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Famous last words (sarcasm)

This article is about sarcastic or humourous phrases characterised as "famous last words," not actual dying quotes, for actual phrases attributed to persons near death, see the article Famous last words.

The term famous last words has become an expression in the English language for a quote, either fictional or true, that was completely wrong. The person to whom the quote is attributed to, if a real person, may or may not have been near death when the quote was supposedly uttered. Often the quote will be based on the history, philosophy or profession of the atributee. A "famous last words" quote is often expressed in the form of a joke.

Famous last words are also a joke among players of role-playing games, as words, decisions, or actions that, while not the character's final words, are typically eventually or even directly responsible for, or related to, events ending in the death of that player's character (and sometimes, the entire party). These quotes are usually attributed to extreme cases of ignorance, arrogance, or stupidity.

Table of contents

Famous "famous last words"

True or attributed (not patent jokes)

  • "Nobody will ever need more than 640 kilobytes of memory." —attributed to Bill Gates (although he denies ever saying it).
  • "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu)." —Linus Torvalds on Linux (verified *).
  • "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." —1921 New York Times editorial
  • "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris." —Orville Wright.
  • "The guitar's all right for a hobby, John, but it won't earn you any money"-John Lennon's Aunt Mimi

Humorous fiction

  • A pilot to co-pilot, "What's a mountain goat doing up here in a cloud bank?" —from Gary Larson's comic strip The Far Side.
  • "They're too loyal to the fans to move the team." —from MAD Magazine.

Role-playing game "famous last words"

  • "They need a twenty to hit me, I'm invincible"
  • "So what?"
  • "Don't be silly. If this was really the ship's self-destruct button, do you think they'd leave it lying around where anyone could press it?"
  • "Yes, it's true I humiliated the DM in front of the debating team Wednesday, but he's much too broad-minded to take it out on my character."
  • "So you're Tiamat, huh? Are you evil? Yes? Would you like to convert?"
  • "I'll open it."
  • "A ballista? What's that? How many dice of damage does it do?"
  • "Read it to me!" (spoken about a Fireball spell scroll)
  • "I paid this horse 10 gold pieces, of course it can jump across this chasm!"

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