“Whatcha talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”

From: Diff’rent Strokes

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Arnold Jackson

The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Diff’rent Strokes. The show was a very successful sitcom that ran from 1978 to 1986. In the show, businessman Mr. Drummond takes in two African American kids from Harlem, Willis and Arnold and adopts them. The show follows a classic “fish out of water” scenario wherein Willis (played by Todd Bridges) and Arnold (played by Gary Coleman) as they try to adjust to living in luxury as well as trying to fit in with high society.

The quote is actually the catchphrase of Arnold as he says it multiple times in the show. He doesn’t necessarily always question Willis and he does substitute different people at times. But since he usually questions his older brother, the quote is usually mentioned as such.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, you just need to get some clarity on a situation. There are times when we say that we understand something even though we really don’t. Whether it be because we don’t like to ask questions or we don’t like to look stupid, it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t matter. Clarify and ask questions while it’s still early.

“Arnold doesn’t dance! He can barely walk!”

From: In & Out

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Narrator for the Exploring Your Masculinity audio tape

The story behind the quote: In and Out was a film that was pretty much a breakthrough for its time because it used homosexuality not as a punchline. Rather, it uses homosexuality as the main plot point. Not only that, it never used (outright anyway) the gay stereotype.

The story is about Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline), a teacher from middle school. One of his former students won the Best Actor award during the Oscars for his portrayal of a gay soldier. During the acceptance speech, the student thanks Howard Brackett for helping him… and tells the entire world Howard is gay.

Howard quickly denies being homosexual. However, after an encounter with reporter Tom Malloy (played by Tom Selleck), where he gets kissed by the gay reporter, he starts to question his manhood. He then rushes home to play a tape to try to reaffirm his heterosexuality… with poor results.

Geek wisdom: People are generally paranoid of what others think of us. So, we try to convince ourselves that we are “normal” people. No, we don’t really like comic book because “comics are for kids.” I “used” to play Dungeons and Dragons but I don’t anymore because, well, that would be ridiculous! We try to act “normal.”

The thing is, we are all normal. Our interests and likes make us what we are. However, the first thing we have to do is tell ourselves that our interests and likes are okay.

Be happy with who you really are deep down inside. In fact, you should be proud of who you are inside. If you wanna dance, go ahead and dance!