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When Adam McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was released in theaters during the summer of 2004, it wasn’t exactly a sensation. Opening the week after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, the comedy managed to make only $28 million its first weekend (good enough for only #2 on the top 10), and by the end of its domestic run it had only made $85 million, good enough for 30th place overall at the end of the year. Other movies with similar numbers, like Ladder 49, Christmas With The Kranks and Along Came Polly have been all but completely forgotten… and yet Anchorman continues to live on.
While Paramount Pictures spent years resisting the idea of an Anchorman sequel due to the first film’s inability to find an audience overseas, the truth is that the film is now considered to be a modern comedy classic. Medium-sized as the movie’s initial audience may have been, it has exponentially grown in size in the nine years since, and it has a cult-like following that can quote exact lines for hours on end.
And it’s that quotability that has allowed the film to permeate through the veins of pop culture over the last decade. Hearing somebody singing about scotchy-scotch-scotch or telling somebody to stay classy is like being able to speak in a secret language – but because of the movie’s increased popularity you can now enjoy that secret language with everybody. It’s an endless tribute to McKay and Will Ferrell, who have an incredible ability to dig out what is funny not only through good writing, but also a great willingness to experiment and try out new things with every take.
Every fan out there has their own very favorite line from the film – one that makes us laugh harder than any other when we’re either rewatching the movie or just thinking about it while driving around. Because it’s hard to nail down the very best quote, however, I’ve decided to collect my 10 favorites.
"I’m in a glass case of emotion!"Much like what video did to the proverbial radio star, cell phones have all but completely eliminated phone booths from the streets of American cities, but thanks to Superman, Doctor Who, Bill and Ted, and Ron Burgundy’s legendary hissy fit about his punted dog, they will forever live on in pop culture.
"It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice."It wasn’t until I first saw Anchorman that I had ever even thought about the idea of drinking milk on a hot day, but thankfully Adam McKay and Will Ferrell did this little experiment and warded me off the idea forever.
"Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast."This line secured its place as one of the most memorable quotes from Anchorman as soon as it became an internet meme, but let’s not let that undercut the quote’s amazing origin. The film’s great fight scene is one of the bits of comedy we’ve seen in the modern era, and this is the perfect punchline.
"I love lamp."Crafting a character as utterly dumb as Brick Tamland is definitely a tightrope walk, as you constantly run the risk of making the character just be stupid instead of funny, but Steve Carell stole the show every time he was on screen in the first Anchorman. His IQ is so low that you occasionally worry that he may forget to keep breathing, but there is real passion within him, as evidenced by this classic line about adoration for an inanimate object.
"They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time."Oh, Brian Fantana. You have nice hair, a cool moustache, you seem to be pretty smooth with the ladies, and you have a pretty kick ass job. But when it comes to the subject of math and fragrance selection, well… let’s just focus on the positive sides of his personality.
"You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair."Baxter is the kind of dog we all want, and not just because he can create peace with bears, eat whole wheels of cheese and poop in the refrigerator. He’s one tough, hard-to-kill son-of-a-bitch, and, as this quote perfectly sums up, knowledgeable beyond his years.
"I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal."Okay yes, this line has been at least somewhat corrupted by cocky, popped-collar douchebags, but thinking back to the original delivery from the movie saves it. Hitting on Veronica brings the true inner-idiot out of Ron, and this awesome line couldn’t explain that much better.
"Great Odin's raven!"As seen in the end credits in the movie, McKay and Ferrell filmed god only knows how many different versions of this reaction shot, all with Ron saying something equally ludicrous, but at the end of the day this was really the only option, and it’s now the perfect thing to say anytime you’re surprised.
"Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina."The great city of San Diego, nestled on the southern coast of California just a few hundred miles away from Los Angeles, was established a full 235 years before the release of Anchorman and yet now whenever the city is mentioned you can’t help but think of Ron Burgundy’s hilarious translation. Fun fact: "A Whale’s Vagina" in German is actually "Vagina eines Wals."
"LOUD NOISES!"Ever been in a room filled with people who are screaming and yelling over each other to the point where it all sounds like deafening nonsense? Well, thanks to Steve Carrell we will forever have the perfect thing to shout that will both make everyone quiet and get a good laugh.
Did we miss your favorite line? Tell us what you think the best quote from Anchorman is in the comments below!