Nasa / Space

The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Films...Ever!


SFSignal and reddit both pointed me to this entry in the Houston Chronicle Tech Blog, which lists "Fifteen geek movies to see before you die." As you might expect, I take issue with the list:

Brazil,The Matrix, The Fifth Element, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Serenity, Dark City, 12 Monkeys, Shaun of the Dead, Darkman, Army of Darkness, War Games, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Office Space, Repo Man.

Setting aside the fact that no geek list is complete without either Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back, but seriously, Dark City? I mean, if you're going to pick an Alex Proyas film (and I'm really not sure you have to), it would be The Crow, not this Fritz Lang-wannabe vanity project. Also, any healthy list would have more directorial diversity, so there wouldn't be two Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) and two Sam Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness) films. It's like a list of films that geeks need to see to become more obscure. Thanks, but we got that covered.

Anyway, spend fifteen minutes with geeks and you'll realize we brandish movie quotes like a samurai wields a katana. If you want a true geek movie list, you need a Top 10 of source material for all the best one-liners. Here's mine, The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Flicks...Ever!:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back - If we're only going to pick one entry in the Star Wars lexicon, here's your moneymaker. Yoda alone is worth his muppet-weight in quotable gold, and the dialogue in this SW Episode is the snappiest and most memorable of them all. "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
  2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - The Tech Blog guy had this right, just under-ranked. Holy Grail is pretty much a motherlode of geek quotations. I know at least a dozen people who could recite the film on demand. If you don't know why witches weigh the same as ducks, Lancelot's favorite color, or the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, you're not really a geek.
  3. The Princess Bride - This movie singlehandedly turned the word "inconceivable" into a comedic catchphrase, and that's but one of about two-dozen must-know quotes and tropes that Rob Reiner's masterpiece delivered unto us.
  4. Superman II - "Kneel before Zod!" Any questions?
  5. Office Space - Occasionally dull, filled with only marginally likeable characters, with only the slightest hints of theme or meaning--yeah Office Space is pretty much the perfect example of the average geek's career life. And the nightmare-boss character of Bill Lumbergh is the painfully quotable scumbag we've all done professional time with at some point. "Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler..."
  6. Pulp Fiction - This movie was designed to be a quote-fest, and for once Tarantino wasn't so busy riffing off other peoples' work that he delivered. Most of the quotes aren't repeatable in polite company (which is part of the fun), but let's just say that, short of Snakes on a Plane, Samuel L. Jackson's entire list of personal catchphrases comes from this film. And I dare you to tell me that ain't worth the price of admission.
  7. Army of Darkness - Bruce Campbell is like unto a god--an insane trickster god--amongst geeky film nuts, and this movie is pretty much why. Absurd in the extreme, so campy it's painful, and the ultimate proof that you must fear the boomstick!
  8. Die Hard - Every single gamer who has ever appropriated an automatic weapon in any game setting under any circumstances has marked the occasion with this film's signature quote: "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." There are other jewels to be found here, but our profanity filter prevents their citation.
  9. Aliens - If this movie taught us anything--and it taught us a great deal, believe me--it was this most important lession: "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
  10. Tombstone - An underrated entry on most lists, but anyone who has seen this film knows the bounteous quotability of which we speak. How inexorably great is the dialogue here? It made the phrase "I'm your huckleberry" downright terrifying.

So, anybody out there think they can top this list?

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

182 comments
seanferd
seanferd

"We don't take no $#!+ from no machines!"

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

"and I'm all out of bubble gum." -They Live Awesomeness :)

gbarn
gbarn

"I guess we're making somebody nervous. But I'll tell you this: It's gonna take a helluva lot more than a couple of car bombs to get us off of this case." "Not a helluva lot more. "

gbarn
gbarn

"Go in the direction the bird is flying." "It's going back to the village!" "Ignore the bird, follow the river."

rmachia
rmachia

The absolute best movie of all time! One other that might qualify as a Geek Film - Harry & Maude. The aroma-player was way before it's time!

mwolfstone
mwolfstone

M*A*S*H and the priceless "Start the Revolution Without Me"

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

How the heck could anyone forget BLADE RUNNER Unfreakinreal!!!

Agave
Agave

No matter where you go, there you are. It's not my goddamn planet. Understand, monkey boy?

FlatTops.email
FlatTops.email

hmmm... Alphaville Blake's Seven (not strictly a film, okay) and Dave you forgot "2001: A Space Odyssey" you need to find some geeks for your research, some of the others I do agree... Flattop

orillasound
orillasound

When i heard about the infamous hacking by Gary Mckinnon, i instantly thought of the film Wargames.........

olddognewtricks
olddognewtricks

1. It has to be the top geek movie ever: the geeks are the complete heroes in this movie. And it really happened. 2. "Houston, we have a problem." Greatest understatement ever. "You can talk to my husband. He'll be home on Tuesday."

djb6711
djb6711

Talk about a geek movie. My wife and I have been quoting this movie ever since we watched it. Here's a few: "You know, there's like a butt-load of gangs at this school. This one gang kept wanting me to join because I'm pretty good with a bo staff." "I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to." "You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." "Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!" "I caught you a delicious bass." "Pedro offers you his protection." "Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true."

graffixalley
graffixalley

I know it's not a 'classic' like most mentioned above, but my circle of geeky friends still quotes the heck out of it: "Mumbler!" "Eyes on the prize, Violet. Eyes on the prize." "Little boy, don't push my button." "Don't touch that squirrel's nuts! It'll make him crazy!" And my favorite: "Ha ha ha ha. You're really weird."

sestreight
sestreight

I vote for Dark Star where they tried to teach the computer on their spaceship how to abort the hydrogen bomb self-destruct command. "We need to teach it epistemology, Frank" or something similar.

Siona
Siona

Ok,I didn't see them commented on yet and granted, I didn't read closely so I may have missed them, but my top two are Willow and Highlander. Both have multiple quotes that I've heard and used in any number of situations. "I have something to say! It's better burn out, than to fade away!" (Kurgan ~ Highlander) "Went away? "I dwell in darkness without you" and it *went away*?" (Sorcha ~ Willow)

jimrinflorida
jimrinflorida

Come on, everybody knows this one, or "No Kill I" obviously a Treky Fan

SeenITAll
SeenITAll

Aliens - the definitive Sci-Fi movie IMHO. - "But it's a *dry* heat" - "They mostly come out at night....mostly" - "Why don't we just start a campfire, and sing some songs" Terminator II - End of the world, robots designed to kill all humans, revenge of the computer/AI...need I say more?

techrepublic
techrepublic

Minor movie, but who can forget the following quote. Jason Whitney/Jerry Ashton: Hey! What'd you do to the world? Douglas Hall: Turned it off.

krytan
krytan

You missed one of the big ones: Caddyshack. How many of you can honestly say you have never said "It's in the hole!" Or "Cannonball!"

C-3PO
C-3PO

What Geek list would be complete without Douglas Adam's Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy... the movies kind of stunk compared to the original radio series, books, record (yeah, before CD's), but, since they were based on the original, I think they rate this list... the lines are hilarious, the satire fantastic and the ironic humour... well, I've quoted it a million times I'm sure. Fish that translate for you - a website dedicated to translation by the same name... "http://babelfish.altavista.com"... the IT support worker's mantra "Don't Panic!", whales philosophically contemplating the meaning of life before being splatted on a distant planet - all classic... I'm surprised none of it has been mentioned previously!!!

kerry.millen
kerry.millen

Although I don't disagree the list of films, I think there are better quotes. The one I always think of from Tombstone is, "Have you ever seen anything like that before? I've never even heard of anything like that before." And from Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan comes the greatest Spock line ever. Only Spock could say,"[Speaking of Khan] He's intelligent but inexperienced; he patterns indicate two dimensional thinking."

ericjstevenson
ericjstevenson

Scroll up a bit. Blade Runner is a post heading.

C-3PO
C-3PO

Yes, they were both Geek movies, but 2001 was like Science Fiction on Acid... it was a sixties version of science fiction that leant closely to the mystical magical mushroom side of existance than real science... 2010 corrected that a great deal... it wasn't so "weird" and a little more down to Jupiter (I mean earth - or should I have said Io?). Anyway, I've always felt the SciFi shelf in the bookstore needs a bit of a subdivision. Some stores must have felt the same... there is a huge difference between SciFi and SciFa (Science Fantasy - where a book may have a futuristic or otherworldly setting, but otherwise no basis in real science - it would be like calling Lord of the Rings Science fiction - excellent work, but it has nothing to do with Science) Because they travelled in a space ship with a lunatic computer, I can put 2001 in the fiction category, but it very nearly went over the edge with the way too long extended scene flying through somebodies tripped out mind only to see a human embrio floating in space - very symbolic and artistic, but scientific? hmm...

mdhealy
mdhealy

I strongly agree -- the best thing about Apollo 13 is how it makes clear that, however heroic the astronauts were, they could not have survived without hundreds of engineers on the ground. My absolute favorite scene -- which is closely based on actual events -- is some engineers sitting around a conference room table figuring out to kludge-up a connection because the Command Module and Lunar Module had different shapes of CO2-absorbing canisters. They had limited time to figure it out before the astronauts would pass out from too much Co2. Part of the solution was every geek's favorite item: DUCT TAPE!!! The book has a photograph of Deke Slayton holding the actual contraption, looking very similar to what was shown in the film. Even a scene my wife and I had thought likely to be a Hollywood dramatization -- where an astronaut's wife loses her wedding ring in the shower -- turns out to have actually happened. The DVD includes an interview in which she mentions this incident.

zigster80
zigster80

No one has even hinted at Forrest Gump...... "Thats all I have to say about that"

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I use that whenever somebody comes by Tech Support with some pointless "want".

FrankXchange
FrankXchange

Basically, ANYTHING you're into is Geek, provided a) you're REALLY into it, and b) people you don't like aren't into it. :-) Star Trek is geek even though just about everybody recognizes ST quotes, but back-in-the-day our parents couldn't (I'm talking about TOS), nor could the non-geek majority at school (now a minority). Of course, these days we're the parents...and we're still not cool. Bladerunner has to go on the list. Very cool, virtually unknown for years yet trend-setting. I watch it at least once a year - usually when it's raining. I'll also mention the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 show (and movie), Godzilla films, Mars Attacks, B movie classics like Plan 9 from Outer Space. It goes on and on.

homeofficeservices
homeofficeservices

You want four fried chickens?? And a Coke. Do you have any white bread?

Funker
Funker

In case you missed the movie completely... "There can be only one."

C-3PO
C-3PO

Don't forget the classic repeated line... Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a ...

ericjstevenson
ericjstevenson

Hudson: Game over man... Game over! Hudson: Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen! Hudson: I'm ready, man, check it out. I am the ultimate bad@ss! State of the bad@ss art! You do NOT want to f@#* with me. Check it out! Hey Ripley, don't worry. Me and my squad of ultimate bad@sses will protect you! Check it out! Independently targeting particle beam phalanx. Whoa! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart missiles, phase-plasma pulse rifles, RPGs, we got sonic electronic ball breakers! We got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks... Apone: Knock it off, Hudson. All right, gear up. Ferro: [as dropship enters atmosphere] We're in the pipe, five by five.

TomZnaper
TomZnaper

What could be more geeky than a movie about a virtual world created by people living in a virtual world? Maybe not too many good quotes, but a mind-bending geeky movie none the less. Needless to say, it's one of my favorites.

Funker
Funker

You mean to tell me that none have you have used the line ?The only right move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?? when defeating an opponent? Inspired by Wargames: http://everybody-dies.com/ ST IV: Kirk: ?Spock, are maneuvering thrusters online?? Spock: ?Just one damn minute captain.? Tombstone: ?Well, Johnny Ringo. You look like someone just walked right over your grave.? ?You smell that? Smells like somebody died.? Once Wyatt tosses the crooked dealer out of the hotel, meets Doc, only to have Johnny Tyler come after him, and the ensuing conversation between the Earps and Doc, Doc says: ?Oh Johnny. I'm sorry. I forgot that you were there. You may go now.? I know I have used this one on several occasions, including in a serious argument with an angry hockey parent on a team I was coaching :)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Here he is, a Cinderella story, teeing off at the Masters... Be the ball. You're a little monkey woman. I want you to go out on the course and kill all the gophers.

mhpiper
mhpiper

Danny: Where is it? Ty: It's in the lumber yard. Danny: My SAT's weren't so good. Judge: The world needs ditch diggers. Judge (or judges wife?): You sir are no gentleman. Rodney: Hey I ain't no door knob either.

rlovett
rlovett

The best of all were the original TV shows.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation describes their androids as "Your plastic pal who's fun to be with." The marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation was first up against the wall when the revolution came. Excentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6. The whale's last thought was "Oh,no; not again." 42.

C-3PO
C-3PO

Oh, and deep thought, the computer that designed the biggest computer ever designed - the earth... now that rates a techno computer geekness...

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Many of Doc's drunken quotes have worked their way into my ever day speech. :) Others: "It's true, you are a good woman. Then again, you may be the antichrist." :) One of my all time favorite quotes! :) "If I thought you weren't my friend, I just don't think I could bear it." "I've not yet begun to defile myself."

Agave
Agave

Guess, it goes to show how quotable it is.

homeofficeservices
homeofficeservices

"Use your open eye, Frank." "Are you men the police?" "No ma'am, we're musicians."

FrankXchange
FrankXchange

Do I get extra geek points if I correct a quote, plus I used 2 $10 words? Corrigendum Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now. Addenda The Pan Galactica Gargle Blaster...is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped around a large gold brick. "How do you feel?" he asked. "Like a military academy," said Arthur, "bits of me keep on passing out." "Ah," said Arthur, "this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of." "Come," called the old man, "come now or you will be late." "Late?" said Arthur. "What for?" "What is your name, human?" "Dent. Arthur Dent," said Arthur. "Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent," said the old man, sternly. "It's a sort of threat you see." Another wistful look came into his tired old eyes. "I've never been very good at them myself, but I'm told they can be very effective." Okay, I'm starting to scare myself with my geekiness...

C-3PO
C-3PO

Being in Canada I deal with a french office - though I don't speak french... the lady there was trying to tell me that her daughter was pregnant, but the translation came out something like "the bun is cooked" - funny, but not very accurate! You are SO right that it's not very good. Guess we need to stick a fish in our ears!

homeofficeservices
homeofficeservices

I know some of you are with me on this one. The Jerky fans are a close-knit group, and we prefer to keep outsider's in the dark about what we're talking about. Some of you know what I mean. "He insulted me, called me names? Like what?" "Fruity ass." "He called me fruity ass?"

bhopper
bhopper

I managed to drag my wife to see the Hitchhiker movie. During the whale and petunia scene, just as the whale was finishing its little monologue, I leaned over to my wife and said "Oh no, not again." Once the line was repeated on screen, I received a nice slap on the shoulder for that. How's this for being really geeky: We bought a nice, brand-new PT Cruiser in 2002. Because we do car shows (especially light shows at night-the theme is "space") we outfitted it with all kinds of lights, fog machines, etc. A local artist did a Christian Lassen-style mural on the back, and on the dash inside the car is a big moon with two dolphins jumping out of the ocean. I had him put "So Long, And Thanks for All The Fish" along the top of the dash. It's amazing how many people knew where that line originated!

C-3PO
C-3PO

I don't have the books here, but I believe it was in "So long and thanks for all the fish" - a number of loose ends were tied up in that book, including why the Petunias though that - seems they were reincarnated again after having had many previous incarnations as various animals all of whom Arthur Dent had somehow killed (flies, rabbits, bowl of Petunias, etc.)... doesn't tell me more about the universe except that Petunias must have extremely bad karma... From Wikipedia... At the end of the first radio series, the television series, and the book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second of the five-book 'trilogy', Arthur Dent ? as the last human to have left the Earth before its destruction, therefore the portion of the computer matrix most likely to hold the question ? attempts to discover the Question by extracting it from his unconscious mind, through pulling Scrabble letters at random out of a sack. The result is the sentence "WHAT DO YOU GET IF YOU MULTIPLY SIX BY NINE." The generation of this "question" is actually impossible with a single, standard set of Scrabble letters. Such a set only has two Ys; but the set shown in the TV series has clearly been handmade from memory, so the question buried within Arthur's brainwaves may have influenced him in creating it. In the original radio version of the story, however, it is made clear that Arthur has been travelling all along with a pocket Scrabble set from Earth. "Six by nine. Forty-two, 42." "That's it. That's all there is." The explanation is that the program (Earth) would have run correctly if not for the interference of events such as the crash landing of the Golgafrinchans causing them to replace the original inhabitants. These important modifications introduced error into the program and caused it to discover the wrong question; the question in Arthur's mind has been the wrong question all along. It was later pointed out by readers that 6 ? 9 = 42 if the calculations are performed in base 13, not base 10. Douglas Adams later averred that he was not aware of this at the time, and repeatedly dismisses this as an irrelevant concoction, saying that "nobody writes jokes in base 13 [...] I may be a pretty sad person, but I don't make jokes in base 13." From me... Personally I think this explains everything! It's like Quantum physics... just weird math...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're right, it was the petunias. I know Doug explained in a later book why the petunias thought this, but I can't recall which one. "So long", maybe?