80’s Movie Quotes

I was watching Commando the other night, not that it’s a movie for the faint of heart but fun nonetheless, and the girl who meets Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character gives him a one-liner that I soon never forgot. Then I realized most of the 80’s movies with Arnie or Sylvester Stallone have an abundant of one-liners no one ought soon to forget.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando

So, I thought for this Freedom Friday post, I’d give you my favorite one-liners from 80’s movies and perhaps give you a chance to add in your own favorites. If you’re thinking I’m going to have fun with this post—you’re right! After all, the weekend is right around the corner and it’s the perfect segue to start it off on the humorous side. Don’t you think?

Let’s start it off with…

Commando (1985), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Cindy: Can you tell me what this is all about?
Matrix: Yeah, a guy I trusted for years wants me dead.
Cindy: That’s understandable. I’ve only known you for five minutes and I want you dead, too.

Tango & Cash (1989), starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell:

Ray Tango: Do you think he’s telling the truth?
Gabriel Cash: I don’t know. But it’s not raining and he’s standing in a puddle.

Red Heat (1988), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi:

[To a waitress about to freshen his coffee]
Art Ridzik: Look, lady. I just got my coffee the perfect color. It’s the only thing I’ve got going for me tonight.

Die Hard (1988), starring Bruce Willis:

Holly Gennero McClane: I have a request.
Hans Gruber: What idiot put you in charge?
Holly Gennero McClane: You did. When you murdered my boss. Now everybody’s looking to me. Personally, I’d pass on the job. I don’t enjoy being this close to you.

First Blood (1982), starring Sylvester Stallone:

Teasle: Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Trautman: You send that many don’t forget one thing.
Teasle: What?
Trautman: A good supply of body bags.

Aliens (1986), starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton:

Ripley: Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

Rocky IV (1985), starring Sylvester Stallone:

Duke: What’s happening out there?
Rocky: He’s winning… I see three of him out there!
Paulie: Hit the one in the middle.
Duke: Right! Hit the one in the middle.

Technically not from the 80’s, but I couldn’t resist…

Demolition Man (1993), starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes:

Lenina Huxley: I have, in fact, perused some newsreels in the Schwarzenegger Library, and the time that you took that car…
John Spartan: Hold it. The Schwarzenegger Library?
Lenina Huxley: Yes. The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn’t he an actor when you…?
John Spartan: Stop! He was President?
Lenina Huxley: Yes! Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment, which states…
John Spartan: I don’t wanna know. President…

And that’s just scratching the surface. I’m sure you can come up with more. What do you think?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What are your favorite movie one-liners?

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42 thoughts on “80’s Movie Quotes

  1. In memory of Robin Williams : ” Gonna rock it from the Delt to the DMZ ! ” ( Good Morning Vietnam )

    ” Oh my God. It’s Mardi Gras and I’m on the main float ! ”

    ” Oy ! What a crick in the neck ” – After being released from the lamp in ” Aladdin “. R.I.P., Robin. You provided happiness & joy to a lot of people.

  2. Love the body bags line from Rambo. So many great lines in 80s actions movies, especially Aliens, Die Hard, Predator (well pretty much any of the Arnie films from that period).

    I love the line in Commando when Arnie is hanging a guy over the side of the cliff.
    Matrix: Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last?
    Sully: That’s right, Matrix! You did!
    Matrix: I lied.

    And then he lets him fall to his death.

  3. Q: What are your favorite movie one-liners?
    A1: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” –Philip Seymour Hoffman as “Lester Bangs,” in Almost Famous
    A2: “I am a golden god!!” –“Russell Hammond,” in Almost Famous

  4. Great ones in Predator.
    “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
    “Get to the Choppa!”
    “If it bleeds we can kill it.”

    Everything from Die Hard and The Last Boy Scout, too.

  5. Commando is crammed full of classic one liners (“Let of some steam, Bennet.”, “Don’t wake my friend, he’s dead tired.” etc) but for me the ultimate Arnie quote is from Conan the Barbarian in response to the “what is best in life?”

    “To crush your enemies, see them driven before them and to hear the lamentation of their women”

    Or there’s always Roddy Piper in They Live, and not just for the bubblegum line there’s also the genius “Brother, life’s a bitch…and she’s back in heat”

  6. And let us not forget Tim Burton’s ” Batman ” ( ’89 ) – Jack Nicholson got some of the best lines.

    ” Did you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight ?”.
    ” Jack ? Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me ‘ Joker ‘. & I’m a lot happier now “.

    ” Beauty & the beast. If someone calls you ‘ Beast ‘, I’ll hand him his lungs “.

    ” Haven’t you heard of the healing power of laughter ? ”
    ” Now GET OUTTA HERE ! & think it over “.

    ” You are a vicious bastard, Vitelli ( To the guy’s charred corpse ) & I’m glad you’re dead ! “.

    He got most of the jucier material.

  7. Not from an action film, but I like it anyway and I LOVE the movie! 🙂 “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” – Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything, 1989
    Great post, Jack!

  8. OK, technically it wasn’t a MOVIE as such, but Alan Arbus’ / Dr. Sidney Freedman’s last words in MASH’s finale episode ” Goodbye, Farewell & Amen “. ” Ladies & Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, & slide on the ice. “. Words to live by. Dr. Sidney Freedman appeared maybe a grand total of 4 times in the series, & he re – used this catchy phrase twice. 🙂

  9. Love the topic, Jack! For this movie, a great underlying theme, more sociopolitical than sci-fi (about rampant consumerism), also in the action-movies genre: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.” (From “They Live,” of course.) I love the “Blade Runner” and “Big Trouble in Little China” suggestions, too. My 2 cents: I think “BR” should make top-ten best-movies of all times list, regardless of genre.

    • That’s one of the best of the 80’s movies. & as a fun fact, James Hong was in both ” Big Trouble in Little China ” & ” Blade Runner ( The BR part was small, he was the older guys who designed eyes for the Nexus 6 Replicants ) “.

      I liked ” Alien Nation “, there was a series based on it which took scenarios from the movie, & spun them into episode plots. The series was pretty good, so naturally Fox killed it after 1 & 1 / 2 seasons.

      • I’m not sure I realized that James Hong was in both movies. He was Lo-Pan, wasn’t he (BTILC), and I definitely remember when Roy and Leon visit him as in the eye-guy role. He certainly appears in lots of movies I’ve seen, as I enjoy both the sci-fi genre and the Hong Kong cinema genre. Oh yes, Alien Nation. Movie and TV show quite different, though. Now that you mention it, I will have to rewatch both; I liked both, too (the characters’ names always tickled my funny bone). You have excellent taste, Zathra! 😉

    • That “They Live” quote is a classic, and of course Bill Paxton as Hudson in “Aliens” was a quote making machine! One of my favorites is John Ratzenberger as the electrician in “House 2: The Second Story” saying to the owner of the house he’s working on, upon discovering a huge temple behind a wall, “There it is. Looks like you’ve got some kind of alternate universe in there or something.”

  10. Commando is rich with one liners. Personal favorite: “You’re a funny guy, Sully. I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.” It’s a favorite because it has a follow up: “Remember when I told you I would kill you last? I lied.” Oh, and then there’s “Big Trouble in Little China”. So, so many lines for Kurt Russell as Jack Burton. “Honey, I never drive faster than I can see.” Or Jack, undercover at the brothel: “How do you do, Ma’am. Henry Swanson’s my name, and excitement’s my game.”
    White Tiger (June Kim): “Cash or charge?” I could go on, and on, and on.

    • i loved ” Big Trouble in Little China “.
      I also liked ” Alien Nation “, even though there weren’t as many memorable lines, it was still quite good.

      And let us not forget ” BLADE RUNNER “, with the memorable ” I’ve seen things ” monologue – delivered by Roy Batty / Rutger Hauer, followed by “You’ve done a man’s job, sir ! ” followed by ” She won’t live, but then again, who does ? ” spoken by Edward James Olmos as Gaff.

      • Good call on Blade Runner, which has visuals that get quoted in other films all the time, too – not just the script.

        Another one that just popped up because I use it so often myself – from Gremlins: “With Mogwai comes much responsibility.” And everybody knows so many Star Wars quotes that it’s not worth even adding them.

      • Blade Runner is so iconic, & I know that term gets used a lot ( Mostly by me ! ) that to attempt a remake would be almost sacrilegious. If I hear about ANYONE doing a remake, I’ll send a box of scorpions ( & a box of Kiing cobras ! ) to the production offices. 🙂

        I would mention ” 2001 : A Space Odyssey ” but there’s supposedly LESS than 30 minutes of dialogue in it, most of it by HAL, Dave Bowman & Frank Poole.

      • I don’t remember Alien Nation as being quite so quotable, but yes, it was a fine movie. For non-sci-fi/action flicks, I find myself quoting (OVER AND OVER AND OVER) lines from “My Blue Heaven”. What a day for a mow, huh?

      • Not many memorable lines, but the series was GREAT. So therefore Fox yanked its plug to make room for “trash tv “, probably.
        ” My Blue Heaven ” – Did it have Steve Martin, or am I thinking of something else ?

      • i remember ” All Of Me ” with Steve Martin & Lily Tomlin. I would love to find it on DVD. Steve Martin was funny without being over – the – top ” Wild & crazy guy ” funny. Lily Tomlin played a dying hypochondriac ( Whose soul enters PART of his body after death ) to perfection. It’s a gem.

      • It was very topical as far as ” racial ” relations. The Newcomers were the ultimate ” boat people ” / immigrants.

  11. Oh, there are dozens and dozens of good ones – so many I can’t even begin to think of them all. The first one I was able to pull up out of my foggy mental database was from a film with a ton of good one-liners in it – Short Circuit II (vastly better than the first one IMO). What did I remember and still quote today? Who knows how the mind works: “Chrome-breasted input eater!”

    And here’s one from a non-action, non-comedy source. Jane Austen comes up with a beautiful line in Pride & Prejudice: “A jibe is not a rebuttal”, which is both a jibe AND a rebuttal. How beautiful is that? I still prefer the old 1980 BBC P&P with Elizabeth Garvey and David Rintoul, despite its 1980s BBC “film outdoors, video indoors” look.

    I’ll have to think about more quotes. There are so many films!

  12. ” TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL ! ” – ” 300 “.

    ” Give my regards to King Tut, a**hole ! ” Kurt Russell, ” Jack O’neil “, Stargate ( 1994 ).

    ” Is this as good as it gets ? ” – Melvin Udall, ” As Good As It Gets ”

    ” Behold ! The only thing greater than yourself ! ” – Roots, after Kunta Kinte is born & the village shaman holds him under the night sky.

    ” My son. You do not remember me. I am Jor – El. I am your father “. Superman ( The original.

    ” I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go along ” – Indiana Jones, ” Raiders.

    ” It Belongs in a MUSEUM ! “, ” So do YOU ! ” – Indiana Jones & the smuggler, ” The Last Crusade “.
    I sound like I’m doing word – association. 🙂

  13. Love Demolition Man. I actually got to write a paper on it for a Science Fiction class in college. Wrote how it demonstrates that a utopia can be easily toppled by even a single disruptive element. Got an ‘A’.

    So many one-liners to choose from, but I don’t think a lot of what I know is from the 80’s. Being born in 1980, I didn’t get to watch these kinds of movies until the 90’s. I do remember: Get to the Chopper!

  14. Great one-liners! All my favorite quotes are from Space Chimps 😉 I’ll have to watch it again to remind me.

  15. I think the movie was ‘Total Recall’ Quaid points a gun at woman who was posing as his wife and says “I want a divorce’ or something along those lines and then shoots her.

  16. Demolition Man is a perennial favorite, here. Huxley’s malapropisms as she tries out her slang are fabulous.

    You have some STELLAR one-liners. 🙂

    The Princess Bride (1987) is almost entirely composed of stellar one-liners, so I shall forbear quoting them all. 😉

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