Renowned for being one of the smartest, most brilliantly deconstructive slasher movies of all time, Scream was a horror sensation when it released back in 1996. Between Kevin Williamson’s sharp, playful script and Wes Craven’s confident direction, the movie is one of the few horror movies that actually delivers on both its comedy and horror, quickly etching itself into the pop culture landscape as a result.
Naturally, the movie is brimming with quotable moments – with Scream being one of the most widely parodied movies of the 90s.
Updated on October 14th by Matthew Wilkinson: With a fifth installment into the Scream franchise being confirmed, there has been a real buzz about this classic slasher. The movie is full of great one-liners and teasing quotes with mystery to make people question who could be the killer. The dialogue throughout this movie is one of the major reasons that the film is so easy to follow and has such an engaging energy. But what are the greatest quotes from this 90s classic?
15 “If I’m Right About This, I Could Save A Man’s Life. Do You Know What That Would Do For My Book Sales?”
Somehow, despite coming off as incredibly self-centered and egotistical in the first movie, Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers became a fan-favorite character in the Scream series regardless, appearing in all four of the franchise’s entries.
Perhaps the character’s definitive quote, this exchange between Gale and her cameraman comes during their investigation into Woodsboro’s rising body count and perfectly encapsulates Gale’s ambitious and selfish – albeit ultimately good-natured – personality. As it turns out, Gale is right on both counts, with her intervention in the Woodsboro murders both saving lives and resulting in her own personal success.
14 “Fairness Would Be To Rip Your Insides Out And Hang You From A Tree”
Principal Himbry can sometimes be overlooked in Scream, which is a shame as he brings a lot of great moments during his time before Ghostface attacks him. When several students decide to start running around with the mask to scare people, he showcases his wild method of punishing them.
Using scissors to cut around them, he threatens them in a way that instantly has audiences thinking he’s either the killer or just very eccentric. It turns out to be the latter, but that moment certainly gets people thinking, which is fun.
13 “I’m Feelin’ A Little Woozy Here!”
When it’s revealed that there’s not one, but two killers in the final act of Scream, both Sidney’s boyfriend Billy and his friend Stu come forward as the psychopathic slashers. The two plan to make themselves look like the sole survivors of the Woodsboro murders, even going as far as stabbing themselves to make it look convincing. After Billy stabs Stu however, he gets a little carried away, inflicting far more pain upon his fellow murderer than necessary. In response, Stu shouts at him to stop, proclaiming “I’m feelin’ a little woozy here!”
As is the case with many of Stu’s lines in the movie however, it’s actor Matthew Lillard’s brilliantly unhinged delivery of the line that makes it so funny.
12 “When I Say Hurry, Please Interpret That As, MOVE YOUR FAT TUB OF LARD ASS, NOW!”
Gale Weathers is a hilarious character in this film and it’s very clear from the start that everything she does is with her career in mind. She flirts with Dewey to help her get stories, she tracks everything down and is happy to ask questions at even the most inappropriate times.
The best way that she showcases that is how poorly she treats her cameraman. That personality trait is showcased with this exact quote, which proves she doesn’t have the patience to wait around for him, screaming at him and mocking his weight in the process.
11 “Guess I Remembered The Safety That Time, Bastard.”
Speaking of Gale, she ends up being one of the hero survivors at the end of the movie, purely because her desire to get the story leads her into the heart of the action. She almost gets to stop things earlier but doesn’t know how to work a gun properly.
However, when it really matters, Gale gets the gun working properly and fires it straight into Billy, ending his reign of terror. She even gets to finish things with a final confident, sassy line which is hilarious.
10 “You Hit Me With The Phone, Dick!”
Perhaps the silliest quote on this list, this line consistently gets one of the biggest laughs of the entire movie. When Sidney gets the upper hand during the movie’s climax, she begins to taunt Stu and Billy over the phone, with an enraged Billy eventually throwing down the receiver, which unintentionally hits Stu in the head.
While it wasn’t in the original script, actor Matthew Lillard’s improvised dissatisfaction with being hit is hilarious, adding even more humor to the movie’s joke-dense climax.
9 “No, Please Don’t Kill Me, Mr. Ghostface, I Wanna Be In The Sequel!”
Despite the fact that Randy is the resident horror aficionado of Woodsboro High, it seems the entire town is capable of throwing out some self-aware lines every now and again. Even the skeptical Tatum Riley manages to crack a meta-joke when she’s cornered by Ghostface in the garage, playfully crying out “No, please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!”
While she initially assumes the killer is simply one of her friends messing with her, she soon finds out the hard way that he’s the real deal – and is promptly murdered.
8 “Not In My Movie.”
When Billy and Stu are eventually subdued at the end of Scream’s third and final act, it’s revealed that lovable film buff Randy managed to survive the injuries he sustained at the hands of Ghostface.
Poking fun at the conventional climax of most horror movies, he soon warns Sidney that this is the point in which the supposedly dead killer comes back to life for one final scare. As always, Randy is right, and Billy immediately attempts to lunge towards Sidney, who shoots him dead – capping off the scene by saying “Not in my movie.”
7 “You Should Never Say ‘Who’s There?’ Don’t You Watch Scary Movies?”
Smartly playing with expectation and genre convention, the opening scene of Scream has rightly become iconic since the movie’s 1996 release, with Drew Barrymore’s character, Casey, being marketed as the protagonist before being cleverly killed off in the movie’s opening minutes.
During the scene, Ghostface calls Casey and taunts her by asking her several horror-related questions. As Casey gets more frightened, she begins to act more and more like the ill-fated victims of your typical, run-of-the-mill slasher movie, eventually asking “Who’s there?” – which prompts this brilliant response from Ghostface.
6 “You Hang Up On Me Again And I’ll Gut You Like A Fish!”
Speaking of the opening scene with Casey, a lot of the early moments between them are quite funny. The conversation sets the tone for how the movie will be throughout nicely, with several funny moments and then the quick switch to being scary.
That exact moment comes when Ghostface makes it clear that if she doesn’t do as she’s told then the ending will not be pleasant for her. It’s a great moment that ensures Ghostface is considered to be scary as well as charismatic, which is important for the rest of the film.
5 “My Mom And Dad Are Gonna Be So Mad At Me!”
For a brutal, sadistic killer with more than a few screws loose, Stu really seems to care about what his parents think. When Sidney informs him that she’s called the police in the movie’s final act, Stu begins to sob, lamenting the fact that his parents will likely respond negatively to the news.
Once again, it’s actor Matthew Lillard’s pitch-perfect delivery that makes the line so great, brilliantly capturing the true extent of the character’s insanity.
4 “I Never Thought I’d Be So Happy To Be A Virgin.”
One of the big factors about Scream is its self-awareness and a lot of that comes from Randy. He’s the one person who absolutely loves horror movies and he makes it clear in his ‘rules’ that it is always the virgins who end up surviving, which turns out to be the case for him.
Despite being shot when things start going south, Randy does manage to stay alive, and at the very end he comes out with this hilarious line. It’s just a very funny moment to end the movie and keeps the tongue in cheek style humor nicely.
3 “Now Sid, Don’t You Blame The Movies. Movies Don’t Create Psychos. Movies Make Psychos More Creative!”
Unfortunately, despite the fact that it’s spoken by an unhinged mass murderer, there’s definitely truth to this quote. While Scream is renowned for its clever observations of the horror genre, this line takes aim at the scapegoating of horror in the media at large.
Spoken by Billy when he’s unmasked as one of the movie’s two killers, this line is directed as Sidney after she suggests the duo have seen too many horror movies. There’s something satisfyingly meta about the quote, which is likely why it’s been embraced so widely by fans of the movie.
2 “Do You Like Scary Movies?”
Along with the similarly iconic line “What’s your favorite scary movie?” this classic quote – along with the conversation that proceeds it – perfectly encapsulates what works about Scream’s affectionately deconstructive script.
Spoken during a phone call between Sidney and Ghostface, Sidney responds to the rhetorical question by voicing her dislike of horror movies, calling them insulting for their inclusion of stupid female characters. Citing victims who run upstairs rather than out the front door as a prime example, it’s not long before Sidney does exactly this when she’s cornered by Ghostface, resulting in one of the movie’s smartest jokes.
1 “There Are Certain Rules That One Must Abide By In Order To Successfully Survive A Horror Movie.”
The quote that kicks off Randy’s list of rules about how to survive a horror movie – this brilliant scene serves as the conceptual backbone of the entire Scream franchise, deconstructing and subsequently subverting the different puzzle pieces that typically make up a horror movie.
As the movie progresses, Randy’s rules are used to make the audience anticipate certain events. Once Sidney and Billy consummate their relationship for instance, it sets up the idea that Sidney is now doomed – an idea which is later proved to be wrong when she emerges as the movie’s final girl.
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