Rob’s Top Five Most Quoted Movies

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When I was four I begged my parents for lightsaber lessons. “The force is strong with me!” I urged them. “Help me! You’re my only hope!” They signed me up for violin lessons instead. At the end of the year, my class held a recital to show that we had all mastered the three note magnum opus Hot Cross Buns. We stood shoulder to shoulder on the stage of the Farrell Recital Hall. Dressed in our Sunday best. Violins tucked under our left arm. Bows by our side. Waiting anxiously for our turn. Our proud parents smiled and applauded and took photos. When my name was called (“And now, Little Robby Carpenter.” Yes, I was a Robby. Even worse, I was a Little Robby. To this day, half of my hometown still calls me Little Robby C.), I took two steps forward, raised my bow, and yelled out: “I will never turn to the Dark Side!” My bow miraculously transformed into a lightsaber and I swung it back and forth while making the appropriate sound effects. Michael Haney, my ever-loyal best friend, jumped from his place in line, raised his bow, and yelled back: “Yes you will! I’m Darth Vader and I’m your father!”

I’ve been quoting (well…misquoting) movies ever since.

In honor of the recent news that Ron Burgundy and the KVWN Channel 4 News Team are reuniting to make a sequel to Anchorman, I’ve been spouting off 35-40 Anchorman quotes a day. Big ones. (“I will take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!”) Small ones. (“Great Odin’s Raven!”) Heck, sometimes I’ll just reenact entire scenes before collapsing on the floor in a fit of laughter. And that got me thinking, what movie do I quote the most? It’s a tough question because it’s not necessarily the movie I think is the best or the one I enjoy the most, it’s the movie that has somehow crept deep down into my vernacular to the point that bits of dialogue become second nature to me. To make things even more difficult, I decided that a movie had to have at least five quotes that I semi-regularly use. That knocks out some of my go-to quotes because they are the only quotes from their respective movies:  “Clever girl.” (Jurassic Park) “That’ll do pig.” (Babe) “Woh.” (Any Keanu Reeves movie). I also crossed off quotes with questionable language (so long any movie by Kevin Smith) and quotes from movies we don’t currently have available at SJCPL (adios So I Married an Axe Murderer and Fletch). I asked friends, family, and library patrons for their thoughts and the suggestions came rolling in:  The Shawkshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Dumb & Dumber, Swingers, Lord of the Rings, Goonies, Top Gun, Tombstone, The Godfather, Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Goodfellas, Office Space, The Graduate, The Big Lebowski, The Usual Suspects, The Wizard of Oz, The Muppet MovieBack to the Future, Napoleon Dynamite, Pulp Fiction, Ghostbusters, and about ten different Woody Allen movies.

I hemmed and I hawed. I flipped and I flopped. I dithered and I dathered. I spent many sleepless nights debating the #5 choice. (Note to self: In the future, don’t lose sleep over totally arbitrary top five lists.) I think Some Like it Hot is the greatest comedy of all time, but it couldn’t quite crack the list. Ditto for Rushmore, my favorite Wes Anderson film and one of my favorite films of the 1990s. In the end I went with an almost obvious choice – but that was the problem. It was too obvious. I kept thinking there was something else, but try as I might – it’s impossible to deny a movie where silly English pig dogs go prancing around the country side. Oddly enough, I had the movie memorized before I saw it. A friend recorded the audio and I spent the better part of my middle school summers mowing lawns and memorizing bits of Monty Python dialogue. It should come as no shock to anyone that I didn’t have a girlfriend for several more years.

Here’s my list. What do you think? Yes? No? Agree to disagree? As always, click on any of the movies to check on their availability at SJCPL.

1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

* “Do or do not, there is no try.” (Yoda)

* “Impressive. Most impressive.” (Darth Vader)

* “Adventure? Excitement? A jedi craves not these things.” (Yoda)

* “And I thought they smelled bad…on the outside.” (Han Solo)

* “I know” (Han Solo, after Leia tells him “I love you”)

2. The Princess Bride (1987)

* “As you wish.” (Westley)

* “Hello! My Name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” (Inigo Montoya)

* “Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Vizzini / Inigo Montoya)

* “Anybody want a peanut?” (Fezzik)

* “Rest well and dream of large women.” / “Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” (Westley)

3. Anchorman (2004)

* “I’m very important. I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” (Ron)

* “Ribs. I had ribs for lunch.” (Ron)

* “I’m in a glass case of emotion!” (Ron)

* “60% of the time it works every time.” (Brian)

* “Milk was a bad choice.” (Ron)

4. Bull Durham (1988)

* “I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us.” (Annie Savoy)

* “Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some groundballs – it’s more democratic.” (Crash Davis)

* “Candlesticks always make a nice gift.” (Larry)

* “I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon.” (Crash Davis)

* “C’mon Meat!” (Crash Davis)

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

* “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries…Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.” (French Soldier)

* “Fetchez la vache!” (French Soldier)

* “Run Away! Run Away!” (King Arthur & the Knights)

* “It’s just a flesh wound.” (Black Knight)

* “What’s wrong with her? She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s got huge tracts of land.” (King of Swamp Castle)

R

r.carpenter@sjcpl.org

21 Comments

  1. At our house we like to change the word “force” to “pants” in the various Star Wars quotes. Always brings a smile.

  2. my favorite quote from The Prince Bride “Have Fun Storming the Castle”by Miracle Max

  3. Curse you Rob C and your open-ended blog posts! Now everyone is subjected to quotes from my favorite John Cusack movie, “Grosse Pointe Blank.”

    “If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” (Marty)

    “Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater.” (Paul)

    “Where are all the good men dead, in the heart or in the head?” (Debi)

    “I’m drawing a complete… Blank.” (Bob)

    “You can never go home again, Oatman. But I guess you can shop there.” (Martin)

    Anyone? Sound familiar?

    Thanks for another fun post, as always!

    • I LOVE Grosse Pointe Blank, and I would like to add:

      “Popcorn!” (Grocer)

      “It was just as if everyone had swelled.” (Marcella)

      and

      Debi: “I should’ve worn a skirt.”
      Marty: “I should’ve brought a gun.”
      Debi: “What?”
      Marty: “Should be fun!”

      • I’d also like to add another gem from Dr. Oatman that I say all the time:

        “That wasn’t a nice thing to say. That wasn’t designed to make me feel good.”

  4. Haha, this is great. When we were teenagers, my brother and I bonded over our love of movies and TV. Thus, our lanuage was completely corrupted by quotes. My mom jokes that we have our own language, as we can actually communicate thoughts just by picking the right quote.

    Obviously, we threw a lot of Monty Python at each other. My favorite being, “Now we see the violence inherent in the system” and “Help, help! I’m being repressed.” Also, from the world of TV, there was a TON of Arrested Development being bandied about. “Ann as the nose on Plain’s face,” “I’ve made a huge mistake,” etc.

    But the one that gets the most play is Jurassic Park. I’m not sure what it says about us that “Shoot her!” was the one we used the most…

    • I love Jurassic Park. One of my all time favorite movies. I remember driving home from the theater after seeing it for the first time. A storm was coming in and the trees were swaying back and forth. I was convinced – convinced! – that a T-rex was going to break through at any moment and rip the hood off of our bright blue Mazda minivan. I’ve watched that movie at least 100 times since it was released and I could easily watch it again tonight.

      Jurassic Park was one of the last to get cut from the Top Five. But I decided that I don’t use the other four quotes as much as “Clever Girl” (which I use daily). For fun, here’s the list I made of my top five Jurassic Park quotes:

      * Clever girl. (Muldoon)
      * Hold on to your butts. (Ray)
      * I’m fairly alarmed here. (Malcolm)
      * God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs… (Malcolm)
      * Shoot her! (Muldoon)

      And the bonus one is just saying anything like Jeff Goldblum.

  5. And a couple more great Star Wars trilogy quotes:
    “Laugh it up, fuzzball!” Han Solo, TESB
    “Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?” Princess Leia, SW

  6. My #1 all-time most-quoted movie by FAR is Wayne’s World, featuring not only “We’re not worthy!” but also:

    “I need coffee and crullers, stat!”

    “A gun rack? A gun rack. I don’t even own a gun, let alone many guns, that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I going to do with a gun rack?”

    “Zang!”

    “What do you want, you little dweeb?!”

    “Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.”

    “And I never learned to read!”

    I could go on (and on and on and on), but I’ll stop there.

  7. So many quotes, so little time:
    Holy Grail – “Look at the bones!” and “I soiled my armor again”. My daughter can recite the whole ‘holy hand grenade’ scene.
    The Hobbit – so quotable, but usually we hear the ‘black arrow’ speech or “what is all this uproar in the forest”
    Star Wars – at dinner time we have occasional need to say ‘use the fork, Luke’
    Dr. Strangelove – “You can’t fight here, this is the war room!”
    Life of Brian – There’s the whole ‘what have the Romans done for us’ speech
    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – “Flint Lockwood, this contact lens represents you! And my eye represents my eye! [Puts on contact lens] I’ve got my *eye* on you!”
    So many others…

  8. And what about the seasonal favorite, A Christmas Story:

    “He lay there like a slug; it was his only defense” and the mispronounced “Fragile” and “It’s a major award!” are all quite popular. Then there’s the one my children would quote every time I got up from the dinner table (if I got there at all) to supply someone’s food request: “She hadn’t had a hot bite of food for seven years.” I’m sure you know more. And one of the few Godfather quotes I remember: “Take the gun and leave the cannoli.” While I never have a gun, I sure do seek out cannolis!

  9. From Army of Darkness:

    1. Here’s a three-parter:

    First:

    Ash: Klaatu Barada Nikto.
    Wiseman: Well, repeat them.
    Ash: Klaatu Barada Nikto.
    Wiseman: Again.
    Ash: I got it, I got it! I know your damn words, alright?

    Then:

    Ash: Klaatu Barada N… Necktie… Neckturn… Nickel… It’s an “N” word, it’s definitely an “N” word! Klaatu… Barada… N…
    [coughs]

    Later:
    Wiseman: When you removed the book from the cradle, did you speak the words?
    Ash: Yeah, basically.
    Wiseman: Did you speak the exact words?
    Ash: Look, maybe I didn’t say every single little tiny syllable, no. But basically I said them, yeah.

    2. Ash: Shop smart, shop S-Mart!

    3. Ash: Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.

    • Excellent call!

      My five:

      * Hail to the king, baby.
      * Well hello Mr. Fancypants!
      * Gimme some sugar, baby.
      * Oh that’s just what we call pillow talk, baby. That’s all
      * Come get some.

      And one to grow on:

      * Honey, you got reeeeeeeaaaaaal ugly.

  10. Hannibal Lecter of Silence of the Lambs and others:

    ***
    Clarice Starling: If you didn’t kill him, then who did, sir?
    Hannibal Lecter: Who can say. Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.

    ***

    Hannibal Lecter: You fly back to school, now, little Starling. Fly, fly, fly..

    ***
    Hannibal Lecter: [on telephone] I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.
    Clarice Starling: Dr. Lecter?… Dr. Lecter?… Dr. Lecter?… Dr. Lecter?…

    ***
    Clarice Starling: Where are you, Dr. Lecter?
    Hannibal Lecter: I’ve no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world is more interesting with you in it.

  11. By far the greatest comedy, Stepbrothers has found its way into my speech daily:

    “Hey do you want to Karate in the garage”
    “We have all this room for activities”
    “Why are you so sweaty?” …..”I was watching cops”
    “Did you touch my drum set?”
    “Maybe Dale left the garage door open”

  12. I don’t remember the whole thing but my fav Bull Durham quote from back when I thought Kevin Costner was quite Swoon-worthy ends like this

    “I believe in … presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

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