We’ll begin the list with what many consider to be the greatest movie of all-time. Or, at the very least, one of the best. The incredible film from 1942, Casablanca, gets praise from almost everyone who sees it and one of the finest lines is somehow always improperly handled.
We’re not talking about rosebud, either. “Play it again, Sam,” is the famous one we’re talking about. But, the word “again” doesn’t even get said. Instead, the true line is, “Play it once, Sam. For old time’s sake.” Way different, huh?
The Treasure of the Sierra Marie
Our next line is one of those that we’ve all heard uttered at some point in our lives, but one that we might not know the origin of. At least, I didn’t. In the film, The Treasure of the Sierra Marie, there’s a line known as, “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”
However, the real line is a bit longer. “Badges? We ain’t go no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!” There is a catch to this one, though. If you use the line from earlier, it would be correct if you’re trying to quote Blazing Saddles. That line was actually used there.
Next, we have a case of some type of abbreviation. In the great Clint Eastwood flick, Dirty Harry, there’s a line that often gets used by people in the real world, or by characters in other movies, when they want to come across as tough. To be fair, it is a pretty cool line.
“Do ya feel lucky, punk?” That’s the question that gets asked in the movie. It’s much more than that, though. As our character questions whether he used all the ammo in his powerful handgun or not, he asks the remaining survivor to ask themselves, ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”
The second highest-grossing film in cinema history is James Cameron’s Titanic. Pretty much everyone has seen it at least once. You’d think that we’d all know lines from the movie by heart at this point. Especially the ones shouted by the main character in an iconic scene.
When Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) stands at the front of the boat, he shouts, “I’m king of the world!” Only, he doesn’t. This is one of the smaller misquotes, as the real line is, “I’m THE king of the world.” It’s a small distinction, but accuracy is key.
The Silence of the Lambs
Up next, we have a complete and total misuse of a line. In The Silence of the Lambs, the violent Hannibal Lecter has several interactions with the protagonist, Clarice. The roles were huge for Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Whenever most people think of this movie, their mind goes to a signature line.
That line is, “Hello, Clarice.” We’ve all heard it said in a maniacal voice. Almost a whisper. Not only is that line not right, it’s completely off. The actual line when the characters meet is, “Good morning.” That’s it. A simple greeting. In fact, the line everyone uses doesn’t even get uttered.
All About Eve
This next piece of the list is a case where you most likely don’t even realize that you’re quoting a movie. It’s a famous quote from the 1950 flick, All About Eve. You’ve heard or said it at some point, though you probably never watched the movie.
“Fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” It gets used a ton when people get ready to go on a roller coaster or when they’re set to go on some kind of adventure. The real line from the movie is actually, “Fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be a bumpy night.” One word can make all the difference.
Here’s another case of a line you’ve heard very often, yet one you probably didn’t know was from a specific movie. Or even from a movie at all. Sunset Boulevard is also from 1950 and is one of the more famous films around, but not many people go back and watch the classics.
The line in question is, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.” You often hear it before people take pictures or get put on camera. The real line is slightly different. “All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.”
Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back
Arguably, the most famous line on this list comes from The Empire Strikes Back, from the blockbuster Star Wars franchise. In one of the more iconic moments in cinema history, the evil Darth Vader reveals that he is the father of our hero, Luke Skywalker.
Most people quote it as, “Luke…I am your father.” In fact, other movies often include that exact misquote in their dialogue. However, the real line is actually, “No, I am your father.” Vader is responding to Luke’s claims that he killed his father, so his denial makes for a “no” instead of a “Luke.”
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is another one of the classics. The horror film made sharks into one of the more infamous predators in the world. It gave many folks a shark related phobia. It also inspired an oft-quoted line that is usually incorrectly said.
Chief Brody (Roy Schneider) scoops chum into the water and gets his first look at the massive shark. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat,” is his response. Or is it? He actually says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” which is funny since he’s on the boat and would also need one.
Field of Dreams
There are more than a few options for the choice of greatest baseball movie ever. For a lot of folks, it’s Field of Dreams. There’s one line in particular that is heavily quoted by people who might not even really like the film. It’s that famous.
“If you build it, they will come.” Other films and TV shows have utilized it often, especially when characters are fans of the movie. But, that’s not the line. It really is, “If you build it, he will come.” Honestly, that changes a lot about the line and makes it irrelevant in most of the cases it gets used in.
Before we wrap this list up, here’s a misquote that applies to both film and television. Star Trek succeeded in both of those mediums, so their more popular lines appear in both versions. The phrase is, “Beam me up, Scotty.” Yet, it has never been said in any of the films or shows.
Shocking, right? The closest the series of movies has ever come to saying that line was one of those lines. The first, from a film, was, “Scotty, beam me up.” The other appeared in the animated series and was, “Beam us up, Scotty.” Never just, “Beam me up, Scotty,” though.
The Wizard of Oz
The list ends on another one of the all-time classics. Not only is The Wizard of Oz widely considered to be a great film, it also is a massive achievement. It should be seen by anyone interested in films, or by anyone on the planet, to be honest.
“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” That line is uttered by Dorothy (Judy Garland) and gets used by people who are entering something unfamiliar to them. However, the true line is, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as smoothly.