With Quentin Tarantino approaching his 10th and allegedly final film and recently publishing a novel adaptation of Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, it’s clear there are plenty of people still talking about his movies. He has many hallmarks in his style, from non-linear storytelling to stacks of pop culture references in his dialogue, but one of the most notable is the hilarious one-liners that nearly every character delivers on a regular basis.
Predictably, this makes for a lot of memorable moments, viral quotes, and laugh-out-loud lines that both Tarantino diehards and movie fans, in general, have been sticking to for a long time. From his whole catalog of films, these one-liners stand out as some of the best of the best.
“We Got A German Here Who Wants To Die For His Country. Oblige Him!”
Lt. Aldo Raine speaks to his comrade in Inglourious Basterds
Of all Quentin Tarantino’s movies, the wild Inglourious Basterds might be the one with the most quotable moments and the majority of them come from Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine. After trying to get some information out of a particularly stubborn German soldier, he calls on Sgt. Donny to take matters into his own hands.
The way he’s summoned is with this hilarious and clever one-liner that combines Tarantino’s fixation for hyper-violence with his persistent creativity as a screenwriter, and the delivery from Pitt is icing on the cake. It’s no surprise that Raine is cited as one of Tarantino’s best characters.
“They Call It A Royale With Cheese.”
Vincent speaks to Jules during a car ride in Pulp Fiction
One of the best and most famous examples of Tarantino’s ability to weave pop culture references into his witty and fast-paced dialogue is the driving scene with Vincent and Jules in Pulp Fiction.
The highlight of the exchange comes when Vincent shares the details of some of the food heats on a trip to Europe. It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but the chemistry between the pair and the dynamism of the dialogue makes it effortlessly fun, and it all culminates in one of the film’s most iconic lines, making for one of Pulp Fictionthe best scene.
“Are You Gonna Bark All Day Lil Doggie, Or Are You Gonna Bite?”
mr. Blonde speaks to Mr. White during a heated argument in Reservoir Dogs
The argument could be made that as much as any other movie, Reservoir Dogs is just one climax after another for nearly the entire runtime. Still, one of the moments that stands out in the mix is the confrontation between Harvey Keitel’s Mr. White and Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde.
Not only is it one of the first tastes the viewer gets of what caused the robbery to go so wrong, but it’s also one of the first direct confrontations between the crew members themselves. It goes from frisky to flat-out confrontational when Mr. Blonde delivers this evocative line, not just once, but twice.
“I Like The Way You Die, Boy.”
Django taunts Big John Brittle after shooting him in Django Unchained
If viewers remember one moment from Django Unchained, it’s probably this one. Not only does Django get revenge on Big John Brittle, but he does it in the most stylish way possible.
The excellent sequence is built around a slick pistol draw, a sleek mirror shot, and a cathartic revenge whipping. The centerpiece to the whole scene is a perfect one-liner that both recontextualizes John’s own cruelty, but also establishes Django as one of the coolest heroes of Tarantino’s entire career, serving as one of Django’s most powerful quotes.
“I’mma Get Medieval On Your A**”
Marcellus Wallace threatens Zed after Butch frees him in Pulp Fiction
The scene of Marsellus Wallace and Butch in Zed’s shop in Pulp Fiction still blows minds all these years later, on first viewing. The unforgettable moment of Butch choosing to save Marsellus, even after ripping him off in a rigged boxing match, only for the two to settle their disagreements when all is said and done is one of the best in any Tarantino movie.
Making it even more thrilling is the lethal one-liner Marsellus delivers to his captor in one of his final scenes of the movie.
“You Shoot Me In A Dream, You Better Wake Up And Apologize.”
mr. White jokes to some of his fellow heist crew members in Reservoir Dogs
Sometimes a good one-liner doesn’t necessarily have to accomplish much. In the right hands, regular dialogue is elevated to memorable quotes with the right flow and personality. Tarantino is clearly a master of this and this conversation in Reservoir Dogs is a great example.
While the quote is a great punchy conclusion that both tells the viewer more about Mr. White while setting up some misdirection for his character later on, even out of context, it works perfectly in detailing exactly the kind of person the crew is dealing with.
“Good, ‘Cause You’re About To Meet Him.”
Major Marquise Warren threatens Daisy before shooting at her in The Hateful Eight
Tarantino is a master of lines delivered by characters right before killing someone, as weirdly specific as that is. During one of the best scenes in The Hateful Eight when hours of tension finally unload on the characters when bedridden Major Warren shoots Daisy in the foot.
Even though he doesn’t end up killing her in the immediate moments following this line, he certainly meant to, and the accompanying quote still has all its impact intact, regardless.
“We’re In The Killin’ Nazis Business, And Business Is A-Boomin’.”
Lt. Aldo Raine speaks to a group of American troops in Inglourious Basterds
This line doesn’t really need much context to explain why it’s so great, it just lays everything out there. Where Tarantino’s movies, in recent years, can occasionally feel like satisfying shooting galleries of racist villains, there’s something about the assault on Nazism in Inglourious Basterds that’s another level of rewarding.
When Brad Pitt’s Aldo Raine, once again, delivers this line perfectly, it pretty much sums up the attitude of the entire film, which helps it stand out as one of its most memorable moments.
“Zed’s Dead Baby, Zed’s Dead.”
Butch tells Fabienne before they drive off into the sunset in Pulp Fiction
Another unforgettable moment in Pulp Fiction related to Butch and Marsellus’ stint in Zed’s store, this line is cathartic enough to be the finale for most movies.
After what can lightly be called a traumatic incident Butch returns home with both his money and his life s that he and Fabienne can finally run away together. All of this build-up gets released when she asks about Butch’s new chopper, which he stole from Zed. As he delivers this line and the pair literally ride off into the sunset, it’s the conclusion of just a few of the films crisscrossing storylines.
“It’s The World’s Smallest Violin Playing Just For The Waitress.”
mr. Pink sarcastically tells his fellow robbers in Reservoir Dogs
Perhaps the most well-known example of Tarantino’s mastery of witty wordplay is seen in the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs where the group has a discussion on the meaning of a Madonna song before debating the ethics of tipping waitresses.
Steve Buscemi’s Mr. Pink has the perfect tone of sarcasm and apathy when punctuating his anti-tipping argument with his perfect line. Its vivid writing combined with an excellent performance, making for an all-time great one-liner.
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