‘Jurassic Park:’ You’ll Never Guess Who Came Up With the Line “Hold on to Your Butts”

     June 17, 2020

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By now, there’s a good chance you know that I’m a huge Jurassic Park fan. In fact, I’m such a big fan that I’ve got respect for all five movies – yes, even Jurassic Park III. But I couldn’t stop with just being a big fan of the films; I had to make my love of the franchise permanent, with a tattoo. 

Back in late 2013, I got the chance to do some interviews for Kingsman: The Secret Service and, of course, that meant spending a little talk time with Samuel L. Jackson. After the interview wrapped up, I asked him to write down his iconic Jurassic Park line, “hold on to your butts,” on a piece of paper and then I took the paper and got a tattoo of it. Again, I really love Jurassic Park.

As an especially enthusiastic fan of the movie and this particular line of dialogue, I was absolutely delighted to listen to the latest episode of the ReelBlend podcast with Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp. When asked if he’s got a favorite line from the movies he’s written, here’s what he told the ReelBlend team:

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Image via Universal Pictures

“One is a very simple line, it’s only four words, but I like the way it came to be in the movie in that people liked it. I was finishing Death Becomes Her when I was writing Jurassic Park, and we had an ending that was really disastrous at first from one of these horrible test screenings where they almost kill you. So we’d very quickly gone out to shoot a new ending for the movie, but there was little time before the movie came out, so we were in the dailies of the reshoots, and there was gonna be no opportunity to redo the reshoots. So this was it, this really had to work. And we sat down in the dailies, and as the lights were going down, Bob Zemeckis said, ‘Hold onto your butts.’ I happened to be working on the script at that time, and I was like, ‘Oh, I love that.’ I went back and I typed it into the script immediately, and then Sam Jackson said it. I don’t think I ever told Zemeckis that, but that’s his line.”

As though I didn’t already have enough respect for Robert Zemeckis; now you’re telling me that the director of Back to the Future is also the source of inspiration for my favorite line of dialogue of all time? I’ll bet you can guess what I’ll be bringing up to Zemeckis if I’m ever lucky enough to cross paths with him for an interview again.

If you’d like to see my “hold on to your butts” tattoo journey including Jackson and Sofia Boutella’s reactions to the finished product years later, check out the video below. Also, one point of clarification for those listening to the ReelBlend podcast. There was no bet involved. I’m just crazy enough to jump into something like that on my own volition! But big thanks to Sean O’Connell for the shout out and the respect he has for this Jurassic Park lover’s lifelong dedication to the film and quote!

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