In the realm of classic action films and romantic comedies, there’s a time and a place for sappy dialogue and groan-inducing one-liners. But sometimes, a cheesy line can put all others to shame – even worse in movies where they feel entirely out of place. They’re not all bad, but even the good ones deserve some recognition.
Here is our list of 10 Cheesy Quotes in Popular Movies.
Back when Ben Affleck was best known for underwhelming romantic comedies, joining forces with director Michael Bay for Armageddon led to some predictable results. Butting heads over his boss’s daughter led to plenty of laughs, but when Affleck was asked to deliver some romance before heading into space to save the world, he swung for the fences, delivering one of the cheesiest lines in his – and Bay’s – entire career.
Not every cheesy movie line has to be a bad one, and Top Gun has plenty to choose from. The classic fighter pilot action movie is filled to the brim with egos, macho rivals, and out of control bromances. But when the film’s hero Maverick and his nemesis Iceman join forces in the final act, their promise to be eachother’s wingman “any time” leaves every eye-rolling moment before in the dust.
The Wedding Singer
It seems every Adam Sandler movie must have a sappy, sentimental moment or two, and The Wedding Singer’s came in the form of a sugary sweet love song. Based on a scene between Sandler and Barrymore earlier in the film, “I Wanna Grow Old With You” is intentionally cheesy and sentimental. Unlike other Sandler films, however, it manages to do justice to the movie’s setting, offering an ending right at home among the sappiest love stories of the 1980s. We’ll allow it.
It’s star Keanu Reeves who gets the most criticism for his dialogue in The Matrix, but he can’t take credit for the cheesiest – that honor goes to Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). When Neo is shot dead inside the digital world, Trinity tells him that he must go on fighting, thanks to a prophecy claiming that “the man she loved” would be The One, and the savior of humanity. In a movie about killer machines, whispering this fact and resurrecting Neo with a kiss (as nearby Machines supply fireworks in the background) is overkill, to say the least.
As an action star of the 1980s and ’90s, Sylvester Stallone spoke too many groan-inducing punchlines to count. From incredibly cool to downright corny, most can be forgiven (Rocky, Rambo, Over the Top, just to name a few). But when playing the policeman, judge, and executioner star of Judge Dredd, Stallone turned the motto of a dystopic police state into a laughable catchphrase so cheesy, he should have locked himself up.
Thankfully, Karl Urban would deliver the line as intended in 2012’s Dredd; a series reboot that finally gave fans the Judge they’d been waiting for.
As Good as it Gets
This romantic comedy gets singled out for one of the sappier lines delivered by Jack Nicholson, explaining that Helen Hunt’s character “makes him want to be a better man.” But in the context of the story and the scene, that line actually makes sense. The same can’t be said for the quote that appears not long after. A beautiful woman inspiring Greg Kinnear’s scarred artist to pick up pencil and paper is believable, but his compliment – “You’re why cavemen chiseled on walls” – is too manufactured and cheesy for ANY human being to deliver with a straight face.
Hugh Jackman’s role as medieval monster-hunter Van Helsing wasn’t quite as well-polished as his blockbuster fans hoped for, in the end, hoping to cash in on his fame and the sudden surge of supernatural action films in general. But the movie’s ending puts nearly any “cheesy” movie moment to shame. When his leading lady (Kate Beckinsale) dies in his werewolf arms, Van Helsing’s werewolf-to-human howl is impossible to take seriously. When the following funeral scene saw her spirit reunited with her deceased family – shedding a single heavenly tear for good measure – took Van Helsing from underwhelming to ridiculous.
The Fast & The Furious
To prove just how unpredictable and potentially volatile street racer Dominic Toretto really is, The Fast & The Furious saw him confess to living his life “a quarter mile at a time,” and forgetting his responsibilities and loved ones when going head-to-head with a fellow racer. Aside from the painfully forced racing reference that comes completely out of nowhere, it doesn’t even seem accurate. Future films in the Fast & Furious series would would show that Dom cared fairly little about racing, traveling around the globe to defend his family and friends – the things that really mattered to him. Apparently, the filmmakers loved this cheesy catchphrase too much to care.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Of all the Star Wars prequels, it was the third and final that fans most eagerly awaited, promised to see Anakin Skywalker long-awaited transformation into Darth Vader. It’s hard to forget the scars and lost limbs delivered at the hands of his former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, which would make him rely on his famous armor and helmet just to keep him alive. Anakin’s shift to the Dark Side was completed when he learned that his wife and children had been lost – letting out one of the cheesiest screams in movie history as a result.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Fans made their feelings about the fourth Indiana Jones movie known almost immediately, criticizing the overused CGI effects, the ‘alien twist’ ending, and the reveal that irritable 1950s greaser ‘Mutt Williams’ (Shia LaBeouf) was really Indy’s son, Henry Jones III. Ending the film with a wedding so sweet it gave longtime fans a toothache, Harrison Ford and LaBeouf put the final nail in the coffin with the film’s cheesiest line and moment of all.
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