18 Iconic Lines From Movies Most People Get Wrong

Movie quotes stick with us, sometimes becoming more famous than the movies themselves. But it’s funny how often we get them wrong. Here, I shall explore 18 movies that are often misquoted:

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios

Everyone remembers Charlton Heston’s disgusted outburst to his ape captors. While many recall it as “Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape,” he actually says, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” It’s a small change but alters the quote’s impact.

Casablanca (1942)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

“Play it again, Sam” is one of the most cited movie lines that doesn’t exist. Ingrid Bergman’s line is actually “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’” It’s a classic case of the collective memory simplifying for elegance.

Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

The revelation that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father was a major cliffhanger at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, one that kept fans talking for months. Darth Vader is often quoted as saying, “Luke, I am your father.” However, the actual line is, “No, I am your father.”

Forrest Gump (1994)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tom Hanks’s Forrest Gump produced one of the most popular quotes from a movie with the “Mama always said: Life is like a box of chocolates” line. Well, except that wasn’t what was actually said. The accurate quote is, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.”

The Graduate (1967)

Photo Credit: MGM Studios

One memorable scene from The Graduate is the scene in which Mrs. Robinson is being flirtatious with Benjamin, to which the latter responds with, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” This line has often been misquoted as “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?” Either way, the answer is the same — yes, she absolutely was!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Productions

Some movie misquotes really do take on a life of their own, and this one from the queen in Snow White is a great example: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The correct quote from the movie is, “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Field of Dreams (1989)

Photo Credit: Gordon Company

“If you build it, he will come.” This was the line said in the 1989 film Field of Dreams. Now you might wonder, how did the line then become “If you build it, they will come?” Well, we have movies like How High (2001) and Racing Stripes (2005) to thank, as they contributed to the latter line catching on.

Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Photo Credit: Orion Pictures

Everyone seems to remember the line “Hello, Clarice” from the scene of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling meeting for the first time. However, this is a misquote traceable to Jim Carrey’s imitation of the scene in The Cable Guy. The actual quote is a lot less interesting; all Hannibal says is, “Good morning.”

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

The closing scene of Sunset Boulevard remains iconic, especially because of the line, “All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.” You may have heard this quoted as “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille,” but that’s just a line from the 1995 film Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Godfather (1972)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

When novels and their movie adaptations have similar but non-identical lines, things can get a bit confusing. This is the case with the quote from The Godfather (1972): “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” The line is often replaced with the book’s version: “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Jaws (1975)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” from Jaws (1975) is certainly one of the most iconic movie quotes of all time. But it’s also one of the most misquoted. The most popular corrupted version of the line is “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

All About Eve (1950)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Another often misquoted movie line is “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” from All About Eve. To be fair, it’s understandable why many would think it was, “Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Dracula (1931)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Many associate the line “I want to suck your blood!” with Count Dracula from the 1931 film Dracula. While the line might make sense in the context of Dracula being a vampire, nothing of the sort was actually said in the movie.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video

In this beloved fairy tale film, Dorothy is whisked off to the land of Oz in a tornado. Upon her arrival, she tells her dog, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” However, various variations of the line have emerged from years of it being misquoted, a chief example being, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

Apollo 13 (1995)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

“Houston, we have a problem” is a famous line attributed to the 1995 film Apollo 13. However, this line was said neither in the movie nor in the 1970 aborted lunar mission it dramatized. The accurate quote is, “Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

Wall Street (1987)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

In Gordon Gekko’s famous speech in Wall Street, he remarks, “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” But that’s a mouthful, so people began to misquote the line with a version that is 13 words shorter: “Greed is good.”

Star Trek (1986)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

“Beam me up, Scotty” is one of the most popular quotes associated with the Star Trek franchise. Oddly enough, that exact line is never said in the movies or TV series. The closest to that quote you’ll find is “Scotty, beam me up,” which was said in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video

Those who’ve seen Gone with the Wind may remember the line, “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.” But that’s a misquotation that got ingrained in pop culture. The actual words were, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

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Image Credit: Warner Bros

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros

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Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

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