These A Few Good Men quotes will make you feel like you are right there in the courtroom, especially the ones where Col. Jessup is berating everyone!
The dynamite legal drama film, A Few Good Men, featured a stellar cast with the likes of Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. However, many people don’t realize that the 1992 American movie is based on a 1989 play by Aaron Sorkin. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson were not the only top-notch talents to join the cast of A Few Good Men. The movie also starred Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, J. T. Walsh, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Kiefer Sutherland.
The events of the movie revolve around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine. There is a ton of detective work and courtroom drama as their lawyers prepare a case to defend their clients.
A series of events set back the defense, including the suicide of one of their witnesses. Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), risks being court-martialed and calls Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson), the commanding officer, to the stand.
These A few Good Men quotes illustrate the brilliance of the court scene, among some other impressive scenes from the movie.
Don’t forget to also check out these A Bronx Tale quotes from the coming of age gangster film.
A Few Good Men quotes about truth and honor (you can’t handle the truth quote)
1. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: I WANT THE TRUTH!
Col. Jessup: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
2. “You don’t need to wear a patch on your arm to have honor.” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
3. “We joined the Marines because we wanted to live our lives by a certain code, and we found it in the Corps. Now you’re asking us to sign a piece of paper that says we have no honor. You’re asking us to say we’re not Marines.” ― Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson, Wolfgang Bodison
4. “If a court decides that what we did was wrong, then I’ll accept whatever punishment they give. But I believe I was right sir, I believe I did my job, and I will not dishonor myself, my unit, or the Corps so I can go home in six months… Sir.” ― Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson, Wolfgang Bodison
5. Downey: [nervously] Colonel Jessup said he ordered the Code Red! What did we do wrong?
Galloway: It’s not that simple…
6. Downey: [anxiously] 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.
7. Lt. Sam Weinberg: Why do you like them so much?
Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway: Because they stand on a wall, and say “Nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.”
A Few Good Men quotes about ‘Call me sir’ and other choice names
8. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Excuse me. I didn’t dismiss you.
Col. Jessup: I beg your pardon?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: I’m not through with my examination. Sit down.
9. Col. Jessup: Colonel!
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: What’s that?
Col. Jessup: I would appreciate it if you 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.”
10. Col. Jessup: [To the judge] 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.
11. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: This your signature?
Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson: Yes, sir.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: You don’t have to call me “sir”. Is this your signature?
12. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: (In Santiago’s room) Lt. Kendrick… can I call you John?
Lieutenant Kendrick: No, you may not.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Have I done something to offend you?
Lieutenant Kendrick: No, I like all you Navy boys. Every time we’ve gotta go someplace to fight, you fellas always give us a ride.
13. Pfc. Louden Downey: Sir, yes, sir.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: You certainly don’t need to do it twice in one sentence.
14. “I am a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy… And you’re under arrest, you son of a bitch.” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
Funny and sarcastic A Few Good Men quotes
15. [irritated because she didn’t understand his intention] “Commander, I’d like you to leave the room so we can talk about you behind your back.” ― Capt. West, John M. Jackson
16. Lt. Sam Weinberg: Nobody likes the whites, but we’re going to Cuba. You got Dramamine?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Dramamine keeps you cool?
Lt. Sam Weinberg: No, Dramamine keeps you from throwing up. You get sick when you fly.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: I get sick when I fly because I’m afraid of crashing into a large mountain.
17. Lt. Sam Weinberg: Cmdr. Galloway, Lt. Kaffee is considered to be the best litigator in our office. He successfully plea-bargained 44 cases in 9 months.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: One more and I get a set of steak knives.
18. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: I’m just not that crazy about boats, that’s all.
Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway: Jesus Christ, Kaffee, you’re in the Navy for crying out loud.
19. “I get paid no matter how much time you spend in jail.” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
20. Lt. Dave Spradling: We were supposed to meet in your office fifteen minutes ago to talk about the McDermont case. You’re stalling on this thing. We get this done right now, or I mean it, Kaffee, I’m going to hang your boy from a fuckin’ yardarm!
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Yardarm? Sherby, does the Navy still hang people from Yardarms?
21. Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway: I was wondering if… how’d you would feel about my taking you to dinner tonight.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Are you asking me out on a date?
Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway: No…
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: It sounded like you were asking me out on a date.
22. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: What’s a fence line?
Capt. Whitaker: Sam.
Lt. Sam Weinberg: A big wall separating the good guys from the bad guys.
23. Lt. Sam Weinberg: You’ve heard her. The girl sat here, pointed, and said, “Pa.” She did.
She said, “Pa.”
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: She was pointing at a mailbox, Sam.
Lt. Sam Weinberg: That’s right. She was pointing as if to say, “Pa, look, a mailbox.”
24. Lt. Daniel Kaffee: How did you know where the mess hall was if it’s not in this book?
Cpl. Jeffrey Barnes: Well, I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.
25. “Is the colonel’s underwear a matter of national security?” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
26. Lieutenant Commander Galloway: (Referring to Jessup) You put him on the stand and you get it from him!
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: (Sarcastically, referring to Jessup in his apartment) Oh, we get it from him! Yes! No problem! We get it from him. (Turns to Sam as if he were Jessup on the stand)
27. “Wow. I’m actually getting sexually aroused.” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
A Few Good Men quotes about crime, rules, and following orders
28. “A crime? What crime did he commit? Lieutenant Kendrick, Dawson brought a hungry guy some food. What crime did he commit?” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
29. Col. Jessup: Ever put your life in another man’s hands, ask him to put his life in yours?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: No, sir.
Col. Nathan R. Jessup: We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple.
30. “It was what they were ordered to do. Out in the real world, it means nothing, and in the Washington navy yard it doesn’t mean a whole lot more, but if you’re a marine assigned rifle company Windward Guantánamo Bay Cuba, if you’re given an order you follow it or you pack your bags.” ― Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Tom Cruise
31. Colonel Jessup: Isn’t it true that you ordered the Code Red on Santiago?
Lt. Weinberg: Listen, we’re all a little…
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: (Interrupts with game-show buzzer sound) Eeehhhhh! I’m sorry, your time’s run out! What do we have for the losers, judge? Well, for our defendants, it’s a lifetime at exotic Fort Leavenworth! And, for defense counsel Kaffee, that’s right, it’s a court-martial!
Yes, Johnny! After falsely accusing a highly decorated Marine Corps officer of conspiracy and perjury, Lieutenant Kaffee will have a long and prosperous career teaching… typewriter maintenance at the Rocco Globbo School for Women! Thank you for playing “Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!
32. Lt. Dave Spradling: I’m going to charge him with possession and being under the influence while on duty. You plead guilty, I recommend thirty days in the brig with loss of rank and pay.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave. It was ten dollars’ worth of oregano.”
The best A Few Good Men quotes from Col. Jessup
33. [after Danny casually and disrespectfully requests Santigo’s transfer order during lunch in Cuba] “You see Danny, I can deal with the bullets, and the bombs, and the blood. I don’t want money, and I don’t want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth extend me some fucking courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely.” ― Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
34. [to Galloway during lunch in Cuba with Kaffee, Weinberg, Kendrick, and Markinson present] “I run my unit how I run my unit. You want to investigate me, roll the dice and take your chances. I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill me, so don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash a badge, and make me nervous.” ― Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
35. “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 really the questions I was 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. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
36. Col. Jessup: I felt his life might be in danger.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Grave danger?
Col. Jessup: [sarcastically] Is there another kind?”
37. Col. Jessup: How the hell is your dad, Danny?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: He passed away seven years ago, sir.
Col. Jessup: Don’t I feel like the fucking asshole?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Not at all sir.”
38. “Son we live in a world that has walls, and those have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose 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 talk about parties; you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall!” ― Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
39. “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.” ― Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
40. “What do you wanna talk about now? My favorite color?” ― Col. Nathan R. Jessup, Jack Nicholson
Which of these A Few Good Men quotes is your favorite?
Kaffee ends up catching Jessup in a lie while he is testifying and all hell breaks loose. The drama, phenomenal acting, and brilliant story made this film a success. It was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, and released by Columbia Pictures on December 11,
The movie received critical acclaim and killed it at the box office, grossing over $243 million against a $40 million budget. It was also nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The scene where Jack Nicholson’s character screams, “You can’t handle the truth” has become a regular phrase in America.
What did you like most about this movie? Use the comment section below to share some other favorite A Few Good Men quotes and lines, or let us know your favorite scene. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, take a few hours and watch it. You won’t regret it!
June 17, 2021 7:00 AM EST