25 Great Quotes from Bad Sports Movies

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterAugust 15, 2014

 25 Great Quotes from Bad Sports Movies

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    Great sports movies are a very rich source of memorable quotes. From the inspirational to the comic relief, classics like Major League, The Mighty Ducks and Varsity Blues remain endlessly quotable even decades after their release. 

    Of course, that’s to be expected. Great movies tell great stories through great dialogue and usually produce great quotes. 

    Bad movies, on the other hand, aren’t expected to produce anything beyond the regret about those two hours we’ll never get back. Which is exactly why they can actually surprise, benefiting greatly from low expectations. 

    Although short on the inspirational variety, there are plenty of bad sports films with at least one or two standout lines. Here are 25 great—well, maybe great is overselling it—quotes from bad sports movies. 

Kicking and Screaming

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 41 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: An unhinged youth soccer coach, played by Will Ferrell, brings in an equally unhinged Mike Ditka so he can finally beat his rival, his own father!

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s true, duh. 

Ladybugs

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 14 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: In order to impress his boss, Chester Lee, played by Rodney Dangerfield, offers to coach the boss’ daughter’s soccer team and enlists the help of his girlfriend’s son, whom he convinces to play...as a girl. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it sums up the great Dangerfield pretty aptly and is one of those good one-liners that is easily tucked away for personal use at a later date. 

The Scout

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 22 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A baseball scout, played by Albert Brooks, loses his job with the Yankees and finds a new job babysitting a mentally unstable minor league pitcher, and there are almost no laughs along the way. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because The Mighty Ducks’ Coach Reilly, played by actor Lane Smith, is effortlessly mean, and the rest of the characters in this movie all deserved to be yelled at. 

The Benchwarmers

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 11 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Having been bullied their whole lives, a couple of Adam Sandler’s friends get together with Napoleon Dynamite to form a three-man baseball team and successfully challenge some of the best kids’ teams around, making them the hero of every nerdlinger, outcast and geekburger in town.

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because agoraphobic people with irrational sun phobias who stay home most days to eat sunscreen are hilarious, right?

The Legend of Bagger Vance

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 43 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A white war hero turned golfer glosses over the intense racism of segregation-era Georgia in the 1930s by befriending Bagger Vance, a mysterious black caddy with a perfect swing, who basically becomes the Chubbs to his Happy Gilmore, but with terribly boring results. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s simplistic but oddly profound. Not to mention, it's one of the only pieces of dialogue in the whole film that comes off sincere. 

Juwanna Mann

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 10 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: An NBA player with a bad temper and a worse attitude finds himself kicked out of the league and takes the only obvious course of action to get back onto the basketball court—he plays for a woman’s team dressed in stunningly bad drag and, of course, finds love along the way. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because remember how bad the Clippers used to be? Heh heh. 

Necessary Roughness

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 32 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Based on the infamous recruiting scandals at SMU in the 80s, fictional TSU gets busted for breaking the rules and is forced to rely (gasp!) on its actual students to play football. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Is there any other kind of kick to the facemask?

Semi-Pro

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 21 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A one-hit-wonder singer named Jackie Moon, played by the endlessly quotable Will Ferrell, owns and starts for a fantastically terrible basketball team but has to loosen the reins a little when a former NBA champion comes to coach in hopes the team will improve enough to be elevated to the NBA. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote:  Because telling everybody not to panic is a surefire way to make sure everybody panics. So why bother sugarcoating?

Ready to Rumble

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 23 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Two surprisingly ambitious sewage truck drivers, played by David Arquette and Scott Caan, get proactive when their favorite wrestler is brought down by his own manager and sinks into a very dark, very boozy place. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because timely reality checks are often fodder for comedy.  

My Giant

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    [This isn’t technically a sports movie, but it starred a professional athlete, so it’s very loosely in the same cinematic realm.]

    Tomato Meter Ranking: 19 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A struggling talent agent, played by Billy Crystal, who doesn’t have much of an eye for talent, is involved in a car accident overseas and ends up being saved by a giant, played by former pro basketball player Gheorghe Muresan, who he then takes back to America to exploit for personal gain. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s a funny example of just how necessary context and perspective are. 

The Fan

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 38 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Robert De Niro really goes slumming by playing an obsessed baseball fan from planet "I’m Gonna Murder You," much to the chagrin of Wesley Snipes, a baseball player who finds himself caught in the fan’s psychotic gaze. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because the catcher tells Snipes’ character that he should be complimented by the fact that he walked him and then calls him a d**khead, which is obviously not a compliment. 

Kicking and Screaming

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 41 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: An unhinged youth soccer coach, played by Will Ferrell, brings in an equally unhinged Mike Ditka so he can finally beat his rival, his own father!

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because what the hell is a whirling dervish? It’s something we’ve all wondered about but never cared enough to actually Google it. 

The Benchwarmers

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 11 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Having been bullied their whole lives, a couple of Adam Sandler’s friends get together with Napoleon Dynamite to form a three-man baseball team and successfully challenge some of the best kids’ teams around, making them the hero of every nerdlinger, outcast and geekburger in town.

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because delusions of grandeur are funny, but swiftly squashing them is even funnier. 

Major League II

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 5 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: In this ill-conceived sequel to a comedy classic, the Indians get too complacent in their unlikely success and quickly end up right where they started to begin with—the bottom. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because of all the recycled garbage in this sequel, Harry Doyle is one of the only characters the audience can count on for a laugh. 

Mr. Baseball

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 13 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Tom Selleck, and his mustache, plays an American baseball player who is underwhelmed after being signed by a Japanese team, but ultimately they teach him to love the game again, while he teaches them a little something about baseless American bluster and arrogance. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because everyone knows that baseball players, while skilled, aren’t always perfect physical specimens.

Ladybugs

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 14 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: In order to impress his boss, Chester Lee, played by Rodney Dangerfield, offers to coach the boss’ daughter’s soccer team and enlists the help of his girlfriend’s son, who he convinces to play...as a girl. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” jokes never get old. This one actually predates Dumb and Dumber. 

The Waterboy

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 35 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A mentally challenged water enthusiast Forrest Gumps his way onto a college football team, where he uses the rage triggered by his mommy issues to become a success and even get the girl. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor actually did crack! So it’s funny because he’s being self-deprecating and because this is kind of an obvious lesson most kids learn well before college.  

Days of Thunder

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 39 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Tom Cruise plays a cocky stock-car driver—following up his turns as a cocky pilot in Top Gun and a cocky bartender in Cocktail—who learns how to channel his talent into racing success and gets hot and heavy with future wife Nicole Kidman along the way. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s probably the last time Randy Quaid made a lick of sense. 

Major League II

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 5 percent

    One Sentence Synopsis: In this ill-conceived sequel to a comedy classic, the Indians get too complacent in their unlikely success and quickly end up right where they started to begin with—the bottom. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because a ridiculous non sequitur is a comic well that never runs dry.

Necessary Roughness

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 32 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Based on the infamous recruiting scandals at SMU in the 80s, fictional TSU gets busted for breaking the rules and is forced to rely (gasp!) on its actual students to play football. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s the exact opposite of what most locker-room speeches, at least in movies, tend to be. So much for having fun and giving it your all. 

The Benchwarmers

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 11 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Having been bullied their whole lives, a couple of Adam Sandler’s friends get together with Napoleon Dynamite to form a three-man baseball team and successfully challenge some of the best kids’ teams around, making them the hero of every nerdlinger, outcast and geekburger in town.

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s making fun of a movie that takes itself way too seriously. 

Rocky IV

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 43 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: After battling it out in prior movies, Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed become friends united against a common enemy, evil super Russian Ivan Drago, who eventually straight up murders Creed in the ring. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s one of the only sincere quotes in this entire slideshow, and Apollo Creed went out like a warrior. 

The Replacements

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 40 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Inspired by the 1987 NFL players strike, the Washington Sentinels assemble a ragtag bunch of scabs who, against all odds, put together one pretty solid season playing professional football before dispersing back into their real lives. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s reminiscent of all those quotable sports cliches but doesn’t take itself so damn seriously. 

Semi-Pro

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 21 percent

    One-Sentence Synopsis: A one-hit-wonder singer named Jackie Moon, played by the endlessly quotable Will Ferrell, owns and starts for a fantastically terrible basketball team but has to loosen the reins a little when a former NBA champion comes to coach in hopes the team will improve enough to be elevated to the NBA. 

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because there probably is something in the rule book that says you can’t play drunk. 

Johnny Be Good

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    Tomato Meter Ranking: 0 percent —ZERO!

    One-Sentence Synopsis: Brat Pack baby Anthony Michael Hall plays a cocky high school quarterback who is highly sought after by ridiculously desperate college recruiters, and he’s reunited with a previous nemesis in Paul Gleason, who plays his high school coach and is best remembered as the principal in The Breakfast Club

    Why It’s a Great Quote: Because it’s the only bit of humor that transcends the movie’s abject terribleness and can actually deliver a laugh.