Whether you like or don’t like Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, you have to admit that it’s going to feel weird to see Bustin’ going on without the presence of Dr. Peter Venkman. Thankfully, however, we’ll always have the first two films (back off, man, I’m classifying Ghostbusters 2 as a good thing) to remind us of Murray’s dominance in what may be his greatest role. So, with that in mind, here are Peter Venkman’s best quotes from the first film.
“I don’t know. I don’t know.”
As Ray freaks out about the gang’s dimming career prospects in light of getting canned from the university, Pete has a crazy, “let’s join the circus” kinda look on his face that is only enhanced when he takes slugs off of a bottle of bad idea juice. Where’s the money coming from? He doesn’t know, but he has faith in a robust return on the adventure they’re about to throw themselves into.
“You’re not gonna lose the house, everybody has three mortgages nowadays.”
Pretty sure that this was the corporate slogan for some of the banks prior to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. #TopicalHumor
“Back off man, I’m a scientist.”
You can insert any job title in there. Feel free to try it next time someone gets up in your jam.
“Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.”
It’s not the sarcasm, it’s Bill Murray’s ever-so-slight palpable physical discomfort when Ray’s proton pack gets switched on — first shifting to the wall, then towards the door of the elevator so he can get the hell off. You imagine that that isn’t the kind of thing that’s in the script.
“He slimed me.”
All the kids love the “slimed” line, but I’m preferable to the field report that Pete files while on his back like a turtle with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator for a shell: “I feel so funky.”
“Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.”
The highlight of this clip is really Egon’s dead-serious recitation of the risks involved with crossing the streams — a perfect contrast to Murray’s smart ass response and a moment that, of course, pays off later on.
“The flowers are still standing!”
If you haven’t done this, you sure as sh*t have daydreamed about doing it.
“We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!”
Nothing wrong with a little bit of self-promotional boasting after the work is done. This is a time before Yelp and the internet, good on Pete Venkman for trying to generate some good word of mouth.
“That’s the bedroom, but nothing ever happened in there” – Dana Barrett
“What a crime” – Peter Venkman
Murray’s funniest lines with Sigourney Weaver came when she was levitating a few feet off of her bed, but this one is kind of prime ‘Game Show Host” Venkman and it represents the unofficial/official start of their courtship.
Also, best decision from Ghostbusters 2 besides hiring Peter MacNicol to play Janosz? Not making Oscar into Pete Venkman’s bastard child. I can believe that Pete and Dana had a falling out after a few months of passion and maybe some light gatekeeper/keymaster role play (no judgements) when things started to get a little boring — he’s a man-child whose every action screams out “commitment issues” — but it would have been impossible to think of Peter Venkman, Bill Murray, as an absentee father. After all, he’s the spiritual father to a generation of man-children like myself, and he’s always been there for us.
I’m cheating because this isn’t a quote.
This video is titled, “Peter Venkman Walking Like A Dumb” and it features Peter Venkman dancing around Lincoln Center to entertain himself in the way that a child would while Dana looks on and gets slowly seduced by his unguarded and free-spirited attitude.
It’s also dubbed in Italian and soon becomes a loop of Peter Venkman dancing… “like a dumb” while Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” theme plays in the background in English. I’m sure there are other videos that would have shown you this scene, but I don’t care. This is perfect… even though there’s no spin at the end. By the way, there are a bunch of videos on YouTube of people recreating the spin. I would have shown them to you, but none were in Italian.
“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”
Most popular line? Most popular line. Peter Venkman’s never not joking, even when he’s trying to stoke the Mayor’s sense of urgency and save his own ass/all the asses that exist in the five boroughs.
“Goodbye… I’m gonna get you a nice fruit basket. I’m gonna miss him”
Best line? Maybe the best line thanks to Murray’s inflection and the preceding jubilant smile when the Mayor chooses the Ghostbusters over the council of Walter Peck.
“Let’s show this prehistoric b*tch how we do things downtown… THROW IT!”
Really debated whether to go with this quote or the response after Gozer proves herself to be a “Nimble little minx,” but there’s just so much fun bravado here that it eventually won out.
“Well there’s something you don’t see every day”
Peter Venkman kinda captures the sight of something unspeakable — a 100-foot tall walking marshmallow man — with the perfect collection of somewhat matter-of-fact words.
“I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! Let’s do it!”
This is more known as the moment when Egon advised the guys that they should, in fact, cross their streams, but this line from Venkman kinda proves his heroism. Pete has jokes for every situation, but he also stands in even though death is almost certain.
This post was originally published on August 8, 2015.