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Iconic Gangster Quotes From Popular Crime Films

Nia Simone McLeod, Content Writer
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Gangster movies are a classic part of American cinema.

To relive some of the best, we have compiled memorable gangster quotes below. 

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Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Cambridge found that people are more likely to remember and repeat quotes that contain rhyming or alliteration, as these linguistic devices help to make the phrases more memorable and catchy.

This could explain why so many gangster quotes, with their often-poetic language and rhythm, have become so iconic and memorable.

What’s your favorite crime movie? 

One of the most compelling parts of a gangster movie is seeing the lives behind criminals.

We see the bonds they have with their backstories, relationships, families, and friends.

Through this backstory, we are better able to understand why the characters commit to a life of crime. 

This genre of film is jam-packed with quality movies.

But on this list, we have some of our favorites such as Reservoir Dogs, The Godfather, and New Jack City.  

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the list of movie quotes below!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Gangster quotes from Reservoir Dogs

According to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, gangster films have been a consistent presence in American cinema since the 1920s, and have only increased in popularity over time.

This suggests that the allure of gangster culture and quotes remain strong for audiences, even as societal attitudes towards crime have evolved.

1. “I don’t wanna kill anybody. But if I gotta get out that door, and you’re standing in my way, one way or the other, you’re gettin’ outta my way.” – Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

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2. “Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite?” – Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) 

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3. “I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.” – Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

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4. “If you shoot this man, you die next. Repeat. If you shoot this man, you die next.” – Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) 

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5. “You don’t need proof when you have instinct!” – Joe (Lawrence Tierney) 

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6. “If you f**king beat this prick long enough, he’ll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire, now that don’t necessarily make it f**king so!” – Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn)

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7. “You’re acting like a first-year f**king thief! I’m acting like a professional!” – Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

8. “The choice between doing ten years and taking out some stupid motherf**ker, ain’t no choice at all. But I ain’t no madman.” – Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) 

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9. “All right ramblers, let’s get rambling!” – Joe (Lawrence Tierney) 

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10. “Somebody’s shoved a red-hot poker up our ass, and I want to know whose name is on the handle!” – Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

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11. “You, buddy, are stuck in a situation you created. So, if you wanna throw bad looks somewhere, throw ’em at a mirror!” – Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi)

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Gangster quotes from New Jack City

A survey conducted by YouGov found that the majority of Americans (57%) have watched at least one gangster film in their lifetime, with The Godfather (1972) and Goodfellas (1990) ranking among the most-watched movies in the genre.

This suggests that gangster films continue to hold a special place in American cinema and culture and that the quotes and characters from these movies are likely to remain popular and enduring symbols of the gangster genre.

12. “Money talks and bullshit runs a marathon. So, see ya and I wouldn’t want to be ya.” – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) 

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13. “You’re the one who’s guilty. I mean, c’mon, let’s kick the ballistics here: Ain’t no Uzi’s made in Harlem. Not one of us in here owns a poppy field. This thing is bigger than Nino Brown. This is big business. This is the American way.” – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) 

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14. “I never liked you anyway, pretty motherf**ker!” – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) 

15. “Drugs ain’t a black thing or a white thing. It’s a death thing. Death don’t give a shit about color.” – Nick Peretti (Judd Nelson)

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16. “Cancel that bitch, I’ll buy another one.” – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) 

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17. “You gotta rob to get rich in the Reagan era.” – Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) 

18. “I knew I should’ve treated you like a hooker, you ain’t nothing but a high-priced ho!” – G-Money (Allen Payne)

19. “You know, a drug dealer is the worst kind of brother. He won’t sell it to his sister, he won’t sell it to his mother. But he’ll sell it to one of his boys in the street. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to kill Nino Brown. Are you with me?” – Scotty Appleton (Ice-T)

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20. “They got that shit hooked up like Mission Impossible, man!” – Pookie (Chris Rock)

21. “I should have killed you myself, bitch!” – Scotty Appleton (Ice-T)

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Gangster quotes from The Godfather 

A study conducted by Pew Research Center found that 92% of adults in the United States own a cell phone, while 29% of them use their phone to access social media platforms.

This statistic can be used to emphasize the reach and accessibility of gangster quotes shared on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

22. “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” – Peter Clemenza (Richard S. Castellano) 

23. “I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So, I stole a bike and asked him for forgiveness.” – Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)

24. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Corleone (Marlon Brando)

25. “In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.” – Calo (Franco Citti)

26. “If I wanted you dead, you would be dead already.” —Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo

27. “Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.” —Tom Hagen

28. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” —Don Vito Corleone

29. “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” —Michael Corleone

30. “In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.” —Calo

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Gangster quotes from American Gangster

According to a survey conducted by YouGov, more than half of the American population has seen The Godfather movie or read the book.

This statistic can be used to support the popularity of the Godfather franchise and the familiarity of the quotes among the general public.

31. “That’s the way it is now—you can’t find the heart of anything to stick the knife.” – Bumpy Johnson

32. “What’re you doing counting this in front of everybody? Are you out of your f*ckin’ mind? Take it into a room. Now.” – Lou Toback

33. “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” – Frank Lucas

34. “We need to keep this cash cow alive.” – Detective Trupo

35. “Success. It’s got enemies. You can be successful and have enemies or you can be unsuccessful and have friends.” – Dominic Cattano

36. “This is my home. My country. Frank Lucas don’t run from nobody. This is America.” – Frank Lucas

37. “This is the problem. This is what’s wrong with America. It’s gotten so big you can’t find your way.” – Bumpy Johnson

38. “You think you’re going to heaven because you’re honest, but you’re not. You’re going to the same hell as the crooked cops you can’t stand.” – Laurie Roberts

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39. “It’s not in my best interest to say this Frank, but quitting while you’re ahead, is not the same as quitting.” – Ric Young

40. “The number one fear of people isn’t dying, it’s public speaking.” – Detective Richie Roberts

Thought Provoking Gangster Quotes 

A research study conducted by Cornell University found that the use of metaphors, such as those found in gangster quotes, can help to make persuasive arguments and influence people’s opinions.

This statistic can be used to explain how gangster quotes can be used to persuade and inspire the audience.

41. “We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is – if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta.” — Ron Finley

42. “What’s up, gangstas? It’s the M-I-Double-Tizzle.” — Mitt Romney

43. “Now I’ve got the world swingin’ from my nuts. And damn it feels good to be a gangsta!” — Willie D

44. “If the KKK was smart enough, they would’ve created gangsta rap because it’s such a caricature of black culture and black masculinity.” — Jackson Katz

45. “Some people say I’m conscious, some say I’m a gangsta rapper – it’s just me doing me. I’m stomping in my own lane. I’m doing what I do.” — Nas

46. “I don’t think my music really provokes that kind of energy that makes people want to grab AKs and rally through the streets. I don’t think my music is gangsta in that sense.” — Fashawn

47. “Everything I do is going to be gangsta rap, street based, street oriented… I’m from Gary, Indiana, and everybody’s damn near at the poverty level.” — Freddie Gibbs

48. “The only thing intimidating about Cube is that he’s the father of gangsta’ rap. You just worry about getting your lines right, or he might shoot you.” — Terry Crews

49. “I believe gangsta rap, as such, in its foundation is simply anti-systemic and transgressive.” — Bocafloja

50. “I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.” — Al Capone

What does loyalty mean to you? 

In gangster movies, loyalty is everything.

Whether it’s breaking a deal, lying, or not following a plan, disloyalty is a crime that typically leads to a hefty punishment.

Loyalty is a universal value that most people understand the importance of. 

Through universal themes such as loyalty, gangster movies are able to humanize their characters and even encourage the audience to root for people they never would have supported in their daily life.

If these movies didn’t show their characters outside of their life of crime, no one would watch. 

Which of these gangster quotes and lines is your favorite?

What movie should we feature next on Everyday Power?

Let us know in the comments below!

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