I KNOW I've heard this somewhere...
September 3, 2013 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find where this quote comes from on behalf of a rapt and extremely frustrated knitting forum. This may not be completely accurate, but the gist of it is: "I wanted Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald, not Pretty in Pink Molly Ringwald."

Multiple people (including myself) have had that flash of instant recognition of hearing it somewhere, so I would assume it's from a recent and fairly popular source, but we haven't been able to find it.
posted by Diagonalize to Media & Arts (58 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
No answer, but there was a whole group on the Straight Dope message board struggling with this exact question a few months ago. Maybe some of those guesses will trigger something for you.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=16363314
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:25 AM on September 3, 2013


I just binge-watched all of Community season 1 (and some of 2) and it sounds eerily familiar...
posted by thirdletter at 10:31 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, we've been kicking the question around since May, so I'd bet dollars to doughnuts the Straight Dope board is directly related somehow through the magical interconnectedness of the internet.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:32 AM on September 3, 2013


Yeah, I was sure it was from a Seth McFarland animated show - most specifically American Dad -- until I was sure it was from Parks and Recreation until I was sure it was from How I Met Your Mother until I was sure it was from Community.

So chances are it's probably from sitcom that I won't actually admit to watching (And I'll admit to watching Family Guy, so you know the bar ain't that high.) or more importantly to answering the question, something that isn't quoted on the Internet.

Is it possible that the movies used in the actual quote (if it exists, which I'm also sure it does) are different Molly Ringwald movies? I thought this perhaps, and then it was suggested again when I poised the question to my partner and he asked which TV characters would anyone want to be Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald rather than Pretty in Pink Molly Ringwald. (There seems to be no upside except for not being as "poor" and getting to kiss Jake Ryan.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:44 AM on September 3, 2013


I've heard it recently (within the last few months), and I don't watch any Seth McFarlane shows. Here's what I have been watching recently: Bunheads, Awkward, Degrassi, Project Runway, Archer, Orange is the New Black.
posted by amarynth at 10:51 AM on September 3, 2013


I've heard it recently (within the last few months), and I don't watch any Seth McFarlane shows. Here's what I have been watching recently: Bunheads, Awkward, Degrassi, Project Runway, Archer, Orange is the New Black.

I've heard it also and the only shows from the above list that I watch is Archer and Orange is the New Black.

It sounds like something that would be said on Happy Endings.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:57 AM on September 3, 2013


Possibly Archer. I've been watching that lately, and the quote sounds really familiar. It's got to be something available on Netflix.
posted by catatethebird at 10:58 AM on September 3, 2013


I've heard it, too, and the shows that I watch that overlap with amarynth are Bunheads, Awkward and Archer. Though upon reading the quote, my first thought was also a Seth MacFarlane animated show (most likely Family Guy or American Dad).

And yeah, I also watch Community, Parks and Rec, How I Met Your Mother and Happy Endings.
posted by Defying Gravity at 10:59 AM on September 3, 2013


I think it's either from the first or second season of HIMYM or the first season of 30 Rock, because I've seen both those recently (in the past few months) and I am sure I've heard that quote uttered by either Barney (HIMYM) or Jenna (30 Rock).

Although I did watch one episode of Archer recently so it's possible that it is from there...
posted by sockermom at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2013


Hmm...Archer seems to be the main show in common to all these answers, and it's the only show from amarynth's list I've seen. I think that may be the next place to concentrate the search.
posted by Diagonalize at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2013


Funny, that sounds very recently familiar to me too, and the only shows of those mentioned that I've watched (like, ever) were Family Guy and (much less frequently) American Dad. I'm going with FG.
posted by Halo in reverse at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2013


People thinking of Seth MacFarlane may be remembering when Peter said this: “Do that Katherine Hepburn impression for me. And Philadelphia Story Hepburn, not that head-on-a-slinky Golden Pond stuff.”

This site has seemingly-accurate transcriptions of all of OitNB, and no sign of the line there.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oddly-- appropriately? I immediately thought it was Archer as well.
posted by sibboleth at 11:22 AM on September 3, 2013


Giventhat this sounded familiar, and I just last week watched Archer for the first time ever, I can narrow your search to the first two episodes of season 1. If it's not in "Mole Hunt" or "Training Day" then it's either (a) not from Archer, or (b) quoted so gratuitously by people who watch Archer that I can't even begin to guess.
posted by aimedwander at 11:27 AM on September 3, 2013


It also sounds like the sort of thing you might hear on Psych.
posted by bfootdav at 11:30 AM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just weighing in to say that this sounds super familiar and I've never seen Archer.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 11:45 AM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm ashamed that I might know enough about this show to answer this question, but... it might be Dawson's Creek. I recall several mentions of Molly Ringwald on the show (it stuck in my head because I didn't know who she was when I first heard a mention and went to look it up). I dont remember that exact quote, and the quote wiki doesn't mention it, but for some reason the distinction between the 2 movies is resonating with me
posted by darsh at 11:49 AM on September 3, 2013


I think it's "Bunheads." The main character on that show is very pop-culture oriented.
posted by cass at 11:50 AM on September 3, 2013


Also sound super familiar and I've never seen Archer. And now that bfootdav has mentioned it I can absolutely picture Shawn from Psych saying it.

(I've also never seen Bunheads and unless it was one of the basically 2 episodes of American Dad or Family Guy I've seen then it wasn't those either - or it has just permeated pop culture enough that I know it randomly).
posted by magnetsphere at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2013


I've never seen Archer and this sounds familiar. Like amarynth and Brandon, I've recently watched Orange is the New Black.
posted by desjardins at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, you've been asking since May? Then it can't be OitNB, right? Didn't that come out in June?
posted by desjardins at 12:07 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're right, OitNB started on July 11th.

This question is bugging the hell out of me. Damnit, it's 2013, where is the internet site that has scripts for every tv show produced, with a kick ass search function. If I can't have flying cars, at least give me this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2013


It has to be Family Guy.
posted by Halo in reverse at 12:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think it's Bunheads too. I have never seen Archer, but I vividly remember this, and Bunheads, like Gilmore Girls, was full of pop culture stuff.
posted by katers890 at 12:28 PM on September 3, 2013


I've never ever seen Bunheads, so I'm skeptical, but I did just check the first two Archer episodes and the "Meet the Quagmires" episode of Family Guy. Nada.

I thought it might be from Psych, but the pop culture references are so thick on that show, I didn't even know where to start looking.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:18 PM on September 3, 2013


In my mind, I hear Aziz Ansari saying it. So I would guess Parks and Rec or his standup.
posted by ellenaim at 1:33 PM on September 3, 2013


My first offhand thought was what this would be referencing--like, someone getting their hair colored and coming out a lot redder than intended was the first thing I thought of. I don't know where it would have been referenced, but it seems like a more natural comparison to make than some things.
posted by Sequence at 1:45 PM on September 3, 2013


I'm sure I've heard the general construction before,

as in I wanted [x] person not [y] person.
I didn't think it was molly ringwald though.
I think it must be a misquote or a snowclone of some sort, the internet would find it otherwise.

Like all y'all I am thinking Archer, McFarlane-World or Community.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:15 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Community to me... Perhaps the episode with Dean Pelton directing the Greendale commercial?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2013


I have heard this quote, but I haven't seen any of the shows noted above except HIMYM, Community and Family Guy and only occasionally. If it is Community, it's one of the first episodes from Season 1.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 3:45 PM on September 3, 2013


I've heard it too. It must be Bunheads or Parks and Rec. I haven't seen the other shows and actively avoid the Family Guy ones.
posted by gentian at 3:48 PM on September 3, 2013


This is making me insane! I posted it to Facebook, and the responses were Gray's Anatomy (which I've never seen), Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, Community, Parks and Rec, Happy Endings, Modern Family, Archer, The League, and another Archer. Maybe it's not from a tv show, but from something online?
posted by amarynth at 3:52 PM on September 3, 2013


Could it be media other than TV? It sounds familiar to me and I've been listening to podcasts more than recent TV programming. How Did This Get Made perhaps? As far as TV, maybe Bob's Burgers.
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:06 PM on September 3, 2013


My first thought was Family Guy. I just marathoned Archer this weekend (again. shh.) and don't remember hearing it there, but I've only seen the seasons on Netflix.
posted by pemberkins at 4:09 PM on September 3, 2013


Weirdly, here's the phrase popping up (sans context) in 2009...
posted by maryr at 4:21 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Funny, this question is being asked several places....

This tumblr points out a similar formulation in the 2010 film Easy A. But that's after the 2009 Pitt thing.

But it isn't a meme by 2012 because nobody at Reddit asked her in her AMA.
posted by dhartung at 6:30 PM on September 3, 2013


It may be worth pointing out that I'm not the originator of the question. The knitting forum where it was first posted is quite large and determined, so I imagine folks have been asking in several places over the past few months. It's been quite frustrating, but I was really hoping AskMe would save the day.
posted by Diagonalize at 6:43 PM on September 3, 2013


Could it be media other than TV?

Maybe from something written by Chuck Klosterman?
posted by balacat at 7:03 PM on September 3, 2013


This sounds really familiar to me too, and part of me thinks someone said it on a podcast. I mostly listen to things on the Nerdist network, so maybe on Nerdist, JV Club, or You Made It Weird?
posted by wsquared at 7:32 PM on September 3, 2013


I wouldn't totally rule out other media, but I haven't read any Klosterman, and I don't really listen to any podcasts regularly.

The sheer number of people I've encountered who find this line familiar makes me think it has to be something with pretty significant cultural penetration. My best guess is that it's either going to be from something quite famous or it's going to be a mass hallucination.
posted by Diagonalize at 7:43 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I swear that I just heard this spoken on a tv show last week. I feel like it might be Psych.
posted by hazel79 at 7:45 PM on September 3, 2013


Could it be from this song title. A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More "Touch Me" by Fall Out Boy.

The song was originally called "A Little Less Molly Ringwald, a Little More Samantha Fox". I'm not sure why the title was changed and the linked article doesn't seem to say why either.
posted by rsclark at 8:08 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe from New Girl?
posted by saltwater at 9:05 PM on September 3, 2013


It's not Community or else someone would've been able to dig up the quote.

Someone thought it might be Happy Endings, a bar mitzvah episode in particular, but i still can't find it.

I can't imagine it'd be hard to find such a unique quote when every show has theirs compiled online. It'd be funny if someone inadvertently made up a plausible pop cultural reference that was never actually used. It might be a telephone game situation, and it's just too hard to find the exact wording of the actual line online.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:50 AM on September 4, 2013


So crazy how familiar this seems to so many, myself included. I am voting for Psych or Community. As I am re-watching Psych at the moment (under-appreciated, IMO), I will keep an ear out and report back. One note, though. Unlike all of the other shows mentioned here (I have never seen Bunheads, Archer, ect. but I am assuming) Molly Ringwald is actually IN an episode of Psych (Season 5, Ep. 3).
posted by thebrokedown at 3:33 AM on September 4, 2013


I instantly thought of Bunheads when reading your question. I haven't seen any episodes, but I've watched a bunch of episode previews and this sounds insanely familiar.
posted by third word on a random page at 5:44 AM on September 4, 2013


I know I've heard this joke somewhere, perhaps several places, but I don't remember it with Molly Ringwald. I'm pretty sure that I heard it with a different celebrity, like "I wanted Jailhouse Rock Elvis, not Viva Las Vegas Elvis" or "Material Girl Madonna, not Ray of Light Madonna" or "Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy, not Short Circuit Ally Sheedy."

For some reason I hear it in Mr. Burns' voice, with an older frame of reference, but that could easily be a false memory. I have definitely read "Guys want to date Christie Brinkley, not David Brinkley" in Mad magazine, but that's getting further afield.

I'm surprised it's not common enough that there's a TV Tropes page for it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:32 AM on September 4, 2013


Does anyone have suggestions for how to search for this in Google?

I've used variations like this:
"Molly Ringwald" Community
"Pretty in Pink" Happy Endings

but haven't gotten anything definitive. Suggestions?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 AM on September 4, 2013


Brandon Blatcher, that's about what I've been trying too, but no dice so far.

For what it's worth, I've never seen Happy Endings or New Girl, and I don't listen to Fall Out Boy. My intersecting list of shows I've seen at least some of from the ones already mentioned are: Archer, Community, Dawson's Creek, Family Guy, How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation, and Psych. This hasn't been mentioned yet, but I thought it might also be from Futurama.

Although I get most of my media consumption through Netflix, we did just get cable thanks to a stupid moving bundle, so now I'm wondering if it's at all possible this was in an evil commercial of some sort. How else would it be so damn familiar to everyone but so impossible to find?!
posted by Diagonalize at 8:58 AM on September 4, 2013


I don't think it's Molly Ringwald, personally. I remember the construction of the quote ("[Movie1] [actress], not [movie2] [actress]") but not the actress. But I don't think it was Ringwald. Sorry to throw another wrench in the works.
posted by desjardins at 9:01 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


My first thought was The To Do List.

I've heard this also, and of the shows mentioned, Orange Is the New Black is the only one I've seen.
posted by figgy_finicky at 9:09 AM on September 4, 2013


I searched Google, Bing, YouTube, Subzin, PDFs of scripts for various Archer episodes, and more for this quote and several variations, and came up empty.

I think the fact that everyone thinks they've heard it but no one can point to a specific scene supports the "group hallucination" theory. If you don't remember the exact context (e.g. person, place) where you heard the quote, ask yourself: What is the evidence that makes me think I have heard this before?

Is it just that it sounds "familiar"? Perhaps that's because the quote seems so plausible, so like something that someone would say, that your imagination can quickly place it in any of a number of familiar contexts. And studies show that suggestions like this can very easily create "memories" out of thin air. Human memory is surprisingly unreliable and manipulable.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:25 PM on September 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


It appears to be an internet meme: http://www.memecreator.org/meme/i-wanted-sixteen-candles-molly-ringwald-not-pretty-in-pink-molly-ringwald1/

I don't know if that's the origin, but it would explain why the phrase in widely familiar but not very searchable. FWIW, it sounds familiar to me, I have no idea who Molly Ringwald is, and I've hardly seen any TV for the last year and a half. I'm guessing facebook is the culprit.
posted by Comet Bug at 2:40 PM on September 5, 2013


> It appears to be an internet meme: http://www.memecreator.org/meme/i-wanted-sixteen-candles-molly-ringwald-not-pretty-in-pink-molly-ringwald1/

There's no date on that page, but based on the numerical ID and HTTP "Modified" header of the image (compared to other images from the same site), that image was created at memecreator.org just yesterday, probably in response to this thread or related ones on other sites this week. It's currently on page 4 of the "newest memes" using that template. The memecreator link does show up in web searches today, but I didn't see it in the same searches two days ago.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:54 PM on September 5, 2013


Ah, yes. I'm about 100% certain the meme stuff is coming out of the original knitting forum. Let's just say there's been a lot of frustration building over the past couple months because of this apparently unanswerable question.

I've more or less resigned myself to the mass hallucination theory, so maybe this should be used as further evidence of how you can't really rely on human memory.
posted by Diagonalize at 8:29 AM on September 6, 2013


Hang on....could this quote have referred to Ally Sheedy? I almost feel like someone said they asked for War Games Ally Sheedy, not Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy.

On a hunch, I just checked and there are a couple of quotes for that in Google, but I can't imagine they became famous and I still feel like it was on TV. I want that quote to have been on TV or a Netflix show...but the War Games reference is jumping out at me.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 1:35 PM on September 6, 2013


Mass hallucination may still be possible, but now I think it might be from The Daily Show. I seem to specifically remember not getting the joke, which went something like: Jon makes some comparison to Ringwald --> picture from 16 candles appears --> quote. No idea which episodes to check.
posted by Comet Bug at 3:21 PM on September 7, 2013


Since first seeing this question, I've watched every episode of Orange is the New Black, and can add that the quote is not in OitNB.
posted by ericc at 9:02 AM on September 10, 2013


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