Pop culture

Monty Python is back! Celebrate with the 10 best 'Holy Grail' quotes

July 1, 2014 at 2:09 PM ET

Dust off your original Monty Python VHS tapes. As the five surviving members of the legendary British comedy troupe reunite, what better way to remember their slapstick style than to look back at one of their most revered movies, the 1975 cult classic "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle are set to begin a 10-show run at London's O2 Arena on Tuesday night. The final show, on July 20, will be streamed live in theaters around the globe, including more than 500 in the United States.

Actors Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle attend the Monty Python 40th Anniversary.
Jason Kempin / Getty Images file
Monty Python actors, from left, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle attend the IFC & BAFTA Monty Python 40th anniversary event at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York.

So before you head outside to chop down trees with herrings or wander off to look up the capital of Assyria, here are some of the best quotes from "Holy Grail" to catch you up.

(WARNING: Spoilers below. But the movie is nearly 40 years old, so if you haven't seen it yet, YOU MUST FIND ME A SHRUBBERY! )

'She's a witch!'
Have someone in your life you'd like to get rid of? Slap a carrot on that person's nose and accuse him or her of witchcraft. In the world of Monty Python, that may just do the trick. Just when you think Sir Bedevere can talk some sense into "Holy Grail's" frenzied mob, he only confirms their accusations by comparing the suspected witch's weight to a duck's. 

'We are the Knights who say ni!'
These forest-dwelling warriors have the sharpest tongues in the land, slinging a nasty, high-pitched "Ni!" at any foe who dares defy them. You'll only escape their wrath if you know a guy who can sell you a shrubbery. 

'How could a 5-ounce bird possibly carry a 1-pound coconut?'
Absurdity rules the day in the film's opening scene, when the guards at the gate of a castle grill King Arthur over how his squire acquired a coconut. A galloping horse has never sounded the same.

'Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.'
Lancelot may have just slayed an entire wedding party in his quest to free the not-quite-a-damsel in distress, but the King of Swamp Castle won't be set on revenge, especially if he has something to gain from it.

WATCH: Monty Python confirm reunion for next summer

'Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!'
Nothing is sacred in Camelot — least of all cute white bunny rabbits. Tim the Enchanter tried to warn them. 

'It's just a flesh wound.'
So what if he loses all his limbs? The black knight won't be discouraged from guarding his bridge, even if that bridge is no more than a few 2x4s over a creek. 

'I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!'
Forget every insult you've ever hurled at another human being. If you want to really damage another's ego, equate his mother to a rodent and just watch as he tries to think of a rational response. You win no matter what.

'Bring out yer dead.'
Think this knight-laden tale is all highbrow absurdity? Not even the poverty-stricken peasants of the Middle Ages catch a break with Monty Python. Here, a peasant pleads with an official to take his soon-to-be dead family member away on a cart of the deceased.

'Oh! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!'
Oh, Dennis. When will this constitutional peasant understand the divine rights of the monarchy? His scathing appeal to King Arthur's authority ends poorly for him, though he could surely teach a modern-day political science class.

'On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.'
Though the protagonists decide not to head to the storied castle, viewers are awarded with a sneak peek inside, and it only appears to be filled with rambunctious, singing knights in the classic Monty Python style. Really, what else could fans wish for?

Brandon Goodwin is a multimedia producer for TODAY.com and thinks 'Holy Grail's' 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score is waaay too low. You can follow him on Twitter.

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