We all have our favourite films, and we all like to impress others by quoting lines from them. But have you ever stopped to double check that you’re getting the quote right? It’s amazing how many times we can believe that we’re quoting the right line, yet we have a word out of place, or even have it completely wrong!
There are even times that Hollywood itself can get it wrong, when a movie coins a famous line from another film but gets it wrong. Every so often a film comes along that even points out this fact – watch Scream 2 as an example!
We are going to take a look back at some classic example of this, by looking at what the most common way of misquoting is, compared to the original quote as it was meant to be.
Below are 20 examples of quotes from classic films that people often get wrong. How many of them have you been saying incorrectly?
The classic film which has gone down in history as one of the all-time greats, this film never gets old.
Classic actors in a classic story and one that can be watched time and again without ever getting old.
The misquote: “Play it again, Sam”
The actual quote: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’”
Have you just realised that you’ve quoted this wrong a hundred times in the past?!
2. Dirty Harry
This is Clint Eastwood in one of his most famous roles, and one that has been sent-up in many films since…The Mask, anyone?
Harry was a tough as nails Cop who wasn’t afraid to bend the rules to get the result needed! He certainly knew how to leave a lasting impression on the bad guys, just look at him!
The misquote: “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
The actual quote: “Being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”
We’ve all misquoted this one, but the actual quote is far too long to use in every day conversations and wouldn’t make much sense if you did!
3. The Silence Of The Lambs
One of the most famous horror films of all time, and one in which the villain won an Oscar, a rarity in itself! Anthony Hopkins was absolutely perfect as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter and played the role opposite the equally fantastic Jodie Foster as Clarice.
The misquote: “Hello, Clarice”
The actual quote: “Good evening, Clarice”
Not a big difference between the actual quote and the way it’s usually misquoted. However, it’s important to get these things correct if we’re going to try and look cool quoting them!
4. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
The first major feature-length animated film from Disney, and still an absolute classic. The fabled story of the beautiful princess who makes her step mum insanely jealous with her beauty, so the step mum tries to kill her with a poison apple, but true love conquers all as always!
The misquote: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
The actual quote: “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
Another one that is only slightly misquoted, but Magic Mirror and Mirror Mirror are quite a different start to the quote and if you can’t get the first word right, then why bother?
The first proper summer blockbuster and one of the absolute greats. This contains one of the greatest monologues in movie history and it was totally ad-libbed! That’s not the quote we’re looking at today, though.
The misquote: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
The actual quote: “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”
This is actually quite a big difference, if he’s saying “You’re” going to need a bigger boat, that suggests he’s not planning on being involved!! This wasn’t the case, of course, but that is how it could be taken.
6. The Graduate
Not just a classic film, but it also helped Simon and Garfunkel get one of their biggest and most popular hits of their career. The classic tale of what would now be considered a “cougar” seducing a “cub” has gone down as one of the most famous of its kind!
The misquote: “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”
The actual quote: “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”
This one certainly makes the character seem very slightly more assertive, as he is making more of a statement than just asking a general question. Have you misquoted this one?
7. Apollo 13
The true story of the ill-fated mission to The Moon that ended up as a rescue missions instead, this was made in to a big-budget movie with a stellar cast, but one of its most famous lines has always been misquoted since…
The misquote: “Houston, we have a problem.”
The actual quote: “Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem.”
8. Star Trek
Star Trek is one of the most popular and most famous Sci-Fi shows of all time and still has millions of fans quoting it on a regular basis. This is a very famous one for being wrong, and the most common way it was said in the program was actually, “Scotty, beam me up”, but it was said many different ways over the years, just not the way that people think…
The misquote: “Beam me up, Scotty.”
The actual quote: “Beam us up, Scotty.”
Let’s be honest, you’ve definitely got this one wrong, haven’t you?
9. Planet Of The Apes
This film has been sent-up many times, and is still getting remakes and sequels to this day. An absolute classic with one of the most famous endings in movie history!
The misquote: “Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”
The actual quote: “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”
A very minor difference here and one that doesn’t make a lot of difference to the way the line is taken in any context, but it’s still wrong!
10. Apocalypse Now
One of the darkest and most disturbing war films of all time, the story shows the war from several sides, all of them very difficult to watch and hard to find that you relate to, yet on some level we all do which makes it even more disturbing!
The misquote: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory!”
The actual quote: “You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12 hours.
When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells like victory.”
Another one that is probably misquoted for a reason, the actual quote is far too long to casually drop in to conversation!
11. Cool Hand Luke
This film has many classic scenes and many classic lines – who can forget the boiled eggs? It’s hard to watch that scene without feeling just a little bit sick!
The misquote: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
The actual quote: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
A line that is instantly recognisable and is even quoted in Independence Day by Will Smith’s character. Do you get this one wrong when you quote it?
12. Forrest Gump
A film that is quote divisive, as some see it as an absolute classic, while others see it as an over-long story that just tries to get as many famous American stories in to one film as possible, but Tom Hanks was certainly on top form as the titular character!
The misquote: “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.’”
The actual quote: “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.”
Again a very minor difference, is this something that you find yourself misquoting when you use it?
13. Wall Street
Gordon Gecko is one of those characters that has become as famous as the film he’s in and he was played perfectly by Michael Douglas. Gordon showed the World that being greedy could be good at times and lead to power and money.
The misquote: “Greed is good”
The actual quote: “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.”
We kind of understand this one, “Greed is good” is a lot easier to say and works a lot better in general conversation!
14. Field Of Dreams
One of Kevin Costner’s finest performances, this is still cited as a great film of its era, and who could forget the way this is sent-up in Wayne’s World 2? This film has really stood the test of time and remains a great film to watch even now.
The misquote: “If you build it, they will come”
The actual quote: “If you build it, he will come”
This one definitely has a different meaning depending how you say it, as it’s either singular or plural, which way do you usually say it?
15. The Empire Strikes Back
Widely regarded as the best film in the Star Wars saga, and the film that gave the World one of the single biggest plot twists in movie history, that turned everything on its head and made us desperate to see the next instalment in the saga!
The misquote: “Luke, I am your father”
The actual quote: “No, I am your father”
You just have to remember the context of the scene to know the correct way of saying this quote, but we still get it wrong on a regular basis!
16. The Wizard of Oz
One of the most classic musical films of all time, The Wizard of Oz introduced the World to the classic Lion, Tin man and Scarecrow characters and the Wicked Witch of the West!
The Misquote: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto”
The actual quote: “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”
Is this yet another quote that you get wrong more often than you get right? Such a simple difference, but it’s still got wrong most of the time!
The horror movie that helped to create the genre, one of the classic Universal horror movies. The story of Frankenstein is one that has gripped people throughout the generations, and the monster was actually sympathetic making people care about what happened.
The Misquote: “He’s alive!”
The Actual Quote: “It’s alive!”
I think this is one that must divide people as I’ve heard as many people get this right as get it wrong!
18. Gone With The Wind
One of the most famous movies of all time, and widely considered one of the greatest epic movies ever made! A wonderful story with some characters that we grow to love then find hard to relate to and we grow and change all the while that they do.
The Misquote: “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn!”
The Actual Quote: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
A line that was fantastically delivered by an actor on the top of his form, but do you get it right or wrong when you quote it?
A very famous character that has been made in to films many times, and has been played by several actors over the years. Tarzan the ape man was raised by apes so didn’t have a lot of the humanity about him that others take for granted, but he was a great character that generations of audiences have loved.
The Misquote: “Me Tarzan, you Jane”
The Actual Quote: “Tarzan. Tarzan”
It was actually Jane who then said “I’m Jane”, but the line has been misquoted ever since!
The classic James Cameron movie, and one of the greatest action sci-fi movies of all time saw Sigourney Weaver on tip top form as Ripley. This is regarded by many as the best in the Alien saga, but for me it is joint top with the original, they’re just very different films!
The Misquote: “Stay away from her, you bitch!”
The Actual Quote: “Get away from her, you bitch!”
This is one of the most misquoted lines of all time, and is misquoted more than it’s quoted right, do you make sure to get it right?
Be honest now, how many of these classic film moments were you quoting wrong? Please do let us know with a comment, and be sure to spread some lovely, nostalgic movie memories to your friends and family by sharing this post with them!