The movie: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, 1987 (John Hughes, screenwriter, John Hughes, dir.)
Who says it: Neal Page (Steve Martin), a very uptight adman, to Del Griffith. In bed.
The context: After a series of disastrous travel mishaps, the two wake up sharing a bed, which they had planned. Del’s hand, which is nestled between Neal’s buttocks, was not. Hence the cry of alarm.
When to use it: either to comment on a trip that doesn’t play out as planned—or as a running gag with those who like the line.
One of the reasons I’m so frazzled is that I’m trying to complete a ton of work before Lucy Hayley and I go on vacation next Wednesday with a big big group: my father and his wife (my stepmother), my sister and her family, and the families of two of my step-sisters. Many children and grown-ups down in Florida. Okay, I’ll admit where: Club Med. There. I said it. I’d never choose such a place myself, but if invited I guess I’ll serve. And the thought of waking up in a warm, sunny, vacation place has its appeal.
But why do we have to arrive at the airport two hours early for a domestic flight? This means waking up at like 5 in the morning? I can see all kinds of ways this can play out.
And about this line. This movie is actually very very dark, and in many ways uncomfortable to watch. It’s also not consistently ‘funny.” Even the setup is pretty standard (ooh—these two straight guys wind up cuddling in their sleep.) But, and this is kind of the point, when it happens, it’s just funny. You can talk about funny, you can explain funny, but the great thing about really funny things is that they just are that. Funny.