12 Classic Movie Quotes That Don't Mean What You Think They Mean
There are certain movie lines that have inevitably entered the modern lexicon whether you're a cinemaphile or just someone looking for a pop culture reference to ease the tension of everyday conversation. I mean, let's be real, you were screaming "I'm king of the world!" from the head of the Carnival Cruise line long before you were able to see a movie with real life boobs in it. But the weird thing about famous movie quotes is that we sometimes forget (or don't even know) the original context that they came from, and then it gets... weird.
Confused? I scoured AFI's 100 Years of...100 Movie Quotes list for some potently quotable lines, and dug deep to see where they actually fit within the plot of a movie. As it would turn out, some movie quotes have kind of a muddled backstory that should maybe make you think twice about using it in casual conversation. And other quotes should probably be retired solely on the basis that you are not Marlon Brando, you will never be Marlon Brando, and your Marlon Brando impression is awful.
Anyway, scroll down to get a refresher on the history of each line and then plz quote responsibly.
1. "You Had Me At 'Hello.'" from Jerry Maguire
Naturally you can substitute "hello" with whatever is actually appropriate in these modern times ("You had me at 'u up?'") Now, I understand the idea of being charmed by a pre-crazy Tom Cruise circa Jerry Maguire, I really and truly do. More than that, I can cop that the speech that prompts this teary-eyed response is a hell of a speech. But if you pay attention to Jerry's relationship with Renee Zellweger's character in this he's not like, an amazing husband. For the most part, he seems to marry Zellweger's character out of convenience. So I don't know, guys, maybe your estranged husband shouldn't have you at "hello." Maybe he should have you a few sentences deeper than that.
2. "Mama Always Said Life Was Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get." from Forrest Gump
Mama Gump does say this on her deathbed, and the sentiment is attributed to the unpredictability of life. Fair. Whatever. Maybe context isn't the problem here.
The problem instead is that you can totally know what you're going to get with a box of chocolates. Most chocolates come with an insert or a back-of-the-box guide that'll let you know if you're about to bite into that gross coconut piece. So really this quote is more about being blatantly ignorant and choosing to be unprepared about the pitfalls you may encounter, which is kind of unwise in theory. But what do I know? Forrest followed this credo and he got to be a ping pong champion.
3. "Hasta La Vista, Baby." from Terminator 2
It's been like over two decades since Terminator 2 and I'm still not sure if this line is supposed to be played to make the Terminator look hilarious or cool (or both?). The parting line is pre-empted by Baby Edward Furlong telling the Terminator that he can't say "affirmative" and has to inject some cool ass one-liners into his arsenal, so that and the robotic delivery makes me think it's meant for lolz. So I hope you're not spouting this one for street cred in 2016. If you are, I think it's also fair to say it's time you retire your Bart Simpson "Don't have a cow, man" tee.
4. "Here's Looking At You, Kid." from Casablanca
I'm not saying this doesn't work as a Newark airport send off to your S.O., I just want to remind everyone that "here's looking at you" or "here's looking at..." is a vintage way to toast someone, at least within the context of this film. Personally, I was not making a lot of toasts in the 1940s and neither were you. But I do kind of feel like we should bring this one back to the bar and pretend we're all as cool as Humphrey Bogart.
5. "I'm Going To Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse." from The Godfather
In the movie, that offer is a severed horse head, and in real life, you're talking about buying your friend Taco Bell if he picks you up from the train station. It's just not the same thing.
6. "Say 'Hello' To My Little Friend." from Scarface
This line is iconically followed by a shoot out with a machine gun, so I expect the worst when I hear it. This is not a fun party line, people. Actually, I guess the most traumatic usage of this line would be if (and I'm sure this has happened) somebody uses it in bed. If this ever happens to you, dump him and his garbled Al Pacino accent immediately.
7. "I'm As Mad As Hell, And I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!" from Network
This is a potent line of rebellion before you remember that Howard Beale shows up to work white girl wasted, threatening to kill himself, all of which is totes professional. And then he gets killed on national television without any recommendation letter. So you know, I understand that your internship on the Rachael Ray show is stressing you out, but let's be real, you're not going to quit.
8. "Here's Johnny!" from The Shining
I'm not saying you can't use this (my friend and her boyfriend did a Jack Nicholson-Shelley Duvall couples costume this Halloween and it was classic). Just saying... like, do kids these days even recognize this as a reference to Johnny Carson or do they take it as its own independent thing?
9. "Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner." from Dirty Dancing
When I first heard this line pre-Dirty Dancing I thought it was referencing an actual baby and I was... confused, to say the least. Obviously it's supposed to be more about Jennifer Grey's character and how she's hiding herself away from the world, but also... she's is in a literal corner during this scene, so maybe there's less subtext in this line than I'm giving it credit for, you know?
10. "All Right, Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close-Up." from Sunset Boulevard
Honestly, haven't heard this one referenced in a while, the last time I heard anyone paraphrasing Sunset Boulevard it was Angelica Pickles (so vintage upon vintage). Either way, if you ever hear "I'm ready for my close-up" used dramatically by any of your selfie-intensive friends, please note that this was spouted out before Norma Desmond was likely arrested for murder, and, she was probably not going to have much of a movie career after that.
11. "A Boy's Best Friend Is His Mother." from Psycho
Hon, I know you want a boyfriend that treats a lady right, but if a guy tells you this about himself head straight for the hills because he may or may not be a crossdressing murderer. Better safe than sorry.
12. "They're Here!" from Poltergeist
Referencing: the demonic souls underneath a desecrated Indian burial ground that want to abduct your child for purposes of revenge, NOT your BF's totally vanilla couple friends who are coming over to play Cards of Humanity. Although, ugh, you're prefer the former to Billy and Amber.
Images: Giphy (12)