Weekend Roundtable: Favorite Movie Dialogue

We’ve chosen a simple topic for this week’s Roundtable, but it should be a fun one. Let’s rattle off some of our all-time favorite pieces of movie dialogue. There’s so much to choose from!

Josh Zyber

Long-time readers of this blog may expect me to pick a quote from ‘Dune’. Indeed, I’ve seen that movie so many times that I can recite most of its dialogue from memory. However, that’s not where I’m going this time. In fact, my very favorite piece of movie dialogue is this exchange from ‘Broadcast News‘, in which Holly Hunter’s journalist character Jane is scolded by her producer Paul:

Paul: “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.”
Jane: “No. It’s awful.”

She doesn’t say this sarcastically. The weariness in her response conveys volumes about the character’s drive for perfection and the toll this has taken on her personal relationships. It’s a simple but perfect little moment, and that dialogue has stuck with me for years.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

The movie I quote more than any other is ‘Jaws‘. It doesn’t exactly hurt that I have something like half the movie completely committed to memory. For whatever reason, my favorite exchange from the entire film comes courtesy of Larry Vaughn:

“Martin, it’s all psychological. You yell ‘Barracuda!’ and everybody says ‘Huh? What?’ You yell ‘Shark!’ and we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.”

I wish I had some amazing explanation about why I love that line so much, to the point where my fake band name for years was going to be Panic on the Fourth of July, but I don’t. Sorry.

Nate Boss

No one quite does inspiration like Tyler Durden.

“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

“We are all part of the same compost heap.”

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

“Fuck what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that’s your problem.”

“You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you, never wanted you, and in all probability, he HATES you.”

– ‘Fight Club

Luke Hickman

My pick also comes from ‘Fight Club’:

“Marla – the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal
if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can’t.”

Wayne Rowe

“We’re doomed, I’m afraid. If I had an anus, I’d probably soil myself.”

– Captain Macanudo, ‘Space Truckers

Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)

Here are a couple that stick in my mind:

Carl Spackler: “What’s your address over there? You’re over on Briar, right?”
Ty Webb: “Yeah, Briar. Uhuh… 2.”
Carl Spackler: “You got a pool over there?”
Ty Webb: “We have a pond in the back. We have a pool, and a pond. A pond is good for you.”

– ‘Caddyshack

And on the other end of the spectrum:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… Time to die.”

– Roy Batty, ‘Blade Runner

M. Enois Duarte

Out of so many favorite movie lines, I’m choosing the one which continues to make me laugh. It comes from Richard Kelly’s ‘Donnie Darko‘. The reason for this is mostly due to the delivery by Beth Grant. It’s simply terrific!

Principal: “So, let’s go over this again. What exactly did you say to Ms. Farmer?”
Kitty Farmer: “I’ll tell you what he said! He asked me to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into my anus!”

Mike Attebery

I find antisocial behavior hilarious. It’s why my favorite recurring character is a total grump. But I especially enjoy it when characters who are perceived as being saccharine sweet act like total jerks. Case in point: George Bailey could make some really biting comments, like the scene in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘ when he goes to see Mary Hatch just before a call with Sam “Hee-Haw” Wainwright leads to a life-changing kiss. Struggling to make conversation, the only thing George can do is utter a matter-of-fact observation about the post-Christmas smell of the Hatch home. It’s so ridiculously grouchy that I find it hilarious:

George: “Well… I see it still smells like pine needles in here.”
Mary: “Thank you.”

All great choices. (Though, if we’re talking Kitty Farmer in ‘Donnie Darko’, I think I’m most fond of: “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” That line and her delivery send me into convulsive fits of laughter every time.)

Now it’s your turn to tell us your favorite lines of movie dialogue. If this doesn’t turn out to be our most-commented Roundtable yet, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.


  1. “oh my god. they found me, I don’t know how but they found me… RUN FOR IT MARY!”
    “who? who?”
    “Who do you think?!? the Libyans!”

    and of course

    “have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?”
    “I always ask that of all my prey, I just like the sound of it… Never rub another mans rhubarb! hehehehe”

      • Can somebody please tell me what kind of a world we live in where a man dressed as a bat gets all my good press?

        Hubba Hubba Hubba! Money money money! Who do ya trust? Me? I’m givin away free money! And where is the Batman? HES AT HOME! WASHIN HIS TIGHTS!

  2. Chris

    Next time you guys should do a roundtable on the worst lines of movie dialogue. I know that would be fun.

    • Alex

      I heard somewhere that “let’s get out of here” is the most commonly spoken piece of english-language dialogue in movies. It’s… well, cliched to say the least at this point.

      But we can save that for the next roundtable.

  3. Jeremy

    Lieutenant Laker: He was your superior, wasn’t he?

    Graham Marshall: No, he was my boss.

    -Michael Caine in “A Shock to the System”.

  4. Every single line of dialogue in Holy Grail. I can’t even pick one out of the batch. Swallows, elderberries, violence inheriting the system, all perfect.

    Cannibal! The Musical
    [Noon] Oh, Stop!
    [Humphrey] That’s sick.
    [Frenchy] I agree. Nutter, you were singing in the wrong key!
    [Nutter] No I wasn’t. It was Loutzenheiser. I was singing in Eb minor.
    [Frenchy] The song’s in F# major!
    [Bell] I think they’re the same thing. I mean, Eb is the relative minor of F#.
    [Frenchy] No, it isn’t. The relative minor is 3 half-tones down from the major, not up!
    [Noon] No, it’s 3 down. Like A is the relative minor of C major.
    [Loutzenheiser] But isn’t A# in C major?
    [Bell] Wait, are you singing Mixolydian scales, or something?
    [Frenchy] A# is tonic to C major. It’s the 6!
    [Humphrey] No it isn’t!
    [Swan] Well, it’d be like a raised 13th if anything.
    [Frenchy] Oh well. You guys are just a bunch of loser diggers anyhow!
    [Humphrey] Oh see. You know we’re right!

    • Kids in the Hall: Braincandy

      “The nipples of Mother Hope have run dry.”

      Grivo: I wanna talk about drugs.
      Audience: Heroin?
      Grivo: No. Not heroin.
      Audience: Speed?
      Grivo: No. Not speed.
      Audience: Hashish?
      Grivo: No, not even hashish.
      Audience: (beat) Horse tranquilizers?
      Grivo: No. Not horse tranquilizers. I just heard about a drug that makes you happy. I just want to say… (looks at the crowd) …fuck happy!

      • Ok one more from Braincandy

        Honey, I thinkyou’ve got a right to know what happened.
        – Wally, please don’t.
        – No, no, no. I went out driving, because as you know I love driving…
        when suddenly I had to take the biggest pee in the world. So I saw this washroom. I stopped in, but it was full of those “types.” You know, queers and queens. So one of them tried to kiss me… and I said, “No! No, no.” But he just kept kissing me. Why would he do that?
        – Well, didn’t you tell me that you had…
        gripped him by the buttocks and pulled him closer?
        – Yes, but that was ’cause I was concerned that he might fall. Doctor, his pants were down around his goddamn ankles.

  5. HuskerGuy

    The entirety of Zoolander, but I’ll just put one:

    Derek Zoolander: What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building?
    Mugatu: Derek, this is just a small…
    Derek Zoolander: I don’t wanna hear your excuses! The building has to be at least… three times bigger than this!

    Also, the following quote from Rocky 6:

    “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

  6. lordbowler

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: “God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates man, man destroys God, man creates dinosaurs.”
    Dr. Ellie Sattler: “Dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth.”

    Jurassic Park

  7. Alex

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned “Tombstone”:

    Wyatt Earp: So run, you cur… RUN! Tell all the other curs the law’s comin’! You tell ’em I’M coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear?… Hell’s coming with me!

    Doc Holliday: I’m your huckleberry…

    Billy Clanton: Why, it’s the drunk piano player. You’re so drunk, you can’t hit nothin’. In fact, you’re probably seeing double.
    Doc Holliday: I have two guns, one for each of ya.

    Doc Holliday: Why Ed does this mean we’re not friends anymore? You know Ed, if I thought you weren’t my friend… I just don’t think I could bear it!

    Yeah, pretty much everything that comes out of Val Kilmer’s mouth in that movie.

    • Evan Withrow

      Nice work, I was going to mention Tombstone. But you missed one of my favorites –

      Doc: What did you ever want?
      Wyatt: Just to live a normal life.
      Doc: There’s no normal life, Wyatt, it’s just life. Get on with it.

  8. Alex

    And my all-time favorite from “The Rock”:

    John Mason: Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*** the prom queen.

  9. hurin

    The Ninth Gate

    Liana Telfer: Don’t fuck with me!
    Dean Corso: I thought I already did.

    Best comeback ever.

  10. Jane Morgan

    “Fuck you. That’s my name.

    You know why, mister?

    You drove a Hyundai to get here. I drove an eighty-thousand dollar BMW. THAT’S my name.

    And your name is you’re wanting. You can’t play in the man’s game, you can’t close them – go home and tell your wife your troubles.

    Because only one thing counts in this life: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted.

    You hear me you fucking faggots?



    Always be closing.



    Attention, Interest, Decision, Action.

    Attention – Do I have you attention?

    Interest – Are you interested? I know you are, because it’s fuck or walk. You close or you hit the bricks.

    Decision – Have you made your decision, for Christ?

    And Action.


    Get out there – you got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy.

    They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money.

    Are you gonna take it?

    Are you man enough to take it?”

    – GGGR

  11. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”
    (The Usual Suspects)

    “When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit!”
    (Back to the future)

    “But the worst thing I ever done … I mixed a pot of fake puke at home (etc)”
    (The Goonies)

    “You’re all clear, kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home”
    (Star Wars – A New Hope)

    “Well then … I guess you’re really up shit creek!”
    (The Blues Brothers)

    “You fuck, Walter!”
    (The Big Lebowski)

    “Dodgson, Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here … nobody cares”
    (Jurassic Park)

    But maybe my absolute favourite is also from “The Blues Brothers” …

    “It’s a 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses”
    “Hit it!”

    It’s so random … and oh so brilliant

  12. Jane Morgan

    “You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece. ”

    – Lt. Aldo Raine

  13. Jane Morgan

    “Well… Congressman Wilson, he has an expression. He says, uhh, ‘You can teach ’em to type, but you can’t teach ’em to grow tits.'”

    – CWW

  14. Alex

    From “The Untouchables”:

    Malone: He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That’s the Chicago Way, and that’s how you get Capone.

    Mountie Captain: Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods!
    Eliot Ness: Yeah, well, you’re not from Chicago.

  15. Alex

    From “Ghostbusters” (which has too many great quotes to list):

    Posessed Dana: Do you want this body?
    Peter Venkhman: Is this a trick question?

    Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Mother pus bucket!

    Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

    • Too true about Ghostbusters. I still love watching it even after dozens of viewings.

      Winston: Hey Ray. Do you believe in God?
      Ray: Never met him.

      Janine: You are so kind to take care of that man. You know, you’re a real humanitarian.
      Egon: I don’t think he’s human.

  16. BostonMA

    i don’t think i could pick twelve of my favorite lines of dialogue, let alone one, but one that has been on my mind for the last couple of months is the summer upper or Apocalypse Now, spoken by General Corman:

    “Well, you see, Willard, in this war, things get confused out there. Power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity. But out there with these natives, it must be a temptation to be God. Because there’s a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irration, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.”

    • paramedic0112

      “Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were goin’ all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.” -Capt. Willard

  17. The Princess Bride…

    “Now beat it, or I’ll call The Brute Squad!”
    “I’m on The Brute Squad.”
    “You ARE The Brute Squad!”

    “I am not left-handed!”

    “Anybody want a peanut?”

    “Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons!”

    “You wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept!”

  18. Eric Josue

    “All right now, I’m comin’ out. Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only gonna kill him, but I’m gonna kill his wife. All his friends. Burn his damn house down.” – Will Munny in ‘Unforgiven’

  19. Mitchell Gant

    Every line uttered by everyone in Barfly. Random sample:

    “Someone made up this rule that everyone’s gotta do something, everyone’s gotta be something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc. A janitor, a preacher, all that. Sometimes I get tired of thinking about all the things I don’t wanna do, all the things I don’t wanna be, all the places I don’t wanna go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned.”

  20. besch64

    So you guys know that dialogue doesn’t just mean “words,” right? Dialogue refers to a conversation between two or more people. A lot of you just posted single quotes.

    Anyway, my favorite bit comes from the final scene of Carol Reed’s The Third Man. The final words spoken in that utter masterpiece:

    Holly Martins: “Calloway, can’t you do something about Anna?”
    Major Calloway: “I’ll do what I can, if she’ll let me.”
    Holly Martins: “Wait a minute, let me out.”
    Major Calloway: “Well, there’s not much time.”
    Holly Martins: “One can’t just… leave. Please.”
    Major Calloway: “Be sensible, Martins.”
    Holly Martins: “Haven’t got a sensible name, Calloway.”

  21. triguous

    Aside from a few lines, I love everything The Joker says in The Dark Knight. But it is my favorite performance by an actor, so…

  22. triguous

    “If being raised in a broken home is a woman’s reason for becoming a porn star, then being raised by a broken man is my reason for becoming a killer.”

  23. From “The Third Man”
    Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
    – Harry Lime

  24. Jane Morgan

    “Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam; Or… Lobster Thermidor, a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top, and spam.”

  25. I really wanted to participate in this Roundtable, but was in the hospital when it was going on. Anyway, most of my favorite movie quotes come from ‘The Burbs’. I could watch that movie over and over.

    Mark Rumsfield: Are you completely pussy-whipped? Why don’t you just take your balls out of your wifes purse… make a stand for one time in your life.

    Ray Peterson: [chanting] I’m not going to listen to this, I’m not going to hear this now.
    Art: Ray! Ray! You’re chanting!
    [points to book]
    Art: Ray, unconscious chanting! You’re chanting!
    Ray Peterson: [continues chanting with fingers in ears]
    Art: [chants] I want to kill everyone. Satan is good. Satan is our pal.
    Art: Hey, once they get in here…
    [points to Ray’s head]
    Art: …it’s over, pal.

    Mark Rumsfield: Oh, pretty girl! Friend of yours?
    Hans Klopek: No, it came with the frame.

    • I’m also a huge, huge fan of the Superman analogy used at the end of ‘Kill Bill 2’. Perfectly written.

      Bill: About two minutes, just long enough for me to finish my point. Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton.

    • Corey Feldman is actually excellent in that movie! I mean, nowadays, people laugh with him … but “The Burbs” and “Stand By Me” show he knows how to act. If he wants to.

  26. Fear of a Black Hat

    Nina Blackburn: Your new album is “NWH: Fear Of A Black Hat.”
    Ice Cold: Right. But see actually that shit was suppose to be “NWH: Fear Of A Black Hat,” subtitled “Don’t Shoot ‘Til You See The Whites.”
    Nina Blackburn: Of their eyes?
    Ice Cold: Whose eyes?
    Nina Blackburn: Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.
    Ice Cold: No, no, no! Don’t shoot until you see the whites. Period. That’s it. End of story. You know what I’m saying? But the record company, they dogged us out. They wouldn’t let us put it on it.
    Tasty Taste: Yeah. We should have busted a cap in their ass.
    Tone Deaf: They’re always trying to censor our shit.
    Nina Blackburn: For instance, with the song “Kill Whitey.”
    Ice Cold: That shit was a whole big misunderstanding. They took the whole thing out of context.
    Tone Deaf: They were trying to say we were advocating killing white people and shit.
    Tasty Taste: Yeah! Do I look like the type of nigga that could kill a whole buncha white mutha fuckas? I mean, you know, given a reason, but not on a humbug.”
    Nina Blackburn: Well, in the song lyrics I’m quoting: “He’ll rip you off. He’ll take your money, make you work for free. Though you may scoff. It isn’t funny. He’s the devil, see. Kill Whitey.”
    Ice Cold: Right. Now how can you listen to that and think we’re talking about killing all white people?
    Tone Deaf: Fact. We were talking about one specific whitey. Whitey Deluca our ex-manager.
    Tasty Taste: He ripped us off for 70 g’s.
    Ice Cold: That’s right. And Whitey Deluca wasn’t even white. He was Italian. He was one of those olive complexion MFs you know.
    Nina Blackburn: If I remember correctly, he ended up murdered?
    Ice Cold: We wasn’t in town when that shit happened.
    Tone Deaf: Wait a minute, we were here.
    Ice Cold: No, no, no. We were in Cleveland like a “mo fo” remember?
    Tone Deaf: Oh, yeah