It’s homecoming at Concordia on Oct. 15. I don’t bring that to offset all the St. John’s talk of late on this site. Rather, that’s the unofficial 10-year reunion for my graduating class. Ten years. Wow. That’s one way to make me realize that I’ve aged and should probably stop wearing hats backward.
That also means it’s been almost 15 years since I graduated from Jamestown High School and 17 years since Dumb and Dumber came out.
One of those three anniversaries marks my life on a daily basis. I kid. Kind of. I really do make a mental reference to that movie regularly. Sometimes, it’s a way to categorize what’s going on around me. Sometimes, it’s to get a laugh or supply levity to a stressful situation. Often, it’s just way way to pull the flick back to the present day. And maybe it’s just me. Maybe I was just the right age and in the right mood (literally sophomoric) at the time of release and can’t let go. It probably doesn’t hurt that I once interviewed Mike Starr – the guy who was killed by the spicy burger – when he was several cocktails deep at a celebrity golf tournament.
The funny thing is, it’s not like I’ve seen it 100 times. I bet the total is closer to 10. That’s what is scary and/or impressive – how many low-brow movies are so easily applicable and memorable so long after release?
Need examples? I thought you’d never ask. Here are, in no particular order, my five favorite lines from Dumb and Dumber:
- “Our pet’s heads are fallin’ off.”
In this scene, Harry and Lloyd return to their shared apartment to find that their parakeet, Petey, has been decapitated. They later tape it back on and sell it to a blind kid.
As the working parent of multiple children, this has become the go-to line when things get a little wacky at home.
- “Big Gulps, huh? All right. Well, see you later.”
Frankly, this scene has no place in the plot. It’s a throwaway moment that lasts less than 10 seconds. We wouldn’t be missing anything if it had been excluded from the final cut.
But, as it stands, we now have something to say no matter how awkward or idle a conversation has gotten. It’s the perfect filler.
- “Look, there’s some people who want a ride, too.” “Pick ’em up!”
Harry and Lloyd are cruising down the highway when they come across a family of migrant workers looking for a lift. This bit comes in handy anytime you see a hitchhiker – which happens more than you would think in a rural state like South Dakota. It also works as a litmus test for your friends. If they don’t get that joke, just drop ’em off at the next rest stop. (That’s a different Farrelly brothers movie.)
- “Pills are good. Pills are good.”
As mentioned earlier, Harry and Lloyd stuck a bunch of hot peppers into the burger of the bad guy and it turns out he has heart problems. So they try to save the day by giving him his meds, except they accidentally feed him poison instead.
This is perfect anytime you or anyone else has to take medicine. Of course, it would be even better if kids under 10 understood the joke. But no matter – I will not dumb down Dumb and Dumber for the masses. Amusing myself is really all that matters.
- “Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this … and totally redeem yourself.”
The dynamic duo have hit rock bottom on their venture to Aspen and go their separate ways. That is, until one of them trades their van – straight up – for a tiny scooter that gets 70 miles per gallon.
This is the most emotionally complex line of the bunch – it’s insulting yet endearing and encouraging. Who says low-brow humor can’t have heart? Of course, use this one wisely lest it be misinterpreted as a put-down.
That’s it – that’s the list. It could have been 100 lines long. That said, a couple honorable mentions from one of the greatest comedies of our generation:
- “Slippy, Slappy, Swanny.” For when you can’t remember a name.
- “Just go, man, just go.” For when nature calls.
- “What’s the soup de jour?” “It’s the soup of the day.” “That sounds good, I’ll have that.” You do eat at restaurants, right?
- “I got worms!” Be careful with this one. I used it too often at random times and my oldest daughter came to think that I actually did have worms.
- “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.” Perfect for any longshot.
- “I’m going to hang by the bar. Put out the vibe.” Yeah, you are. Especially if you’re sporting an orange tuxedo.