Part of the hilarity involved in The Masks’s dialogue came from his inherent puns, which allowed actor Jim Carrey to turn the absurd into the clever and satirical. In a snappy smoking jacket he yells, “Sssssmokin’!” while at Dorian’s club, a one-liner that would become one of the film’s most popular catch phrases.
Stanley’s oleaginous friend Charlie Schumacher tried to top the line with, “No, I don’t smoke, but for you? I’d shoot the Surgeon General!” but it doesn’t land the same way without The Mask’s signature attitude.
9“Somebody Stop Me!”
The Mask’s affirmation while admiring himself in front of the mirror remains one of the most quotable phrases from the film, compounded by him slipping into his iconic yellow outfit. The Coco Bongo Club didn’t know what hit it when he danced the night away with Tina, its star attraction.
If anyone could bring the wacky whimsicality of The Mask to life, and translate his most bizarre aspects from comic book to film, it was Jim Carrey. His malleability with both the dialogue and physicality of the role made something demanding seem effortless and completely believable.
8“Those Pajamas Are Impossible. This Actually Happened.”
When Lieutenant Kallaway showed up at Stanley Ipkiss’s apartment, he didn’t know what to expect. After hearing bizarre reports of a hostile hit on a local automotive shop and a bank heist tied to Ipkiss, he didn’t know whether to expect a hardened criminal or a docile bank clerk behind the door.
When Ipkiss explained it would be “impossible” for him to have done the things Kallaway claims, Kallaway snaps back with a witty comment about his pajamas that would come to characterize his dry sense of humor throughout the film.
7“It’s Party Time! P-A-R-T-WhY? Because I Gotta!”
Nerdy Stanley Ipkiss wasn’t a ladies’ man, couldn’t get access to the most popular night spot in the city, and had no professional ambition at a job he hated, but all that changed when he put on Loki’s likeness and transformed himself into The Mask.
Suddenly he was outgoing, stylish, and capable of incredible feats of transformation. The Mask was the life of the party, and as good as he made Stanley feel, Stanley had to learn that he didn’t need The Mask to be special.
6“Hold On, Sugar! Daddy’s Got A Sweet Tooth Tonight!”
Stanley might not have been able to get the girl, but as The Mask he was able to fill her dance card. The beautiful Tina, the Coco Bongo Club’s star entertainer, was dazzled by his style, flair, and impressive dance moves.
The character of Tina was Cameron Diaz’s breakout role, and over the course of the film she went from portraying a sexy bombshell inextricably tied to the men in her life to a woman who realized that she didn’t need a man to feel special. No matter her attraction to what The Mask represented, she needed to be -and get- her own “sugar”.
5“Look Mom, I’m Roadkill. Ha Ha!”
When Stanley first put on Loki’s likeness he opened up an incredible world of possibilities, some frightening and some hilarious. When his landlord discovered him as The Mask testing out his powers, he was forced to flee into the night on a maniacal spree.
Aside from the ability to pull out a ridiculous amount of guns from his pockets, or change his clothing faster than Superman in a phone booth, he was also able to be run over by a truck without having to worry about suffering any horrific injuries, leading to one of the film’s many humorous lines, “Look mom, I’m roadkill, ha ha!”.
4“Do You Know How Hard It Is To Find A Decent Man In This Town? Most Of Them Think Monogamy Is Some Kind Of Wood!”
Peggy Brant may have been a hard-hitting reporter searching for the scoop, but she was also a hopeless romantic. When she found out that Stanley Ipkiss was behind a touching letter to their local paper, she realized that there really were decent men out there.
While visiting Stanley at his bank, she gave this caustic line that conveyed her sharp wit and rhetorical styling. They had instant chemistry, so it wasn’t surprising that she ended up with him at the end of the film.
3“Hold Me Closer, Ed, It’s Getting Dark…Tell Auntie Em To Let Old Yeller Out… …Tell Tiny Tim I Won’t Be Coming Home This Christmas…Tell Scarlett I Do Give A Damn! Thank You! You Love Me! You Really Love Me!”
When The Mask first confronted Dorian and his goons, they quickly realized they were no match for him and his powers. No matter how many bullets they unloaded into him, he not only couldn’t be killed, but could return fire with much more impressive weapons (and some devastating insults).
The monologue he delivered when he faked his death was peppered with half a dozen cinematic references, and not only showed Jim Carrey’s comedic abilities, but proved just how impressive The Mask was when faced with adversaries. Dorian knew the only way to defeat him was to become The Mask himself.
2“You Can’t Make The Scene If You Don’t Have The Green.”
Stanley Ipkiss may not have been able to bribe his way into the Coco Bongo Club, but The Mask had no such qualms. He knew he couldn’t show up without something to sweeten the doorman’s pot, so he decided to rob a bank and head to the nightclub to shower its staff in loot.
Part of what makes The Mask an enduring classic is the fact that some of the most iconic scenes aren’t rooted in CGI, but in practical effects involving Jim Carrey’s facial expressions and dramatic flair. It achieved a strong balance that many films aren’t lucky enough to do no matter their expense.
1“Now You Have To Ask Yourself One Question: “Do I Feel Lucky?” Well, Do Ya, Punks?!”
The Mask was full of quotes from other films, with Jim Carrey reciting a popular piece of cinematic zeitgeist every few scenes. One of the most salient was his homage to Dirty Harry, the gritty detective series of films starring Clint Eastwood.
The Mask decided to channel one of cinema’s most lauded lawman by gritting his teeth and asking Dorian’s thugs if they “felt lucky”, borrowing Eastwood’s signature catch phrase and making it his own as he pumped them full of lead.