He did a Gap Ad

Last night we went over to Brian and Ralphie‘s house and watched the first episode of Horatio Hornblower (hooray!).

And I remembered again one of the reasons that Ralphie and I are destined to be friends: we both like watching movies with the subtitles on.

Is this weird? Brian thinks it’s weird (we didn’t turn the subtitles on in deference to his wishes last night). I don’t think it’s weird.

My family started watching with the subtitles on when I was in middle school. Suddenly, we started figuring out lines we’d never caught before, even for movies we’d watched dozens of times.

I got addicted. Now, I find it very difficult to watch a show without subtitles – it’s like watching a movie with earplugs in. I don’t even notice the subtitles anymore, but I certainly notice when they aren’t there.

When we saw Stardust last week, I kept leaning over to Bart to whisper “What’d he say?” When you’ve got accents, background noise, shouting, etc., it’s just too easy to miss crucial (and uncrucial) lines. (Of course, I’d miss another line WHILE I was whispering and then Bart would have missed it too and couldn’t fill me in).

Bart thought it was a bit strange when we first started watching movies together, but now he’s nearly as dependent on them as I am. We couldn’t get the subtitles to work on 24 for a while, and both of us nearly cried.

You see? You need the subtitles.

Embrace the subtitles – they will be your friends!

Similar Posts


  1. My TV is too small to watch with the subtitles, but I might try it in the future. I have heard that it’s a really great thing to do if you have children (Jim Trelease said this), because they get exposed to written words even when they’re watching TV. So, one more argument in favor of the subtitles.

  2. I wouldn’t say I’m dependent on subtitles by any means. But I have learned to appreciate them for the clarification they add. Also, I like anything that makes you happy!

  3. And they serve you so well when you have kids! That way when the singing toys go on and off suddenly, you don’t have to hurry and adjust the volume to drown out your child’s fun!

  4. No wonder Gretchen and I love you and Ralphie— I love subtitles too! Blaine’s family got me hooked. Drives me crazy on DVDs that don’t have them!

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with subtitles. I love the fact that I can tell what is being said — like “He did a Gap ad” from Sabrina, which we never had a clue about for years! But then I feel like I miss so much of the actual acting while dipping down to read. I end up watching many movies twice so that I can get it all. Or, heaven forbid, I REWIND — I’m becoming your father. I wish CD players and the radio had subtitles for songs too. Can’t tell you how many songs I just mumble along to because I can’t figure out what the lyrics are. Is it just me??

  6. Ooohhh you too!! I LOVE subtitles! Recently became addicted when I got a cheap DVD player that we couldn’t get the subtitles to NOT show up. Finally gave up and then discovered how great it was to catch all those missed lines in movies. By the way, you’ve totally gotten me hooked on 24!

  7. Bawb *loves* the subtitles. I can’t stand them–they usually run ahead of the actual talking and they spoil all the jokes. (The Office is so much funnier if the jokes are delivered with all the weird intonations and body language. It just kills me to read them two seconds before the delivery, but I can’t ignore the subtitles.)

    I really enjoy it when I manage to catch the asides and the mutterings without using subtitles, because it feels like I’ve figured out some cool secret. It is fun to watch for spots where the subtitles don’t follow the script exactly, though.

  8. I am a fan of pausing and going back, adding subtitles, if I don’t get a line. I’m with ambrosia pineapple, I don’t like the lines coming first and I can’t ignore them, especially because I am so visual. I wish that I could have had subtitles in Stardust just to see how to spell “Yvaine”…it was driving me crazy.

    When I watch French films, though, I always turn the FRENCH subtitles on. That way I don’t just read subtitles and I get to work on my French.

  9. The first movie I ever had to turn on subtitles for was Breakfast at Tiffanys. Could NOT figure out what was going on!

    This weekend I found this “Ultimate Hitchcock Collection” at Best Buy (20 films for $20? Yes please) but there are NO subtitles and oh my heavens do they need them! We watched Jamaica Inn last night, which was released in 1939. And, while I caught the gist of the movie, I’m positive I missed most of it. Hooray for subtitles!

  10. Stumbled onto your page through nothingbutbonfires. . .Must comment on the fact that your title is a line from Sabrina that it took me MANY tries to understand thanks to the breathy voice in which it’s uttered. To add to the difficulty, I was 15 and watching it on VHS – subtitles weren’t an option. But, it also increased my eventual pride over eventually “getting it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *