The movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was a humorous flick that is still popular today. Some of the quotes will live on in infamy. Although most of the more popular quotes are humorous, there are quite a few of them that make sense from a business standpoint, and they are still relevant today. Here are the 20 best “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” quotes that apply to business.
20. “Well, that’s cast rather a gloom over the evening hasn’t it?”
This is a quote that is useful in business when something big goes wrong and everyone is feeling a quiet pall in the room. How well-placed would this quote be if it were made by the CEO of the company to lighten the mood and give everyone there a chuckle? We can’t stop bad things from happening in the business world because some things are simply out of our control. We can, however, control our reactions, and sometimes we need to lighten things up, have a good laugh, then get down to the business of fixing the problems from a fresher perspective. Humor can help us to refocus and gain a more positive outlook when things are glum.
19. “We interrupt this program to annoy you and make things generally more irritating.”
While this quote is most applicable to a commercial in the middle of your enjoyable TV show, it can also apply to business. How often have you and your team been working on an important project, only to be interrupted by a higher up in the company who had something he wanted to share with you. It happens, and just when you’re on a roll and the creative juices are flowing, invariably, you get pulled away to hear about a new idea that’s being handed down from the upper echelons. Interruptions can be truly irritating, but they’re events we have little control over and we have to learn to roll with the punches.
18. “I’m glad to say we’ve got the go-ahead to lend you the money you required…”
This is music to the ears of an investor who is on the trail of a great investment opportunity. You have to have money to make more of it, and sometimes, when you don’t have money, you have to borrow it. It’s always nice to hear about a loan application that has been approved.
17. “I’d like to complain…”
Most workers and even business owners go through times when they’d really like to complain. Some events that happen in a business setting should be complained about, but you have to be careful about what you complain about, and how much complaining you do. Sometimes it’s best to acknowledge your feelings to yourself and bite your tongue to avoid stirring up a drama at the office.
16. “Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.”
Although it’s unlikely that anyone in your work setting has actually killed another person, there are times when arguments start over misunderstandings. Sometimes they ignite over malicious actions that are taken by a co-worker who is trying to get under the skin of another person in the office. Jealousies and hard feelings often happen in work environments when there is a high level of competition or unfair treatment going on. It’s all too easy to become drawn into an argument over who is right and who is wrong, but it’s largely unproductive.
15. “Oh! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!”
This is a real situation that happens in business throughout the world. Some companies foster biased work environments and in these workplaces, real people do become the targets of unfair treatment and repression. Although actual violence is rare, sabotage of someone’s career is something real that happens and it can be considered a form of violence because of the different ways it can cause a person harm.
14. “She’s a witch!”
This is a phrase that we’ve all heard in the workplace. In the film, it was a ploy to get rid of an undesirable by calling her a witch. In the business world, it means that there’s a female on board who likely uses unscrupulous means to accomplish her ends. There is a big difference between being an assertive woman in the workplace and being aggressive. Sometimes it’s best to avoid earning this unflattering nickname and working as a part of the team in a more cooperative manner than striking out on your own and offending everyone else by being cut-throat.
13. “How could a 5-ounce bird possibly carry a 1-pound coconut?”
This famous quote from the film was made to question the hard-to-believe tale that was being spun about how a coconut was obtained. Being dishonest in the workplace creates a sense of distrust and when you tell a big unbelievable lie, the odds are in favor of someone calling you out on it. The more you create a fabricated story to cover your tracks, the less believable you become. It’s not the best way to get ahead in the business world, and it usually backfires on you at some point.
12. “I didn’t mean to.”
This is another quote that is frequently used in business, however, it’s not as bad as someone who tells a lie. Hey, we all make mistakes, and owning up to it is more acceptable than making up a story to cover your tracks. If it was an honest mistake, it’s okay to admit what you’ve done. If you really didn’t mean to do it, you can say, “I didn’t mean to.”
11. “Tis but a flesh wound”
The background for this quote features the black knight who was deprived of his arms and legs in battle, continuing to attempt to fight on. While this is an admirable trait in business, there are times when you need to realize that it’s time to stop pouring resources into a project that isn’t going to benefit anyone in the company. There can be a fine line between boldness and self-confidence and wasting your time. It’s important to learn the difference between the two to achieve balance in business.
10. “On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.”
If you’re in a business deal that sounds too good to be true, maybe you need to think about it again before you make a full commitment. Entering into negotiations with someone on the other side that is pushy and offers you a deal that is too good to pass up may lead to a hasty decision. If you realize that you’re going in a sketchy direction it’s okay to bail out while there’s still time. If your gut is telling you to run, it’s probably sage advice.
9. “We’ll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit’s dynamite.”
When you’re going up against a powerful foe in business, you have to plan your strategy wisely. This is especially true when the competition outshines you publicly. Some competitors have a definite edge and when this is the case, it may be time to go back to the drawing board before taking them on again. This quote deals with the soundness of developing a new strategic plan that will yield more positive results.
8. “Run away! Run away!”
This quote reminds us of what can happen when you don’t put much thought into your strategic planning. It’s from the Trojan bunny scene when the evil bunny is catapulted back at the group. Their plan to have the bunny lay siege to the castle backfired on them. This quote applies to project management and it highlights the necessity of paying attention to all the little details when planning a project, and also making contingency plans to avoid failure.
7. “Every time I try to talk to someone it’s ‘sorry this’ and ‘forgive me that’ and ‘I’m not worthy.’”
There always seems to be a conciliatory person in the workplace who doesn’t like conflict. Instead of standing up for themselves, they constantly apologize when challenged. Even when the challenges are not fair. Self-doubt in business is a sure path to failure. It’s important to believe in your abilities, but also to stretch out and take a chance every now and then. The only way to improve is to try, but it’s not required that we allow anyone to bully or beat us down in the process. Hold your head high and be confident without being arrogant and in business, you’ll get a lot more respect from colleagues as well as from those who rank higher in authority.
6. “No, now go away before I taunt you a second time.”
There are some people in the workplace who like to pick a fight or make others feel bad. Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of working with at least one person who has this attitude. It doesn’t matter how nice you are to them, they simply enjoy being a bully. These are the experts at creating drama and if you spend much time conversing with them, they’ll zing you and then give it to you again unless you walk away. People like this waste precious time that could be better used on productive ventures and they only serve as a distraction. Humor in the workplace is great, but it can be taken too far.
5. “I’m not quite dead yet!”
Some of the elderly people who are still in the workplace offer a wealth of valuable experience. They’ve been around and have seen a lot. Younger businessmen and women could benefit greatly by tapping into their wisdom and experience. This is especially true of those who are still in positions of responsibility and enjoy the challenge of a high-level job. If you’re fortunate enough to have older colleagues with proven track records for success, listen to what they have to say with an open mind. Although some things in the business world have changed, there are also key principles that never lose their relevancy.
4. “Oh, but you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!”
This is a warning against getting a big head over a small victory. Even if you win a prestigious award, don’t let it go to your head. Keep your feet on solid ground and don’t let overconfidence or arrogance set in. Your colleagues will have their eyes on you. Just keep doing the same things that made you successful, to begin with.
3. “When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in, all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Son, the strongest castle in all of England.”
This was a statement made by the King of the Swamp Castle. He tried to accomplish a goal and it took three failures before he figured out how to turn it into a successful endeavor. Sometimes we have to keep trying, but each time, doing it differently to achieve better results.
2. “You’ve got two empty ‘alves of coconuts and you’re bangin’ em together!”
Don’t try to dress up an idea unless you know that it’s of value. When you speak, make sure that there is substance behind your words. In business, it’s important to do your research and to propose ideas that are based on factual information that will be of value to your audience. Don’t speak just to sound important or intelligent.
1. “This new learning amazes me Sir Bedevere. Explain to me again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.”
In business, we must be lifelong learners. We will never reach the place where we know everything. There is always more to learn. This is true for everyone in business from entry-level positions to the leader of a major corporation. It’s how we continue to improve and evolve to meet changing consumer demands for our goods and services.