    Howard: “The same as what?”

    Judy: “The same as people who aren’t different!” OR

    bicycle boy: “Hey, I want my bike back.”

    Judge Maxwell: “I’ll give you your bike back–I’ll give you a broken back if you don’t shut up!”

    and many more from there.

    Also the Simpsons. Too many to list here.

    Many lines from the original Star Wars trilogy also fall into this family dialogue category. For example:

    Princess Leah (sp?): “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

    Vader: “When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”

    Obi-wan: “Only a master of evil, Darth.”


    Here’s an important one from Spies Like Us:

    “Step one: shave the patient.”

    Every home should employ that quote once in a while.

    Also, many one-liners from So I married an axe-murderer.

  45. Oh and I forgot the best ones from “The Jerk” – “I was born a poor black child.” “On my birthday mom makes my favorite lunch: A Tuna sandwich , twinkies and a Tab” “They hate the oil cans!” “I have a special purpose!”

  46. I’ve been trying to remember the name of this Scarlet Pimpernel movie this afternoon and couldn’t for some reason. Then (sink me!) I remembered. Here’s one of those goofy quotes:

    They seek him here,
    They seek him there,
    Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
    Is he in heaven?
    Or is he in hell?
    That damned elusive Pimpernel!

  47. My Navy and Marine buddies would always say, “EX-cellent, He-Man!” One of them sounded exactly like Skeletor. Unfortunately, aside from his abilities with profanity and a machine gun, it may have been his only other semi-marketable skill.

  48. George W. Bush: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee … I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee … that says, fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me … you can’t get fooled again.”


    Prof. Farnsworth: “Hey! Unless this is a nude love-in, get the hell off my property.�

    Hippie: “You can’t own property, man.�

    Prof. Farnsworth: “I can. But that’s because I’m not a penniless hippie.�


    Anything from Rambo: First Blood Part II.


    Jerry: “Look at us! Look at our lives! We’re not men!”

    George: “No, we’re not men!”


    Man, I am tapped after three lames ones. Probably should not have eaten that entire sack of beef jerky for breakfast.

  49. “Good morning, PeeWee”
    “Hello, Fran-cis.”
    “Today’s my birthday and my father said I could have anything I want.”
    “Good for you and your father.”
    “So guess what I want.”
    “A new BRAIN!”
    “No. Your bike”
    “ha ha”
    “What’s so funny, PeeWee?”
    “It’s not for sale, Fran-cis.”
    “Well my father says everything’s negotiable, PeeWee.”
    “I wouldn’t sell my bike for all the money in the world, not even a hundred million billion TRILLION dollars.”
    “Then you’re CRAZY!”
    “I know you are but what am I.”
    “Oh PeeWee, listen to reason… C’MON!”
    “Shhh, I’m listening to reason.”
    “Oh PeeWee.”
    “That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”
    “Remember the first time I saw your bike? I was walking past your house and I told you how much I loved it back then?”
    “I love that story.”
    “You’ll be sorry PeeWee Herman!”

  50. Mmmmm…. favorite lines….

    Mmmmm…. (anything)…

    Also, from Tommy Boy:

    Hm! Surprised you didn’t know that! (/anything)

  51. Inside Jokes
    Shannon Keeley and Brian Gibson at Times and Seasons have an excellent post about lines of dialogue that creep into our personal relationships from mutually enjoyed movies and TV shows. Even beyond that, let me suggest that inside jokes are the glue th…

  52. I have a tendency to quote lines from movies uttered by dictators, monarchs or other infallible authority figures that I direct towards people who are irritating me. (This may be a reflection of my desire to rule the world with an iron fist). I developed this habit as a teenager because my younger sisters would regularly pester me. I now maintain the habit with my wife (much to her chagrin) when she is nagging me about something or discussing a subject I’d rather she drop.

    A sampling:

    “OFF with her head!!!�
    –The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (too obvious, perhaps)

    “Put them (her) in the Iron Maiden ….. EXECUTE THEM!!!�
    –That priestly dude in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

    “Shoot them….. Shoot them BOTH.�
    –That ugly, freakish Nazi fellow in Raiders of the Lost Ark (remember the scene in the Nepalese tavern when he orders his officers to shoot not only Harrison Ford, but the other “bad guyâ€? he is wrestling with as well?).

    And of course, there are a number of different lines from the Star Wars movies when Darth Vader is strangling his commanding officers for their failures. If a family member refuses to shut up, I might grab them by the neck, and say …

    “Apology accepted Captain Needa.�

    “If this is a consular ship, where is your ambassador?�

    “I find your lack of faith …. disturbing�

    And of course, if I don’t want to actually grab the neck, but I feel the need to quote Lord Vader all the same, there’s always:

    “You’re part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!�

    Pretty dorky, huh?

    Aaron B

  53. Am I the only one around here old enough to have listened to the Superscope Storytellers cassettes? It’s not uncommon in our family for someone to yell “That’s not an island you’re standing on, Sinbad, it’s a whale!”

  54. All proper families banter Calvin and Hobbes back and forth at each other.

    Hobbes: “Well, I don’t know. I *like* the fall, the leaves, the crisp air . . . [exuberantly] Foosh! Kapow! Zing!”

    Calvin [stooping to pick up overripe fruit] “What about fresh applesauce, chowderhead. Did you mention fresh applesauce?”

    Hobbes: “Has Stupendous Man ever won?”
    Calvin: “Well, they were all moral victories.”
    Hobbes: “Ah.”

    All proper families also love to recite Wodehouse, although you mangle him if you don’t remember him word for word, which we never do. Gussie Fink-Nottle’s drunk grammar school speech is choice.

    [giving a prize for scripture knowledge to a young scholar]
    “Wait! Who was Thingummy, the son of Thingamabob?”
    “I don’t know, sir.”
    “Suspicious, Jones. Very suspicious”

    Or this passage, from a Mulliner story:
    “It cannot have escaped your attention that I have long entertained feelings for you warmer than mere affection. You are the tree on which the fruit of my life hangs. I am a simple man. I am not as eloquent as I could wish. But I lay before you the heart, the pure, unspotted heart, of an English gentleman.”
    “Oh, George.”

    Finally, all male persons who were supplied with adequate roommates in college quoted the Tick with them widely, but alas, those days are no more. I sometimes go out on the balcony here at work, for old times sake, and ‘look out over the city I am sworn to look out over.’

  55. Having recently returned from Germany, we’ve been fond of some lines from German movies. My favorite is from Run, Lola, Run, where the guy is talking to Lola on the phone and she says “it doesn’t matter” and he says:

  56. Having recently returned from Germany, we’ve been fond of some lines from German movies. My favorite is from Run, Lola, Run, where the guy is talking to Lola on the phone and she says “it doesn’t matter” and he screams in a strong Berliner dialect:
    “Es ist ueberhaupt nicht egal!”
    Which, expressed contortedly in english is “[Of course] it doesn’t not matter.” Very useful around the house.

    Actually, speaking of German movie lines, my mission followed the practice of being way to fond of church films: from the one where the hitchhiker gets picked up and becomes a mechanic: “my life was somewhat chaotic” (“Mein leben war ziemlich Chaotish”).

    Or, “I was the good guy and no one ever threw a party for me.”

    More as I think of them. Shannon where are you? You’ve abandoned your own strand.

  57. From the Simpsons long ago…
    “Nice house…no silverfish” Can be used any time you go in a house that you have never been in

  58. From Breakfast at Tiffany’s–the absolute best movie ever made
    “Do you think she’s handsomely paid?”

  59. It certainly isn’t as aged as some of the films quoted here, but may indeed be destined for classic status: Napoleon Dynamite.

    Deb: And here we have some boondoggle key chains. A must-have for this season’s fashion.
    Napoleon: I already made like infinity of those at scout camp.

    Napoleon: I see you’re drinking 1% milk. Is that because you think you’re fat? Because you’re not. You could probably be drinking whole milk.

    Napoleon: Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!… Tina, eat. Food. Eat the FOOD!

    Napoleon: Tina, come get some ham.

    Kip: Napoleon, don’t be jealous that I’ve been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I’m training to be a cage fighter.

    There are so many more.

  60. Jason, are there any lines in any of the church films that *aren’t* funny translated into German?! Together Forever always just makes me howl, especially when my brother recites it, which he does more often than you’d think one would have occasion to :)

  61. And a Rob Briggs comment on some other thread reminds me of this Star Wars chestnut:

    “Stay on target. Stay on target”

  62. Dinner time around here has often become “get in there and make yourself a dang quesadillllla” thanks to Nappy D.

    When my younger brother and I get together the pop culture references tend to go straight to “Sixteen Candles.”

    “I HATE that Rock-and-Roll Rubbish”
    “Lake. Big Lake”
    “Can I borrow your underpants for like ten minutes?”
    “I can’t believe my own grandmother actually felt me up.”

    And I’m right with you, John Fowles, with “What’s up Doc?” references. I actually got to say “Eunice? That’s a person named Eunice?” in a recent Bishopric’s meeting.

    “You’re upside down.”

    (with apologies to Jeremy) Hugh: Don’t touch me, I’m a doctor.
    Judge Maxwell: Of what?
    Hugh: Music.
    Judge: Can you fix a Hi-fi?
    Hugh: No.
    Judge: Then shut up!

    “Don’t you dare strike that brave, unbalanced woman!”

    And of course…
    Howard:If you don’t get out of that tub this minute I will nofity the police.
    Judy: Who do you think they’ll arrest, the girl in the tub of the guy with his pants down?

  63. Has this one been mentioned yet?

    “Everything was fine until dickless here…”

    “Is this true?”

    “Yes, this man has no dick.”

    Ghostbusters, baby, Ghostbusters!

  64. From the immortal word of Bart Simpson:

    “I didn’t know it was possible for something to both suck and blow at the same time.”

  65. The salty old sergeant (?) who caddied Hawkeye and Trapper John around the golf course in Japan, who gets the final words in the movie. I don’t talk that way, but the sentiments are good:

    “G**d** army!”

    My kids, after watching the Kenneth Branagh “Much Ado About Nothing” 100 times, were good at:

    “My name is Conrad, and I am a gentleman!”

    And, that classic line from “When Harry Met Sally”

    “I’ll have what she’s having.”

    From Diamonds Are Forever:

    Some goon, to Bond: I have a brother too.

    Bond: Small world.

  66. You had to be alive during the Love Story frenzy, but, from What’s Up Doc?

    “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

    That’s the dumbest line I ever heard.”

  67. Congressional candidate Pete Coors-Ken Salazaar debate
    Coors: “We need to protect our country from areas like, Irag, Afganistan and North Dakota”
    Mediator: “What did you say? Did you say North Dakota?
    Coors: “Did I say that? I didn’t mean North Dakota, I mean’t North Korea, I’m not very good at this debate stuff, I mean I’m not a high school debate champion or anything.”

    We quote this anytime we say something funny that we did’nt mean to say. “Watch out for North Dakota, they may be our biggest threat.”

  68. “This is the day” — Ben Hur —

    “There’ll be another time” — The Empire Strikes Back —

    “It was you Johnny (or name of choice). It was you all along” — On the Waterfront —

    “I could have been a contender” — On the Waterfront —

    “Behold, we will end the conflict” — The Book of Mormon —

    “They call me Mister Tibbs (or any name of choice)” — In the Heat of the Night —

  69. Favorite around our house. “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” I believe Clint Eastwood said it first.

  70. Musicology and Music Theory grad students get together at my school to watch “What’s Up Doc” on a fairly regular basis. So, so bad. No lines from it stuck with me, although every once in a while at a concert with my wife I’ll pull out my palm pilot to mimick that ridiculous contraption he pulls out at the concert. (Incidentally, lest you buy into the caricature of musicologists presented in the movie, I returned not to long ago from a musicology conference; nary a paper on the sounds of igneous rocks, I’ll have you know. On the other hand, this afternoon I was analyzing a piece comprised entirely of sounds made by people shoving furniture around…)

    Napoleon Dynamite will indeed be a rich source of catch phrases (the director says he knew it was a good sign when some of the extras on the set started using lines from the movie during breaks.) The lines in heaviest circulation at our house:

    “Luuuh-cky!” (Anytime anyone reports good news of any kind.)

    “Dude, Napoleon, gimme some tots!” (Anytime anyone wants someone’s tots.)

    Babe, Pig in the City is also catch phrase classic. When, for example, my wife catches me blogging when I should be working, I’ll respond with a paraphrase of Bob the chimp:

    “I’m sittin’ here doin’ my job, writin’ stuff, and you come in here accusicatin’ and makin’ demandments!”

    Our family also quotes classic Letterman lines frequently. Anybody remember when he took the ceramics class? To his left, there’s a lady painting a HUGE, tacky lamp shaped like a monkey. He leans to the person on his right and whispers dismissively, “I’ve made monkeys TWICE that size.”

  71. Mark B.—I love Streisand in What’s Up Doc!

    I have lots of favorite lines, but they all come from just a handful of movies.

    As others have noted, the most quotable movie of all time is, of course, The Princess Bride.I haven’t heard anyone mention:

    “As you wish”

    “Give him a break. He’s been mostly dead all day.”

    “Rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.”

    My sister can do several long sequences from this show—–“with eyes like the sea after a storm . . .”

    My next favorite movie for lines is Joe vs. the Volcano:

    “I have no response to that”

    “That outfit is wearing you, Felix”

    “My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Only a few people are awake and they live in a constant state of amazement.”

    “you’re going to jump into the volcano, okay?”

    “I’m not arguing that with you”

    Groundhog Day is also great:

    “Don’t drive angry. Don’t drive angry”

    “Anything different is good”

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a classic:

    “The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.”


    In my family whenever anyone manages to pleasantly surprise us the explanation is usually, “hey, I know a guy.” (While You Were Sleeping).

    Last, but not least:

    Remember in Home Alone when the mom is trying to get home and gets stuck in the Budget rental truck with John Candy who commiserates with her by telling her that he once left his child in a funeral parlor all day with a corpse. He famously says “after six or seven weeks he came around, starting talking again. Kids are resilient like that.”

  72. Since I’m on a roll here I might as well include the whole quote since it’s coming back to me now—-

    “A farm boy. Poor. Poor and perfect . . .with eyes like the sea after a storm. On the high seas your ship attacked. And the dread pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.”

    “I can’t afford to make exceptions, once the word leaks out that a pirate’s gone soft then all you have is work, work, work . . . ”

    “You mock my pain!”

    “Life is pain is highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

    And, from Dr. Strangelove:

    “Gentemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room.”

  73. Oh, I forgot the line from Eraserhead that inevitably pops up when we’re eating fowl:

    “You just cut ’em up like regular chickens?”

    Or the one from True Stories when complimented on dress or grooming; it’s from when David Byrne compliments John Goodman’s character on his spiffy, shiny running shoes (worn with sans-a-belt slacks), and Goodman rocks on his heels and says with a drawl,

    “Yeah, well… I’m very aware of my appearance.”

    Also, as a musicology grad student, I have frequent opportunity to berate certain Vienna-centric colleagues with the line from Ruben and Ed:

    “No more Mahler until you go out and make a friend!”

  74. Never fear, we’re still here.
    We’ve been checking this thread on and off all day and it’s been a blast to read the posts. Brian argued that it would be best for us to not intervene for a while and let the thread take its own course. So, Jason L. don’t worry, we didn’t abandon our thread. . .

    But now, a few words of response:

    Yes, I suppose that technically “dialogue� is a conversation between two people, and many of these lines aren’t actually “dialogue.� We just thought it made for a catchy title. I was in favor of the title “Line Upon Line,� but Brian liked the “dialogue� rif, and his title eventually won out. I suppose co-blogging is a bit like marriage. . .full of compromises.

    Justin & Curtis,
    Yay for “Tommy Boy�! It’s my all time favorite movie. Did you know that on the music soundtrack they have a bit of dialogue before each song. The whole “Let me tell you why I suck as a salesman� monologue is on there, along with the “Housekeeping!� bit, the “fat guy in a little coat� song, etc. And of course, the song “Eres Tu� is on the soundtrack, so really you can’t not buy it.

    Mark B, Yes, I agree, “Love means never having. . .� from Love Story is a cheesy line. . .but having just seen this movie for the first time this year, I was pretty smitten by it overall, despite the lame trademark line.

    Aaron B and all Star Wars fans,
    There’s nothing nerdy about Star Wars lines! “I find your lack of faith. . .� is a regular in our home. In fact, Aaron, we should show you a little film we made back at USC for a ward film festival called “Star Wards.� Darth Vader, Yoda, and C3PO comprise the bioshopric and R2D2 is an investigator. Brilliant film, if I do say so myself.

    Jason L., Love the German translations of church films. Give us more!

    Ryan S., Spinal Tap has so many quotables. . .we especially like the whole conversation following the Stonehenge song debacle “Couldn’t we make it bigger so the dwarves don’t trod upon it?� We love all those brilliant Christopher Guest films like “Waiting for Guffman� and “Best in Show.� We like to quote Corky St. Clair a lot� “There’s no swimming in my show� as well as Eugene Levy: “I wasn’t the class clown, but I sat next to the class clown!�

    So far I’ve noted three films that everyone seems to be quoting from that I haven’t seen:
    Ruben & Ed
    Teen Girls Squad
    What’s Up Doc

    I’ll have to put these on our netflix list pronto.

    As always with Mormon audiences, Princess Bride (which is referred to so often its already got its own abbreviation: PB) is a favorite. What is it about that film that makes Mormons everywhere like it so much? Don’t get me wrong, I love it too. .. but doesn’t it seem odd to anyone else that it is so popular with Mormons?

    Speaking of PB, the number one quoted movie line that Stephen King received when he did his poll is actually from PB. But nobody has mentioned it yet. Can anyone guess what it is?

  75. Kill him. A lot. – Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Pretty sure “failure to communicate” was from Cool Hand Luke.

  76. I can’t sleep and I’m sick of grading finals so here I am with movie quotes running through my mind at 2:30 in the morning. I’m honestly surprised to realize how thoroughly permeated my life is (or at least was) with the mass media and how precisely I remember these details. Most of these movies date me terribly, I’m afraid, but here are some more.

    First, there’s a shocking lack of Star Wars quotes :)

    The one that is coming to my mind is—-“I find your lack of faith disturbing”

    My sister could recite Empire Strikes Back almost verbatim. Some of her favorite lines were:

    “I have a bad feeling about this.”

    “I’d just as soon kiss a wookie”

    “I don’t know where you get your delusions, laser-brain” (this works well on little brothers)

    “laugh it up, fuzzball”

    Other favorite lines include the following: (all I can say is that sometimes what family and friends find humorous is inexplicable)

    “yellow light means go very fast”——-Starman

    “are we jogging?——Jewel of the Nile

    “don’t worry, it’s not my destiny to die on this mountain”——Jewel of the Nile

    “Hello . . .! McFly . . . ! ——Back the Future

    “I want my two dollars! —–Better Off Dead

    “In case I don’t see ya—good afternoon, good evening and good night”——The Truman Show

    “We all accept the reality with which we are presented”——The Truman Show

    “Cue the Sun” ———The Truman Show

    “We bare our souls and tell the most appalling secrets” ———Little Women

    “Go the distance”——-Field of Dreams

    “If you build it, he will come”——Field of Dreams

    “offspring, jellyman; jellyman, offspring”—-Finding Nemo (this is one of those situations, where you kindof had to be in the theater with us to know why this is hysterical)

  77. Jason L.,
    I almost forgot, does the line “I am trained to help you through these barriers�
    ever come up in your household?

  78. Ryan,

    I’m with you on It’s a Wonderful Life. One of my best friends in high school used to do a perfect imitation of Jimmy Stewart’s lasso the moon speech to make me laugh.

  79. Melissa,
    Wow, we have similar taste in movies—and similar distaste for grading finals! I remember the days all too well. . .

    You’re same Melissa who mentioned the Strangelove “war room� quote earlier, right? That’s Brian’s all time favorite movie and gets a lot of air time in our home.
    “Better of Deadâ€? has so many good lines too. We like “Love! The international language of love!â€? And we enjoy pronouncing “French fries” and “French dressing” in that annoying way whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    I agree, it’s kind of addicting once you get started remembering these lines. After we read the Stephen King article we talked for weeks about our favorite lines, and we kept meaning to submit them to him, but we never got around to it and then the deadline passed. When he published the results he said that it was the largest e-mail response he had ever received, and that he read every single one.

    It’s a fun way to remember different phases of your life, and I think what King says is true about how these lines kind of trace a history of a family. For example, when Brain was in film school and “Swingers� was popular, we used to tell each other “You’re money baby!� all the time. We haven’t used that line in years. . .but when I think back on that chapter in our lives, it kind of sums things up well.

  80. Shannon,
    “I care!”
    -Luke Skywalker
    Just to prove it and answer your question abou the most quoted PB line:
    “Hello, my name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”
    Bloggin from Japan was never so much fun,

  81. “What we have here is failure to communicate” – Strother Martin as the Warden in “Cool Hand Luke”

    “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like…Victory!” – Robert Duvall as Lt. Col Bill Kilgore in “Apocalyse Now”

    “I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?” – Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry”. Also “Go Ahead. Make My Day”

    “The truth? You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.” – Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”.

    “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum. Which is what I am.” – Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront”.

    “You’re everywhere. You’re omnivorous.”
    — Homer Simpson, Homer’s attitude to God

    “No offence Apu, but when they were handing out religions, you musta been out taking a whizz”.
    — Homer Simpson, to store proprietor and Hindu, Apu Nahaasapeemapetilon

    “Operator, give me the number for nine-one-one!”
    — Homer Simpson

    It’s like David and Goliath, only this time David won!
    — Homer Simpson

    “Marge, I’m going to miss you so much. And it’s not just the sex. It’s also the food preparation.”
    — Homer Simpson (one I like to quote to my wife)

    “Marge, you’re as pretty as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda.”
    — Homer Simpson (another one for the wife)

    “If you really want something in life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”
    — Homer Simpson

    Marge: “Oh, no, it’s the Apocalypse! Bart, are you wearing clean underwear?”
    Bart: “Not anymore.”

    Marge: “Why aren’t we ascending into Heaven…Oh right, the sins.”

    “Lisa, if you don’t like your job you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.”
    — Homer Simpson

    “Okay, brain. You don’t like me, and I don’t like you, but let’s get through this thing and then I can continue killing you with beer.”
    — Homer Simpson

    And some of my favorites:
    “They have the Internet on computers now?”
    — Homer Simpson

    “Where’s the “Any” key?” – Homer

  82. “Read between the lines, man!” Jack Black holding three fingers up in “School of Rock”

    She: “Then maybe we could do something for ourselves” *wink*
    He: “… you’ve got a sick mind!!!”
    She: “I was talking about making love….”
    He: “…oh… I thought you were talking about murdering the children and harvesting their organs for beer money.” from Family Guy

    The other ones at my house are exclusively French and German… or fantasy language…

  83. Since “Star Wards” was brought up, and having been privileged to have a small role in it (where are my royalty checks?), I must give my favorite lines from that epic Mormon Star Wars tribute.

    Obi Wan Kenobi (using his Jedi powers to get a Church speaker): “You will give the talk I am looking for.”

    Galatic Missionary: “So Artoo, will you be baptized this Sunday?” –
    Artoo: beeps and whistles
    Other Galatic Missionary: “I think we’ll take that as a ‘Yes'”

    Another favorite movie for great lines is the James Cameron dark comedy “Aliens.” These lines all come from the jester/soldier role played by a young Bill Paxson.
    “Game over man, game over!”
    “This little girl has survived on her own here for months” “Then why don’t you put her in charge?”

  84. Melissa writes:

    “Most of these movies date me terribly . . .”

    It must be the fact that I’m reading a thread of funny one-liners — and the fact that _everyone_ makes jokes about the dismal Mormon dating scene — but I read that line and immediately started looking for the comedic follow up. It’s the perfect beginning to a one-liner. Where’s the ending? “but I guess that’s what I get for dating movies”? “but not nearly as bad as my ex-boyfriend Ichabod”? “but hey, Mormon women are used to terrible dates”? I’m sure that someone with actual comedic ability could come up with follow ups that are quite a bit funnier. (Sorry to put you on the spot, Melissa; I don’t usually expect commenters to come up with their own one-liners.)

  85. “As always with Mormon audiences, Princess Bride (which is referred to so often its already got its own abbreviation: PB) is a favorite. What is it about that film that makes Mormons everywhere like it so much? Don’t get me wrong, I love it too. .. but doesn’t it seem odd to anyone else that it is so popular with Mormons?”

    Beats me; I never especially liked the film, and apparently that dislike is deep enough that I’ve half-tuned out all these lines that I thought had been hammered into my head through repeat viewings over the years (see “mutton” vs. “mud,” above). I can’t deny it’s clever, but the faux-fairy tale, we’ll-deliver-this-story-with-equal-amounts-of-irony-and-conviction-so-you-can-feel-smart-while-embracing-the-cutesy-and-maudlin-plot way in which it is clever grates on me.

    Perhaps its popularity among Mormons (by which you mean, surely, white middle and upper-class, American Mormons) really just boils down to the fact that it somehow became a cult film, a midnight-movie type of film, and the typical BYU Mormon probably doesn’t get to experience such cult events all that often, at least not without a lot of distractions. I’m thinking of the Friday midnight movies which the Varsity Theater used to show, long ago; there was always a crowd there, primed for a good, participatory, cult movie experience, but the list was rather short: they could show “Princess Bride,” or they could show a horribly butchered and edited old copy of “The Blues Brothers” or some such thing; it’s not like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” were going to play at BYU. So, when it comes to satiating the desire for a movie which Mormon audiences can develop an insidery, laugh-along, cult-movie appreciation for, PB wins by default.

    It’s a theory, anyway.

  86. It may have begun with the warden, but “What we have here is a failure to communicate” is most famously said by Luke (Paul Newman) just before he is shot to death in the church at the end of Cool Hand Luke.

  87. Hasn’t anybody here seen The Manchurian Candidate??

    Here are a couple:

    “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” Sinatra, as Capt. Marco, about the biggest SOB in the movie. This line works well when you want to dis somebody–just substitute the appropriate person’s name.

    (And Shaw is the biggest SOB in part because his mother, played by Angela Lansbury–man, it’s great to see her in this kind of part–is w/o question one of the greatest movie B’s of all time.)

    Also, after Shaw redeems himself by shooting Sen. Iselin and his mother, Capt. Marco:

    “Made to commit acts too unspeakable to be cited here by an enemy who had captured his mind and his soul. He freed himself at last and in the end, heroically and unhesitatingly gave his life to save his country. Raymond Shaw… Hell… Hell.”

  88. From Breaker Morant:

    Sentry: Do you want the padre?
    Harry Morant: No, thank you. I’m a pagan.
    Sentry: And you?
    Peter Handcock: What’s a pagan?
    Harry Morant: Well… it’s somebody who doesn’t believe there’s a divine being dispensing justice to mankind.
    Peter Handcock: I’m a pagan, too.


    Harry Morant: Shoot straight you bastards. Don’t make a mess of it.

  89. Am I the only one who will admit that “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” is one of the best movie lines ever? Admit it! You wish you could say lines like this on a daily basis.

    Or possibly a close second is “Where did you matriculate from” from my favorite movie, “The Cutting Edge.”

  90. Laura,

    Definite yes on “nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

    Various others that come to mind:

    “Watch out, they spit.” (Alladin — a line used often around newborn babies).

    “By Grabthar’s hammer, you shall be avenged!”

    “Mustard? Let’s not be silly now!”

    “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.”

    “Nasty, sneaksy hobbitsses. We hates them, my precious!” (T & S permabloggers can attest to my occasional use of that in internal e-mails).

    “You shall not pass!”

    “It’s only a flesh wound.”

    “And then spank me.” “And me!” “And me too!”

    “A newt?” “I got better.”

    “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”

    “Women lying in ponds distributing swords is no way to establish a system of government!”

    “Chooosen. He has been chooosen.”

    “clean cup, clean cup, move down, move down”

    And from a lesser known movie — Biggles, Adventures in Time, which basically no one in the world has seen except me — a few keepers:

    (World-war I pilot, brought to the present, has to fly a helicopter)
    “If you can fly a Sopwith Camel, you can fly anything.”

    (Modern American sent back through time to World War I, promptly jams up the gun)
    “Umm, the gun’s jammed.”
    “Well _unjam it_!”

  91. Actually, there are a few that have probably moved beyond mere movie lines into the cultural zeitgeist. Like:

    “You talkin to me?”

    “I’ll be back.”

    “Hasta la vista, baby.”

    “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

    “Tomorrow is another day.”

    Hmm, probably more . . .

  92. All these are great, but I’m surprised that no one has added anything from Brazil. My absolute favorite sequence is where the main character is trying to convince his coworker to let him use his computer to find this girl he is looking for. The guy insists on doing the research himself and returns with the same printout he had at the start. As the main guy fumes in disbelief, the gentleman says the following, while tapping his rather large nose several times with two fingers:

    “It’s best to take things slooooowly where some women are concerned.”

    You don’t even have to say anything to use this one. Just tap your nose around friends (presumably guys) in the know and the message is conveyed. We drove ‘some women’ crazy with this maneuver in college.

  93. Kaimi,

    You’re right—I set the one-liner up perfectly. We’ll see if someone can finish it in a winning way.


    Your theory makes a lot of sense to me. My personal love of most of the movies I quoted does not come from any inherent greatness in the film (obviously). These film lines are etched in my memory because they recall experiences I had watching the films—-for me that does include going with friends to midnight showings at the Varsity but it also includes things like coming up with silly interpretations of the dialogue and acting out parts with my sisters. I think the ways the lines get used subsequently in conversations are what makes them memorable and meaningful. Of course, knowing these movies lines is also part of being culturally fluent.

    I had lots of friends in high school try to show me Monty Python to increase my fluency, but the humor always escaped me somehow. I just didn’t get it. Every time this happened the guy would say something like “you’re just not sleepy enough to really appreciate this movie.” Perhaps, but I’ve never made it all the way to the end of the show. I think some movies just pass us by.

  94. “Every time this happened the guy would say something like ‘you’re just not sleepy enough to really appreciate this movie.'”

    I think that comes close to the heart of the cult-movie experience, Melissa, as well as close to why cult movies often pass Mormons (and, for that matter, most other whitebread religious conservative Americans) by: you have to stay up late to enjoy a cult movie. You need to be part of a crowd. Also, it helps if you’re drunk (Rocky Horror Picture Show) or stoned (Pink Floyd’s The Wall). Plus, the sort of theaters which show midnight movies are usually in a sleazy part of town, far from the suburbs. Makes it difficult for your stereotypical American Mormon to get in on things! Hence, Princess Bride, Better Off Dead, and a precious few other films get to fill our collective cultural craving for a movie we can watch and get stupid/tired/hysterical with as a group.

    I should note that there’s a difference between cult movies and geek movies. Geek movies are films where you latch onto to some aspect of the movie and immerse yourself in it, because you think it’s so cool/insightful/revealing/gnostic/whatever; you GET it, and that makes the whole thing worth watching. Star Wars, Kubrick, South Park, Buster Keaton, whatever; probably the majority of decent films, whatever their date or genre or style, can be appreciated in a geeky way. But no one that I know of actually thinks about PB that manner; I’ve never met anyone who watches the movie because they find something far-out or wild in the subtext of Wesley’s verbal duel with Vizzini. They just love it because there was this one time they watched real late at this youth activity, and Tom was being rowdy and Brother Simmons and a couple of other priests grabbed him and dumped some brownies down his pants, and Laura laughed so hard Cherry Coke came out of her nose, and a good time was had by all. You kind of had to be there. (Actually, that sentence–“you kind of had to be there”–sums up the cult movie experience pretty well too.)

  95. I am surprised What About Bob has not come up. My favorites:

    “Baby steps. Baby steps to the elevator.”

    “Mmmm. Mm-Mm-MMmmm. Kay, is this corn hand shucked?” [great for complimenting whoever made dinner]

    “I give you permission to take a vacation from your PROBLEMS.”

    “Keep sailing, Bob.”

  96. Russell,

    I’ll have to disagree with you over Princess Bride. It’s not necessarily a cult thing, or a movie that requires you to be there. It’s a pretty funny, witty movie in its own right. Not that it’s the movie to end all movies, but a number of lines are funny and would be in many other settings.

    Such as:

    “The fire swamp? We’ll never survive!”
    “Nonsense — they only say that because nobody ever has.”

    Or for that matter much of the Billy Crystal part — he’s one of the most popular comics of the past 20 years; it doesn’t require “cult” sensibility to appreciate Billy Crystal.

    Now you’ve stated that you don’t find the movie particularly funny. And that’s just fine. Humor and comedy are extremely personal and subjective. There are people who don’t like Seinfeld / the Simpsons / Monty Python / whatever else. There’s nothing wrong with that; Jerry Seinfeld may strike many peoples’ funny bones, but not yours.

    From what you’ve written, it seems that you’re making pretty broad generalizations based on personal, subjective and anecdotal evidence: Russell doesn’t think that PB is particularly funny; therefore it’s not really funny, but just “cult” funny; however, most Mormons tend to think it is actually funny; this must be because the strange dynamics of Mormon funniness create a warped perception of what is actually funny.

    Why not just apply Occam’s razor: Russell doesn’t think it’s funny; many people do; therefore, it’s just not Russell’s particular brand of humor.

  97. I’m coming to this discussion late, but can’t pass up an opportunity add my personal favorites:

    Singin’ in the Rain:
    RF: “People just don’t do things like that.”

    Lena: “PEOPLE! I ain’t people, I am a shimmering and glowing star in the cinema firmamint.”

    Also: “Whaddya think I am, dumb or something?”

    Joe v. Volcano:
    “I’m just a flibbertygibbit”

    Lastly, the most sophisticated of all, from Music Man:

    Mayor Shinn: “Not one poop out of you!”
    Mrs. Shinn: “I think he means peep.”

  98. My wife does a great overly-dramatic impression of the girl in Legacy:
    “If you’re there- it will be Zion to me!”

    Also, when we were first married we saw the Sienfeld episode where Jerry and his girlfriend are overly-cheesy and constantly call each other “Schmoopey.” As a joke we started doing the same thing. 4 years later we still regularly refer to each other as Schmoopey. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  99. Re: PB; most Mormons of my acquaintance find it simply a funny, first-rate fairy tale with colorful engaging characters. For them, any “cultish” behavior, e.g. shouting out lines together, would ruin the movie.

  100. Interesting debate regarding PB. I’ve noticed that people tend to love it or hate it.

    Melissa, I recall not getting what was the big deal about Monty Python as well. And then, after repeated viewings, I finally was won over to its charms. I admit, though, it did take several attempts to make it through the whole movie. It has one of my all time fave lines:
    “I fart in your general direction.�

    Shawn Baily / Kaimi:
    “What About Bob� makes a lot of appearances in our home, especially the “baby steps� line and “anybody want a peanut?� We also like the “Ill be quiet “ “I’ll be peace� exchange too.

    Derek Lines:
    You’re right, “My name is Anigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to due,� was the number 1 quote in Stephen Kings list. . . (a line which still goes unmentioned here, except in answer to my question). I happen to know, however, that Entertainment Weekly is a sacred text in the Lines household, so I’m sure that you guys read the article when it came out. AM I right? I want to hear Kristine’s favorite lines!

    Laura & Kaimi:
    Yes yes yes to “Nobody puts baby in a corner.�
    We never quoted this line until we HAD a baby. Now, whenever she wanders off into a corner or gets stuck in one, we always quote this when going to fetch her.

    Thanks for the Teen Girl Squad links! We check those out ASAP.

    What’s “Biggles Adventure in Time�? Sounds intriguing.

    I am loving all the Simpson’s quotes. Can’t remember who but someone back there mentioned “I sleep in a drawer!� This is a favorite of ours, and before we always figured that due to our extreme poverty and lack of success, this would be a line our children would use—but for real!

  101. “Barbara Manatee (manatee, manatee),
    You are the one for me (one for me, one for me).
    Sent from up above (up above, up above)
    You are the one I love (one I love, one I love)…”
    – Larry the Cucumber (from “Endangered Love”, Veggie Tales)

  102. Shannon,

    Biggles is a 1986 film (British, I think); the basic premise is that a 1986 businessman (a TV-dinner manufacturer — how much more 80’s can you get) becomes inadvertently linked to a famous World War I pilot named Biggles, and the two of them end up being sent back and forth to the other one’s time. In many ways it’s your typical time-travel adventure-comedy, with much of the comedy coming from people being sent to the other one’s time at the most inconvenient possible moment (in the middle of a shower; while firing a machine gun; etc). It’s definitely a cult flick, in that it has a number of pretty funny lines that strike a chord with some people. It also has some very cheesy 80’s music on the soundtrack.

    I think I originally saw it on the Disney channel, and I don’t recall ever seeing it on other TV channels. The DVD is relatively recent, and the movie doesn’t have name stars — Alex Hyde-White (hardly a household name) is the main character; Peter Cushing (in his last role) is a supporting character.

    Some further online description is available at http://imdb.com/title/tt0090729/ and http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00022PYO8/qid=1103135559/sr=1-1/103-3145030-3359027?v=glance&s=dvd and http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?movieid=70000243&trkid=73 .

  103. Along with Russell, I don’t find “Princess Bride” to be particularly funny either.

    You know what they say about “out of the mouths of two (or three) witnesses …”

    Aaron B

  104. Years ago some friends of mine and I watched an awful B-movie called “Warriors.” It was about a bunch of New York gangs who were hunting down one particular gang. The hunters were getting clues as to the hunted’s location via clues on the radio. The chief gang of bad guys who had a leader with a really squealy voice and he would taunt/threaten the Warriors (the gang being hunted) by calling out:

    “Warriors, come out and play-ay.”

    When a group of us would get together and go to a friends house, we’d stand outside and yell that line out to whoever lived there. Weird, but still fun.

  105. Funniest line I heard in Pricess Bride was am add on. OK, I admit it, I’ve seen a late night film (or three) at the Varsity Theater. … After She pushed him down the hill wishing him death or the like (him yelling “as you wish” in prolonged fashion) and then rolled herself down, they played the audio from one of those medAlert commercials … A 70+ year-old lady saying “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.

    OK, the remainder of the children of the 80’s can now raise their hands. ;)

    And that’s a good one to point out Mare … “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” I actually saw/heard that used on ESPN (they used it when a hockey goaley made a good save or a b-ball player blocked a shot) before I ever saw the seinfeld episode.

  106. My baloney has a first name it’s H-O-M-E-R
    My baloney has a second name it’s H-O-M-E-R

  107. I’ve been following the PB debate and I’m still not fully satisfied with accounts of why it is such a universal touchstone for Mormons. I’m sure that both the Varsity theater factor and the argument that it is a genuinely funny movie (in my view) have much to do with it, but I think there must be something more. Is there something essentially Mormon about the film’s sensibility?

    I’m not sure about this, but I’ll throw it out there. For a younger generation of Mormons who are both “in the world” but not of it, I think that PB was one of our formative introductions to an attitude towards the world that is “ironic.” That is we believe in true love and find the idea to be ridiculous, old-fashioned, and embarrassing to admit at the same time. The juxtaposition of a “real” love story (they obviously love each other) with the absurd apparatus allows you to have both. I speak only for myself when I say that many of us “modern,” well-educated Mormons have found it to be a very useful coping mechanism to develop a similar attitude towards the church. I believe that it is true at a very fundamental but I don’t feel fully comfortable admitting that I take anything that seriously except under the most private/appropriate of circumstances. So my cousins and I crack jokes about ward basketball and being called into the nursery—with the subtext of a testimony running through the conversation. Or….maybe PB is just reallly quotable.

  108. A slightly different point, so I’ll make a new entry. I was hoping to hear from a few more non-quoters. I love quoting lines from a movie but I’ve also had the experience of being driven crazy by friends/relations–other coherent groups–quoting something to death. In fact, after a few dates I think I was once disqualified from future dating by a woman for not having a deep enough bullpen of movie quotes.

    Oh, and Shannon, yes I do of course still break out “I am here to help you through these barriers,” as well as other assorted R/W Centerisms. For instance, Danille still hasn’t come to terms with my use of “hoity toity.” But I guess non-dialogue expressions are another topic.

  109. For the record, THE WARRIORS is not an awful B-movie. It’s a kick butt B-movie that is a cult classic in its own right. It’s got this supercool chase scene through Central Park where a gang called the Baseball Furies chases down The Warriors so they can pound them with their bats. You gotta love it.

  110. Lol Jason. I love the fact that you would break up with someone because they don’t have deep enough a bullpen of movie quotes.

    Worst reason I ever broke up with a girl was because I didn’t like her hat. But really, I didn’t like it one bit. It was over.

  111. 1. “You no want breakfast?” (although admittedly neither my wife nor I really even like that movie that much…)
    2. “I want my 2 dollars!”
    3. “NO SOUP FOR YOU!!”

  112. Among the first movies I ever saw in a theater–maybe even the first–was Star Wars. One of the trailers before the show was for “The Warriors.” After the trailer, my mother said one word: “No.” Ever after, I dreamed of seeing the movie. It took a decade before it made it to Saturday afternoon TV, but it was worth the wait. Favorite line: Cyrus, presumptive leader of NYC’s unified gangs, calling out “CAN…YOU…DIG IT?!” The movie was actually a retelling of a classic work of Greek literature. Plus, the baseball bats were cool.

  113. Jason, I’m a non-quoter. I recognize quite a few of the lines when others quote them, as in this thread, but they just don’t come easily to my mind. At first I thought this might be because I rarely watched TV or movies as a kid, but then I realized that I also have a hard time quoting lines from books or scriptures. I just have a really bad memory for things like that.

    (And thanks for giving me an excuse to post in this thread! I was feeling bad for not supporting S&B (not that they need any support!))

  114. Well Jonathan, if we’re going to quote from our childhood movie memories… Supercalifragalisticexbealidocious!

  115. I’m coming to this late.

    Doesn’t anyone remember Tom Trails? “I can’t do it. I’m no good.” I say that one all the time.

    One of my favorite sources of clever lines is “Peggy Sue Got Married:” “You’ll see. I’m gonna be just like Fabian!”

    Nowhere near the best line from the Simpsons, but one I use all the time: “I’m a comin’, boy!”
    Oh, and Mr. Burns doesn’t say “Yes!” He says “Excellent!” And the only line I can say and sound like the guy saying it: “Worst. Episode. Ever!” (Said by Comic Book Guy, among other times, after he’s had a cardiac episode.)

    And inspired by “Better Off Dead,” I always like to grab someones face and force them to mouth the word “Christmas.”

  116. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.”

    Blade Runner

  117. Quoting Commander Sinclair from the end of the Babylon 5 pilot: “That, as our poet Tennyson once said, is the goal — to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Useful as a response whenever anyone is speculating about what someone else is trying to accomplish.

    There’s a brief scene in Family Guy in which multiple members of the family say the same thing at the same time repeatedly. It ends with them all spontaneously saying (with no context at all) “Ruth Bader Ginsberg!” My wife and I have practiced doing this whenever we coincidentally say the same thing at the same time. Some of our friends think we’re utterly insane.

    “It’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a pastry wrapped in a lie.” From a web flash comic called “Weebl and Bob” which utterly defies explanation. Also from that source: “‘Lo Bob. You have pie?” and “Next time, bring pie! Wanker…”

    “Two dollars! I want my two dollars!” From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Useful in any situation when someone owes you two bucks.

    And of course any number of lines from Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Monty Python, Star Trek and the other usual culprits.

  118. The riddle – enigma – mystery thing is originally from Winston Churchill (describing the USSR). Alas, there was no pastry in the Churchill quote. I like the addition.

    And “two dollars” is from Better Off Dead.

  119. “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
    He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
    – Attributed to General George Patton Jr

  120. Not so fast, Rosalynde. I don’t think you get off so easily. I feel totally unsupported and do not accept the “bad memory” excuse. All that is required is that you go over to your bookshelf and pick up your dogearred copy of MIDDLEMARCH and quote something meaningful to you. It’s so simple.

  121. Finally, Rosalynde posts!
    I was starting to get worried that you’d never speak. I know that you didn’t watch much TV growing up, and your tastes are pretty refined, so we probably all sound like a bunch of media-heads. I’m sure you’ve got some quotables in your home. . .maybe Shakespeare? Do tell!

    Anyway, your comment (and something Melissa said in an earlier post) made me think a bit about how much media can permeate our lives. To think of how much brain space I’ve got used up remembering these lines. . .and yet I can hardly seem to remember anything I learned in graduate school. I can practically recite “Tommy Boy,� but I’ll be darned if I can quote something from Derrida. . .it’s kind of sad, really.

    Since we live in LA and Brain works in media, I sometimes feel like we live our lives more in the fantasy of media than in real life. And even before we lived and worked here, I can recall having friends whose “bullpen of movie quotes� (to borrow from Jason L) was sooo deep, it prevented them from actively creating their own memorable experiences or lines to live by. Movie quotes, I think can become a way preoccupy yourself (in a “Waiting for Godot� kind of way) so you can avoid dealing with reality to It’s like, by living vicariously through the lives of the characters we see or read about, we escape the pressure to fill our own lives with meaning. . .

  122. Oh my goodness! Brian and I are posting a the same time from totally different locations. Spooky.

  123. Sorry, and one more thing:

    Where in the name of high school football is STEVE EVANS??!!!

    He’s the one who runs Kulturblog! I’m sure he has a wealth of great lines, and yet, he remains silent.


  124. Okay, okay, Brian, you’re right, I’m being too modest. (Yes, I know this is my greatest fault, I’m working on it.)

    Whenever I’m upset that the gas-meter-reader wakes my sleeping baby with his loud fist on the door and tracks mud on my clean floors, that immortal line from Camus’ “The Stranger” comes to mind: “And what made it even more odious was the personality of the prisoner, an inhuman monster wholly without a moral sense.” (Although I think it in the original French, of course!)

    Then of course there are those moments where some screaming abusive mother cuts in line at Target with her SUV-style stroller hauling her hideous brat, and all I can think of are those memorable lines from “The Odyssey”: “Swineherd, where are you taking your new pig, that stinking beggar there, licker of pots? How many doorposts has he rubbed his back on whining for garbage?” (My ancient Greek’s a little weak, I admit.)

    My all time favorite, though, has got to be the First Clown from the First Folio Hamlet (don’t go looking for this in the quarto, silly): “Fetch me a stoup of beer, go.”

  125. To help Rosalynde, (and other literary types who feel they don’t have any movie quotes to share) get started, here are few lines from books (and pomens) we like:

    Okay, so this isn’t a specific line, but we often enjoy lapsing into what we call “Jane Austen� style speech, which involves describing calling everyone “Mr. or Mrs�. describing people as “most disagreeable,� and threatening to bring the “constable� into everything. I’m still not sure what a “constable� actually is, but it seems he is always the one to call when there is trouble in Austen-land.

    Brian used to say these a lot:

    From “Their Eyes Were Watching God� by Zora Nealy Hurtson:
    “You’ve got the keys to the kingdom, baby.� —Teacakes

    From “The Crying of Lot 49� by Thomas Pynchon
    “Too fat to frug! That’s what they tell you all the time. But I’m not too slim to swim.�

    From Walt Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself.�
    “I contain multitudes.�

    From Sound & the Fury
    “Caddy smells like trees.�

    I’ve always liked:
    “Get thee to a nunnery� from Hamlet

    “You can’t pray a lie: I found that out.� From Huck Finn

    From Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse�
    “I have had my vision�

    From “Stopping by the Wood. . .� by Robert Frost
    “miles to go before I sleep�
    Often thought of on a long long drive

    And, finally, a line my sister and I often spoke and thought of during the final, tumultuous days of my father’s life:

    From “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night� by Dylan Thomas
    And you, my father, there on the sad height
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray
    Do not go gentle into that good night
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light

  126. Oops! Here I was working on my literary lines post and Rosalynde had already posted. Well, I guess she didn’t need help getting started after all.

    And, one final quoatable, this time from a song:

    The chorus from the song B“#&*^ by Meredith Brooks.

    I’m a b&^%, I’m a lover
    I’m a child, I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner, I’m a saint.
    I do not feel ashamed.
    I’m your hell, I’m your dream
    I’m nothing in between
    You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

    I really enjoy belting this one out whenever it comes on the radio and using pieces of it whenever the opportunity arises. Brian thinks it suits me really really well.

    We also like quoting from the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart,� which has great lines like:
    “We’re living in a powder keg that’s giving off sparks!�
    “Turn around, bright eyes.�
    and of course,
    “Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart. Nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart.�

    Brian used to lead his co-workers in an inter-office group performance of “Total Eclipse� at 4:00 PM every day.

  127. From “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the father, Atticus Finch, to his young, impulsive, tom-boyish daughter, Scout, as she’s about to over-react to a situation:

    “Now, Scout, it’s not time to worry yet.”

    They go into the words-to-live-by category:

  128. “You cain’t run away from yo troubles. Da ain’t no place dat fah.” — Song of the South —

    (When I’m walking through the mall) “Pretty eyes, but oh that size” — Seven Brides for Seven Brothers —

    (When I’m feeling positive) “It’s getting better all the time” — The Beatles —

    “As you wish” (which may have already been mentioned) Though — The Princess Bride — is considered by some to be cheezy, to me it’s a delicious cheese. The whole story is a rhetorical telling of the love story between the grandfather and the grandson – wonderfully clever and poignant. When the grandfather turns and says “as you wish” before he exits at the end, we hear it with everything that we have just experienced in the fable. This gives us a near real-time sense of the profound love that he has for his grandson. There are few moments that beautiful in the cinema.

  129. “The Princess Bride . . . is a rhetorical telling of the love story between the grandfather and the grandson – wonderfully clever and poignant. When the grandfather turns and says “as you wishâ€? before he exits at the end, we hear it with everything that we have just experienced in the fable. This gives us a near real-time sense of the profound love that he has for his grandson. There are few moments that beautiful in the cinema.”

    Nice rebuttal to the snarky critique about 100 posts up the line. PB, I like the thing.

  130. Speaking of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

    1. There’s actually a movie (“Bandits” with Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Cate Blanchett) where the quotability of that song is a plot element — Bruce Willis can quote it, Cate Blanchett thinks that’s very cool, and Steve Buscemi, the non-pop-culture-savvy one, feels left out.

    2. There’s also a pretty funny (if very profane) version of that in Old School. I won’t quote that version here, but it makes me laugh.

    3. Speaking of Old School, there are a number of other lines in that movie that sometimes get quoted around the house. There’s a particularly funny (and cringe-inducing) line involving a piece of rope. It’s, again, not appropriate for a family-friendly blog. Kind of like the also funny-and-cringe-inducing “peanut butter” line from Road Trip.

    4. Okay, so now I’ve lost all pretense I ever may have had of being highbrow. I still do eat expensive cheese, though. We just had some the other night as we watched “Eurotrip” (which isn’t nearly as funny as many of the others in the genre, but which still has its moments).

    5. One thing that I particularly like to do is quote _modified_ lines. I tend to think that my modified versions are very funny; my wife humors me.

    One modified line that I’ll say a lot is a line that I contend _should_ be in “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” So I’ll say to Mardell —

    “Turn around . . . every now and then I get a little bit dizzy, cause I keep turning around.”

    I tend to think this is funny every time. Mardell sighs.

    Many of the others are more personal, and wouldn’t really make sense outside of the family — my kids tend to have about a half-dozen nicknames each, and so songs get built around them. There are versions of “We Will Rock You” and “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” that are entirely built around Kace’s nicknames. For Sullivan, we had modified versions of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tubthumping”. Indigo has a modified Winnie the Pooh song. And so forth.

    6. While I’m in a strangely confessional mood, another thing that gets quoted a lot — I tend to (quietly, just between Mardell and I) improvise somewhat off-color versions of Primary songs in order to make Mardell laugh in the middle of Primary. It works very well. Not that we teach these to the primary kids or anything — they’re strictly between us. But I’ve been primary pianist for something like eight years now, and you can only play “Do as I’m doing” so many times before you need to point out some obvious innuendos and get a laugh from your wife. At least, if your mind operates like mine does.

  131. Hey Kaimi,
    Bandits is a one great flick but its Billy Bob Thorton not Steve Buscemi who co stars with Kate and Bruce.
    Are you smelling burning feathers?

  132. From Movies:

    Tommy Boy (again)
    “Bees! Killer Bees! Your firearms are useless against them!” (and thanks for the tip on the soundtrack! A perfect gift for my wife, this holiday season…)

    The Royal Tenenbaums (possibly the best film I have seen in three years)
    “Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone’s not a genius? I mean, do you think I’m _especially_ not a genius? … you didn’t even have to think about it, did you?”
    From Poetry:

    Li-Young Lee
    “How I wish we had not hated those years, while we lived them.”

    Sandra Williams
    “Across frozen ground, too cold for burying… we must not die.”
    From Mormon Films Translated Into German:

    The First Vision
    “ICH habe Glaube!” (The little old lady who stands up at the revival and shouts “I BELIEVE!” The translation and the voice-over delivery always struck me as pants-peeing hilarious.)

  133. Well, if we get to go literary, the first line I thought of when this post went up was from Hamlet: “Would that I could drink hot blood”. It is my favorite quote of all time. I use it a lot and always get strange looks.

    And there is also the famously over used “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Somehow this always comes in during budget review at our house.

  134. Actually for the purists: The line is quoted: Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood. Which then of course gets reduced to the line I quote. The whole play is a family favorite.

  135. Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery

    “It’s freezing in here, Mr. Bigglesworth.”

    “That’s a MAN, man!”


  136. “Now, that’s the Rosalynde I remember. ”

    Please, please say that’s not true, Brian.

  137. A great film for movie lines that I have not seen mentioned as of yet is John Carpenter’s classic Big Trouble in Little China. Pretty much anything said by Jack Burton is quoteable. For example:

    “It’s like I told my last wife, I only drive as fast as I can see. Besides, it’s all in the reflexes”

    “This isn’t going to get ugly is it? I hope not, because what I thought we were, racial differences notwithstanding, is a couple of old friends.”

    “10,000 years and you can’t find one girl to fit the bill? Come on Dave you must be doing something seriously wrong.”

    Other movies with great lines that I don’t think have been mentioned yet. The Big Lebowski (“We have nothing to fear from this men Donny, they are nihilists”); Tombstome (“I’m your huckleberry”); Office Space (“Did you get the memo?”) and anything said by John Wayne in True Grit.

  138. Whenever someone is singing cheesy Church songs (particularly of the pop variety), I like to break into song too:

    “Zero population is the answer, my friend. Without it, the rest of us are through!….Legalized abortion ….”

    You get the idea.

    Aaron B

  139. I’m a wabbit swayer
    A guitaw pwayaw
    With a nasty habbit
    Kill dah wabbit!!! (hah hah hah)


    I’m a rabbit slayer
    A guitar player
    With a nasty habit
    Kill the rabbit!!!

    -From “The Ballad of Ozzie Fudd”

  140. As for Shakespeare, I like: “Come not between the Dragon and his wrath” from King Lear. Very intimidating if properly used.

    And the reference to The Big Lebowski reminded me of the moment that made that entire movie worthwhile: the Dude quoting George Bush Senior (“This will not stand. This agression will not stand.”) to the Big Lebowski. I have used “This will not stand. This agression will not stand.” to respond to micro-slights or whatever they were called on that other thread. I wind up so amused by myself I forget the slight altogether.

  141. Cugeno: The Japanese “First Vision” is just as cheesy in that same spot, “Shinjimasu!”

  142. “Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen!” – Martin Luther

    “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam” – Popeye the Sailor

    God: What are you doing now?
    King Arthur: Averting our eyes, oh Lord.
    God: Well, don’t. It’s just like those miserable psalms, always so depressing.
    – from “Monty Python and The Holy Grail”

    “It’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, It rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! It’s metabolic processes are now history! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!” – from “The Dead Parrot Sketch” Monty Python’s Flying Circus

    “I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.”
    “NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition!” – Monty Python

    Social Worker: You vacuous, toffee-nosed, malodorous, pervert!
    Man: What? I came here for an argument!
    Social Worker: Oh, sorry, this is “Abuse”.

    “English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.” – Homer Simpson

    “We’re going to the happiest place on Earth—Tijuana!” – Krusty the Clown

    “I’ve learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.” – Homer Simpson

    Homer: My ears are burning.
    Lisa: I wasn’t talking about you, Dad.
    Homer: No, my ears are really burning. I wanted to see inside, so I lit a Q-tip.

    Homer: (trying to casually buy illegal fireworks): Let me have one of those porno magazines, large box of condoms, a bottle of Old Harper, a couple of those panty shields, and some illegal fireworks, and one of those disposable enemas… eh, make it two.
    Marge seeing Homer’s purchases: I don’t know what you’ve got planned for tonight, Homer, but count me out.

  143. Nah, that’s not true, Rosalynde. I was just joshing.

    I just thought your post was really funny. But even if you didn’t write it with your tongue-in-cheek, there’s no shame in being well-read and literate. Pop culture corrodes the brain. Believe me, I’m not half as smart as I used to be.

    I would gladly clear out The Simpsons quotes section of my brain to make room for more classic literature–you know, something by John Grisham or Danielle Steele.

    I’d have to buy a dictionary though. Do those come on DVD?

  144. In addition to lifting lines from movies and tv, I just realized that I have done the same with comments that I have read on this very blog, ye, even Times and Seasons.

    The one I use the most is “the first thing I’ll do is let my wife start cutting her hair and wear make-up.”

    I can’t remember the topic or the commenter. And I’m sure I don’t have the comment exactly correct, but the meaning is still intact. Does anyone remember this comment/commentor/topic?

  145. Shakespeare’s almost too easy because he is so much a part of our linguistic culture

    These are some I use often:

    Out damned spot! Out I say! (great when doing laundry)

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks (when students want their grades changed)

    Of course, no one can best Shakespeare for insults:

    “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”

    “I took thee for thy better”

    “Assume a virtue if you it not”

    “Are you yet living?”

    Of course Shakespeare’s insults come in much more colorful hues than these–but these are the ones I actually use.

    I also quote Robert Frost. When I have to make a decision the words “two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . .” quite often come to mind as do the lines “nothing gold can stay” when yellow leaves fall from late Autumn branches.

    Other favorite and often quoted lines:

    “miles to go before I sleep”-I memorized this in 7th grade and strangely, still remember every line.

    “water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink” —-remember the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner?

    (Having grown up in Utah I still haven’t gotten entirely used to the torrential rainstorms we get in the NorthEast—I’ll mutter this to myself when I’m walking across campus in a downpour; usually the only one without an umbrella)

  146. “Rock stars…is there anything they don’t know?”
    – Homer Simpson

    “Never, EVER talk that way about television again.”
    – Homer Simpson

    “I don’t have to do what you say, gosh, you’re ruining everybody’s life.”
    – Napoleon Dynamite

    My kids are also constantly saying, “Lucky!” and um, some other Napoleon phrases I can’t recall.

    Monty Python also gets a lot of mileage at our house, but not quite as much as the Young Ones:

    “whichever queue we’re in, the guy in front of us is bound to be from the penny arcade across the road, cashing up the whole year with millions of pennies”

    “Hands up, who likes me?”

  147. 188 comments, and by my count, no quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Inconceivable!

    “I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle” –Arthur Dent

    “Oh freddled gruntbuggly
    Thy micturations are to me
    As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee”
    — Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

    Arthur had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. The way if functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject’s brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one quite knew why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. The Nutri-Matic was designed and manufactured by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation whose complaints department now covers all the major land masses of the first three planets in the Sirius Tau Star system.
    –Douglas Adams (OK, it’s not dialogue, but a great paragraph)

    I could go on all day…

  148. I was going to quote Hitch Hiker’s, honestly. I was just going to say:


    We’ve rented the dvd of the BBC television series based on the books this weekend. Did you know there’s an American movie version coming out in the Spring?

  149. This one from Star Wars was always a hit at camp. Best if used just when everyone has gone to bed and it gets quiet. Use a high adolescent voice.

    “Uncle Owen, This R-2 unit has a bad Motivator.”

  150. “Boy, you got a panty on your head.” is by far my favorite movie line. Can you name the movie?

    And although it may be somewhat cultish and trendy right now (I don’t always fall to trends and feel somewhat ashamed I have in this case) I love almost all of the lines from “Napolean Dynamite”.

    They are such good “one-liners” and since me and most of my family have seen the movie more than once already and will continue to view it at home when the DVD comes out, I am sure that those lines will be quoted by us for a very, very long time. I must add the main reason I enjoy this movie and it’s lines so much is because I can spew forth on any of those great quotes at any time and not be afraid that my kids will hear them, and they can also quote this movie. That says a lot in my opinion!


  151. We might as well just print up Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in its entirety. The book is after all “wholly remarkable.”

  152. I just saw a movie I first saw years ago … “the Dream Team” with Michael Keaton. He’s got some great lines:

    “Ah it’s great to be young and insane.”


    “Chaos is great!”

    Another line I like is when the old girlfriend says to Michael Keaton’s character:

    “You’re wearing shoes. You’re not drooling. I’m impressed.”

  153. “1. Ninjas are mammals.
    2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.
    3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.”

    Special Thanks to DKL.

  154. Seinfeld: “If you’re gonna commit suicide, leave a note. It’s only common courtesy.”

    Susan Hayward: “How the *** would you know?” (when the guard told her the easiest way to die in the gas chamber).

  155. #175: I think the way it goes is: Dude! That’s a dude!

    lauging my way backward up this thread.

  156. Bryce I,
    I think it was you who recommended “Teen Girl Squad” on this thread a while back. I tried to find your original comment about it but couldn’t.
    Anyway, we finally went to the site this weekend.
    Hilarious! Loved it.

  157. The above comment was actually made by Shannon, not Brian. He’s always on my computer posting things and messing up the name ID for me, even though he has a perfectly fine laptop of his own to use! Ha!

  158. What? No West Wing?!?! I though that T&S readers were fairly cultured, but to have 200 comments and not a single West Wing quote is a disgrace. OK, here are a couple of my most-used:

    CJ:: What’s that??
    Cartographers for Social Justice: It’s where you’ve been living this whole time.

    Bartlett: First, let’s clear up a couple of things. Unfunded mandate is two words, not one big word.

    Stanley: I’m not the paper boy either, Josh.

    There are MANY more.

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