Top 5 worst pay-off lines (give or take three)

You can imagine the pain. I recorded Cliffhanger by mistake last night. You needn’t feel sorry for me, mind. I was actually trying to record Die Hard 2. (It was rescheduled because some oversensitive baboon at ITV thought that it would be inappropriate to screen a film about things blowing up at airports at a time when things are blowing up at airports. Ludicrous. The only person anywhere near death is the gimp who set himself alight. I ask you. These guys are the Benny Hills of terror.)

Anyhow, there was one positive outcome: I was able to listen to the worst pay-off line ever spoken during a hero vs villain finale. As Sylvester Stallone dispatches the actor from Third Rock from the Sun by throwing him inside a helicopter poised to fall into a ravine, he shouts: “Remember, shithead, keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times.”

Beautiful stuff. I wanted to compile a top five worst pay-off lines, but I can only think of one other example bad enough to qualify: Vin Diesel, having fired a heat-seeking rocket at a villain puffing on a cigarette at the end of xXx: “I told you smoking would kill you.”

Submissions for the other three places in the top five would be most welcome.


20 Responses to “Top 5 worst pay-off lines (give or take three)”

  1. rivergirlie Says:

    i’m thinking – but while i’m at it, is being the benny hill of terror akin to being the paris hilton of bristol?

  2. Tom L Says:

    3. “Hey Freeze. The heat is on.”

    (George Clooney (Batman) to Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mr Freeze) in Batman & Robin.)

  3. pouletnoir Says:

    A worthy entry. I also considered Arnie’s “Stick around” when he pins someone to a wall with a knife in Predator, but it was too plain. I’m after seriously contrived stuff.

  4. pouletnoir Says:

    There is a particularly fine one in X-Men;. Not contrived, as such, but certainly bathetic. Storm, upon dispatching Toad with a bolt of lightning: “Do you know what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.”

  5. Tom L Says:

    Egad, that’s awful. In order to spare ourselves the chimp-like agitation caused staring into the monolithic emptiness of actual pay-off lines, how about we make up our own, more cheerful ones?

    I’ll start:

    1. “Toodles!”. Ellen Ripley, at the end of Alien.

  6. pouletnoir Says:

    Don’t distract. I want more genuine awful pay-off lines. Cheerful alternatives will have to wait for another time.

  7. Tom L Says:

    I warn you, when you stare into the abyss …

  8. WisdomWeasel Says:

    “I saw… its thoughts. I saw what they’re planning to do. They’re like locusts. They’re moving from planet to planet… their whole civilization. After they’ve consumed every natural resource they move on… and we’re next. Nuke ’em. Let’s nuke the bastards.”
    Shirley MacLaine (Aurora Greenway) to Debra Winger (Emma Greenway) in Terms of Endearment.

    Totally broke the fourth wall.

  9. krkbaker Says:

    Silvester is such a bad actor.
    I almost died when I found out he was doing the last Rocky.
    I thought for sure he would be like the trainer/coach guy.

  10. krkbaker Says:

    I meant to post one before I clicked submit.

    “I really need some pants that fit”.
    “Look out!”
    Humvee swerves to miss bunny right before it is grabbed by a large spider.

    ‘8-Legged Freaks’

  11. pouletnoir Says:

    Jolly good. I’m still in need of at least one more dreadful line uttered by a hero at the point of dispatching a villain, though.

  12. Moobs Says:

    Don’t make me break out my Roger Moore James Bonds

  13. pouletnoir Says:

    I would argue that “What a helpful chap”, having dropped a fat man off a building by letting go of his tie, is actually very cool.

  14. Tom L Says:

    “You think he got the point?” (or derivative)

    I get a ghostly feeling that this corny line, usually deployed by our wisecracking hero protagonist, has been used repeatedly since the 70s, but can’t think of a specific instance.

  15. Tom L Says:

    …. that is, deployed by our hero protagonist after impaling a goon on some sharp item.

  16. Steve P Says:

    How about Arnie in Commando ” Leave him Alone, He’s Dead Tired!”

  17. pouletnoir Says:

    Not bad.

  18. brethart77 Says:

    I think it was the movie, “Predator” where Arnold says to a dispached
    “bad guy” after sticking him to a wall with a huge knife, “Stick Around”…that was pretty bad.

  19. pouletnoir Says:

    It is, and he does. It is contrived, certainly, but I need more than simple puns. I need full-blown hack writing.

  20. brethart77 Says:

    I’m sure that I heard some while watching “Mall Cop”…just can’t recall exactly…may want to look for some there.

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