41

I have always had a nagging question about the transporter scene in SpaceBalls.

After Skroob has been "transported", to his then asinine state, we see Snotty "try and reverse the beam".

Snotty: Hold on, sir. We'll try and reverse the beam. Could be the interlocking system.

SKROOB scratches his leg.

Snotty: (flipping switches) Lock 1, Lock 2, Lock 3, Lock lone.

I have highlighted the part I was not sure about. In the case of "lock lone" is there a joke or technical reference there? I don't understand that and wanted to know if I was missing something.

The following youtube video contains the scene in question. You can also just skip to the section I have quoted above.

Good ol Snotty

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    I would like to think that there was some effort put into this question. If anyone has theories as to why I got a downvote I would love to hear it so that I know for next time. – Matt Sep 18 '15 at 18:38
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    Loch = Lake in Scots Gaelic. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Sep 18 '15 at 22:24
  • Who else clicked to this question because 'Snotty' looked like 'Scotty' @Trekkies – Daniel Feb 24 '16 at 19:31
62

Given that the character is a Scottish stereotype, I suspect he's saying "Loch Lomond", which features in the title and verses of the famous Scottish song The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond (which many will recognize from the verse "you take the high road and I'll take the low road"):

I double checked on the blu-ray, which has an "English for the deaf and hard of hearing" subtitles option in "setup" on the menu, and the subtitles read "Lock one. Lock two. Lock three. Loch Lomond!"

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    I thought it was weird that the sound didn't match the screenplay I found. – Matt Sep 18 '15 at 18:19
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    Another error in the transcript you quoted--Skroob wasn't scratching his leg in that scene! ;) – Hypnosifl Sep 18 '15 at 18:40
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    I let that one go. Didn't want to write that one out. – Matt Sep 18 '15 at 18:41
  • My copy of the movie was without subtitles and I just assumed everything I read on the internet was true! – Matt Sep 19 '15 at 3:03
23

Yeah, it's a reference to Loch Lomond! At least, according to the English subtitles of the DVD!

The subtitled scen from Spaceballs: The Movie

In both the German and the Italian dub of the movie - anyway - Snotty's joke is translated as:

Lock 1, Lock 2, Lock 3... Loch Ness!

From the name of the Scottish lake which should host Nessie (see the Italian version of the gag here).

In the original version, he's instead (as already mentioned) saying "Loch Lomond" (see the movie English script here - disclaimer: as @Richard commented, this site is far from completely reliable, but this part is identical to the English subtitles in the movie's DVD).

Side note / personal opinion on the adaptation: I suspect that this is due to the fact that Loch Ness is more famous in those countries than any other Scottish lake, thus making the joke easier to understand. Notice, however, the difference is only in the dub: the subtitles say Loch Lomond instead of Loch Ness for both versions.

  • You may want to note that the springfieldspringfield link is an automatic transcription and is frequently incorrect. – Valorum Sep 18 '15 at 22:13
  • @Richard uhm... right. I've not thought about it. I have the movie with the subtitles and checked it, maybe I could see if I can post a picture instead. – Andrea Jens Sep 18 '15 at 22:15
  • @Richard Now I have added a proper picture ;) – Andrea Jens Sep 18 '15 at 22:36
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    I can't completely agree with you, @DarrelHoffman. In both the non-English versions I have watched, the "Loch Ness" part is easily understandable and - I swear - it doesn't go unnoticed :') – Andrea Jens Sep 20 '15 at 20:38
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    Alright, as someone who doesn't speak Italian or German, I'll have to take your word for it. However, my original point still stands, I think - Loch Ness is almost certainly more widely known in most of the world. (You'd have to ask a Scotsman which is more famous in Scotland, but that's not the point I think.) – Darrel Hoffman Sep 21 '15 at 13:26
11

He says "Loch Lomond". Loch is the Scottish word for "lake".
Loch Lomond is one such lake. It's a joke because he's Scottish, and "Loch" sounds like "Lock".

  • I feel bad for not knowing that since I am half Scottish. Thanks – Matt Sep 18 '15 at 18:19
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    @Matt - Loch Ness. :) – JohnP Sep 18 '15 at 18:33
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    "Loch" only sounds like "Lock" is you are not Scottish. If you are really Scottish, they sounds quite different. Although of course they also sound the same if you are speaking with a terrible fake Scottish accent. – DJClayworth Sep 18 '15 at 19:37
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    @DJClayworth Not quite true. Loch only sounds like lock if you pronounce them the same. Doesn’t matter if you’re Scottish or not. Some Scots pronounce both /lɒk/, and some non-Scots (like me) pronounce lock /lɒk/ and loch /lɒx/. And of course some Scousers would pronounce them both /lɒx/. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 18 '15 at 20:12
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    @JanusBahsJacquet: So you're saying DJ's claim was a particularly literal example of the No True Scotsman! :-) – T.J. Crowder Sep 20 '15 at 6:30

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