Where did “Me Tarzan, You Jane” Originate?

Rick Forchuk explores the beginnings of the famous line, "Me Tarzan, you Jane"


The Tarzan DVD Collection

Can you help settle an argument?  My husband and I have been trying to find the Tarzan movie with the immortal line, “Me Tarzan, you Jane.”  He says it’s the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan, and I say it was much later, the Gordon Scott Tarzan.  Which one of us is right?
– L. P., via e-mail

At the risk of getting into the middle of a family feud, the answer, sadly, is neither.  The 1932 movie, Tarzan the Ape Man starring Olympic athlete Weissmuller and the beautiful Maureen O’Sullivan (mother of Mia Farrow) is the most familiar of the early Tarzan movies, but those words are never uttered. 

There is sign language, with them pointing to one another, but the only words uttered are “Tarzan,” and “Jane.” 

Body builder Gordon Scott first played Tarzan in 1955’s Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle opposite Vera Miles who played “Jill” and not “Jane.” Scott did three more Tarzan movies and a TV series before hanging up his loin cloth in the early ‘60s.  T

The fact is, the words, “You Tarzan, me Jane” were never used in any of the Tarzan movies and largely came about through comics like Carol Burnett, who parodied the movies and TV shows. 

Just like how “Play it again, Sam” was never uttered in Casablanca, it’s one of those things that sticks in movie lore, but just never actually happened. You can get both the Weissmuller Tarzan movie, as well as the early Gordon Scott ones through