Top 5 Favorite Lines Shouted from Offscreen in a Movie or TV Show

Welcome to Top 5 Fun Friday, a regularly-occurring blog feature where I give you a list of extremely specific pointless shit from my life no one asked for. Why? Because the internet is incredibly un-fun in 2020 and I miss blogging. It’s Friday and these will be fun! This week’s list…

Top 5 Funniest Lines Shouted From Offscreen in a Movie or TV Show

You’re not here for the introduction paragraph, you’re here to laugh. Let’s enjoy some people getting yelled at, heckled, or otherwise saying funny shit out of view of the camera. Here we go, in no particular order…

“Dracula musical!” shouted by Rachel at Peter in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

It was this scene that inspired the whole list as I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed the visual of seeing an actor standing there getting heckled from another character offscreen. Something about it three-dimensionalizes a movie for me. No camera cut, just someone also sitting amongst us who we can also hear shouting at the guy the camera is pointed at.

In this particular case, while Peter was peeing, Rachel asked the band if Peter could get up there and sing a song from his Dracula musical. She probably assumed, as we all likely did, that Dracula was like a metaphor or some sort of oblique nod to the famous vampire. Peter knows it’s not and knows no one in this chill local Hawaiian bar is ready for it. The look of surprise on her face when out of Peter’s mouth comes this thick Transylvanian accent like he’s channeling Bela Lugosi, is absolutely perfect. But before we get there, we have to withstand Peter’s protest at having to sing.

“Y’know, I could play something else. I just think out of context this might be…”

[from offscreen, still in her seat, not taking any excuses] “DRACULA MUSICAL!”

Her insistence kills me every time. She’s willing this sad panda out of his misery cocoon come hell or highwater. She’s such a refreshing counterpoint for Peter after having his heart broken by Sarah that in many ways, the movie works almost entirely because of Mila Kunis’s performance. It would have been really good anyway, but I argue that she’s the reason it’s great.

She even has another great offscreen heckle. When they go on the hike, she jumps in the water from that roughly 30 foot cliff and encourages Peter to do the same. We see her say, “Oh c’mon Peter, I can see your vagina from here!” We cut to a shot of Peter as she continues the assault from the ocean. [offscreen] “I can see your hoo-ha!”

Every man deserves a woman who calls him on his bullshit, and Rachel is one of the best movie ch

“It’s alright, I’m ok!” shouted by Simon in Go.

Quick piece of trivia: This was the first movie I ever bought on DVD, and it’s way underrated. It’ll keep you guessing all the way through. Very few movies can include setups that involve cops who try to get the gay actors to sell Amway or have grocery store clerks make their rent by selling baby aspirin to dorky ravers. 

In this scene I’m referencing, the hardasses from a Las Vegas strip club seek revenge on English twit Simon for shooting one of them in the arm in the champagne room after a zany, screwball series of misunderstandings. Simon was in possession of cool drug dealer Todd’s (played by Timothy Olyphant who rules so hard in this movie) credit card to gain entry to the champagne room, so they’re waiting at Todd’s apartment to exact revenge and in the process, interrupt him from doin’ it with Katie Holmes’s character, Claire. He sees them, they say something menacing, and then smashcut to him drawing them a map to Simon’s apartment and giving them directions on the best way to get there and how to avoid construction. The choice to excise all of the necessary exposition between them is an editing choice I think about a lot when I think about my own projects. Simon barges in, and they strike an accord to get justice by shooting Simon in the arm, too.

Claire can’t bear to watch, so she leaves, and as we see her walk down the hall, we hear a gunshot. Claire jumps. And after a beat we hear from inside the apartment, “It’s alright! I’m ok!” in that oblivious sunshine voice of Simon’s. I wouldn’t want to see anyone get shot at point blank range either. But I was also happy that after being an unbelievably obnoxious, troublemaking dickhead during the entire movie’s runtime, Simon finally took a well-deserved bullet. I was also glad AND annoyed that he was okay.

Ron [into camera]: “No, I’m bringing my workshop up to the Swanson code. And if the Swanson code happens to overlap with the city government code…”

Mark Brendanawicz [from off-camera]: “SHUT. UP!” from “The Possum” episode of Parks and Recreation.

It’s rare you get to see someone verbally smackdown Ron fucking Swanson, but Brendanawicz does a remarkable job here. It’s weird watching that second season of Parks & Rec because the character of Mark just doesn’t fit all that well considering what the show became once Adam Scott and Rob Lowe joined. That’s not to slag on Paul Schneider’s performance as he’s great, but the character just wasn’t all that well defined. Was he a ladies’ man? Was he a scoundrel? Was he a put-upon good guy? Who knows!

But in this scene he’s a guy who’s had enough of Ron’s trumped-up bellyaching about making sure his woodshop expansion is up to code. It’s rare on these shows that anyone interrupts the confessional scenes, but when they do, it’s pretty much always hilarious. We’ve heard plenty of principled bloviating from Ron, so it’s nice to hear someone just tell him to shut the hell up for once. Ron sells it, too, which is just the cherry on top. A good man knows when he’s defeated, but every man can wince at having that realization.

[onscreen] Garth Algar: “Welcome to Aurora!”

[offscreen] Some heavy metal burnout in the crowd: “EAT ME!” from Wayne’s World 2

Welcome to Aurora!

In the climax of the only Wayne’s World sequel, Waynestock has miraculously sold out despite having no confirmed acts (except for Rip Taylor) as metalheads from across the country have descended onto this town an hour outside of Chicago expecting a bitchin’ festival. But no acts are there, and Garth is left not knowing what to do, much like when Wayne bailed on their first show in the first movie.

The thing that kills me about this scene is that in 2020 the term “Eat me” isn’t really en vogue anymore, so when that guy in the crowd yells it upon a recent rewatch, I genuinely yelped out a laugh of surprise. You don’t really hear people say or yell that anymore the way you did in the 1990s. You’re probably more likely to hear someone say “Blow me” or “Eat shit” or “Cram it up your cramhole, LaFleur.” I like it because it conveys the displeased message you’re seeking to send, but without the supercharged misogyny of “Blow me.” In fact, given what the two acts of blowing vs eating connote, perhaps there’s a feminist angle… y’know what, I’m just gonna stop here.

Suffice to say, I’m a sucker for a good crowd heckle. Digging into my history, my favorite is probably when I was at NXT Wargames last year with really great seats and I shouted “Hit. Kyle. O’Reilly. HARDER!” and everyone got some amusement from that. I miss going to live shit. And Kyle O’Reilly has one of the most punchable faces in the history of punching and faces.

“I WANT SOME BUTTS!” shouted by the angry control tower officer at pretty much anyone within earshot from Top Gun

Gun to my head, I’d say this is the scene in a movie that makes me laugh the hardest every single time I see it. Every single thing about it makes me laugh. Let’s break it down, shall we?

– First, you’ve got a smash cut to Maverick and Goose standing at attention in the hallway covered in sweat (which isn’t exactly unusual for Top Gun, the sweatiest homoerotic movie ever made) looking like they’re shitting their pants with fear while the red assed control tower officer screams at Viper.

– Let’s transcribe this furious jackass’s hilarious rant in full. “Two of your snot-nosed jockeys did a flyby on my tower at over 400 knots! I want somebody’s butt, I want it now, I’ve had it!” And then he storms out. The whole thing is like 8 seconds, but feels like probably the summation of a good 10 minutes of yelling. Whoever that actor is manages to be both uproarious and weirdly intimidating.

– About halfway through, they cut to a Steadicam shot of the dorkiest motherfucker in the Navy with his little bowl cut, Ned Flanders mustache, and child molester glasses walking down the hall very carefully carrying a tray of full coffee mugs. Captain Redass finishes his rant, storms out of Viper’s office like the Juggernaut and plows into dweeby knocking him forcefully to the ground and gets coffee spilled on him for the second time that day.

– He tersely shakes some of the liquid off his arms, but doesn’t really break stride then NOTES THE SITUATION. “God. Dammit! That’s twice!” He moves out of frame, and then shouts SUPER LOUD, “I WANT SOME BUTTS!”

– Meanwhile Viper, noticeably worn out from getting screamed at, but not really fazed, strolls out of his office and just sort of looks at the poor coffee delivery nebbish on the ground without doing anything to help him. After a beat, he says casually, “Well, that’ll just about cover the flybys,” and then walks in the other direction out of frame. Jester, all-business as always, directs Maverick & Goose to “follow me.”

I truly cannot decide what my favorite part of this is. Is it Viper’s nonchalance at the entire thing? Is it the collateral damage of the poor coffee dweeb and the fact that no one helps him? Is it the coffee finding its way to the angriest man alive again just to twist the knife on him? Or is it the control tower officer, after being by far and away the loudest person in the scene, going over the top of himself and screaming one of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard in a movie anywhere? “God. Dammit! That’s twice! I WANT SOME BUTTS!”

Yeah, it’s definitely that. That will never not be funny to me.

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