These Are The 20 Best Spinal Tap Quotes | Tutorial

From the hair and the lyrics to the makeup – there’s so much to love about the decadent lifestyle of 1980’s heavy metal music. This Is (1984) is a rockumentary from director Rob Reiner (All In The Family, The Princess Bride, Stand by Me) starring Christopher Guest (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman), Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley, Better Call Saul, A Mighty Wind) and Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, A Mighty Wind) that follows an aging rock band called Spinal Tap as they go on what proves to be a fateful tour.

One of the things that make This Is Spinal Tap so incredible, is that most of the script was improvised. The cast just made up these classic one-liners and ridiculous dead-pan banter while filming the mockumentary. Here are the 20 best Spinal Tap quotes from the film. If you disagree, please leave a note in the comments.


01) Armadillos

Spinal Tap - Armadillos
Image via SYDBARRETTING

On why the composition of Spinal Tap’s audience is full of “predominantly young boys” and not many females.

Nigel Tufnel: We’ve got Armadillos in our trousers. It’s really quite frightening.


“We’ve got Armadillos in our trousers. It’s really quite frightening.” #SpinalTap #SpinalTapQuotes
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02) Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll

Marty DiBergi: What would you do if you couldn’t play music anymore?

Mick Shrimpton: Well, as long as there’s, you know, sex and drugs, I could do without the rock n’ roll.

03) Stonehenge

David St. Hubbins: 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*. Alright? That tended to understate the hugeness of the object.

Ian Faith: I really think you’re just making much too big a thing out of it.

Derek Smalls: Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea.

04) None More Black

Nigel Tufnel: It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

05) Lukewarm Water

Derek Smalls: 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.

06) Puppet Show

David St. Hubbins: “Oh, we’ve got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.”


“Oh, we’ve got a bigger dressing room than the puppets. That’s refreshing.” #SpinalTap
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07) Nitpicking Critics

Marty DiBergi: “This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.”

Nigel Tufnel: That’s just nitpicking, isn’t it?

08) A Very Pretty Song

Nigel is playing a soft piece on the piano.

Marty DiBergi: It’s very pretty.

Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, I’ve been fooling around with it for a few months.

Marty DiBergi: It’s a bit of a departure from what you normally play.

Nigel Tufnel: It’s part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I’m working on in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don’t know why.

Marty DiBergi: It’s very nice.

Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like – I’m really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it’s sort of in between those, really. It’s like a Mach piece, really. It’s sort of…

Marty DiBergi: What do you call this?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is called “Lick My Love Pump”.

09) Epitaph

Spinal Tap Tombstone

Asked to write his own epitaph.

David St. Hubbins: Here lies David St. Hubbins… and why not?


“Here lies David St. Hubbins… and why not?” #SpinalTap #SpinalTapQuotes
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10) Never Been Played

Nigel Tufnel: Look… still has the old tag on, never even played it.

Marty DiBergi: (points his finger) You’ve never played…?

Nigel Tufnel: Don’t touch it!

Marty DiBergi: We’ll I wasn’t going to touch it, I was just pointing at it.

Nigel Tufnel: Well… don’t point! It can’t be played.

Marty DiBergi: Don’t point, okay. Can I look at it?

Nigel Tufnel: No. no. That’s it, you’ve seen enough of that one.

11) These Go To 11

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

Nigel Tufnel: (pause) These go to eleven.


“These go to eleven.”#SpinalTap #SpinalTapQuotes
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12) Rock Fans

Lt. Hookstratten: May I start by saying how thrilled we are to have you here. We are such fans of your music and all of your records. I’m not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre of the rock and roll.

13) Stupid & Clever

David St. Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…

Nigel Tufnel: Clever.

David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.

14) Boston

Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been canceled…

David St. Hubbins: What?

Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn’t worry about it though, it’s not a big college town.

15) The First Drummer

When asked what happened to their first drummer.

David St. Hubbins: He died in a bizarre gardening accident…

Nigel Tufnel: Authorities said… best leave it… unsolved.

16) The Second Drummer

Marty DiBergi: And what happened to Stumpy Joe?

Derek Smalls: It’s not a very pleasant story. But uh, he died. He choked on uh, the official explanation was he choked on vomit.

Nigel Tufnel: It was actually. It was actually someone else’s vomit. You know there’s no real…

Derek Smalls: Well they can’t prove whose vomit it was. They don’t have the ability. There’s no way of…

Nigel Tufnel: You can’t really dust for vomit.


“You can’t really dust for vomit.” #SpinalTap #SpinalTapQuotes
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17) The Third Drummer

Marty DiBergi: Now, during the Flower People period, who was your drummer?

David St. Hubbins: Stumpy’s replacement, Peter James Bond. He also died in mysterious circumstances. We were playing a, uh…

Nigel Tufnel: …Festival.

David St. Hubbins: Jazz blues festival. Where was that?

Nigel Tufnel: Blues jazz, really.

Derek Smalls: Blues jazz festival. Misnamed.

Nigel Tufnel: It was in the Isle of, uh…

David St. Hubbins: Isle of Lucy. The Isle of Lucy jazz and blues festival.

Nigel Tufnel: And, uh, it was tragic, really. He exploded on stage.

Derek Smalls: Just like that.

David St. Hubbins: He just went up.

Nigel Tufnel: He just was like a flash of green light… And that was it. Nothing was left.

David St. Hubbins: Look at his face.

Nigel Tufnel: Well, there was…

David St. Hubbins: It’s true, this really did happen.

Nigel Tufnel: It’s true. There was a little green globule on his drum seat.

David St. Hubbins: Like a stain, really.

Nigel Tufnel: It was more of a stain than a globule, actually.

David St. Hubbins: You know, several, you know, dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It’s just not really widely reported.

18) Not A Very Well Known Saint

Marty DiBergi: David St. Hubbins… I must admit I’ve never heard anybody with that name.

David St. Hubbins: It’s an unusual name, well, he was an unusual saint, he’s not a very well known saint.

Marty DiBergi: Oh, there actually is, uh… there was a Saint Hubbins?

David St. Hubbins: That’s right, yes.

Marty DiBergi: What was he the saint of?

David St. Hubbins: He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

19) Reading

David St. Hubbins: I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn’t believe anything.

20) Heavy Sedation

David St. Hubbins: Well, I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.


“I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.” #SpinalTap #SpinalTapQuotes
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