The movie one-liner. It is a staple of writing. Deployed to succinctly underline a situation, or to release tension. It maybe reached its absolute peak in the 1980s when action movies were led by characters who reacted to incredible situations the way we always hoped we would, as opposed to how we really would… which is running away screaming.

In their world, they met the challenge head-on, with a grim smile, and a sardonic quip ready quicker than the world’s greatest stand-up comedian dealing with a well-refreshed heckler.

“And then Arnie says “Stick around!” – it’s really cool…

It has been with us for as long as anyone can remember. Many scholars consider Rhett Butler, his last words to Scarlett O’Hara outlining his complete lack of f*cks, as the first one-liner. Others point back even earlier. There are so many to choose from throughout movie history.

The ultimate king of classic cool, Sean Connery, as James Bond delivers his verdict on a betrayal.

Matrix implores an overexcited Bennett to perhaps consider calming down just a touch.

Blade critiquing Deacon Frost’s abilities at winter sports.


There are simply too many for a single person to choose from. We need the wisdom of crowds. We need the wisdom of our beloved Outposters, who are wise and have the kind of good taste that makes Jonathan Gold look undiscriminating. Your debate for today is simply:

What is the greatest movie one-liner of all time?

Have at it, you magnificent bastards!


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