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One of the most celebrated filmmaking duos of all time is the Coen Brothers. From Fargo to Big Lebowski, it seems most movies with Joel and Ethan"s names attached to them are a smash hit. Of their massive successes, O Brother, Where Art Thou? remains to be listed among their best.
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The film, a loose adaptation of Homer"s The Odessey, is filled to the brim with incredible performances as is typical with Coen films. The film is one of the most quoted movies in the Coen catalog, and that is quite an achievement. With a movie as colorful as this one, there are plenty of iconic lines for fans to adapt into their daily speak, and plenty of chances to brush up on their Southern accents.
When a line is repeated numerous times in a film, it usually gets on the nerves of the viewer. When the line is said so quickly and when it is an understatement to the situation at hand, it may work. This is exactly the case when Everett uses this line on more than one occasion when the boys are under fire or cornered.
George Clooney"s delivery is what makes this line so quotable and laughable. He says it quickly, yet also nonchalant as is this is a common saying even before the events of the film. The line is also said numerous times in the same scene when the boys are taking cover from gunfire in a burning barn.
8 "He"s A Suitor" - Wharvey Gal
Everett spends the majority of the movie tracking down his wife and daughters. When he finally finds them, he discovers his wife has found another man and told his daughters he was in a train accident to prevent them from knowing he was in prison. When Everett is talking to his daughters about this, they keep letting him know that their mother"s new man is a suitor in a comedic repetitive way.
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It is often said there is comedy in misery, so seeing Everett travel such a long way only to discover he is far too late may be humorous to some, but the way the young girl gives this line just adds salt to the would for Everett.
This film"s version of the Sirens from Greek Mythology is a group of women, who lure the men into a lake, where they give them a strange drink that causes them to fall unconscious. When they come to, Everett and Delmar notice that all that is left of Pete are his clothes. Delmar, played by Tim Blake Nelson, then sees that a toad is in Pete"s clothes, and he of course mistakes the toad for Pete.
The shocked reaction of Delmar and his loud scream is what makes this line so quotable. It is the ridiculousness of the entire predicament that further cements this as a famous movie line. Delmar goes through a good chunk of the movie carrying what he believes to be Pete in a box, and the audience enjoys some dark humor when the toad meets its fate later in the film.
6 "Do Not Seek The Treasure" - Pete Hogwallop
Everett and Delmar take a break from the mayhem to watch a movie. The brief break is interrupted when guards with a chain gang enter the theatre. The two escaped convicts slump down in their seats trying to avoid being spotted when the line is whispered from behind them.
They turn to see Pete, who instead of being turned into a toad, was caught by the police and put back into prison. They fail to listen to this ominous warning, as Delmar instead decides to inform Pete they thought he was a toad. Pete chooses to ignore this and simply repeats the line. This phrase is repeated often among fans of the film, especially in movie theatres.
Everett is very protective of his hair, and will only put Dapper Dan in it. When he runs out of the hair product, he makes it his mission to track it down before he does anything else. He soon discovers that in the years since his arrest, the hair grease is harder to come by.
The shopkeep offers him a similar product but Everett refuses saying he is a "Dapper Dan Man." This is one of the calmer scenes in the film, yet it still has a quotable, fan-favorite scene proving that the Coens can make anything memorable.
4 "What Line Of Work You In, George?" - Delmar O"Donnell
During the police chase with George Nelson, he asks Delmar to hand him his "chopper," which Delmar obliges. Upon handing George his weapon, he asks him while line of work he is in. Delmar is shown on more than one occasion to not be the smartest in the group, but this is one line that pushes that to the limit.
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What adds to the humor of the line is the fact that it is completely ignored. No sarcastic remark or look is given, showing that while Delmar isn"t smart, the others aren"t far behind him.
While all three men are not the most educated, Everett is the one who is convinced he is a genius. This is proven when he keeps repeating a large word that most people would never use. When he is trying to convince his wife and daughters that he is the real head of the family, he refers to himself as the paterfamilias.
Even though he is using a large word, he clearly barely knows what it means and keeps using it hoping others will view him as intelligent as he sees himself.
2 "George Nelson Withdrawals" - George Nelson
George takes the boys into a bank, which he promptly robs. George believes he is the greatest bank robber of all time and everyone fears him. He enters the bank, firing his weapon in the air and giving a loud self appreciating speech. What makes the line so memorable, is the reaction of those in the bank.
While scared at first, the longer he talks the more confused they seem. A woman quietly whispers that he is Babyface Nelson, which George overhears. Suddenly his loud demeanor is gone and he seems almost offended. This shows that the loud speech he gave is all an act to seem more intimidating with the babyface he is known for.
One of the first places the boys lay low after escaping prison, is Pete"s cousin"s farm. They ask Wash where his wife is, which he responds by looking at his son and saying that she "R-U-N-N-O-F-T." This is comedic as not only is he spelling to save his son from knowing the truth, but he isn"t even spelling a real word.
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Later, the audience sees that the boy understands what this means, as he saves the men from the burning barn in a car, saying that he is gonna "R-U-N-N-O-F-T." There are plenty of mispronounced words in the film, but this seems to be the one fans quote the most, and it isn"t even actually spoken.