1 of The Most Famous—and Cringiest—Lines in ‘Twilight’ Almost Didn’t Exist; Here’s What Edward Cullen Almost Said Instead

Ah, the Twilight renaissance. Actually, this is the second one to happen in the last two years, so maybe more of a Second Great Awakening? Either way, the love for the franchise has grown over the last month due to Midnight Sun’s release in August. It’s probably also because people are restless indoors and revisiting favorite movies. The nostalgia associated with Twilight can sometimes mask the cringier moments from the movie. But one famous, cringey line actually was a last-minute addition. 

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in his meadow in 'Twilight.'
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in his meadow in ‘Twilight’ | Summit Entertainment

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‘Twilight’ is known for some of its awkward dialogue and moments

Twilight can be considered a genre film, so it never really had a chance at award shows. However, it was also the writing and more awkward moments that stopped it from reaching critical acclaim. But that’s also what fans love about it. 

Look: the movie was made because a popular book for teens and tweens in 2005 was on the New York Times Best Seller list. It was meant to lean into the campiness that went along with teen vampire films. And it definitely succeeded in making those fans happy, which was essentially its purpose. 

But even Twihards can acknowledge the cringey moments. Like some of Bella’s gestures and social anxiety. Or the biology scene that taught everyone phases of mitosis. Let’s also not forget the famous woods scene where Edward lets his vampire-self out. You know, where he tries to scare Bella with the “skin of killer” that just looks like he used great highlighter and Euphoria makeup? Yes, the movie, and the rest of the franchise, had its moments. But fans love the series because of it. 

Edward’s ‘spider monkey’ line was one of several that Pattinson had to choose from

Speaking of, one of the most famous lines from Twilight — and its cringiest — is when Edward pulls Bella onto his back for the first time. And he says, “Hold on tight, spider monkey” before he shoots off up a tree. It’s kind of cute, but also super dorky. It does add a little bit of oomph to Edward’s 1900s vocabulary, though. 

As fans know, it’s not in the books. And it turns out that the line wasn’t originally going to be in the movie, either. 

“The day before, there was no line written in the script and I thought, ‘You know, it might be better for Robert [Pattinson] to have something to say to her,’” Catherine Hardwicke told Bustle in 2018. “So, I came up with 10 lines, I gave him 10 choices. And [with] ‘hold on tight spider monkey’ — he goes, ‘I think I’ll say that one.’”

Hardwicke revealed that it “popped into” her head the night before, and that she and Pattinson workshopped a lot of Edward’s lines. “Every day was another little funny, weird, ‘Let’s try this, let’s do this.’”

Talking to MTV News in 2009, Hardwicke shared the “dog-eared” script that held the “spider monkey” line that she “scribbled in the margin.”

“I woke up in the middle of the night. I thought, ‘They’re going to be climbing that tree, and they’re not going to have anything to say,” she said all the way back then. “It’s just going to be another scene of them looking into each other’s eyes.’” 

Spider monkeys equal nuance; Twilight fans just get it

Here’s what Edward almost said instead of ‘spider monkey’

So what were the other lines that Hardwicke came up with the night before? One of them had Edward asking Bella if she was “scared of heights.”

“Not that I know of…” she replied. This could have been a classic. 

A second option, according to MTV News, was just a simple, “Hold on tight,” sans “spider monkey.”

A weird one (yes, a weirder one) was “Wrap your legs around me like a spider monkey,” to which Bella just responded with, “Done.” Honestly, same. 

Another really out-of-character line was “Prepare for liftoff.”

But maybe the best, besides “spider monkey,” of course, was 

Edward: Got a good grip? Don’t let go.

Bella: No chance of that, buddy.

Just playful vampire things.

It’s hard to imagine the movie without the iconic “Hold on tight, spider monkey.” So, for that, thank you, Pattinson. 

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