Worst-remembered line in TV?

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Brock
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Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

"Well, I think we just ran out of Waldorfs!"

This is how Basil Fawlty is quoted on IMDb - and several other places - as responding to Mr Hamilton after he asks for a Waldorf salad. Quite unbelievably, since it's something only an American would say (certainly back in the 70s). Just for fun, I did an internet trawl to find out how else the line has been misquoted, and found quite a bewildering selection:

"I think we're out of Waldorfs."
"I'm afraid we're just out of Waldorfs."
"I think we are right out of Waldorfs."
"We're all out of Waldorfs."
"Well I'm sorry but we're fresh out of Waldorfs, I'm afraid."
"Sorry sir, we're fresh out of Waldorfs."
"Sorry, we're all out of Waldorfs."
"Sorry Sir, clean out of Waldorfs."
"I think we have run out of Waldorfs."
"I'd love a Waldorf salad tonight, but I'm right out of Waldorfs."
"The chef says we're all out of Waldorfs."
"I think we're all out of Waldorfs at the moment."

Can there be a line with more misquoted versions?

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Ian Wegg
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Ian Wegg »

For anyone like me who can't recall the exact wording, the line (from the script book) is:

Basil ...I think we're just out of Waldorfs.

It's interesting that several of those misquotes (e.g. "fresh out", "all out", "clean out") are Americanisms, which negates the point a bit.

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

I deliberately left out the correct version to see how many people remembered it! (I confess that I had to check myself.)

voyager
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by voyager »

Of course there's the generic "Beam me up, Scotty" from Star Trek which was never said in any of the episodes but is often quoted.

Brock
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

voyager wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:10 pm
Of course there's the generic "Beam me up, Scotty" from Star Trek which was never said in any of the episodes but is often quoted.
That's always misquoted the same way, though. I was looking more for lines that everyone vaguely remembers, but no one can get quite right.

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paul.austin
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by paul.austin »

Of course, sometimes, as in the advert for a classic films network, misquotes of famous lines are used to avoid copyright difficulties. As Krusty the Klown once said "any more and we have to pay for the song!"

SgtPepper
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by SgtPepper »

Just a slight aside to the Waldorf Salad. "Celery, apples, walnuts, grapes..........in a mayonnaise sauce".
At the risk of misquoting another like from Fawlty Towers - "that's puke that is."

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Billy Smart
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Billy Smart »

John Hoare on tracing the source of a recent addition to the field of misremembered Fawlty Towers quotes - http://www.dirtyfeed.org/2020/11/faulty ... -with-him/

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by brigham »

...which reminds me of all the schoolboy-sniggery quotes which aren't in Captain Pugwash.

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brian F »

brigham wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:37 am
...which reminds me of all the schoolboy-sniggery quotes which aren't in Captain Pugwash.
Yes it was the character Roger Walker in the 2016 Swallows & Amazons that wanted to be a cabin boy. I wonder if that line was deliberate I don't remember it from the 1974 version.

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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

Billy Smart wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:19 pm
John Hoare on tracing the source of a recent addition to the field of misremembered Fawlty Towers quotes - http://www.dirtyfeed.org/2020/11/faulty ... -with-him/
Maybe that line was taken from the "lost" episode 'The Burglars'?
Great News Inside, Chums!

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

Billy Smart wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:19 pm
John Hoare on tracing the source of a recent addition to the field of misremembered Fawlty Towers quotes - http://www.dirtyfeed.org/2020/11/faulty ... -with-him/
Oh, that article is brilliant. Thanks for sharing it.

What I particularly like about it is that, almost as an afterthought, he reveals at the end that the list in the Metro article starts with not just one but two misquotes - "Ze Germans! Ze Germans!" being the other. I googled it and it appears to come from the late US Presidential candidate John McCain in 2008.

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

brigham wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:37 am
...which reminds me of all the schoolboy-sniggery quotes which aren't in Captain Pugwash.
I was under the impression that "Master Bates, Seaman Staines, and Roger the Cabin Boy" were invented by Victor Lewis-Smith for an article in the short-lived Sunday Correspondent, but the Snopes article here quotes him as saying that he was "unwittingly repeating a folk myth that had been passed down through generations of schoolboys". They've also been attributed to the folk-comic Richard Digance, and to an unnamed "1970s rag mag".

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

I think I may have found another candidate for this category - the "Divided We Stand" episode of Steptoe and Son, where there's the argument over which channel to watch:

Harold: "I have the law of contract on my side"
Albert:
"Yeah but I have the knobs on mine" (IMDb)
"I've got the knobs on my side" (albertandharold.co.uk)
"Yes, but I've got the knobs on my side" (The Guardian)
Also, in various places:
"But I have the knobs on my side"
"I have the knobs on my side"
"Yes, but the knobs are on my side"
"Yeah but I've got the knobs on my side!"
"Well, I've got the knobs on my side"
"Yeah, but the knobs are on mine"

I haven't rewatched the episode or seen a script, but I recall the line as "And I have the knobs on my side". Am I wrong?

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Simon Coward »

It's not quoted (or misquoted) especially widely, but Patrick McGoohan's line in The Prisoner episode "The Chimes of Big Ben", "The whole earth as The Village?" is always misquoted as "The whole world as The Village?"

In its wrong form it's even made its way onto a T-Shirt and IMDb, of course, has it wrong too.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Simon Coward »

Brock wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:10 pm
I haven't rewatched the episode or seen a script, but I recall the line as "And I have the knobs on my side". Am I wrong?
You are. There's no "And", it's just "I have the knobs on my side."
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

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Re: Worst-remembered line in TV?

Post by Brock »

Simon Coward wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:26 pm
Brock wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:10 pm
I haven't rewatched the episode or seen a script, but I recall the line as "And I have the knobs on my side". Am I wrong?
You are. There's no "And", it's just "I have the knobs on my side."
Thanks for that!

As an addendum, I ought to confess that I once thought the line was "The knobs are on your side", and that Harold had uttered it - completely missing the point of the joke.

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