Upon its theatrical release in the summer of 1999, Drop Dead Gorgeous failed to make much of an impact. Audiences didn’t seem to know what to make of the mockumentary following a small-town beauty pageant, in which the contestants are mysteriously killed or maimed one by one. But it has since become a cult classic, as discerning audiences have come to embrace the film’s cast of unsung character actors and up-and-coming big-screen stars, its ruthless commentary on the beauty pageant industry, and especially its insanely quotable, jet-black dark comedy script. Now, as the film nears its 25th anniversary, the Great Pop Culture Debate wants to decide: what IS the best quote from Drop Dead Gorgeous?

Join host Eric Rezsnyak and panelists Amma Marfo, Bob Erlenback, and Jonny Minogue as they discuss and debate their favorite lines from the film.

The Round 1 match-ups are:

Match-Up 1:

ANNETTE: “Most smartest?”  Oh, that’s great, you’re real educated like. “Most smartest?” Make sure you get a picture of that.  “Most smartest.”  We’re cuttin you off and sendin’ you home.


MAYOR: Oh, yah, Freda, sure.  She was the oldest livin’ Lutheran.  Now she’s dead as a doornail.  It’s them damn Shriners who won’t take down the Goddamn sign – those lazy sons-a-bitches…every year, every damn year, I tell ‘em, “Take down the Goddamn Freda sign, you lazy sons-a-bitches!”

Match-Up 2:

AMBER: Mommmm!  I’ll be right behind you in the hearse!

LORETTA: Don’t let that worry you, Annette!


LORETTA: You stop right there. You are a good person. Good things happen to good people.

AMBER: Really?
LORETTA: No.  It’s pure bullshit, sweetie. You’re lucky as hell, so you might as well enjoy it.  Let’s get you a root beer float.

Match-Up 3:

GLADYS: Thank you, thank you.  You know, I won the talent contest by sewing these culottes, Butterick pattern 7-4-3-2. And can you believe it?  They still fit!

LORETTA: She had a big ass then, she’s got a big ass now.


CONNIE: Mmm-mmmm. Oh, I just love St. Paul Pork Products.  In fact, I love ‘em so much…I work here now!

Match-Up 4:

IRIS: It’s always hard to see the young ones called home, especially on an exploding thresher.  It’s just so odd, and gross.


ANNETTE: Scary? Let me tell you “scary”.  Look here. Look at me.  Do you wanna look like you been rode hard and put away wet when you’re my age?  I’m a “lifer” here.  Best thing I got to forward to is to end up in some decent raisin ranch where they change me twice a day.

Match-Up 5:

IRIS: Amber Atkins!  That is not American Teen Princess language!
AMBER: Good, ‘cause this isn’t an American Teen Princess Pageant – this, this is… this is Nazi Germany!


CHLORIS: And tendu.  Close.  Tendu.  Close. Tendu.  Close.  Plie.  And repeat. Suck in the belly, girls, and tuck in the tushes! Close those legs!  You look like a bunch of bowlegged cows! Other side. 

Match-Up 6:

LISA’S DAD: I’ll tell ya one thing.  Peter never woulda pulled a shenanigan like that.

LISA: Well, y’know what, dad?  Y’know what? Peter’s gay! GAY!!!!


GLADYS: Oh my God! My Baby! The swan ate my baby! Ow-ow-ow!  Get up, Rebecca!  Get outta there!  We’ve gotta go to State! Oh hot! Oh, damn. I like this blouse. Rebecca!  Get up, angel face.  Time to go to State!  Ow-ow-ow!

Match-Up 7:

AMBER: I-I’m quittin’ the pageant.

LORETTA: I heard you, I was just tryin’ to scare you into changin’ your mind.  Oh for Christ’s sakes, Amber, the woman clung to your tap shoes while flyin’ through the air like a Goddamn lawn dart!


GLADYS: You’d think they’d build the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America.

Match-Up 8:

TESS: Uh, this, uh, my Uncle Phil’s World’s Largest Ball of Twine, in Bundy Minnesota, makes me, um, it makes me proud I’m American. I… I kinda misunderstood the assignment.


DOCUMENTARIAN: So has your mom kept your dad’s life a secret?

AMBER: No.  She never hid the fact that my dad picked his career over us.  What’d she used to say?

LORETTA: “Once a carnie, always a carnie.”

AMBER: Oh-yah. Mom still cries whenever she sees a Tilt-a-Whirl or a fat lady in a tube top.

Want to play along at home?

Download the listener bracket here and see if your picks match up with ours!

Looking for more related content?

Check out these other episodes from Great Pop Culture Debate:

Best Film of 1999

Best Queer Film

Best “Clueless” Quote

Best “Steel Magnolias” Quote

And if you want to further 90s movie content, check out our list of the Top 10 “Soapdish” Quotes!

Have a say in future episodes!

Finally, if you want to have a say in what episodes we tackle next, vote in our Topic Polls! And we would love to have you pick your faves in the polls currently open for your votes!


Host: Eric Rezsnyak

Panel: Amma Marfo, Bob Erlenback, Jonny Minogue

Producer: Curtis Creekmore

Editor: Jeffery Perry

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