In 2007, Superbad became an instant comedy classic, lauded by critics for balancing unabashedly lewd humor with genuine heart and engaging storytelling. The movie is full of memorable quotes, from one-liners like, “I am McLovin!” to longer monologues about separation anxiety and male-on-male love. This is partly due to the fact that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg began writing the movie when they were 13, and continued revising the script until it got made when they were in their twenties.
There’s something funny in every scene – in near enough every line, actually. So, here are the most hilarious ones of them all.
10 On Friends' Anecdotes
“That’s the coolest f**king story I’ve ever heard in my entire life! That’s insane. Is it...Can I hear it again? Do you have time?”
When Fogell comes into Seth and Evan’s home-ec class, he’s all excited to tell them a story. Then he proceeds to tell them about the most insignificant non-event of his day. He was walking down the hallway behind the girl he likes, staring at her underwear, and then when she noticed him, he told her what time it was. Jonah Hill plays Seth’s overtly sarcastic and overenthusiastic response to Fogell’s anecdote in the most hilariously over-the-top way.
9 On Blocking
“McLovin’s our friend! We should be guiding... not blocking...”
When Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg first started working on their screenplay for Superbad as a pair of 13-year-olds growing up in Canada, Rogen intended to play the lead role of Seth (the character named after him). But by the time producer Judd Apatow bought the script and got it into production, Rogen was in his late twenties, and therefore too old to play the teenage Seth. So, that role went to Jonah Hill and Rogen instead played the cop character Officer Michaels opposite Bill Hader’s Officer Slater.
8 On Childhood Hobbies
“I kinda had this problem. Something like 8% of kids do it, but whatever. For some reason, I don’t know why, I would just kind of sit around all day...and draw pictures of d**ks.”
Michael Cera’s Evan is so bewildered when Jonah Hill’s Seth first tells him about it in the cafeteria. He says, “D**ks...? Like a man d**k?” Seth describes his childhood hobby so nonchalantly, and then tells the story of how one fell off his desk and landed on the foot of the girl Evan now likes. He went to therapists, got banned from eating popsicles – his life was ruined by his sordid habit.
7 On Taking Irrelevant Classes
“I don’t wanna sit here alone, cooking... – no offense – and I just think that I don’t ever need to cook tiramisu. When am I gonna need to cook tiramisu? Am I gonna be a chef? No!”
Anyone who’s ever been to high school knows that most of the classes are completely irrelevant. If it’s not going to be your future career, there’s no real-world application for any of it. Unless you’re going to be an engineer, there’s pretty much no need to learn math. Unless you’re going to be a cartographer, there’s no need to learn geography. And unless you’re going to be a chef, there’s no need to learn home-ec. That’s what Jonah Hill’s Seth points out here as he tears into his teacher in a home-ec class.
6 On The Prime Suspect
“So, we’ve got an African Jew wearing a hoodie...”
Superbad fans probably wouldn’t object to a full Naked Gun-style movie spun off from Seth Rogen and Bill Hader’s cop characters, Officer Michaels and Officer Slater. They bumble their way through questioning the witnesses of the liquor store robbery as they misunderstand everything the cashier tells them about the suspect.
5 On Breast Reduction Surgery
“I heard she got breast reduction surgery.”
“What? That’s like slapping God across the face for giving you a beautiful gift.”
“She had back problems, man.”
Not only does this little snippet of conversation shed light on the chauvinistic and sex-obsessed nature of teenage boys, it also points out that women’s whole lives don’t revolve around being attractive to men. Seth says God blessed this girl with a “gift” by giving her large breasts for guys to ogle, but Evan counters that she actually had back problems as a result of them. Seth later refers to the girl’s cosmetically reduced breasts as “warlocks” and they chase her down the street to get a look at them, so this is hardly feminist cinema – but it is a realistic depiction of teenage boys.
4 On Getting Caught By The Police
“Prepare to be f**ked by the long d**k of the law!”
In the police community, there’s an oft-quoted adage that uses the phrase “the long arm of the law” to refer to law enforcement institutions cracking down on criminals. But since we all know what kind of jokes Seth Rogen likes to make, when he plays a cop, he doesn’t talk about “the long arm of the law” – he talks about this instead. And not only that; he puts the metaphor into play with some more colorful imagery. Remember, he’s talking to teenagers when he says this.
3 On Making Friends
“So, you guys on MySpace, or...?”
Joe Lo Truglio is now, of course, best known for playing Charles Boyle on Brooklyn Nine-Nine – a lovable, innocent, wholesome character. But his role in Superbad shows that he can play a total creep just as well. He hits Seth with his car, then offers him a measly $7 to keep him from going to the cops. When that’s not enough, he invites them to a party at his best friend’s house. As they drive to the party, this grown man casually asks the teenagers in his car, “So, you guys on MySpace, or...?”
2 On Age
“Old enough...to party.”
Despite Fogell’s best efforts to convince the cashier at the liquor store he’s over 21, the store is robbed as he hands over his ID. So, there was no need for him to tell her, as she scanned a pack of beers, “I love that stuff. Been drinking it for years. I heard they recently decided to add more hops to it.”
The cops show up anyway and ask him for his name and identification. He keeps up the lie, saying his name is McLovin. When they ask him for his age, he says he’s “old enough.” They ask, “Old enough for what?” and he, perfectly, says, “To party.”
1 On Fogell’s Fake ID
“It doesn’t even have a first name – it just says McLovin!”
Fogell was supposed to get his fake ID during lunch and he was nowhere to be found. So, Seth and Evan spend the afternoon thinking he flaked out and they won’t be able to come through on their promise to Jules. But then he turns up at the end of the day and shows them his ID – which just says “McLovin” on it. Evan, with Michael Cera’s pitch-perfect delivery, says, “One name? What are you, Seal?”