Friday, November 13, 2009

90s Catch Phrase Mash-Up: Movie Edition

We all know those people whose daily utterings are littered with movie quotes. It's almost as if these folks can't think in any terms outside of the predetermined language of film. While those people may be endlessly irritating, we've all been guilty at one point or another--especially in our younger years--of parroting unforgettable movie lines at whatever we considered to be an opportune time. Behold, some of the most quoted movie catch phrases of the 1990s:

"Show Me the Money"/"You had me at Hello"/"You Complete Me" (Jerry Maguire)

Talk about wide-ranging quotability. Jerry Maguire was the kind of movie men and women could see together and both enjoy. Rather than grumbling at being dragged along for the millionth time to some tearjerker romance or inspiring football story, we could go see both elements squeezed into a single movie. Now that's efficiency.

These lines encompassed both the tear-jerkingly sentimental and big beefy tacklingly manly sides of Jerry Maguire. It was a simpler time, a time before Cuba Gooding Jr. was starring in hot messes about accidental gay cruise vacations and Tom Cruise wasn't accusing Matt Lauer of glibness. Back in 1996, there were no two people we'd rather quote.

"I'm the King of the World!" (Titanic)

To this day, I can't watch Titanic without feeling like I'm cheating a little bit. How dare I let these characters romp freely and happily, leaving steamy handprints on antique car windows and proclaiming their royal rulership over the world when I know what's in store for them? No one went into theaters thinking, "Hey, maybe they'll make it out okay this time," not just from our robust knowledge of nautical history but by the fact that most teen girls cried their eyes out at this one in theaters at least twice.

Jack's proclamation while written no doubt with good intention was just a tad over the top, and I'm not just talking about his physical placement on the boat. The line was actually voted the cheesiest movie moment ever, just edging out Dirty Dancing's "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" Let me just say, if you're coming in ahead of that one, you should probably be concerned.

"You Can't Handle the Truth!" (A Few Good Men)

Many a time have I wished for Jack Nicholson's indescribable coolness. He has a certain je ne sais quoi that allows him to frolick on beaches with his oversized gut exposed, balding head glinting in the sunlight, still inexplicably making you wish you could bottle just a fraction of his suaveness. His performance in A Few Good Men is no exception, as he makes all of us wish we'd all been the first to pound the courtroom table forcefully and accuse our underlings of overstepping their roles. Better yet, Nicholson nailed the scene in one take, meaning he got that right on the first try. Some people have all the luck. And the best sunglasses, too.

"Allllrighty Then" (Ace Ventura)

If you grew up during the 90s anywhere near the general proximity of a movie theater, it's pretty certain you quoted Ace Ventura nonstop from 1994 to 1995. While he's mellowed with age and taken more grown-up roles in recent years, in the 90s Jim Carrey was like catnip to children. We just couldn't get enough. If he talked through his butt, we would talk through our butts. If he christened bald bespectacled men "the Monopoly guy" we'd no doubt follow suit. Or in this case, Hawaiian shirt.

"Hasta Lavista, Baby" (The Terminator)

You may not know, but once upon a time Arnold Schwarzenegger was not just a mild-mannered California gubernatorial force, but a bad to the metal core ass-kicking name-taking robot. If only all of our politicians had gotten their start this way, maybe our senate chambers wouldn't be packed with flabby girlymen. If this line doesn't have you shaking in your robot-combative boots, don't worry. He'll be back.

"There's No Crying in Baseball!" (A League of Their Own)

Coach Jimmy Dugan obviously has a questionable understanding of women when they bring in the former major leaguer as a coach for the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League. For God's sake, his team is called the Peaches. How can he be shocked when they're so thin-skinned?

"Houston, We Have a Problem" (Apollo 13)

In this true-story account of the plague-ridden Apollo 13 space mission, astronaut John Lovell (played again by Tom Hanks) utters this famous line. I'm sorry to be the ones to break this to you, but Lovell didn't actually say, "Houston, we have a problem." He actually said, "I believe we've had a problem here" followed by "Houston, we've had a problem." I know, it's sort of hair-splitting, but screenwriters really really wanted to push this line into the present tense to augment the action. Poor Lovell's going to be misquoted for life.

"Momma Always Said Life is Like a Box of Chocolates. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get" (Forrest Gump)

Were there any movies in the 90s that Tom Hanks wasn't in? Forrest Gump was the story of a simple Alabama man, and Hanks as Gump taught us to suspend our judgment by giving us little gems of wisdom issued by his mother (played by Sally Field." She said some other things, but I always liked this one best. If you can compare anything to chocolate, it will instantly become about two hundred times more relatable for me. Mmm, chocolate.

"Ya, You Betcha" (Fargo)

As a native Minnesotan, I feel the need to take a stand. Yes, Fargo is amusing, but it's also opened the floodgates of Minnesotan-directed mocking, namely at our alleged accents. We don't really talk like that. Uff-da, we're really just a bunch of normal people eating hotdish and complaining about our cars not starting in the winter, dontcha know?

"Whatever!"/"As if!" (Clueless)

Clueless brought us an entirely new teen lexicon based on the vacuous prattle of superficial young girls. Following in the footsteps of other great teen movies, it introduced a set of teen-specific vocabulary that quickly filtered into youth culture. You can even find Clueless slang glossaries online. So here's the 411 on speaking Clueless: all you Bettys and Baldwins need to stop buggin' and haul ass to your loca lvideo store (if any still exist) and check out this movie. It's like way famous. At least put it in your Netflix queue.

"Yeah, Baby!" (Austin Powers)

Mike Myers as Sir Austin Danger Powers poked fun at the dashing action heroes of the 60s and 70s, transporting a (literally) frozen-in-time spy into the 90s. Everyone knows you can't thwart an evil villain bent on world takeover without a fun-loving attitude and some signature catch phrases. For years to come--and through all of the subsequent sequels--moviegoers everywhere spouted off these signature lines at every turn. If I never hear another person ask, "Do I make you horny, baby? Do I?" it'll be too soon.

"Schwing!"/"We're Not Worthy!" (Wayne's World)

Schwing is still an awesome euphemism for a bodily reaction we have yet to name otherwise. When Wayne and Garth saw a hot chick or even discussed one on their show...schwing! If you're still at a loss, you either need to watch the movie or visit Urban Dictionary. Really, though, this is probably something you should have picked up on in the 90s. You're clearly not worthy.

Whether you loved or hated these lines, it's irrefutable that they were everywhere in the 90s. We may as well embrace it. They complete us.


Badass Geek said...

I had a neighbor growing up who uses "Alllrighty then" every five minutes, even if it didn't apply in conversation.

Drove me crazy.

Anonymous said...

I love this! My friends and I said all of these way more than was necessary throughout the 90s. And we maybe still say some of them now... maybe ;)

Lil' Woman said...

I thinki I still use a few of them! :) lol

Autumn Twig said...

LOL Great post :)

Moonjava said...

LOL, hasta la vista! :) My fav...

Marci Darling said...

Dude, Titanic is still my favorite. Every time I watch it, I think they will actually make it this time! THEN SHE FREAKING LETS GO!

KC Kelly said...

I nominated you for a blog award. Check it out at

Jenny.Lee said...

Haha so fun! I'm sure I've used 'severa' of thse a time or two!

Linda said...

I still use lines from Wayne's World!

Sadako said...

My personal fave is "YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH...NO TRUTH HANDLER, YOU!" from the Simpsons. Great movies, then.

Allrighty then drove me crazy, too after a while. I prefer, "Good morning and in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"

Jules said...

I simply love your blog and thank you for visiting mine! Growing up in the 90’s was an awesome thing and I love that your blog is dedicated to that. I look forward to following along.

You’ve just named about every memorable catch phase from that era. People used to love saying “You complete me”. That was a great movie though and definitely from a simpler time. At the time, the Titanic scene with Rose was so romantic. Through the years, it has definitely made it’s way to being cheesy.

I’m guilty of saying “Alllrighty Then” once too many times back in the day. Ace Ventura was so good and I think it still is! I love A League of Their Own and Forrest Gump. Such good flicks with memorable lines.

Don’t even get me started on Clueless and the skirts I tried to purchase from Contempo Casuals to look like Cher. That movie will always be a favorite of mine!

Anonymous said...

My friends and I constantly used to(and sometimes still do!) quote Clueless!

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that a large amount of our slang comes from a round table of fat sweaty men trying to find a new marketable gimmick.

~The daily anonymous

Nic said...

Forrest Gump is one of my favourite films of all time.

I still can't watch Austin Powers without talking like him for up to 2 days afterwards. Yeah, baby!

And I have NO IDEA how many hours I wasted watching Titanic as a teenager.

Shop Girl* said...

I love Tom Hanks. Love.

Melissa Blake said...

omg, i still say "allllrighy then" and "as if" -- great round-up!

Amber said...

I just found your blog and I'm lovin' it. I recently started my own quasi-nostalgia blog so I hope you'll check it out.

As far as Wayne's World quotes go, I was always sort of partial to "asphinctersayswhat."

Beth Dunn said...

Clueless is a classic! Love that movie. xoxo


Andhari said...

HA! I'm using a lot of those, I always got annoyed when someone used "Hasta La Vista, Baby!" but I definitely did Clueless catchphrase. I said "As If" pretty much all the time. I also said "rolling with the homies" hahahaha

Melanie's Randomness said...

I always try to get a least one 90's catch phrase in to my daily speech. hehe. Love the selections here, there some of the best ones!!

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