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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
June 27, 2012 10:37 AM
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10 of the Best Lines From Nora Ephron's Movies

"Sleepless in Seattle"

Nora Ephron's passing yesterday leaves behind a remarkable career that -- among other things -- gave us some of the best lines in the past three decades of mainstream American cinema.

Whether heartfelt monologues or sharp back-and-forths, here are ten of the many, many classic gems of dialogue from Nora Ephron's films. It's just a small token of her expansive talent, felt across her work not only as a screenwriter, but as an essayist, journalist, playwright and novelist. R.I.P. Nora Ephron.


"I remember in high school her saying, 'Now what'd you want to take that science class for? There's no girls in that science class. You take home ec, why don't you? That's the way to meet the nice boys.' 'Mom,' I said, There ain't no boys in home ec. The boys are in the science class.' She hated when I said, 'Ain't.'" --Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep), "Silkwood"

[to Karen] "Who's gonna rape you that you ain't already fucked?" --Dolly Pelliker (Cher), "Silkwood"

"My wife's name was Kimberley. One of the first Kimberleys."
"My husband had hamsters."
"Me too."
"Not as a grownup you didn't. He had hamsters named Arnold and Shirley. And he was always whipping up little salads for them in the Slice-O-Matic and buying them extremely small sweaters at a pet boutique in Rego Park. Also, there was a certain amount of talking in squeaky voices."
"Both of you?"
"Well, he was Arnold... and I was Shirley." --Mark Forman (Jack Nicholson) and Rachel Samstat (Meryl Streep), "Heartburn"


"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  --Harry Burns (Billy Crystal), "When Harry Met Sally"

"Would you like to have dinner? Just friends."
"I thought you didn't believe men and women could be friends."
"When did I say that?"
"On the ride to New York."
"No, no, no, I never said that... Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can... This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted... That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends." --Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan), "When Harry Met Sally"

"When Harry Met Sally"

"I see that it's funny. I have a sense of humor."
"Of course you have a sense of humor. Everyone thinks they do, even people who don't.  --Hannah Stubbs (Joan Cusack) and Barney (Rick Moranis), "My Blue Heaven"

"It was a million tiny little things that when you add them up it meant that we were supposed to be together, and I knew it. I knew it the first time I touched her. It was like coming home. Only to no home that I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of the car, and I knew it. It was like magic." --Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks), "Sleepless in Seattle"

"Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was..."
"A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie." --Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) and Becky (Rosie O'Donnell), "Sleepless in Seattle"

"Well, as far as I'm concerned, the Internet is just another way of being rejected by women."  --George Pappas (Steve Zahn), "You've Got Mail"

"These damn things are as hot as a stiff cock!" --Julia Child (Meryl Streep), "Julie & Julia"

Feel free to share some of your own favorites in the comments section below.


  • jen | June 27, 2012 4:20 PMReply

    When Sally's upset about turning 40 "some day" and the pressure to have kids:

    Sally: And it’s not the same for men. Charlie Chaplin had kids when he was 73.
    Harry: Yeah, but he was too old to pick them up.


  • brian godshall | June 27, 2012 3:17 PMReply

    one of my fav lines from a Nora Ephron film, MICHAEL, is from the actress Jean Stapleton, whose character, in frustration with someone who is having trouble understanding her point of view, states, "Are you handicapped in some way that I'm not aware of?"

  • muse918 | June 27, 2012 3:17 PMReply

    Nora Ephron died??!!!

  • Therese Shechter | June 27, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Actually, 'I'll have what she's having' was suggested by Billy Crystal on the spot. Nora Ephron came up with the overall concept of the scene - and had to talk Rob Reiner into doing it because he didn't believe women faked orgasms, at least not with him.

  • Kathy Warren | June 27, 2012 2:51 PMReply

    I'll have what she's having.

  • Pete | June 27, 2012 2:48 PMReply

    This page should be fuller. Sad that it isn't. Or maybe everyone's over at The Atlantic.

  • sr | June 27, 2012 2:43 PMReply

    I'm quite sure "I'll have what she's having." is a line written by and delivered by the actress who said it, Estelle Reiner, mother of the film's director, Rob Reiner.

  • Matt | June 27, 2012 2:40 PMReply

    "I am the worst case scenario of Thomas Jefferson's dream."

  • abby | June 27, 2012 2:36 PMReply

    "I asked her where she was when Kennedy was shot and she said 'Ted Kennedy was shot??!!!'"

  • mm | June 27, 2012 10:59 AMReply

    "I'll have what she's having."

  • Nadja | June 27, 2012 2:40 PM

    actually, that line was add-lipped by the woman who said it in the film, who happened to be Rob Reiner's mother, the director. Nora unfortunately did not write it.