Because sometimes, only someone else’s words will do.
There are some movies whose dialogue fits into every aspect of life — great comebacks, bizarre banter, and intellectual musings we can all put to use at one point or another.
“You stay classy, San Diego.”
What a useful movie. I mean really, there are comebacks, there are weird jokes, there are exclamations. The fun never ends.
Anchorman is so strange, it’s hard to know exactly why it’s so popular. It is clearly hilarious and quotable, but it’s just so surreal, and the plot’s more than just a little silly. Judd Apatow, who produced Anchorman, and Adam McKay who wrote and directed it, are very good at making awkward and silly become awesome, though. As usual with Apatow, the movie does a great job of balancing perfectly between scripted and improvised. It’s ultimately a great any-time movie, and a person could quote it in almost any situation. You could look at your banana knowingly (because actions speak louder than words), call someone a smelly pirate hooker, invite someone to the pants party, or just shout, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!” whenever life is getting you down.
“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.”
David Fincher is literally the perfect director for a film adaptation of Chuck Palaniuk’s material. The author himself has noted that there are parts of Fight Club he prefers to his novel.
This movie is gritty: where most films on this list are funny, when we quote Fight Club, it’s usually out of apathy. “I am John’s overworked brain cells,” for days when you’ve tried too hard for something pointless, “his name was Robert Paulson” when you hear about someone dying for a good cause, or, “with a gun between your teeth, you speak only in vowels” for … well, let’s not think about that.
“Say ‘what’ again!”
Well, it’s a really long movie, so there’s a lot to quote.
A man once stopped an armed robbery by quoting Sam Jackson’s character from Pulp Fiction. He actually saved the day. He mostly used lines from the scene where character stops the couple’s robbery, fittingly. So clearly, this movie has its uses.
One might say, “Zed’s dead, baby,” when something’s been finished, there are about a million reasons two people should break out into a boogie like Uma Thurman and John Travolta do, and if you have a gullible friend, you should definitely tell them about the Grande With Cheese.
“Your mom goes to college!”
Napoleon Dynamite was a weird movie that was incredibly relatable. And maybe we don’t do it a lot anymore, but there was a time when everyone and their mom was quoting this flick. We’d give an exasperated, “Dang it,” when something wasn’t going our way, or if someone was being all the wrong kinds of romantic, you could go, “I spent five hours on the upper lip”. And though it’s a challenge, there were plenty of ways to put, “I didn’t get where I am today by dressing like Peter Pan over here,” to good use.
The Big Lebowski
“That rug really tied the room together, did it not?”
Everyone’s seen The Big Lebowski, but only hardcore fans would bother to quote it. And though Fargo may have the most famous, most easy-to-use quotable phrase in the world (Oh, yah), The Big Lebowski has its fair share, too.
Hardcore Big Lebowski fans could make inside jokes out of, “He’s a nihilist,” “You’re out of your element,” “I am not Mr. Lebowski,” “I just hate the Eagles, man,” or, “Eight-year-olds, Dude”.
Many of the most quotable phrases from The Big Lebowski are just downright handy for letting people know you’re mad (because most of them come from Walter). Calling annoying people Donny and asking them to shut up, or sarcastically thanking them, is always useful. There’s always, “This isn’t ‘Nam, Smokey, there are rules!” or, “Am I the only one around here who…” and then you fill in the blank as you see fit.
Plus, no matter how you go about quoting The Big Lebowski, The Dude abides.
Mike Myers is good at being quotable. Even his worst movies are at the very least worthy of being quoted (“You have a firm grasp of the obvious” being my personal favourite). He has a couple movies on this list, and there are a lot of other movies he’s been in or made that honestly could have made it onto this list, but then it would just become a big list of Mike Myers movies.
Austin Powers is probably the most popular, well-known and well-loved movie/franchise Mike Myers has made. It has a hilarious premise, the characters are memorable no matter how small their role, and it’s always good for a laugh.
It’s especially fun because so many of the characters have accents or speech impediments. It’s enjoyable to try to mimic them, though if you aren’t good at it, there’s a strong possibility you should lose the accent and just use the quote on its own.
After all, there are about a million quotable lines throughout the Austin Powers franchise. “It’s Doctor Evil. I didn’t go to evil school to be called Mr. Evil!” “Sorry, I farted. It’s a long road ahead,” “Scotty don’t, you’re the Diet Coke of evil,” “You’re a tiger, baby,” are just some examples. As well as anything where you can find a way to mention sharks with freakin’ laser beams.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python material has been quoted by many generations of nerds. It can be witty, it can be silly, and it can be downright out-there. And it’s always guaranteed to be extremely British.
There is a lot of Monty Python material – The Flying Circus had four seasons, Spamalot’s very popular, and there were several movies. The most popular Monty Python film is by far Monty Python and The Holy Grail, though. High school students got to watch it in English class if their teacher was really cool, 90’s kids were introduced to it by their censorship-hating parents, and those who didn’t have cool parents got to see it with their friends.
This movie has everything for the person who loves to quote. There are comebacks like, “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” there are answers to life’s most important questions, like, “What is your favourite colour?” there are even comebacks for conversations with parents: “But father, I don’t want to get married. I just want to sing!”
The Ministry of Silly Walks and The Twin Peaks of Kilimanjaro are well worth a reference now and then, but Monty Python and the Holy Grail has even won over those who know nothing of the rest of Monty Python’s hilarity.
“Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.”
Like I said, Mike Myers is a very quotable man. Saturday Night Live is also a quotable show. By their powers combined, you get one of the most awesomely quotable movies of all time.
You could quote Garth’s dorkiness: “Thanks. I like to play,” “Women want you to come get them. They love it,” or you could just dance around to Foxy Lady.
You could also quote one of the movie’s many catchphrases “Whoooooa!” “We’re not worthy,” or “Excellent”. If you’re really feeling up to it, you could quote Ed O’Neill’s “I had never done a crazy thing until that night” speech. Almost every line of the movie is quotable, if you’re clever enough to utilize it.
There are so many more movies worth quoting; expect a part two.