20 of the Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time, Ranked

Bethany Quinn | Aug 21, 2019 Movies
20 of the Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time, Ranked

Tom Hanks and Geena Davis in A League of Their Own
Columbia Pictures

Great movie quotes have a way of standing out and sticking in our brain for years. It's hard to find a millennial who doesn't wear pink on Wednesdays, or who doesn't know what "spirit fingers" are. The truth is, great movie quotes have been affecting us for decades. Sure, a movie can be made famous by its amazing acting, gorgeous cast, and interesting story, but sometimes it's those one-liners that really make the film most memorable!

We can't imagine anyone but Ryan Gosling uttering the romantic phrase, "If you're a bird, I'm a bird," or Kate Winslet telling Leonardo she'll "never let go" -- even though she literally did! (We're still not over it!) These lines and others are so famous that many people don't even know their origin; they just know that they have infiltrated their way into popular culture and remain there on their own!

But we're here to break down the best of the best, the lines that have stood the test of time!

While everybody has a favorite, the quotes on on this list are undeniably great! With a few amazing ones -- like "I'll have what she's having," from When Harry Met Sally, or "Show me the money!," from Jerry Maguire -- didn't make the top 20, the ones that do are there for a reason!

Here are 20 of the greatest movie quotes of all time, ranked!

  • 20. 'Apocalypse Now'

    1
    Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now
    Zoetrope Studios/United Artist/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
    "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

    Martin Sheen stars as Capt. Benjamin L. Willard, a man unofficially and secretly tasked with killing a U.S. Army captain (Marlon Brando) who has gone completely rogue. Apocalypse Now is intense and gives a realistic portrayal of life as a soldier during the Vietnam War.
  • 19. 'The Wizard of Oz'

    2
    The cast of The Wizard of Oz
    Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
    "There's no place like home."

    Ahhh! Dorothy's final words before leaving us and hitching it back to Kansas. If only we had a pair of magic ruby slippers that could transport us back home from work, or yet another kid's birthday party -- or dinner with our in-laws ... whatever!
  • 18. 'Dirty Harry'

    3
    Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry
    Warner Brothers/Getty Images
    "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    Clint Eastwood plays Police Inspector Harry Callahan who's tasked with tracking down a maniacal killer plaguing San Francisco. It seems that Scorpio (the killer) has met his match with Dirty Harry, who has a quite unconventional way of capturing criminals.
  • 17. 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'

    4

    "Hasta la vista, baby."

    It wouldn't be a "best movie quote list" without this one from T2. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent, paired with a catchy Spanish phrase, made for movie gold. The line is so famous it has never been spoofed by The Simpsons!

  • 16. 'The Shining'

    5
    Jack Nicholson in The Shining
    Warner Brothers/Getty Images
    "Here's Johnny!"

    Not only is this line one of the most famous in movie history, some call this moment the most scary cinematic moment ever! Turns out, audiences have a hard time forgetting this scene for a couple of reasons!
  • 15. 'Scarface'

    6
    "Say hello to my little friend!"

    The "little friend" Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, is referring to is a machine gun that he turns on police during a raid of his property. While the scene is iconic and acted amazingly well, it's hard to praise anything involving an automatic weapon these days.
  • 14. 'Jaws'

    7

    "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

    Turns out, this famous line was actually inspired by real-life production drama that took place during filming. "[Richard] Zanuck and [David] Brown were very stingy producers, so everyone kept telling them, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat.' It became a catchphrase for anytime anything went wrong -- if lunch was late or the swells were rocking the camera, someone would say, 'You're gonna need a bigger boat,'" said Carl Gottlieb, who acted in and wrote the script for the film.

  • 13. 'Die Hard'

    8
    "Yippee-ki-yay, [expletive]."

    Aside from the aforementioned, "Hasta la vista, baby," there isn't another quote on this list that is so widely associated with its character. This phrase has made it into every single Die Hard film and is synonymous with John McClane, the NYPD officer, famously played by Bruce Willis.
  • 12. 'A Few Good Men'

    9
    "You can't handle the truth!'

    Few screenwriters have a way with words like Aaron Sorkin does. He brought us the hit show West Wing, the movie American President, and this film! He's known for his sharp and clever language in his work, so it makes sense that this line from A Few Good Men is a standout!

    To be honest, we can quote at least one line from almost everything Sorkin has written!
  • 11. 'Taxi Driver'

    10
    Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver
    Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

    "You talkin' to me?"

    The scene where Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, is talking to himself in the mirror and asking this famous question, was actually improvised. "A key improvisation in the movie was Bob in the mirror," director Martin Scorsese told reporters during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. The scene was left vague on purpose so De Niro could work his magic and obviously, he did not disappoint.

  • 10. 'The Godfather'

    11
    Marlon Brando in The Godfather
    Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
    "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

    At least he better not refuse!

    "Don't mess with the Italian mob" was one of the lessons of this groundbreaking, cinematic film. The scene that comes after this one is also equally as famous and involves a bed, a horse head, and an unsuspecting film producer!
  • 9. 'A League of Their Own'

    12
    "There's no crying in baseball!"

    Ha!

    Sure, there's no crying, no dresses, no kids, no makeup, no etiquette lessons ... that is, unless one is a part of the All American Girls Baseball League made up of women who took the place of men in baseball during WWII. A League of Their Own stars Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, and Bitty Schram (pictured here) in that famous scene!
  • 8. 'Forrest Gump'

    13

    "Run Forrest, run!"

    The first of two quotes from this epic film to make the list!

    Poor Forrest is getting picked on by a group of bullies when his BFF, Jenny, directs him to run away, a theme that also runs through the film! Well he does, and boy does he run fast! Turns out Forrest is an incredible runner, and that skill will serve him throughout the character's life!

  • 7. 'Sudden Impact'

    14
    "Go ahead, make my day."

    Sudden Impact
    was the fourth installment in the Dirty Harry series that gave us another memorable line spoken by the character Harry Callahan. The line is so famous that it has its own Wikipedia page! It's been referenced and spoofed in shows like Golden GirlsNight CourtMr. BelvedereALF, and Roseanne!
  • 6. 'Gone With the Wind'

    15
    Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
    Mondadori via Getty Images

    "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a d-mn."

    Back in 1939, the the d-word was considered somewhat controversial, and producers of Gone With the Wind didn't know if this line would make the final cut. They came up with a list of alternatives that included "Frankly my dear, I don't give a straw," "Frankly my dear, my indifference is boundless," and "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a Continental."

    (LOL! What!?)

    So glad they stuck with the original from the book!

  • 5. 'Forrest Gump'

    16
    "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." 

    This quote perfectly sums up Forrest Gump and is also great advice for well ... anyone! Forrest Gump lived an amazing life and truly never knew what he was going to get from moment to moment. From becoming a college football star to a war hero to a table tennis champion, and ultimately a father, this sweet and movie film really left an impact!
  • 4. 'Dr. No'

    17

    "Bond, James Bond."

    There are tons of memorable one liners from the James Bond films, but nothing stands out quite as much as how 007 introduces himself -- except for maybe how he likes his martini. The line has been used in all the films, and by all the actors who have played the secret agent!

  • 3. 'The Terminator'

    18
    Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator
    Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
    "I'll be back."

    These three little words will forever go down in history as being one of the most famous cinematic lines ever uttered! In the first Terminator film, Arnold Schwarzenegger says them, and lo and behold, he stays true to his promise. The newest installment of the Terminator series is slated to be released later in 2019 and will star Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong back in their original roles.

    (OMG!)
  • 2. 'Apollo 13'

    19
    "Houston, we have a problem."

    This phrase has been used by everyone and is actually based on the real account of the Apollo 13 astronauts. There's just one problem: It's wrong. Turns out the actual phrase is, "Uh, Houston, we've had a problem." Although minor, it is a different phrase yet fans will agree, the way Tom Hanks utters it in the film is way better!
  • 1. 'Star Wars'

    20
    "May the force be with you."

    A quote so famous, it even has its own day.

    On May 4 each year, we celebrate Star Wars Day and tell each other, "May the 4th be with you." Sure, it's a corny play on words but it just goes to show the impact that this film and this quote have had on popular culture all these years later!
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