Top 10 Food Lines In Film

Hollywood has provided us with any number of memorable food-related moments. The explosive restaurant scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life comes to mind, as does Woody Allen's attempt to drive a lobster from behind a fridge by scaring it with a bowl of clarified butter in Annie Hall. And who could forget Groucho Marx's soliloquy from Animal Crackers: "Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."

In putting this list together, we first eliminated from contention any film specifically about food or restaurants--which means you won't find favorite lines from Ratatouille, Julie & Julia or Alive. Next we excluded alcohol-related bits, including our all-time favorite, Vivien Leigh's "a shot never did a Coke any harm" from A Streetcar Named Desire. Then we began a rigorous winnowing process.

Several great lines failed to make the cut, of course, such as Christopher Guest's Corky St. Clair (Waiting for Guffman) praising a Remains of the Day lunchbox and the famous "leave the gun, take the cannoli" from The Godfather. But we did settle on ten classics.

10. Duck Soup (Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly, to Margaret Dumont)

"I can see you right now in the kitchen, bending over a hot stove. But I can't see the stove."

The setting: Groucho, the president of Fredonia but not an entirely wealthy (or scrupulous) man, is flirting with rich (and rather sizeable) widow Gloria Teasdale, played by Dumont. Groucho is ever the romantic: Can I ask for a lock of your hair? A lock of my hair? You're getting off lucky; I was going to ask for the whole wig.

Finally, he leans back and imagines he and the widow as a married couple. Then utters the top ten line.

Top 10 Food Lines In Film

9. Airplane (Al White and Norman Alexander Gibbs to a flight attendant)

First Jive Dude (Gibbs): "Bet babe, slide a piece a da porter, drink side run th' java."
On-screen translation: I'll have the steak please.
Second Jive Dude (White): "Lookie here, I can dig grease & chompin' on some butter then drag it through da garden."
On-screen translation: I'll have the fish.

These two Hollywood greats will forever be remember for a few brief, but brilliant, Airplane segments--including the one credited with resurrecting Barbara Billingsley's career. Yes, they are speaking a slang that must be translated for, um, certain audiences.

8. Apollo 13 (Bill Paxton as Fred Haise, Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell)

Jim Lovell: "Uh, Houston, we are ready for the beginning of PTC, and I think once we're in that barbecue roll, Jack and I will eat."
Fred Haise: "Hey, I'm hungry."
Jim Lovell: "Are you sure?"
Fred Haise: "I could eat the ass out of a dead rhinoceros."

This dialog occurs before the 'we have a problem' moment. Haise has just puked what remained of his breakfast into a barf bag...although, to be honest, he pulled the bag out a little too late. Stuff is floating all around the cabin, but commander Lovell is unfazed.

7. A Night In Casablanca (Groucho Marx as Ronald Kornblow, to his hotel chef)

"From now on the essence of this hotel will be speed. If a customer asks you for a three-minute egg, give it to him in two minutes. If he asks you for a two-minute egg, give it to him in one minute. If he asks you for a one-minute egg, give him the chicken and let him work it out for himself."

The later Marx Brothers films didn't show the same spunk as Animal Crackers or The Cocoanuts. In fact, it's sometimes difficult to remember such titles as Go West or The Big Store. But they still had a share of memorable lines.  

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