For decades, comedic screenwriter and director Judd Apatow has created iconic and beloved movies—most of which are ridiculously quotable.
Although there are more than enough lines that deserve praise, here are some of the best quotes from the movies of Judd Apatow.
“I do want to kill you.”
Debbie, This Is 40
Pete and Debbie have been married for a while in This Is 40. They have issues, debate splitting up, and feel stuck not just in their marriage, but in their individual lives, as well.
Pete, an absent and lackluster husband, rolls over in bed one night to ask Debbie if she wants to kill him. She replies, “I do want to kill you.” They go into a bit more detail, and he even fantasizes about putting her in a woodchipper like in Fargo.
It’s a serious but funny conversation that perfectly captures the dichotomy of marriage: how you can love and hate someone simultaneously—and how, after enough time together, no topic is really off-limits.
“Hands down the dopest dope I’ve ever smoked.”
Saul, Pineapple Express
After underachiever Dale stops by his drug dealer Saul’s place to buy weed, the two hang out and get ready to smoke.
Saul then pulls out the good stuff, Pineapple Express, and tells Dale that it is the dopest dope he’s ever smoked. This is arguably the best line in the entire movie—and when delivered by James Franco, it’s even funnier.
“Did we just become best friends?”
Brennan, Step Brothers
Middle-aged losers Brennan and Dale become stepbrothers, forced to share a roof after their parents’ marriage. The two despise each other and act like teenagers in their bickering, which sets the stage perfectly for tons of hilarious scenes…like Brennan teabagging Dale’s drum set.
One night, after rattling off a list of their mutual favorite things, Brennan and Dale become best friends—a development that leads to even more hilarity throughout Step Brothers.
“Why do you think I smoke weed all the time? So I can slow it all down.”
Scott, King of Staten Island
Scott and his college-bound sister Claire lost their father in a fire when they were young, a loss that still affects Scott in adulthood. Despite being the younger sibling, Claire feels like she has to take care of Scott; she worries that, when she’s gone, he’ll spiral out of control.
During a walk, she shares her fears with Scott and urges him to do something with his life, because time is slipping away. Scott replies, “Why do you think I smoke weed all the time? So I can slow it all down.”
While the line is funny, it touches on a heavy theme in the film: that time passes at the same rate, regardless of how it’s spent. It’s also a great character moment for Scott, who appears happy-go-lucky but still struggles with his mental and physical health daily.
“It’s a girl. Buy some pink sh*t.”
Ben, Knocked Up
When they become expectant parents after a one-night stand, Ben and Allison attempt a relationship for the sake of their unborn child. At one point, they have a huge fight and break up. Before Ben storms off, he tells Allison the sex of the baby—something that she strictly told him she did not want to know.
This is a sad part of the movie; you can’t help but feel bad for Allison. But Ben’s delivery of the line makes the moment hilarious.
“When life hands you lemons, just say, f**k the lemons, and bail.”
Chuck the surf instructor, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Chuck, the surf instructor (played by Paul Rudd), has the best lines in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Almost every line he says is gold. While Peter is taking surfing lessons, he and Chuck have plenty of time to talk. Naturally, Peter talks about Sarah, and Chuck comes in with his sage advice.
“You know how I know you’re gay? You like Coldplay.”
David, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
This movie has a lot of hilarious one-liners and excellent burns. In this scene, Cal and David are sitting in the living room playing video games. They start to go back and forth, telling each other how they know the other is gay. Each line in the scene is funny, but this one takes the cake.
“I wanna go fast.”
Young Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights
Probably one of the most underrated of Judd Apatow movies, Talladega Nights hits all the right notes and has a stellar cast, not to mention some of the best one-liners.
Young Ricky says this at the beginning of the film. When he was little, he was only interested in going fast, which was the only thing he would say. His mother would ask him a question, and his response would be, “I wanna go fast.” And that’s exactly what he did.
“All right, you look like a future pedophile in this picture, number one. Number two, it doesn’t even have a first name, it just says McLovin!”
Judd Apatow movies usually feature older casts, but the director shows his range with this flawlessly funny coming-of-age film.
Fogell is showing off his new fake ID, which is objectively awful. His photo looks creepy, and he’s only got one name listed: McLovin. His friends ruthlessly berate him for it, but that crappy ID turns into one of the best plot points in the film.
“They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works…every time.”
Brian Fantana, Anchorman
After Veronica, the new girl at a news station, starts work, all the men in the office want to seduce her. Brian displays his cologne collection to his colleagues, emphasizing one in particular: Sex Panther, made with bits of real panther and illegal in 9 countries.
Anchorman is perhaps the best known of Judd Apatow’s movies, and sent his career skyrocketing.
The movies of Judd Apatow are a huge part of modern-day pop culture, largely because Apatow frequently casts from his core group of talented, side-splitting actors including wife Leslie Mann (and their daughters), as well as Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Seth Rogen, and many others.
The best part about Apatow’s films, though, are the one-liners and scenes you can’t help but quote, year after year.