Sep 28 2012 4:00pm

“As You Wish”: Great Lines in Movies and Romance Novels

Jerry MaguireWhen I was a kid, my mother and I had the regular habit of going to Sunday matinees after church. Then when I was in college, I worked at a video store during summer and holiday breaks, as did my husband. Between the three of us, we can quote thousands of movie lines. My favorites are comedies from the '80s and '90s.

I can watch a good movie over and over, just as I can read a good book over and over. My paperback books are well-worn, and well loved. I’ve even had to buy second copies of some of my favorites, specifically Julie Garwood’s The Prize, Peter Mayle’s Anything Considered, and Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect. It's money well spent.

But if you’re like me, you can identify great books from a couple lines of text—or, at the very least, a couple great lines are enough to whet your appetite for more. Let’s test out that theory with a couple of movies first.

Inigo Montoya• “‘Scuse me while I whip this out.”

• “You using the whole fist, doc?”

• “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?”

• “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

• “We thought you was a toad!”

• “I'm the Dude, man.”

• “They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God.”

• “I'm just jazzed about being on the show, man.”

• “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”

• “Shut up, just shut up. You had me at ‘hello.'”

The Prize by Julie GarwoodAre you smiling yet? Man, I love great stories, whether it’s onscreen or in print. Now for the good stuff … here are some great lines from some of my favorite books.

“But off men or not, she still appreciated art, hovering somewhere between classic Grecian statue and porn star.”
– Linda Howard, Mr. Perfect

“Could it be that this woman under the studio lights was one part Martha Stewart to one part Carmen Electra?”
– Susan Donovan, Knock Me Off My Feet

“I’m not a prize.”
– Julie Garwood, The Prize

“You’re too busy beating your chest and playing Tarzan, which makes me want to clock you for being a jackass, and I need a liquid pick-me-up in a bad way before I put up with any more of your macho bullshit.”
– Lori Foster, Simon Says

“She could’ve led him right off a cliff and he’d never have noticed.”
– Jill Shalvis, At Last

Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen“She felt like she was riding a rocket. Jeanette was a beast—all ugly on the outside and pure animal from the rims up.”
– Tara Janzen, Crazy Hot

“He went from utterly disinterested one minute to rather startlingly intense glances the next. She supposed one liked to know where one stood with others.”
– Erin Knightley, More Than A Stranger

“Unattached Englishman…Mid thirties, personable, fluent French, seeks interesting and unusual work, preferably in the Aix/Avignon area. Anything considered except marriage.”
– Peter Mayle, Anything Considered

“A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer.”
– Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

Got any to add to the list? I’m always on the prowl for a new book, author, or great movie.


Dolly Sickles is a Southerner with a lifelong penchant for storytelling. Her Secret Squirrel identity is Dolly Sickles, but she also writes romance as Becky Moore, and in the spring of 2012, her first children’s book will be published as Dolly Dozier. She’s an avid reader of all literature, but she takes refuge in the romance genre, where despite the most grandiose, exhilarating, strange, and unlikely plot that’s out there, every story has a happy ending.

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Lege Artis
1. LegeArtis
Oh, this post is definitely for me, I am known to drive some people to acts of violance with excessive quoting. ;)
Some of my favorites:
"I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began.
I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about
what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected
him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a
humanist. Maybe the last humanist."- Al Pacino Devil's speech from Devil's Advocate
"My mother always said, life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" - Forest Gamp
"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn"-Gone with the Wind
"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"- My Fair Lady
"Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some
point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I
also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for
the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one
for me."- Richard Gere in Runaway Bride
And from books:
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”- Diggers by T.
"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery.”- The Stand by Stephen King
"Love you? Of course I love you. Baby, I fucking worship you.”- Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon
"And there, my dear Fio, you make one of the Womanskind's greatest mistakes: falling in love with a man's potential."- Barrons, Fever series
There are so many of them, but I use this quite often with my friends.
2. Kaye55
From Jane Eyre: "Reader, I married him"
Elizabeth Halliday
3. Ibbitts
"I know." -Han Solo to Princess Leia, The Empire Strikes Back
"As you wish." -The Grandfather to the Grandson, The Princess Bride
"So... You're the one." -Charlie to Maverick, Top Gun
"You have no power over me." -Sarah to Jareth, Labyrinth
"Last night I drempt I went to Manderly again." -Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." -Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"Miss Jean Louise. Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your Father's passing." -To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"I wanted somone to touch me, and he wanted to be the one." -Naked in Death by J. D. Robb
Glass Slipper
4. GlassSlipper
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
- Albus Dumbledore

"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are; it is our choices." - Albus Dumbledore

"You can wish in one hand and crap in the other, and see which gets filled first." - Burgess Meredith in Grumpy Old Men

"I love you so bad." -Terrible to Chess in Sacrificial Magic
5. Torifl
“You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” ? Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“Yes, I am here. And you are lucky to be here too after all the absurd things you've done since you left home.” ? J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

"Oh God, I just kissed a vampire!" Oh Gods, I just kissed a human!" — Sherrilyn Kenyon Night Pleasures Dark-Hunter, #2

"We're going to knock those demons out and slay them with the power of Jesus. Hallelujah, can I get an amen?— Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave Night Huntress, #1

"We all ought to make sacrifices for literature. Look at me. I'm going to England without a protest. All for literature." - Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises

"Do, or do not. There is no "try".- The Empire Strikes Back

“They’re hee-eere!” – Poltergeist

"Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?" -The Breakfast Club

"That's why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they'd call them something else." -Sixteen Candles

"I see dead people." -Sixth Sense

"Tonight we dine in Hell."-300
Dolly Sickles
6. Dolly_Sickles
@LegeArtis - seriously, I'm going to have to check out that
Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon. *fanning my face*

@Kaye55 - there's genius inm simplicity, isn't there?

@GlassSlipper - great Dumbledore quotes! Are you excited to read Rowling's new adult story? I am!

@Ibbitts - To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite stories. I try to read it at least every other summer to keep me in check. My ninth grader will read it in the spring and I cannot wait!

@Torifl - I love Kenyon's series, particularly the first four or five. That's a great line about kissing, too. :)
mandy troxel
oh sexy girlfriend! sixteen candles no wire hangers! mommy dearest. first i play with jud, then i played with mommy, now i want to play with you. pet sematary steven king. theres no place like home. wizard of oz.
8. Avid Reader
1. Remember. No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai" (I know this has several "sources" but it I love it in this movie)
2. Run, bitch, run! He gonna killlll you! "Malibu's Most Wanted"
3. Love means never having to say you're sorry. "Love Story" (OK, this began to gag everyone after awhile!)
4. There's no place like home! "The Wizard of Oz"

Way too many books to choose favorite lines. Every book I read has something memorable about it :)
Vanessa Ouadi
9. Lafka
I'm such a nerd, I find myself using movie lines in normal conversation, from time to time _ "Do, or do not. There is no "try"" being one of those lines.
Some movies I know nearly line by line. The Goonies for example, haha!
Strangely enough, I don't remember many lines from romantic movies O_o

As to book quotes, there are not many I remember, let alone use in everyday life.
I do like "Certainty becomes you", from Tessa Dare's A week to be wicked. From the same book, I sometimes use the line "Don't limit yourself, you can be anything you wish" when some friend says he/she can't have been stupid enough to have done this or that.
Elizabeth Halliday
11. Ibbitts
To Avid Reader:
Awww! Another Buckaroo Banzai fan ...
Love it!
12. Josie R.
Love the Buckaroon Banzai quote!!! Great movie, weird but great. Also loved the quote from O Brother.

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball - Dodgeball the Movie.
Nice shootin, Tex; I've been slimed - Ghostbusters
And he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning - To Kill a Mockingbird.
The thing is Bob it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care. Office Space (the story of my life..)
You have your mother's eyes. Harry Potter series.

There are way too many book quotes - the "you're a cereal killer" from Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorites.
13. Joyce S.
The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel..

J.R.Ward, Dark Lover, regarding Zadist. It still gives me goosebumps..
14. Wendy W. Durden
Practically any line in the Princess Bride. "Good luck storming the castle" "my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" "Inconceivable!" "Sleep well, and dream of large women" "Did anyone ever tell you, you'd make a great Dread Pirate Roberts?"

Lest we forget the comedy stylings of MPFC: "it's only a flesh wound" "and we have the machine that goes PING" "no dear, you're not qualified" "I'm not a witch, they just dressed me like one" " I got better" "Dennis, there's some lovely filth here" "Help, help, I'm being repressed" "please, let me face the Peril! No, no, it's too perilous" "and then the oral sex" (one of my all time favorites, because it's just so out of place!) "your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries" and too many others to type.

And an ode to Mel Brooks: "what great knockers! Why thank you" "werewolf. Where wolf? There, there wolf" "what hump" {and from Silent Movie- Marcel Marceaux's only spoken line, ever- "NO!"} "someone call a locksmith" "it's good to be the king" "oh, piss boy" "location, location, location" "Wilkommen, welcome, come on in" "taffeta, darling" and many more.

I can't quote any romance novels, I've read too many! But movies are another story. Sometimes the only thing that gets me and my crew through a long shift is quoting and guessing the movie. And we are astonishingly good at it. That's how slow graveyard is!
Dolly Sickles
15. Dolly_Sickles
OMG Mandy, I totally forgot Long Duck Dong! Classic.

Avid, Buckaroo Banzai is in my top ten movies ever. All of my computer passwords come from the Blue Blazers.

Lafka, I love nerds. My son's 14 now, and my husband and I have been showing him some of our favorite classic movies (like Blazing Saddles and Fletch), and when dialogue comes up that we use, he's like "oh, you're such a copycat!"

Joyce, I havent read that book, but that line is awesome.

And Wendy, you are a gal after my own heart.
16. DCT
If we are apart it's only because I'm not done fighting my way to you. Immortals after Dark Kresley Cole

You're a wizard, Harry. - Hagrid

A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means too. - Gandalf

SNAFU (situation normal, all f**ked up) - Troubleshooters Inc Suzanne Brockmann

Plus so many more!! I love those one lines that stick with you long after you have finished reading the book.
17. tadyena
"Same page, same paragraph, same word".... - Barrons, Fever series

That is on a loop in my head ever sense I read the series. I don't even fit most of the situations I think it in.
Yvonne De La Cruz
18. ymdlc1
"My name is Andrew Shepard and I AM the U.S. President"
"You had me at hello"
....not from a Cindy Gerard's "Last Man Standing": "He worshipped at the altar of her sexuality" it hot in here or is it just me? :)
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