10 Most Memorable One-Liners From Wes Anderson’s Movies

Wes Anderson has two films on the docket set for 2023 release dates. Asteroid City is in post-production and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is set to wrap filming sooner rather than later. Fans of Anderson’s eccentric style should be in for a treat with these movies based on an original idea and Roald Dahl’s short story collection of the same name.

There are sure to be moments of colorful acting, dollhouse-like sets, and the zippy hyper-intelligent dialogue that fans have come to expect of his work. Every character in Wes Anderson films usually has at least a single one-liner for either a big laugh or an emotional punch that comes out of nowhere in a typically dry script. His one-liners are witty and impactful, each a story unto themselves.


10 “Well, I’ve Never Been Accused Of That Before…”

The Grand Budapest Hotel, M. Gustave

Ralph Fiennes makes the most of his starring role as Monsieur Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel, bringing real sincerity to some of his more over-the-top lines. His dialogue is filled with quippy one-liners that help him make friends with nearly everyone in the film.

Related: Wes Anderson’s 10 Best Montages

M. Gustave is trapped in prison with a gang of tough-looking criminals who decide that the flamboyant Gustave is a real “straight fellow” in appreciation of his character. Gustave doesn’t miss a beat creating a hilarious play on the term and his effeminate characterization while still being incredibly polite and diplomatic.

9 “I Wonder If It Remembers Me.”

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is one of Anderson’s less-appreciated films, but Bill Murray’s lead role carries the humor and emotional load of the story extremely well. The film-long hunt for the shark that killed his partner ends with his crew finding the beautiful creature calmly swimming through the dark ocean.

Having finally found his prey, Zissou can’t bring himself to kill the animal and instead asks this one-line question. His friends and crew mates put their hands on the captain as he tears up, finally coming to terms with his friend’s death and that he may have lost himself in this obsessive chase.

8 “Actually, We Should Just Go. Where’d I Park?”

fantastic mr. Fox, mr. Fox

In fantastic mr. fox, George Clooney plays Mr. Fox, and the plot of the film involves the older animal wishing to return to the glory of his youth when he was a thief and an adventurer. But he has a family now, and those days should be behind him. So when he finally does go on his final adventure, it ends with a final stand-off between him and a bunch of angry farmers.

mr. Fox throws down the gauntlet for what appears to be a sort of “final battle,” but when the assembled farmhands open fire on the fox, he grows up quickly with this one-liner, acknowledging that perhaps he’s past the angry youthful stage of his life and it’s better to cut his losses while he’s ahead.

7 “…Your Mother Was A Terribly Attractive Woman.”

The Royal Tenenbaums, Royal Tenenbaum

Royal Tenenbaum is the lying, cheating, mean-spirited patriarch of the eponymous family in The Royal Tenenbaums. Gene Hackman plays him with a faux-sensitivity and sense of humor that makes nearly everything he says laugh-out-loud worthy. He begins this quote kindly enough with “I’m sorry for your loss…”

Related: Every Wes Anderson Movie, Ranked By Rewatchability

Not only is Royal speaking this line to his grandsons and therefore about his own daughter-in-law, but it seems that he actually believes this should be a source of comfort for the children. The one-liner comes out of nowhere and gives more insight into how Royal can at once be kind and insulting at the same time.

6 “I love you…”

Moonrise Kingdom, Sam Shakusky

“…but you don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sam says to Suzy. The childhood romance in Moonrise Kingdom may be the best example of real young love. The children are honest and sincere while at the same time lacking the communication skills and adult wisdom to not always say exactly what they’re thinking.

Related: 10 Best Action Sequences In Wes Anderson Movies

When Suzy Bishop tells Sam she wishes she was an orphan because it would make her more interesting, Sam responds with the above line. He’s not dismissing her or mocking her, he’s just being completely honest. He loves her, and she’s wrong.

5 “She’s My Rushmore, Max.”

Rushmore, Herman Blume

Rushmore is an oddball story about a high-school boy and an older man both pining for the affection of a female teacher. The conflict between Jason Schwartzman’s and Bill Murray’s characters is even more powerful because they start the movie out as friends.

As they both compete for the love of Rosemary Cross, played by Olivia Williams, the pranks to defeat each other get more and more ridiculous. It isn’t until Schwartzman’s Max gives up that Murray utters this line to explain why it’s so important that he be with Rosemary. It’s an honest conversation between two men separated by years of experience.

4 “Take Your Hands Off My Lobby Boy!”

Grand Budapest Hotel, M. Gustave

In Tthe Grand Budapest Hotel, M. Gustave is constantly shadowed by his rookie lobby boy, Zero, played by Tony Revolori. For most of the film, Gustave essentially treats Zero like any member of his staff, kindly but curtly.

When the fascist police force led by Edward Norton apprehends Zero and Gustave on the train, Gustave’s emotional defense of his lobby boy shows that the character has grown to appreciate Zero as more than just an employee.

3 “That Was Pure Wild Animal Craziness, You’re An Athlete.”

fantastic mr. Fox, mr. Fox

while mr. Fox spends his time trying to recapture the excitement and rewards of his youth, he neglects his family, most significantly his strange son, Ash. Ash already has a chip on his shoulder about being Mr. Fox’s son since his father was a legendary athlete and crook for a while.

Ash constantly tries to impress his father to no avail until the end of the film when he single-handedly gives everyone a chance to escape the farmers. mr. Fox’s acknowledgment of his son is only one-line, but it’s everything Ash has wanted to be.

2 “…Make It Sound Like You Wrote It That Way On Purpose.”

The French Dispatch, Arthur Howitzer Jr.

Bill Murray plays Arthur Howitzer Jr. in one segment in the French Dispatch, and it’s his segment that provides the name of the film, which is also the magazine he is the editor for. Arthur loves his writers and wants to do anything he can to make sure they are provided for and respected.

Howitzer Jr. is not always completely sure of his author’s intent as he gives them a huge amount of autonomy. But a one-liner like this shows that he’ll trust them anyway, even if he’s not completely sure they are aware of what they’ve produced.

1 “I’ve Had A Rough Year, Dad.”

The Royal Tenenbaums, Chas Tenenbaum

Each of the Tenenbaums are going through a rough patch during the events of the film. None more so than Ben Stiller’s Chas, who has recently lost his wife. But as a serious, business-minded individual, he keeps a stiff upper lip the entire film and refuses to discuss it with his father, whom he does not trust.

And for good reason, as Royal proves time and time again that he is not to be trusted. But by the end of the film, Royal has done enough to prove his worth to his family, and in return, Chas finally breaks down and opens up to Royal as a son should to his father.

Next: 10 Most Memorable One-Liners From Coen Brothers Movies

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