Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceQuotations · 1 decade ago

What does the saying, "Leave the gun, take the canoli," mean?

I heard this saying on Law and Order, and I was curious about what it meant. Thanks!

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Cannoli (a sweet pastry dessert originally made in Sicily) are mentioned in a famous line from the film "The Godfather." It is said by Peter Clemenza, whose wife asks him to bring home a few cannoli.

    Clemenza has another task to do first: The planned murder of Paulie Gatto, Vito Corleone's ex-driver, for conspiring with the Tattaglia family. The murder takes place during the outing for the cannoli; and while Clemenza and Rocco Lampone, his accomplice, are preparing to depart the scene, Clemenza instructs Rocco to: "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

    As to its meaning, I believe the line is used in "The Godfather" to show that mob killings are "just part of the job." The killing of Paulie is not an act upon which Clemenza dwells. The "dirty work" is done and the gun, like the murder, is in the past. Additionally, the "mob" killer is confident that the gun can't be traced. The future, including the sweet cannoli, is more important. The future is sweet. Thus, forget about the gun, BUT don't forget to take the cannoli! Not coincidentally, the reaction to the line in most theaters was laughter...and relief.

    The saying is also used in contemporary parlance to mean if you make a mistake, don't sweat it. "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

    The line has been parodied in several films, television shows, even in a song or two. Please see: [the section titled "In popular culture"]

  • The power of the line comes in the contrast: "Leave the gun"--Wisdom of the world. "Take the canoli" Wisdom of the home. The tragedy in the line is that Clemenza is such a seasoned killer. The comedy of the line is that this killer fears his wife more than Hell itself.

  • 4 years ago

    Clemenza, being the wise old gangster he was, simply meant that the gun should be ditched at the scene of the crime, but was aware that his wife might have questioned why he didn t return with the cannoli. In other words, leave nothing to chance.

  • 5 years ago

    It simply means...someone was killed and that's ok. Leave the gun behind because it's no longer needed and they don't want it around as evidence. But do NOT forget the cannoli because his wife would be pissed. Murder = ok; forgetting that yummy dessert = unthinkable. It's all about priorities.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

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    What does the saying, "Leave the gun, take the canoli," mean?

    I heard this saying on Law and Order, and I was curious about what it meant. Thanks!

    Source(s): quot leave gun canoli quot mean:
  • 6 years ago

    It's all about evidence. Best not to be caught later with a murder weapon. (We learn that Clemenza knows the value of an untraceable gun, when he procures one for Michael.) The cannoli could be traced to the bakery it came from, and likely the purchaser, so taking it is the best course.

  • 4 years ago

    It's a Sicilian message

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    It means he thinks you're cute... You're over-thinking - I sincerely doubt that he meant it as an insult. He most likely just thinks you're hot, but doesn't want to sound like a creep :)

  • 6 years ago

    it simply means: Leave the gun as it is not that important (I am a ******* rich gangster and I can buy a truck load of them !) BUT DO NOT LEAVE the Canolli at any cost (it most important as it has been ordered by the Home Ministry that is my wife !!! Its alright that I am a big ******* rich gangster but still I don't want my wife's wrath...!

  • 6 years ago

    it means its better to have to gas than blood on your hands. Take the cannoli with you because if you eat it, you will be full and satisfied, where taking the gun can end in a worse situations. Canoli s are also know for giving a person gas. Better to have gas, than murder someone...

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