It’s hard to believe that Elf came out almost 20 years ago. The Will Ferrell holiday movie about a human raised by elves in the North Pole who travels to New York City to meet his biological father (RIP James Caan) is a classic. It has everything — a fun soundtrack, a star-studded cast, countless moments where you truly suspend your disbelief as you along for the ride with Buddy the Elf. Ferrell’s performance never fails to make me laugh even harder than the last time I’ve seen it, and not a line is wasted throughout the movie.
The screenplay is packed with memorable quotes, which one may argue have become part of our lexicon. Who hasn’t said they were a cotton-headed Ninnymuggins in a moment of self-defeat? Or will jokingly list the main elf food groups candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup as their own food pyramid? I am guilty of leaning in to whisper “I like to whisper, too,” whenever the opportunity presents itself. I mean, why not treat every day like Christmas?
Below are 15 of the best quotes from Elf for your Instagram captions, paired with some unsolicited advice on the best kind of posts to use them with.
“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”
Perfect for: showing off your delicious dessert spread (and spaghetti sundae).
“I like to whisper, too.”
Perfect for: a dreamy picture of a silent night.
“You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.”
Perfect for: your pictures with your local mall Santa Claus — or your Christmas charcuterie.
“This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop. Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”
Perfect for: a snapshot from your hometown’s dive bar.
“Treat every day like Christmas.”
Perfect for: a big family group photo, the one where you pretend to like each other.
“Then I traveled through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, past the sea of swirly and twirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.”
Perfect for: images recounting your travel plans riddled with delays, weather-related or otherwise.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
Perfect for: snapshots from Christmas caroling (or hitting up the local karaoke bar to belt out some Mariah Carey).
“Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”
Perfect for: a selfie in your new cozy sweater, which, is in your favorite color.
“You did it! Congratulations! ‘World’s Best Cup of Coffee.’ Great job, everybody. It's great to meet you.”
Perfect for: a picture of your Christmas morning coffee.
“I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.”
Perfect for: a cozy selfie with your loved ones.
“I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins!”
Perfect for: a moment of defeat after your snowman falls apart.
“Son of a nutcracker!”
Perfect for: when you don’t want any foul language to be seen on your Instagram from your relatives.
“But, I really want to see you and — and I think you’re beautiful and I, um … I feel really warm when I am around you, and um, my tongue swells up. So … do you wanna go eat food?”
Perfect for: flirting with your hometown singles.
“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”
Perfect for: your winter weather pictures of snowmen and hot chocolate.
“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”
Perfect for: any happy memory.