The Greatest Showman Movie Quotes

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The Greatest Showman movie quotes help tell the story portrayed in the film, inspired by how P.T. Barnum started the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Michael Gracey directed the musical drama using a screenplay Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon wrote from a story created by Jenny Bicks. The Greatest Showman opened theatrically in the United States on December 20, 2017.

In The Greatest Showman, the life of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), the original showman and founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus is portrayed. As a young man, Barnum meets love Charity (Michelle Williams), whom he later marries and has children. But Barnum dreams of more in life, especially professionally. 

So Barnum embarks on a unique idea, creating a show where so-called freaks perform. The show polarizes the public with both roaring ticket sales and violent protests. To help increase the show's profile, Barnum partners with Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron in a character based on James Anthony Bailey), who quickly falls in love with show performer Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) and others, including opera singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). But despite the show's success, it takes a few failures for Barnum to truly feel fulfilled in life. 

The Greatest Showman opened theatrically in late 2017 alongside the likes of The Post, Bright, Ferdinand, and Coco.


  • No One Ever Made a Difference...
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    No One Ever Made a Difference...

    P.T. Barnum: No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.

    If nothing else, P.T. Barnum is convinced that to be truly successful, one needs to take risks and be unique. This is exactly what he had in mind when starting his show. 

  • You Gave Us a Real Family
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    You Gave Us a Real Family

    Lettie Lutz: The world was ashamed of us, but you put us in the spotlight. You gave us a real family.

    Bearded lady Lettie Lutz expresses her appreciation to Barnum in this The Greatest Showman movie quote. She credits him for putting the so-called freaks into the spotlight where they gained acceptance from the public, or at least some of the public.

  • They Don't Understand You, But They Will
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    They Don't Understand You, But They Will

    P.T. Barnum: Don’t listen to them, they don’t understand you, but they will.

    Barnum understands that what he's doing, making a show out of people many would call freaks, is out of the ordinary. As such, he reminds his performers in these The Greatest Showman movie quotes that it will take time for the public to see the beauty that he does.

  • Do These Smiles Seem Fake?
    Photo: 20th Century Fox
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    Do These Smiles Seem Fake?

    James Gordon Bennett: Does it bother you that everything you are selling is fake?
    P.T. Barnum: Do these smiles seem fake?

    When James Gordon Bennett from the New York Herald questions the authenticity of Barnum's show, Barnum objects to the accusation. For Barnum, the proof of the success comes in the smiles of those who attend the shows.

  • Everyone's Got an Act
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    Everyone's Got an Act

    Phillip Carlyle: Who’s that?
    ...
    Anne Wheeler: And what is your act?
    Phillip Carlyle: I don’t have an act.
    Anne Wheeler: Everyone’s got an act.

    In what could be called love at first sight, Carlyle is smitten with Anne after only meeting her. While she thinks he is part of the show, he now thinks he might want to join just to be with her.

  • The World is Changing
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    The World is Changing

    Mr. Carlyle: Have you no shame?
    Phillip Carlyle: Father, the world is changing.

    Considering the film takes place in the 1800s, it's not exactly a time when a white man dating a woman of color is especially socially acceptable. Mr. Carlyle points this out to son Phillip in these The Greatest Showman movie quotes, but Phillip sees no color in his love.