The World’s Finest DC Movie Quotes, from 1978 to Today!
For over 40 years, movies based on DC Comics have been bringing the BANG! POW! WHAM! to our screens. We’ve seen dark moody interpretations, zany fourth-wall-breaking solo films, and super-powered team-ups. And through it all, our favorite heroes and villains have dropped some pretty great one-liners, monologues, and jokes.
What’s that you say? How could we possibly pick among the retro classics and the modern films? Well, puddin’, that’s the easy part. The hard part is narrowing them all down! Here are 10 movie quotes that remind us why we’ll always love DC films — even when we’ve seen them more times than Two-Face has flipped a coin.
Superman: “Easy miss, I’ve got you.”
Lois Lane: “You- you’ve got me? Well, who’s got you?”
Before the toppling skyscrapers and universe-ending catastrophes of modern Superman, there was Christopher Reeves in 1978. In the first live-action, mainstream Superman film, Krypton’s Last Son must grapple with what it means to be a hero for planet Earth.
Alongside Reeves’ Superman, there’s also Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. This version of Superman and Lois retains that larger-than-life, yet still-endearing charm which made readers fall in love with this Metropolis couple. The movie is full of sweet moments between the two, even throwing in some wry humor like the exchange above.
All the Time in the World
Perhaps one of Superman’s most memorable feats from the film is also one of the most romantic things any DC hero has ever accomplished on screen: When Lois tragically dies, Superman defies his rule to never interfere with human history. To save Lois, he flies around the world fast enough to turn back time and undo her death. Can somebody pass the tissues?
“But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” – Catwoman
While Supes & Lois are sweet as pie, Batman and Catwoman are more bittersweet. There’s nothing wholesome about this couple. These two have a chemistry that’s rare in comics, an eternal game of push and pull that keeps readers and viewers on their toes. Across rooftops and against their better judgement, they always find themselves returning to the other’s embrace.
Batman Returns is one of the most iconic portrayals of their romance. The tension between Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer is absolutely palpable as they slowly unravel each other’s disguises. Their exchanges are lined with longing even if they both fear the pain of letting someone else in. To these fiercely independent figures, attachment is the last thing they want. Yet, somehow, a kiss gives meaning to that risk — and both Batman and Catwoman know it’s worth it.
“Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” – The Joker
The Dark Knight
Just as Batman’s heart finds meaning with Catwoman, his mission finds meaning from The Joker. In his own words, The Joker is an “agent of chaos.” This super-villain pushes Batman far beyond his limits and few portrayals of this hero and his archenemy are as powerful as what’s seen in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
Unlike other versions, which rely more heavily on The Joker’s antics, this Joker is a perfect foil to Batman. They need each other. Without the other’s presence, their existence loses a critical layer of purpose. Their compulsion toward each other is magnetic, like a force of nature. It’s destiny. As the counterpart to Christian Bale’s gritty Batman, Heath Ledger’s The Joker is madness personified — and he knows just how to infect others with his sickness.
“What I do is not up to you.” – Diana Prince
Themyscira is a land outside the World of Men. The Amazons observe the outside world but developed their own paradise free from the chains of human society. When Diana, Princess of the Amazons, ventures beyond her island haven, her perspective is a fresh look at society’s strengths as well as its weaknesses.
Of course, as the inspiring Wonder Woman, her own weaknesses are few and far between. Instead, her strength shines in a way unlike most other heroes. While she could smash and punch her way through anything, Diana is a hero whose nobility speaks to something far greater. Her refusal to accept the expected chains of society shows that advocating for yourself is the best superpower of all.
“Sometimes we have to do what’s right, even if our heart aches against it.” – Mera
Being a hero means making tough choices. There’s really no avoiding that. Some heroes, like Mera, are born into a life of responsibility and power, while others, like Arthur Curry, must grow into their station. For Mera, whose loyalty to Atlantis runs deeper than The Trench, the choice to follow Aquaman is not an easy one — but it’s the choice she knows to be true.
Mera’s words are a reminder that the heart can want one thing but a real hero thinks of others first.
“I’m the one they should be scared of. Boo! Not you! Not Mister J! Because I’m Harley f^@&*#% Quinn!” – Harley Quinn
Birds of Prey
Now here’s a villainous transformation we love to see! Harley Quinn started off her villain’s journey as more of a sidekick to The Joker, emphasis on the kick. Their partnership was toxic at best, abusive at worst — and we’re not just talking about the goods at Ace Chemicals.
Even Harley’s name alludes to their unequal dynamic. A harlequin’s role, after all, is to serve. But once Harley begins to see that she should be serving no one but herself, the joke’s on everyone but her. As a trained criminal psychologist, she knows that, “Psychologically speaking, vengeance rarely brings the catharsis we hope for.” And that might be true, but a little @$%-kicking now and then is good for the soul. So if you forget her name, don’t worry. She’ll remind you.
“So smart, me. Enjoy book so much.” – King Shark
The Suicide Squad
Aw, look at this towering, man-eating, razor-toothed scholar! Yes, we know his book is upside down. Are you really gonna risk pointing that out to King Shark? Good choice. Nanaue is said to be descended from an ancient shark god and his colossal frame shows how he could absolutely rip anyone to shreds if he wanted to. Nom nom, buddy.
Of course, he’s also a very smart guy. He knows where his hands are and he has an appetite for adventure. Can’t ask for much else from a member of the Suicide Squad. Well, maybe you could ask to have that collar removed. Amanda Waller definitely seems like the negotiating type.
“Two years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal.” – Bruce Wayne
If you needed a quote to perfectly capture the spirit of modern Batman, it’s this one. Most recent adaptations of Gotham City’s vigilante show a man deeply troubled by his own shadows. Underneath the cowl, Bruce’s fear is the only thing keeping him going.
Despite that fear, or more accurately in spite of it, Bruce has embraced the darkness. His persona as The Bat becomes more real to him than his life as Bruce Wayne. Inevitably, the day gives way to the night. And at night, everything is a little less inhibited. When Batman is prowling the streets of Gotham, he leaves behind any semblance of the man who lives in Wayne Manor. All that’s left is The Bat.
“All or nothing. We stick together.” – Shazam
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
For Billy Batson, family was more of a dream than a reality. All his life he had been let down by those who were supposed to be there for him. Somehow, that all changed when he was welcomed into the Vásquez family. Even when he felt his most unlovable, this newfound family loved him even harder. Home like that is rarer than you might think.
With all this in mind, it’s understandable Billy would grow a bit overprotective of such a special home. He always wants his family to stick together because deep down he fears loss is just around the corner. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a journey of growth for Billy, in the super hero sense but also as a son and brother. Like The Wizard says, Shazam has always been unafraid to ask for help and see others’ worthiness — but the hardest part is knowing others see him as worthy, too. Billy’s movies are just as much about family as being a super hero.
“I completely broke the universe.” – Barry Allen
It’s okay — you can admit it. DC continuity is a lot to keep track of, whether it’s on the screen or on the page. From realities converging to timelines splitting, there’s always something messing with the DC Omniverse. In recent years, DC films have also been varied in their tones and storylines. But that only adds to their appeal!
Nevertheless, Barry Allen, AKA The Flash, puts his Speed Force powers to the test and breaks the universe as a result. He tries to simply find a world in which his mom is still alive. However, running through time has many consequences. Barry’s meddling with timelines will be the event that both disrupts and unites the DCU. Alternate versions of his Justice League allies will help him fix what he’s broken and give the universe a fresh start. It will be the event of a lifetime … or should we say lifetimes?
These 10 quotes certainly aren’t the only great lines from DC movies. But if we shared them all, we’d be here until Darkseid finally takes over the world. You either finish the blog or you write long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Of all the DC-based and DCU movies out there, which quotes are your favorites? Share your thoughts with other DC Comics fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!