"I never really said most of the things I said."
— Yogi Berranote
Lines that people associate with something or someone by way of Pop-Cultural Osmosis
, despite having never been uttered by them, or only rarely. Usually a misquotation or a slight paraphrase of something that actually was
said or done, or a combination of several common or famous lines. The misquote provides context necessary to recognize or appreciate the reference, as in "Luke, I Am Your Father
", or fills in parts of the sentence that are orphaned from the interesting bit, as in "Hell [has no] fury like a woman scorned"
. Sometimes the trailer shortened the quote
to save time, and its version became better known. This is all well and good, but we here at TV Tropes
think people should at least know what the line they're paraphrasing is meant
The Trope Namer
is "Beam me up, Scotty", never actually uttered in Star Trek: The Original Series
. More often, Kirk said, e.g.
, "Four to beam up," and he was talking to whoever happened to be at the Transporter console (hardly ever Scotty, him being the chief engineer
and all). One of the films got pretty close, but even then, it was phrased: "Scotty, beam me up." Contrary to popular belief, it is not even said in Star Trek: The Animated Series
- though that's where they come closest: "Beam us
up, Scotty". The actual phrase comes from a famous Star Trek bumper sticker - "Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life on this planet." It finally made an appearance in the franchise when Shatner
himself said it in the audiobook version of his 1995 novel The Ashes of Eden
. It was later used in the 2009 Star Trek
Subtrope of Common Knowledge
. See also Dead Unicorn Trope
, Cowboy Bebop at His Computer
, God Never Said That
. If the misassociated line is eventually co-opted into the source as a sort of Shout-Out
to the confusion, it becomes an Ascended Meme
. If the line is correct but lack of context changes the meaning, or if the line is chopped up to change its meaning, it is a Quote Mine
. If the quote and the misquote both occur in the same medium, there is an Unreliable Narrator
or possibly a Flip Flop of God
. If the quote becomes the only thing associated with a person, it's a case of Never Live It Down
. This trope can be extended to Iconic Items
the character never actually had, such as Holmes' deerstalker. For tropes actually about beaming characters up
, see Teleporters and Transporters
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Suzumiya Haruhi character Tsuruya-san never says "nyoro~n". She says "nyoro", and not even very often. Her Memetic Mutation webcomic alternate self, Churuya, says "nyoro~n" at the end of every strip. Churuya and Tsuruya even met in the Churuya comic, saying their exact Catch Phrases, and people continue to attribute one to the other.
- It probably doesn't help that she arguably does pronounce it as "nyoro~n" sometimes in her rendition of Hare Hare Yukai.
- The slider part is often omitted from Haruhi's introduction in the first episode.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- Throughout the series, the cry of a vampire is usually spelled "Ureeeeeyyyy!" or "Reeeeeee!" It's almost never spelled "Wryyyyyy!", but Memetic Mutation has made this the most common spelling. Additionally that one flash video and MUGEN have made many people attribute the cry to Dio's "Road Roller" super attack from the Capcom fighting game. The sound bite is actually from Shadow Dio's "Charisma!" super.
- Dio's memetic combo is often thought to be Barehanded Blade Block -> MUDADA -> ZA WARUDO -> Flechette Storm -> ROADROLLADA -> WRYYY. However, this really owes itself to the fan-made flash animation, not either the manga or the game.
- And similarly, Dio's Time Stand Still move is never called ZA WARUDO. It is merely named Time Stop, and the Stand's name is The World. It is never implied to be spelled in broken English too (ZA WARUDO rather than The World).
- Also attributed to Dio is the line commonly transcribed as "toki wo tomare" (時を止まれ), usually translated as "Time stops!". This is grammatical non-sense that is perhaps more accurately translated to English as "To be able to stop time ...". The actual line is "toki yo tomare" (時よ止まれ), which sets time as the "person" being addressed (like calling somebody's name), and commands it to stop - succinctly, "Time - stop!". The origin of this mix-up is likely a simple mishearing, reinforced by some (but incomplete) knowledge of Japanese grammar; the "wo" is a common particle, so a novice speaker might think that it makes more sense than the uncommon, somewhat archaic, and not-classroom-friendly "yo" (which, admittedly, is difficult to aurally distinguish in this case unless one is aware of the grammar behind it).
- Mazinger Z: In the Spanish dub, Kouji's infamous Rocket Punch line was translated as "¡Puños Fuera|" ("Fists Out!") instead of "Puño Cohete", and Sayaka's Oppai Missile attack was traslated like "¡Fuego de Pecho!" ("Breast Fire!"). However, a huge chuck of the Spanish-speaking fandom is downright convinced she said "¡Pechos Fuera!" ("Breasts Out!").
- Tobi did not himself say "Tobi is a good boy", that was something Zetsu (well, part of him) said about Tobi. To himself. It's complicated. It probably comes from Web cartoon Fun With Akatsuki, which is on YouTube. Tobi says that a lot there, and it's been on for a few years.
- Sasuke is commonly attributed with telling Sakura: "You're weak/useless." But actually he never said that. The closest comes when she asks him if they can go work on their teamwork, "just the two of us." And he responds with, "I swear, you're just as bad as Naruto. Instead of flirting, why don't you practice your jutsu and make the team stronger? Let's face it, you're actually worse than Naruto."
- Shirou from Fate/stay night is notably popular for the quote, "People die if they are killed.", which was an overly-literal (and out-of-context) line from a fansub. The full line was "People die when they're killed. That's the way it should be." In context, he was saying how he didn't want the immortality that Avalon granted him. but fans ran with it and that line became memetically popular.
- In the dub of Princess Mononoke, Eboshi says, "Now watch closely, everyone. I'm going to show you how to kill a god." This has been misquoted as, "Now I will show you how to kill a god."
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Contrary to what fanon says, the infamous "vital regions" memetic line was never used by either Prussia or Russia. Austria (in the "Maria Theresa" series) said Prussia had done it. Spain also used it (in Spain's Lazy Morning") and Lithuania (in Checkmating Poland).
- Japan never said "Please leave, you second rate perverts." What he actually said was "Leave the 2-D to me," but the scanlators didn't understand the sentence.
- Russia never referred to himself as Mother Russia. Hint: himself.
- And Prussia's famous "five meters"? 100% pure Fanon.
- There has never been a moment in the whole series when America has called England 'Iggy'.
- Russia did not say "he is my ex, after all" when speaking of Lithuania, this was a mistranslation. What he actually said was on the lines of Lithuania being a used item, possession or second-hand thing.
- In Super Robot Wars and other games that feature Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, a common attack for Heero to use in Wing Zero is to hold out both sides of the Twin Buster Rifle and spin the mech around while firing them, creating a wide circle of destruction. Heero never actually did that move in the series or movie: It was done by Quatre, after he first built Wing Zero and went crazy
Similarly, Domon Kasshu's God Slash Typhoon, a move where he spins around like a tornado while holding his twin beam swords, is always used as an offensive attack in Super Robot Wars when in the series it was merely a defensive technique to ward off George's Rose Bits. The God Gundam would otherwise barely have attack moves before going Super Mode, so it can be forgiven.
- The original Mobile Suit Gundam:
- During the infamous Bright Slap scene, Amuro did say "Not even my father hit me!" But most people would think that the full quote is "You hit me! Not even my father hit me!" even if what Amuro said was (after the SECOND slap from Bright), "That's twice...! Not even my father hit me!"
- Also in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, when Graham declared his love with Gundam, he didn't say the memetically popular "GUNDAM, I LOVE YOU!!!", but "This feeling...there's no mistaking it...it must be love!!". But since the first one explicitly declared just WHAT Graham is in love with, it became more popular and oft-used.
- King Dedede in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! spawned a meme with his inexplicably heavy Southern accent, coming from the phrase "I need a monstah to clobbah dat dere Kirbeh," from the intro, and also the memetic joke spelling "Kirbeh" of the title character. However, in the intro, and most of the time in the show, Dedede actually pronounces "Kirby" correctly, though the person singing the theme song pronounces it "Kirbeh" once or twice.
- In One Piece, just before he sets the wine-doused Chuu on fire, Usopp's line is "Wine is flammable!", not "Did you know wine is flammable?" or "Did you know wine burns?". It's sometimes quoted with "grog" in place of "wine", possibly in an effort to make it sound more pirate-y, even though it's clearly a bottle of wine in the scene.
- Oolong never wished for Bulma's panties. He wished for panties from a hot babe (or the world's most comfortable underwear in the dub), but there's no indication that they belonged to Bulma.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey's "Make a contract with me!" manages to appear in official merchandise, but he never says this as one sentence; it's always something like "Just make a contract with me, and become a magical girl!". A more blatant one is "Anything is possible if you make a contract with me!", a fan-fabricated combination of his other misquote and his assertion that he can grant any wish.
- In fanfiction, Vita is attributed surprisingly often with coining Nanoha's nickname "White Devil". Firstly, what Vita did was call Nanoha a (not white) devil in a What the Hell Are You? moment, and secondly, Nanoha is not ever referred to as the White Devil in the series proper.
- The oft-quoted Spider-Man line "With great power comes great responsibility" is often attributed to Peter Parker's Uncle Ben, but the first appearance of the line was in fact just in a closing caption to the first story in Amazing Fantasy, not said by any actual character. And even then, it was actually phrased "With great power there must also come great responsibility".
- In later retcons of Spider-Man's origin and in retellings such as that of Sam Raimi's first movie, the line is shortened and attributed to Uncle Ben, so while that is what is now in-continuity, the line was not originally his.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Adaptation plays with this: a flashback shows Uncle Ben delivering the original line, but Peter then says the shortened version later when he decided to spare Ben's killer.
- Ultimate Spider-Man played with it even more. Let's just say it was a good thing that Peter decided to shorten this one:
Uncle Ben: You know your father, God rest his soul... Your father had a philosophy the he held to pretty strongly. And it's one that served him very, very well... He believed that if there were things in this world that you had to offer, things that you did well—better than anyone else... things that you could do that helped people feel better about themselves... well, he believed that it wasn't just a good idea to do those things... he believed it was your responsibility to do those things. Don't try to be something else. Don't try to be less. Great things are going to happen to you and your life Peter. Great things. And with that will come great responsibility. Do you understand?
- In The Amazing Spider-Man, the line gets another re-write, to the point where reviewers started to point out how it was getting ever clunkier to come up with another version in each iteration of the franchise:
Uncle Ben: “If you can do good things for other people, you have a moral obligation to do those things. Not choice—responsibility.”
- One of Rorschach's most popular and repeated lines "Possible homosexual? Must investigate further.", in reference to Adrian Veidt, actually reads as "Possibly homosexual? Must remember to investigate further." This is likely because the former seems to fit in more with his Beige Prose speaking pattern.
- In-universe example: Dr. Milton Glass, a scientist who was present when Dr. Manhattan gained his powers, is quoted by the media as saying "The superman exists, and he's American". Dr. Glass' actual statement was "God exists, and he's American", and the sentiment behind it was more along the lines of awe and terror than the celebratory tone in which it is usually (mis)quoted. It is implied that the statement was deliberately misquoted to make it less alarming/potentially offensive.
- In The Cadanceverse, the oft-misquoted line from Congreve's The Mourning Bride is referenced. Vinyl Scratch, Element of Magic, mentions that "music soothes the savage beast." Octavia Philharmonica, Element of Honesty (and the most culturally-aware pony there) points out that the last word should be 'breast.'
Films — Animated
- In The Incredibles, Samuel L. Jackson never actually says "Woman, where is my supersuit?" The proper lines are "Honey, where's my supersuit?", and "You tell me where my suit is, woman!"
- A Memetic Mutation has a screenshot of Superman from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (usually edited to have the features of another character, with disturbing results) with the caption "[name], I..." In the movie, Superman does not actually say that line, he is instead saying "She is my cousin".
- The evil queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs never said "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" in the Disney version, where she actually said "Magic Mirror on the Wall."
- In Frozen, Hans' Wham Line "if only there was someone out there who loved you" is often abridged as "“If Only Someone Loved You”".
- In the melody of Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" (i.e. the Valkyrie Leitmotif from The Ring of the Nibelungs), the sixteenth note in each bar is often played inaudibly. Suffice to say, "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!" is a rhythmically incorrect rendition - the missing note would be in between "kill" and "the". The 16th note is one of the main reasons this passage shows up on trombone auditions, since it's one of the first things audition judges listen for.
- "Yellow Submarine" is invariably misquoted: it's "In the town where I was born lived a man who sailed to sea / And he told us of his life in the land of submarines." Pretty much everyone will sing "In the town where I was born lived a man who sailed the sea / And he told us of his life in a yellow submarine."
- The lyrics to "As Time Goes By" have the line "a kiss is still a kiss," which does not exactly parallel the following line, "a sigh is just a sigh." The people who quote the lyric as "a kiss is just a kiss" have the defense that it's what Dooley Wilson sang in Casablanca. (Of course, they probably also believe that the song originated with Casablanca.)
- John Lennon never said that The Beatles were "Bigger Than Jesus," it was:
"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now - I don't know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but His disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
- It also must be pointed out that contrary to massively popular belief the above quote was not a boast but lament. If there was any mockery intended then it was not toward Jesus or Christianity but toward the people he was complaining about, who were letting their fandom get ludicrously out of hand.
- This was printed in a London Evening Standard interview, "How does a Beatle live?" in March 1966, talking about John's extensive reading of philosophers and historians. The decline of the Church of England and organized religion had been a subject for serious philosophical discussion in England for decades, and UK readers understood Lennon's remarks to refer to this. The quote was ripped out of context on purpose by the American press for a smear piece and has almost invariably been viewed that way ever since, whereas the full context makes the meaning quite clear.
- In later years John Lennon became stridently anti-Christian and sang about, among other things, the abolition of religion in his "utopian" vision of the future in his song "Imagine", so perhaps in hindsight the traditional interpretation of his statement seems to make a bit more sense.
- In interviews he made in Playboy magazine in 1980, John mentioned that "Imagine" (based on an idea Yoko Ono wrote in her book, Grapefruit) was not anti-Christian or anti-religious at all (though he was not strictly a follower of Christianity, and he had a skepticism against conservative belief and authority), but against the idea of religion, politics, borders, possessions, etc. dividing people, and against people using such things to start wars. He seemed to feel that followers got hung up on the figures behind religion, politics, philosophy, etc. and took their focus away from what was said.
LENNON: But nobody's perfect, etc., etc. Whether it's Janov or Erhardt or Maharishi or a Beatle. That doesn't take away from their message. It's like learning how to swim. The swimming is fine. But forget about the teacher. If the Beatles had a message, it was that. With the Beatles, the records are the point, not the Beatles as individuals. You don't need the package, just as you don't need the Christian package or the Marxist package to get the message. People always got the image I was an anti-Christ or antireligion. I'm not. I'm a most religious fellow. I was brought up a Christian and I only now understand some of the things that Christ was saying in those parables. Because people got hooked on the teacher and missed the message.
- In an overlap with Refrain from Assuming, the German national anthem is still known in the Anglosphere as "Deutschland Über Alles", despite the verse featuring those lyrics no longer being officially part of the song (whose melody is also Older Than They Think). For the record, the current first line is Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit: "Unity and Justice and Freedom".
- And even "Deutschland Über Alles" wasn't a call for Germany to dominate the world, but a call for the citizens of the many small countries that made up the region pre-1870 to and regard the ideal of a united Germany as far more important than rivalries between Bavarians, Prussians, Austrians, Saxons, Württembergers, Hanoverians and so on.
- For those who don't know, the actual title is not "Deutschland über Alles"; that's just the first line of the song. It is "Das Lied der Deutschen" (the Song of the Germans) or alternatively "Das Deutschlandlied" (the Germany Song).
- Bob Geldof didn't say "Give us your fucking money!" at Live Aid — The Other Wiki explains:
Nearly seven hours into the concert in London, Bob Geldof enquired how much money had been raised; he was told £1.2 million. He is said to have been sorely disappointed by the amount and marched to the BBC commentary position. Pumped up further by a performance by Queen that he later called "absolutely amazing", Geldof gave an infamous interview. David Hepworth, conducting the interview, had attempted to provide a list of addresses to which donations should be sent; Geldof interrupted him in mid-flow and shouted: "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!" After the outburst, giving increased to £18,000 per minute.
- Whenever anyone parodizes Kanye West's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards interruption, it's always "X had one of the best Y of all time. OF ALL TIME." No one remembers the exact wording:
Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you and I'ma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!*
- The anthem for the US Navy, Anchors Aweigh, is sometimes quoted as having the line "we sail at the break of day", but the actual line goes "we sail at break of day" (no "the" before "break"). And, of course, thanks to the lovely world of homonyms, the title tends to be misspelled as "away", not the correct "aweigh".
- Björk never said "I am a grateful grapefruit!" at the 1998 Brit Awards. It was actually "I...am...grate...ful...grape...fruit!" Which is perfectly sensible.
- People are still quoting Elvis Presley as saying, "The only thing negroes can do for me is shine my shoes and buy my records", although there is absolutely no evidence of his ever uttering this, and in fact everyone who ever worked closely with Presley commented on his total lack of prejudice. Much of the blame for perpetuation of this misquote lies with its use in Albert Goldman's negative biography, Elvis. Sadly, he did make an insulting remark about his black backup singers' breath smelling like catfish at a concert in Norfolk, Virginia, in July 1975. This has been attributed to his out-of-control drug use at the time.
- "I'm Rick James, bitch!" was made up by Dave Chappelle for his Chappelle's Show sketch spoofing Rick James' life, which was Very Loosely Based on a True Story cast member Charlie Murphy tells. So naturally, Seltzer and Friedberg didn't realize that while making Epic Movie. The only time Rick James actually did say it was at the 2004 BET Awards, though this was after the Dave Chappelle sketch, and was more of a reference to it.
- "Dave's not here man" a line often associated with stoners, came from a sketch off a Cheech And Chong album, but 'man' is never said in that line. That doesn't stop people from misquoting it though, this is mostly due to the duo's liberal use of the word.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic references a common use of this trope in his song "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me": "And by the way, your quotes from 'George Carlin' aren't really George Carlin..."
- The song that in which "Figaro" repeatedly sings his name comes from The Barber of Seville by Rossini. Some people, however, will perceive it as being from The Marriage of Figaro - by Mozart.
- One popular Christmas carol is invariably called God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen — but the correct title is actually God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. God is commanding gentlemen to be merry; he isn't commanding those who are already being merry to knock it off. One episode of Cabin Pressure involves a debate on this very subject, with one character mishearing the lyric as "Get dressed, ye merry gentlemen."
- People who have never listened to The Who but who have watched CSI: Miami probably think the infamous "YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" comes at the start of "Won't Get Fooled Again". In fact, the song is 8:32, and the "YEEEEEEEEEAAAAHHH" comes in around 7:45. And there is buildup to it; it doesn't happen suddenly.
- In 1976, KSAN free-form radio DJ Terry McGovern recorded a cheery ballad called "Beam Me Up, Scotty" (Baseball Records BR-1011). It received plenty of airplay on the Dr Demento show and appears on the compilation album Dr. Demento's Hits from Outer Space. This recording probably did a great deal to popularize the phrase. Mc Govern also published Listen to the Loud, a parody of Rod Mc Kuen's work.
- The second line of the song "Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner" is usually misquoted as "That I love London Town", but that's actually the last line. The correct second line is actually "That I love London so", in order to rhyme with the fourth line, which ends "go".
- The music video for The Village People's "YMCA" doesn't include any of the famous "letters" dance associated with it.
- A Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip parodying Simon and Garfunkel has Paul Simon singing: "Well hello, Mrs. Robinson." That line is never heard in the song.
- The last song of The Mikado has the refrain "There are lots of good fish in the sea." This is frequently misquoted as "plenty of fish in the sea".
- "The End" by The Doors is famous for many lyrics, one in particular being "Father, yes son/I want to kill you/Mother, I want to fuck you". That isn't the original line, and is only known and accepted by most as the official line because of the popular live version where Jim sings that line. In the studio version, Jim sings, "Mother, I wanna..." then suddenly screams a bunch of unintelligible nonsense.
- Garfield: Many of the cat's most famous quips (such as "Big, fat, hairy deal!" or "I'm not overweight; I'm undertall") were either never said by him in the comic strip or were said once and then forgotten. Garfield fans remember them to this day only because the strip was aggressively licensed and merchandised almost from the beginning, and the quotes (or supposed quotes) were used repeatedly for greeting cards, joke books, etc. Likewise, "We're bachelors, baby" has been used fewer than 10 times in the course of six years.
- Calvin and Hobbes never had Calvin say "God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die." There's also a bootleg T-shirt of Calvin scowling and saying: "Every day, I'm forced to add another name to the list of people who piss me off." Obviously, this quote has never appeared in the strip.
- One of the most famous lines in wrestling is Michael Buffer's "Lllllet's get ready to rumblllllllle!" While he has said that, and many times, he doesn't always say it that way. Occasionally, for example, it will be the far less famous "We are...ready to rumblllllllle!" Most quotesters also don't cite the entire line, which has a lot more impact:
Madison Square Garden...New York City...U.S.A....Are...you...ready?
...Then for the thousands in attendance...for the millions watching at home...lllllet's", etc. [In recent years, he has begun substituting "for the millions watching around the world"
- Damien Sandow has only used the phrase "Thank you for your irrelevant opinion" once in his career, but it seems the phrase has taken a life of its own among his fans.
- Shawn Michaels didn't lose his smile, but was rather "looking for the smile that [I] lost."
- Vince McMahon's reveal during the Ministry of Darkness is often quoted simply as "IT'S ME AUSTIN! IT WAS ME ALL ALONG!" The more accurate quote is "IT'S ME AUSTIN! IT'S ME AUSTIN! IT WAS ME ALL ALONG AUSTIN!"
- NHL coach Jim Schoenfeld is often quoted as saying in a confrontation with referee Don Koharski, "Have another doughnut, you fat pig!" The actual quote was "Good, because you fell, you fat pig! Have another doughnut! Have another doughnut!", as Koharski had slipped on the floor during the confrontation but believed Schoenfeld had pushed him (he hadn't, hence the quote).
- The definitive rallying cry among African-Americans during The Vietnam War protesting the draft was "No VC ever called me "nigger"!" made famous by Muhammad Ali. In reality, he said, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong; they never called me nigger."
- The confusion might be due to a Black Panther character in a scene in the 1994 film version of Forrest Gump, who holds up a sign saying exactly that (perhaps as a Shout-Out).
- "No VC ever called me nigger" was first seen on placards in March 1967 at the Harlem Spring Mobilization March which was part of a larger anti-war mobilization movement. Nobody knows who really came up with it. Ali said "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong" in a 1966 interview explaining why he would not serve in the U.S. military. There's no evidence that he ever added "they never called me nigger." The slogan was a very hot button: at a rally in New York on May 20, 1967 when a woman held up that sign she was savagely beaten by twenty white men, some wearing American Legion uniforms.
- Eric Cantona's post-kung fu kick statement was "When the seagulls follow trawler [sic], it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much." Very often misquoted with "fish" in place of "sardines"
- "Football isn't a matter of life or death, it's much more important than that." wasn't said by Bill Shankly. He actually said "Someone said 'football is more important than life and death to you' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'."
- Howard Cosell is often quoted as saying "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning" in reaction to an aerial shot of a five alarm fire in the Bronx during Game 2 of the 1977 World Series. (The supposed quote was further popularized by its use as the title of a book and subsequent ESPN miniseries.) However, while Cosell did comment on the fire during ABC's telecast of the game, saying that no one was injured as a result, he never actually said "The Bronx is burning".
- Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi never said "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing". The quote was actually from UCLA Bruins football coach Red Sanders.
- This was correctly referenced in The Weekenders.
- What Lombardi actually said was "Winning isn't everything. The will to win is the only thing." He often claimed he was misquoted.
- The phrase "The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field" was never spoken by NFL Films narrator John Facenda; it comes from Chris Berman's imitation of him.
- Football announcer Andrés Cantor is mostly associated with his "GOOOOOOOOOALLL!" shout, but it actually orignated by Ángel Fernández and Cantor just imitates it.
- Though he's forever remembered for the quote "nice guys finish last" (even using it as the title of his autobiography), Leo Durocher apparently didn't use those exact words during the incident where it reputedly originated. As manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers he commented to reporters in 1946 that the archrival New York Giants were "the nicest guys in the world! And where are they? In seventh place!" (which was actually second-to-last in the league that year). Later reports changed this to the punchier "nice guys don't win pennants", which then evolved into the familiar form. A later book about misquotes was called Nice Guys Finish Seventh. note
- "Say It Ain't So, Joe": Baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson denied that anyone said this to him during or after the Black Sox Scandal. According to a contemporary newspaper account, the real words were "It ain't true, is it, Joe?" to which Jackson replied "Yes, kid, I'm afraid it is." Newspapers being what they were in those days, the whole incident may have been made up.
- In Star Trek: The Game, one of the trivia questions is to name an episode in which Kirk said the exact phrase "Beam me up, Scotty." It is a trick question and if the player names an episode, the player's ship loses an engine.
- The classic Dungeons & Dragons complainy forum post is "My hate of d02 know no limit". Not "my hat of d02 know no limit".
- The cry/chant of the Khorne worshipping Chaos Marines in Warhammer40000 is not "Kill! Maim! Burn!" Only Kharn (who, by the by, is crazy even by their standards, and will readily murder his allies) says it. The rest prefer "Blood for the Blood God!"
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game enforces this with a card called Question. The opponent is asked name the monster at the bottom of your graveyard. If they do not state the exact name written on the card, it is special-summoned.
- There are a few Shakespearean examples of this.
- "Lead on, Macduff", which is a common misquotation of Macbeth's "Lay on, Macduff", often used in a completely different context from how it is used in the play. Macbeth is challenging Macduff to attack him in the final scene, threatening that it will be no holds barred. Macduff then fights Macbeth, killing him off-stage.
- Also, Lady Macbeth never actually says Out, out damn spot!. Macbeth does say "Out, out, brief candle!", which is probably where the confusion stems from. Lady Macbeth's line was actually "Out, damned spot!", with only one "out", and "damned", not "damn".
- Also, Macbeth's line when he hallucinates the dagger is often quoted as "Is this a dagger I see before me?" However, Macbeth actually says "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?"
- Macbeth: "Double, double toil and trouble.", not "Bubble bubble" or "Hubble, bubble". If nothing else, they rhyme it with "bubble" in the next line, so it'd be a pretty lazy rhyme.
- Also, they used toe of frog, not toad. Though they threw a whole toad in there too.
- From Hamlet: Queen Gertrude never said "Methinks the lady doth protest too much"; it was actually "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Which isn't terribly different but is certainly drier. Note that the line means something mostly different than what people think it means ("protest" means "promise", not "speak against" or "complain".)
- Although Hamlet undoubtedly "knew him well", he never said so of Yorick in so many words.
Hamlet: Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it.
- Of all things, Highlander II: The Quickening got this right, you can hear the people in the theatre getting started on that scene before Connery reborn pops into existence.
- Also, this scene in which he is holding Yorick's skull is completely separate from the "To be or not to be" soliloquy earlier in the play where he holds no skull.
- And while we're on "To be or not to be," most people get the words right, but are so far off on the tone of voice that it loses its meaning. Hamlet is at that point contemplating suicide, not something normally done in a loud and powerful voice with raised fist.
- Also, "more honored in the breach than in the observance" actually means "it is more honourable not to do it", not "it is rarely done".
- Also from Hamlet, Polonius is often quoted as saying, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be, but to thine own self be true." That quote comes from two different sentences in the scene where he is giving advice to Laertes.
- It should also be noted that "To thine own self be true" is most likely not quite as noble as it may seem. In context, it can be more accurately be rendered as "Don't stoop below your station" or "Remember and honor your nobility," rather than "Be yourself."
- And another thing, Horatio says "Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest", not "a flight of angels".
- Prospero from The Tempest has a line that is frequently misquoted as "the stuff that dreams are made of." He is actually talking about the transience of human life, and the line goes: "We are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep."
- "Romeo, Romeo... Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Not a misquote but a common misinterpretation; it doesn't mean "Where are you, Romeo?" but "Why are you Romeo?" i.e., "Why is it the one named Romeo Montague that I love?" This one is so firmly ingrained (by a million comedy skits that have Romeo replying "I'm down here!") that when David Beckham named his son Romeo, one British newspaper felt it had to alter the quote to ask WHY FOR ART THOU ROMEO? Poor dears thought they were punning. The dating website OK Cupid uses this as a shibboleth to help theater and literature nerds find each other.
- English lit professor and "literary detective" John Sutherland has even suggested that the line was originally intended to be "Wherefore art thou Montague?" (which would make a lot more sense, given that it's his family name, not his given name, which is indicative of the problem) but was misremembered by the copyist responsible for the first printed edition, potentially providing a very old example of this very trope. On the other hand, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" flows much better in context, so it may just be an example of Artistic License with the correct phrase on Shakespeare's part.
- "A rose by any other name smells just as sweet." - it's actually: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."
- King John: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily" was shortened to "gild[ing] the lily", which makes less sense. To "gild" something is to add gold to it, usually to the edges. Hence the point being made is that adding gold to gold is superfluous; as is "painting the lily" (since it's already colorful) or "throwing a perfume on the violet" (which already smells pleasant). While adding gold edges to a flower might be impractical, it could still theoretically improve its beauty.
- Doesn't exactly fit, but an example in the same vein, from Richard III: "Now is the winter of our discontent / made glorious summer by this sun of York" - it means "Our winter of discontent has now been ended by this sun [son] of York". "Now is the winter of our discontent" is often used or cited on its own as a complete thought, to express sorrow, even though it of course makes no sense in the context of the play or even the full sentence.
- Julius Caesar: "Stand on ceremony" is used to mean "be ceremonious and formal", when it actually means "pay attention to omens and portents", which when you think about it, makes "stand on" make more sense.
- Twelfth Night: "If music be the food of love, play on" is quoted a fair bit, without the next part, "Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,/The appetite may sicken, and so, die." It's not a cheery request for more music to arouse more love, it's an order/prescription for an emotional purgative: give me enough to make me (metaphorically) throw up and stop being in love.
- The Winter's Tale: The "most famous piece of stage direction in history" is "Exit, Pursued by a Bear", not "Exit stage left, pursued by a bear". Perhaps people are mixing up Shakespeare and Snagglepuss?
- William Congreve's play, The Mourning Bride said "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast", not "beast".
- Also, "Hell hath no fury like a Woman Scorned" is actually "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned." There is no "hath" at all in the line.
- In East Lynne, Lady Isabel does not say, "Dead — and never called me mother!" (This would be erroneous, since "Mother" is her son's last word as he dies in her arms.) The actual line in the play is, "See here — my child is dead! and never knew that I was his mother." (The novel the play was based on had only the narration commenting on this dramatic situation; an earlier dramatization, The Tangled Path, omitted the scene entirely.) The misquote was popularised by The Goon Show which used it as a Running Gag; in one episode Neddie Seagoon actually calls it "an excerpt from East Lynne".
- In You Can't Take It with You, Kolenkhov never says "Confidentially, it stinks," though he more than once says "it stinks" and once, in reference to Essie, says, "Confidentially, she stinks." The Rodgers and Hart song "Ev'rything I've Got" also just barely misses using the exact phrase. It doesn't help that parodists often distort the line further, to "Confidentially, this stinks!"
- In Gypsy, June and Louise call their mother "Momma", other characters just call her Rose, and she sometimes bills herself as "Madame Rose." Not once is she referred to as "Momma Rose", although it is a decent catch-all name for her.
- Another in-universe occurrence is in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Having become frustrated with her fiancé, Rose makes the following remark about men: "They're all alike - from puberty to senility, from Benedict Arnold to Mussolini." Kim overhears Rosie and later truncates the quote in front of her parents: "Rosie was right! Men are all alike - from puberty to Mussolini!" (This causes her father, Harry, to complain about his daughter using such words in front of him.)
- Teen Talk Barbie (released 1992) was preloaded with 4 of 270 possible phrases, one of which was "Math class is tough!", not "Math is hard" or "Math is too hard, let's go shopping!", and only 1.5% of the dolls even said "Math class is tough!"
- In Homestar Runner, Strong Sad never said "I don't like food anymore" or "Some animal died" either, despite their being two of his more quoted lines. The first one was in Strong Bad's imagination, and the second was an impression of him courtesy of Homestar respectively, though the second quote did become a Quote of the Week spoken by Strong Sad later on.
- Also, Strong Sad never said "I'm sad that I'm flying." That was The Cheat (or possibly an actor hired by The Cheat) doing a bad impression of him.
- However, Strong Sad DID say "I'm sad that HE'S flying," referring to The Cheat on helium.
- One of the many recurring themes within the HSR fanbase is 1-up's pudding obsession, when the only time he ever mentioned pudding was in the April Fools 'toon Under Construction.
- The website BMUSed itself with the Peasant's Quest movie trailer. In the trailer, the blue knight says "You don't dress like a peasant... you don't smell like a peasant... and you're certainly not on fire like a peasant!" In the game, however, he says that Rather Dashing doesn't STINK like a peasant.
- Rather Dashing is also shown eating the meatball sub in the trailer, which isn't actually possible in the game.
- Homsar has never said "I was raised by a cup of coffee". That was Strong Bad, doing an impression of Homsar.
- The famous line from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, "They can't grab me if I'm on fire," is meant to refer to ninjas, so it is commonly quoted as "Ninjas can't grab me if I'm on fire," which does make a little sense.
- "Ninjas can't catch me etc" is also a very common permuation of the line.
- Lampshaded in this Doghouse comic.
- There's quite a lot of this in the Homestuck fandom. Karkat's solitary use of the term "fuckass" is wildly exaggerated by fans unable to duplicate the more florid profanity he favours in story, and use of the SBaHJ-isms "jegus" and "gog" by any character is through the roof, depite being respectively used sparingly and exactly once in canon.
- Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff itself isn't immune - its most famous lines, those of the stairs comic, are frequently mishandled in quotation. Frequently, a "the" or "them" is added to "I WARNED YOU ABOUT STAIRS BRO!!!!", and the "bro" is muddled with the similar terms "dog" and "man" also used in it. It's actually pretty rare to see it (or anything else from SBaHJ) quoted accurately. Especially amusing given that SBaHJ is the epitome of Stylistic Suck.
- One of the more memetic terms from the comic is "BLUH BLUH HUGE BITCH", which is usually directed as Vriska. Thing is, the comic actually writes it as "HUGE BITCH BLUH BLUH", but you'd be hard pressed to see it quoted that way. Also, while Vriska probably deserves the appellation more, it was originally in reference to Snowman. Its association with Vriska was a reference to that.
- Kanaya never said "Im Sorry I Thought That Was Obvious." The actual line is just "Sorry I Thought That Was Obvious." A minor difference, yes, but a very consistently rendered one.
- Eridan has actually never said "Nyeh!" in canon. It originated in an OctoPimp video (Thrown in because he couldn't think of anything better), and now you can frequently find fanart of him saying that.
- This was referenced in the comic when Cronus, a parody of Eridan's inaccurate fandom portrayals, actually said "Nyeh".
- Gamzee never propositioned Tavros for "sloppy makeouts." The actual line is "We could split a tin of the pimpest sneeze I have, baked up all special just for you. And then maybe make out a little." (Gamzee does, however, later use the phrase "sloppy makeouts", but it was written on a note and not directed at Tavros.)
- In-Universe, there is a Running Gag where characters attribute quotes from plays and poems to completely different famous figures, all while insisting that the quote is completely accurate. It starts with Mark Twain writing Timon of Athens, and escalates to John Keats singing "Drop It Like It's Hot".
- Nuzlocke's catchphrase in Nuzlocke Comics is often quoted as "Everything happens for a reason" or "It's all happening for a reason." The actual line is "I believe this is all happening for a reason." He says a few variations of it later, neither of which match those two.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Kaiba only says "Screw the Rules, I Have Money!" once, in the first episode. Every other time he references that Catch Phrase - and it happens often - it's a Mad Libs Catch Phrase (for instance, "Screw the rules, I have green hair!" or "Screw the Yules, I have money!").
- He does say it verbatim in the trailer for the Abridged Movie too, if that counts.
- Then there, is, of course, the world-ending combination of Kaiba and Horatio Caine's memes...
- Inverted, Joey never said "Brooklyn Rage" in the 4kids Dub, but Wayne Grayson wishes he had.
- Many people can't quite say "And now Will makes a one sentence comment about the topic from the bathtub, starring Will."
- Even TV Tropes isn't immune to this:
- Often, a quote for a trope entry or a page quote will be listed incorrectly, especially if it's on multiple pages.
- Many quotes will be presented in This Is Sparta format, when it wasn't said like that. Partly why it was renamed to Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.
- Played for Laughs by Uncyclopedia, which attributes practically every quote on the site — be it a quote from Real Life or (more commonly) something they made up — to Oscar Wilde.
- John Green of VlogBrothers fame list 50 of these in the eleventh episode of mental_floss. Amusingly, the final misquotation he lists is one people have cited as one of his.
- In South Park, the Underpants Gnomes' plan is often given as "Stage 1 [xxx], Stage 2 ?????, Stage 3 Profit!" Their actual outline was:
Phase 1 - Collect underpants [the word "Phase", not "Stage"]
Phase 2 - ? [only one question mark]
Phase 3 - Profit [no exclamation mark]
- An Apples to Apples box set once listed Stan and Kyle's catchphrase as, "Oh my God! We killed Kenny!" instead of, "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"
- The Simpsons
- In the episode "Radioactive Man", during the acid flood segment, a line given by Rainier Wolfcastle is often falsely quoted as "The goggles, they do nothing!", when the actual line is "My eyes! The Goggles Do Nothing!"
- "Can't sleep, clown'll eat me" is misquoted in many ways, such as "Can't sleep, the clowns will eat me." (which makes no sense, given that Bart is referring to a specific clown - i.e., the one Homer shaped Bart's bed into). This is probably due to an Alice Cooper song by that name: "Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me".
- Bart only said "Cowabunga!" three times in the series. Once in the 'Bart Gets an F', the season 11 episode, 'Behind the Laughter', a parody episode where during the rehearsal (the premise being the Simpsons are real people, acting out the show we usually see; though upon cutting, Bart states he has never said those words in his life) and "Treehouse of Horror XVI" (first segment). "Cowabunga!" originated on Howdy Doody in the 1950s and its common usage was popularized by 1960s surfer culture, but some media still thinks "Cowabunga!" is a Bart Simpson catchphrase.
- In the DVD commentary track to 'Bart Gets an F', even the creators are surprised the "Cowabunga" line actually got uttered by the character at all.
- Which it is, essentially, since The Simpsons itself acknowledged this. In the 1993 episode "Bart's Inner Child," Apu imitates Bart by hotdogging on a skateboard and shouting "Cowabunga!". Also at the end of "The Father, The Son And The Holy Guest Star", a flash-forward to the future showed two Bart-based religions going to war, one side's Battle Cry is "Cowabunga".
- And, for the record, Bart used the phrase on The Tracey Ullman Show.
- Also, a minor one, but the "You don't win friends with salad" chant is commonly changed to "You can't make friends with salad'.
- Jasper Beardly has been given the catchphrase "That's a paddlin'" despite only saying it in one episode.
- Poochie is often quoting as having said "I must go now. My planet needs me." in "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show". He actually says "I have to go now."
- In one early episode, Lisa tells Bart to "embrace nothingness" which somehow wound up being her profile quote in the arcade game.
- "Should work with no problems" is a quote fans often attribute to Gadget from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. In fact this is an amalgam of two different quotes: "Should work", indicating that the inventress was not sure if her latest gizmo would work, and "No problems". More often than not, after the utterance of one of those the invention in question would spectacularly fall apart right after activation, which was a Running Gag in the series.
- People often credit The Powerpuff Girls with the phrase "Girl Power!" when in actuality they never say this in the show. Lampshaded in an episode where Professor Utonium's roommate clones them. One of them says "Girl Power!" on TV, and the Professor says, "since when do you ever say girl power?" Buttercup replies nervously with "uh, yeah we say it all the time". However, there has been a Rowdyruff Boys versus Powerpuff Girls game on the Cartoon Network website for some time, which uses the phrase "Girl Power!" whenever the girls have the upper hand.
- Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents is known for saying "What could possibly go wrong?" before any disaster happens, but he actually says this only in one episode, where he becomes the star of a Sitcom and the Network Executive wants him to have a Catch Phrase.
- No Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! villain ever said "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids." This is a pastiche of various quotes (most called them "meddlers", not "meddling kids"), and many villains said nothing as they were carried off.
- Though it should be noted that a few did say something to the effect of "And I would have done it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their stupid dog."
- However, they do say it in some future series.
- It was eventually overused and parodied on every episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? (such as having twin villains saying "And it would've worked if it weren't for you meddling kids!" etc.) Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated usually parodies it, as "...if it weren't for you meddling (insert noun here)."
- According to The Other Wiki, the first time anything like it was used was in the episode "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts", and the actual line was "I'd have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for those blasted kids and that dog!".
- Old Man Smithers/The Luna Ghost, a villain who was caught at the beginning of the 2002 movie, came very close. He said, "I would've gotten away with it too, were it not for you meddling kids and your dumb dog! I'll get you for this!"
- One of the villains in Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders comes very close to saying it at the end, while being arrested, but one of the cops interrupts him.
- While most of his cameos since have had the Creeper calling his own name, the original episode "Jeepers, It's the Creeper" has him yelling "Paper!"
- Two episodes of Family Guy spoof Apache Chief from the Super Friends shouting "Apache Chief! Ee! Nay! Chuck!" to activate his powers. The phrase he actually used to activate his powers is variously written as "Inukchuk," "Inyuk-Chuk," "Inekchuk" or something similar, depending on where you looked (they weren't very big on details on Super Friends, so you pretty much have to pick it up phonetically) but he clearly doesn't pause as distinctly between the first two syllables of his phrase as Family Guy suggests, and never says his own name before doing it.
- It's worse than you think - the word is Inukshuk (ee-nook-shook) and it's Inuit, not Apache. As an adjective, it means "In man shape," which could apply to Apache Chief; as a noun, it's a stone structure in roughly human form used as a sort of northern Kilroy Was Here (also indicating a relatively safe harbour). Geological cultural graffiti turned heroic catch phrase.
- KaBlam! a few times has been associated with a certain quote. It starts with Henry going, "June, will you help me?", and June replying, "And I would do that why!?". It was never used in the show, though it was used in a few advertisements.
- The words "not three little pigs" are not actually said in Disney's Three Little Pigs cartoon. The last line is just straight instrumental. In later cartoons, the pigs did elaborate the lyrics a bit, once ending with a humorously drawn-out "He's a great big sissy!"
- Dan Backslide does say "Confound those Dover Boys!" and "They drive me to drink!", but not one after the other.
- The Jetsons: George Jetson never actually says "Jane, how do you stop this crazy thing?!," but it is an amalgam of two different similar quotes: "Jane, stop this crazy thing!" and "How do you stop this thing?"
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has two examples, both of which have since become official via the Expanded Universe and The Merch but still haven't been used in the show itself.
- The background pony dubbed "Derpy Hooves" is famously associated with muffins. However, her "line" is questionable, as two other ponies have the same mouth flap at the same time. She has since been seen wearing a saddlebag with a muffin-shaped clip, though.
- Additionally, Derpy Hooves never delivered any mail in the show, however she is associated with delivering mail in the fandom. That also made it into the IDW comics.
- Contrary to popular belief, the phrase "love and tolerance"/"love and tolerate" has never come up in the show.
- Many believe that "20 percent cooler." and "In ten seconds flat." are Rainbow Dash's catchphrases but she has only said each phrase once in the entire series.
- And the two quotes are sometime combined into "Twenty percent cooler in ten seconds flat", which was never actually spoken on the show at all!
- A review of Friendship is Magic claimed that Applejack said "How do you like them apples?" in "The Best Night Ever", when it was actually in "Applebuck Season".
- Although he's commonly associated with the meme, Fry never actually said "I See What You Did There." Or "not sure if...." He was actually silent when he made the expression. Similarly, Zoidberg has never said "Why not Zoidberg?" in the series. He did, however, say it in an advert for the Futurama DVD box set ("If you're going to spend your cash on something, why not Zoidberg?"). During one convention where the script for The Lord of the Rings was read by the voice actors for Futurama, as they were discussing who should play Gollum, Billy West suggested in Zoidberg's voice "Why not Zoidberg?".
- And Call Him George wasn't actually said word-for-word the first time Hugo the Abominable Snowman appears in a Looney Tunes short ("The Abominable Snow Rabbit," 1961). In fact, it was one of the first things Hugo said when he started squeezing Bugs and Daffy, because the original joke was how long it went on for:
Hugo: (Picks up and starts squeezing Daffy) Just what I always wanted, my own little bunny rabbit! I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him...
Daffy: (Complete deadpan even though he should have trouble breathing) I'm not a bunny rabbit.
Hugo: ...and pat him and pet him and...
Daffy: (Still deadpan) You're hurting me. Put me down, please.
Hugo: (Squeezing Daffy into a ball) ...and rub him and caress him and—
- Yakko Warner never said "Naughty Mozart, potty-mouth!" while washing Beethoven's mouth out with soap. He says nothing when washing his mouth, but he does address Beethoven as "Mr. Potty Mouth" a couple of times. There's also a semi-example of people quoting Yakko's most famous line ("Goodnight, everybody!") correctly, but getting the pacing and the emphasis wrong. Only once did Yakko actually say it as "Good night, everybody!": in the skit for "The Planets", after Wakko points out to him that "You forgot Uranus." In all other cases, Yakko would Break The Fourth Wall, blow an audible kiss ("Mmmwah!") to the audience, and smarmily state "Goodnight, everybody!"
- The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie
- Many people think that Mumfie the elephant said "Occupation: Elephant!" when he didn't know what "occupation" meant. They are half correct-the Secretary of Night said "Occupation?" and Mumfie said "Elephant!", not both words at the same time.
- A Kids First! review of the "A Fishy Tale" VHS tape BMG put out of the show thought that the bird who lives in the woods near Mumfie's house asked Mumfie and Scarecrow "Why is the cloud sad?" in the episode "The Lonely Cloud". The actual question the bird asked them was "Why is your friend sad?".
- People think Nina of Nina Needs To Go! says "Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!" when she has to pee. She only says "Can't wait!" one time in the mall episode, not three consecutive times.