In the spirit of Thanksgiving movie fun, it’s time to revisit the best quotes from Planes, Trains & Automobiles, the 1987 comedy classic written and directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin (Neal Page) and John Candy (Del Griffith). (Read my full Planes, Trains & Automobiles review.)
Although there are plenty of hilarious dialogue-free moments in the film—John Candy imitating a drunk, Steve Martin unknowingly drying his face with underwear, Kevin Bacon racing Martin for a cab, etc.—here we celebrate the movie’s funniest lines with a rundown of the top 10 Planes, Trains & Automobiles quotes, starting with Martin’s withering rant after Candy clears one sinus too many:
1) Neal (Steve Martin) to Del: "I mean, didn’t you notice on the plane when you started talking, eventually I started reading the vomit bag? Didn’t that give you some sort of clue like, ‘Hey, maybe this guy’s not enjoying it’? You know, everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You're a miracle—your stories have none of that. They're not even amusing accidentally!
‘Honey, I'd like you to meet Del Griffith, he's got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh, and here's a gun so you can blow your brains out. You'll thank me for it.’
I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They'd say, ‘How can you stand it?’ I'd say, ‘Cause I've been with Del Griffith. I can take anything."
And you know what they'd say? They'd say, ‘I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Whoa.’
It's like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you to have a little string on your chest that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn't pull it out and snap it back—you would. ‘Aah, aah, aah.’
And by the way, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea—have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”
2) Del (John Candy) to Neal: “Six bucks and my right nut says we're not landing in Chicago.”
3) Car passengers on highway, to Del (Candy) and Neal (Martin): “You’re going the wrong way! You’re going to kill somebody!
Neal (Martin) to Del: "He says we're going the wrong way."
Del (Candy) to Neal: "Oh, he's drunk. How would he know where we're going?"
4) Del (Candy) to Neal: “There's no way on earth we're going to get out of here tonight. We'd have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak.”
5) Neal (Martin) to Del: “Those aren’t pillows!”
6) Del (Candy) to Neal: “Was that seat hot or what? I feel like a Whopper. Turn me over, I'm done on this side! I'm afraid to look at my ass—there'll be grill marks.
7) Del (Candy) to Neal: “I’ve never seen a man picked up by his testicles before.”
8) Neal (Martin) to hotel clerk: “Please, have mercy. I've been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
9) Del (Candy) to Neal: “Larry Bird doesn't do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour.”
10) Car rental agent to Neal (Martin): "How may I help you?"
Neal (Martin): "You can start by wiping that f---ing dumba-- smile off your rosy f---ing cheeks. And you can give me a f---ing automobile: a f---ing Datsun, a f---ing Toyota, a f---ing Mustang, a f---ing Buick! Four f---ing wheels and a seat!"
Car rental agent: "I really don't care for the way you're speaking to me."
Neal (Martin): "Well I really don't care for the way your company left me in the middle of f---ing nowhere with f---ing keys to a f---ing car that isn't f---ing there. And I really didn't care to f---ing walk down a f---ing highway and across a f---ing runway to get back here to have you smile in my f---ing face. I want a f---ing car, right f---ing now.
Car rental agent: May I see your rental agreement?"
Neal (Martin): "I threw it away."
Car rental agent: "Oh, boy."
Neal (Martin): "Oh boy what?"
Car rental agent: "You're f---ed!"
Great stuff … and of course, the above 10 are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the best, most memorable quotes from Planes, Trains & Automobiles. With that in mind, I encourage all to share their favorite quotes below … Now are you gonna help me or are you gonna stand there like a slab of meat with mittens?
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