Top 10 Misquoted Movie and TV Lines


People quote classic movie and television lines, often without even knowing where they originated. Of course, that leads to a lot of misquotes, but true fans are usually quick to point out errors. Usually. Some lines seem to have evaded us all, as a society. The next time you hear someone quote one of the following ten lines, try not to cringe…because even though they’re classic, they were never actually said on film.

10. “Oooh, you dirty rat!” – Blonde Crazy: James Cagney never said this line in Blonde Crazy. The real quote from that movie is, “Mmm, that dirty, double-crossin’ rat.” Close, but no cigar.

9. “Top of the world, Ma!” – White Heat: There’s something about Cagney that leads to misquotes. Again, this one is close, but what he really said was, “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”

8. “Do you feel lucky, punk?” – Dirty Harry: Gangster movies in general must be prime for misquotes. Clint Eastwood made this one famous, but the actual quote is “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?” and it comes at the end of a short monologue.

7. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” – Tarzan, the Ape Man: Tarzan didn’t have concepts of the words me and you yet at this point in the movie. He never said this quote, just pointed back and forth at himself and his leading lady saying, “Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan. Jane…”

6. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men: This misquote is actually a mass up of a few lines between Jack Nicholson’s character and Tom Cruise’s character. Nicholson: “You want answers?” Cruise: “I want the truth!” Nicholson “You can’t handle the truth!”

5. “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” – All About Eve: Bette Davis said night in the movie, not ride in the movie.

4. “Play it again, Sam.” – Casablanca: No one actually said, “Play it again, Sam,” during Casablanca, though it has since become the title of another movie. During the original movie, Ilsa says, at one point, “Play it, Same. Play As Time Goes By.” Usually, thought, the quote is attributed to to Humphrey Bogart’s character, who says later in the film, “You played it for her, you can play it for me.” When Sam tries to refuse, he replies, “If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”

3. “Just the facts, ma’am.” – Dragnet: Can you believe that Joe Friday never actually said his own catchphrase? The line actually comes from a spoof of the show done by Stan Freberg. On the show, Joe Friday did say versions of the line like, ” All we know are the facts, ma’am,” but never, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

2. “Luke, I am your father” – Star Wars: Everyone quotes this phrase, even though it wasn’t said in the movie. Think about the exchange between Darth Vader and Luke and you’ll realize that I’m right. I mean…he does say, “I am your father,” but with the emphasis on the I not the am.

1. “Beam me up, Scotty.” – Star Trek: “Beam me up, Scotty,” is the granddaddy of misquoted movie/television lines. Captain Kirk says “Beam me aboard,” “Beam us home,” and even “Scotty, beam me up,” but never the catchphrase that the whole world associates with Star Trek.

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how about "elementary my dear Watson" not in a single Sherlock Holmes book!


Besides the emphasis, Vader says "No, I am your father", not "Luke, I am your father". :P


  1. [...] who disagree think the method of speaking is just poor grammar and poor English. Linguists, who study such matters, say it has its place in history and should be recognized. John R. Rickford, a Stanford University [...]

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