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Situational Comments
February 16, 2008 11:43 AM   Subscribe

What stock banter lines do you keep in your back pocket?

I was at a party last night, and a friend of mine was saying that he saw me "running" up some stairs, and he jokingly said I almost knocked over an old lady. I've heard him use the old lady line before, and it got me thinking about these situational bon mots that often come in handy for breaking the ice with someone, and are useful insofar as the situations are fairly common.

Other examples would be someone saying "oh, my ears!" when they hear someone swear, or making a comment about ruby slippers to a cute girl wearing read shoes.

Basically, the question is... give me your situational comments (funny, light-hearted joking ones, not mean ones).

Thanks!

(I also spilled a drink last night, but nobody had a bon mot for that)
posted by mpls2 to Human Relations (86 answers total) 148 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm going to take my ball and go home!! ---- I say that when the group is not doing what is my first choice.
posted by pearlybob at 11:52 AM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


When someone says "how are you?" to my father-in-law, he always replies "Oh, I've never had a bad day."

When someone trips: "First day with the new legs?"
posted by GaelFC at 11:53 AM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


when someone yawns...(in mock intense offendedness) - im sorry, am i (are we) boring you??
posted by gcat at 12:11 PM on February 16, 2008


"Stop, you're going to make the baby Jesus cry."
When something bad happens: "Boy, I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue."
posted by gramcracker at 12:18 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I yearn for people to ask me how life is treating me, so I can say "Like a baby treats a diaper".
posted by vito90 at 12:19 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I used to have a sales guy, every time I'd ask him "What's the word", he'd reply with "Legs. Spread the word".
posted by vito90 at 12:19 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


When someone burps: "More tea, vicar?"
posted by Ohdemah at 12:22 PM on February 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


When someone asks how I'm doing today I always reply "conscious", quizzical looks get the explanation of "hey, with an answer like that, people don't expect too much from me".

Whenever I finish a conversation with someone at their work (check out person, waiter/waitress, etc) I always say "have a short day!" with a smile. If anyone catches it, the explanation is that it really doesn't matter if it is a good day or a bad day as long as it is over.
posted by Ikazuchi at 12:29 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


"as the bishop said to the actress"

"half past four, time to pour"

after you spilled a drink: "alcohol abuse!"
posted by Rumple at 12:35 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


After a loud burp:

"Did you get any on you?"
"Would you like a bucket?"
posted by tristeza at 12:45 PM on February 16, 2008


My coworkers have a penchant for "That's what she said!"

They also enjoy a slightly wittier version when a sentence ends in an "er" word. For example: "Somebody get the plunger!"
Reply: "Plunger?! You brought her!"

Perhaps also tellingly, whenever someone says something unintentionally dirty, the general reply is "Somebody get the forms!"

Rants can be followed by "Other than that, how did you like the show, Mrs. Lincoln?"
posted by Thin Lizzy at 12:45 PM on February 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


"That's gooder than hell!"
"That's outstandinger than hell!"
"Do it to it!"

When someone asks "Whaddaya know?" "Less than at this time yesterday?"

When someone asks "How you living?" "Large and in charge" or "Large in the margin"

After tasting something delicious, be it food or drink: "Man! I could eat a whole bathtub/sink/Rubbermaid tote/garbage can full of that!"
posted by jbickers at 12:48 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


My own variation of "that's what she said" is to say, whenever anyone relates a story that could be the setup for a porno, "Oh, I've seen that movie."

It's not a joke, per se, but I also deploy the word "word" as used at the beginning of this very NSFW Dave Chapelle clip for general yuks.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:54 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whenever people talk about how skinny my partner is, I say "it's quality, not quantity. Anyway, [topic change]". It's not that funny, and generally is used because I'm not going to respond to rude comments with anything of substance, but once I start talking, I can keep talking and change the subject.

Most of these are obnoxious because they're employed when someone has done something uncomfortable or awkward and they really serve to point that out. And they're not that funny. So deploy at your own risk.
posted by sondrialiac at 1:09 PM on February 16, 2008


After someone spills a drink:

"That man can't hold his liquor."

The popular Tracy Morgan/Jordan line "Mmmm this (appetizer/cake/meal) is so fine I'd like to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant!"
posted by furtive at 1:14 PM on February 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


When offered a drink: ordinarily I'd say yes... but this time I'll say 'hell yes'
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:46 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


"How are you"?

" Fine as frog hair."


Also, when someone burps in front of my mom she says, "Bring it up again, and we'll vote on it."
posted by konolia at 2:00 PM on February 16, 2008


People who use these stock phrases really are insufferable pricks.
"I know you are but what am I?"
"I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you"
posted by vito90 at 2:02 PM on February 16, 2008


These are pretty bad. Here's some more bad ones to add to the list:

When you see a cute baby, said to someone who's not the parent: Awwwww, what a cute baby. Help me steal it.

When you see a cute girl: There goes my future ex-wife.

When you start getting into a disagreement with someone: I will fight you. In 45 minutes. You gotta give me time to get drunk first.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:23 PM on February 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


After a particularly rancid fart:

"You could pick the meat out of that one"
posted by davey_darling at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I not sure why this line popped into my head for this thread, but my father liked his steak very well-done, and once when we were out for dinner and someone ordered medium-rare or so he said (loudly) "I've seen cows hurt worse than that get better!".
posted by madmethods at 2:31 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother where whenever said something that could be a military rank, two of the characters would salute and repeat the line as if addressing a military officer. "Major bummer", "General Knowledge", "Corporal Punishment", "Colonel Stuck-in-my-teeth". I thought it was pretty funny but never catch it in time to do it myself.
posted by deepscene at 2:33 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


When someone asks me how I'm doing:

"Pretty good, if you average everything out."

When someone spills their drink:

"I see you have a drinking problem?"

When someone makes a loud belch:

"Oh, dear, did you rupture something?"
posted by lleachie at 2:37 PM on February 16, 2008


"What's up," I say.

"Everything but wages," says my coworker. Everyday. Still makes me chuckle.
posted by gregoryc at 2:51 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


On my first date with my girlfriend, we went to a Mexican restaurant. She spilled some salsa on the menu and on her sweater. She kind of got this disgusted look on her face and was clearly bracing for what I was going to say in response. That's when I shook my head and, with mock sadness in my voice, I said "Oh Jill...this is why we can't have nice things". It made her smile and laugh, and I guess it was the right reply, as we're still together. It's actually one of her mom's favorite stories about us.

(it's also apparently a mefi in-joke, but it is a phrase my family joked with a lot.)
posted by paulus andronicus at 2:54 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I tell people with news that they're pregnant, "Didn't anyone tell you not to swallow that stuff?" Nobody thinks it funny but me.

When I flub something in my speech repeatedly, "Rented lips."

When correcting a spelling mistake on a blackboard or whiteboard - "Somebody get me a piece of chalk/marker that can spell."
posted by bilabial at 2:56 PM on February 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


I have a bad habit of hitting curbs when I cut corners or park. I always say "I'm driving by Brail"

When the waiter takes your plates away tell everyone to LARF. Lick And Retain Fork.

"Preach on Sister Friend!" When ever one is ranting.

And has anyone else noticed this, "Cool Beans" seems to be making a come back!
posted by pearlybob at 2:59 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jeez, what Zé Pequeno said.

Yes, there are people who enjoy talk like this, but I avoid them.

For vapid, preliminary small talk, I prefer lines mentioned by David Sedaris:

"How ya doing tonight?"
"You come here often?"
"I'll have what you're having."

Of course they're clichés, that's the point.
posted by Rash at 3:01 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had a professor who had a bunch of these for when people's cellphones rang during class. My favorite was "If that's my wife, tell her I'm not here."
posted by Dec One at 3:18 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


"I love children. Couldn't eat a whole one though."
posted by happyturtle at 3:22 PM on February 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


"You're as Scandinavian as the Swedish royal family!"
posted by parmanparman at 3:36 PM on February 16, 2008


Not so much a quote, but whenever I sneeze in the car and someone's riding with me, I say "Oh, excuse me" and turn on the windshield wipers. (I think I stole that from a Penn & Teller book...)
posted by MegoSteve at 3:37 PM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Oh man.(name of town or city mentioned) I spent a week there one night."

(eating something good) "It's like there is a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited!"

(eating something bad) "It's like there is a party in my mouth, and everyone's throwing up!"
posted by Widepath at 3:57 PM on February 16, 2008


When eating something delicious:

"Oh! this makes me wanna spray my shorts/cream my pants!"*


When someone flubs up or says something silly:

"Mmmmm, sharp as marbles...sharp as marbles..."

When someone is asking about the obvious:

"Does a pimp carry a razor?"



*Depending on what trousers I am wearing.
posted by inqb8tr at 4:10 PM on February 16, 2008


My father's favorite, in response to a question with an overwhelmingly "yes" or "duh!" answer (i.e. "Does it rain a lot in Oregon?"):

"Is the Pope's wife Jewish?"

And, my favorite, lifted from Groucho, in response to someone disclosing a recent achievement (the more insignificant the better, i.e. "I just saved money on my car insurance!"):

"Well, you win the white carnation."

Another father favorite: someone's just pulled a boner, or what have you (i.e. "I didn't think driving over a pile of nails would damage my tires!"):

"SEDAGIVE?!" accompanied by mock strangling.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:12 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, there are people who enjoy talk like this, but I avoid them.

Oh, that reminds me. Whenever someone makes a comment about how vapid I am, I...

1) admit to to being totally vapid, and congratulate them for being so perceptive

or

2) smile and say "oh, that's awesome" (they key here is to act like you didn't actually hear what they said, but you're being friendly, like in a loud bar or club)

Of course, this can be applied in any situation where someone is being rude or insulting.
posted by mpls2 at 4:24 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Related to mpls's last comment - this is not a comment, but along the same lines - if another driver honks at me or makes a rude gesture, I often smile and wave - not in a sarcastic way, but in a happy way, like I thought they were waving to me. It always cracks me up (and so far hasn't resulted in scary road rage).
posted by dreamphone at 4:52 PM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


A line from A Hard Day's Night that I still use some 20 years later (after I'd first seen the film) - when someone asks me "What are you up to?" I reply "Page five."

When someone asks "Can I ask a stupid question?" I often respond "Better than anyone I know."

If someone says "I've just had a thought" or "I've been thinking..." I sometimes remark "That would explain the beads of perspiration."
posted by Oriole Adams at 5:04 PM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


When someone's discussing a movie recently seen, I'll earnestly say "you know that was based on a true story don't you." Movies like "Alien vs Predator" or "Ratatouille" usually get a uneasy chuckle.
posted by klarck at 5:05 PM on February 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


pearlybob: I have a bad habit of hitting curbs when I cut corners or park. I always say "I'm driving by Brail"

Funny. Years ago when I was always parallel parking outside my apartment in very congested Adams-Morgan, DC, I frequently bumped the vehicle in front or the vehicle behind. I'd say, "I'm parking by Braille."
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:27 PM on February 16, 2008


Whats happening? Every thing at once, continuously.
posted by hortense at 5:59 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


"That's too much like doing right."

This is old and corny but I like it. If someone starts a sentence or question with the phrase "Do you know...." respond "No, but maybe if you hum a few bars?"
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:05 PM on February 16, 2008


Whenever someone says something along the lines of "I've been working here for ten years and I still love it" or "I've been commuting on this line for 18 months and the trains are always dirty" or "I've been cooking roast dinners for 20 years and I've never burnt one", reply "Ten years / 18 months / 20 years? You must be tired."

It's especially funny with older people who don't get it. "But you just said you'd been driving for 15 years... and without a break? You MUST be tired."
posted by tapeguy at 6:05 PM on February 16, 2008


When someone burps: The last time I heard a noise like that I was at SeaWorld!

Before leaving say: I'm going to make like a baby and head out.

When someone asks a question to which the answer is obviously yes: Is a bear catholic? Does the pope s**t in the woods?

What's up? Nothin' but the house rent!
posted by Daddy-O at 6:53 PM on February 16, 2008


When someone burps- "You're such a delicate flower."
When someone trips or otherwise does something clumsy - "You move like a cat."
When someone, especially someone annoying who is hitting on me, gives me a superficial compliment, like "You're really pretty" or "You are sooo cute!" - "Thank you. Someday I hope to have other redeeming qualities as well."
posted by louche mustachio at 7:49 PM on February 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


When someone asks if I have children or why I don't, as if it's any of their business - "Oh no. I don't like people, and I refuse to make any more of them."
posted by louche mustachio at 7:51 PM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


any day you wake up without a chalk outline around your body is a GREAT DAY!

heard that on a motivational radio show years ago; it's still with me. I say it to my students so it'll keep on repeating.

Rod Stewart's favorite pick-up line was "What have you got in the basket, love?" Imagine the possibilities.
posted by flowerofhighrank at 8:05 PM on February 16, 2008


me: "So-and-so did [something stupid]"
him: "Is that right?"
me: "No, it wasn't right but he did it anyway."
posted by trinity8-director at 8:48 PM on February 16, 2008


I work at a company that deals (partly) with spam, so everybody in the company has had to sign waivers agreeing not to be offended by pretty much anything that goes on at work. Whenever casual conversations start to stray into the NSFW arena somebody will inevitably throw out, "Hey, we all signed the waivers."
posted by trinity8-director at 8:50 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


(eating something good) "It's like there is a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited coming!"

For that extra amusement factor.
posted by nomis at 8:54 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


When someone farts:

"If you didn't shit your pants, you just missed a good chance."

One I heard that was just plain weird and seemingly old-timey (when a guys saw a woman with shapely legs):

"Check out the getaway sticks on that one!"
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:04 PM on February 16, 2008


Whenever someone exclaims "Shit!"

"And 10,000 loyal subjects squatted and shat, for the king's word was law."

Courtesy of my best childhood friend's corny father.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:04 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


The classic line for a spilled drink is "Taxi!" yelled from wherever you are. It's fairly crude, yes, and I don't know if I'd whip it out at a banquet with the queen, but it does have the advantage of being international. I've heard it in Australia, Europe, Canada and America, so you can usually assume that someone around you will get it.
posted by twirlypen at 10:25 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


When someone farts say "Did you hear what that A**hole said?"
posted by Daddy-O at 10:34 PM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


In response to "How are you?" and its ilk.
Each day is better than the next. --I say it all the time and almost no one gets it.

When someone's attention is wavering or they wander off target topic...
Stay on target; Stay on target (random Ep IV Star Wars quote)

When replying in the negative. . .
Does the pope shit in the woods? (thank you Big Lebowski)

Some I've heard, a few I say.

When someone dribbles from their glass
Been Drinking Long?

When someone says to start at the beginning...
Well, The Earth cooled...

Whenever an obstacle/problem is encountered either
It's always something. OR
Nothing difficult is ever very easy.

When leaving. . .
I'm off like a prom dress.
Time to make like a cow pie and hit the trail.

Upon learning so-and-so has had their [insert multiple] child. . .
They (or you) know what causes that, right?
posted by MasonDixon at 11:40 PM on February 16, 2008


When someone stumbles or missteps: "Have a nice trip, see you next fall!"
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:08 AM on February 17, 2008


For some odd reason it's seen as incredibly rude to inquire about food in my family, so I've grown up hearing these exchanges:

"What's for dinner?"
"Food."

and,

"I'm hungry."
"Nice to meet you, my name is [insert your name]."
posted by katyggls at 2:49 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I've just [achieved something menial/great]"

"It must be Everyone Gets a Trophy Day"
"Looks like everyone's kicked a goal"

[Side, boy I hate those people who yell Taxi in a pub when someone drops a drink. There is a special circle of hell for them.]
posted by chronic sublime at 3:33 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


when someone blows their nose: "I think you got that thing in tune now"
posted by mrmarley at 5:13 AM on February 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


When I was in high school, if someone dropped something (especially in the cafeteria), a spontaneous roar would erupt.

"Crash"
"[200 males screaming]"

It warms my sophomoric heart when I'm at a bar and there are enough graduates of my HS that the same roar erupts.
__

My most annoying "bon-mot" is to effect a "pardon?" whenever anyone mentions anything ab
__

I also love the "Uncle Leo??" progression from Seinfeld.

Someone calls and is relatively frantic about something relatively unimportant.

Caller: "Did you hear? So and so is going to be appearing at the Store! I wonder if we can get tickets? Wow, parking is going to stink. I hope we can get there. So, what do you think?"

Me: "Hello? Uncle Leo? Is that you?"
posted by gjc at 6:38 AM on February 17, 2008


As someone who works with a man who shouts, "I'm not here!" once a day when a phone rings, I'd just like to say...

Use your stock phrases responsibly.
posted by skryche at 6:38 AM on February 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does the pope shit in the black forest?
posted by furtive at 6:42 AM on February 17, 2008


whenever someone in the vicinity exclaims, "Jesus Christ!," I always say, "...yes?"
posted by cosmic osmo at 11:08 AM on February 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


After thinking I was too smart or clever to have a stock joke I ran into the ground, I remembered:

"Where is the *thing*?"
"I don't know. Where?"

God I love that one.
posted by pointilist at 11:37 AM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are the Kennedys gun-shy?
posted by Rumple at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


this can be applied in any situation where someone is being rude or insulting

Reminds me of another line by Groucho:
"I've never met anyone like you in my whole life and if I had to do it all over, that's the way it would be."
posted by Rash at 1:20 PM on February 17, 2008


"Well, you know the old saying!"

[pause]

[wait for it]

"What's that?"

"I don't know - I thought you knew it."


What can I say... my dad cracked me up in third grade, and it has been with me ever since...
posted by juliewhite at 1:24 PM on February 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is from one of my friends. When she, say, opens the freezer and something falls out she says, "Oh, the gravity works."
posted by Airhen at 2:11 PM on February 17, 2008 [15 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned "Cool Beans!" never went away.

When someone asks how I am I usually say something like

"Can't complain, and if I did no-one would listen anyway"

When a course of action has been decided upon I usually say "That sounds like a flan".
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:42 PM on February 17, 2008


Whenever I'm asked my opinion on something about which I don't have a strong opinion, or sometimes when I'm asked to settle a dispute and I want to humorously allude to the fact that I don't want to pick one side or the other: "I don't have a dog in this fight."

That's the only one I can think of, although I know I have more, and I definitely plan to steal some of the ones in here.
posted by penduluum at 1:34 PM on February 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Guy at work: "I can't wait 'till tomorrow"
Person he is addressing: "Why"
Guy: "Cause I get better looking everyday"

I fallen for it countless times over the years we've worked together.
posted by Carbolic at 2:06 PM on February 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


In response to "I'll go take a leak":

"Take two while you're at it!"
posted by Anything at 8:32 PM on February 18, 2008


When someone says "I'll be right back" tell them "Thanks for the warning!"
posted by sambosambo at 4:48 AM on February 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


When walking up to a locked door, take out your keys and toss them at the keyhole. When you miss, say "Damn. I swear I made it in one time."
posted by sambosambo at 5:08 AM on February 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


When you see someone drinking a glass of orange juice, go up to them in a panic and say "NO!! STOP!!"

When they ask what the hell is wrong with you, tell them "Don't you know? O.J. will kill you!"
posted by sambosambo at 5:11 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


On meeting a pregnant woman: "Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! ...Is it yours?"
posted by sambosambo at 5:51 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was told that Weird Al uses the following:

Fan: I'm your biggest fan, I've got all your albums!

WA: So that's where they went!
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


When someone comes quickly towards you, with that look on their face like they're about to give you a piece of their mind:


Hold up your hands and say "Don't taze me, bro!"
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:26 AM on February 20, 2008


I and my co-workers are strictly monitored by the FDA. If we see someone in the group cleaning their desk or making coffee, we say, "Are you certified to do that?"
posted by wafaa at 3:21 PM on February 20, 2008


One phrase I keep trying to forget, but just never goes away is from America's Next Top Model when from a contestant while agreeing with a critique from the judges, "I smell what you're stepping in".

My favorite is my 94-year-old Scottish grandma's frequent comment at any event --or "doings" as she calls any gathering -- "I'll no forget this day".
posted by ReneeOg at 1:20 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


After I sneeze (especially at work) "Sorry, I'm allergic to hard work and clean living."
posted by happyturtle at 11:59 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


When two people (of any gender) are arguing: "Now girls, you're both pretty."
posted by kmel at 11:47 AM on March 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Usually when someone asked my Dad if he wanted to try some food or something "Hey want some?", he'd respond with "No thanks, I just washed my hands".

If you catch a typo or a small mistake: "Close enough for government work!"

When you're stuck in traffic: "I've been in Traffic longer than Steve Winwood". Still cracks me up and I can't remember where I heard it.
posted by SheIsMighty at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2008


These are pretty funny.....I love 23skidoos and I like mpls's "Awesome"....my sister does that to people and it makes me shit sideways. So funny. Only she usually does it to mock people because she's hot (though she's older, married and has tons of kids). She even uses it on her own children.

One tip to handle aggressive drivers that honk a lot (I'm no stranger to this in Boston) is to just give them a normal smile, a slight nod and 'thumb's up'. It completely freaks them out and half the time they smile back cuz they don't know what's going on. Especially cabbies.

When my husband farts and it wreaks, I say "You're rotting inside".

One thing I always say (that NO ONE gets) is when I'm trying to explain something and people are not understanding my meaning is 'there's glass between us'. It's from I Heart Huckabees, when Naomi Watts' character starts wearing a bonnet and no one gets it. I crack myself up every time.
posted by lilbird at 3:31 PM on March 19, 2008


Take my advice, I'm not using it.
posted by BoscosMom at 5:35 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"You look like I need a drink" - stolen from David Sedaris.

My brother does the "Awesome" thing really well, but sadly I can't pull it off.
posted by missuswayne at 6:37 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


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