The 40 Best Movie Quotes of All-Time…With a Comedic Twist
How Great Movie Lines Frame The Humor in Our Everyday Lives
I’m a movie fanatic and one of the habits that I have perfected – to the annoyance of just about everyone around me – is using my favorite, all-time best movie quotes as friendly refrains, snappy comebacks and cute quips.
Yes, its’ a little weird, but if done properly, it can stir up a lot of fun and laughter.
For instance, if you have friend named Adrian, the next time you call, do your best Rocky impersonation when leaving a message and say (with a slur), “Yo Adrian…!” Trust me, your friend will probably laugh out loud; but please make sure you nail the accent because if “your” Adrian doesn’t get the reference to what is considered one of the best movie quotes ever, he/she might hit back with a “Yo mama insert obscenity low-blow here.”
Speaking of which, here’s how “not” to use some of the more recent best movie quotes. Let’s say (hypothetically) that your physics professor asks you to solve a problem on the white board, but you know that you were tweeting while he was lecturing; and you literally came straight to class from an all night rager.
To you, the problem on the white board just looks like a blurry bunch of jibberish, so at that moment, you decide to use a movie quote to break the ice and buy your brain a little extra time to recalibrate.
You choose a quote from the Matt Damon blockbuster The Martian and before you give it the necessary thought it deserves, you just blurt out: “In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option, I’m gonna have to science the sh*t out of this”.
Now, that may be one of the best movie quotes in recent memory, but as far as the rest of the semester goes, you may be sh*t outta luck. So don’t hold your breath for a lifeline.
You’re probably wondering how we managed to truncate literally thousands of some of the best movie quotes down to only 40 of the best movie quotes that are our faves? It wasn’t easy, but to keep carpel tunnel at bay, we decided to settle on our absolute most shareable, fan favorite, Top 40 best movie quotes that have given others and me a laugh when I needed it most.
Film/Year: Love Story (1970)
Actor/Actress: Ali MacGraw as Jennifer Cavilleri Barrett
Quote: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
What it means: The definition of unconditional love, and while this phrase is totally true, at 3:00 in the morning when your girl won’t let you in the house because you were out drinking with your buds, you better just man up and say “I’m sorry”. Or, you can spend the night in the car.
Film/Year: What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Quote: “I’ll give up all that other stuff, but only if I get to keep my name. I’ve worked too hard for it.”
What it means: I know Angela Bassett said this line in the movie but I could’ve sworn I heard Halle Berry say the same thing to that French dude she recently kicked to the curb.
Film/Year: A Time To Kill (1996)
Actor/Actress: Samuel L. Jackson as Carl Lee Hailey|
Quote: “Yes they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell.”
What it means: Translation: Yes I did it, and I don’t care. Sam Jackson put just the right amount of nasty on this phrase to show that he truly did not care. I did my best Sam Jackson imitation when I shouted this exact same line at the guy who repo’d my car.
Film/Year: Do The Right Thing (1989)
Actor/Actress: Giancarlo Esposito as Buggin’ Out
Quote: “Sal, how come you ain’t got no brothers up on the wall here?
What it means: Sal owns an Italian pizza shop that has mostly black customers, but the pictures on the wall don’t reflect that. Sal was a little slow, but I know one place you’ll NEVER need to use this phrase: at any Kardashian or Jenner house. Those sisters love the brothers.
Film/Year: Toy Story (1995)
Actor/Actress: Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear
Quote: “To infinity and beyond!”
What it means: Buzz was just a toy, but this inspiring line illustrates he sees himself as more. My mom uses this line on me when she tries to convince me to move out and get my own place. Hey, why should Buzz be the only one getting free room and board?
Film/Year: Friday (1995)
Actor/Actress: Chris Tucker as Smokey
Quote: “You got knocked the f*** out!”
What it means: The young man actually got hit so hard that his feet left the ground. And this phrase is also the recording on Floyd Mayweather’s answering service.
Film/Year: Mommie Dearest (1981)
Actor/Actress: Faye Dunaway
Quote: “Now wire hangers, ever!”
What it means: Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford used this iconic line to abuse her young daughter. I use this line to annoy the folks that work at my dry cleaner’s, who continue to use those annoying, and deadly in the wrong hands, wire hangers . Adding to the over-the-top delivery is “Mommie’s” legendary white face mask, which is so taut that why ever bother again with botox?
Film/Year: Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Actor/Actress: Jim Carey as Lloyd Christmas
Quote: “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”
What it means: Lloyd was told that his chances of getting the girl he wanted were 1 in 1 billion. Unfortunately, these are the same odds I’ve face online dating.
Film/Year: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Actor/Actress: Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield
Quote: “Say what again, I dare you, I double dare you mother*****!”
What it means: Jules wouldn’t accept “what” for an answer. Usually when madmen ask questions, it’s not a good idea to answer with another question, especially when the other end of a 9MM is being wielded by a Quentin Tarantino born murderer.
Film/Year: Gladiator (2000)
Actor/Actress: Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus
Quote: “Are you not entertained!”
What it means: Maximus, the great gladiator in the film, shouted this line to the spectators at the coliseum who had gathered to see him fight to the death. I shout this phrase on the beach when I dare to wear my speedos.
Film/Year: Jerry Maguire (1996)
Actor/Actress: Renee Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd
Quote: “You had me at hello.”
What it means: This line was sweet because Dorothy used it to let us know that she had fallen head-over-heels in love with Jerry at first sight. But in the real world, this line also works when a cop stops you for speeding.
Film/Year: Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Actor/Actress: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Try Styles
What it means: When Trey yells “Ricky!!” everything slows down and one of our favorite characters is met with a horrible fate. Okay, that’s one dramatic delivery I leave alone.
Film/Year: The Warriors (1979)
Actor/Actress: David Patrick Kelly as Luther
Quote: “Warriors, come out and play.”
What it means: Every gang in New York wants to destroy the Warriors. Coming out to play does not involve blocks and action figures.
Film/Year: Scarface (1983)
Actor/Actress: Al Pacino as Tony Montana
Quote: “Say hello to my little friend!”
What it means: Tony was referring to a big gun and that’s cool. But this line is not cool if you say it to a girl on your first night of intimacy.
Film/Year: New Jack City (1991)
Actor/Actress: Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown
Quote: “Sit your five-dollar ass down before I make change.”
What it means: Nino Brown is the boss; this is how he talks to everyone who’s not the boss. This is also the way my mother disciplined me in church during offering.
Film/Year: Rocky (1976)
Actor/Actress: Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa
Quote: “Yo Adrian!”
What it means: Rocky yells for his woman after he proves he’s not a bum. And I yell this at random girls on the subway.
Film/Year: A League of Their Own (1992)
Actor/Actress: Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan
Quote: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
What it means: When Jimmy Dugan says this, a female ball player is in tears. This is more of a universal rule than a movie quote—unless, of course, you were a Mets fan in 2015.
Film/Year: Alien (1975)
Actor/Actress: Sigourney Weaver as Ripley
Quote: “Get away from her, you bitch!”
What it means: A very human moment in a film about aliens. It’s also the line Kanye uses when the press is annoying Kim.
Film/Year: Apollo 13 (1995)
Actor/Actress: Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell
Quote: “Houston, we have a problem.”
What it means: THE all time “W-T-F” panic phrase. This is the signal of doom. It also applies to that moment when your side piece tells you that her home pregnancy test turned pink.
Film/Year: Coming to America (1988)
Actor/Actress: Eddie Murphy as Saul
Quote: “Oh my god this is beautiful, what is it? Velvet?”
What it means: Eddie Murphy plays about 100 parts in this film and says about 200 classic lines, this is the one that sums up his range and genius in one of the greatest comedies ever. This line also describes my grandmother’s couch.
Film/Year: The Sixth Sense (1999)
Actor/Actress: Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear
Quote: “I see dead people.”
What it means: Take out the words “dead people” and everybody has parodied this line at least once. It’s the moment where our young hero admits he’s special in this film. Good thing I wasn’t in the movie. I’m nearsighted and can’t see anything.
Film/Year: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Actor/Actress: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Quote: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
What it means: How many amateur actors/actresses have used this mantra to calm themselves down before a big gig? And I say it every time I take a selfie.
Film/Year: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Actor/Actress: Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski
Quote: “Stella! Hey, Stella!”
What it means: It’s Brando’s delivery that makes this line a classic. Every time I meet a girl named Stella, I recite this line. Yes, I’m single.
Film/Year: Jaws (1975)
Actor/Actress: Roy Scheider as Martin Brody
Quote: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
What it means: When you’re hunting down the most fearsome beast in the ocean, a small fishing boat just won’t do. This analogy also works in reference to condom usage, but we won’t elaborate. I know… too much. Cue the infamous “vertigo” / dolly shot:
Film/Year: A Few Good Men (1992)
Actor/Actress: Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan R. Jessup
Quote: “You can’t handle the truth!”
What it means: This iconic line shows how everybody says they want honesty, but almost nobody can handle it; especially when you’re at the mall arguing with a salesperson who tries to convince you that you can no longer wear the same size pants that you did in high school. There was really no need for them to call security.
Film/Year: Jerry Maguire (1996)
Actor/Actress: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Rod Tidwell
Quote: “Show me the money!”
What it means: This line sums up Rod’s ambition in this film, but it also sets up his arch. Is happiness all about the money? And if you’re broke like me, I’m gonna assume that your answer is probably “Yes.”
Film/Year: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Actor/Actress: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale
Quote: “There’s no place like home.”
What it means: We’ve all been Dorothy before. We rush to get away from home, and then realize that home is the only thing that makes sense, until you realize that moving back home in your mid-30s now means you’ll be paying rent.
Film/Year: Gone with the Wind (1939)
Actor/Actress: Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara
Quote: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”
What it means: The fire and determination of a strong woman summed up in one line. It’s also what every woman shouts the moment she cancels her membership to Weight Watchers.
Film/Year: Finding Nemo (2003)
Actor/Actress: Ellen DeGeneres
Quote: “Keep swimming.”
What it means: In this heartwarming animated classic, this line came from Dori (DeGeneres), a cute little bungling fish that had a lot to say, but couldn’t always remember what she had just said. This line is also the motto of every sperm bank in the country. I know, I just went from family friendly to how to make a family.
Film/Year: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Actor/Actress: Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Quote: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”
What it means: This is a classic line because it sums up the humorous, psychopathic mindset of quintessential serial killer Hannibal Lecter. He’s a cultured, educated, maniac—similar to some of the guys you meet on Tinder.
Film/Year: Training Day (2001)
Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris
Quote: “King Kong ain’t got shit on me.”
What it means: Translation: I run sh**. This is one of many iconic lines of Denzel’s Oscar performance. But, try not to take this line literally because if King Kong, at 25 feet tall and weighing 20 tons, actually did get sh*t on you, it would be a mountainous mound of grossness and it would definitely take more than a Tide pen to get the stain out.
Film/Year: White Heat (1949)
Actor/Actress: James Cagney as Arthur “Cody” Jarrett
Quote: “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”
What it means: This is what you yell when you’re about to go out in a blaze of glory. This is also what I say when I call my mom to tell her I made it home from the club.
Film/Year: Casablanca (1942)
Actor/Actress: Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine
Quote: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
What it means: At this point of the film Rick’s friendship with Louis is a consolation to what he’s lost. But this classic line shows his perspective toward his fate. This is also what gamblers say when they’re about to take all your money at the poker table.
Film/Year: Taxi Driver (1976)
Actor/Actress: Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle
Quote: “You talkin’ to me?”
What it means: As New York City drove Travis Bickle mad, this line summed up his descent into madness. And as Friday night drives single guys to troll for dates at nightclubs, this line can also cause a descent into embarrassment when a girl uses it to reject them in front of their bros.
Film/Year: Sudden Impact (1983)
Actor/Actress: Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan
Quote: “Go ahead, make my day.”
What it means: If you ever get into an altercation and you know you can whoop some a**, hit them with this line. But, under no circumstances should you ever say this to a massage therapist. For some reason, it’s quite offensive and after the police are called, you will definitely not have a happy ending.
Film/Year: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Actor/Actress: Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale
Quote: “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”
What it means: When Dorothy and her dog (Toto) land in the wonderful world of Oz, she can tell that her day is about to go a little left when she killed a witch and made a music video with munchkins. And if you live in Kansas, you can annoy other travelers by saying this phrase as soon as the plane takes off.
Film/Year: On the Waterfront (1954)
Actor/Actress: Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy
Quote: “You don’ understand! I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody; instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.
What it means: Terry was a boxer in the back story of this tale, but he never lived up to his potential. Later in this film he gets his shot at a small piece of redemption. This is also what every dude says after cheating on his girl.
Film/Year: The Godfather (1972)
Actor/Actress: Marlon Brando as Vito “Don” Corleone
Quote: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
What it means: When the Don makes you an offer, it’s more like a demand… or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes. And when a bill collector calls you and makes the same offer, you may be sleeping without electricity.
Film/Year: Citizen Kane (1941)
Actor/Actress: Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane
What it means: The famous last words of Charles Kane, and if you don’t know what it means, shame on you for not watching one of the best classic films of all time. But honestly, I’ve always had a theory that maybe “Rosebud” wasn’t a sled at all; maybe it was some primo herb that Orson Welles smoked before creating this masterpiece.
Film/Year: Star Wars (1977)
Actor/Actress: James Earl Jones (voice) as Darth Vader
Quote: “Luke, I am your father.”
What it means: So, is Darth or isn’t Darth the father? Next Star Wars, they really need to cast Maury Povich to get to the bottom of this once and for all.