I was familiar with the popular line “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” long before I had seen the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre that it purportedly came from. But when I got around to actually seeing the film, I was surprised to find that the words were not quite the same.
The bandit actually says, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”
So how did the distorted version become so widespread as to become the standard? I suspect because it was from this scene in the wildly popular parody Blazing Saddles.
There are a lot of similarly misquoted lines from films that now have become lodged in the collective memory of people.