Robert Zemeckis Is Responsible For Samuel L. Jackson's Best Jurassic Park Line

On top of being the most influential blockbuster of the 1990s, Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" is a ridiculously quotable movie. From Jeff Goldblum's smug witticisms ("If Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists") to John Hammond's jovial salesmanship ("Spared no expense"), the film is a showcase for David Koepp's sparkling way with dialogue. But when it comes to one of the dino epic's most memorable lines, Koepp confesses that it did not originate with him.

The scene where Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) is forced to shut down the complex's power is a pivotal moment in the film. This will de-electrify the containment fences and potentially allow some of the park's deadliest predators to roam free. Before he flips the switch, Arnold looks back to his colleagues, cigarette dangling from his lips, and says, "Hold onto your butts." This concise warning came courtesy of a future Academy Award-winning filmmaker.

The origin of Ray Arnold's finest, final hour

On an episode of the ReelBlend podcast, Koepp reveals that the man who co-wrote one of Spielberg's most infamous bombs first spoke the line. It happened during the hectic post-production of Robert Zemeckis' "Death Becomes Her." The film's original ending had tested poorly with audiences, which placed Zemeckis and Koepp, who'd written the screenplay, in a tough spot. Koepp recalled:

"[W]e'd very quickly gone out to shoot a new ending for the movie, but there was little time before the movie came out, so we were in the dailies of the reshoots, and there was going to be no opportunity to re-do the reshoots, so this was it, this really had to work. And we sat down in the dailies, and as the lights were going down, Bob Zemeckis said, 'Hold onto your butts!'"

Koepp knew he'd heard brusque gold. The filmmaker continued:

"I happened to be working on ["Jurassic Park"] at that time and I was like, 'Oh I love that!' So I went back and I typed it into the script immediately, and then Sam Jackson said it. So I got Bob – I don't think I ever told Zemeckis that, but that's his line."

Nowadays, whenever you're about to attempt something risky, it's very possible you'll turn to your companions or simply mutter to yourself, "Hold onto your butts." It may not be the most elegant phrase, but it sure does the trick. As for Jackson's Ray Arnold, perhaps he should've been more worried about holding onto his arm.