The Truman Show is one of the most inventive and compelling comedies in movie history. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, a man living a seemingly perfect life in an idyllic town. Unbeknownst to him, he is the star of a hit reality show and his whole life has been manufactured for public entertainment.
Though a comedy, the brilliant concept opens the doors for some very deep moments as Truman fights for control of his life. Likewise, Carrey is funny while showing some real dramatic moments as an actor. This leads to plenty of hilarious, touching and profound lines. Here are the most memorable quotes from The Truman Show.
10 "Cue the sun."
Christof (Ed Harris) is the man behind this undertaking. To pull such a thing off requires someone who is obviously very brilliant as well as quite immoral. But Christof embraces this role, enjoying the challenge of creating not only Truman’s life as he knows it but the whole world around him.
The movie plays with the idea of Christof as a godlike creator, which is probably how he sees himself. We see how he controls the world of the show like some high power and his role of the creator becomes even more blunt and creepy as he commands, "Cue the sun".
9 "You can't get any further away, before you start coming back."
Even though Truman isn't aware that the world he is living in is fake, he still feels that need to escape. The town of Seahaven has been created as the perfect place to live and a home you would never want to leave. However, Truman begins fantasizing about the world outside Seahaven.
While talking with his friend, Truman admits he has dreams of running away to Figi. When his friend, an actor, tries to dissuade him, Truman is adamant to go only for the reason that it is the furthest away he can get from the place he's lived all his life.
8 "Seahaven is the way the world should be."
The actual show which Truman is the star of has its share of controversy in the movie's real world. Christof dismisses concerns about the ethics of it by claiming he is doing Truman a favor by sparing him from the troubled of the real world and creating a paradise for him.
What Christof fails to understand is that Seahaven is only the way the world should be according to him. For Truman, the existence within the show is becoming more like a prison he doesn't know he's been sentenced to.
7 "Somebody help me, I'm being spontaneous!"
Eventually, Truman becomes fed up with the same old mundane life he's been living and decides to make a change. But when he is blocked at every turn from leaving Seahaven, he starts to suspect something more is at work here.
Truman gets in the car and begins driving to anywhere away from there. As his actor wife tries to calm him down, Truman gleefully embraces finally being about to make his own decisions. He screams it loud for all to hear as he is starting to suspect that others are listening.
6 "We accept the reality of the world with which we're presented. It's as simple as that."
As much as The Truman Show is a light-hearted and touching comedy, the concept does make it feel like a surreal adventure at times. The idea of the movie is so wild but it succeeds because it makes the audience feel like it's not that farfetched of an idea.
During an interview about the show, Christof is asked how Truman has not questioned his reality, he gives a very simple and true answer. It is a quote like that that makes the audience begins to question which parts of their reality do they take a face value.
5 "We can't let him die in front of a live audience!"
Network Executive: We can't let him die in front of a live audience!
Christof: He was born in front of a live audience.
As Truman finally decides to overcome his manufactured fear of the ocean and sail away from Seahaven, Christof goes to desperate measures to stop him. At this moment, it becomes clear that he is not a guardian angel looking out for Truman, but rather a television man who doesn't want to see his show get ruined.
As Truman sails to freedom, Christof unleashes a storm on him, which everyone else protests. As Truman is nearly killed by madman's efforts, Christof makes it clear that he feels he holds power of this man and can do anything he wants to him.
4 "You were real. That's what made you so good to watch."
Truman survives the storm and crashes into the edge of his fake world. He discovers a painted wall resembling the horizon and a staircase leading to an exit. As Truman is about to leave, Christof finally speaks to him.
As Christof explains his world to Truman, Truman asks "Was nothing real?" Christof's answer is "You were real. That's what made you so good to watch." Though he is trying to comfort Truman, it only exposes Christof as uncaring, only seeing Truman as a piece of entertainment.
3 "What the hell are you talking about? Who are you talking to?"
One of the most clever and funny aspects of the movie is how the fake world forces advertisements into Truman's daily life. It's a small aspect of this incredibly inventive concept that makes for some great comedic moments.
After a very tense moment in which Truman questions the legitimacy of their marriage, his wife (Laura Linney) offers him some hot chocolate. The way she describes the cocoa like she's in a commercial is hilariously eerie. And Truman's bewildered response is fantastic.
2 "In case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight."
Despite not knowing the truth of his existence. Truman is an ideal star of a wholesome television show. He is kind, polite and personable to everyone he meets. In fact, he even has his own catchphrase as he greets everyone with a good morning before adding, “And in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.”
The charming greeting is used throughout the film and when he finally is told his true reality, that catchphrase is his parting farewell. At that moment, he walks away from the show while giving audiences just what they want.
1 "What else is on?"
Throughout the movie, we see glimpses of the people in the real world watching the show and reacting to Truman's life. These moments show that people do genuinely care about what happens to Truman and comment on our habits as television viewers.
After watching Truman finally break free of the show and leave, we see the audience rejoice and cheer him on. Then in the film's final moment, we cut back to two of the viewers who, after witnessing Truman's life-changing moment, immediately start looking for something else to watch. It's a funny and spot-on commentary and the perfect ending to the film.