I anticipate the new season of So You Think You Can Dance like a trip to Disney. It’s magical. It’s exciting. And at times it’s hot, hot, hot. And while Disney may promise me long lines, SYTYCD often features “fantastic lines.”
Every week there’s a Nigel Lithgow, Mary Murphy, Mia Michaels, Adam Shenkman comment about someone having great lines. Fantastic lines. I hear that and I know they are a beautiful technical dancer, but really. What exactly is a great line?
A good line is absolutely indispensable to the classical dancer. A dancer is said to have a good or bad sense of line according to the arrangement of head, body, legs and arms in a pose or movement.
A great line stretches through a dancer’s fingertips and toes.
And a fantastic line exemplifies an ethereal grace that makes me run to my computer and update my facebook status with “A-mazing.”
I was rereading The Hunger Games several weeks ago, my jaw scraping every
Peeta: Well, I don't have much competition here.
Katniss: You don't have much competition anywhere.
*rereads seventy-four times*
Now, those were some fantastic lines.
And after I exhausted ten boxes of tissues, I thought about fantastic lines in novels. In television and movies. In songs. How a fantastic line can totally make a movie for me. How cleverly executed dialogue makes a book completely unputdownable.
And then I thought . . . what makes a line fantastic?
Well, there are the classics:
Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. (Rick Blaine, Casablanca)
Do. Or do not. There is no try. (Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back)
Or those lines that break my heart:
Last time I saw you, I said that it hurt too much to love you. But I was wrong about that. The truth is it hurts too much not to love you. (Heath Luck, House of Night)
Or it could be a powerful opener:
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. (1984, George Orwell)
I love me some lines about hope:
Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor)
And I especially love the ones that become my life’s motto, wallpaper, facebook status for the next year:
I go to seek a great perhaps (Looking for Alaska, John Green)
Unforgettable, fantastic lines. But what makes the line fantastic? What makes it unforgettable?
For some people, it’s the poignancy of the words or the timeless beauty in them. The line may be something many people connect to. Or maybe two ill-fated words that take your breath away.
It could be swoon worthy dialogue from a swoon worthy character:
Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games. (Peeta Mellark, The Hunger Games)
And sometimes for me—the most epic lines and the ones that tend to stick with me—are the funny ones. The LOL, pee-my-pants moments in a book or movie that leave me ROFLing for days. Like Ron Weasley’s attempts at talking to Harry on a telephone in The Goblet of Fire. Or Alan’s wolfpack speech in the Hangover.
Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe? (Bender, The Breakfast Club)
Awesome. I always wondered what it would be like to live in someone’s mouth. (Hex Hall, Rachel Hawkins)
How can you do a duet by yourself? Isn’t that like vocal masturbation? (Santana, Glee)
I know a fantastic line when I read one, but I wanted to know what does it for our spies and analysts—in terms of fantastic lines. So, I asked them what lines they want to paint on the wall above their bed, lines that they just can't shake thoughts of for days (weeks, ever). Dialogue. Or lines that make them laugh. Here’s what they had to say.
ANA: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. (Animal Farm, George Orwell)
There's nothing I hate worse than prejudice. And there's nothing I love more than a book that stays with me for years and years. I read this for 9th grade English and I immediately fell in love with it. It just really makes you think.
He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling)
I can remember clearly when I read this line. I was sitting in class supposed to be taking notes and I laughed out loud. For quite a while too.
LISSA: It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart. (Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins)
This quote sort of packs a punch for me because it gives me something to keep in mind, and it's a quote I consider often during tough times. This quote speaks truth.
Is a person worth more because they have someone to grieve for them? (Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta)
Something about this quote tore me up inside when I was reading.
You only get to walk variations of the same lines everyone has already drawn for you. (Some Girls Are , Courtney Summers)
This quote gave me a brutally-honest taste of reality for some reason. The first time I read that book that quote stopped me and just made me wonder about life, and for some reason, it's stuck with me and I find myself coming back to it to ponder.
ALEXIS:I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun. (Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games)
I'd definitely want to see this every day when I wake up: it's a great self-esteem booster! And it's from the Hunger Games, what's not to love?
I may die young, but at least I'll die smart. (Looking for Alaska, John Green)
This novel has so many great quotes that it was hard to choose one, but I really liked this one.
LEXIE: We accept the love we think we deserve. (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky)
I really, really adore this quote, because it has always struck me as so very, painfully true. I love quotes that get to the very heart of things.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling)
There are quite literally thousands of Harry Potter quotes that I love more than life itself, but this is one that has always stuck with me, the first one to come to mind. It's a quote to live by. No matter how beautifully you may build your dreams, no matter how much you'd like to stick with your fantasies in the hopes that someday they will come true, you can't neglect your own life for insubstantial nothings.
In the end, everything matters. (Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher)
While I feel as though this quite truly embodies the book itself, it's also so relevant to life itself. In the end, everything matters. Every word, every gesture. Every last thing you do. You will never know just how great of an effect the smallest things have had on the people around you.
ERICA: Too bad guys aren’t like Mr. Potato Head Where you can pick and choose which parts you want (When It Happens , Susane Colasanti)
I just love this quote it's way too funny (and something I totally wish was true!)
He looked at me like I just told him the earth was flat and I had definitive proof. (Sea, Heidi R Kling)
Sea is filled to the brim with epic quotes, so many of them are among my favorites, but this one is just so sweet and reinforces Team Spider for all his fans!
What good is strength if you have no sense? (Brightly Woven, Alexandra Bracken)
Something about this quote is just so powerful, and it's stuck with me since I read Brightly Woven a few years ago.
Agent A Note: We have the most insightful teen spies and analysts.
So, what makes a fantastic line for YOU? What are some of your favorite fantastic lines?
Oh, and for all you math lovers out there.