It seems hard to imagine, but there was a time when a Saturday Night Live-based film was an uncommon occurrence. However, in 1992, director Penelope Spheeris helped bring Wayne and Garth out of the basement and onto the big screen with Wayne’s World. It was only the second SNL feature film at the time, the first being The Blues Brothers 12 years prior, yet it remains their highest-grossing effort to date and a beloved film. Why? How about a combination of the earnest charm exuded by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, and all of these totally excellent quotes.
“What I’d really love is to do Wayne’s World for a living. It might happen. Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.” – Wayne
Early on, Wayne Campbell addresses the audience with this endearing, yet seemingly unrealistic expectation that foreshadows the movie’s plot. With no real direction in life outside of his beloved cable access show, he laments his lot in life with his trademark optimism and unique way with words.
“I don’t even own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.” -Wayne
As Wayne gives the audience a kind of guided tour through the celebrated nightlife of his suburban home, the first stop is Stan Mikita’s donuts, where he and his friends run into his ex-girlfriend, Stacy (played by Lara Flynn Boyle). Stacy approaches their table after some unintended eye contact where she presents him with an anniversary gift, two months after their breakup.
“Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?” – Garth
When Wayne’s best friend and co-host Garth Algar asks a question that’s hilariously uncomfortable, the scene feels like it could have been a snapshot of any ridiculous moment between any two friends as they hang out on the hood of their car, the Mirthmobile, while staring deeply into the night sky to innocently ponder life’s grand (and… less than grand) mysteries.
“If Benjamin were an ice cream flavor, he’d be pralines and dick.” – Garth
Garth, working to sabotage Benjamin’s nefarious plan, is stopped by Russell, Benjamin’s assistant. While being held at flashlight-point, Garth tries to convince Russell to question his allegiance, calling him ‘Benjamin’s Monkey Boy.’ When Russell pushes back, stating that Benjamin is his friend, Garth offers these helpful words that cause him to defect to the side of our heroes and help save the day.
“Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.” – Wayne
Wayne — feeling threatened by Benjamin’s worldly charm as he constantly seems to apply it to Cassandra, Wayne’s girlfriend — takes it upon himself to learn her native language of Cantonese. When Garth asks him if these types of gestures are leading to intentions of marriage, Wayne quickly shoots the notion down.
“OK… First I’ll access the secret military spy satellite that’s in a geosynchronous orbit over the Midwest. Then, I’ll ID the limo by the vanity plate “MR. BIGGG” and get his approximate position. Then, I’ll reposition the transmitter dish on the remote truck to 17.32 degrees east, hit WESTAR 4 over the Atlantic, bounce the signal down into the Azores, up to COMSAT 6, beam it back to SATCOM 2 transmitter number 137, and down on the dish on the back of Mr. Big’s limo… It’s almost too easy.” – Garth
While a seemingly random interjection, a key element to the humor that was carried over from the original Saturday Night Live sketches were these occasional allusions to Garth’s genius level intelligence, breaking him out of the standard side-kick mold he was often relegated to.
“I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored.” – Wayne
This is the kind of line that Wayne is best remembered for. It’s a simple setup and punchline joke delivered in a quick and unassuming manner that makes it so effective.
“Hi. I’m in Delaware.” – Wayne
The kind of joke that utilizes a type of offbeat humor that isn’t quite cringe-worthy in it’s awkwardness, but plays off the silence in its own margins.
“We fear change.” – Garth
And then there’s this slice of weirdness.
“Will you still love me when I’m in my carbohydrate, sequined-jumpsuit, young-girls-in-white-cotton-panties, waking-up-in-a-pool-of-your-own-vomit, bloated-purple-dead-on-a-toilet phase?” – Wayne
A genuinely romantic scene that’s almost out of place finds Wayne seemingly on top of the world as he’s able to do what he loves for a living, laying around with Cassandra as he predicts his own meteoric rise and fall. Densely layered with the rockstar lore ingrained in him, he keeps asking “will you still love me when…” with each triumphant or tragic turn.
This never works in real life.
“We’re not worthy… we’re not worthy!”
Wayne and Garth do not play it cool in the presence of musical greatness.
“Well, I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans.” – Alice Cooper
Another example of the kind of subversive humor that migrated from the small screen, Wayne’s World guest stars would regularly break into a brief but well-informed lecture casually. In this case, rock legend Alice Cooper’s delightfully enthusiastic lesson on the history of Milwaukee.
“It will be mine, oh yes. It will be mine.” – Wayne
Everyone has said this line once or everytime they see something that they want to buy.
“No stairway. Denied.” – Wayne
A long-celebrated line that’s developed an iconic status in it’s own right, as Wayne begins the opening notes from a certain Led Zepplin song while at a guitar shop he’s abruptly stopped before being alerted to their strict policy.
Headbanging along to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Not a quote, but an injustice if not included.
“Excellent Scooby Doo ending.” – Wayne
Wayne’s World, for all it’s fourth-wall breaking mayhem, was appropriately in need of a dynamic, over-the-top ending. So, naturally, in the vain of Clue they gave us three. While both the sad ending and the mega-happy ending had their merits, the Scooby Doo ending nestled in between shoehorned in one last pop-culture reference before the credits rolled.