I was watching To Have and Have Not with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart the other night. I love her famous line from that movie. “You know how to whistle don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow.” I was appreciating the delivery and the line in general. I tend to like my heroines on the sassy side.
So I thought… how fun to make my favorites list of great cinematic lines delivered by women. Maybe I’ll even laminate it and post it near where I write as inspiration for my own snarky heroine moments. Without further ado, my top 20 favorite one-liners (or sometimes more than one) by women in the movies:
20. “It’s not the men in your life that matters, it’s the life in your men.” Mae West as Tira in I’m No Angel
19. “Well you’ve shown me an excellent example of the hiking part. When does the hitching come in?” Claudette Colbert as Ellie in It Happened One Night
18. “Look, we can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back” Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park
17. “I mean he’s either in trouble, or he’s going to be.” Holly Hunter as Helen Parr in The Incredibles
16. “Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” Mae West as Lady Lou in She Done Him Wrong
15. “I mean, I’m already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?” Ellen Page in Juno
14. “I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.” Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You
13. “Husbands should be like Kleenex…soft, strong, and disposable.” Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White in Clue
12. “How ’bout this for a number? Six. That’s how old my other daughter is, eight is the age of my son, two is how many times I’ve been married – and divorced; sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account. 850-3943. That’s my phone number, and with all the numbers I gave you, I’m guessing zero is the number of times you’re gonna call it.” Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich
11. “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” Mae West as Tira in I’m No Angel
10. “Face it girls. I’m older and I have more insurance.” Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch in Fried Green Tomatoes
9. “Of course, you won’t be able to lie on your back for a while but then you can lie from any position, can’t you?” Audrey Hepburn as Regina Lambert in Charade
8. “I’m not bad…I’m just drawn that way” Kathleen Turner voicing Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
7. “Honey we all deserve to wear white.” Susan Sarandon as Annie Savoy in Bull Durham
6. “When I first saw you, I thought you were handsome. Then, of course, you spoke.” – Helen Hunt as Carol Connelly in As Good As It Gets
5. “Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.” Mae West in Klondike Annie
4. “I’ll have what she’s having.” Estelle Reiner (Rob Reiner’s Mom) in When Harry Met Sally
3. “Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.” Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars
2. “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and…blow.” – Lauren Bacall as Marie “Slim” Browning in To Have and Have Not
1. “When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.” Mae West as Tira in I’m No Angel
You’ll notice that Mae West has several. That’s because she’s come up with some of the best one-liners in film. And she wrote most if not all of those lines herself. She was a playwright before she was ever an actress. Makes those lines even funnier in my opinion!
Did I miss any of your favorites? Share them with me!