Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favorite Lines

By Susan Carlisle
                                       “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn.”

                “Make my day.”
                                                “It was the best of times and the worst of times…”

                                 “In the beginning…”
                                                                        “They lived happily ever after.”
            “To be or not to be, that is the question.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  
                                                                               “Where’s the beef?”

Okay, the last one tells my age. We all use lines that have been written by others in our everyday speech. They stick like cooked spaghetti to the halls of our life. The lines are so familiar that we all know exactly what they mean. That got me to thinking about how cool it would be to have a line from one of my books become so well-known people knew right off what it meant.
I started really thinking about this after Jessie, a friend of my daughter’s went on and on about a line from my book Heart Surgeon, Hero…Husband? This is the line:
She joined him in the special dance of life, as they found a rhythm that was theirs alone.
Jessie made a big deal out of the phrase the ‘dance of life.’ At a party with about thirty people in attendance, in less than an hour, Jessie had everyone talking about the ‘dance of life.’ They all had to know about her favorite line and give their opinion. 
                 Instead of fighting the kidding, I embraced this idea of a favorite line and asked Jessie to give me a favorite one from my second book The Nurse He Shouldn’t Notice. I’m still waiting to hear what it is because it was just release in August. I’ve even created a space in my newsletter titled Jessie’s Favorite Line and you can find her favorite lines posted on my blog
                I’ll hostess a table at the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon on November 3, 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama and I would love to have you join me. We could share our favorite lines.
               What have been some of your favorite lines from books, movies, TV? Do you find yourself using them in your everyday life? One lucky commenter will win a copy of Heart Surgeon, Hero…Husband? and be able to read Jessie’s favorite line in context.




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Twimom227 said...

One of my all time favorite lines is from Cheers. Cliff was going on about how he has extra teeth, which identifies him as royalty. Frasier turns to him and says "What color is the sky in your world?" I use that all the time when someone is a little "off."

RedPeril said...

Thanks for he probable origins of that quote, Twimom227! That was a hugely common one in my family, and I realize now it's likely because my parents loved Cheers.

One favored line I've picked up comes from my husband's side of the family, where nearly every injury is dismissed with the phrase: "Well, it's too far from your heart to kill you."

I always thought it oddly profound, however medically inaccurate. ^_^

~Angela Blount

Lisa J said...

"This is reality Greg." From ET

kooks said...

'I love you just the way you are' from bridget Jones Diary.

I tend to think as a way of calming down...

"It's not what the world holds for you. But what you bring to it" from Anne of Green Gables.

Short and simple just like me!

Naima Simone said...

Cool post, Susan! Since I immediately recognized "Where's the Beef?" I, too, am now dated. LOL!! The line that I use a lot--even with my kids--is from "Back to the Future" when Biff knocks on Marty's father's head and says, "Hello! McFly!" LOL! Yeah, it's my "duh!". Love that movie!

Ingrid Seymour said...

As you do, I think the beginning of “A Tale Of Two Cities” is priceless. One of the best in literature. Ever! I really like that one. I also enjoy watching movies and one of my favorites is The Matrix. That one has tons of awesome quotes. I like these few:

“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.”

“Welcome to the desert of the real”

“Dodge this”

Susan Carlisle said...


That one I could use everyday with the guys that live in my house. Cheers was such a good show.

Susan Carlisle said...


LOL Ours is "That if it just requires a Bandaid then you'll live."

Susan Carlisle said...


Bridget Jones Diary, both of them are great and full on lines that should be repeated. A good claming down line for me is "This too shall pass."

Susan Carlisle said...


I've received a few "McFlys" in my day.

Susan Carlisle said...


Those are all great lines. "Make my day" is one of my all time favorites from the movies. I'm a high school sub teacher and use it all the time.

Na said...

Home Improvement is one of my fav shows. I find it so entertaining and whenever it's on I turn to it. A memorable line that always reminds me of the show and I like to use is "Does everybody know what time it is?". I use it for all kind of things but say it in the same tone as the show.

Nas said...

Hi Susan!

I loved the line "I can hear you thinking!" from THE NURSE HE SHOULDN't NOTICE.

I use it all the time!

Bama said...

favorite line from a movie?

"spray some Windex on it" lol

Shadow said...

Great post! I find myself always quoting something or another from books and movies. Today, my me and mom my were quoting Mrs. Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. Its that part were she was telling her husband, "Do you have no compassion for my poor nerves?" and the husband says, "You mistake me my dear, I have the highest respect for them. Theyve been my constant companion." lol

Susan Carlisle said...

That is a great line. Everyone of that generation can respond with the correct answer to that question.

Susan Carlisle said...


Thanks for stopping in from Fiji. I like that line also. I use it on my husband often. All he has to do is look at me and I know.

Susan Carlisle said...


That's a good line also. That the risk of starting something "War Eagle" means something at our house.

Cindy said...

My son has a form a autism so communication hasnt always been the greatest. He loves watching movies and I learned when he was younger (he's 18 now) that he loved to quote movies so that is how we talk now. There are soo many lines we use but since this happened today its fresh - I was driving him somewhere and I had to see if it was clear to pull put and he used the line from Pitch Black when Vin says Looks Clear. So then I go what does it look like now - and he says again looks clear :) You'd have to know the movie to get it :) He also loves to quote Chris Tucker from the Rush Hour movies :)

Susan Carlisle said...


That P&P line is so true. Donald Sutherland delivers it with just the right amount of aplumb. Well worth repeating.

Susan Carlisle said...

I have a son that quotes the movies also. He seems to understand them better than us. Don't you just love Vin?

Fiona Lowe said...

Susan, I frequently quote Pride and Prejudice. One fave is from Lady Catherine de Burgh, Darcy's imperious aunt who says after hearing Elizabeth play the piano, 'I would have been a prestigious talent, had I ever learned." (!!)
Fun blog, thanks!

JoAnn said...

The line that just makes me SWOON is from The Last of the Mohicans -- no, not "You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I'll find you!" (though that one does make my heart go pittypat), but when Hawkeye is in the infirmary and stares at Cora, and she asks him what he's looking at. His reply: "I'm looking at you, miss." And then he smiles. Oh. My. Goodness.

Susan Carlisle said...

Thanks for stopping in from the land down under. I love those medical writers. I guess I could have been a talent if I had ever learned also.

Susan Carlisle said...


I'm not sure the lines are so fine as Daniel Day Lewis delivering them. Anything coming from him is sooo sweet.

Heather said...

My favorite line is from Emma - “I cannot make speeches, Emma...If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." Swoon

Susan Carlisle said...


That is a beautiful one.

Carol Burnside/Annie Rayburn said...

Jerry Maguire: I love you. You... complete me.
Dorothy: Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at "hello."

I've heard the 'hello' line used for many things - often to shut people up. LOL But when Renée Zellweger says it in the movie, in the theatre there's a collective 'awww' from the audience. Gotta love that. :)

bn100 said...

I like the beginning of Pride and Prejudice.


Bama said...

Susan, WDE! :P Don't ask about the nickname Bama lol

Susan Carlisle said...

The line was an awww. Got to love those love lines.

Susan Carlisle said...


Back at you!

Susan Carlisle said...


What not to love about P&P.

Susan Carlisle said...


You are the winner of a copy of The Nurse He Shouldn't Notice!!