John Hughes, the man responsible for capturing teen angst with more humor than anyone else in the 1980s, has died, and as a tribute, I offer up sixteen of my favorite quotes from the man who gave us “Sixteen Candles.” Your mileage with these selections may vary, particularly since I wanted to pay specific tribute to his writing (if we were limiting ourselves solely to films that he directed, we wouldn’t be able to use “Pretty in Pink” or “Some Kind of Wonderful”), but that’s what the Replies section is for, so don’t be afraid to leave your own favorites below.
1. “I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they’re great… and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn’t enough. You’re out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you’re strung out on bedspreads Ken. That’s serious.” – Jack Butler (Michael Keaton), “Mr. Mom” (1983)
2. “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun, I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun, we’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah out of your assholes! I gotta be crazy; I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praise Marty Moose! Oh, shit!” – Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)
3. “Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?” – The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall), “Sixteen Candles” (1984)
4. “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?” – Bender (Judd Nelson), “The Breakfast Club” (1985)
5. “How about a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?” – Chet Donnelly (Bill Paxton), “Weird Science” (1985)
6. “I love this woman, and I have to tell her. And if she laughs, she laughs. And if she doesn’t love me, she doesn’t love me. But if I don’t find out…oh, I love her too much.” – Ducky Dale (Jon Cryer), “Pretty in Pink” (1986)
7. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)
8. “I like art, I work in a gas station, my best friend is a tomboy. These things don’t fly too well in the American high school.” – Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz) – “Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
9. “The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth. You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut. If you catch me running off with my mouth, just give me a poke on the chubbs.” Del (John Candy), “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)
10. “In the end, I realized that I took more than I gave, I was trusted more than I trusted, and I was loved more than I loved. And what I was looking for was not to be found but to be made.” – Jake Briggs (Kevin Bacon), “She’s Having A Baby” (1988)
11. “You know what the gourmet here wanted? Hot dogs! You know what they’re made of, Chet? Huh? Lips and assholes!” – Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) “The Great Outdoors” (1988)
12. “Stand me up today, and tomorrow I’ll drive you to school in my robe and pajamas and walk you to your first class. 4:00, okay?” – Buck Russell (John Candy), “Uncle Buck” (1989)
13. “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!” – Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
14. “Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen.” – Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin), “Home Alone” (1990)
15. “Any little fraulein who expects anything more from me than a little bit of pleasure, a little bit of danger, and a great set of pectorals, she’s lookin’ for a fall right on her ass.” – Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley), “Career Opportunities” (1991)
And one to bring it on home…
16. Jake: Happy birthday, Samantha. Make a wish.
Samantha: It already came true.
R.I.P., Mr. Hughes. Thanks…and don’t worry: we won’t forget about you.