Metatalktail Hour: Potent Quotables January 27, 2018 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! Tonight's Metatalktail topic, from filthy light thief: potent quotables, or quotes that are lodged in your brain and are now your normal response to certain phrases or situations. Of course we also want to hear what's happening with you and yours, or what's on your mind, or really anything except politics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:42 PM (201 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

I will be hanging in the chat room for the next few hours (as long as nothing gets too crazy mod-side!) so drop by and say hi!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:42 PM on January 27


Frequently at work:
“Logic has no place within these walls.”
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:02 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


My work life has been highly influenced by two wonderful women I worked with years and years ago. The first, also named Janet, now unfortunately passed away, would always, when things got hairy, sigh gently and say, "Well, we're not here for love." A philosophy that continues to apply, many years later and in an entirely different field.

The second, Martha, one year decided to give up cussing during Lent. I heard her on the phone with a very very difficult person, and at the end of the conversation she slammed down the phone, I held my breath, and then she burst out with, "THAT BIG OL' B!!!!!" Well. I've run into a lot of difficult people since then, and my goodness that's a handy phrase.
posted by JanetLand at 6:05 PM on January 27 [10 favorites]


As probably mentioned before; from an old man who lived on his own in a little croft house by the sea, in the Outer Hebrides. Surrounded by books, he made a splendid drink, and said:

"Everything in life is low-level information warfare."

That stuck with me, and is applicable to rather a lot of situations.

+ + + + +

A quiet week. The chocolate fairy visited again in the night, leaving another pile of unsold food from a supermarket in a nearby town. He turns 76 in a few weeks, apparently; there is no age bar to dumpster diving, it seems.

(Though this was slightly bad timing as, due to a restricted diet of late, I promised myself that I would buy only one box of chocolate or chocolate-oriented products for the entire week. Which I did.)

Also recently, I was on campus, lightly working. Caffeine was required and duly obtained from a machine. The person who took my money for the latte informed me that 80% of the feedback comments were about the need to provide recycled or non-disposable options for the cups, and the other 20% were that the machine unfortunately makes a latte that looks like it has a picture of boobs on top.

And I could not get it out of my head, for the rest of the caffeine break, that I have just bought boob coffee.
posted by Wordshore at 6:06 PM on January 27 [26 favorites]


A big one both at work and in life: Not my duck, not my bottle.

In other news, I spent the day wandering the city on my own. DC can sometimes feel like a cold and impersonal place. On the bus ride back to my house I realized two of my neighbors were on the bus too and it made it feel kinda small-towny again.

Also, The Darkest Hour is great. I'd probably pay ten bucks to watch Gary Oldman sleep.
posted by kinsey at 6:11 PM on January 27 [9 favorites]


You know how toddlers copy the adults around them? Works the other way, too.

When I get up in the morning, and my hips are aching, I've moved on from muttering "ow" to myself in favour of saying "Oh Doy Doy!" which is something my 20 month old nephew says all the time. I've also taken to calling my mom "Joo-daaaaaay!" because that's what he calls her.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:16 PM on January 27 [7 favorites]


The phrase "mid buckle root torque" as uttered by my periodontist. This was in reference to a tooth of mine that has shifted so far out of alignment (broken permanent retainer) that only serious orthodontic work will set it right. I am finally in a financial position to have this issue addressed and just this week met with the orthodontist. We set a treatment plan I feel pretty good about (invisalign! A fancy 3d image of my mouth instead of plaster casts!) and I have booked the follow up appointment to have my useless lingual wire removed. I am going to be paying this off for years and I don't even care because TEETH FIXED.
posted by janepanic at 6:21 PM on January 27 [7 favorites]


“All I know is, my gut says ‘Maybe.’”

And from the same scene, “If we don’t survive, tell my wife ‘Hello.’”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:37 PM on January 27 [5 favorites]


I have soooooo many... found a new one just today, explaining a plot complication in a webcomic. Corollary to a saying about the speed of bad news: "Bad news propagates at the maximum speed of the medium, unless a delay would make the bad news worse."
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:50 PM on January 27 [6 favorites]


"Eat a peach" is a fave quote in our house.
From the oft-told tale of when Neil Young started a tour in 1976 with Stephen Stills, which quickly became a boring drag for him, and so while on route to the next gig, Stills's bus went one way and Young's veered off in a totally different direction. Stills showed up for the gig but instead of Neil Young there was a telegram which read:
Dear Stephen, funny how things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach. Neil.
It's a pretty asshole move but I sort of love how it combines the shittiness of ditching something with the braveness of just following your muse. And then there's the passive-aggressiveness of it, the short little note with the sunny peach ending.
Eat a peach just says it all.
posted by chococat at 6:51 PM on January 27 [18 favorites]


At work, when faced with an abrupt change of plans, new directive, contradictory instructions, etc....
“We are willows—We can bend.”
posted by bookmammal at 6:53 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I have a number of quotes up on my bedroom wall. They’re helping me get through a difficult time. There’s one I repeat to myself often:
There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.
Kazuo Ishiguro
posted by ocherdraco at 6:56 PM on January 27 [54 favorites]


My mom used to jokingly pronounce "garbage" as if it were a French word (like gar-BAHZH), which I had totally forgotten until one of our front-office assistants started saying it over the last few days (our office just moved, so there's been a lot of sorting of keep vs. toss), and she's about the same age as my mom would have been now, so it feels a bit like my mom saying hi in a very weird way.

When I lived in Venice, a friend and I were walking around and we came across two college-age American women, obviously frustrated with each other, standing in front of one of the various directional signs in the city, since it's a giant labyrinth in which everyone gets lost. The signs have arrows in various directions, with destination landmarks labeled as "Per [landmark name]," meaning "To [landmark]." One of the women was saying to the other, in a total Valley Girl accent, "Hel-LO! Purr ri-ALT-oh!" Which my friend and I immediately adopted as a random catchphrase. About a week later, we passed an older French married couple, obviously frustrated with each other, in front of the same sign, and the woman said, "Henri! Rialto est par LA!" with the exact same rhythm and intonation. So now we use that one, too, but really only with each other, though I say it in my head a lot when people are either asking for directions or being slightly dense.

My own week has been fairly horrible, as apparently work layoffs are moving forward but no one knows exactly how many. We're government and unionized, which means layoffs are strictly based on seniority rather than merit, and I don't have enough seniority to feel anything close to safe. There's a decent chance I will end up with a job, but it will likely be a demotion and/or pay cut. I should probably start looking for other jobs but I've been stuck in a depression/anxiety paralysis for the last few weeks and haven't done so. I also tend to be the type who sticks things out to the bitter end, and leaving now feels unsettling ("What if it all works out fine???"). I really like my job and the prospect of any change is unsettling. I seem to be coping mainly by eating too much and sitting on my couch a lot. I don't think that's helping much -- I know that going to the gym and eating healthier would make me feel much better -- but it seems to be all I can handle right now, so I'm trying to be gentle with myself.
posted by lazuli at 6:59 PM on January 27 [11 favorites]


When I was actively blogging, I committed several quotables to a category I called "Wendell's Law", starting with :
When you teach them to Question Authority, don’t be surprised when you are the first Authority they Question.

Unless you’re very very small, getting out of a “bubble” before it bursts will likely make it burst.

If your greatest regrets are the things you DIDN’T do, then you’ve never done much of ANYTHING.

A company with a “bad Corporate Culture” usually doesn’t fail until after it has run all the companies with “GOOD Corporate Cultures” out of business.

If Everyone thinks your product is Worth Every Penny, you have made a serious pricing error.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:05 PM on January 27 [8 favorites]


"Friends. We all live in the mud. IN THE SHIT! Shovel your way Out. Of. The. SHIT!"
posted by floweredfish at 7:07 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


When my kids cry about something they shouldn't be crying about, I tell them, "There's no crying in baseball!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:11 PM on January 27 [14 favorites]


There's also no baseball in crying.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:13 PM on January 27 [5 favorites]


And there's no 'I' in team...but there is a 'u' in stupid.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:16 PM on January 27 [8 favorites]


We're huge Monty Python geeks. If anyone in the family says something about a "good idea" someone else will do the British God Voice from the Holy Grail, "Of course it's good idea!" Anyone saying the number 5 will hear from someone else, "Three, sir!" As in, Person A: "How many eggs do we have left?" Person B: "Five." Person C (possibly from another room): "Three, sir!"

The word "resting" always elicits a "not pining for the fjords, then?" As in, "Where's Dad?" "He's resting." "He's not pining for the fjords, then?"

And I heard a little bit of the Goon Show when I was a kid, and loved the absurdist humour (so no surprise why we like MP) and my younger son and I do this shtick. If I'm giving him something to put away, I'll say (always with a posh English accent), "Quick, Moriarty! Cover the soap dish!" My son will reply, "But it's empty," to which I respond, "But we don't want anyone to know that."

My family also expects to hear from me, sometime during tidying, organizing, decluttering, etc., " 'Order in all things,' said Uncle Karl, as he smashed the last of the plates against the wall." It's from Eric Kastner's book, Emil and the Three Twins.

Some folks think we're a bit weird.
posted by angiep at 7:18 PM on January 27 [7 favorites]


“Them’s the berries” is my favorite way to end negotiations with lilozzy. It makes her so, so mad because she knows it means no more lawyering. “No! Them is not the berries!”

It’s not a phrase that was part of my vernacular until I read it in some board game manual. Possibly Apples to Apples or Catchphrase.

Anyway, I love saying it.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:36 PM on January 27 [17 favorites]


Today it was, "I have heard the white flannel trousers, singing each to each, I do not think that they will sing to me." And that is the good news. Eh?

Two from my Dad, "The worst I ever had was wonderful!" "Some people get all their exercise, jumping to conclusions."
posted by Oyéah at 7:48 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I quote a friend who works in visual merchandising, “Done is beautiful,” whenever I get too caught up in crossing every t and dotting every i—I often pair it with my grandma Jesse’s saying, “it will never be noticed on a galloping horse,” which applies specifically to less than perfect housekeeping.
I also have made progress on my resolve to say “Yes,” to more things this year and so went for a massage this morning even though I have a horror of them and stopped by a open house for their one year anniversary at my Pilates studio and chatted with strangers—another difficult thing. Both events went much better than I imagined.
posted by agatha_magatha at 7:54 PM on January 27 [10 favorites]


From George Eliot's Middlemarch: "There may be coarse hypocrites, who consciously affect beliefs and emotions for the sake of gulling the world, but Bulstrode was not one of them. He was simply a man whose desires had been stronger than his theoretic beliefs, and who had gradually explained the gratification of his desires into satisfactory agreement with those beliefs." (I often feel that most people accused of hypocrisy are, in fact, behaving like Bulstrode.)
posted by thomas j wise at 7:59 PM on January 27 [6 favorites]


"Your lack of planning is not my emergency."
posted by a fish out of water at 8:00 PM on January 27 [17 favorites]


I quote A LOT but none of what I usually quote verbally is illuminating or deep but they do fit the requirement of brain lodged and are typical responses to a lot of situations so here:

From Achewood:
--I'm a special boy!
--45 degrees
75% of Ray's decision flowchart including:
--mad snuggly
--TURN THAT MOTHER OUT
--it is not your responsibility to turn out a funeral
--is it a basic time of friends?
&
-- what we need more of is science
--gothic dance. . . everybody gothic dance
--just a pissed off piece of snow
--I'm such a fraud. This is so empty.
and, to sexists exhibiting some fragile male ego: I'm sorry little man. I'm sorry I roasted your ding dong

From those rejected ads: My spoon is too big & Tuesday's coming! Did you bring your coat?

From Kate Beaton:
--I choose to throw a tantrum
--find out more about those tortoises
--cool time for stunts & you've got a good saunter there
--ice of glory
--my fossils bring all the boys to the yard & you still can't join the geologic society of london

--From Futurama: Leela, it's real velour! and Sham-pag-en

From real life:
--need that like the Yucatan needs another hole
--[as problematic] as a rattlesnake in a rowboat
--absolutely abyssal
--Do you have your woolie hat? Do you got your dickie on?
--clay smut and shale sluts all the way down
--as bad as the time I got stuck in my sleeping bag
--the terrified Triassic
--it was a sexy, feral rock
--TAXONOMIC SHENANIGANS
-- butt noogies
-- slap some tongue
--I found [x} to be quite erratic
-- fuck your gross cobbles
--"more animals than 50 miles on the Gore Range Trail" (uh, did a through hike of a trail and only saw 1 miserable deer the entire time, and this is when we see like, a whole bunch animals just hanging out by the side of the road or see a fox in the city or something)
--do you accept statistics as your lord and savior?
--where are my pants
--like bentonite in a washing machine
--it was full of ostracods
--big turd in a little bowl
--that fucker must have never ever seen a river
--why, we're just here looking for clit bones. Os clitoridis, have you seen it?
--plankton hate me
--nonsense garden (this was a comment from a peer reviewer)
--my undisciplined intellect (another comment from a peer reviewer)
--not so drunk I ordered lifesize Mythbusters
--as scary as Anita Perry
--the angle of repose of dumb-ass
--famous on a paleontology message board
--way out in the upper Cretaceous
--my old friend the wind

From MBMBAM:
--Amelie?
--blast into cybersex, Joe Biden
-- shovel that swamp mud into your mouth
--you got my fuck-tome, right?

From Metafilter:
--Are spontaneous dildos the first sign of an earthquake? let's ask an expert
--would do well in a queen's court
--we're not afraid to face the emptiness of space
--weather shouting

Quite a few book quotes, but the ones most used are "that day they read no more"; "out in the west being terrified" (Jim Harrison); " "there's something about north" (eb white)

From tumblr: that X really salts my melon; bring back megafauna I miss my big friends

And pretty much the entire Abyss, Raising Arizona, & Jurassic Park movies, let's admit it.

I probably said at least 20 of these phrases today alone, but I want y'all to know I do have deep stuff, it's just taped to the wall.
posted by barchan at 8:03 PM on January 27 [11 favorites]


Lo these many years ago, I had a last-minute gig calling the cues for a dance school's Christmas show. Things were a little chaotic at the first of my only two rehearsals - ostensibly they were supposed to run the whole show with the light designer (who got me the gig) doing his cues for the first time, and I would sit by him and write down everything he did so I could call the cues. However, there was a lot of stopping-and-starting and adjustments to the lighting, and the kids were also causing ruckuses and it delayed things further, and by the time we had to stop we had only gotten through the first act.

As the kids were taking off, we in the crew all gathered to meet with the director. I was worried she was going to be pissed off or panicked or something - but actually, she was just exuding this zen calm. And before we began, she just shrugged and said, "well, it wasn't the rehearsal I wanted, but it was the rehearsal I got."

"It wasn't the ----- I wanted, but it was the ---- I got" does much to ease my mind sometimes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 PM on January 27 [13 favorites]


"It's ALL dubious." - on a Men's Room wall at MIT.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:10 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


"Many things look bleak at their moment of occurrence... but at least we ain't got locusts." - Nick Yemana (Jack Soo)
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:11 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


Re crying kids: my stock response when mine were little and upset/crying over lost or broken toys, "Don't cry over things that can't cry over you".
posted by she's not there at 8:15 PM on January 27 [5 favorites]


When we were first dating, I showed my girlfriend the Unarius movie The Arrival (which I had a copy of from way back in my cult, heh heh, video store days). There's a scene at the beginning where a caveman is visited by an interdimensional being of pure light (in a totally boss spaceship), and they start talking telepathically. Also, the caveman's mind-voice has kind of a drawl.

When we're confused by something, one of us will often quote the caveman and say, "I do not understand that which is happening!"
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:41 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


"I can assure you it's quite cool." From LOTR. Thought anytime I hand anyone anything.

"Everyone I know goes away in the end." From NIN. Said any time anyone pulls away from me along any axis: physical, emotional, social, sexual, geographical, political, occupational, etc. Used so often I can acronym it in texts and the people who haven't left yet know what I mean.

"Always a mistake to leave the city." Pretty sure this is from The Beautiful Room Is Empty by Edmund White. He'd have been referring to NYC but I say it any time I return to Chicago. Because it has never not been a mistake to have left. "How was Christmas back home?" "How was the weekend in Montreal?" "How was the business trip to Bangalore?" "How was hiking in Wyoming?" Always a mistake....

"I'd go down on him in a theater." You oughta know where this is from. This pops into my internal monologue whenever I see an attractive guy. Can be intensified by stating a specific number of theaters in which I'd go down on him e.g. three, six, etc. Superlative form is "I'd go down on him in every theater." I think this sparingly!

"Those who are about to die salute you." From Latin class. I usually mumble this right before I take a shit. I have no idea why.
posted by great_radio at 8:58 PM on January 27 [10 favorites]


"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:02 PM on January 27 [17 favorites]


I've spent much of the day rewatching Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, the latter of which I was just quoting to people a day or so ago ("I guess it looks as if you're reorganizing your records..."). Add on Good Will Hunting ("One, don't do that") and you have a trio of movies I've watched over and over again and a whole bunch of great quotes from John Cusack and Minnie Driver, among other actors.

If I had to add a fourth movie to that top five (not top five all-time favorite movies, but maybe top five most quoted mentally), When Harry Met Sally would probably be up there ("It's amazing. You look like a normal person, but actually you are the angel of death"). I always used to hate how predictable this is, because everyone quotes it, but a fifth would be The Princess Bride ("Get used to disappointment"; "Life is pain, highness."). I'd probably also add Say Anything ("I don't want to sell anything, buy, anything, or process anything as a career..."; "So stop freakin' with her head—just stop playing with her mind, you know? She's a human being. She's a person!"; "You must chill!") as No. 6. A good No. 7 would be Ghostbusters ("I tried to think of the most harmless thing, something I loved from my childhood, something that could never ever possibly destroy us").

The line from High Fidelity about Charlie and her friends comes to mind a lot for me in various situations: "I mean, they're not bad people and I'm not a class warrior. It's something else."

Or I'll get the specific sound of Minnie Driver saying certain things in my head, like the way Skylar says, "You're an idiot" or the way Debi Newberry says, "Freak."

I also get lines from Mandy Patinkin in Dead Like Me in my head a lot, like "You've got to think about all the things you like and decide whether they're worth sticking around for. And if they are, you'll find a way to do this" or "Pulled the wrong piece out of the Jenga tower, little girl."

Toby Ziegler's voice in The West Wing gets in my head a lot, too: "Have you fallen on your head? Have you fallen down and hit your head on something hard?"

Otherwise, the other thing that happens is that I get songs in my head that I only after a while realize have something to do with what I'm thinking. This happens in dreams, too—whatever song I wake up with in my head is usually an integral part of whatever happened in the dream. I've had Guided by Voices' "Hot Freaks" in my head a lot of late: "I walked into the House of Miraculous Recovery and stood before King Everything, and he asked me to join him in the red wing." I very much want to walk into the House of Miraculous Recovery. Or when I make a wish and I can't think of what to wish, I just think "I wanna read good news, good news—I wanna be innocent again." I have a million little mnemonics and semantic links like that in my head.

Otherwise, re: quotes, I used to collect them, and I have a lot of fond memories of Andi's Quotes. Anyone else remember that site or subscribe to Andi Lipman's email newsletter back in the day? That's definitely some old internet right there.
posted by limeonaire at 9:04 PM on January 27 [4 favorites]


At any sign of excess, e.g., too much cream in the coffee: "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

When instructing my son about crossing the street, and later about driving: "Never argue with something that outmasses you by a factor of ten."

When confronted with a difficult problem: "If brute force don't work, you ain't using enough of it."

Usually for no apparent reason: "No matter where you go…there you are."

When I'm given unsolicited advice: "Thanks for the safety tip, Egon."

When something unfortunate occurs: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

When someone is taunting me: "Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy!" Also, "Laugh it up, fuzzball!"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:16 PM on January 27 [9 favorites]


"Forty-two" applies far more often than one might think. And for the most part is about as helpful as any other typical aphorism.

Everything else is adequately covered by what my first-ever boss said to me over and over again: "Work smarter, not harder."
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:17 PM on January 27


And there's no 'I' in team...but there is a 'u' in stupid.

The i in team is in the A hole.
posted by bendy at 9:17 PM on January 27 [3 favorites]


At any sign of excess, e.g., too much cream in the coffee: "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

posted by Greg_Ace at 9:23 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


"I just threw a pork chop!" - my 11-year-old, while playing Minecraft. I laughed out loud at it, not 100% sure why.

It seems to be a rather terrible week for several around me - one friend's husband had a sudden heart attack and stroke (though seems to be recovering well); another PTA parent's 3-year-old son is in the hospital with a serious fever; a third friend has one parent who caught the flu while recovering from unexpected pacemaker installation and a parent-in-law in the hospital with the flu; and tonight my son's best friend got landed on by another kid at a birthday party at the trampoline park, and is now at the ER because he keeps vomiting.

It all just makes me feel frustrated and rather helpless, because I wish I could fix these things for them but can't, and don't know how to help. *sigh*
posted by jferg at 9:27 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


"Never get out of the boat."

And, smashing together the front end of a biblical cliche with the tail end of Terry Pratchett's take on it tends to be just stupid enough to put people on the wrong foot and derail many things. (Sometimes derailing is good.)

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"


The front half sets people's eyes to rolling at the cliche so they stop listening and then BAM! What?! Dull, sonorous, boring delivery is best. And, do not smile or react at all.

+ + + + +

In Gotanda news, met up Friday night for dinner with two old friends. One now lives abroad. We hadn't all gotten together in several years. Stupid DIY project to fix up our back room is making (slow) progress again. Off to see Katayama Mari (maybe NSFW) exhibition again--with Mrs Gotanda this time--in an hour on its closing day. Along with Kanayama Takahiro and other contemporary photography. (SFW) Looking forward to a great week at work starting Monday. We have a guest expert in for several days of internal and public professional development pedagogy workshops for teachers. Something almost every university should do more of. Soon entering year four of my current employment and still very happy to be there; this is a rare and lucky thing. Called my Dad on his 78th birthday and he is still going strong.
posted by Gotanda at 9:28 PM on January 27 [4 favorites]


I've got a couple from work:
You can't reason with an unreasonable man.
Don't bring facts to a feelings fight!
Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
posted by sweetmarie at 9:37 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I often explain my awkward location (geographically and philosophically) with the intentional misquote "You can't get here from there."

And when somebody asks how I'm doing, I'll usually qualify my answer with "...all things considered... but then, I prefer not to consider ALL things."

(but remember, there are BOTH an 'i' and a 'u' in 'stupid')
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:46 PM on January 27 [3 favorites]


Brought to mind by kinsey: "Whatever makes your duck quack." In my teens, a friend of a friend used to say this where other people would say "whatever floats your boat," and I fell for the phrase.

Brought to mind by EmpressCallipygos: Many years ago my mother was a drama student at RADA in London, and she and her fellow students acted in some production put together by a visiting director from, I think, Greece. They gave it their all on the night, and at the curtain calls he emerged and made a dramatic gesture and said wryly (imagine heavy vaguely-Greek accent), "The work of twenty days." Ever since my mom has used this to mean something like "Well, it ain't much but it's the best I could do," usually delivered with an eye-roll.

(Also, a fish out of water: geez, I wish that was truer than it is, I work in a sub-industry where the clients' lack of planning usually IS my emergency...)

Oh, also, it's snowing. It snows in this city like, two or three times a year if you're lucky. Whoohoo.
posted by huimangm at 9:49 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Oh! And I forgot my dad's favorite line: "I can't take you anywhere!" Used humorously to apply to super-minor mishaps (drop something, sneeze at a quiet moment, etc.). I used to say it to my students when I was teaching English, and they charmed me by picking it up spontaneously.
posted by huimangm at 9:50 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


"Be careful out there among the English" is what my mom often says when someone is leaving the house.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 9:56 PM on January 27 [6 favorites]


The second most famous quote in the anime Gurren Lagann comes in the first episode, when the main character Simon is scared to turn on the giant robot. His hot-blooded friend Kamina tells him, "Don't believe in yourself; believe in me! Believe in me who believes in you!" A few episodes later, after Simon has gained some confidence and has to go without Kamina's help, Kamina tells him, "Don't believe in me who believes in you, or in you, who believes in me. Believe in you, who believes in you." One day I was able to use the former quote with two different people.

When people are putting down music just because it's electronic and therefore "not real", or Guitar Hero because it's not like real instruments, I like to quote the old guy ranting at the end of Rock 'N' Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain): "You have technicians here, making noise! No one is a musician! They're not artists because nooooobody can play the guitarrrrrrr!"

Also, OMG, huimangm. I've lived in the Midwest almost my whole life. I just moved to the Bay Area, and I've been telling everyone I meet how "I sure don't miss the winters over there, haha." And then I read your comment, and now I miss snow. I can't believe I'm missing snow.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:58 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Don't Panic
posted by not_on_display at 10:00 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


""Be careful out there among the English" is what my mom often says when someone is leaving the house."

I always tell my husband when he has an important deposition or my kids when they have a test, "Come back with your shield or on it!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:07 PM on January 27 [7 favorites]


Spinal Tap:
"It's too much fucking perspective" (when observing a musical trainwreck, especially one involving vocal harmony)
"It's a fine line between stupid and clever" (SO MANY situations this is applicable to)
Airplane!:
"Chump don't want no help, chump don't get no help" (Usually used referring to the kid, who is refusing assistance, but also clueless coworkers)
Bored of the Rings:
"It takes a heap o' vittles to gag a Boogie" (when presented with a big platter of food, especially fried food)
The Blues Brothers:
"We got both kinds a music here. Country and western" (in that kind of bar)
Daffy Duck, in Duck Amuck:
"Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin" (when the kid damns me with faint praise, like "You're really not that bad of a singer")
posted by Daily Alice at 10:20 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


When I am going downhill on a bicycle and it feels a little too fast and bumpy for comfort, I think "hurtle turtle hurtle turtle"!
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:33 PM on January 27


Bored of the Rings:
"It takes a heap o' vittles to gag a Boogie"


Boggie! tsk - kids...
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:42 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Also from Spinal Tap: "Have a good time, all the time"

Also from Blues Brothers: "We're on a mission from God."
posted by not_on_display at 11:03 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


When someone says "Good luck!" I quote Lindsey Brigman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) in The Abyss: "Luck is not a factor."

When someone does something stupid and I want to be snarky: "Brilliant, very good, bravo-o-o!" from Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. Henry Salt (Bill Paterson) says it with pitch-perfect sarcasm.

When things are going too slow: "A bit more alacrity if you please." Spock to Kirk in the TOS episode Catspaw.

If someone says "Good idea!" - "Of course it's a good idea!" (in a British accent of course). God, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:27 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


When I do that involves mild winning (example: today I said it when I realized I could fit one large styrofoam-stuffed box into a larger styrofoam-stuffed box, effectively fitting two things into one space AND kind of creating a lid for the larger one and I am not explaining this well which kind of proves my point about mild "winning") the thing that almost always comes out of my mouth is SUCK IT PARIS FRANCE!

I have so many others, but that's the main one that comes to mind at the moment.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:07 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Anything's a dildo if you're brave enough.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:17 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


My favorite quote when things are not going as I would prefer: "Still, it could be worse! My nose could be gushing blood."
posted by ogooglebar at 1:57 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Quotes from a previous life,
"Can't see it from my house." - when something you've built looks particularly bad (and probably should be redone).
"Cut it twice and it's still too short!" - I was surprised to find out they have the same saying in German.
As a general life-lesson and one I tell my kids,
'Samurai rule-of-thumb: 'who looses his breath looses the fight' I still like this.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:13 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


One I have been meaning to use but thankfully don't have a lot of opportunity to in my everyday life, from Patton Oswalt:
"I'm so pissed off right now, but I kinda want to see where this goes."

I used to work with a guy who, in his first week there, he had trouble figuring out the method we used for folding large pages (like map-sized), and in frustration after getting it wrong the nth time in a row, he said, "I don't understand. I can speak three languages, but I can't fold a fucking piece of paper." It's surprising how useful an expression of frustration that is.

One I tell myself when I feel I risk getting long-winded is, "The secret to being a bore is to tell everything."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:37 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


A short poem from an unknown poet, I think from Ghana, that has helped me to keep going and pull through when things were rough. I've used it for all kinds of situations, but only when things were or felt really bad.

I have broken my nose
against a stick
I have broken my left hip
I have something in my eye
And still I go on.

It's something about the 'something in my eye' that gets to me; breaking your nose must be horrible, breaking your hip is probably worse, but having something in your eye... that's the worst. And we all know that in some situations, it really can feel like the worst.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:16 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Once in an outer suburban cafe I overheard an older man being coached on how to better advertise his B&B business by a disheveled but otherwise intelligent-looking 30-something. He was told "instead of advertising "breakfast included", say "-Freeeee- breakfast"".
The intonation stuck with me, and now whenever I see a sign advertising a big FREE whatever, I hear "Freeeee breakfast" in my head.
posted by solarion at 3:20 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


“That would be an ecumenical matter”, from Father Ted, which is generally said when someone has rung me with an IT issue that is really something for our service desk and not actually an issue with any of my library systems.

(Also said frequently in my office “Behold the field...”, which has become the short form of “lay thine eye upon the field in which I grow my fucks and see that it is barren”)
posted by halcyonday at 3:32 AM on January 28 [11 favorites]


"No - I want it more, Sir, do you understand?"
We'll see if it stands the test of time but at our house "Maximum Derek!" is getting good mileage.
"....You're going to feel sooo assisted..."
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
"I am alone, I am not lonely."
"Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked sayin' something like that, man." Or, y'know, pretty much all of Office Space. It feels a little like a "wish fulfilment pseudo-documentary" of my 20s and 30s.
posted by mce at 4:25 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


"I did three things yesterday! Now I'm supposed to keep doing things? It's like the things never end!" - Allie Brosh
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 5:13 AM on January 28 [13 favorites]


"Eat a peach" is a fave quote in our house.

When my parents poured the concrete for the floor in our basement when I was a kid, that got carved into it and I never really knew why, it was just a thing I'd always known.

I've always got a long list of aphorism type things at the ready, mostly koans to remind me to not overconnect to other people's nonsense

- "Sounds like a personal problem" - used when someone is wailing on about something to do with their computer that has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with their emotional relationship to it.
- "Don't let them put their STUFF on YOU" - harder to explain this one but it's basically similar, people, often friends, who have Big Complicated Problems that they are only sort of managing and want me to contort myself to work within their odd set of parameters (not like "Oh I am vegetarian" which is fine, but more like "I can't make a plan so I'll call you five minutes before we're supposed to leave for the thing together telling you if I am going or not. Wait for my call" sorts of things)
- "You can get to wrapped around the axle about some of this stuff" (from my Dad, to me, because I can)
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:30 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Pretty much every time I taste something I just cooked*, I think "Not bad! Not bad at all! Could use a little paprika." Which is a quote from the movie Robinson Crusoe on Mars which I saw on tv when I was about 8.

* or look at a picture I painted, or test a program I wrote, or evaluate any object or concept in the universe. Everything could use a little paprika.
posted by moonmilk at 5:45 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I remind myself constantly that “The failure mode of clever is “asshole.”

And TIL, when I searched in order to give it appropriate attribution, it's from Metafilter's own John Scalzi, so here is public thanks for this thing of beauty.
posted by vers at 5:45 AM on January 28 [24 favorites]


My sister and I have a habit of exchanging Game of Thrones quotes with each other:
“You know nothing Jon Snow.” and “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”
I often say “Boourns!” when I'm unhappy and only certain people pick up the reference, the rest just assume I'm saying Boo wrong or ignore my slight weirdness. I have a lot of the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons committed to memory, so I often myself quoting Homer or Bart.
“The goggles, they do nothing.”
posted by Fizz at 5:48 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Just realized, I mentioned often quoting Homer and Bart and then end with a Wolfcastle quote, whatever. Simpsons fans get it.
posted by Fizz at 6:00 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I had an old roommate that said it, but whenever I've finally left after struggling to get out of the house:

"We're off like a herd of turtles."
posted by thivaia at 6:17 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


> ""Be careful out there among the English" is what my mom often says when someone is leaving the house."

I always tell my husband when he has an important deposition or my kids when they have a test, "Come back with your shield or on it!"


I had a roommate whose exit wish to anyone leaving the house was "Have fun storming the castle!"

....Actually, same roommate: this was more an in-house riffback. There was this Sam Adams ad once that had a lot of sepia-toned footage of the factory set to gentle guitar music, and a voiceover asking rhetorical questions in a mellow voice: "Don't you just love beer?....Have you ever tried floating a bottle cap on the head of a Sam Adams?....Isn't the smell of hops just great?...." or whatever.

One day my roommate was watching TV and this ad came on - and he started responding to the voice:

"Don't you just love beer?"
"Eh, I can take it or leave it..."
"Isn't the smell of hops just great?"
"Kinda floral, yeah."

But then the ad asked "If you could open your refrigerator right now and see only one thing in it, what would it be?"

"MEAT!" he shouted, with extreme glee. "Lots and lots of MEAT!"

It cracked us both up for a good couple minutes. And for weeks afterward, whenever one of us was going on a grocery run and was checking with the other "you want me to get anything", invariably we would add "MEAT! Lots and lots of MEAT!" to the list.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


I'm amazed how often I'm able to sneak, So I've got that goin' for me, which is nice, into everyday conversation, typically about stupid little life wins, like they accidentally gave us TWO french fries at the drivethru and we only ordered one. It's about as close as I get to prayer.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:29 AM on January 28 [10 favorites]


For reassurance: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Counterpoint, if I'm not feeling reassuring: Kafka's "There is hope, but not for us."

For perseverance: «Добро, Петрович, ино еще побредем» [“Well then, Petrovich, we'll trudge on further”], from the amazing Life of the Archpriest Avvakum: Avvakum and his wife are in exile in northern Siberia ("the Archpriestess and myself trudged along on foot, stumbling and hurting ourselves on the ice. The land was barbarous, the natives hostile"), and she finally says "Do we have to go on much longer?" He responds "Markovna, right up to our very death." And the quote is her response.

And when all else fails, my wife and I frequently quote our younger grandson's frequent saying when he was three or four: "Hit my head! Hit my head!"
posted by languagehat at 6:29 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


Said a lot where I used to work:

"He's trying to play piano with a hammer." after some particularly hamhanded action.
posted by pjern at 6:33 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


When my kids cry about something they shouldn't be crying about, I tell them, "There's no crying in baseball!"

They clearly didn't play on my little league team.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:08 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Just thought of another one, though it's fairly vulgar. My one friend Tim will always say: “They can shampoo my crotch.” whenever he's mad at someone or something.
posted by Fizz at 7:17 AM on January 28


Any time anybody on a TV show or movie is walking into an obvious trap our entire family yells "It's a trap" in Admiral Ackbar's voice.
posted by COD at 7:22 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Unfortunately fro Bill Cosby before we knew he was a rapist:

this tree jumped right out of the forest and bit my car boy.

Oh your A-Frame's fallen out; cost you a million dollars.

The last one I say all the time and no one gets it except for a BFF.

And there is the ever popular "I'm not even supposed to be here today" which working in the hospitality industry comes up with alarming regularity.
posted by Mitheral at 7:28 AM on January 28


I have a tendency to yell "Triumph, Galatea!" whenever I or someone near me has accomplished something difficult. Which is a quote from Mad Love. That movie also gave me "Impossible? Napoleon said that word is not French!", but I use that quote a lot less.

I also have an awful lot of random Stephen King rattling around in my head (everyone thinks "Come down and eat chicken with me, beautiful" when walking down dark staircases,right?) but that tends to sound creepy when it emerges, so I try to keep it stifled.
posted by darchildre at 7:30 AM on January 28


The one that stands out in my mind from right here on Metafilter is: "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes".
posted by some loser at 7:43 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


"Mr. Lunch was very good at chasing birds. In fact, he was a professional." - Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride, Vivian Walsh and J Otto Seibold

Whenever my dog does a good poop, I tell him that, in fact, he is a professional. Somehow it never occurs to me to tell him this when he chases birds or squirrels.
posted by moonmilk at 7:48 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Back in the late seventies, someone on the neighboring farm lost part of his arm in a harvesting or threshing machine of some kind. This was pre-mobile phones, and the farmer ran into our place as it was closest to dial (rotary phone that takes a while) for an ambulance. We could hear the screaming of the now slightly less limbed worker from inside (was later told this was a good thing, as quietness can indicate shock, or worse). And we could hear the phone conversation, as the phone was in our open plan kitchen. Something like:

Farmer: Worker has been hurt, needs am ambulance, arm in machine etc.
Responder: How serious is it?
Farmer: It's just a flesh wound.
Responder: Sorry, really? Can you confirm?
Farmer: {pause} Sorry I don't know why I said that. {pause} Oh yes I do; we were doing Monty Python lines earlier today. Most of up to his elbow has gone. Not sure we can still use the wheat.

The downside of this is that whenever I see a news report that someone has lost a limb in a horrific accident, that line is what goes through my head every time. Thankfully I've never accidentally said it to a victim (yet).

(Also, "Stumpy" as he was later nicknamed survived okay, and learnt how to do the important rural farming tasks - drink cider, fire a shotgun, wipe his bum - with the other hand)
posted by Wordshore at 7:55 AM on January 28 [13 favorites]


There's no I in team, but there is an M and an E.

Allie Brosh gets a lot of play at our house:
  • +1 for "it's like the things never end!"
  • "Good job, $THING_DOER, you did it."
  • "Go circle, yes"
Things my family has been misquoting for 30 years and now the original sounds unnatural and weird:
  • "Looking good, Louis!" "Feeling good, Billy Ray!" (in our defense, the alliteration improves it)
  • Referring to grody things as having "the funk of a thousand years"
My father once, in an epic moment of frustration, yelled "stupid, stupid, stupid! I am the stupidest man in America!" and let me tell you, that had legs.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:06 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


"How did I get into the canoe?"
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:08 AM on January 28


There are a few I picked up from mentors and venerated elders in my professions:

"If you're not at the table, you're on the menu."
"Everybody lies about the numbers."
And one which we use to remind ourselves not to press our luck, or overreach with an argument that's getting traction:
"Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered."

A couple of the ones that go through my mind regularly came from MeFi:
"Continuing to make choices that favor stability and relative short-term painlessness at the expense of long-term viability will only work for so long."
"Values that don't affect actions are just lies you tell yourself."

I rarely fail to capitalize on an opportunity to say "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob."
posted by nickmark at 8:13 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Some quotes from former co-workers:

"Paranoid people live longer."

"It can't always be other people's fault." (When you're having a recurring problem.)

"A contractor's house is always a mess." (When a carpenter gets home from work, the last thing they want to do is fix things around the house. This generalizes to other professions.)
posted by nangar at 8:14 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


I've heard it said that wise men create aphorisms, so that fools can go on and quote them. As I am the world's biggest fool (seriously, you folks have no idea, you haven't seen the harebrained shit I get up to) I have a stock of favorites:

"Does this satisfy your heathen bloodlust?" - From an old TV serious called Mad Movies that redubbed old movies for comic effect. I usually say it when feeding my dogs.

"Not my circus, not my monkeys." - a good friend said this during one particularly raucous day dealing with the general public, when I asked how she was staying so calm.

"That's a lot of spackle!" -was the way my best friend in high school called bullshit

"I done seen better days, but I ain't putting up with these." -from the great Richard "Rabbit" Brown's song James Alley Blues. Possibly the best poetry ever written on American Soil. I quote it endlessly during hard times. "I gave you sugar for sugar, but you just give salt for salt." is another great couplet. Hell, they're all great couplets, go hear it.

"Quite." -as said by Tim the Magician in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail. Said as dryly and as curtly as possible after having done something astounding. Because cool guys don't look at explosions.

"That is not beyond the realm of the reasonable." -I don't remember where I picked this up from, but I usually say it when presented a solution to a quandary that is very obvious now that it has been said out loud, but was eluding me not five seconds ago. I say this a lot.

I probably have more, but it's raining here and I have animals who are attempting to tear down the house brick by brick from the inside from cabin fever so I had better go check on them.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:17 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


We had some new managers come onboard at work this week, and along with that came a big switch with the cubicle arrangements, trying to get X person into a cube closer to their new manager, or Y over in a quieter spot because of the kind of work they did, etc. At one point on the big move day, I was trying desperately to get out of everyone's way and not doing a great job of it.

"Not my circus, not my monkeys!"

I'm pretty sure I picked up that phrase here. I kept saying it until the chaos was over, my personal battle cry as I plowed through the worst of it, until I could get back to my own corner cube and back to my actual job. (I'm sure more than a few people looked at me funny, and the phrase probably lost all meaning by the end of the day, but damn it, I made it through.)
posted by PearlRose at 8:24 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


While traversing Vancouver airport, I observed a mother and a wailing child. The mom gave the kid a little smack and said, "ACT NORMAL!" My partner and I regularly use this to keep each other in line.
posted by Jode at 8:28 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


PearlRose: Jinx on the circus and monkeys!

One more: my littlest dog, Avon (usually called Ava because more feminine) has stomach issues which cause her to be somewhat loose in the bowels, and she also loves finding wildlife poop to devour on our walks, both of which caused me to remark to my wife: "Turds in the front, turds out the back, she's just turdly all the way through!" and now people who are annoying or bothersome but not life threatening (being cut in front of in line for the checkout line, for example) are Turdly.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:33 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I must have a hundred of these, mostly of my own invention, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Well, when I was sixteen, my mom and I had driven to the big city to meet with the principal of the élite boarding school where, as one of a very few token scholarship students, I was doing quite poorly. My parents and I had talked about me dropping out, which seemed like it might be a good route for my mental heath and future success, and when we came back my father walked out to the car (probably in shorts and cowboy boots, with his long hair all mussed as it often was) singing "I have made big decisions," a line from the song Heroin by The Velvet Underground.

I did drop out, and I'm sure it was the right decision.

Anyway, I'm two days from leaving Singapore, where I've been a writer-in-residence at a university here for the past six months. It's been a glorious time, teaching-wise: my students have been so thoughtful and kind, hardworking and committed to the project of our class this past semester. I'll really miss them, and my department and colleagues and the aunties at the kopitiams nearby. Plus it's been such a boon to live outside of the US these past eight months, first in Hong Kong and now here. The downside is that I agreed to a flight back on Philippine Airlines before checking their luggage policy--I rode my bicycle ~500 miles around southern Vietnam during winter break in Dec/Jan, and probably sent off an email okaying the ticket from the side of a mountain somewhere--and it turns out I'm going to end up paying a fair amount of luggage overage charges. I've been going through my books and things, deciding what to leave behind, somewhat in denial, because I've only Monday to take care of any last minute logistics before I board the plane on Tuesday.
posted by tapir-whorf at 8:35 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Ooh, ooh, I remembered some more.

Mrs. W and I were once waiting for an order at a fast food place and some old guy was shouting at an middle-aged female employee about something and she said "Sir, sir, don't be like that." Which gets said to me A LOT by the aforementioned Mrs. W.

When I'm complemented for knowing something: "I am the Supreme Being; I'm not entirely dim."

About some particularly good object: "It goes to eleven."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:50 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


"This too shall pass."

It applies to good stuff and bad stuff in equal measure.
posted by cooker girl at 8:54 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised at how much Monty Python seems lodged permanently in my brain. So, whenever I hear a reference to certain philosophers, a line from The Philosopher's Song will pop out of my mouth.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmannuel Kant was a real pissant
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:46 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


The Princess Bride is definitely a touchstone. My parents always told me "Have fun storming the castle!" when I would head out to do something with friends, and if someone tells me something obvious, I will often say "Yes, yes, you're very smart."

My real problem is that if someone says something that sounds like a show tune lyric, I hear it and then it lodges in my brain and then a few minutes later I'll end up singing that song, and, if not derailed, eventually I'll end up singing the entire show. My parents used to call it "Starting the Erin," and they'd entertain themselves on long car rides by sprinkling in musical theater lyrics in conversation and then see how long I could resist breaking out into song.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:54 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


It’s turtles all the way down.

The situation is hopeless but not serious.
posted by meijusa at 10:09 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I am enjoying, in my head only so as not to derail, going through this thread, prefixing "MetaFilter: " to each of these quotes and seeing how they turn out. Quite a few of them rather well.
posted by Wordshore at 10:13 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


My partner will sing "hateful, hateful, mean and hateful, that is what you are to me" to a tune in a passage in Beethovens 9th at me when I'm being difficult, and if she's really aggrieved, whenever I get too close over the next hour or so, she'll break into a manic hum of a different passage and then bite me.
posted by jamjam at 10:36 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Three phrases, adopted from past teachers/mentors, serve as sort of personal koans:

“...and people in Hell want ice water.”

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

“All bleeding eventually stops.”

A fourth I often say after I’ve delivered some piece of (usually trivial) knowledge: “If you want to know something, ask a librarian!”

And a fifth is just a favorite: “Good luck with your Fourierism!”
posted by octobersurprise at 10:38 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Whenever we leave home on holiday, my wife and me say "bye bye house" , quoting an Australian insurance commercial .

When things go really wrong , Like a grant denied or a paper rejected, we say " computer says no", quoting Little Britain.
posted by dhruva at 11:06 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


nth-ing "Not my circus, not my monkeys". So useful.
"Mistakes were made"
When stuff goes sideways or makes zero sense - "Excellent." - used in our messenger app so that the inclusion of the period is noticed. Also can be said in a tone of voice similar to Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
posted by Cyrie at 11:14 AM on January 28


During the holidays my son loved the cards and packages that came just to him. But now that the holidays are over, mail call has dried up.

Decided to ask my family to send him Valentine Day cards. But first I made little artist trading cards to swap for them, because I know they don't do anything for us without something in return.

But despite cooing over my art until I give them a commission price, they aren't even interested in swapping.

I've had six friends come forward and offer to send him something with the admonishment to keep my art to swap for even more cards.

Meh. I get to go back to work on Monday, though, which is nice.

And I have two favorite quotes that I always share together.

1. "Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." - Arnold H. Glasow

2. "I know, I know, but I can only do it once." - Daffy Duck
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:28 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


My speech is a patchwork of any number of odd little film or sitcom quotes and paraphrases some of them so long embedded that I've forgotten their origins, but I do have a couple of regular go-tos, neither of which reflect particularly well on me, my semi-absent empathy nor my sense of humour:
Other person present or television: "[blank] has no arm/leg/ear/liver/kidney/big toe/dance prowess"
Me: "How do they smell?" (referencing the "My dog has no nose" gag)
Other person present: "..."
Me: (after many awkward seconds of enthusiastic peering) "You're supposed to say 'terrible'!"
Also,
Other person present or television: [news item involving a person doing something unutterably awful]
Me: (refusing to fully process it) "Everyone needs a hobby."
Not intended as bragging about how jaded I am or can act. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:38 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


This still pops into my head on a weekly basis for random quotes. My fav quote for just hanging in there in a fucked up world when I feel like I'm going crazy and want to run down the street yelling for people to wake up is "It is not a sign of mental health to be well adjusted in a sick society".

Personally,On Friday, I got the call for my bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy surgery (aka ripping out my death trap of a womb) after waiting a year due to paperwork fuck ups and long hospital waits. So on March 8 I will hopefully be rid of the dysphoria every month, the suicidal thinking, the panic attacks, the anxiety induced hallucinations, the PMDD from hell. It only took 7 years of suicide attempts and multiple doctors dismissing me before I found one that a) believes genderfluidity is a thing b) doesn't think bleeding through clothes and sheets is normal, and c) doesn't think I should live my life hostage to my ovaries. The dysphoria of having to deal with periods each month is horrible and sometimes life threatening so I'm so happy that I found people to help me transition in the way *I* want to and that I'm starting to finally lead a life that is *me* :)

I'm also scared as hell as never had surgery before and my fibromyalgia will make it interesting as well as my PTSD and worry that since the only people I know to help with recovery are abusive family members that I'll get dragged back into that mess but I'm so looking forward to when I am not mentally messed up for 2.5 weeks of the month!
posted by kanata at 11:40 AM on January 28 [16 favorites]


Oh, and said with a deep breath when letting things go that should be let go, through an act of will: "The wolf was very angry, but he pretended not to be" from The Three Little Pigs.

Its power comes from the fact that it's slightly ridiculous, like wot I am.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 11:48 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Whenever I've done something clumsy or inelegant, in a Heroic Superhero voice: "Fingers of butter! Fists of ham!"

If I burn or nearly burn myself while fixing dinner (from the list of fictitious book titles in George Carlin's "Book Club" routine): "Cooking With Heat!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:52 AM on January 28


Oh man, so many Simpsons quotes in my head all the time. That apparently just went without saying in my mind, heh. "I'm cold and there are wolves after me" gets in my head way too much when I'm doing something unpleasant that I wish I could stop.

And yeah, "So I've got that goin' for me, which is nice" is something I say all the time, too.

I also get that bit about "we gotta play 'em one day at a time" from Bull Durham in mind a lot.
posted by limeonaire at 11:58 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I don’t remember where I heard “That which is not sustainable will not be sustained,” but I’ve used it a lot. Yes, it’s a blindingly obvious tautology on the surface, but a good reminder that when I or some organization I’m part of has taken on more work than we can keep up, we need to start planning our cut back or hand off strategy right now rather than waiting until we’re at the point of exhaustion.

Less helpful, but more frequently invoked: my son’s first three sentences were all complaints: “I cold! I hungy! I hungy NOW!” That’s now a well-known part of our family lore. When one of our family members needs to eat, they will probably announce that by calling out “I hungy NOW!”
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:02 PM on January 28


"Sounds like a personal problem"

My dad used that a lot, and I do too, more in the context of you second situation, where someone is trying to make their drama part of your situation.

Lots of quotes from Night Shift, a movie practically no one remembers.
Can you turn the music down?
"I can turn it down, I can turn it up, move it from the front to the back..."
"Hey kid, you like music?"
"Nice frame"
"I'm an idea man Chuck"
"Call Starkist"
"I wash my hands and my feet of you!"

Occasionally someone gets the reference, very occasionally.
posted by bongo_x at 12:46 PM on January 28


Whenever I or a co-worker does something boneheaded I cannot miss saying "It's hard to get good help nowadays" . I don't know the origin of that quote. Maybe I madeit up?

"There be Dragons"

From the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou "He ain't bonefied"

From Stranger Things "He ate my cat"

From Keb Mo "The worst is yet to come"
posted by mightshould at 12:53 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I've never actually seen the movie, but read and have used a quote from some old Hollywood film which the star said when he was told he had a phone call from someone who wanted something from him - "Tell him I've gone to Tahiti to paint!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on January 28


Speaking of references, I suppose Neil Young could have intended the Eliot reference since he hung out for for awhile at the Troubador in LA, and they had a guy there then who would periodically strip naked and go up onstage to recite "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" (Doug something, as I dimly recall).
posted by jamjam at 1:04 PM on January 28


"Good enough for government work." As opposed to, "Maximum effort."
posted by Splunge at 1:12 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


My job is basically knitting technical support and sometimes when customers are very over wrought I mutter 'there's no crying in knitting.'

Which is actually a total lie, there can be a fair amount of crying in knitting, usually when you realise you've been doing something wrong for the last 4 hours and need to rip all the work back.
posted by hfnuala at 2:51 PM on January 28 [9 favorites]


So many Simpsons quotes get used in my family.

“We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm!” - for anything “new” and “cool”.

“Everything’s coming up Millhouse!” When things are going well.

“Mmm... sacrilicious” for anything religious or delicious!


Also love Spaceballs quotes. I drive my husband crazy every time we order pizza: “you’d better watch out or Pizza is gonna send out for YOU.” Also good for any occasion: “I see your Schwartz is as big as mine” and “it’s my industrial-strength hairdryer and I can’t live without it!”
posted by saturngirl at 4:27 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I think this one must have come from my first job, and I’ve carried it through until now. “There’s no such thing as an administrative emergency.”
posted by Liesl at 4:52 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Been saying for years, most recently applied to cryptocurrency: "That and 85 cents will get you on the T."

(Best wishes, kanata)
posted by Dashy at 6:24 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


*Everything's got to be somewhere.*

Punchline to a cheesy joke, but what I say whenever something goes missing and I have to find it. The most common thing being Ralph's glasses.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:37 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


When something (anything, really) is disappointing or just plain bad: “Well they can’t all be winners, can they?” From this scene in Bad Santa, which makes me laugh pretty much every time I see it.
posted by holborne at 7:02 PM on January 28


"Good enough for government work." As opposed to, "Maximum effort."

My friend with whom I have the Venice Rialto jokes grew up with a family in civil service, and he taught me "Good enough for government work." As I now work in government (at least until I'm laid off), I think of that one a lot, too.

My father was big on saying, when my brother or I was complaining that something was not fair, "Well, I want to be an astronaut!" I don't think he actually wants/ed to be an astronaut, but that's pretty much the phrase in my head when people are being petty about whether things are "fair." His other phrase when we were little and wandering off was, "Write if you get work!" I suspect that some of my general sangfroid might have sprung from his.
posted by lazuli at 7:44 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


We have a seven-week-old baby so we're getting a lot of mileage out of "that escalated quickly."
posted by carolr at 8:29 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


from Johnny Dangerously It shoots through schools along with lots of fake cursing like cork-soakers.
Time Bandits Nipples for men. and Don't touch that! It's pure evil!
The old Metafilter tag You're Wrong! No, you're Wrong!
Jaws We're gonna need a bigger boat.
Thanks to Monty Python and the Holy Grail I use the term watery tart and strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government mostly so I can go look up the scene and enjoy it again.
posted by theora55 at 9:02 PM on January 28


I'm sure there are lots -- two I can think of right now are both from Clue:

- When something happens and I'm totally mind-boggled in a not-positive way, one of my go-to phrases is "Flames on the side of my face!" from the legendary ad-lib by Madeline Kahn. Depending on the situation I might add the "Breathing -- breathl -- heaving breaths..."

It's awesome because (1) she brilliantly conveys exasperated anger, (2) anyone who's seen the movie knows what I mean, and (3) saying the phrase reminds me of how funny she is in that moment, and makes me feel a little better and more grounded.

- When I say or write "To make a long story short" I will usually follow it up with "(too late)"; when other people say "To make a long story short" I always think "(too late)" but I won't say it aloud unless it's a friend and I know they've seen Clue.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:05 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


We had 2 warm days in a row and the driveway is now clear of ice. We'd had snow, then rain, and you have to be careful. Sometimes you shovel the heavy, wet snow, and the temperature creates the perfect conditions to put a layer of ice on everything, and you can't even go out to salt it because you will fall and slide and end up somewhere down the road. So I shoveled only 1 side of the driveway, and we ended up getting some sun, so the shoveled part was clear and dry, mostly, and the unshoveled side was an inch of the concrete-like mix of snow and rain that has frozen. It was in the 40s, so the ice could be broken up and heaved; it's oddly satisfying.

As I came down the stairs the other morning, some small ligament or muscle or gremlin in my right knee went sproing. It hurt and I couldn't use that knee for much of anything. That combined with an icy drive and walk made things more exciting than necessary. Babied the knee for a couple days and it appears to be okay. All this is precisely what it's like to become a geezer.
posted by theora55 at 9:16 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


I'm a lawyer and I say "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" at least once a week.
posted by gatorae at 9:19 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


"The files are IN the computer?!"
- from Zoolander

"What is this, a school for ANTS?!"
- Also Zoolander

When someone expresses surprise about something that's sort of inherent to my personality like drinking or flirting I'll say, "have you MET me?"

"That says more about them that it says about me."

"Elect a clown, expect a circus."
- bumper sticker

I know there are more.
posted by bendy at 9:30 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]



I'm a lawyer and I say "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" at least once a week.


Me, too, although I've been forced to develop a corollary: "Sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice."

Among my rules to live by: "Never miss an opportunity to pee or get water." (To be fair, this is more applicable on long-distance bike rides or when hiking Kilimanjaro, as I did 2 weeks ago.)
posted by suelac at 10:19 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Everything else is adequately covered by what my first-ever boss said to me over and over again: "Work smarter, not harder."

Where I work, the clinicians are constantly being given additional tasks, new work flows, or told to see more patients by non-clinical admin or financial people who have no idea the real ramifications of these poorly thought out plans. At one such meeting, I spoke up and said “So basically, you just want us all to work through our family dinner and into the night, right.”

“No, we want you to work smarter, not harder.”

Since then it’s been a recurring gag where some doctor is complaining how they worked til midnight on charting or some meaningless pile of paperwork.

“Sounds like someone’s not working smarter!”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:36 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


At some point years ago, I casually said to my partner, "I'm just going to take these pills and go to bed," at least that's what I thought I'd said. Us being cat people and all, what I actually said was "I'm just going to take these paws and go to bed." I genuinely did not know why he was laughing. So pills are paws in our house until the end of time.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:53 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


I wrote this last week. (probably been said before...)

"If you don't have any baggage you haven't been anywhere."
posted by sexyrobot at 12:47 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


"You are technically correct — the best kind of correct." from Futurama.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:22 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


I use this sentence a lot at the office: "same procedure as every year" from the movie Dinner for One (link to You Tube) which as also briefly discussed here and is extremely popular in German-speaking Europe).
In addtion to one-off type events I also run a number of annually recurring events every year and when I plan those and outline the plans to my colleagues it is literally that: same procedure as everyear with only minor changes.

At work I also I oftentimes feel like Cassandra, giving warnings that remain unheeded by management, and then I think to myself that I am a lighthouse (as in the urban legend about the Navy ship and the lighthouse) and management the naval ship. I may be lower in rank but still my position cannot be changed, for very practical reasons and continueing in this path will result in a desaster (which happens not unfrequently, but I get no satisfaction from it tbh).

Also, I might just say "Ground hog day" to my colleagues over coffee, or that I feel like Bill Murray today, and everyone at work will know what I mean (endless repetitions of the same old same old).

A quote I like so much I put it up in my office is "Do not obey in advance", from Tim Snyder's On Tyranny. Originally, obeying in advance is a concept dating back to the Habsburg empire times and was also in use during the Nazi time. The German is "Der vorauseilende Gehorsam", literally the advance obedience, I think the English "Do not obey in advance" does not quite do it justice but conveys the meaning. The German phrasing / grammar choice is however more passive, it implies your dutiful obedience preceeds all, literally runs ahead of you, and most importantly, you anticipate the order or need before the superior even voices it. It is the flip side of "Mitdenken" (=using your brain) - the idea that you anticipate / plan ahead, rather than being a passive "Befehlsempfänger" (= recepient of orders only)

Last not least: the glass is half full. Just to cheer myself up.
posted by 15L06 at 5:20 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


A friend of mine noted recently “you just have to embrace people as much as you can hurt.” Isn't that the truth.
posted by joycehealy at 7:10 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


"An hour spent arguing with strangers on the Internet is an hour forever lost."

And if anyone is so absurdly wrong as to disagree, we can thrash this out over on twitter or reddit.
posted by Wordshore at 7:24 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


"An hour spent arguing with strangers on the Internet is an hour forever lost."

Oh god - that just reminds me that I've used the XKCD "Someone is wrong on the Internet!" in the past.

And that has also further reminded me that I've used "[jerk] eating crackers" as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


In our house the most oft cited movie quote is from the Muppet Movie a 33 second laugh fest starring Madeline Kahn, Carol Kane and Telly Savales.

Not my circus, not my monkeys is a big one in my office.

My personal motto is from Shirley Chisholm: If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:09 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


...I feel I should add the two punch lines to my "lots and lots of MEAT!" story above - because believe it or not, it has a couple.

1. Same roommate was heavily into Home Improvement reruns. About a month after the "Lots and lots of MEAT!" incident, he was watching an episode where Tim was showing off "the ultimate Man's Kitchen" on Tool Time or something - and it was this total fantasy-kitchen stage set they were showing people around, and it had things like an arc welder in the oven so you could cook things super-fast, a wall-mounted whetstone so you could sharpen your knives, etc.

Towards the end of that segment, Tim said "and what's the one thing that a man wants most in his refrigerator?" and he walked over to the fridge door and opened it to reveal - "A Butcher!" It sent my roommate and I into total hysterics to the point that we totally missed anything else in the bit.


2. That dude was my roommate for a good 2 and a half years, before finally meeting the love of his life and moving in with her; they're still together today, and he's followed her while she's been getting her masters in Ann Arbor, then back to New York for her PhD, and now they're in Hawaii.

And - she's a vegetarian.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on January 29 [5 favorites]


One of my preferred rhetorical devices is If only there was some sort of [solution to problem]; some sort of/ we could call it [existing solution to problem]
You need to convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit? If only there was some sort of information source, a vast interconnected network connecting people to information.
posted by theora55 at 8:49 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


In college I had friends who often said "Anything is possible in an infinite universe." Now that I know the universe is in fact finite, when asked if something might happen ("Do you think we'll be back in time for lunch?") my standard reply is "Many things are possible in a finite universe," usually shortened to "Many things are possible."

One I picked up from Mrs. Wallflower: when disappointed she falls back on French, but instead of "quel dommage" she says "quel fromage."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:22 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


"If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them. " - John Waters
posted by Wordshore at 9:41 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]


We're partial to the Mythbusters in our house:

"Well that's your problem, right there!" when the problem is glaringly obvious.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" That needs no explanation.
posted by dellsolace at 11:04 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


When she was about 4 or 5, my cousin would express her exasperation about just about anything by exclaiming, "What the HECK!" We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that.

A slightly generalized saying from a particularly hated high school chem teacher - "You can [do action]... but only once." He used it in reference to poisonous chemicals in the lab ("You can taste it... but only once.") but I tend to use it for anything guaranteed to cause injury or death, especially if people start asking questions about airplanes. "It can go upside down... but only once."

I am fond of a lot of heavily used flying sayings which are varying degrees of useless and arcane, including:
-Keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down.
-Describing the act of flying as "turning dinosaurs into noise" or "burning holes in the sky"
-Describing crashes (which I generalize into catastrophic failures), alternately "cratering" or "putting a new hole in the ground"
-A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is when you can use the plane again.
-Delays of any kind (flying privately or commercial) - "Time to spare? Go by air. More time yet? Go by jet!"
posted by backseatpilot at 11:33 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


I can't believe no one else uses this Big Lebowski quote -- my spouse and I use it practically daily: "Well that's just, like, your opinion, man."
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:35 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Oh and as for the famous Adam Savage quote: it's actually older than that, he just popularized it!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:36 AM on January 29


"You done messed up, Ay Ay Ron!"


And from Blues Brothers, taking drink orders

Point at friends: "Orange whip? Orange whip?"
To server: "Three orange whips"

And then we walk off and get whatever people really wanted since we're not actually in a place fancy enough to have wait staff.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:38 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Oh and we also get a lot of mileage from that Archer quote: "Do you want [x]? Because that's how you get [x]."
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:40 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


A slightly generalized saying from a particularly hated high school chem teacher - "You can [do action]... but only once." He used it in reference to poisonous chemicals in the lab ("You can taste it... but only once.") but I tend to use it for anything guaranteed to cause injury or death, especially if people start asking questions about airplanes. "It can go upside down... but only once."

I wonder if that's a riff on that quote from Johnny Dangerously:

"[Person] tried to [do thing] to me once. ....Once."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on January 29


When I have the kids in the car and I’m pulling out of a parking space — “Ahead one quarter impulse power.”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:04 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


"What the HECK!"

In our house we say "what the Maine" after a Final Jeopardy answer where Ken Jennings left out the verb.
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:26 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


We say what the fish, not sure where my son picked it up (probably a minecraft gamer on you tube).
posted by 15L06 at 1:10 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


My mom used to tell me, "Man is a tool-using animal" when I was eating with my hands or trying to flip something in the skillet with my fingers, and now I use it all the time in similar contexts.


I use "I just have a lot of feelings" (from Mean Girls) a lot.


Also, "Compared to WHAT" from Marcel the Shell
posted by coppermoss at 3:12 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


"Bagels for you!" is the term I instinctively say whenever getting rid of or finding things. (A friend encountered a paper sack containing actual bagels with such a sign on it some years ago.)
posted by eotvos at 3:22 PM on January 29


Searching... Searching... Give Me a Minute... - Bounty Bear from Until the End of the World - use whenever looking for something that takes a little longer than you anticipated

Everyone I know has a big but. Come on, Simone. Let's talk about your big but - Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (my daughter's favorite) - use whenever someone is saying "But..." too much

Also many Jarmusch:
"He's sure staring at you" - from Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, whenever one of our cats is staring at one of us.

"Stupid fucking white man" - from Dead Man, to myself, whenever I do something regrettable, which is fairly often.

"Can't drink the whiskey like I usedta could" - also from Dead Man, use whenever waking up to a hangover/wisely deciding not to drink whiskey.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:47 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Oh I forgot a good one

(reverentially) "He shall know your ways as if born to them" - whenever anyone pulls off an impressive and unexpected move.

Hell, I quote Dune pretty much constantly.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:51 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Standard remark in our office, whether you're crossing the hall (bathroom) or going to Finance, or going to the staff meeting from hell; "Well, have a Big Time!"
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:54 PM on January 29


Not a quote, but I told someone heading to Japan today the Japanese word for 'gesundheit' is densen byou. (伝染病 - contagious disease). That's had me laughing all day imagining them cheerfully saying it to some poor person who sneezes on a train. I'm sure they'll have forgotten the word by then, though. (I hope)
posted by ctmf at 4:05 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


'The one common element in all your failed relationships is you'
posted by Sebmojo at 4:50 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Today as I popped opened up the hood of my car for the 4th time in attempting to fix my burned-out headlamp bulb on my own*, I was reminded of a quote that I think to myself every time I have to make a second or third attempt at fixing something due to screwing it up or not having the right tool/part the first time: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!"

*Fourth time was the charm
posted by drlith at 4:56 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Whenever somebody has a coughing fit, I break out "It's not the coughin' that carries you off; it's the coffin they carry you off in."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:02 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


"Oh, I'm not a doctor" - another Simpsons reference. I am, in fact, a doctor, but that is frequently used if anyone should call me one.
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 5:38 PM on January 29


Damn, Kaf, what about “We’re millionaires! We’ll buy this place!”
posted by octobersurprise at 5:48 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


My dad had a PhD. in education, and his phrase was:

No decision is a decision.

That is, not acting on something is a decision in and of itself.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:43 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


When I'm searching for something, the line from Love Actually, "Where the fuck is my fucking coat" is often muttered.

"Home Jeeves" whenever I get in the passenger seat instead of driving.

"Buttons are not toys" is an almost quote from THHGTTG movie, but I heard it said by an utterly exhausted and despairing mother to her son. Sounded like she said it a lot.
posted by kjs4 at 7:11 PM on January 29


"I'm not not licking toads" and "Hell is other people" are two things my brain brings up frequently. Also "it's an empirical question" is something I say a lot when I want to be annoying at work.

Oh, and "You're not wrong; you're just an asshole."
posted by sockermom at 7:28 PM on January 29


The wise learn from the mistakes of others, the fool learns only from their own and the vast mass of people never learn at all. - Gene Wolfe

'It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you HAVEN'T done. By the way, if you see your mother, tell her SATAN! SATAN! SATAN! SATAN!' - Butthole Surfers
posted by Sebmojo at 7:56 PM on January 29 [4 favorites]


Ages ago, on the Doctor Demento radio show, there was an ad in which aliens landed in a farmer's field in search of t-shirts. The farmer exclaimed, in a rural twang, "What the hell kinda deal is this?"

And thus do I exclaim, whenever I get a chance.

Also, from The Simpsons: "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!"
posted by moonmilk at 8:08 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Oh boy, now that we’re opening it up to The Simpsons...

Every time I’ve lost something around the house, I say to my wife “Where’s my burrito? Where’s my burrito?”

Any time salad comes up, eg “Maybe we should bring a salad to the barbecue” the other person will make the counterpoint “You don’t make friends with salad.”

And at least once a week my wife will come up to me in need of a hug with arms in front of her, elbows at 90 degrees, in a robot voice “I AM BENDER. PLEASE INSERT GIRDER.”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:16 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


The farmer exclaimed, in a rural twang, "What the hell kinda deal is this?"

That reminds me of an old SNL skit with Steve Martin and Bill Murray, in which 95% of the premise is the two of them staring beyond the camera and asking each other "What the hell is that??" The line from it that I sometimes quote, when someone is about to inadvisably touch/mess with something, is "Yew kids don't putcher lips on that thang!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:46 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


My wife says "You don't win friends with salad" in almost every situation.
posted by bongo_x at 11:52 PM on January 29


"Hell is other people."
posted by Meatbomb at 3:54 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out."

(I swear I do not intend this to be a politics reference. Yes, it's apt for … basically everything going on in Western democracies right now, but it also embodies … uh … basically everything else. Like, this phrase literally enters my mind daily, and has for I don't know how long now. I was thinking about this this morning, even before I knew about this thread. Lotta poisons, is what I'm saying.)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:38 AM on January 30


I am with Cyrie above: "Mistakes were made," is heard at least daily in this house. The ultimate source (everyone else in the family got it from me, and this is where I got it).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:47 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Oh I forgot a good one

(reverentially) "He shall know your ways as if born to them" - whenever anyone pulls off an impressive and unexpected move.


Nice! When I am trying to butter someone up for a favour, or thank them deeply for one, I sometimes drop in, "The villages of my children will sing your name."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:49 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I've seen some people apologize by saying "I have forgotten the face of my father". Or turn it around to "you have forgotten the face of your father" if they wanted to accuse someone of something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 AM on January 30


rabbitrabbit: "I can't believe no one else uses this Big Lebowski quote -- my spouse and I use it practically daily: "Well that's just, like, your opinion, man.""

I use the ever popular "You're not wrong," with the second half usually completed only in my brain.
posted by Mitheral at 6:43 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


“All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.”
--Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

“The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”
--Jim Harrison, The Beast God Forgot to Invent

"Raising a child is like taking care of someone who's on way too many shrooms, while you yourself are on a moderate amount of shrooms. I am not confident in my decisions, but I know you should not be eating a mousepad."
--Ron Funches

“Whenever a person describes him- or herself as a realist, they are doing something they know to be wrong and of which they are ashamed. That's a free life lesson.”
--”Negative Motivation,” from the blog Gin and Tacos
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 8:22 AM on January 30 [11 favorites]


No decision is a decision.

That is, not acting on something is a decision in and of itself.


Or, as I often sing to my cat, Rupert, when he is standing in the doorway unable to decide whether to go out: If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice!
posted by carmicha at 8:42 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


There was an episode of Wings in which Brian is able to identify a bank robber by a strange figure of speech he used. He said "sittin' in butter" instead of something like "sitting pretty" - that is, to be in a good position. So, my sister and I always say, "If [X], we'll be sittin' in butter." I often forget and say it around other people, and generally get a response somewhere between "What?" and "Ewww!"

I should note that my sister and I can communicate almost entirely in in-jokes when we want to, having been pretty much raised as twins instead of siblings a year apart. Mom was a twin, so it just seemed natural. It drove Dad absolutely nuts.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:40 AM on January 30


I have so many mental shortcuts like these. Off the top of my head:
- You're killing me, Smalls (The Sandlot)*
- You always ruin my nicest flowers (a misquote from Sleeping Beauty)*
- Want some rye? 'Course you do! Here's to us. Who's like us? Damn few! And they're aaaalll deeeaaaad. (video contains SPOILERS for Return to Zork)*
- You're unbelievable (to which I mentally add "Ow ow ow!" because EMF is in my head)
* From my wife and her family, who I realized are my people when they were quoting old video games while drinking, who also have been known to say "I'm too drive to drunk")

Non movie or music references:
- Not my monkeys, not my circus -- used with varying frequency at work
- Nice doesn't get the job done -- my response to people who say "s/he's nice ... " about some incompetent or unhelpful person.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on January 30


'It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you HAVEN'T done. By the way, if you see your mother, tell her SATAN! SATAN! SATAN! SATAN!' - Butthole Surfers

Which makes me think of Orbital and weird remixes, which makes me think of hearing Acen's sampled version of The Beatles when I hear "Here Comes the Sun" play.

And in a less trippy direction, there's Bonobo's "Dinosaurs" and the intro sample of the Kingston Trio's "MTA."
posted by filthy light thief at 11:07 AM on January 30


The Blues Brothers:
"We got both kinds a music here. Country and western" (in that kind of bar)


A classic around the light thief house, along with variations on:
- It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.
- Hit it.

- We're on a mission from God.

- The tall one wants white bread, toasted, dry, with nothin' on it. And the other one wants four whole fried chickens and a Coke.

And my dad was quite happy to learn my wife also quotes Wayne's World, with such lines as:
- I don't even own *a* gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do with a gun rack?

- If Benjamin were an ice cream flavor, he'd be pralines and dick.

- Hi. I'm in... Delaware.

- Do I frighten you?
-- No.
- Do you want me to?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:20 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


- "I disbelieve!" (this makes sense if you've ever played Earthdawn, now generally used in bullshitting situations)

- "That sounds like a personal problem"

- "Boot To The Head!!"

- "How do they even adult?!" (Usually exclaimed after some sort of egregious story told about a co-worker.

- "Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight" (from a Barenaked Ladies song, and my personal motto.)
posted by sharp pointy objects at 11:54 AM on January 30


Oh man I totally forgot something I do all the time, when we are hastily cleaning up our pigsty of a house in preparation for a social gathering at our place that I am less than enthused about...a very sarcastic "Party, party!" à la Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
posted by chococat at 12:24 PM on January 30


- "Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight" (from a Barenaked Ladies song, and my personal motto.)

Kids today. We have covered this already (as did BNL, come to that).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:24 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Kafkaesque, I am so glad that somebody else does the Bounty Bear. I have to hold my arms out in front at shoulder height and lurch and swivel as I do it too.
posted by Gotanda at 3:57 PM on January 30


Cartoon quotes are the best...

from Rocky & Bullwnkle
"Hey, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat."
"But that trick never works!"
(we've all had separate occasions to be on both sides of that conversation)
"Fan mail from a flounder?"
"Where have I heard that voice before?"
"Jumping G. Horsefat!"
"That's something you don't see every day, Chauncey."
"Thank you, Mr. Know-It-All."

from Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tuners
"Gee, ain't I a stinker?"
"I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque."
"And don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven... 'cause it hasn't."
"He don't know me very well, do he?"
"Of course you realize, this means war!"
"Ain't I a stinker?"
and the Yosemite Sam alternative swearing: "Rackin' frackin' flim flam..."

and the early Hanna-Barbera-ians:
"I'm smarter than the average bear!"
"Mr. Ranger isn't gonna like that."
"One down, and only a million to go."
"Stop this crazy thing!"

I had accumulated enough quotables from the earlier days, that I didn't have brainspace left when The Simpsons came flooding in...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:35 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


And this does not really qualify as a Thing I Always Say, although I should point out that It Would Be If It Came Up More Often. A couple of weeks ago I was picking up a few groceries; the cashier rang them up and told me, "Your total is 17.78."

Reader, it was all I could do not to bellow HOW I WISH I WAS IN SHERBROOKE NOW
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 PM on January 30 [6 favorites]


My twin sister and I use a few quotes from Big Business on the regular. (Movie where Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin play two sets of twins.)

“I like that lamp. Is it new since last time?” Said whenever someone acquires a new shiny thing.

“We are going to walk very casually. And yet, very quickly!” If we happen to be hurrying along somewhere.

“Elaine’s!” Used whenever we’re going to do (or have done) something fancy and/or decadently frivolous, which has also morphed into a hashtag. “Going shopping and then to brunch on Sunday! #elaines”
posted by Autumnheart at 7:30 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


I worked on a kinda dingy movie called The Rules of Attraction. One scene involved a tense dinner with a character named Richard, who smoked the entire time and insisted that everyone else call him Dick. Eventually his mother has enough, and she tells him to leave the table. He says “Whyyyyyyy?” in this faux-whiny-confused voice that I have mimicked over and over again when something bad but totally expected happens.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:37 PM on January 30


I love the auto-confess Jesus booth in THX 1138. Sometimes I will try to work those lines into conversation, especially:

Can you be more... specific?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:56 PM on January 30


Hyperbole and a Half quotes get a lot of play in Ziggyland. "Go to the motherf*ckin' BANK like an ADULT" where 'bank' is interchangeable with any other boring quotidien place, 'grocery store', 'post office' or similar and ideally accompanied with a hands on hips superhero pose. Similarly, "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS" where 'clean' can be replaced with any other verb.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:22 AM on January 31 [5 favorites]


From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: "Morons. I've got morons on my team."

And from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: "Our situation has not improved." With all the Sean Connery I can muster for it.
posted by bryon at 5:38 AM on January 31


"How we act will affect the main issue more than what we say. Once we have set our plans in order, it will be easy to find words to fit our deeds"

-Lucius Annius, Livy, BK. 8
posted by clavdivs at 11:03 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


"Every morning, a man wakes up, looks at his reflection in the toilet and proceeds to piss on it." - Somebody said it in high school.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:50 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


"Buckle me up and tell the pigeons.", when I am more pleased than I expected to be. "Ha-ow pahltry!" when I am less pleased.

(The latter is from a Kipling story with Mrs Hauksbee in it.)
posted by clew at 2:56 PM on January 31


Remembered another favorite!

This is from a play that my old theater company did - it was by a friend of the Artistic Director's, and I really liked it a lot and thought it should have done way better than it did. (one of the cast won a Drama Desk Award for her performance, though!).

Anyway - it's presented as three monologues direct to the audience, interspersed between each other, with the three cast members all telling their side of the plot. One of the characters is a guy who hooks up with each of the two women in turn. At one point, he's talking about how he meets one of the women and is instantly attracted to her, and says: "I just thought 'oh, man....I am gonna do things to you.'"

"I am gonna do things to you" has become part of my permanent internal monologue.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 PM on January 31


Line from Rancho Deluxe that I really wish I'd incorporated into my wedding vows: "We're beaucoup committed now. Let's ride in style."
posted by stet at 8:14 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]


Today is the first of February, so one wishes all MeFites the happiest of Imbolc or Saint Brigid's Day. This marks the beginning of Spring, and is a day of crosses and risque Celtic fertility carvings.

A little more:

"St Brigid of Kildare (c. 451 – 525) is one of Ireland's patron saints, along with Patrick and Columba. The saint shares her name with the Celtic goddess Brigid, and there are many legends and folk customs associated with her. Some scholars suggest that the saint is a Christianisation of the revered fertility goddess, others that she was a real person whose mythos took on the goddess's attributes.

St Brigid’s Feast Day was originally a pagan festival called Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring. After a long dark winter, February 1st, Lá Fhéile Bhríde, celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and the early signs of spring. In the pagan tradition, this day also celebrates Brigid's divine femininity."
posted by Wordshore at 12:04 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Line from Rancho Deluxe that I really wish I'd incorporated into my wedding vows: "We're beaucoup committed now. Let's ride in style."

That would have been awesome. Our wedding was performed by a woman who has been by mom’s best friend since high school. She has an easygoing approach (knowing neither bride nor groom is a churchgoer, she asked, “I guess you want it light on the God stuff?”). When we met with her a couple of months ahead of time to plan the ceremony, she brought along a couple dozen pages of possibilities of text for parts of the ceremony and asked about the possibilities and what we wanted.

One section we chose was one that we both liked, where the minister directly addressed the dearly beloved gathered here today shortly before the actual, “Do you, ricochet, take this... etc.” In this bit, she spoke to the crowd and talked about how a marriage doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but is a new connection within the community, and how she hoped the friends and family gathered here would offer their love and support to the newly wed couple.

The original text read something like, “if you agree, please say ‘we do.’” We changed the crowd’s line at that prompt to, “So say we all.” The ripple of chuckles was quite gratifying.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:03 AM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Some friends of mine did that same thing! It was a very nerdy wedding overall and there were other nerdy bits scattered throughout the ceremony.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:18 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I am fond of "couper la difficulté en quatre" (thanks, Helen DeWitt!).

Also, one time a college friend finished a paper and announced, "Time to drop that baby down the well!" This has proved an enduring way to commemorate the completion of a task.

Also I know I shouldn't dwell on politics here but my SO and I may walk around quoting Sun Ra's "Nuclear War" at each other a lot these days. "Whatcha gonna do...without your ass?"
posted by ferret branca at 7:21 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


Anytime someone says that they don’t believe something, I always respond (though usually just inside my head), “Just a conspiracy of cartographers then?” from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I used to say it out loud, but, well....
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:40 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Important update: tonight I tasted what I was cooking, and as always, thought "Not bad! Could use a little paprika." And then I thought of the approximately four tons of paprika I'd put into this goulash.
posted by moonmilk at 3:37 PM on February 15


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