14 Dec 2017

Penis cliffhanger named NZ's quote of the year

7:13 pm on 14 December 2017

A line from a notorious Shortland Street cliffhanger has topped the list as Massey University's Quote of the Year.

This cliff-hanger from Shortland Street got quite the rise.

This cliff-hanger from Shortland Street got quite the rise. Photo: TVNZ

The quote came from an episode which ended with Dr Chris Warner - played by actor Michael Galvin - confronting his son about a photo. "Please tell me that's not your penis," he exclaimed, which got such a rise it appeared on late night talk shows in the US.

The line gathered more than 18 percent of the 7238 votes cast in this year's competition.

Organiser Dr Heather Kavan - a Massey speech writing specialist - said the quote was "laughably theatrical, rather than anxiety-inducing".

But she said there was also a serious side to the popularity of the line.

"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'."

A line from a Rainbow Youth promotion - "It's deeply disappointing, but it's not gay." - was the runner-up, with 15 percent of the vote.

2017 Quote of the Year finalists, in order of votes garnered:

1. "Please tell me that's not your penis." - Shortland Street's Dr Chris Warner (Michael Galvin) confronting his son about a nude photo, in a cliff-hanger ending.

2. "It's deeply disappointing, but it's not gay." - Actor Jatinder Singh after 'Nigel' calls a dropped pie "gay" in Rainbow Youth's advertisement.

3. "I am a different shade of brown." - Student Jai Selkirk of the Dilworth School team winning Word - The Front Line Poetry Slam competition.

4. "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." - Writer Ali Ikram tweeting about the 2017 election.

5. "Excuse me for laughing, but it's been a long time since I've been ravaged by a toothless sheep." - Winston Peters on TOP leader Gareth Morgan.

6. "I've not seen the data about the risk factor of death by falling fatty; I'd imagine it's similar to the risk factor of death by Sharknado." - Fat activist and Massey University scholar Dr Cat Pause when asked if fat people are a hazard because they could fall on you.

7. "First ladyman? Who knows… Aiming for Michelle Obama, probably gonna be a little bit closer to Prince Philip." - Clarke Gayford on his role as Jacinda Ardern's partner.

8. "This is my generation's nuclear free moment." - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on climate change.

9. "If humour is common sense dancing, John Clarke was Nureyev." - Musician Don McGlashan on the death of comedian John Clarke.

10. "I'm embracing my new feather duster status." - Paula Bennett, ending her tenure as Deputy Prime Minister.