Anyone for tennis?
The phrase "Anyone for tennis?" is thought to have originated from George Bernard Shaw's 1914 play Misalliance, in which Johnny Tarleton asks "Anybody on for a game of tennis?" This phrase is often used to typify a particular genre of drawing room comedy about the leisured upper class.
This phrase has been used several times in popular culture, including by Daffy Duck in the cartoon shorts The Ducksters, Rabbit Fire, and Drip-Along Daffy, the song "Beautiful Girl" in the movie musical Singin' in the Rain, and as the title of a song by the British blues-rock band Cream. In episode 33 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a spoof of Sam Peckinpah's violent movies begins with a genteel lawn party; the line "I say, anyone for tennis?" is the ironic cue for an explosion of overblown, horrific violence. It is also mentioned in the popular 1975 song Patricia the Stripper by Chris de Burgh.
Other uses of the phrase in pop culture include:
- As a tagline for a brand of tennis apparel seen in the movie Any Questions for Ben?, where the lead actor plays the role of a strategic brand manager.
- In the game EcoQuest 2, the protagonist says the phrase whenever he uses the tennis racket.
- The stage play Anyone for Denis?, referring to Denis Thatcher.
- In June 2012, after the English national football team was eliminated from that year's European championships, The Sun newspaper announced that Britain could still win Wimbledon, using the headline "Anyone for Tennis?" This headline gained notoriety two weeks later when British hopeful Andy Murray lost the Wimbledon final, and The Sun asked "Anyone for Ennis?" in reference to hopes that English track-and-field athlete Jessica Ennis could take home the gold in that year's Summer Olympics.
- Bernard Shaw, George. 1914. Misalliance.