Tim Burton has been the mastermind behind several popular movies, but among his most famous is the 1988 film Beetlejuice. The film stars Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse, a malicious spirit that helps Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) rid their home of the new family that moved in. The film was well-received upon its release, even winning the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Today, the film has survived the test of time, with Keaton’s famous character still being a part of our pop culture. Between the special effects, story, and dialogue, Beetlejuice did a lot of things right. Without further ado, here are The 10 Greatest Lines from Beetlejuice.
10 “LET’S TURN ON THE JUICE AND SEE WHAT SHAKES LOOSE”
With as unpleasant as the Deetzes are, it makes sense why Adam and Barbara would want them out of their home, no matter the cost. Betelgeuse is creepy enough in his human form, but later on in the movie, he transforms into a snake with a giant head to scare the Deetzes.
Right before he goes into the mortal world, he says, “Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose.” The line comes just moments before one of the most iconic scenes in the movie, but the line itself is something you can only imagine from Beetlejuice.
9 “IT’S SHOWTIME”
The characters in Beetlejuice are quick to find out that getting help from Betelgeuse does more harm than good. Unfortunately, Lydia doesn’t have a choice near the end of the film after Otho performs a séance to summon Adam and Barbara. This causes the couple to quickly decay once brought into the mortal world, so Lydia agrees to marry Betelgeuse so that he will save her friends.
After she says “Betelgeuse” for the third time, Betelgeuse stretches out his arms and says, “It’s showtime” as lightning strikes in the background. The line is among the most iconic lines of the film, as well as being extremely quotable.
8 “I’VE SEEN THE EXORCIST ABOUT 167 TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT”
Soon after Barbara and Adam realize they are dead, a new family moves into their home. Living as ghosts, Barbara and Adam want the obnoxious family gone so that they can live in peace. To do so, they hire Betelgeuse, who is advertising himself as a “bio-exorcist.” After saying his name three times, the couple is transported inside Adam’s miniature town, where they look for Betelgeuse.
When they do find him, Barbara asks what his credentials are, to which Betelgeuse replies, “Well, I attended Julliard, I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen The Exorcist about 167 times and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it! Not to mention the fact that you’re talking to a dead guy. Now what do you think? You think I’m qualified?”
7 “I’M THE GHOST WITH THE MOST, BABE”
One of the first times Lydia interacts with Betelgeuse, the character is tanning from the lights on a strip club in Adam’s miniature town. Lydia comes to talk to Betelgeuse and asks if he is a ghost, to which the character replies, “I’m the ghost with the most babe.” Betelgeuse then tries to get Lydia to say his name three times, but he can’t just tell her his name.
The two characters then play charades so that Lydia can figure out his name, which also made for a comedic scene, with Betelgeuse conjuring up a beetle and a carton of orange juice.
6 “NEVER TRUST THE LIVING”
After Betelgeuse is distracted by a strip club, Adam and Barbara go to see their caseworker Juno, who chews them out for their recent decisions. Not only did the couple try to get help from Betelgeuse, but they also got photographed by Lydia and allowed Otho to steal their copy of the Handbook For The Recently Deceased.
Confused on how Otho got their copy of the book, Juno explains, “Never trust the living.” Juno was always quite blunt when she talked with Barbara and Adam, but most of the times, she was right.
5 “I WOULD RATHER TALK ABOUT… DAY-O… DAY-O”
Out of all the scenes in Beetlejuice, the dinner scene featuring the Banana Boat Song is one of the most well-known scenes. The scene comes when Charles invites his business associates over for dinner. The topic of ghosts and the paranormal quickly comes up in conversation, with Lydia explaining that she has seen ghosts in their house.
Delia wants to change the subject and says, “I would rather talk about…Day-O… Day-O.” Catherine O’Hara then lipsyncs the Banana Boat Song by Harry Belafonte as all of the dinner members start dancing uncontrollably. The scene ends with their shrimp dinners turning into hands and grabbing their faces, before throwing them backward.
4 “I MYSELF AM STRANGE AND UNUSUAL”
Winona Ryder is known today for her role of Joyce Byers in Stranger Things, but the actress has been starring in films since the late ‘80s. One of her earliest roles was that of Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice. Lydia was a goth teenager who enjoyed photography and showed a special interest in the afterlife.
Needless to say, she was thrilled when she realized her house had two ghosts living in it. When explaining to Adam and Barbara how she is able to see them, she tells them that the Handbook For The Recently Deceased said that “Live people ignore the strange and unusual,” further revealing, “I myself am strange and unusual.”
3 “THANKS, I’VE BEEN FEELING A LITTLE FLAT”
Since Barbara and Adam had trouble adjusting to being dead, they visit their caseworker named Juno in the Netherworld. They enter a waiting room, where they meet several people who died in horrible ways. They see a smoker who is burned to a crisp, a hunter with a shrunken head, and even a woman cut completely in half.
When it’s time to see Juno, they are called in by a man who looks to have been run over by a semi-truck since he is completely flat. Adam tells him he looks fine, to which the man responds, “Thanks, I’ve been feeling a little flat.”
2 “A LITTLE GASOLINE… BLOWTORCH… NO PROBLEM”
Catherine O’Hara’s character in Beetlejuice is very overdramatic and has a passion for modern art. Not caring what her husband or step-daughter wants, Delia decides to completely redesign their new home. When they first arrive at the Maitlands’ home, Delia and Otho begin spray-painting walls that need to be torn down and thinking of ways to “improve” the house.
At one point Delia says that all she needs is “A little gasoline… blowtorch… no problem.” The character was eccentric, to say the least, and this line is a prime example of that.
1 “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY MILLENNIUM”
After Adam and Barbara realize that Lydia isn’t like the rest of her family, they don’t want Betelgeuse to scare her anymore. There is no reasoning with the spirit, but Adam and Barbara have a slight advantage since they aren’t stuck in Adam’s miniature town.
Trying to force him to listen to her, Barbara picks up the little Betelgeuse with her fingers, but her fingers are pricked after Betelgeuse protrudes spikes from his body. After falling to the ground, he stands back up and says, “Go ahead, make my millennium.” The line is a reference to Clint Eastwood’s line “Go ahead, make my day” from Sudden Impact, which only became even more famous after Beetlejuice parodied it.