Thursday, January 20, 2011

More about movies: Movie quotes in real life

The (I'm sure; not speaking from personal experience) lovely and charming Zoƫ Stagg speaks on a topic that I've thought often about but which has never bubbled up to the surface of my blog-consciousness, viz., movie quotes that have made it into your regular everyday speech:


This isn’t your “that’s not a knife,” no sirs and ma’ams. This list is lines from movies that are so utilitarian they have sneaked, in whatever paraphrased form, into my actual script o’ life. To qualify, they not only have to roll like Skippy 100% Natural, and they have to have an under-the-radar secret memory smile to them.

Recognizable, sure, some of them, but they weren’t the taglines on any posters. Google was not molested to ensure their accuracy, they’re presented as I remember—and use them.

1. “Come friends, let us away.” Martin Sheen’s not-president character in The American President. USE: When you’re in a group of people doing that “where should we go eat, are we getting in cars, can someone make a plan please?”

2. “That’s a decision every girl has got to make for herself.” Clueless. What. Come at me. Cher, talking about Tai’s virginity, I think. USE: To agree to disagree, to aid and abet questionable taste—yours, or otherwise.

3.“Why am I back here on brain detail?” Infinitely quotable, Pulp Fiction. But this is the most infinitely usable scrap from the Martin’s brains scene. USE: Hello, charmingly friend, can you lend a hand here on this disgusting task that should be more your bag than mine, hey and thanks!

4. “Yeah. I hate bugs.” More a cautionary reminder to myself from the “what should our prom theme be?” scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. USE: When you find yourself making a particularly inane and insufferably vapid proclamation, scold yourself with this.

5. “This is it. Don’t get scared now.” The Kevin McAllister mantra of bravery, Home Alone. USE: Constantly, in situations of peril.

Honorable Mention: “Put. The bunny. Down.” One of the finest American action films with an unbelievable cast. Con Air. From the belly of the plane scene? I remember fire. USE: Cease your irritation of me and your overstepping of my patience and cut it OUT.

SO? Come at me with your quotes. It’d be a whole lot cooler if you did…

I will! I will!

1. "Well, this is all very good news. And this is empty."

From "Where the Buffalo Roam," a semi-forgotten 1980 classic in which Bill Murray plays Hunter S. Thompson SO WELL. This line is typically deployed when, well, something is very good news; the "this is empty" part is a vestigial remnant from the film (where it refers, as it happens, to an empty cocaine vial) and no longer carries any meaning, but sticks around because it was there originally. Like an appendix or male nipples.



2. "I get very greedy with my supplies once we're airborne."

Same movie. Used whenever there is a fixed quantity of something and you've offered some up, for the last time.

3. "I will not be ignored, Dan."

From "Fatal Attraction," of course. Used to overdramatize situations in which someone is not giving you your proper heed. Example: You're talking to someone who is watching TV/playing on their phone/asleep and they aren't listening to you.

4. "I shouldn't have drunk all that cough syrup this morning."

Bill Murray again, this time in "Stripes," one of those movies I've seen a double digits number of times. Used whenever one groggily does something stupid, i.e., turns on empty coffee maker, puts keys in fridge.

5. "This kind of thing is very common in show business."

Not from a movie, actually, but from "Seinfeld," a Quote Factory in its own right. I tend to break this out whenever I am telling The Wife about some perceived incident of flirting with some girl in the world. She has her own ideas about whether any actual flirting ever occurs.

Speaking of The Wife, she has a few of her own:

1. "Now, is that civilized? Clearly not."

"Gremlins 2." Used when something is clearly uncivilized.

2. "You're a handsome devil. What's your name?"

This is The Wife's go-to line when meeting a new baby. Usually male, I guess. It's from "Grosse Pointe Blank."

3. "I saved Latin. What did you do?"

Used when someone is bragging about something. From the second-best movie of all time, "Rushmore."

What are yours? Do tell.

16 comments:

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

paraphrased from Spinal Tap: "Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it? Too much fucking perspective."

Use as needed.

kaliseviltwin said...

"Who's your friend? Who's your buddy? I am aren't I?"
-- from Stripes, of course. Used when someone is being mopey, needs cajoling.

"I feel like I'm taking crazy pills."
--Zoolander. To be fair, though, my mom used to say this all the time when I was a kid, so I didn't really get it from the movie.

"So this [insert whatever], will there be meetings?"
--Grosse Pointe Blank, horribly paraphrased. Used almost always because THERE ARE TOO MANY MEETINGS.

"And now we're cha-cha-ing."
--Real Genius, said whenever the awkward head-on collision "dance" thing occurs (in hallways, on the streets, etc.), so it's almost always met with blank stares or uncomfortable, confused, polite smiles.

"Fire bad; tree pretty."
--Buffy (TV, not movie). Said after anything has completely exhausted me or rendered me incapable of coherent sentence building.

There are way, way more, which is probably just an indicator that I'm a sick, sad Gen-Xer who learned to communicate by quoting Simpsons episodes. (Probably why I love the show Psych so much, too.)

Stoney said...

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, referring to Wallace Shawn's "inconceivable" but useful for any vocabulary misuse. Spanish accent required.

thesoniashow said...

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise" from The Fight Club. I usually say it when I hear that one of my friends have done something horribly assy.

"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!" -- the super quotable Bill Murray, this time from Ghostbusters. I use it like this, "I went to Trader's Joe and it was crazy in there. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!"

In fact, I would say I probably quote Ghostbusters on a daily basis.

thesoniashow said...

I forgot one ...

"All too easy." - Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, after he pushes Luke Skywalker into the carbonite freeze.

I say it at work, at home, at family dinners.

And, I apologize for dorking up your blog, TK.

Stoney said...

Oh, yeah, Star Wars.
"These are not the ______ you're looking for."
"It's a trap."
"Do or do not...there is no 'try.'" "Come to the dark side."

Oh and that reminds me of "One of us" from Freaks. Used, like "come to the Dark Side," in situations of tongue-in-cheek peer pressure.

Whirlwind said...

there are so many, but leaving aside Star Wars and the Simpson, the ones that I remember immediately are:

That is some high quality H20 - from Waterboy, used to denote anything that is awesome.

And of course: Coffee is for closers - from Glengarry Glenross, self-explanatory.

(i like stoney also use that phrase from the princess bride as well as "As you wish" but that doesn't really count.

Beth Spotswood said...

I can assure you that Zoe Stagg does indeed use, "This is it. Don't get scared now" in real life. She did it when our drunk neighbor tried to break into our flat.

I am very fond of "You're terrible, Murial" and "Dierdre Chambers! What a coincidence!" Both from Muriel's Wedding, and I use the latter whenever running into someone unexpectedly in public.

Slightly related: My brother was (unnecessarily) mad at me on a recent vacation and the only way he would forgive me is if I did "The Meadows" speech from So I Married An Axe Murderer. Which worked!

Skance said...

I too, use "You're terrible Muriel" with some frequency. Sadly my movie-quoting has fallen off precipitously since I no longer live with a gay roommate. Whenever anyone says "Congratulations" I still add (silently, in my head) "ya thick bitch" from The Snapper.

Stephen said...

Oh the many times I've said, "we'll have to nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." From one of those Aliens movies.

Despite your recent disappointment, "What's your damage [Heather]?" continues to play a role.

Aaand: "Ordinary fucking people; I hate 'em." Repo Man.

Rocco said...

my faves are
"you got knocked the FUCK OUT" from friday. USE: funny when someone gets knocked out
"you're a virgin who can't drive" from clueless
USE: funny when someone is a virgin and can't drive or just to say bc it's funny

Dan said...

"Les jeux sont faits. Translation: the game is up. Your ass is mine." (Ferris Bueller)

"You're on double secret probation!" (Animal House)

"Everything ends badly or it wouldn't end at all" (Strangely profound wisdom from Cocktail)

Lisa said...

"I don't have explain my art to you, Warren." - Empire Records. Used when someone just doesn't get it.

"Champagne: perfume going in, sewage coming out." - Cocktail. Anytime I have or am about to consume more champagne than I probably should. And yet knowing it's true doesn't stop me.

"You're killing me, Smalls!" - The Sandlot. Used frequently for when when people are being idiotic.

My stepsister and I also quote any and all lines from Top Gun to each other. Out loud. In public. I think we've probably run most of the movie's dialogue in bars. Favorites seems to be "Take me to bed or lose me forever!" and "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!"

sfmike said...

@Stoney: The fuller quote from "Freaks" is better still: "Make her one of us!"

And Alicia in "Clueless," summarizing Jane Austen's "Emma" in one phrase, "Let's use our popularity for GOOD."

amy.leblanc said...

also princess bride: "AS you wish."

Breakfast Club: "Screws fall out all the time; the world's an imperfect place". --whenver someone complains about something going wrong that was out of control and/or is slight/stupid to complain about.

also Breakfast Club: "Two hits: me hitting you, you hitting the floor". whenever someone is up in your face about something and obvi you're going to win so their threat is stupid.

"Nobody puts baby in corner." - whenever someone is ignoring you/someone and/or minimalizing something that needs attention.

Dazed and Confused offers many:

"That's what i like about high school girls - I keep getting older but they stay the same age..." - whenever you/one of your friends is ogling an obviously barely-legal chick.

"party at the moontower!" - whenever you're trying to decide where to party.

"AIR RAID, BITCHES!" obnoxious thing to yell in the middle of any loud drunkfest.

"it'd be a lot cooler if you did..." when you wish someone had something and they don't...pot, beer, etc.

the Boyfriend uses:
"hasta la vista baby" (DUH)
"sweet jumps" from Napolean Dynamite to refer to anything awesome.