Top 5 Princess Bride quotes for the office

There are two sorts of people in this world; those who like The Princess Bride, and those who are wrong. Rob Reiner’s 1987 fairy tale pastiche is a celebration of everything good about 1980s comedy; witty dialogue, well worked slapstick and an emotional core at the heart of its tale. It’s a full fledged action romp with a heart of gold, inspiration for one of the cheapest and greatest Halloween costumes of all time (if you haven’t dressed up as Dread Pirate Roberts, you haven’t lived) and my favourite film.

There’s more to it than that though. While The Princess Bride is a memorable comedy/cult classic/one of the greatest films of all time (delete here where appropriate), it also boasts one of the wittiest and quotable scripts out there. While “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die” may get most of the plaudits (Mandy Patinkin says he gets it quoted back to him by at least two or three strangers every day of his life), The Princess Bride‘s screenplay is full of such great deadpan snark that it should be a bible for those trying to navigate the concrete jungles of office life.

Much like “Obviously you are not a golfer” should be everyone’s deadpan response to a moronic “What is this?”, question, there are dozens of lines from The Princess Bride to help your 9-5 conversations go that much smoother. Here’s my run down of the top five Princess Bride quotes for the office.

NOTE: If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride yet, while I applaud your moxie for getting this far in the article, you should probably stop what you are doing right now and go watch it. Seriously. It’s like a Shakespearean love story had a baby with 1980s professional wrestling and someone dressed it in “This Is Spinal Tap” band memorabilia. Go watch it. Order it via Netflix or HMV (do they still have HMV?) or something. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Seen it yet? It’s really good isn’t it? I know, I know, that really was Andre the Giant and Inigo * is * Saul from Homeland. Cool right? Let’s continue.


#5 – “Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.”

– Grandpa

When to use it: When someone tries speaking to you like a child.

Been sent to grab lunch for the team before being questioned if you’re “up to the task” ? Been given straightforward directions to a meeting point before being asked if you need to go in a group? Carefully remind your co-workers you are an adult with one of the first lines in this film. (Irritatingly, the above clip ends just before the line in question, but it’s still worth watching for the late, great Peter “Colombo” Falk as Grandpa.)


#4 – “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

– Westley/Man in Black/Dread Pirate Roberts/The last man to successfully pull off that moustache and remain cool.

When to use it: When someone needs to suck it up and get on with it.

We get it, you’re hungover, overworked, underpaid and undersexed. It happens. Life is a continuous series of disappointment and embarrassments, occasionally brightened by the little things, such as when someone brings in biscuits (as an aside, the new chocolate chip hobnobs are quite a spectacular tea time accompaniment). Savour the good bits, let the bad bits roll off you.


#3 – “You know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.”

– Prince Humperdinck

When to use it: When you can’t think of a good excuse to not go for afterwork drinks or a sit down lunch with someone.

You’re work friends with someone. While you would just love to spend two hours on a Friday listening to someone recap their work week and tell you their plans for the weekend, it’s two weeks until payday and you just want to finish watching your new programme of choice on Netflix. Let your work friends down gently from their offer to hang out with this one.



– Vizzini

#2 – When to use it: Any time you’d use a derivative of “lol whut?”.

You should never say “No one could be that stupid” because so often people are. Keep this one in your armoury for baffling workplace decisions. Also, inconceivable is a ruddy good word, people should use it more.


Which brings us to…

#1 – “You keep using that word. I’m not sure it means what you think it means.”

– Inigo Montoya

When to use it: Whenever you’re in a meeting and someone is dropping corporate speak.

Blue sky thinking? Paradigm shift? Step change in our philosophy? Inigo has the perfect reply that’s a wonderful mix of “You’re an idiot” and “I’m slightly concerned for your wellbeing.”


That’s your lot – employ them regularly and you’ll be living like a king in Patagonia in no time. Have fun storming the castle!

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