The Stock [Phrase] Company - Macleans.ca

The Stock [Phrase] Company

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You may have seen this compilation of movie clips where people say “we’ve got company,” but it’s new to me. I always found it weird that the line turned up verbatim in so many films. Normally a stock phrase is one that is simple enough that you could imagine almost anybody saying it in that situation; the most-used phrase is supposedly “let’s get out of here,” and you can put that into the mouth of any character. But “we’ve got company” is such a clunky phrase, and seems to characterize someone in a specific way (flippant in the face of danger). Yet you hear it all the time, or used to. I guess that when writers or directors are looking for some quick phrase to insert into an action sequence that mostly doesn’t depend on dialogue, they tend to go for phrases they’ve heard before.

Here’s a “let’s get out of here” compilation, by the way. It would be even longer if “let’s get the hell out of here” were counted.

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