The mid-2000s were dominated by the Apatow comedy: R-rated laugh riots that were smarter, sweeter, and generally better than their premises would suggest. One of the funniest comedies of that era was Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the brilliant romantic comedy starring Jason Segel as a guy who gets dumped by a TV star, goes to Hawaii to get over her, and finds that she’s staying at the same resort with her new rock star boyfriend.
He then finds a new love interest in a hotel employee, played by Mila Kunis. Here are the 10 Most Hilarious Quotes From Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
10 “When life hands you lemons, just say, ‘F**k the lemons,’ and bail.”
When Peter goes down to the beach to take a surfing lesson, he meets the instructor, played by the brilliant Paul Rudd back in his pre-Quantum Realm days. Peter asks, “Are you Chuck?” and the instructor says, “Oh, man, you know, they won’t change that flyer. That’s my mainland name. My Hawaiian name is Kunu.”
Peter apologizes and asks, “Does Kunu have some, like, cool Hawaiian meaning?” and Kunu simply says, “It means Chuck.” Rudd is hilarious as ever in the role. He’s full of quasi-existential musings like, “When life hands you lemons, just say, ‘F**k the lemons,’ and bail.”
9 “I was going to listen to your CD, but then I just went on living my life.”
Jonah Hill and Russell Brand had such great chemistry in Forgetting Sarah Marshall that they were given their own spin-off called Get Him to the Greek. Brand plays the same rock star character, Aldous Snow, in both movies, but Hill plays two different characters, both equally obsessed with Aldous.
In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he plays an aspiring musician and hotel employee named Matthew who gives Aldous his demo CD. Later in the movie, he asks Aldous if he listened to the demo and Aldous says, “Oh, I was going to listen to your CD, but then I just went on living my life.”
8 “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Yeah, b***h!”
Early in the movie’s plot, Peter is feeling bummed out about the girl who just broke up with him being at the same resort as him with a new lover, so he goes to the bar to get hammered. There, he meets the bartender, Dwayne, who tells him that since he moved to Hawaii from South Central, he is able to name over 200 species of fish.
Peter doesn’t believe he can, so he starts rattling them off: “Ghost piperfish, grill fish, goaler fish, grouper fish, greenback...” Jack McBrayer’s character asks him, “What’s the state fish of Hawaii?” and Dwayne says, “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Yeah, b***h!” Roughly translated, the name “humuhumunukunukuapua’a” means “fish with a snout like a pig.”
7 “I saw him beat up a guy with a starfish...That guy was me.”
Although Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a comedy with an overall light tone, it’s not without its dark moments. For example, when Peter and Rachel are talking on the beach and her ex shows up and punches Peter in the face. That scene is tense.
Later, talking to Dwayne and Kunu, Peter says, “Did you see her ex-boyfriend?! I mean, he is ridiculous!” The infinitely zen Dwayne simply says, “Who, Greg? I love Greg, man.” But Kunu says, “I saw him beat up a guy with a starfish.” Peter doesn’t believe him, saying, “Okay, that’s just ridiculous,” but then Kunu says, “That guy was me.”
6 “Well, I would love to sell you some weed, Jeremy, but I’m at my f**king job right now.”
Jonah Hill never fails to get big laughs when he appears in a comedy, even if it’s just in a seemingly insignificant supporting role.
In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hill reduces the audience to hysterics the second we meet his character, Matthew, speaking to his friend on the phone at work: “Well, I would love to sell you some weed, Jeremy, but I’m at my f**king job right now. Obviously, because you called me at work, you know that I’m at my place of work. So, I can’t just leave here and sell you some weed. I can sell you some weed when I’m done.”
5 “I’ve lost a shoe...It’s, like, this one’s fellow.”
When Peter first realizes that Sarah is at the hotel he’s staying at with her new boyfriend, none other than rock god Aldous Snow, Aldous undercuts the tension in the room by rambling about his shoe: “I’ve lost a shoe."
Have you seen it anywhere? It’s like this one, but obviously, it’s, um, the opposite of, um...” Then he notices Rachel isn’t paying attention and says, “Excuse me, Missus?” When Rachel turns to listen to him, he starts again: “I’ve lost a shoe. It’s like this one. It’s, like, this one’s fellow. Sort of like the exact opposite of this one, in fact. Not, like, an evil version, but just, you know, a shoe, like this, but for the other foot. Otherwise, I’d have two...” and then it just sort of tapers out.
4 “There’s so few personal shoppers and pet therapists. Gosh, it’s such a hard life.”
One of the most hilarious, yet awkward scenes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the dinner scene where Peter and Rachel reluctantly agree to join Sarah and Aldous at their table. Suffice to say, things get pretty tense.
At one point, Peter says, “I love Hawaii,” and Rachel, who lives there, says, “It’s good, huh?” A jealous Sarah starts passive-aggressively saying, “Yeah, it’s nice, but I think for like a week, tops. Any more than that and I know I’d go crazy, because I think that Hawaii is a place to escape for people who can’t deal with the real world.” Then Rachel, equally passive-aggressively, says, “Yeah, you know, there’s so few personal shoppers and pet therapists. Gosh, it’s such a hard life.”
3 “You sound like you’re from London!”
Jason Segel wrote the screenplay for Forgetting Sarah Marshall as a starring vehicle for himself and producer Judd Apatow, who gave Segel his start on the short-lived, yet excellent TV dramedy Freaks and Geeks, helped to shepherd it to the screen. As with all Apatow comedies, there’s evidence of some improvisation in the dialogue.
Some of it seems scripted, but some of it seems spontaneous. An example of this is when Aldous washes up on the shore with coral jammed in his bloody leg. He tells Kunu to call someone to help him and Kunu simply says, “You sound like you’re from London!”
2 “I’m gonna get herpes just from sitting on this couch!”
Bill Hader is always hilarious, so it was no surprise when his turn as Peter’s stepbrother Brian in Forgetting Sarah Marshall was a series of unforgettable one-liners, delivered with the perfect comic timing.
When we first meet him, he’s at a nightclub, trying to get Peter back out onto the dating scene. Brian says, “We don’t hang out in places like this, Liz and I. Why’d you take me here? This place smells like strippers’ perfume. I’m gonna get herpes just from sitting on this couch!” Their biggest conflict is their different lifestyles. Peter is a showbiz guy with a famous ex, while Brian is a normal guy in a stable, regular, long-term relationship with a woman named Liz.
1 “This guy is like Gandhi, but better. He likes puppets.”
When Rachel breaks things off with Peter after he almost gets back together with Sarah, Dwayne tries to convince her to take him back: “He refused a b*****b from his ex-girlfriend, mid-b*****b! Do you know what that’s like for a man?! It’s called blue balls, Rachel.
This guy is like Gandhi, but better. He likes puppets. I love puppets!” Gandhi might have liked puppets, for all we know, but Peter Bretter definitely likes puppets. He wrote and directed his own puppet show – a rock opera based on Dracula called A Taste for Love – and he played a song for Rachel at a bar in Hawaii.