Dave and Chuck the Freak

The iconic cult classic This is Spinal Tap was released in theaters on March 2, 1984. It is easily one of the most quotable, funniest films of all time to the point where even the biggest rock stars can own up to its painfully true moments.

Obviously, the most popular line from the film is, “These go to 11,” but there are so many other golden nuggets in this brilliant mockumentary. In honor of the anniversary of the film’s theatrical release, here are 11 other quotes from This is Spinal Tap that aren’t “These go to 11!”

(Note: This list is numbered, not ranked. Ranking each line would be like asking us which Spinal Tap drummer was our favorite. It’s simply too hard of a question to answer.)

But First, Details on the Spinal Tap Sequel

News of a long-awaited sequel to This is Spinal Tap was confirmed in May 2022 by Deadline. At that time, Spinal Tap II was slated for release in March 2024. Of course, the release has since been pushed back to an unknown date.

Reiner confirmed he’d be reprising his role of Marty DiBergi. Additionally, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest are on board as David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls and Nigel Tufnel, respectively. (No word yet on who has the unfortunate task of playing the drummer.)

As for the premise of the film, Reiner said it centers around a final concert of sorts. Spinal Tap’s manager, Ian Faith, passed away. His wife inherited a contract that stated the band still owed Faith one more concert. (In real life, actor Tony Hendra, who played Faith, died in March 2021 at age 79.)

Reiner’s DiBergi character documents the final concert, which is reportedly being shot in the style of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz. In May 2022, Reiner told Deadline that DiBergi feels he owes it to Spinal Tap to capture this concert. He says the band was upset with the first film.

“When I heard they might get back together, I was a visiting adjunct teacher’s helper at the Ed Wood School of Cinematic Arts,” said Reiner. “I drop everything to document this final concert.”

In November 2023, Reiner confirmed Paul McCartney, Elton John and Garth Brooks would be making cameos in the sequel film.

  • 1. 'You don’t do heavy metal in Dubly, you know.'

    This entire scene makes you wonder just how many rock star spouses/partners have tried to talk about mixing an album. The tension between Jeanine and Nigel is palpable. Also, the way Nigel smiles at Jeanine’s “Dubly” flub is so great. Most of the film was famously improvised, so it makes you wonder if that flub was an honest mistake that Christopher Guest just ran with.

  • 2. 'I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down.  I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.'

    The little children of Stonehenge weren’t so little in this instance. Frankly, a Stonehenge monument being in danger of being crushed by a little person is a big problem. And yes, making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea. That goes without saying.

  • 3. 'Well, this piece is called ‘Lick My Love Pump.’'

    We still have no idea how either Guest or Reiner were able to keep a straight face during this scene. We’ve seen the movie countless times, and it still makes us laugh.

  • 4. 'It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…clever.'

    Sometimes, it feels like every day is a fine line between stupid and clever. If only Spinal Tap considered that before coming up with the cover art for Smell the Glove. Had they just objectified themselves, there wouldn’t be an issue at all. All they had to do was a little “turn-about.”

  • 5. 'This miniature bread…'

    Nigel just wants bigger bread. Is that so much to ask?! He had been working with it for half an hour, and he just couldn’t figure it out. It’s truly outrageous when you think about it.

  • 6. 'The review you had on ‘Shark Sandwich,’ which was merely a two-word review, just said ‘Sh-t sandwich.’'

    As brutal as it is, “Sh-t Sandwich” is a great album review. The members of Spinal Tap likely weren’t so tickled by it, but oh well. Honestly, we’d love to know which outlet printed that review. They seem, at the very least, interesting.

  • 7. 'Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation.'

    Most people could probably find comfort in mild sedation. Of course, none of us are a rock god like David St. Hubbins. He clearly has a higher tolerance for things like that. However, most people likely side with Marty DiBergi in this instance.

  • 8. 'We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.'

    Derek Smalls shouldn’t sell himself short here. He, too, is quite the visionary. As “lukewarm water,” how could he not? However, what self-awareness he has to recognize the brilliance of his bandmates.

  • 9. 'None more black.'

    True, the answer really is “none.” We have to side with manager Ian Faith on this one. The cover is “simple, beautiful, classic.” Sure, it might not be what the band was hoping for with a title like Smell the Glove, but what a statement.

  • 10. 'Well, so what? What's wrong with bein' sexy?' 'Sex-IST!'

    Why do we get the feeling this conversation has taken place many times in rock and roll history? Plenty of men in bands have likely viewed women as objects. Thank goodness Ian and Bobbi were there to explain things. What true unsung heroes they are!

  • 11. 'He died. He died in a bizarre gardening accident.'

    R.I.P. John “Stumpy” Pepys, the first Spinal Tap drummer who met quite the tragic end.

    Fun fact: In May 2020, Queen’s Brian May was briefly hospitalized. He shared on Instagram that he “managed to rip my Gluteus Maximus to shreds in a moment of over-enthusiastic gardening.” Spinal Tap actor Michael McKean shared the story on Twitter and simply captioned it “…a bizarre gardening accident…”

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