There are some movies that can be instantly identified by just one striking word from their scripts. “Eugoogolizer” (from “Zoolander” in 2001) and “precious” (from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) come to mind.
But there’s a whole other group that can be just as quickly identified by a single one-word line of film dialogue. Now that makes them really memorable!
Here are seven to get you started. What other one-word movie lines are so unique that you can immediately identify the film? Tell me in the comments section below.
5. “Schwing!” From “Wayne’s World.” (1992) One of the great movies of the ‘90s — not! Wayne and Garth, however, were responsible for some of the most overused phrases of the decade, including “Schwing!” and “Not!” and the nearly existential exchange: “No way.” “Way!”
4. “Ditto.” From “Ghost.” (1990) Patrick Swayze’s recent death makes this one-liner top of mind. Entertainment writer Dave Andrews sums up the power of the quote (at about the 3:15 mark in the film clip) nicely here (No. 2 on his list).
3. “Fiddle-dee-dee.” From “Gone With the Wind.” (1939) The Civil War plays second-fiddle-dee-dee to Scarlett O’Hara’s complicated love life. And that, of course, is George (TV’s Superman) Reeves on the right in this scene.
2. “Rosebud.” From “Citizen Kane.” (1941) This YouTube clip bills this as “the most famous single word in movie history.” That may be, but I can’t mention “Rosebud” without highlighting the magnificent 1962 “Rosebud” episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in which Rob Petrie has the tough job of explaining how his son, Richie, wound up with that distinctive middle name.
*Spoiler alert: If you don’t know the answer and don’t want the surprise wrecked until you get a chance to watch the episode here, don’t read the last paragraph of this post.
Spoiler: Richie Petrie ends up with the middle name Rosebud as a compromise acronym incorporating all the squabbling relatives’ suggested names: Robert, Oscar, Sam, Edward, Benjamin and Ulysses David.