In January, Jason Reitman’s surprise announcement that he was developing a new sequel to his father’s classic supernatural comedy Ghostbusters was met with both excitement and skepticism from the fan base. Sony already tried and failed to reboot the franchise. It was nothing to do with the cast being female; it just wasn’t that good of a movie.
Things are looking promising for the proposed threequel, with terrific actors like Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon being eyed for the leading roles. If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? The 10 Best Quotes From The Ghostbusters Franchise!
10 On the end of the world
“Hi, welcome back to World of the Psychic. I’m Peter Venkman. I’m chatting with my guest: author, lecturer, and psychic Milton Anglund. Milt, your new book is called The End of the World. Now, can you tell us when it’s going to be or do we have to buy the book?”
Ghostbusters II might not be a great movie, but it still has some of the hilarious one-liners that made the original a comedy classic. In the first movie, Dana even joked that Peter acted more like a TV host than a scientist. And then in the sequel, he was hosting a TV show.
9 On your singing voice
“There is no Dana, only Zuul!” “What a lovely singing voice you must have.”
The post-credits sequence of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, which was intended to set up a sequel, had Melissa McCarthy mention Zuul in the same way an MCU post-credits sequence might mention Thanos or Adam Warlock – because that’s what Zuul is to the Ghostbusters universe. He’s the big bad.
In every scene in Ghostbusters, every line sets up a punchline. “There is no Dana, only Zuul!” is an interesting and memorable line in itself, but it sets up Bill Murray to knock ‘em dead with the punchline: “What a lovely singing voice you must have.” Every page of the script has been pored through for potential jokes.
8 On the appeal of Dana
“She’s not my girlfriend. I find her interesting, because she’s a client — and because she sleeps above her covers. Four feet above her covers! She barks! She drools! She claws!”
Frankly, this list could be made up entirely of Peter Venkman quotes, because Bill Murray delivers every line so perfectly. He leans into the ridiculousness of what he’s saying without it becoming overacting – he gets it to just the right level. This line, in which he tries to defend his relationship with Dana, is no different. He always takes it just a few steps further than it needed to go – “She barks! She drools! She claws!” – where the real comedy gold lies.
7 On Mike Hat
“Oh, I don’t have a cat. He’s a dog. His name’s Mike Hat...Well, his full name is Michael Hat.”
Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin is one of the best parts of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. He misdirects the audience a lot with his stupidity, as he asks about what sounds like “my cat,” when he turns out to be talking about his dog, “Mike Hat.” Melissa McCarthy says, “Your dog’s name is Mike Hat?” A bewildered Kristen Wiig says, “Your dog’s name is Mike, last name Hat?” and Kevin replies, “Well, his full name is Michael Hat.”
According to the movie’s co-writer Katie Dippold, Hemsworth improvised the scene: “That whole interview scene was about an hour long when we shot it. Paul [Feig] just shot everything. So much stuff just spiraled. They started talking about whether he could bring his cat to work, and then Chris just started improvising.”
6 On livening up a party
“Does anybody wanna play Parcheesi?”
Rick Moranis has some of the best lines in Ghostbusters. It might just be that he delivers them in such a hilarious way, playing Louis as the quintessential loser – a guy who gets locked out of his own party. Another great Louis moment is when he sees the horned demonic monster crashing his party and simply says, “Okay, who brought the dog?” But it’s his offer to play Parcheesi is quite possibly his funniest moment. It’s his ill-fated attempt to liven up the lame party he’s throwing, and suffice to say, it doesn’t go down well.
5 On hiring Zeddemore
“Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?” “Uh...If there’s a steady paycheck in it? I’ll believe anything you say.”
Despite Ernie Hudson being an iconic part of the franchise, Winston Zeddemore wasn’t in the original line-up of the Ghostbusters. He was hired halfway through the movie after being interviewed by Annie Potts’ secretary character Janine Melnitz. There’s a sly comment to be made about the economy from this quote. The job market is so dire that Zeddemore can’t pick and choose – he’ll take a job that requires him to believe in the Loch Ness Monster.
4 On the truth
“Yes, it’s true. This man has no d**k.”
In the Mayor’s office, as the Ghostbusters and Walter Peck are arguing over whether the Ghostbusters should be allowed to run around New York City, fighting off ghosts, Ray tells the Mayor, “Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by d**kless here.” Then Walter Peck counters, “They caused the explosion!” Dubious, the Mayor asks, “Is this true?” After waiting the perfect amount of time for optimum comedic effect, Bill Murray, as Peter Venkman, says, “Yes, it’s true. This man has no d**k.” It’s a beautifully delivered line.
3 On warm, tingly sensations
“It just makes me feel so warm and tingly inside.” “That’s probably the radiation.”
The 2016 all-female reboot of Ghostbusters didn’t get a lot of love from fans, but there’s a lot of the humor that made the original such a delight in there. Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon make a hysterical double act in the movie, with McKinnon playing the mad scientist and McCarthy playing the straight (wo)man opposite her.
A perfect example of that double act at play is McKinnon getting all flustered by the feelings brought on by the new weapons she’s invented and McCarthy reminding her it’s just dangerous radiation.
2 On the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster
“She says she’s the Gatekeeper. Does that make sense to you?” “Some. I’m with the Keymaster now.” “Oh, we have to get these two together.”
Most of the humor in Ghostbusters comes from the characters reacting to everything within the fictional universe of their own movie. The joke only works because the movie makes fun of itself. They wrote a ridiculous thing that people wouldn’t live through in real life and then populated it with real people who react to the situation accordingly – by pointing out how ridiculous it is. This would later go on to inspire self-referential humor in movies like Anchorman (“That escalated quickly!”) and even Guardians of the Galaxy (“There’s another name you might know me by: Star-Lord.” “Who?” “Star-Lord, man! The legendary outlaw? Guys?”).
1 On paraphrasing Julius Caesar
“We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!”
This is the single greatest quote from any Ghostbusters movie, as it sums up the tone of the movies perfectly. At first, the Ghostbusters were laughed at for suggesting there could be ghosts, and when they turned out to be right, Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman got all cocky and started showboating. The heart of the movie comes from the fact that these are just regular guys who happen to have stumbled into success and are now responsible for saving the world from malevolent supernatural forces. This line exemplifies the “regular guy” angle perfectly.