Everything I Know, I Learned From Road House

Posted by cullenbunn on November 27, 2010  /   Posted in Distractions

I get a lot of trouble for my love of the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie, Road House. I’ve watched the movie dozens of times and, unlike some “better” movies, it never gets old. I contend that Road House, despite its humble origins as an ass-kicking action flick, is chock-full of valuable life lessons. After all, Dalton is a “fighting philosopher,” so you should expect to learn a thing or two every time this bad boy comes on Starz. This year, I decided to make the movie part of a new Thanksgiving tradition. As I watched, I tracked some of the lessons I thought might be worth remembering. From the very first line to the last, parables abound.

Here ya go…

  • “It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Don’t throw stones.”
  •  You can look bad-ass on the dance floor if you nod your head slowly in time with the music while looking around with Terminator-like intensity.
  • Men, you will almost never look bad-ass if you take off your shirt and gyrate around the room wearing your boot-cut jeans and your shit-kickers.
  •  Sometimes, what seems like a sweet deal turns into “the kind of place where people sweep up eyeballs after closing.”
  • You can beautify graffiti by changing an “F” to a “B” and adding an “i”.
  •  Always get your cash in advance.  “I ain’t got twenty bucks!”
  •  Don’t park your Mercedes in the open if you’re gonna make a habit of pissing people off… And always buy extra tires.
  •  Don’t expect people to believe you when you tell them you’re honest.
  •  “Calling me ‘sir’ is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong.”
  •  Ain’t it peculiar how money seems to keep you in the good graces of the church?
  •  People who really want to have a good time won’t come to a slaughterhouse.
  •  Never underestimate your opponent. Take it outside. Be nice… Until it is time to not be nice.
  •  It’ll always get worse before it gets better.
  •  Don’t ever marry an ugly woman. It takes the energy right out of you.
  •  Punk-asses almost always draw knives. I’d rather get my ass whooped up and down the street than draw a knife in what should be a fair fight.
  •  Pain don’t hurt.
  •  Nobody ever wins a fight.
  •  It’s amazing the kind of trouble you can get used to.
  •  Some people are too stupid to have a good time.
  •  You meet the biggest guy in the world, you smash his knee and he’ll drop like a stone.
  •  The people who go looking for trouble are not much of a problem for someone who’s ready for trouble.
  •  Some “dogs” won’t hunt… And sometimes you just have to cut the past loose.
  • “ When a man sticks a gun in your face, you’ve got two choices. You can die or you can kill the motherfucker.”
  •  You’ll get all the sleep you need when you’re dead.
  •  If you’re gonna have a pet, keep it on a leash.
  •  The phrase “Prepare to die!” only works in a certain kind of story, and this is one of them.
  •  You can only be an asshole for so long before a bunch of old dudes shoot you and send you flying through a glass top coffee table.
  •  “I didn’t see anything. Did you?” is a perfectly acceptable alibi in almost any situation.
  •  Sometimes, a polar bear is gonna fall on you. It’s best to just laugh about it.


  1. Jamie November 28, 2010 12:09 am

    I once had lots of fun at a slaughterhouse…

    Granted, it had been closed for about 10 years, and was abandoned and all creepy inside from having no lighting, and we were trying to scare the crap out of some cute girls…

    But, we did have fun.

  2. Chris Schweizer December 1, 2010 11:27 pm

    I’ve always been a Roadhouse apologist (in addition to letting it shape my teenage Kentucky brawling behavior in years long past), but it’s been far too long since I’ve given it a real watch. You, sir, have lit the fire once more.

  3. cullenbunn December 2, 2010 6:14 am

    We should totally have a Road House movie night!

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