Released 25 years ago in 1994, the critically acclaimed and widely beloved film Forrest Gump, starring the beloved Hollywood icon Tom Hanks, remains one of the best films of the modern age of Hollywood. The film tells the story of a man named Forrest Gump, who was deemed an idiot due to his low IQ, but who continually proves that he's an extraordinary man through his key roles in major moments in history.
Forrest's kindness and compassion are the defining traits of his character, beyond his amazing ability to take part in history. In addition, Forrest, and those around him, are also shown to have great amounts of wisdom about the world they live in. Here, we take a look at 10 of the film's most meaningful quotes.
10 "Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don't have to worry about money no more. And I said, that's good! One less thing."
Over the course of the sprawling epic film, the relationship between Forrest and his former superior Lieutenant Dan undergoes many, many changes. Lieutenant Dan never seems to like Forrest for quite some time, but soon enough, the two realize that they're all the other has, and that the universe keeps putting them back together again and again.
Later in their lives, Lieutenant Dan gives Forrest some sage financial advice: investing in Apple stock.
9 "It happens."
During his amazing journey on foot across the country, Forrest winds up developing quite the following, including people who come to him looking for ideas and inspiration. One of those people is a man trying to find a slogan to put on bumper stickers.
At just the time when the man is questioning Forrest, Forrest runs, undeterred, through a pile of dog feces. This prompts Forrest to observe, frankly, "It happens," leading the man to develop a new brand of bumper stickers that say "S--t happens."
8 "I don't know if we have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze, but I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happenin' at the same time."
The entire film Forrest Gump makes the case that, though Forrest may not be the smartest man in the world from an intellectual and IQ standpoint, he truly does have a level of understanding and wisdom that most people could only hope to have.
In the film's closing act, Forrest's wisdom is perfectly encapsulated as he visits Jenny's grave and tries to make sense of the way the world works. He accepts that life is somehow both destined and random all at the same time - a concept perfectly reflected in the film's touching image of a feather floating away from young Forrest Jr.
7 "What's normal anyways?"
Forrest's mother is his staunchest advocate for the entire film, and there are truly no lengths to which she wouldn't go in order to ensure a better life for her son. During her fiercest episodes of advocacy and protection, Mama makes a good point when she notes, "What's normal anyways?"
Forrest Gump continually shows that underestimating people will get you nowhere in life. Forrest's magical journey is just an extraordinary example of that fact. But from day one, Mama has known that normal isn't what it's always made out to be. Normal is overrated.
6 "From that day on, we was always together. Jenny and me was like peas and carrots."
The relationship between Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran is one of the major storylines in the entire film. From childhood onward, Forrest is hopelessly in love with Jenny, the girl of his dreams and one of the only people to ever accept and understand him.
Though their journey takes many unconventional and taxing turns as they grow into young adulthood, their first meeting is as sweet and innocent as could be, when Jenny allows Forrest to sit ext to her on the bus. As Forrest observes, "From that day on, we was always together. Jenny and me was like peas and carrots." And in the end, they really were.
5 "I'm not a smart man. But I know what love is."
Despite all the time they spend apart, Forrest never stops being in love with Jenny. Even after learning all that she has suffered from, and even after enduring countless hardships on his own, Forrest remains almost blindingly in love with his beloved Jenny - even if she seems to refuse to acknowledge the fact that he's capable of loving her.
When Forrest makes this confession - "I'm not a smart man. But I know what love is." - it's a heartbreaking, breathtaking moment of clarity in the film. Jenny may have known and understood Forrest all along, but it's in this moment that she's first allowed to really know Forrest, and all that he really is capable of.
4 "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea..."
"You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That...that's about it."
The friendship that forms between Forrest Gump and Bubba Blue is one of the purest things in the entire movie.
Before Bubba's tragic death, he makes it clear that he would like to go into business with Forrest in the shrimping business. But long before that offer of working together, Bubba gives a monologue on shrimp that deserves its own entry.
3 "Mama says stupid is as stupid does."
Both Forrest and Mama have very frank ways of saying things, and very keen understandings of the way the world works. When young Forrest first meets Jenny, she asks him if he's stupid or something, to which Forrest answers, "Mama says stupid is as stupid does."
It's not really clear what that means, honestly, especially in the context of answering Jenny's question regarding Forrest's own intellect. But there's no denying the simple, fundamental truth of that observation, the kind of wisdom found in all of Mama's words about the way of the world.
2 "Run, Forrest, run!"
Arguably one of the most quoted lines from the movie comes very early on in the film, when young Jenny implores a young Forrest, "Run, Forrest, run!" From a young age, Forrest is clearly a gifted runner. This earns him respect and renown in his youth, in his college days on the football field, in service, and later in life, when he begins running just because he wants to.
Running seems to be one of the few things in life that provides Forrest clarity, and it's no wonder, therefore, that this brief line from a fleeting moment in the film's first act has come to be one of the most memorable quotes from the entire movie.
1 "My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'"
Given the significant role that Mama plays in the film, it's no wonder that the best known and most beloved quote from Forrest Gump should be yet another one of her keen observations. As Forrest relates it, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Given Forrest's own amazing life journey, that statement is more than accurate.
It's also clear inspiration for Forrest's own later conclusion that life is both fated and random, planned and mysterious. Forrest's life is just about as random and destined as things could get... just like a perfectly organized chocolate box.