Best Movie Lines That Have Stuck In Pop Culture
These quotes have a universal quality, whether humorous or tragic, and they take you back to that exact moment in the film when Marlon Brando screams into the air or Humphrey Bogart gently touches Ingrid Bergman's chin. These iconic moments are not only remembered but constantly parodied, parroted, and used in modern pop culture.
Below are some of the best known quotes (in no particular order). Comment and add your own!
"May the Force be with you, always."
This line is first spoken by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in "Star Wars: A New Hope," but it quickly became one of the most well known lines in the famous sci-fi series. The Force itself drove these films as an indefinable spiritual power that connected all things in the universe. The fourth of May is considered "International Star Wars Day" because of "May the Fourth be with you."
"I'll be back."
Who would have thought looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator" that he would one day be a United States Governor? He was probably one of the greatest action stars in film history and a great deal of his hype came from his run as a diabolical killing machine turned ally. "I'll be back" was an ominous threat that is often used in humor now when leaving a room.
"Say hello to my little friend."
"Scarface" is an intense film starring Al Pacino as Tony Montano, a Cuban immigrant who kills to survive in a dangerous underground world. The most famous scene is when Tony emerges from his room with an M16 rifle and starts shooting everyone in sight after screaming the above line. Although his victory is short lived, the quote is not. A little trivia fact: 20th Century Fox did a poll about the most popular film weapons, and Tony's M16 rated eighth.
"There's no place like home."
Click your heels three times and you'll escape Oz, that's what Dorothy Gale/Judy Garland is told in "The Wizard of Oz." She chants that line at the end of the movie before waking up in the black and white world she came from. There are plenty of signs and welcome mats now designed for the house with those words etched across them.
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
Marlon Brando proved in the iconic and powerful film "The Godfather" that it wasn't just his good looks that made him a must-have movie star. As Vito Coreleone he represented the power of the Italian mob as well as a doting father. His subtle grace and twisted wisdom is displayed in the above line when he knows that if an offer of his is refused, the person will suffer both physical and mental torment. In this case, Jack Holtz the Hollywood head honcho wakes up to find the bloody head of his prize stallion in bed with him. He will probably never refuse the Godfather again! The horse head scene is frequently parodied in television shows like "The Simpsons," "The King of Queens" and even the children's show "Rugrats."
"Wax on, wax off."
Pat Moritoa managed to make washing a car a spiritual adventure in "The Karate Kid" due to Mr. Miyagi training Daniel using household chores. The inspirational movie is a classic 'underdog' scenario when a weak young boy becomes a force of good to be reckoned with. The line was hilariously used in the movie "Dogma" when God resurrected a character after their death in response to how She is able to do it.
After "The Lord of the Rings" was brought fully into pop culture - before it was already worshipped and beloved by fantasy readers - one of the constant repeated lines was from the creepy multi-personality driven Gollum. The ring is his preciousssss, and some fans are inspired to wrap themselves around a valued subject and hiss the quote in jest.
"Go ahead, make my day."
If there is anyone that can freeze your blood with a single glare it would be Clint Eastwood. Harry Callahan in "Sudden Impact" is especially terrifying, and in this favored scene, Harry stares down a robber who has a gun to the head of an innocent waitress. Instead of backing away, Harry points his Magnum at the robber and snarls that line. Country singer T. G. Shepphard wrote a song titled "Make My Day" with that quote at the end of every verse. It was on the movie soundtrack.
"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Mortally wounded by a knife to the gut, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) rises from sheer strength of will and defeats the villainous Count Rugan who killed his father. "The Princess Bride" is a classic romance, comedy, and fantasy film, and it is difficult not to say the line in a thick Spanish accent when holding a plastic sword. Go ahead, try it. A little piece of trivia: A musical was attempted by Adam Guettel and William Goldman, but it would never see the light. There was an orchestral piece performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2006, and that is the end of it.
"Here's looking at you, kid."
In this scene of Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's Rick is saying goodbye to ex-lover Isla, played by Ingrid Bergman. He convinces her to get on a plane with her husband rather than stay behind with him. As bittersweet romantic farewells go, this is one of the most intense. "Casablanca" had the most quotes listed on AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotations, six in total, four of which were spoken by Humphrey Bogart like the above. Other ones include "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," and "Round up the usual suspects."
"Bond. James Bond."
The super secret British spy has everything that an action movie fan wants to see: special effects, exciting new gadgets, attractive lead actors, and car/boat/foot chases to get the blood bumping. Everyone - male or female - has a little part of them that wants to be James Bond. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig are the lucky actors who get to play him in over 21 movies with at least one more on the way. When will they stop doing Bond movies? When people stop loving the womanizing bad-pun loving hero!
"You can't handle the truth!"
"A Few Good Men" was originally a play written by Aaron Sorkin but shot to the spotlight in a 1992 movie starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. It involves corruption and conspiracy in the US Marines that Cruise unravels while defending his clients as a military lawyer. The above line is when Col. Jessep - Nicholson - is on the stand and loses his composure enough to admit his part in the crime. The truth they cannot handle is that sacrifices are made for the greater good, at least in Jessep's point of view. It was a tense and ambiguous scene. Jessep may be arrested, but his voice echoes in the memory of everyone in the film, and the audience as well.
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
Anyone else have trouble going into the ocean after seeing "Jaws" for the first time? The story is a simple one: a great white shark starts eating swimming tourists at a resort town. The police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) starts an epic battle with the beast, his own white whale so to speak. The quote comes from a scene where the actors are trying to catch the shark and see exactly how gigantic it is for the first time. This horrifying movie is considered the first "wide release" blockbuster and paved the way for movies like "Star Wars" and big summer films. It looks like the production needed a bigger boat as well for this hulk of a movie!
"I see dead people."
In horror, there are various creepy little kids that kill, rhyme, plot, or just stand around looking ominous. Nothing quite puts chills up the spine like Haley Joel Osmont's fearful whisper in "The Sixth Sense." M. Night Shyamalan's first big twist film started off as a cultural phenomenon with the story of Cole Sear, a little boy who sees the dead, and Bruce Willis' child psychologist who tries to help him. "I see dead people" has become a common catchphrase in tense situations or just to mock the horror genre.
"Stella! Hey, Stella!"
The tumultuous and violent relationship between Stella and Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" is one the most well known and controversial in film history. The brutal and passionate Stanley overpowers his gentler wife Stella, and in this particular scene he comes like a force of nature drunk and furious screaming her name. Marlon Brando played this character as both cruel and strangely attractive in the film version, and no one will forget him running around screaming with his shirt half ripped off. Especially not the women.
"I've got a bad feeling about this." - Star Wars
"Shaken, not stirred." - James Bond
"I'm King of the world!" - Titanic
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" - Gone with the Wind
"Nobody puts Baby in the corner." - Dirty Dancing
"Show me the money!" - Jerry Maguire
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Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer
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