The 40 most repeated game quotes

Film and television quotes are so entangled with our language that their origins are irrelevant to most speakers. We use Seinfeld-popularized neologisms and phrases constantly without considering how they became popular (“shrinkage,” “close-talker,” “not that there's anything wrong with that”). But games are a younger medium, and for a time were thought to be the realm of only children and socially-inept geeks. HA HA HA. NUH-UH! Hardcore gaming culture is wriggling its way into the mainstream as you read this (it had to make a brief stop at Hipster Town on its way, but it’ll get there).

Some of our in-jokes won’t ever stick to the masses (a good thing), but as time goes by, videogames will inevitably secure a stronger influence on our culture’s hive-database of quotable quotes. We, however, will always be the cool kids who were irritating each other with these gaming quips before the masses fully caught on.

“You have died of dysentery.” - The Oregon Trail

The first version of The Oregon Trail was developed in 19-fuggin’-71 – so it’s like, really old, and stuff. It wasn’t until the '80s, however, that it became the phenomenon it did. If you went to elementary school in the United States during the mid-‘80s or early ‘90s, you probably played Oregon Trail. It was all sanctioned by the politickers ("Computers in the classroom, you say?! Well it's just so damn crazy it might work!"), but it felt like we were getting away with something when we named our settlers “Poop” and “Dick” and laughed when they died of horrible diseases. We learned nothing.

Pretty much any quote from the game deserves to be on this list, but "You have died of dysentery" is, for whatever reason, the one that became a million crappy t-shirts. But The Oregon Trail is more than that - it’s a whole generation’s first experience with personal computers, hunting, and infectious diseases.

“It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.” - Zork

Like Oregon Trail, Zork is one of the great grandfathers of gaming - practically just a legend to younger gamers. Even the name “Zork” is the product of obsolete slang – it was an MIT term for an unfinished piece of software and stuck at some point during the game’s development (had it not stuck, the game would have been called the far-less-compelling “Dungeon”).

Though it wasn't the first game ever made, the opening paragraph of Zork I is as significant to gaming as “We the people” is to the United States:


Such succinct power! But Zork’s opening lines didn’t stick quite as firmly as the ominous "grue" line, which is now the stuff of bumper stickers and coffee mugs. What is a grue? Zork explains:

The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale.

“Want some Rye? ‘Course ya do!” - Return to Zork

Yes, Zork again. Actually, Return to Zork - with graphics! Everyone who played this game remembers this puzzle and this old bastard with a thing for whiskey. And even if you never played the game, you’ve probably heard the puzzle’s irritating-as-shit repeated line:

If you want to relive the frustration, check the whole sequence below:

“Wakka wakka wakka” - Pac-Man

Pac-Man is what out-of-touch reporters continue to believe videogames are, because, along with Pong and a few others, Pac-Man was a cultural phenomenon up there with hula hoops and inline skates. Is "wakka" actually a quote? Maybe not, but just about anyone can mentally recreate the game's trademark sound, and that's pretty damn insane. 

“It’s-a me, Mario!” - Mario Bros. Series

How many times in a row can you listen to this before you want to poke holes in your eardrums with pencils?

“But our princess is in another castle!” - Super Mario Bros.


Damn it! She's always in another damn castle! And not only that, but, as pointed out by Top Cultured, that bastard Toad thinks the whole thing is pretty fuggin' funny:

Above: Bitch


  • PevMaster - May 26, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    Don't forget HOLY SHIT and MEGA KILL from Unreal Tournament!
  • matt92 - May 25, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    lol hell yeah to the fallout pac man quake star craft n the ea sports heard that alot!
  • Culjat1994 - April 5, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    i love how the "war, War never changes' quote is titled NBA JAM 'he's on fire'
  • LTS - March 22, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    anyone else notice the opening line of MGS4 is "War. War Has changed." I played that game right after I finished Fallout 3 and laughed my head off.
  • Arix - March 22, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    More repeated than any of these for me are King's Quest 5's "A POOOOIIIIIIISonous snake!".
  • Ariaka - March 22, 2011 6:10 a.m.

    The only sad thing, the AYB video. I knew some of those people back then. I remember when it was relevant!
  • MikeT - March 21, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    Dude! They Live is an amazing movie. Sure it's campy that doesn't mean it's not good.
  • mcdangles26 - March 21, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    I think "the mojave deseret almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter" is a better fallout quote with every single ncr trooper muttering it throughout the campaign.
  • Gnome - November 24, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    "You're too slow!"
  • KrazyGamer - August 9, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    I couldn't stop laughing at the Cole Train "I HAZ BICEPS BIGGER THENZ MY HAEDZ!!! cAN i HAZ CTACH PARHSE NOW?!?!?!?!
  • secretsearcher - August 1, 2010 4:35 a.m.

    "It's super effective!" :) "I HAVE CHORTLES" :D and that would you kindly thing is probably the most disturbing thing in bioshock
  • Oddeh7 - May 17, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    Now you need to update this list to include "JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASON". Plus, "Tango Sucka!" "Tactical Header!" "Your Mother!" and the legendary "BAMBI!". So awesome it has to be in caps.
  • blodden1 - May 15, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    Although it isn't from a game game but an online game... CHARGIN MA LAZOR!
  • blodden1 - May 15, 2010 2:21 p.m.

  • JakkedGamer - May 15, 2010 7:12 a.m.

    Some more Duke quotes: Hail to the king, baby! I oughta break a broomhandle off in your ass Eat shit and die Imma rip em a new one Iv'e got balls of steel It's my way or, hell, it's my way Alien maggots are gonna pay Shake it baby I'll rip off your head and shit down your neck game over see you in hell damn im good come get some lets rock piece of cake
  • Alfredhitchshot23 - December 8, 2009 4:11 p.m.

    Hey is Zero Wing supposed to to have 1337 speak or what? And by the way, Cats has carved " All your base are belong to us" into my brain!
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - November 30, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    My favorite mistranslation is ff7 Barret: Shi't
  • hybrid616 - September 20, 2009 2:31 p.m.

  • pandasrock - July 23, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    fuck you toad and hahaha ha imagine if link did recive a cat
  • gatornation1254 - July 21, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    Killmanjaro. Gread article Tyler it only made me piss in my pants a few hundred times.

Showing 1-20 of 171 comments

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