Whatever Happened To Movie Catchphrases?

Remember when we used to quote the movies?  Like when Ronald Reagan referenced Dirty Harry .  Now, that’s some free publicity that any film studio would love to have.

We still use a few of them today like, “You can’t handle the truth,” and “Make them an offer they can’t refuse.”
Some movies were catchphrase machines.  Just re-watch “Casablanca” sometime and count how many quotes have passed into common usage.

Now think of what has been shown in the theaters in recent years and answer these two questions.

1.) What is the most recent movie you can think of that you have used a catchphrase from?  Don’t include sequels or remakes that just warm over old quotes, focus on new movies.

2.) What is the most recent movie that you’ve seen other people use a catchphrase from?

I use plenty from the late 60s and 70s, but my reference point seems to stops somewhere around “Forest Gump” and “Die Hard” and I rarely use those quotes today.  As for the second question, the only example I could come up with is Here .   That movie is over 10 years old.

So what happened to the movies that we aren’t remembering their catchphrases anymore?

I think the stuff coming out now isn’t saying anything memorable or relevant. They’re too busy being violent or naughty or (politically) boring.

If nobody is repeating what’s being said in today’s films can we say that they are as culturally relevant as they once were?

75 Comments on Whatever Happened To Movie Catchphrases?

  1. Sorry, got carried away. Arnold wrecked the catch phrase. How many times can you say “I’ll be back” in movies. Or “Stick around” after you impale someone onto a wall.

  2. One I’ve never used but like…
    Gregory Hines in Running Scared:

    Regarding a body on the pavement that fell from a tall building.
    Cop: “turns out the guy was already dead from drowning”
    Hines: “poor bastard couldn’t swim or fly”

  3. “I’m your Huckleberry.” Doc Holiday/Val Kilmer
    Tombstone was in theatres-1993.

    I don’t know if it’s my age or what but most movies now seem loud and frantic-even the ones I want to see! I leave the theatre usually unimpressed but glad I grabbed an Icee.

  4. I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this any more!

    Howard Beale (Peter Finch), Network, 1976
    Sidney Lumet, Paddy Chayefsky

    I doubt I’ll ever hear a movie line that will bump this one from my all-time favorite spot.

  5. 2 favorites

    We all go a little mad sometimes.

    Why she’s so harmless she wouldn’t even hurt a fly.

    Both from ‘Psycho’

    Other than Dinesh D’Souza’s films I haven’t been in a movie theater since 1988.
    Staying home and watching Alfred Hitchcock is much better.

  6. Offspring #1 quips lines from Forrest Gump all the time and she saw the film about 10 years ago. This one cracks her up: “Coons? Well raccoons tried to get in our back porch, Momma just chase ’em off with a broom!”

    And she says this one from Miss Congeniality: (a pageant competitor in response to being asked what is her idea of a perfect date): “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”

  7. …I don’t think either of the above lines made it into the vernacular. They’re just funny, memorable lines.

    One of my all-time favorites comes from Myrna Loy’s Nora Charles in The Thin Man: “What is that man doing in my drawers?”

  8. “220; 221. Whatever works”

    That was from “Mr. Mom”
    I had never seen the movie but Mrs. jpm used it at her brothers house the other day. He got it. The young electrician on his job was too young to know the reference though.

    My phone has an app which just recites quotes from the Princess Bride. That movie is a treasure trove of quotes

  9. “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

    The Dark Knight”

    That’s a good example, its only 9 years old. There’s also “Why so serious?” that’s been quoted more widely – Dr. Tar

  10. Haven’t seen a current movie, they aren’t worth seeing.

    “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t these things to other people and I require the same from them.”
    “What I do on your grave won’t pass for flowers.” (refer to the Paint Your Wagon note)
    ~The Shootist

    “UN-MOUNT!”~Paint Your Wagon (A favorite of my late ILODD partner/friend.)

    “I consider myself a good judge of the men I trust.” ~Rio Grande

    And when someone asks me, “how ‘ya do’n,” it’s a Monte Walsh (Tom Selleck version) response, “Better since I gave up hope.” That always catches people off guard.

  11. @Emily — hahahaa! I forgot that one. Geoff C. and I say that to each other all the time (whenever something in a conversation turns to a decision involving numbers).

  12. TL:DR but…

    There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.

  13. Brad, “What’s your name?” “Rudy.” “Rudy, you can’t have no idea how little I care.”

    Or on the horse, “when we get through, you’re gonna want to take a nap, sit on the porch, and wait for the mares to come call’n.” “Helluva ride son, helluva ride.”

    To Shorty: “I rode down the bay.”

    “Smart dog.”

    Nope, haven’t watched it less than 500+ times or so. 🙂

  14. Altering ‘Blazing Saddles’
    Where da’ white men at?
    I like to use that line during any given NBA game.

    Mongo only pawn in game of life.

    The Sheriff is a’ near.

    ‘We’ve Got to Protect Our Phony Baloney Jobs!’ Used a lot this past election cycle.

    So many great lines from Hedley Lamarr.

  15. BFH:
    So what happened to the movies that we aren’t remembering their catchphrases anymore?

    Political correctness. No more Mel Brooks humor allowed or aloud. Too many Hollyweird humorless blobs all taking themselves seriously.

  16. BigGun, If you ever get s chance try and watch the Longmire serious. Unfortunately Netflix has it now. I have a couple seasons on DVD will send you. Awesome stuff

  17. “Badges?! We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!!”

    Eugenia’s right. PC killed the memorable line. Unless it a Cohen bros film, where you’re supposed to hate the white guys.

  18. “Of Course”

    Bane, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)

    I see that quote and I can only hear Steven Crowder doing his Young Turk’s Cenk Uygur impersonation, while drinking bacon grease from a baby bottle.- Dr. Tar

  19. – “You know how I know that you’re gay?”
    – “How?”
    – “You have a rainbow bumper sticker on your car that says: ‘I love it when balls are in my face.’
    – “That’s gay?”
    The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

  20. @BadBrad I love Longmire! I’m so disappointed that Netflix cancelled it and Season 6 will be it. They cancel Walt- but give the green light to that stupid “Dear White People” series. Makes no sense.

  21. “She’s just now closing up the library!” Clarence reluctantly tells George in It’s a Wonderful Life.

    “We just want the money!” Morgan Freeman in Hard Rain

    “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” Dustin Hoffman

    “Soylent Green is people!” Charlton Heston

    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” Cool Hand Luke

    “Blondie, don’t die. Don’t die! Please don’t die. I’m your friend.” Tuco in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    “You mess with me, you mess with my whole family.” Danny Devito in Twins

    “Some day this war’s going to end.” Apocalypse Now

    “And that’s the way it is.” Walter Cronkite

    “Dimi. Why you do this to me?” The Exorcist

  22. One of my sons favorite quotes comes from “Tropic Thunder”, although he modified it to “Never go full *Potato*” to get around the P.C. cops at work. Mine will always be,”You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.”

    That movie’s only 9 years old. Good find, I see that used as a basis for memes all the time. – Dr. Tar

  23. The most quotable work in the last 20 years is SEINFELD, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”. Disagree? Then, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”

    Remember The Titans: “You’re killing me, Petey!”

  24. “There’s two kinds of people in this world when you boil it all down. You got your talkers and you got your doers. Most people are just talkers, all they do is talk. But when it is all said and done, it’s the doers that change this world. And when they do that, they change us, and that’s why we never forget them. So which one are you? Do you just talk about it, or do you stand up and do something about it? Because believe you me, all the rest of it is just coffee house bullshit.”
    ― David Della Rocco The Boondock Saints.

  25. “we came for the fish” – Red Suits at the sushi place, in Bunraku, the greatest movie you never heard of….josh hartnett, ron perlman, woody harrelson, all in the most original movie made in ages and ages…..toadly great…also, jordi molla says “maybe get me a numbah?!?”

  26. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a fine source for some good lines. I use this one in particular:

    Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

    And then these:

    I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.

    Prof. Barnhardt: One thing Mr. Klaatu, Suppose this group should reject your proposals. What is the alternative?
    Klaatu: I’m afraid there is no alternative. In such a case, the planet Earth would have to be… eliminated.
    Barnhardt: Such power exists?

    G. Barley: Why doesn’t the government do something, that’s what I’d like to know.
    Mr. Krull: What can they do, they’re only people just like us.
    G. Barley: People my foot, they’re Democrats.

  27. “Sergeant, pour me some Scripture” – Fort Apache

    “I’m looking at a tin star with a drunk pinned to it” – El Dorado

    “Who was that masked man?” “He’s gone! and I wanted to thank him”

    And, of course “I love it when a plan comes together”

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