I don’t know why, but my brain is wired for movie quotes. If there is a movie quote to fit a situation I’ll probably find it. For example, our new Chief Risk Officer has hired consultants specializing in IT project implementation to come in and assist with a major system roll-out this fall. I’m on that project, and yesterday my boss’ boss came by with the consultants to introduce them around. The first thing that came to mind was a line from “Return of the Jedi”:
You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I’m here to put you back on schedule.
I’m not sure how our consultant would take being compared to Darth Vader, so I kept it to myself. But that’s how my mind works. One of my proudest accomplishments has been the slow corruption of my wife to do the same.
The use of film quotes, however, is a tricky art. It only works if people know the quotes you apply. Not everything is as universal as you might think. But you usually can’t go too far wrong with a “Princess Bride” quote, so long as it’s in a group setting. There’s a good chance at least a few people in any group will know the movie. Star Wars is far safer than one might think, though you have to stick to the classic lines. My line above, for example, would probably only be recognizable to those toward the more geeky end of the spectrum.
A good movie quote, especially when you offer up an obscure one, can build instant rapport with those who recognize it. You become part of an elite group–those who have seen a movie and liked it enough to have lines stick in your head. Or, for that matter, you don’t even have to have seen the movie, so long as you know the line and can apply it effectively. I’ve never seen “Better Off Dead”, but I’m quite familiar with the line, “I want my two dollars!” You learn such things from hanging around with other movie-quoters.
Then, of course, there are the “party games”. Or perhaps they should more appropriately be called “It’s late, we’re tired, and anything is funny at the moment” games. A source of endless entertainment for some friends and me is the “Pants” meme. Take a movie quote, strike me down with all of your anger, and– no, wait. Take a movie quote and replace a key word with the word “pants.” For example, our quote above again:
You may dispense with the pants, Commander. I’m here to put you back on schedule.
Trust me, after midnight on a Friday after a long week this will keep you entertained for…a long time. Star Wars, for example, is full of possibilities:
I find your lack of pants disturbing…
Judge me by my pants do you? And well you should not!
I don’t know where you get your pants, laser-brain.
Slimy?! Mudhole?! My pants this is!
Luke: I see…a city in the clouds. Yoda: Hmmm…pants you have there.
Darth: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your pants. Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed [them]. Darth: No. I am your pants!
You get the idea. It works with any movie, really. Like Lord of the Rings:
By nightfall these pants will be crawling with orcs!
Pants, you fools!
I don’t think he knows about pants, Pip.
If you think this is totally daft–good for you! Stay away! Stay far away! If this is already starting to corrupt your brain and setting you to work thinking of quotes to twist, then feel free to leave some in the comments!