The 20 Most Famous Movie Quotes Ever Spoken on Screen

Want to quote a famous movie? Here are your best bets

While the last line in Shane may have still been quite famous just 30 years ago, the only reason most of us recognize it now is that it has the name of the movie in it. So what does famous mean? The most famous movie quotations have to stand the test of time, and while many great lines of the past have trickled into our vernacular, others have simply dripped away. Here are the ones that stand strong.

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The Monologue We Wish We Had Memorized

Bible quote scene from Pulp Fiction

Miramax Films

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blesséd is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

Despite the fact that writer/director Quentin Tarantino took some liberties with this passage from the Bible when he devised this monologue for Jules in Pulp Fiction, it quickly gained a following from people in need of something cool to say in a heated moment. Nobody's yet matched Samuel L. Jackson's level of intensity or generally sounding awesome, but that hasn't stopped them from trying.

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It Does This Whenever It's Told

Buffalo Bill telling victim to rub the lotion on its skin

Orion Pictures

"It rubs the lotion on its skin."

It's amazing that a movie with Anthony Hopkins as one of the most memorable villains in cinematic history would have its most memorable line uttered by Ted Levine playing Buffalo Bill. While "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti" is another great quotation from Silence of the Lambs, ultimately, Buffalo Bill's creepy instruction is often the first that comes to mind.

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The Best Banter During a Fight Scene

The Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

EMI Films

"It's just a flesh wound."

Funny banter is a hallmark of action movies, but let's face it: Monty Python and the Holy Grail nailed this one. It would likely be at the top of a list of the funniest quotations of all time, mostly just competing with all of the other hilarious lines from the movie.

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The Famous Line That Is Now a Hallmark Card

A still shot of the hallmark moment from Love Story

Paramount Pictures

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."

We have 1970's Love Story to thank for this line about the nature of romance. Ali McGraw's character, Jennifer Cavalleri, says it to Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal) after he apologizes to her for an outburst. At the end of the film, Oliver repeats the line to his father, who's expressing his condolences after Jennifer's death.

This quotation hasn't necessarily aged well since you should absolutely apologize when you hurt or offend people you love, but that hasn't stopped its simple sentiment from enduring for half a century.

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The Quotation That Requires an Accent

A scene from The Terminator

Orion Pictures

"I'll be back."

This line in The Terminator precedes one of the coolest shootouts in cinematic history, so it's easy enough to remember. And it's proven so popular that it's appeared again and again, not only in every other Terminator film, but several unrelated Schwarzenegger projects, including some solid parody in The Last Action Hero

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The Best Line About a Fish

A still shot of Jaws

Universal Pictures

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Jaws has transcended the decades with a memorable two-note theme song, and it's this simple observation by Roy Scheider's character immediately after getting an up-close-and-personal look at the gigantic shark that really sums up the movie.

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The Quote That Reveals Human Intelligence

Charlton Heston hanging in a net in Planet of the Apes

20th Century Fox

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty ape!"

Planet of the Apes was a great marriage of science fiction and social commentary, and that is never truer than with this famous quotation. But it's the reaction from the surrounding apes stunned that a human can actually speak that boosts this iconic line.

So ingrained is this line of dialogue in the Apes mythos that it's carried over to the remakes and reboots of the series. Director Tim Burton's 2001 version reverses it by having an ape utter a modified version to a human. In 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it appears unaltered and serves as a cruel animal handler's final words.

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The Most Repeated of Famous Movie Lines

Cuba Gooding Jr. getting Tom Cruise to yell

TriStar Pictures

"Show me the money!"

Does it help a quote become more famous if it is repeated multiple times in the same scene? Cuba Gooding Jr's chant alongside Tom Cruise stole the show in Jerry Maguire, but it didn't take long for "Show me the money!" to be repeated so much that it stuck in the minds of everyone watching the movie (and everyone they knew).

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The Luckiest Movie Quote

Dirty Harry holding a gun on a suspect

Warner Bros

"I know what you're thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, punk?"

This line from 1971's Dirty Harry shares some fame with, "Go ahead. Make my day." But the full monologue was the "Ezekiel 25:17" of quotable lines over 20 years before Pulp Fiction arose to challenge it.

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The Famous Movie Line About Talking

The talking to me scene from Taxi Driver

Columbia Pictures

"You talking to me? You talking to me? You talking to me? Well, then who the Hell else are you talking — you talking to me? Well, I'm the only one here."

The crazy part about this fantastic scene by Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver is how closely it resembles the famous Jim Mora "playoffs" rant and Allen Iverson going on about "practice." It's true, great art mimics life, but in these cases, life is parroting great art.

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A Spooky Confession

Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense

Buena Vista Pictures 

"I see dead people."

Easily one of the most popular movie lines delivered by a child, Haley Joel Osment's character in The Sixth Sense continues with a few lines that play a much larger role in the plot: "They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't even know they are dead." But the "dead people" line was the one that catapulted The Sixth Sense into the public consciousness when it first appeared in the trailer.

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This Line Could Have Had Class

Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

Columbia Pictures

"I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Marlon Brando's monologue in On the Waterfront has transcended the film itself, which is something considering it won the top honors at the 1955 Academy Awards. More people can probably name this line than the film it appeared in, which is one sign that a bit of dialogue has hit the big time.

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The Famous Quote That Isn't About Exercise

A Screenshot of Forest Gump

Paramount Pictures

"Run, Forrest, run."

In a film starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Sally Field, with characters including Elvis Presley, President Kennedy, it's Hanna Hall portraying the younger version of Jenny Curran that delivers Forrest Gump's most recognizable line. This quotation has spilled out of its original script to appear in other projects like Fight Club and a more inspirational version in the TV series The Flash.

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The First in a Franchise of Famous Lines

Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in the Godfather

Paramount Pictures

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

Every Godfather movie has an extremely quotable line. Godfather II had "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart." And the best of the series might be Al Pacino in Godfather III, lamenting, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." 

This line was in the first scene of the first movie, however, and it set the franchise up as the quotation-generating powerhouse it's become.

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The Most Memorable Greeting

The fight scene in Princess Bride

20th Century Fox

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

This famous line from the imminently quotable The Princess Bride is almost polite. He has a greeting. He introduces himself. He says something about himself, and then he informs of his life goal. This speech does it all.

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The Most Famous Threat to an Animal

The first scene with the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz


"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

It's one thing to go after the person that killed your sister, but you really know the Wicked Witch of the West is bad when she's threatening poor, innocent Toto. 

The Wizard of Oz is another film filled with famous movie lines like "I'm melting, melting..." and "I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."  

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The Best Quote About a Man's Best Friend

Al Pacino preparing a grenade launcher in Scarface

Universal Pictures 

"Say hello to my little friend."

A man's best friend is his dog. Or for drug kingpin Tony Montana, his grenade launcher. Scarface provides one of Al Pacino's best performances with a number of memorable scenes, but it is this line from the climax of the movie that sticks with you. It's basically what is on the tip of every Call of Duty player's tongue when they run into a new match.

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The Best Movie Line Stolen From Television

Jack Nicholson bursting through the bathroom door in The Shining

Warner Bros

"Here's Johnny!"

This line from 1980s The Shining is an exclamation point at the end of an intense chase scene that has Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) taking an ax to a series of doors in pursuit of his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall). He starts out reciting the Big Bad Wolf's lines from the classic story "The Three Little Pigs," but once he has Wendy cornered, he busts out this late-night staple.

Every one of Jack's lines in this scene provides some black comedy to the scary proceedings, but it's the final quotation that bumps it up to a terrifying new level.

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The Most Recognizable Name in Cinematic History

James Bond first introducing himself in Dr. No

United Artists

"Bond. James Bond."

Yes, he likes his martinis shaken and not stirred, but it's his name that is the most distinctive quote from any James Bond movie. So distinctive in the fact that simply saying your name in the "[Last name]. [First name] [Last name]" format is an instantly recognizable reference to the movies.

A frequent quotation in the Bond movies, it was technically the second line by James Bond in Dr. No, but it was the first line spoken when we first see Sean Connery's face.

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The Most Famous Misquote of All Time

Darth Vader revealing himself to Luke

20th Century Fox

"No. I am your father."

The most famous quote of all time might be: "Luke, I am your father" in The Empire Strikes Back. But there's a slight problem. Darth Vader doesn't actually address Luke by name.  

When asked about what Obi-Wan told him about his father, Luke says, "He told me enough. He told me you killed him." 

Darth Vader replies, "No. I am your father."

According to Luke Skywalker portrayer Mark Hamill, he didn't actually hear the iconic words during filming. The secrecy behind Vader's true identity was so tight that the line he reacted to was, "Obi-Wan killed your father."