In 2004, a small, innocuous comedy called Napoleon Dynamite premiered. As with other irreverent teen comedies like Superbad and Juno, it wasn’t afraid to focus on celebrating the 'weird' kids in high school. What was special about Napoleon Dynamite was that it seemed totally organically born. It was like the film crew just set up cameras and filmed actual people living in rural Idaho, a celebration of eccentricity.
The dialogue -oh, the dialogue!- gave us a goldmine of quotes. Nearly every scene provided a random assortment of inane hilarity, delivered with deadpan seriousness by every cast member. Because there was nothing ironic or tongue-in-cheek about the characters, it made the dialogue feel both absurd and absurdly real. Here are ten of the best quotes from the film, but gosh! there were really too many to choose from.
10 "Tina, you fat lard, come get some dinner. Tina! Eat the FOOD!"
Life is tough for Napoleon Dynamite. He lives with his grandmother, has to put up with being bossed around by his washed-up-high-school-football-star Uncle Rico, and getting picked on by his deadbeat older brother Kip (who somehow manages to get all the hot babes).
One of Napoleon’s frequent punishments for being lazy around the house or sassing family members at the dinner table is being made to feed the llama that lives out back. If he could, he’d probably chuck her food right in her fat furry face, but then she might donkey kick him in the throat. Or just bite his face off.
9 "What are you going to do today, Napoleon?" - Kid on Bus. "Whatever I feel like I wanna do, GOSH!" - Napoleon
Napoleon is a simple man of simple desires. He just wants to be really good at tetherball, learn how to draw really well, and impress Deb enough to maybe get a girlfriend. These are impossible dreams when everyone around you thinks you’re a joke, right down to a random kid on the school bus.
That Napoleon doesn’t just constantly hit people in the face on a regular basis is a testament to his spiritual fortitude and mental acumen. The hitting he reserves for Kip, who, in case you didn’t know, is training to be a cage fighter (yet can’t stop Napoleon’s knife hands).
8 "Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter."
There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day of being slammed into lockers by Don, ignored by Deb, and made fun of for having excessively chapped lips only to find that your brother’s eaten all the chips. He’ll tell you that he was online chatting with babes all day, which isn’t even a good excuse.
Napoleon knows Kip is delusional, especially since real training to be a cage fighter doesn’t involve eating bags of chips and exercising your fingers on a keyboard. Good thing Kip’s easily distracted so that Napoleon can land one sweet slap with his ninja skills (which he has been practicing, obvs).
7 "Yeah, right. Who's the one that knows illegal ninja moves from the government?"
Napoleon doesn’t like a lot of people. Probably because they pick on him. But he really hates Don. Don is probably right up there with his Uncle Rico, in terms of people that make his social life suck and make him feel like a FREAKIN IDIOT all the time. So, when Don threatens to kick his ass, Napoleon decides he’s had enough.
It doesn’t matter that Don is the school jock and probably weighs as much as three Napoleon’ put together like Voltron. He doesn’t have illegal ninja moves from the government, which Napoleon is going to unleash on him. Or just smack him and run away, because ninjas are super fast.
6 "I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could totally be drinking whole if you wanted to."
It’s not always easy getting to know the person you have a crush on. They might think that the ice breaker you use to start a conversation is stupid, or they might be staring at your overly chapped lips and wondering if you have some sort of genetic condition. Or they might only date guys that have sweet mustaches.
When Napoleon spies Deb sitting alone drinking 1% milk in the cafeteria, he sees his chance to make a move. He decides to tell her that if she’s avoiding whole milk because she thinks she’s fat, she doesn’t have to. To him, she’s perfect just the way she is. It's an inherently sweet message, just poorly executed.
5 "I don't even have any good skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills. Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!"
How do you win the heart of the girl you’re in love with if you don’t have any skills? While it’s true that Napoleon shot, like, 50 wolverines with a 12-gauge at his uncle’s house one summer, he can’t really prove that to Deb. She would want to see how he did it, and he can’t just teleport 50 wolverines to Idaho.
Pedro has the ability to grow a mustache in like three days. Uncle Rico can throw a football really far. Napoleon can’t even beat a tetherball. Napoleon settles on busting out some sweet dance moves, hoping that will capture Deb’s heart.
4 "It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic."
In his effort to win over Deb’s heart, Napoleon decides to draw her portrait, but not before practicing his drawing skills on his favorite animal, the liger. Deb isn’t familiar with this majestic beast, but Napoleon soon goes on to explain its finer properties (it’s a mix between a lion and a tiger), and the fact that it has magical abilities.
Perhaps Deb didn’t know that ligers actually exist, and (though they’re rare) are kept at some zoos and natural wildlife preserves. The only thing magical about these magnificent beasts is that they live happy lives, considering that the process of their hybridization often results in a lot of health problems.
3 "You think anyone wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it."
Napoleon’s older brother Kip is training to become a cage fighter, so after seeing a frenzied television commercial featuring Rex Kwon Do, he decides to sign up for some of Rex’s martial arts classes. Rex is the real deal - he wears safety glasses whenever he instructs a class and utilizes brightly colored clothing to distract his opponents.
Take his star-spangled sweatpants. Do you think anyone wants to take a roundhouse kick to the face when he’s wearing those bad boys? They’ll be seeing stars and then they’ll be...seeing stars. With the Rex Kwon Do Defense System, you’ll have “the strength of a grizzly."
2 "Sure, the world wide web is great, but you, you make me salivate."
One of the highlights of Napoleon Dynamite comes at the end when the hundreds of hours Kip spent chatting with Lafawnduh online finally pay off, and she agrees to be his wife. Decked out in his finest hip-hop duds, doo-rag and bling for the big day, he delivers his crowning achievement; wedding vows in the form of a rap.
They include describing how great his love for Lafawnduh, how beautiful she is, and of course, how she measures up to the World Wide Web. They ride off into the sunset to presumably make their first EP and live happily ever after.
1 "...Sir Curt Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards to cast a protective spell over the lake and its residents, and all those who seek a peaceful existence with our underwater ally."
Public speaking can be excruciating for some people. Getting up in front of several dozen judgmental high school students to talk about current events is just about the worst form of it. Especially when you’re just trying to bring awareness about the peaceful existence of our underwater ally, Nessie of Loch Ness.
Do you think those ungrateful brats did anything about conservation efforts, after they heard about the Japanese scientists setting off seismic charges at the bottom of Loch Ness? Heck no! If it weren’t for Sir Godfrey and the local Scottish wizards, Nessie might have been lost forever due to gross human interference. Gosh!