How Well Do You Know the Most Famous Movie Quotes from the '80s?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: The Malpaso Company

About This Quiz

They're here! You're sure to have the time of your life with these '80s movie quotes!

Thanks to the '80s, there seems to be a movie quote to match every situation. They can be romantic, crude, totally hilarious or just plain corny; it doesn't matter - we love and use them just the same.

Some movies gave us that single, ingenious line that often went on to become even more popular than the movie itself. Others took your average everyday statement and turned it into a movie quote masterpiece. Take that one Pee-wee outmaneuvered the bully with, for instance - that's a real oldie-but-goodie schoolyard zinger! Can you recall what it is? Just think back to your younger days, we know you've used it - we all have!

It's not easy to pinpoint just what turns a particular movie quote into an enduring classic. It definitely, however, has something to do with the way the character delivers it that just seems to strike the right chord with us. Next thing you know, it's popping up in other movies, in ads, on poker night and even in your carpool! Be honest now, how many times have you used and heard that one from "The Terminator?" It's pure movie quote gold!

Only someone who knows 1980s movie trivia inside out could ace this quiz, but we can all have fun trying! So, if you feel the need, the need for a thrilling game, indeed - then it's time to start the quiz!


This is one of the most famous quotes in movie history and is even more famous for being frequently misquoted as “Luke, I am your father.” In the film, the actual line is “No. I am your father.” It is what Vader reveals when Luke says that Obi-Wan has told him Vader killed his father.

Arnold Schwarzenegger first uttered the now iconic quote in "The Terminator" (1984) and has repeated it (and several variations of it) many times since then. He says it in each of "The Terminator" sequels and many of his other films, including "The Expendables 2" (2012) where he and Bruce Willis trade catchphrases. Willis says “I’ll be back,” to which Schwarzenegger replies “Yippee-ki-yay.”

Major disagreements have arisen as to whether the correct order of this quote is “E.T phone home” or “E.T home phone.” The first quote is the one most people remember and the one that has made its way onto several lists of the most memorable movie quotes of all time. The other variation, however, is the one E.T. says first in the movie until he copies it being said the other way around by Elliott and Gertie.

Bruce Willis, as Det. Lt. John McClane, first uses his best-known catchphrase in "Die Hard" (1988) when speaking with terrorist Hans Gruber via walkie-talkies. By the end of the film, it is Gruber who taunts McClane by repeating “Yippie-ki-yay!” just before McClane kills him. Willis goes on to use the phrase in all four of the film’s sequels.

This is definitely one of the scariest and creepiest statements every issued by Jack Nicholson on film. In the scene, murderous Jack Torrance sticks his head through a broken bathroom door and announces “Here’s Johnny!” to a trapped Wendy. One study that used viewers' heart rates as an indication, found this to be the single scariest scene in movie history.

With jokes so corny they can’t help but be hilariously funny, "Airplane!" (1980) has made its way onto various “all time” lists. The American Film Institute has honored the movie at least twice, first by including it as number ten on “AFI's 100 Years…100 Laughs” list and secondly by ranking the “Shirley” quote at number 79 among the “AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes” choices.

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary” are the instructions issued by newly appointed English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) to his class of students. Williams made many famous quotes in his films, and this is definitely one of the most memorable and inspiring.

These are the last words spoken at the end of "Back to the Future" (1985) as Doc Brown, Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker zoom off to the future in Doc’s time machine (a modified DeLorean DMC-12 sports car). In "Back to the Future Part II" (1989) we learn that their trip to a time so futuristic that there is no need for roads takes them to October 21, 2015.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) has ophidiophobia (or an abnormal fear of snakes). So, his reaction is perfectly understandable when he looks down into the Well of Souls and sees over 7,000 of the writhing creatures awaiting his descent. In reality, the majority of the “snakes” used in the film were actually legless lizards.

Mr. T (whose real name is Laurence Tureaud) makes his film debut in Rocky III as boxer Clubber Lang and immediately makes his way into movie quotes history. It is also one of the most popular misquotes in history, as most persons mistakenly remember Mr. T. saying the phrase “I pity the fool” repeatedly in the hugely popular The A-Team television series (1983 – 1987) when, in fact, he never said it on that show even once!

In "Lethal Weapon," 50-year-old veteran homicide Det. Sgt. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) mistakes his new partner Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) for a gun-toting thug and accosts him. He says the now iconic line when Riggs easily overpowers him instead. Just as other famous actors do with their best-known catchphrases, Glover has reused “I’m too old for this” in several other films, including all three "Lethal Weapon" sequels.

“If you build it, he will come” made it to number 39 on The American Film Institute list: “AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes.” The quote has been reused on numerous occasions with perhaps the most popular variation being “If you build it, they will come.” Some persons actually mistake this quote to be the original.

The speaking voice of Jessica Rabbit is provided by film and stage actress Kathleen Turner whose performance is uncredited in the film. She has gone down in history, however, thanks to her sultry delivery of the line, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” While she has done extensive work as a voice actor, moviegoers may also remember Turner from her title role in the 1986 film "Peggy Sue Got Married," for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

Clint Eastwood both starred in and directed "Sudden Impact" (1983) in which his character Dirty Harry delivers the now-classic taunt, “Go ahead, make my day.” The line has found its way into countless other films including being said in both "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993) and "Beetlejuice" (1988). Ghoulish Beetlejuice, however, takes it over the top (as he does everything else) with “Make my millennium!”

“Goooood moooooorning, Vietnam!” – that’s how renegade radio disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) greeted his listeners at the beginning of each show. If you haven’t seen the film but are sure you heard the quote somewhere, perhaps it was from Paris Geller on "Gilmore Girls" right after she’s had her first sip of coffee in the morning!

When Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) turns to martial arts expert Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) for help defending himself against bullies, cleaning cars is the last thing he thought he’d be doing. Turns out, however, that Mr. Miyagi’s “Wax on, wax off” technique was the perfect way to practice blocking punches – who knew!

After ghosts eerily pour out of the television set, sweet and innocent little Carol Anne Freeling utters the words “They’re here!” Those words have gone on to become two of the creepiest words ever said on film and earned a place on the “AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes” list. Sadly, child actress Heather O'Rourke, who played Carol Anne, died from illness at age 12 in 1988.

What’s louder than ten? Eleven, of course! That’s the point Nigel Tufnel makes as he shows off his amps (with knobs that go up to eleven) to Marty DiBergi, documentary maker. Christopher Guest effortlessly portrays Tufnel, lead guitarist of the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap, while DiBergi is played by Rob Reiner who is also the movie’s real-life director.

This sage bit of insight actually comes from one of the funniest movies ever made. The 1989 romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally…" is ranked 23rd on “AFI's 100 Years…100 Laughs” list. This quote, uttered as Harry declares his love for Sally, is one of the best tear-jerkers of all time.

Released in 1987, "The Princess Bride," from director Rob Reiner, is a mix of romance, fantasy, comedy, and adventure. All of those elements seem to get wrapped up in Inigo’s delivery of the now classic line as he calmly introduces himself to his father’s killer and plainly states his intentions.

The quote “I’ll have what she’s having” comes from an older female patron in the restaurant where (Sally) Meg Ryan has just loudly faked an orgasm to prove a point to Harry (Billy Crystal). Credited simply as Women in Diner, the actress is none other than Estelle Reiner (director Rob Reiner’s mother).

Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) comes face to face with his mortality after spending the full three years of his life raging against it. The result is a beautifully delivered monologue that any human (or replicant) can totally relate to.

This scene is often hailed as one of the best in "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" (1980). As Luke prepares to enter a mysterious tree cave, Yoda calmly issues his knowing advice: "Your weapons, you will not need them.” Luke ignores the master’s words and, of course, goes on to regret it.

"Ghostbusters" (1984) spawned many one-liners, and perhaps none is better advice to the common man than, “if someone asks if you are a god, you say, YES!” It’s especially true when that someone is the shape-shifter Gozer, god of destruction and chaos. It’s even more true when claiming to be a god could make Gozer think twice about trying to hurl you off the top of a high-rise building.

“Goonies never say die!” – Mikey’s inspiring words are just one in a series of very quotable quotes found throughout "The Goonies" (1985). We have both Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus to thank for that. They are credited with writing the movie’s original story and screenplay, respectively.

Matter-of-fact, straight to the point and, hence, very wise – that’s what you can read into Sam’s statement of “When you don’t have anything, you don’t have anything to lose.” The style certainly suits actress Molly Ringwald who had her first major role starring as Molly on "The Facts of Life" (1979 – 1980).

Val Kilmer’s Iceman and Tom Cruise’s Maverick are both ace pilots and seemingly natural rivals. So, the criticism contained in Iceman’s profound words couldn’t have been easy for Maverick to take. Thankfully, by the end of this 110-minute, 1986 classic both guys develop a mutual respect for each other and work together to save the day!

Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) utters this unforgettable quote as he steps in to ensure Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) gets to have the time of her life before the final curtain closes. What follows is one of the best-known and best-loved dance scenes in movie history. Swayze later revealed in an interview that he originally hated the line and wanted it cut – good thing he didn’t get to have his way!

Back in 1986 when "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" was first released, guys didn’t come any cooler than Matthew Broderick’s title character. Ferris’ particular charm included breaking the fourth wall to pass on his sage words of teenage wisdom to viewers, like step-by-step instructions on how to fake the sudden onset of illness so you can fool your parents and get your own much deserved day off.

Seriously, as far as comebacks go, they really don’t come any more childish (or delightfully annoying) than this! While Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) wasn’t the first to resort to this playground classic, his delivery certainly goes down as a prime example as how to do it right, regardless of how old you are (or how poorly your trousers fit).

It’s the unspoken question that’s been on everyone’s mind for ages – just what IS Goofy? Thank goodness Stephen King brought it out into the open! Wil Wheaton utters the quote as Gordie Lachance in the 1986 coming-of-age film which is based on King’s 1982 novella "The Body."

Close to the end of "Tootsie" (1982), Bill Murray’s very clueless character, Jeff Slater, remark: “That is one nutty hospital!” His words basically summed up the movie’s entire storyline. That craziness was a good thing, however, as "Tootsie" waltzed away with huge box office returns and 10 Academy Award nominations.

If necklaces of garlic aren’t quite your thing when warding off vampires, then try learning a trick or two by watching Sam (Corey Haim) and his friends hunt vampires in this 1987 horror comedy. It turns out that an arrow through the heart followed by electrocution from a stereo works pretty darn well!

When Tom Cruise appeared as Maverick in 1986’s "Top Gun," he was the very definition of “cockiness” and moviegoers, both male and female, loved it! His performance certainly took our breath away, just as the film’s Academy Award-winning song declared. Plus, “I feel the need – the need for speed!” made it onto “AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes” list.

“Just the facts, ma’am” holds the distinction of being both a famous quote and misquote by the same character. When played by Jack Webb (the character’s creator and the original actor in the 1951 -1959 series) the quote is actually “All we want are the facts, ma'am.” When Dan Aykroyd takes on the iconic role of Sgt. Joe Friday in the 1987 film, however, he pays homage to both Webb and the famous misquote fans had come to cherish by saying “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Gordon Gekko (portrayed by Michael Douglas who won a Best Actor Oscar for his efforts) draws on this infamous quote to justify himself to his detractors, who are (rightly) convinced that he is greedy. The misquote “Greed is good,” is a fairly common variation, perhaps from persons who find themselves in Gekko’s shoes but without the urge to temper the proclamation of their heartfelt belief one bit!

"Mommie Dearest" (1981) chronicles the allegedly abusive childhood of Christina Crawford as the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford. Whether or not the stories it depicts are true, Faye Dunaway’s performance as Joan makes the movie a must-see classic. The intense “No wire hangers, ever!” scene definitely sums up all the serious craziness "Mommie Dearest" has to offer.

When drug kingpin Tony Montana tells his rival’s men to “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend!” you know he (and his grenade launcher) really mean “Goodbye, suckers!” This is quite possibly one of the most repeated movie quotes ever, although we doubt Al Pacino’s iconic delivery of the line (accent and all) could ever really, truly be copied.

Two slaps to the face and the insistence that you “Snap out of it!” certainly aren’t the reaction you’re after when you confess your undying love to someone. They’re exactly what Ronny Cammereri (Nicholas Cage) gets, however, from a beautifully disheveled Loretta Castorini (Cher) in this Academy Award-winning 1987 romantic comedy.

Before "Footloose" (1984) and "Dirty Dancing" (1987) there was 1983’s "Flashdance." This romantic drama showed us Alex (Jennifer Beals) chasing her dreams with some words of encouragement from her love interest, Nick (Michael Nouri). The box office megahit also gave us an award-winning soundtrack featuring such unforgettable songs as “Maniac” by Michael Sembello and “Flashdance... What a Feeling” (by Irene Cara).

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