My daughter, age 2 (soon to be 3), seems to have acquired a favorite quote from a TV show.  Last weekend, she started saying “Wait a minute!  coconuts don’t have feet!”  The line, of course, is from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode Goofy’s Coconutty Monkey.  Spoiler alert: Chip and Dale stole the coconuts.

This got me started thinking about my favorite lines from movies.  There’s the old standby – “My Name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die!” – uttered by Mr. Montoya in The Princess Bride.

My very favorite line from a movie actually requires an explanation.  The quote is this: “Oh.  Dog and a beer.

OK, how many of you know exactly where that comes from?  There’s probably one person out there.  It comes from The Field of Dreams, an all-time favorite movie of mine.  The brilliance isn’t in the line itself.  It’s in the setup.  Prior to this, Ray Kinsella had asked Terence Mann “What do you want?”  Mann had responded “I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves. I want my privacy.”  This is a perfectly fitting response for a reclusive author who hates the spotlight.

Then we see Ray gesture up at a concession stand and he asks “No, I mean, what do you want.”  At this point, the question shifts from something that requires an answer from deep within the soul to something that requires an answer from deep within the stomach – eliciting the request for a hot dog and a beer.  The setup is everything.

What’s your favorite movie line?

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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