“The numbers all go to eleven…It’s one louder.”

Happy Spinal Tap Day, everyone.

10 Comments on ““The numbers all go to eleven…It’s one louder.””

  1. John Perich OTI Staff #

    This line in particular is one of those great tropes that has vastly outstripped the popularity of the movie it’s in. Lots of people have seen Spinal Tap, but not as many as have seen, say, Jurassic Park. And yet “Clever girl …” does not have the same resonance as “These go to eleven.”

    It’s also great because it’s such a complicated sentiment. Wrapped up in there is both the ludicrousness and the joyful enthusiasm of rock ‘n roll. Yes, making the highest setting “11” is ridiculous. But sometimes you just want your rock to rock louder than anything else, and anyone who can’t sympathize with that lacks a soul. It’s a weird blend of the crazy and the cool and you can evoke that whole spectrum with just one quote.


  2. Libby #

    A great example of the cultural resonance of this is that the volume on the BBC iplayer goes up to 11. I’ve always thought that was genius.


  3. DaveyW #

    ‘The Tap’ were the original Overthinkers of rock. The volume going to 11 was just one example of this. Round slices of meat in triangular sandwiches is another piece of Overthunk genius.


  4. jjsaul #

    Just make sure they’re constructing those menhirs the full 18″ tall, even if they have to raise the lighting rigs to clear it.


  5. Gab #

    That line was the opening quote for one of the chapters in my graduate-level intro to research design class last year. Two of my fellow students hadn’t seen the movie. I fixed them that weekend.


    • Gab #

      Beyond that, though. My favorite part is his sheer innocence about the whole thing. Christopher Guest’s character just doesn’t understand why it going to eleven is so incomprehensible. It’s touching, how vulnerable he proves himself to be in that moment.


  6. Isaac #

    “I like tuna. No bones!”


  7. Dan #

    I’ll also put in a plug here for the DVD commentary – it’s done by the three of them, in character, complaining about how this documentary ruined their subsequent career as a band.

    For that matter, even their commentary on the opening black screen before the menu even comes up is hilarious.


    • Lee OTI Staff #

      “Oooh, black.”

      “It’s like space without the stars.”

      “It’s like a pastel black.”

      I still remember those lines even though I haven’t seen the DVD in years.


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