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A List of The Ten Funniest Movie Lines I will Ever Hear (From Robert Redford to John Goodman to Jeff Spicoli)

Updated on February 21, 2016

"Hey. That dude thinks I'm funny. Uh-huh-huh-huh!"

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Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".  Arguably the "high" point of Penn's illustrious career.Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss in "The Goodbye Girl".Robert Redford and Paul Newman absolutely nail it as "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid".Albert Brooks is "Lost in America".The teenage "detainees" of "The Breakfast Club".
Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".  Arguably the "high" point of Penn's illustrious career.
Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". Arguably the "high" point of Penn's illustrious career.
Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss in "The Goodbye Girl".
Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss in "The Goodbye Girl".
Robert Redford and Paul Newman absolutely nail it as "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid".
Robert Redford and Paul Newman absolutely nail it as "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid".
Albert Brooks is "Lost in America".
Albert Brooks is "Lost in America".
The teenage "detainees" of "The Breakfast Club".
The teenage "detainees" of "The Breakfast Club".

1) Richard Dreyfuss, in his richly deserved Oscar winning turn in “The Goodbye Girl”, gave us so many hilarious Neal Simon penned lines. One of my all-time favorites was when his exceedingly eccentric character, sloppy drunk and about to fall off of a windowsill upon which he is precariously perched, shouts out to the streets of New York a particularly stinging review of his Off-Off Broadway performance:

“Elliott Garfield researched Richard III, and discovered him to be England’s first, badly dressed, interior decorator!

2) Paul Newman and Robert Redford as “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” fired off classic line after classic line in this character study disguised as a Western buddy picture. One of the most priceless of these is delivered during a bank robbery scene in Bolivia. Butch is nervously struggling to shout commands to those present in freshly-learned Spanish he reads off a “cheat sheet” clutched in his hand. He delivers the same line twice in a row, to which Sundance, six-shooter brandished, turns to his fumbling partner and shouts back at him:

“They’re against the wall already! Skip on down!”

Honorable Mention (hey, indulge me here, it’s my favorite movie): “Rules?! In a Knife Fight?!”

3) Michael Keaton’s character, Bill, from “Nightshift” was a total laugh line machine in this flick. Turns out many of those lines were ad-libbed, according to then-fledgling Director Ron Howard. One of Keaton’s choice deliveries occurred during the Jail Cell scene, when Bill is asked by Henry Winkler’s character, Chuck, if he’s running for “Cell President”:

“They have that?”

4) Chevy Chase to Bill Murray in the epic golf comedy “Caddyshack”, when asked if he could perhaps one day take a dip in Chase’s swingin’ golf pro character’s swimming pool:

“Pool. Pond. Pond would be good for you.”

5) Many (including yours truly) have crowned the late, truly great Peter Sellers as the King of one-liners from his debilitatingly funny deadpan performances in the “Pink Panther” movie franchise. Here’s one, when Sellers clueless character, Inspector Clouseau, was reprimanded in horror after he had broken a quite costly piano:

“Why, that’s a priceless Steinway!”

“Not anymore.”

6) “Lost in America” may be the most profound example of the comedic genius of Albert Brooks, the film’s co-star, co-script writer and Director. Brooks character is about to be physically dragged out of a roadside café and into a parking lot fight with a psycho suspected multiple-murderer (trust me, it’s much funnier than it sounds), who most unsettlingly informs him:

“You remind me of everything I hate.”

7) “The Big Lebowski” is just one in a long line of cinematic masterpieces hatched from the quirky creative minds of the Brothers Coen, Joel and Ethan. John Goodman’s character has mistakenly identified a teenage kid as the party responsible for having done his Jeff Bridges-portrayed friend Lebowski egregiously wrong. As retribution for such, he locates what he believes to be the young man’s car parked in the street of a typical suburban neighborhood in the dead of night, where upon he proceeds to bash the bolts out of it with a sledgehammer. As the boy and his parents peer through the curtains of their front window in dumbfounded astonishment, they witness the gonzo Goodman insanely dismantle their innocent car swing by swing. And as they do, the trio listens in horror to a particularly puzzling refrain as it echoes ominously throughout the community. Though they have absolutely no idea why, Goodman continues to shout repeatedly at eardrum shattering decibel levels toward the inhabitants of the house the following mantra (and I will gracefully self-edit for those perhaps more sensitive readers here):

”This is what happens when you F_ _ _ somebody in the A_ _!!!

8) Judd Nelson’s juvenile delinquent punk character, John Bender, to the Straight-A Student, Physics Club Patronizing Nerd-of-Nerds, Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), in a moment of decidedly undiplomatic candor from “The Breakfast Club”:

“But face it. You're a neo maxi zoom dweebie.”

9) Tom Cruise, as Sports Agent “Jerry Maguire”, desperately pleading over the phone with the only remaining client he’s got left, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), and trying to convince the NFL Wide Receiver that he is, in fact, a strong proponent of the African-American professional athlete:

“ I don’t like black people? I am MISTER black people!”

10) It’s almost unfair to isolate just one piece of pot-saturated prose “puffed” by the legendary “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stoner California surfer dude, Jeff Spicoli. Played to perfection by a guy who would go on to become a pretty good “serious” actor, Sean Penn, virtually every word that spilled from Spicoli’s roach-scorched lips became instant movie immortality. One of the best of these is brilliant in it’s simplicity, but in the context of the scene, consistently inspires helpless laughter (no matter what particular “state of mind” you may find yourself in :o}). It’s the scene set inside the classroom of the no-nonsense History Teacher, Mr. Hand (another exquisite performance, courtesy of the late and underappreciated Ray Walston), who is ripping up the attendance card of the hapless Spicoli (late to class, again) right in front of him. His Cannabis-consumed mind utterly unable to wrap itself around Mr. Hand’s dismaying behavior, he addresses (with considerable displeasure) to his tutor the following actually quite reasonable question:

“Hey, bud. What’s your problem?”

Spicoli's Greatest "Hits"


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