From: Men in Black
Who said it?: Agent K
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the 1997 sci-fi film, Men in Black. The movie is based on a comic book series of the same name. The story revolves around a secret government agency who guard the Earth from aliens as well as protect the planet regarding the knowledge of the existence of extra-terrestrial life and how some aliens are actually living on Earth.
The quote comes early in the film. After the soon-to-be Agent J (played by Will Smith) passes the “Men in Black” exam, Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) explains what the MIB do and how some aliens are already living on Earth without the general public’s knowledge. When Agent J says that people will understand, Agent K rebuts by stating some of the things that people took as facts before, such as the world being flat. This is when Agent K delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Knowledge isn’t static. What we know as scientific fact today can be discovered to be totally false tomorrow. This isn’t a problem as things change and new information pops up every time. Knowledge and facts keeps on evolving and the only reason why we stop learning is because we choose not to learn anymore.
From: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Who said it?: Yondu
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The titular group is formed with an eclectic cast of characters, which include a human being who is part “god,” the adopted daughter of a “mad titan,” a strong but dimwitted man who doesn’t understand sarcasm, the leader of a pirate gang, and a talking raccoon and tree. On paper, it may not seem like a good idea to put these oddities on screen but their films have drawn critical acclaim and box office success.
The quote comes from near the end of the film. Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) had just defeated his “god” of a father, which leads to the planet self-destructing. Yondu (played by Michael Rooker), the space pirate who actually raised Peter in order to protect him from his biological father, manages to save him by flying them into space. He does deliver the quote before expiring from the harshness of outer space.
Geek wisdom: Being a father isn’t just siring a child. Being a father also means being their for the child you created. A real father will make the effort to do right by their children.
From: Forrest Gump
Who said it?: Forrest Gump
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the very quotable film from 1994 film, Forrest Gump. Based on the book of the same name, Forrest Gump is a person of low IQ but, despite his apparent handicap, he proceeds to go on different new adventures and meet people who would go on to make history, making his life one of the most fulfilling ones ever.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. Forrest (played by Tom Hanks) gets a visit from his childhood friend and longtime crush Jenny (played by Robin Wright). Jenny seems to be trying to get away from something painful so Forrest invites her to stay to live with her. After watching TV, Jenny tells Forrest she’s going to bed. Before she makes it up the stairs, Forrest abruptly proposes to Jenny but she declines because she won’t be good for him. This leaves Forrest confused as he instinctively knows of Jenny’s true feelings. This is about when he delivers the quote before leaving the house.
Geek wisdom: There are actually two meanings for this week’s quote. The first one deals with knowing what love is. Love is nothing we can really “learn.” It’s something we feel deep in our gut and we know about this feeling through pure instinct. And anyone can actually fall in love; there is no prerequisite to getting it.
The second piece of Geek Wisdom we can get from the quote has to deal with Jenny’s true feelings for Forrest. Although she does love him, she feels like she doesn’t deserve him. We sometimes deny ourselves of love because we feel we don’t deserve it like Jenny does. But that’s not true. We’re all deserving of love in our life. We just have to be willing to accept it.
From: When Harry Met Sally
Who said it?: Harry Burns
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from When Harry Met Sally, a film about two people, Harry (played by Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) and their somewhat long “on and off” relationship. It has become one of the most beloved movies of all time. Although the film has become more memorable because of the “I’ll have what she’s having” quote, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any more beloved saying from the film
The quote actually comes from the very end of the film. During a New Year party, Sally Albright (played by Meg Ryan) decides to leave early as she’s depressed her friendship with Harry Burns (played by Billy Crystal) had just ended. However, just before Sally leaves, Harry rushes in and declares his love for her. Sally thinks that Harry is just saying that because he feels lonely as it’s New Year’s Eve. Harry then tells Sally about all her little quirks she makes and how he loves her even more because of them before delivering the quote.
Geek wisdom: We all like to dance around our feeling and keep them bottled up inside. We can sometimes be too scared to express our love for someone else for fear of rejection or being shunned. However, the more you delay telling that person you love someone, the more you are going to be missing out on actually being with them.
Who said it?: Herbert West
The story behind the quote: As it’s Halloween, it’s only fitting that we use a horror movie quote. Which is why this week’s quote comes from the cult classic horror-comedy film, Re-Animator. The original film was based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft and has spawned two sequels.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. Herbert West (played by Jeffrey Combs) has managed to track down one of his re-animated corpses, Dr. Carl Hill, who has managed to steal his reagent, the chemical compound that can raise the dead. Dr. Carl Hill, despite being dead and essentially has to carry his own severed head around, still wants to publish West’s research as his own. This is when West informs him that no one will believe him because of his current headless state.
Geek wisdom: We all have some kind of status in our life and, sometimes, it can be hard to be taken seriously because of it. We can be overlooked simply because of how people perceive us. This does mean we can either be underestimated or overestimated. It’s up to us to prove what we can do, however, and not let them say what it is.
Oh, and, if you’re a reanimated talking head that’s trying to take credit for creating a formula that can bring the dead back to life, don’t be a jerk and steal someone’s work.
From: Blade Runner
Who said it?: Roy Batty
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Ridley Scott cult classic, Blade Runner. The film is all about a man named Rick Deckard, the titular Blade Runner of this story, and his search for four rogue Replicants who have made it to Earth. The film didn’t actually do all that well when it was released in 1982 as most critics felt the pace of the film was too slow. However, as the film gained cult status due to its incredibly deep story and Ridley Scott’s beautiful vision of a gritty future, the film has gained more notoriety and has influenced many directors of today.
The quote actually from the end of the film as Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) had just saved Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) from falling off a building. Realizing that he is dying due to the nature of Replicants having short life spans, Batty laments on the experiences he had accumulated and delivers what is now known as the “tears in rain” monologue, in a sense, proving that he does have a soul and human.
Geek wisdom: A huge part of what makes us human is our experiences in life. These collective experiences are all that help form our very unique individuality. We are all interconnected by these experiences but we may not feel the same way or experience them the same way. That doesn’t make them any less significant, though, as they have meaning to you or someone else.
Ultimately, however, when we do leave this mortal coil, those experiences will be lost forever. This is why we have to experience as much of living as we can while possible.
From: Blade Runner
Who said it?: Gaff
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the neo-noir film Blade Runner. Although it wasn’t a box office hit when it was released in 1982, Blade Runner has achieved cult status thanks to the incredibly creative world that Ridley Scott created for the film. The story follows one of the titular Blade Runners named Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) and his task to hunt down four rogue replicants, artificial humans, who have traveled to Earth in an attempt to lengthen their short lifespans.
The quote comes from the climax of the film. After one of the replicants Deckard was contracted to “retire” actually saves his life, one of the Blade Runner’s friends, Gaff (played by Edward James Olmos), appears in front of him. They have some banter, hinting that the job is finished and that Deckard might retire as a Blade Runner. Gaff then tosses Deckard a gun and then reminds him of Rachael, the replicant in his apartment. He turns and walks away but stops to deliver the quote.
Geek wisdom: Whether you’re a replicant or an actual human, life is just too short. As life is fleeting, you not only have to enjoy it as much as possible, this also means you only have a scant few years to make your mark in history. Try to live live to its fullest.
From: The Room (2003)
Who said it?: Johnny
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from “the Citizen Kane of bad movies,” The Room. Written, directed and produced by the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau, the movie is about a love triangle between Johnny (played by Tommy Wiseau himself), his fiancee Lisa and his best friend, Mark. At least, that’s what I’ve been able to piece together as The Room is generally a mess of unrelated stories and plot points, some of which are never addressed or discussed in the film.
The quote comes from the infamous rooftop scene where Johnny bursts in, upset because, apparently, Lisa claims that he hit her. However, his anger soon vaporizes to greet Mark who… likes to hang out on the roof, I guess?
Geek wisdom: No matter how upset or mad you are, always try to make an effort to be cordial to the people around you. Even if you are upset about something, you have no right to take it out on anyone else. Even Johnny knew that and made sure to greet Mark once he saw him.
From: Batman (1989)
Who said it?: Jack/Joker
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Tim Burton’s first take on Batman way back in 1989. The movie was a smash hit and, believe it or not, shed the “campy” mystique mainstream audiences associated with the character thanks to the (still rather wonderful) Batman live-action television series left. It made general audiences aware of Batman’s original dark roots and the movie lent a hand to the revival of superhero films.
The quote actually is mentioned several times throughout the film and can be considered to be Jack Napier/The Joker’s (played by Jack Nicholson) catchphrase. In one memorable instance, when confronted by Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) while in Vicki Vale’s (played by Kim Basigner) apartment, he delivers the quote and explains that he just likes how the phrase sounds.
Geek wisdom: Although Jack/Joker says it doesn’t really mean anything, there is a way to interpret the quote to have a deeper meaning. Essentially, The Joker delivers the catchphrase to anyone he’s about to kill. This could be his way of asking them if they ever tempted fate and did something so dangerous that their life may be threatened.
While it may be sometimes exhilarating to do something death defying, it may sometimes be better not to, especially if there is a chance of perishing because of it. You only live once, you know.
From: Ghostbusters (1984)
Genre: Movies, Music
Who said it?: Ray Parker Jr.
The story behind the quote: This quote comes the extremely popular film from 1984, Ghostbusters… sort of. While it wasn’t said in the actual movie, it was sung in the theme song for the film. And it was also sung in another film bearing the same name.
Everyone knows the original iconic Ghostbusters theme song sung by Ray Parker Jr. I mean, the song was just so catchy and memorable at the time and perfectly encapsulated the rather whimsy tone of the movie. The song was actually nominated for an Oscar and reached the number one spot on Billboard for three consecutive weeks.
Of course, when the franchise was rebooted in 2016, they had to find a way to recreate the song to suit modern audiences, which is why they got Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott to remix the song. The iconic lyric (and this week’s quote) obviously had to be written in the song.
Geek wisdom: Use the right tool for the job. Substitutes may do in a pinch but nothing beats the most appropriate equipment for the problem at hand. If you need to hammer a nail, use a hammer if you have one handy. If you need to eliminate ghosts and the supernatural, call the Ghostbusters. It just makes sense.