Monday, April 25, 2011

The "IT" Factor, aka "May I quote you on that?"

I recently watched the entire, sadly single, season of Firefly.


For the umpteenth time.

*sighs* Love that show. Not sure which idiot decided to cancel it, but, in my not so humble opinion, he or she should burn in "the special hell" Book tells Mal about in one of the episodes.

It's not only Firefly I stalk when I'm in the mood for viewing instead of reading. There are movies I have the same repetitive affection for. Galaxy Quest, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Star Wars: A New Hope (the first one), and The Princess Bride, to name some of them.

What is it about movie or a TV show that makes it special enough to watch over and over again without tiring of it?

Hmm. I'm thinking, aside from a compelling story and great chemistry between the cast members (both extremely important, of course), it may also have something to do with the Quotability Factor.

When I'm watching a show or movie I really love, I almost wiggle with anticipation waiting for the lines I love. I can't possibly list all the good ones, but here are a few off the top of my head:

From Firefly...

River: "Also, I can kill you with my brain."

River: "My food is problematic."

Book: "If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater."

...and so, so many more!

Galaxy Quest...

Jason: "Never give up, never surrender."

Alexander: " Grabthar's the sons of shall be...avenged."

Guy: "You see? I'm just crewman number 7! I'm expendable!"

Brandon: "Oh my God, I knew it! I knew it, I knew it!"

Ferris Bueller's Day Off...

Teacher: "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"

Ferris: "Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond."

Ferris: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it."

Star Wars...

C3PO: "Let the Wookie win."

Obi-Wan: "These aren't the Droids you're looking for."

Leia: "Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?"

Luke: "I'm Luke Skywalker -- I'm here to rescue you!"

Darth Vader: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

And the most quotable movie evah, The Princess Bride...

Vizzini: "Inconceivable!"

Miracle Max: "Have fun storming the castle!"

Wesley: "Sleep well, my friend...and dream of large women."

...and just about every other piece of dialogue from the entire movie. ;)

What does "IT" for you? What keeps you coming back to re-watch a TV show or a movie?


Kiernan said...

So true! My sisters, brother, and I regularly embarrass ourselves in public by quoting several different movies in quick succession during the same conversation. This doesn't worry me, though perhaps it should.

And Princess Bride is definitely my favorite for quotes. For example...

"No more rhymes now, I mean it!"

"Does anybody want a peanut?"

Patty Blount said...


"The hospital! What is it?"

"It's a large white building with patients, but that's not important right now."

"Johnny, what do you make of this?"
"I can make a brooch. A teradactyl..."

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop...(fill in the blank)"

And my all-time favorite line of all time (so good, I had to repeat it!):

"Surely you can't be serious."
"I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."

I've seen this movie dozens upon dozens of times and even though the jokes are dated, it never fails to get me giggling.

During mid-terms, my son's teacher opened the classroom door and said, "I just want to say good luck. We're all counting on you."

My son was the only student who'd seen Airplane! enough times to get the joke.

out of the wordwork said...

Oh, yes! The quotability factor is sooo important. Why don't screen writers get the respect they deserve? And when the screen writer is also the author of the novel, like William Goldman for Princess Bride? LOVE that book. And I got to read it to my son using Mandy Patinkin's accent in the movie: "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Sigh. Pure bliss.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

"We're going to need a bigger boat" (Jaws)

"May the Schwartz be with you" (Space Balls)

"It's just a flesh wound!" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

Ah, I could go on...Okay!

*knockknockknock* "Penny!" *knockknockknock* "Penny!" (Big Bang Theory)

Okay, I'm done for now.

Summer Frey said...

I don't know what the IT factor is for me, but I'm a repeater in everything. I read books over all the time, watch my favorite movies, shows... I guess they have to hit me on a certain level, maybe both intellectual and emotional, with some comedy thrown in?

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Linda, many of your favorites are also mine, and for the exact same reason!

Some more Galaxy Quest quotes:
"Didn't you guys ever WATCH the show?"
"Let's get out of here before one of those things eats Guy!"
"I see you got your shirt off."
"... and then it exploded."

I could go on and on if I wasn't typing on my phone's tiny keyboard.

Bess Weatherby said...

Oh boy. You can't forget "The Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't believe they exist . . . BAM!"

And, of course, the most quotable movie EVER MADE -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"What a strange person . . . "

"Doesn't make you king, just because some watery tart throws a sword at you."

And, of course, "NI!"

I think what keeps me coming back is a journey I just want to go on again and again, with characters I enjoy journeying with :)

Tara said...

"Stop that rhyming. I mean it.

Anybody want a peanut?"

I can recite that entire movie. I think you may be on to something with the quotability thing...

abby mumford said...

"stop calling me shirley."

Trisha Leigh said...

Quotability is a huge factor for me, or just situations that constantly apply to real life situations. Seinfeld is a big one for that...seriously (or sadly) is there anything that happens in the real world that Seinfeld didn't address?

The Princess Bride is a great one. Also, Mean Girls and Tommy Boy. :)

Kimberly Sabatini said...

I always get the quotes screwed up. Grrr moving that one little word changes everything LOL! Yeah, like that with jokes too. *sheepish grin* Better when I can write it down.

charles frenzel said...

Perhaps I'll blame cryptomesia.Friends laughed and told me it was from my writing. Now I'm terrified. I'm sure I must have gotten it from some one else. I can't be that quotable.

"Space, its impact on man" had the majesty of an Arthurian quote, but it always cracks me up. I thought it was from an early Star Trek, but I think it had an origin in a book of the 1950's, and that had an origin in a sarcastic comment when the next Polaris missile dissolved on the launch pad.

My nephew's child told me he watched "Agent Orange" on TV. If only he were older I'd ask him when his bedtime was and if his clock was running correctly. Of course, I should ask his parents what the heck they're doing letting their child watch A Clockwork Orange anyway.

I wonder what quotes he'll come up with after that experience.

Unknown said...

I've never seen Firefly! But I'll keep it in mind :)
I keep coming back to see something because of the music. Like The Sound of Music :D I seriously LOVE that movie.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

By George, I think you're onto something!

One of my favorite lines from the old TV show "Vegas": "Do you mind if I raise my eyebrows in disbelief?"

And from "An Affair to Remember": "I was looking up ... it was the nearest thing to heaven."

I suppose our challenge is to come up with lines in our books that are so riveting people will be quoting them as often as they ask each other, "Where's the beef?"

Anonymous said...

Back in college we used to watch "The Princess Bride" and take a drink every time we heard a line that we, personally, had quoted in our lives. Not for the faint-of-heart.

Linda G. said...

Kiernan -- Ha! I love that quote, too. :)

Tonya -- LOL! Now, that is my all-time favorite quote from a Bruce Willis movie. And I do love the Die Hard movies. Oh, and don't forget, "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho."

Patty -- LOVE Airplane! So many good quotes. :)

Nelsa -- Aaah, Inigo. Love that accent!

Teri -- Oooh, good ones! We just started watching the first season of Big Bang Theory. Loving it so far!

Summer -- Comedy is almost always key for me. Laughter makes me want to repeat. :)

Dianne -- Now I'm feeling the need to watch Galaxy Quest again. So many good ones!

Bess -- The whole fire-swamp scene cracks me up every time. And, yes, Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Tara -- LOL! I just quote along whenever I watch that movie.

Abby -- Tee-hee. Leslie Nielsen was a riot in Airplane. :)

Trisha -- Ah, yes. Seinfeld. "No soup for you!"

Kimmie -- You sound like my mom. She can mangle a joke better than anyone. But it usually turns out even funnier the way she tells it. ;)

Charles -- A kid watching A Clockwork Orange? Yikes!

Monica -- Ooooh, you must see Firefly! The dialogue alone is worth it. :)

Susan -- Ha! Never saw Vegas, but that's my kind of line. ;) And, yeah, great dialogue is always a challenge.

Misanthropology -- Geez. If I played that game, I'd be falling down drunk within the first half hour. ;)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh my gosh,
Book: "If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater."

That is great!! LOL!

But yes, I think quotabilty DOES play a factor. It's almost as if you need to see it again so you CAN quote the great line accurately. :)

Michele Shaw said...

Oh, it's all about the quotes for sure. You hit one of my faves...the "pardon my French" line from FBDO. I like a good romance, but comedies that I KNOW will give me a laugh are always winners:)

Al said...

With you on the princess bride.

Jen Stayrook said...

Firefly, along with one of my favorites, Arrested Development suffered very tragic, untimely endings. For me with AD, it was the quotability along with the timing of the jokes that made it hilarious. It was outlandish and dysfunctional, but still rang true. I've seen it about a million times.