The 20 Best Quotes From Caddyshack: The Most Quotable Movie Ever
Gathering some of the great funnymen of the '70s -- Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, and Rodney Dangerfield -- the 1980 film Caddyshack may be the most quotable comedy ever. The writers of this madness were Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis (who also directed) and Doug Kenney (a key member of National Lampoon's editorial staff) should get a lot of the credit, though there was much improvisation on set as well.
This golf-themed sports classic centers around class privilege and rivalry at the Bushwood Country Club. Caddyshack produced some of the most quotable lines in film history so here are twenty of the best that you can add into everyday conversation.
'What an incredible Cinderella story...'
This is a monologue by groundskeeper Carl Spackler, played by Bill Murray, occurring at the beginning of the movie. He's speaking to himself as he weed-whacks some flowers:
"What an incredible Cinderella story! This unknown, comes out of nowhere, to lead the pack at Augusta. He's at the final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2-iron, I think. Oh, he got all of that. The crowd is standing on its feet here at Augusta. The normally reserved crowd is going wild... for this young Cinderella who's come out of nowhere. He's got about 350 yards left, he's going to hit about a 5-iron, it looks like, don't you think? He's got a beautiful backswing... that's- oh, he got all of that one! He's gotta be pleased with that! The crowd is just on its feet here. He's a Cinderella boy. Tears in his eyes, I guess, as he lines up this last shot. He's got about 195 yards left, and he's got a, looks like he's got about an 8-iron. This crowd has gone deadly silent... Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former greenskeeper, now about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac- it's in the hole! It's in the hole!"
Murray proved to be the chief of comedy as he completely improvised this entire monologue while his character pretends to be a professional golfer in his golden moment. The only script direction for Murray during the entire film was this scene, but the only instruction he was given was that, “Carl cuts off the tops of flowers with a grass whip,” and the rest was all on Murray’s own. AFI named the speech one of the greatest movie quotes of all time in 2005.
'We Have A Pool And A Pond. The Pond Is Better For You.'
Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) says this line to Carl when he visits the groundskeeper in his cluttered dwelling. Ty Webb is wealthy, but uninterested in his life of privilege, and Carl is asking whether he can come over to Ty's house to swim in his pool. Ty suggests that he'd rather the slovenly Carl take a dip in his pond.
The scene was never intended to happen. Director Harold Ramis was encouraged to add a scene that would include both Chase and Murray -- Caddyshack’s biggest stars -- even though there was a touch of rivalry between the two comedians ever since Murray replaced Chase on SNL. The three discussed a quick outline over lunch one day and the only part they explicitly decided on was that Ty would enter Carl’s shed and talk about marijuana. The rest was completely improvised, as were many lines from the entire movie.
"Stoned To The Bejeezus-Belt"
Carl Spackler is weird, his brain may be fried from the excesses of life -- but it's possible he's intelligent underneath it, or at least an idiot savant. We get a hint of this when he's hosting Ty, and Ty asks about a patch of grass Carl is growing on a table.
This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.
Carl has created a type of grass that is suitable for golf courses and rolling doobies. It may be an utterly impractical idea, but that doesn't mean it didn't take some smarts to pull it off.
'Oh, Rat Farts!'
What could be a better way to express your frustration than exclaiming a statement of rodent flatulence. In a vignette that doesn't have a lot to do with the main action of the film, Bishop Fred Pickering (Henry Wilcoxon) is golfing one night in the pouring rain, and playing out of his mind -- he's got the club record in his sights, and remarks that "The Good Lord would never disrupt the best game of my life." But he misses his putt on the final hole. His faith shattered, he screams "Rat farts!" at the sky -- and is struck dead by lightning. Wilcoxon was a big-time actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood and led major roles in films such as The Perfect Lady (1931), The Hamilton Woman (1941), and Mrs. Miniver (1942). Ramis developed this scene to lovingly make fun of Wilcoxon’s age and career. Caddyshack would be Wilcoxon’s final film before he passed away in 1984.
'Hey, that kangaroo just took my ball.'
Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian who earned moderate success in standup and on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. Caddyshack would be his first major motion picture as he played the role of Al Czervik, the loud-mouthed non-member golfer who speaks whatever is on his witty mind. Dangerfield was very nervous and doubtful on set because no one was laughing at his jokes. Co-star Scott Colomby reassured him that the crew was trained not to laugh on set and that he was doing just fine, and audiences would be laughing everywhere at this quote when he refers to the gopher as a “kangaroo.”
'Thank you very little.'
When Ty misses what seemed to be an easy putt, his caddy Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) responded with “unbelievable.” Offended by the comment, Ty replies with this backhanded response. Chase’s deadpan expressions led Ty to be the king of dry humor throughout the entire film.
'The world needs ditch diggers, too.'
Danny is trying to get on the good side of the club’s co-founder Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight) and was hoping to receive a scholarship from him. The young caddy opens up to Judge about how he desired to attend law school, but his parents couldn’t afford it. Snooty Judge lifts Danny’s spirits by reassuring him that ditch digging is always an option. This was just one of the many instances where the club owner uses his wealthy status to put others down, which was very similar to Knight’s vain character Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
'I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I’ve gotta get inside this guy’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.'
Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) is Bushwood’s groundskeeper whose mission is elimination of the gopher that has been appearing in various areas around the country club. This quote describes Carl’s bizarre strategy to destroy the gopher, which ends up causing excessive disruption throughout the golf course. The gopher idea wasn’t planned in the original script and was added after most of the movie had been finished to create a more linear storyline that viewers could follow. Star Wars visual effects supervisor John Dykstra created the gopher puppet.
'Don’t Sell Yourself Short Judge, You’re A Tremendous Slouch.'
Ty says this line to Judge being told, “You know, you should play with Dr. Beeper and myself. I mean, he’s been club champion for three years running and I’m no slouch myself.” Ty’s response was another example of his fine backhanded compliments delivered with so much ease and such a strong poker face that Judge was fooled into flattery. Although Ty was plentifully rich as the son of one of the other club’s co-founders, he didn’t fall into the privilege trap and scoffed at those that took advantage of their class, especially Judge.
'You buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free bowl of soup.'
While in Bushwood’s clothing shop, Al grabs a typical country club-looking hat off a mannequin describing it as the worst hat he’s ever seen. He then notices that Judge is standing next to him wearing the same hat, so to clear the awkwardness he tells him, “Oh, it looks good on you.” Al reps his eccentric personality and never gave a care in the world about what people thought of him.
'So I got that going for me, which is nice.'
Here's another great Carl Spackler story -- like the "Cinderella story" bit, it was improvised by Murray:
"So I jump ship in Hong Kong and I make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. ... A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
Murray was originally set to only make a quick cameo as the groundskeeper, but the crew found his scene so hilarious that they kept him around for six days of filming as one of Caddyshack’s stars. It didn’t take extra work to write him into the script because Murray improvised all of his lines in every scene he was included in. Caddyshack was actually co-written by his brother Brian-Doyle Murray who used their own experiences growing up as caddies to inspire the movie. In fact, the infamous floating Baby Ruth incident resembled a very similar prank the two brothers pulled in high school.
'You’re rather attractive, for a beautiful girl with a great body.'
Ty, the master of backhanded compliments, was now actually giving a compliment. But since he was used to insulting, it was natural for Ty to discredit the compliment by sarcastically adding “for a beautiful girl with a great body.” The line is directed to Lacy Underall (Cindy Morgan), Judge’s promiscuous niece who has steamy experiences with both Ty and Danny.
'A member? You think I actually want to join this scumatorium? The only reason I’m here is because I might buy it!'
Judge could not stand Al and his free-spirited nature. After Judge informed Al that he’ll never become a member, Al was unfazed and laughed it off responding that he’s more interested in buying Bushwood to transform it into housing than becoming a member.
'You’ll get nothing and like it!'
Judge Smails is stuck looking after his snotty and privileged grandson Spaulding, who is not only a bad golfer, but also has no manners. As they take a break from their game for lunch, Spaulding starts loudly announcing his desires, as if a maitre d' will show up to take his order. "I want a hamburger... no, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips. I want..."
Judge Smails is a terrible person, but he has worked a day in his life and does expect kids to be polite at his club. Spaulding's self-centeredness send Smails into a rage (which isn't actually hard to do); he snaps and grabs Spaulding by the arm, screaming "You'll get nothing and like it!"
'Just be the ball, be the ball, be the ball. You’re not being the ball, Danny.'
This was some of Ty’s wise advice while coaching Danny for the caddy scholarship tournament. However, Danny’s perplexed expression shows this guidance just left him confused, as it probably would for any other person.
'You take drugs, Danny?' 'Every Day'
What seemed like it would be a moment where Ty would mentor teenage Danny by advising him to keep away from substances, the scene turned more towards a more ironic direction. Danny answers, “Every day,” and Ty responds, “Good. Then what’s your problem?”
'How would you like to come over and mow my lawn?'
Judge informs Danny that he’s having a party the upcoming weekend and makes it seem as if he is about to invite him to join. Instead, Judge gives Danny the great opportunity of fixing up his house prior to the festivity.
'Whoa, did somebody step on a duck?'
While eating dinner surrounded by prestigious country club members who were so entertained by the wild antics of Al, he let one rip and covered it up with this quote.
'Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.'
Similar to Ty Webb, Al utilized backhanded compliments to their fullest potential in comedy. While Ty would deliver his sarcasm with a straight face, Al was much more expressive which gave away the true intentions behind his compliments.
'A Donut With No Hole Is A Danish'
Ty Webb is rich and bored; he has a zen air about him, as if he might just float away without warning. He's the kind of guy who probably took too many philosophy courses in college, back when he cared about life. In this advice to Danny, he reveals a profound truth about the nature of things:
Don't be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher Basho once wrote, 'A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a Danish.' He was a funny guy.
Danny is frustrated by his life and wishes it were different. If Danny had the money or privilege that surrounds him he thinks he'd be happier -- but the hard fact is he doesn't have those things. He's a stick without holes wishing he were a flute.
'Don't Tell 'Em You're Jewish'
Many elitist country clubs didn't admit members who were anything but WASPs (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants), and apparently Bushwood is one of these. Al Czervik, an obnoxious but honest real estate developer, delights in casually dissing the club's pretensions and delusions of grandeur. When he shows up with his Asian friend, Mr. Wang, he quips:
I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?