It’s hard to imagine a world without Samuel L. Jackson. He’s worked his way into the hearts of millions with his no-nonsense attitude, poetic vulgarity, diverse acting career, and purple lightsaber. Whether he was a radio host in Brooklyn, having gourmet coffee and hamburgers for breakfast, getting eaten by dinosaurs, looking for his super suit, or assembling a team of superheroes, everyone has a favorite version of Samuel L. Jackson.
From random ramblings with John Travolta to declarations of disdain for particular reptiles, Jackson’s words have gone down in cinema history. Even outside of his films, his statements have had lasting effects on society. Alexa’s voice, on the Amazon Echo, can even be changed to Jackson’s now. So, in honor of the man himself, here are Samuel L. Jackson’s 10 best quotes.
Updated June 16th, 2020 by Matthew Rudoy: Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most popular and recognizable actors in Hollywood. He’s been in countless films and played an integral role in shaping some of the most ubiquitous franchises in the entertainment industry. Given his influence, it felt worthwhile to revisit this list and update it with more memorable quotes. Some of these quotes are part of films and roles that were already mentioned. Other examples are from movies that were not previously included and help to highlight some of Jackson’s other great roles.
15 “You are on this council, but we do not grant you the rank of master.” – Revenge Of The Sith
Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu utters many iconic lines in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but his most quintessential line is spoken when Anakin Skywalker joins the Jedi Council. Mace gives Anakin the ultimate slap in the face as he admits him to the Jedi Council, but makes it clear that he’s still not a Jedi Master.
Anakin is only being given this position because of Chancellor Palpatine’s wishes. Mace makes it clear that he still does not trust Anakin, nor does he respect him as an equal. It’s a delightfully savage moment, made even better when he responds to Anakin’s protest with the line, “Take a seat, young Skywalker.“
14 “We’re all gonna be like three little Fonzies here.” – Pulp Fiction
Samuel L. Jackson’s most iconic role may be Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. He has an abundance of memorable quotes from the film, one of which is uttered during a tense confrontation in a diner.
When “Pumpkin” tries to hold up a diner and point his gun at Jules, Jules responds by whipping out his own gun. As Pumpkin’s partner “Honey Bunny” begins to lose it, a tirade of screaming ensues, which is briefly broken up with Jules’s quote in an attempt to calm her down and diffuse the situation. It’s a hilarious and unexpected line in an otherwise intense moment.
13 “The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more.” – The Avengers
When fans look back on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this will always be one of the most defining moments. In the wake of Phil Coulson’s death, Nick Fury spoke to the dejected superheroes and spoke about his vision for the Avengers Initiative. He hoped that together, they could become something greater than they could ever be alone.
It was a unifying moment for the team. The quote became so iconic that it was used in the first official trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. In the trailer, it began with Fury’s voice before Iron Man and other Avengers joined in to finish Fury’s memorable words, which now took on an even greater meaning in the approaching conflict with Thanos.
12 “Yes, they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in Hell!” – A Time To Kill
In A Time To Kill, Samuel L. Jackson’s character Carl Lee Hailey avenges his daughter’s brutal assault by gunning down her sadistic assaulters before they go on trial. When Hailey is put on trial and asked what he thinks should’ve happened to his daughter’s assaulters, he responds honestly.
Any parent who loves their child can empathize with the raw emotion in Hailey’s reaction. His protectiveness as a parent and the anger he feels toward those who assaulted his daughter are palpable emotions that any parent would feel in such a devastating situation.
11 “They called me Mr. Glass.” – Unbreakable
M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable is a highly underrated superhero film. In the film’s final moments, the audience realizes that Samuel L. Jackon’s character Elijah Price has been the villainous mastermind the entire time.
It’s a brilliant plot twist that fits with the story’s many references to comic book tropes. Elijah Price’s tragic backstory as a bullied child who was called “Mr. Glass” shaped him into becoming a cunning mastermind, one who appeared to befriend the hero, but who was actually pulling his strings the entire time.
10 “Where Is My Super Suit?” – The Incredibles
Pixar’s The Incredibles was one of their biggest and most successful movies ever, and the iconic voice of Samuel L. Jackson certainly helped with that.
The movie found a beautiful balance between superhero action and grounded values. In one scene, a retired and domesticated Frozone (voiced by Jackson) is forced to spring into action, but not before succumbing to the eternal struggle of husbands not being able to find things around the house.
9 “Given That It’s A Stupid-Ass Decision, I’ve Elected To Ignore It.” – The Avengers
Nick Fury is one of the most memorable cast members in one of cinema’s most iconic ensembles of talent. Even with the spectacular action and special effects that fill the screen in The Avengers, Fury manages to steal the spotlight every time he’s in a scene.
This particular line proves that even when an actor studies a script from front to back, their personality still seeps through every once in a while. Also, this line is a great example of how even superhero movies can be relatable to normal people because every single person out there has wanted to say something like this at least once in their life.
8 “I Never Did One Thing Right In My Life, You Know That? Not One. That Takes Skill.” – The Long Kiss Goodnight
The Long Kiss Goodnight was The Bourne Identity‘s weird, older cousin. A typical, suburban woman hits her head in an accident and starts to remember a previous life she’s lived where she was a deadly assassin.
It wasn’t a particularly memorable movie but it featured one of Samuel L. Jackson’s more grounded and humbling lines, touching on the tragedy of mediocrity while still retaining some of Jackson’s signature sarcasm.
7 “Hold On To Your Butts.” – Jurassic Park
Jackson’s character may not have been central to the plot of Spielberg’s dinosaur-centric masterpiece, Jurassic Park, but he certainly was memorable as the computer guy who generally didn’t have time for everyone’s nonsense.
Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t quite Samuel L. Jackson yet, and the PG-13 rating stifled some of his verbal creativity, but he still managed to crack a line worthy of his current legacy.
6 “English, Motherf*cker, Do You Speak It?” – Pulp Fiction
To discuss Samuel L. Jackson quotes and not mention Pulp Fiction would be a crime against humanity. Tarantino’s tour de force featured some of Hollywood’s most unforgettable dialogue, and most of that dialogue was delivered by Jackson.
This one, in particular, has garnered recent attention with the meme community and is another one of those lines that most people have screamed in their head at least once.
5 “Everyone Knows That When You Make An Assumption, You Make An Ass Out Of ‘U’ And ‘Umption.'” – The Long Kiss Goodnight
For such an average action movie, The Long Kiss Goodnight sure did feature some above-average lines from Samuel L. Jackson.
What used to be a tired, old adage, Jackson turned into a goofy joke that somehow still managed to sound intimidating. It’s lines like these that make audiences laugh and make filmmakers kick themselves for not thinking of it first.
4 “You Know Me. It’s My Duty To Please That Booty.” – Shaft
John Shaft is the smooth operating, hard-boiled, NYC detective who always says the right thing and always kicks the right ass. He was the pinnacle of blaxploitation movies and went down in the history books.
The 2000 Shaft reboot turns 20 this year, and while the more serious take on the ’70s classic may not have entirely lived up to its predecessor, Samuel L. Jackson was cast perfectly and fully embodied John Shaft’s values, as is evident by this iconic and perfectly Shaft-esque quote.
3 “Mankind Is The Virus And I’m The Cure.” – Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service managed to shake up the spy genre in a lot of fun, action-packed ways. What’s more, it gave Samuel L. Jackson the chance to say this darkly comical and brutal line.
It’s simple and clean, in comparison to most of his work, but the insinuation is oddly darker than most of the lines on this list.
2 “I Have Had It With These Motherf*cking Snakes On This Motherf*cking Plane!” – Snakes On A Plane
Where to begin with Snakes on a Plane? Is it a good movie? No, not really. Can practically every human on the face of the planet quote it? Yup. It’s quoted in memes, movies, television, and just by regular people going about their day.
The film’s entire plot can be summed up by its title, its talent is wasted on cliches, and it features one of the most iconic angry rants of all time. Those snakes on that plane never stood a chance.
1 “And You Will Know My Name Is The Lord When I Lay My Vengeance Upon You!” – Pulp Fiction
Full quote: “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
It should go without saying that a line from Pulp Fiction would be topping this list. Quentin Tarantino rewrote an actual Bible verse for this line in the movie, and it turned out to be one of the most iconic moments in cinema history. Samuel L. Jackson’s delivery is chilling and he has actually managed to remember this speech, word for word, to this day.
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