The best A Few Good Men quotes make you realize how great the movie really is, even if you haven't seen it in a while. Let's rank the greatest quotes from A Few Good Men, with the help of your votes. Starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, A Few Good Men was directed by Rob Reiner and released in 1992.
What is your favorite A Few Good Men quote? One memorable line was when Col. Jessup said, "You f*ckin' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son." Another great line from A Few Good Men is, "Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Navy. And you're under arrest, you son of a b*tch. The witness is excused," spoken by Kaffee.
Vote up your top A Few Good Men quotes, regardless of which character they come from.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)1
You Can't Handle The Truth
Kaffee: A moment ago, you said that you ordered Lt. Kendrick to tell his men that Santiago wasn't to be touched.
Jessup: That's right.
Kaffee: And Lt. Kendrick was clear on what you wanted?
Kaffee: Any chance Lt. Kendrick ignored the order?
Jessup: Ignored the order?
Kaffee: Any chance he forgot about it?
Kaffee: Any chance Lt. Kendrick left your office and said, "the old man is wrong"?
Kaffee: When Lt. Kendrick spoke to the platoon and ordered them not to touch Santiago, any chance they ignored him?
Jessup: You ever served in an infantry unit, son?
Kaffee: No, sir.
Jessup: Ever served in a forward area?
Kaffee: No, sir.
Jessup: Ever put your life in another man's hands and asked him to put his life in yours?
Kaffee: No, sir.
Jessup: We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It's that simple. Are we clear?
Kaffee: Yes, sir.
Jessup: Are we clear?!
Kaffee: Crystal. Colonel, I just have one more question before I put Airman O'Malley and Airman Rodriguez on the stand. If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?
Jessup: Santiago was a substandard marine. He was being transferred...
Kaffee: That's not what you said. You said he was being transferred, because he was in grave danger.
Jessup: That's correct.
Kaffee: You said he was in danger. I said "grave danger"? You said...
Jessup: I recall what I said.
Kaffee: I could have the court reporter read back to you...
Jessup: I know what I said! I don't have to have it read back to me, like I'm...
Kaffee: Then why the two orders? Colonel?
Jessup: Sometimes men take matters into their own hands.
Kaffee: No, sir. You made it clear just a moment ago that your men never take matters into their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So Santiago shouldn't have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?
Jessup: You snotty, little bastard.
Ross: Your honor, I'd like to ask for recess.
Kaffee: I'd like an answer to the question, Judge.
Judge: The court will wait for an answer.
Kaffee: If Lt. Kendrick gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, then why did he have to be transferred? Colonel? Lt. Kendrick ordered the Code Red, didn't he? Because that's what you told Lt. Kendrick to do!
Kaffee: And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose! You had Markinson sign a phony transfer order, and you doctored the log book!
Ross: Damn it, Kaffee!
Kaffee: You coerced the doctor!
Judge: Consider yourself in contempt!
Kaffee: Colonel Jessup, did you order the Code Red?!
Judge: You don't have to answer that question!
Jessup: I'll answer the question. You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled!
Jessup: You want answers?!
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessup: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like "honor", "code", "loyalty". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you", and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?
Jessup: I did the job that...
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?!!
Jessup: You're goddamn right I did!!466Agree or disagree?
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)2
Fight For Willy
Downey: I don't understand... Colonel Jessup said he ordered the Code Red.
Galloway: I know, but...
Downey: Colonel Jessup said he ordered the Code Red! What did we do wrong?
Galloway: It's not that simple...
Downey: What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!
Dawson: Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willy.388Agree or disagree?
Don't Call Me Son
Col. Jessup: What is this? What's going on? I did my job, I'd do it again! I'm gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base.
Judge Randolph: You're not going anywhere, Colonel. MP's... guard the Colonel!
Judge Randolph: Captain Ross?
Col. Jessup: What the hell is this?
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessup, you have the right to remain silent. Any statement you make...
Col. Jessup: I'm being charged with a crime? Is that what this is? I'm being charged with a crime? This is funny. That's what this is. This is... I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull! You f*cked with the wrong Marine!
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessup, do you understand these rights as I have just read them to you?
Col. Jessup: You f*ckin' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.
Kaffee: Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Navy. And you're under arrest, you son of a b*tch. The witness is excused.182Agree or disagree?
Take Your Seat
Kaffee: Is this funny, sir?
Col. Jessup: No, it isn't. It's tragic.
Kaffee: Do you have an answer to the question, Colonel?
Col. Jessup: Absolutely. My answer is I don't have the first damn clue. Maybe he was an early riser and liked to pack in the morning. And maybe he didn't have any friends. I'm an educated man, but I'm afraid I can't speak intelligently about the travel habits of William Santiago. What I do know is that he was set to leave the base at 0600. Now, are these the questions I was really called here to answer? Phone calls and foot lockers? Please tell me that you have something more, Lieutenant. These two Marines are on trial for their lives. Please tell me their lawyer hasn't pinned their hopes to a phone bill.
Col. Jessup: Do you have any more questions for me, Counselor?
Judge Randolph: Lt. Kaffee? Lieutenant, do you have anything further for this witness?
Col. Jessup: Thanks, Danny. I love Washington.
Kaffee: Excuse me. I didn't dismiss you.
Col. Jessup: I beg your pardon?
Kaffee: I'm not through with my examination. Sit down.
Col. Jessup: Colonel.
Kaffee: What's that?
Col. Jessup: I would appreciate it if he would address me as "Colonel" or "Sir." I believe I've earned it.
Judge Randolph: Defense counsel will address the witness as "Colonel" or "Sir."
Col. Jessup: I don't know what the hell kind of unit you're running here.
Judge Randolph: And the witness will address this court as "Judge" or "Your Honor." I'm quite certain I've earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.140Agree or disagree?