It was a quarter-century ago today that the world was introduced to Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Miracle Max, the albino dungeon keeper with a frog in his throat and an impressive clergyman with a speech impediment. Few movies are as quotable as The Princess Bride, based on William Goldman’s book and screenplay. I worked in a video store when it was released on VHS in the late 1980s, and I could almost recite the whole film from memory. It’s aged well and become a go-to for my kids who all have developed their own favorite lines. My eight-year-old son particularly loves it when the Princess pushes Westley down the hill and he yells, “As you wish!”
Here are our 25 favorite quotes from The Princess Bride.
25. Rhymes with Peanut
Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss… I think he like to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He’s really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
24. The Queen of Refuse
The Ancient Booer: Your true love lives. And you marry another. True Love saved her in the Fire Swamp, and she treated it like garbage. And that’s what she is, the Queen of Refuse. So bow down to her if you want, bow to her. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence. Boo. Boo. Rubbish. Filth. Slime. Muck. Boo. Boo. Boo.
23. The book shows promise
Grandpa: Westley didn’t reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never left captives alive. When Buttercup got the news that Westley was murdered…
The Grandson: Murdered by pirates is good.
22. The odds in your favor
Fezzik: We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.
Man in Black: You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword, and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?
Fezzik: [brandishing rock] I could kill you now.
Man in Black: Frankly, I think the odds are slightly in your favor at hand fighting.
Fezzik: It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.
21. Dying with dignity
Fezzik: I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed.
20. A pirate gone soft
Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
19. Decent fellows
Inigo Montoya: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
The Man in Black: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.
18. A spoonful of sugar
Valerie: The chocolate coating makes it go down easier. But you have to wait fifteen minutes for full potency. And you shouldn’t go in swimming after, for at least, what?
Miracle Max: An hour?
Valerie: Yeah, an hour.
17. To the pain
Westley: To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don’t mean to duplicate tonight.
Westley: I wasn’t finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let’s get on with it.
Westley: Wrong! Your ears you keep and I’ll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.
16. It’ll take a miracle
Miracle Max and Valerie: Have fun stormin’ da castle.
15. Career choices
Inigo Montoya: I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.
14. The pick-up line
Prince Humperdinck: Please consider me as an alternative to suicide.
13. The to-do list
Prince Humperdinck: Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.
Count Rugen: Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.
The Grandson: They’re kissing again. Do we have to read the kissing parts?
11. Giant dreams
Man in Black: I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.