“Beam me up, Scotty!” What do you mean, that’s not the right quote? We’ve grown so accustomed to hearing and using certain iconic lines from famous movies that it seems downright bonkers to accept anything else. But, what can you do? Certain pieces of a quote are lost when it’s consequently getting passed around and transmitted from one to another.
These are 7 Famous Movie Misquotes That People Make. Next time you hear someone say them wrong, you can feel all smug about knowing the truth.
#1 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.
The misquote: “Luke, I am your father.”
The real quote: “No. I am your father.”
The most memorable movie line of all time was a hoax all along?! Well, to be honest, the difference isn’t all that monumental, and it was likely altered for the purpose of conveying in a single line just who Darth Vader was talking to. But it’s even more puzzling to think that this line originally didn’t even make the final cut. Instead, the woeful news that Darth Vader drops on Luke is the fact that “Obi-Wan killed his father.”
#2 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
The misquote: “Run, you fools!”
The real quote: “Fly, you fools!”
This is a fairly easy mistake to make, given the fact that the first bit of the line is uttered with a difficulty which makes it hard to distinguish what Gandalf was saying in his “final” moment before falling to his death. Through erroneous subtitles and translations, wide audiences were made to believe that he said “run” instead of “fly.” In case you’re wondering, it’s likely that the word “fly” was used by Tolkien as a synonym to escaping or fleeing, as some literary analysts have concluded.
#3 Apollo 13
Courtesy of Imagine Entertainment
The misquote: “Houston, we have a problem.”
The real quote: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”
Not to go into tense sensibilities, but a change from the past tense to present can make a big difference. The iconic Apollo 13 quote is used by many, often hilariously, to signify and accentuate the fact that they’re in a dire situation. It’s probably understandable why it was altered, as you’d be probably left there to rot with your issue still unsolved if you were used to the original line. It’s clear that the actual quote marks the fact that the problem in talk has already been taken care of.
#4 Silence of the Lambs
Courtesy of Orion Pictures
The misquote: “Hello, Clarice.”
The real quote: “Good evening, Clarice.”
Raise your hand if you found Anthony Hopkins to be brilliantly nightmare-inducing thanks to his role in the critically acclaimed Silence of the Lambs. Under these circumstances, many of us probably dread the possibility of picking up the phone and hearing Hannibal Lecter utter, “Hello, Clarice” from the other end of the line. We’ll have you know that, if this does happen, he’ll actually be saying “Good evening.” Why was this line even changed, to begin with? We really don’t know. We can only assume that people find generic greetings to be more frightening than ones that apply to only one time of the day.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
The misquote: “Play it again, Sam.”
The real quote: No real quote!
Altering a quote is one thing, but completely creating one out of practically nothing is a whole other thing. This line doesn’t exist in the legendary Casablanca film, with Bogart’s character coming the closest to uttering this line by using the first two words of the quote. We can only assume that it was made as a way to parallel the “Play it, Sam” line spoken by Ingrid Bergman’s character.
#6 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Courtesy of Walt Disney Productions
The misquote: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
The real quote: “Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the Fairest one of all?”
Technically it wouldn’t matter how the Evil Queen phrases her vanity, but this misquote definitely begs the question “Why was it changed?” Perhaps the movie writers considered this particular type of phrasing to be outdated, but given the fairy tale context and the fact that the year was made in the 30’s, one would argue that the original quote would fit right in.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
The misquote: “He’s alive!”
The real quote: “It’s alive!”
At first, it doesn’t seem that important, but the use of the impersonal pronoun is very relevant in the context of the story. It’s a reflection of how the scientist doesn’t see his creation as anything but a lifeless brute, going so far as to not attribute to it an identity. The original line can be heard spoken both in the original 1931 movie and the satirical remake from 1974, which starred Gene Wilder.