Top Seven Movie Misquotes

Movie Misquotes CasablancaWhy do people misquote films so much? We all do it. That is until some pedantic friend points out your mistake, and you ignore him or her anyway.

And do we why ignore them? Well, that's because you do not want to turn into the annoying, pedantic friend who everyone ignores. It's a vicious circle.

It must make Hollywood screen writers want to tear their hairpieces out. They probably spend hours agonising over one defining line, only for cinema-goers to totally miss the message. Well, today, just to prove we are not only here to titillate but educate, hecklerspray is your annoying pedantic friend who, um, you'll eventually ignore.Really, we don't know why we bother.

7. Casablanca (1942)
Movie Misquote: "Play it again, Sam"

Yes, we know everyone knows these words from world weary Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to piano man Sam (Dooley Wilson) is one of the most misquoted lines in movie history. But do you know what he really says? Well, to help you out it's: "You played it (As Time Goes By) for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can."

6. All About Eve (1950)
Movie misquote: "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

It's close, but what Bette Davis' fading star Margo Channing actually says is: "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." One word can make all the difference.

5. White Heat (1949)
Movie misquote: "Top of the World, Ma!"

Perhaps people were so fixated on the fact that James Cagney (Cody Jarrett) is about to be blown up they fluffed their lines. What he actually said is: "Made it, Ma. Top of the World." OK, it is quite close.

4. Blonde Crazy (1931)
Movie misquote: "You dirty rat."

The closest James Cagney ever gets to saying that line is: "Mmmmm, that dirty, double-crossing rat."

3. Star Trek
Movie misquote: "Beam Me Up, Scotty"

It's probably the most famous line in Star Trek history, but Captain Kirk never actually said it. The closest he ever got was: "Scotty, beam me up."

2. Apollo 13
Movie misquote: "Houston, we have a problem."

This must go down as probably the most misquoted line in history. What they actually said was: "Houston, we've had a problem."

1. Dirty Harry (1971)
Movie misquote: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

It must be a constant annoyance to Clint Eastwood that he really hams it up, but everyone just boils it down to five easy pieces. It's understandable, because it does go on for a bit. Okay, the actual quote is: "Ah, I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?" Told you it was long.


  1. gir says

    UHHHHHH what about Milton from Office Space? Everybody’s always like “But that’s my stapler” (lol) when what he actually says is “Socialization of the means of stapling has become a necessary condition for bringing the country out of barbarism.”

  2. Der Golem says

    On my top 10 “can’t live without” movies list is “All About Eve.” So I feel safe in making the following statement:
    Sorry, but Margo does say “bumpy night.”

  3. says

    Thanks guys. Just checked out that All About Eve quote and you are absolutely right,
    She does say 'bumpy night'.
    Proof, if ever you needed it, that some sources are plain rubbish.
    Not much gets past you lot, does it?
    I'll change them around.

  4. Vonbontee says

    #8 misquote, from “Gone With The Wind” – everybody thinks Prissy’s line is “I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!” Close, but in fact it’s just “…birthin’ babies!” No “no”.

  5. Darren Baker says

    The #2 misquote isn’t a misquote. The *movie* misquoted reality, so anyone saying “Houston, we have a problem.” is correctly quoting the film.

  6. philip greene says

    There’s another one, in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the character does NOT say “We don’t need no stinking badges.” It’s actually, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”