‘Heathers’ Quotes That Still Ring True a Quarter Century Later
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The world just wasn’t ready for ‘Heathers’ in 1989. Twenty-five years ago, one of the darkest and most twisted teen dramedies of all time hit the big screen. ‘Heathers’ didn’t come anywhere close to resembling a commercial success — its domestic gross of just over $1 million didn’t even cover its modest $3 million budget — but in the years since, the movie has certainly cemented its status as cult classic, thanks to its stellar cast of up-and-coming actors (including Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty), its totally morbid gem of a plot and especially its unforgettable dialogue, which featured a sly mix of ironic one-liners, cruel comebacks and some very wry commentary on the clique-driven social mores of high school life. Several memorable lines from ‘Heathers’ have become classic catchphrases in the years since, and we could have easily come up with 25 amazing lines for this 25th anniversary look back.
“Dear diary: I want to kill, and you have to believe it’s for more than just selfish reasons.”
When ‘Heathers’ came out, its dark subject matter seemed honest enough to come across as genuine, yet exaggerated enough to laugh at. These days, in an era when trench-coat-wearing kids unload firearms in school cafeterias, bullying and teen suicide are hot-button issues and high-school massacres turn up regularly on the nightly news, the movie’s commentary on the teenage condition seems sadly prescient, to say the least.
“Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling.”
We’re not exactly sure what this is mocking (Chaos theorists? Evolution deniers? Dinosaurs?), but it doesn’t really matter — Christian Slater’s smirking, drawling young-Jack-Nicholson shtick is priceless.
“When our school blows up tomorrow … it’s going to be a Woodstock for the ’80s.”
All the morose suicide talk could’ve been a real downer in ‘Heathers.’ Thankfully, it had lines like this to lighten the the mood — and hopefully tip the balance against audience members thinking about slitting their wrists when they got home.
“Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?”
Eerily enough, actress Kim Walker — whose queen-bee character Heather Chandler had some of the best lines in the movie and delivered this gnarly dig — developed a brain tumor and died of cancer in 2001.
“Why are you such a mega-bitch?”
Veronica’s brilliantly worded query for Shannen Doherty’s Heather Duke is met with an equally spot-on comeback: “Because I can be.” Doherty had the mega-bitch role down pat years before she became famous for it on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’
“I love my dead gay son!”
Say it loud and say it proud!
“Grow up, Heather: Bulimia is so ’87.”
Fun fact: The rate of teens with bulimia reportedly has dropped slightly over the past two decades, although the average age of a teen bulimic also has decreased in the same time period. The more you know …
“What’s your damage?”
A catchphrase used several times in the flick, but what in the world could it mean?! Thankfully, Urban Dictionary finally lets us in on the secret code: “Basically the same thing as ‘What is your problem?’ except replacing ‘problem’ with ‘damage’ makes you sound 20 years out of date.”
“My teen angst bulls— has a body count.”
If Ryder’s Veronica hadn’t uttered this phrase back in ’89, we could’ve totally seen it as lyrics to some awful Limp Bizkit song in the early ’00s. Luckily, Winona beat Fred Durst to the punch.
“F— me gently with a chainsaw.”
This is one of those comedic golden nuggets that someone probably could’ve made millions off of if only they had printed it on a T-shirt and sold it at some mega-mall store. Too bad that someone wasn’t us.