Snakes on a Plane

Weekend Roundtable: Action Movie One-Liners

Deadpool, who returns to theaters this weekend, is known for his snark-filled dialogue while dispatching bad guys. Our Roundtable this week celebrates some other great (and some not-so-great) action movie one-liners. Yippee Ki-Yay!

Note: Sorry, we will not have a review of ‘Deadpool 2’ this week. Jason is still off cavorting in the south of France and wasn’t able to catch a screening.

M. Enois Duarte

Easy! My favorite and arguably the best one-liner ever is from James Cameron’s ‘Aliens‘. Throughout the movie, Private Hudson (Bill Paxton) has most of the best lines, but the one I love most is when he starts hysterically yelling, “That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over!” That really has to be the best line ever, so freaking awesome that a stupid action-comedy uses it as the title to a Netflix original movie.

If I were picking the worst one-liner, on the other hand, what better movie to pull from than the immortal ‘Road House‘? For those willing to endure it, the action drama offers a lot of laughably bad dialogue for nearly two hours, but the best of the worst hits viewers like Patrick Swayze’s swift roundhouse kick to the face. While flirting with the doctor and trying to act tough, Swayze’s Dalton utters the hilarious and bat-shit stupid line, “Pain don’t hurt!” Thirty years later, I’m still laughing!

Tom Landy

Coincidentally, both my favorite and least favorite movie one-liners occurred 30,000 feet or so above sea level in the confines of an airliner.

The worst has to be Harrison Ford’s stern, no nonsense quip from ‘Air Force One‘ at the precise moment when you expect some kind of witty retort. Instead, he just boringly growls, “Get off my plane.” Really? That’s the best the writers could come up with?

Fortunately, Samuel L. Jackson made up for this some years later, mainly since the man never says anything boring… ever. There’s no topping his legendary exclamation from the cult favorite ‘Snakes on a Plane‘ when he lets loose with this beauty: “I HAVE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKING PLANE!!!!”

Now that’s how you do it right.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all outta bubblegum.”
-Rowdy Roddie Piper, ‘They Live

You know it ranks among the all-time greatest action movie one-liners since it’s quoted in ‘Duke Nukem 3D’.

Josh Zyber

Nobody delivers a quip better than James Bond, especially the Sean Connery version. One of his best comes early in ‘Goldfinger‘. Bond knocks a random evil henchman into a full bathtub and finishes him off by tossing an electric fan into the water with him. Collecting himself, Bond follows this with a simple, deadpan: “Shocking.”

There’s nothing to the line, but Connery’s exceedingly dry delivery of it is hilarious.

Your Turn

We’ve barely scratched the surface here, and have perhaps passed over some classics. Jesse Ventura’s “I ain’t got time to bleed” from ‘Predator‘ is another favorite of mine. Tell us yours in the Comments.

37 comments

  1. Bolo

    Steve DeSouza was brilliant at writing this type of action dialogue. There are even a couple of good lines in his much maligned ‘Street Fighter’ movie. But his scripts for ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Commando’ are non-stop solid gold one-liners. I don’t know if I could even pick a favourite line from either of those films. I always liked “You’re a funny guy Sully, I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.” along with the callback later in the movie when he says “Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last? I lied.”

    So I’ll just go with good ol’ Dirty Harry Callahan. My favourite is “Man’s got to know his limitations.” There’s just something very satisfying about the way Clint delivers that one.

    As for the worst (without getting into schlock like ‘Samurai Cop’), I always hated it at the end of ‘Speed’ when Keanu kills Dennis Hoppers and blurts out “Yeah, but I’m taller!” It just doesn’t really make that much sense since Keanu’s height didn’t play into his victory over Hopper in any obvious way. Sure, Keanu overpowers him, but not really because of reach or anything like that. It just feels weird.

      • Bolo

        Yeah, they should’ve made the “taller” thing more of an obvious decapitation pun and it would’ve worked better.

          • Timcharger

            It’s alright Bolo. I don’t catch every joke either. My misses just aren’t revealed for all HDD readers to see. It wasn’t a great one-liner in Speed but yeah, it was you. You didn’t catch the joke. It went over your head, but if you were taller… (rimshot!)
            🙂

  2. Csm101

    Arnie is king of the action one liners. His best: “I’ll be back”, “you’re one ugly motherfucker”
    His worst is from Eraser after killing the horrible cg crocs, ‘you’re luggage!”

    • NJScorpio

      “See you at the party Richter!” – Total Recall

      “Remember Sully, when I promised to kill you last?”

      “That’s right Matrix, you did.”

      “I lied.” – Commando

  3. Erik Walsh

    From The Running Man, Arnold signs a contract to be on the game show using a man’s back like a desk. Then he stabs the man with the pen and says, “Don’t forget to send me a copy.”

  4. Opinionhaver

    Adam if you’re going to quote a quotable line with quotations, quote it right.

    ” I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

    is how it goes.

  5. Scott

    It bugs my wife to no end, but I can’t see a helicopter without exclaiming in my best Arnie impression, “GET TO THE CHOPPER!!!”

  6. Nicholas Daniel

    Not a great film, but I did like in Olympus Has Fallen, Gerard Butler on the phone with the bad guy and says “Let’s have a game of fuck off, you go first” then hangs up.

  7. Rob

    Maybe not an action movie. But my favorite tough guy line is Outlaw Josey Wales when the bounty hunter comes for him:

    Josey: You a bounty hunter?
    Bounty Hunter: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
    Josey: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

  8. Thomas S

    Goldfinger:
    James Bond: Who are you?
    Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
    James Bond: I must be dreaming.

    • Jon

      I like the original line that they were forced to change:

      I’m Pussy Galore

      Bond: I’m sure you are, but what’s your name?

  9. Elizabeth

    “You’re fired!” – Robocop
    “You’re fired!” – Back to the Future Part II
    “You’re fired!” – Speed
    “You’re fired!” – True Lies
    “You’re fired!” – November 2020 news headline

  10. Charles Contreras

    2 quotes from Dirty Harry:

    Go ahead, make my day!

    Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.

  11. Nagara

    My two most quotable movies ever

    Big Trouble in Little China
    Army of Darkness

    Too many to name from those two movies. Every two seconds is something new.

    Just a few
    “Hail to the king baby”
    “Yo she bitch! Let’s go”
    “The check is in the mail”
    “Its all in the reflexes”
    “Son of a bitch must pay”
    “This is my boomstick!”
    “First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow”

    “Groovy!”

  12. Steve Francis

    Gotta agree with the ‘They Live’ classic, but favorate of mine from the The Blues Brothers: “your gonna look pretty funny eatin’ corn on the cob with no fuckin’ teeth!”

  13. Pedram

    Best:

    Jesse Ventura from Predator
    “I ain’t got time to bleed”

    Worst:
    Pretty much every line from Mr Freeze in Batman and Robin. Heck, pretty much every line from anyone in that movie.

    • Chaz Dumbaugh

      LOL, honestly thats why I have so much fun watching that movie….its awful pun after awful pun and I love awful puns 🙂

      What killed the Dinosaurs? The ICE AGE! I laugh every damn time, but yes its bad…..SO bad LOL

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