10 Famous Movie Quotes You Actually Remember Wrong

Archie Fenn
Written By Archie Fenn

Archie is a writer, journalist, and critic from South London. He spends most of his free time (and his work hours) watching and writing about cowboys in space and hip-hop samurai. His parents are very proud of him. You can learn more at archiefenn.com and theinsightfulnerd.com

A well-written line of dialogue can live on in the memories of fans long after the film has finished, and even long after the film fades from relevancy and popularity with these lines gaining a new life of their own, either within circles of friends or on the internet. However, much like a game of Telephone, the wording of these lines can sometimes change after several years, with the incorrect version becoming more popular.

We’re here to set the record straight. Some of these changes are small, like a single word being altered, and some are far bigger. Here are 10 famous movie quotes that you actually remember wrong.

The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate
Image Credit: Rialto Pictures

Anyone over the age of 20 (maybe 25) who considers themselves to be a film fan has said this quote at least once in their life, either mockingly to their group of friends, or even more mockingly to their partner (or seriously to their partner, whatever you’re into). But the line you remember is actually slightly wrong.

The Popular Quote: “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”

The Actual Quote: “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”

Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

This is one of the lengthier examples on this list. However, it does make sense for people to use the more popular, incorrect version when quoting it to friends, as it would feel a little weird blurting out the entire thing.

The Popular Quote: “Greed is good.”

The Actual Quote: “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalyplse Now
Image Credit: United Artists

One of the most iconic lines in any war film, this quote has been copied and spoofed in countless other films and tv series, however, the real quote is actually much longer.

The Popular Quote: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory!”

The Actual Quote: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells like victory.”

Casablanca (1942)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

An older, and slightly less popular line in the 21st Century, however, it doesn’t change how iconic this line was at the time, and how everyone remembers it wrong.

The Popular Quote: “Play it again, Sam.”

The Actual Quote: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Image Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Potentially the most quoted Disney line ever, the iconic line from the Evil Queen is slightly misquoted.

The Popular Quote: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

The Actual Quote: “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry (1971)
Image Credit: The Malpaso Company.

Considering how often this line is spoofed in other shows and movies, its likely that the misquote is actually intentional, considering the real quote is far longer.

The Popular Quote: “Do ya feel lucky, punk?”

The Actual Quote: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Blvd.
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Another classic of Hollywood that people remember slightly differently from reality. The real quote is only slightly longer but actually sounds better than what people often say.

The Popular Quote: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

The Actual Quote: “All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.”

Hondo (1953)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

People often accredit this misquoted John Wayne line to two films, when he actually doesn’t say it in either. While Wayne says something with a similar meaning in Stage Coach, the misquote actually comes from Hondo.

The Popular Quote: “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

The Actual Quote: “A man oughta do what he thinks is best.”

Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Tarzan the Ape Man
Image Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Before Disney’s animated classic, this interpretation of Edgar Rice Burroughs was released and contains such an iconic line, that many people attribute it to the animated version.

The Popular Quote: “Me Tarzan, you Jane.”

The Actual Quote: *pointing* “Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan…”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The most misquoted line in cinema history. The alteration is only slight, but considering so many consider the original trilogy to be among the best science fiction films ever made, it’s hard to see how this one got mixed up.

The Popular Quote: “Luke, I am your father.”

The Actual Quote: “No. I am your father.”

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