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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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"For 17 years, I thought I said the word 'strategery.'"
George W. Bushnote 

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 to be.

Sometimes it's not even more than a word or two off, so pointing it out may come across as nitpicking. Other times, the record really has to be set straight because the line got really corrupted over time like a bad game of telephone.


The Trope Namer, "Beam me up, Scotty", was never actually uttered in Star Trek: The Original Series. 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 William Shatner himself said it in the audiobook version of his 1995 novel The Ashes of Eden. It was later used in Star Trek (2009). More often, Kirk said "Four to beam up," and he was talking to whomever happened to be at the Transporter console. Very rarely was this Scotty himself, who was the chief engineer, meaning no version of the command was said to him with any regularity.


Subtrope of Common Knowledge. See also Dead Unicorn Trope, Cowboy BeBop at His Computer, Mondegreen, Viewer Name Confusion, 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 (if an Audience Reaction) or Once Done, Never Forgotten (if In-Universe). This can be extended to Iconic Items the character never actually had, such as Holmes' deerstalker. For tropes actually about beaming characters up, see Teleportation Tropes.

This trivia may be part of the infamous Mandela effect.

Examples with their own pages:

Other examples:

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  • While it's certainly the message he wanted to convey, Yul Brynner did not say the exact phrase "I'm dead. Don't smoke," in his posthumous anti-smoking ad.
  • Meta-example: an ad for a cable company shows a movie-loving family communicating entirely in movie quotes. They must be phonies or trying to avoid copyright issues, though, because most of the quotes are Beam Me Up Scotties.
  • It's a crude example, but the commercial never said, "I'm Mr. Bucket. Put your balls in my mouth." It did come very close a few times, though. What it actually says in this commercial is 'Put your balls in my top, I'm Mr Bucket, out of my mouth they will pop'.
  • The infamous ads for Evony do not include the phrase "Play now, my lord!" It's actually "Start your journey now, my lord" or "Come play, my lord".
  • Mikey, the kid from the Life cereal commercials in the 1970s and '80s, will not "eat anything" despite the phrase being remembered as "Let's give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything!" In the commercial, the two boys opt to give their Life cereal (which must taste awful, seeing as their parents say it's "good for them") to their little brother Mikey. One of the brothers disagrees, saying, "He won't eat it. He hates everything." But, surprise: "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!" When you think about it, giving the kid who would "eat anything" their cereal would prove nothing about whether the cereal tastes good.
  • Averted in a 2008 commercial for the jewelry store Jared. A man's car navigation system starts acting like HAL, but gets the famous quote right.
    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
  • The famous 1987 anti-drug PSA never actually said, "This is your brain... this is your brain on drugs." There were two versions, long and short. The long version started with the camera on John Roselius saying "Is there anyone out there who still isn't clear about what doing drugs does? OK, last time." Picks up an egg, "this is your brain", points to the skillet, "this is drugs," cracks egg and holds up skillet, "this is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" The short version was a hot skillet sizzling with oil, waiting on the stove accompanied by psychedelic sound effect — while a voiceover said, "OK, last time. This is drugs," indicating the skillet, not the egg. Then an egg broke open into the skillet and immediately began frying. Cue the voiceover, "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"note 
  • There have been many spoofs of Ed McMahon telling people that they've won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes. Ed actually advertised for short-lived rival American Family Publishers.
  • The famous Digital Piracy Is Evil PSA does not state "You Wouldn't Download a Car". It instead tells the viewer that "You Wouldn't Steal a Car", probably because people absolutely would download a car.
  • Many people think of McDonald's signs that boast X billion hamburgers sold. While some of the oldest signs did say that, the signs installed after about 1970 actually read "Over X Billion Served". Not only does this allow them to include complimentary burgers, "served" just sounds friendlier than "sold". By the mid-80s, new signs switched to the generic "Billions and Billions", then did away with the count at some point in the '90s.
  • Brooke Shields never said, "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins." She actually said, "Do you want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."
  • Frank Gari-penned jingle "Turn to 3", written for Cleveland’s TV station WKYC, is often misquoted as "Turn to a friend, turn to 3," but the jingle’s closing lyrics are actually "You’ve got a friend, turn to 3." WKYC’s slogan prior to "Turn to 3" was "At Channel 3, You’ve Got a Friend," also by Gari.
  • British Airways' slogan used by the airline between 1974 and 1983 was "We'll take more care of you," not "We'll take good care of you."
  • Silentnight Beds: A quote page from Headington, a website dedicated to UK adverts, has Duck from the "My First Bed" advert say "Eat up your dinner if you want to go to bed early," when she actually said, "Eat up now or you can't go to bed early". Also, she's incorrectly referred to as a hippo mother, and her three children are referred to as all hippos when only two are hippos and one is a duck.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Air, Misuzu never says "Goal". She does, however, say it in Eternal Fighter Zero.
  • Nowhere in AKIRA, especially not the Streamline dub, does Kaneda ever tell Tetsuo, "No way! You're just a kid! Maybe when you're older!" The Streamline dub does come close in the scene most often associated with that line, and even then it's "Yeah, yeah! Don't make me laugh! Maybe when you've downed your first clown!" That said, Kaneda does treat Tetsuo rather condescendingly as a kid. The quote "No way! You're just a kid! Maybe when you're older!" is actually from a scene in Homestar Runner that parodies the English voice acting.
  • Thanks to Leiji Matsumoto's movie Arcadia of My Youth, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe became the author of a new famous quote 150 years after his death. Never mind that you will never find anything remotely like the "His youth was Arcadia" line in original German, and most researchers agree that it is a textbook case of Matsumoto's taking an Artistic License with the source material, which was likely Goethe's Italian Journey, whose epigraph was the infamously ambiguous Latin phrase "Et in Arcadia ego".
  • Attack on Titan: The first line of the first OP "Guren no Yumiya" has been misspelled in numerous ways due to Linked Horizon's inexact pronunciation of German and inconsistent fansubs, one common one being "Sie sind das Essen und wir sind die Jäger!" The official spelling is "Seid ihr das Essen? Nein, wir sind der Jäger!"note 
  • Downplayed in Captain Tsubasa. Wakabayashi's lame excuse when Natureza score him outside of the penalty area, "The sun didn't let me see", was said in present simple "The sun doesn't let me see" when Natureza was about to shoot instead of in past simple when the ball was already in the goal.
  • A popular screenshot shows Light's famous "Just as planned" line in Death Note getting translated into "Just according to keikaku" with a translator's note saying "Translator's note: Keikaku means plan." This isn't from any actual fansub of the series, although the screenshot's said popularity probably owes to the fact that it isn't far from the truth with a lot of fansubs.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball, Oolong never wished for Bulma's panties. He wishes for panties from a hot babe.note  This is no indication that they belonged to Bulma.
    • Despite what many fans think, Frieza never once uttered the phrase "This isn't even my final form!". The actual quote is "I still have two transformations left", which he says while fighting in his second form.
    • When Goku goes Ultra Instinct, he never says, "So this is the power of Ultra Instinct?" in any of its appearances. Of the dozen lines spoken by Goku while he's in Ultra Instinct, only two mention the form's name. The first is where he corrected Kefla on its name, and even then, "Ultra Instinct" were the sentence's only words. The second (and closer to the misquoted line) is when he says "I'm starting to get the hang of this Ultra Instinct."
  • 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.
  • Gundam:
    • During the infamous Bright Slap scene in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, most people would think that what Amuro truly said was "You hit me! Not even my father hit me!" The real scene, however, had Amuro say something between the two sentences, and getting slapped a second time:
    Amuro: You hit me...!
    Bright: So what if I hit you!? You can't be a man if you can't even take a hit!
    Amuro: Did you really think that I'm such a petty person!?
    Bright: (second slap)
    Amuro: That's twice...! Not even my father hit me!
    • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Jerid's actual reaction to Kamille's Gender-Blender Name was something along the lines of "Kamille? I thought I heard a girl's name, but that kid looks like a boy", but it's usually quoted as the more compact, exploitable and easy to remember "Kamille? Isn't that a girl's name?".
    • 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.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Athrun never said "NICOL WAS FIFTEEN, HE LOVED TO PLAY THE PIANO!" He actually said "Nicol was fifteen! He loved the piano!" (in the dubbed version) or "Nicol loved to play the piano. And he was only 15." (in the subtitled version).
    • 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 must be love!!". But since the first one explicitly declared just WHAT Graham is in love with, it became more popular and oft-used.
    • Not once in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing does Trowa refer to Quatre as "Little One," or anything even close to that, or any other pet name, for that matter. That was all the Yaoi Fangirls' doing.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya 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.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • 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.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Dio didn't say, "You expected [insert memetic thing here], but it was me, Dio." The line is, "You thought your first kiss would be JoJo, but it was I, Dio!"note 
    • 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. That being said, it has been officially transcribed as "WRYYYY!" in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle in English alphabet even!
    • 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.
    • 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. Complicating this, Jotaro's time stop move is called "Star Platinum's 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 nonsense 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).
    • The series' reputation as being full of dramatic posing comes mainly from the Capcom game. While there's plenty of posing in the manga, it isn't as common or as elaborate as one might think. In fact, some of the most iconic "JoJo Poses," including Dio's pelvic thrust, were made up entirely for the game and don't happen in the manga.
    • Although the infamous "Duwang" scanlation of the Diamond is Unbreakable manga did produce countless funny lines, "I am the fucking strong!" is not one of them. That's actually from Tokyo Ghoul.
    • A phrase often associated with the series is "This must be the work of an enemy Stand". This was never said in the series. The only thing close was in chapter 321 of Diamond is Unbreakable, where Koichi says, "This has to be the work of an enemy Stand user".
  • Many people misquote a line in the Kirakira★PreCure a la Mode ending theme as "Boom boom, I love pretty girls!" when the actual line is "Boom boom, I love pretty girl".
  • King Dedede in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! spawned a meme with his inexplicably heavy (dub-given) Southern accent, coming from the phrase "I need a monstah to clobbah dat dere Kirbeh," from the (dub-created) intro, and also the memetic joke spelling "Kirbeh" of the title character. However, in this 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 Lyrical Nanoha 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.
  • 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!").
  • Naruto:
    • 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. It could also be attributed to the manga chapter coming out a couple years before the anime clears up who actually said the line.
    • 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."
  • Two of the most famous memes in the Neon Genesis Evangelion fandom never show up at all in the entire franchise:
    • Gendo never said "Get in the fucking robot, Shinji!". Gendo simply points out to his son the reasons for why he should pilot the Eva 01, and even then he doesn't insist or gets violent on him about it; he tells him that if he won't do it, then he should leave. Another reason why he wouldn't utter the phrase is that, well, the Evas are not really robots.
    • The memetic phrase "Pilot the Eva, Shinji, or Rei will have to do it again" and its snowballing parodies through a lot of franchises, from The Simpsons to El Chavo del ocho, was never said by any character. In fact, no character uttered a single word when Rei showed up all in bandages, as it was a very serious dramatic scene, with a music crescendo, while Shinji watched the girl (who he really didn't even knew at the moment).
  • In One Piece, the name of the Straw Hat Pirates's first ship is the Going Merry, or just Merry for short, not Merry Go. The "Go" came from the fact that in Japanese, names for vehicles (including ships) are given the honorific "go", so the characters would refer to the ship as "Merry-go", similar to calling Luffy "Luffy-kun". 4Kids Entertainment and Shonen Jump are to be blamed for this confusion, since they translated the ship's name as Merry Go, mistaking the "Go" as actually part of its name rather than just an honorific.
  • A recurring joke in several manga and anime is quoting "Our fight has just begun!" to reference abruptly cancelled action serials. While the '80s had many such infamously cancelled titles like Otokozaka, the actual source of the line does not appear to exist.
  • Pokémon: Ash never said, "Aim for the horn!". He actually said, "Pikachu! The horn!"
  • 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."
  • 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.
    • This applies to (almost) any quote that includes the phrase "Puella Magi", Gratuitous Latin for "Magical Girl." The only time any character says this, regardless of dub language, is in Rebellion, when all five protagonists transform together and declare themselves the "Puella Magi Holy Quintet" as a Mythology Gag. Because "Puella Magi" is in the title, people often forget that they're called "Magical Girls" in-universe.
  • Tuxedo Mask never told Sailor Moon "My work here is done," and she never pointed out "But you didn't do anything." That was actually a Tumblr meme parodying the series, and the quotes themselves would more likely have originated from The Simpsons, where there was in fact a similar exchange between Leonard Nimoy and Barney.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, most people quote Kamina as saying, "Believe in the me that believes in you!" Not only was this not the exact quote (in the English dub anyway, he says, "Don't believe in yourself. Believe in me! Believe in the Kamina who believes in you!"), in actuality the quote that ultimately inspires Simon is the amended reprisal "Believe in yourself. Not in the Simon who believes in me. Not the Kamina who believes in you. Believe in the you who believes in yourself."
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • At no point in the (second) animenote  does Joey Wheeler say "Brooklyn rage". Not in the 4Kids dub, and certainly not in the Japanese version. The line was made up for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.note 
    • Kaiba never says, "You're a third-rate duelist with a fourth-rate deck" in the series proper, but the line is popularly associated with him because of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: The oft-quoted line "With great power comes great responsibility" is commonly attributed to Uncle Ben. However, the first appearance of the line was in fact just in a closing caption to the first story in Amazing Fantasy #15, 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.
  • Watchmen:
    • 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 by the media to make it less alarming or offensive to the public.
  • The Flash: Eobard Thawne is popularly associated with the line "It was me, Barry!", used to memetically illustrate his sheer levels of pettiness. However, Thawne has never actually said the line verbatim - it's a paraphrase of a longer monologue.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • One Pearls Before Swine strip had an in-universe version where the punchline was based on the iconic final line from Gone with the Wind. In addition to the Feghoot itself, Rat was aggravated with Stephen over misquoting it.
    Rat: First off, it's "Frankly, my dear", not "Frankly, Scarlett".
    Stephen: one wil notice.

    Fan Works 
  • 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". The Manehattanverse used to reference the same line, but it was removed in an update.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Incredibles, Frozone 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".
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
    • The evil queen never said "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" in the Disney version; she actually said "Magic Mirror on the Wall." The "Mirror, Mirror" version of the saying is, however, accurate to various written versions of the fairy tale both in English and other languages.
      • Additionally, the queen asks is "Who is the fairest one of all", not "of them all."
    • Some people who have watched the film believe that the Dwarves sang "Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work we go" during the song "Heigh Ho". The actual line is "Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's home from work we go"note .
      • They do sing off to work later on in the movie right before the disguised witch shows up.
  • In Frozen (2013), Hans' Wham Line "Oh, Anna, if only there was someone out there who loved you" is often abridged as "If only someone loved you".
    • In the sequel, Olaf never says "Baby? Babe? Baby? Oh yeah, I'm single!", despite what a popular image macro of a scene from the film shows. He actually said "Anna? Elsa? Kristoff? Sven? Samantha? I don't even know a Samantha!".
  • Inside Out:
    • The last words of Bing Bong are often misquoted as "Take her to the moon for me, Joy" or "Send her to the moon for me". The actual line is "Take her to the moon for me...okay?", but most of the time, people will omit the "...okay?" part of said line. The official Facebook page for the film did the latter misquote on one of their posts.
    • Forbes claimed that Forgetter Paula's line "When Riley doesn't care about a memory, it fades" was said by Bing Bong. He doesn't show up until 2 minutes after this line is said.
  • Toy Story:
    • In Toy Story, Woody doesn't say, "Look, Buzz, there's an alien!" when tricking Buzz Lightyear. He actually says "Buzz, look! An alien!"
    • A pose of Buzz and Woody from the beginning of Toy Story 2 is the source of the "X, X Everywhere" Image Macro format. Like the "You don't say?" meme from Vampire's Kiss, this has nothing to do with the actual dialogue in the scene: Buzz actually says, "In just a few hours, you'll be sittin' around a campfire with Andy, makin' delicious hot schmoes!"
  • Ultra Magnus' infamous line of "I can't deal with that now" in The Transformers: The Movie is frequently misquoted as "I can't deal with that right now."
  • Most people, if they own a small dog or cat, have held them up in the air while going "NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA", very, very dramatically. (Reactions vary.) In the actual song, "The Circle of Life", that's just the first line—Rafiki doesn't hold Simba aloft to the crowd until the final chorus, about three minutes in.
  • People commonly quote a line one of the workers at the Marine Life Institute says to kids at an exhibit in Finding Dory as "It's cuddle party time!" or "It's a cuddle party!". She actually says "It's a huge cuddle party!".
  • Many parents who complained about a line Kakie the Cake Monster says in Hotel Transylvania 2, as well as websites such as Screen It!, misquoted it as "And remember, diabetes is the scariest monster of all". The actual line is "Slow down, Wuzzlelumplebum! The scariest monster of all is diabetes!".
  • Shrek is inseparably associated with puns on the word "ogre" in Internet culture. No characters ever make such jokes in the movies, although certain promotional materials do. One character does make an "ogre" pun - Simon Cowell, in the "Far Far Away Idol" special feature on the Shrek 2 DVD. After witnessing Shrek and Fiona (who were judges, but apparently couldn't resist singing as well) sing "What I Like About You" by The Romantics, Cowell remarks "Ogre-all impression... rather wonderful."
    • Although Shrek Forever After was given the name Shrek: The Final Chapter in the promo campaign, it is not referred to by the latter in the movie. So much confusion was abound that DreamWorks compromised with the home video release, titling it as Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter (the movie still has the original title, though).
  • The Common Sense Media review of Sing quotes part of the lyrics of "Set It All Free" as "This is my big hell no" rather than "This is my big hello".
  • Dingo Pictures' Wabuu never says or sings "Most of the animals are so stupid" in his own film nor any other Dingo film featuring him, despite the cover description.
  • In The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, the memetic quote "Well yes, but actually no" is actually a mondegreen of the actual quote "Good guess, but actually no".

  • In the melody of Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" (i.e. the Valkyrie Leitmotif from The Ring of the Nibelung), 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."
  • It's often believed that, at the end of "Helter Skelter", Ringo Starr yells "I've got blisters on me fingers!" He actually says "I got blisters on my fingers!"
  • 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 organized religion had been a subject for serious philosophical discussion in England and Europe 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.
    • John never said, "[Ringo] isn't even the best drummer in The Beatles!" The line originated in a sketch on BBC Radio 4 comedy series Radio Active which aired in 1981, a year after Lennon was murdered. That it even got pinned on Lennon to begin with is a little odd, since it implies the very unrealistic idea that John thought Paul was a better drummer than Ringo. To the contrary, Lennon regularly praised Starr's drumming, and asked him to play on his John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album in 1970.
  • 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".
  • Bob Geldof didn't say "Give us your fucking money!" at Live AidThe 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 [Swift], I'm really happy for you and I'ma let you finish, but Beyoncé 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 "!" 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. Also, the sketch is just called "Dave", not "Dave's Not Here".
  • "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, don't realize that more than one opera features the character of Figaro, and 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." Charles Dickens also misquotes it in A Christmas Carol as "God bless you, merry gentlemen."
  • 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. McGovern also published Listen to the Loud, a parody of Rod McKuen'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. The dance originated with live audiences, not the group themselves, though they noticed how well it was catching on and subsequently decided to Throw It In! to their performances.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Due to the "MLG Montage Parody" internet phenomenon, the line "Smoke weed everyday" is heavily associated with Snoop Dogg. While Snoop is a well-known stoner, it was actually sung by his similarly-named cousin, fellow rapper and singer Nate Dogg, and the line was The Stinger of the song "The Next Episode", a Dr. Dre song featuring both cousins.
  • In the 1935 jazz standard "The Music Goes Round and Round", written by Ed Farley and Mike Riley, the lyrics actually say "the music goes down and around." They're describing how a saxophone works. An instant hit and notoriously catchy, one reviewer described this as "the conversion of a song hit into a plague, like Japanese beetles or chain letters."
  • The title of the R.E.M. song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" is an example of this. The song was named after a phrase that two unknown attackers repeatedly screamed at former CBS Evening News news anchor Dan Rather as they assaulted him. However, according to Rather himself, what the attackers (one of whom was later revealed to be William Tager, who thought the media were beaming signals into his mind and that if he found the right frequency he could block the signals) actually said was "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" And being that Tager was Jewish, it's possible he was actually saying "goniff", Yiddish for "thief", rather than "Kenneth".
  • The end of verse two of The Rays' "Silhouettes" goes "Wondered why I'm not the guy whose silhouette's on the shade." Everyone who has done a cover of it performs it as "Wondered why I'm not the guy, two silhouettes on the shade" simply because it matches the end of the other verses (or they thought that's how the verse actually was affected).
  • Sergio Mendez and Brazil '66's cover of The Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" has often been mistaken as the theme of the late '60s ABC dramedy Room 222, as it has a semi-similar arrangement.
  • The lyric "You’ve got to sing like you don't need the money / Love like you'll never get hurt / You've got to dance like nobody’s watchin' / It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work" is frequently both misquoted and misattributed, with popular targets including Satchel Paige and Mark Twain. It originates in the country song "Come from the Heart", written by Richard Leigh and Susanna Clark in 1989, and recorded by Don Williams and then by Guy Clark (Susanna's husband) before the most famous version by Kathy Mattea was released in 1989.
  • One particular line in the chorus of the Outkast song "Ms. Jackson" is often remembered as "I apologize a thousand times". In actuality, it's "I apologize a trillion times".
  • Overlapping with Mondegreen, the song "California Dreaming" by The Mamas & the Papas has a line that's often thought to say "I got down on my knees, and I began to pray". It's actually the (somewhat ungrammatical) "I got down on my knees, and I pretend to pray", which may sound odd, but it fits the next line: "preacher likes the cold, knows I'm gonna stay" (i.e people keep coming into the church to get out of the cold.)
  • A lot of people have forgotten that Was (Not Was) had a song called "Walk the Dinosaur", and instead think it was a Dance Sensation song called "Do the Dinosaur".
  • In the The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake collab "Dick in a Box", the steps to make a dick in a box are "One: Cut a hole in a box. Two: Put your junk in that box. Three: Make her open the box." People quoting the song invariably sing it as "Step One" and so on.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "The Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers is credited with popularizing the Catchphrase "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!" back in the 1940s. Problem was, what he actually said was: "To a nicer guy, it couldn't happen." The Yiddish sentence structure isn't a show business gag: Rogers really was Jewish.
  • 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!"note  Most quotesters and parodists also don't cite the entire line, which has a lot more impact:
    Buffer: Madison Square Garden...New York 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 as the Higher Power of the Corporate Ministry 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!"
  • Invoked word for word by Leva Bates during her match with Miss Natural at SHIMMER Volume 56, since Bates was Cosplaying as Spock, and the match was filled with Star Trek references.
  • Vince Russo didn't exactly say "If you want Lucha Librenote , go to Japan!" during his infamous NWA:TNA interview with Mike Tenay. The full quote would be: "You want Lucha Libres (sic!), whatever you called them, go to...go to Japan, go to Mexico, you get all the Lucha Libres you want". However, putting the whole interview in perspective, one could argue the whole thing was Russo's brand "worked shoot", familiar to everyone who ever watched WCW, where he was supposed to play the bad guy for wrestling nerds. Is there a better way to make a nerd's blood boil than implying "lucha libres" originated from Japan? Also, as the leader of wrestling faction standing against wrestling tradition, it seems logical for an evil guy to insult Lucha Libre as part of the tradition. Naturally Russo succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and the quote, usually incomplete with exclamation mark after Japan and without context, is guaranteed to pop up every time the word "Russo" is ushered near "smart" wrestling audience as proof of his total incompetence. Granted, it wasn't Russo's only controversy in wrestling world...

  • The popular phrase referring to a need for a speedy escape is "Time to get the hell out of Dodge!" - a reference to the long-running radio (and later TV) series Gunsmoke, which took place in Dodge City. Trouble is no one ever actually says those words over the course of the series. Occasionally, Marshal Dillon would instruct some bad guys to "get out of Dodge", but the phrase is never used as a suggestion among said bad guys themselves.
  • An Iconic Item for an entire genre: There was no such thing as a secret decoder ring premium for cereal boxes, old-time radio shows or anything else. The idea is a mashup of secret decoder badges (which weren't rings because it's hard to fit the alphabet on a ring) and secret compartment rings.note  After the end of old-time radio drama, some companies did offer such rings as a form of nostalgia, including Ovaltine in 2000.
    • This is partly just a matter of a misnomer, since a popular style of decoder was the cypher disk, consisting of one or more circular plates with letters printed around the circumference. These plates are occasionally described as rings.
    • Here are pictures of the Ovaltine and Orphan Annie decoder rings.
  • One of the most quoted lines from the Dead Alewives D&D skit is "I cast magic missile at the darkness." Problem is, that's not actually the line; it's:
    DM: Why are you casting magic missile? There's nothing to attack here.
    Galstaf: I'm attacking the darkness!
  • Former cricket commentator Brian "Jonners" Johnson, of the BBC's Test Match Special, has never said "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey".

  • Former 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 is "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 [Viet Cong] ever called me "nigger"!" made famous by Muhammad Ali. He did not say that exact phrase. Here is the quote:
    My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother or some darker people, some poor, hungry people in the mud, for big, powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They didn’t put no dogs on me. They didn’t rob me of my nationality and rape and kill my mother and father. Why would I want to—shoot them for what? I got to go shoot them, those little poor little black people, little babies and children, women. How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.
  • 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, although the actual quote isn't too far off: "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much 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. 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 ESPN commentator Chris Berman's imitation of him.
  • Football announcer Andrés Cantor is mostly associated with his "GOOOOOOOOOALLL!" shout, but it actually originated from 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.note  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.
  • The classic quote "Things look dark on Cameroon's bench", allegedly said by Swedish commentator Arne Hegerfors during the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 1990, is most certainly made up. A lot of effort has been put into finding this quote by users on the Flashback forums, but nothing have come of it so far. It was likely made up by a journalist in 1995.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 Warhammer 40,000 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!" Further muddied by the Chaos Marine squad in Dawn Of War having "Maim! Kill! Burn!" as one of their quotes.
  • 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:
    • Macbeth:
      • 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".
      • 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?"
      • "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.
      • "Lead on, Macduff", which is a common misquotation of "Lay on, Macduff", often used in a completely different context from how it is used in the play.note  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.
    • 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.
      • 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.
      • Horatio says, "Good-night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest", not "a flight of angels".
      • The phrase "This is a tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind" is nowhere to be found in Shakespeare's play, only in Laurence Olivier's 1948 film version.
      • What are Hamlet's two iconic scenes? The "To be or not to be" monologue and the "Alas, poor Yorick" scene where he's holding the defunct jester's skull. Some depictions of the play show Hamlet saying the former line, skull in hand.
    • 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."
    • More a misunderstanding than a misquote, but the Polonius' saying "brevity is the soul of wit" is often used as actual advice for telling jokes. While this is true in a lot of cases (as the listener might get bored if you take way too long to get to the punchline). The character in question is anything but brief or witty, and the quote is said at the beginning of a long, rambling monologue. In other words, it was meant as a form of Hypocritical Humor, as opposed to actual advice.
    • Romeo and Juliet:
      • "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.
      • "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."
      • When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew. is neither a quote from Romeo and Juliet nor even by Shakespeare. It comes from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Falstaff, based on ''The Merry Wives of Windsor."
    • 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?
    • In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck doesn't say "Oh what fools these mortals be!" The actual line is "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"
  • William Congreve's play, The Mourning Bride said "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast" (i.e. music can help you calm down when your emotions are out of control). People will often quote it as "Music hath charms to soothe the savage 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. (Or in any other line written in a William Congreve play, for that matter, since he lived in a time where "hath" had fallen out of use in favour of "has" already.)
  • In East Lynne, Lady Isabel does not say, "Dead — and never called me mother!"note  The actual line in the play is, "See here — my child is dead! and never knew that I was his mother."note  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 Grease, Sandy's full name isn't "Sandra Dee." Her name is Sandy Dumbrowski in the stage version, Sandy Olsson in the film, and Sandy Young in the TV remake. Sandra Dee was, of course, a popular actress, and when Rizzo calls Sandy "Sandra Dee," she's comparing her squeaky-clean persona to the actress's image.
  • 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.)
  • Cedric Diggory of A Very Potter Musical is often depicted going around randomly blurting out the word "Find!" He does this exactly once in the trilogy, and the moment is actually pretty easy to miss. He does say "find" a lot, but he generally uses it in actual sentences.
  • The line 'I saw Goody Proctor with the devil' is normally used to reference the scene at the end of Act One of "The Crucible" where the girls cry out variations on 'I saw X with the devil'. However, that precise line does not appear in the play.
  • In Waiting for Godot, the very last stage direction in Act I is "They do not move", but it's frequently misquoted as "They do not go". Though inaccurate, this phrasing fits a bit more humorously with the last lines of Act I, which it's meant to contrast.
    Estragon: Well, shall we go?
    Vladimir: Yes, let's go.
    (they do not move)

  • 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!" Only 1.5% of the dolls even said the phrase.

    Video Games 
  • The Dark Souls "YOU DIED" screen is so famous that there is a meme where a scary video or Jump Scare is cut off, and the catchphrase appears, wavering about on the screen. The thing is, that never actually happens in any of the games. There is no cut off when you die, and the words "YOU DIED" simply fade in when you die and do not wave.
  • Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters: Mai Shiranui doesn't say, "Me bouncy!" when she wins a fight; she says, "Nippon Ichi!"note  Mai is describing herself instead of making a statement about her country.note 
  • Metal Gear:
    • Otacon's line when facing Gray Fox, "It's like one of my Japanese animes..." is often misquoted along the lines of "This is just like one of my Japanese animes!" Also, he sounds terrified when he says it, not excited. The misquoted line may come from the fan animation parody Metal Gear Awesome.
    • While a lower-grade, more obscure variant, Rosemary never accused Raiden of having a room that was "empty like your soul" in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The misquote was popularized by the webcomic VG Cats and is quoted more often than the real line, "A lifeless room...almost like your empty heart."
    • Metal Gear Solid 2's obsession with memes has been somewhat emphasized ever since the release of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. While the principles behind memetics and meme theory are described in-depth and are an important aspect of the game's story, the word "meme" itself is rarely, if ever used.
    • Despite showing up in countless parodies, the exact exclamation "Snake? Snake? SNAAAKE!" is only heard once during a Game Over. Most often, it's something like "Snake, what happened? Snake? SNAAAAKE!"
  • Final Fantasy:
    • "Welcome to Corneria" from 8-Bit Theater, while the original line in Final Fantasy I was "Coneria, the city of dreams" (also note there is only one r, thought that's more a case of Spell My Name with an "S").
    • Thanks to its redundant nature, this notoriously poorly-translated conversation from Final Fantasy VII is commonly misremembered in a variety of different ways. This includes mixing up the order the two phrases are said, or who says which one.
      Cloud: ...Hmm. That's how you'll fool them.
      Aerith: .........Hmmmmmmm. So that's how you fooled them.
    • Barret says "foo'" once, during his date scene, and it was altered for the PC release (into 'spike-head') suggesting it shouldn't have been there. He also once uses "fools" to address AVALANCHE. He then says it in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and it's referenced in Final Fantasy X-2, both in the assumption that it was his catchphrase.
    • Final Fantasy X has an NPC in Kilika who says "I'm gonna be a blitzball when I grow up!" It is often quoted as "I want to be a blitzball when I grow up!"
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • People seem to have a habit of quoting the Mushroom Retainers' line from Super Mario Bros. as "Sorry, Mario, but our princess is in another castle!", when it's "Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!" Sometimes it's misremembered as "your princess". There's also no comma between "Thank you" and "Mario" in the text, at least not in the original and All-Stars versions of the game.note 
    • Waluigi has never actually said "Too bad, Waluigi time". That line comes from the Brawl in the Family comics. He does say "Waluigi time", since "[Name] time" is a somewhat common catchphrase shared by Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi in several games. Charles Martinet has said it upon request as well.
    • Similarly, "What's-a going on here?", a phrase stereotypically attributed to all four of the Mario and Wario brothers, has only been spoken once in any Mario game: by Waluigi in the intro of Mario Tennis. Mario himself does come pretty close in the intro to Mario vs. Donkey Kong, though.
    • "It's-a me, Mario" is often attributed as Mario's catchphrase, yet he only said it in one game, Super Mario 64 as well as the commercial for Mario Party. He came close in the intro to Mario Golf, where he identifies his golf ball from his face on it ("Ah! It's-a me!"). Doopliss uses this phrase gratuitously when impersonating Mario in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, likely banking on this.
    • Princess Daisy is often associated with her infamous line "Hi, I'm Daisy!", which originated in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. Many of Daisy's soundbites from that game, including said quote, were recycled in a few of the Mario & Sonic games, but other than that, the line has not been used since. Regardless, the quote is often used to antagonize Daisy, with some fans of the franchise facetiously claiming that Daisy says it in every game she appears in. That said, she is infamous for saying it a lot in that game, due to a bug.
    • One of Wario's more well-known lines is his reaction to various misfortunes in the Nintendo 64 Mario Kart and Mario Party games, "D'oh! I missed!" The thing is, this isn't actually what he says—he's really saying "So ein mist!" which is German for, roughly, "Ah, crap!" For a brief period, Nintendo had decided that Wario should be German in contrast to Mario being Italian, but nothing ever came of it besides that line. (Incidentally, this didn't even appear in the Japanese versions, where he instead said "Oh my God!"—which became the basis for the "Wario in a car crash" viral clip.)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The titular character never actually said "Gotta go fast!". It's just the title of the American theme song of Sonic X. He does say "Gotta speed up!" in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), however. This would eventually be subverted when he says it in Sonic Boom and the 2020 film.
    • In the first game, the fifth stage is Star Light Zone, not Twilight Zone.
    • It's widely assumed that Shadow has the nickname "Faker" for Sonic. In reality, Sonic calls Shadow "Faker" during their confrontation on Prison Island in Sonic Adventure 2, to which Shadow replies "I think you're the fake hedgehog around here!" The term is never used again in the games afterwards. However, Sonic does call Shadow "faker" as a nickname frequently in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), due to Promoted Fanboy Ian Flynn's fondness for fandom nods.
    • Sonic doesn't call Amy "Ames". The first time Sonic said this was in the Sonic Boom cartoon.
    • Shadow calling Amy "Rose" doesn't appear in canon. Shadow uses "Amy".
  • Zero Wing:
    • The captain doesn't say "Launch every 'Zig'" or "Launch all 'Zig'", but rather "Take off every 'Zig'", and later "Move 'Zig'".note 
    • The mechanic is frequently misquoted as saying, "Somebody set us up the bomb." The actual line was, "Somebody set up us the bomb," which is just as grammatically incorrect as the rest of the sequence. It's also "somebody set up us the bomb", not "someone set up us the bomb". This misquote originated with the synthesized voice-over from the Flash animation.
    • Due to the in-game text being in all-caps, the villain of the game is often named as "CATS", even though the back of the box and instruction manual make it clear it's just "Cats". His name is not an acronym.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • One of the many poorly translated lines from the original game, "It's a secret to everybody", is sometimes quoted as "everyone".
    • In Link: The Faces of Evil, the phrase "MAH BOI!" is commonly associated with the screenshot of King Harkinian holding up a finger, that is actually during the word "for". When he actually says the phrase, it is an upper-body shot in which he holds a chalice of wine. It is also often misquoted as "LINK MAH BOI".
    • In Ocarina of Time, Exposition Fairy Navi's infamous line is "Hey! Listen!" This was constructed from two of the more common phrases in her voice grunt set ("Hey!" by itself is the most used), and she never once says this directly to Link in her dialogue.
  • While not actual speech, several trailers for Halo 3 showed Miranda Keyes appearing to dual-wield a pistol and a shotgun. In reality, she was holding off a few Brutes with a shotgun, was about to use both, at which point Truth says that she "cannot possibly hold them off". She agrees, and drops the shotgun, preparing to use her pistol to kill both Johnson and herself to prevent Truth from activating the rings... it doesn't go as planned.
  • The phrase "Starite Get" from Scribblenauts is all over the Scribblenauts related pages on this wiki. The game actually says, "Starite Found."note  The phrase "Starite Get" is used in Super Scribblenauts, but not to announce a player getting a starite. It is merely a "hint" for one of the levels.note 
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: The titular character, Conker the Squirrel, is referred to in many publications for his "foul mouth" and tendency to "blurt streams of expletives". While the game has plenty of foul language, almost none of it comes out of Conker's mouth. On the contrary, he's probably the most innocent character in the game, as a contrast to the raunchy setting. He does say "bitch" once, near the end of the game, but that's only because he was quoting Aliens. None of the words he says are bleeped.
  • Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2:
    • Coach from L4D2 is commonly viewed as someone who is obsessed with chocolate, due to him eating a chocolate bar in the intro and Nick teasing Coach about the escape chopper being made of chocolate. Coach never makes any reference to chocolate at all in the actual game - burgers, cotton candy, and pretty much any other food, yes, but never chocolate. This is probably due to his visual similarities to Doc Louis from Punch-Out!!, who in the Wii version is obsessed with chocolate.
    • From the first game, one could find ten different versions of Bill's "if I start to turn" speech from the elevator in No Mercy, and every single one of them would be wrong (the quote is "We've been immune so far, but- well, if I start to turn, promise you'll shoot me"). Oddly enough, Francis' response ("What if just your beard starts to turn, can I shoot that?") is never miswritten - then again, it's about half as long and much funnier, and so probably sticks better in people's minds.
    • Also from the first game, Louis is only known for his uncanny way of saying "Pills here!" as if he found a box of candy, despite the fact that Louis only says the line if the player uses the "Look" vocal command while looking at pills item.
    • Ellis is commonly seen as a Manchild that is obsessed with the Kiddieland amusement park and horses. Ellis only gets excited about Kiddieland once in the Dark Carnival campaign and that's only if the game actually picks that line of dialogue for him to say. Likewise, he only says "Horse!" when he sees a statue of a horse in The Parish campaign as an observation. All the parodies online of Ellis will have him going nuts over horses and Kiddieland.
  • Azuria, the Atlas Park magical contact in City of Heroes, has a reputation for allowing anyone to walk into the MAGI (in essence, the generic magical government agency) vault. She is not even in charge of the vault; that's her counterpart in Galaxy City. She is commonly the dropoff for magical storyarcs, though.
  • Giygas of EarthBound is often quoted as saying, "I... feel... h...a...p...p...y." He separately said "I... feel... g...o...o...d," and "I'm ... h...a...p...p...y", but never together as "I... feel... h...a...p...p...y..." It's also quite common to see his Madness Mantra mashed together as "nessnessnessnessnessnessnessnessnessness" etc, but each iteration of "Ness" (or whatever the player called him) is actually properly punctuated and spaced as "Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness..." etc.
  • Adachi from Persona 4 is often associated with the line "Bitches and Whores", though he never said it once in the game. However, the line does pretty much sum up his opinion on girls. The line actually comes from a Gag Sub of a doujinshi. He does say it in The Anime of the Game though.
  • No one in Half-Life 2 says "We don't go to Ravenholm." The misquote is likely taken from the title of the chapter that is displayed when the player enters Ravenholm for the first time. The actual quote:
    Alyx Vance: That's the old passage to Ravenholm. We don't go there anymore.
  • Many (though not all) Skyrim-based memes say "arrow to the knee" instead of "arrow in the knee".
    • On a more nitpicky scale, the incantation for Unrelenting Force is often quoted as a quick, loud, and steady "FUS RO DAH!", when in the actual game it's Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: " DAH!". The confusion arises from the fact that the first version, while not used in the final game, is the version used in the trailer, which became popular in Youtube Poop even before the game was released. Furthermore, many players prefer the version used in the trailer (there's even a Game Mod that replaces the sound effect for the shout with the trailer version).
  • In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, during a flashback mission set in Pripyat, Captain MacMillan comments on the lack of people. His line is frequently mistaken to be "Fifty-thousand people used to live here. Now it's a ghost town." That line is actually spoken by Gaz in the intro that plays when you start the game up; MacMillan's line is actually "Fifty-thousand people used to live in this city. Now it's a ghost town... I've never seen anything like it."
  • The infamous "The cake is a lie" meme from Portal is heavily misquoted from the rogue AI, GLaDOS. The character in question does have several lines regarding cake, but the actual quote comes from graffiti on the wall in a hidden room, which was written by another test subject named Doug Rattmann that slowly went insane. Since the meme became extremely popular, people who have not played the game usually assume the AI says it.
  • League of Legends: Garen's battlecry of "DEMACIAAAAAA!" is associated with his spinning attack, Judgment, within not just the fanbase but also the game, but he actually yells the line when activating his defensive self-buff, Courage. The confusion arose largely because most Garen players would activate both powers virtually simultaneously. Occasionally, even his other skill, Decisive Strike, is associated with the battle cry of "DEMACIAAAA!!"
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The series in general often gets called Phoenix Wright, but the proper name for the franchise is Ace Attorney.
    • One of the lines most associated with the series is "You're lying goddammit! And I can prove it!", despite the fact that the line is only said once in any of the games and it's simply "dammit" instead of "goddammit".
    • The series recurring Awesome Music are frequently called "Cornered Themes" by the fandom. In reality, the correct term is "Pursuit" themes, only the first one is actually called "Cornered". The rest all have a different subtitle like "Questioned" or "Overtaken".
    • The notion of Phoenix Wright accusing an animal of murder is something many people often wrongly attach to the series. Phoenix Wright, or any other protagonist attorney for that matter, has never pointed the finger at any animal. However the canon DLC case of Dual Destinies does feature the police believing that an orca killed its owner. However, not only do the police and the prosecution office not take it seriously as a murder at first (considering it the accurate "accidental death due to oversight over taking care of an animal" instead), Phoenix has to go out of his way to prove that there's a possible human criminal aspect involvement in the victim's death in order to get it be considered for a criminal trial case. The confusion likely stems from the fact that Phoenix has had to cross-examine animals on multiple occasions.
    • The single word most commonly associated with the series is "OBJECTION!" Within the games themselves, it is stylized as "Objection!" This applies to all the Big Word Shouts used in the series, with people erroneously using All Caps when quoting them.
    • At no point does Miles Edgeworth ever say "You are not a clown. You are the entire circus." That quote is from an edited screenshot.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Fans joke about Cirno's infamous first spell card on Easy mode of Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, Ice Sign "Icicle Fall -Easy-"... except there's no spell card by that exact name in the game, since Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom was the only game to actually append difficulties to the names of spellcards. Officially it's just Ice Sign "Icicle Fall". Somewhat justified, however, as the lack of appended difficulty names means that the version seen on Normal mode, which doesn't have that glaring flaw, has the exact same name.
    • "Please wait warmly" is a frequent misquote of the line "Please watch warmly until it is ready" seen on the loading screens of the earlier Windows games.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto was misquoted when he was asked about his opinion over the visual style of Donkey Kong Country; while he did say (at the time) that people will enjoy a mediocre game if the graphics are good, he never said it for Donkey Kong Country and he had actually helped with the development of the game as well. What he actually meant by this comment was that he was annoyed that his bosses were interfering with the development of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island by constantly trying to force him to mimic DKC's visual style. Many years later, when he was asked about the incident, Miyamoto went on the record to say that he actually enjoyed the game.
    • Miyamoto also supposedly once said that "A delayed game is good (eventually), a bad game is bad forever." This is slightly incorrect. What he said was in response to why The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 had been delayed (it was originally going to be a launch title), saying "delays are temporary, a bad game is forever".
  • Pokémon:
    • The "Are you a boy or a girl?" meme is most commonly associated with Professor Oak. The problem is that in the first generation of Pokémon games, there were no gender options and as a result he never asks the question. He does ask the player their gender in the remakes, but even then the line is actually two separate questions ("Are you a boy? Or are you a girl?") rather than as a single question.
    • The line that shows up when encountering a wild Pokémon is "A wild [species name] appeared!" (or "Wild [species name] appeared!" in the first three generations), not "A wild [species name] has' appeared!", "A wild [species name] appears!", or any permutation thereof. Even official Pokémon media has made this mistake.
    • Lillie never says the exact phrase "Get in the bag, Nebby!" The closest she comes to saying it is when she says "Into the bag, Nebby" and "Back into the bag, please, Nebby."
  • "You know, Ellie, we really are the last of us" is never said in The Last of Us. It is instead a meme poking fun of narm inducing title drops in gaming.
  • Shiki in The World Ends with You is quoted on This Very Wiki as saying "PANTS. OFF. NOW!" when her line is actually "Now! Pants! Off!"
  • One of the most common phrases said by fans of Undertale is "X fills you with DETERMINATION" with "X" being whatever the object/person/scene is when a save point is used. While the game does employ Bold Inflation when it comes to certain words and phrases, "Determination" is proper case at save points. There is only one point where the game actually says "You're filled with DETERMINATION.", which is just before the Asgore fight.
    • Sans never calls Papyrus "paps" or "papy" in the game, though in fanon it seems to be his Affectionate Nickname for Papyrus.
    • Many people quote Sans as saying "You're gonna have a bad time" before attacking you. Actually, he says that much earlier in the game, shortly before the battle with Papyrus, as a warning to stop doing the Genocide run. His specific quote before attacking you is "Do you wanna have a bad time?"
    • "You dirty brother killer" is another line often associated with Sans on a Genocide route. He doesn't actually say this on a Genocide route(which does require killing Papyrus), but he does on certain Neutral routes after his judgment, if you've killed Papyrus and answer "no" to his question.
  • Naoki Yoshida, director of Final Fantasy XIV was asked a question about whether or not a player who still hasn't gotten or finished a relic weapon from the 2.0 content should still do it when the relics for 3.0 were released. Many people believed he said that players shouldn't bother. What Yoshida actually said was people shouldn't bother if they haven't gotten a 2.0 relic or didn't make much progress on it since people would be better off starting fresh on a 3.0 relic anyway.
  • Keiji Inafune, designer of Mighty No. 9, is infamously quoted as having responded "It's better than nothing" during a stream in response to the negative reactions to the game. This isn't actually what Inafune said himself, but an added comment from his interpreter.
  • "Wololo", the Priests' conversion sound in Age of Empires, is also associated with Monks in Age of Empires II, despite the fact that they make a "Waaaaahhhh..." sound.
  • A popular meme with Uncharted is Sully exclaiming "Nate, noooooo!" when Nate dies while the game's death music plays. Sully does exclaim "Nate!" and "Noooo!" as potential exclaimations, but never both as one line.
  • When it came to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels after people found out it was supposed to be the sequel to the first game, a lot of people not only blamed Nintendo of America for rejecting the game, but they also believed that the company thought that the game was "too hard for Americans" and decided to localize Doki Doki Panic instead as Super Mario Bros sequel. While Nintendo of America did have concerns about the difficulty of the original Super Mario Bros 2, they never outright said that the game was too hard; their big concern about the game was it would not sell well because it was just the first game again.
  • "Metal Box", the name the Super Smash Bros. series uses for the green blocks in Super Mario 64 that Metal Caps come out of, is not used in Mario 64.
  • Pro Wrestling is the Trope Namer for A Winner Is You, but this message appears only in the earliest copies of the game, with the (much more common) revisions correcting it to simply "Winner is You".
  • Most people call the directional pad on Nintendo controllers the "D-Pad". However, not once is it ever called that in official Nintendo publications, all of which call it the "+Control Pad". The term "D-pad" was actually coined by Electronic Arts for their Sega Genesis game manuals (Sega's official term was "D-Button".)
  • World of Warcraft: Despite what Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm might lead you to think, Cho never says "To his will, all flesh succumbs!" followed by Gall adding "Uhh... What He Said." The quote was originally spoken by Gall, and was a slightly larger poem The response came from Cho, who was reacting to Gall's deteriorating mental state. The Lighter and Softer spinoff games flipped this to downplay Gall's insanity in favour of general comedy.
  • Kunio's catch-phrase Namen nayo (which loosely translates to "Don't mess with me!") was actually said by his rival (and future partner) Riki in in the original Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun (the Japanese version of Renegade) and the full phrase is Namen nayo, kono yarou ("Don't mess with me, you punk!"). Kunio didn't actually say Namen nayo until the arcade version of Nekketsu Koukou Dodge Ball Bu, where he says the phrase every time he does a running jump shot.
  • The title character of Sinistar has many similar soundbites, which people often combine in ways it never actually said. For instance, it never says "Beware, coward, I live!" or "Beware, I hunger!" It does say "Beware, coward!", "Beware, I live!" and "I hunger!".
  • Preston Garvey in Fallout 4 never actually says "Another settlement needs our help." He gives the Minutemen radiant quests with various lines: "I got word of a settlement that needs our help," "I've heard of another settlement that's in trouble," and "Another settlement has sent word that they need our help."
  • The line "You have died of dysentery" never literally appears in the original version of The Oregon Trail. The actual phrasing uses the third-person voice: "[Character name the player entered] has died of dysentery."
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas doesn't say "Embrace... nothing!" during the battle against him. The actual line is "Embrace... the nothingness!" but it's made hard to hear over the sounds of the battle. He also doesn't actually say "Cursed... Keyblade..." when defeated. The actual line is "Curses... (shuddering breath) Keyblade..."
    • An inversion: The line "Sora... Riku... There is falsehood within your hearts. Do you dare deny it...?" is often included in lists of unused Xemnas quotes. However, the quote does actually appear in the game - he says it during the second battle with Armored Controller Xemnas, if you fail the Meteor Rain Reaction Command.
    • From Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Roxas's infamous line as Xion is fading away is "Who else will I have ice cream with?" It's misquoted in various ways among the fandom, usually by people making fun of its Narm quality.
  • Gill is quoted as having a line in the Japanese version of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade that was censored out of the English translation: "I want to lock you up in my basement and keep you all to myself." Though the series is no stranger to risqué dialogue, this line doesn't exist. It was originally a joke by a translator on a forum, but fans took it seriously.

    Web Animation 
  • 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, the real Strong Sad never said "I'm sad that I'm flying." That was 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.
      • Not to mention Strong Bad "DELETING!" emails asking how he types with boxing gloves on; not only does he do that once (in an episode where that question isn't even the main focus), but in the one episode where it is the main focus, none of the multiple emails asking that question are deleted.
    • 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.
    • The Drive-Thru whale is sometimes quoted as saying "Sever your leg please, sir. It's the greatest day". It said "Sever your leg please, sir" and "Sever your leg, please. It's the greatest day", but not both sentences with the word "sir".
    • Homsar has never said "I was raised by a cup of coffee". That was Strong Bad, doing an impression of Homsar. It doesn't help that one of the official Homsar tshirts did bear the slogan "Raised By A Cup Of Coffee". Homsar did however finally say the phrase in the 2017 Halloween Toon "Haunted Photo Booth", in a manner similar to backwards speech. It was later revealed, however, to be a [[Twin Peaks]] reference and not him actually saying it.
  • Though known as the Pungeon Master in fan works and even in the gag series RWBY Chibi and two games, Yang Xiao Long from RWBY has made a grand total of two puns (both in volume 2). The series is now up to volume 7.
  • A dialogue by Doc\O'Malley in Red vs. Blue regarding his gender being "Evil" never happened on the show. It cribbed from a meme and became memetic itself, to the point of being banned by the RVB subreddit.
    • In-universe, Doyle is fond of the saying "Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of it", but misattributes it to William Shakespeare instead of Mark Twain. He's rather miffed when Epsilon and Carolina tell him that he has the source wrong.

  • 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.
    • Although Karkat cusses perhaps the most out any Homestuck character, his use of the term "fuckass" is wildly exaggerated by fans unable to duplicate the more florid profanity he favours in story.
      • Karkat has only said "fuckass" once within Homestuck. Jade, who doesn't swear very often, has said "fuckass" more than Karkat did (twice, due to Karkat's influence causing her to swear more often). John said "fuckass" once, referencing Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, and nobody else in Homestuck has said "fuckass".
    • Use of the SBaHJ-isms "jegus" and "gog" by any character is through the roof, despite being respectively used sparingly and only twice 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".
    • Nepeta, despite being associated with the term, has never called Karkat "Karkitty." She has, however, called him "Karcat."
    • People have often referred to the scene where Rose goes grimdark as "Rose: Go grimdark." The actual command used is "Rose: Go dark," the misquote likely having come from a line on the next page that says "You have officially gone grimdark."
  • Nuzlocke Comics:
    • Nuzlocke's catchphrase 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.
    • The series itself was never originally called Nuzlocke either, Nuzlocke is a recurring character and the forum username of the person who posted the comics. The actual name of the series is Pokemon: Hard Mode. Nuzlocke only became the widely-accepted name of the Self-Imposed Challenge it inspired via this trope.

    Web Original 
  • Look a Vlog: 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.
  • Rooster Teeth: Although "What if your legs didn't know they were legs?" is often attributed to Gavin Free, it actually originated from his Rooster Teeth co-worker Barbara Dunkelman doing an impression of him, mocking his tendency to ask nonsensical questions. "Does rocks float on lava?" is an authentic Gavin-ism, however.
  • While JonTron's signature"Ech!" appeared on Game Grumps, he's only used it once in his own show (as a spoof of the MGM logo).
  • Many people tend to misquote a line from an infamous video where a Barney fan expresses his love for the show to BlackBusterCritic as "There was one episode I liked from Season 12 where they killed a dragon. The part where they were chasing the dragon away was so funny and I couldn't stop laughing!". The actual quote was "But I did see one episode that I really liked was "The Reluctant Dragon" from Season 12. The part with Riff chasing the dragon away was so funny, and I couldn't stop laughing when I saw it on TV".
  • The Buzz Lightyear page on the Pixar Wiki for a while stated that his "there appears to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere" line was a quote from Star Trek. The item was obviously wrong, as it attributed the "quote" to "Admiral" Kirk (a rank Kirk didn't hold in the series), and was finally tracked down to a fanon bumper sticker.
  • The Mandela Effect tries to attribute people misremembering lines, spellings, and all sorts of False Memories they believe are true to alternate universes.
  • The "I'm stuff" meme spread up as an ironic parody of one spectacularly unfunny Marvel Cinematic Universe fancomic, and it's usually associated with a greyscale image of Robert Downey Jr. Said image is nowhere in the comic, and appears to have crosspollinated from a different meme involving RDJ—and in the original comic, MJ says the line, not Tony.
  • "Boom, Headshot!" from Pure Pwnage is most frequently associated with Counter-Strike, but the actual origin of the quote is from the fourth episode, which centered on America's Army; Counter-Strike wouldn't show up in the series until the fifth.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: "Pingas" is often associated with this face, despite the fact that Robotnik 1) has a completely different face and 2) is looking straight ahead when he says that word.
  • Animaniacs:
    • 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!"
    • Wakko also never said "Where's the potty? I'm gonna be sick..." in "Potty Emergency", although many people think he did. Also, some people misquote his "I have to potty!" line from the same episode as "I still have to potty!", when the line in question actually comes from a Cartoon Network promo.
  • Archer: The memetic line "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants," was used in the first episode. However, the meme uses Sterling Archer's face, when that exact wording was used by Mallory Archer as a Call-Back to Sterling's earlier line ("Oh, is that what you want? Because that's how you get ants!")
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the fandom, Avatar Roku is often quoted as saying, "The Avatar always gets the girl" when Aang observes that he married the "girl who didn't even know [he was] alive." What Roku actually says is "When love is real, it finds a way. And being the Avatar doesn't hurt your chances with the ladies, either."
    • The phrase "There is no war in Ba Sing Se" is often associated with a certain screenshot of Joo Dee. However, it's never said by Joo Dee and is actually said by a Dai Lee agent while brainwashing Jet.
  • Pablo never says "Why aren't we alive?" in The Backyardigans episode "It's Great To Be A Ghost". The image associated with the quote is actually of him saying "Let's see what kind of spooky stuff is inside the haunted house!".
  • Beast Wars: While Waspinator does say his infamous "Why universe hate Waspinator?" line, he only does so once in the entire series and it's definitely not his Catchphrase, as many people seem to believe. Similarly, he's only said his other "catchphrase" ("Waspinator has plans") a grand total of twice in the whole canon, with the second time being a Call-Back to the first.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: "Should work with no problems" is a quote fans often attribute to Gadget. In actuality, 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.
  • Dora the Explorer: Many parodies have Dora begin each show with "Hola! Soy Dora!". While she has said it in a few later episodes, she usually doesn't say it most of the time. She usually just says "Hola".
  • Doug: A common Internet joke is the phrase "Very expensive, Douglas!". In actuality, Mr. Dink didn't say "Very expensive, Douglas", just "Very expensive" by itself. The "Douglas" was added to make it more clear that it's a Doug reference.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Timmy Turner 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 Catchphrase.
  • While Rolf in Ed, Edd n Eddy does indeed say "life has many doors, Ed Boy" he does not actually say this line in the one scene when he peers from beyond the 4th wall. He says the line earlier in the episode, and only references it in the 4th wall scene.
  • Family Guy:
    • Two episodes 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.
    • Whenever people parody the cutaways, they often include the lead-in "You think that's bad," even though the line was never used in the show to launch a cutaway.note  The misattributed lead-in actually originated in the South Park parody.
    • Many people believe Peter's catchphrase is "Holy crap, Lois!". While Peter has said "holy crap" many times, only two episodes uses the exact phrasing with Lois' name, once in a Season 3 episode "From Method to Madness" (where it was said by Stewie, mimicking his father), and another in a Season 12 episode "Finders Keepers", where Peter does actually say it.
    • Merchandise says that "Woah, ass ahoy!" is Brian's catchphrase when he only says it in the first episode.
  • The Flintstones: In Italy, many remember Fred Flintstone having as his own catchphrase "Wilma! Dammi la clava!"note  He never said that in the show itself, but only in a series of bug repellent commercials made in Italy. The line was anyway used in the Italian dub of the first live action movie as Fred's first reaction when Wilma's mother comes to visit.
  • Futurama:
    • Although he's commonly associated with the meme, Fry never actually said "I see what you did there" or "Not sure if X or Y". He was actually silent when he made the expression used in the meme. However, the subtitle for the opening of "The Bots and the Bees" was a picture of the "Not sure if X or Y" meme was shown.
    • 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 cast, as they were discussing who should play Gollum, Billy West suggested in Zoidberg's voice "Why not Zoidberg?".
  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown's famous "I Got a Rock" line has often been misquoted as "All I got was a rock."
  • In 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?"
  • KaBlam!: The show 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.
  • Looney Tunes: And Call Him "George"! wasn't actually said word-for-word the first time Hugo the Abominable Snowman appears in the short "The Abominable Snow Rabbit". 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—
    Daffy: (At the top of his lungs) I AIN'T NO BUNNY RABBIT!!
    • There has been articles about how Bugs Bunny called Elmer Fudd a "nimrod", making it seem like he used it all the time, but Bugs only used it once and it was in reference to Yosemite Sam in the end of "Rabbit Every Monday", where Bugs said "I couldn't do that to the little nimrod." However, there was an earlier cartoon where Elmer was called a "nimrod" Daffy Duck, in "What Makes Daffy Duck".
    • The Road Runner's "Beep-Beep" is just as often quoted as "Meep-Meep" due to how it sounds phonetically.
    • In The Dover Boys Dan Backslide does say "Confound those Dover Boys!" and "They drive me to drink!", but not one after the other.
  • The Loud House: Some people think that Fenton the singing toy fox from "The Crying Dame" sings, "Come on, baby, don't you cry". It's actually "Cheer up, baby, don't you cry."
  • 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?".
  • Masters of the Universe: The villainous Skeletor is attributed to making a "Nyeah!" sound. While his voice is indeed oddly nasally, he never utters such a sound in the original series. The "Nyeah!" instead comes from the famous singing He-Man video.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The background pony dubbed "Derpy Hooves" is famously associated with muffins. However, her "line" is questionable, as she is only one figure in a background crowd when the line is said and two other ponies have the same mouth flap at the same time. Additionally, she never delivered any mail in the show despite her being popularly considered a mailwoman in the fandom, likely due to a scene in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" in which Derpy assists in unloading a flying delivery cart with disastrous results. This was eventually reconciled when "Slice of Life" showed her as a mailmare with a thing for muffins.
    • Many believe that "20 percent cooler" and "ten seconds flat" are Rainbow Dash's catchphrases, but she only said each phrase once all the way back in the first season (she said "ten seconds flat" in the very first episode), and then never again.
    • 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".
    • Minor compared to the other examples, but Tirek's line "Is this meant to be humorous?" in "Twilight's Kingdom – Part 2" is commonly quoted as "Is this supposed to be humorous?"
    • The phrase "love and tolerate" was never once uttered on the show. That was just a joke passed around forums and the like.
  • Nina Needs to Go!!: People think Nina 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.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: People often associate the Powerpuff Girls with the phrase "Girl Power!" when in actuality they never say this. This is 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 vs. Powerpuff Girls game on the Cartoon Network website for some time, which uses the phrase "Girl Power!" whenever the girls have the upper hand.
  • Rugrats: Due to a certain image circulating the Internet, many fans believe that there's a scene in "Grandpa's Bad Bug" where Grandpa talks about playing Russian Roulette. The actual dialogue was just Grandpa telling Stu and Didi that he was sick, Didi offers to take him to the doctor but he tells her he just wants to sleep it off. The dialogue in the aforementioned image is lifted from an episode of King of the Hill.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!:
    • No 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. However, they do say this in some future series. Additionally, while the Scooby Doo gang (usually Velma or Fred) did do a lot of mask-removing, this was almost never referred to as "unmasking" on the series. Likely, an advertiser used it because of the wordplay and people thought it was an actual term used on the show.
    • "Old Man Jenkins" has become the name to refer to the common villain under the mask. While the original series had an old man named Mr. Jenkins, he wasn't a mask-wearing villain, he was an amusement park caretaker who built Charlie the Robot as an assistant, but a programming glitch caused the robot to go haywire.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "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!" four times in the series. Once in "Bart Gets an F", the Season 11 episode "Behind the Laughter", which is 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), The ending in "The Great Money Caper" and the first segment of "Treehouse of Horror XVI". "Cowabunga!" originated on Howdy Doody in the 1950s and its common usage was popularized by 1960s surfer culture. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the characters you were most likely to hear use the phrase were actually the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but some media still thinks "Cowabunga!" is Bart's catchphrase.
    • A lot of merchandise from the early '90s had a tendency to elevate random quotes into catchphrases. "Eat my shorts!" was nigh-on ubiquitous in Bart-focused merch despite Bart saying it a grand total of two times in the first five seasons.
    • 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. My planet needs me." in "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show". He actually says, "I have to go now."
    • In season 2's "Dead Putting Society", Lisa tells Bart to "embrace nothingness" which somehow wound up being her profile quote in the arcade game.
    • The memetic phrase "gosh diddly darn it" is sometimes falsely attributed to Ned Flanders. Ned has said gosh, diddly, and darn it many times, but never all three words in a row. The closest he ever got was "I just can't dang-darn-diddly-darn-dang-ding-dong-diddly-darned do it".
    • Marge's line from "Hurricane Neddy", "That's true, but he shouldn't say it" is often misquoted as "It's true, but he shouldn't say it!" when people use it online to react to certain things.
    • Bart's "You can actually pinpoint the second his heart rips in half" is sometimes misquoted as "You can actually pinpoint the exact moment his heart breaks in half".
    • "Won't somebody please think of the children?" is seen as Helen Lovejoy's catchphrase, but she only says the line in two different episodes. In one Season 9 episode, Moe subverts expectations by saying the line instead of Helen (who is right next to him). It isn't referenced again until Season 24, where Helen herself subverts the line by saying, "Won't somebody please blame the children?" in "Pulpit Friction".
    • Principal Skinner is quoted as saying, "Am I out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong" when the line is "Am I so out of touch?".
    • "I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?" is often thought of as another catchphrase of Bart's thanks to a popular T-shirt released around the time the show became a craze. It was actually only said twice: once in a Tracey Ullman short where Bart says that to Krusty the Clown (thinking he's a phoney pretending to be him), and another in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" when Bart meets Santa (who is actually Homer, who tried to get a job for the family so he could buy them presents). In the latter, he actually says, "Well, I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?"
    • The line "Stop, stop! He's already dead!" is sometimes mistakenly attributed to Ralph. In the actual scene (from "Homie the Clown"), it's delivered by an unnamed kid in the audience who is utterly horrified at Homer (as Krusty) attacking the Krusty Burglar.
  • South Park:
    • Cartman's line "No, Kitty! That's a bad Kitty!" is widely thought to have originated in the premiere episode "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe". He actually says this in the Season 1 finale "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" twice. His lines to Kitty in the premiere, aside from telling Kitty to get away from his food, are "No, Kitty! You bad Kitty!" and "No, Kitty, this is my pot pie! Bad Kitty!"
    • 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!" Although, to be fair, they did say that on two occasions when they themselves killed Kenny ("Yep, we're bastards").
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode "As Seen on TV", many sources claim that when SpongeBob sticks his nose out of the ground, Mr. Krabs replies with "Please tell me that is your nose." While SpongeBob was no stranger to jokes like this, in actuality, he simply asks "What are you doing, lad?"
    • Some people have quoted a conversation between SpongeBob and Patrick where SpongeBob exclaims "Patrick, you're a genius" and Patrick remarks that he gets called that a lot (called "Patrick", not "a genius"). While SpongeBob has exclaimed "Patrick, you're a genius" in "Missing Identity", "Squidtastic Voyage" and "Fungus Among Us", Patrick never responds with "Yeah, I get called that a lot" in the show (in fact, he doesn't reply with anything in those three episodes). A similar joke does appear in "Porous Pockets".
      SpongeBob: Good idea coming here, Patrick.
      Patrick: That's my specialty.
      SpongeBob: Having good ideas?
      Patrick: No, being called Patrick.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • One line of the limerick in "The Sad Story of Henry" is often misquoted as "He went into a tunnel, squeaked through his funnel, and wouldn't come out again". The actual line uses "it" instead of "he".
    • The infamous "Shut up! It's not funny!" line from "Break Van" is paraphrased. The full line is "'Shut up!' said James, 'It's not funny!'".
    • Thomas, or any other character for that matter, never said "I'm a really useful engine!", other characters just called him that. James often called himself "a really splendid engine", though.
    • In "Thomas and the Rumours," the line is not "The Fat Controller laughed. 'You are wrong.'" The actual quote is, "The Fat Controller laughed. "'Well, the engines are wrong and you shouldn't listen to rumours, Thomas.'"
    • Similarly, in "Lady Hatt's Birthday Party," the line "Thomas had never seen The Fat Controller in such a mess," is often shortened to "Thomas had never seen such a mess."
  • The Three Little Pigs: The words "not three little pigs" are not actually said. 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!"

Alternative Title(s): Misquote, Popular Misquote


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