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  • The D is for Deloused segment of ABCs of Death 2: "You pay for life."
  • All the President's Men: "Follow the money."
  • Almost Famous: "Mystique". Also, "The enemy."
  • American Psycho: "This is not an exit".
  • Annie: Annie's words to Stacks become significant enough that he puts them into his speech.
    "Whenever someone says 'no', it's because they're scared of saying 'yes'".
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): "For the Creed" describes the motivations of many characters, both Assassin and Templar.
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  • Avatar: "I see you."
  • Bagdad Cafe: "Magic!"
  • Bicentennial Man:
    • During the first half of the film, Andrew's line "One is glad to be of service" indicates that he is enjoying his work. In the second half, however, after he's stopped using "one" as a personal pronoun, it's a sign that he is seeing himself as a robot and not happy. At the very end, Galatea quotes him to express her gratitude in helping.
    • "That will not do." The first time he says these words, right after Little Miss passes away, Andrew memorizes every medical textbook available in the world to begin designing artificial organs and DNA elixirs that mix the technological with the biological, making a profound leap in medical technology. When he says those words again after Portia tells him their marriage will never be accepted, he goes on a campaign to earn full rights as a human being.
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  • Big Fish: "Story/ies."
  • Black Christmas (2006): "...My family now." These words persist in the heads of the Lenz children.
  • Black Swan:
    • "Lose yourself."
    • "Live a little."
    • "Perfect."
    • "Sweet girl."
  • Blade Runner:
    • "To live in fear."
    • "Time to die."
  • Blade Runner 2049:
    • "Cells interlinked within cells interlinked within cells."
    • "What's it like to hold the hand of someone love? What's it like to hold your child in your arms?"
    • "Because you have never seen a miracle."
    • "Dying for the right cause is the most human thing we can do."
  • Blood Diamond: " T.I.A. This Is Africa."
  • Blood of the Tribades: "The blood is the life". It appears to be a religious phrase for the vampires, denoting their equivalent of communion, as the blood of Bathor is believed to have provided their eternal life.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: "Family" is used many times in reference to both the band and their personal lives. Also, to a lesser extent: "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds."
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  • The Boy Who Cried Werewolf: "The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
  • The Bourne Series: "Look at us. Look at what they make you give."
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid often ask "who are those guys?" in reference to the posse chasing them across the west but it also symbolizes the End of an Era for western outlaws. They can't run away from progress.
  • Christopher Robin: Two contrasting phrases are brought up throughout the film and recur frequently: "Nothing comes from nothing" and "Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something."
  • A Christmas Story: "You'll shoot your eye out!"
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: "In our faith, we keep what we kill."
  • Cinderella (2015): "Have courage and be kind", told to Ella by her dying mother. What starts out as a simple platitude ends up becoming a challenging Survival Mantra for Ella, as she determines herself to keep finding something in this world to keep hopeful about, even when all she ever seems to receive is hatred and cruelty.
  • "Rosebud." from Citizen Kane is a possible Ur-Example. Of course, it's not really enigmatic anymore.
  • City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold — "Come and get me".
  • In the original draft of the screenplay, Dante's constant complaint that "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" in Clerks was intended to foreshadow the tragic irony of Dante getting shot to death by a criminal at the film's conclusion. As the script was revised, this particular meaning is lost: however, Randall still references Dante's use of the phrase in his rant near the end about how Dante refuses to accept responsibility for his own actions or attempt to make change in his miserable life. The same with the other arc phrase: "Bunch of savages in this town."
  • Cloud Atlas, being an a film built largely on symbolism, has a huge number of shared ideas, visuals and — of course — phrases. Sometimes coincidence, sometimes an instance of in-universe quoting, a few stand out:
    • "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others; past and present..."
    • "The weak are meat, and the strong do eat."
    • "There is a natural order to this world..."
    • "I will not be subjected to criminal abuse!"
  • Colette: "I am the real Claudine."
  • Congo: "We are watching you."
  • Contact. "If there is no one out there, it's an awful waste of space."
  • The Conversation: "He'd kill us if he had the chance."
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button "You never know what's coming for you" represents one of the film's themes that deal with the unexpected ways life will change.
  • Dark City: "Do you know the way to Shell Beach?"
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy
    • "Why do we fall?" in all three movies.
    • In Batman Begins:
      • "If you make yourself more than just a man..."
      • "It's not who I am underneath, it's what I do that defines me."
    • In The Dark Knight:
      • "You wanna know how I got these scars?"
      • "Why so serious?"
      • “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
    • In The Dark Knight Rises:
      • "Rise."
      • "Anyone can be a hero."
  • David Lynch, in keeping with his affinity for mystery and ambiguity, sometimes uses these.
    • Lost Highway: "Dick Laurant is dead". "We've met before, haven't we?"
    • Mulholland Dr.: "This is the girl".
    • Inland Empire has a few; most obvious is "look at me and tell me if you've known me before", but there's also "AXXoN N.", "just down the way" and "the horse to the well" (which is hard to spot since it's mostly muffled or spoken in Polish).
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: "Ape not kill ape."
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
      • For Superman, any variation of "my world" is frequently uttered. It showcases how he sees Earth as his home and Lois Lane as his life/soul mate.
    • For Batman, the words "men" and "good" being used in the same phrase/sentence. It highlights how cynical he is, and it also illustrates his journey on regaining a bit of his idealism.
    • Wonder Woman (2017):
      • "I used to want to save the world" used as Book-Ends.
      • "They do not deserve you", in various variations, concluding with: "It's not about what they deserve, it's what you believe."
    • Justice League (2017): "Hope" and "Fear".
    • SHAZAM! (2019): "All hands on deck".
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League: "Not alone".
  • Dead Poets Society: "Carpe diem"/"Seize the day".
  • Deadpool 2: "Your heart is not in the right place." Spoken by Vanessa and repeatedly haunt Wade after her death. It later turns out, his heart is.
  • The Descent: "Love each day."
  • Dirty Harry: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
  • Dunkirk: "Home."
  • Eagles Gathered: "Golden boy, golden boy, where have you been?"
  • Edge of Tomorrow has several sets of repeated phrases that the audience uses to track Cage's progress through the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
    • "On your feet, maggot!" The Drill Sergeant Nasty saying this as he kicks Cage awake marks the beginning of a new loop. The only times Cage wakes up without hearing this phrase, first after he's lost the ability to loop and second after he's destroyed the Omega are huge moments as a result.
    • "You keep coming here every day and I'll train you." Rita's words to Cage show us that he's not the first person to have this power, eventually Cage interrupts her by saying that he already has come there and trained with her, hundreds if not thousands of times.
    • "Hey mate, there's something wrong with your suit! There's a dead guy in it!" Skinner taunts Cage with this in the dropship, highlighting how ridiculously out of his depth Cage is at the beginning. By the end, Cage has died so many times and become such a hardened warrior that he finishes the joke himself, and it's Skinner who feels intimidated when he looks at Cage.
  • Enchanted: "I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss..."
  • Escape Room (2017): "It's all part of the game."
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: "Meet me in Montauk".
  • Exam: "What is the question?"
  • Field of Dreams:
    • "If you build it, he will come."
    • Ease his pain.
    • Go the distance.
  • Forrest Gump: "Run, Forrest, run!"
  • The Fugitive: "I don't care."
  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare: "I Won't Tell."
  • Galaxy Quest: "Never give up! Never surrender!"
  • The Gallows: "He wants me. He's coming for me."
  • Get Out (2017)
    • From the trailer: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste".
    • From the film itself, variations on "just like one of the family".
    • "Dead by the side of the road" comes up a lot — it's how Chris' mother dies, how the deer Chris and Rose hit with their car dies, what Dean says he thinks should happen to all deer, and how Chris leaves Rose at the end.
  • The Godfather: "Make him an offer he can't refuse."
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: "Enchanting old ruin." This phrase is only explicitly used to describe the hotel itself, but is implicitly applicable to M. Gustave, the country of Zubrowka, post-World War II Eastern Europe as a whole, and anyone or anything else that seems to be an out-of-place relic of a bygone time.
  • The Grey: "Live and die on this day...Live and die on this day."
  • The Green Mile: "Miracle." and "I tried to take it back... but it was too late."
  • Hellraiser: Inferno: During his pursuit of the serial killer, Detective Joseph Thorne keeps hearing the phrase "Hunt the Engineer, and the Engineer hunts you." This is because they're the same person.
  • Highlander: "There can be only one."
  • Hot Fuzz: "The Greater Good."
  • The House of the Devil: Get a grip.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: "Remember who the real/true enemy is".
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: "If we burn, you'll burn with us!"
  • The Illusionist fires off a series of arc words in a montage at the end of the movie, giving context to everything that was said earlier which takes on a new meaning when the truth is exposed at the end. The most significant being "Everything you have seen is an illusion."
  • Idiocracy: "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way." Joe prefers to get out of the way and his Character Development involves him learning that sometimes being neutral isn't an option.
  • Inception:
    • "You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope the train will take you, but you can't know for sure. Yet it doesn't matter. Now, tell me why?" "Because we'll be together!"
    • "An old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone."
    • "Take a leap of faith."
  • "Fortune and Glory" from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • Interstellar:
  • Into the Storm (2009): "Out spoke Brave Horatius, Captain of the gate, to every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late. And how can a man die better, than by facing the fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?" a phrase repeated by Winston Churchill twice in the movie.
  • James Bond
  • John Wick: The series as a whole has "Be seeing you", generally used as a final exchange between a defeated (and possibly dying) opponent and John.
    • The first film also has "Let's go home", symbolizing John's return to the criminal underworld.
    • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has several:
      • Several characters repeat and comment upon the phrase "I have served. I will be of service", which appears to be an oath of loyalty among the Table and those who serve under it. This adds some ambiguity to Winston's betrayal of Wick and re-pledge to The High Table at the end of the film, as while he claims to "have served", he doesn't complete the whole phrase, and instead goes on about how he's a valuable pillar of stability for New York City.
      • The phrase "choices and consequences" also pops up quite a bit, mostly in relation to the fallout of John's actions at the end of the second movie and what path he wants to take now.
      • "Above/Below/Under The Table" pops up quite a bit.
      • Characters proclaim their loyalty to the High Table by pledging their "fealty". The Bowery King, notably, thinks it's a load of horseshit.
    Bowery King: I'm gonna shove so much "fealty" up your ass it's gonna come spilling out your mouth.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • "Life finds a way" is first said by Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, then later gets paraphrased by Alan Grant when he and the kids come across a dinosaur nest. It gets further paraphrased by John Hammond in The Lost World: Jurassic Park in reference to the surprising survival of the dinosaurs on Isla Sorna. This also serves as the Tag Line for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (incidentally the first film to include an appearance by Malcolm since Lost World).
    • "More teeth" is first used by Claire Dearing in Jurassic World to describe one of the things they are looking for in InGen's new hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus rex. Later, Gray says it to his aunt Claire after seeing they and the raptors are outmatched against Indominus, inspiring her to go and lure out the Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Kill Bill: "You and I have unfinished business."
  • Kill List: "Thank you." Said by all of Jay's intended victims throughout the film, culminating in an Ironic Echo when Gal says "Thanks" before Jay delivers a Mercy Kill.
  • A Knight's Tale: "A man can change his stars."
  • Letters to Juliet: "If it's true love, then it is never too late".
  • Liberal Arts: "Fortune never smiles on those who say no."
  • Logan:
    • "So that's what it feels like."
    • The closing dialogue from Shane is quoted significantly twice: "There's no living with a killing. There's no going back from it. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand that sticks. There's no going back. Now you run on home to your mother and tell her... tell her everything's alright, and there aren't any more guns in the valley."
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: "We are not things."
    • "Who killed the world?"
    • "Witness me!"
    • "I live. I die. I live again!"
  • Marathon Man: "Is it safe?
  • In The Martian, the entire world takes up the rally of "Bring him home." Several NASA officials say it throughout the film and once Watney's perilous rescue begins, millions and millions of people are shown holding signs, wearing T-shirts, and posting hashtags emblazoned with the pleading words.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • If there are any arc words for the franchise as a whole, or at least Iron Man's character arc, they would be "I am Iron Man". Said in Iron Man I to admit he was responsible for everything in the film, Iron Man II at congress to defend his continued control of his suits, Iron Man III after he spent the whole movie showing us that he was more than his suits, and Endgame in defiance of Thanos's "I am inevitable" right before he snaps his fingers.
    • Iron Man:
      • "This is your legacy." reflecting on both the titular protagonist's dark familial history as well as the new one he will make upon atonement, which is fitting since this movie launched the Shared Universe.
    • The Avengers:
      • "It's an old-fashioned notion."
      • "Soldiers".
      • "Sentiment."
      • Variants on "avenge". (In addition to the title and The Avengers Initiative, there's the unspoken but implied last word of Coulson's assertion that the team were never going to work together "if they didn't have something to..." and finally Tony's threat to Loki that they will avenge the world if they can't save it.)
    • Iron Man 3
      • "You know who I am."
      • "We create our own demons." May also be applicable to Avengers: Age of Ultron, given its premise.
      • "When is a bomb not a bomb?" "A bomb is not a bomb when it's a misfire."
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
      • "Captain's orders."
      • "On your left."
      • "I'm with you till the end of the line."
    • Guardians of the Galaxy:
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
      • "Monsters"
      • "Together"
      • "Strings" (especially in the context of Pinocchio references)
    • Ant-Man:
      • "I know a guy..."
      • "Become the hero she already thinks you are."
      • "Go Subatomic."
    • Thor: Ragnarok
      • "Asgard isn't a place, it's a people."
      • Thor has been called "God/Lord of Thunder" throughout the film, and for good reason. Realizing that his powers are lightning and thunder themselves and not Mjölnir is what finally allows him to turn the tide of the Final Battle in his favor.
      • Thor is told that he's "Home" many, many times in many, many different locations. This is related to Odin's words that Asgard can be anywhere — thus, Thor can be "home" anywhere.
      • "That's what heroes do."
    • Black Panther (2018)
      • "We/You do not/will not speak of this". Said by characters in order to preserve Wakanda's masquerade as an impoverished nation, but at the same time coinciding with the film's plot that is driven by a Dark Secret.
      • "Who are you?" Plays into the overall themes of who we are versus who we choose to be versus who outside forces make us into.
      • "Praise the ancestors."
      • "Wakanda forever!"
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp uses "misdirection" multiple times. It comes from Scott's Chekhov's Skill of close-up magic tricks, and comes into play when outsmarting the Big Bad Ensemble.
    • Avengers: Endgame
      • "Whatever it takes." Showcasing how much of a Determinator the protagonists are but also how dire the situation is.
      • "Move on." It relates to how the characters must try to adjust to the new status quo.
      • "I am inevitable." Uttered by Thanos, who believes that he is the "be all, end all" of all existence.
  • The Matrix series:
    • "What is the Matrix?" were arc words throughout the marketing and right up until a third of the way through the film.
    • "Everything that has a beginning has an end."
  • Million Dollar Baby: "Mo Cuishle" which is Gaelic for "My Darling, my blood".
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Mongol: All Mongols fear thunder.
  • Moulin Rouge!: "Truth Beauty Freedom Love"
  • The Mummy (1999): "Death is only the beginning"
  • Mystery Team: "Someone stole that man's face"; in a weird way, the f word.
  • On the Waterfront has "bum", usually spoken in regards to its protagonist, Terry Malloy.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:
    • "The Dutchman must have a captain."
    • "It's just good business."
    • "Part of the ship, part of the crew."
    • "Hoist the colours."
  • The Prestige: "Are you watching closely?" "Every magic trick consists of three acts." "No one cares about the man in the box."
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: "Have I told you about the Ngbaka?"
  • The Principal: "No more."
  • Red Riding Hood: "During the Blood Moon, a man bitten is a man cursed."
  • Red Sparrow: Various permutations of "identify what the target needs, and give it to them" form the mantra for the sparrows, a class of Russian spies trained as Honey Traps.
  • Reincarnation: "Together Forever".
  • The Right Stuff: "Who's the greatest pilot you ever saw? You're lookin' at him!"
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes: "No", as well as "Home".
  • "Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions" from Robin Hood (2010).
  • Safe House: "We'll take it from here."
  • Saw
    • "I want to play a game."
    • "Live or die. Make your choice/The choice is yours."
    • "Game over."
  • Scarface (1983): "The world is yours."
  • The Scribbler: "Unzip Your Head."
  • Seeking Justice had "The hungry rabbit jumps", a phrase linked to the secret vigilante organization Will Gerard found himself involved with. In fact, the working title for the movie actually was The Hungry Rabbit Jumps.
  • Serenity: "Lie down".
    • River first says "They never lie down" about the dead Reaver on the ship. Later, it is found out the words haunt her dreams.
    • Mal asks the Operative "Me and mine gotta lie down and die so you can live in your perfect world?"
    • The people of the planet Miranda really did lie down and die after they were accidentally poisoned. Those who didn't die became Reavers.
  • Shakespeare in Love: "I don't know. It's a mystery."
  • The Shawshank Redemption:
    • "We're all innocent in here."
    • "Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'."
    • "Brooks was here."
    • "Rehabilitated.".
  • Shaun of the Dead: "You've got red on you".
  • The Shining: REDRUM... REDRUM...
  • Short Circuit: "Alive".
  • Signs: When Colleen was dying, she tells Graham to tell Morgan to have fun and to be silly, for Bo to always listen to her brother because he will take care of her. She tells Graham to "see" and tells Merrill to "swing away".
  • Son of a Gun: "Never trust a pawn".
  • Speed: "Pop quiz, hotshot/asshole" and "What do you do?".
  • Star Trek II, III, and IV have "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one".
  • Star Wars
    • "I've got a bad feeling about this."
    • Any time "midichlorians" are brought up, it's basically going to change Anakin's life forever.
      • The first is when his jedi talent is discovered and he's rescued from slavery.
      • The second is when Yoda reveals his dark destiny and refuses to let him be trained.
      • The third is when Qui Gon reveals he intends to train him regardless of what the council orders, sealing both their fates.
      • The fourth is when Palpatine tells him the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, the exact reveal needed to get Anakin on his side.
    • Almost inaudible every time it comes up, "Son of the Suns".
    • For one that stretches across the sequel trilogy films, a variation on the phrase "I know what I have to do (but I don't have the strength to do it)" is spoken by Kylo Ren once per film. Each time it appears signifies a massive shift in his character arc.
    • Someone asks Rey "Who are you?" once in each of the sequel trilogy films:
    • Rogue One has several of its own, separate from most of the other saga entries:
      • "Hope."
      • "Stardust."
      • "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."
    • The Force Awakens
      • "Complete."
      • "Run as far as you can."
      • "I feel it again."
    • The Last Jedi
      • "We are the spark that will light the fire."
      • "Raw power/strength."
      • "Godspeed, rebels."
      • "Let the past die."
      • "Go on. Say it."
      • "Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong."
  • Strictly Ballroom: "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."
  • The Suicide Theory: "You're lucky to be alive."
  • The Tree of Life:
    • "The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace".
    • "Where were you?"
    • "Brother..."
  • Tall Tale: "The Code of the East/North/South/West"
    "Respect the land! Defend the defenseless! And don't ever spit in front of women or children!" *Spit*
  • The Ten Commandments: "Moses, Moses" and "So let it be written, so let it be done".
  • Terminator:
  • That Thing You Do!: Guy Patterson is fond of quoting the line "I am Spartacus." (The film is set in 1964, and Spartacus came out four years before that.) He says it as a sign-off to his girlfriend, shouts it in triumph as the band rockets to stardom... and at the end, alone in the studio as the last of the Wonders, sardonically gives "I am Spartacus" as the title for his noodling around on the drums when the techs ask if he wants to lay it down.
  • Transcendence: "Humans fear what they don't understand."
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie: "Wanna see something REALLY scary?"
  • Van Helsing: "In the name of God, open this door."
  • Vanilla Sky: "Open your eyes."
  • Voyage of the Unicorn: "Credendo Vides" (by believing, one sees) and "faith precedes the miracle".
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: "Apes together strong."
  • WE ARE! MARSHALL! Also doubles as a Title Drop.
  • What Lies Beneath: "YOU KNOW".
  • "Even a man who is pure in heart..." poem in films featuring The Wolf Man (1941).
  • The World's End:
    • "Have/having a good time."
    • "We wanna be free, we wanna get loaded, and we wanna have a good time! And that's what we're going to do!"
  • X-Men: Apocalypse:
    • Once upon a time, Magneto asked Xavier what would he do if some day the secret is outed and the people come to take him and his students. The latter replies, "I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul that comes to my school looking for trouble." This is another year, another timeline, another context, a Magneto and an Xavier with other lives (and played by different actors), but their dialogue is repeated, word by word.
    • "All will be revealed." Apocalypse himself uses this phrase often, both to reassure the Horsemen and to not divulge details of his plan to Xavier and the rest of the X-Men. When Jean Grey unleashes the Phoenix Force against him, this changes to "All is revealed" just before he is disintegrated. It is left unclear if causing this event was one of his goals.

Alternative Title(s): Film

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