Edit
Back to School (1986) Poster

Quotes

Thornton Melon: Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes.

Player #1: Hey, Lutz! You know who I am?

Derek: Um, let me see. Uh, protruding supra-orbital ridges.

[the football player picks up Derek by his shirt]

Derek: Small cranium. Uh, 1300 cc brain. Hmmm. Neanderthal Man!

Player #1: [to Jason] You. I want you to call his mother. You tell her he's never coming home.

Jason Melon: Whoah. Hold it, hold it. You sure you even got the right guy? I mean, look how many people got blue hair these days. You know?

Player #1: Shut up, meat-head!

Thornton Melon: Hey, take it easy, will ya? I mean, the war's over. Get new parts for your head.

Player #1: Yeah? Wanna make something of it?

Thornton Melon: Oh, no, no. I never get physical. I just get upset. And when I get upset...

Thornton Melon: [points at Lou] HE gets physical.

[Lou takes a metal napkin holder and crushes it with one hand]

Lou: [stepping up to the player] You got a problem?

Player #1: No. I haven't got a problem.

Lou: Well, now you do.

[Lou slugs the football player in the stomach, resulting in a full scale bar brawl with the football team]

Thornton Melon: Please, try to understand. I don't have the background for this. I mean, the high school I went to, they asked a kid to prove the law of gravity, he threw the teacher out the window!

Thornton Melon: Home, Sweet Home.

Lou: I liked the old house better.

Thornton Melon: So did I.

Lou: I liked the old wife better, too!

Thornton Melon: [laughs] Lay off Vanessa. She gives great headache. Lou, I can't believe it. Married five years. Seems like yesterday!

Thornton Melon: [sighs] And you know what a lousy day yesterday was.

Professor Terguson: You remember that thing we had about 30 years ago called the Korean conflict? And how we failed to achieve victory? How come we didn't cross the 38th parallel and push those rice-eaters back to the Great Wall of China?

Professor Terguson: [rips a desk apart] Then take the fucking wall apart

[shouts]

Professor Terguson: brick by brick and nuke them back into the fucking stone age forever? Tell me why! How come? Say it! Say it!

Thornton Melon: [incensed] All right. I'll say it. 'Cause Truman was too much of a *pussy wimp* to let MacArthur go in there

[shouts]

Thornton Melon: and blow out those Commie bastards!

Professor Terguson: Good answer. Good answer. I like the way you think. I'm gonna be watching you.

Thornton Melon: [chuckling to his classmates] Good teacher. He really seems to care. About what I have no idea.

Thornton Melon: I think I'm attracted to teachers. Yeah, I took out an English teacher. That didn't work out at all. I sent her a love letter... She corrected it!

Thornton Melon: [on his second wife] Oh, we were doomed from the start. I'm an Earth sign. She's a Water sign. Together, we made mud.

Lou: Come here. I want to tell you something.

Jason Melon: What?

Lou: You were pretty hard on your father last night.

Jason Melon: I know, but the guy doesn't understand.

Lou: I know your pop thirty years. He understands. He's a nice guy, and he's tough. Like me. I'm nice, and I'm tough. I'll give you an idea what I mean. My two boys, I put one through college and the other I put through a wall. Your papa loves you. He's lookin' out for ya. Look out for him.

Thornton Melon: [television commercial] Hi there. Are you a large person? Pleasantly plump? A little on the hefty side, perhaps? Well, let's face it: Are you FAT? When you go jogging, do you leave pot-holes? When you make love, do you have to give directions? At the zoo, do the elephants throw YOU peanuts? Do you look at a menu and say 'OK'? Well, now, you can eat all you want, because at Thornton Melon's "Tall & Fat" stores, we've got you covered. That's right. Fine woolen, and woolen-blend suits and sport coats, in all the larger sizes - husky, stout, extra-stout, and the new Hindenburg line. And for you ladies we have caftans, muumuus, and our own exclusive A-frame in all colors and patterns. Yes, we have miles and miles of fabric. So take it from me, Thornton Melon, if you want to look thin, you hang out with fat people.

Diane: Actually, I'd like to join you, but I have class tonight.

Thornton Melon: Oh. How 'bout tomorrow night?

Diane: I have class then, too.

Thornton Melon: I'll tell you what, then. Why don't you call me some time when you have no class?

Diane: [laughs] Alright. Maybe I will.

[after a female student answered correctly why America pulled out of Vietnam]

Professor Terguson: Is she right? 'Cause I know that's the *popular* version of what went on there. And a lot of people like to believe that. I wish I could, but I was *there*. I wasn't here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it.

[shouting]

Professor Terguson: I was up to my knees in rice paddies, with guns that didn't work! Going in there, looking for Charlie, slugging it out with him; While

[shouts]

Professor Terguson: pussies like you were back here partying, putting headbands on, doing drugs, and

[shouts]

Professor Terguson: listening to the goddamn Beatle albums! Oh! Oh! Oh!

Thornton Melon: Hey Professor, take it easy. These kids were in grade school at the time, and as for me... I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover.

Thornton Melon: The football team at my high school, they were tough. After they sacked the quarterback, they went after his family.

Thornton Melon: Girls, this is Lou. Lou, these are girls.

Thornton Melon: I don't know. I can't figure women out. Today, they're... independent. They only think about themselves. Why, during sex, Vanessa - she used to scream out her own name!

Thornton Melon: Listen, Sherlock. While you were tucked away up here working on your ethics, I was out there busting my hump in the REAL world. And the reason guys like you got a place to teach is 'cause guys like me donate buildings.

Diane: How would you characterize "The Great Gatsby"?

Thornton Melon: He was... uh... great!

Trendy Man: Mr. Melon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.

Thornton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.

Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.

Thornton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.

Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.

Thornton Melon: Oh, the painting.

[after Thornton Melon's run-in with a showering sorority girl]

Security Guard: Perfectly understandable, Mr. Melon. It was an honest mistake. Let's just call it a a bad day...

Thornton Melon:

  • but a great view! You're all right, officer. Here, a little something for the kids.


[hands officer cash]

Security Guard: I don't have any kids.

Thornton Melon: No kids? Well, get yourself some kids. Take it all.

[hands officer more cash]

Thornton Melon: And just remember, the best thing about kids... is making them!

Thornton Melon: What's your favorite subject?

Bubbles: Poetry.

Thornton Melon: Really? Well, maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow.

Chas: [limping off the diving board] I have got a really bad cramp. I've been having really bad cramps all week.

Jason Melon: It's probably menstrual.

Chas: Screw you, Melon!

[after Diane gives Thornton an 'F' for his report, which was actually written by Kurt Vonnegut]

Diane: Whoever *did* write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut!

[cut to Thornton's dorm suite]

Thornton Melon: [on the phone] ... and *another* thing, Vonnegut! I'm gonna stop payment on the cheque!

[Kurt tells him off]

Thornton Melon: Fuck me? Hey, Kurt, can you read lips, *fuck you*! Next time I'll call Robert Ludlum!

[hangs up]

Professor Terguson: Come on, this man has been under a lot of pressure.

[begins screaming and pounding his fist]

Professor Terguson: ...Say it!... Say it!... Say it!

Thornton Melon: The answer is...

[the answer hits him]

Thornton Melon: ... 4?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: [defeated] Right.

Thornton Melon: [sees a naked women taking a shower after opening the curtain mistakenly] ... I didn't see anything.

[opens the curtain again]

Thornton Melon: ... Honey, you're perfect.

Thornton Melon: [after answering 27 parts from one question of the final exam] No more!... I feel like I just gave birth...

[beat]

Thornton Melon: ... to an accountant

[Jason enters his dorm room with Derek to see his father and Lou waiting]

Jason Melon: AAAHHH! Dad, uh... what are you doing here?

Thornton Melon: I'm robbing your room! That's what I'm doing here.

Thornton Melon: [to Lou] We drive 300 miles to see the kid, that's the greeting we get. Ha!

Thornton Melon: [to Jason] Come here, will ya? Ha ha ha.

[they both laugh and embrace]

Thornton Melon: Heya. How ya doing?

Diane: Hello, Philip.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: What did he want?

Diane: Oh! What do ALL men want?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: [wryly] He wants you to dress up as Wonder Woman? Tie him up with a golden lariat and force him to tell the truth?

Diane: No, just dinner, Philip.

Diane: [laughs] Are you jealous of Thornton Melon?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: Certainly not.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: I've been doing a great deal of thinking lately. I've been thinking... about us.

Diane: And?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: And I think we should start thinking about forming a... well, um, a...

Diane: A merger?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: A merger! Exactly, exactly. A merger... a partnership. Seriously, Diane, we're both intelligent, well-educated adults. We should be together. Incorporated, if you will. Look at the balance sheet. We were made for one another.

Diane: [laughing] Oh, Philip, you darling. I don't want to be merged or incorporated. I want to have fun and be romanced and... be loved. So, let's not rush into anything. Let's just start by having fun, OK?

Thornton Melon: What lovely girls. How would you like a life of luxury and deceit?

Vanessa: You're impossible!

Thornton Melon: And you're easy.

Vanessa: Millicent, you look charming. I love your dress. Don't YOU, Thornton? It's such a LOVELY shade of GREEN.

Thornton Melon: Yeah, if that dress had pockets, you'd look like a pool table. You should try my Tall & Fat stores. No offense.

Vanessa: You have NO class, Thornton, and I am TIRED of it! I want a divorce.

Thornton Melon: Divorce. I knew we had something in common.

Thornton Melon: [reaches in his coat and takes out papers] Here, sign these.

Vanessa: [scoffs] Oh! Oh, I'm afraid it's not gonna be that easy, honey. This is gonna cost you - PLENTY!

Thornton Melon: [chuckles and takes Polaroids out of his pocket] Oh, yeah? Vanessa, let's talk about class for a minute, alright? Here's you and Giorgio in the guest room. A little classy, isn't it? Here's you and Giorgio in the rumpus room. Another classy one, huh? Ooh, this one, I can't figure out. There's you, there's Giorgio... What's with the midget over here?

[Vanessa throws down the divorce papers and storms out]

Thornton Melon: Hey, wait! I've got more!

Diane: Don't you ever read?

Thornton Melon: Read. Who has time? I see the movie. I'm in and out in two hours.

Diane: Ever since the women's movement, most of the men I meet go out of their WAY to show you how SENSITIVE they are. Before, they were too macho, and now they're too... soft. You all want us to know you can CRY.

Thornton Melon: No, with women, I never cry. Never. I beg.

Diane: If we finish this bottle of wine, you won't have to beg.

Thornton Melon: When's our first class?

Jason Melon: Uh, we got Economics tomorrow at 11 o'clock.

Thornton Melon: 11 o'clock? No good. I got a massage 11 o'clock. Tell 'em to make it 2 o'clock.

Jason Melon: No, dad. Uh, you don't get it. They're not gonna re-schedule the classes around your massage.

Thornton Melon: All right, 11 o'clock, but I'm gonna talk to that Dean. I mean, these classes could be a REAL inconvenience.

[watching his TV commercial]

Thornton Melon: Lou, did you see the new spot?

Lou: Yeah, I seen it.

Thornton Melon: Do I look fat in it?

Lou: You could lose a couple of pounds.

Thornton Melon: I've gotta get bigger actors.

Vanessa: I have absolutely NOTHING to wear.

Thornton Melon: You got SIX closets full of nothing to wear.

Vanessa: Are you saying I spend too much money?

Thornton Melon: YOU spend too much money? Nah. A lot of people go to Switzerland to get their watch fixed.

Vanessa: You have no taste, Thornton.

Thornton Melon: You're right. I married you, didn't I?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: ...now, not withstanding Mr. Mellon's input. The next question for us is where to build our factory?

Thornton Melon: how 'bout fantasyland?

Thornton Melon: Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: Oh really? Like what for instance?

Thornton Melon: First of all you're going to have to grease the local politicians for the sudden zoning problems that always come up. Then there's the kickbacks to the carpenters, and if you plan on using any cement in this building I'm sure the teamsters would like to have a little chat with ya, and that'll cost ya. Oh and don't forget a little something for the building inspectors. Then there's long term costs such as waste disposal. I don't know if you're familiar with who runs that business but I assure you it's not the boyscouts.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: That will be quite enough, Mr. Melon! Maybe bribes, kickbacks and Mafia payoffs are how YOU do business! But they are NOT part of the legitimate business world! And they are certainly not part of anything I am doing in this class. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Melon!

Thornton Melon: Boy, what a great-looking place. When I used to dream about going to college, this is the way I always pictured it.

Jason Melon: Wait a minute. When did you dream about going to college?

Thornton Melon: When I used to fall asleep in high school.

[Thornton has his feet on a chair in Dean's Office]

Dean Martin: [trying to drop a hint] Are you comfortable?

Thornton Melon: Oh, I'm fine, yeah... Oh, the chair! Oh, I'm sorry.

[proceeds to put his feet on the Dean's desk]

Thornton Melon: [in college bookstore] Hey, you guys get everything you need?

Jason Melon: Oh, yeah, we got it.

Thornton Melon: Good... Hey! What's with the used books?

Jason Melon: Well, what's wrong with used books?

Thornton Melon: They've already been read!

Jason Melon: Yeah, and they already been UNDER-LINED, too. Get it?

Thornton Melon: That's the problem. The last guy who under-lined them, he could have been a maniac! Hey, get these guys some new books. Huh? Get some new books, will ya?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: Diane!

Diane: [intoxicated] Oh, Philip!

Dr. Phillip Barbay: We were supposed to go to dinner.

Diane: I just had dinner!

Dr. Phillip Barbay: I don't believe this.

Diane: [laughs] Maybe it's a dream! Good night, Philip.

Jason Melon: Dad, why don't join me on a little reality break, ok? Just cuz you're in love with Dr. Turner, that does NOT mean you're gonna pass her course. Now, you got a major paper comin' up on Kurt Vonnegut. You haven't even read any of the books.

Thornton Melon: I tried...

[knock on door]

Thornton Melon: I don't understand a word of it.

Jason Melon: [going to the door] So, how you gonna write the paper then, huh?

[Jason opens the door to see Kurt Vonnegut standing there]

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.: [removing his hat] Hi, I'm Kurt Vonnegut. I'm looking for Thornton Melon.

[Thornton has a room full of experts writing his papers]

Jason Melon: Dad, what's goin' on here?

Thornton Melon: I'm doin' my homework.

Jason Melon: No, no, no, no, THEY're doing your homework.

Thornton Melon: Jason, a good executive knows how to delegate authority.

Thornton Melon: Look, I'm throwing a little party in our room tonight, and you'd better be there.

Diane: Oh, I'm sorry. I have a date with Philip tonight.

Thornton Melon: [groans] Bring him along! We may run outta ice.

Thornton Melon: [Derek has blue hair] Is that your real hair?

Derek: What do ya think?

Thornton Melon: I think you're trying to get back at your parents, that's what I think.

Thornton Melon: Remember... You're a Melon!

Thornton Melon: With the shape I'm in you could donate my body to science fiction.

Derek: It's this whole stupid capitalist system, you know? It's set up to heap rewards on the advantaged and the aggressive... and to make sure that two regular schmoes like you and me never get a date with girls like Valerie Desmond. I hate the whole bourgeois mentality of this school.

[after snorkeling in a hot tub with four bikini-clad co-eds]

Thornton Melon: Now that's what I call Marine Biology!

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Executive #2: The toy division has come up with a new doll idea to go along with our children's clothing line. We call them Melon Patch Kids. Now, the competition exploits the notion that their dolls are orphans. The Melon Patch Kids are not orphans... they're abandoned! We think it's a winner.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Derek: [explaining his "anti-pep rally"] Violent ground acquisition games such as football is in fact a crypto-fascist metaphor for nuclear war.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Derek: [at the diving competition] You know what you almost never see? Somebody heckling a diver.

[blows an air horn just as a diver is going into his dive]

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Dean Martin: [begins questioning] Mr. Melon, I'm only going to ask you once:

[beat]

Dean Martin: ...Is this your work?

Thornton Melon: I can't lie to you, Dean Martin

[beat]

Thornton Melon: ...Yes, it is.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Derek: That's Valerie Desmond. Look how tight her ass is today.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Derek: [to Jason, who's sitting there moody with a bottle and sunglasses on] Nice look. What are you going for? The heavy, disassociated artist thing... Oh, it's the deaf thing. Maybe this will cheer you up.

[Derek let's himself fall in front of Jason's seat legs spread]

Thornton Melon: [comes along waving Derek away] Oh, do me! Derek! Get up, will ya?

Thornton Melon: [to Derek] You look like the poster boy for birth control.

[to Jason]

Thornton Melon: Jason, it's a party. What's your story? What's the matter? The swim meet? Forget about it. It's history. Come on, will ya? Snap into it!

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Diane: [Thornton is buying books and treating everyone along the way... Diane looks on, impressed] Who is that?

Dr. Phillip Barbay: That... is Mr. Thornton Mellon. The world's oldest living freshman... and the walking epitome of the decline in modern education. The stupid clod thinks he can buy his way out of the gutter.

Diane: Oh, I think he was just having fun.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: Oh really? I can't wait to get him in my class. We'll see just how much fun he is then.

Diane: Oh, Phillip.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Dean Martin: [Barbay has arrived at the groundbreaking of the new Melon School of Business] Ah, Phillip... so glad you could make it. Mr. Melon, this is Dr. Phillip Barbay. He's the dean of our new Melon School of Business.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: [Thornton extends his hand, Barbay refuses it and takes Martin aside] David, I just want to get it on record that I am totally against this. I don't think that selling admission to an obviously unqualified student is either ethical or honorable.

Dean Martin: Uh, right... Phil. In Mr. Melon's defense, it was a really big check.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: [glaring at Martin in dismay] It's a simple matter of undermining the efforts of our best students, who are here as the result of hard work!

Thornton Melon: [chiming in] Hard work? Listen, Sherlock! While you were tucked away up here working on your ethics, I was out there busting my hump in the REAL world. And the reason guys like you got a place to teach is 'cause guys like me donate buildings.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: I wasn't speaking to you, Mr. Melon.

[turns on heel and heads to his car]

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Thornton Melon: I hereby dedicate this building to... myself.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Dean Martin: [after Thornton denies cheating when questioned by the Dean] I'm satisfied.

Dr. Phillip Barbay: I'm outraged.

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page