While Billy Madison was his first starring vehicle after becoming a breakout star on Saturday Night Live, it was Happy Gilmore that made Adam Sandler a really beloved comedy actor. As a golf comedy, it could’ve easily paled in comparison to other golf-related comedy classics like Caddyshack, but luckily, its absurdist sense of humor, lovable characters, hilarious slapstick gags, and above all, its warm heart made it stand out as a classic in its own right. It’s also one of the most quotable comedies ever made, with a memorable line in every scene.
When Adam Sandler fans think of the funniest lines from all the comedian’s movies then the best Happy Gilmore quotes often top the list for a number of good reasons. With a great villain, memorable side characters, and Sandler at his most animated, the movie delivers what audiences love the most about Sandler’s filmography. Whether they be quips, comebacks, or observations about the great game of golf and how to play it better, these funny quotes from Happy Gilmore will likely live on for decades to come.
15 “What? I Didn’t Break It. I Was Just Testing Its Durability.”
The central gag at the heart of Happy Gilmore is that the main character takes the stereotypically aggressive attitude of professional hockey to the quiet and well-ordered world of professional golfing, meaning that the eponymous Happy is always breaking rules and even objects in frustration. When the tour’s publication relations director, Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), points out that Happy broke a rake on the course, he hilariously downplays the incident, showing that he’s not all anger deep down, adding “And then I placed it in the woods, because it’s made of wood, and I just thought he should be with his family.”
14 “Somebody’s Closer.”
Part of what makes Adam Sandler’s comedic performances work so well is his manipulating his own voice. Whether he’s singing or giving his character a peculiar accent, Sandler is unashamed of how hard he’ll go for the big laughs with even the most simple lines of dialogue. When mocking his rival, Shooter McGavin (Christopher MacDonald), after a more impressive shot, Happy turns to him and points out that his ball is now closer to the hole in a hilariously childish voice, making for one of the best Happy Gilmore quotes.
13 “And You Can Count – On Me Waiting For You In The Parking Lot.”
One of the most memorable characters of Happy Gilmore is Mr. Larson, a former employer of Happy’s who turns up to support him on the golf course, and a big part of what makes him so memorable is the actor who plays him, the enormous actor Richard Kiel. Kiel is still most famous for playing the iconic James Bond movie henchman Jaws, who appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker in the 1970s. So his intimidating stature only makes his quip back to Shooter McGavin, after Shooter sarcastically says that he’s impressed that Mr. Larson can count, one of the funniest Happy Gilmore quotes.
12 “I Was Just Looking For The Other Half Of This Bottle.”
In another example of Happy’s hotheadedness, he gets face to face with Shooter McGavin in a bar and misinterprets Shooter’s more metaphorical fighting talk for actual threats of violence, which Happy doesn’t take lying down. Virginia breaks up the scuffle before it can actually start, and Happy once again downplays the incident, explaining away the weapon in his hand with this humorous line.
11 “You Can Trouble Me For A Warm Glass Of Shut-The-Hell-Up.”
Ben Stiller played the nursing home orderly Hal in Happy Gilmore though he was uncredited for his appearance. Nevertheless, he was so memorable in the small role that it ended up being one of his best-known characters. Hal definitely isn’t a nice character in the movie, as all of his best Happy Gilmore quotes show, like when he says “Now, you will go to sleep or I will put you to sleep. Check out the name tag. You’re in my world now, Grandma.” However, Hal’s always been a firm fan-favorite with Stiller returning to the role in 2020 for Sandler’s movie Hubie Halloween.
10 “If I Saw Myself In Clothes Like That, I’d Have To Kick My Own Ass.”
Adam Sandler has a way of making angry characters funny and affable in his movies, especially in his early work from the 90s. For all intents and purposes, the Billy Madison character is a deeply irresponsible man who shouldn’t be around children, but Sandler makes him lovable. The Happy Gilmore character is the same. He gets into all kinds of fights on the golf course and his temper costs him a lot of opportunities, but Sandler makes him relatable. Part of this comes from Happy’s insistence on wearing his hockey jersey to the course, defying the traditional fashion of golfing and showing his more down-to-earth side.
9 “Yeah, Right, And Grizzly Adams Had A Beard.”
Happy Gilmore features cameo appearances from a number of notable celebrities. One of those celebrities was Lee Trevino, who has long been considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. He’s a part of one of the best Happy Gilmore quotes, where he points out how Shooter McGavin’s sarcastic joke doesn’t make sense. As Trevino points out, in not as many words, McGavin is actually agreeing with Happy when he says, “And Grizzly Adams had a beard,” pointing out “Grizzly Adams did have a beard.”
8 “It’s All In The Hips. It’s All In The Hips. It’s All In The Hips.”
Though Carl Weathers was one of the most memorable action movie stars of the 1980s, the actor has also carved out a niche in absurdist comedy in the past couple of decades. He played himself as a cheapskate obsessed with stew in Arrested Development and he played Happy’s coach, Chubbs Peterson, in Happy Gilmore, who was a former golf player who had to retire after his hand was bitten off by an alligator. Chubbs’ key lesson, and catchphrase, was about Happy needing to loosen up and realize “it’s all in the hips.” Chubbs would repeat the line in his cameo appearance in Sandler’s later movie, Little Nicky.
7 “You’re Gonna Die, Clown!”
As Chubbs tries to get Happy to learn some patience and control while golfing, the two go to a crazy golf course to work on the weakest part of Happy’s game – his putting. When Happy gets confronted by a particularly difficult hole featuring a clown statue that keeps blocking his shot, Happy hilariously loses his cool and screams this war cry. The fact that Happy can’t even keep his cool against what is effectively a toy makes his outbursts strangely endearing.
6 “Why Don’t You Just Go Home? That’s Your Home!”
In the years since the release of Harold Ramis’ Caddyshack, many movies have tried to find more humor in golf but for the most appeared to have learned the wrong lessons from Caddyshack’s success. While the world of professional golf can be an interesting setting, the humor has to come from somewhere else. Happy Gilmore found that humor in bringing a hockey attitude to the game of golf. One of the best examples of how this works is the scene where Happy yells at the ball as it stops right next to the hole, adding “Are you too good for your home? Answer me!”
5 “Just Stay Out Of My Way Or You’ll Pay. Listen To What I Say.”
No matter what Shooter McGavin says, Happy Gilmore always has the perfect comeback, and it’s not a generic comeback or an obvious comeback, or an insult that takes a cheap shot. Happy hilariously thinks outside the box, as he does after this memorable Happy Gilmore quote from Shooter McGavin. McGavin tries to threaten Happy, and it unintentionally ends up rhyming, so Happy replies with: “Hey, why don’t I just go and eat some hay? I can lay by the bay. Make things out of clay. I just may. What’d ya say?”
4 “Oh, Yeah. Lotta Pressure. You Gotta Rise Above It.”
This is a classic example of the kind of useless advice people give to people under a lot of pressure. They give this empty, abstract advice that ultimately means absolutely nothing, but it’s hilarious through the character of Gary Potter (Kevin Nealon). Actor Kevin Nealon was a cast member on Saturday Night Live at the same time as Adam Sandler, appearing in a lot of his movies, and he certainly delivers some of the best Happy Gilmore quotes, adding “You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. Feel the flow, Happy. Feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel.”
3 “I Eat Pieces Of S*** Like You For Breakfast!”
The Happy Gilmore quote where Shooter tries to be intimidating and Happy responds with “You eat pieces of s*** for breakfast?” is so iconic that Kanye West, who is known for referencing movies in his lyrics, included it in the lyrics for his religiously-themed song “Jesus Walks.” What helps elevate the line to legendary status is the fact that Shooter McGavin is a brilliant villain. He’s the kind of villain fans love to hate, which makes him the perfect villain for a lighthearted comedy movie – he’s not despicable enough to distract from the laughs, but unlikable enough to make the audience root for Happy.
2 “Damned Alligator Just Popped Up, Cut Me Down In My Prime.”
One of the most hilarious supporting characters in Happy Gilmore is Carl Weathers’ Chubbs, the coach who trains the title character to imbue accuracy into his powerful swing. Weathers delivers this monologue about how he lost his hand perfectly, and the prop of the jar containing the alligator’s plucked-out eye provides the perfect visual punchline. “He got me, but I tore one of that b*****d’s eyes out, though. Look at that.” Happy even gets the chance to fight the one-eyed alligator that attacked his friend at one point in the movie.
1 “The Price Is Wrong, B****!”
The Price is Right host Bob Barker’s appearance in the movie is one of the funniest and most memorable cameos in film history. There’s a lot about the world of golf that Happy Gilmore makes fun of, including celebrity golf tournaments that pair professional golfers with other celebrities. As usual, Happy’s temper gets the best of him during the tournament, and he gets into a fight with Barker, but as it turns out, the iconic game show host is a master martial artist, so he unexpectedly gets the better of Happy. The fight scene is iconic and won the first MTV Movie Award for Best Fight back in 1996.