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Top 10 Movie Comeback Lines

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Alex Crilly Mckean. These characters just aren’t going to take it anymore. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie comeback lines. For this list, we’ve taken witty responses from live-action films that are quotable or memorable in some way, or come during a pivotal scene in the movie. As you might have guessed, these scenes must involve two people, so solo comebacks don’t count. Sorry, “Taxi Driver.” Special thanks to our users Andrew Neilson and Andrew A. Dennison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean.

Top 10 Movie Comeback Lines


These characters just aren’t going to take it anymore. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie comeback lines.

For this list, we’ve taken witty responses from live-action films that are quotable or memorable in some way, or come during a pivotal scene in the movie. As you might have guessed, these scenes must involve two people, so solo comebacks don’t count. Sorry, “Taxi Driver.”

#10: Mistaken for a Man
“Aliens” (1986)

The Alien franchise already had one strong female character in the form of Ellen Ripley. For the follow-up, director James Cameron gives us another with the introduction of Vasquez, a colonial marine who doesn’t take any crap from anybody. As her first line of dialogue, we get this little gem that perfectly sets up theilly-Mckean character and paints a picture of what kind of woman Vasquez is. Oh yeah, she’s a badass.

#9: Two Horses Too Many
“Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

If the movie “Death Wish” taught us anything, it’s that Charles Bronson is a guy who has no problem messin’ up a couple of thugs. And when you’re getting hassled by hooligans, it’s always satisfying to put the fear of god in them before gunning them down. Bronson’s gun slinging protagonist Harmonica does just that when faced with a few cocky henchmen in this classic Western flick. It’s a chilling scene that leaves us a little – dare we say – hoarse?

#8: Go Piss Your Pants, Greg
“Superbad” (2007)

Everyone knows high school’s tough, especially when you want to make it into higher social circles. Jonah Hill is one such student, and he doesn’t take too kindly when his plans for getting laid are interrupted by another classmate. It’s just one of many funny lines in a coming-of-age tale that appeals to the awkward nerd in all of us. After all, we can’t help but root for Seth, Evan and Fogell as they get into misadventure after misadventure on their quest to provide a big end-of-summer party with its essential ingredient: booze.

#7: Your Opinion, Man
“The Big Lebowski” (1998)

The wisdom dispensed by the Dude has had such an impact on pop-culture, it inspired it’s own religion and philosophy, Dudism. So it’s not shocking that he appears on this list with a deceptively simple comeback. When a rival bowling team starts harassing him and his buddies, Jeff Bridges delivers one of the most articulate and intellectually stimulating replies ever put to film. That response is in very much in keeping with the Dude’s chilled out vibe; he has no desire to get overly worked up about anything, not even a guy peeing on his rug.

#6: Yippee-Ki-Yay
“Die Hard” (1988)

It’s always a big moment when the hero and villain first meet face-to-face in a film. But for NYPD officer John McClane, his first interaction with his antagonist comes over a walkie-talkie. The baddie in question, German terrorist Hans Gruber, has taken a group of people – which just happens to include McClane’s wife – hostage in Nakatomi Plaza, Los Angeles. The two dish out some harsh fighting words before the infinitely quotable comeback leaps out and stops the German thief in his tracks.

#5: G.B.P.P.
“The Avengers” (2012)

No superhero team is perfect, and with so many of Marvel’s elite in one place there are bound to be a few clashes and inflated egos flying around the room. Of course, whenever Tony Stark – the weapons tech mastermind behind the Iron Man suit – is in a room, there’s gonna be an excessive amount of ego. One of the funniest instances of Stark’s personality getting the better of him is when he verbally spars with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, whose personal ideals lead him to constantly butt heads with the billionaire brat.

#4: How Do You Like Them Apples?
“Good Will Hunting” (1997)

Just goes to show that background doesn’t mean a damn thing when trying to impress the ladies. Played by Matt Damon, Will Hunting is an impoverished South-Bostonian janitor who also has an uncanny ability for solving graduate level mathematical equations and a certain rough-around-the-edges Irish charm about him. Coming from a poorer neighborhood also means that Will doesn’t play nice with his ivy league graduate classmates; he can’t help rubbing it in when a beautiful woman chooses poor and charming over rich and snooty.

#3: Mister Tibbs
“In the Heat of the Night” (1967)

While visiting his mother in Sparta, Mississippi, Virgil Tibbs is initially arrested on suspicion of murder due to the presumptions of racist police chief Bill Gillespie. When it’s revealed that Tibbs is actually Philadelphia’s number one homicide detective, Gillespie reluctantly recruits Tibbs to help him solve the very murder he had earlier arrested him for! You’d think Gillespie would chill-out on his racism after being made to eat such a large slice of humble pie, but he persists in being a nuisance and when he goes too far, Virgil lets him know just exactly who he’s dealing with.

#2: You Can’t Handle the Truth!
“A Few Good Men” (1992)

Of course, Jack Nicholson was going to make it onto this list! Out of all his iconic and memorable lines in movies this one has managed to rise above the rest and get stuck in our collective cultural memory. As Colonel Jessup, Nicholson maintains a wall of moral authority throughout “A Few Good Men,” blocking out Tom Cruise’s accusations that he ordered the murder a fellow marine. And, when pushed to the brink on the witness stand, he delivers what is now a considered a classic movie-line.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- New Asshole
“Bridesmaids” (2011)
- Shirley
“Airplane!” (1980)
- The Picture Got Small
“Sunset Boulevard” (1950)
- Courage
“Street Fighter” (1994)

#1: Frankly, My Dear…
“Gone with the Wind” (1939)

Voted the top movie line ever by the American Film Institute, it’s the classic quote that almost wasn’t. Tired of wasting his breath on Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler finally gives up on their turbulent relationship. Scarlett tries to gain his sympathy, frantically demanding, Rhett responds thusly: Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn. Previous to this film, the word “damn” was banned by the Motion Picture Association’s Production Code, but a month-and-a-half before the release the code was amended to allow the word if its use was deemed essential. We’re glad someone had the foresight to see how crucial it was to this brilliant comeback, securing its place in our number one spot.

Do you agree with our list? Which comeback line blew you away? For more top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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