Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are most famous for giving us one of the most iconic and quotable comedy movies ever made, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. But four years later, they made another movie that is just as quotable – if not more – and while Step Brothers wasn’t ostensibly as successful as Anchorman, it has gained a huge cult following in the decade or so since its release.
There’s often been talk of a sequel, but nothing concrete has come through and it remains a mere possibility. So, in the meantime, here are the 10 Funniest Quotes From Step Brothers.
10 On introductions
“I’m Brennan.” “I’m Dale, but you have to call me Dragon.” “You have to call me Nighthawk.”
You can tell these guys like ‘80s cop shows and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies from the offset based on their chosen monikers. They demand to be called these nicknames (which they’re pretty much never called again) right before the title of the movie appears between them on-screen.
This is an important moment in the movie, because it’s the first meeting of the central duo. At first, they hate each other, but they’ll eventually grow to love each other. That’s sort of foreshadowed here by how much they have in common.
9 On becoming friends
“Listen, I know that we started out as foe. But after that courageous act that you showed me against the one they call Derek, maybe someday we could become friends. Friends who ride majestic, translucent steeds, shooting flaming arrows across the bridge of Hemdale.” “I would follow you into the mists of Avalon, if that’s what you mean.”
At the beginning of Step Brothers, Dale and Brennan hate each other. But then they find a common enemy in Derek, Brennan’s brother who wants to sell their parents’ house and kick them out. As soon as Dale punches Derek in the face, they’re the best of friends.
8 On stepfathers
“Robert better not get in my face...‘cause I’ll drop that motherf**ker!”
It’s not easy to have to get to know a new stepparent. It would be great if everyone could get along and it could be a seamless transition from the old situation into the new situation, but it’s tough.
Of course, it should be a little easier than Brennan makes it, since he’s 40 years old, but his childish response to the situation is what makes the joke of the movie work so well. He expects a series of fights to happen between him and Robert to determine who’s the alpha male.
7 On boats ‘n’ hoes
“Boats ‘n’ hoes, boats ‘n’ hoes / I gotta have me my boats and hoes.”
When Brennan and Dale fail to get hired at any of their joint job interviews, they decide to give up on their pursuit of employment and go out on their own to start a multinational entertainment company called Prestige Worldwide. Their first clients are Huff ‘n’ Doback, their own hip hop duo, whose debut track is “Boats ‘n’ Hoes.”
They shot the music video on Robert’s boat (“Nachos and lemonheads on my dad’s boat / You won’t go down, ‘cause my d**k can float!”) and ended up crashing it into some rocks.
6 On being a dinosaur
“When I was a kid...I wanted to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex more than anything in the world. I made my arms short and I roamed the backyard, I chased the neighborhood cats, I growled and I roared. Everybody knew me and was afraid of me. And one day, my dad said, ‘Bobby, you’re 17. It’s time to throw childish things aside,’ and I said, ‘Okay, Pop.’ But he didn’t really say that, he said, ‘Stop being a f**king dinosaur and get a job.’”
Richard Jenkins doesn’t get many funny lines in Step Brothers. Rather, the humor of Robert’s character comes from his reactions to Dale and Brennan’s antics. But this monologue is hysterical.
5 On being a prisoner
“This house is a f**king prison!” “On Planet Bulls**t!” “In the galaxy of This Sucks Camel D**ks!”
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play Brennan and Dale as the most ungrateful pair of children who ever lived. They’re 40 years old and still get handed everything by their parents, and yet they’re still not happy.
They claim to be prisoners, just because they were grounded and lost their TV privileges for a week after destroying half the house in a “savage fight” that attracted the entire neighborhood’s attention. What’s great about this line is that it takes things a few steps further, possibly with improvisation from the actors.
4 On reputations
“I’ve been called the songbird of my generation.”
Will Ferrell sings in a lot of his movies. In The Other Guys, he sings that depressing song about children getting pinkeye and having their Harry Potter books burned with those guys at the bar. In Elf, he sang a duet with Zooey Deschanel while she was in the shower (and didn’t know he was there).
And in Step Brothers, he sings “Por Ti Volaré” like a genuine opera singer, with backing drums performed by John C. Reilly. His voice does sound like a combination of Fergie and Jesus, to be fair.
3 On threats
“You’re embarrassing yourself, you geriatric f**k! Two things: You keep your liver-spotted hands off my beautiful mother. She’s a saint! And then you sit down and you write Dale and Brennan a check for $10,000. Or I’m gonna shove one of those fake hearing devices so far up your a**, you can hear the sound of your small intestine as it produces s**t!”
Brennan and Dale expect to premiere their “Boats ‘n’ Hoes” video to glowing reviews from everyone at Derek’s birthday dinner, followed by everyone getting out their checkbooks to invest. When that doesn’t happen, Brennan gets a little testy towards Robert.
2 On Shark Week
“Dad, what are you doing? It’s Shark Week!”
Step Brothers was conceived after director Adam McKay saw the hilarious chemistry between Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in his previous movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. So, he came up with a weird, little, absurdist comedy about a pair of 40-year-old men who still live with their parents, and have to live with each other when their parents get married.
While Ferrell is predominantly a comedy guy and Reilly is better known as a dramatic actor, the latter holds his own comedically and has just as many memorable lines and scenes as Ferrell.
1 On living in a house of learned doctors
“You and your mom are hillbillies. This is a house of learned doctors.” “You’re not a doctor. You’re a big, fat, curly-headed f**k!”
The whole bedroom scene on Brennan’s first night in the new house is full of memorable quotes. As it devolves, they start talking about what they’re going to do when the other one falls asleep (“I’m gonna fill a pillowcase full of bars of soap and beat the s**t out of you!”). But it’s Dale’s delusional declaration that he’s a “learned doctor” and Brennan is a “hillbilly” that takes the prize for most memorable quote in the scene.