This is Spinal Tap was supposed to be a satirical peek into the decadent, self-contained world of early Eighties heavy metal -- at least as it applied to a group of aging rock stars.
At some point, though, the movie transitioned from cult comedy to cultural institution (In 2002, the Library of Congress selected This Is Spinal Tap for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" film).
Indeed, so much of the film's mostly improvised dialogue has entered the English lexicon that even people who haven't seen it can recognize several of its lines. The movie is an uninterrupted stream of subtle one-liners and dead-pan banter. Still, there are those lines that stand out from all the others, those that need little to no set-up other than a fake British accent.
Below, in no particular order -- that's for you to determine, is a list of some of the best quotes from This is Spinal Tap. Normally, I would have capped the list at 10, but I needed that extra push over the cliff.
So here they are: My Top 11 Quotes from This is Spinal Tap!
11. "These go to 11." -- Nigel Tufnel
10. "We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel. They're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries. It's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water." -- Derek Smalls
9. "Oh, we've got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That's refreshing." -- David St. Hubbins
8. "You can't really dust for vomit." -- Nigel Tufnel
7. "Have ... a good time ... all the time." -- Viv Savage
6. "I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object." -- David St. Hubbins
"Here lies David St. Hubbins ... and why not?" -- David St. Hubbins
4. "Authorities said ... best leave it ... unsolved, really." -- Nigel Tufnel
2. "I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn't believe anything." -- David St. Hubbins
[ Ed. Note: And of course, what would a Top 11 list of Spinal Tap quotes be without a little "Mach" in the saddest of all keys, D minor.]