Lord of the Rings Actors Reveal Memeable Menu Line's Origin

For nearly two decades, the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films has captivated generations of fans, bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic novel to life on the big screen. In the years that have followed since the films' debut, a number of moments — both big and small — have taken on a whole new life, either as memes or just as memorable lines of dialogue. One of those occurs in The Two Towers, when an Uruk-hai proclaims "looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!" before eating an Orc. The line has definitely endured for its ridiculous context and delivery, and in a recent interview with Thrillist, Lord of the Rings alums Stephen Ure and Jed Brophy, who played two of the characters involved involved in that scene, dove into the unconventional origins of that line.

"There's a lot of stuff that doesn't really make sense. Of course, they wouldn't know what a menu was," Ure said. "You're not going to start debating the writing, because maybe then they are going to run away and rewrite it, and then you are going to be sitting there in all that stuff. Really, at the end of the day, you just want it to be over and get out of that stuff. I had no idea that this scene had become so famous. There's a lot of clunky things in there."

Ure went on to speculate that the line was courtesy of Philippa Boyens, who served as one of four co-writers on The Two Towers.

"She puts all this stuff in there that doesn't make sense," Ure argued. "She was taken on board because she was the Tolkien expert. I can tell the lines that Philippa wrote. Like in the third film where I'm playing Gorbag, and when I finally come up from the big Orc fight that starts over the Mithril vest, and I'm going to kill Elijah [Wood as Frodo], and say, 'I'm going to bleed you like a stuck pig.'"

"There is that modern vernacular that slips into [the script]," Brophy added. "I never thought about that until you mentioned it. I guess when you look at Bilbo Baggins and the types of food he eats. They do talk about banquets, especially in Hobbiton. So "menu" [could] be a common phrase. The Uruk-hai are orcs bred with humans, so who knows where that language comes from, really?"


What do you think of the origins of the "meat on the menu" line from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!