Which Oscar Contenders Have the Best Catchphrases?

A great movie catchphrase doesn't have to come from some summer blockbuster -- in fact, it can spring from the most unlikeliest of sources, the awards season contender. Whether it's a line that sticks thanks to sheer audacity (like the campy, terrifying "I drink your milkshake!" from There Will Be Blood) or simply through its constant repetition in trailers and Oscar ads (such as "I wish I knew how to quit you!" from Brokeback Mountain), the run-up to the Academy Awards often produces some of cinema's most lasting quotes. How does this year's crop of contenders fare on that front? Let's see!

Inglourious Basterds

Brad Pitt provided the centerpiece line of the Inglourious Basterds ad campaign -- "We in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'" -- and though it's certainly caught on, it's in danger of being eclipsed by a dark horse from the same movie. If you think the Weinsteins aren't trying to make Christoph Waltz's giddy "That's a bingo!" happen, just drive down the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, where the line adorns several billboards in a row.


James Cameron is the man who's given us so many catchphrases ("I'll be back," "Hasta la vista, baby," "Get away from her, you bitch!") that it's a little puzzling that all Avatar's been able to manage is the comparatively weak-sauce "I see you." Then again, when you consider how many dated catchphrases Avatar was already using ("Who's bad?"), perhaps there simply wasn't any room to come up with something new.


In a movie where the lead character isn't exactly chatty, it's no surprise that it falls to the supporting characters to make their catchphrases sing. Sure, you could quote liberally from Precious's initial interior monologue ("My name is Clareece Precious Jones, I wish I had a light-skinned boyfriend with real nice hair, and I want to be on a cover of a magazine") or even her striking sum-up of Ms. Rain and her bougie girlfriend ("They talk like TV channels I don't watch") but why bother when the effervescent Joann enters the movie busting the instant classic, "Hi, I'm Joann...and my favorite color is fluorescent beige."

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