10 Best ‘Airplane’ Movie Quotes

The 10 best “Airplane!” movie quotes are bits of comedy genius from one of the funniest movies ever made. The story in the movie would often get lost in the rapid fire jokes and visual gags, but the end result was extremely funny. Sit back and enjoy the best “Airplane!” movie quotes whether your name is Shirley or not.

  1. Elaine Dickinson: “A hospital? What is it?” – Dr. Rumack: “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.” This is an example of the quick wit used to create the best “Airplane!” (1980) movie quotes. In what seems to be a serious discussion between a Dr. Rumack (Leslie Neilson) and stewardess Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty) on an airplane in trouble, there is still time to quickly describe a hospital.
  2. Johnny: “Oh, it’s a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.” It seems like the only reason Johnny (Stephen Stucker) is in this movie is to create entries into the list of the best “Airplane!” movie quotes. As a reporter asks Johnny to describe what kind of plane the passengers are on, this is the answer Johnny gives.
  3. Jive Lady: “Excuse me stewardess, I speak jive.” Mrs. Cleaver makes an appearance in “Airplane!” billed only as the Jive Lady (Barbara Billingsley). This is just one example of the brilliant gags used in the movie as America’s favorite 1950’s mom speaks in an urban language to some distressed passengers.
  4. Steve McCroskey: “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.” Almost everything in “Airplane!” is a parody of something, and that is what helps to create the memorable “Airplane!” (1980) movie quotes. Flight controller Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges) is a parody of several airport disaster movie roles that adds more and more vices to the list of things he shouldn’t have quit as the movie rolls along, including sniffing glue and smoking.
  5. Elaine Dickinson: “There’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?” As Elaine Dickinson attempts to calm the passengers she also takes some time to throw out a quick question about whether or not there were any pilots on board.
  6. Ted Striker: “Surely, you can’t be serious.” – Dr. Rumack: “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” Ted Striker (Robert Hayes) plays straight man to a lot of quick jokes based on word pronunciation. This is one of the most classic lines from the movie and definitely an entry into the list of the best “Airplane!” movie quotes.
  7. Dr. Rumack: “Captain, how soon can you land?” – Captain Oveur: “I can’t tell.” – Dr. Rumack: “You can tell me, I’m a doctor.” Captain Oveur (Peter Graves) sticks around long enough to deliver two of the best “Airplane!” movie quotes. This one is part of the word play that is expertly written into the script.
  8. Captain Oveur: “You ever seen a grown man naked?” Captain Oveur invites a passenger named Joey (Rossie Harris) into the cockpit, and then proceeds to ask some pretty uncomfortable questions. This is just one on the list of four or five questions that would be inappropriate in any situation!
  9. Ted Striker: “Excuse me doc, I’ve got a plane to land.” One of the ultimate goals of “Airplane!” was to parody as many cliche movie situations as possible. This entry into the list of the best “Airplane!”  movie quotes helped to cap off a speech by Dr. Rumack that made fun of just about every pep talk ever put on film.
  10. Captain Oveur: “Alright, give me a Hamm on five, hold the Mayo.” The jokes in “Airplane!” can be fast, and set-ups are sometimes done so well that you do not see the joke coming until the punchline. This quote is an example of one of the best jokes done in the movie.


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