Historical Events  Movies
Buffalo Bill

MMDE: It puts the lotion on its skin

Current: It rubs the lotion on its skin

What does it do to the lotion?

Here's the second Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect from the Silence of the Lambs - the first is the line "Hello, Clarice".

When Buffalo Bill was giving his sinister instructions to his trapped victim, did he say "It puts the lotion on its skin" or "It rubs the lotion on its skin"? Many remember it as "puts", and there are a lot of refences to this including the usual Family GuySouth Park and even an Eminem song. In fact, watching it today shows it is "It rubs the lotion on its skin".

Bill did tell her to put the lotion in the basket - could this be what people are mixing it up with?

In the well

"It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." That was the childlike rhyme people remember too. Later, when he gets really angry, Bill screams "put the lotion in the f****ing basket!",  but that doesn't really clear anything up because no-one would use "rub" instead of "put" there.

Here's the Southpark parody which also gets it wrong:


The villain in The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill, was a particularly nasty piece of work who didn't see his victims as human at all, just carriers of the skin he wanted to remove. That's why he uses the word "it" - to mentally distance himself. The lotion is to soften their skin up ready for it's later removal. He also deliberately chose larger women so he could starve them in the well, again to make the skin removal process easier. Bill is doing this because he believes if he wears their skin he can become female.


There's a lot of instances of people getting it wrong elsewhere too: