“My brother paid a dollar last night to see your underwear”

Flashback to the eighties, right? Cover of 'Sixteen Candles' DVD

“My brother paid a dollar last night to see your underwear” is an instantly recognizable line from Sixteen Candles, a movie I thought was reasonably funny when I saw it in 1984, but which definitely took on a sinister subtext after I viewed it as the mother of two teenage boys.

But we’re not going to talk about sinister subtexts. Not today, anyway.

Today, we’re going to talk about something that has caused extreme marital discord in our previously happy home. And just what would that something be, you ask?


Seriously. This is the stuff you argue about when you don’t have cable.

I say the line goes like this:

(Scene: the most popular girl in the school wakes up in the back of a convertible Rolls Royce with the geekiest kid in the school.)

Caroline: I’ll tell you where you are if you tell me who you are.

Ted: I’m Farmer Ted.

Caroline: You’re in the parking lot in front of my church.

Ted: You own a church?

Classic. It’s funny, see, because it’s such an outrageous response to “You’re in front of my church.”

Now, this is how Hubby says it goes:

Caroline: You’re in the parking lot in front of my church.

Ted: You go to church?

Pretty dull, if you ask me, but Hubby breaks up just thinking about it. He says it’s funnier because Ted is surprised that she goes to church.

What a noodle.

We replayed this one scene several times—our ears pressed to the speakers so we could hear every nuance—and I’m 100% certain my version is the one John Hughes gave to the world. Hubby scoffs.

The Internet is no help. There are 1060 references to “You go to church?” and only 40 Google references to “You own a church?” which for some reason Hubby takes as a mandate that he is right, but which really only tells me most of the world is deaf.

So I leave it with you. First, tell me which line is funnier.

Second, if you know the movie and don’t have to run down to Blockbuster to rent it, tell me what they are really saying. My marriage depends on it.

UPDATE: Hubby agrees that the line is “You own a church?” but that the issue is not what the line SAYS, but which line is FUNNIER.

And third, once you have kids, John Hughes’ comedies turn into horror flicks. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.


18 Replies to ““My brother paid a dollar last night to see your underwear””

  1. hee hee hee… “you own a church?” Definitely funnier. And sad, because I am pretty sure I would have said something just as stupid in my high school daze. Ok, I’m pretty sure I DID say something like that back then. Several somethings, in fact.

  2. “turn into horror flics.”
    That’s why I contemplate, with pleasure, the state known as “grandmother’s revenge.”

  3. O.M.G!!! Sixteen Candles is my all time favorite movie…E.V.E.R!!! Love it!

    That being said, I could have sworn this entire time that Farmer Ted said, “you go to church?” I’ll have to watch it again (it never gets old) just to listen to that part over again…lol…

  4. John Hughes films are tame compared to today’s standards. Keep your kids away from the American Pie films and you might just have a fighting chance! Who knows, they may end up in Saturday detention getting to know four other interesting kids from school…

  5. c’mon, “you own a church” is a zillion times funnier. everyone knows that. EVERY. ONE.

  6. Thank you, Lachlan! Now why do you supposed there are more web references to Sixteen Candles and “You go to church?” than the real line as it was spoken in the movie?

    Me, too, Ms. Karen. I was completely clueless in high school.

    But Lesia, which line do you think is funnier?

    Sandy! See, I think most people heard it that way and still thought it was funny. But I think the way it’s written is funnier.

    Jen, maybe now that I’m a mom I won’t like ANY teen movies. I didn’t like The Breakfast Club after watching it again, either. And don’t get me started on Weird Science or Pretty in Pink.

    Yeah, Beckyz! You are absolutely, 100% correct! Heh!

  7. Don’t you love when marital discord ends with you being right? 🙂

    Who says there are no happy endings.

  8. Risking you never reading my blog again…

    Although you are right about what is really being said…

    I think the other line is funnier…
    Don’t hit me!

    The real line IS funny too though!

  9. I think you own a church is funnier, more slapstick. I guess I should enjoy these movies some more before the boys grow up, huh.

  10. the husband is clearly wrong on this one. But – for the sake of marriage, I am suggesting that you put on your ***Myrna Loy smile and say “Honey, you’re right. Your line was funnier”

    filed under the category of Good Lies To The Spouse (advice you’ll never hear from Dr Laura)

    ***the Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse smile.

  11. “You own a church?” is so much funnier there’s really no comparison. You win, and should get control of the remote all night. Maybe all week.

  12. Owning a church is a far more amusing – and frightening – concept than merely visiting one occasionally.

    Bonnie delivers smackdown!

    On that note: for someone who has not seen the film, but is curious, what is this evil subtext?

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