As seen on stage, and [[MemeticMutation repeated endlessly]] on the streets (okay, [[TheScottishTrope one of them]] you're not ''supposed'' to say in public, but that's never stopped anybody before).
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%%PLEASE, REMEMBER: Memes that don't explain where they came from will be deleted. Even if you think it's self explanatory, there are people who will not get it. There is no such thing as a universal meme.
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''Please add entries in the following format:''
* The name of the play (if it belongs in the "Other" folder).
** The meme. [=[[=]labelnote:Explanation[=]]=]The explanation behind the meme, if necessary.[=

[[=]/labelnote[=]]=] [[labelnote:Explanation]]Like this.[[/labelnote]]
** Further mutations and successor memes, if any.
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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Gilbert and Sullivan]]
* ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'':
** "I am the very model of a ModernMajorGeneral." It has [[MajorGeneralSong its own page]]. Go there for details.
** WithCatlikeTread! ''*STOMP*'' Upon our prey we steal! ''*STOMP*'' [[labelnote:Explanation]]The "sneaking about while making a lot of noise or talking about how stealthy they are being (or both)" is widely used in crime-caper and spy-thriller parodies. Admittedly, most uses don't involve singing. The melody itself has also become a memetic mutation, spawning first "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here" which in turn mutated to the BlackComedy variant "Hail, Hail the Gangrene's Here".[[/labelnote]]
* ''HMS Pinafore'':
--->"What, never?"
--->"No, never!"
--->"What, never?"
--->"Well, hardly ever!"
** The MemeticMutation on this one was so big back in Gilbert and Sullivan's day that Gilbert remarked he ''never'' wanted to hear it quoted again. "What, never?" some nearby wag remarked. The writer was unable to stop himself from responding in kind.
*** The ending of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance'' originally had, after the revelation that the pirates were noblemen gone wrong, a variation on this exchange: "What, ''all'' noblemen?" (etc.)
*** Shows up in satires, for self-deprecation, or to question the truth of a negative statement ("I don't...", "They won't...", "He'll never...", "She didn't...". Often shortened to "'', 'What never?', 'Well, hardly ever.'" or ", well, hardly ever."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Shakespeare]]
* ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'':
** "To be or not to be?": Parodied, punned on, and played with innumerable times. Also used seriously in fiction to indicate that a character is suicidal. [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 1[[/labelnote]]
*** "Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune..." [[labelnote:Explanation]]From the same speech, wondering if he should survive the anguish he's going through.[[/labelnote]]
*** "To sleep: perchance to dream..." [[labelnote:Explanation]]From the same speech, wondering if there will be peace after death.[[/labelnote]]
** "Though this be madness, yet there's method in't." In its most common modern mutation, turned into "There's method to my madness."
** "Murder most foul..." [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 1, Scene 5: When the ghost Hamlet sees explains why he exists, claiming he was murdered. Used for the title of an Creator/AgathaChristie murder mystery, at least one non-fiction true-crime book, a game, and used surprisingly often in articles about real life murders.[[/labelnote]]
** "AlasPoorYorick. I knew him, Horatio." Both the speech itself and the visual of a guy talking to a skull have mutated. (And the line is often misquoted as "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.")
*** The WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} did a [[http://shakespeare.nuvvo.com/lesson/10026-the-animaniacs-on-hamlet version]], using the "translated into modern English" technique.
*** Hugo Reinhold's "[[http://library.uwsp.edu/aschmetz/rheinholds_monkey/rheinholds_monkey_page.htm Philosophizing Monkey]]" statue is a combination mutation of this visual and Rodin's "The Thinker".
*** MarkTwain parodied the whole soliloquy in ''HuckleberryFinn''.
** "The play's the thing" [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 2, Scene 2: Hamlet uses the play as a plan for his uncle's conscience to admit the crime of murdering Hamlet's father. Some playwrights used to believe that their work would cause the audience to have better moral values.[[/labelnote]]
** "O! I am slain!" [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 4: Polonius gets stabbed by Hamlet from behind a curtain and [[CaptainObvious announces he has been killed]].[[/labelnote]]
* ''[[spoiler: Theatre/{{Macbeth}}]]'', or "[[TheScottishTrope The Scottish Play]]":
** "Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire, burn and cauldron, bubble. Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog." [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 4, Scene 1: This scene has long served as the basis for a common presentation of witches in general, stooping over a steaming cauldron. It's also a likely source of "eye of newt" as a standard ingredient in witches' brews, magic potions, and spells in general.[[/labelnote]]
** OutDamnedSpot! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 5, Scene 1: Lady Macbeth shouts this while sleepwalking, trying to wash her hands. She still imagines that blood stains are on her hands.[[/labelnote]]
* ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'':
** The entire balcony scene became a theatre meme.
** "Romeo, Romeo... wherefore art thou Romeo?": Mutated into being understood as "''where'' are you, Romeo?" rather than the real meaning, "''why did you have to be'' Romeo (Montague)?"
** What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 2, Scene 2: Juilet believes that a name is a meaningless convention and that she only loves Romeo, not the Montague name.[[/labelnote]]
** "A plague on both your houses!" [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 1: Mercutio shouts this as he wishes illwill toward the Capulet and Montague families for Tybalt stabbing Mercutio.[[/labelnote]]
** Two households, both alike in dignity... [[labelnote:Explanation]]The first line of the prologue, introducing the feuding families.[[/labelnote]]
*** StarCrossedLovers. [[labelnote:Explanation]]The sixth line of the prologue, which means that Romeo and Juilet are destined for tragedy.[[/labelnote]]
** The AnalogyBackfire of describing a relationship as "like Romeo and Juliet". What, you're both going to kill yourselves in the end?
* ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'': "Heads. Heads. Heads. Heads. Heads."
* ''Theatre/HenryV'':
** We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 4, Scene 3: This is a part of St. Crispin Day's speech.[[/labelnote]]
*** [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer "...we band of buggered."]]
** Once more unto the breach! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 1: This quote was from King Henry V's own speech. Nowadays it means, "Let's try again once more."[[/labelnote]]
** "The game's afoot." [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 1: This quote would later be associated with SherlockHolmes.[[/labelnote]]
* ''Henry VI'':
** The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2: Dick the Butcher says this, believing a society without lawyers will go closer to utopia.[[/labelnote]]
* ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'':
** EtTuBrute [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 1: Translates to "Even you, Brutus?"[[/labelnote]]
** Beware the ides of March! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 1, Scene 2: Translates to "Beware at March 15th!"[[/labelnote]]
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'':
** A "pound of flesh", a lawful but nevertheless unreasonable recompense that is ruthlessly pursued. [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 4, Scene 1.[[/labelnote]]
** Shylock, as a term for a loan shark. [[labelnote:Explanation]]Shylock is a moneylender in the play.[[/labelnote]]
* ''A Winter's Tale'':
** ''[[ExitPursuedByABear Exit, pursued by]] [[BearsAreBadNews a bear]]'', the [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative most famous stage direction in history]]. [[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act 3, Scene 3[[/labelnote]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* "The Hills are Alive": The [[http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?aid=&itemnum=1255 famous opening sequence]] of the film ''TheSoundOfMusic''.
** The cimematography is widely copied and parodied, the most common forms are "person spinning joyously in a meadow sings about something stupid or depressing"; "person spinning joyously in a meadow has something bad happen to them"; and simply "Person spinning joyously in meadow singing (badly)". Another common parody is to overlay the soundtrack of birds and music with unpleasant noises.
** The phrase has also become a memetic mutation, crossing over into Horror fandom, where it is used to herald something bad about to happen.
* ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'':
** 525,600 minutes, "Seasons of Love". [[labelnote:Explanation]]The first song of Act 2.[[/labelnote]]
*** Mutated into being used to refer to almost anything related to the span of a year
*** [[FamilyGuy Oh, Rent! Rent!]]
* According to ''Theatre/NoExit'', "Hell is other people." It is most commonly mutated into either "Hell is X" or "X is other people".
* ''She Stoops To Conquer'': "Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs."[[labelnote:Explanation]]From Act III[[/labelnote]]
* ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'': "FEED MEEEEEE, SEYMOUR." [[labelnote:Explanation]]Said by Audrey the Plant when it wants to eat more meat.[[/labelnote]]
* It's becoming increasingly common on MLIA to write a comment actually related to the post, then, at the end of the comment, begin singing a Theatre/{{Wicked}}-song.
* "The Time Warp" from ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'': used when things are getting weird, possibly also part of the inspiration for the Peter Panda Dance in the movie ''The Pacifier''.
* "We love you Conrad, oh, yes we do-ooooo!" from ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie''. a common mutation is simply appending "Oh, yes, we do-ooooo!" to the end of a statement.
* [[OlderThanRadio A very old meme]] comes from Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe's play ''Theatre/GotzVonBerlichingen'', in which the title character's castle is under attack in the third act and a bishop demands his surrender. Götz responds with "Leck mich im Arsch," which translates to, essentially, "kiss my ass." Almost immediately after the play's debut, it became the most famous quote from the play, to the point where "to quote Götz von Berlichingen" is a common German euphemism. Mozart even wrote a song that consists almost entirely of quoting it.
* ''Theatre/PeerGynt'': To be "utterly yourself"/''Sig selv nok''. Entered Norwegian political debate decades ago. The play will never stop mutating.
* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'':
** Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From one of their songs about how everybody can say something racist sometimes, but it's all right any way.[[/labelnote]]
** TheInternetIsForPorn! [[labelnote:Explanation]]From one of their songs where Kate Monster tries to show how the internet can be used for other things besides porn to no avail.[[/labelnote]]
** Shadenfreude [[labelnote:Explanation]]German for "Happiness at the misfortune of others," pretty much a song about ComedicSocioapathy, with a dose of HumansAreBastards.[[/labelnote]]
* ''TheKingAndI'' gives us memes, tropes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
* ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'': "AAAT LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST! MY AAARRRMM IS COMPLEEEEETE AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!!" This troper defies any two Sweeney fans to get together and discuss the musical without at least one of them parodying that. In all probability, both will in sycronisation.
* From ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'', "I have a wife and three children!"
* ''The Vagabond King'': "And to Hell with Burgundy!" [[labelnote:Explanation]]Originally the final line of the rousing "Song of the Vagabonds," wildly divorced from its original context by haters of fine wines, e.g. Peter in ''Radio/TheGoonShow'': "I like claret, and to hell with Burgundy!"[[/labelnote]]
[[/folder]]
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