Quotes Uncovered: Memorable Movie Lines


Two years ago, I asked for suggestions for the most memorable movie lines of recent years, to help with the next edition of The Yale Book of Quotations. Let me repeat my “bleg” from that time, and ask again for suggestions:

Now I turn to film quotes, which have probably supplanted literary quotations in cultural resonance. The American Film Institute has named the following as its top film quotes of all time:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone With the Wind
  2. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” The Godfather
  3. “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” On the Waterfront
  4. “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” The Wizard of Oz

I have no illusions that contemporary movie lines resemble such classics in any way, but precisely for the reason that things have gone downhill in the film quote world, I bleg for assistance in identifying the most memorable cinematic quotes of the 21st century so far. Please identify the film as well as the quote.


Fill your hands you son of a bitch
True Grit


Just a few...

"Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true. " Napoleon Dynamite

"Your mom goes to college." Napoleon Dynamite

"Wanna see a magic trick?" Dark Knight

"My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are out there... if anyone is out there... I can provide food, I can provide shelter, I can provide security. If there's anybody out there... anybody... please. You are not alone. " I Am Legend

"When you marooned me on that god forsaken spit of land, you forgot one very important thing, mate: I'm Captain Jack Sparrow." Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

"Now... bring me that horizon." Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

"Thanks for the adventure. Now go have one of your own." Up

"It came to me, my own, my love... my... precious." The Lord of the Rings

"Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?" Shutter Island



"No fighting in the War room!" - from Dr. Strangelove

Eric K

I have no ideas of my own, but reading the previous 18 comments, I think the best suggestion (of the few that are actually from the 21st Century) is "I drink your milkshake" from There Will Be Blood. Simple and punchy.


"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark out and we're wearing sunglasses"

"Hit it"
-The Blues Brothers


Most of these are missing the criteria - Fred is asking for recent movie quotes from the 21st Century.

How about:

"I wish I knew how to quit you." - Brokeback Mountain (2005)

"What we do in life echoes in eternity." - Gladiator (2000)

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - Fellowship of the Ring (2001)


- Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

"Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"
- Economics Teacher (Ben Stein), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

"Smile, you son of a bitch!"
- Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), Jaws (1975)


"Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

- Greta Garbo in "Anna Christie"

"Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!"

- Thomas F. Wilson (Biff Tannen) in "Back to the Future"


"Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" - Princess Bride

"I'll be back" - Terminator

"Who is Keyser Soze? - Usual Suspects


Amazing at how many people don't know what the 21st century is.

My vote is for "Why so serious?"


Right, 21st century. OK: I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!


"The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club." (1999) - close enough??


I feel like something should be from the Lord of the Rings trilogy...here's a few

"My precious"

""One Ring to Rule Them All. One Ring to Find Them. One Ring to Bring Them All and In The Darkness Bind Them."

"A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day."


"You don't mess with the Zohan"

my kids would quote from YouTube "Double Rainbow, double rainbow, oh my god"


"You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left." - Private Ryan from Saving Private Ryan

Eva Schweber

They say whatever life throws at you, whatever emotions you feel, somebody somewhere has written a song about it.
-Kinky Boots


The more I tried to think of quotes, the more I realized you were right. There aren't a lot of memorable quotes from the last decade. Maybe that's because there haven't been a lot of memorable movies from the last decade.

"You shall not pass! !" --Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

"My precious!" --Gollum, Lord of the Rings (any of them)

"Won't you please be my prisoner, please please please!" --Dug, Up

And, I know it's older, but I needed to throw it in: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." --Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride


"Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave, with a box of scraps!" - Iron Man


Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make. -- Shrek 2001 which barely makes the date requirement.


Back to School (1986)

Diane: How would you characterize "The Great Gatsby"?
Thornton Melon: He was... uh... great!

Thornton Melon: [television commercial] Hi there. Are you a large person? Pleasantly plump? A little on the hefty side, perhaps? Well, let's face it: Are you FAT?

Thornton Melon: [television commercial] Hi there. Are you a large person? Pleasantly plump? A little on the hefty side, perhaps? Well, let's face it: Are you FAT?

(my fav) Thornton Melon: With the shape I'm in you could donate my body to science fiction.

the breakfast club (1985) [also see many John Hughes other works]

John Bender: Being bad feels pretty good, huh?

Andrew: What do you need a fake I.D. for?
Brian: So I can vote.

Carl: I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends!
Ferris B day off (1986)

(my fav 2) Cameron: Ferris Bueller, you're my hero.

(and of course avg ppls fav) Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

I digress...