Movie Reviews

20 Fabulous Quotes From The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Summary

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    has maintained its popularity for over 40 years, with special showings in movie theaters worldwide.
  • The film is highly quotable, with memorable lines from characters like the Criminologist and Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
  • The movie explores themes of gender expression and glam rock, with underlying messages about sexuality and identity.



The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released over 40 years ago but is as popular as ever, and the most fabulous Rocky Horror quotes are a testament to its longevity. The film follows Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) as they go on a road trip after getting engaged and get stranded at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s (Tim Curry) mansion. The film received mixed reviews upon release but developed a cult following. With hidden meanings about the glam rock movement and gender expression, there is plenty to dissect in each viewing.

The movie is still highly regarded due to the original music from Richard O’Brien and the screenplay from O’Brien and Jim Sharman. Tim Curry’s stand-out film is often a yearly tradition for many around Halloween during which time Rocky Horror quotes and one-liners run amok, but there really isn’t a bad time to watch it. Movie theaters around the world offer special showings of the film, keeping its cult status alive for decades. Rocky Horror Picture Show is intensely quotable, and many fans could probably recite it from start to finish.


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“I Would Like, If I May, To Take You On A Strange Journey.”

The Criminologist

Charles Gray as the Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since he is the narrator, the Criminologist wasn’t actually there at the time of the events at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion, but he still had some memorable Rocky Horror Picture Show quotes. Many of his lines give the audience a breather from the spectacle of the movie, but he also kicks off the entire story, asking the audience to go on a journey with him.


In his very first line, the Criminologist opens by saying, “I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey,” which is a great way to begin the story that is about to unfold. His opening line is unforgettable, but so is his final line of the film. It’s one of the more attention-getting Rocky Horror quotes, perfectly setting up audiences for the strange tale while simultaneously not giving audiences enough warning at all.

“It’s Not Easy Having A Good Time. Even Smiling Makes My Face Ache.”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Tim Curry in full costume as Frank, sitting on the lips of the Rocky Horror Picture Show

His dissatisfaction eventually culminates in wanting to take over the planet…


There’s no denying that Rocky Horror Picture Show is still popular today and a spectacle from start to finish. From the costumes to the music to the story reveals the musical is always giving the audience a huge show. Frank-N-Furter is at the center of all of that and often the one with the best Rocky Horror quotes. He’s constantly encouraging others to be themselves, sure, but he’s also actively putting on that show and pushing a good time on his guests.

Even for the most extroverted of people, that level of performance can get tiring, especially for someone like Frank who perceives that for all the adulation he receives, he’s not getting his way. His dissatisfaction eventually culminates in wanting to take over the planet, which is a more extreme reaction than the average person might have when they don’t feel like engaging. He blurts out this quote after having to turn many of his guests and homeworkers to stone before putting on his final performance.


“‘Emotion: Agitation Or Disturbance Of Mind; Vehement Or Excited Mental State.’ It Is Also A Powerful And Irrational Master.”

The Criminologist

The Criminologist sitting at his desk and talking to the audience in Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Criminologist starts this line of his narration by reading the dictionary. It’s meant to be a dig at Janet as he calls her a “slave” to her emotions while Columbia and Magenta see her on the monitor with Rocky. For the audience, however, Janet is finally allowing herself to feel. She and Brad begin the movie as completely buttoned up, guarding all of their emotions, even their fear.

Their experiences with Rocky and Frank throughout the Rocky Horror Picture Show allow them to be open with their emotions and provide them both with a sexual awakening. Though the audience doesn’t see what happens to them after the events of the movie, it’s clear that their experience in the manor with the people from another planet and their scientific experiment is going to fundamentally change them.


“And You Shall Receive It, In Abundance.”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Magenta and Frank talking against a red wall in Rocky Horror Picture Show

This line seems generous and pretty harmless out of context. Within the context of the movie, however, it earns a chuckle from the audience and gives a quick window into who Frank is. The full exchange involves Magenta and Frank. Magenta tells Frank she asks for nothing after he commends her staying by his side. When she says that, he tells her she will receive it, not even being subtle about the fact that he plans on offering those loyal to him absolutely nothing in exchange for their help.


It’s something that might go right over the heads to the audience on their first watch, but it’s easy to catch on the many rewatches of Rocky Horror most fans of the movie will participate in. It makes it clear how selfish Frank is in one simple line, and how singularly focused he is on doing things for his own pleasure rather than anyone else’s. He might help in Brad and Janet awakening parts of themselves they’ve kept hidden, but he’s done it out of his own selfish desires.

“You’re Like a Sponge. You Take, Take, Take, And Drain Others Of Their Love And Emotion.”

Columbia

Shortly after Rocky is brought to life, Eddie bursts out of the freezer and into the laboratory to start the “Hot Patootie” musical number. While everybody is impressed by his act, Dr. Frank-N-Furter is not. Frank-N-Furter ends up bludgeoning Eddie with an ax, which obviously devastates Columbia, who also had a relationship with Eddie.


Columbia confronts Frank-N-Furter with one of the most apt Rocky Horror quotes, which consequently allows actress Nell Campbell’s acting ability to really shine through. She’s usually remembered for her dancing in the movie, but this one line captures the bulk of her emotions. Distraught by Eddie’s death, Columbia yells at Frank-N-Furter, telling him how horribly he treats people. She compares him to a sponge, saying, “You chew people up, and then you spit them out again,” before insulting Rocky.

“That’s A Rather Tender Subject. Another Slice, Anyone?”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Riff Raff, Frank-N-Furter, and Magenta all glaring at Dr Scott in Rocky Horror


While Frank-N-Furter gets some of the best Rocky Horror quotes, this one is the most darkly comedic. One of the more memorable songs comes near the middle of the movie when Dr. Frank-N-Furter kills Eddie. The scene itself can be taken as a metaphor for Glam Rock taking over rock ’n’ roll, and the song “Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul” is one of the catchier tunes in the film. Eventually, Dr. Everett von Scott comes looking for his nephew Eddie and sits down for supper at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion.

When he asks about Eddie, Columbia exclaims, “Eddie!” before Frank-N-Furter revs an electric knife at her and says, “That’s a rather tender subject. Another slice, anyone?”. The line is quite witty since it is soon after revealed that the guests are actually eating slices of Eddie, whose body is underneath the glass table. The quote is a prime example of the pitch-black comedy that’s featured in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


“Janet! Dr. Scott! Janet! Brad! Rocky!”

Dr. Scott, Janet Weiss, Brad Majors, & Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) catches Rocky (Peter Hinwood) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) together in Rocky Horror Picture Show

This Rocky Horror quote might just be a repeated line of the main characters’ names, but it represents an important part of the movie and is a classic comedy gag in Rocky Horror that didn’t age particularly well. Despite it seeming very cheesy when looking back on the scene, it’s been repeated with better timing in other comedy projects since.

Janet gives herself over to “absolute pleasure” and sleeps with Rocky in his birth tank. Everyone is surprised to find the two together, especially Frank-N-Furter and Brad. Dr. Scott sets off the loop of everyone surprisingly exclaiming each other’s names when he discovers Janet is at the castle. This marks the point in the film where Frank-N-Furter becomes hostile toward Janet, which lasts until the end of the film when the group harmonizes “Don’t Dream It, Be It.”


“I’ll Tell You Once, I Won’t Tell You Twice. You Better Wise Up, Janet Weiss.”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Susan Sarandon as Janet looking shocked in Rocky Horror Picture Show

Towards the end of the film, the song “Planet Schmanet, Janet” is sung by Dr. Frank-N-Furter and it contains some of the best Rocky Horror quotes. It’s no secret that the Doctor is a jealous person, so when Janet runs to Rocky when she gets scared from seeing Eddie’s dead body, Frank-N-Furter has an issue.

He chases after her and starts singing, “I’ll tell you once, I won’t tell you twice, you better wise up Janet Weiss.” Frank-N-Furter chases her to his lab where he then says “The transducer will seduce ya” before he flips the switch, and Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott are all stuck in their place. His line shows how menacing he can be, even though it’s sung in a catchy way that inevitable gets stuck in the audience’s head.


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“There’s A Light Over At The Frankenstein Place.”

Brad Majors & Janet Weiss

Brad and Janet standing together in a doorway after being in the rain in Rocky Horror

After the Criminologist introduces the story, Brad and Janet are seen driving through a storm in the middle of the night. After their car gets a flat, they have no choice but to trek through the storm to try to find help. As they are walking through the rain, they see a light in the distance coming from Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion.


They break into song and sing, “There’s a light” as the Transylvanians sing back, “Over at the Frankenstein’s place.” This light that they thought was their saving grace turns out to become the stuff of nightmares and, ironically one of the most famous Rocky Horror quotes. If the tune is even hummed, let alone the words, Rocky Horror fans know they’ve found someone else who loves the movie. Needless to say, the “perfect couple” Brad and Janet wouldn’t have been so thankful if they knew what was in store for them.

Glee
homaged
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
in season 2 with Lea Michele as Janet and Cory Monteith as Brad.

“Don’t Dream It, Be It…”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter


While Rocky Horror Picture Show might just seem like a strange and zany sci-fi movie to watch on Halloween, the underlying themes are about sexuality and gender identity, often resulting in the most memorable Rocky Horror quotes. When Riff Raff and Magenta are about to take Frank-N-Furter back to Transylvania, Frank-N-Furter sings a swan song of sorts.

Frank-N-Furter sings, “Don’t dream it, be it,” which essentially ties itself to another famous lyric in the movie: “Give yourself over to absolute pleasure.” The lyric “Don’t dream it, be it” is telling audiences not to dream about who they want to be or how they present themselves, but simply be it. This is shown time and time again through Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s character, who ultimately never strays from who he is. It’s also one of the most often quoted Rocky Horror Picture Show lines.


“In Just Seven Days, I Can Make You A Man. Dig It If You Can.”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Tim Curry biting his glove in the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dr. Frank-N-Furter is speaking in euphemisms here, as his new creation will be taking Eddie’s place as his lover.

Peter Hinwood had a very short-lived acting career, but his most famous role by far was Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky was the muscular creation of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who was rather dimwitted since he shared half of a brain with Eddie. Shortly after Rocky is born, Dr. Frank-N-Furter gives him a set of weights and breaks out into song, resulting in one of the most memorable Rocky Horror Picture Show quotes.


Frank-N-Furter is mainly talking about how Rocky will keep his impeccable muscles in shape, but his most famous lyric in the song is, “In just seven days, I can make you a man. Dig it if you can!”. Obviously, Dr. Frank-N-Furter is speaking in euphemisms here, as his new creation will be taking Eddie’s place as his lover. It’s one of the great double entendres the movie is known for. Unfortunately, though, Rocky doesn’t stay as faithful to Dr. Frank-N-Furter as he had hoped.

“Great Scott!”

Brad Majors

Magenta, Janet, Brad, and Columbia standing together in Rocky Horror


Christopher Lloyd may have popularized the phrase “Great Scott!” in 1985 for Back to the Future, but The Rocky Horror Picture Show included the line ten years earlier, and it’s one of the most memorable Rocky Horror quotes that Brad gets to utter. When Dr. Everett V. Scott (played by Jonathan Adams) first appears in the film, he makes quite an entrance.

He comes smashing through the wall of Frank-N-Furter’s lab and then rolls down the long ramp. Right when Scott smashes through the wall, Brad exclaims, “Great Scott!” since he wasn’t expecting to see him in Frank-N-Furter’s mansion. The quote deftly displays Brad’s square-ness as a character. However, Dr. Scott arrives because he is looking for his nephew Eddie, but unfortunately, he had just been killed a few scenes prior.

“Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul! I Really Love That Rock N’ Roll!”

Eddie


Frank-N-Furter cut out half of Eddie’s (played by the legendary singer Meat Loaf) brain to give to Rocky but then ends up murdering Eddie with an ice pick. That isn’t Eddie’s only part in the story. Before that, Eddie smashes through the freezer on his motorcycle and breaks into song and dance, delivering the few Rocky Horror quotes to his name. He doesn’t have many sequences in the movie, but what he does are memorable.

The only song that Eddie sang for the entire movie was called “What Ever Happened to Saturday Night?” also known as “Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul.” The entire song is catchy and even includes a saxophone solo from Eddie, but the best line in the song is the chorus. Once someone has heard it, it never leaves their brain.


“I’m A Wild And An Untamed Thing. I’m A Bee With A Deadly Sting.”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a pool wearing a maroon corset in Rocky Horror Picture Show

He cannot seem to help who he is, and despite their fear of him, the other characters are drawn to him.

From Pennywise in IT to Wadsworth in Clue, Curry has appeared in many popular movies. Rocky Horror Picture Show was Curry’s very first, and he managed to turn Frank-N-Furter into one of his most iconic characters. After the ballad “Don’t Dream It, Be It,” the tempo quickly changes to an upbeat tune, but Curry gets one of the most apt Rocky Horror quotes in the number.


Frank-N-Furter is an extravagant character, and the line, “I’m a wild and an untamed thing. I’m a bee with a deadly sting,” pretty much describes his arc throughout the film. Frank-N-Furter wasn’t afraid to be himself, and, alternatively, people knew not to cross him thanks to his actions towards Eddie, Rocky, and Janet in particular. He cannot seem to help who he is, and despite their fear of him, the other characters are drawn to him.

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“Dammit, Janet! I Love You!”

Brad Majors

Brad and Janet singing %22Dammit Janet%22 in Rocky Horror Picture Show


Brad and Janet are two characters who are forced to confront their homosexual and bisexual urges, usually resulting in some poignant Rocky Horror quotes. At first, however, they are seen as a cookie-cutter suburban couple. After they attend a wedding and Janet catches the flower bouquet, Brad proposes to her during a catchy musical number. It is the most tame musical number of the entire movie.

The chorus of “Dammit, Janet, I love you,” is one of the most recognized Rocky Horror quotes. It’s a line that hints that Brad might not really be as square as he appears, but it’s still nothing like who he becomes later in the movie. That being said, Janet’s line, “Brad, I’m mad for you too,” isn’t quite as catchy. It’s a far cry from their ending quotes, proving just how much the characters change from their one night at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s.


“So Come Up To The Lab And See What’s On The Slab. I See You Shiver With Antici…pation!”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Soon after Brad and Janet are introduced to Riff Raff, Magenta, and the rest of the party-goers, they meet the host of the party, who introduces himself in the song “Sweet Transvestite.” With Janet and Brad being an innocent couple, they are visibly uncomfortable with Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s appearance, but he is clearly very comfortable in his skin, despite him being an alien.

The song “Sweet Transvestite” is probably the most famous song of the film behind “The Time Warp” and the line, “So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab. I see you shiver with antici…….. PATION!” is delivered perfectly by Tim Curry, simultaneously creating anticipation for him to finish the sentence and garnering excitement from his guests to see what he has in store. It’s one of the most memorable Rocky Horror quotes from Curry, and he delivers it with finesse and style.


In 2016, Fox created a
Rocky Horror Picture Show
telecast with Curry as the Criminologist and Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank N. Furter.

“Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast

Arguably the most popular song to come out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show by far is “The Time Warp.” Complete with its own dance, it’s full of the most iconic Rocky Horror quotes and is usually the first number recognized by those who haven’t even seen the film. When Brad and Janet first arrive at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion, they are greeted by Riff Raff. Riff Raff begins the song by singing, “It’s astounding, time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll,” but the tempo of the song quickly picks up from there.


After Riff Raff and Magenta rush through the doors to the main ballroom, Brad and Janet see all the people attending the Annual Transylvanian Convention. The song continues with Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia, and Company singing the famous line, “Let’s do the time warp again,” to usher in every chorus, which describes how the accompanying dance should be performed.

“So You Got Caught With A Flat Well, How ‘Bout That?”

Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Dr. Frank-N-Furter Raising His Eyebrow in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Some of the best Rocky Horror quotes come from Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s opening number, but this one also displays his opportunistic nature. After Brad and Janet are introduced to their gracious host, it’s mentioned that they came into Frank-N-Furter’s mansion to get out of the rain since they got a flat tire on the way to see Dr. Scott.


After Curry sings this line, he raises his eyebrow suggestively and insists that his guests stay the night and witness his latest creation. This is the biggest clue that audiences are first given that not everything is as it seems, and Brad and Janet are in for a lot more than they initially bargained for. There is very obviously much more to Frank than meets the eye, and it’s thanks to this one line that the audience knows it, even if they go into the movie knowing nothing about it.

“Oh, It’s Probably Some Kind Of Hunting Lodge For Rich Weirdos.”

Brad Majors

Riff Raff meeting Janet and Brad in Rocky Horror Picture Show


Brad and Janet’s introduction into Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s world is unquestionably bizarre, and seeing these two painfully heteronormative characters confronted with Frank’s world of opulence and excess is partially what makes Rocky Horror Picture Show so entertaining. Their observations early in the movie demonstrate just how far removed they initially are from Frank and his lifestyle, and when contrasted with their lines at the end of the film, show how far they’ve come.

When Brad and Janet are first ushered into Frank-N-Furter’s spacious home, Janet immediately becomes anxious and questions what kind of place it is. Brad brushes her off by saying, “Oh, it’s probably some kind of hunting lodge for rich weirdos.” Initially, Brad’s guess seems correct when the party is shown, however, the situation the couple finds themselves in is much more layered and outlandish. Either way, it’s one of Brad’s best Rocky Horror quotes.


“And Crawling, On The Planet’s Face, Some Insects, Called The Human Race. Lost In Time, And Lost In Space… And Meaning.”

The Criminologist

A rainbow is visible above the spaceship-castle as it prepares to take off in Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show is no doubt a weird film, and the ending is no exception. Regardless, it saves one of the best and most poignant Rocky Horror quotes for one final gut punch. When Riff Raff and Magenta reveal themselves as the aliens from the planet Transylvania, they let Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott leave. The castle is then revealed to be a spaceship, and the aliens fly off into space. The trio crawls around on the ground singing their final song before it cuts to the narrator.


The Criminologist gives the final line of the film, comparing humans to insects crawling on the surface of the Earth. The quote proves that Rocky Horror Picture Show is much deeper than its glittering facade gives away, and gives insight into Brad and Janet’s trajectory. Their lives and personalities are forever changed after one night at Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s, and now they have to reintegrate into polite society, which when Rocky Horror was written and still today, is lost in time, space, and meaning.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Poster

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Originally based on a stage play, The Rocky Horror Picture show is considered one of the most significant countercultural films of all time and maintains a wide cult following to this day. The film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick, and follows Brad and Janet, a young couple who, after experiencing car trouble on a stormy night, are taken in by scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, an alien transvestite who lives in a nearby castle with his equally colorful servants. 

Release Date
August 14, 1975

Director
Jim Sharman

Writers
Richard O’Brien , Jim Sharman

Cast
Richard O’Brien , Peter Hinwood , Tim Curry , Barry Bostwick , Nell Campbell , Patricia Quinn , Susan Sarandon , Meat Loaf

Runtime
98 minutes

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