In 1977, the number one movie at the box office was Star Wars. But many people forget that one of the top five movies of that year was the mega-hit comedy Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds and comedy legend Jackie Gleason.
The movie is full of great car stunts, catchy songs, and gave way to some of the most memorable lines ever to be heard on film. Here are 15 of the most memorable quotes from Smokey and the Bandit.
Updated on January 7th, 2021 by Mark Birrell: As one of the most iconic comedy movies of all time, Smokey and the Bandit has no shortage of quotes that have survived for decades in the hearts and minds of movie fans across the world. As such, we couldn’t limit our list to just 10 quotes and have added a further 5 to round out the most memorable lines from the unforgettable movie. Fans are sure to find a piece of dialogue from the movie here that will remind them of just how hilarious Smokey and the Bandit can be, so buckle up and get ready to laugh all over again.
15 “For the good old American life. For the money, the glory, and the fun. Mostly for the money.”
Burt Reynolds is at his most charismatic as the titular Bandit and the lowkey outlaw often borders on being an antihero in the movie while never losing his likability. He asks for no forgiveness for his crimes and he never needs it.
The Bandit barely even pretends that he’s in it for anything more than the money and it only serves to make him more relatable to the audience.
14 “Well, they said it couldn’t be done.”// “Well, that’s the reason, son.”
At the beginning of the adventure, the Bandit’s partner in crime, Snowman, is a little skeptical about the impossible task before them and asks his partner why they’re even attempting it.
In their musical back-and-forth radio manner, the two answer why they’d even try to such a difficult run like the one they’d been tasked with. The sentiment at the heart of the exchange forms part of the chorus of the movie’s most famous song ‘East Bound and Down’, sung by Snowman actor Jerry Reed.
13 “The goddamn Germans got nothin’ to do with it!”
Sherrif Buford T. Justice is a classic movie buffoon who certainly ridicules many of the Southern United States’ most backward stereotypes but he remains somewhat lovable through sheer relatable idiocy.
In this hilarious response, Justice hears another police officer, Sherrif Brandford, use the word “germane”, which Justice clearly fails to understand the meaning of.
12 “When you tell somebody somethin’, it depends on which part of the United States you’re standing in as to just how dumb you are.”
The Bandit isn’t without his moments of wisdom, despite his playful charms and easygoing attitude to most things. When he and Carrie (Sally Field) are comparing tastes to find out how much they have in common, it turns out that they aren’t aware at all of each other’s heroes and influences.
Carrie has a more Northern mindset, with a nearly-missed dream of being on Broadway, and the Bandit is purely Southern. This observation quite elegantly sums up the differences between American cultures.
11 “Son, you reckon you can let me off at the next exit?”
It’s not just the big stars who get the best lines in Smokey and the Bandit. In this instance, it’s a briefly-appearing character using their one big line in the movie to steal the show and bring down the house.
After the bandit manages to evade a series of police cars, sending many of them spinning out of control and crashing, one ends up on the back of a passing truck. the officer inside leans out of the window to ask this hilarious question to the driver.
10 “Well, At Least He Kept It In The Family.”
As the Bandit and Carrie speed down the highway getting to know each other, Carrie talks about her previous relationship before she left Junior at the altar.
She says her greatest relationship was with “an acid-rock” singer named Robert Crumly. After eight days, she thought that he was the one, but one day she came home and found him in the shower with another woman and her mother. The bandit smartly replies, “Well, at least he kept it in the family.”
9 “You Som******* Couldn’t Close An Umbrella.”
Law enforcement officers were trying to stop the Bandit by forming a roadblock. Coming up the street the Bandit sees two cars blocking the street, so he swerves going around them through someone’s yard almost hitting a house as everyone watches the black Firebird Trans Am whisk by.
One of the officers asks, “Did you see that? They went right through our roadblock.” Sheriff Justice (Jackie Gleason) angrily replies, “You som******* couldn’t close an umbrella.”
8 “I Happen To Be Buford T. Justice, A Distinguished Officer Of Over Thirty Years Seniority.”
An eager highway patrolman asks Justice why he is driving his badly damaged car on the highway and Justice informs him that this is evidence. He keeps cussing at him and Justice says, “I am telling you for the last time, I have my son in the car, and I don’t want to hear that kind of language”.
He cusses again and an irate Justice while poking the young officer in his chest gets out of the car and says, “Hold it Hold it. Do you know who I am? I happen to be Buford T. Justice, a distinguished officer of over thirty years seniority.” before cussing back at him.
7 “Hold Up On That Car Wash Gentlemen.”
As the music plays in the background and Sheriff Buford T. Justice and his son pull up to a car that Junior’s (Mike Henry) ex-fiancee drove from the wedding, he gets out of the car unsnaps his gun belt, goes around the front of his squad car as his son follow him. They both sit on the hood watching the gentlemen strip the car.
As three young men continue to strip the car, the Sheriff says, “Hold up on that car wash, gentlemen.” Justice sternly questions them about the driver of the car and where she went. But before he left, he informs them that they better not leave until other policemen arrive.
6 “Ooo, Hee-Hee, For Some Reason Or Another, You Sounded A Little Taller On Radio, Hee-Hee.”
After realizing that Justice was out of his jurisdiction, Sheriff Branford (George Reynolds) states that it was a matter of their county and for Justice to let them handle it.
While in pursuit, Branford tries to jump a bridge but does not make it. Justice arrives on the scene and says to Branford who happens to be a black Sheriff in the south and asks him, “Hey boy? Where is Sheriff Branford?”. He replies, “I am Sheriff Branford.” When he sees him, Sheriff Justice replies, “Ooo, hee-hee. For some reason or another, you sounded a little taller on radio, hee-hee”.
5 “We Ain’t Got Time For That Crap!”
Sheriff Justice stops off at the nearest “choke and puke” (burger restaurant) to get a Diablo sandwich. The audience hears the Sheriff’s loud voice coming inside as the Bandit becomes nervous. Justice pulls up right next to him and orders, “Let me have a Dr. Pepper, a Diablo sandwich, and make it fast I’m in a goddamn hurry.”
Then he walks quickly to the door asking his son if he wants something. Offscreen viewers hear, “hush puppies daddy.” Justice angrily replies, “We ain’t got no time for that crap!”
4 “When You Raid The Cathouse, You Take The Piano Player Too.”
When junior and Justice got a tip on the location of the Bandit, they come to a house of ill repute and arrest everybody. Including the mayor of the city. But the bandit was nowhere to be found.
The Sheriff’s son says, “You know daddy, I don’t think the Bandit’s really bad. I think the trouble is he just got in with real bad company”. Sheriff Justice answers, “Let me tell ya somethin’, Junior. When you raid a cathouse, you take the piano player too.”
3 “There’s no way, no way, you can come from my loins.”
After a truck sideswipes the Sheriff’s squad car and takes off the door, he tells his son to put the door in the car as evidence. He sees his son holding the car door in his lap only his hands in view. Justice looks at his son and shakes his head telling him to put the door in the back seat.
Then in a sentimental father and son movie moment, he tells him, “There’s no way, no way you can come from my loins.”
2 “I’m Gonna Barbecue Your Ass In Molasses!”
As the Sheriff and his son are waiting for the road to clear, a truck comes around and takes off the door to his squad car. Very upset, Justice yells and cusses letting the driver know that he saw what happened and accuses him of doing that on purpose.
He lets him know that he has the evidence and tells his son, Junior, to put the evidence in the car. Then he yells at the trucker, “I’m gonna barbecue your ass in molasses!”
1 “What We’re Dealing With Here, Is A Complete Lack Of Respect For The Law.”
This legendary quote is one of the most memorable lines in movie history.
Sheriff Justice is run off the road. Irritated and annoyed, with one arm hanging out of the car window, blue lights swirling above him and his son dressed in a tuxedo nodding his head in agreeance, Justice exclaims, “What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law.”
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