​'Please Tell Me That's Not Your Penis' Is New Zealand's Official Quote Of The Year

A pretty cracking cliffhanger line from a soap opera - "Please tell me that's not your penis" - has officially been crowned the winner of a quote of the year competition, held annually by Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Credit: TVNZ / Shortland Street

The quote is taken from a dramatic scene from Shortland Street, when character Chris Warner confronts his son after a naked snap pops up on the family iPad. Awkward, that.

After airing in February the clip soon went viral, and was even referenced in a spoof scene on American chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. In the competition, it received 18 percent of the 7,328 votes cast,

This year's winner was triumphant for a number of reasons, according to competition organiser Heather Kavan - including the fact that the delivery is just 'magic'.

"The quote is highly entertaining. The suspense is laughably theatrical, rather than anxiety-inducing, and therefore many people enjoy hearing it again," she said.

"And, of course, Chris Warner's [played by Michael Galvin] delivery is part of the magic, along with Harry Warner's uncomfortable facial expression and the closing music."

Credit: Shortland Street

She said it also highlighted the 'immensely topical' issue of sexting among young people, and the potential dangers involved in it.

"The quote dramatises the risk of storing photos of one's private parts. That's immensely topical. Even whistle-blower Edward Snowden and US comedian John Oliver have chatted about the security of so-called 'dick pics'," Ms Kavan continued.

Other 2017 Quote of the Year finalists include, in the second place spot: "It's deeply disappointing, but it's not gay", which came from a Rainbow Youth advert, where actor Jatinder Singh calls out 'Nigel' for labelling a dropped pie as 'gay'.

"One-liners from gay communities tend to be popular because they're often responses to prejudice. That's part of their strength. If a quote isn't born of discomfort, it's usually not powerful," Dr Kavan said.

"The line is subtly humorous. There's something amusing about the typically New Zealand setting of farmers, pies, and a lamb. If Oscar Wilde were living in rural New Zealand today, he'd probably say the same words as the speaker.

"The message was immediately effective, with several online viewers saying they'd change the way they used the word 'gay'. Others enjoyed the quote even if they'd use different words or expletives if they dropped a pie."

The third spot was "I am a different shade of brown", a quote taken from Dilworth School student Jai Selkirk's winning performance in a poetry slam competition.

There was also a tweet in there - specifically, writer Ali Ikram tweeting about the 2017 election, saying: "For overseas observers, in NZ elections, we all vote then take the ballots - chuck them out - and ask a man called Winston Peters who won."

Some were a little weirder - the number five spot was held by Winston Peters, who said of The Opportunites Party leader Gareth Morgan: "Excuse me for laughing, but it's been a long time since I've been ravaged by a toothless sheep."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern

There were several runner-up quotes from political leaders, including one about climate change from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said: "This is my generation's nuclear-free moment."

Ardern's partner was also shortlisted, after saying: "First ladyman? Who knows... Aiming for Michelle Obama, probably gonna be a little bit closer to Prince Philip."

Former Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett also got a nod, after ending her tenure with: "I'm embracing my new feather duster status."

Featured Image Credit: TVNZ / Shortland Street

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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