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. Caitlin says...

    Haha, this is so cute!!

  2. BR says...

    Just get the damn dog.

    • JW says...

      Ooh, ouch! I think it’s wise to be thoughtful about it — it’s a big commitment to be responsible for another life.

  3. JC says...

    Yes! My tests were: Napoleon Dynamite, Anchorman, and The Office. My hubby and I still quote these daily. The scene where Michael Scott eats Fettuccine Alfredo right before the 5K still makes us laugh every time!

  4. Gill F. says...

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail…my ex refused to even try it and well shes now an ex

    • Mary says...

      Love this movie. . . I have such fond memories of watching it every summer with family at my grandma’s house . . . Run away! Run away!

  5. Amanda says...

    My husband and I share a VERY similar sense of humor and love LOTS of the same shows, movies, and comedians, and this has always been the biggest connector for me. We disagree on two of our favorite movies, though. His favorite movie of all time is the The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and although I LOVE Bill Murray, it bores me literally TO SLEEP. Mine is The Three Amigos – I love and cherish this film and its lunacy so much, and he just doesn’t get the appeal. Perhaps knowing that I’d drop him for Steve Martin in a heartbeat leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, but I mean, them’s the breaks. :)

  6. EliseB says...

    Get a dog!!!!!!!!!! I just got home from our elementary school where our dog Pippa goes for the reading program. No, she does not read. The kids read to her. The dog is non-judgmental, and the kids get one on one time. Kids and dogs are so special. Enrich your life with a dog. Yes, they are work, and well worth it.

  7. Nina says...

    GET A DOG GET A DOG GET A DOG

  8. Katherine says...

    Month Python and the Holy Grail – that was my movie litmus test in high school and college.

    As far as movies I can quote from heart, that would be one of them, along with Clueless, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Troop Beverly Hills.

  9. Twyla says...

    My husband and I honestly wonder if we can truly be friends with people who dislike So I Married An Axe Murderer!

  10. Madie says...

    It’s a little Inception-like (a litmus test inside a movie?), but my husband and I both knew about “the keeper test” from the movie “A Bronx Tale” where, on the 1st date, the man unlocks the car door for the lady and if she doesn’t then lean across and unlock his door from the inside, she’s not a keeper. He thought he was being real sly, giving me this “test” on our first date, and of course I passed, and we both quoted the movie and laughed about it! I guess we were both keepers.

  11. Lauren says...

    Ours was Friday Night Lights the tv show. We didn’t finish it until the evening before our daughter was born. Haha. Thankfully he loved it😂

  12. Lindsey S says...

    Head! Paper! Now!!

    • Jaim says...

      It’s got its own weather system

  13. Kim says...

    There are three: Meet the Parents, Best in Show, and Taladega Nights. I have been married to someone who “passed” for 17 years. My sister is divorced and dating now and knows her future spouse must also pass or else how can we even all like each other? ha!

  14. Roxana says...

    OH MY GOODNESS. We have been randomly quoting So I Married An Axe Murderer for weeks now! “. . . It’s like an orange on a toothpick! . . Head! Moove!” I don’t even need to watch those clips, because I have the lines memorized :). LOVE that movie. Our 6 year old daughter has no idea what it’s about, but she’s picked-up on the accent and does a pretty good “Head! Moove!” Haha!

    Love Mike Myers.

    In other news, my husband and I had known each other for seven years before we finally got together. Thankfully, I already knew he had a solid sense of humor. Plus, he hates musicals as much as I do. We part ways on movies like Napoleon Dynamite, but otherwise we pretty much agree : ).

    Great post!

  15. Unpopular Opinion says...

    I’m going to be the outlier here and say- don’t get a dog. We’ve had our dog for a long, long time now. Having a dog was always hard in certain ways (finding care when we went away, dealing with the accidents, the jumping, the chewing, the crating, etc). But the difficulties compounded after having a child. Our dog has become another creature I need to take care of- and everything, as it goes, seems to fall on the mom. Working full time, caring for a child, and maintaining a household can be so much- adding a dog is another responsibility, another cost, another drain on your mental, physical, and emotional energy.

    Our dog’s life is winding down- she’s 15. It will be sad when it’s time to say goodbye, but I know there will also be a huge weight lifted. I’m ready to feel some relief.

  16. Jessica says...

    My litmus test movie (for partners and new girlfriends alike) was for a long time Anniversary Party. It came out in early 2000s and has a rockstar ensemble cast including John C Reilly, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming, Gwyneth Paltrow, Parker Posey, Kevin Klein, Jennifer Beals….I mean! I don’t even know if it was very well received at the time (or well known) but man I love this movie and I know if a new friend liked it too we are sure to get along. Luckily my husband passed the test when I made him watch it in 2007. If anyone knows what I am talking about when I quote “I don’t think Claire’s breastfeeding” in mock suspicion about something, we are bonded for life.

    • I loved this film.

    • Jessica says...

      This film was amazing. I was living in LA at the time it came out, and while I was nowhere near the character’s economic level, I definitely felt called-out by a LOT of that movie in the best way possible.

  17. CS says...

    I am an animal lover. Yet, every time I see someone out super late at night in the biting cold wind walking their dog, I think, “I am so glad I don’t have a dog.” It’s an involuntary response that makes me realize that I honestly don’t want a pet right now. Because part of me wants a dog, or a cat, but after years of owning pets… I am just loving the freedom way too much to give it up!

    As for litmus tests… well, I think it’s all about chemistry. If it’s there, if it’s real… that’s the litmus test.

  18. Cynthia says...

    Adopt a dog from a shelter. Our little guy has been with us for almost 7 years, which is over half his life. We went for an older dog, as we didn’t want a puppy. Older dogs often have a hard time finding homes, because folks want puppies.

    • Amy E Vincent says...

      I, too, adopted an older dog. He was calm, housebroken and well-trained already. (So much so that I can’t imagine why anybody gave him up.) I only had six years with my buddy, but those were a tremendous six years. DEFINITELY look at the adult dogs from the shelter!

  19. Jess says...

    I definitely swooned when I found out my husband could quote singing in the rain (the movie, not the song). I was a goner from there.

  20. lydia says...

    harold and maude. i knew whoever i married would have to love it or they wouldn’t get me either. thankfully my husband of 19 years did! ps we just showed it to our 14 year old son who thought it was weird hahaha

  21. celeste says...

    No, I’ve only seen movies once. But I will add that my 9 year old is the best helper with our dog, and they may help more than you think!!

  22. Olivia says...

    Mine was “Rear Window!” We watched it together on date four or five, because I was a little under the weather. The first few dates had been VERY hot and heavy, so watching a film was a change of pace. After the movie ended, he said how much he enjoyed it, then deadpanned, “And I guess now we know we can do more than ONE thing together.” Many things, it turned out— now we’re married plus kids (and still hot and heavy;).

  23. AG says...

    Omg! My hubs and I did the same. We had never seen each other’s “litmus test” movies. Mine was Wayne’s World and his was Kung Pow! Enter The Fist. Luckily we both loved each other’s choices and quote them to each other often. ❤️

    Also I once ended things with a guy because he didn’t laugh at my story about being hit by a car (which I make VERY funny since I wasn’t hurt.) it was sweet that he was so concerned but I just knew we wouldn’t jive long term.

  24. Abbey says...

    Hahaha! “Head! Paper! Now!” And of course every time the Bay City Rollers comes up it has to be said in Mike Meyers’ Scottish accent. S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! Okay… just every line of that movie. I love that you love it, Joanna.
    I am also in the cult of Lebowski. My family and I know every. single. line. These things come up in our communications regularly. “Dude, it’s already the 10th… Far out.” “Calmer than you are” etc etc.

    People, and by extension relationships, are far to deep and complex to be concerned about not liking the same movies. I realize this more than ever now that I’m dating a Roman and our shared cultural references are practically non-existent. But it’s fun when things do line up, tastes overlap, and it’s also fun to be able to introduce old gems to new loves. Even if they don’t get it the relief is that we are so much more than our references!

  25. D says...

    This makes me think of that quote from High Fidelity: “I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films – these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth, and by this measure I was having one of the best dates of my life”.

    I used to really subscribe to this idea- and I think it is true but only to a point. I had a couple of long term relationships that I felt were very much founded on the above idea. I’m now married to someone who doesn’t always agree with me on movies and songs and books but the chemistry is so much bigger.

    On the dog topic- my husband was also notoriously opposed to dog ownership. His previous live- in girlfriend was a vet tech and he refused to have pets! Imagine my surprise when a few years into living together he really wanted a dog. Sometimes a person is a dog person the timing just needs to be right :)

    • Abbey says...

      I couldn’t agree more with you and your evolving perspective of the quote from High Fidelity. I looooove that movie and book…. but I definitely don’t agree with the statement ;)

    • Jessica says...

      This is funny because I both agree with your sentiment – that going by “what you like” instead of “what you ARE like” is a young person’s habit that you evolve out of as you mature – AND High Fidelity is one of my litmus test movies. I met my long-term 20’s boyfriend in line for opening night. My husband loves the movie – and we totally bonded over it early in our relationship.
      It’s an oxymoron, I know, but so it goes!

  26. Sarah says...

    Get the dog! Dogs make home feel even more homey. There are SO many amazing Brooklyn rescues. We adopted from our dog from Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and it was the best decision we ever made.

  27. f says...

    Get a dog!

    • Sophie Proud says...

      Just here to say GET A DOG. They’ll transform your life in more ways than you’ll ever imagine

  28. I love this post. and OMG PLEASE GET A DOG!!!!!

  29. I can’t tell you with how many friends of mine we find ourselves shouting “Heeed” “Move!”

  30. Tabitha H says...

    For me it’s always been The Princess Bride – I grew up watching it and my entire family can quote the entire thing!

    Ironically the only person who’s ever failed my unofficial litmus test was a guy my friend had a crush on in high school. I wasn’t a huge fan already, but when he told me he didn’t like the Princess Bride I was like “Hmmmmm.” (His reason was that “the main character is dressed like Link even though Link wears green and the Man in Black wears… black lol.) So when he turned out to be a major jerk later I felt vindicated! XD

    Luckily my husband also grew up watching the Princess Bride and we have very similar taste in most movies. But he has to watch any scary/ gory/ medical drama shows by himself! Not my cup of tea!

    • Emma says...

      Waitwaitwait– Why is a character looking like Link even a problem? That guys was clearly bananas.

  31. michaela says...

    Oh, this litmus test wouldn’t work for my relationship at all! We have many, many shared interests, but my husband simply does not enjoy, or even get, my taste in movies. So much so that when he categorized our DVD collection into different groups, I found a random selection of disparate titles in the same box: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Raising Arizona, The Life Aquatic, Mean Girls (??)… I tried to decipher the possible theme he could have seen. “Those are all like, quirky movies,” he said. Um. “You know these are just all my favorites, right?” Apparently he finds my taste so, uh, eclectic, that he just gave up and chucked them all together. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Rachel says...

      Michaela, you have wonderful taste in movies! No matter what your husband thinks. ;-)
      Those are some of my favs!

  32. alison says...

    On my first date with my now fiancee, after realizing we had similar senses of humor, he suggested I watch a standup special by Rory Scovel. He said the first few minutes were “not like the rest,” but didn’t really elaborate. I went home and watched it and if anyone else has seen his Netflix special you know the first few minutes are not… ahem… super appropriate. Anyhow, I was nearly peeing my pants laughing through the whole special, but MAN what a RISK he took on that one.

    We’ve now seen that comedian, and many others, live in person and I’m grateful every day that we get to laugh together. If you don’t have laughter, what’s it even all about?!

  33. KM says...

    So I’m a writer by profession and a bit of a judger when it comes to grammar and spelling. My litmus test has always been if a guy can spell the word “definitely” and if he makes “a lot” two words. I’m so glad I met my husband before auto-correct :)

    • Katie says...

      I had to stop using “definitely.” Responded to too many meeting requests with “I’ll defiantly be there.”

    • Julia says...

      Agreeeeeeed. One of my pet peeves is also when people conflate apart and a part. “Glad to be apart of the team!” Ummm no, that literally means the opposite of what you intend.

  34. Rachel says...

    This is adorable. My now-husband would have failed all of my litmus tests (must like sports, dogs, etc). Fifteen years and three kids later and we’re going strong. Also, he recently confessed I failed his litmus test- liking horror movies. I hate them! He has finally agreed to a dog though…

    • Erin says...

      This is cute! Congratulations on your 15 years! :)

  35. Ruth says...

    It is my firm belief that having a dog teaches children about a kind of love and kindness that no human is every able to instruct. Definitely get the dog.

    • Jordan says...

      That is such a sweet and accurate statement!

  36. Erin G says...

    So I Married caught me on the wrong night of my life many years ago. I’m going to rewatch it and I hope to love it this time around.

    My ex’s absolute favorite movie was Dumb and Dumber and while (through all the years of our long love) I figured it was okay to feel wildly different about a film….perhaps it was a red flag I should have seen! (kidding, but not kidding…)

    • Erin says...

      First off my name is also Erin. Second – my ex was obsessed with D&D. Now, a bad movie is forever associated with a bad man… LOL

  37. Meg says...

    Yes! Our bonding moment was quoting lines from Coming to America (“what is that velvet?” “Sexual chocolate!”), and Super Troopers (“c’mon meow”). I swear any disagreement we get into can immediately be ended by a funny movie quote!

  38. MW says...

    I Love Lucy, without a doubt.

  39. Denise says...

    Wow, a lot of peer pressure to get a dog. I’d defy the odds here and wait a good long while, and then, definitely not a dog – a cat is better. :)

    But also, So I Married An Axe Murderer is a classic and I love it too. Now I’m going to have to try and find my copy and watch it tonight! With my CAT. :)

    • Emily R says...

      I’m definitely on the cat side of this as well!

  40. Liesel says...

    The answer to both of your questions:

    Definitely Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill. It’s comedy gold. Even aside from “Cake or Death”!

    “Ein Minuten, bitte. Ich habe einen kleinen Problemo avec diese Religione.”
    “The Heimlich Maneuver! A fist, a hand, hoochahoochahoocha…Lobster.”
    “And in the words of albert schweitzer I FANCY YOU.”

    I mean! :D

    • Neela says...

      Do you have a flaaag??
      It’s more of a gesture than a manoeuvre, really. 😉

    • Neela says...

      Have you seen the version where he’s in San Francisco? And he says “you all hate it when we say ‘Frisco'”and the audience hisses- his reaction is so hilarious! “What have you all got snakes in your bags?!”

  41. Mandy says...

    I think my litmus ended up being more general when I met my now-husband vs previous relationships. I realized I wasn’t as concerned about loving the same specific things, but loving the category. They must love books and reading. They must love movies. They must be open-minded and willing to try new things.
    We learned we have lots of overlapping loves (Star Wars, LOTR, superhero movies) and things that didn’t but the other can appreciate and are happy to listen to the other talk about (me about HP and Doctor Who, him about history facts and very specific comic book knowledge). Then we grew more things together- I live for theatre, and he enjoyed it but has found new appreciation and loves it too. I went to my first comic con with him and now we would never go without the other.
    In previous relationships, if I simply had zero interest about what someone else liked- for example, car repair- my interest in them just couldn’t be enough to sustain us. But as long as the category matches, we’ve made it work well

  42. Marissa says...

    22 years ago, I was recovering from knee surgery in 9th grade and feeling so depressed afterward. I couldn’t walk, was in pain, hadn’t seen my friends in weeks, and had lots of makeup work and PT ahead of me. THIS is the film that made me laugh and lift me out of my gloom. It had such a positive impact on my mood that I’ve never forgotten it. It’s time for a rewatch!

  43. Jane says...

    “She stole my heart. And my cat. She stole my heart and my cat.” Sing it at least 3 times a week. No one ever knows, but it’s fine with me.

  44. Marguerite Sheffer says...

    This wasn’t a litmus test, but a huge green flag. When I walked into my to-be-husband’s dorm room in college, there was a giant LABYRINTH poster. This was about the only decoration he had. That movie always held a special place in my heart, and his unironic love of it made me feel right at home.

    • Mel says...

      Labyrinth is my childhood favourite, and if I was one for litmus tests it would have been it. My now-husband watched it with me and was just utterly confused. It really is not a great movie to watch as an adult for the first time. The puppets! The singing! David Bowie’s crotch!

      Thankfully, he loves Scrubs, my favourite TV show, and we quote it almost daily.

  45. C says...

    My dog is creeping into old age, and with that, I’ve gained another new perspective from pets. When she was younger it was always, go!go!go!- long walks, dog parks, lots of zoomies. It was great knowing that even when I was feeling like a lazy lump, I was motivated to get out of the house for her and get moving.

    Now, our walks are slow, lazy strolls with stops every few yards to catch a new sniff. At times I miss how we could walk a few miles together without slowing down. These days of aging have led to something I didn’t expect though. A slower pace for her means more time for me to practice mindfulness and really take in the world around me. I notice things around me that I never caught before… The commuting bikers passing by us like clockwork on their way home, the grumpy older man who drives like a bat out of hell leaving the apartment complex, the trees slowly changing with the season.

    Sometimes it is a test to our patience, but dogs never cease to teach us something new.

    • Marcy says...

      Thank you for this perspective. I miss the younger version of my dog so much. I will keep this in mind when my patience is tested during our walks (calling it a walk now is almost a stretch).

    • Joaquina says...

      I love this so much.
      My two senior dogs and I take slow, mindful, cell-phone free walks. You are reminding me to thank them for how I have changed because of them.
      My partner, imperfect grammar and awful taste in comedies, is so doting and patient with my pets. I revere how he treats them so very much.

  46. Emily says...

    I had the opposite experience a few months ago. My fiance and I moved from Boston to Philly recently and had a couple visit us. This was kicking our friendship-level with them up a notch since we had only casually hung out before in Boston. Anyway, after going out to the Philly bars, we noticed that they kept quoting this one movie the whole night. When they heard we had never seen it, they insisted we go home immediately and watch it…starting at midnight.

    At 3am, my fiance and I were the only ones awake finishing that stupid movie and were both were saying how we’ll never get that time back and how awful it was…all the while our two friends were snoring on the couch next to us.

    Needless to say, it affirmed that he’s the one.

  47. Emily says...

    Does Harriet even know the words to Only You?

    Mine is When Harry Met Sally, the sense of humor and dialog just sticks in my head and I think of funny lines from it all the time. BF’s don’t have to know it as well as I do, but they need to GET it!

  48. MelTown says...

    I love So I Married an Axe Murderer! Such a good movie. My husband and I are constantly saying “Woman! Woah man! Wooooooah man!” and you can guess what happens when someone is blocking our view of the TV!

    My sense of humor litmus test is “What We Do in the Shadows.” It came out loooong after I was married, but I could have written it myself. The sense of humor is 100% me.

    I’m other news I’ve been totally anti-dog forever, but my sister found a dumped dog in her neighborhood at the same time my oldest kid started writing songs and poetry about how I’m a bad mother because we didn’t have a dog. Six months later and that dog is 100% my fourth baby. Get. The. Dog.

    • Katie says...

      This movie! It’s one of my “deserted island” movies if I could choose only three.

      The first time my husband watched it was with me. He appreciated the humor. Phew!

  49. Annie says...

    Nacho Libre! It’s so stupid that I’m almost embarrassed that I love it so much but gosh that movie makes me laugh!! So when my fiance’ quoted it before knowing my love for it, that was a big moment for us!

    • Heidi says...

      I love that movie so much. Not a day goes by that my husband and I do not work in a Nacho Libre quote into our lives. Just last night at dinner I said I wanted a salad and he said “Why can’t we ever just have, like, a salaaaad.”

    • Pam says...

      Now that it’s cooler and we’re having soups and stews again, I say at dinner all the time – “I get up at 5am and make some soup. It’s the BEST. “

    • MelTow says...

      I just shared this movie with my kids for the first time! It’s so good! Hilarious and well-made and sweet and entertaining. Just a good movie all around.

  50. Hilary says...

    Love this! My husband and I love quoting Jim Carrey movies, especially Liar Liar and Dumb & Dumber. Nothing to break a stressful moment like saying “OUR PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!” Makes us laugh every single time.

    • Helena says...

      My husband and I also love to quote Dumb and Dumber😂 Especially “So you’re telling me there is a chance!”🤣 It kills me!!!

    • Amanda says...

      Husband and I love to say “I’m kickin’ my ass, DO YA MIIIIND?” when asked by the other what we’re doing. :P

    • Hilary says...

      Ha I’m embarrassed to admit how much we says, “it’s a goose!” from the Liar Liar outtakes.

  51. Deanna says...

    I thought my husband would love the Book of Mormon since I loved it and I’m not a fan of South Park, but he didn’t enjoy it. I was so perplexed until he pointed out growing up in a small town in New Zealand he’d never had Mormons come to the door or known any Mormons so he didn’t get all the references the way I did after years being friends with the kids across the street who were from a big Mormon family. (The mom once wanted to make candle sticks out of some champagne bottles and nervously asked my mom if she’d be willing to drink the wine. My mom told her to bring as many bottles over as she wanted candlesticks and she’d make the sacrifice).

    Humor is a much harder litmus test when you grew up in with completely different frames of reference, but he joins me for my yearly viewing of What About Bob? which is my start of summer movie, and he liked Christmas Vacation, so we’re getting somewhere.

    • Kate says...

      I just guffawed out loud at that candle story! Your mom was so sweet to make such a difficult sacrifice for that family’s craft night :-P

  52. Julie says...

    Yes! I felt the same way about wanting my spouse to share my sense of humor. I was so relieved when I saw “White Chicks” with the Wayans brothers on his movie shelf. Together 10 years, married 7❤️

  53. Heidi says...

    But have you reached the point in your relationship where you’ve found out he knows the words to “Only You?” That movie is so hilarious!

  54. Kristen Solecki says...

    “While You Were Sleeping” was my movie litmus test, my whole family can quote the movie and have full conversations using the quotes.

    • Sarah F. says...

      Yes!! The very best!

    • JMN says...

      Same! “These mashed potatoes are so creamy” “I never said Cesar Romero was tall!”

    • Lindsay says...

      MISTER JOE FUSCO JUNIOR

    • Julie says...

      “It looks like he’s….LEANING.”

    • Andrea says...

      “These mashed potatoes are so creamy…”

  55. MacleanNash says...

    Having your sense of humour align is definitely key! So is laughing at the other one lovingly when they laugh far too hard at their own jokes!
    I would also add – are they willing to dance at special events?! I dont need my partner to be a good dance (I wouldnt be able to keep up) but so long as they are willing to join the crowd and be part of the fun!
    Thats what got me hooked on my partner of now 4 years! He was feeling bold and whipped and dipped me all night! (Oh wow that sounds raunchy but it wasnt, promise)! And I was totally smitten!

    • Jane says...

      100% Through all our ups and downs, I know my husband will ALWAYS dance with me.

  56. Sarah says...

    Hot Rod. It is dumb, deeply silly, and utterly delightful. When a partner can enjoy Hot Rod with me it shows me that they don’t take themselves too seriously.

  57. liz says...

    Also I’ve never seen this movie! Gonna try to watch it this weekend now : )

  58. liz says...

    if they are not a dog person, I don’t even want them as friends (lol just kidding, so many of my friends are “cat people”, I just love them for it. (I love them for other reasons!)) But honestly could never date/live with/marry someone who was meh about doggos. I also have a bare minimum I can tolerate with regard to music tastes/interest/knowledge, but it’s hard to pin point. It’s one of those “you know it when you see it” things. But if he or she is the type of person who never ever listens to any music? That’s a “nope, please leave” for me.

    • liz says...

      Meant to say “I just don’t love them for it.”

      typing too fast as always!

    • Gina says...

      “But if he or she is the type of person who never ever listens to any music? That’s a “nope, please leave” for me.”

      YES! One of the worst dates I went on was a blind date where we had nothing in common (And I mean nothing: I like coffee as my morning drink, he hated it and only drank pepsi in the mornings. I like craft beer he hated beer. None of that was a deal breaker on it’s own but I was struggling to find anything to talk about with him). He was very nice and cute and I probably might have tried a second date but the deal breaker was that he didn’t watch movies or listen to music. At all. When pressed he said, “I don’t like movies but I guess if i watch anything it’s sports or Duck Dynasty.” I tried music and he said he only listened to sports radio and the only time a year he made an exception was for Christmas music.

      I have never met anyone in my life before or after who doesn’t at least have a favorite movie or band. Baffling! I would say that is 100x worse than them not liking my favorite movie or type of music!

    • Taylor says...

      ugh people who pride themselves on not having any common interests are my least favorite people, a coworker friend of my husband is always like “what is Parks and Rec” “who’s REE-HANNA”, “I don’t like new music” etc while reading another philosophical tome and it’s like YOU KNOW WHO RIHANNA IS NICOLAS YOU AREN’T COOL YOU’RE BORING

  59. Fiona says...

    LOVE this movie. Also, I spent a decade being cajoled by my husband to get a dog (I grew up without pets and didn’t see the value of shaking up our schedule and flexibility). 1.5 years in and little dude is the #1 best thing I’ve done for my mental health (very closely followed by getting medication and therapy, but dog is still tops). Yesterday I had an endless weep-fest and my little monster brought me his blanket to make me feel better, climbed up next to me and licked the tears off my nose. Never going back!

  60. Sarah says...

    I think if my partner didn’t love Harry Potter and LOTR, it wouldn’t work out… Luckily he’s obsessed with both. <3

  61. Jessie says...

    Blazing Saddles, obviously.

  62. Food is a definite litmus test!

    Jerry Seinfeld describes this perfectly with Larry David on Comedians in Cars…

    Larry explains that his ex-wife would always get annoyed when she had coffee and he would just have water. So jerry compared it to going to get ice cream with someone and then they order a salad.

    It’s the shared enjoyment that’s so important! I love Jerry. He’s a genius❤️

    • Zima says...

      Yes, yes, Jerry Seinfeld! Anything he’s ever made is pure genious!
      A definite litmus for us.

      Zoolander.
      Anchorman.

  63. Emily says...

    I knew my husband was the one for me when after our third date (an indie film) we ended up having to pay to leave the parking garage twice because the first time we made out in his car for 45 minutes and you only had 30 minutes to leave after you paid your ticket…

    Humor is important/was important to me at the time but nothing beats completely physical compatibility over time…

    And get the dog…kids deserve to grow up in homes with dogs.

  64. Katherine says...

    My husband and I discussed Christmas Vacation on our first date. I then drove him to a very tacky house decorated with Christmas lights. We still quote that movie along with Clue, A League of Their Own, and Monty Python.

  65. Irena says...

    I’m reluctant to endorse this kind of thing because honestly both men and women and various tests can rule out someone who might be such a good spouse, lifelong partner, etc. It should be taken with a grain of salt and certainly only a few dates in, as NOT definitive. Perhaps fun but certainly not a dealbreaker. People can share your humour but not much else…and I’m sure there are more than a few women out there who attest to that.

    I say this because I’ve been with my partner, a guy I am even more enamored of after many years, for a very long time. We do not even remotely like the same movies, laugh at the same thing, or even share similar passions. (I read. Voraciously. He, not so much. THought this might be something hard to deal with, but seriously so irrelevant in the scheme of things as he appreciates how much this means to me.) Would it be lovely if we did share a sense of humor? Yeah, sure. But we share other things: values, approach to life/living, how we think people should be treated and do, levels of compassion and empathy; attitudes toward spending and finances. People use this and other tests (how great is the sex? ) and really placing too much value on them as a determinant of how compatible? Well, we’re not always good at interpreting results.

    Only time and situations reveal who someone really is. And FYI: Many men and women are smart enough to know it’s a test and do what they need to do to fake it.

    The whole idea of “testing” just turns me off. Spend time together, explore different situations, TALK about things that matter to you. If you do that and want to have some fun, fine.

    A sense of humor is a good thing but it doesn’t have to be shared for people to have a wonderful life together. Not saying this to take away from anyone who enjoys all this, only a cautionary tale. Many a good man and woman has been considered less than ideal when they don’t laugh at the same things.

    With my guy, I’ve learned a lot about him (and vice versa) about what we each laugh out. Sometimes we’re both kind of amazed at the roots of the humor.

    • Taylor says...

      I keep waffling on whether I agree or not! I think of “litmus tests” as a kind of self-preservation testing! Which I think is okay! You’re essentially sharing something that’s important to you, and it’s a nice entry level into vulnerability to share your favorite movie or song with a new romantic interest to see how they respond.

      It’s less about how they personally enjoy it, and more about how they react to something you love! But of course these things are not static, when I was 18 it was *super* important to me that my boyfriend not wear graphic tees (gross!) and love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind. Because that’s what mattered to me at 18! My husband wears lots of cute graphic tees and I haven’t watched Eternal Sunshine since I was 18!

      I have an ex-friend who married super young and when their marriage imploded I remembered that when I asked him why he loved his wife he listed this kind of stuff, that their first conversation was a three hour conversation about Fitzgerald, that they liked the same music. I remember thinking that interests change and it seemed like a really flimsy base for love! Soooo I think I guess that these things are fun introductions to vulnerability and intimacy but aren’t great foundational indicators of relationships.

  66. Kim says...

    Harriet. Harry-it. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis. This is the best movie, and this is my favorite line (of many).

    I think this movie was my husband’s litmus test. I passed. We’ll be married 20 years in April. Three kids. And two dogs. Get the dog!

  67. Sadie says...

    I was LITERALLY reciting the “Harriet – Harr-i-et. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis” line to myself yesterday. Perfect movie.

  68. Cecilia Latorre says...

    Agreed- humour is everything. I am a big Princess Bride fan and my sister and I too can quote it, but my partner, Gerry hadn’t seen it when we started dating 6 yrs ago. GASP! So we watched it early on and he recognized Christopher Guest in the cast (the 6 fingered man!) which led him to his series of favourite movies which I hadn’t seen, GASP! and we had (fabulous)dates for days watching these movies:
    This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, Best In Show, Waiting for Guffman.
    All of these have Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy in the cast, great Canadian actors, which led us to rewatch tons of classic SCTV episodes (a cult classic 80’s version sketch comedy show) and realize our humour is completely compatible.
    In the last few years, one of the best shows ever has come out- Schitts Creek – so we have made a point of watching it together now and we have laughed (and cried) and we quote it and can have full gif/meme text conversations back and forth with each other during the day. We can’t wait for season 6!

    • “What’s Antonio’s?” 😂😂😂

    • Amanda says...

      God loves a terrier.

  69. Daniela says...

    Get a dog!!!!

  70. The movie Meatballs…its humor and its heart..Bill Murray helping a kid who feels out like he doesn’t belong. My husband still writes quotes from the movie in our wedding anniversary cards 10 years later. Funny ones and one that still makes me tear up, “You make one good friend a summer and you’re doing pretty well.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCHGzxSBn-c

  71. Jamie says...

    My ultimate compatibility test for partners romantic or otherwise: Wet Hot American Summer and very specific comedy podcasts (How Did This Get Made?, for example). If they “don’t get it,” we’re not going to get very far :)

  72. Kim says...

    Having compatible senses of humor is EVERYTHING. The best thing about my relationship with my boyfriend is that we can have a blast just sitting in a traffic jam- we crack each other up!

  73. Jess says...

    Joanna,
    Please adopt a dog – don’t buy from a store (!) or a breeder. Please. If you’re nervous about bringing a dog into your home without knowing its history, the best thing you can do is foster. It’s a very short term commitment (for me it was always maximum a couple of weeks) and in that time you can gage whether the dog is a good fit for your family. And if not, you’ve still helped an animal in need until they find their forever home. But if the dog is a good fit, you have the option to adopt. Please, please, please. PLEASE.

    • Brandi says...

      Jess,

      I just wanted to say I totally agree and was about to bring this up myself!

  74. Kate says...

    My Blue Heaven with Steve Martin doesn’t get talked about enough but it’s one of the best movies to quote ever! My brother, sister and I used to rush home from school and watch it on VHS. To this day every few months one of us will start a quote text chain that will go back and forth for a week. Always starting with:

    “What the frig is this?”

    And now I’m sitting at my desk laughing :)

    • Alison says...

      Rick Moranis and Joan Cusak are everything in that movie!!! I love it. Steve Martin goes without saying…

  75. Lauren E. says...

    The first time my now-husband came to my apartment, he looked at my DVD collection and said, “Oh man, you have the GOOD version of Pippi Longstocking!” My jaw was literally on the floor. I’d obviously met my soul mate.

    • Caitlin says...

      woah. i’d watch the movie adaptation of this comment.

    • Erin G. says...

      Wow, I would, too. I also feel really seen.

  76. Joanna says...

    Movies shmovies. Time for the dog!!!! Your heart will grow three sizes and you’ll never look forward to going home more. Petfinder.com

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “Your heart will grow three sizes and you’ll never look forward to going home more.” = <3

    • liz says...

      I second this comment!

    • Emily says...

      YES!! We just got one 2 months ago, a smallish rescue that turned into Clifford the dog. BUT she is so perfect, sucha great addition to our family & can no longer imagine life with out her! <3

  77. Erin says...

    Better Off Dead with John Cusack is absolutely my movie litmus test. It’s such a weird movie but so specifically my humor that it is a great qualifier. So, when I met my boyfriend, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only had he seen it, but he owned the DVD! Still going strong 10 years later so there must be something to it…

    • Kathryn says...

      In highschool my husband was essentially the John Cusack character, and I always only seem to have $2 in my wallet (also was a huge francophile when we met). We watched the movie together when we first started dating and laughed so hard. 20 years later we are still a match made in movie heaven!

  78. Jenny says...

    I’ve never seen that movie but I wanted to say GET THE DOG!
    They are work, yes, but a wonderful addition to the family – especially if the kids are asking for one. They are like exercise, you never regret doing it. You won’t regret the dog.

  79. Keri says...

    Ours was Arrested Development! After we could both quote multiple episodes, we knew it was a match.

  80. Gabby T says...

    I walked out of Dumb & Dumber as a teenager swearing it was the worst movie I had ever seen. Swore throughout all my dating years I could never be with a guy who liked that movie. I’ve been married 10 years to someone that not only LOVES Dumb & Dumber but can quote it and counts it as one of his top five favorite movies. So…..

  81. Julie says...

    That movie came out when I was 13 and I have never stopped quoting it.

    “Because he puts addictive chemicals in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, SMARTASS!”

    My husband and I’s third date was a sort of test-he asked if I wanted to watch Top Gun, and though I’ve seen it dozens of times I could tell that he was excited so of course I said “sure!” Little did I know that not only is it his favorite movie, it’s the film that he and his dad bonded over in the short time they had together before he passed away when my husband was 7. My liking it was important, but him watching it with me was a way of letting me in.

    Mine, not so poignant. I was curious to see if his sense of humor was as warped as mine, so we had a Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon. He passed.

  82. Jennifer says...

    Get a dog! You will not regret it ever. Dogs teach kids empathy and patience, plus unconditional love.

  83. Laura says...

    This was 30 Rock for my now husband and me. I’ve seen every episode a million times and still find it hilarious- one of my best friends and I quote it to each other constantly, etc- so I knew I needed my partner to get the humor too. After our first date he sent me a gif from it and I was like ohhh he’s the one.

  84. LB says...

    The Wedding Singer is my “litmus test”. Literally broke up with a guy because he hated the movie. AND get a dog – they are best .

    • Lauren E. says...

      One of my all time favorite movies! Constantly quoted in my house. “He’s losing his mind. And I’m reaping all the benefits.”

  85. Sadie says...

    Photographer Hannah Carpenter’s family recently got a dog and her photos on instagram of her kids with him will make you melt.

  86. Stephani says...

    You will never regret getting a dog and will wonder why you waited so long. There is no downside to the warm unconditional loyal love they will bring to your family!

  87. Kellie P says...

    The moment I met my now-husband for the first time, I knew we just “got” each other. He invited me over for our first date — after we were set up by MY DAD, I might add — on a cold January night to skate on the frozen lake behind his house (can’t get a more Minnesotan first date than that!) Anyway, I got lost on the way out to where he lived in the boonies and when I finally pulled up, he was waiting in his driveway in the freezing cold with a huge smile on his face. I stumbled nervously out of my car and then we looked at each other and started laughing. We gave each other a huge hug wearing our huge coats and smiles… and the rest is history. :)

    • agnes says...

      That is such a lovely beginning for a great love story <3

    • Sarah says...

      Oh my god, I want to watch a movie about your life! This is so romantic!

    • Kellie P says...

      Haha thank you! Now it’s all fighting over who is *more* tired and going on a total of 2 dates per year, but it’s fun to remember when…… :p

  88. Jenny says...

    My dog, Keeper, is a rescue mix Austrialian Shepherd x dust bunny. He found me when I needed him the most– and 24 hours before his execution was scheduled! I drove 18 hours to pick up this scabby boy with fleas AND testicles immediately after completing my medical school entrance exam. We’ve never looked back. Joanna, I know your life is full of joys and the obligations they bring. Certainly a canine bud, with all their attendant needs, adds more. But the surest source of love, cuddles, adventure time, and reassurance is my dog, Keeper. And he’d love the heck out of cowboy Anton.

    • Jenny says...

      OH and my litmus test for the various idiot dudes I have recently attempted to date (some sweet nerds, some the male equivalent of model homes: everything looks okay but they are totally empty inside): Keeper! If he doesn’t like you, your’re outta here! He brought a man’s shoes to the door and nudged him once!

    • Ana D says...

      I love your dog’s polite quality assurance measures.

  89. omg I love how you slid that “debating a dog” line in there. Can’t wait to see what kind of dog you choose! I just heard on an old episode of the #amwriting podcast the host Jess saying something about the “energy suck” that happens in a house without a dog. they are just the BEST! (make sure you have a good winter coat and boots though, for all those potty walks…)

  90. Michelle says...

    Best movie EVER! “His head is so large, it’s like an orange on a toothpick!”

  91. Emily says...

    Not a film – but a song litmus test. I would always play “A case of you” by Joni Mitchell to all my prior partners while we were driving and ALL of them would ask to change the song. My current partner not only listened to the song, but she now knows all the words. We’re now married as of two weekends ago and to top it off we played the song at our wedding :)

    • Lisa says...

      Love this. Congratulations.

  92. Jenn says...

    Joanna! Best movie ever!

    Head! Pants! Now!

    I believe I made the Lipton’s “Cup-o-Cino” joke just yesterday. Anyone who likes that movie is aces in my book, instantly.

  93. Holly Hargraves says...

    Love that movie! Also, you should get a dog : )

  94. Colleen S says...

    I love So I Married An Axe Murderer. I love quoting his father…heck, the whole movie.

  95. Beth says...

    I knew we matched up pretty well based on our mutual comedy movie loves but I REALLY knew he was the one when he loved Hedwig and the Angry Inch. So much in fact, he got tickets for us to see it live AND I’ve caught him listening to the soundtrack on Pandora.

  96. Calla says...

    Mine is True Stories, the hilarious and bone-dry movie the Talking Heads made about a fictional small town in Texas and its “Celebration of Specialness”. I’m not sure I would actually end an otherwise good relationship if someone didn’t find it funny, but it would certainly give me pause.

  97. NN says...

    One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE movies! You passed the test, Joanna. We can get married. I’ll let my husband know.

  98. Elspeth says...

    Oh my gosh! I had the same test!!!! My family LOVE this movie (it’s hilarious but also because my Dad’s side of the family are Scottish). We can quote it 100% too!
    And yes my husband passed the test! 😊

  99. Abbey says...

    I just had to put my sweet dog Leona down a few days ago. It was totally unexpected and my girls and husband and I are just devastated. I am living a dogless life for the first time in my life basically, and let me tell you – a dogless life is just a worse life. Like all the colors just get turned down. It’s a lot of work at first, but I honestly don’t know what life would be without the companionship of a dog! Here’s to hoping you find the perfect match for your family <3

    • Jenny says...

      I am so sorry for your loss. It sure sounds like Leona was very loved!

    • Jess says...

      I’ve been there. It’s by far the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life. Sending much love to your family. <3

    • Mariana says...

      I lost my dog this week too and it is SO hard… I completely understand what you’re going through, Abbey :( She was 18 years old and the love of my life!
      (And Joanna, you really should get a dog!)

  100. Megan Lec says...

    I had a similar litmus for my boyfriend (now husband). I remember putting in my Across the Universe DVD, the one I had played on loop freshman year of college, and ten minutes in I peer over eager to see what will hopefully be his expression of glee and find him asleep! I was horrified. Thankfully, we pulled through and eight years, one baby, and a few animals later, were doing just fine. Turns out we found our shared love in quoting West Wing and Brooklyn 99 and I get Jim Sturgess all to myself.

  101. Jess Mill says...

    GET THE DOG!

    The love they give far outweighs the shit you have to pick up.

  102. Taylor says...

    Oh man, on my second date with my now husband he whipped out his phone and started reading from the 36 Questions that Lead to Love from NYT! I knew what it was but didn’t say anything until the end when I asked him, so, did it lead to love? He was embarrassed :)

    That same night I told him about the big surgery I had recently had that affected sex for me and telling it to him was so scary because I thought he’d cut his losses and run, instead he hugged me and told me I was brave.

    Some litmus tests are good–aligning morals, communication styles, but so much about my husband is not in line with who I thought I would end up with!! He’s buff and I used to put “no gym rats” in my dating profile! He loves video games but I thought all guys who played video games were dead eyed misogynists, now I’m staying up to finish Breath of the Wild! I like video games! Who knew! I think the best litmus test is “are they as excited about me as I am about them?”

  103. Becca says...

    It’s like an orange on a toothpick!

    Seriously, you should get a dog. They live in the present and are so happy. Plus they get you out of the house regularly. When my dog comes back from staying with my parents, and we start walking together again, I feel so much healthier.

  104. sarah says...

    Love that movie! My sister and dad and I can quote most of the movie too. My litmus test was whether or not my boyfriend liked the show Arrested Development (first 3 seasons, not the later weird ones). Some people get it, others don’t. I knew there was probably no way I could be with someone who didn’t get it. Sure thing, my then boyfriend, now husband, loves the show as much as I do and we still quote it to each other all the time.

  105. Sandra says...

    I so don’t get this movie! So many people love it, and I keep thinking why is this funny? But I agree that a shared sense of humor is so important. I knew my now husband and I had a chance on our first date when we shared a huge laugh over something really small and random. It broke the ice, and 16 years later we still laugh together over silly things. (For what it’s worth he loves “So I Married an Ax Murderer,” so even if your movie taste doesn’t align completely there is still hope!)

  106. Maya says...

    haha So I Married an Axe Murderer was my husband’s humor test for me!! I guess I passed? 19 years and one kid later :)

  107. Molly says...

    My fam always said that anyone who marries in has to agree to the “no cats no minivans” rule. Here we are, 14 years later – 3 kids, Honda Odyssey (named LaVonda the Honda) and just got a dog. The dog and the minivan were the best decisions ever. Get the dog.

  108. Sarah says...

    When I was single I was talking to my uncle about love. He said “Sarah, when love is real, it’s just there and you know it and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it”. Case in point: I BOMBED my litmus test. One night early in dating, my husband put on Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and I fell asleep. I didn’t just doze off for a few minutes–I took a full blown nap. Let me tell you, he was leary of me for the next few month. We had all sorts of reasons to go our separate ways that first year, yet here we are with a child and happily getting old together.

  109. carolyn says...

    I may be dating myself here, but Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I was and is our go to for humor. We were quoting it yesterday! Such a stupid, funny movie! That and most any Monty Python movie…

  110. emily r says...

    This is my most favorite movie of ALL TIME. I’m always so glad when other people know, and love this film. Some other favorites include labyrinth, Princess Bride and Spinal tap.

    • Calla says...

      Yes! I’ve used Spinal Tap as a friend litmus test a few times haha

  111. OMG. YES.
    “HEAD. Move. NOW!” I had the soundtrack on repeat foreeeever.

  112. Taylor says...

    get the dog. :)

    • Liza says...

      My husband totally failed my litmus test (Pee-wee’s Big Adventure… I know, I know), but I’m going to get my revenge by making our kid a Pee-wee devotee just like her mama.

  113. Awads says...

    Raising Arizona (son, you got a panty on your head)

    before you own a dog, be sure you have a place to board your dog (friend, reputable kennel) when you travel. and it may come with a hefty boarding fee! i love our dog, but she has put a damper on spur-of-the-moment travel (worse than kids).

    • Kelly says...

      as a fellow working mom considering a dog, the thing i can’t wrap my head around is the potential for emergencies or doggie illness! Every dog owner I know seems to have at least once a year a trip to the emergency vet or more frequently, a puking dog, dog with digestive issues, doggies that need extra training or medication because of anxiety…when one of my kids is sick it throws everything into chaos, i can’t imagine adding a potential dog illness into the equation!
      we’re so not getting a dog.

  114. Kate says...

    We gravitate toward very different shows and books, and where I can zone out in front of the tv watching absolutely nothing for hours, usually as a way to reset after a hard day, he hardly ever watches without intention. But the most important thing is that he doesn’t shame me or make fun of me for anything I watch or read, no matter how escapist it might be. I didn’t realize how much I had been affected by a past relationship who constantly told me I was watching trash (he was oh so enlightened and above such things) until I caught myself being super defensive any time I turned on the tv. So even if your partner doesn’t necessarily like what you like, don’t let them tell you what you like is wrong!

  115. Michele says...

    I had been on a few dates with a guy and was feeling pretty ambivalent about him when I saw the amazing move Black Panther. I texted him and gushed about it: “You have to see it RIGHT NOW. IT IS AMAZING.” Turns out he had already seen it and was not terribly impressed, which was fine with me – until he texted “I don’t like my comic book movies to have an added agenda.” That’s when I knew: his world outlook and my outlook are NOT a match. When I told him as much – all of this was via text – he was shocked: “You’re breaking it off because I don’t like a movie???” I told him I was happy to talk about it more if he’d like, but he didn’t take me up on the offer.
    Dodged a bullet with that guy.

    • Julie says...

      Added. Agenda. Like a comic book movie told from a perspective not his own is an AGENDA. Good for you for cutting your losses!

  116. Rhonda says...

    My husband and I have been together so long we saw How I Married an Axe Murderer together. If someone is standing in the way of the T.V. we both still yell, “Head! Move! Now!!” in our best Scottish accent. For me the litmus test for my boyfriend (now husband) was The Princess Bride. If he get it, love it, quote it, like I do, I knew there was no future for us. Thankfully, the first time I tentatively threw out, “You keep saying that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means…” he laughed out loud and returned with, “Inconceivable!” and I was done for. We’ve been married for 25 years next summer and have three kids who all quote the Princess Bride.

  117. Tiffani says...

    It’s not a test exactly, but I love Gilmore Girls. I watched it with my mom and sister when it originally aired and have rewatched it several times,including with my daughter (I’ve been a single parent for most of her life so it was kind of important to me for us to watch a show about single parent family that is mostly thriving). My boyfriend knows how much I love the show and he’ll often suggest that we watch it together. I know he doesn’t love it the way that I do, but it means a lot that he shares in that with me and doesn’t make fun of it.

  118. Kerrie says...

    When we first started dating (I was 16 and he was 19) my now husband had never seen A League of Their Own! He was umpiring for little league baseball one day and a parent of one of the players joked and said “There’s no crying in baseball” and my husband did not know the reference! Later that night he came over my parents house to “hang in the basement” and he admitted to my mom and me that he had never seen that movie. We were horrified as my mom and I can both recite the entire film from start to finish! The next day my mom went out and bought him his own copy to keep and the three of us watched it that night! He loved & appreciated the movie immediately especially being a huge baseball fan. It is definitely a movie that comes on and even he can’t resist watching it!

  119. I thought I was doomed to date dudes who either didn’t have a sense of humor or didn’t have MY sense of humor.

    But not too long ago I met someone and when we discovered we both quote jokes from Caddyshack, Rushmore, What We Do in the Shadows and other comedy gold, I knew I found the one. I mean he doesn’t necessarily know that I think he’s the one but he sure is the one and we’ve both never laughed so hard.

    • CC says...

      What We Do in the Shadows!!! Holy cannoli. I went out on an awful/fun internet date in which he- adorably cute, interesting, well-traveled- invited me on a spur-of-the-moment second date to see this movie. I knew nothing about it. I have never, ever, ever laughed so hard. He ghosted me. I subsequently eloped with the loveliest Swede in the entire world and who knew that my Favorite Love Language would be him texting on a weeknight when work has run very late to say, “I’m making ‘verms’ for dinner.” Love.

  120. Rue says...

    I perform comedy as a hobby, and I normally hate asking people to come to shows. Everybody makes it into a big production (“You have to tell me when your SHOWS are!!!”), and then they maybe come once… and I totally get it. I have 4-8 shows a month. I wouldn’t go to them if I weren’t in them!

    My current partner comes to almost every show. And he doesn’t even go because I ask. I’m actually still sometimes awkward about asking him to be at specific shows. (“Don’t feel like you have to come to this one!”) He goes because he genuinely wants to be there and has a great time. He’s friends now with everyone in the theater and he hangs out and chats with all the performers and staff before shows.

    Basically, I never dreamed I could have this level of support. My family is not the supportive kind. They don’t really show up for Your Thing. So I assumed that’s how my life would work, that I’d make time for the stuff I love doing, but I’d be out there on my own. And now I’ve got my Partner in Comedy, not because he happens to also want to be a performer, but because he is my family who Shows Up For My Thing.

    • Annie K says...

      I love that he’s not there being a victim of your hobby – he worked to make it a fun part of his life too. That’s a choice. That’s awesome!

    • Kelly says...

      yay! that’s awesome. we all deserve someone who shows up for our thing!

  121. Kirstin says...

    My now husband and I talked lollies – for hours. We’d describe the best lollies of our lives (I guess you might call it candy). Then we talked The Great Gatesby. By the end of those two conversations we were in love.

    • Kirstin says...

      And dogs are great – we just got a new puppy after the passing of our gorgeous old guy. Puppies are super super annoying (this one eats books!) but they can bring a family together, get kids back into the living room and gosh, they give the best cuddles in the whole wide world. I take my puppy into work with me on a University campus and sometimes the interns take him for walks for me – last week three people I have never met acknowledged my dog by name as I walked him around! Dogs make people smile. My puppy looks a lot like paddington Bear.

  122. 1. Yes! Get a dog
    2. Adopt, don’t shop!
    3. Do some research. A dog is living creature with a personality, feelings, and habits all their own… It’s really like adding a furry person into your family. Give yourself time to prepare and figure out what adjustments you’ll need to make for your new family member :)
    4. I love how this post is about a movie…but I’m sure many of the comments will be about getting a dog!

  123. R says...

    Oh god this is such a timely question. My ex boyfriend and I had the *exact* same sense of humor. When watching stupid or dark movies, we’d inevitably crack up at the weirdest parts that no one else would find funny. I miss it, and it really scares me that I won’t have that with someone else.

    In fact, I just met a guy and while he’s really nice, I can already tell from our texts that he seems to laugh at things I don’t find funny… and I’m wondering if it’ll end up being a dealbreaker. Is it possible to be with someone even if you don’t totally see eye-to-eye on comedy? Or can you grow to appreciate each other’s sense of humor? I’d love some comfort/advice from anyone who has dealt with this.

    • Calla says...

      I was in a relationship where we didn’t have quite the same sense of humor. I worried about it in the beginning but grew to appreciate his puns and dad jokes. I also really believe that no one can be everything to you, and I realized I was OK with sharing more of my humor with friends and sharing other things with him. In the end, his other qualities were far more important to me.

    • Taylor says...

      I don’t find all the same things funny as my husband who is absolutely my favorite human, so mostly he’ll text his dumb memes to his guy friends. I do think what needs to be there is an appreciation of each other’s humor? Like, my husband is wacky and goofy and I’m more quippy and “tell a joke with a straight face.” We play off each other in a way that’s endlessly delightful–we share a joy of people watching and commenting jokes on tv commercials–but our comments are always totally different! I think because I just like him so much I’m always excited to hear him make jokes, even if they don’t make me cry laughing.

      As we get older together we do have moments of cracking up from the same reason at the same time–on our honeymoon there was this traffic jam with a police officer blocking a road and this one guy in a TINY car behind the police officer revving his little engine at the cop!! It was hilarious to both of us and now whenever ANYONE revs their engine I still crack up.

      This is a long comment to say–when you really like someone, I think you just end up liking their humor, and if not, maybe they’re not your person! But text humor isn’t the same as in person humor—I’m a terrible texter–does he make you laugh in person?

    • Lindsay says...

      My husband and I have vastly different senses of humor. He loves South Park – It annoys me. I love to watch stand-up comedy – it makes him uncomfortable. There were men before him that I had far more in common with, humor-wise. But there is no one better for me than my husband. Do I wish he’s rewatch John Mulaney stand up with me? Yes. But humor is just one thing. It’s only a dealbreaker if you want it to be.

      Plus it makes it so much more fun when you do find a common ground. My husband and I love The Office. We agree on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Righteous Gemstones just rocked our world. Its like a little scavenger hunt to find things that please us both.

  124. Kay says...

    Labyrinth with David Bowie is pretty much a rite of passage for any relationship I’ve been in. Goblins, tight pants, Dance Magic Dance?! No better test than that.

    • Beat me to it! I had an ex who had never seen it, and when I made him watch it and breathlessly asked what he thought of it, he said “Jill that is the stupidest movie I have ever seen.” We didn’t even make it 6 months. Buh-bye.

    • Isabel says...

      THIS IS THE EXACT MOVIE I WAS THINKING OF! That and the Princess Bride. My brother and I used to watch both of them constantly and can quote from memory (and obviously sing along as well). If my new boyfriend doesn’t appreciate them I’m not sure what I’ll do ;)

  125. Please, get a dog! Life enhanced!!!!

  126. em says...

    i hope the dog shows up on Christmas morning for your little boys :)

    their little minds will explode

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my friend did that last year! she wrapped him in a box and her daughter started weeping with happiness.

    • Taylor says...

      My parents did this one year and it was MAGICAL. I’ve watched it on our home videos from the 90s and I love watching the magic and joy on my face. Pure Bliss. They just tied a bow on him and had him wake my sisters and I up on Christmas morning. So many good pups to rescue out there too!

  127. Lana says...

    “Harriet. Sweet, Harriet..” Lol!

    Royal Tenenbaums! We quote it on the reg.
    “ You can’t raise boys to be scared of life. You got to brew some recklessness into them. ”

    “Let’s shag ass.”

    “I’ll have a butterscotch sundae, I guess.”

    • Tara says...

      “Hard hearted harbinger of haggis” :) So good!

  128. Marie says...

    Please get a dog, they bring so much joy!

  129. Libby Monaghan says...

    One of my favorite lines from this movie is when Mike Meyers’ character is looking around her apartment. He says, “You know what this place could really use? I REALLY BIG poster for Atlantic City.” And then he turns around and ope! She’s got one. Haha! Kills me every time.
    I pull that joke every time my spouse and I go somewhere with really eclectic furnishings. I don’t know if he thinks it’s funny but I sure get a kick out of it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes hahahaha

  130. Michelle says...

    HEED! PANTS! NOW!

    Ah, bless this weird little movie.

  131. Anna says...

    This is waaaay less cute than yours, but my dating litmus test is to make him watch Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, because I want to know how to they react to things that are important to me. I want to know how they take their discomfort at that show and what they transform that discomfort into after. Can they talk about it? Are they moved? Are they dismissive? If they’re dismissive – it’s likely not going to work between us!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a really good one and i’m sure so illuminating.

    • omg if i was still dating this would be a GOOD one. i even felt this way watching it with my (white male) husband…I was so relieved that he was blown away and moved by it (and not offended!).

    • Calla says...

      Yes! Couldn’t agree more, I don’t have a specific thing to watch with people for that but I do always start paying really close attention to their reaction if we are watching something and social issues I care about get mentioned.

    • Terry says...

      I know my best friend since 7th grade. We’ve been through pretty much everything together and know eachother so well (26 years!).

      Last year however, she went on a trip to China and I let her read a story about China from my favourite writer David Sedaris. Reading along, I cried laughing. But she just did not get it at all. She just waited for me to stop laughing and asked matter of factly: ‘Who ARE you?’

      Thinking about her expression still makes me laugh. Still best friends though ;)

  132. He’ll be cryin himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillah!

    Mine is Young Frankenstein. After almost 9 years of marriage, my husband quoted it to me the other day. I was so proud!

  133. Lydia says...

    My boyfriend and I have a running list of tv series and movies that we want the other to watch (Firefly for him, In the Mood for Love for me). We joke that this list should be called “The pop culture that speaks to me and that you have to understand to understand me.”

  134. Kristen Williams says...

    God I love that movie. I might steal this move.

    I had a boyfriend a few years ago take me on a hike for our third or fourth date then asked me to go steady afterwards…the hike was a test haha.

  135. Mandy says...

    Firstly YES!!! I cry with laughter at that movie!

    Secondly- get the dog! We did recently and it was the best decision ever. As my daughter says every day “how can you not just smile and be filled with love when you see her?”. So true. Hard to stay grumpy when you have an adorable creature who wants to love all over you!

  136. Kerry Conroy says...

    I love love love how my boyfriend and I bond over shows like “Schitt’s Creek.” He cries laughing, which makes me so happy.

    • Lana says...

      Schitt’s Creek is hysterical! My sister and I will just randomly text each other “Ew, David.” and die from laughter.

  137. Sarah Beth says...

    This reminds me of the classic movie “Diner” (which was itself a litmus test for me from my husband!) where, before two characters get married, the girlfriend is required to take a test about the (then) Baltimore Colts. It’s a very sweet and funny scene!
    I knew with my husband when we spent a day watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which he still quotes 10 years later! Whenever we hear a joke fail, or similar, he says with a completely straight face, “You wrote a bad song, Petey.”

  138. Anna says...

    I got a dog earlier this year, after deliberating for years. My husband recently remarked that while it is some work, having a dog isn’t as much work as we thought it would be. The return (snuggles! love! regular walks!) on investment is so, so high.

  139. Julie says...

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is my litmus test for kindred spirits. I pretty much have the entire script memorized.

    • Erin says...

      Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! :)

  140. Reina Rodriguez says...

    Yes to the dog!!!

    • Lauren says...

      also came here to say: yes! to! the! dog!

      i write this as we just said goodbye to our pup last weekend after a 6-month battle with doggie cancer, and our cat over the summer to cat cancer. (PSA – do yourself a favor and look into pet insurance!!!!)

      we still have one very neurotic corgi who has doubled down on her naughtiness to keep us on our toes. and damn are we grateful for it.

      i firmly believe the unconditional love of a pet makes us better humans. and at the end, even though it’s been incredibly sad to say goodbye, all the love and memories outweigh the pain. really and truly.

  141. Deana says...

    Yes, a compatible sense of humor is so important. I had a boyfriend who was great in many ways, but we couldn’t make each other laugh, ever. My friends thought he was hilarious; I didn’t. A movie litmus test is a great idea – I’ll have think of one to use. I can quote entirely from “The Cutting Edge”, and so can my skating friends: (TOE PICK)!

    • Loren says...

      i quote this movie on the regular. always committing the big B! and ‘I’m surprised you don’t chuck it all and start your own think tank.’

  142. I am not sure if I had a specific litmus test, but I knew my partner was special when he would reply, with notes, to any article link, podcast, or youtube video I sent him. He still does this, and I call link sharing my love language. :)

    • Calla says...

      That’s so wonderful! I sent my ex-boyfriend links I thought were interesting or funny all the time and he never acknowledged them which made me feel like I was talking to a wall.

  143. Kelly Jeanne says...

    Seinfeld! I didn’t really test my now-husband on this, but here’s what happened: 13 years ago, I started an MFA program in creative writing. After one of the first workshop classes, several of us went out for drinks and dinner. My now-husband heard me mention Seinfeld and started quizzing me, leaning back in his chair two seats down from me, and tossing trivia my way. One question was, “What were the names of George’s imaginary horses?” I smiled and said, “Snoopy and Prickly Pete.” He was beside himself.

    A week later we went on a date, and a few years later we married. As we planned the wedding seating charts, we decided to name the tables after Seinfeld episodes. To this day, a good handful of Seinfeld quotes have become our go-to shorthand. Heading into a tough day, we’ll often say, “But I don’t want to be a pirate!” (referencing Jerry’s whiny protest about wearing the puffy shirt). The fact that we both love and get that show fills me with joy and comfort.

    • agnes says...

      I LOVE Seinfeld, but the love of my life doesn’t get it. Tough. BUT when I found out his favourite vinyls were ABBA and HAiR, I knew he was my soulmate ;-)
      We need signs from the universe, don’t we?

    • Erin says...

      Is anyone here a marine biologist?

    • Meagan says...

      Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is mine. “Dear Baby Jesus…” and “I don’t know what to do with my hands” are in regular rotation in my vocabulary. My husband’s favourite movie is Elf so we had no trouble passing each other’s!

    • Meagan says...

      Er, sorry…I have no idea how this posted as a reply to your comment when I used the general comment box 🤷🏼‍♀️

  144. Jo says...

    “He’ll be cryin’ himself to sleep tonight on his huge pilla’.” I have heard this line 200+ times and I’m still crying laughing at my desk.

    I don’t think my husband and I could stay married if he didn’t love 30 Rock as much as I do. It is our shared language.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!

  145. Cait says...

    Get a dog! You won’t regret it.

  146. Emily says...

    Oh gosh- this movie is such a classic. I feel like I quote it daily! Good call!

  147. Tara says...

    Ha ha! My husband told that the fact I knew lyrics to the songs from “Spinal Tap” was a big plus in his book when we first started hanging out.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such a good one.

    • Patricia says...

      This one is amazing. My best friend and I quoted it all through high school. My litmus test is Dumb and Dumber and Serial Mom. My husband passed with flying colors. And we both loooove Flight of the Conchords.

  148. Sara says...

    Head! Pants! Now!

  149. Andrea says...

    I knew I had a keeper when we both hated Shrek.

  150. Helen says...

    A DOG!!!! YASS!!!!

    • Claire says...

      The movie version of Clue. Can recite the whole thing. I also love So I Married an Axe Murderer, and they are similar for the lines embedding themselves into conversation with myself and those who are fellow devotees.
      Get the dog, but don’t get a young puppy.