‘I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!’: A Guide to Proper Usage

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Photo: Photo illustration: iStockphoto, Courtesy of Paramount Vantage

Grub Street's Josh Ozersky writes to Vulture:

We have no doubt that “I drink your milkshake,” the volcanically dramatic, mind-bendingly cool line with which Daniel Plainview devastates his enemy in There Will Be Blood's final sequence, will soon enter the pop-culture catchphrase lexicon, nestling alongside such former lazy-writer tropes as “I see dead people,” “Say hello to my little friend,” “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” and all the rest. Personally, we would like to see a federal law passed preventing this from happening. “I drink your milkshake” has such Dickensian grandeur that its miniaturization in the mouths of SportsCenter anchors, scab gag writers, bloggers, and their ilk is practically a national tragedy. Nonetheless, if somebody is going to do it, it’s going to be us. The question is, what is its proper use? What situation demands the milkshake treatment?

As a sports metaphor? (“Let’s face it. The Celtics drank the Knicks’ milkshake last night.”) An amorphously obscene double entendre, hearkening back to its Kelis-ian roots? (“I’d like to drink your milkshake!”) Or maybe, in a nod to the godlike venom of its utterer, a taunt: “You best back down before I drink your milkshake, bitch.” In the end, none of these seem quite right, especially as they all omit the special genius of the line’s coda, a burst of half-mad juvenilia that captures the demented feeling of the scene better even than the line itself: “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” Because the child is the father of the man, and the milkshake too. —Josh Ozersky