Summary

  • Superhero movies have delivered some of the most thought-provoking and memorable quotes in cinema.
  • Iconic lines from villains like Bane and Killmonger showcase the depth of the superhero genre.
  • Not all superhero quotes are serious; moments like Frozone’s argument with his wife add humor and complexity to the characters.

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While 2023’s MCU release delivered some great quotes, both the Marvel franchise and the DC Universe have consistently delivered many of the most thought-provoking and meaningful quotes in cinema. Superhero movies are filled with unforgettable quotes from both heroes and villains that have joined the pantheon of the most memorable committed to screen. The superhero genre in film has gone through many highs and lows, but even in its lowest moments, there are memorable quotes and moments that audiences remember. Since 1978’s Superman, the genre has become filled with iconic quotes, whether delivered by a hero, villain, or hilarious sidekick.

Movies like The Dark Knight trilogy, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, and the Avengers movies all have some remarkably memorable lines of dialog. While cynics still don’t take the genre too seriously, these intriguing lines prove there may be more to superhero films than CGI fights, explosions, and cheesy one-liners. Here are the best 20 superhero movie quotes of all time.

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10 Best Superhero Movies Of All Time

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20 “You Think Darkness Is Your Ally? You Merely Adopted The Dark. I Was Born In It”

Bane – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Bane is one of the few villains who can face Batman in a one-on-one fight and win with nothing but his bare hands. As Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne struggled to defeat Bane, he turned off the lights, trying to utilize the dark to his advantage. However, Bane is accustomed to the dark and utters this iconic line before defeating Batman in a brutal duel.

19 “He Doesn’t Want To Be Famous? Then I’ll Make Him Infamous”

J. Jonah Jameson – Spider-Man (2002)

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson is a quote machine. Almost every piece of dialogue is hilarious and delivered with perfect comedic timing. However, this early line stands out as it’s clever, and it fully illustrates Jameson’s motives and feelings toward the spider menace.

18 “Bury Me In The Ocean, With My Ancestors That Jumped From The Ships, Because They Knew Death Was Better Than Bondage.”

Erik Killmonger – Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther

Release Date
February 16, 2018

Director
Ryan Coogler

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
134 Minutes

Black Panther diverged from the standard MCU formula as it provided commentary on social and political themes, specifically historical and modern issues regarding the black community. This final line from Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger shows tremendous bravery from the villain, but also shows how important his culture and people were to him. He desperately wanted to help his people, even though his methods were morally reprehensible. This quote is also one of the most badass lines delivered by any MCU villain.

17 “Everyone Keeps Telling Me How My Story’s Supposed to Go. Nah. I’m Gonna Do My Own Thing.”

Miles Morales – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

Everyone knows the famous quote from Spider-Man about power and responsibility. However, when presented with his canon event, Shameik Moore’s Miles elects to change his destiny by saving his father, despite the risk that it could destroy his universe. While Miles’ decision could have unintended consequences, it’s awesome to see a character forging his own path rather than sticking with the status quo.

16 “Before We Get Started, Does Anyone Want to Get Out?”

Steve Rogers – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America in an elevator in The Winter Soldier

One of the most epic fight scenes in the MCU is the elevator fight from The Winter Soldier. The fight is set up perfectly as the various challengers join Cap in the elevator before he becomes suspicious that he’s about to get jumped. Rather than running from a fight, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) delivers this line, showing his pure confidence that he will win.

15 “Where’s My Super Suit?”

Frozone – The Incredibles (2004)

Frozone in The Incredibles

The Incredibles

Release Date
November 5, 2004

Cast
Sarah Vowell , Samuel L. Jackson , Craig T. Nelson , Spencer Fox , Holly Hunter , Jason Lee

Rating
PG

Runtime
115 minutes

Edna Mode’s “No capes!” certainly deserves a spot on this list, but Frozone’s “Where’s my super suit?” argument with his wife has become enshrined in the memories of audiences. It’s not only a hilarious moment in The Incredibles, but it showcases the complications of balancing being a superhero with being a husband. The lines are delivered perfectly by Samuel L. Jackson, along with Kimberly Adair Clark, who voices his wife.

14 “I Love You Guys”

Groot – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date
August 1, 2014

Cast
Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Vin Diesel , Michael Rooker , Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace , Benicio Del Toro , Glenn Close , Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Bradley Cooper , John C. Reilly

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
122 Mins

Despite basically working with a very small number of words across his appearances as Groot, Vin Diesel’s delivery of “I Am Groot” varied massively throughout the MCU. After initially changing to “We are Groot” in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, it mainly stayed the same throughout the MCU. The exception was in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, when Groot said “I love you guys”, finally marking the moment when the audience understood him for the first time in a touching choice by Gunn.

13 “You Will Give The People Of Earth An Ideal To Strive Towards”

Jor-El – Man of Steel (2013)

Jor-El and Superman in Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Release Date
June 14, 2013

Cast
Kevin Costner , Laurence Fishburne , Richard Schiff , Amy Adams , Harry Lennix , Antje Traue , Michael Shannon , Henry Cavill , Christopher Meloni , Diane Lane , Russell Crowe

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
143 minutes

This inspiring monologue delivered by Russell Crowe’s Jor-El not only perfectly summarizes Superman’s role in the world, but superheroes in general. Superheroes are role models who teach people to fight for what’s right, and even when humanity is at its darkest point, Superman must be a beacon of light and hope. It’s too bad Henry Cavill’s time as Superman got cut short, but maybe David Corenswet can become this symbol as the character.

12 “Just Because Someone Stumbles… Loses Their Way… Doesn’t Mean They’re Lost Forever”

Charles Xavier – X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Charles Xavier is an optimist for humanity, and this quote shows why he has significant ideological differences with Magneto. Instead of giving up on humanity, he understands that everyone deserves another chance, including Mystique, who is losing herself to hate. It’s the necessary words James McAvoy’s Professor X needed to say, but it’s also excellent wisdom that people should remember.

11 “You Wanna Get Nuts? C’mon. Let’s Get Nuts”

Bruce Wayne – Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman

Batman (1989)

Release Date
June 23, 1989

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
126 Minutes

This scene from Tim Burton’s Batman also includes the Joker’s “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” but it’s Michael Keaton’s crazed delivery that makes this quote stand out more. Keaton was a phenomenal Bruce Wayne, and he had no fear of taking on the bad guys, whether under the cowl or not. The quote was so good that Keaton reused it in The Flash, over 30 years later.

10 “You Should Have Gone For the Head”

Thanos – Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date
April 27, 2018

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Elizabeth Olsen , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Sebastian Stan , Paul Rudd , Chadwick Boseman , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Brolin , Tom Holland , Evangeline Lilly , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
149 minutes

The writers behind Thanos’ dialogue deserve an award because almost every quote from Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War could be framed and mounted on a wall. However, the most memorable one is this one, which he says after being stabbed by Thor. Thor wanted his moment to look Thanos in the eye, but it cost him his victory as Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan used his last bit of strength to snap his fingers, wiping half of the universe’s population out of existence. It’s a devastating moment and this quote is a reminder that if you’re going to come for the king, you better not miss.

9 “I’m Not Locked in Here With You, You’re Locked in Here With Me”

Rorschach – Watchmen (2009)

Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen

Watchmen

Release Date
March 6, 2009

Cast
Patrick Wilson , Malin Akerman , Billy Crudup , Matthew Goode , Carla Gugino , Jackie Earle Haley , Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Rating
R

Runtime
163 Mins

Jackie Earle Haley’s perversely iconic Rorschach is an excellent fighter and feels no fear when he finds himself in prison with plenty of enemies who want him dead. He issued this warning, telling everyone that they should be scared of him, no matter how many people they have on their side. He followed through on this warning later, and this was a hardcore quote demonstrating how dangerous Rorschach can be.

8 “Avengers…..Assemble!”

Steve Rogers – Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Captain America in front of The Avengers in Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame

Rating
PG-13

Release Date
April 26, 2019

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Paul Rudd , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Evangeline Lilly , Sebastian Stan , Josh Brolin , Elizabeth Olsen , Tom Holland , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Bradley Cooper , Karen Gillan , Brie Larson , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner , Chadwick Boseman

Runtime
3 hours, 2 minutes

While “On your left” is another worthy quote, “Avengers…Assemble” is a moment MCU viewers have been waiting for ever since Nick Fury told Tony Stark about the Avengers initiative. Nobody could have imagined that this lineup scene could ever happen, and the line delivered by Chris Evans’ Captain America after catching Mjölnir was perfection. No matter how audiences feel about the MCU now, this moment made investing in the universe worth it.

7 “You Wanna Know How I Got These Scars?”

The Joker – The Dark Knight (2008)

The Joker and Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Rating
PG-13

Release Date
July 18, 2008

Cast
Nestor Carbonell , Morgan Freeman , Ritchie Coster , Cillian Murphy , Chin Han , Gary Oldman , Eric Roberts , William Fichtner , Aaron Eckhart , Maggie Gyllenhaal , Christian Bale , David Dastmalchian , Michael Caine , Anthony Michael Hall , Heath Ledger

Runtime
152 Minutes

It’s hard to choose the best quote from Heath Ledger’s Joker, but this quote best defines his character. He’s a chaotic man of mystery, and this line only makes him more intimidating as he constantly changes his story, never allowing the audience to know who he really is. It’s a line he repeats several times, showing how much he enjoys bringing other people into his mindset.

6 “That’s My Secret Captain…I’m Always Angry”

Bruce Banner – The Avengers (2012)

Mark Ruffalo as Hulk in The Avengers

The Avengers

Rating
PG-13

Release Date
May 4, 2012

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Stellan Skarsgård , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Cobie Smulders , Tom Hiddleston , Jeremy Renner , gwyneth paltrow , Chris Evans

Runtime
2h 23m

The MCU’s Incredible Hulk is a loose cannon who is often dangerous due to the lack of control he has over when he appears. However, this line shows that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner has more control over the big guy than audiences thought. It’s also a line that defines Banner perfectly and is exclaimed right before Hulk executes an epic punch on a massive Chitauri.

5 “It’s Not Who I Am Underneath, But What I Do That Defines Me”

Bruce Wayne – Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins

Rating
PG-13

Release Date
June 15, 2005

Cast
Ken Watanabe , Liam Neeson , Gary Oldman , Tom Wilkinson , Linus Roache , Christian Bale , Katie Holmes , Mark Boone Junior , Michael Caine , Rutger Hauer , Cillian Murphy , Morgan Freeman

Runtime
2h 20m

This quote is first delivered to Bruce Wayne by Katie Holmes’ Rachel Dawes, before he says it back to her later, revealing that he’s Batman. The point of this phrase is that it doesn’t matter who is under the mask, because people will only know Batman by what he does rather than by his secret identity. He is a mysterious vigilante but one who is defined by his heroic deeds.

4 “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

Uncle Ben – Spider-Man (2002)

Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben in Spider-Man

This iconic line was ripped right from the Spider-Man comics and became the defining motto for Spider-Man, no matter which version. It was first shared by Cliff Robertson’s Uncle Ben to Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker in Spider-Man, but it’s been repeated and slightly altered in The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: No Way Home. All three Spider-Men carried this wisdom with them and rallied behind it together when they united in No Way Home.

3 “I Am Iron Man”

Tony Stark – Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man

Rating
PG-13

Release Date
May 2, 2008

Runtime
126 minutes

Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark shocked the world when he declared he was Iron Man and unknowingly entered a world of superheroes he didn’t know existed. This line was even more epic when he repeated it before snapping Thanos and his army out of existence in Avengers: Endgame, sacrificing his life at the same time. This quote presented a full circle moment for Tony, giving audiences a perfect character arc that makes him one of, if not, the best hero in the MCU.

2 “I Can Do This All Day”

Steve Rogers – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger

One of Captain America’s best attributes is his stubbornness and inability to give up, even when the odds are stacked against him. This line first comes as he’s getting beat up by a random bully in an alley, but he still gets up every time. Chris Evans’ Rogers uses this quote multiple times throughout the MCU in films such as Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame, and it’s badass every time.

1 “You Either Die A Hero Or Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become the Villain”

Harvey Dent – The Dark Knight (2008)

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight

This line by Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent is one of the most eerie forms of foreshadowing there is. Harvey was a hero in Gotham but was manipulated by the Joker into becoming Two-Face and took the law into his own violent hands. Instead of allowing Harvey to be turned into a villain, Batman takes the fall for his crimes and becomes the villain that Gotham needs, therefore being the hero that the DC city deserves.

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