Movies have so permeated our society that it is often just assumed that you have seen certain ones. Jokes, popular culture, and advertisements play up the ubiquitous nature of some movies, specifically their lines. You may even quote lines from movies you’ve never seen. Here are eight often quoted movie lines and the context they are spoken in.
1. “You talkin’ to me?” Taxi Driver
Actually, nobody is talking to Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), he’s talking to himself in a mirror.
2. “Here’s looking at you, kid” Casablanca
1930’s phrase meaning something like “until we meet again” and “to your health”, with “kid” added as a term of endearment from Bogart to the girl.
3. “Life is like a box of chocolates” Forrest Gump
Gump’s mother explains life to young Forrest this way, meaning “life is a surprise/adventure”.
4. “I coulda been a contender” On the Waterfront
“Contender” is a boxing term for a competitor, and Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) says this while lamenting how great he could have been if he hadn’t lost in a fixed fight. Continues on to, “I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
5. “We’re not in Kansas anymore” The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy tells this to her dog, Toto, and while it was meant as a phrase of surprise in the film, it has come to be used as a sort of statement of the obvious when one is out of one’s element.
6. “You can’t handle the truth!” A Few Good Men
While Colonel Nathan Jessep (Jack Nicholson) is on trial, Lt. Daniel Kaffee shouts, “I want the truth!” and Jessep replies with this famous line, continuing on a rant about the responsibilities he had in the war.
7. “I’ll be back” The Terminator
First used in the 1984 Terminator, Schwarzenegger uses the same phrase or a version of it in later films.
8. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” The Godfather
The line comes up multiple times in the movie, first by the Don and then by his son Michael. The “offer” the man can’t refuse is not being shot, i.e., “I will threaten him with his life until he agrees to what I want.”