35 Classic Movies You Might Not Realize You’ve Been Misquoting

Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back Poster

Did you know that Tarzan never actually said, “Me Tarzan, you Jane”? The quote is taken off of a longer exchange between Tarzan and Jane, one that doesn’t have the same memorable zip as the shorter quote. Despite this fact, the quote has hung around in popular culture, and an episode title from Buffy‘s first season is even a clever take on the quote, “I Robot, You Jane.”

Here are some other movie “quotes” we often use, even though they weren’t actually said in the movies themselves. Don’t worry, though. Almost everyone gets them wrong.


1. Casablanca

Quoting It Wrong: “Play it again, Sam.”
Doing It Right: This famous misquote isn’t said anywhere in the actual film. It is, however, the title of a Woody Allen movie. In Casablanca, Bogart actually says, “You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can. Play it!” Ingrid Bergman gets closer to the misquote, “Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake, play ‘As Time Goes By.’”

Quoting It Wrong: “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
Doing It Right: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

2. Apollo 13

Quoting It Wrong: “Houston, we have a problem.”
Doing It Right: “Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

3. Dracula

Quoting It Wrong: “I want to suck your blood.”
Doing It Right: There is no way to do it right. If you’re referring to the Lon Chaney version, the line is nowhere to be found. Spooooky. It did, however, pop up in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

4. Silence of the Lambs

Quoting It Wrong: “Hello, Clarice.”
Doing It Right: “Good evening, Clarice.”

5. Dirty Harry

Quoting It Wrong: “Do ya feel lucky, punk?”
Doing It Right: “I know what you’re thinking, ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. 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?”

Note: The wrong version is a lot shorter, so you can kind of understand why no one says it that way.


6. Aliens

Quoting It Wrong: “Stay away from her, you bitch.”
Doing It Right: “Get away from her, you bitch.”

7. Mommie Dearest

Quoting It Wrong: “No more wire hangers!”
Doing It Right: “No wire hangers! No wire hangers ever!”

8. Field of Dreams

Quoting It Wrong: “If you build it, they will come.”
Doing It Right: “If you build it, he will come.”

9. Blonde Crazy

Quoting It Wrong: “You dirty rat!”
Doing It Wrong: Commonly attributed to James Cagney, he never actually said this in a movie. However, in Blonde Crazy, he did say, “That dirty, double-crossing rat!” Which is close enough.

10. Sunset Boulevard

Quoting It Wrong: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”
Doing It Right: “All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.”


11. Star Trek

Quoting It Wrong: “Beam me up, Scotty.”
Doing It Right: “Beam us up, Scotty.”

12. Planet of the Apes

Quoting It Wrong: “Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”
Doing It Right: “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.”

13.…And Justice For All

Quoting It Wrong: “I’m out of order! You’re out of order! This whole court is out of order!”
Doing It Right: “You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!”

14. She Done Him Wrong

Quoting It Wrong: “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”
Doing It Right: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

15. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Quoting It Wrong: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
Doing It Right: “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”


16. Wall Street

Quoting It Wrong: “Greed is good.”
Doing It Right: “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.”

17. Apocalypse Now

Quoting It Wrong: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory!”
Doing It Right: This is just a shortened version of a much longer monologue. It goes, “You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells like victory.”

18. Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Quoting It Wrong: “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.”
Doing It Right: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”

19. Cool Hand Luke

Quoting It Wrong: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
Doing It Right: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

20. Jaws

Quoting It Wrong: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
Doing It Right: “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”


21. White Heat

Quoting It Wrong: “Top of the world, ma!”
Doing It Right: “Made it, ma! Top of the world!”

22. Titanic

Quoting It Wrong: “I’m king of the world!”
Doing It Right: “I’m the king of the world!”

23. King Kong

Quoting It Wrong: “T’was beauty that killed the beast.”
Doing It Right: “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”

24. Star Wars

(Kind Of) Quoting It Wrong: “May the force be with you.”
Doing It Right: Well, this one needs an explanation. The quote is commonly attributed to Obi-Wan Kenobi, who never actually says it in the original film (although they slip it in during the prequels). Han Solo does. If you want to quote the original Obi-Wan on the force, use this instead: “Remember, the Force will be with you always.”

25. The Empire Strikes Back

(Definitely) Quoting It Wrong: “Luke, I am your father.”
Doing It Right: “No, I am your father.”


26. A Few Good Men

Quoting It Wrong: “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.”
Doing It Right: The actual version is an exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, which we shorten because it’s catchier.

Nicholson: “You want answers?”
Cruise: “I want the truth.”
Nicholson: “You can’t handle the truth!”

Gotta love that Aaron Sorkin fire.

27. Forrest Gump

Quoting It Wrong: ““My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.’”
Doing It Right: “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.”

28. Lives of a Bengal Lancer

Quoting It Wrong: “We have ways of making you talk.”
Doing It Right: “We have ways of making men talk.”

29. All About Eve

Quoting It Wrong: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Doing It Right: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

30. Sons of the Desert (As Well As Many Other Laurel and Hardy Movies)

Quoting It Wrong: “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!”
Doing It Right: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”


31. Frankenstein

Quoting It Wrong: “He’s alive!”
Doing It Right: “it’s alive!”

32. Gone With The Wind

Quoting It Wrong: “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”
Doing It Right: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

33. The Graduate

Quoting It Wrong: “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”
Doing It Right: “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”

34. The Italian Job (1969)

Quoting It Wrong: “I’ve got an idea.”
Doing It Right: “Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea.”

35. The Wizard of Oz

Quoting It Wrong: “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Still Quoting It Wrong: “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
Doing It Right: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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