It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life quotes

66 total quotes (ID: 298)

Clarence Oddbody
George Bailey
Mary Hatch
Multiple Characters


George: Oh, hello, Nick. Hey, where's Martini?
Nick: You want a martini?
George: No, no, Martini. Your boss. Where is he?
Nick: Look, I'm the boss. You want a drink or don't you?
George: Okay...all right. Double bourbon, quick, huh?
Nick: Okay. [to Clarence] What's yours?
Clarence: I was just thinking...It's been so long since I...
Nick: Look, mister, I'm standing here waiting for you to make up your mind.
Clarence: That's a good man. I was just thinking of a flaming rum punch. No, it's not cold enough for that. Not nearly cold enough...Wait a minute...wait a minute...Mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Off with you, me lad, and be lively!
Nick: Hey, look mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast. And we don't need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere. Is that clear? Or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?
Clarence: [to George] What's he talking about?
George: Nick –– Nick, just give him the same as mine. He's okay.
Nick: Okay.
George: What's the matter with him? I never saw Nick act like that before.
Clarence: You'll see a lot of strange things from now on.


Young George: Make up your mind yet?
Young Mary: I'll take chocolate.
Young George: With coconuts?
Young Mary: I don't like coconuts.
Young George: Don't like coconuts? Say brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from? [pulls out a National Geographic magazine] Look-it here, from Tahiti, the Fiji Islands, Coral Sea.
Young Mary: A new magazine! I never saw it.
Young George: 'Course you never. This is just for explorers. It just so happens I've been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society. I'm going out exploring some day, just you watch. And I might even have a harem, and maybe even one or two wives.

Dr. Campbell: I'm sure the whole board wishes to express its deep sorrow at the passing of Peter Bailey.
George: Thank you very much.
Dr. Campbell: It was his faith and devotion that are responsible for this organization.
Potter: I'll go further than that. I'll say that to the public Peter Bailey was the Building and Loan.
Billy: Oh, that's fine, Potter, coming from you, considering that you probably drove him to his grave.
Potter: Peter Bailey was not a business man. That's what killed him. Oh, I don't mean any disrespect to him, God rest his soul. He was a man of high ideals, so called, but ideals without common sense can ruin this town. Now, you take this loan here to Ernie Bishop...You know, that fellow that sits around all day on his brains in his taxi. You know...I happen to know the bank turned down this loan, but he comes here and we're building him a house worth five thousand dollars. Why?
George: Well, I handled that, Mr. Potter. You have all the papers there. His salary, insurance. I can personally vouch for his character.
Potter: A friend of yours?
George: Yes, sir.
Potter: You see, if you shoot pool with some employee here, you can come and borrow money. What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty, working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say...
George: Just a minute — just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was...Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And what's wrong with that? Why...Here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You...you said...What'd you say just a minute ago?...They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken-down that they...Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about...they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be!
Potter: I'm not interested in your book. I'm talking about the Building and Loan.
George: I know very well what you're talking about. You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you. That's what you're talking about, I know...Well, I've said too much. I...You're the Board here. You do what you want with this thing. Just one more thing, though. This town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to Potter.

George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you could swallow it, and it'd all dissolve, see? And the moonbeams'd shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair... Am I talking too much?
Old Man: Yes! Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: How's that?
Old Man: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: Want me to kiss her, huh?
Old Man: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people!

George: You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?
Billy: Uh-huh. Breakfast is served; lunch is served, dinner...
George: No, no, no, no! Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles.

George: Thank you, sir. Quite a cigar, Mr. Potter.
Potter: You like it? I'll send you a box.
George: Well, I... I suppose I'll find out sooner or later, but just what exactly did you want to see me about?
Potter: [laughs] George, now that's just what I like so much about you. George, I'm an old man, and most people hate me. But I don't like them either, so that makes it all even. You know just as well as I do that I run practically everything in this town but the Bailey Building and Loan. You know, also, that for a number of years I've been trying to get control of it... or kill it. But I haven't been able to do it. You have been stopping me. In fact, you have beaten me, George, and as anyone in this county can tell you, that takes some doing. Take during the depression, for instance. You and I were the only ones that kept our heads. You saved the Building and Loan, and I saved all the rest.
George: Yes. Well, most people say you stole all the rest.
Potter: The envious ones say that, George, the suckers. Now, I have stated my side very frankly. Now, let's look at your side. Young man, twenty-seven,twenty-eight... married, making, say... forty a week.
George: Forty-five!
Potter: Forty-five. Forty-five. Out of which, after supporting your mother, and paying your bills, you're able to keep, say, ten, if you skimp. A child or two comes along, and you won't even be able to save the ten. Now, if this young man of twenty-eight was a common, ordinary yokel, I'd say he was doing fine. But George Bailey is not a common, ordinary yokel. He's an intelligent, smart, ambitious young man — who hates his job –– who hates the Building and Loan almost as much as I do. A young man who's been dying to get out on his own ever since he was born. A young man... the smartest one of the crowd, mind you, a young man who has to sit by and watch his friends go places, because he's trapped. Yes, sir, trapped into frittering his life away playing nursemaid to a lot of garlic-eaters. Do I paint a correct picture, or do I exaggerate?
George: Now what's your point, Mr. Potter?
Potter: My point? My point is, I want to hire you.
George: Hire me?
Potter: I want you to manage my affairs, run my properties. George, I'll start you out at twenty thousand dollars a year.
George: Twenty thou... twenty thousand dollars a year?
Potter: You wouldn't mind living in the nicest house in town, buying your wife a lot of fine clothes, a couple of business trips to New York a year, maybe once in a while Europe. You wouldn't mind that, would you, George?
George: Would I? You're not talking to somebody else around here, are you? You know, this is me, you remember me? George Bailey.
Potter: Oh, yes, George Bailey. Whose ship has just come in –– providing he has brains enough to climb aboard.
George: Well, what about the Building and Loan?
Potter: Oh, confound it, man, are you afraid of success? I'm offering you a three year contract at twenty thousand dollars a year, starting today. Is it a deal or isn't it?
George: Well, Mr. Potter, I... I... I know I ought to jump at the chance, but I... I just... I wonder if it would be possible for you to give me twenty-four hours to think it over?
Potter: Sure, sure, sure. You go on home and talk about it to your wife.
George: I'd like to do that.
Potter: In the meantime, I'll draw up the papers.
George: All right, sir.
Potter: Okay, George?
George: [shaking Potter's hand] Okay, Mr. Potter. [drops Potter's hand] No... no... no... no, now wait a minute, here! I don't have to talk to anybody! I know right now, and the answer is no!NO! Doggone it!You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter! In the... in thewhole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider. You... [to Potter's assistant] And that goes for you too! [to Potter's secretary] And it goes for you too!

Ma Bailey: Did you know that Mary Hatch is back from school?
George: Uh-huh.
Ma Bailey': Came back three days ago.
George: Hmmmm...
Ma Bailey: Nice girl, Mary.
George: Mmm Hmmmm....
Ma Bailey: Kind that will help you find the answers, George.
George: Hmmm...
Ma Bailey: Oh, stop that grunting.
George: Hmmm...
Ma Bailey: Can you give me one good reason why you shouldn't call on Mary?
George: Sure –– Sam Wainwright.
Ma Bailey: Hmmm?
George: Yes. Sam's crazy about Mary.
Ma Bailey: Well, she's not crazy about him.
George: Well, how do you know? Did she discuss it with you?
Ma Bailey: No.
George: Well then, how do you know?
Ma Bailey: Well, I've got eyes, haven't I? Why, she lights up like a firefly whenever you're around.
George: Oh...
Ma Bailey: And besides, Sam Wainwright's away in New York, and you're here in Bedford Falls.
George: And all's fair in love and war?
Ma Bailey: I don't know about war.
George: Mother, you know, I can see right through you –– right back to your back collar button... trying to get rid of me, huh?
Ma Bailey: Uh-huh.

Violet: Good afternoon, Mr. Bailey.
George: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good. That's some dress you got on there.
Violet: Oh this old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don't care how I look.

[during the run on the bank] You're thinking of this place all wrong. As if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house...right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin's house, and a hundred others. Why, you're lending them the money to build, and then, they're going to pay it back to you as best they can. Now what are you going to do? Foreclose on them?...Now wait...now listen...now listen to me. I beg of you not to do this thing. If Potter gets hold of this Building and Loan there'll never be another decent house built in this town. He's already got charge of the bank. He's got the bus line. He's got the department stores. And now he's after us. Why? Well, it's very simple. Because we're cutting in on his business, that's why. And because he wants to keep you living in his slums and paying the kind of rent he decides. Joe, you lived in one of those Potter houses, didn't you? Well, have you forgotten? Have you forgotten what he charged you for that broken-down shack? Here, Ed. You know, you remember last year when things weren't going so well, and you couldn't make your payments? You didn't lose your house, did you? Do you think Potter would have let you keep it? Can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying! And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He's picking up some bargains. Now, we can get through this thing all right. We've got to stick together, though. We've got to have faith in each other.

Bert: Hey George! George! You all right? Hey, what's the matter?
George: Now get outta here, Bert, or I'll hit you again! Get outta here!
Bert: What the sam hill you yelling for, George?
George: You...Bert, do you know me?
Bert: Know you? You kidding? I've been looking all over town trying to find you. I saw your car plowed into that tree down there and I thought maybe you--hey, your mouth's bleeding. Are you sure you're all right?
George: What the... [laughing] My mouth's bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleeding! Zuzu's petals...Zuzu's petals! There they are! Bert, what do you know about that! Merry Christmas!!

Billy: [drunk] Oh, boy, oh boy, oh boy. I feel so good I could spit in Potter's eye. I think I will. What did you say, huh? Oh, maybe I'd better go home.Where's my hat? Where's my... [George takes the hat from Uncle Billy's head and hands it to him] Oh, thank you, George. Which one is mine?
George: The middle one.
Billy: Oh, thank you, George, old boy, old boy. Now, look –– if you'll point me in the right direction... would you do that? George?
George: Right down here.
Billy: Old Building and Loan pal, huh...
George: Now you just turn this way and go right straight down.
Billy: That way, huh? [begins singing, then a crash is heard] I'm all right. I'm all right. [singing] "...the sweetest flower that grows . . . "

George: I'm in trouble, Mr. Potter. I need help. Through some sort of an accident my company's short in their accounts. The bank examiner's up there today. I've got to raise eight thousand dollars immediately.
Potter: Oh, so that's what the reporters wanted to talk to you about?
George: The reporters?
Potter: Yes. They called me up from your Building and Loan. Oh, there's a man over there from the D.A.'s office, too. He's looking for you.
George: Please help me, Mr. Potter. Help me, won't you please? Can't you see what it means to my family? I'll pay you any sort of a bonus on the loan... any interest. If you still want the Building and Loan, why I...
Potter: George, could it possibly be there's a slight discrepancy in the books?
george: No, sir. There's nothing wrong with the books. I've just misplaced eight thousand dollars. I can't find it anywhere.
Potter: You misplaced eight thousand dollars?
George: Yes, sir.
Potter: Have you notified the police?
George: No, sir. I didn't want the publicity. Harry's homecoming tomorrow...
Potter: They're going to believe that one. What've you been doing, George? Playing the market with the company's money?
George: No, sir. No, sir. I haven't.
Potter: What is it –– a woman, then? You know, it's all over town that you've been giving money to Violet Bick.
George: What?
Potter: Not that it makes any difference to me, but why did you come to me? Why don't you go to Sam Wainwright and ask him for the money?
George: I can't get hold of him. He's in Europe.
Potter: Well, what about all your other friends?
George: They don't have that kind of money, Mr. Potter. You know that. You're the only one in town that can help me.
Potter: I see. I've suddenly become quite important. What kind of security would I have, George? Have you got any stocks?
George: No, sir.
Potter: Bonds? Real estate? Collateral of any kind?
George: I have some life insurance, a fifteen thousand dollar policy.
Potter: Yes... how much is your equity in it?
George: Five hundred dollars.
Potter: Look at you. You used to be so ****y! You were going to go out and conquer the world! You once called me a warped, frustrated old man. What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities –– no stocks –– no bonds –– nothing but a miserable little five hundred dollar equity in a life insurance policy. [laughs] You're worth more dead than alive. Why don't you go to the riff-raff you love so much and ask them to let you have eight thousand dollars? You know why? Because they'd run you out of town on a rail...But I'll tell you what I'm going to do for you, George. Since the state examiner is still here, as a stockholder of the Building and Loan, I'm going to swear out a warrant for your arrest. Misappropriation of funds –– manipulation –– malfeasance... [George gets up to leave] All right, George, go ahead. You can't hide in a little town like this.

[Inscribed in a copy of Tom Sawyer] "Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence."

George: You know, if it wasn't me talking, I'd say you were the prettiest girl in town.
Mary: Well, why don't you say it?
George: I don't know. Maybe I will say it. How old are you anyway?
Mary: Eighteen.
George: Eighteen! Why, it was only last year you were seventeen.
Mary: Too young or too old?
George: Oh, no. Just right. Your age fits you. Yes, sir, you look a little older without your clothes on...I mean, without a dress. You look older...I mean, younger. You look just...
[George steps on the end of the belt on Mary's bathrobe]
George: Oh-oh...
Mary: Sir, my train, please.
George: A pox upon me for a clumsy lout. [throws the belt across her arm] Your...your caboose, my lady.
Mary: You may kiss my hand.
George: Ummmm [holding her hand, George moves in closer] Hey — hey, Mary.

Clarence: I didn't have time to get some stylish underwear. My wife gave me this on my last birthday. I passed away in it. Oh, Tom Sawyer's drying out, too. You should read the new book Mark Twain's writing now.
Tollkeeper: How'd you happen to fall in?
Clarence: I didn't fall in. I jumped in to save George.
George: You what? To save me?
Clarence: Well, I did, didn't I? You didn't go through with it, did you?
George: Go through with what?
Clarence: Suicide.
Tollkeeper: It's against the law to commit suicide around here.
Clarence: Yeah, it's against the law where I come from, too.
Tollkeeper: Where do you come from?
Clarence: Heaven. '[to George] I had to act quickly; that's why I jumped in. I knew if I were drowning you'd try to save me. And you see, you did, and that's how I saved you.