Some movies have a way of infiltrating our everyday conversations. “Clueless,” for example, influenced the way an entire generation of kids talked. In the mid-1990s, suddenly every teen was dishing out a blase “whatever” when they weren’t totally buggin’ or Audi.
It’s not the only comedy with pithy, repeatable dialogue that weaseled its way into our vernacular so completely that we started to forget about the source. A lot of others had us mimicking characters without even thinking about it, to the point that it became second nature to not just say “great success,” but to say it in a faux-Kazakh accent, just the way Borat does.
Looking back at the past 40 years, we picked 40 movies that changed the way we talk, and selected some of the most-repeated quotes. Some comedies, such as “Clueless,” have copious lines to choose from. Others grabbed our attention with a single snippet of dialogue.
You’ll notice there aren’t a lot of examples from recent years. For one thing, Hollywood doesn’t make many comedies anymore, and when it does, the movies don’t necessarily get an audience big enough to shift our collective habits. The most likely contender for a future list would be last year’s “Girls Trip,” but it’s still too soon to tell whether “grapefruit” will become a verb or not.
Animal House (1978)
The cult classic invented neither the food fight nor the toga party, but it did supply the calls to action — best conveyed in John Belushi’s caveman yell — for frat boys the world over.
Read more at The Washington Post.