How tuned into the 1980s were you? You might be amazed at how many great movies — and memorable movie lines — came from that decade. Test your 1980s movie recall with these 15 classic lines, and challenge your friends to beat your score.
I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.
Who said it? Leading man Leslie Nielsen became a comedy star as airplane passenger Dr. Rumack, delivering a nonstop stream of puns with the straightest of faces. When, in desperation, he asks Robert Hays’ phobic pilot, Ted Striker, to return to the cockpit and fly the endangered jumbo jet to safety, Striker responds, “Surely, you can’t be serious.” No one, not Shirley or anyone else, is serious in this silly send-up of ‘70s disaster dramas like "Airport."
Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?
Who said it? While explaining what the force is to a wide-eyed young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, 68), Yoda (voice of Frank Oz, 76) lays out the nature of the universe in the 1980 "Star Wars" sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back" (not "Return of the Jedi," but you’d be forgiven for falling for this one).
Get away from her, you BITCH!
Who said it? Lt. Ridley (Sigourney Weaver, 70) confronts the mother of all space monsters in the ferocious 1986 sci-fi sequel to "Alien." Wearing a robotic suit, the astronaut shoos the slimy, big-toothed space creature away from her tiny prey, 9-year-old survivor Newt (Carrie Henn). And prevails (until the next time)!
The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.
Who said it? Corporate raider Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas, 75) justifies his industry’s avariciousness to ambitious stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen, 54) in the muscular 1987 drama by Oliver Stone, 73.
You’re not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.
Who said it? Kathleen Turner, 66, sizzles as married femme fatale Matty Walker. She tosses off the hard-boiled line as she seduces hapless William Hurt, 70, encouraging the small-town shyster lawyer, Ned Racine, to eliminate the middleman: her wealthy husband. A sexy 1981 neo-noir from Lawrence Kasdan, 71, that’s still hot after all these years.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!
Who said it? Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin, 67, played the suave swordsman Inigo Montoya in the romantic action comedy adventure with Robin Wright, 54, as the titular distressed damsel. Directed by Rob Reiner, 73, and written by the great William Goldman, the good-hearted 1987 cult classic remains one of America’s best comedies and ranks 50th on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Films.”
I’m going to change you from a rooster to a hen in one shot!
Who said it? The righteous secretary played by Dolly Parton, 74, blesses out her sexist boss (Dabney Coleman, 88) when the manager puts his hands on her one time too many. The feisty feminist 1980 comedy united Parton with stars Lily Tomlin, 80, and Jane Fonda, 82.
It’s good to be the king.
Who said it? Writer-director-star Mel Brooks, 94, declares what may be obvious to those less noble than his opulent character King Louis XVI: “It’s good to be the king.” Especially when the Spanish Inquisition arrives (“oy gevalt!”). The fractured 1981 romp has juicy comic lyrics — and dancing priests and nuns, too!
Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
Who said it? Patrick Swayze’s swivel-hipped dance instructor, Johnny Castle, delivers this classic "Dirty Dancing" line defending insecure teen Frances “Baby” Houseman, played by Jennifer Grey, 60, in Emile Ardolino’s enduring 1987 Catskills resort romance.
Ha, ha, ha. That’s not a knife. THAT’s a knife!
Who said it? Size matters for Aussie adventurer Mike Dundee (Paul Hogan, 80), who criticizes the smallness of his assailant’s weapon by retrieving his much larger knife. The 1986 comedy action hit spawned two sequels and grossed $328 million internationally — and made Hogan an ‘80s icon.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.
Who said it? It’s the famous Tears-in-the-Rain speech (also known as the C-Beams Speech), a death soliloquy modified and delivered by the late, great Dutch actor Rutger Hauer. His rogue replicant Roy Batty addresses the monologue to disillusioned detective Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, 78, in the original 1982 "Blade Runner" from Ridley Scott, 82.
I am not an animal! I am a human being.
Who said it? Sideshow attraction Joseph Merrick (John Hurt), aka The Elephant Man, insists that despite his repulsive exterior, the result of a genetic deformity, within beats a man’s heart. In David Lynch’s 1980 biopic, Dr. Frederic Treves (Anthony Hopkins, 82), introduces Merrick to British high society — and the interloper teaches the toffs a few things about civility.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I’m all out of bubblegum.
Who said it? Pro-wrestler Roddy Piper delivers this warning after arriving in Los Angeles. The drifter develops a crazy conspiracy theory that the ruling class is composed of aliens in disguise exploiting the workers. Paranoid much? Directed by John Carpenter, 72, the 1988 cult sci-fi film with its defiantly anti-Reaganomics message is also memorable for Piper’s participation in an appropriately ass-kicking, six-minute alley-fight sequence.
I’ll have what she’s having.
Who said it? A fellow diner at Manhattan’s Katz’s Deli cracks wise when romantic heroine Sally (Meg Ryan, 58) demonstrates how to fake an orgasm to her best friend, Harry (Billy Crystal, 72), right in the middle of all that corned beef.
If you build it, he will come.
Who said it? Real men weep when Kevin Costner, 65, repeats the memorable line about the power of faith and second chances. He plays Midwestern farmer Ray Kinsella, who builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield on the advice of the otherworldly voice he claims to have heard. Based on W.P. Kinsella’s novel "Shoeless Joe," this magical, all-American 1989 sports movie was nominated for three Oscars.
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