withnail and me, 1987
When an out-of-work actor realizes he’s smoking too many “Camberwell carrots”, he goes “on vacation by mistake” with an anonymous friend. after deciding that they “want the meat of something”, they “demand some booze” and ask for “the best wines available to mankind”. They are joined by Withnail’s Uncle Monty, who thinks “flowers are essentially cakes, prostitutes for bees.” all the other lines are just as wonderful. He reacquainted himself with the newly restored nailand i set it to be released in theaters on October 3.
It’s not just “don’t call me shirley”, surely. airplane! made shameless use of repetition (“looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking/smoking/glue sniffing”), misunderstandings (“nervous?”/”yes”/”first time?”/”no, i’ve been nervous too many times”), and fnar fnar jokes to create one of the most youthful movies of all time, and one that regularly tops “funniest movies of all time” lists. his snappy pun is so scary as well as funny, but the deadpan expression of leslie nielsen and company ensures that they seem unaware of their own comedy.
bad girls, 2004
Written by Tina Fey, this razor-sharp high school satire starred Lindsay Lohan as the wholesome, homeschooled new girl who is invited into the popular plastics clique, led by queen bee Regina George. the dialogue perfectly encapsulates silly but terse teenage girl slang, ranging from “that’s so hot” (signal “stop trying to make ‘search’ happen”) to the timeless “come in, loser.” We’re going shopping”. the film’s mix of mischievousness and shallowness owes much to her clueless ’90s sidekick of “you’re a virgin who can’t drive” fame.
invoice & ted’s excellent adventure, 1989
The double act of 80s stoner keanu reeves and alex winter has given us dozens of new everyday expressions to choose from. the verbally challenged duo excels at short exclamations (“bodacious,” “fake,” “party, folks,” and, of course, “69, folks!”), as well as variations on the “excellent” theme (“excellent”, “be excellent to each other”). for best results, references should be accompanied by high fives, air guitars, and unfunny smiles. Wayne’s World (1992), the film’s successor and kindred spirit, is equally quotable.
monty python and the holy grail, 1975
if salvador dalí had a fight with someone, his insults would probably be quite similar to the surreal and imaginative vocabulary used by the pythons in this movie. the famous teasing scene (“I farted in your general direction! your mother was a hamster and your father smelled like elderberries!”) has been cited so often that you could comfortably repeat it in front of your grandmother, just to her joining the rest of the script is equally familiar: from the bleak (“get your dead out”) to the very, very silly (“you’re using coconuts”).
The black-and-white love story between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman is mentioned six times on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time, making it the most-quoted movie in the world. ready. but take note: the oft-repeated “play it again, sam” is a misquote; it’s actually “play it, sam, play it as time goes by”). the other five are: “we’ll always have paris”, “i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”, “i’m looking at you, boy”, “round up the usual suspects”, and “from all the gin”. joints in all the towns of the world, she enters mine.”
pulp fiction, 1994
There’s a reason why “tarantino” is often followed by the “dialogue-esque” suffix. the director’s verbose, expletive-laden exchanges are as much a part of his style as his energetic soundtracks and blood-spattered fights. the passage from ezekiel 25:17 (pronounced in the film by samuel l jackson) that culminates in “you will know that i am the lord when i put my vengeance on you” is probably the best known biblical passage for a whole generation of movie lovers many of them the one-liners are just as ominous: “I’m going to get medieval on your ass” and, most chilling of all, “get the gimp out.”
The Princess Bride, 1987
Based on William Goldman’s 1973 fantasy novel of the same name, this film adaptation looks and sounds like a traditional fairy tale romance, but its biting wit and unexpected gender-swapping elevate it to pure satire. the quote everyone knows, “hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. you killed my father prepare to die”, he repeated ad nauseam, now it seems strangely prophetic of prince oberyn in game of thrones. other classics include “inconceivable!” / “you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means”, so popular it’s now an internet meme.
the big lebowski, 1998
this movie guarantees that anyone will abuse the word “friend” for at least a fortnight. the latest stoner movie (“yeah, well that’s just, like, your opinion, man”, “fuck it dude, let’s go bowling”), the cult classic is also notable for using the word “fuck” 271 times during its 117-minute runtime – one every 26 seconds. his best quotes include warnings (“you’re entering a world of pain”), exhortations (“calm down, you’re being too unkind”), simple commands (“shut up, donny”), and booze-fueled wisdom. (“sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes, well, the bar eats you”).
this is a lumbar puncture, 1984
The film’s signature phrase, “these go to 11”, has taken on so much of its own life that it has a wikipedia page about it. The BBC iPlayer’s volume, perhaps not coincidentally, also goes up to 11. Immortalizing the hits and misses of the fictional rock band Spine Tap, the mock documentary records the band members’ bad propensities (“it’s sexist”/” what’s wrong with being sexy?”), clichés (a band member’s career plan b is “full-time dreamer”), and worldliness (“I remember being knocked out by his exuberance, his sheer power… . and his punctuality”).
- This article was amended on October 6, 2014 to remove a misattribution in the paragraph about withnail and i .