Origin of "It's quiet - too quiet"
July 14, 2005 2:21 AM   Subscribe

Where does the phrase "It's quiet... too quiet" come from?

I re-watched Shrek today and heard it, but it seemed familiar at the time. This forum reckons it's from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie... but surely not.
posted by slightlybewildered to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
I can't find an exact quote, but old western movies are the source. The sorta think John Wayne would say.
posted by furtive at 3:37 AM on July 14, 2005

furtive correct, it is John Wayne. If I'm not mistaken, the quote is from The Lucky Texan. Something about gold prospecting, or being a prospector..

I can't remember exactly.
posted by purephase at 5:23 AM on July 14, 2005

I'm having no luck either, but I'd both agree with furtive on the old western (like when the Indians are attacking the cowboys and stop), and I'll throw in the possibility of old jungle adventure movies (native drums in the distance, suddenly stopping). Definitely something a lot older than TMNT, though when I read that forum, it seems a little more like they're mentioning the first time one of the turtles said it, rather than the first time ever.
posted by Moondoggie at 5:24 AM on July 14, 2005

"Too quiet" is a logical thing, outdoors. Normally you hear birds and crickets and such. When these go silent, there's a reason, probably something to worry about.
posted by Goofyy at 5:45 AM on July 14, 2005

The oldest reference I can find so far is from the second-season A-team episode "The Taxicab Wars", aired 11/01/83: "It's quiet out here; too quiet. I've always wanted to say that." --Face

But the second sentence implies that it was already a cultural fixture. Still searching.
posted by Plutor at 6:03 AM on July 14, 2005

For some reason, I was thinking all the way back to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. There's also a story set in those colonial Africa days with Dr. Livingstone (..I presume) that seems to trigger memories, but I can't remember what it was...
posted by Rothko at 6:06 AM on July 14, 2005

"Gee, it's so quiet... awfully quiet... too quiet..." (.wav file)

Um, not that that helps. But you might start a thread at Wordorigins.org; those folks are pretty good at finding out stuff like this.
posted by languagehat at 6:35 AM on July 14, 2005

Any parent of a three-year-old has said (or thought) this a million times. I'd say it's cultural- when kids get quiet, there's Something Going On. Universal experience.
posted by pjern at 9:38 AM on July 14, 2005

I could have sworn it was from Zulu, but I can't find a reference on the web.
posted by yetanother at 10:42 AM on July 14, 2005

I can hear Bugs Bunny saying it in my head. Old Bugs that is.
posted by deborah at 2:07 PM on July 14, 2005

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