Saying goodbye to our favorite movie or TV show is never easy, and it’s even harder when there’s a brilliant send-off that reminds us just how lost we’re going to be without the characters and stories in our lives. Cue tears and binge-eating.
Pretty much sums it up.
Overall, final lines succeed when they connect to the fans in a personal way, encapsulate the essence of the movie or series, and ironically, leave us wanting more (especially the more ambiguous endings.) Thank God for sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. Oh and the flawless gift known as Netflix #blessed.
So join us in the nostalgia as we dive into the 10 best last lines ever from movies and TV. Any last words?
“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Rick Blaine
Arguably the most memorable and timeless words—final or not—in cinematic history, Rick Blaine’s last line to Captain Louis Renault is what cliches are made of. Speaking to the interconnected nature of human relationships, Rick closes a brilliantly complex film with simplicity. No wonder it sticks with us.
“Okay, should we get some coffee?” – Rachel
“Sure. [Beat] Where?” – Chandler
Leave it to Chandler to break the tension of one of the most tearful and nostalgic moments on television. And good thing too, otherwise we’d all be weeping uncontrollably. Rachel’s final suggestion the group gets coffee before they part ways is an optimistic promise of impermanence. We know in our hearts the six pals won’t always be apart. Friendship is forever, and so is “Friends.”
3. “Back to the Future”
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” – Dr. Emmett Brown
What better way to end a film centered around time travel than with a promise of the future, literally. The film’s closing line sets up the rest of the franchise, while also conveying a sense of excitement and wonder. No longer stuck in his small town, Marty McFly now has the opportunity to pave his own future and truly “fly.”
“We’ve been waiting for you.” – John Locke
Waiting was certainly the name of the game for devoted “Lost” fans. Season after season, the show promised answers to the island’s secrets and the castaways’ lives, only to deliver more questions, plunging us deeper into a convoluted yet entertaining maze. We felt helplessly—though appropriately—”lost,” and it wasn’t until the end when John Locke said those final words to Jack the truth became clear: they were dead the whole time. Or was it all just a dream? Maybe they were aliens? Okay, just kidding, still lost, still waiting, and right back to where we started. Literally.
5. “Silence of the Lambs”
“I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.” – Hannibal Lecter
It’s creepy as sin and funny as hell, but that’s why it works so well. Like the Joker, Hannibal has always been an enigmatic and extremely dark cinematic villain who begs to be loathed, but can’t quite shake his irresistible charm. We hate to love the cannibalistic maniac because although he eats people, he does it with damn good table manners.
6. The Sopranos
“I went ahead and ordered some for the whole table.” – Tony Soprano
So simple, so casual. Except not. Perhaps the most divisive series finale in TV history, the tense diner scene points toward Tony Soprano’s assassination (though we now know that wasn’t the case) while ultimately symbolizing the circle of life—we’re totally convinced those onion rings are metaphors. With every sudden movement and every new customer that enters, we fear Tony will meet his maker. And in those moments, we finally see and feel what it’s like to him; we finally empathize with his everyday struggle of constantly having to look over his shoulder. It’s a life of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. So love it or hate it, the abrupt blackout as Meadow enters the diner is the perfect ending to the series because it leaves us fearful, anxious, and uncertain. And speechless.
“This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-Man.” – Peter Parker
In one line, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker encapsulates the essence of the archetypal (super)hero. You could honestly substitute any name–Superman, Iron Man, Captain America–and convey the same message: it’s not easy being a hero. As fun as swinging from rooftops looks, Spider-Man echoes an obligation to embrace good in the face of evil. Ordinary or extraordinary, it’s an obligation we all have.
“See the world not as it is, but as it should be.” – Sue Sylvester
Though not officially the last spoken or sung line of the comedy musical series—that honor belongs to, “With every broken bone, I swear I lived”—the final words wishing the audience farewell not only pay tribute to Finn Hudson, the heart and soul of “Glee,” but also to the show’s primary themes. It’s one last message to the audience, ensuring that the legacy of “Glee” continues to inspire long after the final curtain.
9. “Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“And in that moment, I swear we are infinite.” – Charlie
Poetic, profound, and perennial, the brief closing message of the coming-of-age story speaks volumes about love without succumbing to cheesy cliches or flowery metaphors. It’s one of those lines written specifically for a motivational poster of generically beautiful, yet heavily edited scenery. It’s also one of those lines you desperately wish you thought of yourself while scribbling away in your diary late at night. No? Just me then.
”Well, I tell ya. I’m the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth. [Customer knocks on the door] Sorry, we’re closed.” – Sam Malone
A fitting farewell to a cultural phenomenon, the American sitcom closed its 11-season run by wishing a proper “cheers” to its characters and loyal fans–all 93.5 million of them. With the third most watched series finale of all time, “Cheers” proved itself to be one of the best TV shows ever written. Thankfully it’s all on Netflix, making us the “luckiest sons of bitches on Earth.”
What are some of your favorite last lines and final moments in movies and TV? Let us know in the comments!