#40. Forrest Gump (1994)
- Quote: "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
- Character: Forrest Gump
- Actor: Tom Hanks
“Forrest Gump” was beloved by ‘90s audiences for its perceived wholesome take on American history. In the film, the box of chocolates adage acts a profound segue between Hanks as the simpleton Forrest and his partners on the bus bench. In 2019, the scene was used on “ Saturday Night Live” to mock the first attorney general in Trump’s administration, the Southerner Jeff Sessions.
#39. Field of Dreams (1989)
- Quote: "If you build it, he will come."
- Character: Shoeless Joe Jackson
- Actor: Ray Liotta (voice)
The entire premise of “Field of Dreams,” building a cornfield baseball diamond as a time portal for famous players, should never have worked. However, despite the premise and the disembodied voice that first speaks the lines, the movie became a beloved, sentimental hit with this catchphrase often quoted.
#38. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
- Quote: "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."
- Character: Lou Gehrig
- Actor: Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper played famous ballplayer Lou Gehrig in this true story that’s still considered a cultural touchstone. Gehrig’s speech moved the nation as he reflected on his career in the wake of a devastating diagnosis of ALS that he referred to as “ a bad break.” Gehrig’s wife helped write the speech that appeared in the film.
#37. The Terminator (1984)
- Quote: "I'll be back."
- Character: The Terminator
- Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a star thanks to his hilariously stiff deliveries, not in spite of them. This line got laughs in “The Terminator,” when Schwarzenegger’s killer robot says it to a cop. He makes good on his promise by crashing a car into the precinct.
#36. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
- Quote: "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"
- Character: Gold Hat
- Actor: Alfonso Bedoya
The “stinking badges” line from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” endures throughout popular culture, as an idiom and in movies, comics, video games, and music. It appeared in Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles,” as well as in the Broadway production of rock band Green Day’s “American Idiot.”
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#35. Jaws (1975)
- Quote: "You're gonna need a bigger boat."
- Character: Martin Brody
- Actor: Roy Scheider
Much of the suspense in “Jaws” was created through the film’s soundtrack and the point of view shots, rather than seeing the shark itself. This famous line, still commonly referenced today, created a sense of scale through Chief Brody’s reaction shot to one of the film’s first big reveals.
#34. To Have and Have Not (1944)
- Quote: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
- Character: Marie "Slim" Browning
- Actor: Lauren Bacall
The production code prevented movies from featuring lewd content, so films used innuendo. These seemingly innocent lines sizzled with an undercurrent of sex. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart’s characters have a love-hate relationship (as well as a real-life romance) in “To Have and Have Not.”
#33. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
- Quote: "I'll have what she's having."
- Character: Customer
- Actor: Estelle Reiner
Director Rob Reiner’s mother spoke this one-liner, the comic relief to Meg Ryan’s epic fake orgasm as the prim Sally. In an early screening for movie distributors, men failed to laugh, but women in the audience erupted at seeing their dissatisfaction validated.
#32. Casablanca (1942)
- Quote: "Round up the usual suspects."
- Character: Capt. Louis Renault
- Actor: Claude Rains
The 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” took its title directly from this line in “Casablanca.” The line refers to “fall guys” or “patsies” who are framed for crimes. The line is delivered by corrupt police chief Renault, but this time he’s helping out hero Rick.
#31. Gone with the Wind (1939)
- Quote: "After all, tomorrow is another day!"
- Character: Scarlett O'Hara
- Actor: Vivien Leigh
Scarlett thinks through her husband’s decision to leave her, and after a series of aural flashbacks finds her bearings and vows to win him back. While she does get the final line in the film, it doesn’t quite overpower Rhett’s betrayal.
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