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"And now, here it comes, the line you've all been waiting for..." (Also sprach Zarathustra plays in the background)
Phelous in his Troll 2 review

Related to Signature Scene, a Signature Line is a quote of dialogue that everyone remembers from a work of fiction, and has become synonymous with it. When the general public thinks of the work, this is the one quote that immediately springs to mind, and may be the only reason to remember the work at all.

There are many reasons that the line may stand out. It may be...

No matter the reason, the Signature Line is cemented in the minds of the general public. Your Mileage May Vary, as if you have actually seen the work yourself and are familiar with it, there may be lines that stick out more for you.

A Signature Line is a line of dialogue that actually appears in the work. If the line is never actually spoken in the work, it's an example of Beam Me Up, Scotty.

Signature Lines are likely to succumb to Memetic Mutation, and thereby result in viewers Watching It For The Meme.

Don't confuse this with a character's Catch Phrase; a signature line is something viewers might watch the entire show simply to hear, not just something that gets said a lot. If many different people in the show say it, it's the show's Arc Words. Sometimes, of course, a catchphrase or arc words can catch on and come to define the show in popular imagination, but it's rarer than you'd think -- the vast majority of signature lines are only spoken once in the work where they appear.

Examples of Signature Line include:


Anime & Manga

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Live Action TV

Newspaper Comics

Tabletop Games

Theater

  • "Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name." (Romeo and Juliet)
    • "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun."
    • "Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow."
    • "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."
  • "To be or not to be: that is the question." (Hamlet)
    • "Alas, poor Yorick."
    • "What a piece of work is a man!"
  • "Et tu, Brute?" (Julius Caesar)
    • "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears."
  • "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" (Richard III)
    • "Off with his head. So much for Buckingham." (A line added to Shakespeare's play by Colley Cibber)
  • "All the world's a stage." (As You Like It)
  • "[Exit Pursued By a Bear] He exits, pursued by a bear." (The Winters Tale)
  • "Oh beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on!" (Othello)
  • "I am the very model of a modern major-general." (The Pirates of Penzance)
  • "Dead! And never called me 'Mother'!" (East Lynne)
  • "Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble" (Macbeth)
    • "Something wicked this way comes"
    • "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow"
    • "Out, Damned Spot!!"
  • "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." (Twelfth Night)
    • "If music be the food of love, play on!"
  • "STELLA!" (A Streetcar Named Desire)
  • "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Video Games

  • Dynasty Warriors series
    • "Do not pursue Lu Bu!"
    • "You flaming idiots!"
  • Suikoden series
    • "DIE, PIG!!!!"
    • "You!!! Mother has a name for women like YOU! Hussies!!! The princess orders you to clothe yourself, hussy!!!"

Web Original

Western Animation

  • "Bye Bye Boo!" (Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi)

Real Life

  • "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed, by so many, to so few." - Winston Churchill
    • "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."
    • "If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say this was their finest hour."
  • "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • "Veni; vidi; vici." (I came, I saw, I conquered.) - Julius Caesar
    • "Alea jacta est." (The die is cast.)
  • "I have a dream." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan
  • "That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong
  • "Let my people go." - Moses
  • "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy
  • "Speak softly, but carry a big stick." - Theodore Roosevelt
  • "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions." - Lillian Hellman
  • "I have nothing to declare but my genius." - Oscar Wilde
  • "Cogito ergo sum" (I think therefore I am) - Descartes
  • "Sapere aude" (Dare to know) - Immanuel Kant
  • "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains" - Rousseau
  • "écrasez l'infâme" (crush the infamous thing) - Voltaire
  • "You cannot conceive the many without the one" - Plato
  • "The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates
  • "God is dead!" - Friedrich Nietzsche
    • "What does not destroy me makes me stronger."
  • "I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few." - Adolf Hitler
    • "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."
  • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" - Thomas Jefferson
  • "Time is money." - Benjamin Franklin
    • "Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults."
    • "God helps those that help themselves."
    • "Early to bed and early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
  • "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." - Abraham Lincoln
  • "I did not get on the bus to get arrested; I got on the bus to go home." - Rosa Parks
  • "To err is human, to forgive divine." - Alexander Pope
  • "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
  • "To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." - Carl Sagan
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