Married Speak: Obscure references making being around my wife and me insufferable

My wife and I have been together for most of the 21st century. During that time, we’ve developed a shorthand of tv show and movie references that we use with surprising frequency in casual conversation. 

This makes us somewhat difficult be around because we have to constantly explain what and why we just said what we said. However, it has the perk of weeding out folks it might not be worthwhile for us to hang out with. 

We’ve got friends.


So, I’ve decided to put together an incomplete list of some of the more frequent allusions. I don’t know if there’s an overarching theme or thread connecting them all. I’ll leave that for others to determine.


My wife introduced me to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Needless to say, I’ve become just as obsessive over it as she was as a high schooler in the 90s. This quote from Willow is perhaps my favorite, “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.” Quite simply, a superb and accurate statement.

Speaking of superb and accurate statements:

An obsession with quotes from The Simpsons is a defining characteristic of my generation. The series had its golden years during our high school and college years. It’s impossible to innumerate all the best Simpsons quotes, still though certain one stand out.

Like Homer’s sage assertion, 

the spoof it did of The Prisoner still resonates,

and this expression of Moe is pretty much me all the time.

For some reason I thought this Moe quote came from The Monarch from The Venture Bros. Those who’ve seen the cartoon can imagine why.

A great illustration by VonToten over at DeviantArt

“Venture and I have been engaged in a deadly game of cat and also-cat for years!” 

One of the reasons I love The Venture Bros. so much is that I see a lot of myself in The Monarch and even more of Dr. Girlfriend/Dr.Mrs.The Monarch in my wife (especially as she deals with me).  I’ve a healthy love of cartoons and keep a rather specific personal library of now-forgotten toons like SpaceGhost Coast-to-Coast

It’s vastly superior spin-off, The Brak Show


which melds my love of just making up songs for doing mundane tasks and sass talk:

Zorak: (mouthing while Brak lip-synchs) Greetings. I have recently been told that I have a beautiful man voice.

Dad: No more of this! You need to get your feet off your head and your pants to your ears, and go help someone who has no feet! Because the footless animals cannot walk over here on their little non-footed areas and tell us how hungry they are, now can they?

Brak: Alright, I guess I’ll get going, if going is what I need to get.

Then there’s the lovely Invader Zim. We all love Gir; my wife knitted one for me. We both tend to express our regret and longing using Gir’s lamentation for a lost dessert:

Aliens tend express emotions better than humans. Perhaps the best alien that does so is Futurama‘s Zoidberg. One of the way I torment my cat is by calling her “A little land mammal!”


Perhaps one of the best adult cartoons out there is Archer. My love of Mallory Archer is exquisite. As a married couple this is probably the quote most traded between us.


I know that a lot of douchebags are into Family Guy, and that a lot of smart people hate it, but there are a lot of quality jokes in it. There are two bits from it that find its way into my vernacular. The first is an ongoing exchange with Seamus, a quadra-peg (he has two peg legs and two peg arms):

Joe: Peter, you’re urinating unusually frequently.

Quagmire: Yeah, what gives?

Seamus: If it’s gale-force peeing you be doing, it could mean you’ve got barnacles on your prostate. Best have sick bay check below your decks.

Peter: Wait a minute. Are you telling me I need a prostate exam?

Seamus: Aye, and soon, before your rudder jams with flotsam and you’re dropping anchor without an order from the captain. How are you liking all these nautical puns?

Joe: Cute.

Quagmire: Not bad.

Peter: Somewhat entertaining.

Peter: What am I going to do, Seamus?

Seamus: Dr. Hartman is my only hope, and there’s no way he’s going to see me. Well, you best come up with something, Peter. Otherwise, this will happen to your prostate.

Peter: You just, uh, carry a picture of a diseased prostate around with you?

Seamus: Never know when it’s going to come up in conversation and then, who’s the one who’s prepared? I’ve also got a map of Middle Earth, a cat doing a pull-up, and the guys from Primus. These poster jokes doing anything for you?

Peter: Eh, hit and miss.

Seamus: We should hang out more.

The ‘We should hang out more’ about sums it up. But whenever my jokes aren’t landing with my wife, it’s my go to line. Ridiculous because we always hangout together. Similarly, this exchange between Peter and his wife Lois sums up just how stupid and whiny  couples can be:

Peter: I tell you, those legs have turned him into a complete jerk. It’s like giving a monkey the keys to an amusement park.

Lois: How is that?

Peter: How is what?

Lois: How is it anything like a monkey having the keys to an amusement park?

Peter: I don’t know. The hours would be erratic. Maintenance would probably suffer to some degree. The prizes for games of chance would all be bananas. Lois, don’t call me on this stuff, all right? I’m… Just go with it. Support me in these moments.

Then there’s Magic Johnson’s guide to attacking the Death Star from Blue Harvest:

But our references aren’t simply confined to cartoons. We’ve lived in six states over the last decade and most of our travel for holidays and to new homes has been driving. Driving between 8-12 hours a day means playing car games. One game we still play even when we’re going to the grocery store is zitch dog from How I Met Your Mother:

We’ve modified the game so that a tiny or large dog is an extra point and a cute dog is also an added point. Variety is the spice of life. Sometimes, however, variety is a horrid thing as this sketch from That Mitchell & Webb Look demonstrates:

“We don’t.” is now our default exasperation expressions. Yet sometimes you find yourself “Blerg”-ing like Liz Lemon from 30 Rock:

30 Rock like Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show I have way too much love for and can easily go down in a spiral of references.

Another 30 Rock quote used a lot in our home is from Kenneth the Page when he tries to seduce Tracy Morgan’s wife:

Kenneth: I like your top. I’m a real good sex person. I do it all the different ways.
Angie: Uh-huh. Well, I don’t have a husband any more, so… you can come over anytime.
Kenneth: Oh, I will! I’ll come over at night.

“I’ll come over at night” is the extent of my seduction game. It’s a wonder I’m married at all. But then again, it kinda makes sense. Something I hear from my wife regularly comes from Fight Club:

So when I think I am being clever, she takes me down a notch. Yet we both think we’re hilarious people because we’re obsessed with late 80s/early 90s Bill Murray movies, specifically the Christmas tradition of watching Scrooged:

We also recently discovered that both of us will watch Hot Fuzz at any time no matter how recently we’ve watched it. This comforts me because it’s reasonable,

What is also reasonable is Helena from Orphan Black,

Of course, we’ve come to the part of this essay where I have to make an obligatory Arrested Development reference. Recently I’ve started jogging and although I’m doing it consistently, I’m just terrible at it. I’m a doughy forty year old man attempting to stave off death; I’m just a turd out there.

So, now we’ve come to the end of this particular post. You’ve been tolerant and indulged me as I’ve put together this clustercuss of obscure references that make being around my wife and me insufferable. If you don’t find them (and us) intolerable, then come hang out some time. We drink a lot.


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This article was made possible thanks to support from my patrons:

Rachel Racicot 

Tyler Whitesides 

Patrick Casey

Nathaniel E. Baker

Amy Henry

Wckr Spgt 

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