Most of the script for This Is Spinal Tap almost entirely was improvised. The cast just made it all up. Here are the best Spinal Tap quotes from the classic 1984 film.
From the hair and the lyrics to the makeup – there’s so much to love about the decadent lifestyle of 1980s heavy metal music. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) is a rockumentary from director Rob Reiner (All In The Family, The Princess Bride, Stand by Me). The actors in Spinal Tap include Christopher Guest (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman), Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley, Better Call Saul, A Mighty Wind) and Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, A Mighty Wind) that follows an aging rock band called Spinal Tap as they go on what proves to be a fateful tour.
The Best Quotes From Spinal Tap
Here are the best Spinal Tap quotes from the 1984 film. If we missed any of your favorite Spinal Tap jokes, then please leave a note in the comments.
- On why the composition of Spinal Tap’s audience is full of “predominantly young boys” and not many females.
- Nigel Tufnel: We’ve got Armadillos in our trousers. It’s really quite frightening.
Fans Of Your Music
- Lt. Hookstratten: May I start by saying how thrilled we are to have you here. We are such fans of your music and all of your records. I’m not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre of the rock and roll.
Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll
- Marty DiBergi: What would you do if you couldn’t play music anymore?
- Mick Shrimpton: Well, as long as there’s, you know, sex and drugs, I could do without the rock n’ roll.
Spinal Tap Stonehenge Quote
- David St. Hubbins: 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.
- Ian Faith: I really think you’re just making much too big a thing out of it.
- Derek Smalls: Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.
- Airport Security Officer: Do you have any artificial plates or limbs?
- Derek Smalls: Er, not really. No.
One Of Britan’s Loudest Bands
- Marty DiBergi: They’ve earned themselves a distinguished place in rock history as one of Britan’s loudest bands.
None More Black
- Nigel Tufnel: It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.
Mime Is Money
- Morty the Mime: Whoah, whoah, whoah, whoah, whoah. How come you got so much here?
- Mime Waiter: I don’t know, they’re not eating it.
- Morty the Mime: Did you do the wind?
- Mime Waiter: I did the wind, I did the wind.
- Morty the Mime: No, you don’t push the wind away, the wind comes at you. Ok change those, get the little dwarf cannolis. Come on, don’t talk back, mime is money, come on, move it.
“I feel my role in the band is to be… kind of like lukewarm water.”
- Derek Smalls: 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.
I Envy Us
- Derek Smalls: We’re lucky.
- David St. Hubbins: Yeah.
- Derek Smalls: I mean, people should be envying us, you know.
- David St. Hubbins: I envy us.
- Derek Smalls: Yeah.
- David St. Hubbins: I do.
- Derek Smalls: Me too.
A Preserved Moose On Stage
- Marty DiBergi: Do you feel that playing rock ‘n’ roll music keeps you a child? That is, keeps you in a state of arrested development?
- Derek Smalls: No. No. No. I feel it’s like, it’s more like going, going to a, a national park or something. And there’s, you know, they preserve the moose. And that’s, that’s my childhood up there on stage. That moose, you know.
- Marty DiBergi: So when you’re playing you feel like a preserved moose on stage?
- Derek Smalls: Yeah.
“Oh, we’ve got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.”
- David St. Hubbins: Oh, we’ve got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.
- Marty DiBergi: “This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.”
- Nigel Tufnel: That’s just nitpicking, isn’t it?
What Day Did The Lord Create Spinal Tap?
- Marty DiBergi: “This pretentious ponderous collection of religious rock psalms is enough to prompt the question, ‘What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn’t he have rested on that day too?'”
The Two-Word Review For Shark Sandwich
- Marty DiBergi: The review for “Shark Sandwich”, which was merely a two-word review, just said “Sh*t Sandwich”.
Believing What You Read
- David St. Hubbins: 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.
Well, this piece is called “Lick My Love Pump”
- Nigel is playing a soft piece on the piano.
- Marty DiBergi: It’s very pretty.
- Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, I’ve been fooling around with it for a few months.
- Marty DiBergi: It’s a bit of a departure from what you normally play.
- Nigel Tufnel: It’s part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I’m working on in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don’t know why.
- Marty DiBergi: It’s very nice.
- Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like – I’m really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it’s sort of in between those, really. It’s like a Mach piece, really. It’s sort of…
- Marty DiBergi: What do you call this?
- Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is called “Lick My Love Pump”
Sexist vs Sexy
- Ian Faith: It’s sexist.
- Nigel Tufnel: What’s wrong with being sexy?
- Marty DiBergi: I remember being knocked out by their… their exuberance, their raw power… and their punctuality.
- (Asked to write his own epitaph.)
- David St. Hubbins: Here lies David St. Hubbins… and why not?
Never Been Played
- Nigel Tufnel: Look… still has the old tag on, never even played it.
- Marty DiBergi: (points his finger at the guitar) You’ve never played…?
- Nigel Tufnel: Don’t touch it!
- Marty DiBergi: Well I wasn’t going to touch it, I was just pointing at it.
- Nigel Tufnel: Well… don’t point! It can’t be played.
- Marty DiBergi: Don’t point, okay. Can I look at it?
- Nigel Tufnel: No. no. That’s it, you’ve seen enough of that one.
These Go To 11
Out of all of the popular Spinal Tap quotes, this one is by far the most famous.
- Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
- Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
- Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
- Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
- Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
- Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
- Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
- Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
- Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
- Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
- Nigel Tufnel: (pause) These go to eleven.
It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh… clever.
- David St. Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…
- Nigel Tufnel: Clever.
- David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.
Boston Isn’t A Big College Town?
- Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been canceled…
- David St. Hubbins: What?
- Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn’t worry about it though, it’s not a big college town.
The Miniature Bread Catastrophe
The First Drummer: Bizarre Gardening Accident
- When asked what happened to their first drummer.
- David St. Hubbins: He died in a bizarre gardening accident…
- Nigel Tufnel: Authorities said… best leave it… unsolved.
The Second Drummer: Dust For Vomit
- Marty DiBergi: And what happened to Stumpy Joe?
- Derek Smalls: It’s not a very pleasant story. But uh, he died. He choked on uh, the official explanation was he choked on vomit.
- Nigel Tufnel: It was actually. It was actually someone else’s vomit. You know there’s no real…
- Derek Smalls: Well they can’t prove whose vomit it was. They don’t have the ability. There’s no way of…
- Nigel Tufnel: You can’t really dust for vomit.
The Third Drummer: Spontaneously Combust
- Marty DiBergi: Now, during the Flower People period, who was your drummer?
- David St. Hubbins: Stumpy’s replacement, Peter James Bond. He also died in mysterious circumstances. We were playing a, uh…
- Nigel Tufnel: …Festival.
- David St. Hubbins: Jazz blues festival. Where was that?
- Nigel Tufnel: Blues jazz, really.
- Derek Smalls: Blues jazz festival. Misnamed.
- Nigel Tufnel: It was in the Isle of, uh…
- David St. Hubbins: Isle of Lucy. The Isle of Lucy jazz and blues festival.
- Nigel Tufnel: And, uh, it was tragic, really. He exploded on stage.
- Derek Smalls: Just like that.
- David St. Hubbins: He just went up.
- Nigel Tufnel: He just was like a flash of green light… And that was it. Nothing was left.
- David St. Hubbins: Look at his face.
- Nigel Tufnel: Well, there was…
- David St. Hubbins: It’s true, this really did happen.
- Nigel Tufnel: It’s true. There was a little green globule on his drum seat.
- David St. Hubbins: Like a stain, really.
- Nigel Tufnel: It was more of a stain than a globule, actually.
- David St. Hubbins: You know, several, you know, dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It’s just not really widely reported.
Not A Very Well Known Saint
- Marty DiBergi: David St. Hubbins… I must admit I’ve never heard anybody with that name.
- David St. Hubbins: It’s an unusual name, well, he was an unusual saint, he’s not a very well known saint.
- Marty DiBergi: Oh, there actually is, uh… there was a Saint Hubbins?
- David St. Hubbins: That’s right, yes.
- Marty DiBergi: What was he the saint of?
- David St. Hubbins: He was the patron saint of quality footwear.
Under Heavy Sedation
- David St. Hubbins: Well, I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.
The Most Famous Quotes From The Spinal Tap Movie Were Improvised!?
One of the things that make This Is Spinal Tap so incredible, is that most of the script and these famous Spinal Tap quotes were all improvised. The Spinal Tap cast just made up these classic one-liners and ridiculous dead-pan banter while filming the mockumentary. That’s right, all of these great Spinal Tap jokes were just made up on the spot.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.