Forrest Gump
Sunset Boulevard/Getty

20 Famous Movie Lines That Are Constantly Misquoted

View Slideshow
Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more
Forrest Gump
Sunset Boulevard/Getty

Come Again?

Have a favorite movie line that you like to quote? Most of us do, whether it’s the menacing “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” from “The Godfather” or the enigmatic “Show me the money!” from “Jerry Maguire.” But sometimes the phrases we remember from these cult classics are actually…wrong. Sometimes, we collectively twist these famous quotes with a different preposition, a misplaced noun, or an entirely new word altogether. Here are 20 famous movie lines that most people frequently misquote — plus the real quote we should all be using. 


Related: 26 Best Hollywood Movies About Getting Older


Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Amazon

“Luke, I Am Your Father”


As one of the most misquoted lines of all time, we’re here to emphatically state that this phrase was never uttered. In “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), Luke Skywalker accuses Darth Vader of killing his father, to which the evil character replies, “No. I am your father.” It’s a small distinction — and a less impactful one, which is probably why fans have adopted the more dramatic, “Luke, I am your father.”


Related: The Best Gifts for Diehard Star Wars Fans


“Greed Is Good”
Amazon

“Greed Is Good”

Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’ morally corrupt character in “Wall Street” (1987), supposedly tells a group of investors that “greed is good” — only, he doesn’t exactly say the oft-quoted phrase that way. “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” he actually says. “Greed is right, greed works." Somehow “greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


Related: 29 Small-Budget Films That Went on to Win Oscars

“Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?"
Amazon

“Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?"

This Clint Eastwood line in “Dirty Harry” (1971) has been parodied and re-used in subsequent films since the movie hit theaters, but Eastwood actually says something slightly different. His character, San Francisco cop Harry Callahan, has cornered a would-be robber after a bank robbery gone wrong. Callahan aims a gun at the injured man; both are unsure of whether there are any bullets left. “You've gotta ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?" Callahan asks. “Well, do ya, punk?”


Related: Hollywood: Then and Now

The Graduate
Amazon

"Mrs. Robinson, Are You Trying To Seduce Me?"

Though this quote isn’t totally far off, it’s still not exactly what Dustin Hoffman said in “The Graduate” (1967). After driving Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s business partner, home after a party, the older woman starts laying it on thick. His character, Ben Braddock, says, "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" The actual line lends a more unsure air to Hoffman’s question. (Spoiler alert: Mrs. Robinson is totally trying to seduce him.)


"I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore, Toto”
Amazon

"I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore, Toto”

Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, has already been through a lot when she seemingly utters these words in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). After being knocked out, whipped through a tornado, and crash landing in another world, she tells her loyal pup, “Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.” It’s a minor distinction — thinking versus feeling — but fans of the movie have morphed her line into the more succinct, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”


“We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat”
Amazon

“We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat”

Another wildly popular quote, this line from “Jaws” (1975) comes when police chief Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider, gets his first good look at the titular shark while out on the water. “You’re going to need a bigger boat,” he tells Quint, a World War II vet, though the line is almost always quoted as “We’re going to need a bigger boat” — perhaps a sign that the audience felt just as invested in capturing the creature as the film’s characters did. 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Amazon

"Mirror, Mirror On The Wall. Who's The Fairest Of Them All?"

It’s true: We’ve collectively misremembered a famous line from the Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937). In it, the wicked queen gazes into a mirror and asks, “Magic mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?” Somehow, we decided to drop “magic” along the way. The answer is still the same though: Snow White is obviously the fairest of them all. 

Field of Dreams
Amazon

“If You Build It, They Will Come”

Like many of these misquotes, the error here is a small one. In the classic baseball movie “Field of Dreams” (1989), Kevin Costner plays Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who hears a voice in a field one evening. But the voice doesn’t say they will come, it says, “If you build it, he will come,” referring to Shoeless Joe Jackson. In the public consciousness, though, it morphed into “they” — baseball is, after all, a team sport.

All About Eve”
Amazon

“Fasten Your Seat Belts. It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride”

Nope, Bette Davis did not say ‘ride’ in her famous quote from “All About Eve” (1950), where she plays aging Broadway star Maro Channing. Instead, she says “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Same sentiment, totally different word. 

“Hello, Clarice”
Amazon

“Hello, Clarice”

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) introduced filmgoers to quite possibly the creepiest movie character ever: Hannibal Lecter, masterfully played by Anthony Hopkins. Anyone imitating Lecter’s trademark, lilting voice has likely quoted him saying, “Hello, Clarice.” But the serial killer never actually said that. During his first meeting with Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling, he greets her with “Good evening, Clarice.” Rest assured — the line is still incredibly creepy.


Casablanca
Amazon

“Play It Again, Sam”

The 1942 noir classic “Casablanca” has given us plenty of one-liners, from “Here’s looking at you, kid,” to “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Fans have consistently attributed another famous line, “Play it again, Sam,” to Humphrey Bogart’s character, Rick Blaine. But it’s actually Bogart’s co-star Ingrid Bergman who says something a little closer, when she tells the piano player, “Play it once, Sam, for old time's sake. Play 'As Time Goes By.'” 

“Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges”
Amazon

“Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges”

Another Humphrey Bogart film, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948), resulted in the popular paraphrase “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.” The line comes from a showdown between Bogart’s character and a Mexican bandit leader named "Gold Hat." In it, Gold Hat, played by Alfonso Bedoya, tells Bogart: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!” Along the way, fans of the film condensed the memorable quote into its current iteration. 


Sunset Boulevard
Wikimedia Commons

“I’m Ready For My Close-up, Mr. DeMille”

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950) features Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a once-popular silent film star who is well past her prime. In the final scene, as it becomes clear that Norma has lost all touch with reality, she stands at the top of the stairs and declares, “"All right, Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my close-up." Moviegoers have slightly warped her last line, though it’s one that still conveys the sentiment behind the scene.


And Justice For Al
Amazon

“I'm Out Of Order? You're Out Of Order! This Whole Court's Out Of Order!"

Defense lawyer Arthur Kirkland, played by Al Pacino in “…And Justice For All” (1979), launches a tirade against the judge in this courtroom drama. But we’ve twisted his words slightly over the years, deviating from his original rant: “You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" Same energy, just more condensed.

Apocalypse Now
Amazon

“I Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning. It Smells Like Victory!”

More of a paraphrase than a misquote, this exaltation in “Apocalypse Now” (1979) comes from Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, who delivers a brief monologue after a napalm strike. ““You smell that?” he says. “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.”

Frankenstein”
Amazon

“He’s Alive!”

Science fiction horror “Frankenstein” (1931) stars Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein, a “mad scientist” who patchworks body parts from corpses to create a living being. In one memorable scene, when Frankenstein’s monster shows signs of life, Frankenstein shouts out “It’s alive!” — multiple times, in fact, which makes it even more surprising that we’ve collectively quoted the scientist as saying “He’s alive!,” instead. 

Star Trek
Amazon

“Beam Me Up, Scotty”

In truth, this well-used “Star Trek” phrase has never actually been uttered. There have been various versions like it, including “Scotty, beam us up" from episodes "The Gamesters of Triskelion" and "The Savage Curtain" in the original series, as well as “Mr. Scott, beam us up” from the episode “The Cloud Minders.” But it’s always “us” and never “me,” a detail that somehow hasn’t translated into the public’s memory.


Tarzan, the Ape Man
Wikimedia Commons

“Me, Tarzan. You, Jane.”

In the 1932 classic, “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” Tarzan and Jane are desperately trying to communicate with each other. But Tarzan doesn’t say “Me, Tarzan. You, Jane.” They go back and forth trying to explain their names, with Tarzan repeating, "Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan. Jane…" Apparently that’s just not as riveting as the mis-remembered quote.


Forrest Gump
Amazon

“Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get.”

This misquote from “Forrest Gump” (1994) is almost right. In reality, Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, is sitting on a bench musing about his life at a bus stop. “My mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates,” he tells a woman. “You never know what you’re going to get.” In the correct quote, he’s attributing this life lesson to his mother — a fact that many people reciting this scene leave out.

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
Wikimedia Commons

“We Have Ways Of Making You Talk”

Such a menacing quote. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely correct. Originally uttered in “The Lives of a Bengal Lancer” (1935), an old Gary Cooper movie, the character Mohammed Khan tells British officer Lieutenant Forsythe, “​"Well, gentlemen? We have ways to make men talk." Those ‘ways’? Inserting slivers of bamboo under the captives’ fingernails, then lighting that bamboo on fire. Yikes.