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The Idiom That Ghostbusters Created All Those Years Ago Is Still Used Today

When it comes to classic movies, the more popular the film, the more often it's quoted by fans. From just comedies alone, for example, you can take any extremely high-odds situation and pull the quote "So, you're telling me there's a chance," from "Dumb and Dumber," while just about any sound of ecstasy can spark an "I'll have what she's having" remark from anyone nearby. However, the one thing that the majority of these quotes have in common is that they were written in the original screenplay. 

In rare circumstances, sometimes a classic quotable line was actually improvised by the performer who originally uttered it. And in an even rarer case, that improvised line may become a brand new idiom, right there on the spot, that continues to be used in real-life society in the future. That is exactly what happened in the movie "Ghostbusters" when one of the main characters spoke a line of dialogue that he came up with, off the cuff — unknowingly inserting it into the English language.

Just like all of Hollywood, the cast and crew of the 1984 horror-comedy classic "Ghostbusters" had no possible way of truly knowing how huge of a success this film would be. The movie grossed nearly $300,000,000 worldwide at the box office, and eventually spawned a sequel, spinoffs, animated series, and an endless list of merchandise that can still be found in stores today. It's no surprise that the original film is also full of famous quotes, but it was Bill Murray's ad-libbed line that actually turned into an idiom we still use today. 

Bill Murray invented a new way to describe being destroyed

As the years go by, many highly-successful classic films release more and more bits of inside information about the making of the project. Hearing that Bill Murray, along with the other performers in the original 1984 "Ghostbusters," ad-libbed many lines, should be no surprise based on how the cast handled their scripted dialogue. "80% was improv," Dan Aykroyd revealed on "Reunited Apart" (via ABC News). "The rest was just structure and exposition."

One of these improvised lines came from Murray as his character Dr. Peter Venkman, and it involved an evil paranormal overlord mixed with a breakfast item. Just before the team of spectral fighters steps up to face Gozer the Gozerian (Slavitza Jovan), Peter yells out, "Alright, this chick is toast!" According to the book "Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs" by Katherine Barber, the lexicographers from the Oxford English Dictionary discovered that the line was originally scripted as, "That's it! I'm gonna turn this guy into toast!" Obviously, Murray's choice to change it on the fly was a solid decision. 

Murray's alteration not only turned it into a classic line but the idiom "toast" was also born. This isn't the first time (nor probably the last) Murray has ad-libbed memorable lines. One of the most notable, of course, was the nearly entirely improvised scene when he played the groundskeeper in the film "Caddyshack." However, none of that dialogue made it to the actual Oxford English Dictionary as "toast" has. So, in the words of Carl Spackler, Murray's got that going for him.