Good Will Hunting (1997) quotes

Director
Gus Van Sant.

Cast
Robin Williams.
Matt Damon.
Ben Affleck

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

[sitting on a bench in in front of a pond in park] Thought about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. Stayed up half the night thinking about it. Something occurred to me… fell into a deep peaceful sleep, and haven’t thought about you since. Do you know what occurred to me?
Sean
No.
Will
You’re just a kid, you don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talkin’ about.
Sean
Why thank you.
Will
It’s all right. You’ve never been out of Boston.
Sean
Nope.
Will
So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right?
Sean
[Will nods]
You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Sean

[during a therapy session] You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.
– Sean

Son of a bitch… He stole my line.
– Sean

[continuing the therapy session] I don’t care if Helen of Troy walks in the room, that’s Game 6!
Will
Oh, Helen of Troy…
Sean
Oh my God; and who are these fuckin’ friends of yours, they let you get away with that?
Will
Oh… they had to.
Sean
W-w-w-what’d you say to them?
Will
I just slid my ticket across the table, and I said, “Sorry, guys; I gotta see about a girl.”
Sean
I gotta go see about a girl?
Will
Yeah.
Sean
That’s what you said? And they let you get away with that?
Will
Oh, yeah. They saw in my eyes that I meant it.
Sean
You’re kiddin’ me.
Will
No, I’m not kiddin’ you, Will. That’s why I’m not talkin’ right now about some girl I saw at a bar twenty years ago and how I always regretted not going over and talking to her. I don’t regret the 18 years I was married to Nancy. I don’t regret the six years I had to give up counseling when she got sick. And I don’t regret the last years when she got really sick. And I sure as hell don’t regret missin’ the damn game. That’s regret.
Sean
[pause]
Wow… Woulda been nice to catch that game, though.
Will
[sheepishly] I didn’t know Pudge was gonna hit a homer.
Sean

[during a therapy session, after his job interview with the NSA] Why shouldn’t I work for the N.S.A.? That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’, “Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s got to walk to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’, ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure fuck it, while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.
– Will

[to Will] You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.
– Sean

[in a bar] Are we gonna have a problem here?
Chuckie
No, no, no, no! There’s no problem here. I was just hoping you might give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy in the southern colonies. My contention is that prior to the Revolutionary War, the economic modalities, especially in the southern colonies, could be most aptly described as agrarian pre-capitalist.
Clark
Of course that’s your contention. You’re a first-year grad student; you just got finished reading some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison probably. You’re gonna be convinced of that ’till next month when you get to James Lemon. Then you’re going to be talking about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That’s gonna last until next year; you’re gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin’ about, you know, the pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.
Will
Well, as a matter of fact, I won’t, because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social…
Clark
“Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth”? You got that from Vickers’ “Work in Essex County,” page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you, is that your thing, you come into a bar, read some obscure passage and then pretend – you pawn it off as your own, as your own idea just to impress some girls, embarrass my friend?
Will
See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don’t do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!
Will
Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you’ll be servin’ my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.
Clark
That may be, but at least I won’t be unoriginal. But I mean, if you have a problem with that, I mean, we could just step outside – we could figure it out.
Will
No, man, there’s no problem. It’s cool.
Clark

[talking through the outside of the glass windows at Dunkin Donuts] Do you like apples?
Will
[talking through the glass on the inside] Yeah.
Clark
Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?
Will

[both leaning on a pick up truck while drinking beers and smoking cigarettes on a construction site] What do I wanna way outta here for? I’m gonna live here the rest of my fuckin’ life. We’ll be neighbors, have little kids, take ’em to Little League up at Foley Field.
Will
Look, you’re my best friend, so don’t take this the wrong way but, in 20 years if you’re still livin’ here, comin’ over to my house, watchin’ the Patriots games, workin’ construction, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya. That’s not a threat, that’s a fact, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya.
Chuckie
What the fuck you talkin’ about?
Will
You got somethin’ none of us have…
Chuckie
Oh, come on! What? Why is it always this? I mean, I fuckin’ owe it to myself to do this or that. What if I don’t want to?
Will
No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don’t owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be 50, and I’ll still be doin’ this shit. And that’s all right. That’s fine. I mean, you’re sittin’ on a winnin’ lottery ticket. And you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that’s bullshit. ‘Cause I’d do fuckin’ anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin’ guys. It’d be an insult to us if you’re still here in 20 years. Hangin’ around here is a fuckin’ waste of your time.
Chuckie

[yelling at Gerald] And why does he hang out with those retarded gorillas, as you called them? Because any one of them, if he asked them to, would take a fucking bat to your head, okay? It’s called loyalty.
– Sean

[after their last therapy session] Does this violate the doctor-patient relationship?
Will
Not unless you grab my ass.
Sean

[to Will] You’ll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you’re afraid to take the first step because all you see is every negative thing 10 miles down the road.
– Sean

[during a therapy session] You know, I was on this plane once. And I’m sittin’ there and the captain comes on and he does his whole, “We’ll be cruising at 35,000 feet,” then he puts the mike down but he forgets to turn it off. Then he turns to the copilot and goes, “You know, all I could go for right now is a fuckin’ blow job and a cup of coffee.” So the stewardess fuckin’ goes bombin’ up from the back of the plane to tell him the mic’s still on, and this guy behind me goes, “Hey hon, don’t forget the coffee!”
– Will

[in a gentlemen’s bar] Hey, Gerry, In the 1960s there was a young man that graduated from the University of Michigan. Did some brilliant work in mathematics. Specifically bounded harmonic functions. Then he went on to Berkeley. He was assistant professor. Showed amazing potential. Then he moved to Montana, and blew the competition away.
Sean
Yeah, so who was he?
Lambeau
Ted Kaczynski.
Sean
Haven’t heard of him.
Lambeau
[yelling to the bartender] Hey, Timmy!
Sean
Yo.
Timmy
Who’s Ted Kaczynski?
Sean
Unabomber.
Timmy

[before leaving the bar to catch up with his friends] Maybe we could go out for coffee sometime?
Skylar
Great, or maybe we could get together and just eat a bunch of caramels.
Will
What?
Skylar
When you think about it, it’s just as arbitrary as drinking coffee.
Will
[laughs] Okay, sounds good.
Skylar

[in Skylar’s dorm room] What is your obsession with this money? My father died when I was 13 and I inherited this money. You don’t think that every day I wake up and wish I could give it back? That I would give it back in a second if I could have one more day with him? But I can’t, and that’s my life and I deal with it. So don’t put your shit on me when you’re the one that’s afraid.
Skylar
I’m afraid? What am I afraid of? What the fuck am I afraid of?
Will
You’re afraid of me! You’re afraid that I won’t love you back! Fuck it, I wanna give it a shot! At least I’m honest with you.
Skylar

[to Will with Morgan, Chuckie present] You’re legally allowed to drink now, so we figured the best thing for you was a car.
– Billy

I just have a little question here. You could be a janitor anywhere. Why did work at the most prestigious technical college in the whole fuckin’ world? And why did you sneak around at night and finish other people’s formulas that only one or two people in the world could do and then lie about it? ‘Cause I don’t see a lot of honor in that, Will.
– Sean

I read your book last night.
Will
So you’re the one.
Sean

[during a therapy session with Will] My wife used to fart in her sleep.
– Sean

You know what? You can shove your medal up your fucking ass! Because I don’t give a shit about your medal. Because I knew you before you were a mathematical God. When you were pimple-faced and homesick and didn’t know which side of the bed to piss on!
Sean
Yeah, you were smarter than me then and you’re smarter than me now, so don’t blame me for how your life turned out, it’s not my fault.
Lambeau
I DON’T BLAME YOU! It’s not about *you*, you mathematical dick!
Sean

[about Will to Gerald] He pushes people away before they get a chance to leave him. It’s a defense mechanism. And for 20 years he’s been alone because of that. And if you push him right now, it’s gonna be the same thing all over again and I’m not gonna let that happen to him.
– Sean

[upon entering the bar for the first time with Bill, Morgan and Will] So this is a Harvard bar, huh? I thought there’d be equations and shit on the wall.
– Chuckie

[to his class with Gerald present] See you Monday. We’ll be talking about Freud and why he did enough cocaine to kill a small horse.
– Sean

[talking to Skylar in her dorm room] What do you wanna know? That I don’t have 12 brothers? That I’m a fuckin’ orphan? You don’t wanna hear that… no, you don’t wanna hear that. You don’t wanna hear that I got fuckin’ cigarettes put out on me when I was a little kid! That this
Will
[points to his left ribs]
is ’cause the motherfucker stabbed me! You don’t wanna hear that shit, Skylar. Tell me you don’t wanna hear that shit isn’t fuckin’ surgery!
Will