Best Dying Quotes

Fan art of Boromir from Lord of the Rings franchise right before death.

Image Credit: Shagan-fury on Deviant Art

Sadly, sometimes even the most beloved character meets their fate. The best dying quotes alternate between confusing, dramatic, or strangely amusing, but all are memorable.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

 

“Rosebud.”

Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane (1941)

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Director: Orson Welles
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten
Where To Watch: HBOMax, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Though this dying line isn’t immediately clarified, it triggers all the events of the movie.

A reporter is assigned to decipher that word, muttered just before a wealthy and powerful man expires.

The reporter turns up friends, mistresses, goals, and how the man rose through the social ranks…but his dying quote is something else altogether.

 

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.”

H.A.L., 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
Where To Watch: HBOMax, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

One of the best historic science-fiction films of all time, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey follows a group of astronauts who are traveling through space with sentient artificial intelligence.

However, that AI develops more of a consciousness than any of them had expected, resulting in the ultimate battle of man versus machine.

 

“Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

Vizzini, The Princess Bride (1987)

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright
Where To Watch: Fandango, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV

Vizzini’s enormous ego becomes his downfall in this hilarious scene. He participates in a challenge where one glass of wine is poisoned, and the other is not.

After switching the cups, Vizzini drinks deeply from what he believes is the non-poisoned wine. In reality, both are poisoned, and his opponent has simply built up an immunity.

The height of this scene lies in Vizzini pompously declaring himself the victor…right before keeling over and dying.

 

“Corn nuts!”

Heather Chandler, Heathers (1988)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Director: Michael Lehmann
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater
Where To Watch: Fandango, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

This cult classic toes the line between comedy and slasher flick.

A new transfer with homicidal intentions persuades a girl, also fed up with high school antics, to join him. Together, they take out the most popular girls in school, known as the Heathers.

This line comes right before Heather Chandler gulps down a cup of bleach for a painful end.

 

“Clever girl.”

Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park (1993)

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Considering that this film is rated PG, there weren’t many options for the characters when it came to dying words. After all, most people would opt for expletives in the face of velociraptors who have just outsmarted you.

Instead, Muldoon praises the dinosaurs for their ingenuity, just before his grisly end.

 

“A plague on both your houses!”

Mercutio, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes
Where To Watch: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime

Wrongfully killed, Mercutio’s dying words are some of the best that Shakespeare ever wrote.

Although played differently depending on the actor and overall tone, the outrage and fury encapsulated in these words perfectly convey how ridiculous the warring houses—and their feud—really are.

 

“You’ve gotta stop this right now! Stop!”

Ash Ketchum, Pokemon: The First Movie (1998)

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Director: Michael Haigney, Kunihiko Yuyama
Starring: Veronica Taylor (Voice), Philip Bartlett (Voice)
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV

This scene shows the protagonist, Ash Ketchum, as he dashes between two super-powered pokemon having a climactic showdown. Caught in the crossfire, Ash dies.

The battling Pokemon are so moved by his compassion and desire for peace, their tears restore him to life.

It may seem hokey to adults, but the scene is extremely poignant for its target younger audience.

 

“I would have followed you, my brother…my captain…my king.”

Boromir, Lord Of The Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
Where To Watch: HBOMax, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Boromir is a strong yet foolhardy man. He tries to take the fate of the world and turn it to his own desires.

Despite warnings from much wiser men, hobbits, and elves, he believes that things destined for evil can still be wielded for good.

Sadly, he doesn’t live to see the rest of the trilogy—but he still dies a hero, saving those who needed his protection.

 

“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I—”

Wash, Serenity (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres
Where To Watch: Peacock, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

This scene was emotionally devastating for fans of Firefly (to which this movie is a sequel).

Wash was an essential character, and many assumed that he had plot armor—in other words, that he couldn’t be killed off, because he was too important to the series’ events.

Fans spent many episodes cheering on this good-hearted and loving pilot, only to have his life unceremoniously snuffed out during a moment of triumph.

 

“Not the bees!”

Edward Malus, The Wicker Man (2006)

Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Director: Neil LaBute
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn
Where To Watch: Fandango, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Though humorous, this graphic exclamation is an excellent summation of the movie.

While this quote may not be a well-executed line or particularly witty, it is memorable. Nicolas Cage really leans into his crazy side with this character.

And, to be honest, dying from tons of bee stings is enough to make anyone scream.

 

via GIPHY

It can be in a moving conclusion, a shocking twist, or a predictable result from their actions. However a character dies, everyone always listens carefully to their final words.

When written well, delivered properly, and consistent to the character, great dying quotes burn themselves right into any fandom’s collective mind.

For more movie and television recommendations, check out the best quotes from Judd Apatow movies, these hilarious Schmidt quotes from New Girl, or the opening credit quotes from The Wire.