There are many things that make a film memorable. This can be a scene, a single shot or sometimes a dialogue that becomes a hit amongst the masses. A single line can cut across different groups of people and become part of pop culture. No one can really figure out why it happens, but there is just something about a particular line that makes it a big hit. In some cases, these one-liners are so popular that they are used to identify a movie. For example, ‘Die Hard’. And with the advent of meme culture, the legend of these dialogues is definitely growing.
The beauty of these lines is that they can be used in many different situations. So you can whip one out to surprise your friends or you can use them to process an event. There are many possibilities. So let’s have a look at the list of top most awesome one liners ever.
20. “I’m The King Of The World” – Titanic (1997)
The line became famous when it was uttered by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, it expresses a feeling of achievement and it is also a great way to motivate yourself. Go ahead, say it, don’t you feel better ? The line also gained some notoriety when director James Cameron said it at the end of his speech after winning the Best Director Oscar.
19. “I’ll Have What She’s Having” – When Harry Met Sally (1989)
An example of a scene that gets elevated because of its punchline. The line said by Estelle Reiner, the mother of director Rob Reiner is the perfect way to cap a great scene. Although to be fair, credit has to be given to Meg Ryan for her very convincing performance. It is safe to say that without that ending, this scene wouldn’t have become iconic.
18. “This..Is..SPARTA” – 300 (2006)
This is a one-liner that does not possess the universal usage that other entries on this list have. What makes this awesome is just how exhilarating it is to see on screen. The moment when Gerard Butler says the line and kicks the guy in the chest, is bound to give you goosebumps. It is one of those visceral feelings that the film evokes and its popularity can be seen by the sheer number of memes that are made from it.
17. “I Like The Way You Die Boy” – Django Unchained (2012)
When it comes to crafting quotable dialogue, Quentin Tarantino is one of the best at it. And ‘Django Unchained’ is filled with them. But perhaps the most awesome and badass line of them all, would be this one. It is said by Jamie Foxx after killing someone, who deserved it. What makes it perfect is the delivery and timing of the line.
16. “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum” – They Live (1988)
Although this is an awesome line, what makes it memorable is just how idiosyncratic it sounds. Seriously just think about it. What an amazing way to deliver a threat. The line has added to the cult of the film and it has been parodied several times. Another great aspect of the line, you can use it in real life as well.
15. “Coffee’s For Closers Only” – Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
It occurs during one of the most iconic cameos in film history. To be fair, all the lines Alec Baldwin utters are awesome and they set the tone for the film. This is especially remarkable because of his very limited screen time. Nonetheless he manages to leave an indelible impression. And this line that comes during that memorable scene, is the perfect way to top it off.
14. “King Kong Ain’t Got Shit On Me” – Training Day (2001)
In a performance that would fetch him an Oscar, Denzel Washington says many quotable things. This particular line of dialogue in the middle of a monologue, seems to have left the largest impression. Once again, this is something that you can use as motivation. Using this in many situations cannot be justified but at times, it really is worth saying it and for that we have Denzel to thank for.
13. “Show Me The Money” – Jerry Maguire (1996)
This is another film that is filled with memorable one-liners. But if you had to choose one among them, it would have to be this. It is contagious and when he’s saying it, you feel like screaming it out yourself. It is this aspect alone that makes it worthy of being awesome. It also works as a line that manages to encapsulate a character very well.
12. “Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me” – Gran Torino (2008)
Clint Eastwood’s career has reached a level where it can be used as a synonym for iconic. In his long career, he has had many one-liners that captured the people’s imagination. And this from ‘Gran Torino’ is one of his more underrated one-liners. Apart from being menacing and awesome in equal measure, it also shows that this is someone you do not want to mess with.
11. “I Dare You, I Double Dare You Motherfucker” – Pulp Fiction (1994)
If this list was about dialogue in general, this exchange would be up there with some of the very best. You could pick out quite a few lines from this exchange, but this one makes the cut. It is not only an awesome way to threaten somebody, it is also hilarious. And to Samuel L. Jackson’s credit, it doesn’t seem right when anyone else says it.
10. “60% Of The Time, It Works Everytime” – Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Some lines become memorable because of how funny they are or how cool they sound. But sometimes the sheer absurdity of a piece of dialogue propels it to fame. ‘Anchorman’ is filled with many such lines. And this one said by Paul Rudd’s character perfectly captures the spirit of the film. It doesn’t sound funny when you listen to it the first time but it’ll surely grow on you.
9. “If You’re Good At Something, Never Do It For Free” – The Dark Knight (2008)
The demise of the great Heath Ledger robbed us of an incredible actor who left us with a few iconic roles. Chief among them being The Joker. While almost everything he says is quotable, this is an awesome and important line in the film. It shows us that not only is this guy crazy, he is actually sensible and calculating. A bonus is that we can use this in our lives as well.
8. “Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker” – Die Hard (1988)
When it comes to action films and action heroes, there are few who are more iconic than ‘Die Hard’ and John McClane. The line is used as a way of showing McClane’s confidence. But what is also does is to boost the confidence of the audience as well. It gives them something to cheer for and more than anything else: what a way to reply to someone when they think they’ve cornered you.
7. “I Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning” – Apocalypse Now (1979)
As a film that puts you right in the middle of the war zone in Vietnam, ‘Apocalypse Now’ succeeds in its intent with the harrowing visuals we get to see. But, a one-liner gives us a good understanding of the psyche of those involved in the war. Robert Duvall’s iconic line is not only cool, it also shows the man’s sheer love for war or in this case, napalm.
6. “Say Hello To My Little Friend” – Scarface (1983)
Tony Montana is one of the most badass characters we have seen on screen and it is fitting that he gets to deliver a really badass and not to mention awesome one-liner. The line has become one of the most famous quotes from a film. It is a thrilling scene that gets elevated thanks to Al Pacino’s killer (no pun intended) delivery.
5. “May The Force Be With You” – Star Wars (1977)
A line that serves many purposes. It is one of the most commonly used one-liners from a film. It can be used to motivate someone, wish them luck and so on. In fact, it because of this versatility that the line has developed a life of its own. In the film, it captures a great moment when Harrsion Ford says it and he’s finally won over by The Force.
4. “I’m Gonna Make Him An Offer He Can’t Refuse” – The Godfather (1972)
It is considered by many to be quite possibly the greatest film ever made. It certainly has some of the best dialogues in a film. The line establishes the myth that is Don Corleone. When he says it, we actually believe him. And also, it is an incredibly elegant way to word a threat. The line is so closely attached to Brando and the film that they are impossible to think of separately.
3. “You Talkin’ To Me?” – Taxi Driver (1976)
This may be one of the only times, a one-liner has made it to pop culture despite being directed at an imaginary person. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) speaks to the mirror as if he’s threatening somebody. What the scene and this line achieve is showing us a layer of Bickle’s personality, his loneliness etc. that make him who he is. It also has quite a chilling effect.
2. “Get Busy Living, Or Get Busy Dying” – The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Not a quote you would expect to see this high on the list but there is a good reason for its presence here. We all know how inspirational a film, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is. It has many great lines that we can employ in our day to day lives. But in my opinion, this one takes the cake. This is because of the sheer simplicity behind the line that gives it a deep meaning.
1. “Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn” – Gone With The Wind (1939)
Few lines are more iconic than this and it also great importance in the history of cinema. The usage of the word “damn” led to a change in the Production Code. Looking at the line, we can sense a man who has given up on his love for a woman. And it is one of the most eloquent ways in which you can dismiss someone. For those reasons alone, this deserves to be at the top of the list.
Read More: Best Movies of All Time