What Is The Most Famous Misquote?
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What Is The Most Famous Misquote?

It's probably not what you'd expect.

What Is The Most Famous Misquote?

There are plenty of places on the internet listing some of the famous movie misquotes, but what is the most famous misquoted line?

Some might think that it’s “Luke, I am your father” from "Empire Strikes Back." Most people know that it’s wrong, yet they continue to misquote it. Although that’s a very good guess, it’s not the most famous, nor is it "Star Trek's" often misquoted “Beam me up, Scotty,” which has never been said on the show or any of the movies.

No, the most famous misquoted line is “Houston, we have a problem” from the 1995 movie "Apollo 13." OK, so the line from the movie isn’t usually misquoted, except for comedic effect. It’s the movie itself that is the source of the misquote.

Many lines the characters in the movie say actually come directly from their real-life counterparts, as several of them were involved in the movie’s production (the real Jim Lovell even had a cameo as the captain of the "USS Iwo Jima,") and this line was no exception. Unlike many of the others, however, this one was altered slightly.

Originally, it was astronaut Jack Swigart who notified Mission Control, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” but his transmission was unclear. When Mission Control asked the crew to repeat the message, mission commander Jim Lovell was the one to answer, using those exact same words: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

The director of "Apollo 13," Ron Howard, made the decision to change the line to “Houston, we have a problem,” because he felt that the phrase “we’ve had” suggested that the problem had already passed and that the phrase “we have” implied that the problem is still happening and is more immediate and pressing.

Regardless of how well-known this fact it, it’s unlikely to change the way anyone says it. Movie misquotes will probably continue as long as there are movies, but "Apollo 13" may forever remain the source of the most famous misquote of all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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