Ferris Bueller’s Day Off isn’t simply the greatest teenage wish-fulfillment fantasy movie ever conceived (but it is that as well), it’s also a film with a lot to say about the last days of reckless youth and how the mysterious abyss of adulthood looks from the edge. And in that this is a John Hughes’ film, those “things” are said in a charming and hilarious way, so why not take a look back at 12 of the best lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as we near its 30th Anniversary.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris
The beating philosophical heart of this film and some great life advice. Particularly in this era where multiple techo-distractions pull our heads down too often. But not the one you’re on right now while you read this. That one is cool. Keep going, look around later. There’s my personal quote.
“Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?” — Ben Stein
Imagine a world where those words were never said by Ben Stein. I’m sure the movie would have been fine — as long as you’ve got parade singing and Grace the school receptionist, you’re golden — but what of Stein’s career? Maybe there’s no Wonder Years guest spot and maybe Win Ben Stein’s Money doesn’t happen. Then there’s no Jimmy Kimmel and no Guillermo. The butterfly effect is real.
“Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.” — Ferris
What about absenteeism?
“[singing] When Cameron was in Egypt’s land… let my Cameron go!” — Cameron
A sublime musical moment that is somewhat overshadowed by the part in the middle with the street dancers and the blaring Young Beatles jam.
“The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion.” — Cameron
“It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage.” — Ferris
Can we talk about how much of a dick Ferris is to his friend at the start?
“I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.” — Cameron
Ferris is everyone’s hero, but Cameron is the most interesting character in the film. In the above clip, he finally decides to stand up for himself and rage against his father’s frigid ways… and that once-choice ride. Did Cameron stick to his guns, or did he marry the first girl who slept with him? I’m not advocating a sequel, but I’d actually like to see 50-year-old Cameron. 50-year-old Ferris? He’s probably a car salesman. Best to let the myth continue to flourish on that one.
“Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportsos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.” — Grace
Grace has her finger on the pulse of the school.
“The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it. A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a dead lock, but, uh… you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor’s office. That’s worse than school.” — Ferris
Admit it, you’ve tried some of these tips to get out of school. I personally ignored Feris’ advice about the fake fever — tried a lamp, overshot the mark. Don’t try any of these tips.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we’d like to play a little tune for you. It’s one of my personal favorites and I’d like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn’t think he’s seen anything good today – Cameron Frye, this one’s for you.” — Ferris
This is the moment when Ferris Bueller ascended from smart-ass hero to rebel God. All credit to John Hughes for swinging for the fences. This scene could have taken people right out of the movie, but instead it became an iconic film’s most iconic moment.
“I weep for the future.” — Snooty/Snotty restaurant guy
Once you hit 30, this actually becomes the most repeated line in the film.
“Hey batta batta batta hey batta batta batta SWING batta!” — Cameron
People will stare at you if you do this at a baseball game.
“It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” — Ferris
I told you Ferris was built to be a car salesman.
The Ferris Bueller 30th Anniversary Edition is available on Digital HD now.