Friday, October 21, 2011

Great Lines

The opening sentence from The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls:

"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."

*  *  *

Sophia (left) and Rose (right)
From the Golden Girls, a wonderful TV sitcom about four women of "a certain age"—mismatched roommates to be sure, but it was all about friendship.

Rose, the quartet's worrier and resident dingbat, says to Sophia after the house had been broken into by thieves, "I can't sleep, knowing that strangers can break in here anytime. Do you ever worry about being raped?"

Sophia, with one of her trademark outrageous answers, "Are you kidding? When I was a girl growing up in Sicily, you couldn't cross the street without getting knocked up."

*  *  *

Eddie the dog, Niles, and brother Frasier
From the TV sitcom Frasier, Martin, a retired cop and the father of two uppity psychiatrists, is worried about his Jack Russell terrier Eddie. "He seems depressed," Martin says, and decides to call in a dog psychiatrist, much to the amusement of Frasier and Niles.

The doggy doctor explains that, since Eddie can't talk, Martin will have to answer the questions to the best of his ability. He asks a couple of benign qestions, while the "real" shrinks snort and guffaw like the little boys they are.

The doctor asks a third question: "If you were Eddie, what would be your favorite fragrance?"

Frasier pipes up, "That's easy—toilet water."

And Miles adds, "Yes, and put that down as his favorite beverage, too."

*   *   *

Out of 8 billion movies, only one comes quickly to mind. In an otherwise boring movie (my opinion), Steve Martin, sitting wistfully on a bench, says, "If I had a body like hers, I'd stay home and play with me all day."

Amen, brother.

*  *  *

This is an audience participation post where anyone with an ounce of humor can, uh, participate. I have no doubt that some (if not all) of you can come up with some real screamers. Lettuce have some fun!


Macy said...

In his hey day Woody Allan came up with some great one liners. Unforgettable, because they ring true. My favourites are from Love and Death.

The Russian army looks around the carnage of a battlefield...
Soldier - God is testing us
Woody - Yeah? Why couldn't he have given us a written?

Cousin Sonia - Don't you think we're living in the most beautiful of all possible worlds?
Woody - Well it's certainly the most expensive.

Napoleon, laying his head on Cousin Sonia's shoulder. You are a most beautiful woman. I could lay my head on your shoulder forever.
Sonia - Yeah! Sounds fun except for the grease mark!
Napoloeon - Shall we to ze bed?
Sonia Shall we what to the bed?

And of course from Love and Death we all learned that death is worse than the chicken at Tresky's

Fay said...

The way only an alcoholic would hide empty bottles, only a lonely woman feels obligated to explain to the clerk that these AAA batteries are really for a tiny flashlight.

hope said...

I keep thinking of silly lines, probably because I just finished a magazine article revisiting past t.v. shows/movies. Mandy Patinkin advised he could retire if paid every time someone muttered back to him, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." from the "Princess Bride".

In "When Harry Met Sally": the famous deli scene with the droll response from the older woman sitting at the next table, "I'll have what she's having". It was even funnier knowing the woman was the Director's mother.

Give me time, I'll get better at this. :)

unknownmami said...

"I hate you and I hate your ass face!" -Waiting for Guffman

Charlie Callahan said...

Hi, UM! Ass face. That's a good one. Neither you nor I are Guffman, but I bet we know a whole buncha ass faces—and we probably know some of the same ones

Alice said...

My favorite all time line from a from the stoner John Bender in The Breakfast Club after the Principal gives the rules of the detention.

Principal: Any questions?
Bender: Yes, does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?

Stinkypaw said...

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, best line: "Your life is an occasion. Rise to it. "

Mind of a Madman said...

Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? Yeah, it is a bit nipply out. I mean nippy. What am I saying, nipple?

Christmas vacation is always one of my absolute favorites!!!

Charlie Callahan said...

From Christmas Vacation:

Clark asks cousin Eddie how he's getting along with the steel plate in his head.

Eddie: "Not bad, except when someone turns on the radio I piss my pants."

Charlie Callahan said...

That's a great line—it kind of reminds me of Bluto (Belushi) in Animal House, standing before the Dean with a pencil thrust up each nostril.

Anything to piss off the bureaucracy, I say.

Charlie Callahan said...

Another Woody Allen fan! I think people focus more on his private life than his brilliance as a writer/filmmaker. It would probably take forever (less a couple of days) to quote his hundreds of hilarious lines. Thanks for bringing him up.

Charlie Callahan said...

It took me a while to figger out this line, and it stands on its own, but do you have a source for it?

Charlie Callahan said...

Two great lines, Hope. "Droll response" is a perfect description for the deli scene, but I had no idea the woman was the director's mom. Great fun right there, most likely.

Charlie Callahan said...

A wise line and therefore a great line.

Funny thing, though. I've never heard of the movie, although it was released in 2007 and grossed $69 million world-wide.

barbara said...

I'll have to do something thinking about my great line contribution, but I can tell you right now that I would definitely read that first book!

Pfaycampbell said...

It's from a little ditty I'm working on now. Dang, I wish I had a working title. And it's fiction , you understand. Totally fiction. Made up. You know, as in, this couldn't possibly be anything I'd have any experience with. Yep. Fiction. Triple A batteries are used for lots of things. Fiction.. . . . STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.

Charlie Callahan said...

Fiction, yes, of course, I understand. No, I really do. Understand that it's fiction. It's a good thing, though, fictionally speaking, that it uses AAAs and not Ds. Heavy, man.

How about "I get a buzz out of you"?

Charlie Callahan said...

Uh, DON'T read that book—the first sentence was the only good sentence and I DNF it.

And thanks, Barbara, for playing "That's a Great Line!"

M Witzl said...

One thing I've noticed about these great one-liners is how well they're written. When you hear them performed, the delivery is all you think about (or at least all I ever thought about). But the dellivery is really secondary to how cleverly they've been crafted.

Guaranteed I'll think of a couple thousand as soon as I click off this post...

Charlie Callahan said...

You're right, Mary—there have been (and are) some very gifted comedy writers IF you pay attention to their writing.