In my 'Odds and Ends' folder on my computer I've got a file called "They Never Said It." In it I put every example I come across of a famous line of dialogue that was never said by the fictional character it's attributed to. It's a fairly short list so far (a list of misquoted real-life people would be much longer), but this is what I've got:
"Beam me up, Scotty."
Never said by Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek television series.
"Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts."
The signature line of Sgt. Joe Friday, lead character of the 1950s' television drama Dragnet. The closest he ever came to saying it was, "All we want are the facts, ma'am."
"Elementary, my dear Watson."
Never uttered by Sherlock Holmes in any of Arthur Conan Doyle's writings (though Holmes does, once, say 'Elementary'). The phrase was first used in a Sherlock Holmes movie in 1929.
"Play it again, Sam."
The actual line said by Ingrid Bergman's character in Casablanca is, "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'."
"What is it, girl? Timmy's fallen in the well?"
It's the signature line from the Lassie TV series, but it was never uttered. Timmy never fell down a well.
"Greed is good."
Attributed to Michael Douglas's character Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. The actual line is "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." Though in the trailer for the movie the line was shortened to "Greed is good."
"You dirty rat."
James Cagney's most famous line that he never said. The actual line from the 1932 film Taxi! is "Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I'll give it to you through the door!"
"Judy, Judy, Judy."
Cary Grant's most quoted line. The closest he ever came to saying this was in the movie Only Angels Have Wings, in which his character's former girlfriend was called Judy and he said things such as, "Hello, Judy" or "Come on, Judy."
[From Fortune for December 1945. Two scans, top and bottom.]
There is nothing spectacularly "weird" about this particular entry in our series, except that the artist is William Steig, the famed illustrator and author responsible, most notably in Hollywood terms, for Shrek. It's curious to see him turning his talents to advertising during his early career, as so many artists who later grew rich and famous once did.
Perhaps the true vestige of weirdness here, though, is the image of the proud boy wearing his Jughead cap. You can learn about the history of the Jughead beanie and how to make such a cap yourself at Juggie's Wikipedia page. Or perhaps you'd want to buy one readymade, either here or here.
Yesterday we spoke of cursed movies that affected cast and crew alone. Today, we'll look at movies that emit curses--in the form of copycat incidents.
Can it possibly be that the 1993 movie titled THE PROGRAM is still exerting its malign influence, causing dumb-ass teens to lie down on the center stripe of highways, as described in this fifteen-year-old article from The New York Times?
What makes me think so? An identical fresh incident from my own home state, as recounted in this article.
Have a gander at Dakota Joe. He and his dog Digger are the mascots for a national Vacation Bible School Camp program. Because, you see, ultra-rationalist archaeology professors who believe fervently in the scientific method, despite having encountered various paranormal phenomena which themselves contradict Gospel, are the perfect spokepeople for Biblical inerrancy.
Seriously, though, shouldn't Spielberg & Lucas be suing the pants off these guys?
Books Selected and endorsed for Pure Weirdness by Your WU Team
Get WU Posts by Email
Who We Are
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.