“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”
—Sam Levenson

The Movie Gaffers Quiz

We’ve all seen movie credits for gaffers, those fine professionals in charge of lighting. But it’s time we celebrated the gaffers in front of the camera. We don’t mean the actors’ bloopers or the continuity errors; countless websites track those. We’re referring to the characters’ gaffes. See if you can match the gaffe with the movie:

1. Charlie runs into John, a university chum he hasn’t seen for a while.
Charlie: How’s your gorgeous girlfriend?
John: She’s no longer my girlfriend.
Charlie: Ah, dear. I wouldn’t get too gloomy about it. Rumor has it she never stopped bonking Toby de Lisle in case you didn’t work out.
John: She is now my wife.
Charlie: Excellent. Congratulations. Excuse me.

2. The tarts-and-vicars theme for the lawn party has been cancelled, but not all the guests have been informed. Una, the hostess, tries to soothe a guest dressed up as a Playboy Bunny.
Una: Don’t worry. You’re not the only one. This is Penny. Geoffrey didn’t get in touch with her, either.
Penny: I’m sorry?
Una: I was just saying Geoffrey didn’t contact you, either, to tell you that the tarts-and-vicars concept had gone out of the window.
Penny: Oh, yes, he did.
Una: Oh, right. Lovely blouse. Very exotic.

3. Frederick is carrying Inga up the steps of a castle when he notices large, ornate doorknockers.
Frederick: What knockers!
Inga (blushing): Oh! Thank you, Doctor!

4. Two teammates are discussing the name of their bobsled.
Sanka Coffie: So what should we call her?
Junior Bevill: How about Tallulah?
Sanka Coffie: Tallulah? Sounds like a two-dollar hooker. Where did you come up with that?
Junior Bevill: It’s my mother’s name.

5. A king is standing with his only son in the turret of a castle.
King (gesturing toward the window): “Son, one day all this will be yours.”
Daft Prince: “What, the curtains?”

6. An absent-mind professor enters a ballroom, determined to impress a potential benefactor. He sees a smartly dressed man advancing toward him and holds out his hand.
Howard: Mr. Larrabee, it’s a privilege to meet you. I’m Dr. Howard Bannister.
Man: And I’m your headwaiter, Rudy.

7. A minister is performing his first wedding ceremony, and he asks the groom to repeat after him.
Minister: I do take thee, Lydia Jane Hibbott...
Groom: I do take thee, Lydia Jane Hibbott...
Minister: To be my awful wedded wife.
Groom: To be my lawful wedded wife.
Minister: That’s ri... That’s right. May Almighty God bless you all. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spigot.

8. One man approaches another at a gathering.
Mr. Blake: Take a look at the dizzy old gal with the goat.
Mr. Bullock: I’ve had to look at her for 20 years—that’s Mrs. Bullock!
Mr. Blake: I’m terribly sorry!
Mr. Bullock: How do you think I feel?

9. A young man posing as a journalist is forced to interview actors about a film he hasn’t seen.
William: Did you identify with the character you were playing?
Italian Actor (through an interpreter): No.
William: Ah. Why not?
Italian Actor: Because he is a psychopathic flesh-eating robot.

10. A police lieutenant enters a shop and approaches the well-endowed female clerk standing behind the counter.
Shop Clerk: Is this some kind of bust?
Police Lieutenant: Well, it’s very impressive, yes, but we need to ask you a few questions.

11. A beleaguered man is being quizzed by his fiancée about his recent behavior.
Eunice: I’m not looking for romance, Howard.
Howard: Oh?
Eunice: No, I’m looking for something more important than that, something stronger. As the years go by, romance fades and something else takes its place. Do you know what that is?
Howard: Senility?
Eunice: Trust!
Howard: That’s what I meant.

12. A young woman calls her solicitor boyfriend at work.
Woman: It’s me. Just wondered how you are.
Boyfriend: I’m fine, thanks. Everything all right with you?
Woman: Fine, though, er, I’ve just had a rather graphic shag flashback, and you do have a genuinely gorgeous bottom.
Boyfriend: Right, well, thank you. I’m actually with the Mexican ambassador just at the moment and the head of Amnesty lnternational and the Undersecretary for Trade and lndustry. And you’re on speakerphone.

13. A knight encounters a crowd of villagers preparing to burn a woman at the stake for being a witch.
Knight: Why do you think she is a witch?
Villager: She turned me into a newt!
Knight: A newt?
Villager, after surveying himself and looking a bit sheepish: I got better.

14. A new employee at a television studio strikes up a conversation with an older man who is watching the taping of a children’s show. New Employee: They should have a disclaimer that says “Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery While Watching This Show.” Incredible. This guy used to put me to sleep when I was a kid. Amazing. He has the warmth of a snow pea. He makes Mister Rogers look like Mick Jagger. What kind of idiot kept this guy on the air of twenty-five years?
New Acquaintance: Me.

15. A woman whose kitchen is haunted has sought the professional services of a parapsychologist who finds her very attractive.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I’ll take Miss Barret back to her apartment and check her out.
[She looks up, confused]
Dr. Peter Venkman: Uh, I’ll go check out Miss Barret’s apartment.

16. A man addresses a doctor during a crisis.
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Dr. Rumack: I am serious—and don’t call me Shirley!

17. The year is 1955, and a young man has just summoned the courage to approach a young woman in a diner.
George McFly: Lorraine, my density has bought me to you.
Lorraine Baines: What?
George McFly: Oh, what I meant to say was…
Lorraine Baines: Wait a minute, don’t I know you from somewhere?
George McFly: Yes. Yes. I’m George, George McFly. I’m your density. I mean…your destiny.

18. An British writer has been studying Portuguese in order to communicate with the woman he secretly loves. He tracks her down in Portugal and proposes to her in front of her family:
British writer [in Portuguese]: Beautiful Aurelia, I’ve come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person because I hardly knows you but sometimes things are so transparency, they don’t need evidential proof. And I will inhabit here, or you can inhabit with me in England.
Aurelia’s sister: Definitely go for England, girl. You’ll meet Prince William, then you can marry him instead.

Answers to The Movie Gaffers Quiz

1. Four Weddings and a Funeral
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary
3. Young Frankenstein
4. Cool Runnings
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
6. What’s Up, Doc?
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral
8. My Man Godfrey
9. Notting Hill
10. The Naked Gun 2-1/2, The Smell of Fear
11. What’s Up, Doc?
12. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
14. Mrs. Doubtfire
15. Ghostbusters
16. Airplane
17. Back to the Future
18. Love Actually

You’ll notice that we’ve repeated some movies. That’s because some flicks have an especially high Gaffability Index. If you have suggestions for other gaffe-revealing snippets of dialogue, please email us at

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