Talladega Nights is the underrated gem of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s many collaborations. The pair have gone on to Oscar glory and Razzie shame, but this remains one of their best films. The story of an arrogant NASCAR driver who needs to learn some humility is packed with laugh-out-loud moments and hilarious one-liners.
While there are many funny performances, Ferrell’s Rick Bobby is obviously the star of the show. Ricky is one of Ferrell’s most memorable roles and he has some of the funniest lines that people still quote today. Revisit some of the hilarious moments with Ricky Bobby’s funniest quotes.
Updated by Colin McCormick on August 17, 2021: One sign of a good comedy is how quotable lines have remained funny. In that regard, there are endless hilarious Talladega Nights quotes to cement it as a classic. While the movie has plenty of funny characters with memorable lines, the Ricky Bobby quotes remain memorable years later and still make fans laugh out loud. With so many great choices, it wasn’t hard to add a few more hilarious quotes from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
15 “Shake And Bake!”
Talladega Nights may be about Ricky Bobby’s redemption as a racer, but it is also a buddy story between Ricky and his racing partner Cal Naughton Jr., played by Ferrell’s frequent comedy costar, John C. Reilly. These two men make for an unstoppable duo on the track and even come up with their own catchphrase.
These best buddies are often yelling their saying “Shake and bake!” after every victory or really whenever they feel like it. Supposedly, the catchphrase is meant to speak to how well they go together, but the fact that this was the best example for comradery they could come up with says a lot about these men.
14 “I Just Read In The Newspaper That They Put A Pig Heart In Some Guy In Russia.”
Despite his talent as a racer, Ricky Bobby can also be reckless, which doesn’t sit well with his team. Unfortunately, the fact that he keeps winning only fuels his ego and makes him feel invincible. And the more delusional he becomes, the funnier it is.
After a particularly dangerous race, Ricky’s manager Lucius warns him against such moves and says that he won’t live forever. However, Ricky argues that with advances in science, anything is possible, and he’s even heard of a pig heart transplant. It’s a hilariously strange detail that is made even funnier as Ricky clarifies that the man died.
13 “You Sound Like A Dog With Peanut Butter On The Roof Of Your Mouth.”
One of the highlights of the movie is the rivalry between Ricky Bobby and the French racer, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). While Girard has admiration for his opponent, Ricky is immediately hostile to Girard and sees him as an outsider.
When they first meet, Ricky shows his ignorance by talking down to Girard just because he is French. Ricky says can’t even understand the man just because he is speaking English with an accent. It is one of the strengths of the movie that they are willing to make the lead character an uninformed buffoon.
12 “I’ve Lived My Whole Life By That!”
A big part of the movie is Ricky dealing with his relationship with his father who left him as a child. Despite barely knowing the man, Ricky has always lived by the one piece of advice he gave Ricky: “If you’re not first, you’re last.”
When his father shows back up in Ricky’s life later on, Ricky reminds him of those words he said to him years ago. However, Ricky’s father admitted he was high and points out how it doesn’t even make sense. These were the words Ricky lived his whole life by, and the fact that they are immediately deemed meaningless makes it a little sad — but mostly hilarious.
11 “Yup, Flying Through The Air. This Is Not Good.”
Though Adam McKay was mostly known for his comedic filmmaking at the time, Talladega Nights also showed he could handle action sequences. McKay delivers genuinely thrilling race scenes that would be worthy of any car movie. The most impressive of them comes with Ricky’s devastating crash.
Viewers could be forgiven for momentarily forgetting they are watching a comedy as they see Ricky’s car flip through the air. But McKay is wise enough to add some levity in the intense moment as Ricky calmly sits in his airborne car and points out how bad this situation is.
10 “Well, Let Me Just Quote The Late-Great Colonel Sanders, Who Said… ‘I’m Too Drunk To Taste This Chicken.'”
Something that the Adam McKay-Will Ferrell collaborations excel at is non-sequitur humor. This quote is a prime example of how they can make audiences laugh by saying something completely unexpected and unrelated to anything.
While intellectual Frenchman Jean Girard quotes William Blake, the less intellectual Ricky Bobby is forced to break out a more obscure quote — that is likely made up.
9 “This Sticker Is Dangerous And Inconvenient, But I Do Love Fig Newtons.”
It could be a fair accusation to say that Ricky Bobby is a sell-out. As a famous NASCAR racer, he will promote absolutely anything on his car. He even goes so far as to sell ad space on the windshield of his car, making driving a bit difficult.
Even Ricky has to admit that he might have gone too far this time and shows so regret. However, he also seems to justify it by insisting he does love Fig Newtons. It’s funny how Ricky is able to balance liking a product he’s endorsing and putting himself in incredible danger.
8 “It Won The Academy Award… Best Movie Ever Made.”
The rivalry between Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard unfolds as many classic sports rivalries do. With two massively successful athletes competing with each other, only one can be declared the victor. It also reminds Ricky Bobby of a film he apparently has a lot of love for.
When Girard points out that only one of them can be the champion, Ricky points out that this is very similar to The Highlander. Girard has never seen it but Ricky insists it is great and the winner of the prestigious Oscar for “Best Movie of All-Time”. Of course, this is not an actual Oscar category, and if it was, it seems doubtful The Highlander would be named the winner.
7 “I Wake Up In The Morning And I P**s Excellence.”
Will Ferrell excels at playing obnoxiously arrogant men. Though Ricky Bobby may have started out as a somewhat timid pit crew member, his quick rise in the sport helps him develop a pretty big opinion of himself.
This declaration of his greatness is a perfect display of why Ricky needed a little humbling. Again, it doesn’t really mean anything, but he sure says it with a lot of confidence.
6 “Handsome, Beautiful, Articulate Sons, Who Are Talented And Star Athletes And They Have Their Legs Taken Away.”
Once Ricky Bobby’s downfall does come, it comes hard. After a terrible accident on the race track, Ricky convinces himself that he is paralyzed. His friends visit him to try to show him this is all in his head, but Ricky doesn’t take it well.
Trapped in his own delusion, Ricky wishes that his friends have healthy and athletic boys only for them to lose their legs. It is a shockingly cruel thing to say to someone and Michael Clarke Duncan’s explosively angry reaction to it makes it all the more hilarious.
5 “From Now On, You’re The Magic Man And I’m El Diablo.”
While Ricky and Cal seem like inseparable friends in the beginning, their friendship soon falls apart after Ricky’s fall from grace. With Ricky out, Cal steps into his role as the star racer and even goes after Ricky’s wife. This causes breaks their friendship and seems impossible to fix.
However, Cal eventually regrets what he did and suggests the return of their famous “Shake and bake” catchphrase. Ricky refuses but introduces new nicknames for them. They make even less sense, especially when Ricky insists El Diablo means “fighting chicken.”
4 “Dear 8 Pounds 6 Ounces Newborn Infant Jesus, Don’t Even Know A Word Yet”
One of the funniest scenes in the movie is Ricky’s long and utterly ridiculous blessing at the dinner table. Ricky decides he can say grace to whichever version of Jesus he likes best, and for him, that’s the baby Jesus because it reminds him of Christmas.
The prayer goes on to hilarious lengths as Ricky describes this infant version of Jesus he sees in his head. The scene only gets funnier when Ricky also insists Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes.
3 “Tom Cruise, Use Your Witchcraft On Me To Get The Fire Off Me!”
Despite his crash being pretty horrific, Ricky escaped with little injury to his body. However, he doesn’t realize this. Ricky emerges from the wreck thinking he’s on fire and proceeds to run around the race track in his underwear screaming to any god he can think of to save him.
Though it’s hard not to sympathize with Ricky in his state of panic, it is not a very dignified look. It only gets worse when he can’t think of any more gods and starts praying to Tom Cruise.
2 “If You Don’t Chew Big Red, Then F*** You.”
Another highlight of the movie comes with the many ads Ricky churns out, which is also a clever bit of product placement. As expected, these aren’t typical ads nor does Ricky feel the need to keep them family-friendly. By far the best and most outrageous ad comes from Ricky’s blunt selling of Big Red chewing gum.
As crazy as the previous ads were, this one still takes the audience by surprise. Ferrell’s deadpan delivery sells it even more.
1 “I’m Not Sure What To Do With My Hands.”
Ferrell and McKay love making their characters look stupid. Though he may be a good driver, Ricky is a screw-up in basically every other area of his life. His funniest blunder comes when he does his first on-camera interview as a racer.
It’s such a funny moment, not only because of the ridiculousness but also how it’s relatable. Anyone who has had the spotlight on them and becomes a bit self-conscious can relate to Ricky’s awkward moment.