‘This Is Spinal Tap’: The Top 11 Quotes

Rob Reiner just celebrated his 75th birthday on March 6, 2022, and prior to 1984, he was best known as Carl Reiner’s son and Michael ‘Meathead’ Stivic from Norman Lear’s all-time classic sitcom “All in the Family” (1971 – 1979).

However, in 1984, Rob spread his comic-thespian wings, flew to the big screen, and directed his first theatrical film, “This Is Spinal Tap”, a fabulously funny and fake documentary about a fictional British heavy metal band and their disastrous U.S. tour.  Yes, Reiner created an all-time classic comedy of his own!

Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer wrote the screenplay, and they also played the Brit musicians as well:  lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Guest), frontman and rhythm guitarist David St. Hubbins (McKean), and bass guitarist Derek Smalls (Shearer). 

Millions of moviegoers have seen and loved “This Is Spinal Tap” for almost 40 years, so rather than write a review, let’s run down Movie Memory Lane and recall the film’s very best quotes. 

Certainly, we could’ve included 50 moments, but let’s stick to the 10 most memorable lines.  Check that, let’s go to 11!  Enjoy!

Nigel Tufnel (Guest) and David St. Hubbins (McKean)

11. “So we became The Originals, and we had to change our name, actually.” – David St. Hubbins

“Well, there was another group in the East End called The Originals, and we had to rename ourselves.” – Nigel Tufnel  

“The New Originals.” – David St. Hubbins

10. “The review you had on ‘Shark Sandwich’, which was merely a two-word review.  It just said, ‘Shit Sandwich.’” – Marty Di Bergi (Reiner)

Derek Smalls (Shearer), Jeanine Pettibone (June Chadwick), and David St. Hubbins (McKean)

9. “On the bass, Derek Smalls.  He wrote this.” – David St. Hubbins

Nigel Tufnel (Guest) and Marty Di Bergi (Reiner)

8. “I’m really influenced by Mozart and Bach, sort of in between those, really.  It’s a Mach piece, really.” – Nigel Tufnel

“What do you call this?” – Marty Di Bergi  

“Well, this piece is called ‘Lick my Love Pump’.”  – Nigel Tufnel

Derek Smalls (Shearer)

7. “If you could not play rock and roll, what would you do?” – Marty Di Bergi

“Probably work with children.” – Derek Smalls

Ian Faith (Tony Hendra)

6. “Oh, the other thing is the Boston gig has been cancelled.  I wouldn’t worry about it.  It’s not a big college town.”  – Ian Faith (Tony Hendra)

Nigel Tufnel (Guest)

5. “You can’t really dust for vomit.” – Nigel Tufnel

Derek Smalls (Shearer)

4. “David and Nigel are both like poets, ya know, Shelley or Byron or people like that.  Two totally distinct types of visionaries.  It’s like fire and ice, basically, you see, and I feel my role in the band is to be kind of in the middle of that, kind of, like lukewarm water in a sense.” – Derek Smalls

3. “Oh no.  If I told them once, I’ve them 100 times to put Spinal Tap first and Puppet Show last.” – Jeanine Pettibone (June Chadwick)

Bobbi Flekman (Fran Drescher)

2. “Ian, you put a greased, naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck and a leash, and a man’s arm extended out up to here holding onto the leash and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it.  You don’t find that offensive?  You don’t find that sexist?” – Bobbi Flekman (Fran Drescher)

“You should’ve seen the cover they wanted to do.  It wasn’t a glove, believe me.” – Ian Faith

Marty Di Bergi (Reiner) and Nigel Tufnel (Guest)

1. “These go to 11.” – Nigel Tufnel

Image credits: Embassy Pictures

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