Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Talkback: "Big gulps, huh? Well, see you later!"

Several years ago, I helped out a friend of mine on a short film he was helping to produce.  Early on, I had to sign a release basically clearing the use of my likeness as an extra or in any behind the scenes footage.  As my friend and his fellow producer, Jon, handed me the form to sign, I looked over it and in a mock-puzzled tone asked:

"Why do you need my home address?"  (note: there was no such question on the form.)

My friend rolled his eyes, not understanding why I was being inexplicably difficult.  His companion caught on, though, and without missing a beat said, "We like to send out a mailer."

If you're confused, you probably haven't seen National Lampoon's Vacation, or at least, you haven't seen it as many times as I have.  That's an exchange that happens between Chevy Chase and Bryan Doyle Murray, who plays a motel owner.  I didn't really know Jon at that point, but I knew he was cool.  The trading of obscure quotes was like a secret handshake.

Recently I was at a going away party when some friends arrived with one friend who was... shall we say... WAY in the bag.  His intoxication was a source of amusement and a bit of tension, as no one seemed to be sure of the best way to engage our gregariously inebriated friend.  As you might expect, this lead to some awkward gaps in the conversation.  As it turned out, our drunk friend wasn't so drunk that he couldn't break that awkward silence by saying "Oh, big gulps, huh?  All right! (long pause)  Well, see you later."

We laughed and the tension was broken.  For those of you thinking, "Huh?"  Just check out the clip below.

I've found over the years that all it takes for a stranger to convince me of their coolness is for them to drop in a random quote from a movie I like.  So my question to you is, do you and your friends have a similar kind of short-hand?  Are there movie or TV quotes that have earned a special place among your circle of friends?


  1. I sometimes think my whole family talks in movie quotes. There are quotes my kids use when they haven't even seen the film - or their friends look at them blankly when used.

    But favourites? Has to be "Stupid conversation anyway" which is a misquote, but it got stuck wrong. Or "Eleven". Or "Together" - which is from an old UK advert.

  2. Generally anything from Uncle Monty of Withnail and I is kudos with us. 'I am not a number, I am a free man' (Patrick Mcgoohan of The Prisoner) is a winner.

    But absolute, guaranteed to make me laugh favourite has to be anything of Tony Curtis-doing-Cary Grant from Some Like It Hot. 'They found her strangled with her own brassiere.' Which given we're in our mid-twenties is probably very pretentious, but that's half the enjoyment.

  3. Once one of my good friends and I (a fellow writer whom I've known for about four years) found that we had the same vocabulary of lines from British comedies of the 1990s, we incessantly trade lines with each other now from shows like Bottom or Blackadder. If we do this in a group of people and somebody joins in for the first time - even if they don't get the line right - they get an instant a-ok from us!

  4. I can't tell you how many times a day I find myself looking in a mirror saying "Stop Pooping" a la Rob Lowe in Parks and Recreation.

    As for movies, Drop Dead Gorgeous reigns supreme in my house. Everything from "This, this is Nazi Germany!" to "Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American" and "Do you think a nice cool mint will help if I shove your head up your ass?" are everyday utterances round these parts.

  5. Speaking in movie quotes is a second language with my brothers, college friends, and some other people I'm close to in my life. Unfortunately, one of them isn't my wife, which is a shame. She says she doesn't, "get it."

    Anyway, work is a different matter. I can't just bust out a movie line while pitching a development project to the board to get my point across. However, I do have one line that let's me know who's game, and it works nearly every time, with both clients and fellow employees.

    Client/Manager: Why did you build in such a wide date range for delivery?

    Me: This is very complicated stuff. A lot of ins. A lot of outs. A lot of what-have-you's.

    I'll usually see one or two people's heads pop up, and get the reference, and they typically are game for more movie quotes just in general, not just Lebowski ones.

    I also drop the "Bill it to the Underhills" from time to time, but I'm finding that's more miss than hit now with guys under the 30+ club.

  6. Arrested Development quotes get thrown around a lot with my group of friends. Greeting someone with "Hey, Brother!" (Possible Nephew / Fake Uncle Jack / Hermano) is huge. As is "I've made a huge mistake".
    When discussing plans, somehow a spinoff on the Bed Bath and Beyond line from Old School always gets mentioned.
    Oh, and Archer quotes. "Who am I? Count Bulletsula? Like Dracula. That was bad. Come back to me. I can do better."

  7. Um, no, but sometimes I randomly say things from episodes of Monty Python. Or if someone posts a SPAM post in a forum I'll go to YouTube and get either Weird Al's song SPAM or the SPAM song from Monty Python.

  8. Jesus you nailed my group of friend's code of communication on the head. It mostly includes anything from Dumb and Dumber (We got no food, no jobs... our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!) and subsequent comedies that I file into the genre of "Bromedies". Pretty much anything you see here:
    When Bad Ideas Go Bad: 75 comedies everyone should see

  9. Seinfeld's a big one in my group too. And really obscure lines like "That's quite a feedbag you're working on there."

  10. Quoting lines is so big with me, my friends and family, and friends to be. I remember, when I got my best friend into Psych, the rest of the year(and years later) was filled with dropping lines and references to the point of annoying the rest of our friends. Then I made a new friend with our mutual love for the same show, and sometimes we'll text each other lines that randomly pops up in our heads (and automatically know what it's from). Like a week ago, my friend sent me a single text message consisting of "I've got a theory." To which I immediately responded with, "It could be bunnies," from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer musical episode. And in the same way as you, I have assumed people were cool solely on their ability to catch/throw lines out from shows.

  11. Seinfled, Arrested Development and Simpsons is the general common ground with most of my friends but one of my oldest friends and I always quote Dirty Work and Kung Pow! Enter the Fist. It's weird, I'll admit but it always makes us laugh.

  12. Dumb and Dumber is a great one. That would certainly win me over. Seinfeld is something I quote all of the time. Though not many people catch it and I have to explain it.

    South Park is probably the most used amongst my friends. I often like to respond to the question "What's up?" by saying, "Just sitting around jacking it", which is what Cartman tells Butters' parents when he is impersonating Butters.

  13. Yeah, Seinfeld and Curb are the other two for my lot - one of my best friends and I run through whole Curb skits in response to encountering a similar situation in the real world. 'Don't you say goodbye?'

    That said, I've managed to use 'These aren't the droids you're looking for' at work TWICE in the last month and gotten away with it both times... but then I work in IT. So maybe I'm preaching to the choir.