In the trailer of 300, the quote "Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight, we dine IN HELL!" is abridged to the often-quoted, "Spartans! Tonight, we dine IN HELL!"
Rorschach lines from the opening monologue of Watchmen is often misquoted (thanks to the trailer) as "The world will look up and shout 'Save us!'... and I'll whisper 'no.'" The line in the actual film is: "All the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!' and I'll whisper 'No.'", but it was slightly censored for the trailer. The original line is slightly different: "[A]nd I'll look down and whisper 'No.'"
Jack Nicholson's memorable line from A Few Good Men is frequently misquoted in parodies as "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth." The dialogue between Nicholson and Tom Cruise actually goes, "You want answers?" "I want the truth!" "You can't handle the truth!"
Taxi Driver: the monologue is "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? OK." People often get it wrong. Also, parodists often put that line in the mouths of stock Mafia characters, apparently on the assumption that if Robert DeNiro said it, it must have been in some gangster movie. Trouble is, not only is DeNiro's character in Taxi Driver not in the Mafia, that character isn't even ethnically Italian!
Animal Crackers: Groucho Marx's famous line is "One morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know." For whatever reason, the end of the line is frequently quoted as "I'll never know."
...And Justice for All: Pacino doesn't say "I'm out of order? You're out of order! This whole court is out of order!"; it's "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!"
"Play it again, Sam", (not) from Casablanca. The actual quote is:
Rick: You know what I want to hear. Sam:[lying] No, I don't. Rick: You played it for her, you can play it for me! Sam:[lying] Well, I don't think I can remember... Rick: If she can stand it, I can! Play it!
Earlier in the film, Ilsa (Rick's love interest) also entreats him to "Play it, Sam." But so many people remembered it as "Play it again, Sam" that Woody Allen used that phrase as the name of his homage to Bogart and the movie.
The manner in which Vader says the line and the emphasis on words is usually done wrong in parodies and spoofs. Vader puts emphasis on "I", not "am." He also says the line in a quiet, chilling manner, not the loud and dramatic fashion usually seen in imitations. Also, Luke's Big "NO!" comes before he falls down the shaft.
In the making-of documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, James Earl Jones himself misquotes his famous line as "Luke, I am your father". It seems "Luke, I am your father" has become so popular that even the guy who said the original line in the movie doesn't remember it correctly.
Likewise, Obi-Wan Kenobi never says "May the Force be with you" to Luke (except in the trailer). Obi-Wan's line is, "The Force will be with you, always." A bunch of other characters do say "May the Force be with you," though. The first person to actually say "May the Force be with you" is General Dodonna after the briefing on Yavin 4, and the character it's usually next most attributed to is Han Solo (who did say it to Luke just before the Death Star mission, and again in Empire).
The first title card always reads "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." "Long, long ago" is seen in the inside cover of a few novels, but never in the films.
In his American Pie/Star Wars parody, Weird Al uses the line "A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away..."
Though that's probably less of a misquote and more because the opening lyrics of American Pie are "A long, long time ago".
The slaves in Spartacus actually shout "I'm Spartacus!" You can't actually hear anyone saying "I am Spartacus!" or "No I am Spartacus!" despite the fact that one of these misquotes is a Trope Namer.
42nd Street: "But you keep your feet on the ground and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out, and, Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!'' is misquoted in many ways, e.g. "You're going out (there) a youngster, but you're coming back a star!", "You're going out (on that stage) a nobody, (kid), but you're coming back a star!", or "You're going out a chorus girl, but you're coming back a star!"
In the stage version, though, it's "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!", so that technically is a correct quote...
It's sometimes claimed that in Bride of the Monster, Bela Lugosi said his manservant Lobo (Tor Johnson) was "as harmless as a kitchen" [sic] as a sign of his diminished faculties and/or Wood's incompetent direction. But actually, he says the line fine: "Don't be afraid of Lobo; he's as gentle as a kitten."
Quite possibly, the most famous line from Waterworld is, "Dry land is not a myth, I've seen it!" And yet, the line is never heard anywhere, in any form in the entire movie.
It is, however, present in the Universal Studios water show based on the movie, which has been seen by many more people.
Actual quote: The Mariner says " Dry land is a myth." She says "I've seen it. It was in a basket we found in No Land. Dirt richer and darker than yours."
Bram Stoker's original Dracula never said the line "I vont to suck your blood!", or anything like it. He was much too sophisticated, and had an English accent. It wasn't until Bela Lugosi played Dracula that the accent became forever rooted in our memory, but even then, the line is not spoken.
This applies to imitations of many lines Lugosi did say, because Lugosi never pronounced w as a v but rather as wh.
Knute Rockne: All-American: Knute Rockne says "And the last thing he said to me, 'Rock,' he said, 'sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper." Often quoted as "Win one for the Gipper," or "Win this one for the Gipper."
Tarzan: (stabbing himself proudly in the chest) Tarzan, Tarzan.
Jane: (emphasizing his correct response) Tarzan.
Tarzan: (poking back and forth each time) Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan?
The oft-quoted scene from Crocodile Dundee or rather, oft-misquoted: "That's not a knife/You call that a knife? This is a knife" actually goes:
Sue: "He's got a knife!" Crocodile Dundee:(Laughs) "That's not a knife." (Draws large bowie knife) "That's a knife."
The line "My God, it's full of stars" is never said or sort-of said in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The closest the movie gets to this line is in a moment toward the end when a starfield bursts onto the screen, but not a single word is spoken during this light show (or after it, for that matter). The line does appear in Arthur C. Clarke's novel (part of the same project), and the film version of 2010: The Year We Make Contact.
In addition, the very famous and oft-quoted line "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Dave" never appears in 2001. Rather HAL says "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that" and later says "I'm afraid, Dave" when being disconnected. And before that, he does say "I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."
And as if there weren't enough misquotations, the line, "Good morning Dave" is never uttered. "Good evening Dave" and "Good afternoon gentlemen" on the other hand are.
"Will I dream?" This quote is often misattributed to 2001 (it's actually from the sequel 2010) and/or misquoted as "Dave, will I dream?" or "Will I dream, Dave?" In the movie, HAL addresses this question not to Dave but to Dr. Chandra.
John Wayne did not say, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" in Hondo. It's actually, "A man oughta do what he thinks is best".
There is a line much closer to this from a classic Western, though not one with John Wayne: Alan Ladd says "A man's gotta be what a man's gotta be" in Shane.
Bandit: We are federales. You know, the mounted police. Dobbs: If you're the police, where are your badges? Bandit: Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!
That said, if someone says, "We don't need no stinking badges!" they are quoting a movie: Blazing Saddles.
Another one — Bogart never says "Can you help a fellow American who's down on his luck?" That's from the Bugs Bunny cartoon short 8 Ball Bunny. The actual line is: "Say, mister, care to stake a fellow American to a meal?"
In no film did James Cagney ever say "You dirty rat!" This is a misquote of a line from the 1931 film Blonde Crazy, where he refers to another character as "that dirty double-crossing rat".
At his AFI lifetime achievement award show in 1974, Cagney set the record straight before quickly proceeding to parody the trope (see "Judy, Judy, Judy" below).
Nor did Cary Grant ever say "Judy, Judy, Judy". Apparently, comedian Larry Storch was doing a Cary Grant impersonation in a nightclub when Judy Garland walked in. He greeted her from the stage in character and it somehow became part of the Grant mystique, mystifying even Cary, himself.
It may have come from Cary Grant's film Only Angels Have Wings where Rita Hayworth's character is named Judy. Grant never repeats it in a row as in the quote but he says it a lot.
In an acceptance speech for the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award, Cagney ribbed impressionist Frank Gorshin (and poked fun at the often misattributed line) by saying "And, Frank, I never said 'Ooh, you dirty rat.' What I really said was 'Judy, Judy, Judy!'"
Tony Curtis never said "Yonda liez da castle of me faddah". In Son of Ali Baba, he said "Yonder lies the valley of the sun and beyond, the castle of my father."
He's also quoted, in The Black Shield of Falworth, as saying "We have come ta storm da castle", which is where the line in The Princess Bride comes from.
Mae West never said "Come up and see me sometime." The actual line, from the 1933 film She Done Him Wrong, is "Why don't you come up some time, see me?" which mostly just moves words around but really changes the emphasis.
Mae West didn't say "Is that a gun in your pocket Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?" in any film. It's sometimes said to be in She Done Him Wrong, but actually she said it in Real Life to a policeman who was escorting her.
West did say this in a movie, but not until 1978, when she was 85 years old. She asks "Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" in the movie Sextette. You can see it here, with the line around 9:13.
It's often said (rather inaccurately) that "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels." The original quote is from a 1982 Frank And Ernest cartoon:
Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards... and in high heels.
Smith's monologue in The Matrix is often misquoted: "Human beings are a virus," or "Human beings are a disease, and we are the cure." Agent Smith's speech patterns make it easy to misquote.
I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I found that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move into an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural existing resource is consumed, and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.
May account for some confusion that at least one of the trailers cut this speech down to "Human beings are a disease ... and we are the cure."
While not a line of dialogue, the iconic Bullet Time sequence with Neo dodging the bullets actually has the bullets graze and hurt him - nearly every parody of this scene has the character elegantly avoid harm, unless the joke is that they get harmed regardless.
Additionally, Morpheus never has a line beginning with "What if I told you..." at any point in the film, Memetic Mutation to the contrary.
Clint Eastwood didn't say "Do you feel lucky, punk?" in Dirty Harry. He said, "You'd better ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do you, punk?"
And he says it two distinctly different ways, one at the very beginning of the movie, and then again at the very end. The first time, he says it so the gunman will think he has more ammo and will drop his weapon (he's out of bullets). The second time, he states it so the Ax-Crazy villain will try him (he has another bullet left).
The Maltese Falcon: Bogie says "The stuff that dreams are made of" at the end, not "It's the stuff that dreams are made of".
This in turn is a variant of "... such stuff / As dreams are made on," from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Classic Western The Virginian: Gary Cooper's taunting line was not, "Smile when you call me that!" or "When ya call me that, smile!" but "If you wanna call me that, smile." Easy to get confused, because in the original novel, he says "When you call me that — smile!"
An inversion: sometimes Greta Garbo's quote "I want to be alone" is said to have never been said, or to have only been used in an interview. But it actually does appear in one of her movies: Grand Hotel.
She said "I want to be left alone" (i.e., live a normal life without mobs of fans and paparazzi) in an interview, around the time Grand Hotel was made. Later, she had to clarify the difference between the film and reality.
Ginger Rogers, of all people, says "I want to be alone!" on a train with a thick Swedish accent in the film The Major and the Minor. So apparently Billy Wilder heard Greta wrong too.
Alfred Hitchcock is supposed to have said, "Actors are cattle." However, as he himself put it, "What I said was that all actors should be treated like cattle." He corrected himself after Carole Lombard, hearing him make the comment on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, set up an actual stable in the middle of the shooting set and put cattle in it with signs around the necks of the animals with the actors names on them.
In Batman & Robin, Mr. Freeze utters dozens of ice- and snow-related puns. "Ice to meet you" is not one of them. The line "Ice to see you" was previously used by McBain in a spoof of Arnold Schwarzenegger's action films in The Simpsons. And that line never appeared in the movie itself or the trailer.
The Joker as portrayed by Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is often mis-quoted as asking "Do I look like a man with a plan?", when Harvey Dent says that his (Harvey's) disfigurement and the death of Rachel Dawes was part of his (the Joker's) plan, most likely because people associate the rhyming words "man" and "plan". The quote is, however: "Do I really look like a guy with a plan?"
Yet another from Nolan's Joker is his famous magic trick. Many seem to think it was "Wanna see a magic trick?" as though he walked into the room full of mob bosses as a living Big Lipped Alligator Moment. Instead it was more of a bizzare response to Gambol's question of "Give me a reason why I shouldn't have my boy pull your head off?" And the Joker's was "How about a magic trick?"
His line from the hospital scene is often made into image macros, with the phrase "nobody bats an eye". Although that would have been a neat pun, that is not what he said. This is the actual quote:
"If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!"
In Rises, Bane's line to the defeated Batman is actually "We will destroy Gotham. And then, when it is done, and Gotham is ashes... Then you have my permission to die." The trailer shortened it to "When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die" and that's what Memetic Mutation took hold of.
No-one in Algiers utters the "Come with me" line, though Hedy Lamarr's Gaby does ask Charles Boyer's Pepe le Moko, "Can't you leave the Casbah?" The "beautiful music" part doesn't even come from the same movie, but from 1936's The General Died At Dawn, in which Gary Cooper says to Madeline Carroll, "We could make beautiful music together."
Not a quote, but the image from Home Alone of Kevin McCallister with his hands to his cheeks, screaming, isn't because he has realized he has been left home alone, but because he has stung himself with aftershave. The false image comes from a trailer where the commentary mentions his being left home... alone, and then the hand-on-face scream bit.
It doesn't help that the posters for the movie have him front and center, doing the hand-on-face scream (and wearing a sweater as opposed to a bath towel) with burglars Harry and Marv grinning in a menacing fashion behind him.
Further adding to this is that the cover for Home Alone 4 again shows McCallister with his hands to his cheeks, screaming, with the two burglars staring on menacingly. This time around, the hands-on-cheeks screaming doesn't even happen anywhere in the actual film.
Jules Winnfield's famous hamburger speech from Pulp Fiction is often misquoted (by putting words or phrases in the wrong order) or quoted correctly but used in the wrong context:
Jules: "What country you from?!"
Jules: 'What' ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in 'what'?
Jules: ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?!
The last line is often misquoted as "English, do you speak it, motherfucker?" Regarding context, Jules is sarcastically demanding that Brett give him a clearer answer than "what," but the line is often used in real life against people who are literally not speaking English well or at all.
That, and there's a line by Samuel L. Jackson in that scene in Pulp Fiction he's making fun of: "SAY WHAT AGAIN, I DARE YA, I DOUBLE DARE YOU!" Well, he said it.
Jules has his own Beam Me Up Scotty with the Bible. The entire verse of Ezekiel 25:17 goes, from start to finish, "And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."
While this is indeed an example of this trope, it's not because the passage doesn't match up to the Bible, but because it doesn't match up to the introduction to Sonny Chiba's The Bodyguard, from which this passage (as well as its attribution as Ezekiel 25:17) is lifted almost exactly. The use in The Bodyguard would be a misquote of the Bible, translations and mistranslations aside.
In an example that's made its way into a trope name, I Just Shot Marvin in the Face is actually "Aw man... I shot Marvin in the face..." with no "just"
In Jaws, the line is "You're gonna need a bigger boat", not "We're gonna need a bigger boat." The presence of Brody (the speaker) on the boat as well undoubtedly contributes to the confusion. And it's not a deadpan remark in response to seeing the size of the shark - it's actually posed as a question, as in "You're gonna need a bigger boat, right?" in response to hearing the plan to catch the shark.
Also, the quote "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" is sometimes attributed to this movie. In fact, it's the tagline to the sequel, hence the part about going back in the water.
No James Bond villain has ever said: "Good evening, Mr. Bond. We've been expecting you." Bits of it, yes, and sometimes they were said by other people, but never the entire quote. For example, one of Dr. No's henchmen shouts "We've been expecting you!" Blofeld says "We've been expecting you" in Diamonds Are Forever, and a minute later says "Good evening, Mr. Bond."
Bond doesn't actually say "The name's Bond, James Bond" that often either ("Bond... James Bond" however is in practically every film) and orders vodka martinis rarely too.
Although, in some films, he does say "My name is Bond, James Bond"—for example, at the start of Diamonds, while he's questioning the Egyptian's mistress about the whereabouts of Blofeld.
Zulu: the line isn't "Zulus. Thousands of 'em.", but "The sentries report Zulus to the south west. Thousands of them." Also, Michael Caine (Lt. Bromhead) doesn't say it; it's Color Sergeant Bourne, played by Nigel Greene.
Scarlett O'Hara says "Tomorrow is another day", not "Tomorrow's another day" at the end of Gone with the Wind.
Rhett Butler's memorable final line, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," is sometimes misquoted as "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn." The misquotation has appeared in several places where the line was used comically, including Clue and an episode of Mama's Family.
In the actual book, however, the line is simply "My dear, I don't give a damn" (with no "frankly").
Not a line quoted particularly often, but "I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies" is sometimes changed to "I don't know nothing about birthin' no baby."
The Graduate: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. [awkward pause] Aren't you?" is misquoted as "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?"
The Lord of the Rings - it's not uncommon for Théoden's pre-charge speeches to be merged when quoted. The line from The Two Towers is "Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath. Now for ruin. And the red dawn!" and the line from The Return of the King is "Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!" What you often get is combinations of the two, such as "Ride for wrath, ride for ruin and the red dawn/the world's ending" and "Now for wrath, now for ruin and the world's ending."
"Fell deeds awake" is taken from the verses spoken by Théoden at Edoras in The Two Towers:
Arise now, arise, Riders of Théoden! Dire deeds awake, dark is it eastward. Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded! Forth Eorlingas!
"Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red dawn," is taken from the last line of the verses spoken by Éomer in The Return of the King (with "nightfall" changed to "dawn" as was appropriate for Helm's Deep; a lot of people were pissed that this threw off the rhythm, not to mention the all-important alliteration):
Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing. To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
And the movie version is taken from Théoden's Pelennor Fields speech in the book which is this:
Arise! Arise, Riders of Théoden! Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter! Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, A sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Éomer also shouts, "Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!" in the middle of the battle after he goes berserk after seeing his sister dead (or so he thinks) and the Rohirrim cry "Death" as with one voice. The movie moves these lines to the start of the battle.
Aragorn's Crowning Speech Of Awesome is often abridged and misquoted, mostly because of the Return of the King trailer. Ask any layman on the street what the speech was, and most who claim to remember will say "I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! Someday, the courage of men may fail, but it is not this day! This day, we fight!" The actual speech is: "Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see, in your eyes, the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day... an hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day, we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you, stand! Men! Of! The West!
Possibly the most quoted line from Laurel and Hardy is Ollie's "This is another fine mess you've gotten me into, Stanley," (the "Stanley" is often omitted). This line was never spoken in any of their films. The line that was actually frequently used by Ollie was, "This is another nice mess you've gotten me into," and he never added a "Stanley" to the line either. The confusion apparently stems from one of the L shorts entitled "Another Fine Mess."
The line "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!" is a misquote of Dorothy's line in The Wizard of Oz. The actual quote is "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
The Wicked Witch says "Fly, fly, fly!", not "Fly, my pretties! Fly!" or "Fly, my monkeys, fly!"
Dorothy (nor anyone else) does not say "It's a twister, Auntie Em". One of the farm hands, Hunk (the "real life" counterpart of the Scarecrow) does say "It's a twister! It's a twister!"
Although in Airplane!, Stephen Stucker as Johnny says (while tangling himself in phone cords) "Auntie Em! Toto! It's a Twister! It's a Twister!"
Speaking of the Scarecrow, some people think it was the Tin Man who misstated the Pythagorean Theorem instead of him. Also, when most people quote said line, they leave out the part where the Scarecrow says "Oh joy! Rapture! I've got a brain! How can I ever thank you enough?".
The most famous line from Apocalypse Now is actually much longer than often thought. People tend to quote it as "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like... victory." The complete quote goes: "Do you smell that? It's napalm, son. Nothing else on the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Y'know, one time we had a hill bombed....12 hours....and when it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body. The smell, y'know that gasoline smell, that whole hill. Smells like... victory."
However, the line was quoted just as rendered above by Charlie Sheen in the very last scene of The Chase.
The actual line from Howard Beale's rant in Network is "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Often misquoted as "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" Some people shout the latter out of windows, but Beale doesn't.
This Is Spinal Tap: often misquoted as "There's a fine line between clever, and stupid", David St. Hubbins actually says "It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever."
Sally Field (in)famously gushed "You like me, you really like me!" after her 1985 Oscar win. Except she didn't...
"I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"
People like to quote Ben Stein's character from Ferris Buellers Day Off as saying, "Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?" but that's not how it happened. When he's taking attendance, he says, "Bueller... Bueller..." Later on, when he's teaching, he asks for audience participation and that's when he says, "Anyone? Anyone?" Ferris is absent, so there's no reason to be calling on him to answer a question in class.
The Godfather doesn't say "You come to me, on the day of my daughter's wedding?" He says "You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money." The phrase "day of your daughter's wedding" is used later, but not by Vito.
Also — this is a slightly nitpicky one, but that's what we're here for — at the beginning, Michael tells Kay that "Luca Brasi put a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract." "Brains" and "signature" are often transposed — presumably people think it packs more of a punch if the horrible option comes last, but that just ain't the way it is.
Also, Michael never says "You broke my heart, Fredo, you broke my heart." He actually says "I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart, you broke my heart."
Jack Woltz never yells to Tom Hagen: "And a man in my position can't afford to look ridiculous!!". The correct phrase is: "And a man in my position can't afford to be made to look ridiculous!!"
In the original version of The Fly, there's plenty of "Help meeee! Help meeee!" but no "Be afraid. Be very afraid." The David Cronenberg remake is the source of "Be afraid," and has "Help me, please help me."
He actually does say "Help me, please help me" in the '58 version. The fact that almost no one knows that is a further example of this trope.
Also, an example less of wording and more of intonation: "Help meeee!" is often done high pitched in parodies such as Beetlejuice. In the original movie, however, it was more of a deep, nasal sound, like an insect buzzing.
The iconic image of the fly's body with a man's head is not in the original movie either. It comes from Return Of The Fly. The only time the human-headed fly is seen in The Fly is when its body is wrapped in spider silk, revealing only a deformed-looking human head and hand.
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Black Knight's most memorable quote is "It's only a flesh wound!" and has even been merchandised as such when he really said "Just a flesh wound." The misquotation is possibly influenced by the scene where the knights first see Camelot and one of the servants remarks "It's only a model." Additionally, the Black Knight does not make the "flesh wound" comment until both of his arms have been cut off and Arthur points it out. What he says after Arthur slices off his first arm is, "'Tis but a scratch."
Also, Dennis the peasant says, "Help, help, I'm being repressed!" — not "oppressed."
No one ever says "not dead yet." The old man being put in the cart says "I'm not dead!" Later, during the Tale of Sir Launcelot, Concorde twice says "not quite dead" first speaking about himself, and later about Prince Herbert. Also in the same segment, people attending to Princess Lucky's father say "He's not dead." No one ever says "not dead yet," but that phrase is among the most popular MP quotations. An anti-euthanasia group even uses the false quote as their organization's name, intending to refer to the aforementioned cart scene.
Discussed in Frost/Nixon. Frost is known for starting his broadcasts by saying "Hello, good evening and welcome," but, according to Frost, "I don't actually say that." In broadcasts shown within the film, he says "Hello. Good Evening." and "Good evening and welcome," but never says all three at once.
And, of course, Forrest Gump never said "I love you Jenny". But he did say (after trying to rescue her from the guys grabbing her on stage) "I can't help it. I love you".
In Anatomy of a Murder, Jimmy Stewart's character defense attorney Paul "Polly" Biegler did not say "now I'm no big city lawyer" or "I'm just a Simple Country Lawyer". What he said was, "I'm just a humble country lawyer doing the best I can against the brilliant prosecutor from the big city of Lansing". Also he was using Obfuscating Stupidity to allow a surprise witness when he said that, he was a very accomplished lawyer and politician who know how to play to the jury by positioning himself as the local underdog. Lansing, Michigan is not a very big city but by calling it one he shows just what a small town guy he is.
Gordon Gekko's famous "greed is good" speech from Wall Street doesn't actually say "greed is good", which is only said in the trailers.
"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind."
The sequel actually opens with Gekko saying, on being released from prison:
"Someone reminded me I once said, 'Greed is good.' Now it seems it's legal, because everybody is drinking the same Kool-Aid."
In an episode of The Daily Show, John Hodgman answers a question by quoting the speech. Perhaps to get around the contradiction between the original and remembered quote, he begins by saying "The answer, for lack of a better word, is that greed is good." Except that instead of "greed", he says "greeb".
The most infamous quote from Mommie Dearest is often rendered as "No more wire hangers!" when in reality the quote is a very hammy "No wire hangers EVAAAAR!!!" (or simply "No...more...HANGEEERS!!!")
Ellen Ripley never says "nuke it from orbit" in Aliens. The actual line is "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
And it's often attributed only to Corporal Hicks, who repeated it in concurrence with Ripley.
Also, "Game over man" didn't appear until well after "We're screwed!". And it's "Get away from her, you bitch", not "Stay away", that mistake was popularized by Scream 2 where they correct the right line with the wrong.
Not once in The Silence of the Lambs does Hannibal Lecter say "Hello, Clarice." What he actually says is "Good evening, Clarice."
He does say in Hannibal, "Is this Clarice? Well, hello Clarice."
And without the comma between "Hello" and "Clarice," the intonation is different. A pedantic point, but this is a pedantic article.
Subverted with Buffalo Bill. He does indeed say "It puts the lotion in the basket," but most people quote the line in some kind of creepy voice, when the actual delivery is deadpan.
Although the "WE HAVE TO GO DEEPER" meme has spread like wildfire, that line's never actually said in Inception.
The meme "X within X, Inception" is also problematic. Inception isn't an X within an X, but rather the business of planting an idea in someone's dream. This turns out to be easiest if you use several nested layers of dreams (the X-within-X), so the meme works if it's a listing of steps, but not if the X-within-X is supposed to be named "inception". Once again we have trailer splicing to blame.
A case of intonation, rather than actual words: In The Ten Commandments, God, speaking through the Burning Bush, does call out Moses's name twice. However, it is not prolonged, with a descending pitch. Just "Moses...Moses...." in a flat monotone. The pharaoh does but with rising intonation.
Napoleon Dynamite advises Pedro, "just listen to your heart," not, "just follow your heart."
The famous line from Field of Dreams is "If you build it, he will come," not, as is often misquoted, "If you build it, they will come."
Jake Gyllenhaal's line from Brokeback Mountain is actually "I wish I knew how to quit you," not "I wish I could quit you" or "I can't quit you".
Lethal Weapon: Roger Murtaugh is not getting too old for this shit, he already is.
But to be fair, he does say it that way in both the second and third movie, ("I'm getting too old for this shit!")
Alexander Nevsky: A variation of the phrase "all who draw the sword will die by the sword", tends to be attributed to Alexander since it appears in the movie. In reality, there is no mention of him ever saying it in public, and the phrase is actually attributed to Jesus.
Another Star Trek example: Some people mistakenly think that "KHAAAAAN!" was a Skyward Scream, when Kirk actually just yelled it facing forward into his communicator, which was followed by an exterior shot of the planet.
Also, as far as intent, people often portray it as a classic example of how hammyWilliam Shatner is, when in fact Kirk (the character) was purposely hamming it up, to make Khan think he had outsmarted Kirk.
Similarly, the line is often quoted as a long shout ("KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"). As performed, the line is just slightly longer than it would be if simply spoken.
In The Room, Johnny's "What a story, Mark" sometimes gets remembered as "What a funny story, Mark" or "Crazy story, Mark".
In Tropic Thunder, Kirk Lazarus is often misattributed as saying "N***, you just went full retard." The actual conversation went as follows:
Lazarus: Everybody knows you never go full retard.
Tugg: What do you mean?
Lazarus: Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man, look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic, sure. Not retarded. Then you got Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump. Slow yes, retarded maybe, braces on his legs, but he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition? That ain’t retarded. He's a goddamned war hero, you know any retarded war heroes?
Tugg:*Pauses, then shakes his head*
Lazarus: You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask Sean Penn. 2001, I Am Sam? Remember? Went full retard, went home empty-handed.
Will Smith's character in Independence Day never said "Welcome to Earf!", despite what the Internet would like you to believe. He actually said the word "Earth" correctly.
Speaking of Will Smith, the film adaption of I Am Legend spawned a minor internet meme called "Goddamnit Frank!", which references a scene in which Neville freaks out after seeing a mannequin in the middle of the road and begins incoherently screaming at it. The mannequin's name was actually Fred.
Also, he doesn't say 'goddammit', either. The line is "Dammit, Fred! Dammit!"
Minor example: Will Ferrell's character in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is often quoted as saying "Well, that escalated quickly" when the correct quote is "Boy, that escalated quickly." Also, he sounded genuinely surprised when he said it, though people often say the line in a deadpan voice for comedic effect.
Another minor example: Bane's line in The Dark Knight Rises, "Your punishment must be more severe", is often quoted with an emphasis on the severe. While he does state the line as such in the trailer, he does not in the final film.
In Happy Gilmore, Bob Barker is attributed to say "The price is wrong, bitch!" It's Happy (Adam Sandler) who exclaims this line. Bob later says "Now you've had enough... bitch."
Jerry Maguire: The infamous "You had me at hello" line is not spoken by the title character, but rather by Dorothy Boyd, played by Renée Zellweger.
Biff Tannen in Back to the Future doesn't ever actually say "Hello McFly", instead he repeats "Hello, hello, anybody in there? Think McFly, think." A child character misquoting this line in the later movie Jack is to blame for this.
The final line in Planet of the Apes is "YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!" Most recitations of the line leave out "God" in the last sentence.
Also, many people quote the movie's Phrase Catcher as "Goofy Toofie, pull up your pants!" rather than "Goofy Toofie, pick up your pants!", the way it was actually said in the film.
In the wake of the tremendous success of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice in 1988, the phrase "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!" became a well-known Memetic Mutation. Problem is, while a number of characters in the movie do say "Beetlejuice" three times (or at least attempt to), on only one occasion is the name said three consecutive times; more often the speakers pause for a relatively long time before completing the triad, because a part of them really doesn't want Beetlejuice to show up.
However, Lydia normally said it without an interrupting pause on the animated series.
People quoting the Georgie scene from Stephen King's It always say "Everything floats down here", which he doesn't even come close to saying. True he says the line "They all float down here", but that's much later in the film.
Though Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain is attributed to Night of the Living Dead and even credits it as its Trope Namer, the line was actually first spoken in Shaun of the Dead. The 1985 horror comedy Return of the Living Dead comes close, but it only mentions that in Night, they killed the zombies by "[destroying] the brain", and here, removing the head only comes after destroying the brain proves to be unsuccessful (not that it was any more so). The actual quote from Night goes "Kill the brain, and you kill the ghoul." The closest any of George Romero's films gets to using the line is in Dawn of the Dead, where, during a news report early on, an expert on the subject of zombie survival says, "A dead body must be exterminated either by destroying the brain or severing the brain from the rest of the body."
Flash Gordon: Vultan's line GORDON'S ALIVE!!! is regularly quoted as a triumphant cry, and has become a Catch Phrase of BRIAN BLESSED himself. In the actual movie, however, Vultan expresses the line with (for Brian Blessed) quiet incredulity.
In Duck Soup, Rufus T. Firefly is often quoted as saying "A child of five could understand this. Send somebody to fetch a child of five". However, the actual line is "Why, a four-year-old child could understand this report! Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it!"