There are many ways for a movie to worm its way into our collective consciousness. It can dazzle us with mind-blowing special effects, introduce us to unforgettable characters, or move us with great stories. Or it can just be chock full of quotable dialog that we’ll still be muttering to ourselves when we’re all in an old age home. Here are 15 such films with great lines that we can pretty much recite from memory, whether or not we remember anything else about them. Note that just having one or two famous quotes isn’t enough to qualify for this list.
#15. The Big Lebowski
Fifteen years after the Coen Brothers released their cult comedy, The Dude still abides. So much so that he even inspired a new religion.
#14. The Breakfast Club
When even the janitor in a movie has good lines, you know you’ve got a classic on your hands.
#13. The Wizard of Oz
Among the many great, lasting pop culture legacies of The Wizard of Oz is a treasure trove of wonderful dialog.
#12. Kindergarten Cop
Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are usually full of lines that elicit laughs, but in this case it was intentional. Hell, the man is practically a human clip soundboard machine.
#11. The Empire Strikes Back
Quote or quote not, there is no try.
While I think Anchorman tries a little too hard to be clever at times, there’s no denying a lot of its material.
#9. Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino might be one of the greatest dialog writers working in Hollywood today. And this is his crowning achievement.
#8. Napoleon Dynamite
This is probably the most polarizing choice on the list, and it definitely isn’t quite as hot as it was in the first few years after its release. But I still love it, so it goes to number eight.
#7. Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket is admittedly front-loaded, both in terms of plot and quotes. But man, what a great half. This is the film that basically made R. Lee Ermey’s acting career.
#6. Office Space
Not only is Mike Judge’s Office Space a depressingly accurate depiction of the drudgery of white collar life, it also boasts a litany of great lines.
#5. The Princess Bride
Is there a person reading this list who hasn’t seen this movie or quoted it at least once? Inconceivable!
#4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
All you need to know about the quotability of Holy Grail is that it inspired this all-time great article on The Onion.
#3. The Godfather
Best lines ever? Probably not, but it’s pretty close. Best movie ever? I might have to concede that.
Airplane! is pretty much nothing more than a ridiculously bountiful collection of fantastic lines hung on a threadbare plot. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Comedy tends to age about as well as bread, which is what makes the enduring popularity of Caddyshack — almost 33 years old as of this posting — all the more amazing. It truly is a Cinderella story.