From the movie Godzilla (2014)

One day, I met a guy who runs a cargo boat offshore. Everyday he goes right past the reactor site. So, he places a couple frequency monitors on buoys for me. Two weeks ago, because I check this thing like every other day just for the kick in the teeth. Two weeks ago, I'm tuning in...

What does this expression mean? There is the expression kick in the teeth that's used to describe how badly you're being treated by someone, but it doesn't seem like that's what the person in the quote is saying.

2 Answers 2


There is a series of expressions in English starting with "just for" that mean "for no particular reason." Examples include:

Just for the sake of doing it

Just for the hell of it

Just for shits and giggles

Just for laughs

Just for fun

Just for kicks

One of these expressions is:

Just for a kick in the pants

In this context, "a kick in the pants" means "fun".

Normally, "a kick in the teeth" as an idiom means something like "a sudden and devastating event" or "a painful setback". However, in this context, it takes on the meaning of the primary expression, and the primary meaning is still "for no particular reason."

The secondary implication is that the behavior is known to be unproductive or disappointing--that he's not checking for any particular reason, but he keeps doing it, even though he know he's going to be disappointed every time he checks.

So the sentence might be rephrased something like:

I monitor this frequency every other day or so. I don't have any good reason to, and I know I'm never going to hear anything, but I do it anyway.

  • 1
    +1 Kick both in this and in kick in the pants is an adaptation of for kicks, meaning for fun, which in turn derives from an older use referring to the 'rush' provided by alcohol or narcotics; for instance, Cole Porter's "I get no kick from champagne". Aug 23, 2014 at 15:00

It appears that he's just trying to say that he listens in to the frequency just for the laughs, kicks, and giggles. He listens in because it is very interesting to him.

Most people wouldn't say for the kick in the teeth here as an expression for this, but it's a movie and movies don't always follow common sayings, but rather create new popular sayings sometimes.

Usually a kick in the teeth would refer to something that would hurt you. Like, that person was so rude to me it felt as though they kicked me in the teeth with their foot.

However, in the context of this movie, there doesn't appear to be anyway that this person is being hurt by listening in. So that's why it appears that he just listens in because it's interesting to him because it's not something he hears everyday, just like being kicked in the teeth is a rare occurrence.

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