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Where did the quote 'Be afraid...be very afraid' originate?

It seems to me this came from a movie/television show...I'm just not sure which one!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Be afraid, be very afraid

    Meaning

    Ostensibly, a warning that something dangerous is imminent. In reality, this is usually said with comic intent. The thing being warned of is more likely to be mildly unwelcome than actually dangerous. For example, "That fierce librarian was asking about your overdue books - be afraid, be very afraid."

    Origin

    The 1986 horror film, "The Fly", starring Jeff Goldblum (as Seth Brundle) and Geena Davis (as Veronica Quaife).

    The film's plot has Brundle as a scientist experimenting with teleportation. The scientist is brilliant but eccentric and, naturally, the casting director thought of Goldblum. Just as naturally, before we are far into the film, the experiments begin to go wrong.

    Quaife is a reporter working on the teleportation story. When it becomes clear that Brundle is starting to turn into an insect, he pleads with one of the characters, "don't be afraid". Quaife's response is:

    "No. Be afraid. Be very afraid."

    This was used as a tag line in the film's publicity posters. They also used, "Half man, half insect ... total terror!" and "Something went wrong in the lab today ... something very wrong".

    David Cronenberg, George Langelaan and Charles Edward Pogue were the writers on the film, with the storyline being provided by George Langelaan.

    It is the imagery of portentous warnings from the Bible and literature that the film's screenwriters called on to give weight to the line. For example, Shelley's sonnet, Ozymandias:

    "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:

    Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

    There are many similar examples from the Bible, including Isaiah 32:11-11 (King James Version):

    "Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones ..."

    Of course, 'be' and 'afraid' are common enough words to have appeared together many times before that, as in Macbeth:

    I will not be afraid of death and bane,

    Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.

    For the use of "be afraid" as a standalone warning, we go back to the Bible. In Romans 13:4-4, in the King James Version, we find:

    "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

    Twenty years has been long enough for the phrase to have been taken into the language, and it is now well-enough established to have a shortened form, of just "be afraid".

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    RE:

    Where did the quote 'Be afraid...be very afraid' originate?

    It seems to me this came from a movie/television show...I'm just not sure which one!

    Source(s): quote 'be afraidbe afraid' originate: https://knowledge.im/?s=quote+'be+afraidbe+afraid'...
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It came from the movie "The Fly" starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. Goldblum's character was trying to convince a hesitant girl to try out his transporter. Goldblum tried coaxing her saying 'don't be scared, there's nothing to be afraid of ', at which point Davis' character came up from behind saying the infamous quote of question.

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  • 5 years ago

    That phrase been used in Animaniacs by thuh Warner Siblings in bleeping unison. (Hecka cute ) and I think it also was used in Quack Pack by Huey Dewey an Louie. ALSO in unison AND hecka cute ! Thuh way I'm feelin' now, Happy an' confident and s%$#t, I swear to god if I see and hear Huey Dewey and Louie USE thuh afraid quote I'll effin scream silently with excitement. Honest to god.

    • Day5 years agoReport

      Oh and I just remembered, ALF quoted that too in the episode "La Cucuracha" where he and thuh Tanners discovere thuh more you spray a melmac roach the mo' huge a%# it gets..

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  • 3 years ago

    Be Very Afraid

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  • 1 decade ago

    The 1986 horror film, "The Fly", starring Jeff Goldblum (as Seth Brundle) and Geena Davis (as Veronica Quaife).

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  • 4 years ago

    Be Afraid Be Very Afraid

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Wednesday Addams said this line in a 1964 episode of The Adams family.

    • Day5 years agoReport

      Wednesday said that quote in Addams family VALUES about Debbie the husband killing nanny. and Like I said I know the Warner siblings in Animaniacs said that quote too and I think Huey Dewey and Louie in Quack Pack said it too..

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Fly. The one with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. Geena Davis's character says it to a woman Jeff's character picked up. The woman is trying to leave his loft and he is trying to get her to stay.

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  • kys
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Bugs Bunny cartoon. Elmer Fudd you to say it when he was "wabbit huntin".

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