Readers’ Choice: More of the Movies People Need to Stop Quoting


So come to find out, people are very attached to their movie quotes. Last week, we wrote a post that gently suggested there are some movies that everyone’s heard quoted back to them quite enough times, thank you very much. As the comments rolled in, many readers disagreed, often in colorful language! But let’s not focus on them — many of you not only agreed, but had your own suggestions for movies that others (and yourselves) should put lid on.

We combed through the hundred or so comments the piece received (both here and on our partner site The Atlantic), and while several additional titles were nominated for inclusion in the “stop quoting club” — Fight Club, Scarface, 300, Menace II Society, Blue Velvet, Team America, Jaws, Spider-Man, Psycho, Airplane, Tropic Thunder, Full Metal Jacket, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack (I’m sorry, I just can’t diss Caddyshack; we all have our weaknesses) — several fine readers not only had suggestions, but mounted a case for the title at hand. After the jump, over a dozen more movies that you, the readers, insist we all stop quoting.

Pulp Fiction

Tarantino’s indie blockbuster was oft-mentioned in the comments sections; Reader “Adam J. Smith” insists that “anything from Pulp Fiction has been repeated to a burning, smoldering, dry, hateful, cliché.” True enough; there was a weird period where people were quoting that (misquoted) Bible verse a lot, to say nothing of “Royale with cheese” discussions and “Oh, I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?” (Full disclosure: your film editor has a T-shirt with that last one on it. Still.) “Brian D,” however, was more hesitant: “I would lean towards saying that Pulp Fiction might deserve to be on the list, although ‘What does Marcellus Wallace look like?’ never gets old.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Austen” reports, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off could probably use a break from the army of ’80s kids that know that movie by heart. Why is everyone looking at me? Ah, crap.” No kidding; the main reason Bueller didn’t make the list originally is because it’s one of the titles we’re most guilty of calling up. And though nothing cuts the dead silence of an unanswered question in a large group better than a dry and repeated “Bueller? Bueller?,” the expiration date on that one is probably long passed.

Office Space

Reader “Quotwf” asks, “Why so grumpy movie-quote hater? Looks like somebody is having a Monday!” Or a bad case of the Mondays, or whatever; point is, yaaaaah, we know that Mike Judge’s 1998 comedy is a dead-on satire of, you know, office drone culture, and it is terrific, OK? And yaaaah, it’s very tempting to just, ah, call that up whenever you encounter comparable work situations, but we’re gonna need you to go ahead and stop doing that, mmkay? That’d be great.

This Is Spinal Tap

Reader “DI” hits the nail on the head: “I love — repeat, LOVE — This Is Spinal Tap, but if one more person says ‘This one goes to eleven,’ I won’t be held responsible for my actions.” Co-signed. But can we still yell “Rock and roll!” when we get lost in big buildings?


Reader “Charles Elliot” declares an embargo on “every line in Casablanca,” and he’s kind of got a point — there’s a lot of ’em in there (“Here’s looking at you kid,” “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine,” “Round up the usual suspects,” etc.) And for what it’s worth, double that for “Play it again, Sam,” a line that isn’t even in the movie yet still gets quoted as though it is.

Apocalypse Now

The inclusion of The Godfather got this response from reader “Mike”: “You’ve already got Coppola up there, so I guess you can be forgiven for leaving out ‘I love the smell of (insert word) in the morning.'” Do not forgive us, Mike. And forgive no one who’s still trotting out that worn-out chestnut.

The Star Wars trilogy

“Bitchy Kittybang” (great handle!) writes, “These are not the movie quotes you were looking for.” “Chris” seconds the notion: “Star Wars. Let it die.” Star Wars people, like Monty Python people, are particularly prone to chattering in a language made up almost entirely of lines from the Holy Trilogy, and may the Force be with them. But would the world be a lesser place if, just once, we could hear an artificial breathing apparatus without some schmuck intoning “Luke! I am your father!” This does, however, only seem to be a problem with the original trilogy; not a lot of people running around quoting the prequels, we’ve noticed.

The Shining, Five Easy Pieces, A Few Good Men

“Jimmy Gearhead” notes that we seem to have missed what he dubs the “Nicholson subgenre.” In The Shining, Jack does his part to keep the TV quote “Heeeeeere’s Johnny” entirely too present in the vernacular, and while his “I want you to hold it between your knees” bit makes for a great scene in Five Easy Pieces, its probably one that waiters and waitresses would rather go away. “You can’t handle the truth,” meanwhile, makes its way into everyday conversation far too frequently for a movie that is (yes, take a deep breath) twenty years old now.

American Psycho

“Pat Bateman” notes that, like Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross, American Psycho is “a movie that people seem to quote as though it’s a positive without realizing the fucked up world they’re trying to be part of in NYC. I tend to lay out a lot of plastic in my chic living room and then invite that person to my house to listen to my most recent Huey Lewis album…” Reader “Hip to Be Square” concurs, noting that quotes like “You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too New Wave for my taste.” and “I have to return some videotapes” suggest that “the quoter enjoys/identifies with the contempt/brutality/narcissism of the American Psycho.”

Cool Hand Luke

Reader “Amanda” notes, succinctly and correctly, “What we’ve got here is a failure to stop quoting Cool Hand Luke, boss.” Well said.

Old School

The oeuvre of Mr. Will Ferrell is particularly prone to parroting; we included Anchorman, but reader “Brandy” adds, “Old School is another scourge. If I hear some asshole yell ‘YOU’RE MY BOY, BLUE’ I want to kill us both in a murder/suicide. Ditto if they try to sing/scream the lyrics to ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart,’ which is so literally parroting it makes my eyes bleed.”

The Hangover

Reader “Jeff” tells us, “Both Hangover movies need to go away with a quickness… I actually have rules in place at bachelor parties that state the first guy to quote one of those buys the next round.” Monetary penalty for cinematic over-quoting and conversational unimaginativeness… we like it.

It feels like we must have, by now, accumulated all of the over-quoted movies — but if you’ve got more, drop ’em in the comments!