‘I Know, Right?’ 40 Comedies From The Past 40 Years That Changed The Way We Talk

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It's not the only comedy with pithy dialogue that weaseled its way into our vernacular so completely that we started to forget the source. A lot of others had us mimicking characters without even thinking about it, to the point that it became second nature to not just say "great success," but to say it in a faux-Kazakh accent, just the way Borat does.

Looking back at the past 40 years, we chose 40 movies that changed the way we talk and some of the most-repeated quotes. Some comedies, such as "Clueless," have copious lines. Others grabbed our attention with one snippet of dialogue.

"Animal House" (1978): Food fight! ... Toga! Toga! ... Double-secret probation

The cult classic invented neither the food fight nor the toga party, but it did supply the calls to action for frat boys everywhere, best conveyed in John Belushi's caveman yell.

"Airplane!" (1980): I am serious, and don't call me Shirley. ... Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

Leslie Nielsen didn't just create a viral phrase with his deadpan response to "Surely you can't be serious," but the previously dramatic actor also laid the groundwork for his future as a great comedic star.

"A Christmas Story" (1983): You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

The holiday favorite provided an excellent rebuttal for any child who wishes for a potentially hazardous present.

"This Is Spinal Tap" (1984): These go to 11.

When Christopher Guest uttered this line in the mockumentary about a British rock band, he was referring to custom amps that don't max out at a measly 10. Now, turning something up to 11 can mean any type of excessiveness.

"Ghostbusters" (1984): Don't cross the streams. ... Who you gonna call?

Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song for the action comedy sounds more like an ad slogan than a soundtrack, which is probably why it's become such a useful response.

"The Breakfast Club" (1985): Did I stutter? ... Eat my shorts

Long before Bart Simpson used "Eat my shorts" as an insult and "Did I Stutter?" became an episode of "The Office," Judd Nelson immortalized both phrases as the bad boy Bender.

"Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (1985): I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel. ... Be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya.

In truth, no phrase really captures the infectious nature of Paul Reubens' title character the way his froggy voice and honking laugh do. Kids couldn't help mimicking Pee-wee's signature sounds.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986): Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ... Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.

Ferris' last name has become increasingly useful in our phone-obsessed times; a quick succession of Buellers is a good way to telegraph that you're tired of being ignored.

"The Princess Bride" (1987): Inconceivable! ... Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. ... Mawwiage is what bwings us togethah today. ... As you wish

Rob Reiner's delightful adventure has a useful phrase for about every occasion, whether you're attending a wedding, settling an old score or in a perpetual state of shock.

"Coming to America" (1988): That boy's good. ... Sexual Chocolate ... What is that, velvet?

The Eddie Murphy comedy makes narrowing the best snippets an arduous task, but there's no question one line has an especially enduring legacy. "That boy good" memes and GIFs - inspired by elderly Clint Smith's exaggerated compliments for Sexual Chocolate lead singer Randy Watson - continue to be an internet staple three decades after the movie came out.

"Heathers" (1988): What is your damage? ... How very.

Before "Clueless" and "Mean Girls," the Winona Ryder-starring dark comedy gave teenagers a blueprint for how to talk.


& Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989): Bogus ... Greetings, my excellent friends. ... Party on, dudes. ... Whoa!

The slacker comedy made an impression as much for what the characters said as how they said it, with their imitation-ready Valley-speak-adjacent inflection.

"When Harry Met Sally" (1989): I'll have what she's having. ... When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

Director Rob Reiner's mom delivered the immortal quip "I'll have what she's having," which was the cherry on top of the infamous scene where Meg Ryan simulates an orgasm.

"Home Alone" (1990): Keep the change, ya filthy animal. ... I made my family disappear. ... Ahhhhhh! (preferably with hands on cheeks)

The most-copied moment from this holiday staple is actually a scream, after Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister slaps aftershave on his face.

"A League of Their Own" (1992): There's no crying in baseball.

Tom Hanks administered this remarkably versatile reprimand, which has been endlessly repurposed to suit about every profession.

"Wayne's World" (1992): Schwing! ... Not! ... Exsqueeze me? ... We're not worthy.

The catch phrases from Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey) were as irresistible as their cadence. While the "Saturday Night Live" mainstays employed Bill and Ted's "bogus" and "dude," they also came up with plenty of original material.

"The Sandlot" (1993): You're killin' me, Smalls. ... For-e-ver

The Smalls in question was Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry), a kid who got scolded after admitting he didn't know what a s'more was. But these days, Smalls can be about anyone who's been a disappointment.

"Dazed and Confused" (1993): It'd be a lot cooler if you did. ... All right, all right, all right. ... Air raid!

Matthew McConaughey nearly cornered the market on memorable dialogue in Richard Linklater's snapshot of 1976 teenagers. His lines were accompanied by his singular drawl, which is how the quotes are best replicated.

"Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (1994): Looo-Hooo-Zuh-Her: All righty then. ... Do not go in there.

The antithesis of the ultra-cool "all right, all right, all right" was the aggressively dorky "all righty then," delivered by Jim Carrey's moronic private investigator, and yet Ace's go-to comeback turned out to be even more imitated.

"Dumb and Dumber" (1994): So you're telling me there's a chance.

While Carrey's "Ace Ventura" sayings captured the zeitgeist at the time, this line from "Dumb and Dumber" turned out to be more enduring, still cropping up in modern conversations.

"Friday" (1995): Bye, Felisha.

Ice Cube dismissed the freeloading Felisha with a kiss-off so perfect that people still haven't found a replacement.

"Tommy Boy" (1995): That was awesome! ... What'd you do?! ... Fat guy in a little cooooooat.

Chris Farley's lines weren't inherently funny without his lovable delivery and inappropriate timing.

"Clueless" (1995): As if. ... I'm Audi. ... Buggin' ... Whatever ... A full-on Monet ... I totally paused.

The list could go on, but these are some standouts that Alicia Silverstone's Cher had on rotation.

- "Billy Madison" (1995): I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. ... O'Doyle rules! ... Soooo hot. Want to touch the hiney. ... Stop looking at me, swan!

Adam Sandler is a punchline these days, but once he could solidly deliver his own. Just after his stint on "Saturday Night Live," he was a reliable box office draw whose lines were often mimicked.

"Jerry Maguire" (1996): Show me the money. ... You complete me. ... You had me at hello.

In the late 1990s, there was no escaping "Show me the money." The actor who said it, Cuba Gooding Jr., won an Oscar for his role, but writer-director Cameron Crowe deserves some demerits for unleashing that scourge on everyday life.

"Swingers" (1996): You're so money, and you don't even know it. ... Vegas, baby. Vegas.

Vince Vaughn's breakout role was the first time we saw him play his go-to persona: the fast talker unleashing a bottomless pit of one-liners.

"Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (1997): Yeah, baby, yeah. ... Shh! ... Oh, behave. ... One. Million. Dollars.

Mike Myers was back at it five years after "Wayne's World," giving movie fans a whole new set of conversational flourishes. Playing the title character and his nemesis, Dr. Evil, he also provided a couple of new accents worth impersonating.

"Rush Hour" (1998): Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth!?

The genesis of Chris Tucker's line wasn't entirely PC. After meeting his new partner, played by Jackie Chan, he was trying to discern whether the man spoke English. The quote turned out to be highly adaptable, usable on any clueless dimwit who doesn't seem to get it.

"The Big Lebowski" (1998): The dude abides. ... Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Nearly a decade after "Bill & Ted," the Coen brothers dreamed up a different, chiller kind of dude. Jeff Bridges played El Duderino himself, whose vow "The dude abides" was the kind of catch phrase destined to end up on T-shirts.

"Office Space" (1999): I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob. ... Whaaaaat's happening? ... Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays. ... I have people skills!

Mike Judge's nightmarish workplace comedy struck a chord with 9-to-5ers who immediately recognized the horrors of faulty printers and TPS reports.

"American Pie" (1999): MILF ... This one time, at band camp

The coming-of-age comedy didn't invent the acronym MILF but it did push both the phrase and the phenomenon mainstream.

"Zoolander" (2001): They're in the computer!? ... Really, really ridiculously good-looking. ... I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. ... So hot right now.

So begins the Will Ferrell era. Although Ben Stiller was the star, it was Ferrell who stole the show as the crazy-haired Mugatu.

"Elf" (2003): You sit on a throne of lies. ... You smell like beef and cheese.

As Buddy the earnest, oversized elf, Ferrell gave the kind of sweet performance that ensured this comedy would get heavy rotation during the holiday season. But he wasn't always sugary sweet, especially when he stumbled upon a Santa impersonator.

"Old School" (2003): We're going streaking! ... You're my boy, Blue. ... Earmuffs ... Once it hits your lips, it's so good.

Ferrell again is responsible for almost all the best lines, except for Vince Vaughn's instant-classic "earmuffs."

"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2004): I'm kind of a big deal. ... I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany. ... That escalated quickly. ... It's so damn hot! Milk was a bad choice.

And that's it for the Ferrell streak. But he had a good run, especially considering how many people still say "I'm kind of a big deal."

"Mean Girls" (2004): Stop trying to make fetch happen. ... You can't sit with us. ... I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom. ... I know, right?

Tina Fey wrote some impeccable dialogue for this dark comedy about high school life. The gift - or curse - that keeps on giving is the inescapable "I know, right?"

"Napoleon Dynamite" (2004): Freakin' idiot ... Whatever I feel like I wanna do, gosh. ... Dang it!

Though they weren't quite as popular as Vote for Pedro T-shirts, these lines from the offbeat comedy led to a resurgence of quaintly PG-rated expletives.

"Wedding Crashers" (2005): Just the tip ... I got a Stage 5 clinger.

This was peak Vince Vaughn, motor-mouthing his way through scenes while supplying us with a descriptive term for a stalker you can't seem to shake.

"Borat" (2006): Great success! ... My wife ... Very niiice!

Sacha Baron Cohen's performance as a Kazakh journalist with a Pamela Anderson obsession didn't delight the people of Kazakhstan, but the movie's fans were all too happy to repeat lines like "Very niiice!" in his inauthentic, sing-songy accent.

"Bridesmaids" (2011): Help me, I'm poor. ... Look away! ... It's happening. It's happening. It happened. ... I'm ready to partyyyyyyy!

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo earned an Oscar nomination for this snappy screenplay that left a lasting impression, especially the dialogue from the infamous food poisoning debacle and the airplane fiasco.

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