Thursday, May 8, 2008


It has happened again. You know it, I know it, and another movie quote has become the catchphrase. Last year was about "THIS IS SPARTA" and any line from a Judd Apatow movie. This year is an unlikely one though. It's from Paul Thomas Anderson's ambitious film There Will Be Blood. The line, uttered by Daniel Day-Lewis as oil tycoon Daniel Plainview in the film's final scene as he confronts Paul Dano's Eli Sunday, goes like this:

Plainview: Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I'm so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake!
[sucking sound]
Plainview: I drink it up!

And thus unintentional comedy is born.

Soon after the film is released, a website called "There Will Be Milkshakes" sprung up and has become a forum discussing the film. It also plays the sound clip. Eventually, some people online discuss the film and the line. Then because of Oscar buzz, SNL does a sketch devoted to the line. T-shirts shart popping up online. Then those online comedy troupes take advantage of the line and do their own intrepertations of the scene. With the DVD release, now we see YTMND's and other videos parodying the scene in various ways (My favorite being this one) .And it's official "I Drink Your Milkshake" is the first movie line to be advanced by the internet.

You look at other films in the Internet age that have had popular movie moments and lines and you think "That can't be. At some point one movie's line or scene has been made popular by the internet". Nope. The reason why movie lines take off is because people have seen the movies. Let's take a look:

"I Drink Your Milkshake" -There Will Be Blood - $40,222,514
"My Precious" - Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - $340,478,898
"THIS IS SPARTA!!!" - 300 - $210,592,590

There Will Be Blood hasn't even made $50 million. Most memorable movie quotes came from very popular movies. Casablanca. The Godfather. Forrest Gump. The list goes on. Who saw TWBB? Critics, PTA fans, and more adult viewers. But some movie loving teens or twentysomethings got hold of the quote and blew it out of proportion. That age group always catches on to something first until it gets out of control. And most box-office smashes are targeted to that age group. TWBB and I Drink Your Milkshake was lucky. Here's the new movie quote fame equation: 13-28 + Internet = Pop Culture Fame. Drink it up, everyone.

Watch the scene here
or the unfunny SNL sketch here

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