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Popular Movie Quotes Used in Daily Conversation

Popular Movie Quotes Used in Daily Conversation

Famous lines from Western movies include "May the force be with you" from Star Wars and "I'll be back" from The Terminator. Native speakers can easily tell which movies these lines are referring to when they hear them.

However, these are only two examples of the many movie lines that are used in English-speaking countries on a regular basis.

In this article, we'll introduce some other well-known lines and how they are used in everyday life.

"There’s no place like home."

  • Movie:The Wizard of Oz

This is perhaps the most famous line from the hit movie The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939.

One day, a girl named Dorothy gets caught in a tornado and is taken to a magical land. She meets many different characters and experiences many fantastic things, but her goal remains to return home. This is a phrase she says over and over again to gain her wish.

Nowadays, this line is often said by people who have been traveling for a long time or are living away from home.

I had a fantastic trip overseas, but there's no place like home!

This line is used in a very similar way to the expression "Home, sweet home."

"You’re gonna need a bigger boat."

  • Movie:Jaws

This line is said by Chief Brody in the 1975 movie Jaws when he first sees the shark he is hunting. He realizes that the shark is much larger than he imagined, and that even if he could catch it, it would be impossible to put it on the boat.

Now, it's a line that can be used when you are in a bad situation that is beyond your control, or when the situation is more difficult than expected.

The boss wants all of this work done by tomorrow...
We're going to need a bigger boat.

Another phrase related to sharks is "to bite off more than you can chew." It means trying to do more than you are capable of doing!

I bit off more than I could chew when I told my boss I could get this done by tomorrow.

“You talking to me?”

  • Movie: Taxi Driver

This famous phrase was improvised by the famous actor Robert DeNiro. That means it was not in the movie's script, so he thought of it at that moment, without preparation. It has become perhaps the most well-known scene in Taxi Driver!

Travis, the movie's mentally troubled main character, says this line in front of a mirror to practice for an argument or fight. It basically means "What did you say?" or "Excuse me?" However, the tone is aggressive and the nuance is closer to "Do you want to fight?"

People say this line when joking with good friends, family members or colleagues as a way to challenge them.

Hey, go grab me a beer from the fridge.
You talking to me? Go get one yourself!

"You can’t handle the truth."

  • Movie:A Few Good Men

This line appears in a tense courtroom scene between Kaffee, a lawyer, and Colonel Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson. When Kaffee demands the truth about the death of a soldier, Jessep responds with this phrase in a very firm voice.

This line is commonly used to refer to information that the listener may not be prepared to hear or accept. It's often used to protect the listener, such as when you don't want to hurt the other person with this knowledge. However, it's more frequently used in a joking way to tease friends with something they want to know.

Just tell me already!
No. You can’t handle the truth.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

  • Movie:The Godfather

The Godfather is the first in a famous series of films about a family in the Italian mafia. This line is spoken by Don Vito Corelone, the head of the family, played by Marlon Brando.

Corleone is the godfather of Johnny Fontane, a singer who badly needs a job. Johnny believes that performing in an upcoming Hollywood film will be a big help for his career. However, the head of the movie studio refuses to hire Johnny.

Corleone says he will convince the studio boss to give him the job, and it is at this point he says this famous line. Even though it is not said directly, it implies that the boss will be hurt if he doesn't agree.

You can use this phrase in a situation in which you are sure that you will get what you want. It's another way of saying, "I won't let them say 'no.'"

You signed the contract?
Yes. They're paying so much money, it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

In this case, the offer was so good that Clea had to accept it.

The big kid told Joey to give him his money or get beaten up. It was an offer Joey couldn't refuse.

*To "beat up" means to attack or hit repeatedly.

Unlike the first example, this usage of the phrase is a threat of punishment if someone does not do a certain thing.

"Houston, we have a problem."

  • Movie:Apollo 13

This line is unique on this list because it's based on an actual event. It comes from a radio communication between two astronauts and NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, during the spacecraft Apollo 13's flight in 1970.

What the astronauts actually said was not this line, which has become very popular; he actually said, "OK, Houston, we've had a problem here."

You can use this line when you have an unexpected problem or when you are in a very difficult situation.

Is everything going OK?
Houston, we have a problem...

“As if!”

  • Movie:Clueless

This line became famous after appearing many times in this romantic comedy from 1995. In this scene, Cher, the main character, is surprised when a male student suddenly hugs her. When she yells "As if!" it basically means "No way!" or "Absolutely not!"

Clueless takes place in the Beverly Hills neighborhood of California, USA. Women living in Southern California, including Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, are sometimes called "Valley girls," and their unique way of talking is quite well known across America. Some of the most unique things about their speech includes overuse of the words "like," "totally" and "whatever."

"As if" is normally followed by a statement to make a complete sentence, but Valley girls only use these first two words! It can be used as a joke by both men and women, but it is used more often by women. These days, you will not be seen as a Valley girl if you use it.

Did Mark clean the house today?
As if! He hasn’t even left his room yet.

“Say hello to my little friend!”

  • Movie:Scarface

This line is yelled by Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, in the classic gangster movie Scarface.

Part of the reason this line is so memorable is because the "friend" (a machine gun) is not little at all! Over the years, it has been used in a variety of places, including TV shows and other movies.

It's often said as a joke when revealing weapons or dangerous objects. For example, someone playing a video game may say it when using a powerful new item against their rivals. But it can also be used when revealing something you are proud of, or when showing someone something amazing, even if it is not dangerous.

Say hello to my little friend…
Cool! When did you get a new guitar?

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

  • Movie:Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now is a famous 1979 film about the Vietnam War. Napalm is a type of bomb developed during World War II that can be dropped from planes to burn and destroy large areas.

Lieutenant Kilgore says this phrase as explosions happen in the distance. Kilgore's enjoyment of such a hard and dangerous environment made the line and the scene very memorable. After all, people normally prefer the smell of coffee and breakfast in the morning!

These days, this line is often used in a variety of situations, changing the word "napalm" for something that shows a person's sarcasm or their enthusiasm for something. For example, if you ever wake up in the morning and someone is burning bread, you can use this word substitution:

Ahh, I love the smell of burnt toast in the morning.

Obviously, this is a very sarcastic thing to say, since the "burnt" smell is not something people usually enjoy!

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

  • Movie:Cool Hand Luke

This famous line was used in the beginning of the song Civil War by the American rock band Guns N' Roses, so you may have heard it even if you haven't seen the movie.

In the film, a cruel police captain says this line when he tries to demonstrate his power over a prisoner who does not want to obey. 

Now you can say it when you are arguing with someone or when you have trouble reaching an agreement. Be careful not to use it in a business or formal situation!

I give up! What we've got here is a failure to communicate.


Using famous quotes from movies in your daily conversations is a great way to sound more like a native speaker. Plus, learning these lines means you will be able to understand clearly when someone says one of them to you. Study these phrases well and give one of them a try the next time you're chatting with friends!

This article was adapted from an original written by Sana Nozaki.