220… 221… Whatever It Takes

 

Yesterday at lunch, one of my former co-workers shared that she’s “educating” her 12-year-old son regarding some of her favorite movies by spending the summer “screening” them for him. Her reasoning? Because she uses so many lines from each movie’s dialog that it has become part of her everyday vernacular. She wants him to understand the context behind the comments so he now could join in the conversation and truly be part of her family’s movie culture/language.

The rest of the lunch crowd immediately jumped in and wholeheartedly agreed. We, along with other friends and family members, all use lines from movies in our daily conversations. Doing so not only brings back memories of movies that we love but usually the lines are appropriately used within the conversation. With the exception of someone much younger, I rarely encounter someone who doesn’t understand the line or the movie it references.

Mr. HOA and I use a lot of lines from Jeremiah Johnson… such as when something goes wrong, we will say (in our best Will Gear voice), “Saw it right off, didn’t put enough dirt down.” Another friend, a devout fan of the same movie, will tell me “watch your top knot!” when saying goodbye.

We use many lines from Stripes, Mr. Mom, Jaws, Animal House… and so on. We can’t be alone in doing this. Do you routinely use lines from movies and what are they? Do your family members and friends follow suit?

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  1. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    My children gained great enlightenment on about half of the conversation that surrounded them their entire lives after seeing The Holy Grail and Happy Gilmore.

    • #1
  2. HeartofAmerica Inactive
    HeartofAmerica
    @HeartofAmerica

    The King Prawn:

    My children gained great enlightenment on about half of the conversation that surrounded them their entire lives after seeing The Holy Grail and Happy Gilmore.

     Definitely The Holy Grail…”It’s just a scratch” is used greatly at our house.

    • #2
  3. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    “When will you have it done?”
    “Two weeks.”

    • #3
  4. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    The use of movie lines and shared references … it’s like … Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

    Though of course it can get you into trouble when the reference isn’t shared.  My worst case of this was in China.  A large group of us American students were sitting by the door of the university dormitory.  A girl walked through and didn’t shut the door.  Someone asked “Were you born in a barn?” and unthinkingly, I replied “No, the poorhouse.” (This is an exchange from True Lies, a movie my sister and I love.)  She thought I was insulting her, a fact made worse by too many Yanking beers, resulting in “poorhouse” sounding more like “whorehouse.”

    Yeah, that was embarrassing.

    • #4
  5. Patrickb63 Coolidge
    Patrickb63
    @Patrickb63

    I heard chanpagne chilling in the background.
    You could hear that?
    Aha!

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    What I find interesting is how many shows and movies are using quotes and references from other shows and movies.

    Ever watch SUITS? I’m pretty addicted to it. I’ve never been a big fan of lawyer shows, but this one caught my imagination because it includes the lowly first-year associates as characters, rather than focusing entirely on the bigwigs and partners of the firm.

    Anyhoo, a running gag of the show is how the lawyers use movie and tv references to communicate ideas to each other, and how it can get awkward when someone doesn’t get the reference.

    I think this trend might have started, more or less, with Seinfeld’s references to Wrath of Khan and Superman.

    • #6
  7. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    For a very long time, I used “d’oh!’ as my paraverbal exclamation of choice.

    These days, I use “scheiße”, for some reason. I don’t even know from what piece of pop culture I picked that up.

    • #7
  8. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Misthiocracy: Anyhoo, a running gag of the show is how the lawyers use movie and tv references to communicate ideas to each other, and how it can get awkward when someone doesn’t get the reference.

     I love that aspect of The Avengers.

    Coulson: He’s like a Stephen Hawking [Captain America frowns] like a really smart person.

    Fury: I want to know how he turn two of our top guys into flying monkeys!
    Thor: I do not understand.
    Cap: I do! [looks around sheepishly] I got that reference.

    • #8
  9. CuriousJohn Inactive
    CuriousJohn
    @CuriousJohn

    Another great one from an young Micheal  Keaton”Call Starkist!” in Night Shift

    which goes along with “I’m an idea man Chuck”

    What if you mix the mayonnaise in the can, WITH the tunafish? Or… hold it! Chuck! I got it! Take LIVE tuna fish, and FEED ’em mayonnaise! Oh this is great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tT3rAo2s4s

    [speaks into tape recorder]
    Call Starkist!

    • #9
  10. CuriousJohn Inactive
    CuriousJohn
    @CuriousJohn

    HeartofAmerica:

    The King Prawn:

    My children gained great enlightenment on about half of the conversation that surrounded them their entire lives after seeing The Holy Grail and Happy Gilmore.

    Definitely The Holy Grail…”It’s just a scratch” is used greatly at our house.

     Spent a car trip with the 16 year old boy (#1 and only Son), watching snippets of Holy Grail.  We are looking for a night to watch the whole movie together

    The Killer Rabbit gets big laughs

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    CuriousJohn:

    Another great one from an young Micheal Keaton”Call Starkist!” in Night Shift…

    Only many, many years later did I realize that all those “crazy, frenetic, hyperactive” characters from 1980s comedies were veiled references to cocaine use.

    • #11
  12. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Misthiocracy:

    CuriousJohn:

    Another great one from an young Micheal Keaton”Call Starkist!” in Night Shift…

    Only many, many years later did I realize that all those “crazy, frenetic, hyperactive” characters from 1980s comedies were veiled references to cocaine use.

     Heh … it was only about the 100th time watching Indiana Jones and the Search for the Holy Grail that I finally figured out what “She talksh in her shleep” was implying.

    • #12
  13. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    CuriousJohn:

    HeartofAmerica:

    The King Prawn:

    My children gained great enlightenment on about half of the conversation that surrounded them their entire lives after seeing The Holy Grail and Happy Gilmore.

    Definitely The Holy Grail…”It’s just a scratch” is used greatly at our house.

    Spent a car trip with the 16 year old boy (#1 and only Son), watching snippets of Holy Grail. We are looking for a night to watch the whole movie together

    The Killer Rabbit gets big laughs

    My friend complained when he finally saw Holy Grail. It wasn’t very funny for him, because he already knew all the jokes. The only parts that were new for him were the boring bits between the jokes.

    • #13
  14. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    I am so pleased to hear that someone else uses the “220, 221, whatever it takes” line!  I thought  only my family remembered that.  Dad, in particular, still says that line and then gets all tickled.  It’s a shame more people aren’t quoting Mr. Mom these days.

    Here’s a related question, brought up by the recent death of Harold Ramis.  I was born in ’72, so most of the movies I find myself quoting are from the late ’70s up through the mid-’90s, maybe.  Childhood imprints these lines on you, of course.  But what if it’s more objective than that?  

    I was surprised to find out what movies Harold Ramis had written or directed.  (I only knew him as “Egon” until his death.)  But it seems like all of the ones he worked on are particularly quotable.  These are dialogue-driven movies that rely on clever lines.  Did that style of movie go away after the ’80s?  Are today’s movies actually less quotable?  Or is it purely subjective, a function of my friends and me being grown up and not going to see the immature comedies of today?

    • #14
  15. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Misthiocracy:

    My friend complained when he finally saw Holy Grail. It wasn’t very funny for him, because he already knew all the jokes. The only parts that were new for him were the boring bits between the jokes.

     This is just about what happened to me, too.  I hadn’t seen Holy Grail until sometime in high school (late ’80s), when my sister and I had a bunch of friends over.  But I already knew all of the jokes because friends had been quoting them to me for years (especially the one, “Some call me…Tim?”).

    But it turned out that even so, Holy Grail is inherently funny with a group of friends watching, so it didn’t matter that I already knew the words.

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Tim H.:

    I was surprised to find out what movies Harold Ramis had written or directed. (I only knew him as “Egon” until his death.) But it seems like all of the ones he worked on are particularly quotable. These are dialogue-driven movies that rely on clever lines. Did that style of movie go away after the ’80s? Are today’s movies actually less quotable? Or is it purely subjective, a function of my friends and me being grown up and not going to see the immature comedies of today?

    It may have something to do with his background with Second City and SCTV.

    If you look at the most “quotable” movies, you’ll find people with backgrounds in standup and improv/sketch, like Saturday Night Live or Monty Python, where the gag/punchline is much more important than, say, an amusing story.

    Most sitcoms aren’t nearly as quotable, because they are generally more story-centred than gag-centred.  Seinfeld was an exception, but of course it was created by a standup comic.

    • #16
  17. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    The Godfather.
    The Quiet Man  (we’re Irish)
    Goodfellas
    The Ten Commandments

    Alas, some of the younger people have seen the Hangover series 27 times but have never seen The Godfather

    • #17
  18. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Tim H. Did that style of movie go away after the ’80s?  Are today’s movies actually less quotable?  Or is it purely subjective, a function of my friends and me being grown up and not going to see the immature comedies of today?

     I think it’s a couple of things.  First, I don’t think it’s that movies are inherently less quotable, as movie line memes online are everywhere. (Complete this sentence: One does not simply …) But it is true that given the fractured nature of pop culture, fewer and fewer movies have the same level of cultural dominance the way they could in the 80s. (e.g. For all the Dark Knight hype, it still had far fewer showings than Tim Burton’s ’89 Batman)  Thus, you may not be recognizing the movie lines that are being quoted to you.  Likewise, video games and TV shows are picking up some of that cultural brain space. (The cake is a lie, Winter is coming)

    I do think in many recent comedies, clever dialog is less important than physical/gross-out humor, which is sad.

    • #18
  19. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Tim H.: Did that style of movie go away after the ’80s?  Are today’s movies actually less quotable?  Or is it purely subjective, a function of my friends and me being grown up and not going to see the immature comedies of today?

    There isn’t nearly as much demand for professional sketch comedy as there was prior to the 1980s. Saturday Night Live is pretty much the only training ground left (on television, that is) for writers to gain any experience writing quotable gags, and its ratings fall with every passing season. 

    If you look at a show like The Big Bang Theory, most of their “quotable” gags are actually quotes from older movies and tv shows.  As such, nobody’s going to be quoting that show in 20 years.

    All that being said, it would be premature to declare sketch a “dead” comedy medium.  The Internet, particularly sites like YouTube, Cracked.com, and FunnyorDie, are giving sketch writers/performers opportunities to learn the craft.

    But it’s still not the same as being on a weekly deadline to come up with funny gags, like it was for writers of the classic variety shows.

    • #19
  20. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Amy Schley:

    I think it’s a couple of things. First, I don’t think it’s that movies are inherently less quotable, as movie line memes online are everywhere. (Complete this sentence: One does not simply …) But it is true that given the fractured nature of pop culture, fewer and fewer movies have the same level of cultural dominance the way they could in the 80s. (e.g. For all the Dark Knight hype, it still had far fewer showings than Tim Burton’s ’89 Batman) Thus, you may not be recognizing the movie lines that are being quoted to you. Likewise, video games and TV shows are picking up some of that cultural brain space. (The cake is a lie, Winter is coming)

     

    Very good points. It hits me right in the feels when people don’t get my videogame or Internet meme references.

    The cracked.com podcast has a very good discussion about how our comedy sensibilities are defined by that pop culture we grew up with. I think it was in episode one:

    http://www.cracked.com/podcast/cracked-podcast-episode-1-generation-gaps/

    • #20
  21. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Misthiocracy: Very good points. It hits me right in the feels when people don’t get my videogame or Internet meme references.

     Know what will make you feel better?

    Do a barrel roll!

    Look at me still talking when there’s science to do …

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Of course, the absolute best pop culture references are the ones that are still funny even if you don’t get the reference.

    I still get laughs when I say, “right in the mind!” in response to someone taking a hit to the head, even if nobody’s ever seen Slapshot.

    Another good one is, “evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb.”  You don’t need to have seen the movie its from to get the joke.

    • #22
  23. RightinChicago Member
    RightinChicago
    @

    “Can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo.”

    My older sister and I can conduct entire conversations in Fletch lines.

    ” Yeah, I assure you.”

    • #23
  24. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Misthiocracy: Of course, the absolute best pop culture references are the ones that are still funny even if you don’t get the reference.

     Agreed. 

    For the local Shakespeare in the Park, there’s a Camp Shakespeare for kids.  The teens get to put on a 20 minute condensed version as part of the the pre-show. The problem is that their condensed version is nothing but reference comedy, and they can’t figure out why the audience doesn’t laugh.  Repeating a funny line, particularly the extremely overused meme lines, often isn’t funny.  It just reminds you of something funny.

    I would love to tell them that for next year, create a condensed version that doesn’t reference anything but the play, and see if you can make that funny.

    • #24
  25. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Tim H.:

    Misthiocracy:

    My friend complained when he finally saw Holy Grail. It wasn’t very funny for him, because he already knew all the jokes. The only parts that were new for him were the boring bits between the jokes.

    This is just about what happened to me, too. I hadn’t seen Holy Grail until sometime in high school (late ’80s), when my sister and I had a bunch of friends over. But I already knew all of the jokes because friends had been quoting them to me for years (especially the one, “Some call me…Tim?”).

    But it turned out that even so, Holy Grail is inherently funny with a group of friends watching, so it didn’t matter that I already knew the words.

     This seems appropriate:

    http://xkcd.com/16/

    • #25
  26. HeartofAmerica Inactive
    HeartofAmerica
    @HeartofAmerica

    CuriousJohn:

    HeartofAmerica:

    The King Prawn:

    My children gained great enlightenment on about half of the conversation that surrounded them their entire lives after seeing The Holy Grail and Happy Gilmore.

    Definitely The Holy Grail…”It’s just a scratch” is used greatly at our house.

    Spent a car trip with the 16 year old boy (#1 and only Son), watching snippets of Holy Grail. We are looking for a night to watch the whole movie together

    The Killer Rabbit gets big laughs

     I just used The Killer Rabbit a couple of week ago. We were at a Day Away (which isn’t really) at work. The company owns a farm (another story, for another day) and I took a picture of said creature, posted it to my Facebook page, along with a heading of The Killer Bunny (and just for fun) a snippet of this portion of the movie. Makes me laugh every time.

    • #26
  27. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Amy Schley: My worst case of this was in China.  A large group of us American students were sitting by the door of the university dormitory.  A girl walked through and didn’t shut the door.  Someone asked “Were you born in a barn?” [….]

    That reminds of Army of Darkness, not True Lies (also a great movie). 

    “Were you raised in a barn? …probably was raised in a barn, with all the other primitives.”

    I might or might not have taught my nephews to refer to guns as boomsticks. It’s hard to keep track of these things.

    • #27
  28. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    I would think Monty Python’s argument skit would be more popular among Ricochet members:

    “[Argument] isn’t just contradiction.”
    “Yes it is.”
    “No, it isn’t.”
    “Look, if I argue with you, I must take a contrary position.”
    “Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No, it isn’t.’ ”
    “Yes it is.”

    My cousin and I listened to tapes of Python skits over and over again when we were teenagers. So we have them all memorized and quote them frequently.

    “Help, help, I’m being repressed!”

    • #28
  29. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    It’s probably not relevant to the conversation, but when we were just married my wife and I successfully carried on an hour long conversation entirely from song lyrics, most particularly from songs by the Barenaked Ladies.  It was pretty epic, but you probably had to be there.

    -E

    • #29
  30. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    Amy Schley:

    Tim H. […]

    Likewise, video games and TV shows are picking up some of that cultural brain space. (The cake is a lie, Winter is coming)

    What! The cake is a lie?!

    You monster.

    -E

    • #30
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