For some reason, I get really annoyed when people quote lines from movies. It bugs me even more when they don’t mention that they are quoting a movie and try to pass off the quip as their own.
For instance, recently someone at work said to me: “I’ve learned two things in my life: there is a God, and it ain’t me.” This is from Rudy, the movie where a Hobbit plays football for Notre Dame. It is said by priest to Rudy, who is having some sort of shortness-related existential crisis.
I don’t remember what we were talking about when this line was trotted out. I can’t possibly imagine how it could have come up; I usually confine my wine-soaked eschatological concerns and theological misapprehensions to the bonds of holy matrimony, much to the persistent irritation of my poor wife. It is quite out of character for me to have spoken so freely about the God-head at work so as to cause someone to quote Rudy to me. I assure you, the coworker was not a priest and I was not seeking spiritual guidance. Perhaps I was asking about the finer points of substituting “Court Leave” for “Annual Leave”, but there was decidedly no supplication involved. What ever the particular circumstances were, it is always inappropriate to quote movies and pretend that you’re not.
I’ve also had coworkers say things like “go ahead, make my day” when I definitely wasn’t lying on the ground with a .357 pointed at my face, “play it again, Sam” when I was no where near North Africa, and “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I don’t even know where to begin to describe the contextual wrongness of that statement. In each of these cases, I stated, with a half-hearted laugh, that I had seen that movie, too, leading to my coworker simply walking away.
This is a disturbing trend, to say the least.
The only media that it is okay to quote without attribution is any line from The Simpsons. There seems to be a Simpsons' quote suitable for every situation. If the person you are talking to doesn’t get it, it is, in fact, inappropriate (and a waste of time) to say something like “you know, Homer? When he was on the hammock? In the back yard? With the beer? And the dog?” Quoting The Simpsons is like flashing a membership card for a secret club, a goofy, nerdy, pathetic (in a “I laugh at Pablo Naruda jokes” kind of way), club. (We do have reciprical memberships with the Monte Python Quoters Club, by the way.)
If you’re good at quoting The Simpsons, then it’s kind of like being king of the dip-shits. That’s kind of cool. (Attribution needed.)