The Book: Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 92 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
The Book: And lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
Trillian: We will be restoring normality as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway. Thank you.
Trillian: Probability factor of one to one. We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Zaphod Beeblebrox: Okay. So, ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, huh?
Arthur Dent: I wonder what'll happen if I press this button.
Ford Prefect: Don't.
Arthur Dent: [presses it] Oh.
Ford Prefect: What happened?
Arthur Dent: A sign lit up saying "Please do not press this button again."
Newscaster: And we'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere. And to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.
Marvin: Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust or just fall apart where I'm standing?
Gag Halfrunt: Well look, Zaphod's just zis guy, ya know?
Vogon Captain: Now choose! Either die in the vacuum of space or... tell me how good you thought my poem was.
Arthur Dent: I liked it!
Arthur Dent: Ford, you're turning into a penguin! Stop it!
Ford Prefect: Arthur? What's happening?
Arthur Dent: Ford, there's an infinite number of monkeys who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.
[torturing Ford and Arthur by reading poetry to them]
Vogon captain: O freddled gruntbuggly / Thy micturations are to me / As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee / That mordiously hath bitled out its earted jurtles / Into a rancid festering...
[Arthur and Ford's moaning drowns out the poetry]
Vogon captain: Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustules / Are splurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts / And living glupules frat and slipulate / Like jowling meated liverslime / Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes / And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles / Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't.
Marvin: Sorry, did I say something wrong? Pardon me for breathing which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it oh God I'm so depressed.
Ford Prefect: So, the hours are good, are they?
Vogon guard: Yeah. Though now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy. Except some of the shouting I quite like: "Resistance is..."
Ford Prefect: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're good at that. I can tell
Ford Prefect: Great idea of mine. Find a passing spaceship, get rescued by it.
[Arthur and Ford are caught in an improbability field]
Arthur Dent: You know, if this is Southend, there's something very odd about it.
Ford Prefect: What, you mean the way the sea stays steady as a rock and the buildings keep washing up and down? Yes, I thought that was odd.
[Ford Prefect has, quite improbably, turned into a penguin, and Arthur's leg has drifted off into the sunset]
Ford Prefect: Hey. Quack. Who are you? Where are you? What's going on? Quack. Is there any way of stopping it?
Trillian: Please relax. You are perfectly safe.
Ford Prefect: That is not the point. Quack. The point is I am now a perfectly safe penguin. Quack. And my colleague here is rapidly running out of limbs.
Marvin: Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they tell me to take you up to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? Cause I don't.
Marvin: And then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.
Arthur Dent: Really.
Marvin: Oh, yes. I mean, I've asked for them to be replaced, but no-one ever listens.
Zaphod Beeblebrox: Now, which is the most nonchalant chair to be discovered in?
Arthur Dent: Ford, there's an infinite number of monkeys out here who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.
[after Ford and Arthur are rescued by the starship Heart of Gold only to discover it is operated by Ford's cousin and Arthur's ex-girlfriend]
Eddie: Infinity minus one. Improbability sum now complete. For my next trick...
Zaphod Beeblebrox: If there's anything more important than my ego around here, I want it caught and shot now.
The Book: Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poetmaster Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning", four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council only survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled "Zen and the Art of Going to the Lavatory", when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save lifekind, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all, and its creator, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England, perished in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.
Zaphod Beeblebrox: Trillian, is this sort of thing going to happen every time we use the Infinite Improbability drive?
Trillian: Very probably, I'm afraid.
Zaphod Beeblebrox: Zaphod Beeblebrox, this is a very large drink. Hi.
Ford Prefect: [stuck inside the Vogon airlock] Wait a minute... what's this switch?
Arthur Dent: [dashes where Ford is pointing] What? Where?
Ford Prefect: No. I was only fooling. We're going to die after all.
Arthur Dent: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm stuck in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
Ford Prefect: Why? What did she tell you?
Arthur Dent: I don't know! I didn't listen!