Who said it?: Columbus
The story behind the quote: Zombieland is a 2009 film about, well, zombies. However, unlike previous films of the genre, it is not a horror movie. It’s more of an action-comedy movie about a group of people trying to survive after the zombie apocalypse. Another thing that makes it different from other zombie films out there is that the survivors are actually pretty good at going about living in the world. One of the reasons why they are so successful is because of the rules Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg) created. He created a whole list of them and they all proved pretty effective in ensuring that he lives.
The quote comes from the 4th rule, which is “Double Tap.” In most zombie movies, the survivors shoot at zombies and, when it falls down, they do the stupid action of getting close to check on the supposedly dead body. Columbus suggests that people shouldn’t be stingy with their bullets at a time when survival is the main goal. Shooting the zombie once more make sure that they’re downed.
Geek wisdom: Like in real life, people should always make sure about stuff. There’s no harm in checking and re-checking if what you did is correct. For students, it could be the answers for a test. For people at their jobs, it could be the work you’re gonna submit to your boss.
“Double tapping” just takes a few minutes of your time and it’ll give you peace of mind that you did your job right.
From: Transformers: The Movie
Genre: Movies, Cartoons
Who said it?: Kup
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the Transformers: The Movie. Not the live action Michael Bay films. This is from the animated movie that was released in 1986. The film was actually pretty controversial for its time because of the deaths of practically the entire cast of the TV Series… during the first 20 minutes, no less!
The movie is set in the year 2005 (which was pretty far off in the future then) and, somehow, the treacherous Decepticons have managed to conquer the Autobots home world of Cybertron. The Autobots, however, refuses to give up the fight and have set up bases on the planet’s moons. Unknown to them, both factions face a bigger threat than themselves: the planet eater called Unicron.
Anyway, the quote comes during two parts in the film. The first part is when Kup and Hot Rod, two Autobots who had to retreat from a recent battle encountering a group of shark-like robots. The elder Kup tries to make friends with them by giving the “Universal Greeting,” which is the quote. However, this is met with disastrous results…
The second time the quote is used is when Hot Rod and Kup rendezvous with their fellow Autobots who were under attack by a group of robots called the Junkions. Here, Hot Rod tries his hand at using the Universal Greeting…
Geek wisdom: The Universal Greeting is actually kinda smart as it proves that its not really the words that people look at when you first meet them; its actually the actions of people that are more important. People tend to focus on the words people use and that’s okay.
However, words are just that: words. We tend to forget that actions always speak louder than words. It’s easy to make promises and say what we’re gonna to do something but they’ll have no meaning unless we can back it up by actually doing them.
Who said it?: King Leonidas
The story behind the quote: 300 is a stylized retelling of Battle of Thermopylae. Based on the comic book of Frank Miller called, well, 300, the story revolves around how 300 Spartans from, well, Sparta, took a stand against an huge invading army from Persia. While the odds were definitely against them, since the Spartans were trained to fight since birth, they were very successful in killing off a huge swath of Persian soldiers. While they did lose in the end, their story (or the story that was told to the rest of Greece anyway) inspired the country to stand up against the invaders.
The quote comes from a scene where the 300 Spartans come across a huge number of Arcadians who are willing to fight off the Persians. The Arcadians are initially dismayed as there are only 300 Spartans; that number is just too small when compared to the invader’s army. King Leonidas, played by Gerard Butler, asks several of the Arcadians what their jobs were. They replied that they were simple workers, such as potters and sculptures. King Leonidas then turns to his fellow Spartans and asks them what is their profession. The Spartans all howl in several fearsome bellows in reply. The King of Sparta then states that he actually has more soldiers than the Arcadians assembled there.
Geek wisdom: We have to select the right tool for the right job. Like the Arcadians in the scene, a substitute can do in a pinch. However, if you want the job to be done and done right, the right equipment will beat out the substitute anytime.
The Spartans were bred to be warriors and that’s what they’re good at. They were the right tool to use for fighting and holding off an invading army of thousands, even if they were only 300. Accepting substitutes is okay, but nothing beats the real thing.
From: Red vs. Blue
Genre: Web Series
Who said it?: Pvt. Leonard Church
The story behind the quote: Here’s another quote from “the popular web series” Red Vs. Blue. Not only is the show pretty funny, but there are also a lot of inspirational quotes there if you come to think of it.
The quote comes from Episode 100, which pretty much closed out The Blood Gulch Chronicles. In the closing scene of the episode, a couple of the Blues, namely Church and Caboose are talking. Caboose asks Church why are they there in the first place, mirroring the Reds conversation in the very first episode. Church then gives an impassionate speech about how he didn’t care before who he was ordered to fight. But, after recent events, he realized that you don’t hate someone because you were told to hate him or her; you have to hate them because you hate them.
Geek wisdom: There are a lot of people in the world that will tell you that a group of people are bad. The thing is, you shouldn’t lump anyone together. Whether it be race, religion or age, everyone is different. Everyone has different values. Hating a certain type of people without any basis is just wrong.
Now, if you do hate someone, then that’s fine, too. As Church said, you have to hate someone for the right reasons. You can hate someone if they wronged you, they act like idiots or they just rub you the wrong way. That’s okay. At least you have a reason.
From: Phineas and Ferb
Genre: Cartoons, Television
Who said it?: Various delivery people
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from a very recent cartoon from Disney called Phieas and Ferb. The overall story is pretty unique. Each episode consist of two stories happening at the same time. First, there are two brothers, Phineas and Ferb, who do fantastic things, such as building a rocket, fighting a mummy and climbing up the Eiffel Tower, to name a few. Candace, their older sister, always tries to tell their mom about this the mother never gets to witness it (she just thinks they have such wonderful imaginations).
The reason why the mother never sees these acts because of the second story. The brother’s pet platypus, Perry, is actually a secret agent who stops the evil “genius,” Dr. Doofenshmirtz, from taking over “the entire Tri-State area!” While stopping the doctor from using his latest invention, Perry inadvertently destroys Phineas and Ferb’s invention.
The quote actually comes from the various delivery persons who delivers the materials for the brother’s inventions. As they are pretty young to be building something like a rocket, they ask Phineas and Ferb that they seem to be too young to be constructing something like that. To which Phineas always replies, “Yes. Yes, we are.”
The clip below comes from “Rollercoaster: The Musical,” where the boys construct another rollercoaster in their backyard… only as a musical.
Geek wisdom: When it comes to dreams, there is no such thing as age. You’re never too old or too young to follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sometimes, you just need to take the chance. Just make sure to pursue it to the end.
From: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Who said it?: Tuco
The story behind the quote: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is a classic spaghetti western. Probably best known for its soundtrack (the whistle song… its kinda hard to describe) and starring Clint Eastwood before he made it big. It’s pretty easy to make a summary of the story: three guys that don’t trust each other are searching for buried gold. However, that summary doesn’t really do the story justice. There are a lot of twists throughout the film that keeps it interesting.
Anyway, the quote in question comes from one scene where Tuco, the “Ugly” noted in the title, is taking a bath. A bounty hunter who was injured during the start of the film, manages to track down the wanted man. Since he has Tuco (presumably) corners, the bounty hunter starts to ramble about how he was searching for him for months. What he didn’t know was Tuco was pretty much prepared for that situation.
Geek wisdom: You’ve seen supervillians do this all the time. Before they kill the hero, they brag about their plan and how they’re gonna kill them. What usually happens? The hero escapes! Simply put, if you gotta do something, just do it! Don’t waste time talking about it. Execute whatever you need to do and let your actions speak for themselves.
From: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Genre: Television and Cartoons
Who said it?: He-Man/Prince Adam
The story behind the quote: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is actually several things: a highly successful 80’s Saturday morning cartoon, a widely hated animated series in the 90’s and a well-received remake in 2002. Still, the story behind all of them is ridiculously simple. The villians, led by the aptly named Skeletor, an apparently very muscular sorcerer who has a skull for a head, wants to take over the planet, generally Eternia. When the bad guys do attack, Prince Adam will held aloft his magic sword and… well, yell out the quote. This transforms Prince Adam in the He-Man, “the most powerful man in the universe!”
Here is the intro for the original 80s version of the show…
Now, the weirdly different 90s version…
Finally, the very serious but still quite awesome 2002 remake…
Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we can forget our roots. We can become very successful or very wealthy and forget that we didn’t do it alone. All successful people needed the help of other people to be in the position that they are in. Whenever Prince Adam would use the quote to transform into He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe), he is actually acknowledging that his power is not his: its given to him by another. In this case, the magical castle of Greyskull.
People should not forget where they come from. It’s a big part of why they are the way they are now. We have to acknowledge this and remember the people that helped us along the way.
From: Superman II
Who said it?: General Zod
The story behind the quote: Superman II is, obviously, a sequel. And this is actually kind of important to note since we actually get to see what happens to the three criminals that were sent to the Phantom Zone during the first Superman movie. So, if you’ve watched the 1st Superman film and wondered, “Hey! What happened to those guys that were encased in a floating square?” then you really need to watch this movie.
Anyway, the leader of the criminals, General Zod, tried to take over Krypton, which is why he and two of his followers were jailed in the Phantom Zone. Because of the events that unfolded during the 1st film, Zod and his group managed to escape and, this time, try to take over Earth. They actually succeeded for the most part. However, with the timely return of Superman (long story, just watch the original or the Richard Donner cut, with the latter being more serious in tone), the Man of Steel challenges the General to battle. This is when General Zod yells and orders the Last Son of Krypton to kneel before him.
Geek wisdom: There is going to be a time, when pushed too far, we have to fight back against what we hate. While we do symbolically kneel before those things sometimes (following orders from a boss you don’t like or stuck in a hurtful relationship), we have to gauge when enough is enough. We do eventually have to stand up, say that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
Speaking of which…
(God, I just love this clip!)
Who said it?: Mary Jane Watson
The story behind the quote: Wow, when it comes to comics, I seem to either go to Batman or Spider-Man… but this is a bit different since it isn’t the hero that gives the quote. Rather, it’s the love interest of Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson.
We have to get into a lot of backstory regarding this quote to really get the full impact of the wisdom from it. Prior to her first (official) appearance in the comics, she was just this faceless girl that Aunt May kept on trying to set Peter Parker up for a date (initially mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #15). Peter kept blowing it off since he assumed that, since his aunt liked her so much, he wouldn’t really like her. This actually kept on for a really long time and it became somewhat of running joke of the series.
Finally, in Amazing Spider-Man #42 (around two years after she was initially mentioned), Peter does meet Mary Jane, who turns out to be a bombshell of a red-head who jokingly mentions how lucky he is.
Geek wisdom: You shouldn’t be afraid to try new things once in a while. Sure there’s going to be a chance that the experience is awful. However, unless you try it, you’ll never know if its something that’s plain god-awful or something given from God. Imagine if Peter Parker never met Mary Jane. He wouldn’t have had met the love of his life. Remember, you may hit the jackpot, too, if you try something new.
From: Street Fighter: The Movie
Who said it?: M. Bison
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the “so bad its good” movie adaption of the Street Fighter video game. But first, let’s go through a little history behind the film. With the success of Street Fighter II, it was highly inevitable that someone in Hollywood would get the idea to cash in on its popularity and develop of movie about it. However, like most of the early video games turned movies (Super Mario Brothers, Double Dragon), this really didn’t turn out very well. The story doesn’t follow much of the plot of the game. Well, to be honest, the game doesn’t really have much of a plot to begin with, but there were too many liberties taken regarding all of the characters’ backstory, such as Ryu and Ken being smugglers and Chun-Li being a reporter. This movie also has the “privilege” of getting an even more horrible video game based on it (Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game)!
Now that’s out of the way, the quote comes when Chun-Li (played by Ming-Na) gets captured by M. Bison (portrayed by the late Raul Julia) and retells the story of how Bison murdered her father a long time ago when the warlord tried to take over her village. Bison simply tells the reporter (not an Interpol officer like in the games) that he has no recollection of the matter since it was just an ordinary day for him.
Geek wisdom: We normally think of how people would react to things based on how we would react to them. This is, of course, flawed. The way a person reacts or remembers something will be different for each and every one of us. They were raised differently so their manner of thinking is different. Even identical twins will have some very notable differences on how they would handle certain issues.
We cannot just substitute their mindset with ours. Simply put, we put other people in our shoes when we should be thinking of putting ourselves in theirs. For Chun-Li, the death of her father was the memory that molded her into what she is today. For Bison, it was just another day in the office.