If you’ve ever listened to any of the Major Spoilers podcasts in which I appear, you’ve probably realized that I love to futz about with language, even ones that I barely speak.  (My Spanish and Yiddish-speaking friends tend to just sigh and nod a lot.  Ask Rodrigo.)  But there’s something special about spectacularly awkward turns of phrase to me, especially during my recent processing of a relatively spectacular lot of Silver Age DC Comics.  Maybe it’s just the fun of hearing things like “A flock of tiny Supermen!” or “These fire-trolls are trying to give us an underwater hotfoot!” in the voice of the Narrator from ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space,’ or maybe it’s the peculiar chemical fumes of aging comics, but you gotta love the gleeful illogic of Superman sternly telling Jimmy, “I’m sorry I adopted you as my son!”  Even in movies, you get the wonder that was Ed Wood’s conversational dialogue, or the wonder of Star Wars’ occasionally tone-deaf talky-talky.  (“But I wanted to go into Toshi Station and pick up some power converrrrterrrrrrs!”)  As someone who often speaks in one-liner out-of-context references, I have but one thing to tell you: Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) realizes that we are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives, asking: What’s your favorite bit of goofy or bad dialogue?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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16 Comments

  1. Frank
    February 15, 2013 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Most of the dialog of the movie “Buckaroo Banzai”.
    — Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
    — Damn John Whorfin and the horse he rode in on.
    — There! Evil PURE AND SIMPLE by way of the Eighth Dimension!
    — Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy.

  2. February 15, 2013 at 11:55 am — Reply

    ‘She’s no fun, she fell right over!’ and ‘I could never get my socks off.’ are really great Firesign Theatre quotes that I randomly dispatch to get that ‘Dog that heard a high pitched noise’ look from my co-workers. Firesign is of course littered with great, weird one-liners and surreal dialogue.

    My go-to phrase these days is from The Pirates: Band of Misfits. It is a running gag from the movie, always heard as the tail end of a conversation with no set up. It is pure non sequitur brilliance

    “…that’s why I reckon, in a straight fight, a shark could probably beat a Dracula.’

    It is the perfect thing to say as someone is just walking into the room, then resume whatever your were doing or talking about.

    • February 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm — Reply

      Something like that in real life. In the Air Force, two of us were discussing Marvel comics. The other guy mentioned the SHIELD helicarrier, and the sergeant passed by in time to hear me say,, “No, don’t you remember? Hercules knocked the helicarrier out of the sky when he threw the Golden Gate bridge at Godzilla, and missed.”

  3. February 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm — Reply

    I always thought the way Legolas says, “They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard!” in the Two Towers was super awkward. His accent breaks.

  4. Chris
    February 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    Most of the dialogue Jack Kirby wrote for the Forever People. I can’t remember any specific quotes, but just that the phrases used to represent the way “youths” talked was quite funny.

  5. HipHopHead
    February 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    Hollywood Shuffle has so many; “I ain’t be gots no weapon, why ya wanna pull a knife on me…hhheeee…hhheeee” “Shonny (Johnny) they shot Shimmy (Jimmy)!!” To name two

  6. B.V.K.
    February 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm — Reply

    Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

  7. AllenBT
    February 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm — Reply

    You’re gonna need a bigger boat….

  8. February 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm — Reply

    – Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey
    – The entirety of “Half-Life: Full Life Consequences”
    – The entirety of “Star Wars: Backstroke of the West” (a badly translated English to Chinese to English version of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”)
    – Giant-Size Man-Thing

    • February 17, 2013 at 4:45 am — Reply

      Half-Life: Full Life Consequences is the best fanfiction ever. The movie is even better.

      • February 17, 2013 at 7:57 am — Reply

        The first time I saw it (I’m not sure if it was the movie or just one of the random readings with visuals), I laughed so hard that I had trouble breathing. I do laugh quite often, and it isn’t hard to make me laugh, but it is very rare that anything makes me laugh quite that hard.

        If anyone is going to check it out for the first time, I’d like to suggest to not eat or drink as you do so. Choking isn’t fun.

  9. Shawn
    February 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    From The Crow:

    “You hit my car you ass hair!”
    And
    “What the crap?!”

  10. February 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm — Reply

    I’ve come here to chew bubble-gum and kick-ass… and I’m all out of bubble-gum.

  11. Hannah
    February 16, 2013 at 9:50 am — Reply

    “Allways bring a banana to a party, Rose. Bananas are good,” – The Tenth Doctor.

    “Dammit Jim! I’m Doctor not a magician!” – Bones McCoy

    “He’s not the messiah, He’s a very naughty boy!” Brian’s Mum

    All of the famous lighter fluid scene from Withnail and I

  12. Slappy
    February 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm — Reply

    I enjoy cursing in Arabic. Lebanese derivation.

  13. February 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm — Reply

    All your base are belong to us.

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