"Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” is credited to the actress Mae West (1892-1980), but the saying was not in her movies, such as the frequently (and incorrectly) cited She Done Him Wrong (1933). One West biographer credits West with using the saying in the late 1930s; a Los Angeles policeman escorted West home, and she supposedly made the “gun in your pocket” remark to him. A form of the saying has been cited in print since at least 1961,
A banana has often symbolized a part of the male anatomy, and “banana” replaced “gun” ("Is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to see me?") by at least 1978.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shaprio
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
U. S. actress, 1892-1980
“Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”
Quoted in The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West, ed. Joseph Weintraub (1967). Often ascribed to West’s film She Done Him Wrong, but the line does not appear in that or any of her other pre-1967 movies. According to Jill Watts,in Mae West: An Icon in Black and White (2001), “Upon [West’s] arrival [in Los Angeles in 1936], she coined one of her most famous lines; she greeted an LAPD officer assigned to escort her home with ‘Is that a gun in your pocket or are you haooy to see me?’”
Wikipedia: She Done Him Wrong
She Done Him Wrong is a Pre-Code 1933 Paramount Pictures comedy romance film starring Mae West and Cary Grant. Others in the cast include Louise Beavers, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, Sr., and Rochelle Hudson.
Note that, “Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” never appeared in this movie. It’s a frequent well-known misquote from this film.
Wikiquote: Mae West
Mary Jane West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress and playwright, most commonly known as “Mae" West.
Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
Television Tropes & Idioms
Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
“Yeah. That is a gun in my pants. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see you...”
A clever line originating from early Hollywood sex symbol Mae West, has now become a stock innuendo uttered by flirty women (or, occasionally, men). It’s been said so much in media that it is kind of a Discredited Trope as it is almost always subverted these days. Namely, it almost always is something else in his pants.
Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Usually said to someone when it appears that they have a boner.
Said to embarass/draw attention to said person
Banana can be replaced with a multitude of things, i.e cucumber, pencil, roll of quarters, mint container, etc.
by Neon Ninja Kills You Nov 1, 2009
I Was Going Anyway
By Robert Switzer
New York, NY: Macmillan
Erie had told Will that the joint where she worked had a pretty good hoodlum clientele so he went over to the joint and ordered a bottle of beer that he couldn’t afford at those prices and sat on leather against the wall and had to wait for her to finish her strip act which was no hardship and when she was finished she disappeared briefly to put on a gown and then she came over and sat beside him and said, “Is that your pipe in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”
By Roderick Thorp
London: Arthur Baker
One night at a dance while they were alone she asked him why he and Karen had stayed married so long when religion was not a factor, and then later that same night, all of them more tired and less sober, she leaned her hips into him during a fox trot, with the natural result — reminding him at once of the Mae West line, “Is that your gun, officer, or are you just glad to see me?
15 February 1971, New York magazine, “Nice Girls Don’t Get Into Trouble” by Gail Sheehy, pg. 30, col. 3:
Is that a gun in your pocket, baby, or are you just glad to see me?
By Michael Mewshaw
New York. NY: Random House
“Is that a gun in your pocket, big boy, or are you just happy to see me?”
August 1976, Texas Monthly, “Introducing the perfect pickle” by Gregory Curtis, pg. 78, col. 3:
I had amended Mae West’s classic line to “Hello, big boy. Is that a pickle in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”
February 1986, Texas Monthly, pg. 89, col. 4:
Is That a Banana in Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad to See Me?
The Follies Bergere theater in Houston presented a show called “Beauty and the Beast” featuring simulated sex between a woman and a man in a gorilla suit.
April 1988, Spin, pg. 12, col. 2:
IS THAT A BANANA IN YOUR PANTS?
The Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
[Eddie is hiding Roger in his pants]
Dolores: Is that a rabbit in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Three Short Plays by Christopher Durang
By Christopher Durang
New York, NY: Dramatists Play Service
WOMAN. (To Summers.) Harriet, is that a banana in your trousers, or are you just happy to see me?
(The play ‘dentity Crisis, first performed in 1978—ed.)
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, July 27, 2011 • Permalink