Relationships

A Funny Relationship Question

So I Married an Axe Murderer

When Alex and I started dating, there was a random test he had to pass…

The night we met at a party, I thought Alex was nice and cute (those glasses!), but as we grew closer, I needed to know: would our senses of humor align? Would he get the dumb jokes I thought were comedy gold?

My litmus test, of sorts, was to see if he would like the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer. From the moment I watched it in high school, I loved the 1993 dark comedy, starring Mike Myers and Nancy Travis; and it encapsulates the humor I find funniest. My twin sister and I can still quote it from beginning to end, and sometimes we’ll make fun of a drink at a restaurant (“Excuse me miss, there seems to be a mistake. I believe I ordered the large cappuccino.”) or try zealously to pick up the check (“Negatory. Negatory, good buddy. Ne-ga-to-ry!”) Even just thinking of this scene or that scene makes me laugh out loud. If Alex didn’t like it, would he be able to really get me?

So I Married an Axe Murderer

So, on our fifth date, I went over to Alex’s apartment with a bottle of wine and nervously suggested we watch the cult classic. Thankfully, he loved it, laughed throughout, and here we are, 12 years later, with two kids, debating getting a dog.

What about you? Do you have a movie litmus test for your relationships? Or a film you can quote from beginning to end?

P.S. Real actors read Yelp reviews, and what are your top three movies of all time?

  1. Anonymous says...

    If you do decide to get a dog – please adopt – don’t shop.

  2. Anonymous says...

    3 cheese movies he has to at least pretend to love:
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Encino Man
    So I Married an Axe Murderer

    Also: OFFICE SPACE

  3. Jennifer says...

    I dated a guy who’s litmus test was Interstellar (which made sense since he’s an astrophysicist). I laughed, I cried, I definitely passed. But the stakes were high and I was so nervous!

  4. k says...

    Get a dog!!!

  5. Amy says...

    Just get the dog already! :P

  6. Ali says...

    Please get a dog!! You (and your boys) will just love having him/her as part of your family :)

  7. Heidi says...

    I always have, and always will, love this movie! “Woman. Wo-man. Woooo-man. She stole my heart and my cat.” It truly is the litmus test. More generally speaking, if someone likes Seinfeld, I know they are a good person.

  8. Akofaolain says...

    My husband and I have been together for a very long time. It was only recently, though, that I nervously watched “The Burbs” with him. Luckily, he loved it…so we can stay married! :)
    I also loooove “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”

  9. Janie Goddard says...

    My movie test was Nothing But Trouble starring Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, John Candy and Demi Moore. Does anyone else looooove this movie?

  10. Gaby says...

    Sitcoms like Everyone Loves Raymond, Boy Meets World, etc. I had a boyfriend who snarled at the thought of watching those saying I was juvenile. My husband loves them.

  11. Naomi says...

    No way! Me too! This was my litmus test too!! I still remember settling down to watch SIMAM for the billioneth time in my early twenties, single and working out life, when, as the ‘There She Goes’ started playing, I decided that if any beau I should fall for didn’t dig this film – that would be a dealbreaker. It’s just my sense of humor. The next guy I dated turned out to be a fan (not as much as me) and here we are eleven years later and married!
    When I saw the movie still on your page, I instantly thought about my litmus test! So excited and amazed that it was the same for you!

  12. Joanna, ask us for our dog recs! Please :) And ask us about timing…I’d love to share two special tips, especially for mamas of boys. Sending hugs!

  13. Kirsten says...

    Just seeing that gif made me laugh out loud. Look at the size of that noggin! If I can ever get to a gym and I see people doing thigh exercises, I still picture the scene with the Thighmaster boomerang-ing away and I laugh to myself like a crazy person. I feel like quoting hilarious movies is what gets us through everyday life. I live in Colorado, and if someone didn’t get the reference of, “I don’t know, the French are assholes” when talking about Aspen, it was a deal breaker.

  14. Ana says...

    Had to love books as much as I do!

  15. Allison says...

    I suspect my husband’s movie litmus for me was “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.”

  16. Lulu says...

    I couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t love Young Frankenstein. Period. Lost Boys is also a requirement.

  17. Katya says...

    omg this is amazing. my twin brother and I quote this daily. LET US DANCE LIKE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT!!!!

  18. Ana D says...

    “Do you think the moon landing was faked?” – that’s the question I realized I had never asked my first husband when I was sitting on a couch with him, listening in abject horror as he earnestly argued against the possibility of humans mastering the science and engineering necessary to get to the moon. I then learned he thought computer technology was brought to us from aliens. We married after being together for 13 months, and this was the most profound miss. Now when people talk about “is she/he the one” I always recommend asking very directly for their perspective on moon landings and alien contributions to human achievement.

  19. Michelle says...

    While I love this post in its entirety, I’m really here to support your decision about the dog.

    Get the dog. :)

  20. C says...

    One of my friends had a small plates test for new boyfriends – it’s brilliant. You have to make compromises, you see how open the other person is to trying new things, you’re basically working as a team for the first time. It’s really revealing!

  21. Susan Grine says...

    When my children started dating and bringing folks home to meet me, we always played a game of Apples to Apples. It’s telling! I could see how they thought and felt about so much – including game playing (which is a big deal in our family) and get a feel for their sense of humor/ wit. What a great litmus test!

  22. Kim says...

    Same on So I Married an Ax Murder! In the first month of dating, it was the first movie my now husband brought to my apartment to watch together (on VHS tape). He bought me a CD version for one of our anniversaries, and now we watch it (on demand) at least once a year with our two teenage boys! It definitely stands the test of time and a good predictor of humor capability!

  23. Rosa says...

    Also a favourite, I have it saved on my PVR.
    Stuart: Head, pants, now
    Stuart: he’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow
    😂😂 all my siblings love this movie but my hubby isn’t much of a movie person.

    • One of my favorite scenes! My brother and I were obsessed with this movie growing up.

  24. Sara says...

    Oh my gosh!! This same movie (and Zoolander) was the litmus test for my husband when he met me! I did love it and we still watch it once a year and quoted it quite a bit when one of our children was born with what we thought was a big head! ; )

  25. Meg says...

    My advice — if you don’t have a fenced in yard, I would caution against getting a dog. Also, if there is a way to foster first, so you really get to know the dog, go that route.

    Our dog has so much energy and without a yard to let her out in, has left us (probably him included) feeling miserable. As a rescue dog, we had no idea what his breed was (it was not lab mix as the shelter told us), what his energy level would be, or that he would later show aggression towards other dogs, making trips to a dog park nearly impossible. We have been unsuccessful in trying to rehome him and now feel stuck.

    • dora says...

      sometimes a long walk can help, they exert more energy on a walk with their owners, than they do by themselves in a yard.

    • Kate says...

      People think a dog would run around a yard, but they don’t really at all, unless you have a never ending supply of brave squirrels venturing in. A long walk on a leash is helpful, you can listen to a podcast and zone out. Hiring a dog walker a few times a week and a trainer to work through dog aggression. It is possible to re-home through rescue organizations, and it may be worth it to you to pay a few hundred dollars to them to help with his care while they find him a home. Some dogs really do need a lot of exercise that is more than the average family can do…I’m 100% for adopting a dog, so search petfinder for lower energy breeds that are a match to your lifestyle.

    • Jess says...

      Meg, you can work with local foster groups and no-kill shelters to help rehome him if you need to. Also, look into no-agression cliker training. I’ve fostered dogs and both of my dogs were rescues. Clicker training is a miracle worker. I can recommend the best person to help you one-on-one (and she’s shockingly affordable) but she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

      Sorry you’re going through a rough time. I know how that is, I’ve been there.

  26. I am a lady butcher too. It’s one of my all time favourites!

  27. Sarah says...

    The movie Better Off Dead is my litmus test for my sense of humor. It’s a good indicator for sure…

  28. Every now and then they’ll do a showing at a theater here in SF and it’s my absolute favorite!

    I always, without fail will quote Rose (scratchy voice and everything) whenever someone brings up wanting breakfast:
    “What would you say to silver dollar pancakes, fresh squeezed orange juice, bacon, and kona coffee?!”
    *pouring cereal*
    “sorry. I didn’t have those other things.”

  29. Laura Filshtein says...

    So I Married an Axe Murderer is one of my all-time favorite movies! I love how you used that as a “test” to see if your sense of humors’ were compatible ;) I would totally do the same!

    We have a piper down…I repeat, a piper is down……

    Have a good weekend!

    • Teresa says...

      The piper down quote I use all the time. You know you are with the right people when they get the reference!

  30. mike says...

    Alan Arkin’s role in So I Married an Axe Murderer is criminally underrated.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Agree!!

  31. Anon says...

    If you have time and space for one get the dog! Nothing quite like a 4 legged family member! And so great for kids, can you tell I have two and am thinking about a third? 🤭

  32. Annemarie says...

    Get the dog! Our First beloved golden retriever Atticus passed away 4 years ago- he was our baby and we all cried. None of us thought we could ever love another furry friend but after a few months we caved- life felt so slow without a dog in the house. Then we got Scout, our naughty retriever who eats EVERYTHING in our house! Right now he is watching (all too intently) the 2 new goldfish we got today. He rolls in something disgusting every day, steals our food if we turn away from it, sheds dog hair everywhere and wakes us up with sopping wet nudges before 6am every morning. Yet, he’s a keeper 😂and we adore him!
    Get the dog x

  33. Becca says...

    Have you ever considered a guinea pig? They bond with you, can be held and petted, make great noises, don’t need to go outside to poop three times a day.

  34. Lars and the Real Girl is my litmus test. I just love how Ryan Gosling’s whole town rallies around him and his new “girlfriend”, even though he is deep inside the delusion that the blow up doll is real. It’s heartwarming and also very funny.

    • Lara says...

      Me too!!! It is such a fantastically underrated, hilarious, and heartwarming movie. …I guess we’d be friends :)

  35. My husband and I initially bonded over making jokes about AFI singer Davey Havok and 90’s Seattle grunge singers. To have the same humor about the same taste in music really took things to the next level.

  36. katie says...

    i think the captions in The Economist are hilarious. if i ever meet a guy who thinks the same, it would stop me in my tracks for sure. . .

  37. Sadly I didn’t think of doing this and my husband and I do not have the same sense of humor. Things that I find hilarious (wacky, smart humor like anything by Tina Fey) he just doesn’t “get”.

    As for the dog….my dog is one of the great loves of my life and my daughter’s too. We got him as a puppy 10 years ago and I can’t even think of him not being in our lives without shedding a tear. BUT I do not take dog ownership lightly and I caution any family who gets a dog to know that the kids will NOT be taking care of the dog, you will. You will be the one attending to its puppy cries all night. You will be the one training it. You will be the one taking it outside in freezing cold weather. You will be the one cleaning up vomit and poop and pee. You will be the one sleeping on the sofa when they are sick and need to go outside every hour on the hour 2am, 3am, 4am. And dogs are expensive – the food, the gear, the vet visits, pet insurance. And you travel quite a bit, right? Add another $500+ to your travel budget for a dog sitter or boarding. Also, your life is not your own – you can’t just stay out all day and night and leave the dog at home. I’ve known people who get a dog and then can’t handle the responsibility. I think pets are the greatest thing ever for a family, but it’s not to be entered into lightly. It’s at least a 15-year commitment.

    • A in Tx says...

      I completely agree with everything Sherrelle said.. I had a Westie who lived to be 16.5 and had the best personality.. She was my third child. Being a small dog, she needed to have dental cleanings yearly and when I missed it, she had teeth pulled. She stayed under 20 lbs so she was great to cuddle with. However, she did need her daily walks in all kinds of crazy weather. She was always on my feet when I was at the computer or washing dishes. She was my shadow until she was about 12. Then she was fine being in a separate room from me. About age 14 she started to lose her hearing and slept more throughout the day and we took shorter walks. She was a wonderful dog.

  38. jules says...

    I always tried to take my mom’s advice on this test when I was dating- see how he treats his mom both when she is there and when she isn’t, because (as long as things are healthy) that’s probably an indicator of how he will treat you in the long run. IDK, maybe it isn’t fair …but dating isn’t fair.

    • rachel says...

      I think its 100% fair!! my ex-husband, very aloof, didn’t even know his moms birth date. SAME with me! I should have listened to MY Mom on that one, but my husband is kind, helpful, loving and a TOTAL Mamma’s boy, and treats me wonderfully! So emotionally available and communicative and kind, very involved person/spouse. its a very legit test!

  39. Naomi says...

    Get the dog you want. My golden doodle is a gift. Adopted dogs are great (I rescued a greyhound and she was the best), but so is getting the exact personality and snuggability you’re looking for.

    • YES! Rescue dogs are great, but depending on a family’s circumstances, may not work out (i.e. allergies). The “rescue dog bullies” really irk me when it’s really about the right fit for a family. We got a rescue dog who was very sweet in the shelter, but was very aggressive towards my young daughter when we got home (turns out she was very alpha). I spent so much money trying to make it work but finally the vet told me “this is not your dog.” I was able to return her to the rescue shelter (no-kill) and told them that she was best placed in a home with no children.

    • Jess says...

      Naomi, it’s misleading to state that buying a dog from a breeder will “get you the exact personality and snuggability.” That’s not true, and this is exactly why so many dogs end up abandoned in shelters – because buyers expect to buy a certain personality and it doesn’t meet their expectations. And in fact, ‘designer dogs’ and purebreds tend to have more serious health problems (another reason why breeders shouldn’t be supported). Adopt don’t shop.

    • Meg says...

      I would also like to just suggest that, from my own experience at least, if you’re thinking about a rescue you can look for pups that are living in foster homes. The foster parents can tell you a lot about the dog — their personality, energy levels, how they do with other pets & kids, etc. Plus, if they came into the shelter system with any behavioral issues (house training, etc.) the foster is aware of and often working on those issues. We’re on our second rescue pup, both mixed breeds, and both fantastic dogs.

    • Ali says...

      Jess, I would respectfully argue the contrary. From our experience purchasing from a breeder, the family was EXTREMELY knowledgeable about the breed and personalities within the litter. This was essentially their career! They ensured that the dogs were bread for maximum health, and were also wise with identifying personalities. I was amazed at the tips and tricks they used to identify the temperament and personality of the pups. Breeders like this are invaluable resources for people who might be new to or hesitant about pet owning. We’ve reached out to them a few times over our dog’s life to get their insight on her health and family history. I think adoption is an awesome option for some, but we shouldn’t shame people for supporting responsible, thoughtful, professional breeders.

    • Chantsy says...

      Not sure if all shelters do this but ours have “doggie dates” where you can take the dog home for a day, night or week. It’s so so helpful. You actually get a proper idea of what the dog will be like in your space, with your family. It definitely made me pass on a couple dogs, who by no fault of their own, weren’t a good fit for our family. If you’re able to do this I highly recommend!

    • Meredith MC says...

      I have adopted 3 dogs from shelters. I hesitate to say they are rescues because it’s more like they saved me. I appreciate the comment about not being able to buy a personality. Even when people have cloned a dog, there’s no guarantee that the personality will be what you expect. Dogs, cats and all animals are individuals, just like we are. They shouldn’t be treated as products. I also appreciated the comment about foster dogs, as you can get the confidence of someone knowing the dog you’re adopting without having to resort to buying an animal. And, as someone else mentioned, mixed breeds do tend to have fewer medical issues.
      We got our first dog when my son was 5 (he’s 27 now). I wouldn’t trade our experiences as a family for anything in the world, but having a pet does add another layer of complexity and sometimes grossness to everyday life.
      But there’s nothing in the world like coming home from a rough day, when you feel like the world is crushing you, and seeing that sweet dog who thinks you’re the absolute best thing ever.

  40. Julie says...

    Movie: Best In Show….we quote it daily.

    • Sometimes when things are feeling crazy hectic with two little kids I like to randomly start yelling for the bumblebee toy. It puts things into perspective.

    • Roxana says...

      Totally forgot about that movie. IT. IS. HILARIOUS.

      That scene where they’re fighting about the lost bumblebee and Parker Posey is grimacing with her braces. . . Haha!

  41. Allyson Pfeifer says...

    Ohmigoodness, my brother and I were obsessed with this film too! We also still quote every line. So does my dad, who is oddly similar to the dad in this film. “Head-pants-now” is still yelled at some point in my parent’s home when we’re all together.

  42. Elly says...

    I know if someone is a good person if they hate the Decemberists album “The Hazards of Love.” When I find out someone loves it…end of relationship. It’s a marker of taste for sure!

  43. Rusty says...

    Get! The! Dog! It! Will! Change! Your! Lives! For! The! Better! Forever!
    🐕

    • katie says...

      Nailed it.

  44. CandiceZ says...

    Head – Move – Now

    It’s like Sputnik!

    • mindi says...

      I’m not kiddin’, it’s like an orange on a toothpick!
      It’s a virtual planetoid!

  45. Meg says...

    Love this, and get a dog!

  46. kelly says...

    lovey story. please consider a rescue dog :)

  47. Alex says...

    You’ll never regret getting a pet. Pets enrich your life in unimaginable ways. But please, please, adopt. Don’t buy pets while animals are killed in shelters.

    • Allana says...

      We were in an apartment when we got our terrier. I’m single and waited until my son could walk him alone, he was 11. That was key and I’m so glad I didn’t do it earlier!
      He’s great for my mental health, my favourite of the children, and eats anything plastic he can get his hands on. Must have a high level or tolerance for chaos with a dog!

  48. allyson says...

    I met my husband around season 3 of Game of Thrones and told him he needed to catch up so we could talk about it. He binged it! And liked it! ALSO GET A DOG OMG I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!

  49. Kalli says...

    Father of the Bride! My husband and I bonded over our senses of humor when we first started dating (in fact, before our first date, “I Love You Man” had recently come out and I replied to his text about the time we would meet at Starbucks saying, “I’ll see you there or I’ll see you at another time” LOL… he didn’t get it and admitted later that made him nervous… understandably. Haha.) and I’m thankful we have a similar sense of humor. If he didn’t “get” Father of the Bride, I would probably have felt like he didn’t “get” me, haha. Welcome to the 90s, Mrs. Banks!

  50. Leena says...

    Heeeee-eeeed! Pants! Now!

  51. Nigerian Girl says...

    Just here to say: Please, please, please get a dog. I’m living vicariously through you.

  52. Victoria S says...

    I totally had a test! When I was in my teens I lived at a professional ballet school. I was one of the few that had my own beat-up old Chrysler boat of a car. She was an old one that did not have automatic locks, so when I would pick up a date to go eat or to the movies I would unlock his passenger side door with the key then slowly meander around the back to get to my side. If he leaned over and unlocked my door I knew there was potential. If he just sat and waited it was a bad sign.

  53. S. says...

    My litmus test was making him watch “The IT Crowd”. He will now sing “there’s somebody at the door” whenever someone knocks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBPwZiAPl).

    Passed with flying colors!

    • C says...

      LOVE The IT Crowd

  54. “She stole my heart. and. my. cat.” This movie cracks me up. “Piper doon. I repeat, piper doon.”

    • Tamara says...

      This is might come of strange- but my name is TAMARA too and to find another COJ reader whose name is the same is sweet and amazing. Rarely, do I see my name anywhere outside of me. Hello, fellow Tamara!

  55. K says...

    When he liked Mad Men which was sort of a subconscious test. And not a test but I was pleasantly surprised that he really liked Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, maybe even more than I did. It sorta showed me that he was open-minded and a good show was a good show to him. Before that I was used to being disappointed that all guys I dated were only into drug lord thriller car chase horror genres.

    Also it made my day when I met a new single guy friend who unabashedly loved Jane the Virgin!

  56. Helga Thomsen says...

    Whenever I’m irritated, my husband walks over to me and says “I’m smitten. I’m in deep smit.”

    “So I Married an Axe Murdered” came out 5 years after we got married so it was not a litmus test but both of us would’ve passed. It has become our litmus test for friends. My 21-year-old daughter once went out for coffee with a classmate who brought a big cup back to the table and said “I believe I ordered the LARGE cappucino” They’ve been friends ever since.

  57. Renee says...

    I knew my husband was a keeper when he loved watching my DVD set of Midnight Special with me. The music, the clothes, the hair! It’s all just so good and funny.
    PS – we are old – some of you may not even know what Midnight Special is! :)

    • katie says...

      well, thanks to you I’m psyched to find out! Thanks for the recco, Renee! Sounds fantastic (:

  58. Oh my God, I ALSO love this movie! My friends and I have seen it multiple times. I try not to have too much in the way of cultural testing — because I’m way too specific . . . . but . . . I do find that Ayn Rand fans and I NEVER get along. It’s a cocktail party test (when they find out I’m an author, and books are mentioned — that author cleaves us in two!)

  59. “The Princess Bride” was the litmus test for me and all of my girlfriends. Still is.

  60. Strictly Ballroom is a minor hazing ritual in my family. My husband loved it!

    • katie says...

      HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HELP US WITH OUR BOGO POGO!!!

  61. Kate says...

    I LOVE THIS MOVIE! Similarly, I knew my hubs was a keeper when he came over the my apartment and we had all the same books.

  62. Richard says...

    We never stay in a hotel without attempting to cajole the bellhop into our room for a nightcap. Long before my lovely wife started over-promising on breakfast (she never seems to have any of those things, especially Cona coffee) and decades before the wonder that is Fleabag, our go to film was ‘Withnail and I’. ‘Yet again that cat has ruined my day.’

  63. Mina says...

    I totally relate to this. 12 years and 3 kids into our relationship, we’re deep into school drop-off logistics and work and soccer games and piano lessons, but once in a while we’ll be watching a movie or something and my husband will crack up at something and it always gives me a sense of like “yes, this is my person”. Nothing is as comforting as a person who finds the same things funny (and who keeps his laugh close by).

  64. Anna says...

    We are definitely a “quote movies from beginning to end” family. It is so much fun to relive hilarious movies by reciting the dialogue for each other and laughing ourselves silly again long after the movie has ended. One such example that stands out in my mind is Kung Fu Panda — when it first came out my nephews were really little but even they joined in enthusiastically with the dialogue recital, lol. Example:

    Nephew 1: You have done well, panda.
    Nephew 2: Done well? Done WELL? I have done AWESOME!
    Nephew 3: The mark of a TRUE hero is humility… But yes, you have done awesome.
    All: Giggle uncontrollably. xDxD

    Conversely their mother my sister-in-law forgets every single movie the second she’s watched them and never fails to be baffled by our steel trap memories for movie dialogue, lol.

  65. Marianne says...

    My humour litmus test is not a movie, but whether or not I feel comfortable making inappropriate and dirty jokes when I’m with a guy. I’ve inherited my dad’s sense of humour and if a guy laughs at my terrible dad jokes, he’s probably a keeper. I love that cheeky side of myself. I couldn’t imagine being with a guy, where I had to edit that part out.

  66. My husband is French so we have very little in common as far as old movies although he likes many of the old American singers. He loves Western movies which I don’t. I tried to watch The Deep Blue, a French movie, with him and almost died of boredom. I had him watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with me and he fell asleep. He doesn’t always get my humour but I can always make him laugh. So I guess you don’t have to have cultural things in common to fall in love and stay married. It sure didn’t work with my American ex.

  67. Lucy says...

    OMG I love love love love love love LOVE this movie!!! From the song “There She Goes” to the dad’s glorious lot exaggerated accent to the slam poetry he sing-talks, that movie cast a spell on me and all these decades later it’s got as strong a hold on me as ever. I also never realized just how much of a love letter the entire movie is to the city of San Francisco until I visited and got misty eyed at just how beautiful the locations are — the Temple of Fine Arts, Lombard St, etc etc. I know they’re touristy as heck but I spent a whole day tracking down all the locations just to be able to say to myself, I’ve been there!! the next time I watched the movie. Of course realistically speaking the filmmakers must have got some kind of tax break in order to make the movie such a little “I love SF” mini tourism plug — why else would 2 grown men who’ve lived in SF all their lives (i think) make a trip out to Alcatraz, apropos of nothing, just to catch up??

    But I love it all anyway!!

  68. Jaim says...

    If someone can’t get with Weird Science, I’m not interested!!

  69. Alec says...

    Oh my goodness definitely get the dog!

  70. Taumi says...

    So I Married An Ace Murderer was/is def a quotable fav since High School. I also love the movie Clue, as in the board game. Similar humor, you’d love it!

    • Heidi says...

      Clue is my all time favorite and I quote it weekly!

  71. Alison says...

    Emperor’s New Groove!

    • Kari T. says...

      YES!! “Bad llama!” I say this ALL the time and most people think I’m crazy ha.

  72. Jess says...

    For our first official date, we went on a picnic. We were young, and both working retail, and I though that I was hot shit showing up with not just one, but TWO avocados, and a bar of nice dark chocolate. He brought a picnic basket and proceeded to pull out roasted veggies, cider, olives, cheese, salmi, a camp stove to make tea with, cous cous salad, and FRESHLY BAKED BREAD HE HAD MADE. He proposed to me in the same park 2 years later, with another amazing picnic spread, and we are a jaunty three years into our marriage. Thinking about it now what I notice is that I felt cared for, which is special when you are the older sister, used to doing all the caring. This feeling, and how kind he is (especially with my family) were part of what I needed to know, in addition to all the tiny things that lead to commitment and a life together.

  73. Judy says...

    One of our all-time favorite movies. We crave it fortnightly! Absolutely get a pup. They make everything (everything!) better.

  74. malissa says...

    haha. and also, GET A DOG!

  75. Lauren says...

    Though we were well into our relationship, I hoped my husband would love ‘The Burbs’ just as much as me and the rest of my family, who quote it endlessly. ‘Klopek, is that Slavic’.

    Though we share the same humour, he didn’t get it! So disappointing, haha. I’ve forgiven him now. It’s probably only a classic if you watched it 1,457 times during childhood.

  76. We had never watched So I Married An Axe Murderer together as a couple. So it was a bold move when my husband planned his proposal as an homage to Mike Myers’ rooftop “Harriet, Sweet Harriet” beat poetry scene. He’s a musician, so he’d arranged for two friends to accompany him on stand-up bass and snare drum while he played the sax and recited the poem. He’d rewritten it (good thing, because my name is not Harriet) with personalized alliterations. I was in the middle of making dinner when I heard the commotion outside. So I went out onto the top balcony, head of cauliflower in hand, in what felt like a quirky scene out of a romantic comedy. I got the reference. I always thought I’d cry at a proposal. There were no happy tears, but a lot of laughter. We’ve been married just over a year now. I guess in a way, that movie was a litmus test for our relationship too!

  77. Haleigh says...

    Get the dog! Life is just too short to NOT have a dog. They bring so much joy and love to a home.

  78. TGS says...

    Get. The. Dog.

    :)

  79. Aron says...

    What about Bob
    The dinner scene with the fried chicken makes me laugh so hard. My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on what makes us laugh but this cracks us both up and now our kiddos too. It was our thanksgiving movie last year!

  80. Julie says...

    My favorite uncle has this litmus test. He has a small framed photo of Albert Einstein in his home, lined up with other family photos. When a visiting date starts perusing the photos, he says Einstein is his uncle. To see if she recognizes him and calls him out on the obvious lie. I mean, I GUESS this helps him narrow down companions by who recognizes Einstein or not, but not sure if it captures what he’s looking for (some intelligence level, as of yet undetermined). He’s still single….

  81. Angelique says...

    “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”

    I sent a copy of this movie to my “then boyfriend” who was deployed to the Persian Gulf at the time. When he wrote back how much he loved the movie and how happy he was that I’d sent it to him, I knew that he “got my sense of humor”… we’ve been married almost 18 years now

    • Tiff says...

      This is amazing! Congrats! 😍😍

  82. Get a dog! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I had no idea how much happiness it would bring me. But here’s the thing: you need to wait for the RIGHT dog. You’ll know.

  83. Florencia says...

    I grew up without a tv as well as in a different country for a good chunk of my childhood. Therefore, I am missing all sorts of pop culture knowledge. When I met my husband I thought he was hysterical, he made me laugh so much. As we settled into dating he wanted to show me all of the “classics” that he loved. A good 70% of his material was quoting movies! And here I thought his stuff was original. His 30% original works for me though! (I still fall asleep about 8 minutes into his classics).

  84. Jacy says...

    When I met my husband for the first time, he mentioned the word apocryphal in casual conversation. He thought it was going to be a dealbreaker, but it’s one of my favorite words. 🤓

  85. Beth Lorimer says...

    OMG this movie is such a touchstone for me and my family! I frequently apply quotes from this movie to everyday life too. My brother-in-law is a second generation Scottish guy and his family still have really thick accents. His and my sister’s wedding was such a delight for me! There was a piper! But he didn’t go down. Ha

  86. Nadine says...

    How to put this? If there’d been a litmus test regarding MOVIES, no way. In fact, he doesn’t like them that much. But he doesn’t hold my choice of movies against me. I sometimes STRONGLY question his choice of tv shows, tho – in my head, so far.

  87. Rachel says...

    If you decide to get the dog, know that it, too, will offer a new lens through which to view your relationship. It will involve negotiation and differentiation. If you welcome a puppy into your home, they will remind you of the early days of infancy, briefly. And then they will remind you of the terrible toddler phase — for a very. long. time.

    Being there, doing that.

  88. Kim says...

    My husband and I learned on our first date 13 years ago that we share the same favorite movie: What About Bob.

    I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.

  89. Jennifer says...

    Shortly after we eloped to Las Vegas my husband turned to me out of the blue and said, “Remember, I can still get this marriage annulled if it turns out you don’t like ‘Time Bandits’. Thankfully I did. And he is up for whatever quirky, indie romantic comedy I want to watch so I guess that’s love.

    • Emma says...

      Kevin!!!

  90. Sarah says...

    I love this post, but especially the comments about dogs! Maybe I should’ve had “desire for a dog or cat” as my litmus test when I started dating. I was way too poor to get a dog until recently anyway, but now I’m 12 years into a cohabitating relationship with a guy who is completely opposed to dogs and as allergic as you can get to cats. I want a dog so bad, It’s breaking my heart! I don’t even want kids, just a dog! I’ll keep campaigning anyway. Recently he said that he is “not onboard” with the dog thing, but that he *might* reconsider, just because it means so much to me.

    I would love a post about the choice to adopt a dog, or any advice from others!

    • Rusty says...

      I suggest you don’t get a puppy. Get a toilet trained shelter dog. It’s totally a win for everyone. Your significant other doesn’t have to go through the hardest part, but he can wallow in the joyness together…and…you get to make a difference by afopting an already socialized dog.
      Oh….aaaaaand, he won’t ever say “I told you so” about the puppy stage! Ha! 😊

    • Chantsy says...

      I hope you see this! When I was a kid my step father was totally against getting a dog. He refused outright and it was awful bc me and my siblings LOVE dogs. Then came our dog Amy. So how my mom convinced him to allow her to come home with us. She was a beautiful Japanese bear dog from a shelter who stole all our hearts, including my step fathers. She was taken from us way too soon, at six years of age from cancer. My stepdad said the day she died he cried harder than when his own father died. That dog was everything to him and he became a life long dog lover. People can change and I hope for your sake your partner does too!

    • Cydney says...

      Speaking as the owner of a beloved mutt that we adopted at 5 months, puppies are adorable, but will drive you absolutely batty and are truly a LOT of work. You probably already know that. What most people are surprised by is the fact that “teenagers”, dogs in adolescence, between 7months and up to 2–3 years for some breeds, will make you question your sanity. They really are like human teenagers, testing boundaries and getting in trouble! Your sweet, clever puppy seems to loose half of his brain cells, gain 200% more energy overnight, and forget everything you’ve been training so diligently.

      When I talk to folks looking for a first dog, I always suggest that they work with a foster based rescue to find a pup that’s 2+ years old. At that point, they’re mostly through the adolescent shenanigans, and their personalities are fairly well developed. If they’ve been living with a foster, you’ll have a good sense of how they behave in a home. Good luck!

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you everyone for your replies! I really appreciate your input.

  91. Kelly says...

    Not a movie, but must agree with me that the Wire is the greatest television show of all time :)

    • jules says...

      THE WIRE. LOVE. My now husband recommended this to me in our 2 year long (very slooow) courtship. I knew I loved him when…

  92. Nicole says...

    Yes! Bill and Ted”s Excellent Adventure. My husband sent me a text when we first started dating about taking me to an Iron Maiden concert. (His favorite) I sent back “Put them in the Iron Maiden” he responded “Excellent!” I sent “Execute them.” He sent back “Bogus”. 8 years and 2 children later we can’t wait to introduce our girls to the movie!

  93. Karin says...

    We were already married when my husband discovered I had never seen Jaws. I’m pretty sure that if I had not liked that movie, we would be divorced today. Fortunately, It is now my second favorite movie and my entire family quotes lines from it so often that we have seriously contemplated putting on a play of it for our friends. Here’s to swimmin’ with bowlegged women,

  94. Krista Joy says...

    This is the first post I’m reading from you and Now I’m a fan because this movie is so so funny and should definitely be my litmus rest for humor, too.
    “Evil, like the fru-ets of the dev-ell, e-veel!”

  95. Kelly says...

    I don’t know how many times I’ve texted a picture of a big coffee cup to my brothers saying “I believe I ordered the large”. Haha!

  96. Gayle says...

    The original Arthur and they had to laugh in the right places. Eventually I married the guy that I saw it with the first time. And of course I already knew that he laughed where he should.

  97. Lauren says...

    I jokingly tell my husband, he must think I’m the coolest person ever. If I like something – shows, movies, music, Converse shoes, leather jackets – you name it, he starts to like or love that thing too. It’s flattering and annoying (in a loving, funny, kind of way), because he will never admit it.

    And say “YES” to the dog! They make life happier by just existing.

    • Kim says...

      My husband and I learned on our first date 13 years ago that we share the same favorite movie: What About Bob.

      I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.

  98. peyton says...

    my movie is high school musical lol. i didn’t need my now husband to necessarily like my movie… but i needed him to watch it. it was one of those weird things and i stood by that i wouldn’t walk down the aisle until he watched the movie because he wouldn’t be able to get me without watching it. he watched it, three days before the wedding, and didn’t get the hype 😂 which was fine, it was more that he was willing to sit through it because it’s my favorite from childhood that meant something to me.

  99. Jenny says...

    My boyfriend JUST showed me “So I Married An Axe Murderer” this last weekend! He has loved it forever and ever. I couldn’t be quite as enthusiastic, though I enjoyed it enough.

    The litmus test movie for him is the 1930s classic “Trouble in Paradise,” which isn’t nearly as well known as it ought to be. I was completely enchanted by that one (thank goodness!)

    I don’t have a single litmus test movie, though sharing generally the same taste in entertainment helps a lot. My boyfriend and I may not be on the same page with “So I Married An Axe Murderer”–but we’re close enough.

    • Jax says...

      Trouble in Paradise is perfection!

  100. Insightful.. thought provoking… adorable, as ever. But all I’m hearing is:

    HEED! MOOVE!

    • Carly says...

      12 Angry Men. As a precocious white liberal with a racist extended family, I identified with that movie so hard as a kid. My boyfriend and I watched it cuddled in bed together the first time he caught a cold.

    • Judy says...

      It’s got it’s own weather system! Like an orange on a toothpick! <3

    • Brooke says...

      Haha, Coral! “It’s like sputnik, it’s got its own weather system!” 😂

  101. Ivy says...

    It’s all good and dandy when he can make me laugh (I can be pretty easy that way), but I’ve always found my family’s sense of humor to be weird and at times awkward. When he started making jokes they understood and appreciated, I was all in. (I mean… I was all in before, but that helped!)

    Also if he didn’t appreciate my childlike love for Disney, we would have a problem.

  102. Creth Davis says...

    hello, my name is Creth. I am a single man and looking for a single WOMAN, WO-MAN, WOOOOOOOOOOMAN who feels the same way about So I Married an Axe Murderer as Jo

    • Kamita says...

      I’m a wo-man that loves this film! If only more men out there did…

  103. Shayna says...

    My husband hoped we’d be more than friends well before I gave much credence to the easy way we jived. One of our first couple handfuls of hangouts, I asked his favorite Wes Anderson film and found out he had two and they were also my favorites (“Rushmore” and “The Darjeeling Limited” – excellent in the canon but less universally loved as say, “The Royal Tenenbaums”). I was so shocked in the moment. It was certainly not a litmus test I knew of, but I remember it was dizzying, like who IS this person? It was a small, fun pebble in the path to realizing. (He also loves “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and showed it to me for the first time.)

  104. Anonymous says...

    Ours wasn’t at the beginning of our relationship, but I think I knew he was a keeper when he – an outdoorsy, sportsman type – and without any prompting from me – sat down and watched BBC/Masterpiece Classics’ Pride and Prejudice and ended up actually liking it! Now he watches all those classic period dramas with me. And I think I pleasantly surprised him when I – an unabashed bookworm – and without any prompting from him – started to watch sports with him and actually was able to learn the rules of the games and enjoy them. I guess it just goes to show that when opposites attract, keeping an open mind and trying new things is a good rule of thumb. :)

    • Annalise says...

      I knew my fiancé was a keeper when he revealed that, despite two decades of working on movie sets, he had only ever asked for one autograph–Jennifer Ehle’s, on his personal box set of “Pride and Prejudice.” It is a treasured object in our home.

    • Rebekah says...

      Sounds like me and my husband! When we first got together I didn’t know anything about sports, and he had no interest in Celtic music. Ten years later, he’s taken me to see Riverdance and I cheer even louder than he does during Sixers games. Oh my how things have changed!

  105. Joaquina says...

    My comment will probably not be popular but I just don’t see using movies as a litmus test for the right partner.
    For me at least, taste in movies is pretty much influenced by my upbringing, culture, and probably my mental illness.
    His inability to connect with ‘80s comedy or depressing films is not illustrative of our compatibility.
    He doesn’t quite get my love for “The Burbs” but he knows if I am watching it for the 100th time, it is because I need the uplift. And he provides it.

    • Kirsten says...

      So true – my husband and I have pretty much opposite media preferences. He never watches TV, and likes really dumb comedy or action movies. Whereas I’m all “give me all the high production crime procedurals and dramatic Oscar winning films!” But probably every couple has something like this – we really enjoyed comparing music taste when we were first dating, and I would have had a hard time staying with someone who didn’t like to cook/wasn’t adventurous with food.

    • sarah morabito says...

      THE BURBS. ’nuff said.

    • Leanne says...

      I think pop culture is an easy starting point for intimacy because you can have those little inside jokes and quotes to share.

      That being said, I’d say my husband and I have vastly different tastes.
      Will I go see the latest Star Wars movie when it hits theaters because my husband loves them?
      Absolutely.
      Has my husband seen every single episode of Gilmore Girls because it’s my favorite?
      Also yes.

      Sometimes it’s a respect for what your partner loves and not a person who is an exact match entertainment wise.

    • Aneta says...

      I agree with you! To me, having been married for many years and going through a very rough patch, I have realised that things like music or movies are not really the determining factor in a relationship. Kindness is. Willingness to learn and listen. As someone above said, seeing how your partner relates to his mother matters. Another one is seeing how your partner treats people in service positions – waiters, doormen etc. This matters a LOT because it reflects something very fundamental about who they are as people.

  106. shannon says...

    Two things:
    1. My husband of 8+ years and I have very different senses of humor. Sometimes we can’t even tell when the other person is joking. We both love Seinfeld, but his taste is for SNL/Will Farrell/Dumb and Dumber, whereas I like puns and Jim Gaffigan. It has led to hurt feelings a few times but overall is a non-issue and (for us) far from the must have that people make it out to be. Just wanted to comment for anyone in the same boat who may be getting put off by the flood of comments proclaiming compatible senses of humor as essential for all.

    2. I’ve never been a dog person but my husband SO IS, and it was a non-negotiable for him. We have a 7 year old golden retriever who we adopted from the pound as a puppy. He is a delight and brings so much joy. While I don’t like (most) other people’s dogs, our guy is ours. We put in the time to train him well, and it was worth it!

  107. Sara says...

    I suggested to my now husband that he read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand when we first started dating (still one of my favorite books). I don’t know if he liked it per se but that fact that he took on a 1,100 + page book without blinking made me know he was a keeper.

    • Jennifer Sall says...

      My litmus test is yet ANOTHER Mike Myers classic: Austin Powers!
      I quote it constantly. Tbh, if you enjoy any fish-out-of-water time travel movie (a very specific but very real genre), I’d be pumped. Might I mention The Brady Bunch Movie from the 90s? If you haven’t watched that, hoooooooo boy are you in for a cynical surprise!

  108. andrea says...

    I am going to combine two here—no movie litmus test for us, but rather, one must love dogs! As I sit here with our beloved golden curled up next to me—just returned from our daily hike (now in the snow)! Wait, I can tie in your other post from today—winter lover adventurer here! ;)