: "'Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.'" Hannibal Smith
) "'It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.'" B.A.
: "Who said that?" Hannibal
: "Same guy. Gandhi wasn't afraid to fight for what he believed in."
Quotes are quite popular in debates and arguments, as they can sum up an argument quickly. Being the words of someone notable also tends to help. This trope covers cases of characters arguing by exchanging them. For added effect, a creator might have his characters all quote the same source.
This can be used to either show that both the arguers are well read. It can also be used to portray one of them as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All
who is humiliated by the much wiser second quoter. On the other hand, relying too much on quotes can run one into the Appeal To Authority
fallacy and similar Logical Fallacies
, and expecting quotes alone to win the day is tantamount to Insane Troll Logic
. On the third hand, sometimes the first quoter tries to top the second quoter, which if it goes on long enough may just turn into an Overly Long Gag
Compare Politeness Judo
(a similar exchange using manners rather than quotes). May involve As The Good Book Says
. See also Analogy Backfire
and Verbal Judo
, or Beam Me Up, Scotty!
when the quoter gets the line wrong. If this happens a lot, one may consider the work Reference Overdosed
. Not at all related to Ship-to-Ship Combat
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- Our page quote comes from The A-Team. B.A. took a vow of nonviolence while in prison. About two-thirds of the way through the movie, he shows Hannibal a quote from a book about Mahatma Gandhi advocating nonviolence. There's a big fight coming so Hannibal needs The Big Guy, and uses the second quote to get B.A.'s fighting spirit back.
- In The Rock, the antagonist General Hummel justifies his actions to John Mason, one of the protagonists:
- In Porkys II: The Next Day the school Shakespeare production is being shut down by a group of hyper-conservative religious nuts who think Shakespeare is immoral. They quote out of context dirty Shakespeare passages (of which there are many) to support their cause. But the school principal, who supports the show, goes quote-for-quote against them using The Bible as his source of smutty sayings.
- This is Older Than Feudalism. In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Satan tempts Jesus by telling Him (among other things) to prove He's the Son of God by throwing Himself off the roof of the Temple in Jerusalem, for the scriptures say God would command the angels to catch the Messiah. Jesus counters that the scriptures also say not to put God to the test.
Live Action TV
- In the Blue Bloods episode "Black and Blue", Frank Reagan tangles with Rev. Darnell Potter, a spotlight-loving black pastor who has an axe to grind with the NYPD over race issues. Potter walks into a meeting between himself, Frank, and the mayor throwing out a quote by Malcolm X. Frank asks for the names of the men in Potter's church who assaulted two of his officers; Potter refuses and accuses him of being unwilling to seek a consensus.
A true leader is not a seeker of consensus, but a molder
of consensus. (walks out)
(Potter looks confusedly at the mayor.)
- In the Spaced episode "Ends" Tim and Daisy share a moment similar to this when discussing about Tim moving back in with Sarah:
Daisy: What do you mean you have a funny feeling?
Tim: I can read her like a book.
Daisy: Never judge a book by its cover.
Tim: He who dares wins.
Daisy: Look before you leap.
Tim: Do you believe in life after love?
Daisy: That's a song.
- Stargate SG-1:
- "Fallen" has this exchange between O'Neill and a proverb- and parable-loving village elder.
Old Man: No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust them.
Jack: Don't judge a book by its cover.
Old Man: Enemies' promises were made to be broken.
Jack: And yet, honesty is the best policy.
Old Man: He who has too many friends has none.
Jack: Ahh, but, birds of a feather.
Old Man: I'm unfamiliar with that story. What lesson does it teach?
Jack: It has to do with flocking, and togetherness, and to be honest I'm not so familiar with the particulars myself.
- Daniel has a bit of a habit of countering the Ori Priors' dramatic quoting of the Book of Origin with yet more quotes from the same text. One great example happens after the supergate opens in "Camelot" and the Ori warships arrive. They send a text-only message to the allied fleet gathered to stop them, a quote from the Book of Origin saying, "And those who are prideful and refuse to bow down shall be laid low and made onto dust." Daniel sends back the line, "Then did Tileus say to the people of the low plains: 'seek not wickedness amongst your neighbors lest it find purchase in your own house.'" Unfortunately the subsequent space battle is decided by firepower rather than quotes.
- Mitchell also loves to counter the Priors' quotes of the Book of Origin with his own quotes from the Bible. When asked, he explains that he had a very religious grandmother.
- A scene in The West Wing has a Christian fundamentalist quote The Bible (Leviticus, in particular) to support her stance against homosexuality. President Bartlett then produces even more quotes from Leviticus, demonstrating how outdated and inapplicable those particular commandments are in the modern society.
- In M*A*S*H Margaret asks Frank for a loan.
: "Neither a lender nor a borrower be." Polonius
: "To give and not count the cost." St. Ignatius Loyola. Frank
: "The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last throughout a whole lifetime if not asked to lend money." Mark Twain
: "Blow it out your ear." Margaret Houlihan
- Final Fantasy IX gives us the following exchange at the end of disc 2:
Amarant: "'He who hesitates is lost.' You should remember that."
Zidane: "Yeah? Well, I prefer 'my way or the highway.'"