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Quotes / Faux Symbolism

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Anime and Manga

Aoba: Another cross attack!? Why!?
Maya: Because it's... deep?
Gendo: Ah, don't start start that tired argument again! It was added because the director thought it was shiny, so just move on and continue the operation.

Fan Works

Kane says it's symbolic and important, but I'm never certain whether he's serious or spinning nonsense to be mystifying.
LEGION, Tiberium Wars

Films - Animation

My crew... was as carefully chosen as the disciples of Christ. And I will not tolerate stowaways.
Hernán Cortés, The Road to El Dorado

Live-Action TV

Nelson: (Looking at a poster of a stabbed burlesque dancer in a giant martini glass) Are these covers supposed to be an ironic post-modernist interpretation of the role of women in the Sixties?
Maggie: Oh, god no, George was just horny!


"Oh no! They take it too far.
Now all the greatest love songs
Are secretly about heroin"
Lemon Demon, "Being a Rock Star"

"And you listen to the music,
and you love to sing along,
and you want to get the meaning out
of each and every song,
and you find yourself a message,
some words to call your own,
and take them home."
Bread, "Guitar Man"

"Hey man did you
write that for me?
It seems like it,
it spoke to me.
You made it up,
you made it up,
you made it up,
you make it up."
Starflyer 59, "M23"


Foster: What goes on in here?
Hobbins: It's me workshop. Like it?
Foster: It's... very impressive. A symbol of DEHUMANIZED SOCIETY. The futile STRUGGLE against ENTROPY.
Hobbins: Symbol, my bum! Only thing this symbolizes is THIRTY YEARS of HARD GRAFT.


Elan: You know, I always thought that your short hair was somehow symbolic of your character growth.
Haley: Me too! I guess it was just a crappy haircut.
Elan: Weird.

"No. That's not how English class works. What we CAN do is pretend the book is a towering riddle of symbology designed to obfuscate a central theme so simplistic that it can be expressed in a single paragraph during a one-hour midterm."

Dora: Oh, there's TONS of deep meaning there. The pinup girls represent your feminine side, and the dinosaurs represent the oppressive, male-dominated society you were raised in. The wizard and the robot represent the struggle between superstition and technology.
Marten: And the bomber dropping kittens?
Dora: I like kittens.

Nimoy: But all fantasy is an allegory for the human condition. Surely the Dark Elf mythos represents something...
Geoph: Geez. It's not that hard to figure out, dude.
[Gilligan Cut]
Dark Elf Matriarch: Fan harder, slave! I want to see the sweat glistening on your pecs.

Web Original

The play I wrote in the 3rd grade about a time traveling ladybug who’s really into Jody Watley made more sense than this shit.
Michael K. on "Do What U Want"

David: I’m no big Ozhead here, but does the Oz metaphor go any farther?
Chris: You never read the one where the Gnome King is a shapeshifter who murders a Goth Girl because she’s selling vibrators in his likeness? Frank Baum was a weird dude.
—Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Blade: Trinity

The fact that "Forcing the End" is so packed with weird eschatological imagery and themes, and yet so stubbornly refuses to work, demonstrates that it is not enough for television to be odd. It has to be good.

This game - discovering feelings that writers didn't know they had on the basis of things they didn't say - is great fun, and anyone can play it. (There's is a bit-part player in "Prince Caspian" called Mrs Prizzle. Well then, the fact that Lewis chose this name proves that he had an unconscious desire to spank women using the penis of a bull. See how easy it is?)
Lipstick on My Scholar, by Andrew Rilstone

Web Video

Why do people think this show is a masterpiece?
It's a cartoon about a bunch of giant mechs.
Interspersed with the story of an emo kid.
And some pointless religious symbolism.

Western Animation

The rats symbolize obviousness!

Not everything is a metaphor!
Candace, Phineas and Ferb

Stan: Goddamnit, there is no deeper meaning in this book! Read it again!
Assemblywoman 1: Oh, so you're suggesting that the author just arbitrarily made fun of Sarah Jessica Parker for no reason??
Kyle: Yes!
Assemblywoman 1: But what would be the point?
Cartman: There is no point! It's just because Sarah Jessica Parker is fuckin' ugly!
Assemblywoman 2: No writer would take the time to make fun of Sarah Jessica Parker just because they think she's ugly.
Stan, Kyle, Cartman: YES, they would!
Assemblywoman 2: It is because Miss Jessica Parker is a metaphor in the book for oppression felt by the lower class.
Stan: What?? Dude, that is not in the book at all!
Assemblyman 2: Boys, this book is an important look at how liberals are hurting this country.
The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs, South Park

Real Life

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

In short, it has been shown that no man can sit down to write without a very profound design. Thus to authors in general much trouble is spared. A novelist, for example, need have no care of his moral. It is there—that is to say, it is somewhere—and the moral and the critics can take care of themselves.
Edgar Allan Poe, Never Bet the Devil Your Head

If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn't.

Now they're trying to come up with meanings for Beatles songs. I never understood what any of them were about, myself...

Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second rate Freudian evaluation on my lyrics when 90% of the time they've transcribed the lyrics incorrectly?

Lazarus Heart was a vivid nightmare that I wrote down and then fashioned into a song. A learned friend of mine informs me that it is the archetypical dream of the fisher king... can't I do anything original?
Sting, liner notes to Nothing Like the Sun

Some thought there was some greater symbolic meaning behind this infamous comic, and a couple of readers actually analyzed it as a representation of my feelings of women being inferior. Honestly, I just wanted to put Dominic in a He-Man harness because I thought he'd look silly.
Michael "Mookie" Terracciano

Suppose you are studying Moby-Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say Moby-Dick is a big white whale, since the characters in the book refer to it as a big white whale roughly eleven thousand times. So in your paper, you say Moby-Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland. Your professor, who is sick to death of reading papers and never liked Moby-Dick anyway, will think you are enormously creative.
Dave Barry, "College Admissions"

There is not always intended symbolism in the Alice books, which were made for the imagination of children and not the analysis of mad people.
The Annotated Alice

"I listen to it all and I said "Andrew, is this something I don't get? Is this about Queen Victoria, she's the main cat and Disraelli and Gladstone are other cats and... and there are, you know, poor cats? Am I missing this?" And he took a terrible, painful, long pause and said 'Hal, it's about CATS.' And we never discuss it again."
Hal Prince on the subject of Cats.


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