While we’re big fans of famous quotes from prominent historical figures, sometimes all we need is a bit of humor from modern culture.
And, honestly, is there anything better than being so surprised by an insight, situation, or joke that you begin laughing uncontrollably at the silver screen? So many movies promise such an experience, but so few manage to deliver.
Well, here are 25 hilarious movie quotes that are sure to put a smile on your face.
1. Leslie Nielsen, Airplane:
I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.
Easily one of the most oft-quoted lines in movie history, this quote is an encapsulation of how brilliant the original Airplane was. Throwing logic to the wind, the movie introduced a new paradigm of comedy. While the slapstick spoof genre has been scraping the bottom of the barrel in recent years, Airplane reminds us of how much gold there is to be mined in this particular form of comedy.
2. Alyson Hannigan, American Pie
This one time at band camp…
Like many of the most hilarious movie quotes, the full enchilada is inappropriate for a family website. Plus, anyone who hasn’t yet seen the film deserves to have the surprise kept intact. One of the biggest shock laugh scenes in the last twenty years, it was this quote that solidified American Pie as a modern comedy classic.
3. Steve Martin, The Jerk
I was born a poor black child.
These days Steve Martin is known for soft family comedies and short, well-written novels. Back in the day, though, Martin was the king of cinema comedy. The Jerk is a prime example of Martin at his hilarious best, and the quote above sets the tone for the raucous, irreverent film.
4. Robert DeNiro, Meet the Parents
I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?
The series was marred by predictable, unfunny sequels, but the original is one of the funniest movies of the modern era. Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro are on point throughout Meet the Parents, but the first dinner scene may be the peak of the movie.
5. Keith David, There’s Something About Mary
How’d you get the beans above the frank?
The movie that rocketed the Farrelly Brothers into directing superstardom, There’s Something About Mary has more than its fair share of memorable moments. While the “hair gel” scene is probably one of the most famous, the opening flashback, which puts Ben Stiller in a most uncomfortable negotiation with his zipper, will be long remembered by any man who watched it.
6. Estelle Reiner, When Harry Met Sally
I’ll have what she’s having.
It’s funny that the most memorable line of 1989’s When Harry Met Sally actually comes from a glorified extra. Of course, that extra happens to be the director’s mother, but that hardly detracts from this effective scene. Driven by Meg Ryan’s commitment to a public fake orgasm and Billy Crystal’s perfect longsuffering reactions, the punchline is one of those movie moments you’ll never forget.
7. John Cleese, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.
It’s often said that British humor doesn’t translate across the pond, but the Monty Python crew proved this wrong with their 1970s productions. The peak of these productions was Monty Python and the Holy Grail, whose understated humor and dry presentation is as irresistible today as it was in 1975.
8. Jeffrey Jones and Edie McClurg, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
– He jeopardizes my ability to effectively govern this student body.
– Well, he makes you look like an ass is what he does, Ed.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as a teenager picking anything else as their favorite comedy. Matthew Broderick seemed destined for superstardom after his impeccable performance as Ferris. While that level of fame seemingly eluded him, the film itself remains an example of teenage comedy done right.
9. Jon Gries, Napoleon Dynamite
How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?
Napoleon Dynamite is an independent movie that may not be to your liking on first watch. The comedy in the movie grows with repeat viewings, however, and you’ll soon find that Jon Gries’ Uncle Rico is one of the most well-defined characters in the movie. Not an instant classic, but a very funny movie for those willing to meet it halfway.
10. Steve Carell, Anchorman
I love lamp.
So brilliant is Steve Carell in the 2004 comedy Anchorman that he nearly steals the show from Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy. Fortunately, Ferrell is more than up to the job of matching Carell and the rest of the cast. A sequel is imminent, but can it live up to the laugh-a-minute pace of the original? With the same cast and writers behind it, anything is possible.
11. Mary Steenburgen, Step Brothers
Today I saw my own son use a bicycle as a weapon. You yelled ‘rape’ at the top of your lungs.
Another Will Ferrell instant comedy classic, Step Brothers put Ferrell in competition with John C. Reilly to see who could make audiences laugh the hardest. Another one of those movies that gets better with repeat viewings, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins in making it all come together.
12. Bill Murray, Ghostbusters
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
Somehow, comedy and science fiction just work when they are whirled together in a blender. It’s been proven time and again, but perhaps never more so than in this 1984 NYC romp. Murray may be the darling of independent film these days, but Ghostbusters has him at his hilarious best.
13. Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat
May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq!
Cohen’s humor isn’t for everyone, but if you have a taste for raunchy, envelope-pushing uncomfortable situations, Borat should be on your DVD shelf. Seemingly fearless, Cohen delivers the above line at a rodeo filled with red-blooded, heartland Americans before launching into the Kazakhstan “national anthem”.
14. Ed Helms, The Hangover
I look like a nerdy hillbilly.
No one could have foreseen the hilarity of this dark comedy from director Todd Phillips. Though it went on to make a bajillion dollars and spawn two inferior sequels, The Hangover (the original) is a shocking, no-holds-barred tour through the Vegas underbelly.
15. Will Ferrell, Wedding Crashers
Come in, sit down, you want something to eat? HEY MOM, CAN WE GET SOME MEATLOAF?
Wedding Crashers was the big sleeper comedy of 2005, and a late scene with Will Ferrell was probably responsible for much of it. The entire movie is funny, but Ferrell’s seductive manchild is just the cherry on top.
16. Steve Carell, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Owwwwww, Kelly Clarkson!
This was the movie that launched Carell and director Judd Apatow to the forefront of mainstream American comedy. While it’s not as vulgar and shocking as it was when it hit theaters, there are still plenty of moments in The 40-Year-Old Virgin that will have you crying tears of laughter. Chief among them, the above scene set at a waxing appointment.
17. Michael Cera, Superbad
Hawaii. All right, that’s good. That’s hard to trace, I guess. Wait…you changed your name to McLovin?
In Superbad, when their friend Fogel shows up with a fake ID, Seth and Evan are horrified to see that he has sabotaged their efforts to buy liquor with a ridiculous moniker. In a movie filled with gut-busting scenes, this is surely one of the best.
18. Adam Sandler, Happy Gilmore
Why don’t you just go home? That’s your home! Are you too good for your home? Answer me!
It may be hard to remember, but there was a time when Adam Sandler actually made funny movies. Happy Gilmore is arguably the best of these, the story of a failed hockey player who takes up the game of golf. In this scene, Happy loses his temper when his ball doesn’t obey his wishes.
19. Maude Apatow, Knocked Up
Well. I think a stork, he, um, he drops it down and then a hole goes in your body and there’s blood everywhere, coming out of your head and then you push your belly button and then your butt falls off and then you hold your butt and you have to dig and you find the little baby.
In a movie that trades on some of the most shocking, blunt humor found in modern movies, some of its funniest scenes center around the children. Played by Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann’s real life kids, they bring an honesty to Knocked Up that simply can’t be scripted.
20. Stephen Root, Office Space
Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler.
Office Space didn’t click with audiences on its theatrical release, but its message of breaking out of the corporate rat race resonated with TV viewers in subsequent years. The movie is now considered a cult classic, credit for which is at least partially due to Stephen Root’s turn as Milton, the office doormat.
21. Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop
This is the cleanest and nicest police car I’ve ever been in in my life. This thing’s nicer than my apartment.
A classic fish-out-of-water tale, Beverly Hills Cop launched Eddie Murphy to another level of stardom and set up expectations he perhaps was unable to meet. While his post ’80s career was turbulent, he’ll always have a claim to comedy greatness for performances like this one.
22. Bill Murray, Groundhog Day
This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.
The fact that Murray has been featured three times on this list should be a testament to the man’s contribution to comedy. Groundhog Day is perhaps his best work, a film that is not only hilarious, but packed with so much wisdom that some even regard the movie as one of the most philosophically interesting of the last two decades.
23. Jill Eikenberry and Dudley Moore, Arthur
– A real woman could stop you from drinking.
– It’d have to be a real big woman.
Arthur is the story of a silver-spooned alcoholic who risks losing his inheritance by being with the woman he loves. At times charming and crass, the movie is imminently watchable due to Dudley Moore’s perfect comedic timing.
24. Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls
Gretchen, quit trying to make ‘fetch’ happen. It’s not going to happen.
One of the most underrated comedies of the 2000s, Mean Girls (the brainchild of writer Tina Fey) is a teen chick flick that any guy can enjoy. With smart writing and lots of attitude, this is one of those movies with an endless abundance of quotable quotes.
25. Jamie Lee Curtis, A Fish Called Wanda
He’s so dumb he thought that the Gettysburg Address was where Lincoln lived.
In retrospect, Jamie Lee Curtis is probably best known for her time as a scream queen, her seductive striptease in True Lies, or her Activia commercials. All fine and well, but she proves her comedic chops in the 1988 movie A Fish Called Wanda, surrounded by such talent as Kevin Kline, John Cleese, and Michael Palin.