Ebert has more than once been unsure how to say "Hakuna Matata". For instance, in their review of Disney's Hercules, Ebert called it "Hakuna Makata". He also had trouble saying it in their review of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, to the point where Siskel had to correct him.
In their review of 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Siskel insinuated that Ebert was taking a bribe from the studio for saying that young children might find the film entertaining (this is despite Ebert giving the film a thumbs down, mind you):
Siskel: You just dumped on the picture; why soften it? Who are you championing? The filmmakers? Ebert: I'm just trying to put out a little bit of information that might be useful to someone that might enjoy this movie! Siskel: Yeah, it's lousy, but Uncle Rog' says, "You might like it." There ya go. Who are you a friend of?? Ebert: Up next... I'm a friend of the... trusting filmgoer, Gene.
From their Telling Lies in America review, Siskel gave it a marginal thumbs down. Ebert argued, "Gimme Bacon. Come on, gimme Bacon." Siskel chuckled and remarked that he wasn't sure at first what he meant by that. Understandably, it sounded like Ebert was asking for some bacon to eat.
In their review of The Mask, Siskel describing Jim Carrey's characteristic overbite as "predatory animal-like".
The famous outtakes in general, but especially:
Ebert: Sound a little excited, Gene. Siskel: Sound less excited, Roger.
In their review of The Living Daylights, Siskel described Timothy Dalton's version of Bond as "mousy". Ebert said that was an odd way to describe him, and Siskel admitted that was probably the wrong choice of words: "I called James Bond a mouse, and I live to say it."
In their "Worst of 1993" show, Siskel and Ebert gave each other a Take That to movies they gave thumbs up and which made their worst of the year (Siskel liked Carnosaur, while Ebert liked Cop and a Half).
Ebert fires a round at Siskel:
Ebert: Those are the dinosaurs, Gene, that you gave thumbs up to.
And Siskel returns fire at Ebert:
Siskel: We'll have a double bill. People can either go to see Cop and a Half, Roger Ebert recommends, or Carnosaur, a funky, offbeat thriller, and which will they like best? (Ebert tries to get a word in edge-wise) Which one did YOU like best? Which one did YOU like best? Ebert: (defiantly)Cop and a Half! Siskel: (pleased) He said it again, folks. Good. Ebert: And you know, I liked the way you described that double bill, giving your movie all the wonderful adjectives, and giving mine all of the... yeah.
Ebert disliked The Vanishing (1993), to put it mildly. He was especially irritated by the ending, which he felt didn't hold a candle to the ending of the 1988 film on which it was based. When Siskel began to deliver his critique of the film, Ebert kept interrupting him to bash the film some more. After two instances of being interrupted, Siskel said:
Siskel: I don't like the picture. Maybe you're confused about that. I'm still trying to get that opinion out there. Calm down, big boy, calm down.
In their "Worst of 1985" show, Siskel named Pee-wee's Big Adventure as one of the year's worst films, showing a clip from the "bicycle stunt" scene near the beginning of the film. Ebert revealed that he had been on vacation and had missed seeing the film during its cinematic run, but that the clip actually made him want to see it.
Siskel: On the basis of that clip!? Ebert: On the basis of that clip, I kinda liked it... Siskel: Lemme tell you something, on the basis of that- you think that's funny, you're gonna roar- with this film, because... Ebert: He kind of reminded me of Harold Lloyd a little bit there. Siskel:(grabbing his head in disbelief) Oh my God, Roger, you're - Harold Lloyd!?
Ebert: Is it possible to smash a cab against a bus with a guy hanging out the window and not kill him, or even hurt him? I don't think so, but they do it in this movie. (...) Okay, now here's another question: Is it possible to survive a third floor gas explosion by holding up a table as a shield? I don't think so, but they do it in this movie.
During the 1993 Holiday Gift Guide, they actually had to promote, then demo the Sega Activator. Any gamer with knowledge of the device knows how responsive it is (read: not much), so the clip is just Siskel and Ebert trying their damndest to make their movements register. After having to try the Activator on national TV, is it any wonder Ebert is not fond of gaming?
In their review of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), Siskel said it was twice as good as the first film. But since they gave two big thumbs down to the first film, Siskel added: "...And you know what two times zero adds up to."
When Siskel introduced their review of the first three episodes of The Critic. He said it was from the same production company as The Simpsons, although he didn't think it had as many memorable characters as that show, "save for a film critic who's as smart as me and who's as big as... well... Roger's losing weight, so we'll see."
The episode where they reviewed Full Metal Jacket, Benji the Hunted, and Spaceballs had a lot of great disagreements, and at the end of the episode, Siskel told Ebert to look at his thumb over the weekend.
In their review of An American Tail, Siskel derided the musical number, "In America, There Are No Cats":
Siskel: What about all the people named "Katz"? (Ebert laughs)
Some great sarcastic lines from the duo:
In their review of The Great Outdoors:
Siskel: The big commodities guy from Chicago just doesn't like nature, and then the average guy, the happy-go-lucky chubby guy, he loves animals. Thanks. We appreciated that.
Ebert: (after a clip) And no matter what he fires at it, the door doesn't go down. How funny. The door is still there. How hilarious. How highly, highly humorous.
In their review of Overboard, after Goldie Hawn's character pushes Kurt Russell's character (who said he wasn't going anywhere) into the water:
Siskel: Isn't that a surprise? He actually fell overboard, Roger! I bet you didn't know that was gonna happen, noooo!
At the end of their Best of 1991 episode, they couldn't resist getting in a few quips at each other's expense.
Ebert: Well I have to congratulate you, Gene, you don't have any bad movies on your list this year. Siskel: Thank you! Ebert: Okay. (Beat) Nothing you want to say to me? Siskel: Happy New Year!
On The Late Show With David Letterman, Letterman showed a supposed clip from a Siskel and Ebert episode:
Ebert: Our next movie is Lost in Space. This big budget version of the 1960's camp classic- Siskel: Leonardo- Leonardo DiCaprio is hunky. Ebert: Leonardo DiCaprio is not what we're talking about right now! We're talking about Lost in Space! Siskel: It's what I'm talkin' about, big boy. He's hunky. Ebert: Dammit, Gene...!
After Siskel gave a marginal Guilty Pleasure recommendation to Lambada, Ebert called him out for it. After recapping the movies in that episode:
Ebert: And Gene, this is the first time in a long time that you gave thumbs up to all five movies, and.... ya shouldn't have.
Usually the duo are pretty good at moving on after a disagreement, but occasionally there's an episode where bad feelings hang in the air the whole show and come out in their debates, or one of the two is in a noticeably bad mood. Examples:
Ebert was pissy in the episode where they review Bogus, The Big Squeeze, Bulletproof, The Trigger Effect, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. It began after Siskel gave a negative review to Bogus, which Ebert defended.
Siskel seemed more harsh than usual in the episode where they review The Juror, Balto, White Squall, Nico Icon, and French Twist.
In their review of Meet The Deedles, Siskel mentioned that the movie scarred him so much that now, any time he hears the word "Deedles", he experiences pain. Ebert says the offending word and Siskel observes that Ebert loves the word because it gives him power.
Siskel: Our next movie is Mr. Magoo, which is even more worthless than The Postman. Boy, what a criticism that is.
From the Ebert & Roeper era:
Roeper's "Who are you, and what have you done with Roger Ebert?" line when Ebert gave Cheaper by the Dozen 2 a thumbs up.
Roeper Come on, Roger. You've got dogs knockin' over plates of food. Ebert: Of course you do! Y-you've gotta have that!
When Roeper gave A Prairie Home Companion a thumbs down, Ebert said "You have the appearance of a human, but seem to be an android of some sort".
Roeper: Well, you're the one who wanted to cuddle with a movie.
When they reviewed Van Helsing, Roeper concluded his review by saying the film is dopey. Ebert remarked: "It's dopey, all right, but I give it thumbs up-", and Roeper interrupted with "YOU ARE KIDDING ME!" Ebert's explanation on why he thinks the plot isn't murky is funny, too:
Ebert: Dracula needs Dr. Frankenstein's secret of life, in order to activate his own babies who were born dead, because of course, he's dead.
Ebert's Take That to Roeper during their review of Sahara: "May a diseased yak make love to your sister's kneecap."
Roeper: All right, I'm bein' Punk'd, right? Now let's do your real review.
From their review of Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, Ebert's story about how he wanted to know the name of an actor in the film, and registered on the official website but never did find out an answer to his question.
Jeepers Creepers 2: "Every 23 years, for 23 days, it gets to eat. It has it easy. Every two years, we have to see a new movie about it."
Ebert and Roeper's argument about whether it was good or bad for Yoda to fight in Star Wars: Episode II.
Ebert: If you're Yoda, you don't need no laser...saber. You just go like this... (makes a hand gesture) You're Yoda! Nobody can stop you!
Roeper's derisive facial expressions during Ebert's explanation of why he liked Harvard Man. Ebert calls him out on it: "Don't look like that; come on."
Into the Blue:
Ebert: Let's talk about why people might want to see this movie. Roeper: All right. Ebert: Jessica Alba's a pretty girl. She's pretty in this movie. OK, that's thumbs up. (Roeper laughs)
When reviewing the The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Roeper mentioned that the series had a large adult fanbase. He added: "I hope never to meet those people."
When they reviewed The Fast and the Furious, Roeper said between this and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Ebert seems to be taking the job of fictional film critic David Manning of giving good reviews to bad movies. Towards the end of the review, Ebert said Roeper has to have the "Trash-o-Meter" and give this movie thumbs up.
Ebert was so bored watching Herbie: Fully Loaded that he began wondering what kind of sex a sentient car like Herbie would have.
Ebert: So you're giving this movie thumbs down? Roeper: I am. Ebert: ..........Whoa. Uh...
From the Roeper & (insert guest host here) era:
When Roeper and A.O. Scott reviewed The Hottie & the Nottie. Three moments come to mind: Scott saying there are many ways to describe Paris Hilton (including one he's too much of a gentlemen to say out loud), Scott commenting that Roeper's shaking with anger when starting to trash the film, and Roeper's annoyance on how Paris is supposed to be attractive: "She looks like a porn star after a really long weekend, especially in close-up."
Michael Phillips's defense of 10,000 BC, particularly when he disagreed with Roeper about the "accuracy" of the film: "I don't know what you're talking about; I think this thing is on the money!" Also, Roeper's accusation that other critics who gave it thumbs up were doing so while they were holding their juice boxes.